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Executive Team

Katya Andresen, Chief Executive Officer

Katya Andresen brings a wealth of experience to ePals in the areas of organizational strategy and management, marketing and communications, digital and traditional media, and technology/SaaS product development. Prior to joining ePals, Ms. Andresen was COO and CSO of Network for Good from 2005-2013. Network for Good is a technology platform and SaaS enterprise for digital giving and social actions that was founded by AOL, Yahoo! and Cisco. From 2009-2013, Ms. Andresen was an adjunct professor of strategic communications at the American University Key Executive Leadership Program. Previously, Ms. Andresen was senior vice president of Sutton Group, a Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm. She has worked with the Institute for Sustainable Communities in Ukraine and at CARE International in Atlanta, GA. Earlier in her career, Ms. Andresen was a foreign correspondent for Reuters News and Television in Asia and for Associated Press and major U.S. newspapers in Africa. Ms. Andresen wrote the book "Robin Hood Marketing: Stealing Corporate Savvy for Just Causes" and is a contributor to several books on social media.

Aric Holsinger, Chief Financial Officer

Aric Holsinger brings 20 years of CFO experience from the telecommunications, technology and professional sports industries. Prior to joining ePals, Holsinger was CFO for Critical RF, a provider of interoperability solutions linking smartphones, computers and two-way radio systems. Prior to that, Holsinger was CFO for MCT, a wireless communications provider with operations in Russian and Central Asia where he led the growth from its start-up phase to a $300M sale to TeliaSonera. Holsinger joined MCT following CFO positions with the Baltimore Orioles and the Baltimore Stallions, a Canadian League Football team. He began his career with Arthur Andersen, specializing in the high tech and emerging growth companies. Holsinger holds a BS in Accounting and Management Information Systems from the University of Virginia.

Linda Dozier, Chief Technical Officer

Linda Dozier has been with ePals since its inception, playing a critical role in managing the day-to-day build-out of the organization. Dozier has over 20 years of experience in operations management, systems integration, technology development, and building early-stage businesses. Previously, she was Co-Founder, COO and Product Architect for Navisoft, the first Web server and Web authoring system, which was acquired by AOL in 1995. At AOL, Dozier was a senior executive responsible for the AOL Internet Services technology platform. Subsequent to the integration of Navisoft's technologies into AOL's core service, she focused on evaluation of technology as Vice President of Corporate Development. Prior to her work with Navisoft and AOL, she led the design, development, and release of dozens of software applications at TRW, Inc., as principal investigator for research and development, the senior member of the technical staff and project manager. She also served as Director for the Advanced Systems division at SRA International.

Mike Kelly, Office of the Chairman/International

Mr. Kelly oversees ePals' international operations, including the Company’s Chinese Joint Venture with Neusoft. Prior to joining ePals, Mr. Kelly was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, AOL International and Web Services where he was responsible for AOL's international operations in Europe, Asia, and Latin America, including the management of leading AOL brands including Netscape, CompuServe, MapQuest, Moviefone, ICQ, and AIM. Since he left AOL in late 2005, Mr. Kelly has been a financial advisor and investor. Mr. Kelly previously served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Time Warner, following Time Warner's merger with AOL in February 2000. During his tenure as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Kelly oversaw the completion of the merger and helped spearhead the integration of the two companies while managing the combined company's corporate finance functions including tax and accounting issues, financial planning, investor relations, and treasury. Mr. Kelly is a Certified Public Accountant and a graduate of Gettysburg College with a bachelor of arts in business administration.

Jason Patenaude, President, ePals Media

Jason Patenaude has spent 20 years developing and selling content, taking a balanced leadership approach that emphasizes intelligent sales growth and technological innovation. Prior to joining ePals Media, Jason worked with the prestigious U.K. bookseller Waterstone's, as well as several independent retailers in the New England region. His volunteer work includes serving on the board of directors of the Children's Literacy Foundation, and on the board of the Monadnock Community Early Learning Center. He earned his MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, and a BA from Bates College.

Jon Zeitler, Executive Vice President, Corporate Development and Legal Affairs

Jon Zeitler is responsible for corporate and business development and legal affairs at ePals. Jon brings more than 20 years of business and legal experience to this role, with particular focus on high growth companies and disruptive products and technologies. Prior to joining ePals Jon served as Executive Vice President for Corporate Development at Zipcar, Inc., where he was a member of the senior executive team that led the company from venture stage through a successful IPO. At Zipcar Jon was responsible for strategic partnerships, international new market expansion, and government affairs. Prior to joining Zipcar Jon worked with a number of smaller high growth companies, including acting as primary advisor to ConsumerSearch in the successful sale of that company to the NY Times Company in 2007. Prior to 2007, Jon worked in several key roles over ten years at America Online gaining deep experience with interactive products and services. At AOL he served as Associate General Counsel for Network and Strategic Transactions before moving into a number of senior business roles including Vice President of Business Development for Web Services and later Vice President for International Strategic Alliances. Jon began his career practicing corporate law in the Washington, DC office of Vinson & Elkins LLP. Outside of the office Jon is active on several fronts including advising on a number of smart cities efforts and on education reform in Washington DC where he served for many years on the board of the non-profit Center for Inspired Teaching, including as its Chair. Jon lives in northwest Washington, DC with his wife and three sons.

Andrew Berman, Executive Vice President & General Manager

Andrew Berman is a versatile executive with a unique background and skill set. He brings to ePals proven success in turning early stage technology businesses into multi-million dollar companies. His experience includes launching and commercializing products, leading international expansion, creating and executing corporate strategy, executing mergers and acquisitions, and driving profitability. Prior to joining ePals, Berman was a Senior Vice President & General Manager at Sierra Wireless, Inc., a public company in the wireless communications segment. At Sierra Wireless Berman led all facets of the AirLink business unit, including its growth in North America and expansion into EMEA, Asia Pacific, and Latin America. Prior to Sierra Wireless, Berman was CEO of AirLink Communications, Inc., an early stage wireless data company. In three years Berman led AirLink's growth to a $35 million dollar, high margin business, culminating in its merger into Sierra Wireless. Prior to AirLink, Berman was Executive Director in the Business Affairs unit at America Online, where he had broad responsibility for client development, deal structuring and negotiation, and managing strategic alliances. Prior to AOL, Berman practiced law for eleven years in San Francisco. Berman is deeply involved in building communities, and has broad community service experience. He was twice elected to the City Council for Mill Valley, CA (where he still serves), including terms as Mayor and Vice Mayor; he is also Chair of the Marin Telecommunications Agency. Berman holds a J.D. degree from The University of Miami School of Law, and a B.A. from the University of Michigan.

Jim Kovarik, Senior Vice President

Jim Kovarik joined ePals in January 2014 and is responsible for the ePals Product strategy and development process. Jim brings over 15 years of experience building innovative consumer-facing web and mobile experiences. Prior to joining ePals, Jim was the President and Co-founder of C2G, LLC, an innovative web and mobile application targeting the drive-to-travel market. Prior to C2G, Jim spent 10 years at America Online and from 2006-2008 was General Manager of AOL Travel, which quickly became one of the fastest growing major travel sites. Jim holds an MBA degree from Fordham University and also a BS in Marketing from the University of Dayton.

Joan Auchter, Vice President of Education

Joan Auchter leads ePals' education strategy and runs its Global Community. Ms. Auchter brings more than 25 years of senior management and program development experience to ePals. Prior to joining ePals, Ms. Auchter was the Chief Program Officer at the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, where she reinvigorated the standards and assessment development process, developed new products and led innovations in teaching methodologies and educational leadership. Prior to that, she was the Executive Director of the GED Testing Service, where she lead a turn-around effort that enhanced the value of the diploma and enabled an unprecedented numbers of adults to earn their high school credential. Ms. Auchter has repeatedly integrated technology into educational programs to increase their effectiveness, expand their reach and improve learning outcomes. Ms. Auchter has been a frequent presenter at national and regional professional conferences and served on national committees, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Measures of Effective Teaching Technical Advisory Committee. She has authored articles and chapters, including most recently, Integrating Student Standardized and Formative Assessments with the National Board For Professional Teaching Standards' Teacher Development Process. Ms. Auchter has also held positions with the College Board, West Virginia's State Department of Education and the Logan County Board of Education.