FOUNDER, CEO and CREATIVE DIRECTOR
Ms. Stroh founded Legion Group to blend arts, entertainment and social enterprise in her quest to tell the stories of undervalued creators and make their contributions relevant to new generations.
Following in the footsteps of brand building creatives like Tom Ford at Gucci, Ms. Stroh leads the company from her base in Washington, DC. She is responsible for vision and focus. For delivering financial results including a strong return on investment to investors. For strengthening Legion’s financial base through acquisitions and partnerships. For envisioning its scholarship. For developing and guiding the social enterprise. And for developing the Group’s talent, culture and trans media strategy.
Formerly a Research Fellow at the Cambridge Institute for Family Enterprise, Ms. Stroh currently manages the Group’s successful scholarship operations in Italy, America and Greece.
In Italy, research conducted by Mr. Giovanni Rapazzini has received widespread press coverage for discovering a lost painting by Romaine Brooks at the Vittoriale on the shores of Lake Garda. The search for lost artwork continues on Capri by Ms. Napoleone. In America, archival research conducted by Dr. Emerson (in partnership with the University of Tulsa) lays the foundation for more Brooks scholarship. In Athens, Ms. Stroh’s archival research and translations will lead to a book about Natalie Barney, with contributions by Mr. Francesco Rapazzini and Ms. Napoleone.
Suzanne Stroh will continue to contribute original work that drives Legion’s projects.
She is the editor of Romaine Brooks: A Life by Dr. Langer, for which she and Mr. Combemale furnished translations. She is screenwriter of the forthcoming major motion picture about Romaine Brooks, which she will co-produce with Ms. Clark. She has translated Mr. Francesco Rapazzini’s comic novel, Un soir chez l’Amazone, with Ms. Hamilton, and plans to commission its adaptation as a stage farce. And she will translate Elisabeth de Gramont by Mr. Francesco Rapazzini. In 2018 she will write the screenplay for a film about Eva Palmer Sikelianos.
Suzanne Stroh holds undergraduate degrees in art history from Wellesley College and history of art from Newnham College, Cambridge.
VICE PRESIDENT, PRODUCTION
A Hollywood veteran best known for his TV work (“Survivor,” “The Apprentice”), Mr. Bruce is a three-time Emmy nominee who got an early start in the film business working for Louis Malle (”Atlantic City”). He never stopped and is still known today for his untiring work ethic. His role is to develop our filmed productions. To oversee the work of the producer on all our ARVR productions, broadcasts, feature films and television. And to ensure that our film projects are completed on time, within budget and to agreed artistic and technical standards. Mr. Bruce is linked directly to our brands via two family branches. As one of the rights holders of the novels by his grandmother Louise de Vilmorin, he brings key IP to the Group. Mr. Bruce holds dual citizenship in France and the U.S. and speaks French.
DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Strategic advisor Nick Papandreou brings a background in business, economics and politics to his role at Legion. He will direct our expansion from the Athens office. Mr. Papandreou was born in Berkeley and went to school in Greece and Canada before studying economics and political science at Yale. He earned a masters in Public Policy at the Woodrow Wilson School and a Ph.D. in microeconomics from Princeton. After serving in the Greek military and the World Bank, Mr. Papandreou turned to writing. He is the author of bestselling fiction, award winning stories and one screenplay (“Little Greek Grandfather”). His most recent book, The Magical Path to the Acropolis, profiles the eccentric architect Dimitri Pikioni who designed and paved a fresh approach to the ancient site. Mr. Papandreou is a dual citizen of Greece and the U.S.
CEO, LGA Hellas (Greece) and Director of Social Enterprise
Working out of the Athens office, Epaminondas Farmakis will lead our business in Greece. He will also run our social enterprise worldwide. With decades of experience in finance, philanthropy and international affairs, Mr. Farmakis has allocated more than $1.1 bn to more than 1,200 nonprofits in over 65 countries. His previous positions include Managing Director, Solidarity Now, funded by the Open Society Foundations; Director, EEA Norway Grants NGO Fund in Greece, the Bodossaki Foundation; President and CEO of the philanthropic advisory unit elpis SA; COO, Stavros Niarchos Foundation; and Financial Advisor, Merrill Lynch. Postgraduate work in the US Senate followed joint MBA and MSFS degrees at Georgetown. A social entrepreneur himself, Mr. Farmakis continues his involvement with the civil society sector as founder of HumanRights360, focused on building innovative programs for children and youth.
DR. BARBARA BLOEMINK
DIRECTOR OF FINE ARTS
Former Director of the Guggenheim/Hermitage Museum, Dr. Bloemink will develop the XR business with Mr. Papandreou outside Greece. She is an acclaimed scholar of Modernism with academic degrees from Stanford and Yale. Her books and articles about our brands are considered standard works. Dr. Bloemink also brings extensive managerial experience to Legion, both from the market side of the art world and from the institution side. She has run four major museums, toured more than 70 exhibitions worldwide, led funding drives and advised major collectors. Her responsibilities at Legion also include fine art investment strategy, collection management and brand building through exhibitions and conferences.
DIRECTOR OF MARKETING
From an award-winning career in art, design and digital product development for companies like Indeed, Andrea Kuchinski built on her entrepreneurial experience to join the marketing team at the Jack Welch Management Institute, one of the fastest-growing and most innovative MBA programs in the world. She brings a full suite of capabilities to Legion. Ms. Kuchinski directs our art and design operations and will lead and coordinate marketing objectives such as creative development, digital footprints and social media presence. Andrea Kuchinski has partnered with Ms. Stroh on multimedia projects for more than a decade, and her work has been published in The Washington Post and Fortune Magazine.
PAULINA AKIMOVA & RICHARD JACKSON
DIRECTORS OF SALES AND MARKETING
Based in Hangzhou near Shanghai, our sales team of China specialists will develop the Asian market, where Chinese tourists are early adopters of XR. Mr. Jackson brings experience in AI, robotics, AR/VR, refugee relief, international education, communications, and public radio journalism. Fluent in Mandarin, Ms. Akimova has broad sales and marketing experience. She holds an advanced degree in economics and lectures on business in China. The LGA team will coordinate closely with experienced EU/US agent Navigator Travel & Tourism Services, based in Athens.
An acclaimed author and Italian journalist, Mr. Rappazzini writes about pioneering Modernists from his base in Paris. He publishes our beautiful small editions and contributes books, plays and scholarship as part of Legion’s brand development strategy. Mr. Rapazzini is the author and publisher of several books about Romaine Brooks and her circle, notably Elizabeth de Gramont: avant-gardiste (Paris: Fayard, 2004), Un soir chez l’Amazone (Paris: Fayard, 2001) and Damia (Paris: Editions Perrin, 2010). His latest book is about the Moulin Rouge and its artistic legacy. Mr. Rappazzini speaks and publishes in Italian, French and German.
Born in Paris, Mr. Combemale’s felicity for languages aided his family’s escape under Nazi occupation when he was a boy of six. After a storied career in the U.S. Navy, Mr. Combemale turned to publishing, where he built several successful ventures. He develops, translates and edits literary projects for Legion. Recently Mr. Combemale transcribed the only known interview of Romaine Brooks, which was instrumental in developing “The Art of Romaine Brooks” at the Smithsonian American Art Museum during the summer of 2016.
DR. JAMES ARMSTEAD, JR.
DIRECTOR OF GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS
Just back from a Fulbright fellowship in Ukraine, Dr. Armstead remains active in international affairs after retiring from the teaching of law, ethics and political philosophy. He was formerly a law professor at the Naval War College, responsible for executive development. Dr. Armstead has built several international peacekeeping institutions and brings decades of cross-border experience to his work at Legion. He will advise the CEO on governmental relations and negotiations. Dr. Armstead will also support our international expansion and brand building partnerships. He is also an accomplished performer, portraying dozens of historical characters for the Chautauqua Institution.
DR. CASSANDRA LANGER
DIRECTOR OF SCHOLARSHIP
Author, critic and art historian, Dr. Langer is the world’s leading authority on the life and work of Romaine Brooks. She directs Legion’s scholarship and research projects to commercialize our brands. She also leads the search for lost works and ephemera. A former Smithsonian Fellow, she published Romaine Brooks: A Life in 2015 and anchored the symposium on Brooks at the Smithsonian in June, 2016. Dr. Langer is the author of several books including Mother & Child in Art (New York: Crescent Books, 1992).
Sally Hamilton honed her dual passions for French language and literature during an international career in aviation law and business. She was formerly Executive Vice President and General Counsel of AWAS, an aircraft leasing firm based in the Republic of Ireland.
Ms. Hamilton holds a certificate in French translation from New York University. She recently led the Group’s first translation of a full length literary work, in support of the Romaine Brooks brand. The comic novel about Romaine Brooks and her circle, written by Francesco Rapazzini, is now being shopped for trade publication, to coordinate with the release of the feature film and stage play about Romaine Brooks. Legion will also adapt the translation into a stage farce.
FINE ARTS AFFILIATE
A native of Austria, Ms. Hechl holds a Master's degree from the Vienna Business School. She is an art consultant representing a major International Auction House in the Mid-Atlantic Region. Well connected in the US and Europe, Ms. Hechl has extensive knowledge of our brands and their social and artistic circles. She will assist Legion in the identification of undervalued brands, in making connections with inheritor groups and rights holders and in the search of lost assets we seek.
DR. GIULIA NAPOLEONE
DIRECTOR OF BRAND BUILDING
From dual bases in Rome and Paris, and with a family business background spanning five generations, Dr. Napoleone will develop our brand through LGA's fine property partnerships in Europe. Her present management duties at Agence France Presse involve logistical support for the Rome office and its journalists. A literary scholar with expertise on Natalie Barney, Dr. Napoleone is the first to translate Barney’s aphorisms into Italian and will lead our book project about Barney and Eva Palmer Sikelianos. Dr. Napoleone completed her doctoral studies at Roma Tre University with her dissertation on the impact of Barney and Brooks on the Modern movements of 1920s Paris. Dr. Napoleone leads the search for lost work by RGB on Capri.
FILM DIRECTOR AND PRODUCER
Award-winning filmmaker Amy Gerber is developing an animated feature in partnership with Legion. “Russia Was a Woman” investigates the lost legacy of Anastasia Romanovna, who led a flowering of arts and culture in medieval Russia.. The film reinterprets Eisenstein’s cinema classic, “Ivan the Terrible,” from the vantage point of the Tsar’s queen. Ms. Gerber will also develop Legion’s animation and web series programming. Ms. Gerber holds an MFA from California Institute of the Arts. She is Associate Professor of Film at Hollins University, where she chairs the film department. Her recent film credits include “Public Memory” and “My Grandfather was a Nazi Scientist: Opa, von Braun and Operation Paperclip.”
FILM DIRECTOR AND PRODUCER
Jane Clark is a seasoned writer, director and film producer in Hollywood. Among her award-winning films based on true stories is “Meth Head.” It played 30+ international festivals, won 12 awards and was released in 2014 through Random Media. Her talent for bringing complex human stories to life makes Ms. Clark a perfect choice to guide our feature film slate from conception through post production working in tandem with Mr. Bruce. Ms. Clark will also direct when appropriate, beginning with Legion's debut feature, “Thief of Souls.” Early training as a painter and musician makes Ms. Clark the right choice to direct this 1920's film about an artist chasing immortality through art.
A literature student at Ca’Fosca University in Venice, Giovanni Rapazzini undertook his first research assignment for Legion in Spring 2016. By June, he had discovered a lost painting by Romaine Brooks at Il Vittoriale on the banks of Lake Garda in Italy. The painting, made when Brooks was an art student in Rome around the turn of the 20th century, is a masterful copy of a famous portrait by Perugino. It had been hiding in plain sight, misattributed, for nearly a century. News of Mr. Rapazzini’s exciting discovery on Legion’s behalf made Italy’s national papers when he presented his findings publicly in September.