As the Vice President of Scorpion Projects, Sami Kretz is responsible for a multitude of key initiatives at Scorpion. With 9 years of customer service experience and over 5 years of digital marketing experience she has the multi-faceted skillset, knowledge and expertise to own a wide range of projects including; brainstorming, creating and project managing system development.
Her role involves testing new strategies for client marketing which results in improved client experience, product performance, employee efficiency and the ultimate success of our clients.
Sami’s dedication, drive and focus helped her graduate magna cum laude from Pepperdine University with a double major and that same drive has carried through to her passion for helping clients. She has personally helped hundreds of clients throughout the United States and Canada improve their digital marketing efforts and successfully grow their businesses.
Her experience ranges from learning to be an expert in SEO to the Client Marketing and Franchise department, and with her current focus on perfecting systems, tools and reports to improve all departments.
Scorpion is the result of Rustin's vision. Its continued success is the result of his passion. From the beginning, Rustin's dedication and leadership have provided the driving force behind Scorpion and the foundation for its unprecedented growth.
The company's most recent accomplishment: making it on the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing companies in the United States for the seventh year in a row, which makes Scorpion a rare company. On the 2016 list, Scorpion ranked at #1402 for achieving 272% growth in annual revenue over a three-year period.
Never satisfied with the status quo, Rustin constantly pushes Scorpion to excel while venturing into new arenas that will extend its impact on the marketplace. He has created a team-oriented environment where the employees are passionate about what they do, work cohesively with one another, and thrive under the challenges of building and maintaining a successful business in today's economic climate. Under Rustin's guidance, Scorpion continues to grow and broaden the number of services it offers each year.
Over the years, Rustin has worked closely with some of the brightest and most creative minds in the internet technology sector. He has consulted for multi-million dollar corporations in the healthcare, legal, and other professional industries. In the late 90s, Rustin was intimately involved in an SBC-funded venture (now part of AT&T) to build online scheduling software for small to medium-sized businesses. Upon leaving this company, Rustin founded Scorpion, forwarding his goal of creating aesthetic designs and effective online marketing solutions.
Rustin's Other Passion: Kretz Racing, LLC
Rustin's adventurous and optimistic spirit is well-matched to the sport of horse racing. After a trip to the Kentucky Derby in May of 2010, Rustin began contemplating the idea of owning a Thoroughbred. By the end of the month, he had begun researching local trainers online, at which point he came across Kristin Mulhall. Mulhall's philosophy and attitude matched Rustin's, and she soon found a promising filly in Florida named Westwood Pride. Westwood Pride's success opened the door to an entirely new field and the establishment of Kretz Racing. Rustin tackled this new and challenging arena with the same passion that has made Scorpion thrive.
You can read more about Westwood Pride and Kretz Racing by clicking on the links provided below:
Community Involvement and Charity Work
Rustin has strong ties to the community and is involved in various charitable activities. He makes regular contributions to charitable organizations that work to keep kids off drugs, helps public school classrooms with supplies, helps underprivileged children go to school, donates to wildlife relief, and is an active supporter of CARMA (California Retirement Management Account). CARMA is an organization that raises money to support retired California racehorses. Rustin has also acted as a mentor for young adults, using his own experience to help them in the pursuit of their goals.
Rustin is married to his wonderful wife Samantha, has a 5 year old son who is a future PGA champion and is a lifelong Lakers, 49ers & USC Trojans fan.
As a senior sales and marketing executive, Jamie brings a wealth of experience to the Scorpion team. Throughout his career, Jamie has used his innovative nature, strong leadership skills, and commitment to perfection to execute smart Internet marketing strategies that help businesses further develop and grow.
Jamie started his career in the Enterprise Risk Services group at Deloitte & Touche, LLC. From there, he joined the team at ReachLocal, where he started and managed an automotive sales team to serve original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and franchise automotive dealerships. Through his efforts, he was able to drive ReachLocal to become the market share leader of local PPC media products in North America in 2008 and 2009.
Jamie also managed ReachLocal's reseller sales channel and account management teams, and he was later involved in developing ClubLocal.com, which raised a series A round of financing led by Groupon. He then became involved in running ReachLocal's home services vertical, which was their largest client vertical in North America.In 2014, Jamie joined the team at Scorpion, which was a natural pairing.
Jamie attended The University of Memphis (where he played D-1 college tennis) and later graduated from Louisiana Tech University with a degree in Computer Information Systems.
When he is not working with clients or researching new Internet technologies, Jamie enjoys spending time with his family and friends. He is still an avid tennis player, and he enjoys cheering on LSU and New Orleans Saints football. He also enjoys reading (always with the hopes of learning something new) and playing the drums.
Dan Bedell has a passion for operations and execution, developed over many years of working with companies from startups through Fortune 500 corporations. Trained as a project manager and later working as a consultant and an entrepreneur, Dan learned that good ideas poorly executed are even less valuable than average ideas well-executed. After several years in technology implementation and project management, Dan took over the operation of a construction company, which led to the founding of a solar company. After selling the solar company, Dan was an independent operations and execution consultant before joining ReachLocal to oversee international expansion and to build a global project management office.
Dan joined Scorpion because of the company’s audacious vision for the future of internet marketing, its focus on technology and design, and its overwhelming culture of exceeding clients’ expectations.
Dan holds a BBA in Economics from the University of North Texas, where he also spent a semester studying international comparative finance at Sheffield Hallam in England. He loves to help companies grow and volunteers as a mentor for Tech Wildcatters in Dallas, Texas.
When not working, Dan can be found watching his kids participate in high school sports, playing a little guitar or bass, maybe traveling, and always searching out local craft beer.
Corey joined Scorpion due in part to the company's culture of exceeding clients' expectations, high standards of performance, and strong work ethic. Scorpion's mission to help redefine and transform clients' businesses aligns perfectly with Corey's professional and personal goals of directly contributing to making the world a better place.
Prior to Scorpion, Corey held numerous business development and marketing leadership roles at emerging businesses, including launching and running his own company, CastPro.com, Inc. a live streaming media business.
Corey holds an MBA in entrepreneurship from the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business, where he graduated on the Dean’s list for academic achievement.
During non-working hours, he enjoys spending time with family and friends, spending time at the beach, reading, and traveling.
As the Chief Financial Officer at Scorpion, Matthew is responsible for the accounting procedures, systems, policies, and overall financial health of the company. The accounting team he supervises operates with an emphasis on accuracy, efficiency, and always a “client first” attitude. Because the growth of Scorpion is a direct result of the combined efforts of every employee, he works closely with all of the department heads to see that our accounting activities and financial strategies are calculated to support them and our clients as we continue to expand.
Prior to joining Scorpion, Matthew spent 11 years at the financial helm of a multi-million dollar Inc. 500/5000 business in the landscaping industry. In addition to front-to-back accounting, his roles there commanded first-hand experience with HR management, commercial insurance, corporate compliance, risk analysis and loss control, corporate tax, financial data analysis, and commercial lending.
In his free time, Matthew enjoys spending time with his family, including his rescue dog, Cody.
With more than 20 years of experience in an administrative executive role at cutting-edge technology companies, Sarah has learned the intricacies of how to help companies achieve greatness. In 1994, she joined EarthLink Network when it was a start-up of only 4 people and 12 modems in a closet in Los Feliz. Through her efforts there, she was able to contribute to the company's rapid growth with responsibilities rooted in organization, establishment, training, and human resources. During EarthLink Network’s 1997 IPO, Sarah served as part of the company’s core team.
Sarah brings this passion for organization to her role at Scorpion, where she works tirelessly to ensure that we achieve maximum efficiency with our workflow. She is also responsible for ensuring that each team member is given the support he or she needs to set and achieve clear career development goals.
Though Sarah is a closeted adrenal junky (she dreams of racing cars, class 5 white-water rafting and generally being silly) what she actually does is spend time in the relative innocuous outdoors with her two daughters Ava and Emma.
She also has a love for trying anything new whether it be an activity, food or drink!
Michael brings his skills he developed from The Johns Hopkins University, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering with an emphasis in Computer Programming as well as his law degree from the University of Oklahoma with an emphasis in Intellectual Property. Michael is currently admitted to practice law in at least California, Texas, and New York in addition to being a registered patent attorney (Reg. No. 58,801).
As Scorpion's Chief Legal Officer, Michael heads up Scorpion's legal team and personally and diligently protects the intellectual property rights of both Scorpion and Scorpion's clients from patent, trademark, and copyright infringement.
Additionally, Michael also holds the role as Senior VP of Sales over Scorpion's home services division. In this role, Michael is constantly working on developing business relationships while also frequently speaking at conferences where he enjoys educating professional contractors on Google best practices so they can hold their current providers accountable in today's every changing landscape.
While not at work, Michael is ALWAYS working on a new certification. Michael is currently working on attaining his personal pilot's license as well as many other certifications that will be beneficial during the zombie apocalypse - like becoming a certified Handgun Combat Master and 4 Weapons Combat Master.
Michael enjoys cooking, real camping, and all things outdoors but especially sitting by the fire and eating s'mores.
Michael is also the President of Scorpion's Toastmaster Chapter where he is coaching other Scorpions to become more comfortable with public speaking and presenting.
Eric is the Chief Delivery Officer at Scorpion, responsible for overseeing the production and servicing of the thousands of online campaigns that the company actively maintains. Since he joined Scorpion, his leadership and work ethic resulted in a direct increase not only in the number of websites the company was able to produce, but also the overall quality and effectiveness of these sites. This is evidenced through Scorpion’s inclusion for five years in a row in the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing companies in the U.S. For the year of 2015, Scorpion made the list at #1652 with an amazing three-year growth of 247%.
As he manages the majority of employees at Scorpion, Eric recognizes the importance of creating a strong work ethic without taking the fun out of the job. He has created closely managed teams to carry out the various functions of the company, whether it is design, launching websites, or managing marketing campaigns for clients. Under his direction, these teams have been able to increase their production while also placing even more of an emphasis on personal client service and unprecedented turnaround times for marketing projects and individual client requests.
Along with his leadership skills, Eric brought to Scorpion an impressive resume of creativity. He worked in the entertainment industry for more than a decade, where he garnered many abilities and accolades along the way. In addition to working on more than 150 films and television shows, Eric was nominated for two Primetime Emmy Awards for James Cameron's Expedition: Bismarck. He won the Emmy for Sound Editing and was one of the youngest people to win a technical Emmy at the time.
Eric is also an accomplished musician, classically trained in piano and proficient in percussion and guitar. In over 20 years of playing music, he has performed over a hundred times at various venues across the greater Los Angeles area.
Eric has a great fondness for sports, a passion that one could say has contributed to his ability to lead his teams at Scorpion with continued success. He lettered in football, baseball and basketball while in high school and attended the University of California, Los Angeles, where he worked with the football program during the 1996-1998 seasons. Now applying his creativity and passion to the field of internet marketing, Eric continually finds new ways to improve the products and expand upon the services that Scorpion provides.
Also, he has enjoyed computer games since Zork, and is still having fun with them to this day.
Tony leads our marketing division as Executive Vice President of Internet Marketing. Tony and his vertical specific teams oversee the day-to-day operations of our campaigns and work to achieve successful results in all areas of our client’s business. Tony is Google AdWords certified and has over two decades of marketing and advertising experience. The combination of his leadership skills, work ethic and his ability to stay on the cutting edge of Internet marketing technology and strategy has made him a perfect fit to help keep Scorpion front footed in the digital marketing space.
Prior to joining the Scorpion, he spent several years in the entertainment industry working on marketing campaigns for feature films and VIP Hollywood clients. This experience allowed for him to bring his expertise and fresh perspective to the company, allowing him to better serve our clients. "My personal philosophy on clients is to make them feel like they are your only client. More importantly, once they feel that way, execute like they really are your only client. At Scorpion, our people and our technologies separate us from the competition. I think you will hear that a lot these days, but very few companies actually have a team of people that truly love what they do and give 100% every single day. I would put our people up against any other organization out there and know wholeheartedly that Scorpion would triumph."
Tony married his beautiful wife Erin in 2009 and has two children. He enjoys spending time outdoors with his family and following Dodger baseball. His true passion in life is baseball. He plays for the Scorpion softball team and coaches both his son and daughters little league teams. Tony has also served on the board of directors of the Santa Clarita Youth Baseball League as the Marketing & Advertising Director.
Julia is the Executive Vice President of Internet Marketing, leading the marketing division at Scorpion through overseeing a team of experts who work with clients around the country on a day-to-day basis. Her dedication to world-class customer service is second to none – and it shows in the rapid growth of our client base, contributing to Scorpion's inclusion in the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing companies in the United States for the last seven years in a row.
Julia believes strongly in creating a close-knit team in which information sharing and constant learning play large parts. Due to her strengths in team-building, communication, and organization, her marketing team is among the most efficient groups in the company, always working for the benefit of Scorpion's clients.
"Every one of our clients deserves the best service. We are a family here at Scorpion, and we extend that relationship to our clients. I believe that treating clients with respect, kindness, and courtesy is our duty and our privilege. We always give our best possible effort at getting the client exactly what he or she needs."
Julia's commitment to excellence is enhanced by her willingness to do whatever it takes to improve her team and their abilities, whether by finding new tools that the team can use to better service their clients or by creating ways to make the work environment fun and dynamic.
Scorpion’s President, Rustin Kretz, had this to say about Julia, "I absolutely love how much she cares about all of our clients at Scorpion. She'll do anything she can to ensure they are succeeding online, and she brings this same attitude day in and day out. The entire marketing team shares her philosophy and willingness to do what it takes, and I think that is truly what gives our clients the extra advantage."
While not working with her teams at Scorpion, Julia enjoys spending time with her husband and two young children. She and her husband love the beach and have made it a personal goal to have a date night at every restaurant along a certain stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway.
Julia loves reading books of all types in her downtime, but she especially gravitates toward science fiction and has often referred to herself as a sci-fi nerd. She owns a telescope and is a member of an amateur stargazer society.
With a mission to bring enterprise quality digital marketing advice, tools and quality to small and medium sized businesses, in 2006 Kevin founded Driven Local as an early independent pure-digital agency to focus on this goal.
Besides focusing in on results and customer success, Driven Local’s work culture always made sure employees were respected, well treated and the office had a fun, yet professional, atmosphere. This balance of focusing in on employee happiness and work life balance resulted in a Glassdoor 100% CEO approval rating for Kevin during his tenure as CEO of Driven Local.
Under Kevin’s leadership and vision, Driven Local thrived for over a decade of continued growth and achieved many milestones including:
- Listed on Inc 500 list of fastest growing companies multiple times.
- Awarded Google AdWords Premier Partner Status in 2010, as one of the earliest agencies awarded this achievement.
- 2015 Highest Quality award from Google
- 2015 Display Champion Award from Google
- Largest web developer on Long Island
- 100 employees and offices in NY, CT, and CO
- Won Best companies to work for on Long Island (Long Island Business News)
In 2017 with an impeccable reputation for service and quality standards Driven Local was acquired by Scorpion. As Chief Advertising Officer, Kevin is charged with managing Scorpion’s breadth of advertising solutions, with a goal of ensuring results for Scorpion’s clients.
Kevin is obsessed with keeping up with the non-stop rapid changes at the tech giants such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft with an eye on what all these changes mean for small and medium business to use in their marketing efforts to succeed and grow their businesses.
Kevin has always lived on Long Island, NY and is married to his wife Jaime. Although an avid NY Mets and NY Rangers fan, Kevin is most passionate about watching whatever sport his 3 kids are competing in.
Lauren’s career in Digital Marketing began as a Social Media Account Manager for Driven Local, in what was a relatively new channel for businesses to leverage. Soon after moving through the ranks and growing the social media department, she moved into a Director of Operations position where she founded and grew additional products and services for Driven Local to offer, including Local Listings, SEO and Facebook Advertising. After excelling in yet another new role for the company, Lauren was made Partner in 2013. In 2015, she was promoted to Senior Executive Vice President to run the company alongside CEO Kevin Szypula.
With over 2000 clients throughout the United States, Driven Local — a nationally recognized, Long Island based digital marketing agency for small to medium sized businesses and franchise brands — was one of the earliest agencies to be awarded Google AdWords Premier Partner Status (in 2010), maintained a spot on the Inc. 500/5000 list three years running and was also voted Best Places to Work by Long Island Business News in 2017.
Under Lauren’s leadership, Driven Local saw a very healthy year-over-year increase in sales and exponential growth of the company — not only its products and services but employees as well (totaling 100+ in several offices around the country). As an advocate for women in the workplace, Lauren founded “Driven Women” — an after-work program aimed at motivating the women within Driven Local to be powerful allies for each other at work and to celebrate their accomplishments.
In 2017, with an impeccable reputation for service and quality standards, Driven Local was acquired by Scorpion. Sharing the same drive and commitment to client and employee satisfaction, joining forces was a no brainer.
Lauren has been recognized for her dedication and commitment to success over the last several years with various awards and recognitions including two time award winner of LIBN’s Top 50 Women in Business in 2015 and 2017; Most Influential Women in Business in 2016; Executive Circle Honoree in 2017; and Top 30 Executives Under 30 Years Old in 2017.
Lauren is excited to be part of the Scorpion Executive team and to lead the transition from NY.
In her (extremely limited) downtime, Lauren loves spending time with her husband, James and two daughters, Emerson and Avery. You can usually find her booking (another) trip to a Disney property, securing VIP level tickets for the next The Fray show (that’s right - The Fray, hit 90’s band that Lauren has an abnormal obsession with), being a Sheryl Sandberg fangirl, drinking expensive wine (she’s a wine snob), or researching dessert menus at various restaurants around the country. Lauren loves traveling, and cannot wait to get back to her favorite place, Hawaii!
Prior to her life in Digital Marketing, Lauren, a huge New York Rangers fan, worked for the NHL for 4 years on the broadcast and production team. LGR!