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

A.J. 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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Sam Hernandez

  • SVP of Finance and Operations

Sam manages all aspects of the company’s finances, as well as driving TrendKite’s growth and operational efficiency by overseeing our People & Operations teams as SVP of Finance and Operations. 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.

Kevin McKeown SVP Worldwide Sales - TrendKite

Kevin McKeown

  • SVP Worldwide Sales

With extensive experience in technology sales, Kevin has spent 20+ years leading teams across services/delivery, pre-sales and sales, as well as being responsible for the hiring and scaling of two separate global teams.

Prior to joining TrendKite, Kevin led a team at Outbound Engine and prior to that, ran a worldwide sales and business development at Spiceworks, where he built a sales team of over 100 professionals across the globe. This followed a successful 8-year run at Motive, where Kevin was an early employee, starting in professional services, then evolving into sales engineering, and ultimately sales, where he scaled global sales from zero all the way through a successful IPO.

An engineer by training and Purdue graduate, Kevin enjoys advising early-stage companies in Austin, with TrendKite being one of them!

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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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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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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.

Prabhakar Gopalan - VP Growth and Revenue Operations

Prabhakar Gopalan

  • VP Growth and Revenue Operations

Prabhakar Gopalan (PG) is a systems thinker with over 20 years hands-on experience in building customer acquisition and retention engines. As VP of Growth and Revenue Operations, he brings a rapid learning and experimentation approach to continuously improve scalable high-quality growth systems at TrendKite.

Prior to his current role at TrendKite, PG was Principal at his eponymous growth consulting practice advising tech startup CEOs.

PG has an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, a Masters degree in MIS from Texas A&M University, and a Bachelors in Civil Engineering from the National Institute of Technology, Surat, India. In his free time, he is a coffeehouse chess player, trail runner, an avid South Indian classical music listener and guilty of Tsundoku.

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Gerard McNamara

  • VP of Sales, Europe, Middle East, and Africa

Gerard McNamara is a proven sales leader with a track record of building and scaling sales capability in high-performance, high-growth, high-change, SaaS companies. Passionate about sales execution, Gerard joined TrendKite because he sees the opportunity to bring real value to a disruptive, operationally excellent, hyper-growth company, and he looks forward to scaling operations in the EMEA region.

Gerard holds a first class BA (Hons) Business & French degree from The University of Hull and is fluent in French. He has deep sector experience, having previously led teams during the M&A phases of Vocus, Cision, and Vuelio. Like one of our co-founders, AJ, Gerard is also a pilot and the pair frequently fly together in the UK and US!

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