Derek’s Testimonials

Senior Manager of SEO at Sokolove Law

“Derek is the paradigm of how SEO and Social Media work together to deliver real results. He so completely immersed in both worlds, they are powerfully indistinguishable as marketing tools. Derek is a great hands-on collaborator, leader, and doer, and I cannot recommend him highly enough.” April 14, 2010

Anders Ekman , CMO , Sokolove Law
managed Derek indirectly at Sokolove Law LLC

“Derek is one of the best, practicing SEO guys in the industry today. His unparalleled competency in off-page optimization will make any website perform much better than it does today. I’d inject Derek into the middle any digital marketing program, regardless of the current program level.” April 14, 2010

Stephen Polinsky , CEO , KeChange
worked with Derek at Sokolove Law LLC

Community Consultant at Mzinga

“Derek is one of the most customer-centric people you’ll meet. He makes sure they’re happy AND receiving value from each and every interaction. You’d be hard pressed to find someone who can manage a customer relationship better than Derek. He’s also a sharp social media mind. His personal experience building and managing a large music-oriented community serves as a great foundation for the knowledge he’s amassed in social media and community. His passion and drive would be welcome in any organization. I’d welcome the opportunity to work with Derek again in the future.” January 13, 2009

Jim Storer , Sr. Director – Social Media Strategy , Mzinga
worked with Derek at mZinga

“I have had the pleasure of working with Derek at DCI, Shared Insights, and Mzinga. He has a drive for success and is completely committed to the organization he works for and his customers whether in a sales or support role. Beyond this, he is an expert in web 2.0 and corporate social networking. This is a young field however: Derek has senior level understanding and experience in creating and implementing strategies for successful programs. I highly recommend Derek for a Sales, Consulting, or Management Support role. Please feel free to contact me personally for a recommendation. I would be happy to go into further detail with a prospective employer or client.” January 13, 2009

Pauline Brannigan , Sr. Community Advisor / St. Account Executive , Mzinga
managed Derek indirectly at mZinga

“I have worked with Derek over his last 2 positions and I will say that you will not find a more passionate person within the Social Media/Community space. Derek is able to holistically review each and every situation/project that he has been involved in and provide a visionary recommendation.” January 13, 2009

Michael Pascucci , Director, Moderation , Mzinga
worked with Derek at mZinga

“I have had the privilege of working with Derek at two organizations and would gladly take any opportunity to work with him again. Derek has a passion for social media that is only surpassed by his depth of knowledge and execution of his skills in this arena. Derek always goes above and beyond by sharing his knowledge and expertise with co-workers, partners, and most importantly clients. He has a polished professional presence and is incredible at communicating with clients. He would be an asset to any team. I highly recommend him!” January 13, 2009

Shannon Courtney , Account Executive , Mzinga
worked with Derek at mZinga

“Derek is the consummate professional and I had the opportunity to work with him twice while he was at Mzinga. Derek really understands community and social networking strategy and best practices, and readily shares his knowledge with others. In addition, Derek is also a great consultant who instills confidence in his customers. He knows how to listen and control a meeting – and achieves results by focusing on the big picture without losing sight of the details. Plus, he goes out of his way to make sure that his customer’s needs are being met even in areas that are not under his direct responsibility. I would highly recommend Derek as a community strategist and would welcome any opportunity to work with him in the future.” January 12, 2009

Top qualities: Great Results , Personable , Expert

Tom Humbarger
hired Derek as a Community Strategy Consultant in 2007 , and hired Derek more than once

“Derek is a passionate customer advocate who really understands how companies can best use social media tools to achieve their goals. He regularly was proactive and creative in solving customer issues which made him a well respected consultant but also a friend and ally for them. Derek was also a pleasure to work with.” January 12, 2009

Rachel Happe , Sr. Director of Social Media Products , Mzinga
managed Derek indirectly at mZinga

“Derek clearly understands how to create thriving online communities, he’s exceedingly passionate and knowledgeable about social media, consistently recommending social media marketing strategies which challenge the current thinking of Fortune 500 companies.” January 11, 2009

Gavin Nathan , Account Executive , Mzinga
worked with Derek at mZinga

“Derek was instrumental in the creating relationships with some of Mzinga’s largest & referencable customers. He has a tremendous work ethic and a deep understanding of the social networking world. He’s also one of those “go-to” people who gets the job done. He’s also works very pro-actively in seeing what needs to get done and makes it happen. He also is extremely honest and dedicated to his craft. It is my pleasure to always recommend him for any social networking position where his skill sets can be utilized to their fullest.” I would be pleased to serve as a personal reference for Derek.” January 10, 2009

Rick Faulk , President & CEO , Mzinga
managed Derek indirectly at mZinga

“During the time I worked with Derek at Mzinga, he clearly demonstrated his expertise not only in multiple aspects of community consulting and management, but also in project management and building successful strategies for community success. He is a professional, insightful, and detail-oriented individual that also quickly builds relationships with clients and continually ensures client satisfaction. Derek was also a team player that freely shares his expertise and information with co-workers and clients to promote the success of others. In closing, Derek would be an invaluable asset for any organization, and I hope to work with him again in the future.” January 9, 2009

Alicia Squillace , Solutions Architect Team Leader , Mzinga
worked with Derek at mZinga

“Derek was instrumental in helping my company form our social media strategy. He was a passionate, knowledgeable and trusted guide as we built our first online community.” January 9, 2009

Top qualities: Personable , Expert , High Integrity

Cory Reed
hired Derek as a Business Consultant in 2008

“Derek is passionate, thoughtful and loyal. At Mzinga, he was always willing to get the job done for our clients and as a result always had very high client satisfaction. He was also a great team member, willing to share valuable information about our company and the industry, as well as his thoughts on best practices. We had many valuable discussions that helped me provide better service to our clients at Mzinga and helped me to think about social media in new and different ways. I will miss working with Derek at Mzinga.” January 9, 2009

Heather Strout , Community Consultant , Mzinga
worked directly with Derek at mZinga

“I had the pleasure of working with Derek for nearly two and a half years — both at Shared Insights — and subsequently at Mzinga (the company that subsumed Shared Insights). For the first year I knew Derek, he was a sales guy. One of our best in fact. He was always looking for ways to do his job better and was always willing to make suggestions on potential programs we could execute to increase lead gen/sales. For last year and a 1/2 that I worked with Derek, he had transition over to a community consultant role — something he was equally well suited for. This was mainly due to the time he put in above and beyond his sales job (at work and at home) helping to manage some of our industry focused communities. A few reasons why Derek has shined in his roles that last few years I’ve know him are:
* his focus on customer satisfaction
* the in depth knowledge of social networking he brings to the table
* his dedication to his job, company and customers
* Derek’s ability to execute

If you are looking for a great community consultant/manager OR someone that can sell (not sure that’s still Derek’s passion), he’s your man!” January 7, 2009

Aaron Strout , VP, Social Media , Mzinga
managed Derek indirectly at mZinga

“Derek is a brilliant and insightful consultant. His approach to advising our customers is very unique. He is a power house on several levels: 1) he turns work around with extreme speed, 2) the work he does is incredibly well thought out and always top-notch, 3) he delivers deep insight into market trends and conventions, 4) he speaks in plain English to customers, 5) the customers LOVE him and his work. He is animated, passionate, direct and no-nonsense. I look forward to my next opportunity to work with him; it is a pleasure to write this on his behalf.” January 7, 2009

Brian Harris , Director, Solution Design , Mzinga
worked with Derek at mZinga

“Having worked with Derek for 5 years at Shared Insights and Mzinga, I have witnessed his passion and talent for community building and strategy. In my time working with Derek at Shared Insights, I watched him grow from a dedicated and enthusiastic community manager into our #1 Sales Account Executive. His success and growth continued to flourish at Mzinga, where his love of the community space allowed him to foster some of our most valuable customer relationships (Disney, Martha Stewart, Cisco/WebEx, etc). As a knowledgeable, dedicated, and all-around great person, I strongly recommend Derek for whatever endeavors he may pursue in the future. His strategic skills and community consulting experience will be a tremendous asset to anyone fortunate enough to work with him.” January 6, 2009

Top qualities: Great Results , Personable , High Integrity

Barry Libert , Chairman of the Board at Mzinga
hired Derek as a Business Consultant in 2004 , and hired Derek more than once

“Derek is a motivated and passionate online community professional. He is polished in his interactions with clients and creative in his solutions to their community’s problems. His greatest strength is in identifying what social media/community solutions will specifically address you business’s challenges. As Derek’s Manager, I appreciated the fact that he was self directed and conscientious. He frequently pushed my to higher levels because of his good work. I recommend Derek highly.” July 31, 2008

Isaac Hazard , Manager, Community Consulting , Mzinga
managed Derek at mZinga

“Having worked with Derek for nearly 10 years at Mzinga, Shared Insights, and DCI, I have watched Derek grow from a successful sales executive into a terrific community strategist and consultant. He excels at building and maintaining great client relationships as he focuses on mapping strategy, technology, and services back to business objectives. This unwavering dedication to his clients success has made renewals, upsells, and cross -sells much easier for my team and me.” July 16, 2008

Mark Wallace , Vice President, Sales , Mzinga
managed Derek at mZinga

Senior Account Executive & Community Manager at Shared Insights

“I’ve had the pleasure of both managing and benefiting from his efforts over the past 18 months. Derek is a self starting team -oriented individual driven by hard work and a balance between what’s best for the company and his clients. Basically you just point him in a direction with an objective and move out of his way. On a personal note Derek’s been a key contributor to our culture and social activities. I would rehire Derek and highly recommend Derek.” January 9, 2009

Randy Saari
, SVP Sales , Mzinga
managed Derek at Shared Insights

“I had the pleasure of working with Derek at Shared Insights and watched him grow as a thought leader within the organization. In his personal endeavors, Derek has embraced Web2.0 tools, and social networking philosophies, for some time. As Shared Insights moved into the realm of business communities, Derek’s passion and expertise began to shine in a business setting. Derek became indispensable to the Company. Derek has the unique ability to contribute from both a sales and community management perspective, as he did at Shared Insights. Derek was a great member of the team: he is smart, passionate, insightful, and fun.” July 18, 2008

Stephen Marcus , President , Shared Insights
managed Derek indirectly at Shared Insights

Account Executive at DCI

“Derek is a skilled sales executive. He takes the time to understand the product offering, and its competition. He works to establish rapport with his customers, gains insights into their business objectives and then presents a solution. While he was regularly the leading the sales rep, his customers seldom considered Derek as a sales person. On top of all this, Derek is smart and funny and great to have on any team. He is persistent and an incredibly hard worker, with a passion for quality.” July 16, 2008

Barbara Gavin , Conference Program Development , DCI, a Shared Insights company
worked directly with Derek at DCI

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