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 loyalty and customer engagement strategies for premiere Fortune 50 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, spearheaded Fivestars' transformation into a payments company, and drives ongoing business development and payments strategy. Before Fivestars, he volunteered with TechnoServe in Uganda, was a strategy consultant at McKinsey & Company, 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.
Claudia leads People Operations & Leadership Development at Fivestars where she focuses on creating programs to give team members and leaders an enriching and memorable experience. She received her BA from University of Michigan and holds a graduate degree in HR Management from Golden Gate University. Claudia was a SFSU and GGU adjunct professor for more than ten years and co-founder of HR 2.0. Before Fivestars, she led numerous People Departments in tech startups. Claudia is passionate about traveling, interior design, cars and racing, and her dogs, who are whippets and also fast, but only race each other in the park.
David has 20+ years of experience leading Operations in areas including customer care, technical support, inside sales, collections, and procurement. He brings an extensive background in Six Sigma methodologies and a passion for high quality service. Prior to joining Fivestars, David has held senior level positions in the telecom, healthcare, retail, and financial industries – most recently as the VP & GM for the Waste Expense Management division of Cass Information Systems. A University of Florida graduate, David is also an avid runner residing in Jacksonville Beach, FL with his 3 miniature schnauzers and wife Amanda.
Ralph L. Leung
As Fivestars’ CFO, Ralph brings over 21 years of leadership experience in strategic finance, investment banking, and corporate strategy working with companies ranging from growth-stage startups to Global 500 corporations. Ralph was a senior technology and fintech investment banker at Morgan Stanley where he advised global companies on strategy, IPOs, M&A and capital raises. Ralph received his BComm from University of British Columbia and MBA from Cornell Johnson Graduate School of Management. His career has taken him on a global journey from his home town Vancouver, to Toronto, London, New York, Hong Kong, and now San Francisco. Outside of work, Ralph is a weekend warrior tennis player and loves to travel abroad with his wife Ginny and two young boys Nathan and James.
Sales & Operations
Jim has been leading Sales and Operations teams for over 30 years. An alum from Northern Illinois University, 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, and has two daughters Alyssa and Carly, and their 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. Jim is also in the process of planning a cross-country bike ride.
Chris has more than 20 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 inside sales to over 500 reps by IPO. He went on to lead Acquisition Marketing for Google in Asia-Paciﬁc. Chris is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Harvard and received his MBA from The Wharton School, where he was a Palmer Scholar. 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.
Sam has 10 years of experience in 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, scaling it to 100 billion photos. Sam then started a machine learning startup, Freshplum, which was purchased by TellApart and later Twitter. Sam has a double concentration (Finance, Accounting), double major (Business, Economics), Bachelors from the University of Virginia. He also stumbled into a Masters (Accounting) while he was there. He rarely uses his education and seldom remembers what was taught, but likes to brag about it nonetheless. In his spare time, you’ll find Sam studying wine. He still can’t tell bad wine from good, but that hasn’t stopped him from trying.
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.