Our Team

Since 2013, Appreciation Engine has been built with a lot of coffee, good music, and smart brains.

Meet the talented and kind people who run, design, build, cajole, laugh, guide and support AE. Hello from all of us! 

Our Vision

We will fundamentally change how data is shared and used.

We believe that everyone has the right to control how their data is being accessed and who’s using it. With recent data breaches and consumers’ data knowledge evolving we know that AE is going to help shape the online data future. It’s a lofty goal but that’s the way Vision rolls!

Our Purpose

To help people & brands connect in a beneficial two-way relationship.

We fundamentally believe that brands and businesses that focus on opening up a two-way relationship with their customers will ultimately win. We want AE to be a connector that powers businesses to be more successful and customers that are loyal to the brands they love.

A pixel portrait of Jeff wearing a jedi robe.

Jeff Mitchell, CTO & Co-Founder

 

I have over 12 years’ experience in the U.S., Canada and NZ, developing technology strategies, leading development and creating extraordinary companies as part of senior management teams.

Although I’ve worked at the enterprise level, I’m also passionate about working in start-up environments because they offer me the chance to develop technology platforms and business strategies from the ground up.

I use my skills, knowledge & leadership to develop technology that creates powerful solutions at all levels of business.

Jeff recommends…

🚀 NASA’s Exoplanet Travel Bureau: Space, The final frontier. Where no one has vacationed before….

🎲 Ethnos: This game is a nuanced combination of earning points for playing card sets and controlling the map. It’s quick, lots of fun, and full of replay potential.

🎮 RUINER: A stylish and fast-paced top-down cyberpunk shooter, with a kick-ass soundtrack to boot. Go get ‘em, puppy!

Follow Jeff on Last.fm or LinkedIn

A pixel portrait of Annabel wearing a Star Wars outfit

Annabel Youens, CMO and Co-Founder

 

I do a little bit of everything. I write up strategy docs, test out new technology, strategize with our fun clients & work with the team to build a better Appreciation Engine. I love that my job never gets boring and the people I get to work with are amazing. Brilliant!

My startup bug hit when I worked for five years at an internet start up in Victoria, Abebooks. With that amazing team I discovered how technology could really bring people together & make people money. I was hooked. In 2002 I moved to Wellington, NZ to work and consult in digital and web. After founding AE I ran the LA office for 5 years and now I’m back in beautiful BC. I’m lucky that I’ve found a job that combines all my loves – the web, writing, community and media.

Annabel recommends…

🍨 Parachute Ice Cream: Parachute is a local ice cream company based in Victoria, BC and they make THE BEST ICE CREAM I’VE EVER HAD.

🧵 The Great British Sewing Bee: If you have any interest in clothing you’ll come away with an appreciation for a well-made garment and most likely look a little closer at the clothes you purchase.

🧠 Brain.fm: I’ve noticed a significant improvement in my ability to focus and an increase in my output when I use this science-based music service.

See Annabel on Twitter and LinkedIn

A pixel art portrait of Jason in a Dr. Strange robe

Jason Scriven, Head of Enterprise Sales

 

AE is the third company poised for growth that I have been lucky enough to work with. Previously I was employee number 20 at 3E Company (now Verisk 3E) and was the original product manager for their award-winning Saas product 3E Online. I was also the inaugural Director of Sales and Affiliate Marketing for Neverblue Media (now Global Wide Media), one of the pioneers of the CPA affiliate marketing space. Like 3E and Neverblue, AE has visionary leadership, an industry-changing platform, and a talented team bringing the platform to market.

Born and raised in Alberta, I lived in the coastal San Diego area for 16 years before calling Victoria home in 2004. During the last 4 years, I’ve been keeping busy running seminars for the Victoria technology community on How to Become a Better Tech Manager and How to Build a Team of Strength.

Jason recommends…

🎙️ Train Ugly and the Learner Lab Podcast: Trevor Ragan presents the science on how to become a better learner in fun and passionate newsletters, blog posts, and podcasts. Be a Jungle Tiger!

📚 The Peter Ash novels by Nick Petrie: With a cover endorsement from Lee Child, the story of a special forces vet who can’t sleep inside and uses his unique skills to hunt bad guys and protect the good guys. Try Burning Bright which starts 200 feet up in the branches of a centuries-old California Redwood.

🎥 CHiPs and The Predator: Two movies funnier than their box office success would indicate. They are anchored by the consistently excellent Michael Pena as “Ponch,” fighting freeway traffic, and Keegan-Michael Key as a Marine vet from the psych ward fighting alien bounty hunters.

Meet Jason on Twitter and LinkedIn

A pixel portrait of Morgan in a pirate costume

Morgan Deno, Head of Customer Success

 

As a Trusted Advisor, I’ve been working in Account Management and on the frontlines of Customer Support with over 12 years of experience. I’ve worked in the telecommunications and financial services industries, making this is my first foray into the technology world. As AE’s Head of Customer Success I’m collaborating with our customers, gathering feedback, data, and ideas. As the world of privacy continues to evolve, I’m looking forward to being part of a company that is ahead of the curve in privacy compliance!

In my spare time, you’ll find me outdoors with my wife and two boys, or getting healthy doses of adrenaline on my mountain bike.

 Morgan recommends…

🎮 Mario Kart 8 Delux (Nintendo Switch): A modern day version of an all-time Nintendo favorite. This game brings back some classic tracks from past Mario Kart games and is still one of the best games to play with friends and family.

🎧 The Lumineers: This American folk-rock band will make you want to sing (even if you shouldn’t sing in public like me). Their latest album (III) is a must-listen.

🎄 Die Hard: The greatest Christmas movie ever made. Convince me otherwise…

Find Morgan on LinkedIn and Instagram

A pixel portrait of Mike in knight's armor

Mike Penhall, Senior Developer

 

I’m a Silverstripe developer, music fan, fine wine sampler, and pug enthusiast based on a farm in Levin, New Zealand. I’ve worked in the startup world for 10 or so years, as a content creator, community guide, and production manager, but primarily as a developer. I love the way that in the startup space no two days are the same, and that the landscape is constantly changing. Anything is possible!

Mike recommends…

🎧 Sam Cooke: Smooth soul sounds from one of the all-time greats.

🎵 Love is for Losers by The Longshot: Green Day’s singer goes (sort of) back to basics with a new side project.

🎮 Persona 5: Fight monsters whilst attending Japanese high school. A completely unique gaming experience and very highly recommended.

Meet Mike on Last.fm and LinkedIn

 

A pixel portrait of Roxanne in a wizard's robe

Roxanne Baker, Marketing Magician

 

From microbiology lab tech, to public servant, to comic convention artist, I’ve worked in a wide variety of industries. As AE’s Marketing Magician, I’m using my creativity, my research background and problem solving skills in a multitude of areas — social media, analytics, sales and more!

What drew me to AE was the opportunity to work with such amazingly thoughtful, kind, and intelligent people (they truly embody AE’s core values)! Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that they understand my Star Trek references.

Roxanne recommends…

🍔 Bin 4 Burger Lounge: There’s nothing I love more than a great veggie burger… except maybe one from a local business that uses local ingredients — and that’s Bin 4’s “Ginger Soy Tofu”!

🖖🏻 Star Trek: The Next Generation: If you’re only going to watch one Star Trek series, make it TNG. Don’t skip out on the first two seasons, the ’80s cheese is totally worth it.

🎮 Metro 2033: Based on Dmitry Glukhovsky’s novel of the same title, Metro 2033 is a first-person shooter with an incredible story that takes place in the Metro tunnels of post-nuclear apocalypse Moscow.

Meet Roxanne on Instagram (art), Instagram (sewing) and LinkedIn