Meet the Team
We are a group of people united by a common goal to support empowering education.
Am designs and implements new technology for Hapara’s nextgen products. He produced Hapara Workspace. Am has worked with Idealab Group and Complinet/Thomson Reuters and 3C. He has held many volunteer positions teaching special needs and English students around the world, and builds guitars in his spare time.
Brian draws on his school Network Admin experience to help schools understand where Hapara comes into the edtech mix. He comes to us from Portola Valley School District, and has also served time as an esteemed Apple Genius. Brian is an avid pickup basketball enthusiast and die hard Arizona State football fan, Go Sun Devils!
Chris Buja connects organizations to Hapara on a global scale. His experience includes program management at Google, Cisco, and rocket science – seriously.
Erin brings her experience as a curriculum writer and edtech marketer to her role at Hapara. She’s passionate about literacy development and using technology to enhance learning. Erin lives in Brooklyn but loves getting out of the city to go hiking and camping.
Esteban wrangles Go, levitates with concurrency, and conducts an orchestra of parallel computing. He also enjoys fishing with his sons and playing tennis in parallel.
As GM Global Alliances & Channels, Ethan has transformed K12 focused companies to become partner and channel centric. He’s also Founder/ED of a K8 academic challenge & social justice program. For fun he organized a Startup Weekend EDU. Ethan has a Columbia BA and Cornell MBA.
George counts the beans and keeps the Hapara machine turning. He served as Finance Manager, Director of Business Operations, and Director of Sales for Yahoo during their years of largest growth, and has no quirks.
Greg relies on ten years of experience in the edtech industry to help schools find their perfect instructional management solution. Greg is an outdoorsman, loves geek toys and as a father of two little boys, can build a formidable Lego castle!
Hayden first joined the hapara team as an engineering intern in 2013. After completing his computer science degree in Auckland, New Zealand, Hayden joined as a full time engineer. Hayden helps make sure the data is processed smoothly and efficiently. He is interested in computer vision, machine learning, and comes back to earth with woodworking.
Heather is a former special education teacher with over ten years of experience in professional learning. She focuses on improving student outcomes through educational technology and instructional best practices. She is an avid reader and lover of all things Disney.
Prior to his senior management consulting work at KPMG, Jan Zawadzki served in technical leadership roles in Silicon Valley startups, including Printable.com and Change.com. The gravity of a volunteer project becoming international edtech success brings Jan to his position as Founder and CEO of Hapara.
Jean Luc has over 7 years of experience working in the Information Technology field. He has worked managing communications for support staff and engineers. Jean Luc is a big Arsenal fan and he likes to play football (the real football) whenever he can.
Jef loves building, leading and empowering high-performance engineering teams. His most recent achievement is successfully building a new practice for one of the world’s largest Open Source EdTech consultancies from scratch. He’s now turning his unique mix of creativity, innovation and technical leadership to the Hapara engineering team’s success.
Jeff has over five years of support experience in the Information Technology field and relishes in the task of finding the best ways to resolve clients’ technical issues. If you’d like to chat, feel free to get ahold of Jeff via ham radio.
Jhanna coordinates Hapara’s ground game. When she isn’t hanging banners from sixty foot ceilings, she sings karaoke to Jimmy Buffet tunes.
With over 26 years of sales experience, John loves connecting with customers and providing them with the solutions that best meet their needs. John is also a huge sports fan, especially when it comes to his hometown teams in Pittsburgh!
Josh has worked with multiple education companies, crafting digital marketing campaigns and processes. He is also a motivational speaker for teens and young adults, helping them to build compassion, mindfulness and confidence on his YouTube channel.
Julie connects intelligence with people inside and outside the Hapara team. Prior to Hapara, she worked to bring edtech to learners in disadvantaged schools and even prisons. Julie bike commutes to work 50 km!
Lee conducted research at Avaya Labs and at Microsoft Research. He strives to improve computers’ ability to model and interpret human language. He develops algorithms that can learn from and make predictions based on data. He also enjoys making first tracks with his snowboard.
Lenva has a strong educational background, working formerly as a school Senior Manager and Learning Leader, and she has been a facilitator for several Digital Learning clusters of schools in New Zealand. Lenva is committed to ensuring that digital learning solutions and best practices in teaching and learning are shared with teachers and school leaders for the most impact on student learning and achievement. She is a Google Certified Teacher as well as an Apple Distinguished Educator.
Linden brings his knowledge of front end code and his background working in fast-paced startups to his role as Senior UX Designer at Hapara. He is an enthusiast of technology, futurism, and digital cinema who also loves exploring the wilder areas of New Zealand.
Lorna has worked for 7 years testing security measures and privacy laws in the banking industry. Lorna loves to push web API’s to their limits. She also enjoys cooking with her daughter and family gatherings.
Maggie uses her experience as an Inclusion Elementary Teacher teacher to help our largest channel partner get out the Hapara message. She is also a fitness addict and terrorizes the trails of the Southeastern US with a ferocious Golden Retriever.
Malcolm is an experienced software engineer who has worked on a wide range of products including building complicated web apps and developing games. Malcolm likes making a mess with hobby electronics projects and playing proper board games like Settlers of Catan.
Martin comes to us from Peace Software where he worked on agile/SOA rebuild projects. He keeps our developers moving efficiently by streamlining code and process. In his free time, Martin enjoys playing hard court bicycle polo.
Matt helps Hapara maintain and build our programs. He uses his background in testing medical record software to test, problem solve, and create programs. He enjoys optimizing processes and algorithms, and is a self-taught coder who started by creating and founding a Fantasy Baseball tools service.
Megan runs the team that works directly with schools and districts to get Hapara up and running. She is a die hard Warriors fan and a Michigan State fan – Go Green!
Michael studied the benefits of technology in education while completing his Masters in Computing. His extensive international work experience helps him to understand Hapara’s global customer base. He’s also an avid sports fan who follows GAA and Arsenal soccer.
Michelle worked in a school district for 17 years as a Library Media Specialist in Information Technology before joining Hapara. She brings a wealth of education knowledge and customer service skills to our team. Michelle loves crime novels, binge-watching Netflix and discovering small town diners.
Mitch draws on extensive K12 sales and teaching experience to find the right solution for our clients. We are proud of his service as an United States Army Infantryman, deploying to Bosnia Herzegovina in support of Operation Joint Endeavor. Mitch is also an incredible landscape photographer.
Monica is a former Business Education Instructor and Community Organization Specialist. She brings years of business knowledge and relationship building skills to Hapara. Monica is also an avid reader, pet lover, and an expert in Fairway Golf Solitaire.
Nancy has 5+ years of commercial experience working as a designer in the web industry. She previously liaised with clients from various industries, in an agency environment. In her spare time she enjoys exploring new places, photography, the cinema and good food.
Nara has over a decade of product development experience. He has had numerous roles in software companies including directing engineering teams and product architecting. At Hapara, Nara heads up our Dashboard team and our Skunk Works team. He coaches cricket, is a volunteer for the Red Cross Refugee program, and experiments with cooking at the expense of his family.
Nicolas is a Frontend Developer with our team. He leverages cutting-edge technicals to build responsive, fast sites that are beautiful and perform flawlessly. You might recognize his icon work if you use 1Password. Nicolas is also a maker in the material world and has an affinity for woodworking.
Nigel is an experienced technical tester for web and mobile applications. He is pioneering our automation testing work that allows us to stress applications at peak use loads before they enter production. Nigel also moonlights as a Hip Hop Instruction and has a mean ‘air flare.’
Pam is a former educator who brings her expertise in education and administration to Hapara’s Auckland office as Branch Manager. She is one of the voices behind Hapara’s social media accounts, a farmer and animal lover at heart, as well as a social justice advocate.
Patrick codesigned and built technology for an entirely Open Source School, built infrastructure to support Air New Zealand, automation for Slingshot and Orcon, and generally grows businesses with solid process. Patrick also flies things including planes, gliders, and motorcycles.
Peter has 8 years of customer support experience in the Telecommunications industry. He helps the Hapara team and Hapara clients define the best path to success. Peter rebuilds motorbikes and old cars in his spare time, and is an avid fan of motorsports and skateboarding.
Philip has worked in numerous startups and founded 3 of them. He thrives when bringing order to chaos and helping organizations to usher in significant change when needed. He is a board of education volunteer in his home town. Philip likes to build robots in his spare time.
Renan was part of the team that first developed Hapara Workspace and now works across all of our products. He loves working with distributed systems and tackling challenging computational problems. Renan’s an athlete and outdoorsman who thinks hiking counts as rest.
Robert brings years of successful sales, marketing and entrepreneurial experience to his role as Director of Sales at Hapara. Outside of Hapara, you may find him playing tennis, working through his bucket list, painting his face for Seahawk games or traveling the world.
Robin coordinates all efforts to share Hapara with the world. She started her career as a teacher, then principal, and has been working in edtech for nearly twenty years.
Ryan helps school systems to find the best Hapara solution for their needs. He is datadriven, applying his skills to helping Hapara clients, and also to his pursuits as a homebrewer and youth football coach.
Siaw draws on her corporate experience with scaling software testing through script writing to make sure Hapara tools work as expected. In addition to her passion for film, Siaw loves to travel to exotic places with her son.
Stacey brings her experience in community development and digital marketing to Hapara’s business development efforts. She is passionate about public health and helping to educate her local community on working towards and maintaining healthier lifestyles.
Stephen’s professional sales career spans twenty years in the IT industry, where he has spent time with IBM and EdTech Ventures. When not focused on ensuring customer satisfaction, Stephen enjoys the shore, watersports and spending time with his Shih-Tzus.
Tanya has 17 years of tech experience in a variety of industries, including IT and government. She focuses on lean software development, continuous delivery, and is a Yoda-like leader. Tanya founded Auckland’s ‘Women In Tech’ meetup to help increase the number of women in product and engineering.
Tapan brings a nice blend of automation testing as well as manual testing to the Hapara QA team, where he works on implementing the Test Automation framework. Tapan is a passionate cricket player who also enjoys traveling and watching psychological thrillers.
Tony has more than a decade of technical leadership experience building large scale software systems for financial institutions and government. Tony’s mantra is, “Listen to the customer.” When not listening to customers, Tony can be found performing Celine Dion karaoke.
Venkat works to make sure that Hapara customers are happy and successful. He knows all of the ins and outs of supporting customers for startups. When he’s not helping customers, Venkat is an amateur DJ and music composer.
Wayne Poncia is a well-known thought leader in educational innovation in the United States and Canada. He has provided leadership to Silicon Valley EdTech companies whose products are used by millions of users. He has been a prominent player in introducing digital learning and education-focused applications on 4 continents. As Chief Product Officer, Poncia looks after the product development, sales and customer success teams in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, UK and USA. He is responsible for portfolio planning, innovation horizons, resource allocation, and product success.
Wilson handles Hapara’s software architecture, integration, and security. He is passionate about photography, cooking with his AirFryer, and tasteless tshirts.