Every January, AVN Media Network inducts a new batch of adult industry members and former members into the AVN Hall of Fame, celebrating their achievements in the industry.
Performers and directors enter AVN’s original video-based Hall of Fame, but there are other branches, too. The Internet Founders Branch celebrates those who built the online sector, and the Pleasure Products Branch is for manufacturers, distributors and retailers of sex toys. And the Executive Branch is populated by those who work behind the scenes in the C-suite or excel in other capacities—for example, in sales, marketing or education.
In all branches, a minimum of 10 years in the business is required for consideration. And in many cases, the inductees have served much longer.
The AVN Hall of Fame Class of 2019 will be officially inducted at the 2019 AVN Awards Show, which takes place January 26. And they’ll also be celebrated at the kickoff event to the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo (AEE), which will take place at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas tomorrow (January 22), the night before AEE begins. The Welcome Industry Cocktail Party runs 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. at the Center Bar in the main casino area, and is open to all trade attendees of AEE and the AVN Novelty Expo. Drink tickets are available from AVN staffers.
The 2019 AVN Awards will be hosted by adult str Romi Rain and cam star Bailey Rayne. The AVN Awards are presented by MyFreeCams. Fans may purchase general-admission tickets, VIP table seating options, or various packages. For more information, visit AVN.com/awards.
Hall of Fame – Video Branch
The 2013 AVN Female Performer of the Year made her adult film debut in 2006, becoming one of the winningest Asian stars of all time. The popular native New Yorker, whose Twitter bio accurately states “I have an award-winning asshole,” has performed in more than 700 adult films and has won more than 20 AVN Awards during her glittering career. The former Wicked Pictures contract star became Pornhub’s brand ambassador in 2018. The daughter of Japanese immigrants, Akira was only 19 when she was approached on the street in New York and asked whether she wanted to be a dominatrix. She then had a stint performing at a now-defunct sadomasochism club called the Nutcracker Suite before becoming a stripper at Manhattan's Hustler Club. When she later moved to Tampa, Fla., she became a regular on Sirius XM's “Bubba the Love Sponge Show,” where she performed light masturbation scenes on camera for a website set up by the radio program and became known as the “Show Whore.” It was on the show that she met fellow Hall of Famer Gina Lynn, who helped her get her her start in porn.
Thanks to her stunning looks, athletic body and uninhibited performances, Akira made a steady ascent before reaching new levels of stardom in January 2011, when she crushed the 28th annual AVN Awards, taking home trophies for Best Anal Sex Scene, Best Three-Way Sex Scene (G/B/B) and Best Douple Penetration Sex Scene, all from Elegant Angel's Asa Akira Is Insatiable, as well as Best All-Girl Three-Way Sex Scene from Elegant's Buttwoman vs. Slutwoman. In addition, Asa Akira Is Insatiable won the Fan Award for Favorite Movie. After co-starring in Brad Armstrong's Underworld, which was later named Movie of the Year at the 2014 AVN Awards, Asa Akira formally joined the Wicked family. A Fleshlight Girl since 2011, Asa is the author of two best-selling books—Insatiable and Dirty Thirty. (Read more about Asa Akira here.)
Editor Gabrielle Anex started her adult career in 1997, after graduating from UCLA film school. She made an impression at once, earning a 1998 AVN Award nomination for editing White Angel, directed by James Avalon and starring Stacey Valentine. Avalon told AVN, "I hired her when I was running post-production at Metro Home Video, and we were expanding, looking for editors. She was right out of film school, and one of the most gifted natural editors we interviewed. Had a great sense for timing and putting shots together. I put her on all our A projects at the time. Gifted and fun to work with."
During her two decades in adult, Anex has worked with many top directors, including Nic Andrews, Kelly Holland, Will Ryder, Andre Madness, Jacky St. James, Paul Thomas, David Stanley, Kayden Kross and Greg Lansky. "I always say that editing can make or break a movie," Jacky St. James said. "From her unconventional style in musical choices to her expert ability at understanding pace and timing, Gabrielle is easily one of the best editors ever to grace adult.” On the mainstream side, Anex's post-production editing work has been seen on Showtime, Spike TV, and KCAL, and she is a member of the Motion Picture Editors Guild, Women In Film, and Film Independent. She also invented Shi Shi, "the first sex toy for lesbian couples," for NS Novelties. Anex has received 19 AVN Awards nominations in her 21-year career, winning an AVN Award in 2016 for The Submission of Emma Marx: Boundaries. She was nominated this year for After Dark from Vixen/Jules Jordan. Anex told AVN, "I don't know how many other editors have been nominated 19 times but maybe it is a record," jokingly pointing out, "I believe I am losing my hearing due to 21 years of women screaming into my headphones."
Lexi Belle, the quintessential girl next door turned porn teen dream, just about grew up in the adult business, debuting at 18 and giving her first blowjob, having her first girl/girl experience—and even getting naked for the first time with the lights on—all in Porn Valley. A native of Independence, La., about 60 miles northeast of Baton Rouge, America’s Porn Sweetheart got booked early and often during her first full year in adult in 2006, paving the way for a terrific career that saw her win eight AVN Awards, including Best Boy/Girl Scene in 2012 for her torrid session with Manuel Ferrara in The Bombshells 3 for Elegant Angel. Belle won Best Oral Sex Scene the following year for her blow-bang in Massive Facials 4 (Elegant Angel). More than a gonzo performer, Belle also captured Best Supporting Actress in 2011 for her turn as Batgirl in Axel Braun’s AVN Award-winning Batman XXX: A Porn Parody for Vivid and played Marcia Brady in Not the Bradys XXX (X-Play/LFP).
Now a resident of Denver, Belle continues to tour the country as an in-demand feature dancer. She is also an avid snowboarder and loves cooking and eating a vegan diet. Among her other honors are 2010 AVN Best New Web Starlet; 2010 Best All-Girl Couples Sex Scene for her hook-up with Tori Black in Field of Schemes 5 (Girlfriends Films); 2013 Best Tease Performance with Remy LaCroix in Remy (Elegant Angel); 2013 Best Three-Way Sex Scene with Ramon Nomar and Mick Blue; and an AVN Fan Award in 2014 for Social Media Star. Belle also was crowned Penthouse Pet of the Month for May 2013 and was named the 2014 Penthouse Pet of the Year.
Frank Bukkwyd attributes his adult-industry career to "an act of God"—specifically, the 1994 Northridge earthquake. Adult-movie production shut down to recover from the damage, and when shooting started up again, writer Cash Markman enlisted Bukkwyd as a writing partner, creating Babewatch, a comic series parodying the mainstream TV show Baywatch. This led to his first screen credit under the Bukkwyd name and his first of many AVN Award nominations. When Markman moved into directing in 1996, Bukkwyd joined him as a production assistant, and when an actor didn’t show up for a bartending part, Bukkwyd stepped in. After that, his career as a non-sex actor grew as he earned a reputation as, Bukkwyd says, the "non-sex guy who could handle all that story-telling dialogue other performers found so annoying to learn." He worked steadily in four to six plot-driven productions a month, playing put-upon bosses, imperious generals, snooty butlers and mysterious authority figures.
Writer/director Will Ryder told AVN, "Frank Bukkwyd is a must-have actor for all of my movies because he plays characters perfectly and adds life and stability to everything I write. He helps make my stories believable. Great actors make good writers shine." And writer/director Brad Armstrong concurs: "Frank Bukkwyd is an amazing addition to any script-driven movie. He’s a brilliant actor with an extraordinary range of characters and accents in his repertoire. Whether the role is well worked out or loose and unspecific Frank can polish it, build on it and deliver a nomination worthy performance." Spellings of Bukkwyd's name vary—the name was coined by Markman reflecting his joking statement that "we're only doing this for the money" using three names for money: franc, buck, quid—and the number of his credits varies as well, with IAFD listing 135 and IMDb listing 180, and Bukkwyd himself saying the number could be even higher, "as much as double that ." Along with the acting credits is an impressive number of award nominations for non-sex roles and an equally impressive "perfect win record of absolutely zero, enabling me to maintain my rightful crown as the Susan Lucci of porn.'" Bukkwyd has been nominated again this year for his performance in The Cursed XXX from Adam & Eve Pictures.
A native of Trieste, Italy, Claudio came to the U.S. with his wife Tiziana in 1993. Two years later they entered the adult industry together, with her performing under the name Gina Rome. They worked as a pair but also with other partners. Claudio, already in early middle age, scored right away with his sturdy performances. Frequently cast in character roles, he worked for directors as diverse as Paul Thomas and Tom Zupko. He got to play a pirate in Wicked’s Conquest and impersonate a beloved cartoon character in the VCA parody Here Comes Magoof. He participated in quite a few gangbangs, including Houston’s record-setting 1999 marathon.
Moving behind the scenes, he started doing camera work in 1996, followed in 1998 by Tiziana working as an editor. Claudio continued to direct for several companies, including Red Light District. It was in 2015 that he formed an historic partnership with fellow European emigre Mick Blue, whom he had known for many years. BAM Visions LLC started releasing movies that same year through Evil Angel, a deal that continues to thrive. Actor-director Blue turned the technical side of the franchise over completely to the Italian couple. Also in 2015, Claudio—now billed as Maestro Claudio—created PervCity.com, owned by him and his wife, their very own online network, popular for fresh babes doing nasty things. He shoots all the product, occasionally jumping in as talent, and at age 64 acquitting himself admirably.
Is it Kiki Daire and Kiki D’Aire? Either way (or both), this busty gal from Memphis, Tennessee, is a familiar face in the adult entertainment industry. Daire made her on-screen debut in 1998, but before that she had already begun feature dancing. And during her two decades in the business (aside from the occasional hiatus), she’s racked up almost 400 screen credits and done a wide array of work from dancing to webcamming and making appearances at industry events—including a series of adult-friendly karaoke nights in 2018.
Among her early high-profile movies were California Calendar Girls (Elegant Angel, 1999), New Wave Hookers 7, (VCA, 2003) World's Luckiest Jock (Vivid, 2000) and Guilty Pleasures (Wicked Pictures, 2000). Since her most recent return to the business in 2011, Daire has been featured in a steady stream of scenes for a variety of companies. She also began to seek out more roles that involved acting. “I always enjoyed features,” Daire has said. “Whenever I was given a chance to act I found it a nice change of pace from the usual projects.” This past year, she had a non-sex acting role in the Severe Sex Films movie Mind Fucked: A Cult Classic, a 2019 AVN Award nominee for Best Drama. She recently worked for Desire Films and Fallout Films, among other studios, and offers up her own content on OnlyFans. D’Aire’s digital home, XXXKiki.com, is part of the Puba network.
Approaching Ron Jeremy as one of the most unlikely stars in the annals of adult—he began performing at the age of 52—Dirty Harry came by his later-life career turn honestly: He is part of a bona fide triple-X dynasty whose other members include nephews T.T. Boy and Talon (both of whom he now joins in the AVN Hall of Fame), as well as sons Shaun and Jacob, the former among the most in-demand crew professionals in the business, and the latter having worked both in front of and behind the camera. Born February 17, 1951 in the Bronx, Dirty Harry appeared in his first adult movie in 2002, and throughout the remainder of the ’00s worked steadily as a favorite of directors Jim Powers, Stoney Curtis and duo Grip and Cram Johnson (of the defunct Chatsworth Pictures), among others, with some of his most memorable moments of screen glory coming in the several editions in which he appeared of signature Ashley Blue series Girlvert (in fact, his work in volume 14 earned him a 2008 AVN Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor – Video).
The man had range, though: Over the course of his roughly 11 active years as a performer, he landed roles in a number of parodies—including not one but two of The Texas Chainsaw Massacres (he was cast as Grandpa in Rob Rotten’s 2007 take for Metro, The Texas Vibrator Massacre)—while also finding his way into projects for such refined auteurs as Paul Thomas, Michael Ninn and Dave Naz. Perhaps the pinnacle, however, in the curious porn trajectory of Dirty Harry, who now lives the retired life in Florida, was demarcated by his nomination at the 25th annual AVN Awards ceremony (the same year as his Girlvert 14 acting nod) for—yes, it’s the incontrovertible truth—Male Performer of the Year. Evan Stone took the trophy, but Dirty Harry will forever have that considerable feather in his cap.
Globe-trotting director Ed Hunter has spent two decades out in the field, shooting beautiful women for Third World Media, the company he co-founded with Steve Scott. Hunter’s adventures with the studio began in 1999, and since then the studio has amassed a library filled with hundreds of titles in hardcore ethnic niches. Hunter started off in Asia, shooting cis women and trans women in Naughty Little Asians and Little Asian Transsexuals. "Our films are shot all over the world, including Brazil, Japan and Thailand, so that we can give our customers fresh content with talent they haven't seen before," Hunter has stated.
The affable director has been given many nicknames over the years in the press releases sent out by TWM, among them Ed "Over Easy" Hunter, Ed "Hentai" Hunter, Ed "Tight Ass" Hunter and Ed "Spicy Meatball" Hunter. In addition to Thailand, which is one spot he has always frequented, Hunter has also shot in Brazil, Japan, Europe, Mexico, South America and the Philippines. Hunter is the recipient of the Transgender Erotica Award for Lifetime Achievement, and he is continuing to keep up his world travels, in search of stars for such titles as 10 Little Asians, Bangkok Bush, Euro Milk Juggs 8 and Sasquatch Pussy. If there's a niche to be filled—especially if it involves traveling to faraway lands—Ed Hunter is ready, willing and able.
Claiming the unrivaled distinction of having held exclusive contracts with three of the biggest studios in the adult entertainment universe, Kayden Kross has proven a force to be reckoned with since she entered the industry in 2006 as the very type of contract star upon which all others have been modeled: a Vivid Girl. She moved on to Adam & Eve Pictures in 2008, and then switched teams once more in 2010 to Digital Playground. It was there that she tried her hand for the first time at directing, with the all-girl production Girl Squared, which garnered a 2014 AVN Award nomination for Best All-Girl Release. Smitten with the allure of moviemaking, Kayden went on to helm a trio of ambitious projects for Evil Angel: star showcases Misha Cross: Wide Open and Carter Cruise: Wide Open, and quasi-parody Screwing Wall Street. At the same time, she joined forces with her former Digital Playground contract sister Stoya to form Trenchcoatx. While Stoya exited in 2017 to pursue other ventures, Kayden has forged ahead, earning her first trophy for directing with Tx's Sacrosanct at the 2018 AVN Awards. She parlayed that win into an ongoing directorial gig for Greg Lansky’s Vixen Media Group, resulting in two of this awards season’s most heralded projects, Abigail and After Dark … in addition to her own multi-nominated Tx efforts Trashy Love Story, Games We Play and The Female of the Species, to name a few.
Of course, Kayden’s accomplishments encompass far more than just those she’s racked up as a performer and director. A few highlights: She co-hosted the AVN Awards in 2010, holding her own alongside comedy great Dave Attell; she’s penned articles for the New York Times, Complex and the International Business Times; and she was one of the leading industry activists against AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s notorious 2012 ballot initiative Measure B, which made it a civil law violation to shoot adult content in Los Angeles County without the use of a condom. A true Renaissance woman, Kayden Kross will leave a legacy few could ever hope to achieve in this business … but luckily for us all, she’s far from finished.
Micky Lynn was well-known in the adult industry for nearly a decade, beginning in 1991, and only recently has made a comeback after spending several years as an adult boutique owner, cabaret dancer ... and mom. Back in the day, her ample chest and big blond hair got her plenty of jobs for such top companies as Evil Angel, Zane Entertainment, Dreamland Entertainment, Caballero and dozens more.
Since she's been back, most of her scenes have been for Score Group, but during her hiatus from adult filming, she's managed to keep her army of fans satisfied with her website, webcamming and merch like custom videos, T-shirts, 8x10s—and whatever DVDs have been released with her scenes; not that easy to find since DVDs were only first being released when she quit the biz. But now she's back, and ready for anything—though her current dream is to direct.
By the time 2019 gets underway Ramon Nomar will have appeared in over 2,000 sex scenes. That would be enough to do for a lesser man, but this Spanish import, at 6 feet and 200 pounds, is long, strong and likely to outlast most of his peers. A perennial nominee for AVN’s coveted Male Performer of the Year, he was born in Caracas, Venezuela, and grew up in the north of Spain, where in the late 1990s he first worked in sex films for producers like Barcelona-based Private. He appeared in the productions of some of the most prominent Europorn directors include Christophe Mourthe (Secrets of the Kama Sutra), Mario Salieri (Faust), Jose M. Ponce (Gothix) and the wildly inventive Narcis Bosch (Crazy Bullets, Hot Rats, Zapping). For about a decade he worked in Europe, most often for Private but also for Harmony, Magma, Marc Dorcel and Evil Angel directors Christoph Clark and Rocco Siffredi.
Around 2008 Ramon transitioned to the U.S. and swiftly became one of the most frequently employed males in the adult industry. Among many other skills, he acquired a rep as one of the savviest, most reliable men for double penetration scenes, often in tandem with fellow Euros Mick Blue, Manuel Ferrara and countryman Toni Ribas. Over the past decade Ramon has amassed an enormous amount of credits for Brazzers and an almost equal one for Kink.com. His talent as a ferociously demanding dom is extremely well documented. But he’s also capable of tenderness, earning him a place in the couples-oriented flicks of directors like Eddie Powell and Paul Woodcrest (the Innocence of Youth series). He says he likes to surf and dive in his free time, which from his crowded work schedule must be at a premium.
Serena—just "Serena," as she could get away with using just her first name, since when she joined the then-fledgling adult industry, there were few actresses to challenge that use—began making adult movies in the early 1970s, with her earliest dated credit being High School Honnies in 1973. Since then, she's gone on to appear in 114 original productions—and 83 compilations, which might be an adult industry record. Adult actress biographer Jill C. Nelson, in her masterwork Golden Goddesses, described Serena as a "true pioneer, artist, and star of her generation ... the very definition of individuality and freedom tantamount to an exclusive community of golden era, erotic film performers."
Much of Serena's output was for major production companies like VCX, Video-X-Pix, Caballero, Arrow Productions and a variety of producers who didn't survive in business. She, however, did survive—and more than most porn fans know, as she recounted her battle with bipolar disorder in her 2014 autobiography Bright Lights, Lonely Nights, her early romance with fellow porn star Jamie Gillis ("He was my beast, and I was his California blonde"), and her amnesia as a result of being in a coma in 2001. Now Serena has a new book out, titled Backstage Girls. Serena says the hardcover book is filled with photographs and poetry by Annie Sprinkle, Steve Zambrano, Baron Wolman and others, with text by her about the women backstage at the O'Farrell Theatre in San Francisco. Serena plans to attend the AVN Show and will be signing and selling her book.
Though this August will mark the 30th anniversary of his death, it’s not too late to induct such a colorful character into the AVN Hall of Fame. A real-life counterpart to the fictional characters on George Pelecanos and David Simon’s The Deuce series on HBO, Stevens was the toast of Manhattan during the Deep Throat porn chic era but succumbed to AIDS in 1989. Also known as Marc “10 ½” Stevens, he appeared in more than 80 movies and also performed in live sex shows and led an exotic dance troupe. Though primarily a performer in straight scenes, he made a number of gay movies as well. A friend to such stars as Tina Russell, Annie Sprinkle, Sharon Mitchell, Jamie Gillis, Georgina Spelvin and Gloria Leonard, he penned two autobiographies: Mr 10 1/2 and Making It Big.
In addition to his work in porn, Stevens also gained fame as an entrepreneur on the social circuit, throwing big parties in New York discos. He also was immortalized by photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in a 1976 work titled Mr. 10 ½, which features Stevens, his head out of the frame, wearing leather chaps and leaning over a granite block with his famous member on display. To read more about this native New Yorker, from his childhood in Brooklyn to his final days in Manhattan, we recommend the excellent article “The Wild Life and Tragic Fall of the New York Porno Party King” on TheRialtoReport.com.
Misty Stone exploded onto the adult scene in 2006, a lean, sexy beauty who was bound to become one of the hottest African-American porn queens of her time. Like the Los Angeles Lakers, she is a product of Inglewood, California, making that town truly a home of champions. A fiercely energetic sex performer, she also acquired a reputation as a smart, skillful actress whose dialogue scenes bristled with authority and truth. She has shone particularly in the features of Wicked Pictures director Brad Armstrong, including Ethnicity, Countdown, Speed and Men in Black: A Hardcore Parody, for which she snagged an AVN nomination for Best Solo Sex Scene.
Misty also forged a bond with parody creator Will Ryder, who has employed her considerable gift for comedy in Not the Cosbys XXX, Flintstones: a XXX Parody, Not Airplane XXX: Flight Attendants, Not Airplane XXX: Cockpit Cuties, Not Traci Lords XXX, and most recently in his horror thriller The Cursed XXX (Adam & Eve). Other Misty Stone films of note include Jessica Drake’s Guide to Wicked Sex: Female Masturbation and Stormy Daniels’ Dirty Deeds (Wicked). Axel Braun, no less, shot her star showcase, Misty Stone Superstar, for Hustler Video (2012). She also holds the distinction of being the first African-American star to become a Fleshlight Girl. 2018 saw Misty burn up the screen as a DEA agent in Kelly Madison Media’s Cartel Sex, earning her AVN nominations as both Best Supporting Actress and Best Boy-Girl Sex scene with James Deen. That same year, she crossed over into mainstream acting with an acclaimed performance in the comedy Three on a Ring, at Hollywood’s Barnsdall Gallery Theater. After more than a decade in porn she is just beginning to spread her wings.
India Summer has accumulated more than 1,200 scene credits since 2006—a statistic that’s truly impressive. But what’s even more noteworthy is the overall quality of her work, and the undeniable fact that she’s still at the top of her game. Perhaps Summer says it best on her Twitter page, describing herself as an “actress specializing in athletic and artistic love scenes.” Her lean, all-natural body gives evidence of a level of fitness that allows her to shoot for such movies as Third Degree’s Gangbangin’ the Teacher, in which she takes on Bill Bailey, Chad Alva, Nat Turnher, Rob Piper and Steve Holmes. And as for artistic love scenes, the examples are everywhere—though perhaps none of her 2018 scenes are more evocative of true love scenes than her work with Tommy Pistol in Mike Quasar’s Hollywood Ending (Wicked Pictures).
That movie is just one of several that were worthy of consideration for an acting nomination in this year’s AVN Awards, but the one that is in the running for Best Actress - Feature at the 2019 AVN Awards is her complex performance in Hank Hoffman’s Flawless (also from Wicked). She gave other strong performances in Becoming Elsa, Criminal Passions, The Puppeteer … and in A Mother’s Choice (Pure Taboo), which earned her a second nomination in the Best Actress – Featurette category. Summer already has a quartet of AVN Awards in her possession, including a 2011 award for Best Actress for her role in An Open Invitation: A Real Swinger’s Party in San Francisco (Kink.com/Private/Pure Play). She’s been nominated for MILF Performer of the Year ten years running, and has taken home the trophy in 2012, 2014 and 2015. And though she can’t compete in the All-Girl Performer of the Year category, since she also works with men, Summer’s excellence as a girl/girl performer can be witnessed in the more than 300 girl/girl scenes she’s done in her career, many for such leading companies as Girlfriends Films (where she formerly was a contract star), Sweetheart Video and Girlsway.
Hall of Fame – Executive Branch
Bernard Braunstein and Ed Braunstein
Though Bernard Bernstein passed away many years ago, he’s still very much on the mind of his son, Edwin, so it’s fitting that the two be inducted into the AVN Hall of Fame together. Edwin recounts the story of how Deluxe got started. Bernard opened a retail space, Deluxe Business Machines, in the small town of Elmira, New York. Originally he was planning to sell office machines, such as typewriters and mimeographs. But then a local widow reached out to Bernard and asked him to sell her late husband’s collection of erotica. Then another widow came calling. Even though they were sold quietly out of a brown paper bag at the counter, everything flew out the door. So Bernard headed to Times Square to buy more books and magazines—and soon he had a line of credit and regular deliveries. It was a great arrangement, except for the constant threat of arrest on charges of obscenity.
Edwin himself originally planned to go to law school, but he decided to spend the summer working for his father and there he found his true calling. As the adult industry changed, so did Deluxe. First girlie magazines, then loops and 8mm films, followed by Super 8, which gave way to video cassettes—both Beta and VHS—which were supplanted by DVDs. And of course there were the toys, starting with rubber dildos his father purchased from Marty Tucker at United, who went on to found Topco Sales, and also from the East Coast-based manufacturer Nasstoys. These days, pleasure products are front and center in the various retail outlets owned by Deluxe and operating under several different names up and down the East Coast. But Edwin is most proud of his newest venture, XOlogy, a pleasure toy store in a suburb of Baltimore. It’s a couples-friendly place, he says, welcoming to all genders and sexual orientations. And, he points out, he owes it all to his dad. And indeed, all retailers owe a debt of gratitude to Bernard and the men of his generation, who risked arrest to bring pleasure to the people.
Every performer—from newbies to journey-women to porn superstars—has met Renae Englehart and probably has a story about her. A colorful, strong personality who has been the production coordinator for New Sensations/Digital Sin since 1999, Englehart got her start in adult as an accountant for Video Fantasy in 1984 when 16mm was giving way to Beta videocassettes. Though she would never admit it, she’s been an integral part of helping discover some of the adult industry’s biggest names. In order to land in a New Sensations movie, a performer must first receive Englehart’s stamp of approval. The native of Brooklyn, N.Y., is one of adult’s enduring gatekeepers, a Renaissance woman who possesses a legendary eye for talent. Her career path has also included accounting gigs for AVN Awards Executive Producer Gary Miller and the late Mark Stone’s former studio, Moonlight Entertainment; foreign sales for Metro and assorted duties for Sin City.
“I've worked for the fathers of this industry—with the men and women that have set ground for this industry,” she says. “I started from reels to Beta to VHS to CD to DVD. For more than 30 some odd years, I've seen the industry go through so many changes and challenges and I've grown and changed with it. My career started in the early 80s; it's now almost 2020! I wouldn't be here this long if I didn't find a challenge every day. … The challenge is finding that girl. Getting those girls in here, getting the right girls in here. Years ago, it was contract girls. It's different now. Every day, it's what girl is going to walk into my office and I'm gonna go, ‘Yes, she's the full package!' Finding that one girl. If I could describe her to you, I would.”
Jim Kohls co-founded industry powerhouse Pulse Distribution in August 2005, building the company into the world’s leading DVD manufacturer’s representative across multiple media platforms, including DVD, broadcast and internet formats. Under Kohls’ leadership, Pulse now distributes DVDs for more than 60 adult studios, including several AVN Award-winning brands such as Blacked, Vixen, Tushy, Brazzers, Digital Playground, Lethal Hardcore, Naughty America, Porn Pros, Pure Taboo, Red Light District, Reality Kings and Falcon Studios Group. Kohls, the former president of LFP—better known as Larry Flynt’s Hustler empire—formed Pulse with Mark Hamilton, who is the former executive vice president of LFP. Kohls started his career at Hustler as VP of sales in 1978, four years after LFP was founded. He was promoted to VP of Operations in 1980, when he moved to California, and then went on to run the day-to-day operations as president of LFP from 1992 to 2005. While in his post as president, Kohls guided LFP through a remarkable growth phase that included the launch of the video, internet and retail divisions as the Hustler brand took on a life of its own. A native of Wisconsin who graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Kohls also acquired Giant Media—parent company of niche porn stalwart Devil’s Film—in January 2017.
Hall of Fame – Internet Founders Branch
Nick Chrétien is the founder and president of the blue-chip adult CPA network, CrakRevenue. Ambitious, dedicated and unafraid to break the mold, Chrétien has been pushing boundaries in adult entertainment for almost 15 years. The entrepreneur heads an industry-leading company that specializes in web traffic monetization and online marketing solutions. Under Chrétien’s leadership, CrakRevenue has become widely known for bringing emerging technologies and superior analytics into the industry. The keynote speaker at the 2018 Internext Expo in Las Vegas, Chrétien’s journey famously began with “50 Japanese girls in a phone cabin” — the viral video that started it all in 2004, when he and his group of friends realized there was money to be made with internet traffic. He worked from the beach in Mexico for a while as his company grew at a remarkable rate in the mid-to-late 2000s, but now he oversees his global operation from his headquarters in Quebec City. With additional offices in Montreal and Cyprus, Chrétien & Co. launch thousands of ads and hundreds of landing pages every month in more than 200 countries and territories. Today CrakRevenue drives more than 50 billion page impressions every month. Armed with a passion for numbers and a flare for design, Chrétien combines his in-depth understanding of the business with a sense of partnership that brings value to CrakRevenue’s diverse client base. His company paid out more than $300 million to its 35,000-plus affiliates around the world—in 2018 alone. Prior to founding CrakRevenue, Chrétien worked for the Canadian government, bartended, ran a nightclub and also produced raves in Quebec.
Stan Fiskin, known throughout the adult tech community as Stan D’Aman, founded AdultCentro, an evolutionary leased content platform that provides full administrative control and premium earning potential for both site owners and producers. AdultCentro empowers tens of thousands of models, powering a cutting-edge suite of features, such as a library of content in multiple niches, speeds, formats and languages. For content owners and studios, regardless of size, AC has become a highly effective way to optimize their own earnings by leasing content to the largest network of pay-sites and feeds. Fiskin immigrated to the United States in 1995, taking an immediate interest in the entrepreneurial spirit of his new country and starting his first business as a webmaster in 1996. From that early start until today and moving into the future, Stan has continued to innovate and inspire a growing team of talented professionals whose contributions have helped him succeed with brands such as LikeWhoa.com Hosting in 1998, Envisionext, AdultDesign.com, AdultCentro, CentroBill, ModelCentro and FanCentro. Creating, adapting and evolving brands based on market trends to stay ahead of the curve, earning significant revenue and creating a competitive advantage for clients is what Stan is passionate about and it shows in his non-stop approach to growing his expanding empire.
Mitch Fontaine started a porn media empire from his bedroom inside an overcrowded punk house in New Brunswick, N.J. With only the help of close friend and college roommate Joanna Angel, the pair founded BurningAngel in 2002, cobbling together guerrilla photo and video shoots on a primitive blogging platform to form a website that would usher in a new genre of porn, eschewing perfect blond hair and breast implants for women adorned with tattoos and piercings. The self-made entrepreneur, whose sole business experience to that point included selling Nintendo 64 games to teenagers at GameStop, took over the operational side of the business, transforming the small shop run out of his $300-per-month apartment half a mile from the Rutgers campus into a full-fledged adult enterprise that has included a network of websites, more than 200 DVDs, and a deep catalogue of merchandise and licensing deals.
Mirroring the D.I.Y. ethic of the punk and hardcore scene he grew up in, Fontaine pressed the first BurningAngel DVD himself and personally mailed each of the more than 10,000 copies that the company sold without any formal distribution network. Throughout his 16 years at the helm, he has been a hands-on, self-taught CEO who did everything from booking shoots and producing videos to making post office runs himself. During that time, BurningAngel has racked up more than 100 industry awards, including Specialty Affiliate Program of the Year and Best Porn Star Website (over four years in a row), for his work on JoannaAngel.com. BurningAngel has also garnered a wide array of mainstream media coverage, including features from The New York Times, CNBC, Vice and The New York Observer. The mysterious CEO has stayed largely out of the public eye—especially compared to his partner, the princess of punk porn, Joanna Angel—which has enabled him to run an empire without ever changing out of his pajamas.