Needle Inc. has a bold vision to bring the personal interaction and intimacy of shopping in a store to the online shopping community. This requires unique knowledge in key areas: Distributed workforces, cloud computing, content filtering, organizational behavior, gamification and social media. If you have expertise in these areas, we hope you’ll apply to be part of our journey. See our current job openings.
Morgan was previously the founder, CEO and Chairman of Logoworks. He and co-founder Joey Dempster developed one of the earliest distributed workforces, which enabled Logoworks to provide high-quality graphic design services to thousands of small businesses worldwide. Logoworks was backed by Shasta Ventures and Benchmark Capital and was sold to HP in 2007. Prior to Logoworks, Morgan spent four years running marketing at InsurQuote, helping position it for a $320 million sale to Channelpoint in 2000. Morgan is the proud father of five children, enjoys playing soccer and basketball, and holds an International Relations degree from Brigham Young University, and an MBA from IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Mikko Valimaki has a long history of building scalable server side solutions for commerce, communication and security. Before co-founding Needle Mikko was the Chief Scientist at Blue Coat Systems (Nasdaq: BCSI), where he architected the cloud based content filtering and malware protection solution. Additionally Mikko served as the technology spokesperson for the security and WAN optimization solutions. Mikko was the CTO of Cerberian prior to its Blue Coat acquisition and was the VP of Engineering at Novell where he directed all aspects of the development of Novell eDirectory, DirXML and other value-added security and identity management solutions. Originally from Finland, Mikko now enjoys the mountains of Utah for cross-country skiing and mountain biking. Mikko is quadrilingual and has a keen interest in natural language processing. Mikko studied at Brigham Young University, earning both a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Computer Science.
Noelle has spent 15+ years with high-tech startups and is an expert communicator. Most recently Noelle handled public relations for a Utah-based internet marketing company focused on local, small business. Noelle was part of the executive team at Logoworks and handled community and external corporate communications until the company was acquired by Hewlett Packard in 2007. Prior to her corporate experience, she spent 6 years on the agency side where she helped build a successful high-tech PR firm’s presence in Silicon Valley. While at Needle, Noelle has served in various capacities since the company’s inception including helping to build Needler communities for clients like Skullcandy, Under Armour, and Astro Gaming. As someone who doesn’t pick up hobbies lightly, Noelle takes shoe and handbag selection very seriously, and can still cut up a waterski course from her days growing up as a “River Rat” in Southern California. She considers her three children her greatest accomplishments.
A native of the Bay Area, Bond joins the Needle team with more than 15 years of entrepreneurial marketing and product management experience, most recently as vice president of marketing and product at eXperticity, which was named to the Inc. 500 list of fastest growing companies in 2010. Prior to this, Bond served in executive positions at Jeffery & Bryan Eisenberg, Hewlett-Packard, Logoworks and in channel management roles at Ancestry.com and A&E Television Networks. In addition to sitting on several advisory boards, Bond is also the adjunct professor for the entrepreneurial marketing undergraduate and MBA course at the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah. When he's not at the office, which is rare, you can find him hanging around the local music scene or hiking in the mountains.
Mike joins the team with 15+ years of Sales Leadership experience in the Enterprise Software and SAAS space. Mike has a proven history of building highly efficient sales teams and owning initiatives including Sales and Client Retention. Prior to joining Needle, Mike was the VP, Head of Enterprise America's for LivePerson, Inc. The company grew from $17M to $150M + during his eight year tenure.
Prior to LivePerson, Mike was Vice President of Sales for Endymion Systems, Inc. He was critical to their growth and helped raise $15M in Series A Funding. He also held various roles at Parametric Technology Corporation and Xerox Corporation. Mike holds a B.S. in Finance from Villanova University.
When not in the office, Mike enjoys spending time with his family, playing basketball and golf and taking his dog Rose to the beach.
Stephanie has over 15 years experience leading customer focused recruiting, learning and performance management initiatives both in the U.S. and globally. Most recently, she was a vice president at LiveOps where she was responsible for recruiting, certification and enterprise customer care with a virtual community of 20,000 independent contractors. While at LiveOps, she created the contractor eco-system called My Work Community, which won the Innovation Award in 2010 from Chief Learning Officer magazine. She had the opportunity to bring up a remote workforce in Cape Town, South Africa for a top 3 mobile services customer without ever leaving Denver, and has significant experience bringing up workforces in Asia Pacific and Central America for Fortune 500 companies. Stephanie is passionate about large scale communities and shopping, and comes to Needle from Denver with her husband and four amazing children.
Nick comes to Needle from Adobe Sytems where he was an Enterprise Account Executive managing strategic accounts in the Digital Marketing Business Unit. In this role he specialized in selling solutions such as the Omniture web analytics and conversion suites of products as well as consulting and engineering services. Annison spent five years at Omniture and an additional two years at Adobe after its acquisition of Omniture. Annison closed new logo customers such as Facebook, Cisco, Sephora, Williams Sonoma, and Mozilla and was responsible for managing and selling into additional strategic accounts including Apple, Intel, Gap, Fox, Wal-Mart, Nike and eBay. Nick also had the role of Strategic Account Team Lead in managing overlay sales teams and consistently exceeded his quotas ranking at the top of his team for closed business. Nick is an avid adventurist who loves multisport in the great outdoors, including trekking to Mt. Everest basecamp and scuba diving in Kho Phi Phi.
Andy joins the team with 17 years of high-level sales and marketing experience. Most recently Andy was the Director of Sales at Swarmbuilder, Inc., an online company using engagement, training and product seeding tools to build sales advocates for manufacturers and retailers. Prior to Swarmbuilder, Andy successfully led the sales team for Beretta, the oldest company in the world, and was the Marketing Director at Sports, Inc. where he negotiated programs and pricing with Manufacturers on behalf of 500 + Independent Retailers across the U.S. and Canada. Andy has excelled in numerous sports and now enjoys racing endurance horses in 50 and 100-mile single day events as well as spending time exploring the outdoors with his family.
Jeff joins Needle with 15 years of executive level business development, strategic marketing and enterprise sales experience with a focus on technical outsourced services including Contact Center Outsourcing, Cloud computing (SaaS), BPO, and ITO solutions. Jeff has proven expertise in identifying business opportunities, developing strategies and leading pursuit teams that result in profitable multi-million dollar contracts. A native of San Jose, Jeff mountain bikes, surfs, skiis, and scuba dives.
Eric was born and raised in Utah, a perfect setting for his seasonal passions: golf and snowboarding. Eric’s professional career started at Best Buy, where he went from a car audio installer to opening stores as the lead technician. He then moved on to Best Buy corporate as a Territory Business Account Manager, advising over 200 accounts and driving over $2 million in annual revenue. Eric boasts more than three years of B2B sales experience in hardware and software, as well as more than eight years in retail training. He is skilled in seeking new business, consultative selling, and cultivating client relationships, all of which are serving him well at Needle! Eric stays busy with his wife, daughter, newborn son, and newly remodeled house. You can actually catch the “before” version of his house featured on an episode of House Hunters!
Casey comes to Needle from Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, where he was in National Sales managing strategic accounts for the Salt Lake market. Before that, he spent three years in Phoenix working for Clear Channel as a research analyst. Casey is a cold-calling machine and holds down the phones for the east coast. He also holds down a degree in Marketing from Utah State University and an MBA from the University of Utah. When not at work, Casey enjoys skiing, running marathons, and spending time with his family.
Client Success, Community, Marketing & Operations
Chris came to Needle from Adobe Systems where he was an Enterprise Account Manager for the Digital Marketing Business Unit. In this role, he used his experience in enterprise sales and business development to manage a $8M annual book of business and grow it at a 25% annual clip. At Adobe and Omniture, Chris managed clients such as Delta Airlines, American Eagle, Patagonia, and Beachbody and was named to the 2011 Adobe Sales Achiever Club. When he's not planning his next surf trip, Chris loves wrestling with his three boys, date nights with his better half, and winning bets at the ping pong tables.
Diana comes to Needle from Expion, where she worked as a Senior Account Manager with clients like Hilton Worldwide, Barnes & Noble, and Texas Roadhouse. In this position, she consulted on social media best practices, trained for effective use of the Expion software, and drove engagement through use of the Expion platform. Diana was able to expand Hiton’s usage of Expion from two to nine brands, and from 40 to 1,000 hotels in just six months. Diana also worked at the Guess? Corporate office forecasting sales and allocating product, as well as withNordstrom as a show consultant. In her free time Diana loves Zumba, hiking, and country concerts.
Trev is one of those unique individuals with both technical and design expertise – a double threat. He has over fifteen years of graphic design experience under his belt, with five years focused on web design and optimizing user experience. Trev started his career as a print designer for FedEx, focusing later on user experience and digital media design before joining the Needle team. Trev has an eye for great design, a solid understanding of sales and marketing, and an in-depth knowledge of the technical side of web programming. Using these skills, he’s able to quickly apply his technical and design understanding to help our customers optimize their chat programs.
Jen began her career in media at GroupM in midtown Manhattan. After moving to Salt Lake City she spent three years as a media planner and buyer at The Summit Group. With her responsibilities in managing community events at Needle, Jen gets to know Needlers across the country and helps the company tell their amazing stories. Jen received a degree in Advertising and Communications from Brigham Young University, and enjoys travelling and spending time with her family.
Mike attended the University of Utah, working on a double major in Entrepreneurship and Management as well as starting his own supplement company called NeuroLogic. During this time, he was introduced to Needle by Brian Bond and joined our team shortly after. He now works in our marketing department, catching whatever marketing curve balls we throw at him and assisting in product development. Outside of Needle, Mike is a personal trainer. He also does some of his own training up at the Olympic Park in Park City for skeleton racing. If you don’t know what Skeleton is, that means he slides face down a frozen track on a very small sled, at very highspeeds. We are hoping to have aNeedle-sponsored employee in Sochi, 2014. Go Mike!!!
Ben brings strong graphic design, conversion design and project management skills to Needle. Most recently, he was the Principal at Further Creative where he worked with various start-ups designing everything from brand identities to packaging concepts. Previously, Ben was a Senior Marketing Designer at Marketsplash by HP. A native of Wyoming, Ben attended both the University of Utah and Southern Utah University where he received his degree in Graphic Design. He loves Captain Crunch and his kids, who think he is weird for going to hair band concerts.
Tabitha brings 13 years of Sales and Customer Service experience to Needle. Most recently, Tabitha was Director of Community for LiveOps where she had responsibility for motor club sales, insurance initiatives and conversion programs. Her main area of focus is performance management and improvement. Tabitha has relocated from Lake Havasu City, Arizona to Salt Lake City with her husband, daughter, fabulous basset hounds, and an outstanding Coach jewelry and watch collection. She is an avid softball player, snowboarder and plays a mean game of ping-pong.
Marianne has spent the past two years managing and running an office of salesmen and technicians. Previous to that, she was a Grassroots Outreach Coordinator for the Public Relations (PR) firm Porter Novelli in Los Angeles where she led a team that successfully stopped legislation that would harm the local economy. Prior to her PR agency experience she worked Nordstrom where she enjoyed selling products she loved. Marianne studied at Brigham Young University, where she majored in PR and earned her Master of Public Administration degree. She loves Pinterest, camping, pilates and kickboxing.
Whitney Zamá joins Needle after instructing in art design, theory and photography courses as a Faculty Associate at Arizona State University and community colleges for 5 years. Her eclectic 12 years of experience includes managing specialized arts communities and events, news station production, customer relations, training implementation, and exhibition in fine art galleries. She received her Masters of Fine Arts degree from Arizona State University, and her B.A. in Communications-Broadcasting from Brigham Young University. As a certified Acroyoga, Slackline, Aerial, and Yoga instructor, she is known for her dedication in teaching, unifying diverse groups of people, and promoting unique arts since 2006. Performing partner acrobatics since 2009, she shares her message of unity, teamwork, and empowerment through connection. She shares her passion for the arts, outdoors, and travel with her four energetic and adventurous children.
With a great deal of experience managing the demands of startups, June comes to Needle with office management and executive assistant experience at companies like SEO.com and LANDesk. June manages the day-to-day operations at Needle headquarters and serves as an executive assistant. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Business and tests out various skateparks with her husband as they travel.
Matt has acquired over a decade of finance and accounting experience in a variety of industries, from manufacturing to contact centers. Most recently, Matt was at LiveOps, where he was responsible for planning, forecasting, and budgeting revenues in excess of $100 million. While at LiveOps, he created many of the internal processes and procedures that drove efficiencies across multiple departments. In his spare time Matt enjoys running. He comes to Needle from Phoenix with his wife and daughter.
Technical Operations & Technology
With 16 years of technology management experience, Ben has done everything from managing data centers to working for the Salt Lake City 2002 Olympics where he oversaw all the central systems infrastructure required for scoring and disseminating scores to the press. Prior to Neede he led the systems architecture design of BlueCoat's cloud service. He is an avid home brewer and cyclist and enjoys hanging out with his kids.
Cameron has been working in technical operations since 1999 at companies like XMission and Blue Coat Systems. His expertise in using tools to automate systems provisioning and administration has been key to Needle’s success with the Guided Shopping Platform. Cameron is known for easily offering up superfluous movie quotes, attributing the skill to studying film at the University of Utah. He’s also an avid road cyclist, cat-owner, and husband who lists whiskey as an interest.
Dave came to Needle from Nutraceutical Corp. He’s got over 8 years of experience working in IT Operations as a Systems and Network Administrator. He specializes in server virtualization, infrastructure security, and managing e-commerce environments, therefore the majority of his career has been working with Internet retailers and other web based companies. Dave loves being in the great outdoors with Linux, his German shepherd. They do a lot of hiking and running together. Dave is one of those well-balanced humans who likes all sports, both watching and playing them, but also loves computers, technology, reading, and history. He’s also very tall, so he’s nice to have around the office for reaching high shelves and cupboards.
Tim brings Needle more than 15 years of software product development experience in small startups and large organizations. He couples specialties in Java development, test driven development, automating build and testing systems, software design and general problem solving with his experience in leading small and large teams of engineers, most recently as Team Lead for the Snapfish Web Platform at HP. Tim has also spent time as the Manager of Web Technologies at Blizzard Entertainment where he worked on World of Warcraft. As an ASA certified sailor, Tim plans on sailing around the world one day but enjoys his boat in the meantime.
Travis has over 15 years of experience developing web-based applications, with a rare ability to utilize both front-end design and back-end logic strengths. Having started his professional career at Authorize.Net, he also has a solid understanding of merchant and e-commerce payment processing. Travis now enjoys creating rich user experiences using the latest HTML5 and CSS3 techniques, as well as drawing, painting, sculpting, and carving.
Matt is A+ certified with CompTIA, CCNA certified with Cisco, and MCTS certified with Microsoft. His work experience before Needle includes Systems Administration at Vehix.com and 3 years as a Data Analyst at Blue Coat Systems. He's also a certified EMT, so if anyone at the office ever needs the Heimlich, we know who to yell for. Outside of the office, Matt's hobbies include Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, MMA, climbing, slack lining, hiking, and flying stunt kites.
While Brian is considered a relative newcomer to the web application space, he has quickly garnered an impressive skill set and résumé, demonstrating proficiency in both front and back-end technologies. Brian has worked as a phylogenetic researcher on the Tree of Life project at Brigham Young University, a front-end development intern at Nu Skin Enterprises, and as a web developer for KSL.com. In addition to his work at Needle, Brian is currently finishing his B.S. in Computer Science at Weber State University. If Brian isn't behind a keyboard, this native of Helena, Montana is probably rock-climbing, skiing, or speaking Italian.
Camron has over 10 years of engineering work experience after starting out building web-enabled learning platforms. He has considerable experience in the media/communications server engineering niche where he architected high availability, multi-threaded phone (SIP)/chat/video systems for enterprise and reseller markets from the ground up. This core server is now in use by major mobile carriers to unify communications for large customers. Camron’s most recent position was Senior Software Engineer at HP where he was charged with the design and implementation of HP's next-generation Web Services Cloud Platform. Camron was a professional guitar player for many years, touring with artists ranging from the Jerry Garcia Band to Snoop Dogg, and enjoys comics, Legos, and snowboarding.
Levi has over 12 years of web application experience under his belt. He’s worked for turbulent, fast-paced startups as well as the more structured corporate giants. Various roles from developer to architect have made him a well-versed engineer. By trade he’s a Java engineer, but he’s worked with several other languages and front-end technologies. He hold a degree in Computer Science, but he’s also interested in network programming and physics. Previous to working in technology, Levi was a firefighter and spent most of his time outdoors. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, traveling, photography, and camping under the stars. And he does believe there is intelligent life out there…somewhere.
Lenni has 4 plus years of progressive experience and expertise in designing, creating, and testing software solutions using agile software development methods. After earning his B.S. in Computer Science from the University of California, Riverside, he began acquiring his web development experience at Direct Financial Solutions. There he developed and maintained an online payday lending site and also helped create back-end systems to communicate with third party services; experience that has come in handy in his work here at Needle. In his free time he likes to hunt, fish, camp, ATV, and Snowmobile.
Tyler really he loves his job; he has been passionate about programming since he was 13 years old. Tyler has been coding professionally since 1999, building the card creation system at SendOutCards.com, and the profiling and database test automation for DataStax. He loves learning, especially about science, business, and history. Tyler put himself through school and graduated summa cum laude in Computer Engineering from the University of Utah. When he isn't programming, Tyler enjoys bouldering, reading, and playing soccer with his kids.
Indu completed both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Computer Science and Engineering before starting his professional career in India as a software engineer for a hardware manufacturer. After five years writing OSes, firmwares, UNIX device drivers, and ATM switches (and building an impressive collection of stamps on his passport,) he moved to Provo, Utah to work for Novell. At Novell, he was responsible for designing and developing client solutions for distributed filesystem, middle tier services and authentication. In doing so, he worked with Windows kernel, Apache web servers and Novell's eDirectory service. After ten years at Novell, Indu moved on to Blue Coat Systems, again writing client-based software for content filtering, and developing cloud strategy. With all these years of learning varied technologies and implementing solutions behind him, Indu comes to Needle excited to explore a new space – a truly dynamic consumer services software program.
Gabriela attended Utah Valley University, where she graduated with a BS in Computer Science in 2012. She accomplished an internship with Verio for 6 months as a Cloud Computing Intern, where her main job was to write Python scripts testing speed for setting up instances in Amazon EC2. Between her internship and joining us at Needle, Gabriela worked freelance to develop a program that automated launching hundreds of instances and configuring them from a CL interface. She loves to read, watch movies, game, and play with electronics. She’s currently building a “carbot” (a robot car controlled by Adruino).
Board of Directors
Jim Barnett is a partner at Shasta Ventures. Jim Barnett has been a highly successful serial CEO and entrepreneur and is currently chairman and co-founder of Turn, chairman of Extole and Sojern, and a board member of Needle and RelayRides. From 2004 until 2009, Jim was CEO, chairman and co-founder of Turn, the leading platform for managing data driven digital advertising. Before that he was president of Overture Search, a division of Overture Services, Inc. Jim joined Overture via its acquisition of AltaVista Company, where he was president and CEO. In this role, he led the company's successful turnaround and sale to Overture.
Jim was also president of Ancestry.com (MyFamily.com) and president and CEO of ThirdAge Media, which was acquired by Ancestry.com. Prior to that, Jim was president and CEO of Infogrammes North America, a leading global publisher of video games and entertainment software. He was also chairman, president and CEO of Accolade Inc, Infogrammes' predecessor company, and prior to that was chief operating officer of an “Inc. 100 Fastest Growing Private Companies.”
Greg Butterfield is Founder and Managing Partner of SageCreek Partners. Before SageCreek, Greg was Group President for Symantec’s enterprise Server and Storage business unit ($4B business P&L). Butterfield joined Symantec through the company’s acquisition of Altiris in April 2007. At Altiris, Greg served as Chairman, President and CEO. Butterfield has extensive executive-level experience in the software and service industry. Greg was invited to the World Economic Forum as Technology Pioneer in 2008 and was inducted into Utah’s Technology Hall of Fame in 2009. Greg is a seasoned board member having served as Chairman of Utah’s Technology Council, Omniture, Utah Valley University Board of Trustees, and several other technology and eCommerce related companies.
Sam Decker is a recognized expert in eCommerce, word-of-mouth marketing, and direct marketing. A frequent speaker at marketing and eCommerce events and author of an award-winning marketing blog (www.deckermarketing.com), Sam brings more than 15 years of marketing and online retailing experience to the Needle board. Sam was most recently the Chief Marketing Officer at Bazaarvoice. Before joining Bazaarvoice, Sam spent seven years of leadership at Dell, Inc. in marketing, eBusiness, CRM, and customer-centricity. From 1999-2003, he led Dell's consumer web site, building Dell.com into the largest consumer eCommerce site at $3.5B in annual sales.
Jeff Kearl is the CEO of Stance, an action-sports apparel company based in San Clemente, CA. Prior to Stance, Jeff was the CMO at Logoworks and led its acquisition to HP in 2007. Jeff is a seasoned VC/angel investor having made over 20 investments including Omniture, Outright, MovieClips.com, Familylink, Matuse and Ancestry.com.
Doug Schrier is a General Partner at Rembrandt Venture Partners. Prior to joining Rembrandt Venture Partners, Doug was a Senior Partner at Argo Global Capital in Boston from 2001 to late 2005. Doug has been involved in funding, managing, and developing technology companies for over 20 years. His prior experience includes being SVP for Acquisitions and Strategic Ventures at SAIC, a Fortune 250 company in La Jolla, CA.
Doug was Co-Founder, COO & CFO of Multum Information Services and President of Ceon Corporation where collectively he raised over $75 million in Venture Capital. Doug has also held positions at Salomon Brothers Inc., where he was an Associate in Venture Capital and at Prudential-Bache where he worked as an Associate in Corporate Finance. Doug currently sits on the boards of Allegiance, Electric Cloud, Proximetry, and Zenprise. Also, Doug currently mentors through Columbia's Private Equity Mentorship Program.