SHIRA SUE CARMI

Combining a deep passion for creativity and a sharp talent for business, Shira specializes in strategic initiatives, with a strong financial, bottom-line focus. Her work includes launch and growth strategies, budgeting, cash flow management, investor presentations and fundraising. Shira began her career in the art world, working for several contemporary art galleries including Deitch Projects, and held positions in marketing, communications and brand management at Banana Republic and Avon Products before founding Launch Collective in 2005. Shira graduated Summa Cum Laude from New York University with a BA in Visual Culture, and holds an MBA from Columbia Graduate School of Business.

ROB SPIRA

With a comprehensive background in merchandising, trend research and production, Rob specializes in all aspects relating to buying, planning and product development. He began his career in finance at JP Morgan Chase in Mergers & Acquisitions, which he subsequently left to pursue his dream of working in fashion. He has a stellar track record at some of the fashion industry's most prestigious blue chip players including Abercrombie & Fitch, Club Monaco and Ralph Lauren. Rob graduated from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL with a BA in American History.

STEVE FRANK

Steve has over 20 years of retail experience driving growth and identifying opportunities for large and small retailers across brick and mortar and ecommerce channels. His experience includes strategic and financial planning, merchandise planning and project management.
Before joining Launch Collective, he was CEO of a jewelry start-up that was eventually acquired. He has held senior roles at several retailers including Macy’s, Intermix and Betsey Johnson as well as retail consulting experience with Accenture and LakeWest Group. Steve graduated from Duke University with a BA in Public Policy and holds an MBA from the Stern School of Business at New York University.

KATIA PROTSENKO

Katia has helped build and staff the operations team at Launch Collective and currently serves as COO. It is the combination of financial acumen and an understanding of the creative process that allows Katia to successfully implement financial, operational and logistical structures within the fashion industry. She has worked with apparel, accessories and jewelry brands, as well as brick-and-mortar and e-commerce retail concepts.
Katia’s overall goal for the brands she helps launch is to create sustainable, scalable and efficient financial and operational structures. She graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a Bachelor’s degree in Modern Literature; she also holds a Certificate in Accounting. Katia is an instructor for Design Entrepreneurs NYC and serves on the alumni board for the New York Fashion Fellows program, two local initiatives that encourage entrepreneurship and professional development within the fashion industry.