Team

Matthew Burnett

Co-Founder

Hometown:
Detroit, MI

Bio

Matthew Burnett is a Detroit native whose grandfather inspired his interest in manufacturing, as he was a watchmaker by trade. Matthew received a BFA in industrial design from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York in 2007. He began his professional career designing watches for Marc Jacobs, DKNY, and Diesel. After working in the watch industry, he decided to start his own line, Steel Cake, having watches made overseas. Though previously designing and overseeing production for big brands, he found that manufacturing as an independent brand overseas would be a much different experience. Extended turnaround periods, language barriers, and continuous manufacturing errors brought the Steel Cake Watch line to a close. In 2010, Burnett decided to start a line of leather goods (The Brooklyn Bakery) using domestic manufacturers in order to maintain control over the quality of production and form closer relationships with the suppliers and contractors. In 2011 Burnett partnered with Tanya Menendez on The Brooklyn Bakery to manage sales and operations. After pairing with Burnett on the accessories brand, Menendez suggested that they develop a resource that would assist designers in finding American manufacturers. With Burnett’s background in manufacturing and Menendez’s experience with operations, they began to develop the blueprint for what is today, Maker’s Row.

Tanya Menendez

Co-Founder

Hometown:
Hayward, CA

Bio

Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Tanya studied technology and its socioeconomic impacts on rural economies at UCSD. Conducting a number of studies on financial technology advancements in Oaxaca, Mexico, she co-authored “The Economics of Migration”, published by the University of California. Shortly thereafter, Menendez joined the Google Strategy and Integration group advising on internal system operations. In 2011 Menendez partnered with Matthew Burnett on The Brooklyn Bakery to manage sales and operations. While at The Brooklyn Bakery, she came up with the idea to create a platform for entrepreneurs to be able to easily access American manufacturers. Combining her experience in operations / automation with Matthew’s experience in global manufacturing, they started Maker’s Row.

Mr. Pickles

Maker of Aww

Hometown:
Brooklyn, NY

Bio

Mr. Pickles is the youngest and best-looking member of the Maker’s Row team. While it’s unclear whether he’s more excited about chasing plastic cups across the floor or promoting American manufacturing, Mr. Pickles is nonetheless a vital asset to the team. When he’s not practicing the Pickles dance or winning over the hearts of his co-workers, he enjoys sleeping in warm sunny spots on the floor.

Rafael Gonzaque

Senior Software Engineer

Hometown:
New York, NY

Bio

Born and raised in New York City, Rafael began his career at The Daily, the first national news publication with original content on the iPad. He helped build the system that powered the iPad app, along with a Facebook app that allowed for social consumption of news. While at The Daily, he founded and began working on Wish & Tell, a community-driven products index built around things people wanted. He soon realized he needed to get acquainted with e-commerce, so he joined Acadaca where he built e-commerce websites for jewelry and fashion clients. Having been stricken by the entrepreneurial itch and wanting to do something impactful, Rafael joined Maker’s Row to help bring “Made in USA” back. When not cranking out code, Rafael can be found writing on his blog, running, and on a never-ending quest for the best lobster rolls.

Adam Gschwender

Senior Software Engineer

Hometown:
West Haven, CT

Bio

While attending RPI, Adam found his passion in computing and has been doing it ever since. He has built a variety of web applications: from social networking to recruiting to dating to publishing to e-commerce and has worked at Community Connect, Inc., the New York Times and Warby Parker. He is excited to be part of the Maker’s Row team and hopes to contribute to its success. When not programming, he likes attending matinee movies, grabbing a drink at the nearest dive bar, eating tacos and playing ping pong — which he claims to be exceptionally good at.

Cat DiPaci

Account Manager

Hometown:
Nyack, NY

Bio

After graduating with a B.A. in Strategic Communication and Entrepreneurship from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Cat moved to Minneapolis to work in e-commerce as a senior business analyst at Target.com. While there, she drove online growth within the preschool toy business through building strategic relationships with vendor partners and efficient merchandise planning. Needing to feed her entrepreneurial spirit, Cat moved back to NY and joined Maker’s Row for a real challenge at a growing and impactful start-up. In her free time, Cat enjoys spending time outdoors, freelance graphic design and learning from reading and traveling.

Stephanie Posek

Research Intern

Hometown:
Santa Monica, CA

Bio

A graduate of Georgetown University with B.A. in Government, Stephanie is joining Maker’s Row for a six month research internship.

Though her background is in Political Science, she is excited for her first venture into the tech scene, and feels that the research skills she gained while writing innumerable Political Science papers will serve her well as the research intern at Maker’s Row.

Rafael Balbi

Product Manager

Hometown:
New York, NY

Bio

Rafael’s parents laid the groundwork for what would blossom into his appreciation of all that is creative and entrepreneurial. A Syracuse University graduate Rafael’s first dive into the apparel space began with his college t shirt line, Souleve. As Director of Operations for Lean Startup Machine, Rafael traveled the world training young entrepreneurs and enterprises on lean methodology. A self taught jack-of-many-trades, Rafael’s insatiable thirst for knowledge has kept him hungry. A member of the Spring 2013 Techstars NYC class, Rafael has the startup experience that can only be learned with the sands of time. "Knowledge crowns those who seek her".

Jasmine Singh

Marketing and Research Intern

Hometown:
Laguna Hills, CA

Bio

Born and raised in Orange County, Jasmine graduated magna cum laude with her B.A. in Psychology at UC Riverside. During her time there, she gained strong research experience through designing experiments with prominent faculty, managing a neuroscience laboratory, and publishing two papers in the UCR Undergraduate Journal. Jasmine is now attending NYU for her M.A. in Consumer Psychology. Her specialization in consumer psychology, as well as strong interest in American manufacturing prompted her to join the Maker’s Row team, where she hopes to meaningfully contribute to the company‚Äôs vision and success.

Melissa Lonsdale

Graphic Design Intern

Hometown:
Miami, FL

Bio

After graduating from the University of Florida with a BA in Spanish and a minor in Art History, Melissa spent two years studying Architecture in graduate school, which served as her introduction to the world of Graphic Design. After spending a couple of years working as a freelance Graphic Designer in Miami, Melissa is joining Maker’s row for a three month internship where she hopes to put her skills to use in a more collaborative design environment.

Connor Murphy

Web/UI Designer

Hometown:
Rochester, NY

Bio

Connor recently moved to New York City hoping to contribute to the success of Maker’s Row. As a self-taught designer, Connor has had a passion for web & user interface design since the age of 15. Driven by passion for user experience and innovation, he strives to create interactive experiences with the overall goal of helping others. Intrigued by the idea of American manufacturing, Connor joined the team to create a unique and simple experience for all designers and users.