Our Leadership

Jon Schepke – CEO

As CEO and founder of SIM Partners, Jon and his team are pioneering the future of digital marketing for national brands at a local level. The company’s Velocity technology is a SaaS-based local marketing automation platform that helps enterprise brands — with hundreds to thousands of locations — drive customer acquisition…everywhere. continue reading…

Since Jon founded SIM Partners in January 2006, the company has grown from a small search agency to become the premiere provider of local marketing automation technology for enterprise brands. As CEO, Jon leads the strategic direction and operations of the company to drive employee, customer and shareholder satisfaction.

Jon is a digital marketing veteran and innovator in the local digital marketing space. For nearly twenty years, his passion for technology and marketing have driven innovative solutions for numerous Fortune 500 clients. As Co-CEO for Proceed Interactive, Jon led the agency’s transformation from start-up to search marketing industry leader with over $9M in billings (2004). As director of client services at iCrossing (2005), Jon drove client satisfaction, retention, and revenue growth for iCrossing’s central region.

Jon earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Indiana University. He has been published in AdAge and is a regular Search Engine Watch contributor. In 2014, he was named to the TechWeek 100 list and he currently serves on the board of the Illinois Technology Association (ITA).

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Neil Mahoney – COO

Neil Mahoney graduated college with a Finance major and held three Finance positions within Cardinal Health, a Fortune 20 Company as part of a financial development program. After two and a half years and various roles at Cardinal Neil made the decision to enter a more competitive and challenging industry which led him to the Online Travel company, Orbitz Worldwide in 2004. continue reading…Neil joined the Finance team at Orbitz Worldwide where he managed forecasts for the eMarketing departments of both Orbitz.com and Cheaptickets.com, and also assisted with the acquisition of the company and a public offering. While Neil saw the value of having a well rounded financial background he was very excited to take what he had learned and join a group in which he could impact business performance on a daily basis. Orbitz and Cheaptickets combined have one of the largest annual eMarketing budgets in the online travel space, and it was imperative that these marketing dollars were being spent wisely. As Neil was already familiar with the financial side of eMarketing it was a natural progression for him to join the team and bring a financial mindset to the group.

During his time at Orbitz Worldwide Neil managed the Paid Search programs on a daily basis for all products offered by both sites including; Air, Hotel, Car, Vacation Packages, Cruises as well as Attractions and Services. Management of these marketing dollars was extremely ROI focused. The majority of Orbitz Worldwide’s marketing dollars were spent online and Neil drove improved spending efficiency by 25% year over year while maintaining transaction volumes. Neil also tested and implemented two third party tracking and bid management tools while at Orbitz. This would enable Orbitz and Cheaptickets to automate what was an extremely manual management process of over 1,000,000 keywords at the time. “I enjoy the intense competitive nature of online marketing, especially Travel and Hospitality. One of my favorite aspects of the industry is the accountability of all dollars spent online. A company can easily qualify and quantify all marketing spend online versus traditional ‘offline’ mediums which generally have no means of doing so. This can allow you to continue to grow your company’s online presence or to perform more efficiently at current levels.” While at Orbitz Neil had the opportunity to work with a SIM Partner, Adam Dorfman. The two shared a strong passion for the online marketing industry and soccer and hit it off immediately. In December of 2007 Adam Dorfman and the other SIM Partners extended an offer to Neil to become the Manager of eCommerce.
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Amy Cooper – CFO

Amy Cooper is a results driven finance professional with over 15 years of direct experience in strategic and operational finance. She has experience leading high growth technology based businesses as well as large corporate retail and continue reading… consumer packaged goods organizations.

Prior to joining SIM Partners, Amy was the VP Finance for GrubHub, Inc. the nation’s leading online and mobile food ordering platform. She created and grew the finance, accounting, human resources, and legal functions of the organization from its inception in 2007, through $84 MM in venture funding and an overall organization size of 280 employees by 2012. She identified business needs through stages of growth and selecting staff, tools and processes to support business reporting and corporate governance needs.

Amy spent 6 years of her career with Deloitte Consulting leading corporate turnaround initiatives for multinational clients in retail, consumer goods, and manufacturing industries, including identifying supply chain improvements, reducing SG&A expenditures, consolidating distribution networks, analyzing and negotiating contracts, and improving shop floor operations. Earlier finance experiences with JPMorganChase and Exxon provided her an understanding of capital markets and corporate controls.

In her spare time, Amy enjoys gardening on her organic farm with her family and friends in southwest Michigan.

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Tari Haro – CMO

A proven B2B technology marketing and public relations executive with more than 17 years’ experience, Tari Haro has directed the strategic repositioning, reinvention and resurgence of top-tier digital marketing agencies and earned industry recognition for creating brand leadership resulting in transformational growth. continue reading…

Tari joined SIM Partners in 2014 as CMO where she is responsible for the overarching marketing strategy of the company and its products and services, including SIM Partners’ Velocity and Velocity Social platforms. Velocity empowers enterprise brands to maximize local digital marketing results at scale while Velocity Social enables enterprise brands to effectively manage social communities for multiple locations on Facebook and Twitter.Previously, Tari was CMO of iCrossing, where she directed the company’s brand evolution from a leading search marketing firm to a full-service global digital marketing agency that builds connected brands. Under Tari’s leadership, iCrossing successfully introduced a new corporate brand identity, brought a range of innovative products and services to the marketplace, and earned many industry kudos including “Leader” rankings in Forrester’s Search Wave (2009, 2011, 2012) and Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Digital Marketing Agencies (2013).Before iCrossing, Tari was director of marketing and public relations for Agency.com. She began her career in politics as the deputy press secretary for Nebraska Governor E. Benjamin Nelson after earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.Tari lives in Chicago with her husband and their two children.
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Adam Dorfman – SVP, Product & Technology

Adam Dorfman is a technology and digital marketing professional with over 15 years experience in all facets of online marketing including local & organic search, pay per click, paid inclusion, email, XML driven advertising, mobile advertising, social media, content creation, analytics, usability and offline integration as well as web development, hosting, networking, product management and project management. continue reading…

In 2000 Adam accepted an offer from one of the premier online marketing firms at the time, Proceed Interactive (then Meandaur, Inc). While at Proceed Interactive, Adam was responsible for defining and implementing the online marketing strategy for dozens of clients including Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, Milwaukee Tool, and SCORE! Educational Centers. One of many highlights during his tenure was conceiving and executing a network of microsites for Wyndham.com that generated over 75,000 group RFPs in two years – entirely from organic search engine listings.

In 2005 Adam accepted a position at Orbitz Worldwide where he managed all of the SEO, Paid Inclusion, and dynamic advertising for Orbitz.com and CheapTickets.com. He was also responsible for growing and developing many of the metasearch accounts including Kayak and Farechase as well as working with M&A to identify potential partnerships with a variety of well known websites. Some highlights while at Orbitz include conceptualizing and driving the launch of Orbitz’s and CheapTickets’ RSS program, writing the SEO business requirements for future platforms, and receiving the Cendant Power of Many award.

After a year at Orbitz, Adam regrouped with Jon Schepke and Jay Hawkinson to accept an equity position at SIM Partners and now leads the Technology and Product teams behind SIM Partners’ market-leading Velocity Platform. Selected to be a contributor to David Mihm’s “Local Search Ranking Factors” study, Adam is considered to be an expert in the local search space and spends the majority of his time these days immersed in it.

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Jay Hawkinson – SVP, Emerging Products

Jay Hawkinson is an interactive marketing professional with 20 years of sales, marketing and merchandising experience including more than 12 years focused on organic search optimization, paid search advertising, local search, mobile and social media. continue reading…Jay joined SIM Partners in 2006 as an equity partner developing ecommerce solutions and products for the travel and hospitality vertical. Jay currently oversees mobile, social media and emerging technology at SIM Partners, including mobile app design and development, social media optimization/engagement, and SoLoMo integration through Velocity. SIM Partners’ Velocity platform, a software-as-a-service solution, empowers national brands with hundreds or thousands of locations to maximize social, search and mobile marketing results at the location level with powerful automation and scalability.

I am speaking at SMX Social Media Marketing Before SIM Partners, Jay served as Media Sales Strategist for iCrossing where he grew the paid search division by improving campaigns and working in tandem with business development on new initiatives, working with such clients as Coca-Cola, Betty Crocker, Disney, Purina and Sprint/EMBARQ. Prior to iCrossing, Jay was the Director of Search Marketing at Proceed Interactive where he helped build the search marketing practice and worked with such clients as Chicago Hilton & Towers, Komatsu, Kohl’s Department Store and Hanes.

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Tara Thomas – Vice President of Sales, North America

Tara is a digital marketing and technology professional with 12+ years of experience. She has held various leadership and executive roles in sales, strategy and client services. She started her career in mobile marketing and later went on to run the Chicago division for TMPDM, where she eventually joined the sister digital marketing agency as the Vice President of the local sales channel (15miles). continue reading… Tara joined SIM Partners in the spring of 2011, as a consultant, and currently oversees all of sales for North America. She spends most of her time in the field with enterprise brand leaders working on SaaS strategies and implementation of Velocity for their local advisors, branches and retail stores. When she is not on the road, you can find her at a Cubs game with her family or cheering her kids on in hockey and competitive cheer.

Gib Olander – Vice President of Product

Gib Olander with more than 15 years of digital marketing experience, specializing in local search, big data, reviews, data distribution and content marketing among other areas of expertise.

Gib currently directs new product initiatives for SIM Partners, with an emphasis on further improving Velocity’s industry-leading technology platform, as well as offering innovative solutions that ensure that brands’ location information is consistent, accurate, and actionable. He utilizes SaaS to offer scale, control and efficiency to fortune 500 brands who want to excel in search, social and mobile at the location level.continue reading…

Prior to joining SIM Partners, Gib was Founder and CEO of Local Viewpoints, an award-winning Wavetable Labs funded SaaS business which took a mobile-first approach to collecting, analyzing and publishing customer feedback. Additionally, Gib led product and market development strategy for Localeze, helping to invent business listing identity management which was purchased by more than 1 million SMB’s during his tenure, while also building Localeze into the local data source for more than 300 local, mobile and social platforms across the internet.Over the past decade, Gib has become a recognized thought leader in local search, speaking frequently at industry conferences including BIA/Kelsey, PubCon, SES and SMX and writing for such outlets as Search Engine Land, MediaPost, and Visibility Magazine.Gib lives in Elmhurst, IL with his wife, Meg and their twin children Teddy and Julia. He enjoys baseball and coaching youth sports.back to top

Francois Toubol – Vice President of Technology

With 13 years of experience as a software engineer, Francois Toubol has developed his technical expertise around OOAD, OOP, RDBMS, software development processes implementation, and team management/mentoring. He began programming as a child in 1985, after discovering the joy of solving problems with the help of a computer. He graduated from ISEP in France with a Master’s Degree in Computer Science in 1999 and in 2002 opened his first software engineering shop, Epsilon Force. Highlights from that time include growing his team to 12 engineers and building cutting edge technology for clients like Delta, Air France, Air Canada, Amadeus, MasterCard and Citibank while achieving PCI compliance. continue reading…

Francois joined SIM Partners in 2010 to build out the software development team as well as to contribute to the entire technical background of the company.

Francois has 3 beautiful children and a little angel: Eduardo, Camille, Chloe and Emilie. They lived around the world for the past 2 decades. During his spare time, you might find him riding down steep lines in wild Alaskan mountains on a snowboard.

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Saul Delage – Vice President, Global Channel Development

Saul leads channel development for SIM Partners and is responsible for establishing and fostering relationships with partners to drive growth and adoption of the Velocity platform globally. With over 17 years of experience at digital marketing and technology companies, he brings a passion for translating digital disruption into tangible business value. continue reading…

Prior to SIM Partners, Saul was Vice President of Business Development for Razorfish. There, he spent nearly a decade playing a pivotal role in the growth and development of the agency and had significant wins across many industry verticals and the agency’s broad offering which includes strategy, digital media and search, mobile, e-commerce, and interactive design and development.Saul began his career in digital at a leading e-commerce firm, Fry. Fry was acquired by MICROS-Retail and, ultimately, Oracle. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Business from Eastern Michigan University.Saul lives in the greater Chicago area with his wife and two children.
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