Meet the people behind the patent-pending technology of WordSentry.®
Harris Turner, CEO
Harris brings over thirty years experience in development, management and sales leadership. Prior to founding WordSentry, he started a number of successful companies, including BidPal (www.BidPal.com), which provides a revolutionary system for the automation of fundraising events; the Frequent Travel Marketing Association, a trade organization of airlines, hotels, and affiliates of frequent flier programs; and STATUS – an enterprise software product that for the first time integrated the legacy systems of airlines and hotels into the Internet, allowing them to deliver their frequent flier account statements online. Turner also serves on the Board of Managers.
Professor Johan Bollen, Subject Matter Expert & Lead Theorist
Johan Bollen is an associate professor at the Indiana University School of Informatics and Computing. He was formerly a staff scientist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and an Assistant Professor at the Department of Computer Science of Old Dominion University. He obtained his PhD in Psychology from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in 2001. Bollen has published over 70 peer-reviewed papers on problems in web science, social media analytics, sentiment tracking, digital libraries, informetrics, and computational social science. His research has been funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, National Science Foundation, Library of Congress, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, IARPA, and the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Jason Rutz, Director of Business Development
Jason provides over 13 years of sales and sales leadership experience in healthcare and technology. Prior to WordSentry, Jason led a national sales team for BidPal. Providing leading-edge SaaS and mobile solutions to non-profit organizations. He also has over 9 years of call center experience with United Healthcare, both in the Direct Sales business unit and in Call Center Sales management. During this time, Jason’s responsibilities included the successful management of a large sales team, as well as the implementation of innovative technologies to increase process efficiency and effectiveness.
Damion Junk, Director of Engineering & Architecture
Damion brings over 12 years of professional development experience, building scalable enterprise applications on the JVM. Whether with startups, financial institutions, or research labs, he has developed a variety of commercial applications in languages including Clojure, Java, Python, and Scala. More recently he has been focusing on scientific computing, big data, and social media analytics.
Board of Managers
Ting Gootee, Elevate Ventures
Ting is a Founding Member and the Chief Investment Officer at Elevate Ventures, an investment management firm dedicated to fostering technology-based entrepreneurship in Indiana. It runs direct seed and early-stage programs, fund-of-funds operations and several entrepreneurship initiatives.
Ting’s specialties include venture analysis, business due diligence, financial modeling, deal negotiations, innovation policies, portfolio management, and management of cross-border transactions and cross-cultural teams.
Peter Brennan, Co-founder
A serial entrepreneur who has spent a great deal of his career in loyalty marketing.
Peter began his career as a marketing director working with Republic/Northwest Airlines’ frequent flyer program and helping to influence the course of a new marketing practice – loyalty marketing. Peter went on to co-found The Lacek Group, a $40 million direct marketing company specializing in customer retention — followed by, MilePoint Worldwide, BidPal and Denali Marketing. Along the way, he has also advised national retailers as principal of Brightstone LLC consultancy and was named an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year. WordSentry represents Peter’s sixth start-up.
Rich Rella, CFO, BidPal Network
Rich brings more than 30 years of diversified financial and operational experience working with entrepreneurial companies; providing leadership in building processes and infrastructure to support rapid growth. He joined BidPal as its CFO in 2009. Previously, he was the CFO/COO of Suros Surgical Systems, Inc. where he helped grow the company from a start-up in 2002 to a $280 million strategic exit in 2006.
Leigh Drogen, CEO, Estimize
Leigh started his career as a trader at Geller Capital where he helped run a successful quantitative strategy based on several core behavioral finance principles. He later started his own asset management firm, Surfview Capital, and was an early member of the team at StockTwits before founding Estimize. Outside of building Estimize you can find Leigh at Madison Square Garden watching the Rangers or on the rink at Chelsea Piers playing hockey.
Bill Jansen, Lead Technical Strategist & Co-founder
Bill has more than 30 years of IT experience specializing in loyalty and retail applications. Most recently at Denali Marketing, Bill was the architect of the Tally customer loyalty software platform. Prior to Denali, Bill served as Chief Technology Officer for MilePoint Worldwide and Senior Vice President of Systems Development at The Lacek Group Worldwide where he was responsible for the development of the Reward Loyalty Tracking System. Prior to The Lacek Group, Bill spent 10 years in the airline industry and was involved in pioneering the development of loyalty program technology for Republic and Northwest Airlines. Bill is a commercially rated pilot and owns/flies a Russian fighter jet for pleasure.