Join the Team2018-12-13T20:58:15+00:00

MEET THE TEAM

B U E N A  reshapes company culture.
Learn more about our team, partners, and opportunities.

You’re in good company.

WHO WE ARE

BUENA consists of 18 California-based members, 3 overseas members, and 2 partners. We’re a bunch of founders, free-lancers, students, and investors collaborating and learning from each other to build something bigger than ourselves.

At BUENA, we speak over eight languages and come from backgrounds around the world, and states across the U.S.

WE TAKE THE “WORK” OUT OF NETWORKING

What started as our founder, Stephanie Be, cooking for the team out of her apartment has evolved into a special monthly event. In partnership with Latham & Watkins and Atom Factory, BUENA now runs a happy hour, The Collective, where creatives in media and entertainment, entrepreneurs, and investors can mingle.

The Collective @ The Atom Factory is a professional, yet social setting where real relationships can be created and nurtured.

WE BUILD COMMUNITY BEYOND OUR BUSINESS

When we’re not globe-trotting, you can find us frolicking around Los Angeles tech events, or running training workshops with WANDR Agency.

To join three 2x Founders on their latest venture, email us with HIRE ME in the subject line at growth [at] BUENA [dot] life.

TEAM

Stephanie “Be” Buelna
Investor, BUENA Founder
2x Founder
  • Named by Business Insider as the “Entrepretraveler”
  • Traveled to over 250 destinations around the world
  • Worked with over 100 brands in tourism and hospitality through her media company TravelBreak
  • Currently serves as an advisory board member in digital marketing for Visit California, the official board of tourism for the State of California
  • Holds a B.A. in Sociology & a Minor in Global Studies from UCLA and has eight years of marketing experience
  • Terribly afraid of drowning
Zia Amini
Investor, Lead Engineer
2x Founder
  • Founded, designed and developed the “Who’s Calling” App with over 8.8 Million downloads
  • Founded & developed the “Ciphered Messages” which ranks #24 in App Store for Social Networking
  • 2x Startup Co-Founder of PostLuck & LookFwd and architect and developer of the award-winning eWP
  • Corporate engineering experience at Visa & National Geographic
  • Holds a B.A. Electrical Engineering from UCLA and has eight years of mobile development experience
  • Was once a vegetarian for half a day
Steve Yu
Investor, Interim CFO
UCLA School of Law CFO
  • 2x Bruin graduate who works fervently to bridge the UCLA communities
  • Formerly President of the UCLA Alumni Westside
  • Currently oversees the $70 million budget and 200+ staff as the Assistant Dean of Operations for UCLA Law, a top 15 law school
  • Paid speaker and coach delivering workshops on public speaking and networking
  • Hands-on investor in BUENA advising and acting in matters of Finance and Operations
  • Gave a talk to a crowd of 100 with his fly down once
Carly Martinetti
User Acquisition & PR
2x Founder, 1 Exit
  • Over eight years of PR experience and content marketing experience
  • Expert in all things click-bait and growth-hacking
  • Managing Partner at Press Friendly, specializing in PR for early stage startups
  • Prior to Press Friendly and BUENA, Carly built the popular animal blog Featured Creature with over 600k uniques per month, and 200k followers across social media
  • Leveraged her community to create and sell a consumer-product company
  • Stephanie and Carly have been building brands together since 2014
  • Holds a B.S. in Psychology from UCLA
  • Wishes she could talk to animals
Kevin Lin
Interim Director of Product
2x Founding Employee, 1 Exit
  • Founding employee at SeatGeek, the first mobile ticketing app
  • Over the six years of his tenure, SeatGeek grew from under 10 to over 300 employees
  • Subsequently, Kevin became a shareholder, and traveled the world for a year before returning to embark on a new adventure with BUENA
  • Prior to SeatGeek, Kevin led Product at Urban Mapping –a repository of “mapfluence” which supports geographic decision-making through analytic and visualization tools, later acquired by Maponics
  • B.S. in Mathematics from Berkeley
  • Kevin is a pioneer in the art of making music out of a plastic noisemaker called the “vuvuzela”
Dianne Chen
UI/ UX Designer
Launched 20+ Products
  • Empowers teams through the UX innovation process
  • After two startups, Dianne joined Sidebench – an innovation lab – where she led new product development for clients such as Facebook, Pabst Blue Ribbon, and NBCUniversal
  • After scaling the design team to six and launching over 20 products, Dianne left to travel as a consultant and to explore new ventures that drive human connection
  • Earned her Bachelor’s in Business from USC, holding UX Management and Business Model Design certificates from the Nielsen Norman Group, General Assembly, and the Strategyzer Academy
  • Better chef than Stephanie
Daniel Berestov
Software Engineer & Machine Learning
  • Current Master Candidate of Computer Science at UCLA
  • Formerly 2x Amazon Engineering Intern in both Seattle and New York
  • Formerly UCLA Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity Social Chair
  • B.S. in Computer Science from UCLA
  • Fluent in Russian
  • Likes to toss things, preferably dice and chips in Vegas
Collin Kennedy
Software Engineer
  • Former Researcher and Engineering Intern at Howard Hughes Medical Center, Roche Molecular Systems, and David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
  • Developed an Android application at HHMI to analyze macromolecules and nanoparticles for his research’s biochemical purposes
  • Former Sigma Chi Fraternity Member
  • B.S. Biochemistry from UCLA with coursework in Computer Science
  • Spent a summer in Kansas to learn to be a farmer, still baffled he never got a return offer
Dan Chikanov
Product Analyst
  • Former Thailand expat and world traveler.
  • Customer success and data background.
  • LA General Assembly Certification in SQL
  • Self-taught in Javascript, Python and Software Quality Assurance
  • B.S. in Psychobiology from UCLA
  • Has the same birthday as Olivia
Phoenix Trejo
iOS Engineer
  • Holds a B.S. from UCLA in Mathematics
  • Completed a certificate in System’s Analysis through UCLA Extension where he took courses covering Database Systems, Computer Networks, Machine Learning, Android Development, and Software Development Practices
  • As an undergraduate researcher in the Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Department, Phoenix researched solar panels and wrote Python programs to model the effect atmospheric haze had on power output
  • Built 5 apps during his time at UCLA
  • Finally getting good at guitar…6 years in

UCLA STUDENT TEAM

Sergey Barinov
Associate Product Manager
  • Previously worked as a Financial Consulting Intern at Ameriprise Financial &  at the Le Tremplin Incubator (Paris) startup
  • Former Marketing Intern at Electric Family
  • UCLA Sigma Chi Social Chair and UCLA Rugby Team Member
  • UCLA B.A. in Economics and a Minor in History
  • Fluent in French and Russian
  • Still going through his middle school dubstep phase

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Olivia Huchton
Marketing Coordinator
  • First college ambassador for Bumble at UCLA
  • Former University Marketing Executive & Social Media team member at the Daily Bruin, UCLA’s newspaper
  • Member of the Alpha Phi Sorority and the Film and Photography Society at UCLA
  • UCLA B.A. in Sociology and a Minor in Film, Television and Digital Media
  • Talent Management Intern at Untitled Entertainment 
  • Super outdoorsy- camped at Coachella once
Isaac Chan
Finance Associate
  • Holds previous marketing experience as the Student Brand Manager for Red Bull at UCLA
  • Consultant at UConsulting, a prestigious and competitive club at UCLA where he was the annual Case Competition Winner
  • Consulting Intern at IXL Center 
  • UCLA B.A. in Political Science and a Minor in English
  • Gladly goes on 7+ mile hikes… refuses to walk more than 300 feet to go grocery shopping
Sarah Lang
PR & Social Media Intern
  • Previous Social Media and Marketing Intern for Abbot Kinney “First Fridays”
  • Rising Senior at UCLA pursuing a B.A. in Sociology
  • Studied International Studies at Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris
  • VP of Marketing for Alpha Phi Sorority at UCLA
  • Avid Earth Wind and Fire Enthusiast
Kiana Mills
iOS Intern
  • Previous Full Stack Coding Student at iXperience program in Cape Town, South Africa
  • Rising Junior at UCLA pursuing a B.S. in Cognitive Science and a Minor in Statistics
  • Previous Full Stack Developer Intern at Zelda Learning in Cape Town
  • Teach LA Volunteer for UCLA Teach LA Program- teaching middle school girls how to code in HTML/CSS and JavaScript
  • Gifted napper, sushi eater, & most talented TV binge watcher you’ll ever meet
Gabby Gutierrez
Product Management Intern
  • Current Junior at UCLA pursuing a B.S. in Human Biology and Society and a Minor in Environmental Systems and Society
  • Previous Intern at Torrance Memorial Hospital, providing counseling to high-risk teenage obstetric patients
  • Intern at TEACH UCLA- designing modules which introduce children to healthy lifestyles, fitness, and mental wellness
  • Very “bad” at being a vegan
Nolan Earl
iOS Intern
  • Current Junior at USC pursuing a B.S. in both Computer Science and Physics, minoring in Computer Programming
  • Front-End iOS developer and Co-Founder of Top Technologies, Inc.
  • Developed the front-end design and functionality for a student planner app that launched on the app store
  • Won Allen Clair Nelson Innovation Award through USC Stevens Innovator Showcase
  • Has a Drake line for every life situation

PARTNERS

Patrick Pohlen
Attorney, Global Chair Emerging Companies at Latham & Watkins
  • Partner, Attorney, & Global Co-Chair for Emerging Companies Practice at Latham & Watkins.
  • Latham & Watkins is the highest grossing law firm in the world with an annual revenue of $2.83 Billion
  • Notable clients include: AEG, Yahoo, Goldman Sachs, and Merril Lynch
  • BUENA has been accepted into the Emerging Companies portfolio for Latham & Watkins
David Ajalat
Attorney at Latham & Watkins
  • Attorney for Emerging Companies at Latham & Watkins
  • Adjunct Professor of Law, at USC Law School
  • Advises startup companies throughout their life-cycle, from formation and financings through exit planning

MENTORS

Jerome Helton
Startuptap
  • Growth consultant and partner at the head-hunting firm Startup Tap
  • Since 2012, he’s collectively supported over 150 companies, $3.4 Billion in capital raise, 199+ rounds of fundraising, 15 acquisitions, 2 exits, 10 M&A, Acquihires and/or Spinoff/s
  • Notable Clients: FabFitFun, DogVacay, Viking Cruises, WeTransfer, and Grindr
Mark Douglas
SteelHouse & HomeMe
  • CEO &  3x Founder
  • Formerly the VP of Engineering at Rubicon Project,  eHarmony, & Oracle
  • With the SteelHouse Behavioral Commerce Platform, clients see 50-102% increase in average order values
  • SteelHouse generates $130 Million annual revenue
  • Mark’s companies are backed by Sequoia Capital, Greycroft , and more
Britanny Carter
Wizr & SheWorx
  • Los Angeles Director for SheWorx, a global organization bridging the funding gap
  • Head of Product for Wizr at ZUMA Ventures
  • Has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Forbes and other various media outlets
  • Prior to ZUMA and SheWorx, Britanny was traveling the world as a digital nomad while working digitally as an analyst for IBISWorld
  • Covered several consumer-facing and tech industries across the United States and Canada