Our Team

Our team is a mix of active duty military members, veterans, and civilian patriots who are dedicated to technology, common sense, and the drive to serve those who serve.



Michelle Bara

Marketing Associate

Michelle is a senior economics major working for Sandboxx as a marketing intern. She attends Hillsdale College and has spent the last year interning for their marketing department as a social media specialist. Michelle is closely connected with the military; her father retired after spending twenty-three years in the Army. As a military child, she has lived all over the world, but has stayed the longest in New Hampshire and therefore calls the Granite State home. Michelle drinks too much coffee and loves the color red.



Nicole Blake

Content Manager

Born and raised in Colorado, Nicole studied Mass Communications at Colorado Mesa University. As a student she worked in the University’s marketing office for three years.  Upon graduation she continued to work in marketing for a domestic water provider in Colorado, where she put her creativity to use to help revamp their marketing and redesign their website. The daughter of a United States Marine, Nicole grew up with a passion and love for our troops, which led her to pursue a career in a field where she can give back to the military community. Nicole lives in Alexandria with the love of her life, who is an officer in the Marine Corps. In her spare time she loves to travel the world, explore the outdoors, go on adventures with her dog, and eat donuts.



Chadwyck Cobb

Customer Success Manager

Chadwyck is the Customer Success Manager at Sandboxx - which means he likes colored sticky-notes and loves hearing customer feedback. He was born in Manhattan, New York and graduated from Grove City College with a degree in Entrepreneurship. When not busy making the app more intuitive, Chadwyck can often be found using a stopwatch around the office in an effort to make internal processes better. A serial entrepreneur, he enjoys being challenged by complex problems and appreciates wearing multiple hats. In 2014 he launched LavaJavaBeans - a premium coffee importing and roasting business. Also in 2014 he co-founded ARCH Accessories - a manufacturing design company that makes safety accessories for modern sporting rifles. An avid traveler, reader, hiker, and punster, Chadwyck also loves board games, playing with stranger’s dogs, and good conversation with good brew.


Olive Gregory

Chief Happiness Officer

Olive has a ridiculous amount of energy and uses it to love as many people and creatures as possible. All she needs is a toy and a friend and she'll have a great time. She walks with purpose and a bounce in her step. She is very intelligent, well behaved, rarely need a leash with her. Since a puppy she was always been interested in everything so she is sort of a self learner. She helps the other team members keep up with her energy.


Michael Khizgilov

Operations Intern

Michael Khizgilov is a finance and marketing double major at the University of Maryland. Michael ignited his passion for entrepreneurship as a summer intern at Gallup. While there, he co-founded a fashion label focused on supporting the entrepreneurial community in the D.C. area and fell in love with the creative and flexible start-up environment. Michael is a member of the QUEST Honors Program and the Business, Society, and the Economy Scholars Program, as well as the International Economics and Finance Society. During his time at UMD, he has participated in the Dingman Center’s Fearless Founders accelerator, winning first place in spark and competing in Idea Shell with his startup idea, ActiveLearn. Michael has experience in the education industry as both an intern and as a startup founder and is continuing to work on his current idea to improve the U.S. educational system. This summer, Michael is excited to work at Sandboxx, a veteran-founded company that simplifies the military lifestyle.


Jesse Li

Principal Android Engineer

Jesse is the Principal Android Engineer at Sandboxx - dedicated to bringing the best possible experience to users and developing and creating unique solutions and applications for Sandboxx. He studied Computer Engineering at Johns Hopkins University and has a diverse background in application programming, back-end development, entrepreneurship, marketing, and robotics. Jesse grew up in Washington state before college and now resides in the DC area. For fun, he likes to follow the eSports scene, work on personal Android projects, and watch historical films and documentaries.



Shane McCarthy

Chief Marketing Officer

Shane works in Marketing & Business Development at Sandboxx and is responsible for coordinating content, campaigns and working with our partners and media. He is tasked with keeping Sandboxxers up to date with the latest application features while helping to attract new users. Shane cut his teeth in social media while running campaigns for non-profits in Ireland and India. He holds a BSc in Business Information Systems from the University College Cork. When not on Facebook or Twitter, he is usually found running or biking up mountains.


Sam Meek

Founder & CEO

Growing up in Sun Valley, Idaho, Sam enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2002. After the fall of the towers he followed in the yellow footprints of both his great grandfather and grandfather into the Corps. Sam was awarded several commendations and merits across his 2 tours to Iraq and honorably discharged as a Sergeant of Marines. He began his civilian career with WR Platform Advisors, a hedge fund investment platform, where he supported the executive team as Vice President of Business Development. Sam developed several successful marketing strategies for the firm while playing a key role in operations and technology. Sam then turned his attention to building Sandboxx with his co-founders. As CEO, Sam oversees Sandboxx development, capital raising, strategy and team vision. Sam is an avid outdoors man and lives in Washington, DC with his wife Kristin.



Don Miller

Senior Partnerships Director

Don is from a small town called Nacogdoches, known as the oldest town in Texas. Don enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2005, following in the footsteps of his father. He has several awards including two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement medals, combat action ribbon, and three Good Conduct Medals from his time in the Marines. He has vacationed multiple times in Iraq and Afghanistan. Honorably discharged as a Sergeant from Parris Island, Don was brought on to Sandboxx as the Community Director. He oversees Sandboxx's military relations, recruiter acquisition, and the Sandboxx Letters platform. Don enjoys spending time with his two beautiful sons Austin and Landon, sports, physical fitness, and getting out into nature. He lives in Alexandria, VA.



Bree Salas

Customer Success Associate

Bree is married to a Marine and together they have 3 children. While she currently calls Camp Pendleton her home- she has been all over the U.S over the past 17 years. Amazingly, her favorite duty station so far has been Twentynine Palms. When Bree isn’t interviewing and hiring exceptional candidates at Sandboxx - she can be found at the baseball and soccer fields cheering on her kids.



Elizabeth Tapley

Digital Marketing Specialist

Elizabeth is a marketing associate at Sandboxx, where she delivers digital driven insights and strategy, with a focus on social media campaign management. Prior to joining the team, she worked within the commercial real estate industry as a marketing assistant. Elizabeth received a Bachelors of Arts degree from The George Washington University. She currently resides in Washington, DC.


Swamy

Founder & CTO

Swamy began his career in India as a teacher in 1998 before he moved to the United States in 2001. He joined Xceedium Inc, a New York based startup specializing in network security software and identity management solutions. In 2002 He joined the University Of Louisville to pursue his Masters in Computer Engineering. He joined BestRegistrar in 2003 to re-engineer their legacy software to an e-commerce application to enable domain name registrations. In 2005, he joined Agencyport Software, a Boston based startup that develops software for the insurance industry. He held roles in Product Development, Research, and Sales over the course of 10 years helping Agencyport grow organically into an industry leader. He played a pivotal role in conceptualizing and prototyping a mobile application that was adopted as Agencyport's flagship mobile offering. Swamy is actively involved in several projects which help him evaluate and keep up with trending technologies.

Board Of Directors



Maj. Gen. Ray L. Smith, USMC Ret.

Founder & Chairman

Ray is a highly decorated Marine who has commanded infantry units at all levels. His awards received for service in combat during the Vietnam War include the Navy Cross, two Silver Stars, the Bronze Star, and three Purple Hearts. Ray retired from the Marine Corps in 1999 after 34 years of service. Since retiring, Ray opened a consulting business, E-tool Enterprises, and is a partner in Neuse Timber Land Company. He is Chairman Emeritus of the board developing the Museum of the Marine in Jacksonville, NC, on the Board of BOLD, and the Board of Caring Communities. Ray was also inducted into the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame and recipient of the Downeast NCOA Mack McKinney Award. He is a past member of the North Carolina Advisory Commission on Military Affairs. He is the co-author, with Bing West, of The March Up: Taking Baghdad with the 1st Marine Division. Ray is married to Commander Kathaleen Smith, USN.



Tom Joyce

Vice Chairman of the Board

Tom is a recognized leader in the financial services industry. He has over thirty years of experience, most recently as Chairman and CEO of Knight Capital Group. He joined Knight in 2002 and retired in July 2013. From January through May of 2002, Mr. Joyce was Global Head of Trading for S.C. Bernstein & Co. Prior to that, he held a variety of leadership roles in the Global Institutional Equity business during his almost fifteen years at Merrill Lynch & Co. He is a member of the Boards of Special Olympics Connecticut, the Ronald McDonald House of NYC, and the Alfred E. Smith Foundation. Mr. Joyce received an AB in Economics from Harvard College in 1977. He resides in Darien with his wife, Lisa. They have three children.



Robert Russell

Founder & Strategy

Robert is an executive with worldwide experience in sales, marketing, technology, and governance. He currently serves on the boards of directors of several companies in various industries including healthcare, government, and technologies. Mr. Russell's personal relationships in the DOD include Flag Level contacts in the United States Navy and The United States Marine Corps as well as the world wide Intelligence community and Federal Bureau of Investigation. Mr. Russell serves as the CEO "in residence" for the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland UK where he identifies and pursues emerging technology opportunities internationally to secure funding from the international investment community and to commercialize these technologies with industry leaders such as GE, Rolls Royce , and The Wood Group.



Greg Gilbert

Director & Legal Affairs

Greg is the managing partner for Agilic LLC, a firm which invests in and advises growth stage businesses. Greg has over twenty five years of experience working with private companies. Over the course of his career, he has served in many capacities, including as a founder, operating executive, investor, legal counsel, business advisor and board member of various private companies, family offices and venture capital firms. Greg graduated Dartmouth College with an A.B. and summa cum laude J.D from Boston University School of Law.

Board Of Advisors



Mike Perlis

President & CEO, Forbes Media

Mike Perlis is a media industry CEO with deep experience managing a wide range of content and multimedia brands. He has a strong track record in mergers and acquisitions. Perlis is the first non-family member to run the Forbes business as CEO. He spearheaded the innovative strategy, dramatically shifting towards digital and branded products, resulting in the sale of majority ownership in the company to Hong Kong based investors in 2014. He joined Forbes Media in 2010 from SoftBank Capital, where he served as a General Partner for 10 years and continues to be a Special Partner. At Softbank he specialized in Digital content startups working very closely with Beliefnet, Huffington Post, Associated Content and Buzzfeed. He is on the Board of Advisors of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and is a trustee of Outward Bound International. He speaks regularly on leadership, digital transformation and branding.



David Bell

AOL, Senior Advisor & Chairman of the Ad Council, Emeritus

David Bell was elected to the Advertising Hall of Fame in March 2007. He was the CEO of 4 industry companies including two of the biggest holding company groups. He was CEO of Knox Reeves when it was acquired by Bozell. He was part of building Bozell from a small US company to a top 10 Global Agency. He became CEO of Bozell Worldwide. When Bozell was acquired by True North Communications (NYSE) he became CEO. When True North was acquired by Interpublic Group (NYSE) he became its CEO. He retired Interpublic to become a Senior Advisor to Google where he stayed 4 1/2 years. He left Google to join Tim Armstrong (CEO) to become an advisor to the AOL turnaround. Today, Gyro and Creative Realities are successful in the group called Slipstream where Mr. Bell is the Chairman.



Captain Dan Mudd

G2/Plans

Mr. Daniel H. Mudd serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Paladin Global at Paladin Capital Group. Mr. Mudd served as the Chief Executive Officer of Fortress Investment Group LLC from August 11, 2009 to December 21, 2011. He joined Fortress Investment Group LLC in February 2009. He served as Chief Executive Officer of Fortress Credit Corporation. Mr. Mudd served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Fannie Mae (alternate name Federal National Mortgage Association) since June 1, 2005 until September 7, 2008. He served as the Chief Operating Officer at Fannie Mae from February 2000 until December 21, 2004. Mr. Mudd served as an Interim Chief Executive Officer of Fannie Mae from December 21, 2004 until June 1, 2005 and served as its Vice Chairman since February 2000, where he was responsible for management of single-family and multifamily lender origination, credit, housing initiatives, human resources, investment decisions for the organization, marketing, operations, local outreach, and administration.



Tom Arrix

Former VP of Marketing, Facebook

Currently Co-Founder of Lift Partners. Lift is an advisory company created to help early stage consumer internet/mobile companies think about how they build a business, how they build leadership teams. With nearly (20) years of Facebook experience, Lift is one of the most uniquely positioned partners to provide Monetization expertise and resources that drive business results, at a time when emerging companies need it most. From 2006 to late 2013, Tom was the Vice President, Global Marketing Solutions for North America at Facebook. He saw the company's transformation from 8 million users to over a billion users today. Tom & team focused on the top 300 marketers in the US, developing the strategic game plans that are designed to solve for key challenges, of their business. Under his leadership, Facebook was able to build a one of a kind consultative selling organization.



Michael Helfrich

CEO & Founder, Blueforce Development

Accomplished Technology Executive with 25 years of organizational, market, and product development core competencies serving Fortune 500, Government, and International markets. Recognized as a solid leader with superior business, communications, and interpersonal skills. Strong market and new product lifecycle expertise in both pre and post-chasm product companies. Deep competencies in organization management, business development, sales process, product strategy, innovation, and emerging technologies. Specialties: Strategic planning, product development, product management, strategic marketing, product marketing, business development, operations, pre-sales systems engineering, sales process, Government vertical, national security, homeland security, collaboration, knowledge management, business process integration, messaging.



Lieutenant General John Sattler, USMC Ret.

Director for Strategic plans & policy, Joint Staff

Lieutenant General John F. Sattler served as the Director of Strategic Plans and Policy (J5) the Joint Staff from September 2006 until his retirement in August 2008. Prior to joining the Joint Staff, he was the Commanding General of the First Marine Expeditionary Force and Commander, Marine Corps Forces Central Command from September 2004 to August 2006. During this period, he commanded all forces in Al Anbar Provence in Iraq from September 2004 through March 2005. Prior to Commanding I MEF, he was the Director of Operations (J3) for Central Command from August 2003 to July 2004. In November 2002, he stood up and commanded the initial Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa and established the Headquarters in the Country of Djibouti. He commanded the Second Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, NC prior to sailing to the Horn of Africa.



W. Grant Gregory

Founder, Doubleclick

Mr. W. Grant Gregory has been the Chairman of Gregory & Hoenemeyer, Inc. since 1988. Mr. Gregory spent 24 years at Touche Ross & Co., a corporate processor of the Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu international accounting firm, serving from 1982 to 1986 as its Chairman. While at Touche Ross, Mr. Gregory became an internationally- acclaimed authority on Tax Policy and Economic Development and participated in a number of M&A transactions and restructurings. He ... has been Vice Chairman of Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. since 2005. In the mid-1980's, he served as a member of the U.S. Trade Representative's advisory committee on international trade in services. Mr. Gregory has been a Director of Verizon Business since August 2003. Mr. Gregory has been a Director of Doubleclick Inc. since its inception in January 1996 and Fuel-Tech, Inc. since August 2011. Mr. Gregory has been a Director of Ambac Financial Group Inc. since 1991 and Lead Independent Director since 2004. He serves as a Director of Junior Achievement, Inc. Mr. Gregory served as a Director of InaCom Corp. Mr. Gregory served as a Director of MCI Group since August 29, 2003. Mr. Gregory served as a Director of Worldcom Group.