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Taking PR Measurement to the Next Level

TrendKite revolutionizes how the world's biggest brands and media companies measure the impact of their PR. Our advanced analytics and beautiful reporting measure real business impact and communicate success in a way that legacy solutions can’t.

Our Story

Our founders A.J. Bruno and Matt Allison set out to create something innovative and address problems public relations professionals encounter every day. As veteran industry professionals, A.J. and Matt brought industry insight from talking daily with hundreds of PR pros and brand managers.

Our company name reflects the sky-high aspirations we have and the industry leading quality every client will encounter when using our platform.

Trendkite Leadership Team

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Erik Huddleston

  • CEO

Erik knows what it takes to run a business and lead a team. On any given workday, you will find him making sure the company is operating successfully, collaborating with colleagues and—above all—ensuring TrendKite’s customers are happy.

He is an expert in social media marketing, big data and lean startup/customer development. Before leading TrendKite, he ran Product for Sprinklr after the merger with Social analytics firm Dachis Group. He ran the SaaS business and built and brought to market Dachis Group’s flagship social analytics platform that enables brands to optimize their paid, owned and earned tactics through the lens of earned media.

Erik studied at the University of Texas at Austin in the Plan II Honors Program.  When he’s not at work managing one of Austin’s fastest growing startups, you’ll find him working out, perfecting a martial arts move or cheering his kids on at their sporting events.

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Matt Allison

  • Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer

Matt has been successfully building software businesses for the past seven years. As Chief Strategy Officer, Matt listens to what PR pros and brand managers need to be more successful and pioneers the enhancement of the TrendKite platform to meet those needs.

Before creating TrendKite with co-founder A.J. Bruno, Matt was one of the top three global sales executives at Meltwater Group, a media monitoring company. There he listened to hundreds of customer’s pain points and saw the opportunity to create software that shows the impact public relations activities have on overall business goals. He also contributed to the launch of the company’s media contacts database and press release distribution division.

He is passionate about helping people, both individually and in business. The first company he co-founded was BrioBody, a software company that analyzes employee health in an effort to help companies decrease healthcare costs and maximize employee health.

Matt studied economics and engineering entrepreneurship at Penn State University. In his free time he enjoys playing beach volleyball (he played competitively in college), hitting the slopes or catching a wave and exploring the outdoors around Austin.

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AJ Bruno

  • Co-Founder, President, & VP of Sales

A.J. leads TrendKite's sales team and is a true communicator who stops at nothing to impart value on the business—internally and externally. On a daily basis you’ll find him building talented, reliable sales teams, optimizing moving parts of the business, and speaking to CMOs and SVPs of public relations to gain insight into how TrendKite continues to innovate and help them succeed.

Prior to creating TrendKite with co-founder Matt Allison, A.J. was a Managing Director at media monitoring company Meltwater Group. A.J.’s responsibilities included managing the Philadelphia and San Diego sales offices where he lead sales teams and established new business relationships with key organizations. Through thousands of conversations with top brand managers, A.J discovered they were, in fact, unable to swiftly and accurately measure the impact of PR and communicate to the C-suite. Voila! TrendKite was born to harness big data analytics and solve brand managers’ biggest pain points.  

A.J. studied economics, Italian and finance at Penn State University. When he’s not busy managing Austin’s greatest startup team or being a “Super-dad” to three girls, you’ll find A.J. learning the ins-and-outs of all things aviation flying around in Austin in his Beechcraft Bonanza.

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John De Oliveira

  • VP of Product

John specializes in intelligence amplification — specifically in unlocking individual and team potential by taming both big and rich data. He serves on the advisory board for Texas A&M’s Masters in Analytics, was founder of Semantic Web Austin, and led the team that published the OpenCyc commonsense knowledge base and ontology.

John has over 20 years experience in managing product and technology at companies like Sprinklr, Dachis Group and Dun & Bradstreet. John holds a BA in English and an MBA from Regis University. John enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter, and he likes to write code recreationally.

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Becky Banasik

  • VP of Customer Success

Becky leads a team focused on ensuring that every TrendKite customer achieves their business goals with TrendKite. Prior to TrendKite, Becky ran Customer Success teams at Circle Media and Bazaarvoice.  She started her career in management consulting at Accenture, and continued delivering data-driven strategies and solutions for some of the world’s leading brands at Austin technology companies including BlackLocus, Fusion Learning Systems, Bazaarvoice, and RealVue Technologies.

Becky holds a Plan II BA from the University of Texas and an MS in Human Development from the University of Chicago.

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Russ Somers

  • VP of Marketing

In leading TrendKite’s Marketing team, Russ balances a data-driven approach with an interest in finding new approaches and growth hacks. He writes occasionally for publications such as MarketingProfs, Wired, and Website Magazine. Russ has 20 years of experience ranging from  high-growth startups to Fortune 500 companies and has led teams at Invodo, sonarDesign, Dun & Bradstreet, and Dell.

Russ holds a BA in Sociology and an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. Russ lives in Pflugerville with his wife and children, and spends his spare time collecting and restoring vintage guitars.

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David Perdue

  • VP of Development

David has over 20 years of experience in product development and is passionate about building high-performing development teams. In his capacity as VP of Development at TrendKite,  David is responsible for driving the development and operations of the SaaS big data analytics and reporting product.

Prior to TrendKite, David was VP of Engineering at CopperEgg through its successful sale. At CopperEgg he was responsible for building and leading the development organization, delivering a SaaS cloud performance monitoring product, and defining and implementing product delivery and support processes. Prior to that role, he was the Director of Product Development at SolarWinds where he grew the development organization from a 4 person team to over 100 developers in 6 countries, working on 15 products and saw the company through a successful IPO.

David holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. David has coached youth sports for many years and enjoys food, wine, and music in Austin whenever possible.

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Jennifer Cantu

  • VP of People

Jen is passionate about helping to build great companies with exceptional cultures.  As VP of People at TrendKite, she oversees all that it takes to build a game changing people strategy.  With culture top-of-mind, she’s driving everything from recruiting the best talent to supporting our outstanding employees. 

She comes to TrendKite with years of experience in recruiting and human resources in some of Austin’s top technology companies.  Most recently, she was at Spiceworks driving rapid growth (over 500 hires in 6 years) and fostering a rich culture. 

Jen holds a BA in Journalism from Texas State University. Outside the office, Jen is all about her workout time and most importantly her family time with her husband and two children.

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Sam Hernandez

  • VP of Finance

Sam manages all aspects of the company’s finances as well as driving TrendKite’s growth and operational efficiency. Sam brings 20 years of financial and accounting leadership in both public and private business sectors. Before joining TrendKite, Sam served in various finance and accounting roles at a number of technology companies including Multimedia Games, Motive, Alcatel-Lucent and recently, as EVP Finance & Accounting at Dachis Group through its successful sale to Sprinklr.

Sam holds a BBA in Accounting from the University of Notre Dame.  In his free time, Sam enjoys a good round of golf, working out and spending time with his three kids.

 

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