We are
ABUV MEDIA

ABUV Media is a fast-paced publisher of online media. We’re a profitable startup headquartered in downtown Reno, Nevada, on the eastern slope of the Sierras and a short drive from beautiful Lake Tahoe. We also have a small office in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The ABUV team spans multiple functions, from marketing and operations to data, software, editorial, and more. But we combine our strengths and work together to create websites that provide value and constantly push the envelope.

We combine our strengths and work together to create websites that provide value and constantly push the envelope.
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Our Team

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.

dan@abuvmedia.com

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.

doug@abuvmedia.com

Aaron Merlob

VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS

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.

aaron@abuvmedia.com

Doug Milnes

Senior 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.

dougmilnes@abuvmedia.com

Greg Hamlin

Senior Director of Marketing

Greg arrived in Silicon Valley in 2007 and has been working in the world of digital media ever since. Before joining Abuv, he ran marketing campaigns for some of the world’s biggest brands. Greg has a passion for data-driven decisions and thrives on taking on new challenges and partnering with others to achieve a common goal.

greg@abuvmedia.com

Lydia Poon

Vice President of 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.

lydia@abuvmedia.com

Steven Mares

Controller

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.

steven@abuvmedia.com

Tanya Sachdeva

DIRECTOR OF PRODUCT & SEO

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.

tanya@abuvmedia.com

Wes Ricketts

Senior Vice President of 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.

wes@abuvmedia.com

Sai Yallapragada

Director Of Web Platforms

Sai brings more than two decades of experience in technology and business to ABUV. He has worked as a technology consultant for corporations such as Ford and Pfizer and has been a full-time employee for start-ups and big companies. He has experience in starting and managing businesses in the web development and data analytics areas. Most recently, he worked for International Game Technology (IGT) leading software development for casino slot machines. Sai has a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Illinois, Springfield and an MBA from the University of Nevada, Reno. When not immersed in the tech world, Sai enjoys playing racquetball and golf and spending time with his wife, son, and Zach – the Rottweiler.

sai@abuvmedia.com

Rory O’Brien

Director Of Marketing Research And Operations

Rory is a Reno native and graduate of the information systems program at the University of Nevada, Reno. Before joining ABUV he sold hedge fund software for four years, ran his own digital marketing agency, and worked for a hyper-growth startup in the recruitment industry, wearing every hat imaginable. He lives in San Francisco with his girlfriend and two dogs, Tucker and Conan O’Brien.

rory@abuvmedia.com

Justin Asdourian

Senior Director of Operations

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.

justin@abuvmedia.com

Angela Hanners

CAMPAIGN MANAGER

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.

angela@abuvmedia.com

Diana Zunini

Project Manager

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!

dianazunini@abuvmedia.com

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.

gin@abuvmedia.com

Teresa Mullins

Senior Marketing Manager

Teresa is a Reno native. She graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a degree in English Writing, before moving to Portland, Oregon, to assist a sustainable farming start-up with their marketing efforts. She moved back to her beloved Reno/Tahoe home and got her start in online media as an editor in 2011 before applying her skills to digital marketing.

teresa@abuvmedia.com

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.

kim@abuvmedia.com

Kyle Smith

Senior Manager, Marketing & Insight

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. 

kyle@abuvmedia.com

Megan Filbin

Campaign Manager

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.

megan@abuvmedia.com

Mike Brandstetter

Marketing Analyst

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.)

mike@abuvmedia.com

Nathan Paulus

Marketing Research Specialist

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.

nathan@abuvmedia.com

Philip Francisco

CAMPAIGN MANAGER

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.

philip@abuvmedia.com

Ryan Kelly

MARKETING 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.

ryan@abuvmedia.com

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. 

shannon@abuvmedia.com

Shelby Brown

SENIOR CONTENT & MARKETING OPERATIONS ASSOCIATE

Shelby holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Nevada, Reno where she developed her skills in strategic communications. After graduation, she joined ABUV and now works with the content and marketing team. In her spare time, she enjoys skiing, attending concerts, and obsessing over her pug, Murphy.

shelby@abuvmedia.com

Caitlin Stewart

Email Marketing Analyst

Caitlin is a self-proclaimed nomad who has settled in Reno. After graduating with a marketing degree from the University of Nevada, Reno, Caitlin became interested in consumer behavior and data analytics. Outside of work, you can find her working on her travel blog, trying new food, or spending time with her husband-to-be and their English Bulldog, Bruce.

caitlin@abuvmedia.com

Luke Scoggin

Marketing Administration Associate

Luke Scoggin, a seventh-generation Nevadan, joins the ABUV team as a marketing administration associate. Luke’s passion for marketing and strategic communications developed throughout his studies at the University of Nevada, Reno, from which he will graduate in 2018. In addition to his studies at UNR, Luke has also helped found several nationally recognized organizations on campus, worked with faculty to create core curriculum, was elected to several leadership roles within key philanthropic groups and assisted in the development of a substance abuse and mental health education service.

luke@abuvmedia.com

Roy Rojas

INSIDE SALES REPRESENTATIVE

Roy is a Northern Nevada native and earned his marketing degree from the University of Nevada, Reno. He’s held sales positions in home automation, logistics, and advertising and joins ABUV as an Inside Sales Representative. When he’s not hungry for sales, you can find him on the slopes, on the greens, or on the beach at Lake Tahoe.

roy@abuvmedia.com

Loryn Elizares

MARKETING OPERATIONS MANAGER

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.

loryn@abuvmedia.com

Brice Esplin

OUTREACH AND GROWTH MANAGER

Brice is a Nevada native, originally from the small town of Elko and a University of Nevada, Reno graduate with degrees in psychology and communications. Previously, he held diverse positions in semiconductor market research and heavy industrial sales and marketing. Brice applies his knowledge and skills in data analysis, sales and marketing strategy, and public relations work to aid the ABUV team. Outside the office, you can find him traveling, hiking and camping, and practicing videography.

brice@abuvmedia.com

Alex Dodan

Designer

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’s in tourism management in 2012, Alex wants to travel to at least 22 countries around the world.

alex@abuvmedia.com

Bogdan Nastase

Designer

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. 

nastase.bogdan.silviu@gmail.com

Crissinda Ponder

CONTENT EDITOR

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.

crissinda@abuvmedia.com

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.

diana@abuvmedia.com

Grace Montgomery

MANAGING EDITOR

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 Washington with her husband, young son and two surly cats.

grace@abuvmedia.com

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.

heidi@abuvmedia.com

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.

kristin@abuvmedia.com

Jeff Paris

Senior Manager, Marketing Operations & Analysis

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.

jeff@abuvmedia.com

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.

katrina@abuvmedia.com

David Uhrig

Senior Software Developer

David is a Reno native and University of Nevada alumni. Before joining Abuv, David worked on a variety of systems ranging from Business Intelligence Dashboards for large corporations to Transport Telemedicine for the military. David spends his free time traveling the world, enjoying sports, managing large online communities, and doing recreational mathematics and statistics on games.

david@abuvmedia.com

Karim Mekhid

Senior Software Developer

Karim has had a passion for developing software and elegantly solving problems ever since he started programming at the age of seven. He has over 12 years’ professional experience developing portfolio management systems and high-performance, real-time decision-making engines. He is a certified systems engineer, database administrator, and completed his postgraduate study in information security and data management. Karim loves cooking, hiking, snowboarding, and reading. He lives in Reno with his wife Tiffany, and their son.

karim@abuvmedia.com

Erin Keith

Software Developer

Erin was awarded her Bachelor of Science in computer and information engineering in 2012 and her Master of Science in computer science and engineering in 2015, both from the University of Nevada, Reno. She began her career in technology as a software development engineer in Test, then a software engineer II at PC Doctor, a Reno-based diagnostic company. At ABUV, she’s excited to pursue her love of the Python programming language and data. Erin recently started teaching computer science classes at UNR and is very passionate about education and mentoring.

erin@abuvmedia.com

Jared Thompson

Data Scientist / Operations Engineer

Jared is a dedicated scientist with over 10 years of experience in the study and analysis of high-dimensionality and complex systems. In recent years, he has held a faculty appointment at University of New Haven, as well as serving as the chief technical advisor to several San Francisco-based small technology startups. He has a distinct passion for elegant experimental design, unsupervised learning algorithms and beautifully written software. In his free time, he enjoys mountaineering, motorcycles and yoga.

jared@abuvmedia.com

Danny Gonzalez

DIRECTOR OF CONVERSION RATE OPTIMIZATION

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.

danny@abuvmedia.com

Robert Jones

Reporting Analyst

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.

robert@abuvmedia.com

Colby Cross

Accountant / HR Coordinator

Colby is a Reno native and graduated from UNR with a degree in Accounting in 2014. He then started off his career in public accounting for several years before taking a senior accountant position in the corporate tax world. He is a licensed CPA in the State of Washington and his experience in tax and audit brings a dynamic value to ABUV. Outside of work, Colby enjoys playing and coaching basketball and spending his summers on the beaches of Tahoe.

colby@abuvmedia.com
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