Over 20 years of experience creating events that connect
emotionally and flow seamlessly
As the Chairman of the Board, Peter invests his time and talent into strategic guidance for FIRST – its people, its assets, and you. But let’s start from the beginning. Up until 2012, Peter served as President of American Express’ Global Network Services Division providing strategic vision for the worldwide business initiative. He is credited with creating the fastest growing division of the corporation now based in 129 countries. After 45 years of the corporate life and being involved in numerous businesses, he’s found his true happy place: helping individual organizations invent, make, invest, and succeed in their field: “It opens your eyes when you realize what can be achieved…” A character with character, wisdom goes far beyond the walls of FIRST for Peter – after all, he’s a Motown fan and has a love for a good bacon sandwich. We know... just when you thought he couldn’t get any better.
Mark is a founder and director on the Board for FIRST with key responsibility for the EMEA market operations. "Good to great!" is his daily mantra, and it shows. From the company's inception, Mark has had a huge part in growing FIRST to where it is today and continues to help elevate the business and its future strategy. Mark raises the bar in terms of style too – both in life and our events (if you don’t believe us, Mark owns an AGA). Beyond his sound business advice Mark is an expert in all things wine, with an MBA in Chardonnay.
Part powerhouse, part personal trainer – Maureen is a human dynamo. Since launching FIRST US in 2004, Maureen has made massive strides for the brand, making FIRST a force of its own in the industry (so the apple really doesn’t fall far from the tree!). Prior to FIRST, Maureen was the Director of Events at Billboard Magazine and The New York Stock Exchange. In 2014, her achievements in special events were commemorated with her induction into the ILEA Hall of Legends. Today, she oversees all operations for the US while managing the team at large, and oversees complex global accounts… whew, it’s exhausting just typing that. Good thing working out is a daily addiction with a healthy balance of good red wine, home, and family.
Chris is, in a word, dedicated. From FIRST, to family, and health and wellness – Chris is 100% in. Starting his path to success at American Express, Chris worked his way up the marketing chain over 23 years ultimately heading up AXP’s Global Network Services marketing department in New York. Even prior to that you could find him behind the turn tables at his own DJ show during University, but we digress. Today, Chris is leading the expansion in the Asian market along with all marketing initiatives of FIRST, and calls Singapore home. When not flexing his creative muscles, you can find Chris making memories with family on Lake Annecy, hiking the Rockies, or cheering on his son and the UWCSEA Swim team (go Dragons!).
Ed is our resident ‘data guy’. What do we mean by ‘data guy’? Well, Ed’s the man who is constantly analyzing the industry to find you performance-enhancing and cost-saving opportunities to increase the value created by live events. Yeah, he’s someone you ought to know. Prior to his start with FIRST in 2008, Ed was a principal consultant at the London based strategy firm CPC, Ltd. and holds a degree in economics and MBA from London Business School. With curiosity constantly spinning, Ed is at his happiest with his children on a quiet Saturday afternoon, throwing on a Lou Reed record, riding his beloved Moots bike, reading a classic from Hunter S. Thompson, or at a small, noisy Parisian restaurant with great food, carafes of wine and reluctant waiters. Did we mention his mind is always turning?
Mark heads up the finance department at FIRST after 15 years of experience as a Chartered Management Accountant at major financial institutions including American Express. He brings a wealth (wink) of knowledge and experience across many geographies to FIRST – something that he finds incredibly rewarding (wink, wink). Lucky us! Speaking of geographies, Mark loves to travel. Seriously. When he’s not bringing law and order to FIRST he's exploring the world. Next stop? Antarctica!
Barry is leading the expansion of the FIRST Managed Services division across our offices (no pressure, Barry). With his track record in the agency environment in Europe and 6 years growing Grass Roots from a startup to a full-service meeting and events agency, being a finalist for the 2015 SmartCEO Deals of Distinction award, and having a seat on numerous advisory boards within the industry and the NYC CEO community – we’re in good hands. To that end, it should come as no shock that Barry’s team describes him as inspiring and empathetic, while remaining pensive (he was too humble to say that himself, of course). Barry was initially drawn to this industry for the service, the people, and the memories that are made – and that same sentiment echoes throughout his personal life as well. If he’s not at work, he’s keeping fit so he can be in the kitchen brewing his latest IPA or with his kids serving up a delicious meal for mom, with the Rat Pack playing in the background.
Jeff is POTUS at FIRST overseeing all creative and production elements for the Americas. For 26 years Jeff built the award winning Barkley Kalpak Agency and ultimately joined forces with FIRST in Spring of 2016. Over those 26 years he has grown to become a highly respected expert in the industry, serving as guest lecturer at top universities and trade conferences, and has received many accolades including his induction into the ILEA Hall of Legends. He owes a lot of his success to his background in theatre and drive to create that opening-night feeling time after time. Jeff brings a sense of humor and an inherent calm to the workplace, onsite, and in life. Jeff is also a world traveler with 64 countries under his belt and counting. No moment is lost on Jeff, and it is through all of these experiences that his life has taken shape - holding his motto of “treat everyone you encounter with respect” near and dear to his heart. While we appreciate that statement, we are especially keen on his other signature statement, “BIG LOVE ALL THE WAY AROUND THE ROOM."