When we realigned our team to focus on a more streamlined client implementation process and for updating our clients’ RewardsBars and eMarkets, we knew we needed someone who could coordinate all of the moving parts, making sure that time and resources were being best utilized for successful projects. Fortunately for us we have someone on our team who can do just that. We have Noe Carmichael.
Noe joined our parent company’s US division, Rakuten USA, in March of 2006 and came to FreeCause in September of 2009 when Rakuten acquired FreeCause. As our Client Operations Project Manager, Noe manages our sprint/scrum process for our Client Operations team, managing the team’s resources for our client launches and updates in development, leading team meetings, and coordinating communications between our technical, project management, client operations, and management teams. Noe also serves as representative to our parent company on a number of regulation and company-wide initiatives and updates.
Currently Noe is coordinating several key client operations projects that will help further streamline our practices and improve efficiency. The main initiative is improving our scrum process for our client operations team, ensuring that our engineers are able to work faster and smarter, using the time allotted to better manage client-side expectations. It will enable us to provide our clients with a better level of communication so that they are aware of each step during the implementation process. In the end it will lead to a more successful launch for a client, allowing us to provide our rewards technology sooner to clients’ members.
Noe received her BA from Mount Holyoke College and a MLS from Simmons College Graduate School of Library Science. When not at FreeCause, Noe is more than likely doing something music related. As her alter ego – Saucy Lady – she is constantly busy DJing, performing, singing, and song-writing. She also started a music entertainment booking agency and is currently working on launching a music production tutorial program early next year. Other than her extensive musical interests, Noe enjoys yoga, gardening, hiking, and watching Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.
Not surprisingly, through our innovative technology solutions we are able to collect a wealth of data about users’ online behavior. From clicks, conversions, lifetime values, you name it and we more than likely can tell you a lot about it. In order to be able to accurately decipher the information and utilize the valuable insights learned to effect significant results for our clients, we need to have talented individuals who love to crunch numbers, test variables, and analyze trends. We need people like Corinne Salchunas.
Corinne joined FreeCause last January as our Data Analyst, adding a much-needed analytical mind and level of expertise to our team. Her day-to-day responsibilities focus on analyzing our vast amount of user data to recognize various trends and identify opportunities for our company and our clients to continually build a stronger, more profitable relationship with members. Our advanced technology provides a robust amount of detailed data, which enables Corinne to scrutinize all of it and create a series of sophisticated reports and projections. These help us gain valuable insights into users’ behavior, wants, and needs, which we in turn can utilize to help our clients improve their technology solutions and marketing.
Currently Corinne is working on a number of key data initiatives including:
- Compiling and analyzing user data so that we can better understand user behavior online. We have begun creating user profiles which will help our clients better interact with and market to their members.
- Developing and testing new ways to better engage the user. One example is testing our notification sliders to make them more noticeable and enticing. Once achieved, this will increase the user’s ability to earn rewards and in turn increase their loyalty to our client.
- Segmenting users based on purchase history, browsing behavior, and search term choices. This will allow us to provide clients with detailed look into their users’ intent and actions.
- Generating detailed reporting on the health of our technology solutions so that we can always remain focused on providing our customers with the best solutions possible.
- Establishing best practice standards for our Push Notification messaging technology based on the extensive testing we’re conducting. These practices will be shared with our clients in order to help them fully leverage this engaging new technology.
Corinne graduated Trinity College, receiving a bachelor’s of science degree in Economics. When not crunching numbers at FreeCause, Corinne enjoys Pilates, reading, cooking with local produce, and volunteering for Achilles International.
FreeCause has some big plans for the future. Using the experience and expertise gained from helping more than 300 major brands and loyalty programs launch successful loyalty solutions, we have aspirations to change the way people are rewarded for their online behavior. To accomplish ambitious goals like this, it requires having the right team of technical talent in place. Fortunately for us, we have the team of engineers to accomplish this – one of them being Greg Langlais.
Greg joined FreeCause in December 2011 as one of our Software Engineers, overseeing a number of core scalable software solutions for us. Since joining FreeCause, Greg has helped shore up our current systems and technology for clients, while also helping begin re-architect our technology platforms for future rewards technology. In the little free time Greg could find, he even recently taught himself node.js (which our technology sits on) and helped fellow teammates learn the software system. Impressive to say the least!
Currently Greg is immersed in some of the higher level priorities for FreeCause, including a re-architecture which will allow us to offer more solutions, services, and data for our clients. The re-architecture will enable us to continue to offer the fastest and most reliable solutions available in the industry. Greg is also involved in updating our transaction reporting system, allowing us to process a far greater number of transactions than currently capable of, manage fraud systems, and provide improved internal and external reporting. Lastly, Greg distributed a new processing system for running big data algorithms and jobs which in turn offers data with better behavior predictions and accuracy.
Since his early childhood years Greg has had a lifelong love of flying, reinforced by family trips to Europe and countless hours in Microsoft Flight Simulator. Believing he wanted to be a fighter pilot, Greg attended Embry Riddle Aeronautical University where he studied in Aeronautics and Traffic Control. Though his love for flying only continued to grow, Greg realized a career in it was not for him. Lucky for us, he then refocused on his other passion – computer programming.
When not helping build the future of FreeCause’s technology, Greg likes to remain active – be it shark diving, hiking, cycling, running, swimming, and not surprisingly flying.
Our technology solutions are of the highest technical quality, providing an engaging and natural user experience that rewards users for their online search and shopping activity. To maintain this level of quality it requires a rigorous testing system and a talented team to ensure our technology meets our lofty expectations. To manage these unprecedented quality control standards we rely on a team of professionals willing and qualified to do the meticulous work needed to guarantee our solutions are as close to perfect as can be. One of those people is Kari Ponto.
Since joining FreeCause in March of 2011 as our QA Lead, Kari has managed the testing of our client’s rewards solutions, ensuring all core features and enhancements are working properly and any technical bugs or issues are identified before ever reaching a client’s member base. She attends regular scrum summary meetings to stay abreast of what client projects are in the current sprint, while maintaining and updating test plans for current clients in the works as well as developing new test plans for new clients’ projects coming up. Basically, Kari is the only person on the FreeCause team who ‘touches’ all of our technology at some point.
Since Kari is involved in each technology solution that goes out the door, she has been an integral part of our most recent technology enhancements. One recent example is our Chrome plugin. As Chrome continued to increase in popularity it was apparent that we needed to develop a Chrome plugin which would offer a similar amount of utility to users when compared to our RewardsBar, all in an engaging and user friendly experience. Kari has been a key resource, testing each version of the plugin and working to resolve any issues. She has also helped obtain network approval for several of our Chrome plugins for our clients, enabling them to offer those plugins to their members. With each new browser update Kari is also responsible for testing the new binary and making sure all of our technology still works for our clients.
A graduate of University of Wisconsin – Platteville, Kari majored in Criminal Justice and Business Administration. Outside of FreeCause Kari is a sports fanatic, especially when rooting for her Green Bay Packers. She loves to stay active and play just about every sport imaginable. She enjoys running, hiking, and is devoted to her dodgeball and volleyball teams.
The FreeCause team is known for its ability to rapidly develop, test, and implement the most innovative and engaging points-earning technology in the industry. We have the most talented team of technical and business professionals assigned to working with clients from the initial kickoff meeting all the way through development and launch. Our Client Operations team is dedicated to providing new and existing clients with a superior level of support and expertise, ensuring all of their technical issues and questions are answered. One of those dedicated technical professionals leading the way for successful client implementations is Bina Zafar.
Bina joined FreeCause last December as one of our Software Engineers and recently moved to our specialized Client Operations team as part of our technical team’s reorganization. This reorganization ensures that all clients receive the continued support they required throughout the implementation process and beyond. Bina serves as a technical resource for clients, providing product support, maintenance, and enhancements for a client’s RewardsBar and eMarket. Our clients, and their technical teams, can rest assured in having Bina as their main technical contact at FreeCause to be able to answer any questions and/or resolve any technical issues that may arise.
Currently Bina is working on a number of key client implementations which, when they launch, will add to FreeCause’s already impressive roster of clients. She is also leading a series of important product support projects for several current clients. While constantly working with these clients, providing detailed expertise and guidance and continually, Bina is looking to improve the client and user experience. With vast knowledge in the process of migrating a number of our clients currently utilizing our Toolbar Builder 1 platform to our enhanced Toolbar Builder 2 platform, Bina has provided migrated clients with additional options and features for their RewardsBar as well as increasing maintainability for a longer shelf-life. The newly formed Client Operations team, that Bina is a member of, is also continually seeking ways to improve the implementation process including cutting the time it takes to implement a client solution by half – creating new enriched internal tools, automating several manual processes, and developing exciting new product features.
Bina is a graduate of both the University of Sheffield where she received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Computing and Northeastern University where she received a Master’s degree in Software Engineering. When not working on client implementation at FreeCause, Bina enjoys drawing, music (both playing acoustic guitar and attending concerts), and volunteering.
Our rewards technology is the most innovative and widely used in the industry. We help millions of consumers earn valuable virtual currencies they covet, while also helping hundreds of clients better engage and monetize their members by rewarding them for their online search and shopping activity. Enhanced technology like ours is the fruit of our technical team’s dedication, skill, and appreciation to a superior user experience. Despite our success, we are constantly striving to improve our technology and the user experience, and that’s why we’re fortunate to have people like Roy Todd on our team.
Roy joined FreeCause in December as one of our Senior Software Engineers and while only being at FreeCause for a short time, he has already made quite the impact. Roy serves as the lead for our Search Engine Results Page (SERP) team which is charged with building user-friendly search solutions that drive value to both the users and our clients. The team is constantly evaluating and enhancing our technology’s search experience, ensuring that users can effectively and efficiently find what they are searching for while also maximizing the amount of virtual currencies they can earn for their activity. Roy also works on the development and design of our critical rewards fraud management system (FMS) server as well as our data systems which impact client analytics and reporting.
Currently Roy and the team are creating a new FMS which will include an end-user scoring feature that will help differentiate top-performing users – similar to how FICO scores gauge one’s credit health. This new system will help us better manage end users and supply our clients with greater control over rewards so that they can enhance the performance of their best consumers. On the SERP side, Roy and the team are putting finishing touches on an updated Yahoo! Search service that features a better performing solution to the end user. Additional enhancements to the SERP codebase enable us to more effectively manage the traffic quality (TQ) scores of our clients’ solutions. “When it comes to a search experience, a user’s chief goal is being able to find the most relevant content for their specific search query,” Roy said. “We make certain that our technology does not interfere with those expectations, but instead enhances the experience by rewarding them with valuable virtual currencies for using our client-branded solutions.”
A graduate of Salem-Teikyo University in West Virginia, Roy received a bachelor’s of science degree in Computer Science. When not at FreeCause he enjoys comics, cars, computers, and vintage outdoor advertising.
At FreeCause, we move incredibly fast, developing new enhancements for our search and shopping technology and implementing unmatched client solutions at a fraction of the time it would take other companies. The main reason we are able to continually innovate and improve both the client’s and user’s experience with our technology is by employing the most dedicated and talented people in the industry. People like Crystal Kase.
Crystal joined FreeCause in June 2011 as a Product Manager, responsible for prioritizing the development of new business requests based on current market trends, risks, revenue opportunities, competitive advantages, and product roadmaps. She sees to it that project details – timelines, business impacts, and key performance indicators – are properly researched, documented, and communicated to appropriate stakeholders. Crystal also manages our eMarket experience, implementing new features to the shopping platform that increase user utility and provide new revenue opportunities. For our ShopCMS mall builder, Crystal works to decrease workflow costs and increase functionality to support client requests.
Currently Crystal is working on several key projects that will further enhance our eMarket technology for clients. First, Google Analytics are being added to Product and Deal feeds on our clients’ eMarkets, providing our product and eCommerce teams with transparency into click through rates for products and deals. This will identify which placements are most impactful and will help us more strategically perform testing to maximize effective placements. This will also lead to enhanced reporting across all user activity to identify user behaviors and track KPIs. Secondly, Crystal is managing the deep linking for merchant product links, redirecting the user more efficiently to the product link they expect to visit as opposed to a merchant homepage (previous user flow), resulting in a higher transaction conversion rate and better overall experience.
Crystal received her MBA in International Management, Competitive Strategy & Marketing from the University of Rochester after receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from West Virginia University. When not at FreeCause, Crystal enjoys attending sporting events, cooking, exploring Boston, reading, and traveling. She also knows her college basketball, having won the company NCAA pool this year.
To be able to develop innovative technology you need to have a team full of committed and determined engineers and developers willing to challenge themselves. At FreeCause, we ask a lot of technical teams – most notably to create the most innovative rewards technology that consumers will love. We also ask that it continually be done faster and better, and fortunately for us we have a team of technical people who respond to this type of challenge with exemplary effort and ability. Huy Ngu is one of those people.
Huy joined FreeCause as a Software Engineer Intern in February 2011 and we were so impressed with his work that we brought him on full-time in June as a Developer. Since then, Huy has played an integral role in enhancing our Toolbar Builder 2 application and assisting the development team with the revamp of our solutions. As part of the Implementation Team, Huy is also a core member of the group responsible for the successful launch of our clients’ solutions.
Recently Huy has been busy working on several key projects that will benefit both clients and consumers. One of those projects has involved enhancing our Loyalty Plugin technology. With the assistance of one of our engineers, Bina Zafar, Huy has been working to improve the technology, looking to have shopping deals included on notification sliders that would fire whenever a consumer visits a participating merchant website. This enhancement would improve the user experience for consumers, more effectively delivering deals and savings from retailers to consumers. For clients it would further support how they promote deals and savings to their consumers, increasing user online activity and shopping revenue they receive. Internally, Huy has also been vital in helping our Principal DBA, Pamela Goloskie, and the other members of the Core Development Team improve our reporting systems, ensuring information is accurately collected and shared to both FreeCause and clients. Huy strongly believes in FreeCause and its development team as it is always seeking ways to improve, whether that’s in the technology we provide our clients, the systems we utilize, or the processes we establish. “Our team finds great joy in solving complex challenges and finding ways to improve our technology, making sure it is something our clients and consumers enjoy using.”
A graduate of Tufts University, Huy majored in Computer Science. He enjoys cooking, developing apps for the Android platform, and fencing. In fact Huy is quite the fencer. Not only did he fence in college, but he also currently participates in several local and regional tournaments. He even qualified for the Division II National Championships later this summer which he will compete in… and win if you ask us.
If you’ve been following our news the past couple of months you know we have been launching a record number of exciting new implementations for our clients. The main reason we’ve been able to launch one successful implementation after another is because our engineering team is filled with some of the most talented, driven individuals in the industry who are constantly looking to improve the implementation process. One of those individuals is Sam Tymorek.
Sam joined FreeCause in May of 2011 as one of our Implementation Engineers and since day one has been helping us streamline the implementation process, eliminating unnecessary tasks and creating useful internal tools that both developers and non-developers utilize to more efficiently implement solutions for our clients. Some of the implementation tools Sam developed have greatly simplified how we configure toolbar shopping components and shopping sliders. These tools make it easy for non-developers to build client implementations, because tasks that used to have to be done by hand are now fully automated. A more friendly graphical user interface replaces tasks that once required coding, making it possible for non-technical people to take a larger role in the implementation process than they could before, reducing the total time it takes to launch a solution.
Sam also has played an integral role in the creation of an extensive framework for automated code testing, further enhancing the implementation and testing process. His contribution to the testing framework ensures that all bugs are eliminated from our solutions before they launch, guaranteeing the highest quality solutions. Sam strives to find ways to reduce barriers for implementation, while allowing non-technical colleagues to take a bigger role in the process. “I’m always interested in finding new ways to enhance the implementation process, especially when those updates lead to more efficient and accurate client implementations,” Sam said. “The tools we have created are helping do just that, and we will continue to review and tweak those tools to further improve the implementation process.”
Sam’s background, and one of his passions, is music. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Technology from the University of Oregon and also has a Master’s degree in Music Composition from SUNY Buffalo. He has also taken a number of web and programming classes in addition, which has helped prepare him for his role at FreeCause. Not surprisingly, Sam loves seeing live music of all types, from classical to heavy metal. When not taking in a concert, Sam also enjoys running and biking.