Iam.com cast grows

Roth, Lee tapped directors, prexy named

Joe Roth and Spike Lee have joined the board of directors of embattled Internet casting agency Iam.com, and insider Edward Menicheschi has been tapped as prexy.

The appointments mark an infusion of new blood into the company, which has endured the ankling of two founders, former William Morris agent Brian Gersh and Roger Wilson, earlier this month.

Iam.com accepts portfolios from aspiring actors, musicians, dancers and models and incorporates them in a searchable online database.

“We are excited about the addition of such extraordinary industry experience, insight and credibility to the Iam.com board,” said chairman and CEO Tom Epley. “Joe Roth is a remarkable presence in the entertainment landscape. His reputation as an individual of high creativity, business acumen and integrity are invaluable resources on which we can draw upon.”

Roth, former chairman of Walt Disney Studios, is gathering talent to develop works for his still-to-be-named production company. Lee produced several Iam.com television advertisements that highlight aspiring actors, singers and models who have submitted work to Iam.com discussing their inspirations and goals for their careers.

“Our admiration and association with Spike Lee, from the production of our Academy Awards broadcast spots, to his insight into the future of the business, has grown every day,” Epley said. “He is a singular talent and we are fortunate to have his involvement in the company.”

Besides Roth and Lee, venture capitalist Bill Stensrud will join the board of directors. Stensrud is general partner of Enterprise Partners Venture Capital. The trio join Epley, a former topper at Technicolor, and Jeff Drazan, a general partner at Sierra Ventures, on the board of the company.

In addition, Menicheschi, Iam.com’s chief marketing officer, has been upped to prexy. Prior to joining Iam.com, Menicheschi was associate publisher at Vogue magazine.

All these appointments come after Iam.com closed a $35.7 million third round of financing. The company is funded by Sierra Ventures and Lehman Bros. Venture Partners among others.

Epley said Wilson’s and Gersh’s departures earlier this month was amiable.

“Brian Gersh leaving was part of us constructing a new board, and I wouldn’t characterize that as bad news,” Epley said. “The founders of a company frequently serve out their responsibility in the very early stages.”

The site, which was founded in December, was promptly hit with a lawsuit alleging that Gersh, Wilson and Drazan improperly adapted the online casting idea from rival Infanet. The company has repeatedly stated that the case is without merit.

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