Zoosk’s diverse employees enrich both our professional environment and the work we do. Our various backgrounds, cultures, and points of view are a large part of what defines our organization.
Zoosk is committed to giving back to our communities both personally and financially. We regularly donate our time at Glide Memorial, at local arts groups and animal shelters, and are always looking for new ways to contribute.
At Zoosk, we're a team of passionate individuals that value collaboration, respect, innovation, and achievement. Our employees love a challenge, are always looking for the next big thing, and enjoy having fun together.
Kelly Steckelberg is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Zoosk. Kelly joined Zoosk in March 2011 from Cisco, where she held various roles including divisional CFO positions for the Consumer Segment and WebEx. Kelly joined Cisco through the WebEx acquisition, where she served as Controller, Chief Accounting Officer (CAO). Prior to WebEx, Kelly held executive positions with Epiphany, Inc. and a variety of finance positions at PeopleSoft, Inc. in the U.S. and Europe. She started her career at KPMG in both tax and audit. Kelly holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in accounting from the University of Texas at Austin. When not working, Kelly loves to travel and has been to over 60 countries.
Eric Barnett is the Senior Vice President of Business Development and General Counsel at Zoosk and is responsible for managing all legal affairs. Prior to joining Zoosk in 2010, Eric was Assistant General Counsel for M&A and Corporate Securities at Sun Microsystems. Eric also practiced law as a corporate and securities attorney for nearly seven years at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and Baker & Hostetler, focusing on advising technology companies with respect to venture capital funding, public securities offerings, corporate governance, intellectual property strategy, and mergers and acquisitions. Eric holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern University and an M.S. in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University, and worked as an engineer at Motorola before pursuing a legal career. He received a J.D. from Stanford Law School. Eric is an avid sports fan, golfer and reader.
Mike Riccio is the Senior Vice President of Engineering at Zoosk. Prior to joining Zoosk, Mike served as the Vice President of Engineering and Architecture at the global interactive entertainment company Electronic Arts (EA). During his time at EA, Mike helped spearhead a radical shift in how EA’s customers accessed video games—the evolution from packaged goods to an always-on, cross-platform, social system. Before his time at EA, Mike provided architecture vision and leadership to various enterprises and co-founded Pogo.com, the top-ranked online casual game destination worldwide that was later acquired by EA. He has a MS in Information Networking and a BS in Applied Math and Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University. Outside the office, Mike likes to tinker with home automation, play poker, and do all things Disney with his family.
Allison Braley is the Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Zoosk. In her previous role at ZocDoc, Allison led public relations, internal communications, and social media efforts as Director of Communications. As a Director of Media Strategy at The OutCast Agency, Allison developed public relations campaigns on behalf of consumer technology companies. While serving as Director of Public Relations for Condé Nast Digital, Allison spearheaded publicity efforts for several online media properties including Epicurious.com. Allison previously represented online retail and skincare clients at leading public relations agencies after receiving a B.S. in Communications Studies from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Allison enjoys traveling and spending time with her Cocker Spaniel mix, Kismet.
Carol Mahoney is Vice President of People for Zoosk. Responsible for talent management and culture, Carol is passionate about helping Zoosk fulfill its mission of empowering everyone to lead a more fulfilling love life. Carol brings extensive HR leadership experience from a variety of companies including LivingSocial, where she most recently was SVP of Global Human Resources. In addition, Carol has held HR leadership roles for industry leaders like Logitech, Intuit and, notably, at Yahoo! where she was VP of Talent Acquisition during the hyper-growth years of 2003–2009. Carol is a native of the SF Bay Area and graduated from Santa Clara University with a bachelor's degree in English. She's an audible book enthusiast and offsets her ice cream addiction by taking long walks with her husband and labradoodle.
Behzad is the Vice President of Product at Zoosk where he is responsible for product development across all platforms. Between 2011 and 2014, he led product development for Zoosk's web property and later all client app properties. Before joining Zoosk, Behzad founded Crowdmug, a real time location awareness service that allowed on demand crowdsourcing of images and videos. Prior to that Behzad led product management for various technology startups. Behzad graduated a McNair Scholar from San Diego State University earning a degree in Aerospace Engineering.
Jason Donadio is the Vice President of Finance at Zoosk and is responsible for overseeing Accounting, FP&A, and IT. Prior to joining Zoosk as the Corporate Controller, Jason held various accounting and reporting roles at Netflix where he most recently led Accounting Operations. He also held reporting and technical accounting roles at Symantec and started his career at KPMG in the audit department. He holds an MBA in accounting from California State University Hayward. Jason is an avid sports fan and enjoys wakeboarding, snowboarding, and spending time with his family.
Sejal is the Senior Director of User Operations at Zoosk where she is responsible for driving customer success and satisfaction, as well as optimizing vendor operations. Since joining Zoosk in 2012, Sejal has helped grow and develop our world class customer success team and has led several initiatives to improve the overall customer experience and achieve operational effectiveness. Before joining Zoosk, Sejal led customer success organizations at GE, Discover, Sears, and Xerox. She holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Sejal is originally from Chicago, and her favorite thing to do now that she is lucky enough to live in the Bay Area is spend time outdoors with her two sons.
Deepak Kamra has been with Canaan Partners for over 20 years and focuses on investments in digital media and software. He led Canaan’s investments in DoubleClick, Match.com, Acme Packet (acquired by Oracle), SuccessFactors (acquired by SAP), and Bharat Matrimony. Before joining Canaan, Deepak was on the startup team at Aspect Communications, which he helped lead to a successful IPO in 1990. Prior to Aspect, Deepak held strategic roles at ROLM Corp. and TRW Datacomm International. Deepak received a B.A. from Carleton University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. He served on the board of the National Venture Capital Association from 2008 to 2012 and was included on the Forbes Midas List in 2008 and 2009. In his spare time, he is involved in several microfinance initiatives to spur economic growth in developing nations.
Jeff Epstein is an Operating Partner at Bessemer Venture Partners and a Senior Advisor at Oak Hill Capital Partners. Jeff is the former Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Oracle, one of the world’s largest and most profitable technology companies, with a market value of over $100 billion. Prior to joining Oracle, Epstein served as CFO of several public and private companies, including DoubleClick (sold to Google), King World Productions (sold to CBS), and Nielsen’s Media Measurement and Information Group. Earlier in his career, he was an investment banker at The First Boston Corporation. He serves on the Board of Directors of Kaiser Permanente, Priceline.com, Shutterstock, and Global Eagle Entertainment, and the Management Board of the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. Jeff holds an MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar, and a BA from Yale College, where he graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa.
Kelly Steckelberg is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Zoosk. Kelly joined Zoosk in March 2011 from Cisco, where she held various roles including divisional CFO positions for the Consumer Segment and WebEx. Kelly joined Cisco through the WebEx acquisition, where she served as Controller, Chief Accounting Officer (CAO). Prior to WebEx, Kelly held executive positions with Epiphany, Inc. and a variety of finance positions at PeopleSoft, Inc. in the U.S. and Europe. She started her career at KPMG in both tax and audit. Kelly holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in accounting from the University of Texas at Austin. In addition to her work at Zoosk, Kelly also serves on the board of Episcopal Community Services of San Francisco (ECS), which helps provides housing, jobs, shelter, and essential services to homeless and low-income people in San Francisco. When not working, she loves to travel and has been to over 60 countries.
Sunil, a vice president for Bessemer Venture Partners, focuses on investments in space, developer tools, and security companies. Sunil serves as a Board Director for Auth0, Nitrous.IO, and Zoosk. He is a board observer at GetInsured, Rocket Lab, Spire, and Virtru. Sunil is also closely involved with Bessemer's investments in Box, DocuSign, Simply Measured, Tile, and Zapier. His past investments include Twitch (acquired by Amazon), Defense.net (acquired by F5 Networks), and Grow Mobile (acquired by Perion). Prior to joining Bessemer, Sunil was the founder and CEO of Triangulate, a venture-backed online dating startup that used social media behaviors to drive algorithmic matching. Previously, Sunil worked in consulting at Bain & Company, in Cisco's Corporate Development group, and in product management at Microsoft. He has also worked at several early-stage startups. Sunil holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BS in Computer Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he graduated with honors.
The Honorable Aida Álvarez has been an award-winning journalist, a successful investment banker, and a member of President Clinton’s Cabinet. She currently serves on the boards of Zoosk, Wal-Mart, Union Bank, and Progress Financial Corporation. She chairs the Latino Community Foundation, serves on the Board of the Smithsonian Museum of American Art in Washington, DC., and is a Trustee Emeritus of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Appointed by President Clinton to head the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Administrator Alvarez was the first Hispanic woman to serve in a President’s Cabinet. Prior to her federal service, Alvarez was a Vice President in Public Finance at The First Boston Corporation and Bear Stearns. She was also Vice President for Public Affairs at the NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation. Alvarez started out with a career in journalism. She won a Front Page award for journalistic excellence while at the New York Post. She also earned an Emmy nomination and an Associated Press award for journalistic excellence while at Channel Five, the Ten O’Clock News, for her series on the war in El Salvador entitled, “The Morazan Diaries.” A Harvard graduate, Alvarez also holds honorary doctorates from Bethany College, Iona College, Mercy College and the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico. Alvarez was elected to serve on the Harvard Board of Overseers.
Diane Dietz is Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Safeway where she leads the organization’s marketing function including advertising, merchandising, supply chain, loyalty, and digital strategy and has overall responsibility for the company’s network of 13 distribution centers and 20 manufacturing plants. Prior to joining Safeway in 2008, Dietz held a 19-year career with Procter & Gamble, where she was credited with rejuvenating the Crest brand, overseeing all aspects of the business unit’s sales, sourcing, marketing, manufacturing, quality control, supply chain, R&D and market research. Dietz also sits on the Board of Directors for the Whirlpool Corporation. She was the recipient of the Cannes Advertising Bronze Lion Award in 2006, was named one of Advertising Age’s Top 50 Marketers of the Year in 2007, a CMO to watch in 2010, and has been named as one of the Top Women in Grocery every year since joining Safeway (Progressive Grocer). She holds a B.S. in Marketing and Economics from Northern Illinois University.
Shayan Zadeh is Co-founder of Zoosk, one of the world’s largest online dating platforms. He founded Zoosk with Alex Mehr in 2007. Prior to founding Zoosk, Shayan was a program manager and software engineer for Microsoft. Shayan received a Master of Science in Computer Science from University of Maryland, and a Master in Business Administration from University of Washington. While completing his undergraduate degree in computer science at Sharif University of Technology in Tehran, Shayan met co-founder Alex Mehr. Shayan and Alex initially intended to pursue careers in academia, but ultimately decided to become entrepreneurs while they were roommates at the University of Maryland. In addition to running Zoosk, Shayan is an angel investor and advisor to startup companies including PaperKarma (acquired by reputation.com), Identified (acquired by Workday) and AppComputing. In his free time, Shayan enjoys bicycling, tennis, and playing with his dog, Ivy.
Alex Mehr is Co-founder of Zoosk, one of the world's largest online dating platforms. While attending the MBA program at the University of California, Berkeley, Alex founded Zoosk in 2007 alongside Shayan Zadeh. Alex received a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Sharif University of Technology in Tehran. Alex previously worked as a research scientist for NASA through a consulting firm and collaborated on manned and unmanned space exploration projects. In his spare time, Alex is a motorcycle enthusiast and enjoys hiking with his dog Lexi, a Rottweiler mix.