Meet the Team

The Appreciation Engine is built with a lot of coffee, streaming music, smart brains & the belief that we can help consumers & brands connect in deeper ways.


Jeff Mitchell, CTO, Appreciation Engine

Jeff Mitchell, CTO and Co-founder

I have over 12 years experience in the US, 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.

Follow Jeff on or LinkedIn


Annabel Youens, CMO, Appreciation Engine

Annabel Youens, CMO and Co-founder

I do a little bit of everything. I write up strategy docs, test out new technology & work with the team to build the 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. I’m lucky that I’ve found a job that combines all my loves – the web, writing, community and media. Now I’m discovering what life is like in Los Angeles. I’m already a member at LACMA & love being able to go to a gig any night of the week.

See Annabel on Twitter and LinkedIn


Mike Penhall, Senior Developer, Appreciation Engine

Mike Penhall, Senior Developer

I’m a Silverstripe and Rails developer, music fan, fine wine sampler, and pug enthusiast based in Wellington, New Zealand, mainly for the fantastic weather. I’ve worked in the startup world for 6 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!

Meet Mike on and LinkedIn


Diane Turner, BD & Enterprise Sales Appreciation Engine Smart Data

Diane Turner, Business Development & Enterprise Sales

As the founder of DMTConnect, Diane specializes in driving revenue through data-driven solutions that utilize personalization to bring consumers closer to brands. With 20+ years experience in cross platform media sales, Diane cut her teeth working for legacy print brands such as National Geographic, Mirabella, SmartMoney at The Wall Street Journal, as well as Garden Design Magazine where she rose to the rank of Publisher. An early digital adapter, Diane launched for Hearst and Dow Jones as the Advertising Sales Director and launched 2 screen experiences as the Senior Digital Sales Strategist for Discovery Networks. As Chief Revenue Officer of Youbeauty, Diane oversaw the productizing, marketing and sales of a leading women’s health and beauty brand for millennials that utilized first party data across web, email, mobile and social to personalize engagements between content, audience and advertiser. Diane has a deep understanding of the marketing ecosystem having worked across media companies, major consumer brands, and the advertising agency system. Her expertise extends across marketing and sales across social, mobile, video, native content/branded entertainment, event sponsorships, and data-driven advertising.

Meet Diane on LinkedIn


Dave Moskovitz, Chairman Appreciation Engine & Smart Data

Dave Moskovitz, Chairman

Dave is an experienced entrepreneur turned angel investor, having co-founded one of Wellington’s early web development companies, and taken it from the garage to strategic trade sale. Dave is a great communicator and collaborator who brings out the best in the teams he works with. Dave works hard to continue to develop the Wellington early-stage ecosystem. He’s been a member of the Institute of Directors since 2002, and believes good governance is central to building strategic value.

Meet Dave on LinkedIn


 Paul Mabray, Board Member Appreciation Engine & Smart Data

Paul Mabray


Paul is an innovator, strategic thinker and a guy who makes things happen. He founded VinTank, the world’s most pervasive software solution for the wine industry and thought leader in all things wine and digital.

Meet Paul on LinkedIn


Stefan Korn, Board Member Appreciation Engine & Smart Data

Stefan Korn


Stefan has a strong background in corporate e-commerce, and extensive experience in building transactional web-based businesses. Stefan founded WebFund to help leverage his own experience to help take web-based Kiwi startups to the world.

Meet Stefan on LinkedIn


Richard Laverty Board Member Appreciation Engine & Smart Data

Richard Laverty


An innovative and strategically focused General Manager, with 18 years experience in achieving revenue growth through the successful implementation of strategy-led marketing and business development initiatives. Is an experienced leader, with well developed relationship building skills, particularly in a cross cultural environment. An enthusiastic and creative person with a passion to determine company direction and implement growth through business and technology led innovation, with a particular emphasis on food and biotechnology.

Meet Richard on LinkedIn


Eric Garland, Advisor at Appreciation Engine & Smart Data

Eric Garland

Strategic Advisor

Eric Garland is the Founder and CEO of BigChampagne, a technology-driven media measurement company which produces on-line intelligence primarily by entertainment industry professionals, major brands and their advertising agencies, and Wall Street analysts to access information about the popularity of music, film, and television as it is distributed and sold. Eric’s knowledge, experience, and contacts are proving invaluable in moving the company forward.

Meet Eric on LinkedIn