Our Team

Our team is dedicated to creating Decker’s communications experience for our clients:

  • Our Program Leaders are the best in the industry – they deliver consistently superior quality programs every day that continually exceed our client’s expectations.
  • Our sales professionals are consultative in their approach to ensure that programs are designed for maximum impact for each client.
  • Our office staff brings it all together for an end-to-end seamless experience.

Yassmeen Abo-Elreich
Program Coordinator

From the moment Yassmeen stepped into a Decker program, she knew she had embarked upon a “life-changing” organization. A people-person at her core, she loves that Decker cares so much about both it’s clients and staff.

Yassmeen graduated from UC Davis with a double major in psychology and communication, and she’s passionate about how the two are related.

A Fresno native, Yassmeen is proud to now call the Bay Area her home. Her favorite things include laughing, doing yoga and exploring all the cultures, sights and restaurants San Francisco has to offer. She resides in Berkeley with her adorable cat, Mushu.

Keith Bailey

Keith Bailey
Senior Program Specialist

Keith originally came in contact with Decker several years ago when his first book was published. He hired Decker to help him be more effective when dealing with TV and radio interviews – so he knows first-hand how well the Decker methodology works.

Keith is co-founder of Sterling Consulting Group, a communications company specializing in customer service improvement. He has worked with some of the most prestigious organizations in the world including American Express, AT&T, Marriott Hotels, Microsoft, Lufthansa German Airlines and The British Government. Keith’s expertise has been featured in dozens of magazines and newspapers including The New York Times, Newsweek and Time. He has also been interviewed on ABC, CNN, NBC, Fox and many other affiliates.

Keith has published 7 business books to date, and has a BA in photography. He loves to cook, take photographs and design websites. He lives in Mill Valley, CA with his wife, Deborah.

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Kelebilemang Belton
Program Leader

Kelebilemang (Kele for short, pronounced “Keelee”) was drawn to the transformative power of the Decker method. As a communication specialist with a training background, she is especially passionate about ensuring that a client’s message is presented in plain and understandable language.

Kele has worked in various capacities in the communications field over the last 15 years. She started off as a lecturer at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. Her background also includes work with corporate and public entities in both communication training and project management capacities.

Kele holds a Masters degree in language and communications from Stellenbosch University. She lives with her husband and daughter in Oakland. In her spare time, Kele enjoys running, dancing, skiing and traveling. One of her biggest dreams is to spend a year traveling the world with her family.

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Gene Bloch
Program Leader

Gene was six minutes into the Communicate to Influence program when he realized Decker was exactly where he wanted to be. He loves helping people become better communicators and is consistently amazed by the effectiveness of video feedback.

Gene comes to Decker with an extensive background in journalism, including more than two decades at CNN in a wide range of production and newsgathering roles. He played a lead role covering stories including the financial crisis, the Occupy Wall Street movement, the Bernard Madoff securities fraud case, Superstorm Sandy and the September 11th terror attacks.

His passion for communication extends to music, as well. A pianist, bassist and guitarist, he’s recently begun composing and recording. Additionally, Gene loves hunting for the best artisanal cheeses among many other foods. He lives in New York City with his wife and two children.

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Linda Capello
Program Leader

As a Program Leader for Decker, Linda’s enthusiasm for her clients is infectious.  She is honored to foster program participants’ growth as leaders and communicators as they learn and apply the Decker Method.

Prior to joining Decker, Linda held leadership positions in industries ranging from not-for-profit to venture capital. Outside her life at Decker, Linda is the Communication Coach-in-Residence at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and teaches entrepreneurial communication to Stanford undergraduates. Additionally, she developed the curriculum for, and taught, Stanford’s first class on presentation design and delivery skills.

Linda has an MBA from the University of Connecticut, an MAT from Fuller Theological Seminary, and a BS in Accounting from Fairfield University. And as if that wasn’t enough, she spent two years studying at the Academy of Art University. She considers herself over-educated, over-caffeinated, and at times, over-stressed.

In her free time, she enjoys hiking, cycling, and reading. She lives in the SF Bay Area with her daughter, Katie.

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Jeanel Carlson
Director – Strategic Relationships

Jeanel was seeking an organization that could leverage her passion for communication and personal development. She found her perfect match at Decker Communications.

She brings over 15 years of marketing and communications experience for large-scale, Fortune 500, business-to-business technology and consumer companies like NCR, WageWorks and First Advantage. Specifically, she focused on partnering with executives to develop high-impact content for both internal and external audiences. Now she is thrilled to help even more executives and teams communicate to influence!

Jeanel holds an MBA in marketing from Georgia State University and a BA from the University of Minnesota. Relatively new to the Bay Area, Jeanel and her fiance relocated from Atlanta along with two dogs and a cat. A health and wellness enthusiast, she loves staying active—hiking, biking, walking her dogs and doing yoga.

Susan

Susan Eakin
Senior Consultant

Susan is passionate about encouraging people to lead confidently in their area of expertise. Susan truly cares about the people with whom she works, and she is committed to their transformation and success.

Prior to joining Decker, Susan worked as an Account Executive at Google Networks. Susan led a team in ad campaign management for key travel and technology clients. She brings over ten years of experience in the technology industry to Decker.

A respected leader, teacher and coach, Susan has established the foundations of two nonprofit organizations, implemented leadership processes and managed teams of over 80 people. Susan enjoys running, hiking, horseback riding and RVing with her husband Andrew and three children. She graduated Cum Laude from Hamilton College.

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Emily Fagan
Marketing Manager

Fascinated by the intricacies of communication and what drives people to take action, Emily is in constant awe of leading communicators both in history and today.

Prior to Decker, she was rocking strategic marketing initiatives and building brand recognition in the tech and non-profit space. She holds a BA in Communication with an emphasis in Broadcast Journalism from Wichita State University.

A goal setter (and getter), Emily has completed marathons in her two favorite cities, San Francisco and New York. She’s also an accomplished bowler winning two National Championships at her alma mater before competing internationally for Team USA. Emily resides in Las Vegas with her husband, Mike and their pitbull-mix, Lilly.

Cheyanne Faulkner
Production Coordinator

Cheyanne came to Decker as an intern and found a place she loved to work so much, it turned into a full-time gig! She soaked up learning communication skills from the best of the best and is mastering them more every day.

She turned her internship with the Dream Team into a full-time member of the San Francisco office as our Production Coordinator. She is a recent graduate of Saint Mary’s College of California, where she held positions in the Associated Students office and the college radio station, KSMC 89.5fm.

Cheyanne grew up in Bellevue, WA, where she enjoyed days on the lake and rooting for the Seahawks (yes, she knows she outnumbered in the bay). She is excited to start her professional career in the Bay Area, and if you ever need a good music playlist for just about any occasion, she’s your girl.

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John Galvin
Senior Consultant

John Galvin thrives on the transformation that takes place with clients after a Decker experience. “It’s cathartic to shed bad habits, and incredibly powerful to emerge on the other end as an outstanding communicator,” he says.

John is the founder of Strategic Media Group, a company that creates dynamic content for clients such as Deloitte Consulting, Russell Reynolds Associates, iInside and Customerville. He also founded One Day University, a live adult-learning experience featuring the country’s best professors.

As a journalist, John’s work has appeared in National Geographic, The New York Times Magazine, Wired, Popular Mechanics, Outside, GQ, and other publications. His assignments have taken him from the Egyptian desert in search of a mythical pharaoh, to the Arctic Circle with Kenya’s first winter Olympians.

He lives in Northampton, MA, with his wife, Tamara, and their three children. As a family they play a mean game of whiffle ball, and challenge each other to hot-sauce eating competitions.

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Sarah Goldberg

Sarah Goldberg
Program Leader

Sarah focuses on achieving high performance through effective communication and self-awareness, making her a natural fit for the Decker team.

With expertise in leadership development, sales training, team building and individual growth, Sarah became an executive coach seven years ago. Previously, she was a director at The Walt Disney Company and the founder of West Coast Advantage Inc., an advertising sales firm with clients like Apple, Gap, Microsoft and The Hearst Corporation.

Sarah is certified by The Coaches Training Institute, in addition to being a certified Myers Briggs (MBTI)® facilitator and a Program Manager for Women Unlimited. She holds a B.A. in Semiotics and Communication from Brown University. Along with her husband and two teenage daughters, Sarah lives in the San Francisco Bay area.

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Barbara Gottesman
Program Leader

Barbara was drawn to Decker’s mission to transform its clients, impact the business world, and create lasting change far beyond the office walls. As a certified life, career and leadership coach, and a former attorney, she knows how communication influences outcomes.

In 2009, Barbara set sail with her husband and two children on a 46-foot catamaran, travelling through Mexico, the South Pacific and Australia. Her adventures are chronicled in her recent book, “How to Slay a Pirate: Lessons on Success from Sailing the Pacific”. They now live in the San Francisco Bay area.

Barbara holds a BA in International Relations from University of Toronto and a law degree from University of Ottawa. She can be also be found volunteering in her community, hiking or cycling with friends and fighting off sleep.

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Dani Janklow
Director of Marketing

With passion for leadership, social change and strategic communication, what does Dani love most about the Decker MethodTM? Getting answers to the age-old question: “So what?”

Dani started her career producing live television before turning to marketing to share ideas. She has been brand building, creating original content, managing national campaigns and developing messaging strategy from coast to coast (and in between) ever since. Prior to Decker, Dani was consulting for start-ups and nonprofit organizations.

Dani loves spending time outside – especially hiking, skiing and surfing. She also has a penchant for international travel, volunteering, yoga, citrus and spicy foods. Dani graduated with Phi Beta Kappa honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She currently lives in San Francisco.

Courtney Kwan
Finance Manager

Courtney joined Decker because she wanted to be part of an organization that makes a difference, and communication is such a large part of our daily lives. She loves being a part of Decker’s friendly and supportive team.

Courtney brings several years of experience in accounting, A/P, A/R, payroll, GL management and fixed assets to the team, formerly working for Restoration Hardware and Paradise Foods.

Courtney holds a BS in Business Administration from San Francisco State University. She currently lives in Marin with her husband, Jasper, and their fur child (dog), Toby. Her friends and family are still trying to convince her to sell her special pecan pie at the farmer’s market.

Karen Laos

Karen Laos
Senior Manager – Program Delivery, Program Leader

Karen loves being a Program Leader for Decker! She considers it a privilege to be a catalyst in people’s growth and is passionate about seeing participants transform in just two days. Her background in human resources at Gap Inc and Gensler Architecture has helped shape her philosophy of experiential learning. She finds her job rewarding because people get to practice and see immediate results. Karen received a BA in Psychology from Lafayette College and puts it to good use everyday.

Originally from Minneapolis, Karen decided to pack up her bags in 1994 and follow her childhood dream of living in San Francisco. An adventurer at heart, she takes every opportunity possible to travel, especially to beach destinations. Next on her must-visit list: Greece and Bermuda.

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Terry Lee

Terry Lee
Vice President – Strategic Partnerships

As the Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, Terry builds relationships with Decker’s most important partners and clients. He was employee #3 with the company in 1980, and he feels strongly that Decker is the preeminent communications training and consulting firm in the business.

Terry has been in sales and sales management for almost all of his 40 years in business. In addition to Decker, past positions included stints as the Director of National Ad Sales for the San Francisco Chronicle, the Vice President of Sales for SoftAd and work for such larger corporations as Continental Can and Castle and Cooke. He is one of 7 children – a graduate of the University of Notre Dame – and is proud to be a husband, father and very active in the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization.

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Eliza Leoni
Program Leader

Eliza fell in love with the Decker Method when she took Communicate to Influence. “Seeing such fast transformations in a fun atmosphere was incredibly exciting. I couldn’t wait to get involved.”

Prior to Decker, Eliza worked for UC Hastings College of the Law, where she recruited legal employers to hire law students. Before UC Hastings, she managed American Conservatory Theater’s adult education program, promoting theater training as a professional development tool. Because she can’t get enough of helping people excel outside their comfort zones, Eliza also directs musicals as the associate artistic director of award-winning Ray of Light Theatre.

Eliza graduated from Willamette University with a BA in theatre and politics. She is a Court Appointed Special Advocate for foster youth and occasionally performs original parody cabarets in her hometown of San Francisco.

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Jennifer McMahon

Jennifer Lewis
Program Leader

Jenny has long been fascinated by what people say and how they say it. She is passionate about leveraging storytelling in business and loves helping participants craft their messages. A former newspaper reporter in Los Angeles, she covered gritty urban crimes, investigated the inner world of street gangs, followed high-profile celebrity trials, and tracked the occasional Presidential visit. Her breaking news story about the murder of a social worker at a clinic won a statewide award and led to tighter OSHA security measures.

A San Francisco native, Jenny holds a BA in Journalism with Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude honors from the University of Southern California.

At Decker, Jenny also draws upon her experience working at CBS-TV, Hyatt Hotels, and Williams-Sonoma. But it’s her love for travel and a job as a cruise ship activities director that gave Jenny a lifetime of stories and taught her an essential skill for Decker road trips: how to pack light.

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Bridgette Logan
Manager – Strategic Relationships

Bridgette found the Decker culture of positivity, inclusiveness and commitment to bettering oneself to be both inspiring and contagious. After her internship, she couldn’t wait to be a fully “Decker-ated” member of the administrative team.

As a member of the Dream Team, Bridgette works hard to ensure that every experience with Decker, whether it’s a training program or a company birthday party, radiates with positivity, professionalism and care.

A recent transplant from Los Angeles, Bridgette lives in the East Bay. She graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a B.A. in Comparative Literature concentrating on Film and Media Studies. As such, Bridgette keeps the Decker team up to date with all things Pop Culture, and makes sure they never miss out on the best films and television shows.

Amelia McCormick

Amelia McCormick
Director of Program Development & Delivery

Amelia oversees the Decker program experience – management of the core curriculum, new program development, client customization, our dynamic team of Program Leaders and scheduling. She is the resident expert for program customization, and she enjoys the challenges of tailoring programs to meet specific client needs, goals and timeframes.

Amelia leads strategic programs and workshops, as well as serves as an executive coach. In addition to her leadership role at Decker, Amelia loves the opportunity to have a direct impact on the communication skills of others.

Amelia’s professional background is in advertising and strategic communications, working with a variety of regional and national clients on message development and communication strategy. Prior to Decker, she was director of marketing and fundraising for a countywide nonprofit in southern California.

Amelia holds a MS in Strategic Communication from the University of Kansas. She and her husband, Kevin, live in Asheville, North Carolina with their twin children and two miniature schnauzers. In her spare time, Amelia loves to cook, run and travel.

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Sonya Medema

Sonya Medema
Program Leader

As a Program Leader for Decker, Sonya enjoys the opportunity to help people and loves to see their personal growth, right before her eyes.

Prior to joining Decker, Sonya worked at The Sharper Image for ten years as a Buyer. She traveled all around the world, searching for the latest techie products and also working closely with manufacturers on product development. In this role, she became quite familiar with how critical communication skills are in business.

Sonya holds a BA in Sociology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She and her husband, Aaron, live in Lafayette, CA with their two young children. She loves to cook and spend time enjoying nature.

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Ed Pachetti
Program Leader

Ed approaches every communication experience with a strategic mindset. He believes that there is no limit to what people can achieve if they work hard, and that is why he always pushes and encourages them to reach their full potential.

He has over 20 years of experience in communication strategy and has worked as a consultant, providing innovative marketing opportunities and communications services to businesses across multiple industries. Some of his clients included Baruch College, Kaplan, Inc., Ketchum, Time Warner and Time Warner Cable.

Ed grew up in an Italian family where he learned to speak the language fluently. He lives in New York City with his family and has a BA from New York University. He loves to play basketball, cook and hopes to one day be a serious contender on MasterChef.

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Susan Popovich
Manager – Strategic Relationships

Susan is passionate about helping develop, coach and train people to find “it” – that influence that will make them successful.

During her 30 years of medical sales experience with extraordinary companies, such as Johnson & Johnson, Surgikos, Quest Laboratories, Hanger Orthopedics and Abbott, Susan was most passionate about sales training and professional development of her teams. When she learned about Decker, she thought, “Why haven’t I been doing this all along?”

Susan graduated from UCLA with a BA in English (and she still has a fantasy of using that degree to become a food critic). Susan lives in San Francisco’s East Bay with her husband, three children, two dogs, cat and fish. She loves travel, hiking, yoga, biking, collecting seashells and anything spa. She never misses a sunset.

Debra Robinson

Debra Robinson
Director – Strategic Relationships

Debra enjoys assisting executives, teams and individuals to realize their full potential. Her clients value and appreciate her consultative approach to helping them maximize the training and coaching they receive through Decker programs.

With a passion for excellence, Debra has over 25 years experience in sales and sales leadership. Prior to joining Decker, Debra held senior leadership positions with PowerSpeaking, Valassis Inc., American City Business Journals and the Bay Area News Group. She is adept at generating business opportunities and has a keen understanding of team building and training.

Debra enjoys the arts and loves to travel. She is passionate about fitness, wellness, cooking and wine pairing.  She lives in San Francisco’s East Bay, and devotes much of her free time to her daughter and her two grandsons.

Celeste Steenburgh
Senior Manager – Program Logistics and HR Administration

Celeste is the glue that holds the Decker office together. She works magic behind the scenes as the single point of contact for end-to-end program execution. As a result, participants experience a seamless program, helping them fully commit to honing their communication skills. Celeste holds a BA in Speech and Communication from San Francisco State University and took her degree into the working fields of hospitality, media, and now brings her communication skills to Decker.

Celeste has spent the majority of her life in the Bay Area and owns a home in the in the North Bay with her love and Winnie.

Maurice Teffel
Program Leader

Fascinated with the power of video, Maurice was taken aback by the disparity of how people feel in front of the camera versus how they actually look from the audience’s perspective. He loves watching people grow and thrive, as they embrace more effective communication processes.

Maurice’s background includes public relations, corporate communications, and academia. He founded MTC Consulting, a firm that develops internal and external communication materials in multiple languages for U.S. multinationals operating in Latin America and Europe, including Avon, AOL, and Enron.

Maurice holds a BA in Psychology from Northeastern University and is a certified Coach Practitioner in Neuro-Linguistic Programming. He is fluent in Spanish and French, and has good working knowledge of Portuguese. Combining his passion for skiing, scuba diving and other cultures, he has lived and traveled throughout the world. He currently resides in New York City.

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Mindy Wegner
Program Leader

Mindy was convinced of the effectiveness of the Decker Method while participating in a Communicate to Influence program. “I was profoundly impressed with the improvements and changes that every single person in the program was able to achieve after only 2 days working with the Decker Method. I was inspired to want to be a part of helping others in that process of improving.”

Mindy joined the Decker Team with that desire: to help people reach their communication potential. She brings years of experience working with non-profit organizations in fund-raising, donor-base development, event production, and leadership development and coaching.

Prior to her years in the non-profit world, Mindy worked in the medical staffing industry as the Director of Hospital Services for a contractor providing contract physician services to military hospitals across the nation. It was during these years that Mindy came to know she loves all the “military toys”.

Mindy received her BA degree and post-graduate studies towards an MBA from Oral Roberts University. She resides in the San Francisco East Bay with her husband and 2 amazing teenage boys.

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Jessica Weiss
Program Leader

Jessica Weiss was drawn to Decker because of its many similarities to her career in psychology. She loves that it is based on empirically-validated principles and that it helps individuals make specific behavioral changes. She is fascinated by the power of video feedback and gets such a thrill out of seeing how the Decker program transforms communication skills.

Jessica holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from St. Johns University. She owns her own private practice, where she treats individuals with anxiety disorders and depression. She helps her patients work on specific therapeutic goals, and often brings them outside of the office to expose them to anxiety-provoking stimuli–subways, elevators, and even the Brooklyn Bridge.

Jessica lives in Manhattan, NY, with her husband and two boys. As a family, they enjoy biking, traveling, cooking, and building robots.

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Leah West
Senior Consultant

“When you know better, you do better.” Leah loves to see this quote from Maya Angelou come to life during programs as participants gain self-awareness that transforms their communication confidence and effectiveness.

Leah uses humor to help others get outside of their comfort zone and explore new perspectives. A brand strategist when she came to Decker, she has more than 20 years of experience in corporate marketing, PR and creative facilitation, collaborating with some of the world’s most iconic brands, including Coca-Cola, Playboy and Reader’s Digest.

Leah earned a Master’s degree in Communication Management from the USC Annenberg School of Communication and a Bachelor’s degree in Literature & Rhetoric from Binghamton University. She resides in Westchester County, New York, with her husband and their two terrier rescues, Pixie and Cleveland.

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Jonathan Willard

Jonathan Willard
Vice President – Strategic Relationships

Jonathan leads Decker’s New York office. He brings two decades of experience in designing and delivering organizational communications and performance improvement programs for some of the world’s most admired companies.

Jonathan has worked extensively in the areas of strategy, innovation, leadership, business development, and brand activation. His agency affiliations have included JWT, the Involvement Practice, Bonfire Communications, and New York Consulting Partners.

In addition to his work in communications, Jonathan is an accomplished artist whose paintings and drawings have been widely exhibited, and his writing has appeared in numerous journals and literary reviews.

Karen Williams
Manager – Strategic Relationships

Karen loves connecting with people and developing lasting relationships. She is passionate about helping people maximize their potential for success and whole heartedly believes in the power of communication which makes Decker a natural fit for her.

Karen brings 25 years’ experience motivating, leading and inspiring teams. Prior to joining Decker, she was a multi-year President’s Club recipient and a top performer as a sales manager at Adecco Staffing. Karen also has years of experience as chairperson and committee head for multiple non-profit and volunteer organizations.

Karen is native to San Francisco’s East Bay where she currently lives with her husband, three amazing children and golden retriever. She enjoys hiking, cooking, and socializing with friends. She is also an avid fan of Cal Bears water polo where her son is part of the 2016 NCAA championship team.

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Yvonne Yip
New York Office Manager

After taking Decker’s Communicate to Influence program, Yvonne realized how important communication is – and always will be – in the corporate world. The Decker methodology has changed the way she works and interacts with others.

Yvonne is a valued member of Decker’s administrative team (“The Dream Team”), supporting the sales and program teams. Her love for organization can be seen from the meticulously labeled program materials to the color-coded tea bags in our office. Her hard work ensures that the “program goes on!”

Yvonne recently moved from California’s East Bay to New York to manage Decker’s New York office. Yvonne graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a BA in English. She has a passion for fashion and helps keep the Decker team looking fresh. She also has a healthy obsession with pandas and is a Pinterest enthusiast.

Pete Zeskind
Manager – Strategic Relationships

Pete joined the Decker team because we help people in an area where many struggle. He also loves being surrounded by talented colleagues who challenge him to be better every day.

Pete has over 5 years of sales experience in the sports marketing industry. Most recently, he worked for IMG College at UNC Asheville, managing the relationships of 45+ corporate sponsorships for the athletics department. He’s a huge sports fan, specifically he’s a die-hard Arizona basketball fan.

Born and raised in Tucson, AZ, Pete earned a B.S in Agribusiness Economics and Management from the University of Arizona, where he also played club soccer. Pete enjoys playing soccer, basketball and golf, as well as hiking and being in the outdoors. He also aspires to travel to every continent.