The Team


Chris Hayes   CEO, Founder

Hayes brings two decades of experience at the intersection of technological innovation and consumer interaction. Having cut his teeth during the wireless era, he helped print marketers realize the full potential of working with early Internet service providers.

Chris has over two decades of expertise developing digital and integrated marketing solutions, having most recently served as Global CMO of Code and Theory. While at Code and Theory, he shepherded a comprehensive repositioning of the agency’s business development approach and positioning, resulting in the acquisition of the largest account in the agency’s history, New York Life. In repositioning Code and Theory, he allowed the agency to break into new categories such as health and wellness, insurance, and tourism, adding Quest Diagnostics, The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Intel, Google, Brand USA, and others to the agency’s roster of clients.

Prior to Code and Theory, he drove periods of unprecedented growth as the Global CMO of Young & Rubicam, HUGE, and Critical Mass, also serving as the European Marketer Director of Havas out of Amsterdam. As HUGE’s first-ever CMO, he took the agency through a period of rapid expansion, winning fifty pitches in a single year, and orchestrating the 2014 partnership between Samsung and recording artist Usher, which produced one of the most successful viral videos of all time, and earned Samsung recognition as the “Most Viral Brand” of 2014 in Advertising Age. As Global CMO of Young & Rubicam, he repositioned the storied Madison Avenue agency and evolved its client base for the future. At Havas, he led global and regional engagements with brands such as Unilever, Adidas, and Danone. Chris is a strong strategic thinker, active practitioner, and perennial entrepreneur. He is the Founder and Director of the Integrated Marketing Institute and Co-Founder of the Digital Marketing Institute at New York University.

Chris is frequently quoted on CNN and in The New York TimesThe Huffington Post, and Advertising Age.


Matt Ryan   Partner

Matt most recently served as Global CEO of WPP’s United Network. Prior to joining WPP, Matt was Co-Chairman of Havas Worldwide, and President of Global Brands at Havas Worldwide. While at Havas, he profitably managed a 450-person staff of integrated communications professionals. Among the global clients he worked closely with during this period were Jaguar, Reckitt Benkiser, Merck, Volvo, and Live Nation. His domestic clients included New York Life, Atlantic City, Dos Equis, and others. While Global CMO of Havas Worldwide, he led global and regional new business initiatives, and structured the agency's plan for organic growth.

Prior to joining Havas Worldwide, Matt served as Executive Vice President and Executive Director of Havas's sister agency, Arnold Worldwide. While at Arnold, he led the agency’s winning team in a global Volvo agency review, subsequently staffing and managing the Volvo account.

Early in his career, Matt rode the first wave of the digital revolution, founding integrated agency Ryan, Drossman & Partners, Inc. A pioneer in digital technologies, the agency launched renowned digital-first brands such as MovieFone,, Jim Cramer's, Verio, Cantor Fitzgerald’s eSpeed, European Business News (a subsidiary of The Wall Street Journal), and S+ WBIS (Part of Dow Jones and Cablevision). Matt ran Ryan, Drossman & Partners for a decade before selling the agency.

He then founded and served as CEO of the publicly-traded Change Technology Partners, leading the company through 12 acquisitions in 14 months. Due to his success in fostering and navigating this period of intense growth, he became Executive Vice President and Partner at the pioneering and leading agency search consultancy Roth Associates, where he conducted advertising and media agency searches for leading national and global advertisers such as Jaguar, Toyota, and Shell.

Matt sits on the Board of Directors of the behavioral economics think-tank ideas42. He is a graduate of Syracuse University, where he received a B.A. in Political Science and a B.S. in Newspaper Journalism.


James Richard   Production Expert

James has extensive experience producing complex photo and video shoots for high-profile commercial and fashion clients. Prior to joining Stake in 2016, James worked at renowned fashion agency Art + Commerce for 4 years on the production team for photographer Steven Meisel. During this period, James worked regularly with industry icons such as Carine Roitfeld, Grace Coddington, Marc Jacobs, and others. James’s past clients includes Prada, Louis Vuitton, Dior, and Vogue. He cut his teeth in the commercial world with the New York City-based Harbor Picture Company, which counts among their clients Mercedes-Benz, Coach, and Salvatore Ferragamo.

An avid lover of film, theater, and all forms of storytelling, James has produced three well-regarded short films, “Charity” (2015), “Banana Man: Samuel Beckett and Buster Keaton Make Film” (2014), and “Dinner on the Riviera” (2011). He is proud to announce that he recently wrapped his first web series, Heirloom (2016), starring Margaret Colin (Gossip GirlIndependence Day), Tom Wopat (The Dukes of Hazzard), and John Lavelle (Selma).

Along his winding road to Stake, James worked as a fisherman off the Gulf of Alaska and mushed sled-dogs deep in the Chugach Mountains, some of the most inhospitable terrains on earth. Ironically, battling waves, frigid temperatures, and glacial crevasses turned out to be a cakewalk compared to working in fashion.


Jim Porcarelli   Media Consultant

Jim Porcarelli is the founder of media agency NeueVu, which seeks to offer "a new view into the complexities of today’s marketplace, helping brands design the conversations that will reach their consumers to unlock a market advantage." Prior to launching NeueVu, Jim was Chief Strategy Officer for Active International, where he led the company’s global strategic initiatives and chaired the Executive Leadership Team. Prior to joining the company in 2006, Jim was COO and Chief Client Officer at MediaCom (WPP) and was part of the core team that created MediaCom in the US. He drove annual billings from $1.1 billion to $4.5 billion in 7 years. Before MediaCom, he was Chief Media Officer at DMB&B (now Publicis), where he led a team in the development of global business including Anheuser Busch and Procter and Gamble. 


Carlos Abreu   Tech Director

Carlos is an experienced Technology Officer with broad industry experience, especially in advertising, public relations, publishing, and media.

He has served as the technical lead on countless client projects, primarily on consumer and B2B web properties, intranets, and extranets. He also consults on infrastructure and best practices. Carlos is effective at all aspects of product development from concept through strategy to design, development, and deployment. He is highly experienced with Drupal, WordPress, and Magento platforms, among others, having worked in myriad environments over his many years in the industry.

Prior to Stake, Carlos was the CTO of The Knot (now known as XO Group Inc.), where he was responsible for leading technology and architecture planning, development, and the deployment of all online properties, as well as all back office business support systems for both online and offline interests. He was also responsible for identifying and overseeing the implementation of new and emerging technologies.

At The Knot, Carlos managed a staff of Information Technology professionals as well as relationships with 3rd party technology partners and vendors. As a senior corporate officer with cross-organizational authority, he assisted in various corporate/steering matters, such as taking the company public, SEC reporting, partner assessment/due diligence, and departmental and capital budget analysis.