EDG is an innovative destination development partner for resorts, hotels, entertainment retail, theme parks, animal parks, and related mixed-use real estate venues worldwide, focusing on projects with entertainment elements. We specialize in development strategies, master planning, branding, project and design management, and operational planning services for owners and investors seeking innovative and unique destination experiences.

From idea generation through implementation and opening day, we support our clients throughout the life of each project. As the owner’s strategic partner, we bring into focus each client’s vision, enhancing real estate and economic value to meet business objectives. We apply our vast experience in solving complex issues such as regional tourism initiatives, pre-development, sustainability, infrastructure systems, design and implementation strategies, and intellectual property & branding strategies.

EDGventures, an entrepreneurial arm, is focused on the creation of and investment into new innovative tourism products and venues.

Our Team

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    Thomas Kozlowski

    President / CEO
    Thomas Kozlowski President / CEO

    Thomas Kozlowski is well known for his work in creative large-scale real estate development. With a background in public real estate development, urban design, and architecture, he has been instrumental in the design and implementation of major urban, tourism, and public/private partnership projects throughout the world that creates innovative real estate value and defines a “sense of place.”

    In January 2008, Mr. Kozlowski founded EDG, a boutique tourism and destination development partner, working at the intersection of entertainment, planning, and real estate with offices in Los Angeles and Shanghai. EDGventures, an entrepreneurial arm, is focused on the creation of and investment into new innovative tourism products and venues. As CEO and President, his current work includes overseeing the planning, business strategy, positioning, and branding for the development of large scale tourism destinations, cultural heritage districts, new themed entertainment and resort developments, and new entertainment product development throughout China and Southeast Asia. Previously, Mr. Kozlowski was Director of Pre-Development and Development Management for Walt Disney Imagineering, where he created and led a California-based team to provide design and planning vision, imagination, and development management to facilitate the master plan implementation of the $2 billion USD expansion of Disneyland Resort in Anaheim and the $3.2 billion USD Hong Kong Disneyland Resort in Hong Kong (HKSAR), China.

    Prior to WDI, Mr. Kozlowski was recruited to establish and head a design management group to oversee the planning, design, and implementation of Battery Park City and World Financial Center, the award winning mixed-use waterfront community in New York. As Director of Architecture and Design and Corporate Development Officer, he was responsible for overseeing commercial, residential, retail, open space, and environmental art programs. During his tenure, and while working jointly with some of the most prominent developers, architects and artists in the US, Battery Park City received over 20 planning and design awards. A former Hong Kong resident graduate of Harvard University, Mr. Kozlowski has lectured and taught throughout the US and actively advises US and Chinese government officials, developers, and architects on the means and methods of large scale, mixed use project implementation and public realm development.

    VIEW TOM’S FULL CV / BIO

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    Patsy Tillich

    Principal Consultant
    Patsy Tillich Principal Consultant

    Patsy Tillisch is an experienced leader in the areas of design conception and development for theme park attractions, animal exhibits, themed retail and food facilities, and performance venues. With her depth of experience, she has become a specialist in the area of themed animal habitats and zoo themed resorts and parks.

    At EDG, Ms. Tillisch directs design development and project programming of projects of all sizes for theme parks and animal attractions around the world. Recent work has included projects for Dubailand, Wildlife Reserve Singapore, Hangzhou Amusement Park in China, and Ocean Park redevelopment in Hong Kong. Prior to EDG, Ms. Tillisch was co-founder and partner of Total Park Projects, a design and project management company where she led teams to produce projects for zoos and theme parks in Hong Kong and the US, such as the Phoenix Zoo, Jacksonville Zoo, Houston Zoo, and Nashville Zoo.

    Prior to starting her own company, Ms. Tillisch joined the Walt Disney Imagineering team where she played a key role on Disney’s Animal Kingdom from the blue-sky concept phase through the park’s construction and opening. As the Associate Producer, she was responsible for establishing and managing the schedule and budget for the park’s entire creative team. In addition to providing day-to-day design direction, Ms. Tillisch organized and led safaris across Africa and Asia, researching unique habitats and meeting with world-renowned conservationists, and was responsible for show producing the Camp Minnie-Mickey area of the park.

    Ms. Tillisch’s experience and career in production, field art direction and operation of theme parks began 30 years ago with Six Flags, Inc. where she was a park supervisor and show producer for Astroworld in Houston, Texas and later with Magic Mountain in Valencia, California. Her experience also includes management of an animation studio where she became knowledgeable with IP development and licensing.

    Ms. Tillisch is a graduate of the University of Texas in Austin.

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    Richard Orne

    Principal Consultant
    Richard Orne Principal Consultant

    Mr. Orne is a consultant principal to EDG for master planning, entertainment and resorts. Mr. Orne is also the founder of RO+A, Richard Orne URBAN ARCHITECTURE,  a planning and architecture consultancy which provides critical thinking and design services for a variety of public and private sector clients.  RO+A has a primary focus toward mixed-use, retail, entertainment, sports and urban re-development projects in both the national and international forums – projects that are instrumental and informative engines for re-generative growth within our cities urban cores.

    Prior to forming RO+A in 1997, Mr. Orne was a Vice President of Design and Planning at Universal Studios with responsibilities centered on the creative management overview for a variety of Universal’s park developments in Los Angeles, Orlando as well as overseas.  These developments included the master plan for Universal’s 450 acre park development in Los Angeles as well as the master plan and overall site development of the 850 acre expansion in Orlando.  These “Universal Entertainment City” developments’ included several Universal hotels; parking and circulation; golf courses; and the CityWalk entertainment venues in both Los Angeles and Orlando.

    During these years as principal and founder of RO+A, Mr. Orne’s media and entertainment studio design and development experience included the concept master plan for the media city “CIUDAD de la LUZ 2000 Fundacion de la Comunidad Valencia, Spain as well as the concept master plan for the “MGM STUDIO METRO” production and tour facilities in Munich.

    For the previous ten years, Mr. Orne was a Design Principal with the Los Angeles based architecture and planning firm, The Jerde Partnership, International.  He provided design leadership for a variety of award winning national and international mixed-use projects. During Richard’s tenure, The Jerde Partnership became deeply respected on both the domestic and international fronts, winning numerous awards for their efforts in architecture, urban design and placemaking.  Noteworthy JPI projects include Horton Plaza, San Diego; Canal City, Fukuoka, Japan; Universal’s CityWalk, Los Angeles; (more).

    In addition to his professional experience, Mr. Orne has lectured professionally at a variety of industry business organizations as well as taught within the California University systems in the architecture, design and development fields.  These institutions include California State Polytechnic University at Pomona, California; the Southern California Institute of Architecture at Los Angeles, California; Otis/Parsons School of Design at Los Angeles and the University of Southern California at Los Angeles.

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    Tim Sepielli

    Principal Consultant
    Tim Sepielli Principal Consultant

    Tim Sepielli is a Project Executive focused on the building and startup of the operational side of theme parks, theatres, and entertainment projects throughout the world. Mr. Sepielli is currently the President of PSA (Projects Services Advisors LTD), and Vice President/Project Executive for EDG, with offices in California and China, providing full project services including owner representative, project management, estimating, scheduling, and operational advisement.  With more than 35 years of experience in the construction and entertainment industries, Mr. Sepielli has shown a proven ability to solve complex problems, reduce costs, and increase project productivity. His most recent work includes the successful construction delivery and soft opening of the innovative Planet J Project Macau.

    Prior to PSA and EDG, Mr. Sepielli served as the Executive Project Director for the Cumming Corporation, leading their themed project management entertainment division worldwide. Previous experience also includes working as Executive Project Director for the Imagica Theme Park in India and as Senior Vice President of Project Management for Idletime Network in Orlando Florida overseeing construction for Live Nation’s House of Blues and RMS Titanic artifact museum experiences in Branson Missouri and New York City.

    As a founding team member for Las Vegas based Chimaera Group, Mr. Sepielli was also responsible for directing projects for Harrah’s Atlantic City, Casino Windsor in Ontario Canada, Boyd Gaming at the Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City Indiana, IBM, Intel, BMW, and many other Fortune 100 companies. Mr. Sepielli was also Vice President of Construction and Project Management for Sega GameWorks LLC (a joint venture between DreamWorks SKG, Universal, and Sega of Japan) its formed for the purpose of developing and operating state of the art themed interactive entertainment centers worldwide.

    Mr. Sepielli also served as Technical and Entertainment Director at Universal Studios theme parks in both Florida and California working on attractions such as “Back to the Future”, “The Lagoon Action Stunt Show”, “The Wild Western Stunt Show”, and “Jurassic Park” as well as supervision for the operation and maintenance of the “ET”, “Back Draft”, “Earthquake”, and “Ghostbusters” attractions including the complex task of maintaining the control systems for the audio, lighting, special effects and animatronics. Mr. Sepielli’s theatrical experience includes senior executive positions with Radio City Music Hall Productions, Caesars Atlantic City, MGM Grand Hotels, and, literally, hundreds of productions for producers and presenters worldwide.

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    Huang Jianping

    Managing Director, UIAP
    Huang Jianping Managing Director, UIAP

    Huang Jianping has an extensive background in both business relations and real estate planning and development in China.  As a C0-Director for EDG, China representative, manager of operations, and liaison, Mr. Huang is instrumental in ensuring effective project communication and coordination for both ongoing work and business development in China. Equally as important, Mr. Huang contributes an in depth understanding of Chinese culture to all local project design, strategy, and development.  In addition to his EDG position, Mr. Huang was also Director and Executive Secretary of Urban International joint venture company, UI Nanshan Shanghai, located in Qin Pu, Shanghai. UI Nanshan Shanghai was formed for the purpose of expanding UI’s capability and local presence for urban planning, landscape planning, and concept design, for mixed use, resort, entertainment, and tourism development in China.

    In addition to his coordination and management duties, currently Mr. Huang manages the development of business plans, strategy, and program development for both urban mixed use and tourism projects including the Ningbo Golf Course Resort and Dongqian Lake Tourism Resort and Hotels, Ningbo China,  the Jiangnan RD&Edevelopment, the Guizhou Long March Park and Resort, Guiyang, Guizhou, China, the 150,000 square meter Tianjin Beiyang Plazamixed use development, and the 50,000 square meter Shanghai Platinum Plaza mixed use development.

    Prior to joining EDG, Mr Huang served in a variety of senior business and real estate position in China including Division Chief for Translation Department, Manager of Information Division, and Executive Secretary for the Hohbond Petrochemical Limited in Shanghai and Hong Kong. In addition, he also served as General Manager of the Planning Department of Hohbond for new project initiatives.

    Mr. Huang’s keen insight into real estate planning and development became apparent during Hohbond’s initial concept development for the creation of a cultural and tourism park in Sanya, Hainan, China in 1996. It was at the same time that Mr. Huang’s relationship with Urban International began acting as the overall project liaison and Hohbond’s representative for the planning and development of the now highly successful Nanshan Cultural Tourism Zone in Sanya. Through Mr. Huang’s long term involvement, the Nanshan Cultural Tourism Zoneis the most popular tourist destination on Hainan Island, attracting in excess of 3 million visitors a year. Currently, Mr. Huang is working on the phase two resort master plan and strategy that will add a golf course, 2000 hotel rooms, and 400 villas to this successful development.

    Mr. Huang is fluent in both Mandarin and English.

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    Yang Linjie

    Urban Planning Associate
    Yang Linjie Urban Planning Associate

    Yang Linjie is an urban planning and cultural specialist with unique knowledge of Chinese history. As the Urban Planning Associate at EDG, Linjie has worked on several of our urban and city planning projects including Sanya Squares, COIFAIR Beijing Expo Park, Zhengfeng Mother Earth Eco-Tourism Zone, the Zoland Theme Parks, and Animalia Kingdom.

    Utilizing her multi-lingual and coordination skills, Linjie also helps manage design deliverables for our diverse team of architects, landscape designers, artists, and cultural attachés.

    Linjie earned her Bachelors in Urban Planning from Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China, and subsequently her Masters from The University of Colorado at Denver.

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    Christopher James

    Design, Research, and Communications Associate
    Christopher James Design, Research, and Communications Associate

    Christopher James is a design and research associate at EDG with knowledge of architectural history and design. Prior to joining, Christopher worked at m0rphois as a member of the business development and communications team where he helped coordinate press and PR strategy for the firm.

    Utilizing his knowledge of the common roads between architecture and communications, he helps facilitate the company’s growth as a narrative-based development firm. Since joining he has coordinated the evolution of the company’s graphics library and the growth of its communication capabilities.

    Christopher graduated with his Bachelors in Architecture from the University of Southern California where he earned academic honors for Independent Research and Analysis.

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    Jenni Medina

    Finance Director
    Jenni Medina Finance Director

    Jenni Medina is the Finance Director of EDG. She oversees financial reporting and forecasting, cash management, and legal/corporate matters on behalf of the firm.

    Jenni joined EDG following 20 years as an Executive Accountant, including as a Senior Associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers, and subsequently as the Director of Finance for the Denver Newspaper Agency.

    Jenni is a graduate of Truman State University where she earned her Bachelors of Science in Accounting.

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    Kimberlee Acquaro

    Media Strategist
    Kimberlee Acquaro Media Strategist

    As an Academy Award-nominated and Emmy Award-winning director and photojournalist, Kimberlee Acquaro’s seminal reporting on human and civil rights has earned her a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship and a Pew Fellowship in International Journalism. Her work has been featured on HBO, in The New York Times Magazine, TIME Magazine, The Washington Post Magazine, Interview Magazine, Mother Jones and many international publications and aired on CNN, CBS, NPR, PBS, The Tavis Smiley Show, The Voice of America and BBC/PRI’s The World. Her films have screened  at THe Museum of Modern Art in NY, The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC, The Boston Museum of Fine Art, El Museo de Memoria y Tolerancia, Harvard’s Carr Center for Human Rights, The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Artists for Amnesty, Steven Spielberg’s SHOAH Foundation and The Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles.

     

    She has spoken and lectured at Columbia University, Princeton, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, UCLA and The New School’s Vera List Center for Art & Politics. She has also served as a judge for The Emmy Awards.

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    Brian Kuo

    Managing Director, EDG China
    Brian Kuo Managing Director, EDG China

    Brian Kuo is the Managing Director of the EDG China office. In this capacity he oversee business strategy, marketing, and project management for projects in the Asia-Pacific Region.

    Brian has extensive experience in the development of real estate property with specific knowledge of maximizing the value of entertainment assets. Having forged relationships with key members in China’s entertainment industry Brian also works as a liaison between EDG and other entertainment companies.

    Before joining EDG, Brian worked for DTZ as the Entertainment Properties Trust’s Consultant. He is fluent in both Mandarin and English.

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    Michael Wang

    Associate Design Director, EDG China
    Michael Wang Associate Design Director, EDG China

    Michael began his tenure at EDG as landscape architect, and is now the Associate Design Director of the China Office. Prior to this, he played a key role in dozens of widely known international competitions including the Guilin Wanda Theme Park and Chongqing Kids Park.

    He acts as the key design liaison between local clients and our multi-national design team. He has expanded his responsibilities to include professional entertainment design since joining EDG, with a specialty in combining Chinese culture and entertainment overlays.

    Michael previously worked for the Miami Vision Destinations Consulting Company.

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    Sophie Wang

    Marketing Associate, EDG China
    Sophie Wang Marketing Associate, EDG China

    Sophie Wang is a Marketing Associate in the EDG Shanghai Office.

    Prior to her time at the firm she worked on the management team of the Marriot-Sheraton International Hotel in Jinzhou, China. Having accrued over 10 years of experience in project management with specialties in bi-lingual communication, Sophie adds a unique strength to the EDG Shanghai office. Her current responsibilities include work as a narrative editor and business development assistant.

    Sophie is a graduate of Bohai University where she earned her Bachelors degree in Literature in 2006. Subsequently, she earned her Masters degree in Foreign Linguistics in 2011.

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    Li Jiazhen

    Culture and History Specialist
    Li Jiazhen Culture and History Specialist

    Li Jiazhen is a cultural specialist in Chinese literature and art work.

    In the late 1980s, he worked for the Institute of Buddhist Culture in China as the assistant director. Since 1994, he has been involved in the planning and design of Nanshan Temple in Sanya, Nanshan Buddhist Cultural Center, Guanshan Temple in Haishan and 108m three-way view of Guanyin, and has been appointed as cultural advisor of Nanshan Company.

    In the same year, he participated in the planning, design and creative work of Wuxi Lingshan Buddhist Cultural Park. As well as the Kowloon irrigation bath, Nirvana and other four-phase enlightenment creation, but also reflects the Buddhist spirit of the Buddhist priests Park endless plan chief planner.

    In 2009, he collaborated with Lin Zhaohua, Yi Liming, He Xuntian and Zeng Li to create the large-scale musical epic, “Mountain Lucky Jixiang”. He contributed to the design of the artwork in the feature film “Zhen Zhen” and the eight-part miniseries “Moon of the Moon” that reflects Zhao Puchu’s life as a creative artist.

    In 1999, he was hired as a Fellow of the Center for Religious Studies of the National Academy of Arts.

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    Robert Lee

    Principal, EDG Korea
    Robert Lee Principal, EDG Korea
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    Ch Nam

    Managing Director, EDG Korea
    Ch Nam Managing Director, EDG Korea

    Chang-Hyon (Tony) Nam is the managing director of our EDG Korea office. In this capacity he oversees business planning and project development for all work on the Korean Peninsula.

    Prior to joining, he was the Managing Director of LEGOLAND Korea. This followed an earlier career in public service as the Director for South Korea’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism. He was also the Project Manager of concept and businesses planning for ‘The Wave at Incheon’, a joint venture with Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.

    Tony is a graduate of Yonsei University, where he earned his Masters Degree in Business Administration.

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    Alan Lee

    Principal Adviser
    Alan Lee Principal Adviser

    Mr. Lee is a real estate entrepreneur with broad experience in design, business strategy, and real estate development.  He is focused on the evolving intersection of entertainment, on-line commerce, and traditional “bricks and mortar” real estate.

    Mr. Lee is a strategic advisor to the Caohejing Hi-Tech Park Incubation Center (one of Shanghai’s leading technology incubators) with an emphasis on emerging technologies and business models that impact real estate.  He is also an advisor/mentor to various companies including a leading air quality solutions provider in China and the operator of a luxury full-service senior care housing project under construction in Hangzhou, China.

    Mr. Lee is a founding partner and Board Director of the Life Hub @ Daning, an open-air mixed-use lifestyle center (250,000 m2 GFA) located in Jingan District, Shanghai.  The Life Hub @ Daning targets Shanghai’s emerging middle class, and consists of retail, food and beverage, entertainment, office, work/live, and a 326 room Four Points by Sheraton.  The Life Hub @ Daning has become a popular destination in Shanghai and has led to the successful gentrification of this once industrial area.  The Life Hub @ Daning was a Finalist for the 2007 Urban Land Institute (ULI) Award for Excellence – Asia Pacific.

    Mr. Lee was a founding partner of the Shanghai Business Park, one of China’s first international low-rise office parks (@600,000 m2 GFA).  The Shanghai Business Park has become one of the premier business parks in Shanghai, attracting R+D and corporate headquarters tenants such as Philips Innovation Campus, SNPTC, Civil Aviation Cares, and China Power Investment.  The Shanghai Business Park received the Asian Legal Business – China Deal of the Year 2004 – Real Estate and Construction.

    Mr. Lee was also a consultant/advisor to Silverstein Properties Inc. (owner/developer of the World Trade Center) in their exploration of the China market, and to the Bond Companies with their Whole Foods project in Oakland, California. Mr. Lee previously worked at his family’s real estate construction/development company in Southern California catering to the Chinese submarket.  He was involved in all aspects of real estate development and investment including acquisition, design, construction, marketing, leasing, property management, investment financing, and asset management of @60,000 m2 GFA of retail, office and residential projects.

    Mr. Lee has an MBA from the Wharton School with an emphasis in real estate and entrepreneurial management, and a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Southern California.