Steven MarciniakFounder & CEO
Originally from the Chicago area, Founder and CEO Steven Marciniak graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in December 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in Management-Entrepreneurship. Shortly after graduation, he was introduced to a lobbyist at the Illinois Chamber of Commerce who was searching for a better way to track legislation. Steven instantly recognized not only the business potential but the significance of government transparency and involvement and founded PolicyEngage (formerly TrackBill). The following year was an uphill battle for the founder—struggling on food stamps, sleeping on a friend’s couch and selling his plasma to get the company off the ground.
In February 2013, PolicyEngage was accepted as one of five startups (out of 120) into the Capital Innovators accelerator program in St. Louis, MO. After successfully completing the three-month curriculum, PolicyEngage caught the attention of Arch Grants, also located in St. Louis, and became one of 20 companies (out of 707) to receive a grant from the startup competition. Grateful for the support of the city, PolicyEngage established St. Louis as its headquarters in May 2013.
Following its move to St. Louis, PolicyEngage raised $2.5 million from two venture capital firms, Cultivation Capital in St. Louis and Serra Ventures on the University of Illinois campus in Champaign. Since then, the company has expanded its operations with an office in Washington, DC.
PolicyEngage has over 270 clients nationwide, including Fortune 500 companies, trade associations, nonprofit organizations and governmental consulting firms.
In his spare time, Steven enjoys hiking, reading about space and physics and researching Ancient Egyptian history.
Sales and Marketing
Bennett JamesDirector of Sales
Bennett James (yes, Bennett is his first name) joined PolicyEngage in 2016. He's a St. Louis native and leads the company's Sales Department. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Redlands and completed his MBA from Western Governors University in 2019. Bennett is passionate about bringing new clients to PolicyEngage and helping them reach their goals. In 1999, Bennett was awarded the title of “Dirtiest Kid in America” by the Tide Corporation.
Chris TostoClient Success
Prior to joining PolicyEngage in 2019, Chris—known by many as "CJ"—spent 15 years with another leading public affairs company, starting as policy analyst and advancing to director of client services. He later was co-founder and president of LobbyLinx, a 50-state search engine that connected lobbyists with clients. Chris, who attended George Mason University, is a native New Englander and avid Red Sox fan. He lives with his fiancee in New Hampshire.
Andrew MarciniakSales Operations
Andy is a recent transplant to the Boston-area office from our headquarters in St. Louis. Born and raised outside Chicago, Andy is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Having started as an intern at PolicyEngage in 2015, Andy now heads the company's Sales Operations and Accounts Receivable departments. His cross-country move to Boston was for his long-distance girlfriend, whom he met at his first business conference for PolicyEngage. Yes, he's the younger brother of Founder & CEO Steven Marciniak.
Virginia LashSales Development
Virginia is from Virginia—and goes by "VA" (pretty consistent, right?). She joined PolicyEngage's team in 2020 as a sales development representative. Virginia graduated from Hollins University in southern VA in 2017 with a bachelor's degree in History and Business. Soon after, she embarked on her sales career. She's happy to be on a great team at a great company!
Sara DeCourcySales Development
Sara joined PolicyEngage in 2020, bringing three years of sales development experience in the B2B SaaS market. A graduate of Southwestern Illinois College, she has worked with several Customer Relationship Management systems including Salesforce and SalesLoft. Sara is an animal lover with eight pets, all of which are rescues—four cats, one dog, two turtles, and one sugar glider (a tiny possum).
Matt DennisSales Development
Matt, a Virginia native living outside DC, joined PolicyEngage in 2020 as a sales development representative. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Exercise Science from Virginia Tech in 2019, after which he worked as a strength and conditioning coach and graduate teaching assistant. Since COVID-19, Matt started new hobbies—playing guitar and comedy writing—while looking to launch his sales career.
Olga OrdaMedia Relations
Olga joined PolicyEngage in 2020 as head of media relations. Olga has 15 years of experience in PR campaigns for billion-dollar retail brands, Fortune 500 companies, tech startups, venture capital firms, and NGOs in New York and San Francisco. She's secured coverage in The New York Times, CNN, Fast Company, Fortune and others. Previously, she grew one of FTI Consulting’s North American offices and led the New York office of a national tech PR firm. Olga has a master's in Communication and Culture from the University of Calgary.
Ray took over as CTO in early 2017, bringing 25 years of technical skills, design talent, and business instincts to PolicyEngage. Ray previously founded Raging Design in 2003 while pursuing his degree from Robert Morris University. Ray's work has been used in the education, military, medical, and communications fields. His advocacy and contributions helped establish several norms and standards seen today in web technologies, programming languages, software distributions, and open source. Ray has been married for 20 years and has five children.
Josh HedlundSenior Software Engineer
Josh, who received his bachelor's degree in Computer Science and Mathematics from Lindenwood University, has nearly 12 years of experience in developing websites. He joined PolicyEngage as a senior engineer in 2019, and enjoys making web servers and democracy work better for clients. Joshua lives in St. Louis and loves biking into the office.
Dan BrownSenior Software Engineer
Dan, who joined PolicyEngage in 2020, earned his master's degree from the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has over 25 years of experience in computer software engineering. Prior to joining Policy Engage, Dan worked on search relevance and artificial intelligence. Dan once spent the Fourth of July (U.S. Independence Day) outside St. Petersburg, Russia, cutting grass with a scythe to feed some cows.
Rob BickelSenior Software Engineer
Rob joined PolicyEngage in 2018, bringing over 20 years experience in web architecture, cloud scale systems, and software development. While he appreciates his degree from the College of Southern Idaho, his mark on the world is best commemorated in his work, which has been mentioned in USA Today, The New York Times, and Forbes. He may have left his suit and jet behind to join us, but he continues to bring cutting-edge technology applications to our space.
Chad WhitfieldSenior UI/UX Engineer
Originally from Central Illinois, Chad moved to St. Louis to start his career after earning his bachelor's degree from Eastern Illinois University in 2009. He has been solving customers’ problems through user-centered design and custom-built software ever since. He joined PolicyEngage in 2019 as a senior UI/UX engineer and is thrilled to be working on products that have meaningful impact. Chad enjoys traveling and spending time with his family.