The Team

Karen Kelly, President

Drawing from two decades of agency and marketing experience, Karen uniquely understands Tapple's target audience. As President, Karen is responsible for implementing Tapple's vision, mission and overall strategic direction. Previously Karen served as Chief Marketing Officer for Tapple, leading sales and marketing from 2019 - '21. Karen holds a BA in Psychology from Williams College and a MS in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Emerson College.

"When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this; you haven't." - Thomas Edison


Dean Hantzis, Co-Founder, Chief Technology Officer

Dean's passion lies at the intersection of technology and human connection. He has over 20 years of web, mobile and cloud development experience. Having held leadership positions at three start-ups reaching public exits, Dean is primed for a fourth. He holds a BS in Information Technology from Boston College and holds a Master's degree in Information Technology Management from Brandeis University. Dean also served as an adjunct professor at Boston College for over a decade.

"Ubuntu: I am because we are." - African Proverb


James Gray, Co-Founder, Advisor

James has served as CEO and Co-Founder at four Boston-based tech companies in the last 15 years, and has held numerous product design, marketing, and operational roles in startup ventures over the past 25 years. James has a BA from Gettysburg College in Economics and a MBA from Boston College.

"Don't find fault, find a remedy." - Henry Ford


Mary Hirtle, Chief Financial Officer

Mary has over 23 years of financial leadership experience in entrepreneurial technology companies. Her broad experience and knowledge assists companies in all aspects of finance. As a proactive leader, she brings a great focus and integrity for results oriented, venture capital based businesses. She has extensive experience in achieving operational efficiencies through technology, process improvements and best practices, and centralized accounting functions. Mary obtained her MBA from Curry College with a 4.0 GPA. She is also a Certified Public Accountant and Registered Investment Advisor.


Vasili Hantzis, Development Operations

Vasili is an automation engineer with over 15 years of progressive experience. His processes employ a significant cost savings strategy by reducing downtime while improving the platform’s efficiency through the implementation of cutting edge technology. Vasili holds a Bachelors of Science degree from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell.


Scott Kliger, Advisor

Scott Kliger is a serial entrepreneur who has started and sold three companies for more than $150 million. A renowned innovator, Scott was the founder of LeadsToday which pioneered the use of big data analytics in the residential real estate market; Jingle Networks, the company that created the 1-800-FREE-411 service which saved Americans more than $1 billion in 411 information charges; Narrative Communications which created Enliven and invented rich media advertising on the Internet. Scott was named by InformationWeek as one of the four people who would change the future of the Internet. Prior to starting his entrepreneurial pursuits, Scott held senior technical positions at Lotus Development, WordPefect and IBM, and earned a bachelor's degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Michigan.


Thanos Pantazis, Advisor

Thanos Pantazis has over 25 years of expertise in the scientific and technology startup community. His career started as a scientist for Amptek Inc., which produced satellite instrumentation for the US Air Force and NASA. Amptek produced x-ray detectors which revolutionized the analytical instrumentation landscape and other products that analyzed lead in paint, toxic materials in toys, and rocks and soil on the surface of Mars as part of the Pathfinder Mission. As Managing Director, he sold the business in 2011 to a private equity group and then again to Ametek Inc. in 2014, an S&P 500 corporation, for a total of 200M. After 25 years with Amptek/Ametek, Thanos retired from his then current role as President, having grown Amptek by 85% and maintained a profit margin close to 50%. He began investing in start-ups and serves as a scientific advisor and board member for a number of technology-centered businesses. Thanos most recently became President of a start-up in Quantum Computing in the Boston area. He holds a B.A. in physics with a minor in art history and archaeology from Cornell University.


IRENE THEODORE, Advisor

Irene has over 30 years of experience as an operationally oriented financial executive in the high technology manufacturing industry. Most recently, Irene directed the financial operations of AMPTEK, an X-Ray Instrumentation manufacturer whose product was selected to perform rock and soil analysis on board the Sojourner Rover on Mars. She brings a track record of delivering financial and operational results in both private and publicly traded companies, including executing mergers and acquisitions and driving value through successful investor exit. Irene holds a BS in Computer Information Systems and a MBA from Bentley University.


Adam Zaks, Advisor

Adam Zaks has over 20 years of experience in Business Development & Sales in the Boston SaaS community. Adam was one of the first 100 employees at HubSpot, which after a successful IPO in 2014, now employs over 4,000 people with offices in 9 countries. As Head of West Coast Sales, Mid Market, and a five-time President's Club award winner, Adam has been an integral part of HubSpot's growth over the past decade. Professionally, Adam enjoys working closely with businesses of all sizes to fuel their growth through inbound marketing strategies. Personally, Adam loves spending time with his family, seeing live music, and is a committed fundraiser for The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Adam received his BA in English from the University of Vermont.


Damon Jones, UX Design

Damon Jones is a Boston-based Creative Director with an expertise in User Experience Design. His work and oversight span a variety of mediums, from web to print, with a primary focus being native mobile apps, including wearables and Apple TV. He holds a BFA from Massachusetts College of Art and Design, where he also received a MassArt design award. Damon's work has received awards and accolades from Yahoo tech, Money.com, Forbes magazine, and in 2015 he received a Gold Stevie® Award for Integrated Mobile Experience of the Year: Fidelity Mobile® for Apple Watch.


Sarah Morgan, Product Strategy

Sarah brings with her more than 18 years of experience in the software industry. She has run the gamut from web development to product management at both industry leading enterprise companies and small, scrappy startups. In addition to her current role as a Sr. Product Manager at EverTrue, she is a featured speaker at Product School where she regularly shares her experience and innovative approach to building successful products and solving hard customer problems creatively and elegantly. Sarah holds a BS in Computer Science, a Masters of Science in Innovation from Northeastern University, and an MBA also from Northeastern.


Ryan Williams, Security & Privacy Advisor

Ryan Williams has over 20 years of experience in the technology industry, with the last 10 years supporting organizations through merger and acquisition transformations. Over the years, Ryan has built and lead large high performance teams focusing on site reliability engineering, devops, cloud engineering, corporate IT services and security and compliance. Ryan is currently the VP of Cloud Operations at Frontline Education, a leader in the education industry. Prior to that, Ryan held leadership positions at Energy Services Group, Cvent and Marchex. Ryan holds a BS in Biology from Siena College and MBA from Northeastern University.


Emily Taylor, Legal Advisor

Emily is an attorney at Latham & Watkins LLP specializing in representing start-up companies like Tapple. She advises founders and companies on early-stage formation and strategy, debt and equity financings, M&A transactions, public offerings, securities law compliance and corporate governance. Emily received her BA from Yale University and her JD from Georgetown University Law Center.


Kima, Public Relations

Kima is our PR specialist. She started as an intern but has quickly moved up the ranks with her positive attitude and sweet smile.