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mangement team

Ted Dhanik

Chief Executive Officer

A co-founder of engage:BDR, Inc. Ted serves as Chief Executive Officer & Chairman of the Board, overseeing all aspects of engage:BDR’s businesses.

Ted was with MySpace.com from its launch, developing strategic marketing initiatives. Working very closely with founders Chris DeWolfe and Tom Anderson, Ted was responsible for launching the brand in its infancy. Also, Mr. Dhanik innovated the business development practice at LowerMyBills.com in its early stages through acquisition by Experian; he was an integral part of the early development and launch of the consumer lending program at NexTag Corporation, a competitor to LowerMyBills.com and LendingTree at the time.

Mr. Dhanik has worked for or been a partner at several other companies in the areas of business development, sales, and key managerial positions. Ted sits on boards or advises other tech startups and is an active mentor to Los Angeles-based startups.

Ted is passionate about remaining a thought-leader in the digital advertising industry. His writings are regularly published in publications including Ad Age, Forbes, Fast Company, AdExchanger, VentureBeat, and several other top-tier U.S. publications. He contributes to the development of industry standards and positive change, sitting on IAB committees including Anti-fraud WorkgroupAnti-malware WorkgroupTraffic of Good Intent Task ForceProgrammatic CounselDigital Video CommitteeMobile Advertising Committee and Performance Marketing Committee.

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Kurtis Rintala

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.

Kurtis grew up in the San Francisco area and earned a Bachelors of Arts at California State University, Chico where he studied Film and Theater. Before co-founding engage:BDR, Kurtis worked in the entertainment industry as a writer, actor and producer and was an early member of the very successful Internet startup, LowerMyBills.com

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Youqi Li

Chief Technology Officer

Youqi Li is the Chief Technology Officer 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.

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Andy Dhanik

Chief Revenue Officer

Andy Dhanik is Chief Revenue Oficer for engage:BDR. In his role, he oversees all teams responsible for operational processes including on-boarding and management of clients and campaigns, ongoing maintenance of advertising campaigns across all platforms, managing the campaign management team in optimizations, providing strategic product-specific insight to advertisers, 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.

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Daniel Chen

VP, Ad Operations

Xiang (Daniel) Chen is the VP of Ad Operations at engage:BDR. In his role, he manages all business functions associated with the programmatic and ad operations teams. This includes, but is not limited to overseeing & evaluating all partnership integrations, establishment of the on-boarding process from start to finish, managing key partnerships, yield management & optimization, and business development with a key focus on ensuring both ad quality and inventory quality using both internal and third party solutions. He has been with engage:BDR since the start of his career in 2010, and has grown with the company.

Xiang (Daniel) graduated from Pepperdine University with a Master of Science in Applied Finance. He’s a sneaker-head, a huge fan of Toy Story, and loves building Legos.

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Yan Naing Kyaw

VP, Engineering

Yan Naing Kyaw serves as VP, Engineering at engage:BDR. In his role, he oversees system architecture as well as product development in the ad serving and programmatic realms. He has been with engage:BDR since the start of his career and grown with the company.

Yan Naing graduated from the University of North Alabama with a Bachelor of Computer Science. In his free time, he enjoys playing soccer, badminton, basketball, and table tennis, as well as hiking.

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advisoryboard

Warren Zenna

Market Positioning, Strategic Alliances & Tech

Warren embarked on his career in digital marketing in pre- Google 1995. Since that time, he’s had the opportunity to span the entire marketing services industry from startups to large hold-co’s as well as small boutique firms including Zeta Global, iCrossing, Publicis Groupe, Havas Media and Location Sciences.

Most recently, Warren was President US of Location Sciences, a UK-based AdTech company that developed a platform which verifies the accuracy and veracity of location data used in online advertising. In his role he was responsible for all US revenue growth and operations. To date his efforts have yielded holding company deals with Havas and Horizon as well as campaigns for Toyota/Lexus and Westfield Malls. He also oversaw all of the company’s marketing and sales enablement efforts – redeveloping the brand positioning, proposition, sales process, sales messaging and strategy- and hired three sales reps in the US. Total ownership of the budget, PL, forecasting and allocations.

From 2014-2018, Warren was EVP, Managing Director of North American Operations for Havas Media’s Global Mobile Marketing unit, Mobext. In this role, Warren was hired to build Havas’ North American mobile advertising offering comprising a full-stack solution for brands to engage with mobile- first audiences its own trading platform and self-service model. His organisation oversaw the development and advancement of mobile marketing for all of Havas Media's North American clientele. Warren took a 4-person advisory group generating a revenue of $1.2M and turned it into a multi-office unit that generated $50M in revenues with 20% average operating margin. The offering integrated across all Havas Media teams and provided activations and attribution for OOH, Radio, TV, and mobile first audiences for the programmatic group.

Among Warren’s past roles, in 2009-2012 Warren was the Head of Strategy at Publicis Groupe’s Mobile Marketing unit, Phonevalley. In this role, Warren lead all Sales and Strategy and developed Publicis’ North American mobile consulting practice. With his leadership, the unit grew exponentially, with staff in NY, Chicago and San Francisco. Warren oversaw a team of 20 key clients including Bank of America, Citi, AstraZeneca, Novartis, L’Oréal, Microsoft, Pantone, ExxonMobil and Amex.

Warren is a frequent industry speaker and contributor to marketing and technology publications including Forbes, Media Post, Digiday, AdWeek & AdExchanger. Warren has lived and worked in NYC since 1987.

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Sean Clayton

Brand, Agency & Programmatic Demand

As a 15-year digital media veteran, Sean is considered a guiding light in the digital marketing landscape. With an extensive background in developing comprehensive digital marketing solutions, Sean uses data and human psychology to power holistic and hyper-targeted omni- channel client solutions. Fusing critical insights with market intelligence, his solutions are known for driving user acquisition, multiplying conversions and strengthening brand-focused outcomes. Sean leads initiatives for Fortune 500 brands as well as major distributors in the entertainment industry. Industry agnostic, he has delivered record-breaking performance results, surpassing revenue and profit-margin objectives.

In his current role as Chief Strategy Officer and President of the Entertainment Division at SITO Mobile, an insights-driven consumer behavior and location sciences company, Sean leads the strategic advisory group, where he focuses on enhancing SITO’s product development offerings with a data-first, consultancy approach to evolving client needs. Under his leadership, the strategic advisory group provides enterprise clients with the powerful ad media and data-driven intelligence solutions they need to drive robust revenue growth. As President of the recently launched Entertainment Division, Sean works with Lionsgate, Sony, and Fox, to craft results-focused data, media, and attribution solutions. In the first year alone, SITO’s Entertainment Division eclipsed $15M in revenue. Since joining SITO in 2016, Sean has played a critical role in fortifying SITO’s position as a leader in data-based marketing, propelling company revenues north of $50M.

Prior to joining SITO, Sean was instrumental in building data-driven media solutions for digital marketing providers – New Base, Splash Media, and Multiview. Using a content-centered macro strategy to develop unique data sets, Sean is credited for increasing media performance toward a combined revenue total of $200M across these three companies.

Entrepreneurial at heart, Sean has also worked at the grassroots level, strategising and building businesses, managing & optimising them from the ground up. Bringing this spirit with him in every role, Sean marries agility with cutting edge user acquisition & marketing strategies to help brands uncover & execute available, but unknown sustainable solutions across a wide range of areas including planning, ad ops, e-commerce and creative direction. Being a student of his craft, Sean has recently completed course work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Sloan School of Management, centered around innovative technologies and blockchain solutions. Sean is a frequent industry speaker and contributing thought leadership author to Martech Series, eMarketer and Street Fight.

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James Hritz

Publisher Development; Mobile & CTV Apps

James has been an executive, innovator and thought leader in the mobile and online advertising space for over 15 years. For the past three years, as Head of Advertising for Grindr, James successfully architected and executed a 400% ad revenue increase.

James’ leadership drove revenue through initiatives innovating on ad product, launching Grindr’s self-serve advertising marketplace and implementing the Grindr Exchange – a publisher owned exchange where Grindr managed over 20 direct buying relationships with leading DSPs. Also, in the past year, James was a key member of the Max Advertising team (as investor, product and most successful client). Max innovated in- app header bidding technologies and realised a successful $90M exit (purchased by Applovin).

Prior to Grindr and Max, James was at MoPub where he worked with top tier publishers on ad monetisation best practices and was instrumental in MoPub’s acquisition by Twitter. James has also been CRO for Tunewiki, where he developed and managed the app’s advertising program and was one of the original MoPub launch clients.

Before focusing on mobile, James spent eight years at Newscorp (Fox Audience Network) where he was Vice President of Strategy and Business Development and had responsibility for monetising MySpace’s nearly 8 billion daily impressions. At Newscorp, James was the chief architect of the Fox Audience Network ($250M annual business) that became the number two online advertising network in the U.S. and was a key member of the team that pioneered real-time bidding and hyper-targeting.

James is part of small group of ad executives who has seen the industry from its beginnings through the complete evolution of the programmatic ecosystem. James’ experience at every seat at the advertising table – small, publisher, large publisher, mobile publisher, ad network, exchange and DSP give him a unique perspective and mindset that easily translates the technical and business end of advertising into tangible revenue results.

James attended the University of Pittsburgh where he majored in math and economics and the George Washington University where he received a master’s in economics. James’ outside interests include photography, horseracing, programming, learning Mandarin and the history of Southern California.

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Jonathan Slavin

CTV & Programmatic Demand

Slavin brings two decades of experience in sales, strategy and business development leadership across the digital media space. With a true understanding of what it takes to navigate the quickly converging world of media and technology, his track record of success includes developing, establishing, and improving business performance for both demand and supply-side players, as well as for advertising technology providers.

His early career included revenue-responsible roles at high profile companies including Lycos (acquired by Telefonica in 2000), FastClick (sold to ValueClick in 2005), The Washington Post and Fox Interactive. Later, Slavin held a corporate leadership role as Managing Director/President of semantic targeting company Ad Pepper Media – an early leader in contextualised targeting and protecting advertisers from fraud and negative adjacently. Within his first year, he successfully grew revenue to over $40M, building significant global partnerships with OMG, Havas, and IPG. The underlying semantic technology was ultimately sold to WWP trading desk Xaxis.

As Chief Revenue Officer at global digital media company CPXi, Slavin grew revenue more than 500% during his tenure and was a founder of its programmatic division bRealTime. Under his guidance, bRealTime grew $125M/year + in under 3 years. Every key DSP (i.e., Google, The Trade Desk, MediaMath, DataXu, Index Exchange) and SSP (i.e., Pubmatic, Rubicon, ADX, OpenX, AppNexus) integrated into what quickly became a market leading, high quality exchange both domestically and internationally. In 2016, bRealTime was acquired by the Engine Group and today is known by EMX.

Today, Slavin runs JTG Ventures – a consultancy delivering white glove revenue/business development solutions for growth-focused clients across multiple spectrums (OTT, Video, Mobile, others) of the digital media landscape. Key clients include E.W. Scripps, RevContent, MAVEN, & POWR (a leading OTT technology provider). The results of JTG have been enormous -- unlocking well over $150M in topline revenue for its clients over the past 3 years. An industry thought leader, Slavin is a noted speaker and contributor to AdAge, Digiday, and DMEXCO.

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