Victor and Matt began as top consultants at McKinsey, where they witnessed the power of customer loyalty programs and immediately understood why large companies pay millions of dollars to create them. They had a vision: make the power of a Fortune 500 customer loyalty program accessible to local businesses. In six years, FiveStars has gone from two guys in a garage to serving thousands of businesses across the country.
Our values remind us that how we work is just as important as what we work on
We each contribute our unique talents and with shared humility, we acknowledge that we rely on others for our success. We celebrate success and learn from failure as a team.
After they coded the initial product, Vic and Matt pounded the pavement day and night to get the company’s first 100 sales. Sometimes we must buckle down, be “warriors,” and outwork the competition to bring the company to another level.
We bring our authentic selves to work. That means not just showing our “good” side to each other but also revealing the places where we struggle. When we relate authentically, we build bonds of trust and support that make it possible to take risks.
Joy Every Day
When we live out our value daily, we find joy every day. If you ask Victor what he means by joy, it’s a very nuanced definition: joy emerges from a sense of belonging and fulfillment that is deep and meaningful, and it’s something that can be experienced during times of both struggle and success.
Co-Founder and CEO
Victor co-founded FiveStars following his work at McKinsey & Company, where he helped build out cutting edge loyalty and customer engagement strategies for premiere Fortune 500 brands. He started his career as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs, and holds three degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, where he triple majored in Industrial Engineering, Rhetoric, and Business Administration. Victor has an insatiable love for sour candy, and can’t resist those tasty green apple things.
Co-Founder and CTO
Matt has led technology at FiveStars since its founding. Before FiveStars, he was a consultant at TechnoServe in Uganda, a strategy consultant at McKinsey, and an analyst at AVM, a 32-year old global macro hedge fund. Matt graduated from UPenn's Management and Technology program as a Ben Franklin and Joseph Wharton scholar, where he earned dual degrees in Engineering and Finance. He loves skiing and backpacking, and he grills a killer steak.
Chris has more than 15 years of experience in marketing, inside sales, and strategy. Previously, he was the Global Head of SMB Marketing at Facebook, where he drove small business adoption for Facebook Ads and Pages and built a team of over 20 marketers and 200 inside sales reps. Chris’ tech career began at Vonage, where he grew an inside sales team to over 500 reps by IPO. He went on to lead Acquisition Marketing for Google in Asia-Paciﬁc. In his spare time, you’ll ﬁnd him training for marathons, exploring the city with his wife, Lynn, and serving as a Community Group leader at Reality San Francisco.
Sales and Operations
Jim has been leading sales and operations teams for over 30 years. Throughout that time he has been committed to serving small and mid-sized businesses. Jim has worked in Fortune 500, startup, scaling, and turnaround environments and owned his own small business. Prior to joining FiveStars, Jim co-founded Rewards21, a consumer rewards platform and led teams at Kapow, AOL/Patch, Restaurant.com, Monster.com, and R.H. Donnelley. Jim lives in Downers Grove, Illinois with his wife Diane, his two daughters Alyssa and Carly, and his dog Winston. In his spare time, Jim likes to read and write, and has published two books on leadership: Lead From The Front and Pulling Levers.
Sam has 10 years of experience creating and scaling products. Early in his career, he built one of the first photo sharing mobile applications, sold it to Facebook, and became the product manager of Facebook Photos. He scaled Facebook photos to 100 billion photos uploaded by re-launching the photo viewer, photo upload interface, album interface, and launching facial recognition. After Facebook Photos, Sam left to start a machine learning startup, Freshplum, which was purchased by TellApart, and later Twitter. In his spare time, you’ll find Sam studying wine.
Zach Shubert is an experienced engineering leader and serial entrepreneur with a diverse background in academia, digital music, gaming, and now SMB SaaS. An alum of Brown University, he was the first engineering hire at Songza, where he eventually became CTO. From Songza, he moved to Zynga, where he led the team responsible for scaling the API infrastructure to handle 20 billion calls a day. Zach's hobbies include skiing, hiking, and prognosticating changes in federal monetary policy.
Business Operations and Analytics
Prior to joining FiveStars, "Curl" spent six years advising Fortune 500 companies at KPMG and Crane Co. His specialties are strategy, risk, and program management, with a focus on building data infrastructure to drive business decisions. As a graduate from Texas A&M University, he enjoys watching Fightin’ Texas Aggie football games, as well as spending time with his wonderful wife, Melissa Curl, and his crazy dog, Berkeley (the office terrorizer).
Claudia leads People Operations at FiveStars where she focuses on creating and fostering programs to give employees an enriching and memorable experience. She’s an SFSU adjunct instructor and co-founder of HR 2.0. Before FiveStars, she helped numerous startups with their employee experience and spent over ten years in HR for architecture and interior design firms. Claudia’s first loves are traveling, playing with dogs, and anything motorcycle-related, so you can imagine what happens when she’s able to do all three at once. Mind. Blown.
Bernard has more than 20 years of finance and technology management experience. As an early employee at Blue Jeans Network, he helped grow the company to be the leader in cloud-based video collaboration, with market share in North America, EMEA, and APAC. He has an MBA from the J.L. Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and in his spare time, Bernard enjoys searching for the perfect cheesesteak. He doesn’t think he’ll ever find that perfect mix of provolone and bell peppers, but he sure as hell is gonna try!