Board of Directors
STEVE J. COHEN, the Company's President has been employed by Z-Trim since 2002 when he was hired as its director of investor relations. He was promoted to Vice President of Corporate Development in 2003 and to President in March of 2006 when he also began serving on the Board of Directors. In August of 2007 Mr. Cohen assumed the role of chief executive officer. Prior to joining Z- Trim, Mr. Cohen had 25 years' experience at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange where he worked in various brokerage house positions as well as a trader. Mr. Cohen attended college at the University of Illinois and Oakton Community College. Mr. Cohen was a member of the U.S. Olympic team at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul and was a coach for the U.S. Olympic Team at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney Australia.
BRIAN CHAIKEN, J.D., was hired by the Company to serve as General Counsel and Vice President of Business Development in July of 2006. In January of 2008, Mr. Chaiken was appointed to be the Company’s Chief Financial Officer. In January of 2009, Mr. Chaiken was appointed the role of Chief Legal Officer as well. He received his Bachelor of Science in Accountancy from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana and passed the CPA examination on his first sitting. Mr. Chaiken obtained his Juris Doctor from DePaul University, and is a member of the Illinois and Florida Bars, as well as those of the Northern District Court of Illinois, United States Court of Appeals of the 11th Circuit and the Southern District Court of Florida. Prior to joining Z-Trim, Mr. Chaiken spent five years as the Executive Vice-President of Legal Affairs for Supra Telecommunications and Information Systems, Inc., a Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (telecommunications provider) in South Florida. There, Mr. Chaiken was a senior executive for a company with more than 300 employees in Florida, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. He was instrumental in helping the company grow annual revenues from $10 million to approximately $150 million over an 18 month period. He successfully litigated and arbitrated multi-million dollar disputes involving trademark, anti-trust, fraud, bankruptcy and complex commercial transactions.
BRIAN S. ISRAEL was appointed on May 23, 2007 to fill a vacancy on the Company’s Board of Directors. He presently serves as Chairman of the Compensation and Nominating Committees. Mr. Israel spent more than 20 years in the real estate finance industry, during which he managed teams responsible for production; operations; risk management; product development; and technology. In his most recent position, he served From March 1989 to January 2004 as Vice President and Division Administrator for the Residential Mortgage Division of Harris Trust and Savings Bank. He is a former Member of the Federal National Mortgage Association's Regional Lender and Affordable Housing Advisory Boards, and in 2000, became the 80th President of the Illinois Mortgage Banker's Association. Since retiring from the corporate world in January of 2004, he has dedicated much of his time and energy to community service, as a Partner in the Chicago Federal Reserve's Money Smart financial literacy education program; on the Executive Committee of the River North Residents' Association; as a Mentor and Advisory Council Member of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago; on the Advisory Board of Step Out USA; and as a Member of the Ely Chapter of Lambda Alpha International. He also provides strategic planning, training and project management services to businesses and non-profit entities as an independent consultant and serves as President of North Shore Custom Homes, Ltd.
MARK HERSHHORN has a background in the marketing and operations of nutrition systems, food industry marketing and transactional television. Mark was appointed to the Company’s Board of Directors at the shareholder meeting, held on December 19, 2007. From August 1998 to present, Mark has served as President and co-owner of CKS & Associates Management LLC; President and CEO of CKS & Associates; CEO of Midwest Real Estate Investment LLC; General Partner of New Horizons West LLP, and CEO of New Horizons Real Estate Holdings LLC. During much of the 1990’s, Mark served as President, CEO and director of National Media Corporation (NYSE-NMC) and as Chairman of the company’s international subsidiary, Quantum International Ltd. Prior to that, Mark served as Senior Vice President of food operations and joint ventures for Nutri/System, Inc. During the 1980’s, Mark was Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer, Vice President and director of the Franklin Mint. Mark has also held positions with companies such as Price-Waterhouse, Pfizer Diagnostics, and Wallace and Wampole Laboratories. Mark received his BS Degree in Economics from Rutgers University and an MBA from the Wharton School of Finance, University of Pennsylvania.
MORRIS GARFINKLE was appointed on March 25, 2009 to fill a vacancy on the Company’s Board of Directors. He presently serves as Chairman of the Audit Committee. He is the Founder, President and CEO of GCW Consulting, a consulting firm based out of Arlington, Virginia. He received his Juris Doctor from Georgetown University and his B.S. in Economics (cum Laude) from the Wharton School of Finance & Commerce, University of Pennsylvania. He was appointed to the Board in March of 2009, and reelected by the shareholders at the December 22, 2009 shareholders’ meeting. Mr. Garfinkle has over 35 years of experience in restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, investment assessment, competitive positioning, strategic planning and capital raising. His clients have included United Airlines Creditors' Committee, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, Air China and Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, among many others. He also served on the Board of Directors of HMSHost from 2000 - 2006.
EDWARD SMITH III is Managing Partner of Brightline Capital Management, LLC (“BCM”), a New York-based investment firm founded in 2005. BCM is the investment manager of Brightline Ventures I, LLC and Brightline Capital Partners, LP. Prior to founding BCM, Mr. Smith worked at Gracie Capital, GTCR Golder Rauner and Credit Suisse First Boston. Mr. Smith holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social Studies from Harvard College and a Masters in Business Administration from Harvard Business School. Mr. Smith was elected to the Board at the shareholders’ meeting held on December 22, 2009.