Team

We take our work seriously. Ourselves? Not so much!

Meet the Gurus

The Guru team is comprised of outstanding individuals who bring passion and excellence to their work every day--whether it's building masterful data architectures, developing first-in-kind AR experiences or assisting customers with marketing strategies. Our backgrounds range from education to entertainment, finance to design and economics to engineering. As diverse as our experiences are, all Gurus have at least one thing in common--we love what we do!

Everyone
Creative
Dev
Leadership
Board
Everyone
Creative
Dev
Leadership
Board

Chief Executive Officer

Paul is the youngest of eight kids. He is also the best-looking and funniest. His family loves him so much that, at the age of 16, they sent him on a 42-day wilderness survival expedition. His big takeaway: two sticks make fire. After talking his way into college, he spent several years trading commodities and stocks in Chicago. The movie Anchorman eventually convinced him to move to San Diego, “the greatest city in the history of mankind.” (His girlfriend, also, might have had something to do with it.) Things he loves: Chicago sports; his dog, Ari; and shoes. Apparently, Paul owns more shoes than everyone else at Guru…combined...multiplied by three. If you want to know if it's Paul Burke walking towards you, just look down at the shoes. If they're a color of the rainbow, it's him.

Paul Burke

Chief Creative Officer

Paul is one part dreamer, one part entrepreneur and one part athlete. The result? A potent cocktail of creativity, business acumen and work ethic that is equally pleasant whether shaken or stirred. Paul learned the basics of business around the same time he learned to walk, buying things from neighborhood garage sales, refurbishing them at home, and reselling them for a tidy profit at the local swap meet. After graduating from USC's School of Cinematic Arts, he started a series of successful businesses, including an international real estate company, a video production company and a digital marketing firm. Currently, Paul is developing a new project he likes to call “cooking."

Paul Shockley

Chief Technical Officer

Do you ever deposit your checks using your phone? You can thank Clay Shinn for that. On top of being a tech guru (pun intended), he is also an avid traveler. He has visited over 50 countries, and is planning on completing a 50-mile trek in New Zealand for his 50th birthday. (The number 50 is a recurring motif at this juncture in his life.) At Guru, we know him as a typical San Diego native. What does that mean? He loves shorts. Before every meeting, he texts Paul Burke, “Is this a pants meeting?" It usually is.

Clay Shinn

Director of Sales & Global Partnerships

Alenna Gatti is 30% bold dance moves, 30% wicked intellect, and 50% straight up entrepreneurial fire. That's right, she's 110% awesome. Eight years ago Alenna sold her truck and bought a one way ticket to New York City where she conquered the city as Director of Sales for content marketing firms and boutique creative agencies. With her love of food and business savvy, it's likely she was the NYC queen pin of the secret society of food artisans known as the “Black Truffle Market". The power of her creativity and entrepreneurial spirit has been compared to the ferocity of ten thousand honey badgers. Back on her old stomping grounds in San Diego, Alenna is looking forward to sharing her skills, expertise, and amazing snacks with the Guru team and her partners.

Alenna Gatti

Founder & Managing Director, Walden Capital

What do you get when you cross a passion for finding ground-breaking industry leaders, a mastery in leading investments across nations, and a deep-rooted love of museums and art galleries? You get Guru board member, Art Berliner! Art is the founder and managing director at Walden Venture Capital where he has spent the last few decades leading several IPO and M&A exits in the US, Israel, and Asia. Art has made investments in companies encompassing a variety of industries but is renowned for his expertise in consumer, retail and e-commerce business. When he isn’t looking for emerging industry talents, Art is perusing the galleries for new and emerging artists. We guess you could say, Art loves art. Contemporary art, to be exact. In fact, a favorite from his collection is a piece from Andy Warhol’s series “Ten Famous Jews of the 20th Century”, (Art likes to think of himself as the eleventh). Art lives in Berkeley with his family and his two fantastic rescue border collies.

Art Berliner

Co-Founder, GoFundMe

Andy Ballester helped change the way the world gives when he co-founded GoFundMe in 2010. Since then, GoFundMe has helped raise over $6Billion dollars for medical expenses, education, community projects, sports, emergencies, pets and more, making it the largest online fundraising platform. But that’s not all Andy’s done to make the world a better place. He’s also co-founded Crushed, a restaurant in San Diego that specializes in brunch (drool!)...and mimosas (yes!)...lots of them (eek!). Seriously, just check out its Instagram account and you’ll see what has Crushed fans swooning, not to mention lining up every morning to get in. When he’s not crushing the brunch game, Andy spends his free time with his family, experimenting with virtual reality, or fostering a passion for creating products that drive change. Andy is as excited as we are about where Guru is heading in the AR/VR space.

Andy Ballester

Co-Founder, Bow Capital

Grady Burnett’s favorite letters of the alphabet are A, B, C, O, M, P, and V. Oh whoops, we got that wrong. Those aren’t his favorite letters, they’re acronym milestones of his career! He has been the VP of Global Marketing Solutions at Facebook as well as of Agency Sales for DoubleClick. He was COO of Flurry, bought by Yahoo and has an MBA from Harvard. Those are definitely some impressive letters. Right now he is the co-founder of Bow Capital, using his experience and expertise to fuel the dreams of aspiring entrepreneurs. Grady isn’t a big fan of love...in tennis terms that is! Grady was a pro tennis player for three years! He is an ace addition to the Guru team and we are looking forward to seeing the insights he’ll be serving up on our board of directors.

Grady Burnett

Director, Business Development, Qualcomm Ventures

A junkie for adventure, a pioneer of world-changing tech, and an out of the box thinker, Houman Haghighi brings his business savvy and passion for innovation to the Guru board. Houman has led the way in multiple roles at Qualcomm in engineering, product development and in business. Houman is always looking to develop or support technology that changes the way we look at the world and redefines the way we interact with everyday things. As an example, Houman’s early work on Amazon Kindle’s original book delivery system, WhisperNet, redefined how we receive and read books! When he’s not challenging the bounds of technology, or investing in the next big idea, Houman is challenging the limits of the human mind and body. A former pro skier, a certified dive master, and a polyglot, Houman loves to push himself to do astonishing things. His latest challenge? Maneuvering his two vivacious daughters, (one two-year-old and one six-month-old) to bed at night! It looks like Houman’s daughters inherited his vim and vigor and he can’t wait to take them on their own adventures!

Houman Haghighi

CEO, Balboa Park Online Collaborative

Nik Honeysett is CEO of the Balboa Park Online Collaborative, a technology non-profit consultancy that provides support, development and strategy for the museums in Balboa Park, San Diego and beyond. Previously, he was Head of Administration for the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California, (www.getty.edu) overseeing budget, personnel, operational and administrative services across the Getty's two sites, in Brentwood and Malibu. Prior to this role, he lead the Getty's Web Group, responsible for all aspects of their main website, intranets and web development activities. Before moving to Los Angeles in 2000, he spent 12 years at Cogapp (www.cogapp.com), a UK-based consultancy specializing in the publication of interactive and online multimedia for the cultural sector in Europe and the USA. He is a former chair of AAM's Media & Technology Standing Professional Committee and their Standing Professional Committee Council. He currently sits on the boards of AAM (www.aam-us.org), the Museum Computer Network (www.mcn.edu) and Guru (www.theguru.co), and teaches a course on the culture and management of museum technology through Johns Hopkins' Museum Studies Masters Program. He holds an undergraduate degree in Physics and a postgraduate degree in Electronics.

Nik Honeysett

Director of Content

Dana can basically do anything. Play for a division one softball team? Check. Write compelling copy for B12 vitamins? Double check. Get a master’s in English? Jackpot! Dana loves anything to do with literature and writing. She even got engaged at Jane Austen’s house. (If you haven’t been there, you must go...now.) Also, if you want to learn the optimal way to experience Comic-Con, talk to Dana. Some of her other skills include digital marketing and teaching college English classes.

Dana Duran

Storyteller

Lexie Sharabianlou once rescued a pelican tangled in fishing wire armed only with a kayak and some toenail clippers. She has been trained in fire safety by the Scottish Fire Brigade and can make mac and cheese taste like what first love feels like. After earning her masters in literature, Lexie became a high school English teacher. She was known for turning vocab quizzes into scavenger hunts and always keeping her students educated, entertained, and slightly alarmed. Lexie loves comics, writing, books, and food. She also wants to know if you have a dog and if she can pet her.

Lexie Sharabianlou

Business Strategy

One year for Christmas, Kayla Trautwein asked Santa Claus to turn her into popular anime character, Sailor Jupiter. She is still waiting. In the meantime, Kayla has been thriving in the realms of business strategy, administration, and program operations. She is also slightly radioactive--but for a good reason! As an avid traveler, Kayla has been all over the world including Chernobyl’s exclusion zone. This adventurous spirit lent to her success as former Director of EvoNexus--a leading SoCal startup technology incubator. She brings her organizational skills, enthusiasm, and love of learning to Guru. That is, until Santa finally grants her wish.

Kayla Trautwein

AR/VR GURU

Kevin is an expert at magic and future stuff. It is the only way we can explain his ability to create enthralling and transportative augmented and virtual reality experiences. Kevin takes our craziest ideas and makes dreams come true. Everything Kevin does is unfathomably complicated but that's what he loves about his work. He is also Guru's in-house chef (we wish!). Kevin has roasted a whole pig in a pizza oven, concocted a delectable lamb liver pate, and boiled 40 pounds of live crawfish in a legendary crawfish feast. The ghost of King Henry VIII has been known to follow Kevin around his kitchen, salivating.

Kevin Lindmark

A/V Guru

Jeff is a professional candy maker. That is to say he makes candy for the eyes and the ears! Jeff got started as an animator and a visual designer at an early age, making stop-motion movies in the garage. Ever since then he's been in a creative flurry, feverishly producing videos, music, animations, games and VR experiences: he just can't stop! When Jeff's not making insanely cool things, he enjoys spending time with his family, pondering the nature of the cosmos, and taking short walks on the beach.

Jeff Domitrz

Platform Manager

Although her last name makes you think she would totally be a Gryffindor, Paige Potter was sorted into the noble house of Ravenclaw. She earned her Masters in Managing Archaeological Sites from University College London's Institute of Archaeology--and yes, she does have an Indiana Jones fedora. While Paige could have easily chosen to spend her life hunting down horcruxes or running away from boulders, Paige loves working with museums and cultural centers. In her work both in the UK and in her native California, Paige finds engaging and innovative techniques to connect with visitors of all ages and manages projects that inspire communities. Rumor has it she is the inspiration for an upcoming modern Disney princess movie entailing a hunt for magic relics, dancing horses, spaceships, and a talking chipmunk.

Paige Potter

Operations Manager

Chelsea hates the sunshine, but also refuses to live anywhere without “beach" in the name (she's from Newport, and currently resides in Pacific Beach). She counts shopping and walking from bar to bar as exercise: the only sports she likes are classical ballet and hockey, which she thinks is a pretty accurate assessment of her personality. She double majored in Television, Film, and New Media, & English at San Diego State University... because she realized that she was going to graduate a year early and wanted to stay! She's obsessed with movies and TV, and believes in the artistic merit of everything from Tarkovsky's “Stalker", to Jackass. She spends her spare time programming for a film festival, petting fuzzy animals, and yelling out wrong answers for jeopardy.

Chelsea Peters

Customer Success Manager

When it comes to her role as client liaison and project manager, Whitney Roux is a rockstar. Everyday she channels her hero and inspiration, David Bowie, to bring excellence, leadership, and expertise to Guru. Unlike her alter-ego, college radio host DJ Whizzle who did not take requests, Whitney spent years fulfilling the requests and aspirations of cultural institutions from San Diego to Philadelphia. Most recently she oversaw a $12 million allocations program for the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture and leading a craft coven--a group of women who teach each other crafty skills like flower arrangement! When she’s not jamming out to David Bowie or literally making jam, Whitney can be found enjoying great wine, great cheese, and hanging out with her diabolical cat, Sunny.

Whitney Roux

Team Lead/iOS/PhoneGap Dev Guru

If Guru’s iOS team is a circus, then Anna is the ringleader––top hat, whip, and redcoat included. As a little girl, she used to sneak up behind her brother and watch him furiously type coded letters to his girlfriend...or at least that’s what Anna thought he was doing. It took some time, but eventually, Anna learned that what her brother was really dabbling in was the obscure art of programming. She became an iOS developer before anyone in Poland even knew what the word “iPhone” meant. Today, she runs the backend of Guru’s apps. Likes: Volleyball, Design, Apple

Anna Wawszczak

Web Developer Guru

Give him some craft materials and a little free time and our youngest backend developer will create colorful and miraculous artful works. Dominik's love for DYI helps with his incredible patience while maneuvering through the Django jungle and learning new things every day. Recently, he aspired to discover the Angular JS side of things.

Dominik Mrugalski

Android Developer Guru

Jan is a true outdoorsman. When not in the office, squashing any droid bugs the development team might be dealing with, he enjoys being outside. Jan is an avid archer, and goes by the nickname of Robin Hood. When not shooting arrows, he loves to fish, leaving few carp uncaught from his local river.

Jan Królikowski

iOS Developer Guru

If you think Karol’s athletic build and rippling arm muscles are impressive, wait until he flexes his iOS developing skills. An avid weightlifter and cross fitter, Karol takes pride in both his physique and his work and can often be found writing lines of code right after volleyball training while sporting his ever-present post-workout woolen socks—yes, even in the summer. A fan of Apple since childhood, becoming an iOS developer has been a dream come true. Likes: volleyball, gym, photography, chess

Karol Kempa

iOS Developer Guru

Did you ever dream of being a royal English knight in the days of yore? To sit in King Arthur’s round table with 20 other rowdy lads as you all reminisce about slaying dragons and orcs over pints of beer? Never had that dream? Well, our iOS developer, Krzysztof Podlejski, daydreams about this every day. In fact, he even owns a full set of armor. Whether the piece is authentic, his co-workers couldn’t say. But they can attest to Krzysztof sporting his armor in preparation of slaying some orcs in the multiverse of Warhammer 40k. Yes, that is a video game, which means he doesn’t actually slay real life beasts. To be fair, it’s the closest Krzysztof gets to live out his dream. After all, his day job as an iOS developer can only get so exciting. Likes: challenges, order, checkered shirts

Krzysztof Jabłoński

iOS Developer Guru

Look up the word ‘lonewolf’ in the dictionary, and you’ll find a picture of Pawel next to it. ‘Teamwork’ is not in his vocabulary. Instead, he steps into the office, crawls to his desk, and immediately gets to work without so much as a ‘hello’ or ‘good morning.’ Whatever social skills Pawel lacks, he makes up for it in speed and efficiency. Give him an hour to do a project and he’ll finish it in fifteen minutes. But wait! Don’t you go giving him more stuff to do. Between tasks, Pawel likes to decompress by one of two ways: playing his guitar or taking a stroll through a forest. On his spare time, your best guess on where to find Pawel would be somewhere at the local national forest feeding squirrels and bathing with the birds by a stream. In short, he’s a freak of nature. Likes: motorbike, playing guitar, walking with his dog.

Paweł Pluskota

Android Dev/Tester Guru

Are you a coffee person? If you are, you already have 78.3 percent in common with Piotr. His office mantra is, “No coffee. No talkee.” (That may even be emblazoned on his mug.) Day and night, Piotr drinks, smells, and even sweats coffee. After coffee, his other loves in life are cooking, reading, developing apps, and even drinking the occasional glass of wine. (He failed to mention whether he’s a white or red person.) Likes: Coffee, cooking, books, wine

Piotr Stefani

iOS/Android dev Guru

Adrian is a Polish ninja turtle. He can only be pressed to do things if offered pizza. He’s not particularly fond of vegetables. He had his first carrot while working for Guru. (He said he liked it, but maybe not as a substitute for pizza.) He’s also not fond of the word ‘impossible.’ Give him a super challenging task, like debugging an app or picking trash, and he’ll get the job done. Likes: sleeping, watching tv, music, books.

Adrian Izdebski

Developer

If you combined an outdoor roller rink, bookstore, and movie theater into one multiplex of amazingness, you would probably find Sylwia there all the time! When she’s not keeping Guru apps in tip-top shape, Slywia spends her time outside rollerblading and cycling. When it’s cloudy and gray, Sylwia curls up inside with a good book, TV show, or movie.

Sylwia Terka

Developer

Asia likes making sure everything's in order and works as it should when it comes to apps...and her travels! A day off? Let's fly somewhere! Wanna make people jealous? Let's take a funky picture with a monkey climbing on our heads! All the while, Asia continues to make Guru apps better by testing functionality and keeping developers (and unsuspecting monkeys) on their toes!

Asia Wasilewska

Office Dog

Ari is the mastermind behind this organization. Although it looks like he spends most of his day sleeping, he is actually dreaming of new business opportunities and potential partnerships. We are still working, however, on how he can best communicate these ideas. So far, we only get barks and the occasional wink. Maybe a dog-whisperer app will be Guru’s next invention.

Ari