Before starting his business career, Pete attended the U.S. Naval Academy where he earned a BS in physics. Pete went on to serve in the Navy as an award-winning aviator and instructor pilot, honing his leadership and decision-making skills as commander of a large multi-engine aircraft and 12-member crew during the height of Cold War tensions.
His “crisis-tested leadership skills” were forged not in a battle with the competition or a challenging business turnaround—although he has certainly excelled in those arenas—but in the dark skies above the Pacific Ocean as he flew a military aircraft whose engine had caught on fire.
Clear-headed and decisive under extraordinary circumstances, Pete has applied that same leadership style to every challenge and opportunity he has faced in a distinguished executive career with such firms as Coca-Cola, Newell Rubbermaid and most recently, Licensing Brands, the company he founded in 2009.
Pete began his licensing career at Coca-Cola in 1997 as the Event Licensing Group Manager where he executed multiple programs in support of:
- The 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan
- The France 1998 FIFA World Cup (soccer)
- Major NASCAR events throughout the U.S.
In his second year in the role, he led the group to over $50 million in retail sales earning $3 million in royalty revenue for the company. In 1998, Pete working with the diecast licensee, Action Performance, delivered $30 million in retail sales in commemorating the first ever race between Dale Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. at the Coca-Cola 500 in Tokyo, Japan. This is the largest co-branding program on record for Coca-Cola. His contributions that year earned Pete the Greatest Contribution to the Licensing Department award.
Pete continued his licensing career at Coca-Cola in 2001 as the Licensing & Consumer Activation Director of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, UT. There he directed the development and implementation of all of Coca-Cola’s licensing programs and consumer activation for the Olympic Winter Games. During the seventeen days of the Games Coca-Cola sold over $2 million of licensed product, a 100% increase over the prior Winter Games.
From 2005 to 2007, Pete served as Director of Global Licensing at Newell Rubbermaid for the Rubbermaid brand. In this role, Pete led a 9 member cross-functional team while managing 17 licensees. In just over two years, wholesale sales grew from $30 million to over $70 million and average royalty rates increased by greater than 2% more than doubling royalty revenue. For his achievements, Pete received the MVP Award for stellar contributions to the Global Licensing department in 2006.
In his final role at Newell Rubbermaid, Pete served as the General Manager of CardScan, where he delivered quick wins while rejuvenating the organizational culture.
Before transitioning to marketing and licensing arenas, Pete earned his MBA from the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School where he was a Richard H. Jenrette fellow and salutatorian of his class. Upon graduation, Pete was recruited into the global finance unit at Coca-Cola. He rose quickly to managing $32 billion in transactions yearly as Treasury Operations Manager in London and built a strong foundation of business skills and diverse experiences within the world-class company.
Throughout his career, Pete has operated in the global arena, having worked in more than 40 countries and managed extensive projects across national and continental borders.