Feature: Q&A with KERV Staff

kerv employees at a meeting

1. What is your favorite thing about working for KERV Interactive?

Ryan Schoenfeld

The ability to contribute to daily conversations that change/create such great products. The sense of building something great with a team of strategic thinkers is very rewarding.

Ryan Schoenfeld, director of digital strategy at KERV Interactive

My favorite thing about working for KERV Interactive is the people! As a Seattle native, moving to Texas was a BIG change for me personally and professionally. Some of my best Texas friends are a direct result of KERV and the work I’ve done with my colleagues. It might sound cliche, but the people at KERV are my Texas family and joining this team has been one of the most challenging and wonderful changes in my life. It’s impossible to describe the bliss that comes with finding people that truly “get” you. 

Ellen Boucher, product strategy lead at KERV Interactive

susan butler

I love the technology I get to work with every day, but my coworkers are really what make it for me. I’ve enjoyed getting to know more about each of them, even when working remotely. I’m ready for our next team trivia night!

Susan Butler, support engineer at KERV Interactive

ben vineyard

Working for KERV is such an empowering break from the tech industry norm. The culture here encourages you to share new ideas, opinions, and concerns, with the assurance that your voice is recognized at all levels.

Ben Vineyard, unity developer at KERV Interactive

2. What is your favorite element of the technology itself? Why is it so awesome, to YOU?

Ryan Schoenfeld

It’s versatility in data collection, application of the data, as well as the different visual manifestations of the product/data powered by the AI/ML backend.

Ryan Schoenfeld, director of digital strategy at KERV Interactive

My favorite element of the technology is the ability to have multiple and unique link outs to specific products. It might seem simple, but to me, it’s the most important aspect of KERV’s tech. I am a sucker for targeted ads – and I can say with 100% certainty, if West Elm served me a KERV’d video, I would probably end up buying that lamp that has been on my mind for months just because of the ease of path to purchase. 

Ellen Boucher, product strategy lead at KERV Interactive

susan butler

My favorite element is easily the neural nets we’re training and utilizing within Radius. It’s so exciting to get to play (and fight) with cutting edge technology every week. 

Susan Butler, support engineer at KERV Interactive

ben vineyard

The technology at KERV is a unique crossover of machine learning and ad-tech, using the best from both fields to find a solution that means more to the everyday consumer. This kind of personalization and focus is too often ignored by many other groups in the industry.

Ben Vineyard, unity developer at KERV Interactive

3. How do you see KERV’s technology changing the future?

Ryan Schoenfeld

As consumer mindsets continue to shift more and more to convenience, KERV is uniquely positioned to fuel not only commerce convenience for consumer goods, but also content-based partnerships/sponsorships.

Ryan Schoenfeld, director of digital strategy at KERV Interactive

The amazing thing about KERV’s tech is the ability to change and adapt with users and trends, as they continue to happen and evolve. KERV will change the future of interactivity across video, banners & CTV by continuing to customize the user experience. When a brand wants to showcase their personality, talent, or products, I imagine them turning to KERV to give users the in-depth and personal experiences they crave. I also see KERV changing bad marketing tactics like the ones where you think you’re gonna click through to that shirt you’ve been eying, but instead it goes to all 340 shirts available. Who approves those ads? I don’t have time to look for that shirt between meetings! TIME IS MONEY, PEOPLE!

Ellen Boucher, product strategy lead at KERV Interactive

susan butler

I see KERV’s technology bringing more relevant ads to users, making the ad experience more pleasurable. No one likes being stuck watching ads for items that don’t relate to us… KERV will set a high bar in the industry for making engaging, tailored ads come to life.  

Susan Butler, support engineer at KERV Interactive

ben vineyard

What we do at KERV will change the future of advertising by finally giving the consumer a chance to respond – to interact – rather than be spoon-fed a marketing campaign.

Ben Vineyard, unity developer at KERV Interactive

4. What is the most interesting thing you have learned or done while working from home? Can be silly.

Ryan Schoenfeld

That I work better than I would’ve expected with screaming kids in the background.

Ryan Schoenfeld, director of digital strategy at KERV Interactive

I’ve been practicing calligraphy, pickling vegetables, and I got a greeting card organizer. I always say that the older I get, the more myself I feel. Quarantine and working from home has potentially made me age faster, but I’m learning to embrace those pieces of myself. The biggest thing I’ve learned? Don’t let your husband get a mini basketball hoop when you both work from home. He will drive you insane. This I promise you. He is literally dunking on it as I type this. 

Ellen Boucher, product strategy lead at KERV Interactive

susan butler

Not silly: Took up making mechanical keyboards for my quarantine hobby! I just need a few keycaps and my first board will be completed. [can give photo or two] Not silly, not tech: Started doing small, abstract watercolor paintings to mail to my friends and family. I’ve been using Steramine tabs in my painting water (water sterilization tabs) to “mark” the time. [can give a photo or two] Silly: I’m babysitting some office furniture, so it doesn’t get lonely. The giant, oversized bean bag chair has made friends with my cats. [can give a photo or two] (you also have permission to steal any photos you want off my instagram: @clevrcat)

Susan Butler, support engineer at KERV Interactive

ben vineyard

With all of this working from home, social isolation, and worry for the future, I realized that the only thing I truly need in life is a comfy pair of sweatpants.

Ben Vineyard, unity developer at KERV Interactive

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Rich Kentopp
VP, Product Management

After his career of being a pastor and touring musician, Rich started his technology career almost a decade ago with many of the KERV leadership at Lin Digital. Since then he has been a Product leader at three different scaling startups, learning how to build valuable products with teams who love to work together.

Devin Monds
Head of EMEA Sales

Devin is a dedicated and experienced media sales professional with over 15 years in the digital media space in both North America and EMEA. He most recently headed up the International Team at Adludio, the premier advertising platform for delivering strong creative on mobile devices. Prior to his role at Adludio, Devin worked on the Global Brand Partnerships team at CAA Sports in London, and was International Sales Director at LoopMe where he built out the US West Coast Sales Team from Los Angeles. With a proven track record of new business development and revenue generation, Devin has a multitude of solid relationships with brands and agencies, globally.

He relishes the opportunity to engage with new clients on a daily basis, in order to identify tailored solutions that can drive their desired outcomes. Furthermore, he takes pride in his culinary skills, often experimenting with new recipes and delivering delectable results.

    Brad Quinn
    SVP, Enterprise & Publisher Partnerships

    Brad Quinn is the SVP, Enterprise & Publisher Partnerships based out of our NYC office. He has over 15 years of experience across Agencies, Publishers and Tech. At KERV, Brad leads the Partnerships team focused on content providers and distributors. He integrates KERV’s tech capabilities across ads and content to create a real‑time interactive/shoppable experience.

    David Knight
    VP, Engineering

    Before joining KERV in 2018, David Knight spent over 31 years building software products for large corporations like IBM and Schlumberger, 3-person “garage” startups and everything in between. He’s spent the last 15 years discovering and refining the tools, development process, and necessary culture that create great Engineering teams capable of meeting the special demands of technology driven startups.

    Dan Bloomfield
    VP, Technical Ad Operations

    After spending time living in New York and working for NBC Universal’s first digital operations team Daniel moved to Austin in 2009 to further pursue ad tech. During the next decade, he built a career working on interactive video first for Sizmek and then Nexstar. He immediately jumped at the idea to work for KERV and was one of the first to join the company in 2017.

    Creed Pettit
    SVP, Head of Partnerships

    Creed Pettit is an entrepreneurial sales executive offering experience in all aspects of solutions selling, team management, negotiation, organizational leadership, go-to-market strategies and momentum driven models. Prior to joining KERV, Creed served as Media & Entertainment Vertical Sales Leader, Global Business Solutions at TikTok.

    Karen Germ
    VP of Marketing

    Karen Germ is a seasoned marketing and communications professional with a nearly 15‑year history serving in leadership roles across the advertising and technology landscape. Most recently, Karen served as OAAA’s VP of Marketing where she implemented industry leading initiatives to elevate and promote the power of OOH for advertisers, agencies, partners and consumers. 

    Ryan Schoenfeld
    VP, Technical Partnerships

    Ryan Schoenfeld’s career started as an intern at a smaller digital media agency while attending the University of Texas. Since then, he has spent over 15 years working in the programmatic advertising/video space.

    Bill Roberson
    VP, Creative Strategy & Design

    Bill Roberson has worked in the digital space for over 17 years, spanning Media Buying, Ad Operations, Analytics and Optimization, Account Management and now Creative.

    Grant Gorton
    VP, UX & Design

    Grant has been with KERV as VP of Creative for over 5 years, and has worked as a designer and creative director at agencies and media companies for the last 17 years.

    Michael Fleischman
    Chief Financial Officer

    Michael is currently the CFO of KERV Interactive in addition to being an Executive in Residence at Progress Partners, a Merchant Investment Bank and Venture Fund. A seasoned C-Suite executive with a broad array of expertise in Accounting, Financial Planning, M&A, Board Governance and External Commercial Banking and Private Equity Relationships.

    Prior to KERV Interactive Michael was the CFO and current Board Member at Digital Remedy, a privately held media execution company supporting agencies, publishers, and brands in navigating the complex ad tech landscape of digital success.

    Prior to Digital Remedy Michael spent 20 years at Cablevision and Rainbow Media Holdings
    during which he was instrumental in the launch and management of multiple Regional sports networks and a number of National Cable Networks including American Movie Classics (AMC), Bravo, The Independent Film Channel as well as the structuring of partnerships with companies including Liberty Media, NBC, Fox/NewsCorp, and MGM.

    Additionally, Michael played lead finance role in the acquisition of a number of professional sports teams including Madison Square Garden, the successful IPO of Cablevision, and a tracking stock at Rainbow Media. Michael was also involved in the creation and successful launch of Rainbow Advertising Sales, one of the cable industry’s first local advertising sales rep firms and has married his linear experience with a robust understanding of the intricacies of new media, creating a unique skill-set.

    A native of the New York City area, Michael resides with his wife where he enjoys biking, tennis and spending time with his wife and three adult children.

    Taylor Pate
    Chief Technology Officer

    Taylor Pate is the CTO at KERV Interactive, with over 16 years of experience in the advertising and creative industry, known among his peers as a technical and creative powerhouse.

    Taylor’s career began in 2008 as an animator and art director, specializing in the design and production of interactive art. He created 3D illustrations for advertisers such as HP and Dell, and developed 3D animations and tools for top video game series including Club Penguin and The Sims.

    Transitioning to focus on automation, e-commerce, and software development, Taylor joined LIN Digital in Austin, Texas. Over five years, he built a powerful framework to automate the production of thousands of rich media ads annually, developed high-performance ads for major brands, and led the engineering of PHNX, the company’s order management system that processed millions of dollars in ad campaigns monthly. He concluded his tenure at Nexstar Digital as Director of Engineering, leading a team of over 16 engineers and product managers before taking on his current role at KERV Interactive.

    Jay Wolff
    Chief Revenue Officer

    Jay Wolff is currently the Chief Revenue Officer at KERV Interactive, leading global revenue and partnerships. In addition to KERV, Jay is the President of 212NYC, New York’s leading organization for the digital advertising and the media industry. 212NYC’s mission is to build a better advertising industry by providing the programming, tools, and thought leadership to help move the industry forward.

    Jay’s expertise in scaling significant revenue and partner growth in the advertising industry spans 20 years. Most recently, Jay served as Chief Revenue Officer of Varick Media, and Chief Growth Officer at Boostr, the first end-to-end SaaS revenue management system for media companies. Previously, as Regional Vice President of SambaTV, Wolff built the revenue organization and east coast market from the ground up to $100M in revenue. Jay has been tapped for industry thought leadership and panel participation by the likes of Mediapost, Ad Age, and Digiday. 

    Prior to joining SambaTV, Wolff served as Vice President of agency and brand partnerships at PulsePoint; instrumental to the merger of ContextWeb and Datran Media.

    Originally from Armonk, NY, Jay holds a BS in Marketing from Syracuse University and a Certificate of Management from the University of Chicago. Jay resides in Rye Brook, NY with his wife, darling daughter, Olivia, and newborn son, Logan.

    Dan Bienenfeld

    Dan Bienenfeld is currently the Co-Founder and President of KERV Interactive and a seasoned serial entrepreneur who has built startups for more than 35 years. Before joining KERV he has founded seven startups and architected successful exits for a number of them. For four years, he served as CEO of TimeCard Specialists, which created a cutting-edge time attendance software app that streamlined payroll for union members in the TV, film, and commercial industries. TimeCard Specialists was sold in 2016.

    Before that, he was CEO of Total Vision Care for nearly eight years. Total Vision Care built one of the largest mobile diagnostic services in eye care. This service provided ophthalmologists & optometrists with state of the art equipment and licensed technicians right in their own practice to diagnose various eye diseases.

    Gary Mittman
    Chief Executive Officer

    Gary Mittman is currently the Co-Founder and CEO of KERV Interactive and brings more than 30 years in technology and direct marketing, as well as substantial experience in building startups to exit with creativity and agile development. Before joining KERV he held numerous top-ranking leadership roles; Founder & President of Nami Media (which was acquired by Lin/Nexstar Media Group), CEO & Founder of Marina Communications (also acquired), and Vice President of New Business Development – Direct Response at Western International Media leading the team in the new frontier of Infomercials.

    Gary brings a decade of experience in the entertainment industry, including managing all tier one acts booking for New York City’s premiere performance nightclub “The Ritz” as its Executive Manager and Booking Agent, Executive Producer of the first MTV concert series “Live At The Ritz”, a Professional Manager at Chappell Music Publishing, and started out as an Assistant to legendary Clive Davis at Arista Records.

    Andi Fenster

    Andi Fenster went into the profession of Human Resources 30 years ago, because she believed from a young age that the way you treat your employees is what you get out of them. Her goal as an HR professional has been to help create the type of work environments that inspire folks to want to come to work. She is also a Management/Leadership/Career Coach and her focus is optimizing humans focusing on the mind‑body connection. 

    “We, each, have tremendous potential and the abilities to level‑up if we choose to understand how to get the support we need to get us there. Helping talent thrive and helping them create success is my reason for doing what I do.”

    Marika Roque
    Chief Innovation Officer

    Marika Roque is currently in her second year as the Chief Innovation Officer at KERV Interactive, following four years as the company’s Chief Operating Officer. She is recognized for her expertise in digital media, data, and organizational infrastructures, with over 15 years of professional leadership experience. Prior to joining KERV, Marika worked as the Vice President of Digital Operations for Mass², a division of the multi-billion-dollar corporation Nexstar Digital LLC. Before that, she served as Vice President of Digital Media & Activation at LIN Digital and Nexstar, leading several departments while advising leadership on digital strategy during multiple acquisitions, including Media General, LKQD, Yashi, Dedicated Media, Federated Media, etc..

    Marika has held senior-level positions with leading agency and digital technology teams in Austin, Texas, including Sizmek and GSD&M, a subsidiary of the Omnicom Group. She also spent several years in Chicago working for FCB Global and Starcom MediaVest Group, a division of the Publicis Groupe. At Starcom, she played a key role in creating the first agency-side programmatic pipelines, contributing to what the industry now refers to as an agency trading desk. Her extensive experience in programmatic advertising dates back to its inception. She also worked on global client strategy and activation for brands like Newell Rubbermaid and their subsidiaries, including Paper Mate and Sharpie, as well as Microsoft B2B. 

    Marika holds a bachelor’s degree in advertising from The University of Texas at Austin, where she was also a Division I collegiate athlete. Hook ’em.