Author Sam Woodward
Who is one of the industry’s most humble and elusive talent managers that many talent seek out, but only the chosen few get to be represented? Craig Rogalski who has been described as one of the most humble, shy, but powerful and influential Talent Managers in the business. Roglaksi again this year made our Forbes 50 under 50 list. However for Rogalski he prefers to shy away from the limelight his clients seek. Rogalski likes his quiet time at home, rather than heading to those places his clients are regularly at. Rogalski prefers to stay behind his talent rather than stepping in front of them, he has said “ The only time I step in front of a talent is to protect them!”
Rogalski is the Founder and the current Managing Talent Manager of CK Talent Management. He’s been called “The Most Elusive Talent Manager in Hollywood” (US Magazine) and “The Manager Hollywood’s Elite Secretly Seek Out” (London Daily Post). In 2020 he was named as one of the Hottest Talent Managers to be represented on a publications 25 hottest list and by another publication to be in the top 10 of Hollywood’s most powerful talent managers. Rogalski has consistently made several who’s who lists for the past couple of years. Also several publications have called his agency the next generation of talent management agencies.
Last year we at Forbes placed him on our 50 under 50 CEO’s along with Elon Musk and several other CEO’s who have made a mark on their respective industries, he again this year made that same list. Many in the industry professionals say his straightforward and honest approach to representing his clients has garnered him close connections to some of the Titans various industries.
Rogalski’s political and entertainment connections run deep, he has close connections to the Director of National Intelligence Susan Gordon, Vice President Al Gore, US Attorney General Janet Reno, CIA Director John Brennan, Chief Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court Fatou Bensouda, US Army Assistant Surgeon General Norvell Coots, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations Michael Lumpkin, Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning, President American Bankers Association Governor Frank Keating, Congressman Alcee Hastings and several members of the Saudi Royal family. He was a key supporter of Fatou Bensouda’s , a Gambian Lawyers bid to be the first female and African to be the Chief Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court. She later wrote him a very nice thank you letter for his support which he keeps framed at his home.
In entertainment and sports some of the people he has been linked to are Richard Plepler (CEO/HBO), Craig Kallman (CEO/Atlantic Records), Roger Goodell (Commissioner/NFL), Adam Silver (Commissioner/NBA), George Killebrew (Commissioner/MLR), Lora Kennedy (VP/Warner Brothers Studios), Martin Blencowe (CEO/Cameo), Ben Francis (CEO/Gymshark) and Yolanda Urbanski (Vice President/NBA).
Rogalski is also a member of the Renaissance Group (Renaissance Weekend) an invite only group whose members include Past US Presidents, Prime Ministers, US Supreme Court Justices and several Nobel Prize Winners. He is also a consultant on the entertainment industry for Guidepoint which is the largest consultancy firm in the world. He advises the entertainment industries stake-holders including Hollywood Studios, financial institutions, etc. on the entertainment industry. Rogalski holds memberships in many industry organizations, including: the British Film Institute, North American Society for Sports Management, The Television Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Spirit Awards. This year Rogalski was appointed by the Board of Governors for the TV Academy to be a judge for the Daytime Emmy’s and the Children’s Emmy Awards.
During his appointment as US Attorney General Janet Reno Policy Advisor, he worked closely with Martin Sheen (West Wing) on immigration rights.
Besides his friendships with the who’s who of celebrities, Rogalski’s professional connections in the entertainment industry also run at the highest levels. As far as actors, he also has a friendship with Actor Omar Sharif Jr. the son of actor Omar Sharif Sr. (Lawrence of Arabia).
Some of these connections also include Richard Plepler (Former CEO of HBO), Lora Kennedy (VP/Warner Brothers Studios), Caroline McCarley (VP/Travel Channel) and Amy Brit (Sr VP/Showtime).
Rogalski prefers to keep his personal life off the radar, he has been with and married to his husband Ken for 18 years. They live a very low key life and prefer to keep it that way, far from the glamor his talent seek. Despite having an impressive net worth, they live on a normal street, in a normal neighborhood, that most would find themselves living on. Similar to how Steve Jobs lived and Warren Buffett lives. Rogalski also made head waves this past year when he acquired a minor stake in the UK football team Manchester United, the Rogalski’s also already have a stake in Tesla. Rogalski is currently working on setting up a scholarship named after his late mother in-law whom he was close to, in order to support those studying holistic arts at university which she was a patron of.
They were married by Oprah Winfrey friend, Judge Lisa Bloch-Rodwin who was a frequent guest on her show. We hear that Rogalski wrote his own vows and incorporated quotes from Pocahontas and Mary Queen of Scots since his husband Ken is a direct descendant of both.
True to his political connections, when he got married one of the many congratulations he received was in the form of a letter from former US Vice President Al Gore, who wished him congratulations on his nuptials. Gore was supposed to officiate the wedding, but was committed already to do a book tour in Europe at the time. This was the first time that the former Vice President let his position be publicly known on marriage equality. Rogalski met Gore (a close family friend) through his cousin Sandy Greenberg, whose father Carl, Rogalski is named after.
Rogalski’s husband owns a Tech company, he is very low key, more so than Rogalski, so much is not known about him. We do know that his husband worked at IBM and NASA. Roglaski’s husband has been in the Tech field since graduating from the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). The two grew up in Buffalo NY where Rogalski attended Sweet Home Sr. High and his husband attended Orchard Park High School. After graduating college, Rogalski left Buffalo, NY to attend Penn State Law School, he then returned to his hometown and went into the MBA program at Canisius College.
Rogalski’s husband, Ken, is so disinterested in the industry that they hardly ever attend public industry events together because of this. He has said in interviews that he named CK after him and his husband using their initials to make it personal. He has said that he incorporates his husband’s ethics into the agency, he has said multiple times his husband is the most ethical person he knows. The agency is founded on core values including loyalty to clients, being Advocates for their clients, ethical representation of their clients and being selective of the clients that they represent.
He has said in many interviews, he does not represent everyone that walks through his agency’s “door”, which surprises many of the celebrities that seek out his representation. His current and former clients include: designer Calvin Klein’s Boyfriend, reality stars from Below Deck and the Bachelor/Bachelorette, a Sr. Member of the British Royal Family and a Grammy Nominated Music Producer . This past year Rogalski signed Ian James (Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin), Sebastian Faure (Mank and Dune Part:2), Alfie Sykes (Hollyoaks) and Oliver Hughes (one of Australia’s top models). Rogalski has an eye for talent, many studios take his word for it and seek his advice because they make large revenue every time he gives it to them.
Rogalski has been able to create an agency that is truly the next generation of Talent Management Agency’s. His agency has been ranked in the top 5 of international Talent Management Agencies world-wide by Barron’s, Market Watch (WSJ) and Absolute Reports pvt ltd. an independent industry rating company. The Absolute Reports pvt ltd. recently released a report stating that CK is now part of the small group of international talent management agencies that share 90% of the international talent management market.
According to an article in the New York Times, Rogalski has gotten many talent out of contracts that were detrimental and harmful to them including ones from former agents, who through those contracts were being taken advantage of. One of the agency’s Athletes was taken advantage of by a European agent who was not credentialed. When Rogalski discovered that the agent did not need to be credentialed by the league, he lobbied the league to pass new regulations that required the European agents of the league to be credential. The rule was recently passed by the leagues governing body and went into effect this year. Roglaksi further said in the same interview “ I will burn down my agency, before I will allow a talent to be taken advantage of!” According to his talent he has proven this over and over again. Many of his talent think of him as a father figure and trust him. He said “I work very, very hard to earn my talents trust.”
The agency has expanded over the years and now operates in Africa, Australia and signed an agreement with Remark Entertainment to expand into Asia. The agency has talent currently in productions on almost every continent in the world. Some of their actors are the most well-known actors in their respective countries.
Rogalski is unimpressed by the glitz and glamor of Hollywood or the fields of play that the agency athletes compete on, but has said in interviews what drives him is helping his talent succeed. Rogalaski has said in a recent interview “ I am fulfilled by seeing my talent succeed in their respective professions, they are my Picasso’s.” Studios and Teams know that if he shows up to their sets, studio lots or stadiums, there’s something up.
Rogalski once got a call from a well-known fashion designer, where he represented their significant other, a model. The intent was to throw more work his agency’s way. Sources told us that Rogalski answered the phone and the Designer said this is ******* and he said “sorry but I shop at Walmart.” He really is just unimpressed with who he is talking to, he just wants the best for his clients. This has garnered him a lot of respect in Hollywood inside and outside the agency.
That’s Rogalski in a nutshell, he is very unfiltered and straight forward. A Hollywood producer told us that Rogalski submitted a taped audition for one of his clients and when the studio called him to see about the actor being in their project by the end of the call Rogalski cut a 3 project deal for the actor, without them ever meeting the actor at all. The producer and studio CEO told us “We told Rogalski, we are signing an agreement locking the studio into a three project deal and a fixed salary with an actor we have never met, you’re really good.” The Producer told us “Rogalski said once you sign the agreement you can meet him.” “We chuckled, signed the agreement and just as he promised, we met the client, who was a perfect fit for the lead role in the project.” They told us that the film was very important to the studio because it was a make it or break-it movie for the studio. The film turned out to be great, won awards and landed them funding for their future studio films. They both told us: “ We owe Rogalski a lot, we actually owe him our studio, so when he calls, we take his calls and listen to him.”
Another producer that Rogalski called one time as he was heading into a meeting with Sam Rami (Director of Spiderman) the producer took his call and about 20 min Rogalksi asked “aren’t you meeting with Sam?” The Producer said, this call is more important, I let him know it was you, he said he will wait.
One producer recently called and told Roglaksi he should’ve hired an actor he was pitching him because the actor he hired instead was not as good and did not generate revenue for them as they thought. As most know who cover the entertainment industry trust is not an easy thing to come by in these industries.
His clients tell us, he is real with them and his staff are the same way since he has trained and mentored most of them himself. One client said if you want to live in that fake Hollywood and Sporting fantasy bubbles where you think you are the best actor or athlete out there, etc. and your current representation blows smoke up your ass, then he is not the Talent Manager for you. Rogalski will fight for his clients, tell them like it is, unfiltered and his talent like that!