Chief Executive Officer
A co-founder of engage:BDR, Inc. Ted serves as Chief Executive Officer overseeing strategic marketing, sales and business development, client relationship management, and content acquisition.
From 2003 – 2008, Ted was with MySpace.com developing strategic marketing initiatives. Working very closely with founders Chris DeWolfe and Tom Anderson, Ted was responsible for launching the brand in its infancy through a very specific combination of on- and offline campaigns. Also, Mr. Dhanik innovated business development at LowerMyBills.com in its early stages through acquisition by Experian, and was also an integral part of the early development and launch of the consumer lending program at NexTag Corporation.
Mr. Dhanik has worked for or been a partner at several other companies in business development, sales, and managerial positions, such as Xoriant Corporation, Atesto Technologies, Inc., Brigade Solutions, Beyond.com/Cybersource Corporation, and Merrill Corporation. Mr. Dhanik has a degree in Business Administration and Marketing from California State University at Hayward. Ted sits on the board or advises other tech startups such as Fighter, LottoGopher and Schizo Pictures, and is an active mentor at Los Angeles-based startup accelerator Start Engine.
Ted is passionate about remaining a thought leader in the industry. His writing is regularly published in publications including Ad Age and VentureBeat, and he contributes to industry standards and positive change, sitting on IAB committees including Anti-fraud Workgroup, Anti-malware Workgroup, Traffic of Good Intent Task Force, Programmatic Counsel, Digital Video Committee, Mobile Advertising Committee and Performance Marketing Committee.
Chief Operating Officer
Kurtis Rintala is the Chief Operating Officer and co-founder of engage:BDR. In his role, Kurtis is responsible for overseeing day to day operations and helping with the strategic direction of the company. He oversees all Accounting, Financial, Legal, and Human Resources matters.
Kurtis enables operational excellence company-wide at engage:BDR and works to enable future growth through vision, strategy, and innovation.
Kurtis was an early member of the very successful Internet startup, LowerMyBills.com, before co-founding engage:BDR. He grew up in the San Francisco area and earned a Bachelors of Arts at California State University, Chico.
Chief Technology Officer
Kenneth is the Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of engage:BDR where he leads the engineering and technology department. During his tenure, he has overseen the release of various successful projects and properties both online and offline and continues to flourish with the company today.
Prior to engage:BDR, Kenneth served as Senior Software Engineer at Buzznet Media. In addition, he joined Fox Interactive to oversee various web products and their monetization at Slingshot Labs. Kenneth worked at Valueclick where he helped design, implement, and maintain various key components of their delivery engine.
He received his Masters in Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition & Computer Science from The University of Kentucky.
Ryan Davidson is the Controller for engage:BDR. In this role, he manages all accounting and finance matters, including financial reporting, planning and analysis, internal controls, tax, and treasury functions.
A dynamic leader, Ryan is accomplished in developing financial strategies that enhance organizational growth and maximize sustainability, and has over 10 years of experience in accounting, financial planning, and analytics for e-commerce, Internet, software, and public environments.
Ryan is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), and holds the Certified Management Accounting (CMA) designation. He earned a Master of Science in Accounting from Old Dominion University, and a Master of Business Administration, a Bachelor of Arts in Communication, and a Bachelor of Arts in English from California State University Long Beach.
VP, Business Development
As the VP of Business Development at engage:BDR, Ed has an important role in most sides of the business. He began his career at engage:BDR as the Director of Publisher Development, and helped build the publisher network from the ground up.
Ed entered the world of digital media in 2007, joining the media team at OMD Worldwide. He helped with media planning for top-tier accounts such as Hilton Hotels, Leapfrog, and Playstation. After that role, he joined the publisher development group at Adconion Media Group, where he had top notch publisher accounts with Yahoo, Google’s ad exchange, and many more, as well as created media plans for the sales team to pitch to Fortune 500 brands. Ed also had key roles at notable L.A. startups Beachmint and Nasty Gal, in their respective acquisition marketing departments.
Ed was born and raised in sunny Southern California, and received his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
VP, Performance Advertising
Andy Dhanik is the VP of Performance Advertising for engage:BDR, BLiNK New Media, and First-Impression. In his role, he oversees a team responsible for operational processes including onboarding and management of clients and campaigns, ongoing maintenance of advertising campaigns across all platforms, assisting the campaign management team in optimizations, providing strategic product-specific insight to direct response advertisers (enabling them to scale past their expectations and achieve new heights of performance), and strategically aligning client needs with internal production teams to innovate and release products that provide value and performance for clients.
Andy graduated from California State University, East Bay, where he majored in Business Administration with emphasis on Marketing.
Blake Adams serves as VP, Sales-West at engage:BDR. In his role, Blake wields mastery of the engage:BDR suite of products and services to fulfill brand advertiser goals. He oversees global sales strategy in the brand space.
Blake brings to engage:BDR extensive brand agency sales and management experience. Blake is a lifelong sales professional with a deep background in digital media marketing and technology. He has a significant track record building successful partnerships with brands and their respective agencies including but not limited to Apple, Netflix, Yahoo!, Toyota, Hyundai Kia, Dr. Pepper, Lionsgate Films and CBS Television.
Blake formerly held the position of VP of West Coast Sales at DG Mediamind, a publicly traded ad platform company with more than 5,000 global customers. Prior to that, he was Senior Sales Director at Pointroll, and has held sales positions with AOL and IAC. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology at the University of South Florida. In his free time, Blake enjoys surfing and motor sports.
Mona Jalali serves as the Director of Media at engage:BDR. In her role, she manages the Ad Operations and Publisher Development teams, overseeing all associated functions.
Mona has been at engage:BDR since its infancy and has helped grow the company to its current stature. Before that, she served as Sales Administrator and Account Manager at Fox Audience Network. Mona received her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance at Cal State Fullerton. In her free time, Mona enjoys yoga.
Youqi Li is the Director of Engineering at engage:BDR. In his role, he leads the engineering team in Research and Development, planning and execution of the product roadmap, and forecasting technical direction of the organization.
Youqi has over ten years of experience in software development and six years of experience within the digital advertising industry. He joined engage:BDR in its early stages and helped to build the engineering team from the ground up. Prior to that, he worked in multiple startups and research centers, which helped him develop agile and open-minded technical expertise.
Youqi received his Master’s Degree in Computer Science from the University of Southern California. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling, reading, writing, snowboarding, golfing, diving, and spending time with his daughter.
Director, Affiliate Management for Phreshclick
Barb Mayo joins engage:BDR as the Director of Affiliate Management for Phreshclick, where she is in charge of building and growing the CPA side of the business. She has been in the industry since 2006 and has worked for some of the industry leaders in the CPA and CPC affiliate marketing space. Barb’s credits include being the top producing Senior Affiliate Manager at both Adknowledge/Hydra and Mediatrust, where she was in charge of managing the affiliate team and the network’s super affiliates. Prior to excelling in affiliate marketing, she was a part of the management team for LowerMyBills and ClassesUSA, which are among the leaders in the online acquisition space.
Barb grew up in “Sin City”, Las Vegas, which explains her approach to everything in life: Go BIG or go home. She graduated from University of California, Santa Barbara, where she double majored in Law & Society and Business, and moved to the “City of Angels” in 2000.
Sr. Director, Sales Operations
Derek Gerrman is a highly accomplished sales and business operations professional with over 20 years experience. In his role, he is responsible for sales operations and infrastructure, team productivity, sales analytics, and aligning core business, revenue, and growth goals. Derek’s credits include running sales operations, running account management teams and being an individual contributor at companies including The Search Agency, Hydra/Adknowledge, LowerMyBills.com/Experian Interactive, Digital Insight, and CyberCash.
Outside of work, Derek enjoys racquetball, golf, guitar and most importantly, his wife and two daughters.
Derek earned his Bachelor of Science at UC, Davis.
Steve Smelt serves as Director of Programmatic at engage:BDR. In his role, he is responsible for overseeing operations and driving performance for our Mobile Division.
Steve brings over 14 years of digital advertising, marketing, and sales experience to his current role. Prior to joining the company, Steve was Director of Sales at Eclipse.io, a mobile DSP, where he helped create and expand programmatic trading strategy. He has also held the role of VP, Sales and Marketing at Blacklots, a flash auction site that was acquired in 2012. He has an extensive record of consistently delivering both to client KPIs and company targets, utilizing his extensive knowledge of user acquisition strategy and audience segmentation.
Steve earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of South Florida. He loves art and spends his free time going to galleries and museums.
Director, Human Resources
Sarah Wetzel is the Director of Human Resources at engage:BDR. In her role, Sarah oversees all recruiting, benefits administration, employee relations, performance management, training and development and organizational planning and development.
Sarah came to engage:BDR with over five years of experience in Human Resources, most recently from a Fortune 500 global biopharmaceutical company. She has a diverse background that has contributed to her success in her current role.
Sarah earned a Masters of Human Relations from The University of Oklahoma and a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Saint Anselm College.
Technical Product Director
Rajesh Volluru serves as Technical Product Director at engage:BDR. In his role, he is responsible for design and development of products that strategically answer consumer needs.
Rajesh’s prior experience includes several positions at Specific Media, where he grew to eventually hold the role of Lead Engineer for Research and Development. He has over seven years of experience in the digital industry, specializing in Display, Mobile, Video, and Demand and Supply Side Platforms. This experience lends him agile project management skills as well as bid data experience with a vision for design and user experience insights.
Rajesh has his Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Applications and his Master’s Degree in Information Systems.
Manager, Marketing and Communications
Sydney Goldman serves as Marketing and Communications Manager at engage:BDR. In her role, she plans and executes the marketing strategies for engage:BDR’s products and services, as well as provides oversight to corporate messaging.
Sydney brings to her role past experience in public relations, branded content production, and digital advertising. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from the University of Southern California. In her free time, Sydney enjoys hiking, traveling, and volunteering with a non-profit dedicated to improving the lives of children with chronic illness by providing arts and athletics lessons.
Don is an experienced President/CEO and Chairman in leading organizations and businesses with a reputation for building quality teams that deliver successful results.
His accomplishments have transcended both large scale corporate environments as well as early stage businesses with full P&L responsibility for $20 million to over $1 billion.
Most recently, Don served as CEO and Chairman of Sekurus Inc. a high tech, international aftermarket automotive manufacturer and Distribution Company focused on the automotive resale market worldwide, with a very advanced high technology patented payment assurance device. Prior, he was Executive Vice President at LowerMybills Experian, leading the growth of the company from $7 million in sales to over $250 million, resulting in the sale of the company after three years to Experian for almost $400 million. The company received the Entrepreneur of the Year in 2005.
Other experiences included several CEO and C level assignments at several other companies such as Westec, Xerox Corp, TRW., Orion Equity, and I-Search, where he served as Chief Operating Officer for the provider of enterprise resume processing for large corporations and users. As President of Westec Security, he was responsible for Westec Interactive and Business Security. Westec Interactive was a newly formed business to launch new technology nationwide with two way audio and remote video. The business utilized state of the art security with large-scale convenience stores and fast food chains.
He has an Engineering BS degree, MBA, and Ph.D. He resides in Newport Coast, CA with his wife Penny and most notably has traveled extensively to over 60 countries.
Danielle P. Barger acts as engage:BDR’s general counsel. Danielle is a San Diego native and graduate of the University of Southern California, has a Masters of Public Health from UCLA, and graduated from Thomas Jefferson School of Law.
Danielle is a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law (State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization). She blends that with business law to provide legal counsel to engage:BDR. Danielle is also an Adjunct Professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law.
She is affiliated with the San Diego County Bar Association, the North County Bar Association, the California State Bar Association, Wealth Counsel, the Greater San Diego Business Association, the North County Estate Planning Council, and ProVisors.
In her spare time, Danielle has a passion for advising LGBT and non-traditional couples in estate planning and enjoys running (she just completed her 13th half marathon), diving (as a PADI Dive master), golfing, and throwing her clients for a loop with her knowledge and passion for cars – both classic and new.