Innovators. Creators. Builders. Designers.
More than 100+ team members collaborate with NorthAmericaTalk to build community social networks enhancing local community media throughout Washington and Oregon. Fresh ideas combined with a strong work ethic, superior customer service and an intense passion creates products to share stories about the places we each call home.
Learn about the people innovating in the media industry. Today, we reach over 1,000,000 unique users monthly.
Dan Jones, Chief Executive Officer, Founder
As the Chief Executive Officer, Dan’s concepts have created value for local community investors and added new products to our community social networks. His fresh ideas are a product of his educational background (Master of Science in Project Management and a graduate from the Engineering program at Western Washington University) and a brain that is “always working.” Dan drives people to create new sustainable products that create disruption.
Under Dan’s leadership, NorthAmericaTalk counts hundreds of customers across our six community social networks, in Western Washington. The diversity of the customer base includes national retailers, public entities, small businesses, non-profit organizations, school districts, and regional mid-size businesses. NorthAmericaTalk has become the fastest growing media company in Western Washington, reaching over 1 million users in January 2017.
Dan’s analytical focus ensures that NorthAmericaTalk and its community social networks are delivering rapid results to help customers reach their target market, grow their brand, and measure results. With input from the team, he has built the Community Social Graph, showing marketers their return on investment.
ThurstonTalk earned the New Business of the Year in 2011 granted by the Thurston County Economic Development Council. This community social network was also voted “Best Community Website” in 2012, 2013 and 2014 by a long-running local media company.
Despite long hours reading, researching, and implementing his ideas, Dan enjoys spending time with his wife and twin daughter and son either on the ski slopes or water skiing.
Jake Luplow, Director of Sales
Jacob was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. Academically, his background is in creative writing and art photography, while professionally, he is a trained sales and marketing expert. Jake leads a sales team throughout Washington and Oregon providing digital marketing and advertising services. Jake’s history with the @Talk organization goes back to its inception. He is an Eagle Scout who has always held community engagement and outreach close to his heart. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, yoga, writing, photography, and crystal singing bowl sound baths.
Amy Rowley, Director
As the Chief Publishing Officer, Amy holds the keys to NorthAmericaTalk’s Community Content Equation – engaging our communities, creating social chatter, and connecting people. She is jazzed about redefining how local content is created, distributed and consumed.
A loyal University of Washington Husky fan, Amy earned a BA from UW before traveling across the country to earn her Masters in Business Administration from Northeastern University in Boston. After logging time in Human Resources with an international hotel chain, Amy shifted her focus to Seattle high tech start-ups before entering the world of small business consulting.
Using cloud-based technology to manage a remote workforce, Amy leads more than 80 content creators who live, work, and play along the I-5 corridor. Along with her team of six editors, Amy guides the content creation for all five community social networks, creating more than 300 pieces of unique content on a monthly basis. Through the publishing team’s efforts, NorthAmericaTalk’s combined social media following exceeds 79,000 people on a daily basis. The publishing team is also responsible for building and maintaining the best events calendar in each community.
Amy and her husband are raising two daughters on a rural peninsula in Washington. If her fingers aren’t on the keyboard, you can find Amy cheering at soccer games, shuttling kids to dance class, running with her dog, or paddling. An avid believer in small business, Amy also gives back to her community by serving on three non-profit boards.
Stephen Backholm, Director of Technology
Stephen is passionate about using technology to help businesses succeed. He has over a decade of experience designing and managing large, enterprise systems, and has held a variety of senior technology leadership positions. He enjoys spending time cooking, drinking well made wines, and traversing the mountains and valleys of North America. Stephen is happily married to a beautiful girl named Paige and together they have five amazing children. He holds a BS in Computer Science from Western Washington University. Stephen has cried three times in his life: at the birth of his first child, when Spain won the World Cup in 2010, and during the final scene of Rudy.
Kurtis Dawson, Community Manager
Building on more than 15 years of experience in the non-profit world, Kurtis works every day to produce positive community impact and build strong collaborations. His business degree from The Evergreen State College helps guide his business decisions which are based on strengthening relationships. He and his wife Sasha have four beautiful daughters. He enjoys the outdoors, fishing, camping and, most importantly, time with his family and great food with good friends.
Stacee Sledge, Community Manager
Stacee began her career at Better Homes & Gardens magazine in her hometown of Des Moines, Iowa before finishing a master’s degree in journalism at Drake University and relocating to Washington in 1996. She’s been an active freelance writer since 2000, writing content ranging from restaurant reviews for newspaper and food, home design and lifestyle articles for magazines. Stacee and her husband love raising their two young children where they can enjoy all the spoils of their community.
Kristin Kendle, Community Editor
Kristin Kendle received her Bachelor of Arts in English/Writing and a minor in publishing and printing arts from Pacific Lutheran University. Her official work background includes writing, editing and freelancing for book presses, print publications and websites alike, but these days her heart is in the digital world and she loves the fast-paced nature of publishing online. However, she really does try to get off of her laptop sometimes and also enjoys hiking, traveling domestically and internationally, and just about any kind of creative pursuit from making jewelry to painting.
Stacey Jurss, Digitial Design