Chief Executive Officer
Darren Hill is the CEO and co-founder at WebLinc. He oversees the company’s vision, growth strategy and dedicated culture.
An entrepreneur from an early age, Darren was mowing lawns before starting up a mail order t-shirt business in his parent’s basement. When he was a freshman at Drexel University in 1994, his dorm room was one of the first in the country to be hard-wired to the internet. A born innovator, Darren taught himself HTML and began coding. Soon after he co-founded WebLinc with his brother Jason and they were building websites for businesses across nearly every vertical. A constant request from clients determined the company’s ultimate focus: websites to sell products.
After seeing the tremendous market opportunity, Darren placed 100% of the company’s efforts on ecommerce in 2001. At this time, WebLinc was the trusted launching pad for booming global retailers such as Urban Outfitter’s Free People, Speedo and Calvin Klein. Still, Darren saw that the available software wasn’t flexible and had a foreseeable shelf life. So in 2003, WebLinc built and implemented the first version of its proprietary platform for customers.
Darren’s unique journey in digital commerce has kept WebLinc and its customers at the forefront of digital commerce innovations. Ten years before mobile-first design became a philosophy, the company bet early on mobile and launched several sites employing responsive design. To better provide retailers with the performance and speed they need, WebLinc built the first ecommerce platform on Ruby on Rails in 2012.
Fast forward to 2014, WebLinc raised $6MM from Safeguard Scientifics to grow R&D plus its sales and marketing teams. Today, Darren and WebLinc’s leadership team transformed the company into a thriving business operating out of the United States and Canada. Darren recently steered WebLinc through its first acquisitions and increased subscription revenue by 490% year-over-year, further cementing the product-market fit.
Darren is a regular speaker at Drexel University’s LeBow Business College and ecommerce-focused conferences including IRCE. Darren has been profiled in or contributed to Inc. Magazine, Internet Retailer, The Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Business Journal, Entrepreneur Magazine and Multichannel Merchant, amongst others. He ranked #3 in Drexel University’s Top 40 Under 40 alumni list and was included in the “Top 30 People Under 30 Years Old” list in Philadelphia Magazine. In 2014, Darren was named a ‘Most Admired CEO’ by the Philadelphia Business Journal. Despite these personal accolades, Darren feels most rewarded through philanthropic efforts and when giving back to the city’s booming entrepreneurial scene.
A regional entrepreneur – and two-time area finalist for Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur Of The Year – Darren is an integral part of the Old City Philadelphia renaissance where WebLinc is headquartered and owns all three of its historic buildings. He’s also a partner in two restaurants.
Darren graduated with honors from Drexel University with a B.S. in Business.
Chief Technology Officer
Jason Hill is the CTO and co-founder at WebLinc. Since he started WebLinc in 1994, Jason has overseen the technical development of every site built on our proprietary platform.
An entrepreneur and diehard problem-solver, Jason has an unmatched understanding of the thriving digital commerce industry. He directs how the core code base and software he co-wrote fits into the larger customer ecosystem. Each day, he aims to match modern technology with retailers and merchants so they can focus on growing their business.
Applying an overarching knowledge of retail-focused technology, Jason knows how to select the appropriate tools for merchants to stay at the forefront of ecommerce. His background combined with earned intuitions led him to rebuild the WebLinc platform on Ruby on Rails to create the most modern and flexible system developers want to use.
Jason consistently looks for ways to help his teammates and all our employees find their own work-life balance. To Jason, there is a deep correlation between the growth of staff and the company’s bottom line. He believes that empowering employees empowers the business, which leads to thorough and innovative results for clients.
He was named by the Philadelphia Business Journal as the area’s Top IT Pro in the private company category. In addition, Jason was selected for the “Top 30 People Under 30 Years Old” list in Philadelphia Magazine. He was voted top CTO in 2014 by the Philadelphia Business Journal. Jason is also a partner in two restaurants and in several local, historic properties.
Jason studied film, illustration, and philosophy at Temple University after transferring from the University of Delaware in 1994.
Chief Operating Officer
Kylie serves as WebLinc’s Chief Operating Officer. Ensuring our departments mature and exceed the industry’s requirements, she establishes the appropriate framework for how we function and scale. Kylie utilizes 15+ years of lessons learned to thrust us forward so our delivery methods match the rapid improvements to our proprietary platform.
She was here when just 10 people worked at WebLinc, and has since been involved in nearly every facet of our business. Her career began in accounting, later entered into project management, and participated in the majority of customer site launches and post launch services.
Influential in every iteration of WebLinc systems, Kylie’s propels us forward in several ways. Currently, Kylie oversees the holistic development and maintenance of our operations and delivery services. Kylie is responsible for our People Operations, Accounting and Legal teams. Additionally, she serves as liaison between the Product, Sales and Implementation teams while supporting allocation and capacity aiding system integrators. Kylie makes sure we’re increasing profitability on platform implementation, and creates efficiencies in our forecasts to continue our positive revenue momentum.
A forward-thinker, Kylie looks to evolve the WebLinc business in the best interest of its customers and the brand. In 2014, the company embraced some of the newest and fastest technologies including Ruby on Rails and Mongo DB. This giant tech leap forward forced us to reconceive how we packaged and marketed the product, on top of realigning and exploring different disciplines in how we’re implementing it.
Her previous experience includes positions with Bell Atlantic Advanced Data Services in Philadelphia focused on tax and finance. Prior to, Kylie assisted with sales for subscription renewals and new business at Primavera Systems in London, UK. She is also a partner in three real estate holding companies and two restaurants.
Kylie graduated from Drexel University with a double major in Management Information Systems and Accounting.
Executive Vice President of Strategy
Marc is WebLinc’s Executive Vice President of Strategy. A veteran in the area of retail technology and digital commerce, he steers our strategy and tactical evolution by applying his time-tested vision and history transforming businesses through innovative go-to-market strategies.
When booming retail companies need direction for their ecommerce business, they consult Marc. He joined us after witnessing WebLinc’s versatile leadership, passionate people, and innovation at work. With Marc onboard he helped navigate us through two acquisitions, was a key leader in our international expansion into Canada and Latin America, and onboarded numerous leading service partners.
Formerly, Marc worked with Fortune 500 companies like Pepsi, P&G, Intel, GM, and Pfizer. Other recognizable brands who have trusted Marc include J. Crew, Cole Haan, Steve Madden, Bed Bath & Beyond, Philosophy, Timberland Group, and Zippo.
Prior to joining WebLinc in 2014, Marc was chief information officer and senior vice president of consulting at boutique ecommerce consulting firm, FitForCommerce. Before that he was a Solutions Engineer at Truition, Senior Technical Project Manager at Thin Data, and Global Product Specialist at DoubleClick.
Chief Revenue Officer
Avery is the Chief Revenue Officer at WebLinc. With more than 20 years’ experience building and transforming international product brands, Avery oversees global sales and marketing while developing and expanding relationships with our strategic partners.
Before joining WebLinc in 2007, Avery’s leadership and tenacity were critical in several successful acquisitions, joint ventures and international business development. Serving as VP of Remote Operations at Kee Action Sports, where he launched and oversaw growth of seven U.S. regional distribution facilities. He went on to establish the company’s first European HQ and distribution partner network, and in the first year elevated annual sales in Europe from $3MM to $11MM. Over seven years, staff numbers soared from 35 to 250 and Avery was instrumental in navigating a successful sale of the company to Angelo, Gordon & Co. That business also acquired Pursuit Marketing Inc., and Avery led the brand integrations through the merger as the head of global marketing for the new combined company.
Avery joined WebLinc in 2007 as the director of business development. Adding to his team-building history, Avery has instituted multiple, cross-functional teams at WebLinc including sales, marketing, customer success, and partner channel. Since 2013, changes implemented by Avery and his teams have resulted in dramatic growth in recurring license revenue, improved customer retention, the creation of a service partner ecosystem, and has helped drive considerable overall revenue growth.
In addition to his business activities, Avery is an active alumni board member for Drexel University’s E.M.B.A. program.
Avery holds a B.A. in Political Science/International Affairs from University of Northern Colorado and an E.M.B.A. from Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business.
Marc Adelman oversees WebLinc’s Product Team (R&D team), fusing ease-of-use and functionality to help us create smarter tools for high growth retailers. An enthusiastic Product Manager, he leads his team to focus on continuously improving our tech initiatives and product capabilities, all based on our customers’ most challenging performance issues.
Like many WebLincers, Marc is a spirited entrepreneur. Most recently, he co-founded Philadelphia-based Sidecar, an online marketing automation platform who counts Newegg, TigerDirect and several of our customers as clients. Prior to, Marc served as B&H Photo’s manager of online marketing. His online roots began with paid and organic search back in 2005.
Marc holds a B.S. in Elementary Education from Sunbridge College.
James Van Arsdale III
Vice President of Design & Delivery
James is WebLinc’s Vice President of Design & Delivery. His primary focus is helping retailers grow their business by providing industry-leading strategy and design. He leads teams of user experience designers, visual designers and developers to challenge best practices and focus on delivering customer-focused, data-driven results.
To say retail is in James’ blood wouldn’t be a stretch. Growing up in stockrooms to designing retail spaces for the family business is where James learned the complexities of running a retail and wholesale fashion business. A 10-year veteran at WebLinc, James applies his 15+ years of ecommerce experience to aiding retailers’ teams (whether lean or large). In all, he has contributed to 150+ site launches, many of which are brands we admire today.
His ideas and commentary have been featured in UX Magazine, FOX Business, Multichannel Merchant, and JWT Intelligence. While working at WebLinc, he served as a curriculum advisor to the Art Institute of Philadelphia (2007-2012)
James holds a B.S. in Web Development & Design from the Art Institute of Philadelphia.
Vice President of Marketing
Bill Tarbell serves as Vice President of Marketing at WebLinc. From a tall standing desk, he drives the company’s marketing initiatives, helps evolve our product’s value proposition, and communicates our platform’s vision to retailers and partners.
Bringing 10+ years of digital commerce chops to our growing team, Bill has a tight grasp of the fast-paced, competitive industry we support retailers in, day in and day out. Within a week of him joining us, teammates picked up on his passion for making the extraordinarily complex easily understandable and bringing authentic WebLinc stories to the fore.
Throughout Bill’s highly focused career, technical and market-facing leadership roles at companies such as ATG/Oracle, eBay and Magento have been in his hands. While at eBay / Magento, Bill’s role as Sr. Director of Innovation had him and his team overseeing product innovation, experiential marketing and product sales enablement globally.
Bill graduated from University of Richmond with dual majors in Computer Science and Mathematics and studied Disruptive Strategy with at Harvard Business School’s HBX program with the industry acclaimed innovation theorist Dr. Clayton Christensen.
Erik is Senior Vice President and Managing Director at Safeguard Scientifics (NYSE:SFE), a Philadelphia-based growth capital provider focused on technology-driven businesses in healthcare, financial services and digital media, from which WebLinc raised Series A funding in 2014.
Erik has more than 20 years of experience including venture investing and operations. During his career, Erik has held various positions at software, investment banking, private equity, and venture capital firms.
Instrumental in investing, sourcing and conducting due diligence, Erik works closely with Safeguard’s partner companies to provide support, analysis and insight. He currently is a board member at Safeguard’s partner companies Beyond, Brickwork, Clutch Holdings, Full Measure Education, MediaMath, Spongecell and WebLinc. Erik served on the board of former Safeguard partner companies including Kadoo (acquired by 3Sixty); Swap.com (acquired by NetCycler); and ThingWorx (acquired by PTC, NASDAQ:PTC).
Prior to joining Safeguard in 2006, Erik was a partner at WWC Capital Group, LLC, an investment banking and venture capital firm based in Reston, Va. Erik joined WWC Capital in 2001 and managed WWC Capital’s venture capital investments. He targeted investments in a broad range of areas including Internet/New Media, Software, and Technology-Enabled Services. Erik came to WWC from The Aurora Funds, a venture capital fund based in Durham, N.C. He managed Aurora’s Washington, D.C. office, focusing on Internet, software, and wireless investments. Erik had primary responsibility for several of Aurora’s most successful investments including Blackboard (NASDAQ:BBBB), DataFlux (acquired by SAS) and Accipiter (acquired by Engage).
Erik earned a B.A. degree in Economics from Lake Forest College and an M.B.A. from Boston College’s Carroll School of Management.
Advisory Board Member
Steve Friedman is an investor and advisor to early-stage companies. His focus is across strategic planning, go-to-market strategy, business development, marketing and executive recruitment. Steve serves on the Advisory Boards at Apprenda, Atomiton, Beyond, Clutch, BizEquity, Safeguard Scientifics (NYSE:SFE), and WebLinc.
Past Board roles include Mocana and Boxtone (acquired by Good Technology) and Appfirst (acquired by Sciencelogic). Past Advisory Boards include FirstBest Systems (acquired by Guidewire), Gigaspaces, Rapid Logic (acquired by Wind River) and Collaxa (acquired by Oracle).
Steve served as BEA Systems’ Vice President, Channels for the Americas. In this position, he was instrumental in growing the indirect channels business to over $100M. Steve came to BEA through the acquisition of WebLogic, where he built and co-led the field sales organization. Prior to BEA, Steve held sales, executive and business development positions with leading Enterprise Software firms.
Director of Latin America
Pedro is WebLinc’s Director of Latin America. His role spans all operations, sales and delivery of WebLinc’s two cloud products, Workarea and Orderbot.
Pedro is credited with building first the iCongo, then hybris/SAP business channel in Latin America. Pedro’s work established SAP as a leading E-Commerce vendor in LATAM. With more than 15 years of experience in the digital market space and 10 years in the Latin American market, Pedro has touched all aspects of digital commerce, managing development teams, supporting customers, directing field sales teams and managing the strategic partner ecosystem for SAP/hybris.
Being a technical thinker, developer and digital strategist, Pedro fully understands retail customer’s needs. He brings invaluable experience from his time with SAP/hybris and is actively developing WebLinc’s partner network in the attractive Latin American market.
Vice President of Sales
As Vice President of Sales, Chris is responsible for new and existing business growth while focusing on both short and long-term revenue goals.
A seasoned digital commerce Sales Executive, Chris’ experience spans all aspects of account management for major retailers and brands. From lead generation and strategizing to forecasting, account planning and customer satisfaction, there isn’t much he hasn’t solved for leading software companies.
Chris brings more than 25 years of experience in the Information Technology space, with 20 of them in a direct selling capacity. Chris has held various sales and leadership roles with global enterprise-class commerce solutions including NetSuite, Demandware, hybris, atg and BroadVision. Before this, Chris was key in the Advanced Development Center for Ernst & Young’s Management Consulting Practice where he was responsible for managing and delivering large-scale web-based solutions.
His focus on the digital commerce industry over the last 15 years allows him to craft the best total solution for his customers, including offerings provided by Workarea partner companies. Chris’ customer-centric and consultative approach enhances WebLinc’s commitment to excellence from first engagement through delivery of our solutions.
Chris holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Marist College.
Vice President of Operations, Order Management
Marianne Zakhour serves as Vice President of Operations at Orderbot. In Vancouver, she oversees 20 people across delivery, account management, sales, and marketing.
Her extensive background developing retail-focused technology provides her with the toolset to mature processes which deliver through recurring functions. Each day Marianne aims to minimize rework from implementation to implementation. She accomplishes this by improving efforts into workflow integrations, internally and externally integration of Workarea and Orderbot.
Starting her career at Bell Sygma, a company later acquired by CGI Canada, Marianne oversaw a combination of Financial and Business Analysis while adopting SAP into the needs of the her core groups finance group. At CGI Canada, she progressed as the youngest manager to ever be promoted, leading a team of financial analysts to standardize financial reporting and boost efficiencies companywide.
Marianne then moved to San Francisco, California where she spent five years building the information system infrastructure of Boudin Bakery as their Director of IS&IT. The company, initially on the verge of a shutdown, was privately acquired with the goal of renewal and growth with 47 cafes, four bakeries, a mail order business, and retail outlet. Marianne led the initiative to transfer all their processes from paper to best-of-breed systems. There, Marianne chose and implemented A-Z firmwide solutions across Accounting, HR, time management, POS, food cost management, catering and mail order management. Every initiative and project successfully enabled the company to achieve its growth targets.
After returning to Vancouver, Marianne started as COO of a software company building ecommerce applications for bakeries, catering, grocery and mail-order businesses. In 2008, Marianne co-founded Orderbot with Steve Izen.
In February 2016, Orderbot was acquired by WebLinc. Marianne continues to focus on go-to-market activities and her fresh M&A efforts from Vancouver.
Marianne graduated from McGill Business School in 1996 with a Major in Management Information Systems and Minor in Marketing.
Vice President of Operations, Order Management
Steve is Vice President of Product at Orderbot. He leads the product vision and overall strategy for our order management and back-office solutions development.
Collaborating with in-house delivery teams, existing customers, prospects, and the Workarea product development team, Steve is key to maintaining and evolving core order management capabilities.
A serial entrepreneur with 30 years of experience in retail and operation management, Steve founded his first clothing company with his two brothers. In their first year, they grossed more than $250,000.
After a stint at university to study organic chemistry and genetics, Steve took a position as the creative force at Warehouse One – the Jean Store. While there, he helped grow the retail chain from 16 to 48 stores in five years. He redesigned the store look and feel, while at the same time converted the company from a purchasing off-shore model to locally sourced and produced “just-in-time model”. He also created and reinvigorated all the private label brands.
In 2001, he moved to Vancouver and started Monkey Media, a software company developing enterprise cloud-based ordering and ERP systems for catering and food manufacturing, long before it was even called “The Cloud”. He was fortunate enough to sell that monkey in 2009. Steve quickly moved to his next venture, Orderbot, as Co-Founder with Marianne Zakhour. Together they successfully built an innovative order management SaaS platform, with a mission to revolutionize the B2B & B2C order management space.
Steve is versed in almost every aspect of brick and mortar retail, ecommerce and B2B operations. His on-trend order management strategies and enthusiastic personality, along with his ability to make today’s complex technological operations more readily understood, have made him an engaging speaker at international industry events.