About Leo

Now/Next: I am seeking a full-time staff position as a senior product manager on a technical or product team.

I am actively learning about cybersecurity and AI, and have long worked around the news/media publishing and web development ecosystems.

My ideal role looks something like:

  • In the spaces of media, e-commerce, AI, user research, transportation, aerospace, publishing, and environmental sustainability
  • A hybrid team based in Southern California (Remote work OK!)
  • Strong preferences toward projects and orgs promoting privacy and social good

It’s been a lifelong goal to both tell stories and to empower storytellers, but that starts with understanding. I genuinely believe that our work can have an even greater impact if we listen closely to what the world wants.

I grew up in Southern California in a diverse and vibrant corner of Los Angeles and developed a love for art, music, and culture. My first language was American Sign Language, and I’ve almost always been an ASL interpreter of some kind and I’ve become a polyglot over the years. I became fascinated with web development at the young age of 12, where I taught myself how to code and design websites using HTML, CSS, and Photoshop. By the time I was in high school, I had created countless projects for local businesses, clubs, and events. I worked for my first agency at the age of just 17, while enrolled at and working for Fullerton College.

My passion for web development continued for the next several years when I studied journalism and anthropology at San Jose State University. In 2011, Matthew Gerring and I banded together and launched SpartanDaily.com, the second major mobile-first news website in the country (a week behind BostonGlobe.com), alongside other incredible folks at SJSU. I worked on various projects involving WordPress, PHP, JavaScript, and other web technologies. I’ve served as a speaker and organizer for several WordPress events since 2018. I’ve supported in many staff and freelance capacities over the years, from building visual podcast players and launching websites for banks to connecting fax machines to VR and launching a college from scratch.

I’ve also had a long-time passion for all things journalism and media, and published my first book as part of my senior project while concurrently serving as editor-in-chief of my high school newspaper. I then worked as an art director and editor at the various Fullerton College publications and even did a semester’s worth of On-air radio talent at 90.1 FM KBPK. My first professional work was at Motor Trend Group (formerly Source Interlink) where I worked on various digital and print automotive media projects for European Car, Honda Tuner, and Lowrider, among many other brands. My work at the San Francisco Chronicle expanded my boundaries, as I worked on stories alongside incredible journalists like Dave Perlman and Mike Kepka. In my time as a Dow Jones News Fund digital media intern at the Denver Post, I helped launch our Stormchaser project, which won several major awards, including the Associated Press APME award for Digital Storytelling. 

I moved back to California in 2014 to be closer to family and took an in-house role. At Relativity Media/Relativity Education I led the digital and creative team for this major film studio department that would go on to disrupt the education industry. We used (at the time) radical approaches of targeted social media outreach, focusing on viral campaigns to bring attention to our innovative school on a movie studio lot. (Given our location, it meant I might help a lost Sir Patrick Stewart find the bathroom while running to a marketing meeting.) My creative work would go on to grace not only the pages of magazines or on billboards in LA, but also the silver screen.

After four years there I took on new challenges elsewhere—starting with a few complex projects at a SEO-focused agency to help with plugin management and auto deployments. I also launched an exciting new WordPress-powered site that allows for rich experiences blended with deeplinking into audio, providing users with an incredible podcasting experience.

At XWP, I shaped innovative and impactful revenue-positive solutions for the media industry. I also ran digital and in-person global events for our partnership program with 30 partners, and collaborated with Google on several projects involving AMP, PWA, and Web Stories. This meant delivering key advice to the teams behind Heavy.com, Galvanized (EatThis.com), Penske Media (RollingStone.com, Variety.com), NewsCorp (WSJ.com and other global products) and beyond. I am proud of the countless efforts I pushed forward, like the time we launched one of the first at-home COVID testing tools through mylabbox.com or helping major feature launches for SEO (like automated SEO product listings). 

As XWP chose to change part of their business and to reduce their team by a significant portion in 2023, I needed to transition. Since then, I have been on a variety of projects—spanning domains in media, F&B, and technology, including Google, Netflix, and CalTech, to name a few.

After completing a few online programs as I freelance, I recently enrolled at Calbright College to further formalize my technical credentials and I’ve become absolutely enthralled by AI, cybersecurity and the future of tech. I’m always learning, and anything new that can enhance my work and expand my horizons is worth exploring.

I’m passionate about giving real advice and seeing it impact millions of people in just hours or days – and I’ve been lucky enough to speak at major international conferences on three continents, and seen the impact of this at scale.

Home for me has been Long Beach since 2017, with a few stints in different cities (and countries). 

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