ABOUT US

50+ Years of Combined Industry Experience

OUR COMPANY

AWM SMART SHELF Leadership has 50+ years of combined industry experience that affords thought leadership, retail expertise and the know-how and ability to execute at scale. For many years, AWM’s Leadership has pushed the envelope in development of facial recognition software, globally scalable content management software, and the optimization of large format video player programming and controllers. AWM’s latest offerings are the culmination of these disciplines – offering a solution that increases operational efficiencies, creates intimate customer experiences, generates new revenue streams for retailers and brands, and increases sales.

Our Leaders

KEVIN B. HOWARD

Founder, CEO
khoward@smartshelf.com

Kevin launched AWM utilizing AI and deep learning with the intent of making Smart Shelf the go-to retail platform for customer engagement and shopper behavior/store operations analytics. As CEO he is responsible for AWM's long-term vision and global strategy. Prior to AWM, Kevin was the CEO of ICG, a full-service digital media firm. Under his leadership, ICG grew from a shared office with two desks to a digital format leader serving globally known Fortune 500 brands, college and professional sports venues and even government agencies. Prior to this, Kevin was an executive at Wells Fargo, UBS Financial, and Smith Barney, specializing in technology, asset management, capital raises and corporate guidance. Kevin has also owned businesses in a wide spectrum of sectors ranging from alternative energy to a professional motocross team.

KURTIS VAN HORN JR.

Founder, COO
kvanhorn@smartshelf.com

As Chief Operating Officer, Kurtis is responsible for the delivery, execution and support of AWM’s Smart Shelf. He oversees the company’s internal operations team as well as key manufacturing, logistics and implementation relationships which support the global scalability of AWM’s solutions. Previously, Kurtis was a Co-Founder and Executive at ICG, and over the past 20 years, has shared numerous business interests with Kevin Howard. They have developed a strong working relationship during this time while working in the digital media, technology, and corporate financial services arenas. Kurtis can be considered somewhat of a “generalist”, having served in a wide range of roles while overseeing and advising in the growth of several start-up and mid-sized companies. He is a proud Southern California native and enjoys spending time outdoors whenever possible.

EMAD MIRGOLI

Founder, CFO

Emad Mirgoli’s primary responsibility is overseeing and managing AWM’s daily operations and finance activities. Mr. Mirgoli’s duties include working with other AWM executives on a daily basis to ensure AWM meets the daily operational requirements, financial targets and contractual obligations with both customer and partner relationships. Mr. Mirgoli brings over twenty years of experience from the financial services arena and corporate management. Prior to his engagement with AWM, Mr. Mirgoli was an active partner in a firm that specialized in investing in and restructuring defaulted land secured municipal bonds which included the ownership and management of large scale real estate projects throughout the United States. Mirgoli’s other professional experiences include working in both energy trading and investment banking at firms such as Koch Energy, Sempra Energy, UBS Securities, Stone & Youngberg and RBC Capital Markets.

LUCAS JOHNSON

VP of Worldwide Sales
ljohnson@smartshelf.com
949.633.0490

As AWM’s Vice President of Worldwide Sales, Lucas Johnson oversees both direct and reseller sales channels globally. Lucas and his team work directly with brands and retailers to determine Smart Shelf design and deployment strategies. His team also supports customers post deployment to ensure they are getting maximum value from Smart Shelf. Prior to joining AWM, Lucas spent 12 years managing retail and wholesale channels in the financial and insurance industry.

GREG SCHUMACHER

VP of Technology

Greg holds vendor certifications in programming and database technologies including Java, PHP, MySQL, and ASP.NET as well as multiple Microsoft Windows technologies, and he graduated cum laude with a computer science degree from University of California, Santa Barbara with emphases in security and networking. Greg has held multiple tech jobs including working over 10 years at a major digital agency in the Los Angeles area where was Director of Technology and Web Development. He has done work on a wide variety of software projects ranging from small to over 10,000 hours and for organizations like Cisco / Linksys, IMAX, Legendary Pictures, Maruchan, Toyota, and World Vision. Greg has extensive online video streaming experience with H.264 and other technologies including custom iPhone streaming server programming, Internet TV and IPTV applications, and compression optimization / tuning. He has formal education and experience in computer vision, and has expertise in managing cloud-based hosting and Windows and Linux system administration.

ERIC JOHNSON

VP of Software Development

Eric started developing over 15 years ago and has worked at multiple agencies including hiring and managing a large team of programmers and developing for digital screens and kiosks using web-based technologies like Angular, Node.js, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, MySQL, and others. He also co-founded a start-up social media company where he was responsible for architecting and programming the key offering, and he has done work as an instructor teaching programming at a coding school. Some projects he has worked on include augmented reality, using facial recognition to boost sales and efficiency, massive display setups and LED control systems, and distributed content management with internet-loss resiliency and advanced hierarchical permissions.

ROBIN KANG

Creative Director

As a Creative Director, Robin Kang oversees all content designs for client accounts as well as in-house creative materials. She has over 10 years of experience in Web/Ecommerce Design, Art Direction, Information Architecture and UX Design. Prior to AWM, she has held leadership roles at various organizations in Los Angeles and Orange County.

Our Investors

Mark IV Capital

Mark IV Capital is a privately held diversified investment firm founded in 1974 and headquartered in Newport Beach, California. Mark IV believes that its 35 professional asset management employees, who are led by an independent management team with a combined 75+ years of industry experience, are the driving force behind its success. Mark IV Capital has a long history of investing in private equities dating back to backing the world’s first water park in the 1970’s and has continued its opportunistic investment approach by diversifying its holdings into Private Equity, Venture Capital, and Real Estate. The employees of Mark IV consider themselves a steward of assets with the long-term goals of value creation and asset appreciation. In addition to Newport Beach, the company has staff and operational offices in Northern California, Austin, Texas, Las Vegas, Nevada, Denver, Colorado, and Greater Phoenix, Arizona. Mark IV is built upon a foundation of integrity and excellent service. The company’s core values of integrity, creativity, accountability, team orientation, development, and community are integral to Mark IV’s success. Mark IV recognizes that it has a responsibility to provide unparalleled levels of service to its customers, long-term returns to its investors, and accountability to the communities in which it works.

Contrarian Group Inc.

The Contrarian Group Inc. (TCG) invests in a variety of companies including hardware, software, real estate, golf courses and medical technology among others.


TCG’s general partner is Mr. Peter Ueberroth who has been the Managing Director since 1989. He is currently Co-Chairman of the Pebble Beach Company and the Chairman of Aircastle, Inc. a publicly traded Air Leasing Company. Mr. Ueberroth earned the distinction of Time Magazine’s Person of the Year in 1984 and is well known for his previous roles as President of the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee and his subsequent appointment as the sixth commissioner of Major League Baseball.

JOIN OUR TEAM

We’re always looking for smart and talented people to join our team.