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 journalistic stories about the places we each call home.

Learn about the people innovating in the media industry. Today, we cover an audience map of over 5.2 million community members. NorthAmericaTalk has a unique model for sustainable journalism in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.



Dan Jones, Chief Executive Officer, Founder

As the Chief Executive Officer, Dan’s community media innovation, Community Social Network(tm), has created value for local community investors while laying a foundation for sustainable journalism.  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 AS of Computer Science) and a brain that is “always working.”  Dan drives people to create disruption.

Under Dan’s leadership, NorthAmericaTalk counts hundreds of customers across our 17 local media companies that span Washington and Oregon.   The diversity of the customer base includes national retailers, public entities, small businesses, non-profit organizations, school districts, and regional mid-size businesses.

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(tm), The Community Social Graph shows marketers their return on investment while allowing them insights into unique data that allows marketers to make more informed media buys across all channels of marketing.

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, VP 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.

Tim Shaw, Operational Leader

Tim Shaw has lived around Olympia since he was ten years old. Tim raised his children through the Tumwater School District. Prior to joining ThurstonTalk, Tim worked in the mortgage industry, served pizza at local Brewery City Pizza, and baked bread at Top Foods bakery. Tim loves that Olympia is centrally located to everything that he loves.

Amy Rowley, Director

Amy played a critical role 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 via mobile devices.

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.

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 non-profit boards as well as running a thriving non-profit that she created.

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.

Kristina , Community Publisher

Kristina was born with writing in her genes. She grew up writing stories for her toys and quickly turned her passion into a career choice by earning her undergraduate degree in English and a Masters in Business Administration. Since then, she has written and edited for both print and online publications in the United States and internationally. She has a particular passion for telling the stories of people, the history of places, and anything to do with animals. When she isn’t writing, she loves to create through various crafts, including sewing and even leather work. She also enjoys spending time on her farm full of animals, including riding the many horseback trails Southwest Washington has to offer and participating in mounted archery and mountain trail with her Gypsy mare, Merida.

Stacee Sledge, Community Publisher

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.

Krysta Carper, Community Publisher

Krysta Carper has lived in Lewis County since the age of three, currently residing in Adna. She and her husband have four amazing sons. She enjoys spending time with her family in the beautiful outdoors of the Pacific Northwest, hiking and camping. Krysta loves to share stories of positivity with the community. She has a Bachelor of Applied Management from Centralia College.