President and Chief Operating Officer of the Topps Company since April, 2013, Mr. Brandstaedter oversees the Company's valuable portfolio of assets including the leading sports and entertainment trading card company, a dominant kids confectionery business, the collection of wholly owned media properties and newly created or acquired digital businesses. Mr. Brandstaedter joined Topps in August 2009 as General Manager Global Confectionery responsible for worldwide Bazooka Candy Brands, the confectionery division of Topps, and led all aspects of marketing, product development, sales, finance and operations. Previously Mr. Brandstaedter worked in brand management roles at Kraft Foods and Nabisco, running various businesses in the Snacks and Confections categories. A native of New York, Mr. Brandstaedter has a BS from Cornell University and an MBA from The University of Michigan Ross School of Business.
Appointed the Chief Financial Officer of The Topps Company March 2013, Ms. Helfer was the Vice President of Finance and Operations for the Global Confectionery business, overseeing all aspects of the supply chain and financial matters worldwide. Ms. Helfer served as the Confectionery business lead for the North American Oracle implementation, and joined the organization in September 2006. Prior to joining Topps, Ms. Helfer held a variety of strategic, financial, business development and operational roles at Cadbury Schweppes working on the Adams Global Confectionery business and at Unilever Best Foods working in new business development for the US Food business. Ms. Helfer started her career in Arthur Andersen’s Audit and Business Advisory practice as an Engagement Manager in the Consumer Products and Services division. Ms. Helfer is a CPA, has an MBA in Management from the New York University Stern School of Business, and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Binghamton University.
Vice President - Digital of The Topps Company since July, 2011. Mr. Bramlage oversees the development and execution of Topps digital strategy, including the company’s worldwide online, mobile, and social efforts. Prior to Topps, Mr. Bramlage was Director and Head of Product at Nokia Corporation where he led product strategy, design, and development for Nokia’s Ovi Store. Mr. Bramlage has also worked in various product roles in the Server & Tools and Online Services businesses at Microsoft Corporation. Mr. Bramlage has a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.
General Counsel of The Topps Company since July 2012. Mr. Thaler manages the legal department and oversees all legal matters for Topps, providing comprehensive counsel to all of Topps’ global business units. Prior to Topps, Mr. Thaler was General Counsel for Equinox Fitness and General Counsel at PRIMEDIA Inc. Mr. Thaler began his career as an associate in the M&A department at Shearman and Sterling LLP in New York and later as a corporate/securities associate at Greenberg Traurig, P.A. in Miami. Mr. Thaler has a Bachelor of Science of Business Administration from the University at Albany and a J.D. from Fordham University.
Topps Sports & Entertainment
Vice President and General Manager, U.S. Sports & Entertainment since April 2011. Mr. Kruep is responsible for managing domestic sports and entertainment products including brand management, product development, editorial, operations, finance, sales and customer development. Prior to his role at Topps, Mr. Kruep worked with Jarden Corporation where he most recently served as Vice President & General Manager - Games, Arts & Crafts. Mr. Kruep managed a business comprised of The United States Playing Card Company and Loew-Cornell, LLC. Before joining Jarden in 2007, Mr. Kruep held several marketing positions with Sanford Brands, a Newell Rubbermaid company and spent several years with Tommy Armour Golf Company. Mr. Kruep has a BS in business administration from Saint Louis University and an MBA from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.
Vice President and Group Managing Director - Topps Europe since October 2004. Mr. Rodman is responsible for all of Topps Sports & Entertainment business outside of the USA. Mr. Rodman joined the Company in 1995 with the acquisition of Merlin Publishing. Previously, Mr. Rodman was a board director of Merlin Publishing and Chairman of Merlin’s US-based subsidiary. Mr. Rodman also has experience as Chief Executive of Admiral sportswear, a global football (soccer) brand, and a founder and board director of its parent company, Warwick Sports & Leisure. Mr. Rodman founded his own sports marketing and promotions business which he subsequently sold, after he left Aston Villa FC where he was head of the club's commercial operations. Mr. Rodman began his marketing career at Nielsen and has a Bachelor’s degree from Keele University, England and a Master’s degree from Springfield College, Massachusetts.
Bazooka Candy Brands Confectionery
Vice President - General Manager Global Confectionery since March 2013. Mr. Jacobs is responsible for worldwide Bazooka Candy Brands, the confectionery division of Topps, and leads all aspects of marketing, product development, sales, finance and operations. Prior to joining Topps, Mr. Jacobs was with the Dr Pepper Snapple Group, most recently as Senior Vice President of Marketing. During his time at the Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Mr. Jacobs led marketing for the company’s Carbonated Soft Drink Portfolio which includes brands such as Dr Pepper, 7UP, Sunkist, Crush, Canada Dry, Schweppes, and A&W. Prior to the Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Mr. Jacobs worked in brand management roles at Unilever in the Home and Personal Care Division, and at Nabisco in the Life Savers Candy Division. Mr. Jacobs grew up in New Jersey, and has a B.A. from The George Washington University and an M.B.A. from The University of Virginia Darden School of Business.
General Manager International Confectionery since August 2009. Mr. Carson leads the international confectionery division across all markets outside of the Americas, responsible for sales, marketing, finance and operations. Mr. Carson has extensive experience in the International arena having held the position of Regional Business Director responsible for a portfolio of brands including Gillette, Oral B, Braun and Duracell brands whilst with Gillette and Proctor & Gamble across Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. Prior to Gillette, Mr Carson was Sales and Marketing Director for Sub Sahara Africa at Clorox and held a number of senior management, sales and marketing positions at National Brands Limited, in South Africa. Mr. Carson has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Economics and Marketing from the University of Witwatersrand , South Africa.
Topps Digital Currency Cards
Rob has spent many years building ideas into companies at the connection point where the business side of the creative world meets the creative side of the business world. He is an entrepreneur by default, by design and by delovely. Rob is currently the GM of Topps Digital Services, a business unit that was created when he sold the company he founded, GMG Entertainment, to The Topps Company in 2011. Prior to GMG Entertainment, Rob was the CEO of Gold Marketing Group, an entertainment marketing firm and spent 7 years as an executive growing LAUNCH Media before it was sold to Yahoo! and became Yahoo! Music. Rob’s entrepreneurial spirit began early when at age 22 he was founder and CEO of the llizwe Trading Company, a youth-focused footwear and apparel company based in Cape Town, South Africa. Rob has a B.A. in English/Creative Writing from the University of Wisconsin Madison.