We see a bright future.
A candle never loses any of its light while lighting up another candle.
A candle never loses any of its light while lighting up another candle.
Co-Founder & Co-CEO
Kevin Mayer is Founder and Co-CEO of Candle Media.
Kevin Mayer is currently the founder and Co-CEO of Candle Media. He was a former top executive at The Walt Disney Company overseeing its Direct-to-Consumer businesses which included global streaming platforms Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu. Mr. Mayer architected the development and successful rollout of Disney+ that today has over 150 million subscribers. In his capacity as Chairman, Direct-to-Consumer and International, he also led global advertising, content, and channel sales as well as studio distribution and marketing overseas, managing over 25,000 employees around the world and over 60% of Disney revenues. Prior to that role, Mr. Mayer served as Chief Strategy Officer for Disney, where he oversaw and executed major acquisitions including Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, BAMTech, and 21st Century Fox. After Disney, Mr. Mayer served as CEO of TikTok and COO of its parent company, ByteDance, driving one of the greatest disruptions in social media history and helping to steer one of the world’s largest social entertainment platforms with over 1 billion users.
Co-Founder & Co-CEO
Tom Staggs is Founder and Co-CEO of Candle Media.
Mr. Staggs is a former top executive at The Walt Disney Company, most recently serving as its Chief Operating Officer. Prior to that, he was chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Worldwide after having been Disney’s Chief Financial Officer for nearly 12 years. As Chairman of Disney Parks, Mr. Staggs more than doubled operating profits while overseeing the company’s roughly 140,000 cast members. While at Disney, he helped lead the purchases of Pixar, Marvel Entertainment, and Cap Cities/ABC. He also served as a member of the board of directors at Euro Disney SCA from 2002 until 2015.
Mr. Staggs is a partner at Smash Capital and serves as a member of the Spotify board of directors. He is also a member of the board of advisors of the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management.
Mr. Staggs received his BS from The University of Minnesota and his MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.
SVP, Finance & Transactions
Meredith Locasto is SVP of Finance and Transactions at Candle Media, responsible for driving Candle’s tax planning and strategy and overseeing the diligence and execution of mergers & acquisitions (M&A) transactions.
Ms. Locasto began her career at Deloitte, where she provided tax consulting and advisory services to private equity clients, as well as multi-national public and private strategic clients. For the majority of her tenure at Deloitte, Ms. Locasto focused exclusively on M&A transactions – advising clients on tax diligence, structuring, and modeling matters. Ms. Locasto worked on over 250+ deals, ranging in value from $10 million to $35 billion, where she helped clients optimize value through tax planning and risk mitigation. Known for being a self-starter and learning agility, Ms. Locasto spearheaded the Deloitte M&A practice’s efforts around building an off-shore practice and developing tools and technologies to drive value through innovation.
Ms. Locasto received her BBA and MSA from the University of Notre Dame.
Sr. Director, Corporate Development & Finance
Doug MacKenzie is Senior Director, Corporate Development at Candle Media, where he helps drive the sourcing, evaluation, diligence and execution of M&A transactions, and the development of internal growth initiatives.
Prior to joining Candle, Mr. MacKenzie spent 6 years in investment banking with RBC Capital Markets. Most recently, he worked in the Communications, Media & Entertainment (CME) group in RBC’s Los Angeles office, where he worked on a variety of M&A advisory assignments, capital raises, and financings for both public and private companies in the entertainment industry. Mr. MacKenzie began his career with RBC in Toronto, focusing on sell-side M&A advisory for middle market companies in both consumer products and industrial sectors.
Mr. MacKenzie received his BCom (Honours) degree from Smith School of Business at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.
Senior Director, Finance
Betsy Mastropieri is Senior Director of Finance at Candle Media, responsible for supporting the company’s financial planning and accounting.
Prior to joining Candle, Ms. Mastropieri worked at Medley Capital, a business development company, on the Accounting team, where she focused her efforts on SEC filings. She then spent 5 years at Morgan Stanley supporting top wealth advisors in Private Wealth Management to generate portfolio growth for high-net-worth individuals. During her tenure, she held her Series 7 and 66. Most recently at AT&T, Ms. Mastropieri was a member of the Finance Leadership Development Program, executing financial reporting and analysis for the Postpaid Mobility and Cybersecurity teams. Notably, she received internal award recognition for her financial work done on the 3G network shutdown.
Ms. Mastropieri received her BBA from University of Notre Dame, where she was a member of the Division 1 Women’s Varsity Lacrosse team, and her MBA from the University of Southern California.
Chief Financial Officer
Salil Mehta is the Chief Financial Officer of Candle Media responsible for the company’s financial operations, working in conjunction with the business unit finance and Candle’s corporate development teams.
Mr. Mehta has held senior executive roles at the largest and most successful media brands in film, television, digital and interactive games, including Disney, ESPN, Comcast/NBCUniversal, and 21st Century Fox.
Mr. Mehta previously served as President of FoxNext Games, where he engineered one of the most successful recent mobile game startups in the entertainment sector and helped orchestrate the sale of that business to Scopely. After Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox, he added the title of General Manager of Disney’s digital media where he oversaw Disney’s ad-supported digital businesses. He subsequently served as CFO of Forest Road Acquisition Corp, as well as board member for Forest Road Acquisition Corp II, both blank check companies led by Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs and sponsored by Forest Road, a specialty finance company.
Prior to Mr. Mehta’s role at FoxNext Games, he held a variety of divisional CFO and senior operating executive roles at 20th Century Fox, NBCUniversal, and ESPN. He managed Fox’s global television distribution; digital properties such as ESPN.com and Fandango; and oversaw the financial operations of Spanish language broadcaster Telemundo and lifestyle cable channels such as Bravo, Oxygen, and Style. Mr. Mehta played a key role in the integration of Comcast and NBCUniversal, in the successful bidding by Telemundo for World Cup broadcast rights, and served on the original board of Hulu and the boards of A&E Entertainment Networks and the Weather Channel.
Mr. Mehta received his BA from Brown University and his MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study Political Economy at the Delhi School of Economics in Delhi, India.
SVP, Business Development & Community
Kendall Ostrow is Senior Vice President for Business Development and Community at Candle Media, responsible for helping drive business development across the company and its business units, working closely with creative and business leaders across the company to forge impactful new strategic and commercial partnerships, unlock new revenue streams, enhance synergy between Candle’s numerous teams, brands and franchises, and help drive deeply engaged internal and external communities.
Before Candle, Mrs. Ostrow helped build UTA IQ, the data, strategy, and insights division of leading talent agency UTA. She worked closely with agency leadership and key clients to build insights-driven career strategies, develop deeply engaged digital communities, and drive new revenue streams. Before UTA, Mrs. Ostrow was a digitally-focused executive at ID PR and was Head of New Media for The Ellen DeGeneres Show, creating and launching Ellen’s award-winning social media presence.
Mrs. Ostrow brings over 15 years on the cutting edge of digital media, building strategies for brands, media companies, and world-renowned talent. Known for predicting consumer and cultural trends and incorporating them into business strategies, she has a proven history of successfully developing deeply engaged communities and, in turn, leveraging established and emerging social media and commerce platforms for revenue growth.
Mrs. Ostrow has been recognized on lists such as Forbes’ 30 Under 30, AdAge’s 40 Under 40, Billboard’s Digital Power Players, and Variety’s NY Women’s Impact Report. Additionally, Ostrow has six Daytime Emmy Award nominations, including two wins for “Outstanding Talk Show Entertainment” and two nominations for “New Approaches – Daytime Entertainment.”
Mrs. Ostrow lives in New York with her husband and two young children.
Ms. Ostrow received her BA from The University of Arizona.
Senior Director, Controller
Adrian Perez is the Senior Director and Controller at Candle Media and is responsible for supporting Candle’s companywide accounting initiatives.
Mr. Perez was most recently the Controller at Fullscreen, a media company for the connected generation, which was acquired by AT&T in 2018 and subsequently merged into WarnerMedia. During his time at Fullscreen he focused on supporting the rapid growth and scaling of the accounting department. As Controller he led a team of accounting professionals through various stages of growth and supported multiple integration projects including bringing the company’s accounting practices up to public company standards.
Prior to Fullscreen, Mr. Perez worked at The Walt Disney Company in the Studio Controllership group.
Mr. Perez began his career as an auditor with Deloitte LLP, performing financial statement audits on various public and privately-held companies. He received his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from California State University at Fullerton and is a Certified Public Accountant.
SVP, Finance and Controllership
Anthony Runnels is SVP, Finance and Controllership at Candle Media, overseeing Candle’s accounting operations and financial reporting.
Mr. Runnels most recently served as CFO of purpose-driven media company ATTN:, where he guided the company from startup through a Series C offering and its ultimate sale to Candle Media in July 2022. Mr. Runnels was instrumental in building out ATTN:’s accounting and finance functions and growing the company to profitability while also overseeing its legal, HR, technical and business operations functions.
Prior to ATTN: Mr. Runnels held senior-level finance and accounting roles at several upstart entertainment and technology companies, including Corporate Controller at Evergreen Films, an independent, vertically integrated early-stage studio that developed, produced, and owned technologically innovative 3D films, and Corporate Controller for Vantage Media, a vertically focused leader in online customer acquisition marketing.
Mr. Runnels served as the Corporate Controller for LBI Media, one of the largest Spanish-language radio and television broadcasters in the United States, where he was a lead participant in the S-1 registration process and was responsible for the company’s SEC reporting and investor relations activities. Mr. Runnels has also held positions managing the domestic and international accounting department and investor relations at Herbalife, one of the largest global network marketing companies in the world.
Mr. Runnels began his career as an auditor with Ernst & Young LLP, performing financial statement audits on various public and privately-held companies. He received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Chief Development Officer
Brent Weinstein is Chief Development Officer at Candle Media responsible for driving the company’s corporate and business development efforts.
Mr. Weinstein has held senior executive roles at the world’s leading talent and entertainment company, United Talent Agency.
Mr. Weinstein, long at the forefront of creating and driving iconic, groundbreaking deals across all forms of media, spent nearly 20 years at UTA, most recently as Partner and Chief Innovation Officer. At UTA, Mr. Weinstein oversaw key growth initiatives, including leading the company’s entry into the Digital Talent business, and developing and managing its Live Events, Podcasting, Ventures, Heartland, and NFT divisions. He also co-managed UTA’s industry-leading Insights and News divisions, drove growth strategies for additional practice areas including UTA’s Global Music business, played a central role integrating its numerous acquisitions, and drove key technology and other corporate initiatives. Prior to joining UTA, Mr. Weinstein practiced corporate and business litigation.
Mr. Weinstein lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children. He serves on philanthropic Boards for CoachArt and the Friends of the Saban Community Clinic.
Mr. Weinstein received his BA from The University of Southern California and his JD from The University of San Diego School of Law.
Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Candle Media
Kevin Mayer is Co-CEO and founder of Candle Media. Mr. Mayer is a former top executive at The Walt Disney Company where he oversaw its international Direct-to-Consumer business which included launching global streaming platforms, Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu. More recently, Mr. Mayer served as CEO of TikTok and COO of its parent company, ByteDance.
Mr. Mayer currently serves as Chairman of DAZN Group, co-founder and managing director of Smash Ventures, and on the Board of the Forest Road Company and a Strategic Advisor to Forest Road Acquisition Corporation. Mr. Mayer is also an advisory board member at Salesforce and Access Industries. He is on the board of Tinuiti, a performance marketing agency.
Mr. Mayer holds a BSME from MIT, an MSEE from San Diego State and an MBA from Harvard University.
Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Candle Media
Thomas Staggs is Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Candle Media, a next generation media company home to category-defining brands including Hello Sunshine, Moonbug Entertainment, Faraway Road Productions and Westbrook Media.
In addition to his role with Candle Media, Mr. Staggs serves as a Member on the Spotify board of directors, the Executive Chairman of Vejo, Inc, Executive Chairman of Bertsch Industries, GmbH, Chairperson of the Strategic Advisory Committee and director of Forest Road Acquisition Corp., Chairman of PureForm Global Inc., and a director of REQPay Inc. and Weta Digital Limited. He also serves on the board of advisors of the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management and the board of trustees of the Center for Early Education.
Mr. Staggs previously served in various roles at The Walt Disney Company, including as Chief Financial Officer, Chairman of Disney Parks and Resorts, Chief Operating Officer, and Special Advisor to the Chief Executive Officer. He also was previously a member of the board of directors at Euro Disney SCA from 2002 until 2015. Mr. Staggs holds a Bachelor of Science in Business from the University of Minnesota and a Master of Business Administration from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.