Meet the Founder & CEO

My name is Steve Kass and I am the founder of Technical Authentication & Grading, TAG. After sixty-five years of collecting sports memorabilia, including over 400,000 cards, my son asked me a question which prompted a 10-year endeavor that would become TAG: “Dad, I know they mean a lot to you, but have you ever considered selling them?”

I had never sold a card and had no idea how to do it. At five years old, I purchased my first card using my own money earned doing chores-- a Wally Westlake ’51 Redbacks. Since that time, I acquired a lot of cards, many of considerably more value but none more cherished by me.

I discovered that selling a card for full value, requires grading. Condition is extremely important. Since that time, counterfeiting, trimming, and substitution have become prevalent in the industry. I researched the internet and found many opinions about “best” grader, best grader for “certain era or sport” and the all-too-common complaints about all graders. I decided to determine which grading company was “best”.

I initially undertook a study (to discern from all that I heard and read) what could be relied upon as fact. I sent 100 cards to two different grading companies to grade. When the first grading company sent me my graded cards back, I carefully removed them from the slabs and resubmitted them all to the second grading company. I was surprised by the results: a significant number of cards had different grades.

So, beginning just over 10 years ago, I set out to create a technology that would address the industry’s problems with accuracy and consistency.

Well into the development process when the commitment of capital and time was growing, I decided to confirm my conclusions from the initial study, with a second, more comprehensive, study.

I sent 200 cards to one of three grading companies, then the same cards to a second of the companies and finally the same 200 cards to the third company. What I initially concluded to be problematic with existing grading, at the time of the initial study, continued to present itself. I sent the original 200 cards back to each company a second time for a fresh set of grades. Again, all three companies gave all too often, different grades for the exact card they graded previously.

I thought that the only explanation for this inconsistency was that I had possibly damaged the cards when removing them from their slab, thus accounting for the different second grade; however, this couldn’t be, as the second grade was often HIGHER than the first! I also submitted trimmed cards for 150 grades and only 12 were identified correctly as trimmed.
Just as troublesome, 8 cards not trimmed were incorrectly identified as trimmed. The probability of a correct identification of a trimmed card was almost the same as erroneously identifying a card as trimmed that was not trimmed. ​

I continued my efforts to develop a 100% automated grading system. Our system is called TAG (Technical Authentication & Grading) and it is an accurate and consistent card grading technology. It has robust patents and shows endless promise to be the industry’s much needed, accurate and consistent grading solution.

After: (1) spending countless hours of time in research; (2) working with over 50 engineers and programmers; (3) working with four tech companies to define and develop grading technology; (4) spending countless hours reading, studying and examining cards; (5) spending an estimated over 120,000 hours on identifying the system needs and developing them; (6) developing the business plan; and, (7) applying for, and being awarded, four patents with 134 approved Claims, the technology is now ready to introduce to the market.

I have a passion for cards. I know the joy of holding a card that is 60 years old and can remember opening the pack and recalling the smell of the pink flat juicy sheet of gum. I remember how I licked my fingers to savor the taste and feel of the slight white powder coating.

I believe that my passion for cards as a youth is shared with the passion of today’s collectors. I believe that everyone should get the same grade for a card in the same condition regardless of your stature in the industry or on social media. I believe that half point grades ignore material value differentiation. For example, assuming grading companies know the precise defects and its measurements (accurate grading) they use to grade a card, how is it possible that a grading difference of .48 points, an 8.76 (graded 9.0) and a 9.24 (graded 9.0) is meaningless to the card value when a .50 point difference between a 8.5 and a 9.0 results in multiples of value difference?

We at TAG will, over a short period of time, earn your respect. To get it, we will deliver to you a grading system that is consistent with our Mission Statement.

Our mission is to use innovation, to apply technologies, and to create for each collector: transparency, accuracy, and consistency for every card graded.




Steve Kass is the Founder and CEO of TAG. He has held management positions and served on Boards of director in numerous public and private companies. Steve's career as a senior manager includes positions of Manager of International Operations Planning; VP Marketing & Sales; Chief Operating Officer, and Chief Executive Officer. He has co-founded two successful start-up companies. Steve has led over 100 merger & acquisitions. Steve was the co-managing partner of the winning bid announced by FSLIC for the sale of the “Tree” package of over $10B in real property assets. Steve has served as financial advisor for IPO’s including (at the time) the largest publicly traded MLP ($143M IPO, $1.4B company value). Steve was the COO of a Businessweek “Top 50 Hot Growth Companies in America.” He has been mentioned/quoted in numerous business and financial publications and various newspaper articles. Steve is an avid collector of cards and other sport memorabilia. Steve was the Co-Chair of the Los Angeles District Attorney Crime Prevention Foundation and served on the National Board of Directors of the City of Hope national Cancer Center where he is currently Board Emeritus and serves on the Finance Committee. Steve holds a B.A. from Nebraska, a JD from California Western School of Law, and an MBA from Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration.


James Sun is the Founder and CEO of MINTNFT. He invented a patent-pending video provenance technology to help brands, IP owners, and creators protect their ideas and work behind NFT’s. James is an entrepreneur with significant expertise in creating vertical online communities where he generated over 140M users and over 2B page views leveraging the convergence of mobile & web consumer products. He is the owner of Dramabeans for 14 years - the largest Korean drama online recap and community site focused on the English-speaking market and BeautyTap – the first beauty professional online review community. He was the founder & CEO of Pirq, a consumer app which was successfully sold to one of the largest payment processing companies in the U.S. James has served as an engineer at Intel and as a management consultant for several Fortune 500 clients including Honeywell, Microsoft, Daimler Chrysler, and Boeing while at at Deloitte Consulting. He is a 3x Tedx Speaker and has advised over 35 companies including Proctor & Gamble, Deloitte & Touche, JP Morgan, Ernst & Young, BASF, Qwest, Honeywell, US Army, and dozens of top tiered universities. He was the co-owner of the award winning Koream magazine, and the owner of an award-winning national publication, Audrey Magazine.


Bob is a co-founder of TAG and is currently head of Fox First Run Distribution. Bob served as President and COO of 20th Television Fox for nearly 10 years, and is one of the industry’s most respected syndication and TV executives. Throughout his 45 year career, Bob has been recognized with accolades ranging from Emmy, Grammy, Telly, Promax/BDA, Gold/Muse, and Gracies. Bob has been inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame. He was Vice Chair of Promax as well as the Chairman of the Board for the Television Academy Foundation. Bob established a consulting business, MBN Inc, with clients such as 20th TV, Chuck Lorre Prod., Merv Griffin Ent., Miramax, Raycom, ICM, Tribune, Tornante, ITV, MGM, Sinclair, and A&E Networks. Bob also served as VP General Manager of KTTV (Fox) and KCOP (MyNet). Prior to joining 20th TV, Bob was EVP of CBS Enterprises, Sr. Partner at Maxam Ent. (purchased by CBS), and prior to that, SVP for Sony’s Columbia Tri Star TV. Bob has spearheaded innovative sales and marketing efforts of approximately 140 TV shows including Seinfeld, The Simpsons, Family Guy, How I Met Your Mother, Everybody Loves Raymond, Married With Children, Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, Hollywood Squares, Cops, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Divorce Court and most recently, TMZ, 25 Words or Less, and You Bet Your Life with Jay Leno.


Dr. Stephen Liu brings more than 25 years of experience as an academic physician, executive leader and successful entrepreneur. He is Chairman/Founder of Forme, a human performance company. Forme designs FDA registered, patented, sensor-free wearables dedicated to treat posture disorders, and related musculoskeletal pain. In addition, he is a partner of BioVentures Investors MedTech Fund and has also been active in the healthcare, retail and tech investing sectors. Recent exits include Postmates’ $2.65bn sale to Uber, partnering with Alta FoxCapital on Collector’s Universe (CLCT) activist campaign which led to a $900M+ sale to strategic consortium, and Endotronix $800M+ sale to Edwards science. He was previously a senior advisor to Opko Health (Nasdaq: OPK) and served on the Board of Directors for Mohawk Group Holdings (Nasdaq: ATER) from 2017-2020 as well as CardoMedical (CDOM) from 2011-2016. In 2015, he was elected as a Founding Board Member of the Yale-Asia Council. He has also served on the board of Center Theater Group (CTG) and World Affair Council in Los Angeles and received the Humanitarian Award from Verdugo Hospital in Southern California. Dr. Liu holds a B.A. in Biology and Psychology from UCLA and an M.D. from the University of Southern California. He is a clinical faculty at UCLA Geffen school of Medicine.


Greg is the CTO of DevBlock Technologies Inc. DevBlock is a global digital consultancy that provides end to end software solutions from ideation and strategy to creative software development. Greg is a technology leader with over 20 years of engineering management, product management, consulting, and professional services experience in high technology, mobile, telecommunications, online advertising, wireless and fixed-line digital media industries. Greg has successfully directed a company's engineering and business resources through the delivery of high value, extensible solutions, from seed funding through exit, including two acquisitions. Greg's areas of expertise include engineering management, business planning, product management, operations/project management and fundraising. Greg is proficient in all current PM and resource management tools. Greg has a track record in authoring and implementing internal engagement methodologies and solution design guidelines, and authoring product and technology specifications. Greg’s specialties include Executive Management (CTO and VP of Engineering), SVP Engineering, Business Unit Manager, Senior Program Manager, Technical Architect and Product/Solutions Designer, Product Manager, as well as Senior Technical Consulting Manager.


Jim Ogez is currently the Partner-in-Charge of the Tulsa office of Regier Carr and Monroe L.L.P., a regional audit accounting firm. Jim is a Certified Public Accountant and  joined RCM in 1986 after serving as a senior auditor with a national accounting firm. In addition to being primarily responsible for audit engagements in the Tulsa office, Jim oversees all Outsourcing clients. In his public accounting career, his clients have included financial institutions, electric cooperatives, oil and gas companies, manufacturers, not-for-profit organizations, wholesalers, governmental agencies, colleges, and rural rental housing entities. In addition to audits, he also has experience in individual, corporate and fiduciary taxation, and business consulting. Jim has served as a board member for the Make a Wish Foundation, The Center for Individuals with Physical Challenges, The John Hope Franklin Center for Reconciliation, Alzheimer's Association, Oklahoma State University Alumni Association, The Tulsa Air and Space Museum, Bixby Rotary Club, and American Business Club. Jim is an avid sports card collector and trader.