Besides having the hand-down coolest name of all our employees, Tate Eskew is also our senior systems engineer. The only thing cooler than Tate Eskew's name is the fact that, prior to Emma, Tate Eskew recorded all of the dialogue for seven seasons of The Simpsons. Tate Eskew's interests are varied, from sustainable farming to homebrewing to music to motorbiking to receiving compliments about his name, which, if we hadn't mentioned it already, is Tate Eskew.
Alex is a lead developer at Emma and a member of the Emma Labs team. Born and raised in Albany, Georgia (much like a certain Emma CEO, which explains why Albany, Georgia will now be mentioned a second time for no discernable reason), Alex was the last of five kids and attended boarding school (Darlington) en route to college (University of Georgia). Prior to joining Emma, Alex taught high school English and worked as a software developer for the company Fylmz. Also, it's possible Alex is an actual, real-life fan of Hootie & the Blowfish. Says Alex, "You make one concession for Darius Rucker and the next thing you know, a youthful dalliance becomes Google fodder." Albany, Georgia, has no comment on the matter. Neither does a certain CEO.
Grey is our market strategist, helping guide the direction of Emma's product roadmap and the Labs effort to craft early concepts around those future opportunities. Speaking of crafting things, Grey is known for crafting beer in his own home, which means he's also known for crafting beer-related phrases like "raisin-fig nose" and "sweet malty breadiness" and "it's okay to drink in your basement." Is Grey also known for crafting actual crafts? He's asked us not to comment on the matter, which leads us to believe that his home-brewed beer bottles may come adorned with crocheted doilies and little yarn pom-pon thingies. Before joining Emma, Grey helped manage a post-production studio that handled a variety of editing projects for music-industry-clients. He's been an engineer, a producer, a recording artist and a secret maker of crafts. Oops. Sorry, Grey. Secret's out, buddy.
Kari is an Emma Scrum Master, coaching and supporting our development team as they craft new Emma features. But Kari moonlights as the organizer of the Superhero Quest, an adventure race and scavenger hunt that probably involves some literal moonlight. It's not unlike the TV show The Amazing Race, one that Kari hopes to be on one day. In the meantime, she's beefing up her qualifications by bungee jumping (720 feet), traveling the world (12 countries and counting) and running marathons (okay, we're getting tired just listing this stuff). She has earned a B.A. from SUNY Geneseo, a Masters in Education from Salem State University, and the undying love of her mini golden-doodle puppy named Melvin.
Jim stymied chili experts everywhere by uniting the meat-laden, cheesy, gut-bombing tradition of a chili cook-off with something as ridiculous as — wait for it — celery. This auspicious moment occurred during Emma's own chili cook-off, where Jim's Buffalo Chicken Chili recipe handily earned him the title of reigning chili champion. Jim's also known around these parts as a sometime product owner and sometime member of the Emma Labs team, ensuring that the products we aim to build are the products our customers really want us to. And if those products should somehow involve celery, well then all the better. Before joining Emma, Jim served as a partner in an insurance and financial services firm, having earned his degree in finance from Belmont University, and he continues to participate in his family's business, Wampler's Farm Sausage, whose delicious new Celery Sausage will no doubt be available soon at a grocery store near you.
Andy is an accomplished web developer with 17 years of experience. He co-authored a book on jQuery Mobile and speaks frequently at tech conferences. He is so dedicated to his field that he asked us to put a form elements joke in this bio (we didn't, and you're welcome). But really, all this professional achievement stuff pales in comparison to his chief accomplishment: he can do the Spock Eyebrow Thing! His family must be so proud! And occasionally freaked out. But mostly proud! A prolific reader, Andy finished 52 books in 2013. It's an impressive feat, especially since Andy has four kids, so if you can also the Spock Eyebrow Thing, now's a good time.
Before Jeff joined Emma's User Experience team, he owned an agency that used Emma for its clients. Isn't that a coincidence! Was it enough of a coincidence to use an exclamation point? Probably not, now that we think about it! That customer experience has given Jeff a unique perspective on the needs of Emma agencies and their clients, and he's applying that perspective to how we design for - and serve - those agencies and the rest of the Emma community. Other things that give Jeff a unique perspective: Lost (don't get him started), '80s metal bands, The Letter People, and IndyCar racing. In fact, Jeff grew up thinking he would be a racecar driver. What a silly, stupid dream. Just kidding, Jeff, and other children who dream about becoming things! Jeff now spends more time dreaming about creating user experiences that are "brilliantly simple and beautifully usable," and we're glad he's making that dream come true at Emma. Also, racecars shmacecars.
Josh is a member of our application development team, hailing from California and Cal Poly (or California Polytechnic State University, if you prefer). He's a developer, and a DJ, and a writer. And he has a Radiohead tattoo, which makes us think he likes Radiohead. Or maybe he hates Radiohead and it's his ultra-ironic commentary on how the cult following bands inspire is nothing more than corporate commercialism at its most devious. Or maybe he just likes Radiohead. You're right. Josh's love of music shows up in other ways, too, like his involvement in Buzzgrinder.com and GhettoblasterMagazine.com, sites for which he has written, edited, designed, developed, reviewed albums, and interviewed artists and industry figures. His self-described music geekdom is matched by his computer geekdom, his writing geekdom and his web comic geekdom. The man has seen a ton of live shows and has eaten his fair share of cheese. We mention cheese only to point out the fact that Josh once made a pact with a friend in which they agreed they wouldn't eat cheese for two years, apart from the occasional cheese "emergencies" that would inevitably arise from time to time. There are apparently more cheese emergencies than you might expect, and Josh has learned what the rest of us knew all along - that pacts with friends involving cheese never end well.
Cale is part of Emma's User Experience design effort, bringing simple, stylish front-end design to our product and features. Cale is also a very quiet, mild-mannered colleague, and you know what they say about the quiet ones — watch out! Or, they do really good front-end app design work! We actually forget what they say. When Cale isn't quietly but significantly helping shape the Emma product experience, he's into fast cars and tiny gardens — as an adherent to the Square Foot Gardening method, with its focus on creating small but intensively planted gardens that are more suited to urban environments or people with unusually small hand trowels. Cale has even developed an app, called Seedling, to help track plant growth. The plants can be normal-sized, to be clear, and that really is the goal most of the time in gardening. Cale holds a BFA in graphic design from the University of Tennessee, a normal-sized college.
Fernando is a part of our web development team, having joined Emma after moving to the U.S. from Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. Fernando has some serious salsa skills but is quick to clarify that he means salsa *dancing* and that you should probably put away those chips now. He prides himself on his cooking, which includes the best guacamole you've ever had, so hey, bring those chips back. He also loves photography (nice!), cats (adorable!) and thermal volcanic sauna soaks (terrifying!). He holds a degree in computer science from the Universidad Mariano Galvez de Guatemala, which kinda makes you think the people who named "Stanford" could have been a little more creative.