Michael Connolly, CEO of Sonobi, co-founded 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 in delivering innovative solutions for digital advertisers and publishers. Starting in 2009, Michael together with Nathaniel Thomas created their first online web applications company, which attracted over 30 million unique visitors and 1.5 billion ad impressions per month by the time it was acquired in 2012. This success followed him to Sonobi, a company that services 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 sight of the big picture. Not content with simply charting Sonobi’s path forward, he has a deep understanding of all aspects of Sonobi’s operational and technology systems. This 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. He was an Army officer and military aviator, who 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. As a UH 60 Helicopter pilot, he has flown multiple missions throughout central Iraq. These experiences, combined with his background 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 Award, 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 The State University of New York at Albany and a Master of Business Administration from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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 15 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. He also holds a M.S. in Data Analytics (MSDA) from the University of Central Florida.
As Sonobi’s CTO, 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.
VP of Revenue
As Sonobi’s Vice President of Revenue, Jim is responsible for driving strategy, optimization, and growth of the company’s global revenue on both the supply and demand sides of business. In that role he oversees the daily operations and tactical alignment of client-facing teams in order to deliver revenue while ensuring best-in-class service for Sonobi’s partners and clients.
Jim began his career at Sonobi in 2015 as a Premium Account Manager, climbing to Director of Client Services and eventually to his current role as VP of Revenue. In each position, Jim helped Sonobi’s clients, and consequently Sonobi, maximize their revenue while nourishing client relationships. As Director of Client Services, he developed a responsive, reliable, approachable, and knowledgeable team with a very strong retention and growth record. Prior to joining Sonobi, Jim held client service & support roles with The Walt Disney Company and Wells Fargo.
Jim has a B.S. in Business Administration from Seton Hall University. He is originally from Poughkeepsie, NY. When not working Jim can be found throwing tennis balls to his overly-attached dog, Daisy, or partaking in other hobbies like following professional sports, horse racing, playing golf, and other grandfather-like interests.
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.
Training and Customer Development Manager
As Sonobi’s Training and Customer Development Manager, 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.
Director, HR Operations
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.
Scrum Master/Technical Product Manager
In her role as Sonobi’s Scrum Master/Technical Product Manager, Madison is responsible for sprint planning, organizing the schedule of multi-team sprints, and improving platform features. Another important task that Madison undertakes on a daily basis is keeping everyone on track, moving forward and being productive. Before becoming a Scrum Master, Madison was one of Sonobi’s software engineers. This gives her a unique insight into the company’s product development processes. Before joining Sonobi, Madison was a web developer at Barnett Murphy Direct Marketing, where she built and managed an enterprise-level direct mail ordering platform for Southeast Toyota dealers.
Madison has a B.S. in Web Design & Development from Full Sail University – in fact, she was the Valedictorian of her 2010 class. She likes working on puzzles, playing board games (her favorite board game is Settlers of Catan), spending time with cats, and working out/yoga. She also loves going to concerts: she has been to 15 concerts over the last 2 years and even flew to Las Vegas for a Britney Spears concert in 2017.
Marketing and Communications
In her role as Sonobi’s Marketing and Communication Manager, Idamarie oversees Sonobi’s corporate website and social media channels, nurtures external partner and media relationships, plans and executes corporate events, and works with industry trade publications and public-relations agencies to distribute Sonobi marketing material. Before becoming a Marketing and Communication Manager, Idamarie was Sonobi’s Product and Marketing Manager where she developed a framework for more efficient collaboration and improved inter-departmental communication between Sonobi’s product and marketing teams. Another key task that she spearheaded at that time was the corporate website redesign and the creation of a new brand book.
Idamarie joined Sonobi in 2015 as an Office Administrator but quickly transitioned to Office Manager, as she oversaw the expansion of the Winter Park headquarters and the opening of the New York office. Throughout her career, whether at Sonobi, Full Sail University, or Walt Disney World, Idamarie was always developing and implementing systems and guidelines to increase efficiency, enhance communications, promote clarity, and support collaboration.
Idamarie has a B.A. in Interpersonal Organizational Communication from the University of Central Florida. She also holds a Certified Associate in Project Manager (CAPM) certificate from the Project Management Institute. Although she was born in Hickory, NC, she considers Winter Park, FL, home. Idamarie is an avid marathon runner. She also enjoys biking and being outdoors. She is a big Philadelphia Eagles and Orlando Magic fan, but above all, she is a huge fan of her puppy, LittleBit.
Director of Strategic Partnerships
As Sonobi’s Director of Strategic Partnership, Christen manages the relationship development of Sonobi’s strategic supply and demand partners, bolsters partner relationships, and evaluates opportunities to maximize client performance. Christen also supports our JetStream marketplace and Client Services and Support team via data analysis, client performance review, and technical opportunity assessments.
Before moving up to her current role, Christen joined the Sonobi team as a Publisher Platform Account Manager. Christen’s professional path has always been rooted in building relationships. Christen brought with her valuable previous experience from her role as a Key Account Manager at Nature’s Dynamics, where she was the primary account manager for a $2 million customer base and focused on fostering and expanding existing client relationships while identifying new business prospects. Her deep understanding of relationships is rooted in her earlier work as a Mental Health Connections Specialist at the Mental Health Association of Central Florida where she connected community members to suitable mental health resources and facilitated time-sensitive requests from individuals in crisis and their family members.
Christen holds a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Central Florida. She is Orlando born and raised. Christen enjoys spending time with her friends, family, and (most importantly) two dogs. Most days she can usually be found outdoors, preferably near a body of water.
Director, Software Development
Jon has a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Central Florida. When he isn’t working he loves spending time with his wife and two daughters. He is an avid video gamer – at least he was until he became a father. The two games he enjoys playing the most are “Counter-Strike” and “World of Warcraft”. Jon also likes fitness and going to the gym.
Director of Data Engineering & Data Science
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.
As Sonobi’s Sales Executive, Haley is responsible for executing an outreach strategy that generates keen interest in Sonobi’s offerings. She is always seeking new ways to raise awareness of Sonobi’s products, build connections with new clients, and nurture relationships with existing ones. Another important task that Haley performs is to support prospective clients through contract negotiations and ensure that new client relationships start off strongly.
Though Haley joined Sonobi recently, she brought with her over 20 years of experience in sales. She has held multiple Sales Management positions in the hospitality industry in prominent international hotel chains such as Hilton, Intercontinental, and Loews. Throughout her career she consistently and very comfortably exceeded her sales goals, earning her a Star Performer award in 2018 at Loews Regency San Francisco. The knowledge and skills that she had developed in the hospitality field, especially in its Tech Sales Market, are an invaluable tool for her new role in the Ad-Tech Sales Market.
Haley earned her B.S. in Criminal Justice with a Minor in Sociology and later on a Master of Public Administration from the Appalachian State University. She considers both Jackson, TN and Marion, NC her home. When Haley is not working, she enjoys watching football, especially the University of Tennessee and Broncos teams. Not surprisingly, Haley enjoys traveling. In fact, she is on a quest to see all seven New Wonders of the World – she has already visited the Taj Mahal and the Great Wall of China. She also likes going to live music concerts, but most of all she loves spending time with family and friends.
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.
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 Lead Technical Advisor, 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.
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.
Matthew Papa is the Global Vice President of Partnerships for Captify, where he is responsible for managing Captify’s data and media partners across their 11 global markets. Matthew has been working with media brands and technology partners for over ten years in Television and Digital. Prior to joining Captify, Matthew had a successful 6 year career with Sonobi and was responsible for leading industry-wide adoption of revolutionary header bidding technology, which was first to market in 2014. As Global GM of Revenue at Sonobi, he successfully orchestrated complex publisher consortiums in Spain and Australia, as well as managing an evolutionary product relationship with Merkle and the M1 platform.