A commitment to excellence, creativity and innovation. Our executive team’s vision brings vast expertise and tireless dedication to the continual pursuit of excellence across the company’s wide-reaching best-in-class investment portfolio.
Ms. Margaret Cotter joined the Company as a full-time employee on March 2016, and currently serves as our Executive Vice President – Real Estate Management and Development- NYC.
Ms. Cotter is responsible for the daily management of our live theater properties and operations, including the oversight of the day to day development process of our Union Square and oversight of our New York and Pennsylvania real estate holdings. Up until the sale in June 2021, Director Cotter also oversaw our Chicago real estate holdings.
Prior to her appointment, Ms. Cotter was the owner and President of OBI, LLC (“OBI”), which, from 2002 until her appointment as Executive Vice President – Real Estate Management and Development- NYC, managed our live theater operations under a management agreement and provided management and various services regarding the development of our New York theater and cinema properties. Pursuant to the OBI management agreement, Ms. Cotter also served as the President of Liberty Theaters, LLC, the subsidiary through which we own our live theaters. The OBI management agreement was terminated with Ms. Cotter’s appointment as Executive Vice President-Real Estate Management and Development-NYC. Ms. Cotter is also a theatrical producer who has produced shows in Chicago and New York for over 22 years. She served as a board member of the League of Off-Broadway Theaters and Producers from 2004- 2017.
Ms. Cotter is a former Assistant District Attorney for King’s County in Brooklyn, New York, graduated from Georgetown University and Georgetown University Law Center.
Ms. Cotter is the Chair of our Board and member of our Executive Committee. Along with her sister Ellen Cotter, Ms. Cotter is a significant stakeholder in our Company her direct ownership of both Class A Stock and Class B Stock and her positions as Co-Executor of her father’s estate and Co-Trustee of the Cotter Living Trust and the Cotter Foundation, and as the Sole Trustee of the James J. Cotter Education Trust #1 – all which hold a significant amount of Class A shares and/or Class B shares, Director Cotter is a significant stakeholder in our Company.
Ms. Ellen M. Cotter joined the Company in March 1998, and currently serves as our Chief Executive Officer and President. Prior to this, Ms. Cotter most recently served as our interim President and Chief Executive Officer from June 12, 2015 until January 8, 2016, when she was permanently appointed to the positions, and for more than ten years as the Chief Operating Officer (“COO”) of our domestic cinema operations. As COO, she had among other things, responsibility for the acquisition and development, marketing and operation of our cinemas in the United States. Prior to her appointment as COO of Domestic Cinemas, Ms. Cotter spent a year in Australia and New Zealand, working to develop our cinema and real estate assets in those countries.
Ms. Cotter is a graduate of Smith College and holds a Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center. Prior to joining the Company, Ms. Cotter spent four years in private practice as a corporate attorney with the law firm of White & Case in New York City. Director Cotter is the sister of Chair Margaret Cotter.
Ms. Cotter also currently serves as the Vice-Chair of our Board and a member of our Executive Committee. In addition, with her direct ownership of both Class A Stock and Class B Stock and her positions as Co-Executor of her father’s estate and Co-Trustee of the Cotter Trust and the Cotter Foundation – all which hold a significant amount of Class A shares and/or Class B shares, Ms. Cotter is a significant stakeholder in our Company.
Mr. Gilbert Avanes was appointed Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer on November 5, 2019. Mr. Avanes has been an employee of and consultant to our Company since August 2007, most recently serving Interim Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of our Company, from January 24, 2019 through November 4, 2019. Prior thereto, Mr. Avanes served as the Vice President of Financial Planning and Analysis (January 2016 to January 2019),Senior Director of Financial Planning and Analysis (January 2012 to December 2015), and as a consultant and then Senior Finance Manager (August2007 to December 2011). Prior to joining Reading, Mr. Avanes served in various finance and accounting roles over the course of a decade at Toronto Dominion Bank Financial Group located in Toronto, Canada. Mr. Avanes is a Certified Public Accountant (US) and Chartered Professional Accountant (Canada) and has a Master of Business Administration from Laurentian University and a Bachelor of Commerce (Major in Accounting and Minor in Finance) from Ryerson University.
On March 10, 2016, Mr. Matyczynski was appointed as our Executive Vice President—Global Operations. From May 11, 2015 until March 10, 2016, Mr. Matyczynski acted as the Strategic Corporate Advisor to the Company, and served as our Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer from November 1999 until May 11, 2015 and as Corporate Secretary from May 10, 2011 to October20, 2014. Prior to joining our Company, he spent 20 years in various senior roles throughout the world at Beckman Coulter Inc., a U.S. based multi-national corporation. Mr. Matyczynski earned a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern California.
Mr. Smerling has served as President of our domestic cinema operations since 1994. He has been involved in the acquisition and/or development of all of our existing cinemas. Prior to joining our Company, Mr. Smerling was the President of Loews Theaters, at that time a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony. While at Loews, Mr. Smerling oversaw operations at some 600 cinemas employing some 6,000 individuals and the development of more than 25 new multiplex cinemas. Among Mr. Smerling’s accomplishments at Loews was the development of the Lincoln Square Cinema Complex with IMAX in New York City, which continues today to be one of the top five grossing cinemas in the United States. Prior to Mr. Smerling’s employment at Loews, he was Vice Chairperson of USA Cinemas in Boston, and President of Cinema national Theatres. Mr. Smerling, a recognized leader in our industry, has been a director of the National Association of Theater Owners, the principal trade group representing the cinema exhibition industry.
Mr. Douglas first joined our Company in 1999, and was appointed as Managing Director, Reading Cinemas Australia and New Zealand on July 1, 2018. From 2005 to 2018. Mr. Douglas worked in our Real Estate division holding numerous roles including Director Property Development, Development Manager and General Manager Property. Prior thereto, Mr. Douglas worked in our finance team, moving into the role of National Operations Manager for our cinema division in 2001. Prior to joining our Company, Mr. Douglas worked for Myer Stores, a retail department store chain, in various business management and administration roles. Mr. Douglas earned a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Deakin University, Geelong Victoria and is a registered Certified Practicing Accountant with CPA Australia .
Mr. Tompkins has worked in various capacities for our Company and its predecessors in interest for more than the past 25 years. He has served as Vice Chairperson of our Company and as the President of two of its predecessors public companies, as a consultant and outside counsel, and since 2017 as Executive Vice President and General Counsel. Prior to his employment at our Company, Mr.Tompkins was a partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. Mr. Tompkins is a principal equity holder in and, between 2007 to 2017, served as the Executive Chairperson and, since 2017, as the Chairperson of Marshall & Stevens, Incorporated, a privately held valuation and consulting firm specializing in the valuation of real estate, business enterprises and alternative energy assets. From 1993 to 2006 (when the company went private), Mr. Tompkins served as a director and as the Chairperson of the Audit Committee of G&L Realty (an NYSE REIT specializing in medical properties), and from 1998 to2001 (when the Bank was sold) as a member of the Board of Directors, of the Compensation Committee, and of the Special Independent Committee of Fidelity Federal Bank, FSB. Mr. Tompkins is also the Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of Kirtland Farms, Inc. (a Tompkins family owned agricultural operation in Southern Oregon). Mr. Tompkins holds a Bachelor of Arts ( MagnaCum Laude ) from Claremont McKenna College, and a Juris Doctorate ( Magna Cum Laude ) from the Harvard Law School, where he was on the Board of Student Advisors and served as research assistance to Professor James Casner (then serving as the Reporter to the Restatement of Property 2nd). Following Law School, Mr. Tompkins served as law clerk to the Honorable Justice Dean Bryson on the Oregon Supreme Court, before joining Gibson, Dunn & Cruther .
Sandra I. Herrera was appointed Associate General Counsel in 2017 and Corporate Secretary since 2018. Prior to this time, in 2016, Ms. Herrera served as a legal consultant to our Company.
Ms. Herrera helps oversee the Company’s legal affairs, representing the Company and directing its outside counsel, in transactional and litigation matters across various business units, including financings, acquisitions and dispositions, leasing, construction, and development projects.
Prior to joining the Company, Ms. Herrera was in private law firm practice with a focus on real estate transactions for corporate and government clients.
Ms. Herrera earned a Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, from Carleton College, a Master of Public Policy from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a Juris Doctorate from Stanford Law School. She served as an extern for the Honorable S. James Otero in the Central District of California. Ms. Herrera is a Trustee, and former Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Chief Financial Officer, of the Mexican-American Bar Foundation, a non-profit organized and operated by volunteers to enhance the diversity of the legal profession through education, and has since its inception in 1991, raised over $3.6 million in scholarship funds.