Reputation Institute - Leadership


Our leadership team includes the people who defined and pioneered Reputation as a management discipline – founders Drs. Charles J. Fombrun and Cees B.M. van Riel, authors of Reputation: Realizing Value from the Corporate Image, Essentials of Corporate Communication, and Fame & Fortune: How the World's Most Successful Companies Build Winning Reputations.

We also partner clients together with our international team of Managing Directors – subject-matter-experts with extensive hands-on knowledge and experience vital to effective strategic development and reputation management program execution.

Charles Fombrun
Founder and Chairman of Reputation Institute

Dr. Charles Fombrun is Founder and Chairman of Reputation Institute. He is a former Professor of Management at New York University's Stern School of Business where he was on the faculty from 1984 to 2004. He was also Professor of Management at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania from 1979 to 1984. Charles is the author of numerous books, including the path-breaking best-seller Reputation: Realizing Value from the Corporate Image, first released by Harvard Business School Press in 1996. Dr. Fombrun has published hundreds of articles in leading management journals, and is the creator of reputation management systems used by many companies around the world.

Cees van Riel
Co-Founder and Vice Chairman of Reputation Institute

Dr. Cees van Riel is Co-Founder and Vice Chairman of Reputation Institute. He is also a Professor at Erasmus University Rotterdam and head of its Corporate Communication Centre. His most recent book, The Alignment Factor. Leveraging Total Stakeholder Support, will be published in January 2012 in five languages. Cees is the author of numerous books and articles, creator of the RepTrak® Alignment Monitor, and co-author, with Charles Fombrun, of Essentials of Corporate Communication and Fame & Fortune: How the World's Leading Companies Build Winning Reputations.

Jonathan Ewert
Chief Executive Officer, Reputation Institute

Jonathan Ewert is Chief Executive Officer of Reputation Institute.  He was appointed to the role in 2013.  Jonathan brings 25 years experience growing global services companies in a variety of tech-enabled sectors including professional services, software-as-a-service, social networks, digital media, and internet infrastructure.  From 2009 - 2013, he was a Catalyst Entrepreneur (entrepreneur-in-residence) and served as CEO of Catalyst portfolio company Codero Hosting, a web-hosting provider based in Austin (TX) where he continues to serve on the Board.   Prior to Catalyst, Jonathan served as SVP of Corporate Development for LookSmart (Nasdaq: LOOK), and as CEO of ePALS (TSXV: SLN).  He is a past board member of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, Advantage Business Media, and Wowd Inc., which was sold to Facebook in 2010.  He earned his B.A. in Political Science in 1986 from the College of the Holy Cross.

Kasper Ulf Nielsen
Executive Partner, Reputation Institute

Kasper Ulf Nielsen is an Executive Partner at Reputation Institute. Over the past 10 years, he has been engaged in international reputation management helping companies in a range of industries including pharmaceuticals, information technology, food and beverage, public transportation, energy and financial services. Kasper is a frequent commentator on reputation topics and has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Bloomberg, as well as local radio and TV around the world. Kasper has made numerous presentations at international conferences on reputation management and has published a number of articles in Corporate Reputation Review. He is also co-author of the book Introduction to Organizational Theory published in 1999. Kasper holds a Master of Science in Intercultural Management from Copenhagen Business School with MBA credits from McGill University in Canada.

Nicolas Georges Trad
Executive Partner, Reputation Institute

Nicolas Georges Trad, Executive Partner, and Executive Member of the Board, is globally responsible for Reputation Institute and is in charge of building the company's partner offices and network worldwide. Throughout his career at Reputation Institute, Mr. Trad has advised multinational companies, cities and countries on areas such as Reputation Management, Global Affairs, Country & City Reputation, Corporate Branding, Employer Branding, Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainability and Human Resources. Drawing on his extensive experience in practicing reputation management and public affairs globally, Mr. Trad speaks and writes regularly on best practice in public affairs and reputation management for corporate and government audiences and has been featured on CNN, in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Bloomberg, as well as local radio and TV around the world. Nicolas earned his MSc in Intercultural Management from Copenhagen Business School and holds an MBA from UADE, Buenos Aires, Argentina. He speaks English, French, Spanish, Danish and German.

Tyler Newton
Board Member, Reputation Institute

Tyler Newton joins Reputation Institute as a Board Member in addition to his role as Partner and Research Director of Catalyst Investors. Mr. Newton leads Catalyst’s research efforts and is responsible for evaluating industry sectors, formulating sector investment strategies, generating deal flow in target sectors and providing strategic support to Catalyst portfolio companies. He is also responsible for sourcing and executing transactions in the software-as-a-service, internet infrastructure and digital media sectors. Prior to joining Catalyst in 2000, Mr. Newton was a Vice President in TD’s Media, Telecom & Technology Group. Mr. Newton received a BA with honors from Middlebury College and is a CFA Charter holder.

Ryan McNally
Board Member, Reputation Institute

Ryan McNally joins Reputation Institute as a Board Member in addition to his role as Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Catalyst Investors. Mr. McNally is responsible for developing and reviewing prospective investment opportunities, overseeing portfolio investments and participating in the management of the firm. He focuses on investments in the digital media, software-as-a-service, publishing and business and consumer services sectors. Prior to joining Catalyst, Mr. McNally was a Vice President and shareholder of Daniels & Associates (now part of the Royal Bank of Canada) where he was primarily responsible for leading financings and M&A assignments for more than 50 emerging companies within the media and telecommunications industry. From 1989 to 1992, Mr. McNally was an investment banker in the Media and Telecommunications Group of Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. Mr. McNally received an AB with honors from Harvard College.

Susan Bihler
Board Member, Reputation Institute

Susan Bihler joins Reputation Institute as a Board Member in addition to her role as Vice President at Catalyst Investors, a growth equity firm focused on investing in tech-enabled services. At Catalyst, Ms. Bihler focuses on sourcing, evaluating and structuring new investment opportunities and managing the firm’s existing portfolio companies. In addition to Reputation Institute, Susan serves on the board of Catalyst portfolio companies Ascentis and Alert Solutions and is an observer on the board of Clinicient. Prior to joining Catalyst in 2009, Ms. Bihler was an Analyst at CIT Group where she was responsible for performing due diligence and credit analysis for various senior secured debt transactions within CIT’s Communications, Media & Entertainment Group.  Ms. Bihler graduated from Georgetown University, cum laude, with a B.S. in Business Administration.

Anthony Johndrow
Managing Partner,
North America

Anthony Johndrow is Managing Partner, North America. He leads a team of consultants who enable business leaders to make decisions that build and protect reputation capital and drive competitive advantage. He has spent the past 16 years in a combination of brand management, general management and management consulting roles. After his work with Procter & Gamble, Anthony started his own consumer technology firm, which he followed by founding The Coca-Cola Think Tank in 2000. It was as an advisor to the CEO of The Coca-Cola Company that Anthony first began work with Reputation Institute. As an undergrad, Anthony taught Economics and Statistics at Harvard University, and has continued to speak and write in his spare time, most recently as host of "Navigating the Reputation Economy", RI's global conference.

Leonard Ponzi Managing Partner, Marketing Science Group

Dr. Leonard J. Ponzi is a Managing Partner at Reputation Institute, and oversees group operations, product development and global research. He is located the New York office and leads a team of nearly 20 project managers and researchers who specialize in research methodology and analysis. Leonard's 20 years of multi-industry experience is a unique blend of qualitative and analytical research. Prior to recently joining Reputation Institute in 2006, Leonard spent several years with GfK, as a Sr. Research Director, managing clients interested in improving customer satisfaction and loyalty, entering new markets, developing new products, and conducting competitive analyses. He has conducted research in a wide range of industries such as, automotive, consumer package goods, pharmaceutical, publishing, travel, hardware and software manufacturing. Leonard holds an MBA and a Ph.D. He also was adjunct faculty member for 10 years at City of New York University, Baruch College and later Pace University where he instructed graduate courses in marketing, marketing research, and consumer behavior. He is a speaker at various conferences and has several publications in the area of management and statistics.

Fernando Prado
Managing Partner, Spain & Latin America

Fernando Prado is Managing Partner of Reputation Institute Spain & Latin America and implements reputation management systems in many of the most relevant companies in those countries. Previously, Fernando worked for WPP Group for 10 years (1997-2006) serving in different functions and locations related to brand strategy development including: CEO and Founder of Kantya Brand Strategies, Spain, J. Walter Thompson Madrid (Head of Strategic Planning), WPP New York (Brand Strategy Consultant), Millward Brown Chicago (Worldwide Coordinator of BRANDZ), OgilvyOne New York (Strategic Planner), and Bassat Ogilvy & Mather Madrid (account service). Prior to WPP Fernando worked in marketing for diverse companies such as L'Oréal (Madrid), Pescanova (Vigo) and Unisys (London). He has developed award winning advertising and brand management strategies, including two "Grand Prix" in Spain: Viajes Iberia (2002) and BBVA (2005). Fernando is considered to be an expert in country branding; he was a member of the advisory group on the institutional project Brand Spain in 2003, and since 2008, he has been promoting internationally the concept of country reputation using Reputation Institute's Country RepTrak™

Michael Solomon Group Chief Financial Officer

Michael Solomon is Group Chief Financial Officer of Reputation Institute, overseeing global finance. He has extensive senior level experience with high growth international private and public companies. He was the Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Georgeson Shareholder Communications Inc., Chief Financial Officer of Startrak Systems, Inc. and was as an audit manager in the middle-market division of Deloitte & Touche. Michael is a Certified Public Accountant and holds an MBA in Finance from Pace University and a Bachelors in Accounting from Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Ana Luísa de Castro Almeida
Managing Director, Brazil

Ana Luísa de Castro Almeida is Managing Director and Academic Representative for Reputation Institute Brazil. As a consultant, she has an experience of more than 20 years in the field of Corporate Communication, developing projects for companies such as Cemig, Petrobras, Samarco, Tetra Pak, Braskem, Itaú Unibanco and Votorantim. In the academic field, she has a Doctorate in Business Administration from the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais-UFMG in Brazil and Erasmus University in Holland and currently lectures at Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Minas Gerais-PUC Minas and Fundação Dom Cabral-FDC, two of the most renowned educational institutions in Brazil.

Spencer Fox
Managing Director, United Kingdom

Spencer Fox MBA (Hons) is Managing Director for Reputation Institute United Kingdom. He is a branding expert with a wealth of experience in defining and developing unique brand positions. Spencer spent a number of years at J. Walter Thompson leading their London specialized communications team where he delivered major brand projects for Visit Britain, Securicor (G4S) and Guinness Brewing, amongst others. Spencer went on to launch Axis Communications, a niche brand and advertising planning consultancy that worked with major UK companies, providing insight and direction on how to realize the power of a uniquely positioned brand strategy. Whilst at Axis, Spencer developed 'The Foundry'—a research based consulting offering that uncovered an organization's brand position as defined by its key stakeholders i.e. it's reputation. This work was of particular interest to Spencer and led him to pursue the role at Reputation Institute.

Dominik Heil
Managing Director,
South Africa

Dominik Heil is Managing Director of RI South Africa as well as senior lecturer in strategy at the Wits Business School in Johannesburg, South Africa. He holds a PhD (University of the Witwatersrand) and a Diplom Kaufmann (Ludwig-Maximilian Universität, Munich/Germany). Prior to joining Wits Business School in 1999, he held numerous positions at different companies as follows: Corporate Analyst, Economist and Business Developer at Hypo-Vereinsbank (1993 - 1994); was responsible for the management and turnaround of Cheetah Airtools Engineering (Pty) Ltd (1994 - 1995); Senior Consultant at Andersen (1996-1998) and Principal at the Centre for Innovative Leadership (1998). Dominik is a member of the Board of Junior Achievement South Africa, a non-governmental organization dedicated to the entrepreneurial education of the youth.

Steve Makadok
Managing Director, United States

Steve Makadok is a Managing Director with Reputation Institute. Steve joined Reputation Institute in 2011 from Synovate, a top-tier research consultancy where he led teams to develop brand solutions that helped clients gain competitive advantage. Prior to RI, he held several management roles at leading brand consulting firms, advertising agencies and research providers including FutureBrand, Siegel & Gale, CoreBrand, Yankelovich Partners, J. Walter Thompson, Campbell Mithun Esty and Geer DuBois Advertising. Steve has worked with world-class organizations including Allstate, American Express, BASF, Coca-Cola, Diageo, ExxonMobil, GE, MasterCard, Minolta, Stryker and Texaco. Steve earned an MBA in Marketing Management from Pace University’s Lubin School of Business in New York and a dual BA in Economics and Political Science from Stony Brook University.

Matthew Pan
Managing Director, China

Dr. Matthew Pan is the Managing Director at Reputation Institute China. His 20 years of professional experiences cut across the three distinctive career paths of academic research, investment management and foreign service. Matthew's prior positions include Deputy Director of China Venture Capital Research Institute (HK), Researcher of the United Nations University (Tokyo), Managing Director of Xiangcai Securities International (Shanghai & HK) and Investment Manager at RBC (Toronto). He taught development economics in York and Trend Universities and co-founded the Institute of Social Development and Public Policy (Beijing). Matthew began his career as a diplomat and worked in 26 countries in the areas of international education and development assistance. As a student of John Butterfield at University of Cambridge, and Reg Revans at University of Manchester, Matthew earned his Ph.D. in regional economics at the University of Sheffield, in 1999, under the supervision of Ian Gow and Ippei Yamazawa.

William Pullen
Managing Director,

William Pullen is the Managing Director at Reputation Institute Chile, where he directs both the membership and consulting areas. Prior to joining Reputation Institute, he was General Manager of Generación Empresarial, a network of more than 40 companies committed to developing ethics and best business practices in Chile. William also worked as export manager of several companies, acquiring global experience in diverse cultures, markets and products. He has a background in business administration, holds an MBA from Universidad Adolfo Ibañez and complementary studies in Philosophy and Leadership.

Henrik Stroier
Managing Director,

Henrik Stroier is Managing Director and Partner at Reputation Institute International, where he assists leading companies in building and leveraging strong corporate reputations. Henrik has held national and international positions within communications and marketing and has more than 18 years of experience in the fields of Food & Beverages, Pharmaceuticals, Technology and Healthcare. He brings a strong ability to activate insights, strategize and create cross-organizational communication platforms. Henrik holds a BA in Strategic Planning and an Executive MBA from Henley Management College.

Michele Tesoro-Tess
Managing Director,
Italy and Middle East

Michele Tesoro-Tess is Managing Director at Reputation Institute Italy and Middle East. Throughout his management consulting career Michele has driven high complexity projects in fields like change management, stakeholder engagement, change communications and internal communications and Human Resources. His clients include Consumer goods, Energy and Utilities, Banking & Insurance, Pharmaceuticals and Automotive among others. Michele regularly speaks and writes on the topic of Return on Reputation of communications activities and how these need to be managed to maximize impact. Michele holds a BA in Business & Communication and a Master in Communications Management from the University of Lugano and UCLA Anderson School of Management.