Empowering Engaged Digital Communities



Andy Russell

Founder & Chairman

Andy is a digital media, ad tech, marketing tech, and data science innovator, as well as a self-taught behavioral economist. He has invested in, incubated, or run over 50 technology companies. Prior to founding Empact, Andy was the Founder & Chairman of Trigger Media, InsideHook, and Fevo. He was also a founding partner alongside Bob Pittman in the private equity firm, Pilot Group. Early in his career, Andy co-founded Moomba, one of New York’s restaurant/lounge “hotspots.” He graduated from Cornell University where he pursued a degree in Abnormal Psychology and holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.

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Chiyoko Osborne

President & Co-founder

For the past 20 years, Chiyoko’s career has been driven by perfecting the combination of technology and marketing to drive businesses growth. She worked for 6 years at Calvin Klein, managing the original team that launched the first eCommerce site and first social media strategy; in her time there, the company grew from $3B to $6.5B due to online sales and digital strategy. From there, Alexander Wang himself recruited Chiyoko to start his Marketing & eCommerce department and to revamp their entire digital strategy.

Prior to fashion, Chiyoko worked at ad agencies McCann and Havas, helping brands like J&J, Volvo, and GlaxoSmithKline navigate the bridge between online and offline. Her deepest passions are Jivamukti yoga, meditation, holistic health, and working at Empact to create positive, scaleable change in the world with technology.

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Brando Crespi

Executive Vice Chairman

Brando Crespi is a New York and Paris-based environmentalist, angel investor and futurist. Born in Switzerland and raised in Rome, his international education was oriented towards anthropological and social studies. In 1978 and now living in LA, Crespi started BC&A, a full marketing and communications company. He was responsible for the initial launch of Rodeo Drive and of the Hard Rock Café, opened the Los Angeles franchises for Fendi and Versace.

In 1991 he moved to Paris from where he focused on consulting and not- for- profit work. As the co-founder of Pro Natura International, he started developmental projects in 64 countries and 11 biodiversity expeditions. He is the cofounder of 1.618, the Sustainable Luxury Salon and has consulted to Procter & Gamble, L’Oréal, Dragoco, Givaudan, Giorgio Armani, Cerruti, Forbes, Lucent, US Robotics, Time-Warner and Beijing’s BMK.

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Ben Wald

Co-founder, Technology

Ben is the technology co-founder of Empact. He is a brilliant technologist, who is a leader in both AI and blockchain technology.  Ben’s work is not just theoretical; he co-founded and runs one of the best private engineering teams in the world that actually builds this technology, VERY. Ben has a great passion for social impact and it is woven into his entire career. Named as one of Businessweek’s Top 25 Young Entrepreneurs, he is responsible for connecting social entrepreneurs to resources.

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Yaël Eisenstat

Chief Advisor

Yaël is a thought leader and strategist helping the world's largest influencers create tools and solutions to tackle our most complex global challenges. She has spent 18 years working around the globe at the intersection of political, social, technology and security issues as a diplomat, a national security advisor to Vice President Biden, an elections integrity operations leader at Facebook, a corporate social responsibility strategist at a Fortune 5 company, and the head of a global risk firm. Her focus now is on helping those outside of government contribute to whole-of-society solutions for many of the same kinds of challenges. She is also an Adjunct Professor at NYU's Center for Global Affairs, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and provides context and analysis on national security, political and foreign affairs in the media.

Visit Yaël’s personal website to learn more.

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