EVERYTHING YOU DIDN’T WANT TO KNOW about the Tech Guys team…

There’s nothing worse than businesses talking about how great and unique and clever they are. Especially in the tech and marketing space. It usually winds up sounding like this Weird Al song…

Well, that’s not us. Though we do agree that we are interested in “client-centric solutions and synergy!” SYNERGY! SYNERGY!

If for some strange reason, you do want to learn a little bit about our team members, feel free to peruse our bios below. You can also check out our services here


Mike Cline

Aliases: Mikey, Ninja Zer0, Lion-O

BS in EP Perl PHP JS/AJAX MySQL VB C++ IDL Matlab HTML Salesforce.com (APEX & VisualForce)

Mike’s evolution into the tech space all started with a Tandy TSR-80 that he first played with until becoming bored and then tearing it apart- while scratching up his mother’s countertop.

From there, it was all downhill; Visual Basic apps, basic tech support, outside service tech, Perl/PHP/MySQL programming, database engineering, remote system administration, discovered online marketing, technical backend for large scale online marketing efforts, process optimization, technical ninja for online marketing processes.

Mike just also happens to be a Rocket Scientist (yea, big surprise /sarc>). Mike received a degree in Engineering Physics from Embry Riddle in 2004. Even though Mike is a marketing ninja, he also has a passion for going to space! More importantly, he wants to build a summer home on Mars and drink Pan-Galatic Gargleblasters with the coolest cats on Betelgeuse.


Kevin Brkal

SEO & Social Marketing Expert WordPress PHP CSS SEO PPC Facebook Ads Adwords

Kevin brings over 20+ years of digital marketing experience to Tech Guys. In the early days he was an affiliate marketer who built all of his sites from scratch. Over the years he has held various marketing positions with some well known online brands and then also spent time at a digital marketing agency. Today he offers clients a well-rounded approach to online marketing that connects all of the dots from SEO to Facebook Ads. He loves new challenges and delivers under pressure.


Bobby Buffum

“Gamer, cosplayer, entrepreneur.”

Full Stack Web Developer BS in Game Software Development HTML, CSS, JS, PHP, Jquery, AJAX Windows IIS Linux Apache/Nginx Server Admin VB.NET, C#, C++ (.NET) Salesforce (APEX/VisualForce) Salesforce Administration Game Engines (Unity, UDK) Technical Writing, Project Management Data Analytics (google analytics, hotjar, tracking etc) Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, After Effects, Adobe Premiere CRM Management/Development Mail Platforms (mailchimp, aweber, getresponse, etc)

A gamer to the core: Bobby is a Technology Samurai who brings the tenacity of a gamer to Tech Guys. This dogged determination to overcome obstacles, affinity for problem solving, and the idea that a challenge just means you need to “git gud” and beat it, is a driving force behind his client’s success.

He has a Bachelor’s in Game Software Development and over two decades of coding under his belt spanning many languages, game engines, CRM tools, and various web platforms. It’s likely that if he hasn’t worked with something specific, he’s worked with something similar.

When not saving people from their own technology nightmares, Bobby is known for being a craftsman and a cosplayer. If you’re not familiar, it’s a portmanteau of “costume” and “play” that’s very popular in pop culture. It is wearing your underwear outside of your pants at Comic Con! Or more realistically: taking characters from movies, shows, comic books, and all sorts of mediums and bringing them to life.
Working with content creators like twitch streamers, youtubers, and cosplayers who build communities around positive life goals and inspiring others is a source of inspiration for him.

He’s the Batman of our group; the one we call when there’s trouble and we need someone to save the day and look edgy/brooding while doing it.


Alex Chisholm

PHP Javascript / AJAX / jQuery Third Party / API Integrations Salesforce (Apex & Visual Force) SQL Website Security Python Big Data Apache Spark Physics Quantum Programming

For over a decade, Alex has been working as a coder with his start at 16 years old as a freelance coder, working remotely with a global set of clients as well as some local clients in his hometown of New Smyrna Beach, Florida.

Towards the end of high school, he became fascinated with physics and went on to get a B.S. at the University of Florida.

While studying physics and researching axion dark matter particles for ADMX, Alex continued freelancing until he met Casey Stanton and joined forces with Tech Guys Who Get Marketing.

Learning physics amplified his arsenal of skills with a focus on critical thinking, data analysis and data manipulation/migration – all great skills for handling clients’ toughest challenges such as migrating platforms and developing custom solutions.

Alex has his home base nowadays in Philadelphia, but loves to travel and learn several languages like Spanish and Chinese.


Thomas Culp

Lead Marketing Consultant & Lead Designer BFA in Visual Communication Conversion Optimization Sales Funnel Design Direct Response Design Copywriting Social Media Advertising Infusionsoft Email Marketing iContact Aweber MailChimp GetResponse, etc HTML/XHTML HTML5 Responsive Web Design CSS PHP Javascript & jQuery WordPress Salesforce.com VisualForce Photoshop Illustrator Audio/Video Editing Google Analytics Google Goals Optimizely Visual Website Optimizer (VWO) SEO

Thomas is our Lead Makerting Consultant and Lead Designer and brings 15+ years of marketing and Direct Response design experience to Tech Guys. He specializes in developing effective marketing strategies and campaigns designed to convert. On the design side, Thomas takes pride in bridging marketing aggressiveness with clean, modern, functional design. He’s always in favor of removing the dogma from marketing and putting things to the test.

When he’s not flying through marketing funnels and coloring outside the lines, Thomas loves spending time with his awesome wife and daughter.


Charles Cosico

information architecture design un-crapifier branding specialist digital design print design html + css + jquery

There are very few things that interest and can manage to hold Charles’ attention, Technology and Design being two of those things. Starting out with a keen interest in magazine layout design and sketching at a young age, coupled with with the quiet rumbling of technology and how it seeped into people’s everyday lives during the 90’s, Charles fit perfectly into Web Design (although totally unbeknownst to him at the time, since the field literally didn’t exist back then).

During his college years he got into a Multimedia Arts, the first of its kind at the time and got exposed to all things digital + art. 3D Modeling, Sound Design, Photography and most importantly, Web and Graphic Design.

Through some twists and turns, Charles worked as a Web Design Executive for an Advertising firm in Dubai for a few years, and after amassing knowledge and skills decided to go back home and try his hand on a budding new way of life: the brave new world of Online Freelancing.

For the next few years, Charles handled various clients at the same time all on different time zones, of different sizes in different fields — Eventually getting entangled upon Bill’s beard and Tech Guys, starting out with some light contractual work, gradually working his way to today, as a solid part of the complex circuitry of the robot we all know and love.

Apart from all things digital, Charles loves to go out and run a few miles a day, enjoy and discover new music, watch movies and chortle at internet stuff.


Max Leza

Aliases: Aliases: if ( in_trouble() ) : $success = call_max(); return $success; endif;

WordPress PHP Development Javascript / jQuery / AJAX SQL API Integrations Robotics Object-Oriented Programming Intelligent Systems Micro-controllers Embedded Systems

I am a Software Engineer at Tech Guys. I am interested in bringing all kinds of technology solutions to people all around the world. My specialty is the back-end, or functionality side, of the software projects, so I am an expert in server side application programming and databases, and all they involve. I found myself attracted to the way WordPress builds projects and committed myself to be the best WordPress Programmer. I have studied and applied principles for safe and efficient programming techniques and pretty coding standards.

I have been interested in science and technology since a very early age. I was the only one on my school to have cell phone at age 11 (18 years ago) and at age 15 I fixed myself an old 70’s VW Bus and drove to school (with special driving permit obviously). I love when technology is applied to computers, devices, robots, cars, planes, and in general, to things that should make life easier and more interesting.

I studied a B.S. in Robotics and Digital Systems and later a M.S. in Intelligent Systems at Tec de Monterrey, Mexico (my hometown). Doing my M.S. degree I was in charge of the UAV department at the Robotics Lab (one of the 2 labs in the northern part of Mexico). For my thesis, I developed a real-time parallel computer vision algorithm to detect wireframe structures for search and rescue jobs.

When I am not working, I love to dedicate time to my wife. We like to do community work together. We dedicate around 70 hours a month to varied community activities like: bible courses, literacy education and relief work.


Bill Ferrante

Chief Technology Officer

Bill Ferrante is the byproduct of one link of Italian Sausage and obvious mistakes of a Scotch-English woman. Spending his childhood eating wires and systematically destroying all the electronics he could get his grubby paws on, Bill blossomed into a beautiful technological butterfly. His talents include systems architecture, untangling the kind of tech messes only people like Joe Polish and JJ Virgin can create, as well as making a mean batch of cold brew coffee. Before Bill joined the merry band of misfits at Tech Guys, he cut his tech teeth at Database Technologies and Seisint where he learned from Data Fusion pioneer, Hank Asher. These companies were instrumental in catching the Beltway Sniper and dismantling the 9/11 support network. Both companies now exist as the Risk Management division of LexisNexis. Bill later shifted gears to focus on the Internet at AOL where he finished as the Technical Director of AOL’s Publishing Platform. Bill’s team ran the largest platform migration in AOL’s history, operating just over 300 sites which did everything from inventing live blogging to breaking the news of Michael Jackson’s death which virtually melted the Internet. Today, you can find Bill in steamy Orlando or serving on the Playa in Mike Clines’ Great Sammich Ride!


Mikala Francini

Executive Assistant to Laura Gouin Project Development Project Manager Virtual Assistance Training BA in English Copy and creative writer

Mikala has over a decade of experience in theatre, specifically in stage management, producing, and writing, which has taught her to value organization, process, and stories worth telling. In her search to combine her interests in the arts, literature, production, and management, she fumbled between several odd jobs, finally met Laura, and jumped at the chance to join the team. When she isn’t chasing Laura around, Mikala can be found chasing her small rescue mutt named Ted around Chicago. Ted has a plethora of medical conditions but is her pride and joy (he also has quite the Instagram account)!


Laura Gouin

Director of Project Development Masters of Arts in Theater Bachelor of Science in Education Agile Project Management Scrum Sprint Project Management Training

Laura calls herself a writer. Well whispers it really when nobody’s looking. She’s also a Director and Actress who’s worked in Chicago and New York as well as various theaters in the Midwest. And if you look quickly you might catch her in a few films.

While trying to piece together a living as a “starving artist”, she stumbled into the world of digital marketing/web development and soon realized her skills in storytelling were as applicable on the business stage as they were on the theatrical one.

She’s been with Tech Guys long enough to see the CEO’s hairstyle change from midwest farm boy to Justin Bieber wannabe and is delighted to work with such a fun group of digital marketing and technical experts.

As the Director of Project Development, she gets to have a lot of “first dates” with clients as she discusses their project needs and makes sure they receive maximum value and support so they become clients for life.

She’s a classy lady who refuses to onboard any clients she wouldn’t wanna have a beer with…or a dirty vodka martini with blue cheese stuffed olives. And she counts herself lucky to work with a company who feels absolutely the same.


Lori Keenum

Accounting Department

Lori brings 25 years of banking and sales experience to the Tech Guys team. She’s worked as the Assistant Bank Manager at 1st Source Bank, Vice President of Mortgage Lending and served as a Board member and Chair of Lacasa.

When not crunching numbers for the team, she enjoys fishing, playing games on the computer, entertaining friends and sewing clothes for her little Yorkie Odie and Bolognese Cecily.


Lauren Kenning

Project Manager Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Minor in English Agile Project Management Communication Photography

Lauren Kenning is an actor, director, teaching artist and photographer, but those are just her side hustles. After moving to Chicago to pursue a career in theatre, she took a job working for a small startup where she worked her way up and learned how to translate her theatre skills to working with the creative/marketing team managing marketing campaigns.

Lauren believes anyone can benefit from studying theatre, and she brings these skills to her work as a project manager. From on-stage to behind the scenes, Lauren knows how to channel an overwhelming amount of moving parts into one unified vision. Lauren met Laura and Amanda working in theatre in Chicago and the rest is history. Her combined background in both theatre and project management made her a perfect fit for this team.

Lauren and her family now live in the mountains of Colorado where she spends most of her time exploring with her ragtag team of adventure men: husband, Nyle, and sons; Otto (2 year old human) and Henry (4 year old cat).


Afroz Nissar

Aliases: Spacemalu, The Mongoose

BS in EP VB C C++ RoR MySQL Matlab Maple Mathematica Salesforce.com (APEX & VisualForce) HTML CSS JS Linux Guru

Afroz isn’t just a well traveled man, but he’s one of those rare people that learns about everything he can from lasers, space tech and quantum physics to business and the stock exchange to name a few.

He has taught English in China, run a private language training school (and eventually sold it), managed an import/export business, runs a logistics company, the list goes on…all while working with our clients as an external CTO to get their tech and marketing systems in order so that they can scale their business, automate processes, build better relationships with their customers and close more deals.


Alexander “Sandro” Sandoval LeDonne

Copywriter

There were three things Sandro wanted to do when he was about 10 years old – Work for the CIA, Open a restaurant, and Work in Advertising. He’s done two of those aforementioned projects (we just can’t tell you which). When most kids his age were doing keg stands at a frat party (which on any given weekend you can probably find him doing) Sandro was making his way through the ranks of Advertising Agencies, first as an Account Manager, then eventually as a Copywriter, Media Buyer/Planner, Conceptual Creative, Director of Hispanic Client Development, Accounts Director, Horse/Cat/Camel Herder and can also make a helluva cocktail or the occasional quiche…and that was just on a Tuesday.

Sandro believes in the power of Shoe Polish – In order to really get to know your client you’re going to have to walk miles upon miles in their shoes and if you do it right; you’re going to have to tiddy those puppies up. He currently owns cases of the stuff because he believes that one can never walk too far or too long to really get to know someone on an organic and molecular level. Sandro loves wearing different hats and sees beauty in chaos and making all the pieces fit in the puzzle and is currently a Copywriter for Tech Guys.

In his spare time Sandro loves playing rugby, soccer, football, snowboarding, surfing, camping, hiking, general adventuring, cooking, traveling, imbibing in liquids and solids and writing about those experiences. He also is fond of walking along the beach and the occasional Pina Colada.


Amanda Winston

Lead Project Manager Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Minor in Digital Technology Agile Project Management Communication Quality Control/Assurance

Amanda is Lead Project Manager at Tech Guys, having worked her way up from apprenticing under Laura Gouin on the team. She manages and continues the training of new and current PM’s, ensuring our clients receive the same exceptional service they’ve come to expect. She is also a Chicago based actor, having worked the storefront scene for several years and recently delving into the film and voiceover world.

Amanda believes at the heart of a good Project Manager is good communication. She brings 4+ years of professional stage management experience (if you aren’t familiar with the theatrical world, think of it as herding cats while trying to nail spaghetti to a wall, and documenting the whole process), and has successfully translated that, along with her uncanny ability to put words together (and a few years of real world managerial experience), into the world of Project Management. Also a trained actor, she’s found that her understanding of the human condition makes her the perfect advocate for client needs, while also understanding the heart of what good marketing should seek to accomplish.


Jeremias Smith

Marketing and sales expert

Marketing and sales expert, online or offline Jeremias Smith fell in love with marketing while growing is business in the real estate industry. Jeremias graduating into the record Housing Crisis and Economic Recession was unable to continue to grow his business with the same old marketing and sales tactics that were common. He quickly developed new ways to generate leads and customers with online marketing. After discovering just a few strategies that helped catapult his business during an economic downturn, Jeremias engulfed himself in the field of online marketing to learn to multiply his efforts.

Since 2008, Jeremias has lead several marketing initiatives which have resulted in millions of dollars in sales volume of both digital and brick-and-mortar businesses. Jeremias loves to help businesses break free from short-sighted tactics and assist them to build businesses that are more profitable than ever, despite more competition than ever.



Nitish Dhir

HTML, CSS PHP MYSQL Javascript, AJAX, jQuery API Development/Integration CRM Integrations (Infusionsoft, Active Campaign, Ontraport) Website Speed Optimization/ Linux Server Optimization WordPress /Shopify Clickfunnels

Nitish is a debugging specialist by passion – he is most driven when working through challenging problems. He maintains and optimizes servers for special load handling and pushing the limits as well. In the last 6 years in the industry, Nitish started with freelance programming and graphic design. Within a few months he knew programming was the way to go and what he enjoyed the most and has stuck with it ever since.

When he is not programming he is working on his gaming skills to stay motivated and help with his focus. He loves traveling the countryside and going deep in nature anytime over big cities. One of his latest found passions is being a headstrong dog trainer.


Shanyn Strub

Executive Assistant to Bill Ferrente

Shanyn has always had a passion for management (aka herding cats), as she’s worked as a stage manager on both coasts since 2010. She has a BA in Theatre Studies from UConn, and has been bouncing around the country (and the UK!) ever since.

During her time in grad school, she reconnected with her college friend Mikala, who, like an angel from the heavens, helped her completely coordinate her job situation upon returning to the US. One of the things she suggested was virtual assistance, which is very similar to stage management, except you are herding cats remotely via a good internet connection. She has been working with Bill ever since, and enjoys every moment of it. When she’s off the clock, Shanyn likes to enjoy a good slice of pizza with her real cat, Crystal, or explore her new home of Chicago.