Who We Are
Our team is made up of filmmakers, writers, storytellers, marketers and technologists. We thrive on creativity, revel in technology and love bringing brand initiatives to life through VR.
Wayne ScholesWayne Scholes is Executive Chairman and co-founder of Laduma. His experience at the forefront of the entertainment and media world has taken him to every corner of the world (73 countries and counting). He flies so often that he’s on first name terms with every crew member in Delta’s fleet and, rather incredibly, he has collected the tail number of every aircraft he’s been on.
Wayne has hitch-hiked across America, been slapped by a supermodel and loves walking through city streets. He lives in Salt Lake City with his wife Amber and their three children but flies to the UK to watch his beloved Liverpool FC at every home game. He has worked with the most successful names in business, having been a part of Virgin’s rise to prominence and with his track record of working closely with brands such as Paramount, NBC, Coca-Cola and Sony. Wayne has also managed NBA stars, worked with grammy-award winning music artists, iconic movie directors and even started a TV station in Nigeria. And his passion for Virtual and Augmented Reality is matched only by his belief that Laduma will be at the forefront of both.
Ben SmithBen Smith is the CEO and co-founder of Laduma. He is a graduate of UCLA & University of Glasgow, has bungy-jumped off a 350ft bridge in New Zealand and was once described by Sean Connery as ‘an absolute bloody genius’ (you do the accent) and by Jose Mourinho as stupid. You decide. He loves his wife and two boys, watching Akira Kurosawa movies and avocados.
Ben’s career began in the movies, working on a series of award-winning films such as Cold Moutain and Hannibal. He then spent a decade at The Times and the BBC, where he developed a reputation for trusted and informed storytelling. VR is his next and most exciting content platform.
Dave AlderDave eats, sleeps and breathes all things brand related. He spent twenty one years as a senior executive within the Virgin Group of companies and held the position of CMO for its entertainment division for his last six. Dave has also provided strategic brand guidance for many iconic brands including Universal, MTV Networks, Capitol Records, Diageo, Jabra, Nestle, Starbucks, Forever 21 Japan, CMT and Iron Maiden.
Always an adventurer, he’s been stranded in a tent on a remote Fijian island during a hurricane, mixed whisky and Cokes for Desmond Tutu and once rented a python for Alice Cooper. Dave lives in sunny St Petersburg Florida but spends more time munching American Airlines’ mini pretzels than enjoying dinners at home.
Alex KunawiczAlex is Vice President of Strategy and co-founder at Laduma. He’s spent a night on the town in Abu Dhabi with 20 hulking Canadian NHL players and once leant former Arsenal striker Ian Wright his trainers to play tennis in. Alex is also a Manchester United fan who works in Liverpool…and whose son currently trains with Manchester City…
He was Laduma’s first employee, joining from Liverpool FC, where he was Head of Content. Alex previously spent 10 years at the BBC, working as a Senior Producer on global sports news, and on events such as the World Cup and Match of the Day. He has also worked for Abu Dhabi Media Company and Preston North End FC.
Collin ZitoIt is Collin’s passion for work avoidance that has led to his successful career in identifying more efficient, foolproof processes for producing innovative technology solutions. For over a decade, Collin has led teams of exceptionally talented individuals in creating first-of-a-kind technologies for companies like Sony, NBC, Virgin, Verizon, SanDisk and Fuji…while barely lifting a finger.
When he’s not busy avoiding work, Collin enjoys spending time playing music with his family, who are all accomplished musicians. He is active in his church and community, supporting a number of programs for youth athletics and performing arts.
Alex SouthName a major sporting occasion and the chances are Alex South has reported from it for the BBC. From the World Cup to the Olympics to the Super Bowl, Alex has covered some of the biggest sporting events live from around the globe.
Andy Murray once complimented him on his sneakers, he was kept waiting until 2am for an interview with Flloyd Mayweather and Pele told him what he really thought about Sepp Blatter.
Born in Ipswich, Alex studied Business at the University of Portsmouth and has a Post Graduate Diploma from the University of Lancashire. He is married with two beautiful children.
Skyler BairdSkyler is the Lead Producer and our in house VR expert. He has started various companies, owns a few rental properties, has 1,821 facebook friends (of which only 3 helped on his last move) and been part of the film industry his entire life. He spends his free time with his wife and 2 kids camping, Bowling, Longboarding, Hiking or Off Roading his military style Humvee.
From the first day Skyler saw a 360° video (BEP360) back in 2011 he knew VR was going to be a future of video and needed to learn all he could about creating it. He started his own company producing VR and was eventually taken on by Laduma. He has a passion for pushing the technological envelope and having visions of the future rather than following current norms. Skyler drives the visual presence and beginning to end VR workflow for Laduma
Mike SantiagoMike is a fiercely competitive sales professional with a proven record of high-performing experience. He worked for the likes of ADP and ReachLocal, United States’ largest digital advertising agency, where he generated $1.3 million in advertising revenue and ranked #1 in year over year sales. Most recently, Mike served as VP of Business Development at Red Touch Media where his responsibilities included managing and providing tactical sales support to sales teams in Africa, the United Kingdom and Salt Lake City. He also oversaw revenue & channel strategy, partner acquisitions, hiring and training top talent, and the strategic direction of the business development division.
Lauren ReynoldsLauren is an award-winning marketing manager who is British born and American based. As well as looking after Laduma’s marketing channels, Lauren also manages Laduma’s partnership relationships, events and everything in-between.
Lauren is the official baking queen of the office and when she isn’t turning her hand to decorating cupcakes worthy of a Turner Prize, she can be found rock climbing in various exotic locations around the world.
Kelly ForshawKelly Forshaw is Laduma’s Marketing and communications manager. She loves travel, the Spice Girls and impersonating people’s accents. When she’s not in work you will find her either at the gym, in the cinema or spending money she doesn’t have on clothes.
Kelly started working in media while still at school before going on to co-found her own video production company in Liverpool which she managed for four years. Kelly then took up the opportunity to work in the newest and most exciting form of content production, Virtual Reality, with Laduma.
Hennie TheronHennie is a former rugby player and sports fanatic. He was born in Namibia and lives with his family in the Western Cape, South Africa. He adores the African continent, its people and its culture.
A veteran sales executive, Henni has worked with major international companies including Mattel, Hasbro and Würth Germany. He helped to form content management system provider Red Touch Media where his clients included ManSystems, Kineto Mobile, Steinhoff International and Naspers. Today he handles the African and Indian markets for Laduma.
Mike ArgileMike is VP Partnerships and heads up Laduma’s London offering. He brings a strategic marketing background, where he has worked for, and advised, some of the world’s largest brands including: Microsoft, Octagon, AB In-Bev and Wimbledon. Mike is also a keen long-distance runner, but is known for often getting lost when running in new places!
Building on his passion for innovation and bringing new products to market, he recently completed his Full-Time MBA at Surrey University, where he focused his research on the impact of product innovation and business model transformation within the technology and media sectors.
We don’t believe in boundaries. Challenges are always opportunities. We strive go beyond by developing and delivering cutting edge 360° VR that exceeds our clients’ expectations. We believe that VR has the power to change the perceptions of engagement and create a new, powerful blend of technology and culture. With endless applications, the story has only just begun and the medium has an incredible future.