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Dustin Gold, CEO of William Gold Entertainment, is a Creative Entrepreneur, Artist Manager/Broker, Entertainment Producer, Political Strategist, Technology Investor, and Consultant
More About Dustin Gold
Crowned “The Don King of Political Impersonators” by The New Yorker, Dustin Gold, a creative entrepreneur with a degree in industrial design, is an artist manager/broker, entertainment producer, technology investor, and political strategy consultant, who has been featured by ABC’s Good Morning America, Bloomberg Businessweek, The Huffington Post, among many other notable media outlets.
As founder and CEO of William Gold Entertainment, LLC, and founder and Executive Producer of Political Entertainment Productions and its comedy troupe, Politicos Comedy Brigade, Dustin and his roster of artists have been featured by almost every major news outlet such as CNN’s The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer, The Sean Hannity Radio Program, Playboy XM, Glenn Beck’s The Blaze, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Washingtonian, the Associated Press, BBC, and NPR. Dustin worked with renowned British photographer Alison Jackson to provide a Barack Obama and Mitt Romney for The Atlantic Magazine’s election edition cover and fourteen-page spread.
Dustin has produced live entertainment and media content for thousands of major global brands including Microsoft, LinkedIn, Yahoo!, AOL, Johnson & Johnson, Unilever, Hyundai, USO, and The Africa CEO Roundtable, provided talent to and coproduced comedic segments with hundreds of television shows and networks including ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, CBS’s Late Show with David Letterman, TBS’ Conan with Conan O’Brien, NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, Comedy Central’s Workaholics, NBC Universal’s The Maury Povich Show, Disney’s Hannah Montana, CBS’ The Millers, FOX News’ Huckabee with Governor Mike Huckabee, FOX News’ Stossel with John Stossel, Showtime’s Paulytics with Pauly Shore, WWE’s Capitol Punishment, ESPN, MTV, CNN, and MSNBC, and collaborated with dozens of new media giants including Will Ferrell and Adam McKay’s Funny or Die, Google’s Barely Political, The Onion, College Humor, MTV’s Matt’s Apartment, myISH’s The Hillywood Show, South Africa's ZANews's American property Puppet Nation, and TRadioV’s ManChat.
Dustin has worked with and on a variety of political campaigns, events, and advertisements in various capacities, including the following:
• One of the first multiple character political comedy shows Dustin produced took place in 2010 and featured Reggie Brown as Barack Obama, Tim Watters as Bill Clinton, Patti Lyons as Sarah Palin, and comedian Tim Northern as Juan Williams. Dustin’s client the Munster, Indiana Democratic Party was in the beginning phases of building a brand for Sherif Roy Dominguez who was contemplating a run for Indiana Governor. Rather than producing a typical high priced ticketed dinner aimed at big donors, the organization decided that they wanted to create a community event that would reach a wider demographic of voters and help kick off Dominguez’s bid for Governor. The fundraiser, held at a 1,500 seat mega-church, not only sold out of all of the available tickets, but also sold over 400 higher dollar VIP passes which granted ticketholders access to a cocktail reception and photo session featuring the impersonators.
• When Governor Sarah Palin turned down an invitation to deliver the keynote address at Conservative Political Action Conference 2011, Dustin staged a prank with Sarah Palin impersonator Patti Lyons which lead to dozens of major media outlets being fooled into believing the real Sarah Palin had decided to make an appearance after all, including the AP, ABC, FOX News, and PJ Media who interviewed the impersonator live on air for five minutes before realizing they had been duped. The stunt generated over 65 original articles, secured the Twitter trending topic of the day, and effectively turned the focus of the media coverage from political speakers such as Governor Mitt Romney and real estate mogul Donald Trump to the impersonator.
• Republican Leadership Conference 2011 contracted Dustin to provide a comedic keynote address featuring President Barack Obama impersonator Reggie Brown which aired live on CSPAN. The appearance turned into a media goldmine when the impersonator’s performance was cut short to allow Governor Rick Perry, an unannounced guest, to squeeze in a quick speech. The left leaning media twisted the onstage debacle and used the event to attack the Republican Party which lead to five straight days of major news coverage for Reggie Brown including 25 worldwide television appearances, 75 radio interviews, 100 original articles, and thousands of Tweets.
• Nationally recognized Republican political consulting firm BrabenderCox, who was managing the digital media campaign for Senator Rick Santorum’s 2012 Republican Presidential primary race, hired Dustin to provide Mitt Romney impersonator Mike Cote for an attack ad against Governor Mitt Romney. The commercial, titled “Rombo,” which featured the impersonator running around a warehouse shooting mud from a machine gun, implying that Romney was a “mudslinger,” seized a three day news cycle and generated over 100 original articles and was featured on CBS’s Late Show With David Letterman before finally ending its run on FOX & Friends with guest Mitt Romney having to personally respond to the ad on national television.
• Good Jobs Now, an offshoot of SEIU, contracted Dustin during the 2012 Presidential election to provide a Mitt Romney impersonator and to help produce a staged media event in Detroit with the goal of mobilizing the local community by bringing attention to Romney’s anti-middleclass policies. The event gave the media exactly what the organization had hoped to provide them with, and the story was picked by several local news outlets.
• When Virgin America decided to launch a nonstop shuttle from San Francisco to Washington, DC to help connect technology lobbyists with political operatives, they decided to partner with Rock The Vote to launch in-air voter registration and Dustin to provide an in-air debate between Barack Obama impersonator Reggie Brown and Mitt Romney impersonator Jim Gossett. The event, which consisted of a ribbon cutting at both the outbound and inbound airports, an inflight comedy performance, and a meet & greet photo session, produced more than 65 original articles for Virgin America.
• GMMB, a full service, integrated strategic communications, and advertising agency specializing in nonprofits, advocacy groups, and political leaders was working with the League of Conservation Voters to help U.S. Representative Edward Markey defeat private equity investor and former Navy SEAL Gabriel Gomez in the 2013 U.S. Senate special election race to replace U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Dustin was contracted to provide Governor Mitt Romney impersonator Tim Warneke for a series of satirical new media videos which portrayed Romney, who had recently been defeated by Barack Obama in his bid for President, as backing Gomez for Senate. The micro-campaign generated several statewide articles, and Markey went on to defeat Gomez in the election.
• TigerComm, the nation’s foremost cleantech /clean economy communications, marketing and strategy firm collaborated with Dustin on behalf of billionaire philanthropist Tom Steyer’s NextGen Climate Action Committee’s involvement in former DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe’s successful bid to overcome Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli in the 2013 Virginia Gubernatorial election. Dustin developed an impersonator of Ken Cuccinelli, portrayed by comic impressionist Steve Van Zandt, who was deployed to various live events and used in several pieces of digital media content. Just four days following an earned media blitz generated from the impersonator’s first live appearance centered around exposing $18,000 in questionable gifts Cuccinelli received from a Virginia-based corporation tied to the Governor Bob McDonnell corruption scandal, the real Ken Cuccinelli released a video apologizing for accepting the gifts and stated that he would return the money through the making of a donation to a charitable organization. Within a week of the forced apology, Cuccinelli, who was favored to win the election, watched his poll numbers slide until he eventually lost the election.
Prior to founding WGe, Dustin founded a small toy design company called Beareo Enterprises, LLC for the sole purpose of developing a Barack Obama “Change We Can Count” designer vinyl savings bank which was distributed worldwide through a specialty toy promotion company, NYC-based Toy Tokyo, and to retailers across the country including White House Gifts, a DC collectibles shop located across the street from the White House.
Dustin founded, and for several years managed, a Connecticut-based marketing and design firm called ThinkTank Creative Group which often collaborated with HarveyMalis Communications, a communications strategy firm, on projects for health industry clients such as Connecticut Bio Conference and CURE The Bioscience Network of Connecticut. During this time, Dustin also refined his digital pop art style and was commissioned to create custom artwork for numerous nightclubs, corporate buildings, and high profile private clients.
In 2007, at the age of 26, Dustin became active in political advocacy through grassroots activism, independent investigative reporting, and campaign strategy. Dustin launched an organization called Community Watchdog Project for the primary purpose of exposing corruption connected to the ten term New Haven, Connecticut Mayor John DeStefano who was promoting the first-in-the-nation program to provide ID cards to illegal immigrants. Dustin was arguing that DeStefano was a crony capitalist who was hiding behind humanitarianism, and in fact hurting the African American work force by creating a magnet for cheap labor to move into the city, because DeStefano owned stake in a bank that was recruiting the illegal immigrants as customers. In less than two years, Dustin grew the organization into a network of over 1,300 active members and dozens of high profile whistleblowers. Dustin led a nine-day Freedom of Information hearing, the longest in Connecticut’s history, and was responsible for securing the assistance of DC-based Federation for American Immigration Reform, Center for Immigration Studies, and Immigration Reform Law Institute. During this time, Dustin launched a twice-weekly radio segment on 960WELI titled Watchdog Wednesday’s With Dustin “Digger” Gold hosted by Jerry Kristafer a longtime colleague of Glenn Beck, was featured by media outlets across the world including CNN’s Lou Dobbs Tonight and FOX’s Special Report With Brit Hume, and wrote a 600-page investigative report on the corruption connected to the Mayor which was subpoenaed by the U.S. District Attorney and lead to a Connecticut Congressional investigation and an FBI raid on a New Haven-based nonprofit. During this period, Southern Poverty Law Center named Dustin to its Top Ten Nativist Leaders list, which he’s been quoted as saying, “…if exposing a ring of corrupt politicians and fighting for the African American community lands me on SPLC’s bogus list then I will proudly wear it as a badge of honor.” Six years after the 600-page report was published, DeStefano retired from office and was appointed President of the bank, proving Dustin’s theory to be true.
Before dabbling in politics, Dustin was Art Director for Corporate Image International where he helped to build and expand their custom commercial art department, and worked on projects for numerous corporate entities, casinos, and healthcare facilities. The first company Dustin worked after graduating from college was The Theme Factory of Philadelphia, a set and prop company, where Dustin sculpted a 25 foot tall Statue of Liberty for Liberty Tax Consultants which is on display at several locations around the country and developed multiple three dimensional sets for The Philadelphia Zoo.
Dustin grew up in New Haven County, Connecticut, and was engrained with a creative spirit and entrepreneurial foundation from his mother who worked on the VONAGE start-up team, his maternal grandmother who sewed costumes for the Broadway rendition of Annie, and his father who was a self-employed private investigator. Besides managing WGe and focusing on non-traditional comedy-driven political tactics, Dustin has formed a technology start-up which is developing a semantic search backed mobile interface to help with voter targeting and messaging, and has co-written a fictional comedic mockumentary about the Hillary 2016 Presidential campaign which he is in the early stages of producing.
#drbencarson at #aha - one of the benefits of corporate entertainment… Access to some of the best speakers in the world.
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