Team Bio Series — Dan McAuliffe (Aspiring MacGyver)

Dan McAuliffe. Big Dan. Dan the Man. Danny-Boy. Dan-the-Destroyer-of-Worlds. Clearly, we’re still workshopping the nicknames here on one of our newest team members. Dan is the content strategist here at Merchant Maverick, a mostly thankless job given our historically laissez-faire attitude toward content creation. What makes Dan tick, other than SEO? Read on to find out.

Name: Dan McAuliffe

Title: Content Strategist

Hometown: Seattle, WA

Current city: Los Angeles

Education and background: I studied economics in school and have a degree in international business management.

Merchant Maverick department/specialty: Content strategy

Proudest professional moment: Convincing all my co-workers to jump out of a plane in a gambit to prove we’re not nerds to a client.

Favorite Merchant Maverick post/moment/opportunity: The best things are yet to come.

What do you do when you’re not working?: I like to listen to rap music outside wearing a big hat. Always haggling with the sun — “How much sun is too much?” — Still no definitive answer, but there’s a tan under every sunburn!

What superhero do you identify most with and why?: Lex Luthor. Seems like a cool guy. Kidding. Batman. His powers are business and technology.

Favorite 90s song: Big Pun – Capital Punishment

Favorite 80s movie: WarGames

What is your breakfast?: Eggs. If they’re fried eggs, there has to be toast to soak up the yolk.

What skill have you always wanted to learn?: I’m gonna go ahead and use “MacGyver” as a verb here

If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would you live and why?: I’d live on a large boat that changed homeports every month or two. What better way to see the world? But I’d have to do some big-time nature philanthropy to absolve myself from the eco-sins of yacht ownership.

Mac or Windows?: Been riding with Mac since before Nanosaur.

You’re given an unlimited budget at any retail establishment. Where do you go and what do you buy?: I’m coming for every single slide style sandal at Discount Shoe Warehouse.

So that’s Dan McAuliffe. He is a perpetually sunburned, sandal-wearing rap-enthusiast who likes runny yolks. And while we absolutely do not believe him when he demurs about not identifying most with Lex Luther, we hope he’s here to stay for a while, because we desperately need someone to MacGyver up a lasting content strategy for us. (Simply grow a mullet, and we will supply you with all the duct tape your heart desires.)

Interested in reading about other members of the Merchant Maverick staff? Check out our team interview series.

The post Team Bio Series — Dan McAuliffe (Aspiring MacGyver) appeared first on Merchant Maverick.

“”

Team Bio Series — Frank Kehl (The Mountain Climber)

This week on “Meet The Merchant Maverick Team” — the world’s least conflict-driven reality show — we’ll get to know Frank Kehl, one of our merchant accounts writers. Frank gets the award for “most amazing careers outside of Merchant Maverick,” but what else is interesting about him? (Hint: a lot.)

Name: Frank Kehl

Title: Merchant accounts writer

Hometown: Berwick, Pennsylvania

Current city: Paso Robles, California

Education and background: I have a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Penn State and a Juris Doctorate degree from The Ventura College of Law. Prior to joining Merchant Maverick, I served as an officer in the United States Air Force and California Air National Guard for 28 years. I flew as a navigator on both the B-52 and C-130 aircraft, and ended up logging a little over 7500 hours of flying time around the world.

Merchant Maverick department/specialty: I write about merchant accounts, payment gateways, and, occasionally, mobile payment systems.

Proudest professional moment: Passing the Bar Exam here in California after graduating from law school. It was a three-day exam and only has about a 40% pass rate, so I felt really good about getting through it on the first try.

Favorite Merchant Maverick post/moment/opportunity: The 5 Best Small Business Credit Card Processing Companies. It was the first post I wrote when I first started at Merchant Maverick, but it’s generated a lot of interest and I still get comments on it almost every day.

What do you do when you’re not working?: When I was young and single, I had quite a passion for mountain climbing. I’ve climbed a lot of the classic peaks, including Mount Whitney and Mount Shasta here in California, as well as Mount Rainier, Pico de Orizaba in Mexico, and Kilimanjaro. These days, it’s mostly family hikes and the occasional camping trip here on the Central Coast or up in the Sierras.

What literary character do you identify most with and why?: My son has recently shown a strong interest in The Lord of the Rings movies, so I’m going to say Gandalf. I just need a staff…

Favorite song: I’m not sure that I have a single favorite, so I’ll give a shout-out to ‘Lawyers, Guns, and Money’ by Warren Zevon. It’s funny as hell, and the lyrics are rather timely. Check it out!

Favorite classic movie: I suppose I should pick something serious and inspirational. Nah. Monty Python and the Holy Grail still cracks me up.

What is your ideal dinner out?: Getting a sitter and having dinner with just my wife. It’s usually a ‘romantic dinner for three’ these days, unfortunately.

What skill have you always wanted to learn?: In retrospect, computer science might have been a good major to choose in college. I took a few programming classes in school, but I’ve never found the time to go back and brush up on my coding skills since then.

If you could travel back in time to any stage in your life and observe, where/when would you go?: Just observe? No do-over? Then probably the first few years of my life, since I don’t remember very much about them.

Mac or Windows?: I’ve been a Windows guy since back when they were called “IBM PC-compatible.” However, all my mobile devices are from Apple. It’s the best of both worlds, I think.

You’re given an unlimited budget at any retail establishment. Where do you go and what do you buy?: I’ve already lived out this fantasy, but without the unlimited budget. Let’s just say I’ve built up some pretty impressive dividends at REI over the years. You can never have too much gear.

I think it’s safe to say that Frank is the coolest member of the Merchant Maverick team. An ex-Air Force navigator who has climbed Kilimanjaro? Please. Come on Frank, you’re making the rest of us look lame.

Interested in reading about other members of the Merchant Maverick staff? Check out our team interview series.

The post Team Bio Series — Frank Kehl (The Mountain Climber) appeared first on Merchant Maverick.

“”

Team Bio Series — Linda Leewaye (The SEO Queen)

On this week’s episode of “Meet The Merchant Maverick Team,” we’ll be exploring the life and times of Linda Leewaye, our newest Maverick. Linda is an SEO expert and an Idaho potato who currently hangs out in sunny California. But what makes Linda Leewaye really tick? Let’s read on to find out!

Name: Linda Leewaye

Title: Digital Marketing Manager

Hometown: Boise, ID

Current city: Temecula, CA

Education and background: Bachelors in Communication, Emphasis in Public Relations, from Boise State University

Merchant Maverick department/specialty: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Proudest professional moment: Organizing an Aveda Earth Month Trashion Show charity event with my PRSSA group and donating the money to a clean water initiative for those who don’t have access to clean drinking water.

Favorite Merchant Maverick post/moment/opportunity: The opportunity to work with the friendliest people on the planet and work from anywhere is a dream come true.

What do you do when you’re not working?: Obsess over the latest superhero movie and play games with my friends.

What movie character do you identify most with and why?: Batman. In all honesty, I am not as cool as he is, I just wish I was! I appreciate his crazy ninja moves and detective skills to go with it…along with the billions of dollars from the Wayne family fortune.

Favorite song: Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin.

Favorite ‘80s movie: Raiders of the Lost Ark.

What is your ideal midnight snack?: Digging into a bag of Kettle Brand’s jalapeno chips

What skill have you always wanted to learn?: Playing the guitar

If you could travel to any time period to live forever, where/when would it be?: The Egyptian Era, so I could cure my innate curiosity of how the pyramids were built.

Mac or Windows?: Windows

You’re given an unlimited budget to travel. Where do you go? For how long?: I’d travel closer to the North Pole so I catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights! And after that, I’d go to every tropical island on the face of the earth to thaw out. Then, I’d backpack around Italy, Spain, and France, seeing as many cathedrals and monuments as I can. I’d love to travel as much as possible and for as long as possible — well, until I become unbearably homesick and miss the States!

We’re so pleased to have Linda on the team now — not only because her SEO skills are lifting us to new heights, but because it’s nice to have another superhero-loving geek in our posse. We look forward to many future hang-outs together, getting the Led out and watching a little pre-ruined Indiana Jones. Linda, you bring the Kettle chips.

Interested in reading about other members of the Merchant Maverick staff? Check out our team interview series.

The post Team Bio Series — Linda Leewaye (The SEO Queen) appeared first on Merchant Maverick.

“”

Team Bio Series — Rosie Holman (The Minimalist)

This week on “meet the Merchant Maverick team,” we’re getting a crash course on Rosie Holman, everyone’s favorite minimalist. When she’s not making merchant accounts providers cry with her pithy, concise reviews or listening to moral philosophy podcasts, Rosie is singing with her family band. But what else is she up to? Read on to find out.

Name: Rose Holman

Title: Merchant Accounts Writer

Hometown: I lived in a foggy beachside suburb of San Francisco called Pacifica until I was 13. That probably counts as a hometown, even though I’ve only been back once since then.

Current city: Portland, OR

Education and background: After earning a BA in biology and an MA in teaching, I taught high school science for a couple years before I had kids. Although I never went back to full-time teaching, most of my work and volunteer roles have involved some sort of teaching component. Even when writing for Merchant Maverick, I find it scratches the educator itch.

Merchant Maverick department/specialty: I mostly write reviews of merchant account providers. Frankly, I’m shocked some of them are still in business! I’m also the company’s resident over-thinker. I was coronated via crown-emoji in Slack the other day, so I think the title’s official. Just when you think we’ve resolved an issue, I’ll find another detail to consider.

Proudest professional moment: A proud moment from my teaching days was when my sophomores were presenting their big, end-of-the-year biology experiments. Two teams had run essentially the same experiment, but with very different results. I was all geared up to capitalize on the “teachable moment” and explain why this can happen to real-life scientists, too. Instead, completely unbidden, the second group proposed several excellent reasons for the variation, and then went on to explain how they’d design a new experiment to test their theory. They became real-life mini-scientists right before my eyes! I was beaming.

Favorite Merchant Maverick post/moment/opportunity: Any time a merchant account provider alters a significant part of its website because they’ve read my review and taken the constructive criticism both seriously and graciously. I think that’s actually part of why we’re here — not only to write unbiased reviews, but to motivate companies (and even entire industries) to up their games.

What do you do when you’re not working?: I manage the Airbnb room in our house, which I guess may technically still count as working. When I’m definitely not working, I enjoy reading, or distracting myself from the pain of exercising by listening to thought-provoking podcasts. Our family of four also have a little folk band of sorts, so there’s always a lot of music in our house.

What fictional character do you identify most with and why?: I’m going with Jane Eyre, since I remember relating to her when I first read the book as a girl. We do have some basic things in common — the whole teaching thing, plus a general stubbornness and an irritatingly overdeveloped sense of right and wrong.

Favorite song: Do people really have one definitive, all-time-favorite song? I’m more of an artist or whole album sort of gal, and even that’s a tough choice. For the sake of following the rules, I’ll pick Sister Winter by Sufjan Stevens. Just the right blend of melancholy and hope in that one, and my son sings a killer harmony part.

Favorite ‘90s movie: Whew, at least we’ve narrowed this one down to a decade. After multiple rounds of minimalism-inspired purging, I still own a DVD copy of 1993’s fantasy rom-com Heart and Souls, staring pre-meltdown Robert Downy, Jr. and a pretty decent ensemble cast. As I reviewer, I must warn you: 6.9 stars on IMDb, 55% on Rotten Tomatoes.

What is your ideal breakfast?: I’m not picky, as long as it’s late. Two hours after I wake up seems about right. Apologies to the most important meal of the day, but the thought of eating food directly after waking makes me nauseous.

What US State have you always wanted to visit?: New York. And now I’m extra motivated because the enigmatic and elusive Tom DeSimone lives there.

If you could travel to any time period and observe, where would it be?: Because I grew up in church, I think I’m obligated to say “biblical times.” Still, I think it’d be pretty neat.

Mac or Windows?: Mac.

You’re given an unlimited budget to build a house. What’s inside? Where is it?: Since becoming a minimalist, I’ve always wanted to try living in a tiny house. An unlimited budget gives this a fun twist, so let’s say it’s a souped-up tiny house — lots of energy-saving features, custom modular furniture, and high-end finishes. The location wouldn’t matter, because it would be movable!

What can we say about Rosie Holman that she hasn’t already said herself? Anyone who can admit openly to an affinity with Jane Eyre has earned their official overthinker crown in our book. And why not? This team needs a little overthinking sometimes. We’re looking forward to visiting Rosie’s AirBnB after her inevitable stint on Tiny House, Big Living, but we’ll make sure to show up well after breakfast.

Interested in reading about other members of the Merchant Maverick staff? Check out our team interview series.

The post Team Bio Series — Rosie Holman (The Minimalist) appeared first on Merchant Maverick.

“”

Team Bio Series — Jessica Dinsmore (The Old Woman In The Shoe)

This week, we’re continuing our Merchant Maverick team interview series with Jessica Dinsmore, our favorite customer service rep. Jessica supports our team in virtually every possible way, but she’s so much more than just a de facto office manager and internet troll-slayer. She’s also a bargain shopper who thinks Costco would be a fun destination for a no-holds-barred shopping spree. She’s weird, in fact, which means she fits right in here. Read on for a more in-depth look at what Jessica brings to the table.

Name: Jessica Dinsmore

Title: Girl Friday

Hometown: I spent my younger years in Southern California, but I consider my hometown to be the small farming community of Canby, Oregon.

Current city: Canby, Oregon

Education and background: I studied Real Estate Law at Portland Community College, and worked in residential and commercial real estate for several years, both as a broker and an assistant.  I also spent nearly a decade in healthcare administration and employee staffing.

Merchant Maverick department/specialty: Customer Support, administrative support, and just about anything that isn’t writing reviews. I work behind the scenes doing outreach, blog moderation, responding to reader comments and emails, updating links and lots more.

How did you discover Merchant Maverick?: Craigslist!  Honestly, I thought the opportunity was too good to be true, and therefore a scam.  Shortly after I was hired, I met our managing editor, Julie, for coffee in real life, and she confirmed that the company was, in fact, both legit and amazing.

Proudest professional moment: I think it was probably closing my first real estate deal. Finally getting paid for months of work and out of pocket expenses felt pretty great. However, I now feel more pride working for Merchant Maverick. It is really an incredible company.

Favorite Merchant Maverick post/moment/opportunity: Meeting our team in real life, after months of co-working remotely, and realizing what a genuinely bright and interesting group of people I work with!

What do you do for fun?: I love interior design and bargain shopping! I’m a sucker for a good deal.  If you compliment me on something, I will most likely respond enthusiastically with how little I paid for said item. The better the deal, the more I enjoy it.

What literary character do you identify most with and why? Does the old woman who lived in a shoe count? Just the first two lines, I promise! I’m a tired mama; it’s relatable.

Favorite movie: That’s too hard!  I wouldn’t say I have a favorite, but I did enjoy Amelie, and Fiddler on the roof is a classic.

Favorite ‘90s song: Strangelove by Depeche Mode, though it is technically from the late 80’s, I didn’t hear it until the 90’s, so I’ve decided it qualifies.

What would you eat for your last meal?: Avocado Eggs Benedict and/or all the side dishes from a traditional Thanksgiving feast… plus wine and cookies.

What place have you always wanted to live?: Switzerland seems like a good choice; happiest place to live in the world!

If you could have lunch with any person, past or present, who would it be?: My dad.

Mac or Windows?: Windows

You’re given an unlimited budget at one retail store. Where do you go? What do you buy?: The obvious and practical choice would be Costco. I’d literally buy multiples of everything!

Well, there you have it. Jessica Dinsmore: Craigslist-answerer, avocado lover, bargain shopper-extraordinaire. Despite her claims otherwise, Jessica is neither old nor a shoe-dweller, and our team is so much richer because of her (our comment boards are sure less intimidating).

Interested in reading about other members of the Merchant Maverick staff? Check out our team interview series.

The post Team Bio Series — Jessica Dinsmore (The Old Woman In The Shoe) appeared first on Merchant Maverick.

“”

Team Bio Series — Matt Sherman (Recovering Music Snob)

Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships. Learn more.

For the next stop in our tour of the Merchant Maverick virtual office we’ll be talking to Matt Sherman, our resident head of point of sale. Matt is an old-school sports journalist who stoically watched the print industry implode before joining the MM team. But, apart from his willingness to go down with burning ships, what else does this life-long Oregonian bring to the table? Let’s read on, shall we?

Name: Matthew Sherman

Title: Head Writer for Point of Sale

Hometown: West Linn, Oregon

Current city: Gladstone, Oregon

Education and background: I spent two years at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego before graduating with a BA in English from the University of Oregon. I then spent about 14 years as a writer and sports editor for a pair of weekly newspapers where I had a unique front-row seat to the print industry’s spectacular demise.

Merchant Maverick department/specialty: Point of sale

How did you discover Merchant Maverick?: I have known Julie (one of the site’s editors) for the vast majority of my life, being friends with her older brother and attending the same church/piano recitals she did. When the newspapers and I decided to make a conscious uncoupling from each other, she contacted me.

Proudest professional moment: Covering the Little League World Series in Pennsylvania when one of our local teams qualified was a big highlight.

Favorite Merchant Maverick post/moment/opportunity: I haven’t been here too long but the meet-up in Palm Springs was fantastic. In terms of actual work output, I get a thrill from successfully shaking off requests from pesky vendors. I’ve also liked being able to respond to questions from people who are directly in the market for a point of sale system. With each passing day I feel like less and less of a fraud here.

What do you do for fun?: When you have two young, hyperactive boys, hobbies tend to take a back seat. I write a little bit and enjoy getting together with friends for board games. Evenings are generally spent on Netflix, HBO, Hulu, or Amazon trying desperately to make a dent in an impossible number of good TV shows available right now.

What movie character do you identify most with and why? A few years ago, there was one of those activities that everyone posted on Facebook where you were supposed to pick the 3 movie characters you most identified with. I was a Facebook contrarian even back then and refused to participate with an actual post but couldn’t help but think about it and was always pleased with my answer. Michael Cera’s character in Superbad because he looks and acts very similar to me in high school. Ron Livingston’s character from Office Space because my dream is to also sit around doing nothing. And Jim Carey’s character in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind just because.

Favorite sitcom: The most influential show on my life was/is The Simpsons. I loved 30 Rock and Parks and Recreation and currently, I’m a huge fan of The Good Place and Broad City.

Favorite ‘90s song: I’m a recovering music snob who refuses to advance his tastes past the late 90s. I’ll say Paranoid Android by Radiohead with my guilty pleasure being Criminal by Fiona Apple.

Favorite dessert: Tough to go wrong with a good cheesecake.

What are three places you’d like to go?: Germany is pretty high on my list right now. The Riviera has always appealed to me as well and, for somewhere tropical, maybe somewhere like Belize.

If you could travel back in time and talk to anyone, who would you visit and what would you ask them?: I’d be so paranoid that anything I said would dramatically alter the future so I’d probably be pretty conservative. It’d be pretty cool to just hang out for an evening with the Beatles before they got famous or the Velvet Underground or maybe in the SNL writers room in the late 70s (avoiding partaking in the copious amount of drugs that would be present in all of those scenarios.)

Mac or Windows?: It’s probably a major faux pas to admit I don’t have a strong preference. As someone who is fairly computer illiterate and gets irrationally angry about glitches and bugs, I always appreciated the user-friendliness of Macs while being fully aware (via tech-savvy friends) that PCs are superior.

You’re given an unlimited budget at one retail store. Where do you go? What do you buy?: Oh man. I thought way too long about this. I would probably say Home Depot to totally revamp my deck and my entire yard area as long as I could also purchase the labor required to do it considering I still utilize my poor father-in-law for the most menial home improvement tasks.

Matt hasn’t been a part of our weird work-family for long, but we’re sure glad he’s getting more used to us by the day. Anyone who can admit an affinity with Michael Cera is okay by us, and — I speak for the entire MM team when I say that we like a man who’s not afraid to admit he listens to Fiona Apple.

Interested in reading about other members of the Merchant Maverick staff? Check out our team interview series.

Julie Titterington

Julie Titterington is a writer, editor, and native Oregonian who lives in the beautiful Willamette Valley with her husband and two small children. When she’s not writing or testing software, she spends her time reading early 20th century mystery novels, staring blankly at her iPhone, and attempting to keep her kids fed, clothed, and relatively uninjured.

Julie Titterington
Julie Titterington

“”

Team Bio Series — Jason Vissers (Ramen Lover)

Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships. Learn more.

This week on “Meet The Merchant Maverick Staff” we’re learning to love Jason Vissers, our resident website builder reviewer and crowdfunding expert. Among other things, Mr. Vissers has the distinction of making me laugh out loud while editing — no simple feat. When he’s not putting his editor in stiches or writing commentaries on modern American culture disguised as GoFundMe reviews, Jason is doing…what exactly? Read on to find out.

Name: Jason Vissers

Title: Writer — Website Builders, Lenders, and Crowdfunders

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Current city: San Diego, CA, though I spend a lot of time in PA with my girlfriend, who definitely exists, I swear.

Education and background: B.A. in Political Science from SDSU. I went to a party school but forgot to party. Whoops.

I’ve held a wide variety of jobs, from writing for a short-lived local weekly paper (any San Diegans out there remember the Fahrenheit?) to working the registers at a major fabric-and-crafts retailer. I hesitate to tell you which one because I still have waking nightmares where I’m being harassed by a bellicose grandmother in a sequined baseball cap pointing to her five-foot-long receipt demanding to know why her 40% off item coupon got applied to her Swarovski crystals and not her ceramic corn cob.

Those crafters have long memories.

Merchant Maverick department/specialty: I started out exclusively covering website builders. Since then, I’ve started writing about online lenders and crowdfunding platforms as well.

How did you discover Merchant Maverick?: My co-worker and sister Shannon let me know about the position. I jumped at the chance, and poof, here I am!

Proudest professional moment: As good as it feels to get my reviews and articles published here, my proudest professional moment has to be the time I wrote a feature article in the Fahrenheit in which I attempted to rank the beaches of San Diego according to the taste of their ocean water. The Fahrenheit didn’t have a lot of writers, so they just let me run with whatever nonsensical idea popped into my head. It was a different time…

Favorite Merchant Maverick post/moment/opportunity: Probably my article on website monetization. I spend a good while compiling the info, and I like to think my GIF game was on point.

What do you do when you have a day off?: I’ll probably go get some ramen at Mitsuwa, then play video games and watch stupid YouTube videos until I fall asleep under the reassuring glow of the warm screens.

What fictional character do you most resemble and why? Back in high school, someone told me I look like Principal Skinner from The Simpsons. Whatever.

Favorite TV shows: The Simpsons, Get A Life (most criminally underrated show of all time), NewsRadio, Mr. Show, The Young Ones, anything Tim & Eric-related, Twin Peaks, Nathan For You, and of course the incomparable Rock Of Love, particularly season 3 — the one with the bus.

Favorite ‘90s song: Hmmm… I could be douchey and name something super-obscure, but instead, I’ll say…a tie between It Was A Good Day by Ice Cube and Common People by Pulp. An honorable mention goes to Amish Paradise by Weird Al Yankovic.

Favorite breakfast food: All of it, all the live long day. But especially pancakes.

What are three items on your bucket list?:

  • Go to Japan and eat all the ramen
  • Learn how to play Devo riffs on the guitar (I cannot play the guitar)
  • Learn how to cook (anything)

If you could travel back in time and talk to your past self, what would you say?: Hi, me. I don’t have much to say since I haven’t really gained any wisdom or insight over the years, but here is an almanac containing the scores for future sporting events.

Mac or Windows?: Windows! Back in the days of yore, if you were into computer games, the PC was really your only option, as most games didn’t get a Mac release. I’ve stuck with PCs ever since, mainly out of habit.

You’re given an unlimited travel budget. Where do you go?: I’m planning a future trip to Japan. There are districts of Tokyo I want to visit because I’ve been there in Persona 5. I’m not even kidding. (Amazing game, by the way — using my authority as reviewer of things, I give it five stars).

Jason may be self-deprecating (Principal Skinner indeed!), but he’s one of our favorite writers here at Merchant Maverick. I for one will never be able to enter a Joann’s Fabrics without thinking of him fondly. And I’m sure I speak for all of us here when I say that, next time we are munching on Top Ramen, we’ll spare a thought for our favorite Simpsons aficionado. Stay tuned for the next installment in our team interview series, or go back and read the whole collection.

Julie Titterington

Julie Titterington is a writer, editor, and native Oregonian who lives in the beautiful Willamette Valley with her husband and two small children. When she’s not writing or testing software, she spends her time reading early 20th century mystery novels, staring blankly at her iPhone, and attempting to keep her kids fed, clothed, and relatively uninjured.

Julie Titterington
Julie Titterington

“”

Team Bio Series – Chris Motola (Gamer Extraordinaire)

Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships. Learn more.

Chris Motola: Merchant Maverick’s own little piece of Brooklyn. When he’s not writing about, erm, extremely dubious financial products, he’s playing table games, hiking, or geeking-out, Tarantino-style. (What is a Tarantino-style nerd? Do they perform Kill Bill cosplay? Or meet for table reads of Jackie Brown? Chris isn’t telling.) Let’s find out more about how the East Coast’s number one writer of MCA reviews rolls…

Name: Chris Motola

Title: Writer – Loans and MCAs

Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

Current city: Middletown, NY

Education and background: BA in English Writing from SUNY Oswego; MS in Interactive Media from University of Central Florida. I’ve worked a variety of jobs over the years–banking, warehouse, social services–but I keep coming back to writing in some form. I started off in print working for a small business and healthcare publisher in Upstate New York. I’m just old enough to have worked both sides of the digital transition.

Merchant Maverick department/specialty: I mainly cover merchant cash advances, but I also write about equipment financing, loans, and credit cards. Previously I was covering scheduling software and email marketing as a freelancer.

How did you discover Merchant Maverick?: Through the grapevine, really. My friend is friends with my editor’s brother. He told me Merchant Maverick was looking for writers. It was a happy coincidence.

Proudest professional moment: It’s hard to pin it down to any one thing. I enjoy the feeling of producing something, whether it’s a tangible product like a sandwich or something more abstract like an article. If you put a gun to my head, though, it would probably be the first time I saw my name in print. It felt like I’d managed to finally make it through the gate.

Favorite Merchant Maverick post/moment/opportunity: It would definitely be the invitation to join the staff. I had some experience covering finance from back in the day, so it turned out to be a good fit. As for content, I like knowing I’m helping readers make informed decisions about risky financial products.

What do you do when you’re not working for Merchant Maverick?: In my other life, I’m a game designer who dabbles in web development. I enjoy learning as a hobby, which might sound pretentious, but it’s more masochism than idealism. I like powering through frustration until the moment where something clicks. I’m into a lot of geek stuff: movies, tabletop games, video games, shows, though my geekdom probably aligns more with Tarantino or John Carpenter than Marvel. When I step away from glowing screens, I enjoy cooking, eating out, climbing mountains, and exploring towns and cities in the region.

You’re a new addition to the Marvel Universe. Who are you and why?: In spirit, I’d probably have more in common with Squirrel Girl than Doctor Doom or Captain America. I’d be Oblivion, a Walter Mitty type who discovers that I can create dimensional holes when I zone out or daydream. At first everyone, myself included, would think portals lead to pocket universes born of my imagination. In truth, they just deposit my victims into random Yum Brands (KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut) franchise restaurants throughout the world.

Favorite ‘90s song: Soundgarden’s Outshined

Favorite breakfast food? I usually skip breakfast, but I’ll be a basic New Yorker and say bagel with cream cheese.

What are three items on your bucket list?: 

  • Travel to Asia
  • Complete and publish a work of fiction, either a game or a novel
  • Be functionally literate in another language, probably Spanish

If you could travel back in time and live in a different era, which would you choose and why?: Hmm. Most of them were objectively pretty bad. I’d probably be self-serving, go back to the 90s and set myself straight.

Mac or Windows?: Mac’s alright, but I prefer Windows.

If you could have lunch with a famous person, past or present, who would it be and why?: I’d be really curious about what Karl Marx was like in a casual context. After a drink or two, would he be talking about revolution or soccer?

We’re not sure if we’d enjoy a summer blockbuster about a superhero like Oblivion, but we do give a big kudos to Chris for working a Walter Mitty reference into his interview. We love having Chris on the team, and wish him a future filled with Spanish-speaking and Thai adventures.

Julie Titterington

Julie Titterington is a writer, editor, and native Oregonian who lives in the beautiful Willamette Valley with her husband and two small children. When she’s not writing or testing software, she spends her time reading early 20th century mystery novels, staring blankly at her iPhone, and attempting to keep her kids fed, clothed, and relatively uninjured.

Julie Titterington
Julie Titterington

“”

Team Bio Series – Melissa Manley (Small Biz Love)

Our impartial reviews and content are supported partly by affiliate partnerships. Find out more.

After I sent Melissa they Bio questionnaire, I understood she wouldn’t disappoint…and she certainly delivered. Her focus on detail is really as wonderful with this project because it is in her own reviews. mPOS takes over just like a Netflix marathon on cleaning day, and Melissa is really a key player for making everything easily understandable. To focus on everything she provides, Melissa expires next within our Team Bio Series.

Name: Melissa Manley

Title: Credit Card Merchant AccountOrCellular Payments reviewer

Hometown: Joliet, IL

Current city: Lenexa, KS

Education and background: I’ve got a B.A. in British along with a B.S. in journalism in the College of Kansas, however a bad internship convinced me that the newsroom wasn’t where I had been intended to be. And So I began out like a freelance author/editor and selected up lots of really random understanding on the way.

Merchant Maverick department/niche: I actually do some content for merchant services, but my expertise is actually in mobile payment systems. I’ve labored artist tables and also at occasions which use Square and PayPal for any couple of years. I additionally have numerous buddies who’re around the convention circuit or run home-based companies so I’m familar with the requirements of retailers who don’t their very own dedicated storefront.

How have you uncover Merchant Maverick?: Amad, who owns Merchant Maverick, found me, really. He contacted me on the freelance platform and requested about writing reviews. Used to do an example article about a bit of tech known as LoopPay, that has since been purchased by Samsung Pay, which is among the services I keep close track of. Therefore it kind of seems like I’ve come full circle, in ways.

Proudest professional moment: I believe my proudest moment was getting quoted within my first HARO (Help a Reporter Out) query for Merchant Maverick. I understand that I’m a specialist in mPOS and payments, but getting my first quoted response helped me think, “Wow, others can easily see that I’m a specialist too!”

Favorite Merchant Maverick publish/moment/chance: I visited college in Lawrence, KS, the type of town that’s very happy with its small companies. The culture applied off on me. Might and it is suburbs, where I’m now, have a similar kind of devotion to independent companies that Lawrence does. It’s really amazing. What does everything relate to MM?

Well, I recognized within my freelance work which i enjoy helping small companies from behind the curtain, in addition to supporting them like a customer. I’m really lucky by using Merchant Maverick, I’m able to continue assisting small companies, whether it’s pointing them toward the very best processing deals or simply increasingly experienced in the instalments industry and just how it impacts them. Cheesy, I understand — and I am not even keen on cheese — but it’s the reality.

Where do you turn when you are no longer working for Merchant Maverick?: I’m a giant geek, so I’m usually binging something from the sci-fi/fantasy/super hero persuasion. I’m also pleased to consult with you the good thing about 1700s, Belle Epoque, and Edwardian era fashion, or even the how to go about Harry Potter, Lord from the Rings, or any one of my other favorite books. I additionally volunteer in an anime convention. As being a well-rounded geek is essential, yanno?

You’re a brand new accessory for the crayon box. What color are you currently and why?: Can One be considered a rainbow swirl crayon? I really like rainbows and anything rainbow colored. They fill me with pleasure, and I’d like to share that pleasure with everybody else.

Favorite ‘90s song: Must i pick only one? Sigh. If I needed to name only one favorite, I’d opt for No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak.” But 90s music is my jam. The runners-up include songs from Smashing Pumpkins and also the Offspring. And Backstreet Boys.

Favorite night time snack? Frozen treats.

What exactly are three products in your bucket list?: Within the interest of diversity (and not simply to list out a lot of holiday destinations):

  • Go to the Loire Valley in France, particularly Chenonceau.
  • Write an illusion novel. I do not expect so that it is good (individuals childhood hopes for to be the next Tolkien or J.K. Rowling have lengthy since been abandoned), but I must write one.
  • Finish my to-read list. Just kidding. That’s not going to happen. But it’s a great goal to desire to.

Should you could travel back in its history and reside in a different era, which may you select and why?: Medieval Europe fascinates me, but it’s a tad too plague-y in my tastes. And So I think I’d prefer to skip ahead to Tudor England, that is only marginally better so far as health risks. However it comes with Shakespeare and Marlowe and also the Tudor Empire, and a few really amazing clothing. Failing that, I love to think I’d be considered a Jane Austen-esque heroine within the Regency era.

Mac or Home windows?: I’m solidly within the Home windows camp. And much more solidly within the Android camp.

Should you could either become invisible if you wanted or have the ability to fly, which may you select and why?: Flying, certainly. I believe being invisible (even if perhaps when needed) could be very lonely. Flying appears like more enjoyable and allows for additional super hero-y antics.

When we ever require a book recommendation or help with our businesses, Melissa is our go-to. We would like to spend time together with her for fun on saturday because she’s into some really fun stuff! Can One pre-order that “someday” fantasy novel? I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that it’ll be much better than Melissa is giving herself credit for.

For additional from Melissa, make sure to interact with her on LinkedIn.

Rebecca Bertone

Rebecca is really a marketing junkie who discovered her passion while finishing her Journalism and Media Studies degree at North Park Condition. She enjoys everything internet marketing, particularly social networking! To be the typical millennial, she’s building her career by checking up on the most recent trends and tools in communication to assist brand achieve their set goals. When she’s not tweeting or streaming. you’ll find her exploring her new house within the Off-shore Northwest, cooking, or making up ground around the latest Television shows.

Rebecca Bertone

“”

Team Bio Series – Elizabeth Cranston (Pocket Filled with Sunshine)

For those who have an item of purchase question, Elizabeth can answer it. I’d be prepared to place my cash on that (don’t allow me to lower Elizabeth!). The truth that she mentions the comradery and love she gets for that Merchant Maverick team can be a proof of how awesome an individual she’s. Elizabeth brings that like to her writing also it sure shows! Learn more details on the woman behind the POS in her own interview.

Name: Elizabeth Cranston
Title: Reason for Purchase Author
Hometown: Canby, OR
Current city: Canby, OR

Education and background: I attended Clackamas College and earned my Affiliate of Arts Transfer degree after which graduated having a bachelor’s degree in British from George Fox College.

Merchant Maverick department/niche: Reason for Purchase

How have you uncover Merchant Maverick?: Through speaking to a different author who accustomed to work here.

Proudest professional moment: Certainly one of my moments of pride had been adopted back on Twitter by among the editors for Entrepreneur. We’ve exchanged several witty conversations since also it makes me seem like I’m speaking to some celebrity! (Oh how employed by Merchant Maverick can change you!)

Favorite Merchant Maverick publish/moment/chance: I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the truth that certainly one of my personal favorite facets of employed by Merchant Maverick may be the solid and understanding leadership we have previously mentioned and also the core support Personally i think coming from all my surrounding co-workers. My personal favorite publish is most likely your blog publish I authored known as Business Twitter 101: Establishing your Profile in five Steps. I put lots of effort into that publish and am very happy with it.

Where do you turn when you are no longer working for Merchant Maverick?: When I am not taking part in marathons (Netflix marathons, that’s), I like writing jokes, getting together with buddies, and researching new places, people, ideas, and things.

You’re a brand new accessory for the crayon box. What color are you currently and why?: Bottle regarding Yellow, if I possibly could bottle the sun’s rays I’d!

Favorite ‘90s song?: It’s a toss up between Killing Me Softly Together With His Song through the Fugees with no Scrubs by TLC.

Favorite night time snack?: I do not like eating at night time.

What exactly are three products in your bucket list?:
Learn to waltz and salsa dance.
Continue a legendary mix-country journey living van existence!
Fly an plane.

Who’d win inside a fight between Spiderman and Batman?: The Batman! Du nu nu nu nu nu nu nu Du nu nu nu nu nu nu nu! Batman!

Mac or Home windows?: Home windows completely baby!

Should you could either become invisible if you wanted or have the ability to fly, which may you select and why?: I’d certainly want so that you can fly! I suppose having the ability to soar over the earth using the wind hurrying using your face could be pretty exhilarating. Besides, if you are invisible you’d likely overheard things being stated in regards to you which were not so nice.

Elizabeth’s passion for the sun’s rays matches her sunny disposition! We’re so lucky to possess her as well as luckier that they may take a whole POS and break it lower for all of us in a single article. We’ll Netflix-marathon along with you every day!

For additional from Elizabeth, follow her on Twitter (the editor for Entrepreneur does!) or interact with her on LinkedIn.

Rebecca Bertone

Rebecca is really a marketing junkie who discovered her passion while finishing her Journalism and Media Studies degree at North Park Condition. She enjoys everything internet marketing, particularly social networking! To be the typical millennial, she’s building her career by checking up on the most recent trends and tools in communication to assist brand achieve their set goals. When she’s not tweeting or streaming. you’ll find her exploring her new house within the Off-shore Northwest, cooking, or making up ground around the latest Television shows.

Rebecca Bertone

“”