About Cris Popenoe
Companies small and large seek Cris out to help their businesses grow by touching the lives of the people they serve in fun, innovative, and practical ways. She has built businesses from the ground up, and also pushed existing operations into new periods of growth. Her gift is an ability to find innovative avenues of growth for businesses, and—above all—to create unforgettable experiences for consumers.
Sometimes you can learn a lot about a person by how they start out. While still a graduate student, Cris co-founded Yes! Inc. as a retailer of wellness and holistic living products. She loved the way her business touched her customers’ lives.
With the courage and talent to pursue new ideas, she grew the company into an international purveyor of books, videos, and music. She was the first to computerize an independent bookstore. The software she built from scratch was licensed and sold to the largest bookseller in Europe. And her book, Wellness, was the first to popularize that term.
That was only the beginning.
At Universal Studios Cris founded their interactive media wing, Putnam New Media, and guided it from the age of CD-ROM to the age of the Internet. Building upon this success, Cris continues to connect content to consumers in ways that take full advantage of vanguard ideas and technology. Her goal is to create real value in people’s lives—and burnish the brands she serves with an afterglow.
Cris is a creative executive and entrepreneur with a proven track record. Throughout her 40 years of experience, she has innovatively combined content, commerce, and social engagement into media. Cris has produced numerous award-winning digital media projects, including online videos, mobile and online apps, and games. She excels at being part of the creation and growth of new products and at leveraging and extending existing brands and products and driving active consumer engagement. She’s been a digital media maven for as long as there’s been digital media.
Cris is an active member of the Board of Delegates for the New Media Council of the Producers Guild of America as well as a Board Member of the Entertainment, Media, and Marketing Alliance of The George Washington University. Her professional and personal passions include the body-mind-spirit realm, well-being, sustainability, and East Asian culture.
If you asked many people what word comes to mind when they think of Cris, it may be her energy or passion, but it is likely to be her ability as a connector and her desire to use these connections to make the world a better place, and our individual lives more authentic and honorable. That’s what she values above all in herself and in others. Cris is renowned for her impressive breadth of business relationships in the media and entertainment world, and amongst marketers, technologists, venture capitalists, and entrepreneurs. She’s connected. She’s effective. She cares. And she drives new ideas forward with passion, enthusiasm, and an eye on the bottom line.