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.

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.

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".

Melissa Lonsdale

UX Designer

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. She spent a couple of years working as a freelance Graphic Designer in Miami before moving to NYC to join the Maker’s Row team. Melissa is constantly striving to better understand the needs of Maker’s Row users and implement design changes that will enhance the Maker’s Row experience.

Tim Finkel

Data Quality Analyst

Hometown:
Troy, NY

Bio

Originally from Troy, NY and most recently calling Cambridge, MA home, Tim joined Maker’s Row to practice his passion of all things data and apply it to the American manufacturing space. He brings hands-on data, analytics & visualization experience in the information services space, intellectual curiosity, and a doer’s mindset (inherited from his parents) with him. Tim is a graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY with a dual degree in Management & Economics.

Logan Head

Full Stack Engineer

Hometown:
Scottsdale, AZ

Bio

Logan moved to New York City from Missoula, Montana in pursuit of joining a start-up. While attending The University of Montana in Missoula, Logan took a break to start a business in Montana. While running the business, Logan teamed up with a few developers to create a customer information system that optimized Montana businesses. This lead him to fall in love with software because of how much it helped his business. He then began teaching himself how to code and joined a start-up in Missoula. Joining the start-up in Missoula quickly shaped Logan into a talented developer. In his free time, you can find Logan with his dog, Buddy in Prospect Park, Brooklyn.

Kalli White

Account Manager

Hometown:
Cohasset, MA

Bio

Kalli’s favorite summer job was at her uncle’s factory-direct mattress company in Portland, Maine. She graduated from Colby College with a BA in Government and the intent to pursue a career in law. After a two-year stint as a paralegal in San Francisco (and a bit of soul searching), Kalli moved back to Portland and joined a mobile marketing startup. Thriving off the energy in the tech startup environment, Kalli relocated to Brooklyn to be right in the center of it. She is excited to build relationships with American-based manufacturers and designers in the Maker’s Row Community.

Lindsay Beck

Account Manager

Hometown:
Canaan, CT

Bio

Lindsay is a native New Englander, originally from Connecticut. She recently graduated from Princeton University with a BA in Anthropology and American Studies. Growing up just outside of New York City, Lindsay always knew she would end up in NYC after college, but is excited to work in Brooklyn and explore all the amazing things there are to see and do on this side of the Bridge! After a summer internship at a startup while in college, Lindsay was hooked on the energy and entrepreneurial spirit of startup culture and excited to pursue a career in the space after graduation. Lindsay does Marketing at Maker’s Row, keeping us active across social media and helping collect and manage the stories shared on the blog. She loves building new relationships with American-based factories and designers and helping to promote and share their meaningful work and advice.

Jeff Chiang

Data Intern

Hometown:
Austin, TX

Bio

After graduating from The University of Texas at Austin with a dual degree in Economics & Finance, Jeff spent two years working as a property manager and financial analyst valuing Real Estate Investment Trusts. He soon realized that his passion was in fashion and that ultimately led him to New York and Maker’s Row. With Maker’s Row, Jeff hopes to bring manufacturing back to America.

Alex Portin

Account Manager

Hometown:
Buffalo, NY

Bio

Alex’s passion for entrepreneurship cannot be traced to a particular relative or formative experience. In fact, his family was mortified when he didn’t go to law school and got into entrepreneurship only after deciding he would not become a sports agent.

Shortly after graduating from Colgate University, Alex became the first employee at Frava, a caffeinated juice beverage. Taking on big beverage is never a good idea but a combination of naivety, creativity, and persistence (or stubbornness depending on who you ask) helped him secure deals with everyone from your neighborhood bodega manager to executives at Target and Anheuser Busch. He’s excited to grow the Maker’s Row community, empowering people of all interests, one company at a time.

Alex enjoys ‘figuring things out’, helping people, and big dogs. When he isn’t at the office, you can likely find him trying to cope with the hardships of being a fan of his hometown Bills and Sabres.

Bashar Harfoush

Full Stack Engineer

Hometown:
Beirut, LB

Bio

Bashar hails from the land of Hummus and Tabbouleh and moved to the land of Burger King and McDonald's in 2007. He holds a BSc in Computer Science from the American University in Beirut and an MSc in Computer Science from the University of East Anglia in the UK. When not programming and checking out the latest and greatest in technology, he can be found hanging out in his Bay Ridge neighborhood.

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.