Creators

 

Innovators.  Creators.  Builders.  Designers.

More than 115 team members collaborate with NorthAmericaTalk to build community social networks.  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 waterskiing.

Amy Rowley, Chief Publishing Officer

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.

Martin McElliott, Community Manager and VP of Sales

Born and raised in Olympia, Washington, Martin has called the Washington State capital city home for his entire life.  Married to his high school sweetheart, Martin and his wife have raised two daughters.  Martin credits his experience in the grocery business for developing his people skills.  A realtor since 1997, Martin now enjoys being part of a fantastic team creating a positive new business. Martin runs a Western Washington sales team that is seeing month to month record revenue goals.

Tara Rendon, Regional Sales

With more than 15 years of experience in sales and customer service, Tara brings a wealth of knowledge to the sales team.  Tara is inspired by building long-lasting relationships and exceeding goals.  Along with her husband, Tara is raising a daughter in Olympia.

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.

Andrea Culletto, Community Editor

Andrea Culletto is a freelance journalist whose work has appeared in Mary Jane’s Farm magazine, Mamalode magazine, Black Hills Bride magazine, The La Crosse Tribune, Exceptional Homes, Driftless Notes, Klutch Chronicle, La Crosse Magazine, The Chronicle and Coulee Region Women Magazine. She is currently a Community Editor at WhatcomTalk.com, a news correspondent for Nisqually Valley News and a regular contributor to LINK Magazine.

She lives in Thurston County with her husband, Tony, their three amazing children and their giant St. Bernard. In her free time Andrea enjoys traveling, exploring other cultures, hiking, reading, writing, creating art and spending time with her family.

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.

Kate Scriven, Community Editor

Kate is a Washington native, raised in Spokane, Washington. Kate holds an undergraduate degree in English Literature as well as a Master’s Degree in Education, both from the University of Washington. Kate taught fourth grade for eight years, both in public and private schools, before joining NorthAmericaTalk.

When not working, Kate balances the activities of two busy girls, keeps on top of the weeds in her garden, and serves on several local boards. She enjoys gardening, hiking and camping in the Pacific Northwest and reading as much as she can. She loves to cook using local ingredients and doing all things crafty.

Kathryn Coffman, Social Media Editor

Kathryn Coffman is a digital marketing specialist from Olympia, Washington with a love of social media and blogging. She operates a local digital marketing business, passionate about helping business owners achieve more balance and less overwhelm. A few of her favorite clients have been the Hands On Children’s Museum, Experience Olympia & Beyond, the Olympia Downtown Association and of course, NorthAmericaTalk.

She has lived in Thurston County nearly her entire life since her adoption at 6 weeks old. She adores iced lattes, matte lipsticks, traveling (but not airplanes) and small dogs… especially Todd, the NorthAmericaTalk Office Dog. You will always find her laughing.

Otis, Office Dog

Otis brings some levity to our daily working environment.  Otis is always eager for an extra pat on the head or a walk around the block.  Like his NorthAmericaTalk team mates, Otis is well educated.  A stray dog, Otis was picked up for his beauty and spent three months learning manners from inmates at a local prison.  When he’s not sniffing the garbage can, Otis chills with Amy’s family.

Todd, Office Dog

Todd joined Amy’s family in December 2016 and is a frequent visitor to the NorthAmericaTalk offices.  Todd views all humans as people who want to rub his belly.  He is perpetually happy, despite the spaniel scowl.  His favorite place to snore is behind someone’s chair.