About Us

Pypestream crew

Vision

We envision a world where businesses have awesome relationships with people.

Mission

Our mission is to empower people to serve themselves when dealing with businesses.

Values

Innovation
Nimbleness
Honesty
Excellence
Care

Pypestream transforms the way brands do business. And customers? They love it.

That’s because Pypestream is the new standard for self-service automation. One that enables customers to engage with businesses in a way that is hyper-personalized and actually enjoyable. The result: less wonky robotic talk and more brand love.

Pypestream was born from the desire to improve how companies interact with customers. Today, customer experience is everything. Deliver a poor one, and you might as well kiss your customer goodbye. With robotic chatbots becoming the norm, the goal was to bring real humanity back into the mix, putting it at the helm of a brand’s digital interface. The idea evolved, along with the technology, and the team realized they could use AI to do it—and they could do it better than anyone else. So they did.

Enter: the Pype, a superapp that is the industry’s most human-friendly self-service assistant. Pypes are delivered from Pypestream’s end-to-end self-service automation platform, enabling brands to service customers instantly, on any channel, at any time. The resulting CX is elegant, intuitive, and completely customizable. And the robot behind it is anything but robotic. It’s attracted the likes of ADT, HBO Max, and Proctor & Gamble—all part of Pypestream’s growing customer base. And it’s only the beginning.

People are at the heart of all Pypestream does, from the customers engaging with their favorite brands to the people behind those brands. The Pypestream platform puts end users’ needs first while giving your employees the opportunity to do what they do best—real human tasks—and leveraging automation to handle the rest. In short, Pypestream clears the way for more humanity, more love, more care—throughout the customer experience.

Because customers deserve better. And great brands do, too.

Richard Smullen
Richard Smullen

CEO & Founder

Read Bio

Richard’s passion for early-stage technology has seen him launch successful ventures since his days at university in South Africa. He holds numerous patents and has several companies under his belt. Prior to launching Pypestream he served as Co-Founder and CRO of Genesis Media LLC, a multimedia, real-time video advertising platform.

Richard is a member of the Metro Chapter of the Young Presidents’ Organization and the founder of New York-based global equity and VC fund, SouthWinston, developing businesses in media, technology and entertainment.

An avid golfer and nature conservationist, when Richard is not on the clock, he is playing ‘World’s Best Uncle’ to his six adorable nieces and nephews.

Julie Bilinkas
Julie Bilinkas

Chief of Staff

Read Bio

Julie has a 30+ year demonstrated track record achieving operational excellence in High Tech across all areas of the value chain. Her experience includes senior leadership and line assignments in; Program Management, Product Management, Software Development, Customer Service and Support, Sales, Marketing and Finance.

Gary MacDougall
Gary MacDougall

Chief Technology Officer

Read Bio

Gary is a technology entrepreneur with over 20 years of executive-level experience building software, managing teams and successfully bringing products to market. He brings a unique blend of hands-on development, organizational leadership, and ability to create a development process for execution and delivery. 

He’s formally the co-founder and CTO of ChannelBrain which was acquired by Freestyle Solutions in 2014 where he was the VP of Software Development. Gary has also worked at several successful Boston area companies like Easel Corporation, Webhire and Prime Computer and more recently was the Head of Engineering for DigsUp. 

Brad Schweibold
Brad Schweibold

Chief Sales Officer

Read Bio

Brad is an enterprise digital transformation executive with expertise across a range of domains including customer experience, artificial intelligence, messaging and automation. He has earned the trust of C-suite leaders around the world by partnering with them to accomplish their most ambitious objectives. His experience includes leadership roles with Kore.ai, CA Technologies, and Aginity. Brad has a knack for energizing teams, inspiring action, and achieving concrete value for customers.

Nick Hockler
Nick Hockler
SVP of Customer
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Nick has built his career delivering innovative solutions and executing technical strategies across a diverse range of enterprise leaders. He joined Pypestream after working as a consultant for IBM Watson, leading teams delivering artificial intelligence products to the market. Nick is customer-focused, results-driven, and trusted amongst business leaders to consistently drive value and success. He holds a BS degree in Electrical Engineering from Syracuse University.

Amelie Wisniak
Amelie Wisniak

SVP, Product Management

Read Bio

Amelie is a product management leader with a proven record of launching successful products. Amelie drives Pypestream’s product roadmap and has played a pivotal role in shepherding Pypestream’s platform from concept to launch and beyond since 2016. Amelie leads and mentors a team of product managers and developers. Before Pypestream, Amelie served as co-founder and head of product at SportChaser, an online and mobile platform connecting sports fans to bars broadcasting their favorite games. Amelie has a master’s degree in Business from the European Business School and a postgraduate degree from the University of California, Riverside.

Shawn Waite
Shawn Waite

VP Finance

Read Bio

Shawn is a finance professional with considerable experience leading financial initiatives for a variety of startups and businesses in industries ranging from technology to fitness to creative arts. He’s been consistently recognized for working to maintain a strong financial foundation during times of growth.

Elana Feldman
Elana Feldman

VP Customer Experience & Success

Read Bio

Elana is a computational linguist with experience in customer experience, customer success, and data science. Prior to Pypestream, Elana was a Senior Speech and Data Scientist at Nuance Communications where she built and optimized Natural Language models for conversational AI solutions. Elana enjoys using her understanding of language, design thinking, and statistics to deliver innovative and delightful customer experiences. She is a graduate of Cornell University.

Richard Smullen
Richard Smullen

CEO & Founder

Read Bio

Richard’s passion for early-stage technology has seen him launch successful ventures since his days at university in South Africa. He holds numerous patents and has several companies under his belt. Prior to launching Pypestream he served as Co-Founder and CRO of Genesis Media LLC, a multimedia, real-time video advertising platform.

Richard is a member of the Metro Chapter of the Young Presidents’ Organization and the founder of New York-based global equity and VC fund, SouthWinston, developing businesses in media, technology and entertainment.

An avid golfer and nature conservationist, when Richard is not on the clock, he is playing ‘World’s Best Uncle’ to his six adorable nieces and nephews.

Julie Bilinkas
Julie Bilinkas

Chief of Staff

Read Bio

Julie has a 30+ year demonstrated track record achieving operational excellence in High Tech across all areas of the value chain. Her experience includes senior leadership and line assignments in; Program Management, Product Management, Software Development, Customer Service and Support, Sales, Marketing and Finance.

Gary MacDougall
Gary MacDougall

Chief Technology Officer

Read Bio

Gary is a technology entrepreneur with over 20 years of executive-level experience building software, managing teams and successfully bringing products to market. He brings a unique blend of hands-on development, organizational leadership, and ability to create a development process for execution and delivery. 

He’s formally the co-founder and CTO of ChannelBrain which was acquired by Freestyle Solutions in 2014 where he was the VP of Software Development. Gary has also worked at several successful Boston area companies like Easel Corporation, Webhire and Prime Computer and more recently was the Head of Engineering for DigsUp. 

Brad Schweibold
Brad Schweibold

VP Sales

Read Bio

Brad is an enterprise digital transformation executive with expertise across a range of domains including customer experience, artificial intelligence, messaging and automation. He has earned the trust of C-suite leaders around the world by partnering with them to accomplish their most ambitious objectives. His experience includes leadership roles with Kore.ai, CA Technologies, and Aginity. Brad has a knack for energizing teams, inspiring action, and achieving concrete value for customers.

Nick Hockler
Nick Hockler

VP Customer Experience and Success

Read Bio

Nick has built his career delivering innovative solutions and executing technical strategies across a diverse range of enterprise leaders. He joined Pypestream after working as a consultant for IBM Watson, leading teams delivering artificial intelligence products to the market. Nick is customer-focused, results-driven, and trusted amongst business leaders to consistently drive value and success. He holds a BS degree in Electrical Engineering from Syracuse University.

Amelie Wisniak
Amelie Wisniak

SVP, Product Management

Read Bio

Amelie is a product management leader with a proven record of launching successful products. Amelie drives Pypestream’s product roadmap and has played a pivotal role in shepherding Pypestream’s platform from concept to launch and beyond since 2016. Amelie leads and mentors a team of product managers and developers. Before Pypestream, Amelie served as co-founder and head of product at SportChaser, an online and mobile platform connecting sports fans to bars broadcasting their favorite games. Amelie has a master’s degree in Business from the European Business School and a postgraduate degree from the University of California, Riverside.

Shawn Waite
Shawn Waite

VP Finance

Read Bio

Shawn is a finance professional with considerable experience leading financial initiatives for a variety of startups and businesses in industries ranging from technology to fitness to creative arts. He’s been consistently recognized for working to maintain a strong financial foundation during times of growth.

Elana Feldman
Elana Feldman

VP Customer Experience & Success

Read Bio

Elana is a computational linguist with experience in customer experience, customer success, and data science. Prior to Pypestream, Elana was a Senior Speech and Data Scientist at Nuance Communications where she built and optimized Natural Language models for conversational AI solutions. Elana enjoys using her understanding of language, design thinking, and statistics to deliver innovative and delightful customer experiences. She is a graduate of Cornell University.

Richard Smullen
Richard Smullen
Read Bio

Richard’s passion for early-stage technology has seen him launch successful ventures since his days at university in South Africa. He holds numerous patents and has several companies under his belt. Prior to launching Pypestream he served as Co-Founder and CRO of Genesis Media LLC, a multimedia, real-time video advertising platform.

Richard is a member of the Metro Chapter of the Young Presidents’ Organization and the founder of New York-based global equity and VC fund, SouthWinston, developing businesses in media, technology and entertainment.

An avid golfer and nature conservationist, when Richard is not on the clock, he is playing ‘World’s Best Uncle’ to his six adorable nieces and nephews.

Bart Swanson
Bart Swanson
Read Bio

Swanson is a technology industry leader who serves on the boards of Zoom, Otter.ai, Evolv.ai, and Impossible Foods Inc., as well as an Advisor to Horizons Ventures.

Swanson previously served on the boards of DeepMind, Summly and Onavo, acquired by Google, Yahoo and Facebook, respectively. During 2010 and 2011, Bart was Chief Operating Officer of Badoo, prior to which he spent three years as Managing Director at GSI Commerce International (later eBay Enterprise). Before joining GSI Commerce International, Bart held several roles, including General Manager, at Amazon.com.

Amitabh Sharma
Amitabh Sharma
Read Bio

Sharma is a senior consultant with Spencer Stuart leading their IT Services Practice from Silicon Valley, working closely with CEOs, boards and management teams.

An operator turned advisor, Sharma has broad experience in the tech-enabled services space. His clients include large global companies, private equity and venture capital portfolio companies, and family-owned businesses. Prior to joining Spencer Stuart, Sharma spent 13 years at another international search firm, leading its global enterprise technology practice, and its Asia Pacific technology and communications practice. Earlier in his career, Sharma served as chief operating officer of London-based Active Private Equity, where he led growth and operating maturity at portfolio companies through people, technology, and operations interventions.

Mike Nannizzi
Mike Nannizzi
Read Bio

Mike Nannizzi is a Director at WR Berkley Corporation, primarily focused on investments in emerging technology companies within the insurance space. Prior to joining Berkley, Mike was an equity analyst across the financial sector and spent the prior seven years as the lead insurance analyst at Goldman Sachs.

Mike held past positions in strategic, operating and financial roles within digital companies including Walmart.com. Mike is a graduate of the NYU Stern School of Business and a licensed CPA.

Trevor S. Harris
Trevor S. Harris
Read Bio

Trevor S. Harris is an economist and currently the Arthur J. Samberg Professor at Columbia Business School. Trevor has provided advice on international accounting, controllership, valuation and investor relations issues to many large, international corporations. He is the former Managing Director and Vice Chairman at Morgan Stanley.

Richard S. Braddock
Richard S. Braddock
Read Bio

Richard served as chairman and CEO of Priceline from August of 1998 to April 2004, taking Priceline public in 1999. He served as chairman and CEO of FreshDirect from March 2008, until his departure from the company in early 2011. During these years, he worked with several other companies and alongside several venture capital and private equity firms including Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, General Atlantic, and MidOcean Partners (chairman from April 2003 until December 2007).

In late 2013, Mr. Braddock became executive chairman of Joinem LLC. He is also chairman and CEO of Zaycon Fresh, and chairman of Gravy and Yingo Yango (all private companies). He is a major investor in all four, along with several other early-stage companies.

Mike Singer
Mike Singer
Read Bio

Mike Singer is a seasoned corporate executive and active angel investor with over 20 years experiences. In addition to his advisory role at Pypestream, he is the CEO and founder of Strategic Partners, Inc.

Richard Smullen
Richard Smullen

CEO & Founder

Read Bio

Richard’s passion for early-stage technology has seen him launch successful ventures since his days at university in South Africa. He holds numerous patents and has several companies under his belt. Prior to launching Pypestream he served as Co-Founder and CRO of Genesis Media LLC, a multimedia, real-time video advertising platform.

Richard is a member of the Metro Chapter of the Young Presidents’ Organization and the founder of New York-based global equity and VC fund, SouthWinston, developing businesses in media, technology and entertainment.

An avid golfer and nature conservationist, when Richard is not on the clock, he is playing ‘World’s Best Uncle’ to his six adorable nieces and nephews.

Bart Swanson
Bart Swanson
Read Bio

Swanson is a technology industry leader who serves on the boards of Zoom, Otter.ai, Evolv.ai, and Impossible Foods Inc., as well as an Advisor to Horizons Ventures.

Swanson previously served on the boards of DeepMind, Summly and Onavo, acquired by Google, Yahoo and Facebook, respectively. During 2010 and 2011, Bart was Chief Operating Officer of Badoo, prior to which he spent three years as Managing Director at GSI Commerce International (later eBay Enterprise). Before joining GSI Commerce International, Bart held several roles, including General Manager, at Amazon.com.

Amitabh Sharma
Amitabh Sharma
Read Bio

Sharma is a senior consultant with Spencer Stuart leading their IT Services Practice from Silicon Valley, working closely with CEOs, boards and management teams.

An operator turned advisor, Sharma has broad experience in the tech-enabled services space. His clients include large global companies, private equity and venture capital portfolio companies, and family-owned businesses. Prior to joining Spencer Stuart, Sharma spent 13 years at another international search firm, leading its global enterprise technology practice, and its Asia Pacific technology and communications practice. Earlier in his career, Sharma served as chief operating officer of London-based Active Private Equity, where he led growth and operating maturity at portfolio companies through people, technology, and operations interventions.

Mike Nannizzi
Mike Nannizzi
Read Bio

Mike Nannizzi is a Director at WR Berkley Corporation, primarily focused on investments in emerging technology companies within the insurance space. Prior to joining Berkley, Mike was an equity analyst across the financial sector and spent the prior seven years as the lead insurance analyst at Goldman Sachs.

Mike held past positions in strategic, operating and financial roles within digital companies including Walmart.com. Mike is a graduate of the NYU Stern School of Business and a licensed CPA.

Trevor S. Harris
Trevor S. Harris
Read Bio

Trevor S. Harris is an economist and currently the Arthur J. Samberg Professor at Columbia Business School. Trevor has provided advice on international accounting, controllership, valuation and investor relations issues to many large, international corporations. He is the former Managing Director and Vice Chairman at Morgan Stanley.

Richard S. Braddock
Richard S. Braddock
Read Bio

Richard served as chairman and CEO of Priceline from August of 1998 to April 2004, taking Priceline public in 1999. He served as chairman and CEO of FreshDirect from March 2008, until his departure from the company in early 2011. During these years, he worked with several other companies and alongside several venture capital and private equity firms including Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, General Atlantic, and MidOcean Partners (chairman from April 2003 until December 2007).

In late 2013, Mr. Braddock became executive chairman of Joinem LLC. He is also chairman and CEO of Zaycon Fresh, and chairman of Gravy and Yingo Yango (all private companies). He is a major investor in all four, along with several other early-stage companies.

Mike Singer
Mike Singer
Read Bio

Mike Singer is a seasoned corporate executive and active angel investor with over 20 years experiences. In addition to his advisory role at Pypestream, he is the CEO and founder of Strategic Partners, Inc.

Helen Yu
Helen Yu
Read Bio

Helen Yu is Chief Customer Officer at Showpad. Helen brings more than 20 years of experience in SaaS-based businesses with a track record of transforming organizations. Helen was Chief Customer Officer at Sprinklr, the social suite, where she led a customer success team of more than 500 people spanning more than 10 countries. At Marketo, Helen led customer success as group vice president, achieving 28X services revenue growth and helping to grow Marketo Nation members by 10X. Earlier in her career, Helen led consulting practices at Adobe, Oracle and Hyperion.

Amitabh Sharma
Amitabh Sharma
Read Bio

Amitabh Sharma is based in Spencer Stuart’s Silicon Valley office and is a member of the firm’s Technology, Media & Telecommunications practice. He advises his clients on leadership succession, executive search, board composition and team effectiveness. Amitabh leverages his extensive global exposure to support companies across the technology sector, with a particular focus on CEO, board and technology officer roles. His clients range from smaller, privately funded businesses to large public entities.

Tony Saldanha
Tony Saldanha
Read Bio

Tony Saldanha is a globally recognized expert and thought-leader in Global Business Services (GBS) and Information Technology. He ran Procter & Gamble’s famed multi-billion dollar GBS and IT operations in every region across the world during a 27 year career there. Tony has over three decades of international business expertise in the US, Europe, and Asia. He was named on Computerworld’s Premier 100 IT Professionals list in 2013. Tony’s experiences include GBS design and operations, CIO positions, acquisitions and divestitures, outsourcing, disruptive innovation, and creation of new business models.

Donna Peeples
Donna Peeples
Read Bio

Donna is an accomplished entrepreneur and senior corporate executive. She currently serves as SVP and Chief Client Officer at FIS, and previously served as Chief Customer Officer at AIG. Donna has successfully led customer-focused change initiatives, producing revenue-growing results in a series of complex industries.

She is also a distinguished board member of the Georgia Diversity Council, Chief Customer Officer Council, Customer Experience Professionals Association, and University of Georgia Executive Council for the Grady College of Public Relations and Communications.

Helen Yu
Helen Yu
Read Bio

Helen Yu is Chief Customer Officer at Showpad. Helen brings more than 20 years of experience in SaaS-based businesses with a track record of transforming organizations. Helen was Chief Customer Officer at Sprinklr, the social suite, where she led a customer success team of more than 500 people spanning more than 10 countries. At Marketo, Helen led customer success as group vice president, achieving 28X services revenue growth and helping to grow Marketo Nation members by 10X. Earlier in her career, Helen led consulting practices at Adobe, Oracle and Hyperion.

Amitabh Sharma
Amitabh Sharma
Read Bio

Amitabh Sharma is based in Spencer Stuart’s Silicon Valley office and is a member of the firm’s Technology, Media & Telecommunications practice. He advises his clients on leadership succession, executive search, board composition and team effectiveness. Amitabh leverages his extensive global exposure to support companies across the technology sector, with a particular focus on CEO, board and technology officer roles. His clients range from smaller, privately funded businesses to large public entities.

Tony Saldanha
Tony Saldanha
Read Bio

Tony Saldanha is a globally recognized expert and thought-leader in Global Business Services (GBS) and Information Technology. He ran Procter & Gamble’s famed multi-billion dollar GBS and IT operations in every region across the world during a 27 year career there. Tony has over three decades of international business expertise in the US, Europe, and Asia. He was named on Computerworld’s Premier 100 IT Professionals list in 2013. Tony’s experiences include GBS design and operations, CIO positions, acquisitions and divestitures, outsourcing, disruptive innovation, and creation of new business models.

Donna Peeples
Donna Peeples
Read Bio

Donna is an accomplished entrepreneur and senior corporate executive. She currently serves as SVP and Chief Client Officer at FIS, and previously served as Chief Customer Officer at AIG. Donna has successfully led customer-focused change initiatives, producing revenue-growing results in a series of complex industries.

She is also a distinguished board member of the Georgia Diversity Council, Chief Customer Officer Council, Customer Experience Professionals Association, and University of Georgia Executive Council for the Grady College of Public Relations and Communications.

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