Founders & Leadership
Phil Zimmermann - President & Co-Founder
Phil is the creator of PGP, the most widely used email encryption software in the world, and the Zfone/ZRTP secure VoIP standard. PC World named him one of the Top 50 Tech Visionaries of the last 50 years. He has received Privacy International's Louis Brandeis Award, CPSR's Norbert Weiner Award, the EFF Pioneer Award, the Chrysler Award for Innovation in Design, and inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame.
Mike Janke - CEO & Co-Founder
Entreprenuer and technology junkie. Co-Founder and Board Member of Blackphone. Best-Selling author of 2 books. past Co-founder and CEO of SOC - a large Global Logistics, Defense and Construction firm with over 10,000 personnel around the world. Former Navy SEAL, Privacy Advocate with a background in Special Operations communications. Mike is passionate about bringing secure communications to Human rights groups, Global corporations, small businesses, deployed military and pushing back against the tide of surveillance.
Vic Hyder - Chief Operations Officer
Combat-decorated career Navy SEAL Commander and past founder/CEO of a maritime security firm. Recipient of the Silver Star with a master’s degree in strategic thinking and campaign planning, he has led and coordinated highly classified missions worldwide.
Jon Callas - CTO & Co-Founder
Inventor, cryptographer, entrepreneur. Co-founder of PGP Corporation, designer of security products that have won major innovation awards from The Wall Street Journal and others. Creator of encryption products currently used around the World such as Apple’s Whole Disk Encryption, PGP Universal Server, SCIMP and several others. Jon is considered to be one of the top cryptographers and security software engineers in the world and is a sought-after industry keynote speaker.
Tom Wilkas - Chief Financial Officer
Tom possesses more than 25 years of experience leading finance, strategy and operations for global companies in the technology, business services, and consumer products industries. With a career split between publicly traded companies and private equity-backed firms, Tom has a track record of creating long-term, sustainable growth models which lead to significant value creation and strategic exits. Tom enjoys running, extreme skiing and spending time with his wife and two sons. Tom thinks that working for Silent Circle is not just a job. It’s an adventure. Clever. Very clever, Tom.
Rosario Ruiz-Velasco - VP of Finance
Rosario has over 27 years experience in accounting and finance. Rosario has held various leadership positions with large corporations including Chief Financial Officer at SOC-SMG, Inc. and Vice President of Finance at SOC LLC. She has concentrated in the areas of government contracting, corporate accounting, finance and administration for domestic and international corporations. Her expertise includes business management, treasury, cost proposal preparations, financial planning, internal audit, budgets and directing all Defense Contract Audit Agency and compliance issues. Other areas include profitability and growth initiatives, negotiations of various forms of bank financing, multi-million dollar contracts, merger and acquisition activities, and insurance arrangements. Rosario holds a BBA in Accounting and Finance from Loyola University.
Vinnie Moscaritolo - Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff
Vincent has more than thirty years of extensive real world experience in the design, invention, development and shipping of high reliability secure software and network security applications for companies such as PGP Corp, Apple Computer, Symantec and the former Digital Equipment Corp. He is the author of a number of papers, talks and patents with a focus on cryptographic engineering, secure communications and security software design. Vincent is one of the most sought-after experts on cryptographic engineering and cloud security.
Frank Carmickle - VP of VoIP Engineering
Widely considered one of the top VOIP Architectural Engineers in the industry. Frank has personally designed and developed some of the top security VOIP systems around the world. First off, I hate writing about myself and always have. I enjoy the finer things in life. Craft beer, fresh roasted coffee, fine food and great music. I'm an audiophile who enjoys all kinds of technology. I make technology work for me. When I'm not at work you can find me spending time with my family or napping in my recliner. I love a good nap especially after a nice cup of coffee. I most enjoy producing and engineering recordings.
Sullivan - Director of Vision
Hi, I'm Sullivan, a working dog with a strong desire to play with every person and doggy on the planet. I love tug of war. I also enjoy running around with a ball in my mouth and chewing on Frank's arms. Frank tells me I'm a good doggy so he must be right.
Steve Welch - VP of Et Cetera
Astronomer, Educator, Sheet Metal Worker, Microprocessor System Architect, Laboratory and Astronomy Equipment Engineer, Entrepreneur, Licensed Septic System Engineer, Computer Marketing Product Manager, Data Security System Consultant and now Silent Circle’s VP of Et Cetera. I got my early experience in herding, working with genius scientists and engineers with the likes of Carl Sagan and Buzz Aldrin over a 15-year period on a NASA project called Case for Mars. As one of CFM’s founders, I was instrumental in getting legends of space exploration and science working together to turn the heart of NASA back to Mars. We didn't know it was impossible for a group of kids to change the course of human space exploration history—we just did it. I’ve known and worked with another genius engineer, Phil Zimmermann, since we met and became friends in college, mumble years ago.
Oula Tran - Director of Design
Oula is one of the top product, graphic and technology Web Designers in the industry. She has lead design and web development teams on large E-Commerce and Social Sites. She has a distinct eye and un-compromising detail approach to all aspects of technology graphic design. She has designed and managed e-commerce websites for businesses of all sizes and markets. Besides designing websites she also enjoys photography, arts & crafts, and spending time with her family & friends.
Patrick Cooney - Chief Customer Officer
Pat has over 15 years of experience in enterprise computing, IT and User Interface environments with Oracle and SAP as a senior executive. Here at Silent Circle he helps develop the User Interface design, Forum, Support process and technologies. His technical expertise is in large volume data warehousing and the business intelligence product design and use. Pat is also known to favor running shoes and sleeping in closets.
Louis Kowolowski - Technical Operations Manager
Louis Kowolowski is a 14 year veteran in the fields of UNIX, networking, and security. He has worked at many sized companies, ranging from as small as 10 people to as large as 18,000 person enterprises. He has a passion for automation and scalable internet architectures. When not working, he enjoys amateur photography and traveling with his wife.
Lou Ruppert - Chief Security Officer
Lou has always been a paranoia stunt double, worrying about privacy and security issues so that others wouldn't have to. He comes to us from the academic world, where he handled network security monitoring for a large, complex network. Over the last two decades, he's also done security consulting and advocacy, helping privacy-minded people to practice good information hygiene on the internet.
Joshua Wright - Director of Web Development
Formerly the lead developer of Fiddlehead, a desktop virtualization and computer sharing platform, Josh has over a decade of experience in a wide variety of development environments. In addition to number of personal projects, Josh has made code contributions to numerous open source libraries and applications, including a web frontend for VirtualBox, and a Python library for accessing the Linode API.
Stavros Korokithakis - Enlightened Doer of Hard Things
Stavros is a guy who discovered that one of his hobbies, software development, happens to be in high demand at the moment, and is still waiting for the popularity of his other hobby, writing run-on sentences, to match it.
He likes creating applications people will find useful, and likes it even more when they do. He also frequently enjoys writing about himself in the third person. He's passionate about privacy, which is a big part of why he works at Silent Circle, and his other hobbies include learning as many things as possible about as many things as possible.
Ian Kanski - Technical Operations
Ian is a decorated former Marine Officer with over 10 years of physical and technical security experience in some of the most austere environments around the world. During both his military and private security careers, Ian’s expertise in a variety of technology fields allowed him to successfully establish the communications infrastructure required to communicate securely in the hostile environments in which he deployed. As Tech Ops he's instrumental in developing, implementing and expanding Silent Circle's technological foundation.
Ed Fine - XMPP Server Engineer
Ed has just passed the 30-year mark of doing nothing. Other than computers and software, that is. He's never had a real job. Oh, come on, software development's not a real job, it's a labor of love one happens to get paid for. Which is a good thing, what with mortgages and utility bills and such. The past decades found him working on a wide variety of mission-critical projects ranging from device drivers on embedded systems and auto-teller middleware, through financial analysis systems, to distributed highly-reliable server systems. He likes to think of himself as a generalist 'glue' person, a DevOps supporter, a software engineer, and a multi-pie-fingered problem-solver, who also happens to be able to deliver reliable, working systems, without severely annoying too many people in the process (he hopes). He's worked at American Express and Verizon and lots of overseas companies that nobody will have heard of.
His interests include massive amounts of reading (especially science and sci-fi), playing a vague facsimile of blues and classic rock on a variety of guitars where nobody can laugh and point fingers, irony, mouth-breathing, omphaloskepsis, and misusing obscure words for amusement.
Boring details include what he's worked on professionally, like hardware (proprietary, DEC PDP-11, DEC VAX, HP Superdome, Sun E10K, Intel/PC, IBM S/390, IBM RS/somethingorother, IBM AS/400), OS (RSX-11/M, VAX/VMS, HP-UX, Solaris, Windows, OS/2, Linux, Xenix, OS/390-z/OS, AIX, OS/400), and environments/languages (RTL/2, C, C++, Erlang/OTP, Pascal, Java, M, CICS, Basic, VAX MACRO, 80x86 MASM, Ruby, Perl, awk, bash, and other stuff).
Latisha Setzer - Office Manager
Tish wears many hats around here and there is nothing she cannot do (except maybe design crypto and end world hunger). Tish has over 10 years experience as a Technology Project Analyst with Department of Defense Programs (don’t worry, we erased her DoD brainwashing). Latisha served as the lead POC to the Deputy Chief at the USDA and for several years Latisha served as Program Analyst and Database Administrator supporting the Office of Assistant Secretary for Defense Exports and Cooperation.
Maria D Sharieff - Customer Support Representative
Maria’s greatest talent is defusing customers and building customer relations. A leader and a mentor to customer service representatives in the financial industry, she was given the opportunity to show her talent with employers such as J.P. Morgan Chase, Provident Bank of Maryland, Synergy One Federal Credit Union and PNC.
Over 15 years of dedication in customer support, 15 years in the Spanish line, 10 years of experience on the escalation line, 7 consecutive months for the highest quality control, and has won 4 Star Awards and 11 Star Award nominations.
As a Customer Support Representative at Silent Circle she resolves service problems for customers, processes and maintains customer records, collect customer’s feedback to enhance services, reports on customer trends, analyzes information, and focuses on customer service experience and quality.
Ivo Kutts - System Analyst
Experienced telecom professional, has led innovative multimedia projects in Japan for DoCoMo I-mode. Pioneer and idea author of the innovative mobile VoIP products. Ethical hacker and systems analyst. Has worked as IS security expert for finance institution, CTO at telecom software development company.
Janis Narbuts - Software Engineer
Has extensive knowledge on video codecs, has developed unique video compression algorithms himself. More than 7 years VoIP experience while working as systems developer and building various telecom systems, both client and server side. Brilliant on system efficiency designs.
Werner Dittmann - VoIP Design Engineer
I have more than 30 years experience as a system programmer, system architect and more than 15 years of experience in security related software and solutions. My career as a system programmer started at Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC). While working at DEC I developed drivers, real-time and communication applications for the PDP-11 and the operating systems RSX11-M and RT-11. After RSX-11M I had my first contact with Unix – Unix V6 to be precise – and developed several applications and hardware drivers for Unix. Writing system software in the high level language 'C' and not in Assembler was a major step forward at that time.
I then joined a small development team at Siemens AG to create a family of Unix based systems. In the end, the system family contained small single-seat workstations, mid-size computers and large multi-processor systems. The multi-processor systems were enhanced to high-available cluster systems that were ready to run inside the core of classic telecommunication networks. This started a paradigm shift in the telecommunications industry – away from proprietary hardware and software to standard-off-the-shelf hardware and software. At the same time I started to analyze software and concepts to secure the data transfer between systems. This led to the deployment of security solutions and the implementation of security related software in domains such as Web-Service Security software and the now famous ZRTP encryption protocol used in Silent Phone and invented by my long time friend and colleague, Phil Zimmermann.
Jim Burrows - VP of Engineering
Systems Architect, Engineer and Researcher with broad experience in software, networks, systems security, human factors, software usability, telecommunications, information systems and operations. His career spans pure and applied research, advanced and product development, systems management, technical operations and engineering management. Jim started hacking the ARPAnet in 1974, before 'hacking' became a dirty word. He caught his first intruder on a corporate network two years later. Since then, he prides himself in having more than three dozen years of expertise in doing things he's never done before.
Spencer Snedecor - Chief Revenue Officer
An accomplished data security sales executive, Spencer has held many sales oriented leadership roles and is a familiar face to the sales and marketing processes needed for an encryption based data security company. He was the VP Sales at Pretty Good Privacy Inc. and also a Cofounder and VP Sales at PGP Corporation. His industry knowledge along with a hands-on approach in creating marketing programs and building sales channels are key attributes of his success working with growth companies.
Christine Piry - Director of Business Development
Christine is the Director of Business Development. In this role, she works to identify future business opportunities, coordinate PR management, develop marketing campaigns, manage/build relationships with key clients and educate organizations and individuals on the value of secure communication. Christine has over ten years of sales, marketing and account management experience with a proven track record in managing complex accounts. In her spare time, she is an avid scuba diver and enjoys painting.
Mark Pearson - Reseller Program Manager
Mark has a background in defense, security and risk management and runs Silent Circle's Global Reseller Program. As a Brit living in the United States and working internationally, he strongly advocates the right to privacy and also believes passionately in the importance of a good cup of tea.
Paul Wood - Director of Business Development EMEA
Paul is a former UK Special Forces Communicator with an array of UKSF operational experience around the world providing critical, time sensitive, strategic and tactical communications whilst in hostile environments. Paul has a vast amount of experience within the communication industry providing the planning, delivery and a management service to other government departments around the globe.
Nick Moreau – Sales Representative
Nick is responsible for Sales and New Business in the Eastern US (that's a lot of ground), which means he can usually be found with a phone glued to his head. He brings to the Circle a number of years experience aligning people's needs to the appropriate technology solution. How he feels is heavily tied to the fortunes of one particular college basketball team in the Midwest…and caffeine. Paradoxically, for a native Midwesterner, he's an avid racing sailor.
Katie Tierno – Sales Representative
Katie has almost 10 years of sales experience in which she has always found value is providing the customer with the best solution possible per their needs and budget restrictions. Maintained vendor relations and her customer service skills have served her well when the sales process encounters obstacles - no matter the industry. Katie specializes in supporting our government customers in the Federal, State, Local, Civilian and Defense Contractor's space with detailed knowledge of our product and how it provides value to the customer. In her free time she enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling and loves to run.
Tarah Wheeler Van Vlack – Systems Architect
Tarah Wheeler Van Vlack is a recovering academic from the Portland, Oregon area. She holds a bachelors in international relations, a masters of science in political science with a focus on cognitive behavioral theory, and will complete her Ph.D. in complex systems and military strategy when she has a chance to take a breath. She picked up her technical and programming skills while programming agent-based models at Portland State University and coding wargaming simulations with a GIS component at the University of Michigan. She’s a virulent Trekkie, and has been known to program her conflict models with names like Kirk.java and Khan.java.
Her interest in game-theoretic models led to work in web development at Microsoft Game Studios and many startups in the Seattle and Portland area. She was the web lead for Lips for Xbox 360, and also worked as a developer for Halo for Xbox 360. She holds two agile development certifications through the Scrum Alliance and is a graduate of the University of Washington’s Agile Development Postgraduate Certificate program. She is the senior development manager at Red Queen Technologies, LLC, works on two supersecret sneaky projects as the chief technical architect and director, serves on the Seattle Central Community College Technical Advisory Committee, and volunteers on projects focused on women in technology. Find her at thetarah.com, thecowgirlcoder.com, and @tarah.
Emily Hodges – Quality Assurance Engineer
Emily runs quality assurance for user applications. In the past, she created and maintained QA and Engineering tracking systems for a biotech company. This included all documentation and training of employees. Taught at UC Davis 3 years in a row training students. She is super fun and one of the best laughs you ever heard. Dogs and children flock to her.
Al Clark – Legal Intern
Al addresses legal and finance questions of all stripes. Every so often, he gets to dig into technical matters as well. Al joined the company after reading about it online and asking for a job in the 'contact us' box on the website. Before Silent Circle, Al spent four years consulting on tax, finance, and IT issues at PwC.
Devin Canterberry - Principal Android Engineer
Devin is a seasoned engineer with a lifelong passion for the art of software development. He is an advocate for open standards in secure digital currency exchange and encrypted peer-to-peer communications. He is the author of the Evy programming language and the principal developer of Silent Text for Android. Devin's attention to detail, thirst for understanding, diverse background, and insight into usability affords him a pragmatism and expertise afforded only to the experienced generalist. Devin can often be found in the vicinity of one or more tumbling icosahedrons.
Robbie Hanson - Software Engineer
Robbie Hanson is a software engineer specializing in iOS and Mac OS X development. He has developed software for healthcare and the television industry, as well as contracted for a number of companies ranging from automotive to security industries. He is widely known for his open source contributions including networking and HTTP libraries, a professional logging framework, database utilities, and is the author of the XMPP framework for Apple platforms.
Mahboud Zabetian - UI and UX designer
Mr. Zabetian serves as chief UI and UX designer and architect for Silent Circle's mobile products. His prior projects include his work with the Visa Mobile app, Intelevision's second-screen app, and Verizon's Android VCAST app. His interest in securing private conversations stems from his work at a company he previously founded, WildPackets, Inc., which produces network and traffic management and analysis tools. He served as President and CEO of WildPackets for 11 Years before taking the current role of Chairman. Prior to founding WildPackets, Inc., Mr. Zabetian held several different technical roles at Princeton University, Kinetics, Excelan, and Novell where he developed a number of network management, performance, and productivity tools including the EtherPeek program. He was also Founder and Chairman of Timestamp.com. Mr. Zabetian came to the U.S. from Iran and he studied electrical engineering and computer science at Princeton University with a special interest in computer networking.
Toby Weir-Jones - Chief Product Officer
Toby has spent the bulk of his career working with the most demanding and innovative enterprise security customers in the world. As a founding employee of Counterpane Internet Security in 1999, acquired by British Telecom in 2006, Toby defined his role as champion of products and advocate of customers, managing the difficult balance between those external and internal demands. He is a named inventor on 8 patents, holds a bachelor's degree in Computer Ethics from Cornell University, and has two MBA degrees -- one from Cornell, another from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
Mike Kershaw - Leader of Special Projects
Mike Kershaw is the author of the open-source Wi-Fi security tool Kismet, as well as other open-source security tools and hardware. He has over a decade of experience in the industry trying to secure wireless devices and services.
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