YOUTECH & ASSOCIATES
THE DREAM TEAM
John Lennon once said, “You may say I’m a dreamer. But I’m not the only one.” Youtech’s CEO and Founder, Wilbur You, surrounded himself with other dreamers & doers and built his own integrated marketing and development empire. Rooted in drive, innovation, and espresso, our crew has been hitting the pavement since the start, and we’ll never put a ceiling on what we can accomplish.
As a full-service agency, we use our signature blend of intelligent data and inspiration to bring our clients new business through expertly crafted marketing, development, branding, and public relations. They say that after you master something, you can flip it on its head and turn it into something revolutionary. We did just that… and added in a few ping-pong matches for good measure. Youtech knows what it takes to build a company and is always open to breaking the marketing mold with out-of-the-box strategies.
Vibrant. Fearless. Authentic. Innovative.
That’s who we are – a collection of industrious, unrelenting individuals who splice data and art together like a squad of well-practiced marketing scientists. Here at Youtech, we have one goal: We Build Empires.
FOUNDER & CEO
Ask anyone at Youtech to describe Wilbur You, and all descriptions will lead you to the same sentiment: Wilbur is a leader.
Five years ago, however, Wilbur did not have his now 30+ employees to vouch for him. At the age of 21, with a bachelors degree from NIU in Computer Science, Wilbur started Youtech & Associates as a one-man operation. In his parents’ basement, he made 100 calls a day asking people to give him the opportunity to build their websites. Fast forward five years, and that solo venture is now a full-fledged integrated marketing agency with offices in Naperville, IL and Scottsdale, AZ.
After the inception of Youtech, Wilbur attained his MBA from the Keller Graduate School of Management and specializes in startups and business. He has a unique ability to construct personalized marketing strategies for clients and is able to effortlessly bridge the gap between traditional and digital marketing methods. As the visionary architect behind Youtech’s ever-growing marketing empire, Wilbur knows how to build a business from the ground up and keep the arrow pointing in the right direction.
When he’s not out conquering the world, the young CEO can often be found cheering for the Bulls, Blackhawks, Cubs, and Bears as they take the field. He is also the proud owner of Youtech’s very own mascot, Turtle, the most lovable Bernese Mountain Dog known to mankind.
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
From her Shiba Inu, Renner (named after the inventor of the typeface Futura, of course), to the giant ampersand hanging on her office wall, it’s safe to say Lauren embraces design in more than just her 9 to 5 – and she has a BFA in Graphic Design from Eastern Illinois University to prove it.
Lauren started her journey with Youtech & Associates in June of 2013 as a Graphic Designer, just a year after Youtech was founded. She swiftly rose to Director of Web & Graphics, then Creative Director, before landing her current role as Chief Operating Officer. Her passion for processes and love of organization paired with her creative backbone makes her the perfect fit for the job.
Currently pursuing her MBA in Marketing, Lauren is fully embracing the leadership life. On the days she’s not studying for the next midterm or leading a team meeting, you can find Lauren at your local hot yoga class, a Cubs game, or bellied up to a good sushi bar.
VP OF SALES
As Director of Business Development, Trent Anderson is responsible for driving strategic partnerships and transactions to accelerate growth for Youtech and its clients. He joined Youtech in 2014 and has helped oversee 100% year-over-year revenue growth. Trent works with clients around the world, ranging from startups to large-scale enterprises, to identify areas of collaboration, drive innovation, and unlock shared value.
VP OF MARKETING
Not everyone can say their dinner conversations have always centered around marketing and business acumen, but in Michael’s house, this was typical. Always interested in what was going on around him, Michael immersed himself in the field and hasn’t looked back since.
With his BA in Philosophy hot off the press, Michael began working at the family marketing agency. Taking diligent notes, interacting with clients, and studying the moves of his supervisors – he quickly adapted to his role and began to take on more and more responsibilities.
It was at this point that Michael made the transition to Youtech. Coming in as a Project Manager, the energetic youngster tackled his new position with ease, and a promotion to Director followed within the year.
Fast forward a few years, and Michael is now the author of an award-winning book, for which he donated all proceeds to charity. Known by most as the happy-go-lucky guy with terrible jokes, this MBA student can likely be found talking about fantasy football, traveling, or hitting the beach – sometimes all at once.
VP OF TECHNOLOGY
It took 35 years from Frank to progress from a computer “geek” to the official title of a computer “nerd” or “expert” as we like to say, but who’s counting. Frank is the unofficial master of codes and programming, holding a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering. When Frank isn’t hiding behind his five computer screens or drinking a cup of tea, he is entertained by spending a night on the town with the Youtech team to re-live his younger years.
Where do we even begin with Nate? I guess we can get the formalities out of the way first. Nate comes to us from the small town of Mattoon in the southern part of Illinois. He jumped into the world of design his junior year of High School and hasn’t turned back. He graduated with a B.F.A. from Eastern Illinois University in 2014 which is conveniently located 10 minutes outside of his hometown. After graduation, he decided it was time to leave those corn fields behind and head to the big city and join Youtech as a Graphic Designer.
Nate quickly fit in with the rest of the crew of motivated like-minded millennials and even with the dinosaur of the office, Frank. From his amazing dad jokes to his quick wit humor and his incredible puns, there is never a dull moment with this kid. He himself will say that he is a design “nerd.” His friends outside of the design world, especially his girlfriend Angie, are always giving him side-eye when he points out typefaces in public or commenting on the package design of something he received in the mail. Some friends huh?
Believe it or not, there is much more to Nate than just design. When he gets the chance to step away from the screen, you can find him playing softball for the company team which he admits he shouldn’t take as seriously. When he calms down from the field he can be found being a tourist in Chicago that is now only 30 mins away instead of the 3 hours that he is used to. No, he isn’t a Cubs fan, his allegiances lie on the Southside where he will take in a game and a few adult beverages on the weekends with his friends.
DIRECTOR OF SEARCH
Eric is a high-speed millennial multitasker with a drive to learn and master anything that comes across his plate.
When attending North Central College, majoring in both Organizational Communications and Marketing, Eric successfully completed two marketing internships, which instilled in him a drive for success and a serious penchant for optimization.
His passion for marketing drove him to develop dozens of websites in various categories. He used these sites to learn and develop his skills in search engine optimization while developing various techniques to help sites rank and grow.
When he isn’t testing out products being sent to him from around the world for his tech site, he can be found chilling with his black lab, Belle, and researching the latest trends to further his knowledge about the ever-so-changing digital marketing world.
DIRECTOR OF CONTENT
Words are Kate’s (every)thing. She learned at a young age that writing was her way of expressing creativity and bringing ideas to fruition. She continued to hone this skill throughout primary school and her time at Hillsdale College as a Marketing Management major and swimmer. Kate’s goal was to be able to use her storytelling forte to help others communicate their own stories to the fullest.
Kate landed some marketing internships after college, but couldn’t shake the desire to study abroad. When the opportunity arose, she took the plunge and ventured across the pond to London, England – not coincidentally the birthplace of English narrative – to get her master’s degree in Marketing. The degree was merely the cherry on top of a life experience that forced her out of her comfort zone and further ingrained that the best lessons are learned outside the classroom. She came back to the states more eager than ever to find the right company where she could flex her creative muscle amid fellow imaginative minds.
Kate found this at Youtech, starting in April 2017, for her first full-time writing gig as a Content Writer. She thoroughly enjoys that no two days are the same, writing blogs, articles, and website content for a variety of clients. To fight the occasional writer’s block, Kate turns to her travels and family’s endless movie quotes, dad jokes, and pun-filled banter for inspiration. She is a firm believer in the Oxford comma and that spelling is the difference between knowing your crap and knowing you’re crap.
In her free time, she dances like she’s in a Backstreet Boys music video (still waiting on that callback…), drinks coffee like a Gilmore Girl, and eats pizza with ranch like it’s her second job.
DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT
Dillon was born and raised in Schaumburg IL and attended Harper College for Electrical Engineering before shifting his focus to web development. At that point, he gave up every weeknight and most every weekend (while working full-time) for 6 months to attend a coding bootcamp. This training propelled him to transition his passion into “work”. He credits his drive to accomplish goals to his years participating in competitive fighting (boxing and kickboxing). While not studying, researching, and coding, he can be found playing guitar, working out, and traveling.
Sam is an honors graduate from Eastern Illinois University with a major in Family & Consumer Sciences and a minor in Sociology. When asked what she wanted to do in her future career, Sam always knew she wanted to help people. In 2016, after almost two years in the field of family services, Sam decided to make a career change and join the team at Youtech.
After two years manning the front desk as the Administrative Assistant and completing a few HR courses, Sam transitioned into her new role as Human Resources Manager. She is excited to bring her new knowledge and bossy confidence back to the office.
When she’s not at the office, you can find Sam at the gym, eating Chipotle, blasting music in her car, or spending time with her fur children.
SENIOR PROJECT MANAGER
Carrie graduated from Illinois State University where she received her B.S. in Psychology, with a minor in Sociology, fulfilling her passion to better understand human behavior on both the individual and social levels. Her ten years of experience in the hospitality industry through service, event coordinating, and management helped to build the groundwork for her role as a Senior Project Manager. Carrie ensures client satisfaction through the highest level of customer service for both her client, Awesome Hand Gaming, as well as Awesome Hand Gaming’s 200+ clients.
In her free time, Carrie enjoys going on runs, pretending to be a botanist by maintaining a jungle-themed apartment, and developing addictions for dramatic television or Netflix series. Carrie strives to go camping at least once a year and to schedule a venture down south to immerse herself in the best city in all the land, New Orleans. When all else fails, Carrie looks to her comedic heroes, Abbi and Ilana of Broad City or towards the superior species of society, her dogs, Shaggy and Bones.
While Carrie has made small strides towards making the world a bit of a better place by living a vegan lifestyle and joining the Youtech team, she knows pressuring her co-workers to adopt a plant-based diet is simply not enough to change the world. So, as she contemplates goals for a brighter future while sipping on her Triple Grande Vanilla Latte with Almond Milk from Starbucks, she’ll continue living by the golden rule: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.
FULL STACK DEVELOPER
Converts carbonated water + aspartame into a delicious form of computer code.
“Quick witted bloke, Jason. He proved to be a rapid learner, tenacious, adaptable, always ready with a clever solution, and has a great skill for adding visual polish to make his apps nicer than anyone asked for. Late night coding fiend, geek to the core, fun+entertaining to work with, and solidly recommended if you ever need a sharp mind on a tough problem.”
— Richard Aplin
Jason’s natural talent with technology has always been undeniable. Even at the tender age of six, he was his family’s go-to guy to stop the VCR’s clock from blinking 12:00. At age eleven, his CONFIG.SYS file exhibited a preternatural degree of optimization. By middle school, he’d already developed and distributed his first BASIC program to many of the IBM/Tandy machines at his local computer store:
10 PRINT “ERROR ID10T!”
20 GOTO 10
After college, his experience working at Silicon Valley startups sharpened and honed this raw talent and revealed to him the ancient secret of “Client Satisfaction.” He has promised to share it with the rest of us “someday.” Perhaps when we’re ready.
“As a software engineer, Jason is a diligent and highly adept problem solver who has through sheer brilliance and focused effort worked through a rather complex proprietary mobile application engine to successfully create numerous industry leading phone applications deployed to both Brew and Java handsets on most of the major carriers in the US and South America. He is also a pleasure to work with bringing an excellent sense of humor and dedicated professionalism to a high paced work environment.”
— Christopher Lielasus Morrow
When his nose is not to the grindstone, he can usually be found annoying his devoted girlfriend and/or playing his guitar way too darn loud.
FULL STACK DEVELOPER
In his spare time, Brian can either be found learning and playing video game songs on piano or playing Super Smash Bros. He was ranked #14 in Chicago for Melee in the summer of 2016 and ranked #3 in Illinois for Project M in the summer of 2017. In both activities, he is driven by his love for self-expression and interaction with others.
FULL STACK DEVELOPER
Zach, a graduate of UC Santa Cruz with a B.S. in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology, first discovered his interest in SQL when he was working as an investigator at an environmental law firm. He initially pursued this interest by learning SQL and Ruby on nights and weekends but eventually decided to accelerate his learning by attending Dev Bootcamp, an intensive full stack web development boot camp. Most days, you can find him in front of his computer, slinging code and consuming alarming quantities of coffee. When he’s not doing that, he enjoys powerlifting, urban exploring, and catching speedruns on Twitch.
FULL STACK DEVELOPER
Elise is a graduate from North Central College, here in Naperville, with a B.A. in Marketing and History. After graduating from college, Elise decided to attend Dev BootCamp. She found her love for coding when she discovered she wanted to make websites both beautiful _and_ meaningful to everyone who used them.
When she is not coding, you will find her knitting, working out, speaking at a history museum, or snowboarding in Colorado with her family.
FULL STACK DEVELOPER
Thomas’s longtime interest in working with computers and technology stemmed from his childhood obsession with computer gaming and his role as the family computer troubleshooter. His inner tech geek lay dormant while he pursued his bachelor’s degree in piano performance at Lawrence University in Wisconsin. He was first exposed to the world of marketing and development during an internship at a music festival, where his responsibilities included updating web content and maintaining the festival’s database. A few years later, Thomas decided to attend a web development bootcamp to accelerate his learning. He is excited to be using his creativity and programming skills at Youtech to build real business solutions.
SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER / WEB DEVELOPER
After receiving her BA in both Graphic Design and Photography from Illinois State University, Jessica returned to her hometown of Naperville where her enthusiasm for art and design first began. With previous experience from a corporate, in-house marketing team, Jessica joined Youtech in 2014 ready to step outside of her comfort zone and expand her creative talents.
Throughout her time at Youtech, Jessica has utilized her dual-threat capabilities, bringing her passion for graphic design and photography together. From website design projects to event marketing packages, she strives to create beauty within any piece of work. Jessica’s heap of natural talent and borderline obsessive organizational skills give her an exceptional knack for developing close client relationships and exceeding their expectations time and again.
Whether she is crafting up green smoothies or hunting down stylish home goods, Jessica’s creativity spans throughout all aspects of her life. When she isn’t hard at work on design projects or snapping pictures at a photo shoot, you can find her spending time with the love of her life (her cat), Sophie, finding her inner zen at yoga, or indulging her foodie side with a variety of exotic cuisines.
SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER / WEB DEVELOPER
Barbara, or “Babs”, as literally everyone except the IRS knows her by, grew up in a small town in southern Illinois, with dreams of a career in art and moving to a bigger city. Wanting to combine her creativity with business, she enrolled at Eastern Illinois University to pursue a degree in Graphic Design. Right after graduating Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, she moved to the suburbs to start work at Youtech and Associates (four hours north of her hometown), and never looked back.
While building websites and creating amazing graphics is what Babs went to school for, she also loves other aspects of her work at Youtech: building client relationships, teaming up with her co-workers on different projects, and brainstorming solutions for the clients’ needs.
When Babs finds a spare moment, she is usually getting a gym session in, trying new sushi places (there are SO many), doodling in local coffee shops, drinking copious amount of wine, or visiting her family down south.
GRAPHIC DESIGNER / WEB DEVELOPER
Patrick is a recent graduate of Northern Illinois University where he received his B.F.A. in Visual Communications. While at NIU, Patrick successfully completed both a graphic design and marketing internship while completing his classes and graduating with honors.
For as long as he can remember, Patrick has always had a passion for all things creative. From his childhood obsession with Legos, to attending art school, and then all the way up to being a graphic designer today; Patrick has always been creating. Whether it’s music, art, or design, you’ve got his full attention. He loves learning, problem-solving, and creating, so graphic design was an obvious career choice for him.
Outside of the office, you can find Patrick either disc golfing, playing guitar, watching the Chicago Cubs, or playing with his new baby kitten, Quavo.
GRAPHIC DESIGNER / WEB DEVELOPER
Adela (not to be confused with Adele) graduated with an A.A.S. in Graphic Arts from McHenry County College. From there, she went out as a small fish in a big pond and started swimming her way through the real world as a designer. Her passion for design and zest for life help her to do anything she sets her mind to. From her elementary art classes to her professional work experience, Adela quickly learned how to express herself through her creations and achieve results.
Growing up, Adela discovered a fascination and appreciation for other cultures. Having already traveled to the highest peak of Germany, she wants to see more of the world someday (with Japan next on the list).
When she’s not working, Adela enjoys listening to music, dabbling in photography, and having meaningful conversations. She also loves all things steampunk.
GRAPHIC DESIGNER / WEB DEVELOPER
Well, how did Connor find his way to Youtech? It all began in the southern suburb of Orland Park, Illinois, where he grew up playing the true sport of the north, hockey. Years later, Connor earned his degree in Business Administration with a focus in marketing and a minor in graphic design at Illinois Wesleyan University. It was later in his tenure at Wesleyan that he found his passion for web design.
Once he graduated, he became a freelance web designer. During his time as a freelance designer, he took the time outside of his other job to learn more about the various parts that go into building a successful website. He further developed his skills in SEO and design to better understand the relationship between marketing and design. Today, Connor is at Youtech using his passion for design and all he learned in freelance to create graphics for a wide array of clients.
When Connor is not at work, he’s away from his computer spending time with his Old English sheepdog, Duncan, and watching hockey or listening to music. The other half of the time, you can find him at the gym or going on so-called adventures around Chicago.
As an avid NPR listener and self-described Snapchat addict, Jessica Hamrick is excited to showcase her love for all things media as an Editor with UrbanMatter. Her short, yet illustrious, academic career was dedicated to finding the intersections between writing and marketing, and she’s definitely found it here.
In her free time, Jessica can be found hanging out with her dog, Indie, watching the Food Network, or commiserating with fellow, unfortunate White Sox fans.
While her roots are in Iowa, Mikhail grew up just a town over from the Youtech & Associates’ office. She found her way back home after attending the University of Iowa, living in Spain during college, and moving to Seattle after graduation. At the University of Iowa, she studied Spanish and Education while playing Club Volleyball for the university and being a member of multiple student organizations.
Having gained leadership skills from the various team sports, student organizations, and previous job positions she’s had, Mikhail is the perfect fit for the Project Manager position at Youtech. After spending years ‘stuck in the cube’ from her experience in Account Management, Mikhail has finally found what she was looking for – working with natural leaders who believe that life’s too short to feel stuck! She is a true believer in the ‘client comes first’ mentality and takes on every challenge with a smile and a positive attitude.
When Mikhail isn’t in the office, you can find her exploring the city to stay active with her 125lb ‘puppy’, Bentley, to combat her love for cheese. She has a love for traveling, mountain views, and all things sports…especially, the Iowa Hawkeyes.
Once dubbed ‘Most Likely to Live in Naperville Forever,’ Emily has embodied the title through her completion of her Bachelor’s and Masters of Business Administration Degrees from North Central College in Naperville. Emily further developed her passion for creativity, organization, and interpersonal skills in her double major in Marketing and Management and minor in Psychology. Her professional background began in Higher Education, where she learned the importance of client relationships, problem-solving, and leadership. She enjoys having the ability to work in a team or collaborating with clients. These experiences allow Emily to be successful in the Project Manager role at Youtech. She is excited to bring boldness and creativity to the role and to think ‘outside the box.’
In her free time, she spends her days scoping out a good deal at her favorite stores or watching Parks and Recreation reruns. Her passions include home decorating and cooking dinners from her Joanna Gaines cookbook. In the future, she is looking to adopt a lovable furry friend whom she will name Stevie after her favorite singer Stevie Nicks.
SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER
Lizzie’s passion for writing and the multimedia industry started when she was just seven years old, writing skits for her friends to perform in her basement. (There was a cover charge at the door for attendees.) That passion grew into a BA in Media Communications and Screenwriting from John Paul The Great University in Escondido, California. She believes that storytelling is one of the most universal and compelling tools you can use to connect with people.
Her professional background is in public relations, copywriting, and social media management. Lizzie started at Youtech as a content writer and then moved into the social media world to work with new creative avenues in content. You could say it was love at first LIKE.
She enjoys using various forms of innovation to bring projects to life. Strategizing new ways to showcase brands and communicate their messages to their target audiences is the kind of thing Lizzie lives for. Writing video scripts and launching the final product on social media is one of her favorite ways to stir-up interaction online. Creating memes? #MemeMaster
In her free time, she is writing and illustrating a children’s book, performing stand-up comedy, dreaming about owning a bunny, and rewatching “The Office” on Netflix.
“‘Sometimes I start a sentence and I don’t even know where it’s going. I just hope I find it along the way.’ -Michael Scott” -Lizzie Gow
SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER
Cedric Bruce-Kotey’s journey to Youtech is unlike any of our other employees. He originally came to us from the brights lights and rainy shores of London, UK. He tells us he’s a “proud born and bred Londoner”, a “geek” for digital marketing and an avid Manchester United soccer fan – and in no particular order.
Having come over in 2012 on a soccer scholarship to Tiffin University in Ohio, Cedric complemented his loyalties to the sport with a Bachelor of Science degree in Arts Administration. It was half-way through his degree he realized his passion for marketing and signed up for a minor in this field.
However, Cedric wasn’t done there! He later transferred over to the real “City of Lights” (time for a quick search on the internet!) to Aurora University, where he successfully graduated with a Masters of Science in Digital Marketing & Analytics.
In between both of his degrees (as if that wasn’t enough), Cedric put into practice his theoretical knowledge on digital marketing and ran several social media platforms, achieving followers that were numbered in the millions.
As you may be able to guess, Cedric’s time out of the office is very much spent around “the game” – soccer to the rest of us! He tries to play as much as possible, but due to apparent old age(!), spends his time coaching kids at the youth level, hoping to develop the next Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Lane’s lifelong passion for reading, writing, and learning new things was the perfect primer for a career at Youtech. A recent graduate of North Central College in Naperville, Lane studied marketing, English, and film. After college, he wanted to find a job that would allow him to indulge his love of writing and marketing. Youtech turned out to be a perfect fit. The many different subjects to be researched and written about make for an experience that doesn’t get stale.
In his spare time, Lane spends a lot of time going to the movies (though he can be woefully pessimistic about the state of the industry). He also enjoys listening to podcasts, going to concerts, and learning to play new songs on the guitar and drums.
Rexly Penaflorida II
Rexly’s passion for writing started in high school when he joined Westword, the school newspaper. His time at Westword influenced his decision to study convergence journalism at the University of Missouri, a.k.a. Mizzou. At Mizzou, he learned to create different forms of content, such as text-based stories, video packages, scripts, and infographics, for each assigned story.
After college, he spent the summer of 2014 in New York City as an editorial intern at PCMag.com where he received his first taste of covering numerous subjects in tech and video games. Later that year, he became a contributor to Tom’s Hardware.com, where he covered the video games, virtual reality, computer hardware, and technology industries. In addition to contributing daily news stories, he conducted interviews with prominent figures in tech, reviewed numerous products, and produced in-depth features. He also attended some of the most popular trade shows in the industry, such as the Consumer Electronics Show, Electronic Entertainment Expo, Penny Arcade Expo, and Game Developers Conference.
Rexly joined Youtech in 2018. He was attracted by the agency’s portfolio, and the opportunity to create content for clients of different industries. Varying forms of content ensure that each day comes with new challenges and an opportunity to create outstanding work.
In his free time, Rexly is attempting to reduce his lengthy backlog of video games, books, and Gunpla model kits. He also cheers on the Chicago Cubs and keeps up with Formula 1 racing.
Tarik is a Minnesota native with a passion for search engine marketing and programmatic advertising. Tarik grew up north of Minneapolis and eventually attended the University of North Dakota, where he earned his degree in Communications. Tarik’s career began working in print media, but with a passion for today’s ever-changing technology, he knew that his ultimate goal was to get into the digital realm. Tarik’s Midwest work ethic, positive attitude, and desire to constantly learn and develop new skills eventually landed him in Scottsdale, Arizona.
As a PPC specialist, Tarik will be responsible for analyzing secondary research, monitoring media budgets, and developing effective marketing strategies for his clients. When he’s not optimizing client campaigns, you can find Tarik rooting on the Minnesota Vikings or hiking with his German Shepherd, Harper.
Ryan grew up in Schaumburg, Illinois and is a proud alumni member of North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. During his time in school, Ryan studied Interactive Media and Marketing and fulfilled several marketing and web design roles for the college newspaper and Marketing department. After graduating from North Central with the class of 2016, Ryan began his journey as an SEO Specialist in the Digital Marketing industry.
As our SEO Specialist, Ryan works hand-in-hand with our clients to ensure they rank well in search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. When not completing keyword research or developing campaigns, Ryan can be found enjoying music, movies, the outdoors, or a night out with friends.
As a recent graduate with a BBA in marketing, Tara gained interest in the digital marketing world through her internship in Dallas and hasn’t looked back. She enjoys the challenge of SEO and the ever-changing world of marketing. Tara entered into an SEO role out of college and enjoys gaining experience in a quickly growing industry.
When she’s not playing with her dog Winnie, she’s reading a good book or spending time with her family. Being an Arizona native, she loves to experience all the state has to offer, such as hiking and traveling up north to soak up the cooler weather.
EVENTS MARKETING MANAGER
Kirsten Jae, known to many as KJ, is a recent Market Research graduate from Elmhurst College. Starting out her college career as a Pre-Veterinary student at Michigan State, she is the true definition of the saying, “Not all who wander are lost.” She made her way through her college career choosing multiple majors. From Pre-Veterinary to Speech-Language Pathology, to Hospitality and Travel Management, she finally found her true passion – Marketing.
With her constant change in majors, it’s safe to say KJ has an interest in just about everything. She is quick to pick up new skills and is an independent, self-taught learner. When she isn’t coordinating, executing, and finding new outlets to market events, she spends her time learning the most random of facts. For example, did you know that in Germany, fake bus stops have been implemented in front of nursing homes to keep patients with Alzheimer’s from wandering off? In fact, it was proven to work so well that it quickly spread to other neighboring countries.
KJ has spent most of her adult life nurturing and growing relationships with everyone she meets. Simply put, people are her passion. Having worked in the hospitality industry for over eight years, she prides herself on her ability to relate to others, personally and professionally, in the business world. Over the past few years, she has successfully made a transition from hospitality to marketing and has acquired extensive experience in social media marketing, event planning, and market research. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her Shih Tzu, Zoe, watching Cubs games, learning new things, and sharing random facts with her friends and family!
An avid love for words and a deep empathy for people are two of Kali’s increasingly most important attributes, and she has learned, over the years, to seek out opportunities where these actions can flourish in the work that she does. That’s why she’s at Youtech.
Kali graduated from Trinity International University in Deerfield, IL, with a B.A. in English and Communications. There, she discovered that life is driven by people who are efficient, eloquent, and energetic, so she strives to put these same efforts into everything that she does.
Writing has always been her escape and her passion, which eventually morphed into an editorial obsession by the time she graduated. She believes that clean copy and detail-oriented proofreading are essential to producing truly impressive work, and she has demonstrated that through various internships, projects, and jobs along the way.
On the weekends, Kali enjoys reading in the sunroom, running through her neighborhood, observing art and theatre, and finding little moments of peace in the midst of this busy life.
Mary graduated from The University of Akron with a BS in Finance. She went on to spend ten years in commercial lending, primarily working with small businesses and startups. Later on, she channeled her creative energies to good use and started a home-based cookie business in 2008. She created designer cookies for any occasions, which kept her busy until she decided to go back to work. She’s spent the last eight years working part-time, with the last three years in accounting. This is a completely new industry for her, but she’s looking forward to the challenge.
Mary is married to Dave, and, between the two of them, they have four kids in college right now – yipes! They are at Marquette, Iowa State, COD, and Grand Valley State, so she and Dave spend a lot of time traveling around to see them. In her spare time, Mary tries to go to hot yoga as a means of counteracting all the bad she does from baking ALL THE TIME. Maybe one of these days she’ll be on the Great American Baking Show!
Melissa is an honors graduate from St. Ambrose University with a major in Marketing and a minor in Management. Melissa knew she wanted to pursue a career in business the moment she took her first marketing course. After graduating, she knew she wanted to be part of a company that would help her grow in her career. Youtech was the perfect place.
During her free time, Melissa enjoys working out, going to concerts, and spending time with her cat, Mickey. She also enjoys traveling to different places to experience new things and create lifelong memories.
REGIONAL SALES MANAGER - SCOTTSDALE OFFICE
Bart grew up in Phoenix, Arizona, but was brainwashed as a kid to love Chicago by his father, a Chicago native. When choosing schools out of highschool, Bart chose North Central College to be closer to the Windy City. At North Central, Bart studied Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management. During his time in college, he had a large part in running & getting North Central’s Student Alumni program off of the ground.
Bart is a great example of someone who puts his head down and goes to work without complaints. While interning for Youtech, Bart was given an invaluable learning experience by being put on multiple projects & learning the ins and outs of Youtech’s services.
Currently, Bart runs Youtech’s Scottsdale office. He uses his skills of connecting with various types of people and being an innovative thinker to get any job or project done. In his spare time, Bart is likely to be seen cheering on a Chicago sports team (all except the Sox), playing frisbee with dogs at the park, or traveling to visit his 3 older sisters.
LEAD DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATE MANAGER
Luke grew up in Naperville developing himself in the field of music performance at Neuqua Valley High School, Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, and routine practice/training in Jazz and Classical. Taking his skill-sets further, he pursued an opportunity to study Clarinet Performance at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston to immerse himself in a professional environment for four years of disciplined study.
Although his career path took a turn, he learned that the same amount of hours and devotion put into learning scales and sheet music can be applied to any other career path.
Luke joined the Youtech Sales Team and took the Lead Development role, bringing the same work ethic in yet another competitive field. He enjoys low carb sodas, traveling to concerts, and playing Super Smash Bros. Melee.
LEAD DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATE
From a young age, Connor has been fascinated with all things music, nature, and business. Following these passions throughout his youth, he was active in jazz bands, percussion ensembles, and the Boy Scouts.
Connor attended Illinois State University and graduated with a degree in Accounting and Finance. After graduation, he went on to work for the Panama Canal Railway Company in the Isthmus of Panama. Following a stint in Panama, he worked in public accounting auditing the Financial Statements & Internal Controls of Community Banks and other Financial Institutions. He is a licensed certified public accountant in the state of Illinois.
Inspired by his brother before him, Connor jumped headfirst into the tech industry and is excited to contribute to the YouTech team. When not staying up to date on the ins and outs of the tech industry, he enjoys playing basketball, disc golf, and staying in touch with friends and family.
Cody grew up in Southern California but bounced around after finishing up at El Camino Junior College, where he achieved academic and athletic all-conference awards. Cody went on to pursue football and a psychology degree at Graceland University in Southern Iowa. A month short of graduation, Cody played short stints with The Nebraska Danger of the Indoor Football League and The Saskatchewan Rough Riders of the Canadian Football League, eventually getting back to Graceland to student coach and finish up his psychology degree. After completing his degree, he went back to join The Nebraska Danger for another Indoor Football League Season before joining the corporate world.
Cody spent the last two years with an automotive marketing company in Scottsdale, AZ, eventually working his way up to leading the sales department. His psychology background and professional athletic experience bring a unique combination of skills to the Youtech team. Cody’s relentless pursuit of knowledge helps him stay equipped with the necessary skills to bring value to almost any situation.
When he’s not helping Youtech and its partners grow, he can be found spending time with friends, family, his girlfriend, and their dog, Kook.