TEAM

PHIL SHALALA

FOUNDER

C-Suite executive and proven entrepreneur with 25+ years of experience in building and scaling some of today’s most recognized hospitality, consumer products and entertainment brands. He has been recognized with multiple industry awards and was named “Marketing Elite Top 50” by Advertising Age.

Shalala’s history in creating and developing meaningful brands across multiple categories for Family Office, Private Equity and Venture runs deep. He and his team have realized north of 27% returns YOY for thier LP’s and GP’s. Previously, CMO of The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino and creator of the REHAB enterprise, Creator of Rehab Energy Drink- Sold to Monster, Operating Partner at Raptor Capital Private Equity, Co-Founder Raptor Accelerator, Co Founder of Nomadic Entertainment, Sold to NFL On Location, Brand Director @ Pepsi Co (Mountain Dew) and co-founder of action sports athlete representation firm sold to Wasserman Media.

Advisor to Brookfield Capital, post Hard Rock Hotel and Casino acquisition, Advisor to Stockbridge Capital, post SLS Las Vegas Hotel acquisition, Managed and coordinated W Hotel Las Vegas structure and merger. Advisor and operating partner to Sound West Group – Commercial Hotel Development Corp. Advisor to developers, lenders and enterprise flags across Hotel, Gameing and Lifestyle Real Estate.

With a passion for consumer brands and the lifestyle they represent, Phil has managed and realized multiple exits for his partners within Hospitality, Beverage, Sports and Entertainment and Technology. He is an active advisor for start ups and the capital markets looking to connect and implement like minded business strategies.

JAMES LANGLEY

PARTNER / HOSPITALITY

Founder of Empress Hospitality and LDG Real Estate, Jimmy is the brainchild behind Death by Tequila, Leap Coffee, Crafted Culture and the Hen House. His eye for developing brands and products that resonate with today’s influential consumer is unmatched. His understanding of operational strategy and overall business acumen has won him awards throughout the hospitality community. At The Critical Co he is sourcing and developing investment opportunities and joint ventures in hospitality, real estate and consumer product goods for growth and scale.

ANTHONY BATT

PARTNER /AI

Head of Digital for Ashton Kutcher at Katalyst,  managed digital and early-stage investments. Founder of Buzzmedia, launched Internet top-100 music, celebrity blog communities, and pop culture influencers. Acquired more than 30 web communities Designed ,developed, and implemented strategies for web and SaaS products for brands such as Microsoft, Paul Allen, GE, Virgin, Absolut Vodka, Samsung, Universal, Warner Bros, and enterprise SaaS companies. Won the Communication Arts Award for interface design and has been recognized as one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies in AR/VR.

LONI PAXTON

PARTNER / CPG / SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Marketing leader who successfully transitioned from a 12 year NFL career with 3 Super Bowl Championships. Lead global sports and lifestyle At GoPro, oversaw multi-year 360 partnerships NHL, PGA, Monday Night Football, Fox Sports Under Amour, Real Madrid. Loni has built and fostered direct business relationships in APAC, LATAM, US, UK and India.

ERIC METZGER

PARTNER / REAL ESTATE

Senior Executive for several fortune 500 Companies. Directly represented developers, buyers and family offices in M&A transactions globally, primarily in real estate, consumer products and tech.  Responsible for the Marketing and Sales at some of the worlds most recognized real estate transactions, including The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Sands Macau, Boot Ranch TX,  Talasker Club PC.

JORGE HIDALGO

PARTNER/ CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Co Founder and creator of multiple spirits brands- Peligroso Tequila, exit to Diageo- Libre Tequila- MEXI RTD- Black Feather Whisky. Senior VP for multiple fashion and consumer products brands in Lifestyle Sports and Hospitality. Jorge has a deep and proven track record in retail creation, brand developent, sales strategy and creative execution across multiple consumer products categories. His expirence across the entire project lifecycle, from conception to aquisition has provided valuable insight to Critical and it’s partners.

SHANE ROBINSON

PARTNER/ CIO

Executive Producer at Wevr where he led some of the industry’s most recognized interactive software franchises. He worked in a similar role at the award-winning Penrose Studios. Previously, he was the founder of a venture-backed e-commerce and digital media company, which exited to a competitor. Shane was a technology, media and telecom M&A investment banker at Sagent Advisors and Merrill Lynch, advising consumer and enterprise software companies. A contributing writer at Forbes, Shane is a veteran of the US Army and holds an MBA from Stanford and a degree in government from Harvard, where he was a John F. Kennedy fellow. Shane has spoken at SXSW, Cannes and various investment conferences around the world.

YALE ROWE

PARTNER / HOSPITALITY / GAMING

Yale Rowe –  A 25-year gaming and hospitality industry veteran, Yale brings a diverse skill set to the team. Yale has structured multiple JV and MA&A deals in hospitality, gaming and consumer products, most recently on behalf of Paragon Gaming which included the purchase and management of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Lake Tahoe.  He is directly responsible for it’s operational turn around and recent sale, delivering a 10x return to his investors. Prior, Yale served as Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, as well as the Silverton Casino Resort in Las Vegas. Yale has been licensed in California as well as Alberta and British Columbia, Canada.