TKG Chairman, President & CEO

James J. Kaufman

Mr. Kaufman is the founder, chairman and CEO of The Kaufman Group, Ltd.  Before retiring, he served as a practicing attorney for over 36 years, a judge for 14 years, and has been active in business, concentrating in the fields of:

Banking, finance, lender liability, corporate, business, strategic planning, restructuring, turnarounds and workouts, health care, and all phases of significant litigation. He has represented banks, foreign and domestic corporations, manufacturers, automobile and marine distributors, dealers, and suppliers, real estate developers and health care providers. Mr. Kaufman’s expertise addresses all aspects of start-up, successful, and distressed companies, including SOT, floor plan and capital financing defaults, strategic negotiations and mediations, acquisitions, mergers, and reconstruction of assets.

In the health care sector, Mr. Kaufman has served as Special Counsel on business/cost containment issues involving the Florida/Medicaid – US Tobacco Litigation; has represented hospitals, doctors, nurses, and others in the health care industry including negotiation and closing of a multimillion dollar A&M of a complex radiological practice and litigation and interstate negotiation with multiple hospitals and other providers.

In the automobile sector, he has represented and provided comprehensive business and strategic advice and guidance to mega dealers including extensive floor plan, SOT and other negotiations with manufacturers, banks and captives; litigation and “hands-on” operational experience. He has lectured at numerous JD Powers Round Tables and NADA annual meetings.

In the finance sector, he has represented banks and mortgage lenders and mortgage brokers, engaging in strategic workouts of multimillion dollar loans and Federal litigation against major securities firms; he has litigated and provided strategic advice and counsel on substantial cases to various corporations throughout the US in multimillion dollar lender liability suits against banks and other lenders.

In the corporate sector, Mr. Kaufman, a negotiator and certified mediator (trained by Duke, Durham, North Carolina and Learn from the Masters, Dallas, Texas), has served as strategic advisor to numerous corporations and boards and has written extensive SEC/Blue Sky offering and private placements plans.

In the international business sector, Mr. Kaufman has served as legal counsel and worked with companies in Australia, Europe, Italy, Greece, and China (including joint ventures with the China National Corporation of Medicine and founded Danamer, a joint venture between a US city and Dandong, China).

In the marine sector, he served Riviera Marine as its first East Coast Distributor, US operations manager, President and CEO of Riviera Yachts of the Americas and continues to serve Riviera as a senior advisor; created the Blue-Ribbon Panel with the marine CEOs of Caterpillar and Cummins; engaged in negotiation with and provided strategic advice to GEC regarding a broad range of highly problematic marine dealer floor plan issues. Currently, he has developed a unique Price Point Analysis which enables TKG’s Marine Analytic Division to assist marine manufacturers in making current, effective, and up to date pricing decisions for their products.

Mr. Kaufman’s government service includes having served as a delegate to the US/China Joint Session on Trade, Investment & Economic Law in Beijing, China; a member of the New York 7th Judicial Grievance Committee and New York Policy and Ethics Committee; a Town Justice for 14 years; Counsel of the Genesee Regional Health Planning Council, Chairman of the Genesee Regional Health Planning Council Noise Task Force; a panel member of the Commerce Technical Advisory Board on Noise Abatement; Legislative Assistant, Administrative Assistant and Legal Counsel to Congressman Theodore R. Kupferman (US House of Representatives, 17th Congressional District, Washington, DC) where he drafted the nation’s first noise control legislation and was thereafter engaged by the government to review and assess all the noise ordinances in the US.

Mr. Kaufman’s publications include: Noise, a Problem to be Heard, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC; Control of Noise Through Laws and Regulations, American Speech and Hearing Assoc., Washington, DC; What to do Before the Money Runs Out – A Road Map for America’s Automobile Dealers; and Trial Structure and Conduct, North Carolina Trial & Appeal, West Publishing, American Inns of Court Civil Procedure, and The Collectibles Trilogy, three best-selling novels  (The Collectibles, The Concealers, and The Conciliators).

Ratings: During his legal practice, Mr. Kaufman enjoyed Martindale-Hubbell’s highest “AV” rating (1976-2002) and being listed in Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers.

Until recently, Mr. Kaufman was, for many years, a member of the esteemed Players, Gramercy Park, and a member of the preeminent Union League Club, both in New York City, as well as a member of the Cape Fear Club in Wilmington, NC. He is also a former Board Member and Chairman of Imaging the World (ITW), a not-for-profit health care company delivering ultrasound services to Uganda and other underserved populations and in the process saving many lives.

Kaufman lives in Tradition, Port St. Lucie, Florida, with his wife.

Director, Health & Hospitals

George Kalkines

Mr. Kalkines’ expertise focuses on all aspects of health care law, including corporate organization, regulatory compliance, finance and reimbursement matters.

His expertise also involves physician and faculty practice arrangements, capital financing, labor relations, collective bargaining, and medical/legal issues; substantial experience in representing financially distressed institutions and assisting in the planning, financing and construction of health care facilities; substantial experience in strategic planning and network development; financial turnarounds, planning and implementation including pre and post-bankruptcy restructurings.

Mr. Kalkines has served as general or special counsel to voluntary, public and proprietary health care providers, including academic medical centers, acute and specialty care hospitals, nursing homes, faculty practice plans and ambulatory care organizations.

Mr. Kalkines was a member of the Special Mayoral Task relating to the restructuring of the NYC’s public hospital system leading to the creation and implementation of the NYC Health and Hospital Corp. He subsequently served as Secretary and General Counsel. Mr. Kalkines has organized and led a number of legislative initiatives to enhance provider reimbursement and to establish special capital financing programs for financially distressed institutions.

Honors & Awards
Named as one of the Top-Ranked Attorneys, Chambers USA, 2006-2008.
Included in The Best Lawyers in America for more than ten years.

Finance Director-Europe & US - Jason Ornstein passed away on April 24th, 2023

J.M. Ornstein

Mr. Ornstein has over seven years of investment banking and corporate development experience at senior levels.

During his business career, Mr. Ornstein worked on Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A), Privatizations, Divestitures, Joint-Ventures, Strategic Alliances, Government Relations, and Business Development.

In 2003, Mr. Ornstein joined the Army and was assigned to 10th Special Forces Group where he deployed three times to Iraq with distinction, earning the Bronze Star. While in the military, Mr. Ornstein achieved the highest level of US Government Counterintelligence training. Mr. Ornstein has his BA in International Finance from the University of Miami and an MBA from Bocconi University in Milan.

Mr. Ornstein speaks English, Portuguese and Italian. He lives in England where he designs market entry strategies for a portfolio of international companies.

I regret to inform you that Jason Ornstein unexpectedly passed away on April 24th, 2023. He was an exceptional person and an integral part of TKG.  He will be sorely missed. James  J. Kaufman, Founder, Chairman and CEO.

TKG VP & Chairman, Global Health

Steven P. Braff, MD

Dr. Braff is neuroradiologist at ProScan in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is formally Professor of Radiology, Neurology, and Neurosurgery at the University of Vermont School of Medicine, and Former Chief of Radiology at Fletcher Allen Healthcare in Burlington, Vermont.

He has an international reputation as a leader in Radiology, with particular expertise in the relationship between industry and medicine. His group has strategic partnerships and luminary relationships with twelve healthcare companies.

Senior VP & Chief Operating Officer

Ryan Matthes

Mr. Matthes has over 15 years of Tactical Operations, Procurement, Accounting Operations, and Supply Chain Strategy and Management experience for Fidelity—globally.

During his business career, Ryan has served on both sides of the organizational table – as a Third-Party Senior Advisory Consultant and as a Business functional leader.

Additionally, Ryan is currently Vice President of Procurement Programs (Premikati, Inc) with a start-up Procurement Strategy and Solutions organization, which is one of five BPO Partners to SAP Ariba on their Procurement applications and software.

Ryan and his family recently relocated to Durham, North Carolina from Albuquerque, NM.  In addition to his work with Premikati, Inc, Ryan will devote his energies as TKG’s new Senior Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer. In that capacity, Ryan will be able to apply his multiple skill sets, extensive experience and can do—get it done attitude and approach to. Helping TKGMA attract new business (marine manufacturers and others) not only to receive Price Point Analyses but also expose them to the other sectors of TKG to help them—particularly in the areas of finance, floor plans, dealer relations, reconstruction or turn around work. That’s the cross pollination of benefits TKG’s clients can receive.

Arnie Hammerman

Arnie has over 25 years of experience in marine sales, marketing, and operations. In addition to this he has held a USCG captain’s license since 1985.He has and continues to work for various media outlets with articles published in Southern Boating, SEA Magazine, OCEAN, PassageMaker, Yachting, and Marine Electronics Journal.

He is the former publisher of POWER & MOTORYACHT and helped found ANGLERS JOURNAL, the fastest growing new fishing publication in the U.S. Previous to that he was the Western and Pacific Rim Regional Director for the Bonnier Corporation, working for such prestigious publications as YACHTING, Boating, Saltwater Sportsman, Marlin, Sportfishing, Cruising World and Sailing World.

Arnie and his partner Janet Green created Brand Builder Media, a marketing strategy and creative solutions company in 2008. As a one of the principals, Arnie continues to help companies grow utilizing complex modern marketing techniques. Using analytical tools to evaluate the marketplace and then developing and implementing business plans and media strategies, Arnie has been able to help a variety of companies grow and achieve or surpass their goals.

He specializes in the marine marketplace as his knowledge of boatbuilding, dealer operations, marine electronics, equipment, and repair is unprecedented. His extensive network of industry contacts allows him to find and develop innovative solutions as well as the resources needed to accomplish them.

Arnie is serving his second term on the Mukilteo, Washington Planning Commission and is the 2018 planning commission Chairman. He along with the other commissioners work with the mayor, city council, and city planning department to clarify city ordinances, zoning and municipal code. They also work for and with the city’s citizens to keep Mukilteo safe and make it a great place to live and work.

Arnie served on the board and was the president for two years of The Japanese Gulch Group, a 501 C3 non-profit in the Pacific Northwest. He helped save an urban forest area from destruction and turned it into a regional park. His efforts included fund raising, events, public speaking, writing articles for newspapers, building ad campaigns and countless hours meeting with local, county and state officials in order to obtain the funding necessary to purchase the 100-acre tract from private owners and insure that it remains open to the public forever. His leadership in this endeavor shows that a small vocal group can have a large impact if they focus their efforts and communicate effectively.

Arnie currently lives outside of Seattle, Washington with his wife and two sons. When not using his countless connections in the marine industry to strategize and implement business plans and marketing programs, he can be found cruising the local waters of Puget Sound and the Canadian Gulf islands aboard his boat. He is an avid life-long sailor and power boater and still delivers boats across oceans from time to time to keep his skills fresh and for the challenge and exhilaration of being out at sea on a small vessel.


Rehabilitation & Hospital Administration

Michael de Cardenas, MD

Dr. de Cardenas completed his specialty in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas in 1983.

He then completed a fellowship in Cardio Pulmonary Rehabilitation at Baylor College in 1984. At the present time, he is the Corporate Medical Director for Preferred Care in Plano, Texas.

He serves as Vice President of Operations for Select Specialty Hospitals in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. He also serves as Corporate Medical Development for Rehab Care in St. Louis, Missouri, as well as being a Member of their Medical Advisory Board. In his 25 years of experience as a Physiatrist, he has helped built multiple Rehabilitation Hospitals, Outpatient Therapy Centers, and Skilled Nursing Facilities.

He had previously served as the Medical Director of HealthSouth for South Florida, as well as a member of the Medical Board for Continental Medical Systems. He has also served as an Advisor in the Development of Rehabilitation Hospitals and Outpatient Centers in Spain, Mexico and Central and South America. He has a keen interest and expertise in developing specialty programs for both Skilled Nursing Facilities and Rehabilitation Hospitals.

He currently resides in Coral Gables, Florida where he is President and Chief of Staff at West Gables Rehabilitation Hospital and of West Gables Healthcare Center. Dr. de Cardenas has extensive medical and business contacts throughout North, Central and South America, Mexico and Spain.

Health Care Strategy & Patient Care

Robert Lee Brownlow, Jr., MD

Dr. Brownlow is the owner and founder of Cape Fear Retinal Associates, P.C. located in Wilmington, NC where he practices as a Board Certified Ophthalmologist, retina specialist, and surgeon.

Dr. Brownlow is licensed in North Carolina, Virginia, and District of Columbia. He lives in Wilmington, NC. Dr. Brownlow has recently been honored with a PATIENTS CHOICE recognition. Of the nation’s 720,000 active physicians, less than 5% were accorded this honor in 2008.

TKG Australia

Peter Morrell

Mr. Morrell is an attorney in Australia with over 35 years commercial experience, concentrating in foreign trade.

He is presently involved with over 40 industries and knows not only in Australia but also in the 30 Nation States comprising the South Pacific area.

Oncology and Hospital Education

James Rooney, MD

Dr. James Rooney is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Massachusetts at Worcester, Ma. in the division of Hematology and Oncology.

He is the Chief of Hematology and Oncology at the Reliant Medical Group in Worcester. The Reliant Medical Group is a 250 provider group practice in the central portion of Massachusetts.

He has experience in individual patient management across a broad spectrum of malignant and neoplastic processes. He works closely with consultants in the Boston area. In addition, he has experience in operations of a large group practice and HMOs.

Always drawn to the water, he has enjoyed scuba and snorkeling. He now resides lakeside on Lake Chaubunagungamaug also known as Webster Lake in Webster, Ma.

Florida Legal & Strategic Manager

F. Steven Herb

Mr. Herb is Senior Counsel in the law firm of Kirk-Pinkerton, P.A. in Sarasota, FL. having practiced in Sarasota since 1978. Mr. Herb’s firm has for over 102 years been one of the preeminent firms in Southwest Florida.

Mr. Herb’s area of concentration is business law, including both the legal and strategic planning aspects of the needs of his clients.

Mr. Herb’s clients have included many of the most recognized names in the boating industry, including Riviera Yachts, Donzi Marine, Pro-Line Boats, Genmar Industries (Wellcraft, Hatteras, Glastron, Larson, Lund, Crestliner, Ski Supreme, Windsor Craft, Aquasport, Triumph), Cruisers Yachts, Rampage Sport Fishing Yachts , Shamrock Boats, Grady White Boats, Californian Yachts, Navigator Yachts, Phoenix Yachts, World Cat Boats, Jupiter International, Volvo Penta Marine, Marine Concepts,and others.

His knowledge and experience in the marine industry also include virtually all segments of that industry, including dealers, component manufacturers, engine manufacturers, suppliers, marinas, and yacht clubs. Mr. Herb is also the joint author of Recreational Boating Law, and Benedict on Admiralty (Vol. 8), both published by Matthew Bender & Co.

Mr. Herb’s practice has also included business areas other than the marine industry, including banks and other financial institutions, automobile dealerships, non-marine manufacturers of goods, manufacturer’s reps, service industry businesses, real estate (residential and commercial), governmental law, and private utilities. Mr. Herb’s experience includes testifying before legislative bodies on behalf of his business clients regarding proposed or pending legislation. He has experience as a Director, Chairman, President, or Managing Partner of a Credit Union, a Private Utility, a Yacht Club, The American Boat and Yacht Council, his law firm, a not for profit Florida Charter High School and Middle School, charitable organizations, and Homeowner Associations. Mr. Herb is qualified to serve as an Arbitrator in commercial disputes.

Mr. Herb served as a United States Air Force Judge Advocate from 1975 through 1978 and was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal and the Air Force Commendation Medal.

Mr. Herb’s experience, skill sets, character, and knowledge bring to the TKG a unique ability to understand, evaluate, access, and assist our clients and their needs, both business, and legal, as well as manage complex legal issues.



Chief Digital Officer and President, Entertainment

Jeffrey Kaufman

TKG’s Entertainment service is led by Jeffrey Kaufman, a digital brand marketing and entertainment media executive with over 25 years of experience in programming, marketing, technology, and innovation at both major networks and corporations, and cutting-edge start-ups and new media businesses, who specializes in creating and defining new media business models, deploying custom digital content and experiences across multiple platforms, and helping brands navigate and succeed in evolving media landscapes.

He has led new media strategy at NBC, YouTube, and MTV, where for over a decade he ran programming research and strategic brand planning, applying data and insights to all areas of the business and leading strategy around taking the brand into new and emerging media spaces.  He spent six years as Head of Digital for USA Network and SYFY at NBCUniversal, leading all digital initiatives and properties including content, editorial, product development, design, monetization, and programming strategy, driving groundbreaking digital activations around award-winning and critically acclaimed shows such as Mr. Robot, The Sinner, Chrisley Knows Best, The Purge, Suits, Krypton and the Magicians, and receiving numerous industry awards including multiple Cannes Lions, Shortys, Webbys, Reggies, Clios, PromaxBDA and IAC Awards, as well as three consecutive Emmy nominations.

Mr. Kaufman has helmed and launched some of the most successful channels in social media including Smosh (#1 most subscribed channel on YouTube), The Chopra Well with Deepak Chopra (+34MM views) and Smosh Games (fastest-growing channel in history, with 1MM subscribers in first 3 months).  He created the editorial, content, strategic marketing, and brand integration functions at Howcast, one of the first fully distributed new media companies (7.5 MM subscribers and +3.7 billion views to date), and he co-created NBBC, the world’s first network digital video syndication marketplace, and was a key player in launching streaming giant Hulu  (+28MM subscribers to date).