the PlexiNLP executive team

Bill Irvine - CEO

Bill Irvine

Bill Irvine is the CEO and visionary behind PlexiNLP and is no stranger to launching startups. Bill has been the driving force behind elevating a niche user-generated community from obscurity to six million monthly unique users. His strategies for monetizing user-generated content were so successful, that quarterly profit margins regularly exceeded 60% and was invited to present his strategies to Google’s Online Partnership Group at the Mountain View headquarters. Before that, he created digital departments in two different mid-sized advertising agencies, and created a company that produced critically acclaimed multimedia titles for children and young adults.

During his ten years as a digital advertising leader, his clients included IBM, Citibank, TD Waterhouse, Playtex Products, McDonalds, Sony, Nike, HSBC, and many others. He was a regular speaker at Yahoo! Creative Summits and several-time finalist for their annual Purple Chair Award for online campaign creativity.

Before going completely digital, Bill was a published science fiction author (short stories), an award winning "pen and ink" artist, and a published children's book author/illustrator. 

Brandon Wirtz - CTO

Brandon Wirtz is the CTO of PlexiNLP and an experienced computer scientist responsible for creating the core language tools that power the various technologies of Stremor.

Brandon is well known for his early demonstrations of ways to game Google and profit before SEO had a three-letter acronym, or the general public knew it was possible to shape results, news, and reviews to favor your company.

His background in “gaming” large rules engines and shaping consumer opinions through social engineering makes him an ideal person for converting the rules of determining what is "real" news and what is spam to machine code. As someone who knows how to generate spin, he has little trouble identifying it.

Brandon was a pioneer in video compression, but was also a teacher, summer camp director, team building and playground games instructor.

Brandon Wirtz

Sarah Austin - Chief Product Officer

Sara Austin

Sarah Austin is the CPO of PlexiNLP, and a Silicon Valley veteran responsible for the user-facing aspects of all of Stremor's products.

Sarah started covering digital issues for Forbes’ San Francisco office in 2010. Her column originally appeared on the front page of Forbes.com as well as on her startup Blog, Pop17.com.

Previously, Ms. Austin covered breaking news about the Web’s major players and Internet policy issues and also wrote feature articles on technology for Forbes. She has also hosted online video for the Forbes Video Network that originally appeared on the front page of Forbes.com.

She presently hosts two major startup and brand conferences, PRWeek and Advertising Week, with brands including Pepsi, The Home Depot, General Electric and many other leading players in the Silicon Valley and Madison Avenue industries. The business gathering is considered one of the leading conferences focused on the convergence of brands and startups.

Previously, Ms. Austin worked as a reporter at Gawker media and quickly graduated to become West Coast Editor. She also stars in a Bravo TV reality series, “Startups: Silicon Valley,” co-produced by Randi Zuckerberg.

She is a graduate of Dominican University with a degree in Business Strategy.

Russ Hedgpeth - VP of Business Development

Russ is best known as the personality behind gadgetKing.com, the world's foremost review site of electric tea kettles. 

Perhaps it is in part due to his early stint in law enforcement or his passion-verging-on-obsession for all things high-tech and gadget-y, but as our business development, we just know that Russ spots connections between human behavior and technology usability like no one else.

Having started his tech career in the rough and tumble world of telesales, he brings over 20 years of experience making big bets in the high-tech, B2B, e-commerce, and online advertising industries. In his early days at Logitech, Russ pioneered a sales technique known as "we have the best stuff and it costs the same price or cheaper," which served him well a decade later at the price engine he helped grow to acquisition. 

When Russ is not polishing his fleet of collectible cars and motorcycles, he can be found outdoors on some variation of a board -- on water, snow, or on solid ground. 

Russ Hedgpeth