We build and grow outstanding, content-rich websites that inform and engage readers. That’s what we do. Plain and simple.

Each webpage we create addresses a unique consumer need identified through careful analysis of search patterns, survey results, and other data culled via good old-fashioned elbow grease. In other words, we spend countless hours investigating what people are looking for and why — and, most importantly, how we can help.

The success of our sites and our company starts with the people. We hire and partner with subject-matter experts, top designers, best-in-class developers, and award-winning writers and journalists.

These absolutely vital contributors are the main reason we continuously move our websites above and beyond the competition.

We build and grow outstanding, content-rich websites that inform and engage readers. That’s what we do. Plain and simple.


We are data junkies

We leverage publicly available data from highly reputable sources to create compelling analyses for our website visitors. We create, organize and transform massive data sets into content that yields valuable insight.

We know content

We partner with dozens of writers, editors, subject-matter experts, and other top-notch content creators with backgrounds in academia, journalism, online media, graphic design, higher education, and tech.

We are creative

We actively seek new and more effective ways to engage with readers. Content may start with words, but great content uses text, charts, graphs, interactive tools, and other mechanisms to convey meaning and maximize experience.

We are efficient

In all aspects of our business, from research and writing to design and development, and from ideas to prioritization to execution, we push each other to find the most intelligent and efficient paths to problem solving and project completion. Everyone at ABUV has a voice, which shapes our direction and drives our culture.

We are visible

We produce content that tackles specific questions posed by users on the web. People find our articles, guidebooks and other resources because our data, content, design, and development stand out.

Who we are

The ABUV team spans multiple industry sectors, from management and hi-tech to higher education, design, and editorial. We combine our strengths and work together to create websites that provide value and constantly push the envelope.

Dan Schuessler

Founder & CEO

Before founding Affordable Colleges Online, Dan cut his teeth in the tech world in various finance roles at Intel and Opentable.com. Dan played a key role in the Opentable IPO and he has been successful in several entrepreneurial endeavors along the way. He enjoys spending time with his wife Cara and two children, Larkin (4) and Hawken (1) and training in the mountains for his next Ironman or ultra running event. Dan works tirelessly to support higher education, affordability and accreditation.


Doug Jones

Founder & CEO

Doug comes from the tech world in Silicon Valley, and has a passion for education and social progress. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, Doug worked in the semi-conductor and internet marketing industries before founding Abuv Media. Doug has a lovely wife Mimi, and two young boys that put a smile on his face – Caiden and Landon.


Heidi Agustin

Managing Editor

Heidi M. Agustin earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley. After graduating, she entered the field of recruiting and worked for well-known companies in Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area. In 2010, she took her long-time love and passion for writing to the digital world as an online content manager.


Wes Ricketts

Senior Vice President, Content & SEO

Wes earned his master’s degree in history in 2006, book-ended by teaching stints at the elementary and college levels, respectively. He entered the content side of post-secondary education as an editor in 2007. Wes built upon his editorial experience to become Director of Web Content at one of Silicon Valley’s largest higher education publishers. He joins ABUV Media as vice president of content & SEO.


Mike Brandstetter

Content Editor

Mike is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism. Before becoming a content editor, he spent his waking hours going mad as a copywriter in the advertising industry. His free time is taken up almost exclusively by video games (they’re clearly the jealous type.)


Kyle Smith

Marketing Manager

Kyle Smith, a graduate of the University of Nevada’s economics program and a former Americorps member and non-profit marketing coordinator, brings a unique vantage to the marketing team. In what spare time he manages to eke out, he enjoys restoring midcentury modern furniture, learning architectural history and urban design, and volunteering in the community. 


Steven Mares


Steve began his career in public accounting after earning his bachelor’s degree in accounting from California State University, San Bernardino. He is a licensed California CPA and brings to ABUV numerous years of accounting and management experience having worked in various industries. When not working, Steve enjoys spending time with his wife, Joey, and their three beautiful daughters.


Justin Asdourian

Director of Data, Analytics & Infrastructure

Justin earned his master’s degree in philosophy in 2013, while studying computer science through several online courses offered by Udacity and Coursera. Since then, he has worked in consulting and has automated several methods of analysis essential to the work of his teams and clients. Justin brings this experience to his role as Director of Data, Analytics, and Infrastructure at ABUV Media, where he leverages ever-growing data sets to improve the company’s web assets and develops the company’s internal automation toolset.


Alana Biden

Content Editor

Alana has worked as a freelancer writer and editor for online media since 2013 on a range of subjects including music, social media, mental health and American culture. Most recently, she was a program coordinator at the Los Angeles chapter of Back on My Feet, a national nonprofit that uses running as an instrument of self-actualization. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in History and Literature from Harvard University and is a graduate of the Yale Writers’ Conference. Her perfect day would be waking up to Amy Winehouse’s cover of “Valerie,” reading and watching a Harry Potter movie with her partner Ryan and his daughter.


Doug Milnes

Director of Monetization

Doug has more than a decade of experience working in finance and analytics primarily in media technology companies.  He has a bachelor of arts in mathematics economics combined from Whitman College and a Master’s in Predictive Analytics from Northwestern University.  Most recently Doug held an advanced analytics role at Clorox assessing the impact of the company’s multimillion-dollar marketing campaigns using a variety of statistical methods and models.


Gin Garton

Campaign Manager

Gin Garton, East Coast native, received her journalism degree from West Virginia University. After college she headed west to volunteer with AmeriCorp then settled in Washington state to work in online marketing for an outdoor gear company. She has traveled extensively through the United States and has been to 39 out of 59 National Parks. Her hobbies include hiking, hot springing and spending time with her German shepherd, Sashi.


Matt Davis

Senior Marketing Analyst

Matt Davis serves as ABUV’s Senior Marketing Analyst. A graduate of the English program at the University of Nevada, Matt first joined ABUV’s content team, then made the switch to marketing. He’s a hobbyist programmer and space enthusiast who also enjoys writing, playing music, and learning new things. Matt lives in Reno with his wife, son, and two dogs.


Philip Francisco


Philip graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a degree in Information Systems. Before coming to ABUV, Philip worked in the retail market doing sales support supplying Verizon stores with inventory across the country. He joins the ABUV team as a Campaign Manager. Outside of work, you can usually find him eating all-you-can-eat (AYCE) sushi or attending the nearest hip hop show.


Grace Montgomery


Grace earned her bachelor’s degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley. After graduating, a short stint as a fashion blogger led to the world of online content, where she worked with some of the top parenting and education websites for more than eight years. Grace lives in Northern California with her husband, young son, and two surly cats.


Robert Jones


Robert was born in Birmingham, Alabama, and moved to Reno at the age of 11.  He graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a degree in neuroscience and a minor in mathematics.  Robert joined ABUV from Nevada Dynamics, a local drone startup and UNR’s Sontag Entrepreneurship Competition Winners. In the future, he plans to use his entrepreneurship skills by owning his own company. In his free time, he enjoys cooking, going to music festivals, and playing any competitive sport.


Ryan Kelly

Campaign Manager

Ryan Kelly, a Bay Area native, moved to Reno to pursue an education from the University of Nevada. During his time at the university, Ryan worked with multiple clients as a media consultant where he developed his skills in social media, public relations, and marketing. He recently graduated from UNR with a degree from The Reynolds School of Journalism, and joins the ABUV team as a campaign manager on the marketing team.


Chanelle Bessette

Content Editor

Chanelle earned her two bachelor’s degrees, one in journalism and one in English, from the University of Nevada, Reno honors program. After college, she covered technology, finance and startups as a reporter for Fortune and Forbes in San Francisco, and she reported on breaking news for the Reno Gazette-Journal before making her way into the world of content editing. When she’s not geeking out on personal finance, she can be found hitting the local craft beer scene, planning her next trip or catching up on her reading.


Angela Hanners


Angela is an ABUV campaign manager, currently based out of Seattle, Wash. She started her career in the property management and hospitality industry, transitioning to marketing after a short period of living in Reno and working for ABUV. In her spare time, Angela trains for running long distance races, hikes in the Pacific Northwest, kayaks in the Puget Sound, or rides her horse, Millie.


Tanya Sachdeva


Tanya received dual degrees in economics and Decision Science from Carnegie Mellon University in 2009. She then began her career in the consulting industry and has more than seven years of software / web development and project management experience. In the last three years, she has worked with Fortune 500 companies to successfully better their SEO, content, and overall digital marketing strategies. Tanya very much enjoys working in a data-driven environment and creative problem-solving.


Alex Dodan


A self-taught and passionate designer, Alex started his career by doing freelance jobs for various clients from all around the world. The invaluable experience gained has given him a strong set of design skills which he uses to create and develop attractive web interfaces. After getting a Bachelor in Tourism Management in 2012, Alex wants to travel to at least 22 countries around the world.


Kristin Marino

Editorial Director

Kristin brings over 10 years of online content management experience to ABUV. When not with the ABUV editorial team creating the best education content on the planet, she can usually be found somewhere warm where she can practice her Spanish. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Nevada, Reno.


Bogdan Nastase


Bogdan’s experience with websites and design began in 2006 when he created a web platform from scratch for his online company – selling women’s clothing, accessories, and his own brand of shoes and bags. In 2010, he sold his company and has spent the past five years as a freelance designer bringing clients ideas from around the world to life. He has a BA in Business Management and a MA in Project Management from the Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Romania. In his free time, Bogdan enjoys traveling and beekeeping. 


Crissinda Ponder


Crissinda earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Georgia. The Atlanta native started her career as a copy editor and was eventually promoted to reporter for Bankrate.com where she, during her tenure, covered insurance, housing and other personal finance topics. Writing is her first love; she also enjoys traveling, reading and CrossFit.


Lydia Poon

Vice President, Content

Lydia brings over a decade of marketing and editorial experience to ABUV. She has built editorial teams and content operations for a major financial services online media publisher and, more recently, for Fulfillment by Amazon, a service for the internet retailer’s sellers. Earlier in her career, Lydia was instrumental in building the online marketing function for a prominent D.C.-based think tank. She holds a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from the Yale School of Management.


Megan Filbin


Megan is a native Nevadan and a recent graduate from the University of Nevada, Reno, where she received her degrees in economics and marketing. She has started her professional marketing career at ABUV and looks forward to being a part of its growth. In her spare time, Megan likes to explore the Reno and Lake Tahoe area and obsess over her planner. 


Katrina Raenell

Senior Project Manager

Katrina earned her dual-bachelor’s degree in journalism and English in 2005. Two weeks later, she moved to London to pursue her dreams of becoming an international journalist. Instead, the exorbitant cost of living forced her to relocate to a small town outside of Dublin, Ireland, and into a position as a business consultant with a logistics and charity organization. She has since held a variety of positions – from covering breaking news as a broadcast videographer, and Burning Man and the vibrant Reno arts community as a print reporter, to managing various PR, marketing, business and website projects and teams, and teaching university writing and reporting.


Diana Zunini

Content Editor

Diana joins the ABUV editorial team after spending five years in television news and public relations, and another five managing her own sports video production company. She has a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and is a major Minnesota sports fan. Go Vikes, Twins, Gophs, Wolves and Wild!


Joe Borcsa


UI/UX designer Joe Borcsa graduated with a degree in computer science, but later discovered a new passion: graphic design. Since then, he has worked with a variety of great clients from around the world, trying to craft experiences that go beyond design. When not at his desk you can find him at the gym or spending time with his love.


Loryn Elizares

Managing Editor

After a start in journalism, Loryn spent 10 years in the video game industry with several big entertainment companies, helping to create and run large-scale MMO games for kids and teens. Relocating back home to Reno, NV after a decade in Los Angeles, Loryn is now part of the educational editorial team at ABUV, working to publish the best content and information about higher education that can be found online.


Diana Hembree

Senior Director of Content

Diana is a multimedia journalist who has worked with outlets from the Washington Post and 60 Minutes to HealthDay, PBS Frontline and the Times of London syndicate. She was news editor of the Center for Investigative Reporting for eight years, a senior editor at Time Inc., and editor in chief of the website Consumer Health Interactive. She also worked as a business trends reporter for Blueshift Research. She has lectured on journalism at Stanford, UC Berkeley, and other schools, and has won more than a dozen journalism awards, including the IRE award for best television reporting. What she likes most is spending time with her family and friends.


Katy Kelly

Senior Research Analyst

Katy is a Nevada native with a passion for story-telling. After she earned a master’s in interactive journalism from the University of Nevada, Reno, she has spent the past five years diving into the depths of the evolving landscape of digital marketing and sharing her knowledge with others along the way. Her passion for helping others has led both her professional career and personal journey to ABUV media where she is excited to be part of a growing company that thrives on excelling and pursues the art of Crushing It. Time outside the office is spent enjoying great food, good wine, family and the two loves of her life – her long-time boyfriend and her dog.


Shannon Little

Marketing Associate

Shannon is a transplant to Reno, originally from the Bay Area.  She initially relocated to pursue a degree in nursing, but graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a degree in marketing. During school, she explored various degrees, which lead her to be the editor-in-chief at Truckee Meadows Community College and a passion for social media marketing. She comes to ABUV as a marketing associate – but when she’s not working, you can find her wandering around Reno/Tahoe with a camera in hand. 


Kim Williams

Marketing Manager

Kim graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a degree in advertising and a minor in digital media. She first started her career in marketing as a social media freelancer and had a passion to learn more. Now, she manages our growing virtual research team. When she’s not working, you can find her putting her creativity to good use.


Jeff Paris


Jeff has a passion for data, analytics and business process excellence.  Before joining ABUV, Jeff spent 16 years at Microsoft managing operational processes and teams around the globe.  Jeff has a B.S. in Information Systems from University of Redlands and an M.B.A. from University of Nevada, Reno.  Jeff is married with three kids, is an avid CrossFit and fitness enthusiast, and enjoys competitive water-skiing during the summer.


Andreea Dodan


Andreea graduated in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Before joining the ABUV team, she spent time expanding her professional skill set as a freelancer, working on a variety of projects with clients worldwide. It was during this time that she fell in love with graphic design and today, their relationship continues.


Nathan Paulus


Nathan Paulus graduated with a degree in English: Writing Concentration from the University of St. Thomas Houston. After school he embarked on a backpacking trip that spanned from Oslo to Barcelona. He returned to the U.S. and made his way West, where he happily calls Reno his home. In his spare time, he enjoys camping, hiking, and reading literature.


Chrissy McLaughlin


Chrissy is a recent graduate from the University of Nevada, Reno, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in psychology. As a native Nevadan, she grew up in the Carson Valley and relocated to Reno for college. In her free time, Chrissy enjoys reading books from her ever-growing literature list, creative writing, and watching scary movies with her boyfriend and Chiweenie, Coco.


Danny Gonzalez


Daniel Gonzalez is ABUV Media’s in-house conversion rate optimization nerd working to increase conversions rates through A/B testing, and discover insights into how a web user’s brain works through UX research. He eats data, dreams in wireframe, and is happiest at the intersection of psychology and analytics.


Shelby Brown


Shelby is a Reno native and recent graduate of the journalism program at the University of Nevada, Reno. She works with ABUV’s content team in the Reno office. Outside of work, she’s an avid skier, Do-It-Yourself master and devoted dog parent.


Aaron Merlob


Aaron Merlob is a data science and engineering leader with 10 years of experience consulting with startups and SMBs.  In full-time roles, he has managed big data teams and projects, owned an analytics product roadmap, and held a faculty appointment at Harvard.  Aaron loves to ski, read, organize Meetups, and play devil’s advocate.  He lives in Mission Bay, San Francisco with his wife, Ashley.


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We're always looking to work with more talented people, or answer any questions you may have.

our offices

  • Reno Office50 Washington St, Suite 301, Reno, NV 89503

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  • San Francisco Office156 2nd St, San Francisco, CA

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