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.
Brian is part of our Infrastructure team at Emma. He is also into flight simulation and Steven Wright jokes, so here goes: I used to be a waiter, but I was fired for clearing tables. I was clearing them for take-off. I had them all lined up outside. People thought it was an outdoor cafe. I said, "No, these are leaving at 3." They were going to fire me anyway, because I told them I thought they should put the wrapper on the inside of the straw since that's the part you don't want to get dirty. RIP, Mr. Wright. Brian is also into music, as a bassist in the punk rock band Random Conflict and a mixer and masterer for other bands, and photography, and Waze, the social navigation app that helps you find the quickest way to places, or avoid traffic jams, or perhaps set up another Steven Wright joke: I replaced the headlights in my car with strobe lights, so it looks like I'm the only one moving.
The person we all know as Trey isn't Trey at all. In truth, he's Arthur L. Piepmeier III, which occasionally causes us to mistake him for an eccentric German lawyer. But he's not. He's a member of our user experience team, bringing innovative interface design to Emma's features and almost never saying whatever crazy thing "heretofore" translates to in German. He was also a part of Whiskerino, a movement during which men around the world grow their facial hair for four months. To be clear, this is usually the time of year during which we mistake Trey for the crazy German lawyer dude. Prior to joining Emma, Trey developed websites (and, we assume, seasonal facial hair) at Sitening, SyntheticRabbit and Royall & Co.
Marc leads our infrastructure engineering team, which can be a lot like herding cats, except that these cats are extremely smart, know how to build really complex things and don't travel in herds. So it's really not like cats at all. Which is probably a good thing, because Marc is actually a dog person - a professional dog trainer, in fact. He's also a carpenter who's into gardening and rides a motorcycle, but not all at the same time. He knows windows, ceilings, plumbing, appliances - you name it - and is one of the few people we know who could take a house down to the foundation and put it back together. We should really put that to the test one of these days, using someone else's house whose owner is fully aware that Marc is going to dismantle it. Before joining Emma, Marc was a big part of Nashville-based Education Networks of America and, before that, a systems administrator for Telalink (insert shout-out to seminal Nashville technology firms!). Oh, and Marc's dogs are named Emory, Hampton and Cooper.
Lance is an application developer, part of the technology team here that's obsessed with designing, coding and delivering a fantastic account experience every time you log into Emma. He holds a B.S. in Interactive Media from Harding University in Arkansas and honed his programming chops during stints at COLSA Corporation and ICF International, where he built an online tool for people to find testing and treatment resources for HIV/AIDS. He also spent a semester studying abroad, where an ape came and sat on his shoulder. So there's that. More about Lance: he boasts an extraordinary beard growth rate, has double-jointed thumbs, and makes his own beer. These traits seem random until you put them all together: the double-jointed thumbs allow him to code quickly, creating high levels of synaptic brain activity. This catalyzes the production of hiptocin, the beard growth hormone, which has been scientifically proven to aid in one's ability to brew delicious beer at home. It's basic science, people.
Jairo is a senior graphic and user interface designer. He’s also taking a class in combat training, so if you’re at all questioning his talents as a senior graphic and user interface designer, we’d recommend you stop pronto. Jairo (pronounced Bill, incidentally) creates custom account branding for agencies, oversees much of our interface design work, and assists in all things html. Prior to joining Emma, Jairo worked in New York as part of the design team at Bluefly (a leading online apparel and accessories store) and prior to that as a freelance web designer. He’s a graduate of Brooklyn College and his html skills are superfly. Yes, superfly.
Donna is a developer at Emma and may be the only staffer who is universally described as "an amazing knitter." Of course, now that we've said that we fully expect an underground swell of Emma knitters to rise up in protest. Why is Donna getting all the knitting credit? How come there isn't an Emma knitting team? Why doesn't everyone think it's an awesome idea for the knitting team to wear matching team unitards knitted by — you guessed it — us? When she isn't spending time with her fellow knitters on ravelry.com (think Facebook for the knitting crowd), Donna can be found playing violin in the Nashville Philharmonic Orchestra or dreaming up mobile apps she can write. She honed her app dev skills at Books-A-Million and, before that, at Vanderbilt, where she made the Engineering Dean's List and was inducted into the Order of the Engineer, which, if it's anything like other "orders" into which we've been inducted, surely involved a quiet tap on the shoulder, a secret ceremony, and a naked run through a public square. No? Not even a partially clothed walk down the dorm hall? Nothing? It's really sad what's become of modern-day honor societies.
Roxanne joined Emma as a fearless intern from Nashville's Lipscomb University while earning her degree in web application development there. Now, she's a full-fledged member of our development team, where she enjoys building our drag and drop editor and showing off pictures of an adorable ball of fuzz we suspect may be a puppy. She is also an alumna of the Startup Bus program, in which a small group of complete strangers launch a startup in 72 hours … on a bus. It's like the movie Speed meets Shark Tank, but with more Cheetos.
Matt is a product owner at Emma, helping teams deliver great product and platform enhancements on time. Before joining Emma, he worked as a special projects coordinator at CMT, and later as an A&R coordinator for Word Entertainment. He also (allegedly) once sported long, rock-star hair, though to date no photographic evidence of such has been produced. Oh wait, maybe it has. A graduate of Appalachian State in Boone, NC — magna cum laude we might add — Matt is an avid blogger, an avid fan of the show 24 and an avid Nintendo Wii player (see Matt's virtual tennis elbow). What can we say — the man’s got a mean virtual backhand. Watch out, Virtual Serena Williams — you’re next.