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Chief Geeks

The myGeek community is made up of a diverse group of individuals who have collectively gathered to create a visionary company in the online advertising arena. Leading this community is a management team with broad backgrounds in the Internet, technology, business, finance and service sectors.

Chad Little - Chief Geek and President and CEO
Chad M. Little founded myGeek in November of 1998 and raised over $7 million in venture capital funding. He successfully led the company through the difficult economic downturn and into profitability during the recession, when most Internet ventures fell by the wayside. Mr. Little is considered one of the early and leading forces in the Internet arena and has strong capital raising and M&A; experience. His ongoing responsibilities include the definition of the company's business strategy, cultivating business development opportunities, and the establishment of strategic industry partnerships. Prior to myGeek, Mr. Little founded two successful businesses, including Sandbox Entertainment Inc. in 1995. As the Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Little oversaw all company business and led the charge to develop proprietary software technologies, which propelled Sandbox Entertainment forward as the early leader in online fantasy sports, games and simulations. Sandbox Entertainment raised over $30 million in venture capital and strategic partnerships were established with such heavyweights as CNN/Sports Illustrated, Yahoo! and others, before the company merged with Wall St. Sports in 1999. Prior to Sandbox Entertainment, Mr. Little founded TRACER Design in 1991, a pioneering interactive advertising agency. As the Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Little led day-to-day operations, defined company strategy and built a high tech client base including AT&T;, IBM, Motorola, and Intel. TRACER Design was a self-funded start-up and was profitable since inception before it's acquisition in 1995. Mr. Little is actively involved in the Internet and software development communities, particularly in Arizona where he is on the Board of Directors of the Arizona Technology Council. He has spoken frequently at leading industry events and has been featured often on established news outlets, including: Forbes, TIME, CNNfn, NBC Nightly News, The Red Herring, The Arizona Republic, AZ Business Magazine, and many others, as well as being a published author with Paramount Publishing.

Bhaskar Ballapragada - Chief Technical Officer
Mr. Ballapragada is responsible for myGeek's overall software and hardware needs, including programming design, research and development. His engineering background spans over 15 years across diverse and cutting-edge industries. Prior to myGeek, Mr. Ballapragada held senior engineering positions at Wizard Business Systems, a Deloitte & Touche spin-out with a strong focus on mission-critical data warehousing, business intelligence, enterprise and mid-market information technology solutions. Before that, Mr. Ballapragada held senior engineering positions at Damon S. Williams Associates, a prominent environmental engineering firm, where he focused on process engineering design and software modeling. Prior to that, Mr. Ballapragada held senior engineering and management positions at Environmental Technology International, Ltd., a global leader in the environmental engineering arena. Mr. Ballapragada has a Bachelor of Technology in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay, a Masters of Science in Environmental Engineering from Vanderbilt University and a PhD in Environmental Engineering from the University of Washington in Seattle. Mr. Ballapragada is a Member of the Arizona Technology Council and is a Member of the Board of Directors of the Environmental Protection Research Foundation, an organization recognized by the United Nations Development Program. Mr. Ballapragada has published several papers in peer-reviewed journals related to process engineering and is a speaker at international conferences.

Steve Armstrong - Vice President of Finance
Steve Armstrong has over eight years of experience in finance and accounting with technology based, high-growth companies. Prior to myGeek, Mr. Armstrong was the Corporate Controller for Panasas, a leading California-based company in the network attached storage space and backed by Mohr Davidow Ventures, The Carlyle Group, and other prominent venture groups. Before Panasas, Mr. Armstrong was the Corporate Controller at PayPal, a pioneer in the field of online payments and transactions. PayPal was formed by the merger of Confinity with, an online bank, where Mr. Armstrong was the Corporate Controller before, during and after the merger. Prior to that, Mr. Armstrong had been the Corporate Controller at Eos, a leading manufacturer for advanced power supplies for the laptop computer market whose clientele included recognized industry leaders such as Dell, Sony, IBM, NEC, Texas Instruments, DEC, Solectron and Acer. Mr. Armstrong holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration & Accounting from the University of California, Riverside. Mr. Armstrong is a Member of the Financial Executive Institute and also has a Degree in Culinary Arts from Scottsdale Culinary Institute.

Board of Directors

Chad Little, Chief Geek and President and CEO, myGeek

Ed Battle
Ed Battle is the CFO at BridgePort Networks where he is responsible for the financial, legal and administrative development of the company. Mr. Battle brings more than 15 years of experience in the Internet, multimedia and networking business, spanning functions from new business development to finance. Mr. Battle is a co-founder of myGeek and a co-founder and CFO at SimStar, Inc. a CD-Rom and web development firm focused on healthcare. He also held management positions at Deloitte & Touche and at the investment bank of Wood Gundy. Mr. Battle holds a BS in Engineering from Texas A&M; and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business.

John Harbottle
John Harbottle is the Executive Vice President for Khimetrics, Inc., a solutions provider to predict, manage and drive customer demand. Previously he was the Executive Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer of Interact Commerce Corporation, which created the popular ACT! Contact management software. John contributes over 24 years of experience in senior strategic and financial planning roles to myGeek's Board of Directors, with companies operating in Internet e-commerce, software development, information technology, and consumer products. John has previously served as the Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Finance for NBC Internet (NBCi) and Chief Financial Officer and Vice President for He was instrumental in the merger of, Snap, and other NBC InteNBCi and during their IPO and two secondary offerings. John was also the Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Finance for Mastering Computers, Inc. and held the same title at Zenger-Miller. John is also on the board of advisors for several other Internet companies.

Robert Pothier
Robert Pothier is a Principal at the Wasatsch Venture Fund. Mr. Pothier manages the Fund’s Arizona operations. Mr. Pothier brings to the Fund over 11 years of executive management experience at Rockford Corporation. He was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Rockford Corporation, growing the company from 15 employees to over 670 employees internationally. He was also a partner from 1978 to 1982 in Camelback Capital Corporation, an early-stage venture capital company. Mr. Pothier was the Inc. Magazine Entrepreneur of the Year in the State of Arizona in 1990. In addition, Mr. Pothier has been the owner and president of his own consulting firm, providing high-level business consultation to various multi-million dollar corporations. Mr. Pothier specializes in management team building and sales and marketing strategy development. He is a graduate with a B.S. in Finance from Brigham Young University and the Executive Program at Stanford University.

Stephen Shaffer
Stephen Shaffer is a co-founder and Managing Director at Pennylane Partners, a New York based fund focused on entrepreneurial ventures. Mr. Shaffer is also a co-founder and Principal of Denslow, Shaffer & Company, an NASD registered broker-dealer. He has extensive experience in private transactions, including positions as lender, advisor and principal. For 13 years, Shaffer worked with financial institutions operating in the private sector of the U.S. capital markets - including Prudential Insurance Company, Philadelphia National Bank and The Chase Manhattan Bank. In 1982, Mr. Shaffer became a principal in Founders Court, a Philadelphia-based LBO firm with $10 million in investable capital. While there, he negotiated and closed seven transactions with a total value of $100 million. He served as Chief Administrative Officer of the firm, as a Director of five portfolio companies and as Chairman of the Board for four of them. Mr. Shaffer holds an M.B.A. in Finance from Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University and a B.A. in History from Dartmouth College. He is an NASD Registered Representative and Principal.

D. Kirk Westbrook
D. Kirk Westbrook is a co-founder and Managing Director of the International Venture Fund (IVF). IVF is a Silicon Valley based venture fund focused on seed and early stage emerging growth investment opportunities in the geographic areas of Hawaii, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah, as well as Silicon Valley. Mr. Westbrook is also the President of invencor, inc., which manages IVF and also assumed management of an existing seed fund associated with incubators in the State of Arizona in 1997, the Arizona Technology Venture Fund (ATVF). ATVF is fully funded and in process of liquidation. Mr. Westbrook holds board seats on several of IVF’s portfolio companies. Mr. Westbrook has been involved with finance for approximately 15 years. In 1989, he accepted a position with Silicon Valley Bank, a nationally recognized debt and equity provider which specializes in serving early stage, pre-profit technology companies, most of which are venture backed. While at Silicon Valley, Mr. Westbrook worked in all of the lending areas of the Bank, as well as managed an extensive portfolio for several years in the Bank’s workout group. In April 1997, Westbrook departed his Vice President post at Silicon Valley Bank’s National Division, then one of the fastest growing divisions within the Bank, to form invencor, inc. In addition to his management and investment activity with IVF and ATVF, Mr. Westbrook has also been involved with venture conferences in the states of Arizona, Hawaii, Illinois, Texas and Utah and is on the board of the Hawaii Venture Capital Association. Mr. Westbrook is a graduate of San Jose State University.

Board of Advisors

Laurant Massa
Laurent Massa was President & CEO of Cariocas, Inc., a leading provider of incentive marketing solutions for large consumer brands that he sold in late 2003. Prior to Cariocas, he was President & Chief Executive Officer of, Inc. (now NBC), a company he co-founded in September 1996 to become one of the 12 most trafficked sites on the Internet in 1999. He successfully completed several private and public rounds of financing totaling almost $400M prior to merging the company with GE's NBC Internet assets, creating NBCInternet, the first global integrated media company. Under Mr. Massa's direction, pioneered direct marketing over the Internet becoming the leading direct e-commerce site using communities as a way to create a database of qualified members in order to direct market to them. Prior to, Mr. Massa served as Vice President of New Internet Ventures of Olivetti Telemedia, an Internet and telecommunications company based in Milan, Italy. Before Olivetti, Mr. Massa was Vice President, International of Softkey International in Cambridge, Mass. (now part of Mattel) and European Director of Tops in England, a Sun Microsystems company. Mr. Massa holds an MBA in International business from the European Business School (Paris, London Frankfurt) and is fluent in French, English, Italian and German.

...In Chinese, the words for crisis and opportunity are the same.

...In ancient Egyptian, the word for genius and socially awkward is Geek.

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