SiteWit was founded in 2010 by Ricardo Lasa and Dr. Donald Berndt with the mission of finding a way to objectively measure the quality of internet traffic. Ricardo was at the time Chief Executive Officer of Web Piston Website Builder and Don was sitting on Web Piston’s advisory board.
After an advisory board meeting Ricardo and Don started talking about ways to improve Web Piston’s paid search campaigns. Don’s background in data mining and Ricardo’s domain knowledge were a perfect match to explore how data mining could be used to purchase only the best available traffic. That meeting was the spark that got SiteWit started.
Since then, the founders have put together a team of the best and brightest software engineers, data mining experts, and business people to put together a next generation PPC bid management and behavioral analytics suite.
The result is SiteWit. The core of the team has been working together for over 10 years and we greatly enjoy working with each other, as crazy as that might seem!
Ricardo Lasa – Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer
Ricardo is a hard working serial entrepreneur that is highly involved in the technology and business community in Tampa Bay. Prior to co-founding SiteWit, Ricardo started Web Piston Website Builder, now one of the leading platforms for small businesses to build their website and market their products and services. Through running Web Piston Ricardo realized there had to be a better way to buy paid search and started to work on SiteWit with Don in 2006. Web Piston is a thriving company built on sound business principles, profitable and growing even in these dire times of the “Great Recession.” Ricardo is focusing all his efforts now in growing SiteWit and helping Search Engine Marketing firms provide better online marketing for their clients through a simple and cost efficient mechanism.
Ricardo holds a bachelors degree in Management information systems, a Master of Business Administration with emphasis in Entrepreneurship, Marketing, and International Management, and a Master of Science in Management Information Systems with emphasis on Database Architecture and User Interface Design, all from the University of South Florida Business School. Ricardo also attended the Harvard Business School Launching New Ventures program in 2009 and is looking forward to joining the HBS Owner/President Management program in 2010. Ricardo sits on the board of directors of the Tampa Bay Technology Forum, the advisory board of the Management Information Systems from the University of South Florida Business School, and the board of directors of Filasa, a real estate development firm headquartered in Madrid, Spain.
Don Berndt Ph.D. – Co-Founder, Chief Scientist
Don is a professor in the College of Business at the University of South Florida. His research interests are centered on business intelligence technologies such as data warehousing, data mining, and text mining. A particular emphasis of his work is the application of these technologies in healthcare, including data and text mining for electronic medical records. More recent work has focused on information markets as another mechanism for prediction and collective intelligence (working together with Ricardo on Agorx). He has published more than 75 research papers on these topics and worked with a number of entrepreneurial technology firms, as well as other organizations throughout his career.
His first exposure to entrepreneurism was a position as a LISP programmer at Cognitive Systems, an artificial intelligence start-up associated with Yale University. That was followed by work in scientific computing and healthcare analytics at other companies. Working with Ricardo on SiteWit has provided an opportunity to apply data warehousing and data mining technologies to website traffic analysis and the development of learning algorithms for managing paid search. Don received his Ph.D. in Management Information Systems from the Stern School of Business at New York University and M.S. in Computer Science from Stony Brook University.
Marc Fratello – President
Marc is a serial entrepreneur with an undergraduate degree from Franklin and Marshall College and a MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. Marc was the founder of PowerCerv Corporation, the first company to integrate ERP with CRM, which he took public in 1996 on the Nasdaq in a very successful and over subscribed offering. He later founded the first company to provide productivity solutions for elections departments in the United States – SOE Software – which he later sold to the world’s largest internet voting company.
Marc first joined SiteWit as an investor and in early 2014 as its president. Marc also sits on the boards of That’s Us Technologies and Dealer Wizard, both software companies that help car dealers market and sell their products.
Stacey Schott – Financial Controller
As Financial Controller for SiteWit, Stacey oversees all financial, operational, and HR functions, including accounting and reporting, analytics, risk management, strategic planning, organizational and personnel management.
Stacey brings over ten years of financial accounting experience, both in public and private organizations. Integrating her education and experience, she has achieved a well-rounded background of both global and local companies. Her previous experience at Unilever along with her most recent position as Financial Controller, North America for SOE Software/Scytl, have given her the expertise of how successful global companies are strategically structured. In contrast, her experience at Vology has given her insight to a successful fast growing local company.
Stacey is currently attending Keiser University where she remains on the Dean’s List as she furthers her education. She currently holds a degree in Accounting as well as a degree in Science. Her career started in Connecticut, moved her to North Carolina, and most recently to Florida, which has given her exposure to multi-state experience and education.
James McCart Ph.D. – VP of Research and Development
As VP of R&D for SiteWit, James leads key initiatives such as SitWit’s optimization engine. He also plays a lead role in the facilitation of company R&D initiatives, from conceptualization through execution. James brings unique previous experience as a Research Health Science Specialist at the US Department of Veterans Affairs, where he led and worked on healthcare informatics research such as text mining, information retrieval, and natural language processing within a national electronic health record. He also has experience in computational approaches to systemic risk based on fine-grained financial data.
James received his Ph.D. and M.S. in Management Information Systems from the University of South Florida and holds a B.S. in Information Systems from Purdue University. He also serves as an adjunct faculty member at the Muma College of Business and the Morsani College of Medicine at the University of South Florida.
Jesse Baynard – VP of Engineering
Jesse holds a Masters degree in Information Systems from the University of South Florida. Since graduating in 2000, Jesse’s primary focus has been in turning complex business problems into simple and effective technology solutions. These solutions have spanned across numerous vertical markets including healthcare, back office management, and e-commerce. Now as a member of the SiteWit management team, Jesse is dedicated to bringing clarity and expertise to the problem of search engine marketing inefficiencies. Intrigued by the power of mining behavioral analytics in predicting behavior, Jesse believes that this technology is the best automated approach for a problem that is far too complicated for click-through or simple ROI ratios alone. In his spare time he is involved in the Tampa Bay area tech community, an avid photographer and parent of two children.
Chris Lord – Chief Technology Officer
Chris is a detail oriented software developer with substantial experience in application development, database architecture, and e-commerce development. Before working as the CTO at SiteWit, Chris gained experience working as a Senior Ecommerce Developer at Rivergy, Inc (2001-2005) and Web Piston (2005-2008). He developed a major shopping cart platform used by thousands of business owners in several countries. He has maintained and architected multiple commercially available eCommerce applications, billing services, and integrated multiple 3rd party APIs, used by every level of business, including some Fortune 500 companies.
Here at SiteWit, Chris is focused on solving scientific and technological issues. He oversees all technical decisions relating to our products and application environments, as well as the network and hosting infrastructure of SiteWit, its cloud implementation, and establishing the core functionality within our app. In a typical day, Chris holds the roles of being a CTO, a DBA, and a developer.