Michael Connolly, CEO of Sonobi, cofounded the company in 2012 to deliver his vision for the future of ad tech. Today, under his guidance, Sonobi is the leading technology provider of people-based marketing solutions, which enable media transactions against individuals in ways that are relevant, predictable, and measurable.
A serial entrepreneur, Michael has a strong background delivering innovative solutions for digital advertisers and publishers. In 2009, he and future Sonobi CTO Nathanial Thomas created Digital Tech Publishing, a software company specializing in online web applications. DTP was generating over 30 million unique visitors and 1.5 billion ad impressions per month before being acquired in 2012. This success has followed him to Sonobi, where the company has over 70 employees, servicing clients in North America, EMEA, and Australia.
Though ultimately product-driven, Michael nonetheless has extremely deep operational experience, and the rare ability to master details without ever losing site of the big picture. Not content to simply chart Sonobi’s path forward, he has a deep understanding of all aspects of Sonobi’s operational and technology systems, which has enabled him to create an overarching framework for his company that is forward thinking, innovative, fiscally responsible, and technologically sound.
Michael has spent many years learning to lead gracefully under pressure, and his leadership skills are battle-hardened. As an ARMY officer and military aviator, Michael served as a Battle Captain in the Army during the Iraq War. Michael was responsible both for his soldiers and millions of dollars worth of equipment, and as a UH 60 Helicopter pilot, he has flown multiple missions throughout central Iraq. These experiences, combined with his experience as an entrepreneur, have been instrumental in developing his leadership philosophy, which is rooted in integrity, accountability, and adaptability.
A 2018 winner for Ernst and Young’s prestigious entrepreneur of the year, Michael has also been recognized as one of Florida’s most successful young executives under 40 by the Orlando Business Journal. While in service, he was awarded the Air Medal for Meritorious Service in Combat. He holds a B.A. in Business Administration and Philosophy from State University of New York at Albany.
As Chief Operating Officer of Sonobi, Justin is focused on developing and executing the strategic vision of the company, bringing the ideas and innovations of the executive team to reality.
With over 10 years of operational management experience, Justin identifies and develops key partnerships and manages the professional development and growth of Sonobi employees.
Prior to Sonobi, Justin was the Director of Yield Management for Digital Tech Publishing, where he was charged with maximizing the company’s revenue and financially posturing it for an acquisition. He accomplished these goals by managing over 30 advertiser client relationships, resulting in an increase in yearly revenue of over 300% across the same 1.5 billion monthly impressions.
Justin was a Captain in the United States Army and an AH-64D Apache helicopter pilot. A Veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, he held various leadership positions such as Attack Platoon leader, Maintenance Platoon Leader, Company Executive Officer, and Assistant Operations Officer. He was also selected from amongst his peers to serve as the Brigade Commander’s aide.
Justin attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, where he received a B.S. in Aerospace Studies and minored in Computer Science, Psychology, and Space Flight.
Technology and innovation have always been part of Nathaniel’s DNA since he first started changing colors on the screen of his Commodore VIC-20. before he could even drive, he was creating software ranging from Quest adventure games to a financial tracking system. After a system upgrade into middle and high school, he was building multi-user chat systems, networking voting and survey systems, and inventory management systems in PASCAL.
As Co-Founder and CTO, Nathaniel currently serves as the key architect and designer for Sonobi’s technology, driving innovation, high-standards, quality and efficiency across its engineering capabilities. Nathaniel initially built much of the original codebase from the API and Reporting systems to Sonobi’s own GO Ad Server and OpenRTB-capable Bidder before transitioning those projects over to dedicated teams.
Prior to Sonobi, Nathaniel served as the CTO of Digital Tech Publishing — an innovative software company which he co-founded with Sonobi’s CEO, Michael Connolly.
As an avid and enthusiastic traveler, Nathaniel has visited over 30 countries across all seven continents. He takes every chance he gets to travel and embark on exciting adventures.
As Sonobi’s VP of Engineering, Deb oversees all technical and functional aspects of the development, operation, and monitoring of Sonobi’s technology. Deb leads a team of engineers and IT professionals in the creation and maintenance of the architecture and software products that support the company’s strategic plan and product design.
Prior to joining Sonobi, Deb was the Director of Product Development at PediaVision leading the development of the Spot Vision Screener which has been used to find undiagnosed vision issues in thousands of children. During her tenure at Bold! Technologies, she set up an advertising application platform whose proceeds went to benefit local schools. As the Director of Infrastructure Development at Highwinds, she built the software for a Content Delivery Network which was ranked as the “fastest on the planet” and included a sophisticated load balancer and a real-time analytics pipeline. When Deb was the Director of Software Engineering at Kinetics (later NCR), she developed Online and Kiosk software that was used by nine out of the top ten airlines in the United States. If you checked-in for a flight in the 2000’s you probably used software that Deb had developed. Deb was also a co-founder of Prasara Technologies (later Scientific Atlanta), where she launched the first successful cable Video-on-Demand service in the United States. Prior to that, she was a Sr. Software Engineer with Time Warner Cable’s Full Service Network
Learning C programming while still in high school, Deb attended the University of Alabama in Huntsville, where she grew up. When not working Deb enjoys traveling, going for walks, hiking, reading, writing, and drawing.
As Senior Director of Engineering, Ronald is responsible for managing the daily priorities and direction of front-end engineering, client-integration engineering, and QA teams.
Prior to Sonobi, Ronald studied computer science and music at Stetson University and worked with his family in the live auction business. He joined Sonobi in 2011, making him the longest-tenured employee.
In his role of Software Engineer, Ronald helped build the initial version of various ad tech interfaces and APIs. In his next role as Director of Publisher Engineering, Ronald spearheaded the development of client-side ad-integration products, including the Sonobi header-bidder, header-bidder wrapper, consent management platform, and other associated tools and documentation.
Ronald has championed the adoption of agile methodologies and serves as an advisor at all phases of the development process, from interface design to testing and deployment strategies.
Ronald has a passion for finding solutions to interesting ad tech problems. Some of these solutions have propagated throughout the ecosystem to become industry standards. Ronald is an accomplished vocalist and pianist.
As Chief of Staff and Corporate Development Manager of Sonobi, Ted is primarily responsible for assisting the Chief Executive Officer to drive forward Sonobi’s ongoing strategic initiatives. As such, Ted works closely with the executive team to realize Sonobi’s vision for the future of ad tech as the leading technology provider of people-based media solutions.
Ensuring the company maintains its course to meet or exceed its goals, Ted collaborates with all of Sonobi’s teams to regularly update the executive team with KPI reports and further critical analysis. Additionally, Ted is responsible for overseeing Sonobi’s financial forecasting and applying sensitivity models to Sonobi’s strategic initiatives. As the Corporate Development Manager, Ted is responsible for maintaining investor relations and providing regular updates to Sonobi’s Board of Directors and Advisors. Ted has been closely involved in Sonobi’s prior fund-raising projects from start to finish and continually evaluate Mergers & Acquisitions opportunities for the company. Additionally, Ted works closely with the CEO in preparing quarterly briefings to the Board of Directors and overseeing Sonobi’s various ongoing corporate development projects.
Prior to Sonobi, Ted began his career in the banking industry as a forensic loan review analyst and underwriter.
Ted holds a B.A. in Political Science with a concentration in Globalization and International Politics from Rollins College. He also holds an M.B.A. with a concentration in Finance from Rollins College’s Crummer Graduate School of Business.
Outside of work, Ted is an avid Cleveland Indians fan and enjoys pursuing his passion for travel and the outdoors.
Specializing in product, media, technology and communications, John has over 16 years of experience building creative strategic solutions that drive marketers and brands through technology. Understanding how science can empower communication and drive business advantage is what he does.
John is the Chief Product Officer at Sonobi. He has spent his career working to bridge the gap between science and creativity, developing research, analytical, and media products that power advertising and marketing solutions.
John has worked in several key roles ranging from the CEO/Partner of White Lightning + The Judge’s Son, a specialist consultancy dedicated to helping brands grow, to the Chief Operating Officer at the Havas Specialist Agency Socialistic. He was a Global Director and change agent at Omnicom Media Group, helping design the offering that now is Annalect and Accuen.
John is an avid tattoo collector, hardcore metal and NY Mets fan.
As Sonobi’s Instructional Technologist, Elli is responsible for the on boarding and training of new employees, the development of informational materials (both internal and client-facing), as well as the development and modification of instructional programs for the company.
Prior to Sonobi, Elli was the Head of the Computer Vision Group and an associate research professor at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, where she led research in 11 projects which resulted in 45 publications and four patents.
She also served as an assistant professor at Stevens Institute of Technology, where she assisted in the preparation of the ABET re-accreditation process of the Computer Science program, leading to full accreditation of the BS program.
A true analytical researcher, teacher, and advisor, Elli has participated in numerous cross-disciplinary, multi-institutional, and industry projects throughout her career.
Elli holds a B.S. in Computer Information Systems from The American College of Greece, an M.S. and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from American University and The Johns Hopkins University respectively.
Originally from Athens, Greece, Elli is a travel enthusiast, having visited every inhabited continent and lived in Greece, Germany, and the US.
As the Director of Technical Operations, Ryan is responsible for supply and demand integrations, either directly through header bidding, or through openRTB. One of his main tasks is to analyze key data points in demand activity in order to guide decisions for growth. Ryan is also responsible for establishing and nurturing new partnerships that further promote Sonobi’s mission for people-focused advertising.
Before joining Sonobi, Ryan was Director of Product Development at Tourico Holidays, where he created and implemented a development strategy for their North American hotel sector. As one of the early employees there, Ryan significantly contributed to Tourico becoming the world’s fastest-growing travel distribution company. Prior to Tourico, Ryan was an Entry Software Engineer at Electronic Arts working on computer game development, thus combining work with a favorite hobby.
Ryan studied Computer Science at Full Sail University. He enjoys playing guitar, video games, board games (notice a trend here?), and cooking. In fact, he was selected as an alternate contestant in MasterChef.
As the Director of Human Resources Operations, Crystal oversees all HR tasks including employee relations, staffing needs, compliance with regulations, and the recruitment and hiring of new employees. Crystal serves as a link between management and employees. She reviews on an annual basis the company’s policies, procedures, and practices and makes improvement recommendations to executive management. Crystal also works directly with department managers to support them in carrying out their responsibilities on personnel matters.
Crystal brought over 20 years of experience in Accounting and Human Resources when she joined Sonobi in 2015. No matter which role she held, Crystal always strived for organizational efficiency and effectiveness. When she worked in accounts payable, she developed daily worksheets for easy transaction recording, thereby reducing verification time department-wide. In the same spirit, the complex Q&A to Access database conversion that she developed improved productivity so significantly, that it became a standard company process.
By the time Crystal came to Sonobi, she was uniquely qualified to build the company’s HR processes and procedures from the ground up.
Crystal studied Accounting at Central Texas College. A fun fact about her is that she is from St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. She is the proud mom of 5 children and an avid Marvel fan. Crystal enjoys traveling, reading, antiquing, and loves, loves, loves the beach.
As Sonobi’s Controller, Joey oversees the day-to-day accounting, cash flow, internal controls, and financial reporting of the company. Joey and his team handle the company’s accounts payable and accounts receivable, the closing of monthly books, and the annual audits.
Joey started at Sonobi as a Senior Accountant before becoming the Controller. Prior to joining the Sonobi team, he was a Staff Accountant at Patrick M. Burns CPA, PA, where he completed corporate, personal, and foreign tax returns for clients. He also maintained monthly financials for 20+ clients, and completed all state and federal payroll tax and sales tax returns for all the clients. Joey also handled all foreign-client taxes including, but not limited to, state and federal tax returns, FIRPTA application and reporting, and ITIN application and acquisition.
While completing his B.S. in Accounting with a Minor in Sports Management at the University of Central Florida, Joey worked his way from being a Top-10 server at Hillstone Restaurant to a head bartender. (What a great addition to the Sonobi team to have a bartender on staff!) Joey was also able to put his formal training in practice by building processes for Hillstone, all while building revenue through sales.
When Joey isn’t talking about numbers, he loves to spend time with his family. He also enjoys going to live sporting and music events and traveling. Joey is an all-around sports enthusiast, who loves to cook and make a good cocktail. He is a huge Indianapolis Colts and St. Louis Cardinals fan.
As Sonobi’s Director of Data Engineering and Data Science, Troy is responsible for all data science and engineering activities in Sonobi. These include data collection, delivery, and analysis; data infrastructure design; and support of the data needs of key stakeholder teams. Under Troy’s guidance, the data team focuses on data-driven design and the development of seamless scalable systems. Another essential component of his responsibilities is the enablement of machine-learning forecast models to provide timely business intelligence analytics.
Troy brought over seven years of experience when he started at Sonobi in 2015. At Vision Engineering Solutions, LLC he was the Lead Project Engineer and Subject Matter Expert for the successful design, construction, and delivery of an optical tracking mount capable of tracking long-range, high-velocity targets within industry-leading margins. As a research scientist at CREOL, The College of Optics and Photonics, Troy was the Lead Scientist in the experiment analysis of a high-bandwidth, long-range optical communication network sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). While there he also had a great opportunity to work as the Lead Researcher in the development and verification of Kennedy Space Center’s forecast models for predicting the performance of their laser communication network under atmospheric turbulence.
Troy earned his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Central Florida. When he is not working, Troy enjoys free-diving, kayaking, biking, and mountain sports.
Jon Bond is one of the advertising and marketing industry’s most recognized thought leaders and entrepreneurs. He has developed several significant companies and marketing concepts over his 30-year career.
Jon was Co-Founder and CEO of Kirshenbaum Bond and Partners (KBP). KBP was arguably the original “word of mouth” agency, well before social media appeared on the scene. The agency was the first to develop the modern, multi-disciplinary model. . KBP also created the first pop-up store, and built one in only 18 hours during an episode of the television show The Apprentice. In 2008, KBP launched one of the industry’s first trading desks, Varick Media Management, and was voted agency of the year (under $1BB range) later that same year. KBP was also featured in an episode of the “The Simple Life” and in the 2007 film “ Perfect Stranger.” In 2010, KBP sold to MDC. Billings were approximately $1 billion at the time, and clients included BMW, Citi, Victoria’s Secret, Target, Wendy’s, and the Coca Cola Company.
From 2010 to 2012, Jon was CEO of Big Fuel (now part of Publicis), one of the world’s largest social media agencies. Big Fuel’s clients included General Motors, Gatorade, Chase, and T-Mobile. In addition, Jon helped co-found and one of the first online media agencies (iballs), which sold to Microsoft in the early 2000s.
Jon is currently Co-Chairman at The Shipyard- a full service agency operating in four U.S. cities, with data science at the center of all marketing and media decisions.
Jon is a co-founder of Evolve, the only non-partisan gun safety and responsibility group. He is also a board member of Gods Love We Deliver and a former board member of the American Association of Advertising Agencies and the Ad Council. Jon has recent investments and/or board roles at: White Ops, Metamorphic VC fund, TZP Private Equity Fund, Victors and Spoils (now part of Havas), Simplifi, Data Xu, Blackbook magazine, and Klout.
Mr Bond co-authored “Under the Radar” (John Wiley & Sons) , which has been published in 5 languages, and has sold over 40,000 hard cover copies. He has also written a column called “Truth In Advertising” for Mediapost, and was formerly a regular contributor to the Huffington Post. He is a keynote speaker represented by The Guild Group and has lectured at Harvard Business School, Columbia, NYU, The University of Texas (Austin), and his alma mater, Washington University (St. Louis). .
In 2011, Jon appeared in Morgan Spurlock’s documentary The Greatest Movie Ever Sold. Jon has also appeared on CNN, 20/20, CNBC, 20/20, Barbara Walters, Deborah Norville, and Piers Morgan. In 2010, Jon was voted number 4 in Adweek’s “Executive of the Decade” poll.
Brendan Eich is the co-founder and CEO of Brave Software (https://brave.com/) and the Basic Attention Token (https://basicattentiontoken.o
Tim Pollak has almost five decades of global marketing and advertising experience, and over thirty years’ experience as a Director of public and private companies in the packaged food, pet food, advertising, education, and technology. During his advertising career, he was Vice Chairman of both Young & Rubicam and Dentsu, and CEO of Y&R New York and HDM Worldwide. He co-founded one CPG and two technology start-ups and is currently founding Partner and Head of Strategy at Factory LLC, an operating company that invests in emerging food and beverage companies. A graduate of Dartmouth with an M.B.A from Columbia, Tim, his wife Karen and three children live in New York City.