Leadership

line

Our executives bring more than just experience to the table. Consistently striving for a brighter future in digital, Vendasta leadership works tirelessly to solve the problems facing local economies around the globe.

Vendasta Leadership principles

Meet the visionary leaders behind Vendasta

Brendan King

Brendan King

Chief Executive Officer

Richard Cheung

Richard Cheung

Chief Financial Officer

Jacqueline Cook

Jacqueline Cook

Chief Operating Officer

Brendan King

Chief Executive Officer

Brendan King is the innovative force behind Vendasta. Responsible for providing the vision, thought leadership, and business strategy, it is Brendan’s ability to focus on the big picture while maintaining quality on the finest details that drives Vendasta’s success. Prior to starting the company, Brendan has many business ventures, including a computer chain which was nationally franchised and was entrepreneurial force behind Point2 Agent, a real estate software company, where he grew its membership to more than 185,000 agents and brokers in 85 countries. He was named one of the Top 50 Saas CEOs by the Software Report in 2019. Brendan and Vendasta are almost synonymous. Both are governed by four core values: Drive, innovation, respect and agility. Brendan is extremely passionate about upholding these values while helping Vendasta on its path of becoming the #1 platform for selling digital solutions to local businesses.

Richard Cheung

Chief Financial Officer

Richard Cheung is responsible for all financial, reporting and administrative aspects of the business and acts as the CEO’s right hand, money-focused man. Richard joined Vendasta in 2019 to help raise growth capital, explore M&A opportunities, build and scale finance operations and position the business to operate as a public company. He has helped various fast-growing public technology companies scale, and in the process, created tremendous shareholder value. Prior to Vendasta, Richard was CFO at Vancouver-based TIO Networks Corp. which was sold to PayPal, Inc. for $305 million in 2017. He also served as Vice President of Business Development for FuseMail, a subsidiary of j2 Global, Inc, and was CFO of Electric Mail which was sold to j2 Global, Inc in 2004. He earned a CA designation (KPMG alumni) and has a B. Comm degree from the University of BC.

Jeff Tomlin

Chief Marketing Officer

Jeff Tomlin is Vendasta’s Chief Marketing Officer, reporting to CEO Brendan King. As a co-founder, he has been with the company since its first day in 2008. Jeff provides strategy and direction to the teams driving awareness and demand for Vendasta’s platform.

Prior to co-founding Vendasta, Jeff was the VP of strategy and business development at Point2, where he helped grow a real estate platform from the ground to power more than 165,000 agents in 85 countries. He first developed a love for marketing and technology in 1996 when online digital marketing was in its infancy. He earned a bachelor degree in economics from the University of Saskatchewan in 1993 and an advanced certificate in economics in 1994.

Dale Hopkins

Dale Hopkins

Chief Technology Officer

Jeff Tomlin

Jeff Tomlin

Chief Marketing Officer

George Leith

George Leith

Chief Customer Officer

George Leith

Chief Customer Officer

George Leith is Vendasta’s Chief Customer Officer, reporting to Chief Executive Officer, Brendan King. He leads Vendasta’s Sales Guild of more than 200 professionals. These teams are dedicated to ensuring the success of a global stable of vendors, channel partners, and end-users. George provides training, education, and mentorship to an ever-growing base of more than 40,000 Channel Partners, sales leaders, and sales professionals who make up Vendasta’s client base. In 2016, George created the Conquer Local Podcast to help sales leaders, frontline sales professionals, and channel partners in their digital customer journey. The Conquer Local Podcast is entering it’s 4th season and has been ranked in the top 10 business Podcasts on Itunes it is heard in 50 countries with over 10,000 unique listens a month. In 2020 George was recognized as a Top Gun 51 for his work to help Channel Partners all over the world as they transform their platforms and go-to-customer models. George is a founding member of the Toronto Chapter of the Revenue Collective and an advisory board member of Cultivator tech incubator. He also is as a guest lecturer at the Edwards School of Business, MBA program. Prior to Vendasta, George created and led businesses in the Media Industry. As an RAB certified Radio Manager and Marketer, George started his sales career with 15 years in Radio, and then 5 years in the publishing business. He has a passion to help individuals and companies excel as digital sales experts.

Dale Hopkins

Chief Technology Officer

Dale Hopkins is Vendasta’s Chief Technology Officer, reporting to CEO, Brendan King. Over the past 10+ years Dale has been responsible for guiding the processes, technologies, and tools that make up the Vendasta ecosystem. Through his leadership Vendasta has scaled to over 20 Agile software teams with over 100 developers supporting millions of users in the platform.

Prior to Vendasta, Dale founded a software consulting company that specialized in digital video diagnostics and processing. Customers included Time Warner Cable and his previous employer Vecima Networks. Dale earned a bachelor degree in Engineering Physics from the University of Saskatchewan in 2005 with a dual degree in Computer Science.

Jacqueline Cook

Chief Operating Officer

Jacqueline Cook is Vendasta’s Chief Operating Officer. Jacqueline helps shape Vendasta’s long-term strategy, and works to align the culture, organizational design, company metrics and overall operations toward those long-term objectives. She is responsible for the company’s revenue growth and customer-facing Channel Partner division, which encompasses demand generation, sales, customer success, account management, support, and retention and the brilliant people within who take Vendasta’s platform and marketplace of solutions to market. She also leads Vendasta’s product-led growth strategy which is driven by five cross-functional product/growth teams. Jacqueline joined Vendasta in late 2013 to develop Vendasta’s early partnership strategies.
She is an alumnus of NEXT Canada, Canada’s premier entrepreneurial leadership initiative. During the program, she co-founded and was CEO of Triumf Mobile Rewards: a tablet and Smartphone-based platform for small and medium-sized businesses to customize their own loyalty rewards programs. She has been a speaker at events such as TEDx UofS and WE DAY 2015, and has represented Canada at the 2010 G8 and G20 Summits, the 2010 APEC Summit in Japan, and at the 2011 G20 Young Entrepreneur Summit in France.

Ed O'Keefe

Ed O'Keefe

GM, Marketplace

Gib Olander

Gib Olander

GM, Platform

Jeff Folckemer

Jeff Folckemer

SVP, Customer Expansion

Bryan Larson

Bryan Larson

VP, Design

Jean Parchewsky

Jean Parchewsky

VP, People Operations

Willem Els

Willem Els

GM, Channel Partners

Anna Tavares

Anna Tavares

VP, StRATEGY

Ed O’Keefe

GM, Marketplace

Ed O’Keefe is Vendasta’s GM of Marketplace, reporting to CEO, Brendan King. Ed has innovated and driven high double digit growth year over year by operating a marketplace where Channel Partners find, market, provision and purchase products to resell to their SMB clients. This includes both Vendsasta owned & operated white label solutions and a curated ecosystem of best of breed 3rd party vendors. Ed joined Vendasta in 2017 to deliver a vibrant marketplace platform with deeply integrated products across the Martech & IT categories: and expand into the HR, Accounting, Shipping, Security & eCommerce TAM. In 2020, Ed also launched Vendasta into the FINTECH space with a partnership with STRIPE to further monetize the transactions and GMV running through Vendasta’s end to end commerce platform.

Prior to Vendasta, Ed was based in London and worked across 8 countries in Europe to transform a $1.3B Media company to digital, created the Martech market’s first PayPerCall Marketplace, is a founding innovator in the call tracking and call attribution market, and spent 6 years designing and product managing consumer and Pro skis, rackets and scuba equipment for HEAD Sports.

Jeff Folckemer

GM, Customer Expansion

Jeff Folckemer is Vendasta’s GM of Channel Partner Expansion, and is the GM of Marketing Services. Reporting to the COO, Jeff is responsible for retaining, growing, and servicing the existing customer base of partners. This includes training, selling techniques, and overall understanding of Platform use, as well as Products and Services available to the partners SMB’s (customer base). Jeff joined Vendasta in September of 2018 to help scale and expand partners. Prior to Vendasta Jeff spent 20+ years working at the Hearst Corporation. His mission was to grow digital and help transition Hearst to a digital first mindset. Jeff holds degrees from Cansius College, and various other instutional learning progams included the Hearst Leadership/Management Institute.

Gib Olander

GM, Platform

Gib Olander is Vendasta’s EVP of Product and the General Manager of the Platform division. Reporting to CEO Brendan King. Gib and the platform division work to make the Vendata platform the operating system of choice for our Channel Partners activating an army of channel partner users who use the white labeled Vendasta platform to scale their ability to market, sell, fulfil & bill digital products. Gib joined Vendasta in 2019 to help coach and scale our product groups. Prior to Vendasta, Gib spent 20+ years working on and founding companies who deliver digital products that help SMB’s utilize software. He helped invent business listing identity management with Localeze (now Neustar) and invented patented technology in customer satisfaction and natural language processing around consumer reviews with Local Viewpoints (now PowerReviews) Gib holds degrees in Political Science and Public Administration from Augustana College

Michael Watkins

VP of Partner Success

Providing more than just support, Michael and his team work diligently to provide Vendasta’s partners with the keys to success. Recommending solutions, providing support, and dispensing guidance so that we can grow together with our partners across the globe.

After starting his professional career in retail, Michael has been a pioneer of the digital revolution, previously moving from a junior position at a boutique creative agency to a senior digital strategist role with Australia’s largest digital marketing agency, Sensis.
Leading countless continuous improvement programs, Michael has passionately supported thousands of small businesses through digital transformation and capability improvements.

Anna Tavares

Anna Tavares

GM, Product-Led Growth

As Vendasta’s GM of Product-Led Growth and VP of Strategy, Anna works with the executive team to shape the company’s strategies and to align our organizational design and company metrics to these goals. She works to lead and support various teams while driving Vendasta’s efforts in being a Product-Led company. She directly manages a group of five cross-functional teams, responsible for Vendasta’s Product-Led Growth in the mid-market segment.

Anna is an alumnus of the University of Saskatchewan and the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais. She is the founder and past president of the Young Women in Business Chapter at the UofS, and, in 2017 was nominated for the YWCA Women of Distinction Award. This award recognizes emerging leaders who are inspirational role models in their careers, academic achievements or community-building roles. Anna currently sits on the United Way of Saskatoon Board of Directors and lives in Saskatoon with her husband.

Desiree Kupietz

VP of Partner Development

An experienced Director of Digital Sales and Partner Development with a demonstrated history of working in the publishing industry, Desiree is skilled in Digital Sales Strategy, Advertising Sales, and Integrated Marketing.

Desiree joined Vendasta in 2018 after an impressive portfolio of roles at The News Tribune, and as both the Digital Sales Development Manager and Director of Automotive Sales at McClatchy.

Bryan Larson

Bryan Larson

VP of Design

Bryan Larson is Vendasta’s Vice President of Design, reporting to CEO, Brendan King. Bryan has been instrumental in the formulation, facilitation, and communication of the organization’s strategic initiatives and future goals. His contributions to product vision, and ability to align and mobilize teams has made a considerable impact on the company’s ongoing success. In addition to his role at Vendasta, Bryan provides consultation and mentorship to startups, is a guest lecturer at numerous post-secondary institutions, and an active public speaker in the tech community. Bryan joined Vendasta in 2013 to instate a scalable, world-class design team, set and govern experience standards, and enhance the corporate brand.

Prior to Vendasta, Bryan held positions with Yardi Canada and Point2 Technologies in the area of brand and design. He earned a B. Ed. degree from the University of Saskatchewan and holds certifications in scrum and UX management.

Joel Smart

VP of Large Cloud Broker Acquisition

Joel brings an extensive multi-media advertising background to his role at Vendasta, with experience selling directly to national brands and agencies.

With a portfolio stretching from Director of National Sales at USA TODAY, to his current role as the Vice President of Business Development at Brandify.

With over 20 years of experience, Joel brings a wealth of talent to the team at Vendasta in his role as Vice President of Large Cloud Broker Acquisition. His continued goal to see the Large Cloud Broker division prosper and grow is already well underway.

Willem Els

Willem Els

VP Business Intelligence and Operations

Willem Els leads Corporate Business Intelligence and Operations. He has extensive public company experience at Microsoft Corporation and The Walt Disney Studios. He specialized in Finance, Strategy, and Business Intelligence for North America markets; during this time he worked and lived in Toronto and Los Angeles. His last three years at Disney as Vice President of Finance and Planning focused on worldwide emerging businesses and leading the cross-functional Five Year Plan process.

After Disney, Willem joined a private fast growing company with a China-based supply chain and distribution across North-America. He started and led several central planning functions; his last role as Executive Vice President included oversight of Financial Planning, Business Intelligence, Business Integration, and Demand Forecasting of Products and Distribution Channels.

Willem holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Economics) and completed a program in Advanced Managerial Accounting.

Light Go

Legal Counsel

Joining Vendasta in 2017, Light comes from a background in general practice law firms covering various aspects of legal practice. Now providing Vendasta with his experience and knowledge in corporate governance matters, corporate commercial matters, compliance matters (privacy, security and GDPR), labour, trademark/copyright and Finance law.

Jean Parchewsky

Jean Parchewsky

VP People Operations

Jean Parchewsky is Vendasta’s VP of People Operations. She is responsible for ensuring Vendasta is continually attracting, developing, and retaining an amazing team. Jean joined Vendasta in 2015 to lead the implementation of people programs and to grow the inspiring culture at Vendasta. Vendasta has been named Company of the year, the Best Place to work, and Canada’s Top 100 Employers, along with other numerous awards for being an innovative and highly people-focused workplace.

Jean is an alumna at the University of Saskatchewan with a degree in Psychology. She spent 20 years growing retail brands in Canada such as Zara, Esprit and Target before moving into technology. With over 500 employees, Jean leverages her education in psychology and expertise in leading effective teams to ensure employees do not come to Vendasta just to work but are able to be their best and live out their passions.
Jean is involved with the SaskTech Board and has been a speaker at Edwards School of Business, the University of Saskatchewan, Co. Labs and various Technology events.

Jesse Redl

Lead Site Reliability Engineer

Joining Vendasta in 2012 as a software developer after a five year stint with Point2 Technologies, Jesse has contributed his wealth of talent and knowledge to the company in a list of roles, including time spent as the VP of Engineering and Lead Site Reliability Engineer

Possessing a rare balance of tech skills and business smarts, Jesse brings over 15 years of experience to the Staff Engineer role as Vendasta continues to evolve.

Dani Mario

Director of Corporate Marketing & Communications

Dani is where solid software and stories intersect. As the company’s Director of Communications, her job is to help people around the world connect with Vendasta. Like strawberry jam on warm toast, she’s spreading the word of Vendasta right to the outer crust.

Her love for a good narrative arc comes from a decade in print and broadcast journalism, an industry where she had the chance to freelance in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, anchor/report the news for CBC, and run the CTV Saskatoon newsroom as the youngest News Director in the network’s recent history. She is a past (failed) contestant on the Price is Right, has a big dog and floppy-eared cat, and gives back to her community whenever she has the chance.

Pin It on Pinterest