The Maven Team

Meet and learn more about our leadership team and corporate directors

​​ JAMES HECKMAN / Founder and CEO

Digital media and advertising pioneer; founder of paradigm-shifting publisher networks; Senior strategist with major public companies

James Heckman served as head of global media strategy for Yahoo!, leading all significant transactions and revenue strategy under Ross Levinsohn’s tenure. As chief strategy officer at Fox Digital, he architected the first programmatic social advertising platform as part of the market-changing, $1 billion ad alliance between Google and Myspace and was instrumental in Hulu’s formation. Mr. Heckman was also founder/CEO of the online advertising platform (sold to Yahoo!); CSO of; founder/CEO of (sold to Fox), founder/CEO of and (sold to Yahoo! post tenure and 365-Sports, respectively); and president and publisher of NFL Exclusive, an official NFL publication network. Like Maven, Rivals and Scout were ground breaking initiatives that coalesced market-leading independent publishers into single-platform networks. ​​

ROSS LEVINSOHN / CEO Sports Illustrated, GM Maven Media

Mr. Levinsohn is a leading industry figure who has long focused on the convergence of technology and media. He served as CEO at Yahoo! in 2012 and prior to that role was the company’s Executive Vice President/Americas and Head of Global Media from 2010 to 2012. Levinsohn previously served as President of Fox Interactive, where he helped create one of the largest digital businesses amongst the traditional media companies, and was instrumental in the formation of what is now Hulu. He serves on several public and private media and technology boards, including Tribune Media, mobile advertising marketplace YieldMo, Vubiquity, Zefr, and the National Association of Television Program Executives. He was Executive Chairman and Director of Scout Media, Inc. from 2014-2016, previously served as the Chief Executive Officer of Guggenheim Digital Media and co-founded 5to1 Holding Corp, serving as its Executive Chairman. He co-founded Fuse Capital in 2005 and served as its Managing Director and Managing Partner. He served as General Manager at AltaVista Network and Vice President of Programming and Executive Producer at CBS Sportsline. Mr. Levinsohn received a bachelor’s in broadcast communications from American University, and is a trustee there.

​​ JOSH JACOBS / Director

Veteran ad-industry leader specializing in strategic monetization of digital media platforms and programmatic media-buying

A pioneer in the programmatic media-buying industry, Josh has built innovative platforms and strategies on a global scale, first as an engineer and, for the last 18 years, as a senior executive operating and scaling major media and advertising brand initiatives. Prior to Maven, Josh served as president/services at Kik Interactive; global CEO of Omnicom's Accuen and president of Omnicom Media Group; senior vice president of advertising products and global marketing at Glam (Mode) Media; and vice president/general manager of marketing and technology at Yahoo!​

​ ​PAUL EDMONDSON / President and Chief Operating Officer

Mr. Edmondson is an expert in digital media coalition building and search engine optimization. He joined Maven as head of growth in January 2018 following Maven’s acquisition of the HubPages digital media network Mr. Edmondson co-founded in 2006.

As CEO of HubPages, Mr. Edmondson architected a network of over 6,000 monthly contributors attracting more than 35 million unique users per month. He is a frequent speaker at industry events where he shares insights on search engine and revenue optimization, and building startup companies.

Prior to starting HubPages, Mr. Edmondson held a series of business, operations and product management roles at Microsoft, where he helped launch MSN Music. Mr. Edmondson was one of the first employees at digital music infrastructure pioneer MongoMusic and came to Microsoft when the company acquired MongoMusic in 2000.

He is a 1998 graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where earned a degree in management information systems and secured his career start as an intern with Hewlett Packard working on large-scale, multidimensional database applications.​​​

​​BEN TROTT / Chief Product Officer

Ben Trott joined Maven from Say Media where he was Chief Architect. He shaped Say Media's technology architecture, working with product and engineering teams to build the systems for scale, acceleration, and efficiency. Before joining Say Media, Ben co-founded Six Apart, where he served as Chief Technology Officer (the company was acquired in 2010 to create Say Media).​

​​ ​BEN JOLDERSMA / Chief Technology Officer

Mr. Joldersma’s career spans nearly two decades of large-scale digital media publishing and advertising platform development. He leads a veteran team of Maven engineers and designers who coalesce the company’s value proposition — technology, distribution and monetization — into a powerful, scalable suite of tools for channel partners.

Joldersma was the CTO and chief architect of the single-platform national sports network, and the CTO of the digital media advertising management firm 5to1. In addition, he was a senior software engineer at Google, where he researched and developed image visualization systems for Google Maps; and a principal software engineer in the advertising platform unit at Yahoo!

He has also held senior engineering roles at Microsoft, aQuantive and, and was the founder and CEO of the Seattle software development firm Skull Squadron.​​

​​ ANDREW KRAFT / Chief Revenue and Strategy Officer

Andrew joins Maven after seven years at Xandr (the division of AT&T formerly known as AppNexus), where he served a variety of roles on the executive team ranging from head of Business and Corporate Development to co-founding the company's publisher business as head of Publisher Strategy to launching AppNexus' media business to leading operations and finance as acting CFO.

Previously, Andrew was the SVP, AMP & Publisher Solutions for Collective, where he led business development for the company’s audience management and monetization platform. Prior to Collective, Andrew served as VP of Member Services and Revenue for the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) for three years after holding leading roles at a number of dotcom startups during the original dotcom boom. Andrew studied Physics and Theater at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

​​ELIZABETH THOMPSON / VP Partner Development

Elizabeth Thompson is a seasoned digital media executive with over 20 years of experience spanning strategic business development, partner management and operations roles for startups and fast-growth organizations.

Elizabeth started her career at Genesys in 1996, the world’s #1 omnichannel customer experience platform where she managed channel partnerships through an IPO and acquisition by Alcatel.

She joined the Glam/Mode Media team in 2007 as the Director of Publisher Operations, where she worked with more than 10,000 publishers negotiating partnership agreements and licensing video content. She became a Vice President in 2014 and then Senior Vice President of Partner Strategy & Operations the following year, responsible for sourcing, negotiating and optimizing the ongoing value of strategic partnerships and creating, launching and growing new lines of business for the company. ​

​​SARAH STRINGFELLOW / VP Publisher Services

Sarah Stringfellow is a digital media expert, experienced in building influencer and publisher networks while fostering strong partner relationships. She joins Maven from Say Media where she was VP of Publisher Services, instrumental in building and running Say’s ad networks and worldwide publisher services. At Maven she leads teams responsible for the entire life cycle of our partners from site launch, support to continued strategic growth.

Prior to Say Media, Sarah spent several years in live music and entertainment. She was the first hire at (which became Twitch.TV) who was responsible for building an influencer network within music and entertainment. ​​​

DEREK LIDDELL / SVP Product Development

Derek's professional software career started in 1995. He spent 10 years as a web and C++ developer, then moved to Program Manager/Development lead roles. Today he spends his time analyzing requirements, designing features and reviewing data, working with engineers daily to bring more power to the lives of independent publishers.

Prior to joining Maven, Derek was a Principal Program Manager at Microsoft where he led releases for the Edge App team. He also designed browser features that went into Windows 10. He initially joined the Windows Phone team in 2012 to drive performance improvements and received 4 patents while there.

Prior to joining Microsoft in 2002, Mr. Liddell was a senior developer in a startup that was making navigation/GPS software for handheld Windows CE devices. Additionally he was a software developer at Active Voice where he wrote complex voice applications for a Unified Messaging system.

​​DOUG SMITH / Chief Financial Officer

Doug is a seasoned financial veteran with experience leading public and private equity backed companies in the digital marketing, education and media fields in both traditional and on-line environments. An expert in corporate transitions, he has helped manage companies through rapid growth, turnarounds, IPOs and capital restructurings, major acquisitions and integrations, divestitures and outright sales of the organizations. In the process he has raised over $5 Billion in capital in almost every capital market and completed over 60 acquisitions and divestitures.

Doug has prior experience working with CEO James Heckman as CFO of Scout Media. In addition, he has served as CFO of Ashworth College and EducationDynamics, both online education companies, Datran Media, an email marketer, GLM Shows, a traditional trade show operator, marketing consultant Peppers & Rogers Group and Primedia, a major publishing company. Prior to his corporate experience, Doug was with the Bank of New York where he specialized in Media lending. He has an MBA from Columbia Business School and a BA in Economics from Connecticut College.

BILL SORNSIN / EVP Maven Network

Mr. Sornsin has been on the forefront of web and digital media technology advancements since the 1990s.

He ran MSN's Core Technology team, including the original MSN Communities and instant messaging, before co-founding two of the web’s most successful professional publisher networks: and He served as CTO for both. With Scout’s 2005 acquisition by Fox Interactive Media, he joined Fox as vice president of engineering and operations for that unit. He then moved into consulting, during which time he worked as acting-CTO of the online advertising platform 5to1 (acquired by Yahoo!). He returned to Scout in 2013 as CTO (later COO), and directed a massive technological renovation focused on mobile and video.

Sornsin began his tech career as a Rockwell Collins test engineer, then joined Microsoft in various roles including product planning lead for Microsoft Exchange. He holds a bachelor’s in electrical/computer engineering from the University of Iowa and an MBA from UCLA.

Board of Directors: