Our Team

We’re bright, reliable, and committed to improving the way you learn

Derek Belch

Derek Belch

Founder and CEO

Derek developed his vision for STRIVR while a graduate assistant coach at Stanford. After playing football for Stanford, he attended business school at USC and then returned to Stanford to get a Masters in Virtual Reality and to coach. This unique background gave Derek insight into the opportunity of using VR to transform training, initially for athletes but more broadly for business organizations. Derek has led the rapid growth of STRIVR into the industry leader in immersive training solutions, currently used by leading Fortune 500 companies and sports teams.

Jeremy Bailenson

Jeremy Bailenson

Co-Founder

Jeremy is a professor at Stanford University and is the founding director of Stanford’s world-renowned Virtual Human Interaction Lab. He is one of the world’s leading experts in VR and his research focuses on VR’s effect on the human brain and human behavior; his findings have been published in over 100 academic papers. His latest book published in 2018 is called “Experience on Demand: What Virtual Reality is, How it Works, and What it Can Do”. He is also co-author of the book “Infinite Reality”, which was recently quoted by the Supreme Court in arguments about the effects of immersive media.

Brian Meek

Brian Meek

CTO

Brian has 20 years of experience developing software and services at scale and building amazing engineering teams. Prior to STRIVR, Brian was at Microsoft for 13 years, where as General Manager of Development for Skype he led the development of Skype and Skype for business for 200 million users across smartphones, tablets, desktop and wearables. Before Microsoft he was Chief Architect at Placeware and also served as VP of Engineering for Flycast Networks, building the first wave of ROI optimized advertising technologies.

Yelena Drabkin

Yelena Drabkin

VP of Product

Yelena has 15 years of product management experience, as a co-founder of a startup as well as large-scale product execution expertise from F500 companies. Prior to STRIVR, she led global product and development teams at Simplee, worked in management consulting at Accenture and lead consumer on-boarding and engagement in PayPal and eBay. Yelena is passionate about promoting women in technology, volunteering with Women 2.0 supporting startups with at least one female founder.

Rama Pagdala

Rama Pagdala

Director of Engineering

Rama has over 16 years of experience building and managing engineering teams developing software products & scalable services. Prior to STRIVR, he worked at Microsoft for 12 years, where he led the Skype Android, Translator, and Bots engineering efforts. Before Microsoft, he was with Cisco Systems and helped build the Unified Communications line of products. He is passionate about entrepreneurship, a big proponent of Lean Startup methodology, and a firm believer in execution.

Michael Casale

Michael Casale

Chief Science Officer

Dr. Michael Casale is a cognitive neuroscientist whose academic research focused on understanding the biological underpinnings of learning and memory, in particular how to best optimize training for learning situations. He has led multi-million dollar research projects aimed at understanding how virtual technologies can be used to facilitate the effectiveness of behavioral therapy.. He has been published dozens of times in notable peer-reviewed journals such as Memory & Cognition and the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience.

Michael Manuccia

Michael Manuccia

Chief People Officer

Michael Manuccia is a former Federal Bureau of Investigation analyst who spent seven years serving the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division and Director’s Office. While in the Director’s Office, Michael worked with the Associate Deputy Director (the FBI’s Chief Operating Officer) to manage the FBI’s evolution to an intelligence-driven, threat-based, learning organization. Michael has an undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and, before joining STRIVR, attended The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

Brian Murphy

Brian Murphy

VP Customer Solutions

Brian Murphy is Vice President of Customer Solutions at STRIVR and oversees creative product development and content. Prior to joining STRIVR, Brian was Head of Finance and Business Development at Amplify Releasing, a movie distribution company that was acquired in 2014. Brian was drafted by the Atlanta Braves and played college baseball at Wake Forest University and Santa Clara University, graduating from Santa Clara with a degree in Finance.

Sharon Pinedo

Sharon Pinedo

VP Sales

Sharon has over 20 years of Enterprise Sales experience spanning traditional Enterprise Sales, SaaS and the emergence of large B2C companies into the B2B enterprise SaaS space. Prior to joining STRIVR, Sharon helped lead sales for Facebook’s Workplace product into Fortune 500 companies. She also spent over 10 years at Google leading Sales teams on both the Business and Consumer sides, and was one of the early members of what today is Google Cloud. Sharon was also at the forefront of women’s programs at Google, supporting mentorship and executive training to guide the next generation of women leaders in technology.

Logan Mulvey

Logan Mulvey

Chief Customer Officer

Logan’s devotion to STRIVR’s success follows years of innovation as a serial entrepreneur. With a deep passion for media and visual technologies, he started his first company, GoDigital, in college and went on to launch six companies in total, five of which are still in business today. As CEO of GoDigital he successfully sold the company in 2014 to Millennium Entertainment. Prior to STRIVR, Logan served as the SVP Digital Distribution at Alchemy where he led growth strategies for sales, marketing and acquisitions.

And 60+ more virtual reality experts, PhDs, psychologists, data scientists, former pro athletes, and L&D experts.