Our Experience Brings Clarity To Complex Efforts

Our Experience Brings Clarity To Complex Efforts

The Matters team has a combined 50+ years in digital marketing, consumer research, advanced analytics, lead generation, digital transformation & change management leadership. Our core team has built and delivered countless digital marketing and lead generation programs to hundreds of clients since 1996 when the concept was brand new. In fact when the principals of the Matters Group started in digital, the key channels were Compuserve and AOL - remember those names?

There are no rookies at the helm here. We cut our teeth in the dawning of the dotcom era. Our team has all “been there” and “done that” as serial entrepreneurs, business owners, people and product managers,  marketers and leaders.

We are successful operations experts in starting, running, growing, and transforming businesses. Given the breadth of our collective experience, we are able to successfully work with clients big and small as well as corporate and not-for-profit.

Best of all, we are all happy to say that we do what we do because we have fun doing it. We enjoy the problem solving inherent in transforming businesses and deploying new business methods. The reason we get hired is we know the mistakes you've not even considered yet. 

Eric Layland - Matters. Group - Founder

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Eric is in a select group of people who have been involved in digital marketing since its earliest days (remember CompuServe?). He’s an involved Founder and serves as Chief Executive of The Matters Group. His primary duties include client relations, defining the strategic vision for Matters, AI market opportunities, and evangelizing insight-driven decision support. Prior to founding Matters, he served as Founder and CEO of Confluence Digital, a Seattle-based digital marketing agency.

Canna Ventures was a spin-off specialty practice that was the first in the country to conduct cannabis consumer brand affinity research in 2014. Proprietary research was delivered to clients and national consumer studies (‘14, ‘17, ‘19) freely shared with the market to aid the fledgling industry to better understand the needs of an eager but confused consumer. 

His passion for data blossomed during his tenure as co-Founder and Vice President of Point It! Search Marketing, Seattle’s first paid search specialty agency for seven years. From the early days of bootstrapping to achieving success serving major Northwest clients, Eric focused on Sales Operations and Service Delivery.

During the era, Eric was among the first marketers in the country to develop ecommerce programs for consumer hard goods. He was also co-creator of the first mountain bike ecommerce website which crowdsourced user-generated content to build community and connect to brands.

Eric draws upon a wide range of experience working with companies on their digital brand and customer acquisition strategies for early startups to divisions of major corporations in both emerging and established markets. 

Teaching young marketers the digital discipline and seeing them flourish is a source of great pride. When not in front of a screen Eric tries to be on a bike as much as possible.

Jerry Johnson - Matters. Group Chief Data Officer

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Jerry is a veteran of applying advanced statistical modeling to uncover deeper more accurate insights in research and analytics. For over 30 years he has consistently and successfully pushed the boundaries of technology and applied them to developing strategic insights for clients. In addition to traditional market and consumer research approaches, Jerry’s team has successfully developed and deployed projects using advanced methodologies like artificial intelligence, neuroscience marketing, eye tracking, biometrics, virtual reality, and gamification. 

Client successes have been featured on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, KOMO TV in Seattle, numerous Puget Sound area radio talk shows, The New York Times, Advertising Age, Adweek, Direct, Puget Sound Business Journal, and Media, Inc. Jerry is a frequent speaker, lecturer, and radio talk show guest on marketing and brand development topics.  He received his B.A. in Government from Harvard University.

David Paleschuck - Matters. Group Chief Branding Officer

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With over twenty years of global brand building and consumer marketing experience serving American Express, MasterCard, PepsiCo, and Microsoft ⎯ and over ten years in the legal cannabis industry as VP, Licensing & Brand Partnerships at Dope Magazine; Chief Brand Officer at Evergreen Herbal and The Matters Group.

David has played a part in creating many of today’s well-known cannabis brands. His writings on cannabis trends, branding, and packaging have been featured in The Cannabis Industry Journal, New Cannabis Ventures, Dope Magazine, High Times, PROHBTD, MG Magazine, among others. His work has been noted and quoted in Forbes, Kiplingers, The Brookings Institution as well as interviewed by The Wharton School Of Business Entrepreneur Radio; CannabisRadio, just to name a few.

Alexey Mykhaylov - Matters. Group Director of Business Ops

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Alexey has been a leader in technology and business operations for 20+ years. His focus is on guiding the success of client satisfaction. His passion for technology and management has earned him success as an entrepreneur on multiple continents.

He has been involved in the activation of multiple technology companies including solutions to address software development, artificial intelligence, loyalty program management, and domain names. One issue Alexey is passionate about is creating solutions that leverage technology to better public transportation and facilitate mobility. He holds a Masters in Management Sciences and a Bachelors Degree in Computer Science from Kharkiv Technical University in Ukraine. Alexey is fluent in English, Russian, and Ukrainian and is a current resident of Vancouver, Canada.

Oleksiy “Alex” Ptashniy - Matters. Group Director of Technology

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Oleksiy “Alex” Ptashniy leads the company’s technical operations. His primary areas of responsibility include overseeing research and development plus systems and processes needed to support  practical application of artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies. Alex's teams have delivered products in support of global companies in both Europe and North America.

In his 20+ years of technology leadership and software development, Alex has helped launch multiple companies in the IT sector spanning numerous countries. Alex graduated from the prestigious V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University in Ukraine with a Masters degree in Mathematics. He is fluent in English, Polish, Russian, and Ukrainian.

Elena Besedina - Matters. Group Program Manager

EL headshotHero BnW SqElena plays a crucial role as lead Project Manager for technical solutions and products. She brings 14 years of experience in QA Engineering and Project Management within the information technology sector.

As a Project Manager, she has been involved in all phases from business requirements capture to client acceptance. Elena has deep sector expertise in risk and regulatory reporting products having played a key role in Axiom SL’s growth. She holds dual Masters degrees in Informatics and Financial Systems from Kharkiv National University in Ukraine.

Slava Kulagin - Matters. Group Head of AI/ML Development

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Vyacheslav “Slava” Kulagin leads the team of developers in pursuit of artificial intelligence and machine learning solutions for clients. He spent 13  years as a research fellow at The Institute for Low-Temperature Physics and Engineering. From 2006-08 he had a Post Doctoral Fellowship in Mathematics at The Erwin Schrödinger International Institute for Mathematics and Physics, in Vienna and The Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, Poland.

Vyacheslav has produced a significant number of scientific works and published articles in the areas of Dynamical Systems, Ergodic Theory and Probability, Cohomology of Topological systems, Operator Algebras, Random Processes, and Markov chains. Vyacheslav graduated from Kharkiv National University with a Master degree in mathematics in 1998. In 2002 he completed his Ph.D. in Mathematics.