Our Story

With over 20 years of experience, we are the most trusted and established name in affiliate marketing. Since being founded in Santa Barbara, California in 1998, we have been passionate about driving intelligent growth for our clients.

Our employees in 15 offices worldwide are dedicated to delivering innovative solutions and strategies designed to drive BIG results. We dig deep and tackle the tough questions for our clients. As part of Fortune 500 company Alliance Data Systems—alongside marketing powerhouse, Epsilon, and our sister company, Conversant—our access to unparalleled data allows us to offer a truly customer-centric approach to affiliate marketing. Learn more about the Epsilon Conversant collective philosophy of Humans Over Hype.

Our Leaders


Waleed Al-Atraqchi

Since taking the company’s reins in 2015, Waleed has led with a focus on innovation and advocacy for the value of affiliate marketing. Previously, he drove rapid growth and profitability as a leader at global marketing technology companies Affinnova and Imagitas. Waleed first stepped into the world of MarTech with Catalina Marketing where he advanced to sales leadership. Waleed began his career in brand management at Drypers and GlaxoSmithKline.

Waleed holds a BS from the University of Pittsburgh and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University where he graduated in the Top 10 of his class.

Fun Facts:
Family Tradition:
Eating Chinese food on Christmas Eve
First Job:
Worked in a stationery store at 12 years old
On My Playlist:
50 Cent, The Who, Bob Marley
Sr. Vice President, Business Development

Paul Tibbitt

Paul heads up the Business Development team, driving adoption, retention, and utilization of the CJ Affiliate network by Advertisers of every size. Before joining CJ, Paul led the North America sales team at Affinnova, transforming the business model from custom projects to SAAS. After Nielsen acquired Affinnova in October 2014, Paul led the strategic global accounts team for Nielsen's Innovation Practice in the US. Paul began his career in media consulting, both selling and leading engagements.

Paul graduated from Clark University, earning a BA in Psychology, Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, followed by an MBA in Marketing.

Fun Facts:
Morning Motivation:
My three sons
Most Hated Food:
Brussel Sprouts
Favorite Trip(s):
Croatia, Chile, and Switzerland
Vice President, Product Development

Desiree Toto

As Vice President of Product Development, Desiree leads a team of talented Product Owners who deliver highly innovative, differentiating products and solutions. On her way to the top of the Product organization, Desiree was a leader within CJ’s Advertiser Development department, managing teams responsible for the success of some of CJ's top clients. Desiree has over 14 years of experience in digital media: in marketing, client management, and product development.

Desiree graduated with honors from Clark University with a BA in both Marketing and Studio Arts.

Fun Facts:
First Big Purchase:
Jeep Wrangler
First Job:
Worked at a micro-brewery
Most Hated Food:
Vice President, Marketing & Business Systems

Nicole Ron

Nicole is the head of both the Marketing and Business Systems teams and oversees the creation and implementation of go-to-market strategies, brand positioning, and content strategy. Nicole also leads marketing automation and is responsible for the development and implementation of solutions that drive business efficiency at scale.

Nicole joined CJ in 2007 and has held key roles across all areas of the business, including client support, account management, and strategic solutions. For her contributions, Nicole received the Epsilon Excellence award in 2016. 

Nicole attended the University of California, Santa Barbara, in the BFA of Dance program.

Fun Facts:
Singer in classic rock cover band
On My Playlist:
The Dave Matthews Band
Morning Motivation:
My cat
Sr. Vice President, Client Development & Data Science

Mayuresh Kshetramade

As head of both the Client Development and Data Science teams, Mayur delivers affiliate marketing solutions, insights, strategy, and service to more than 1,600 US Advertisers in the CJ Affiliate network.

Before joining CJ in 2016, Mayur led the Conversant Personalized Media business in the UK. Before Conversant, Mayur was part of the executive team at Affinnova leading the international business where he helped grow their business in Europe and Asia more than two-fold. When Nielsen acquired Affinnova in October 2014, its international business accounted for more than 25% of the company's overall revenue.

Mayur graduated with a BS in Statistics from the University of Mumbai and earned an MS in Economics from The University of Texas at Austin.

Fun Facts:
First Job:
Child actor in India
Favorite Trip:
Bali, Indonesia
On My Playlist:
Adele, Dire Straits, U2
Vice President, Publisher Development

Dan Sweeney

Dan joined CJ Affiliate in 2003 and has shaped and guided CJ’s strategic development across many departments, including its Business, Advertiser, and Publisher Development teams. In his current role, Dan leads the team that facilitates and expands the global distribution partnerships and affiliations that are responsible for the reach and growth across the CJ Affiliate platform.

Dan graduated with a BA in Economics from Harvard University and now lives in Santa Barbara, California where he was part of the non-profit that successfully built Santa Barbara’s only ice skating and hockey venue, Ice in Paradise.

Fun Facts:
Most Hated Food:
Papaya and anything peach flavored
Best Advice:
“Happy wife, happy life!”
Talent Wish:
To be able to sing
Director, Engineering

Stu Penrose

Stu Penrose leads the Engineering department and is responsible for the development of the innovative technology behind CJ's product offerings. Stu joined CJ in 2010 and has been active in the design and architecture of CJ's systems ever since.  Stu took overall responsibility for the Engineering group in 2015, with a mandate to accelerate product innovation.

A hardcore engineer with an entrepreneurial bent, Stu has been developing software for over 20 years. Responsible for innovation at multiple startups, his primary professional emphasis has been to build scalable SAAS platforms offering rich user experiences.  Active in the broader software development community, he’s the author of multiple open-source libraries.  Before CJ, Stu ran Moss Computing Inc.

Fun Facts:
Coding, Sailing, Wood & Metal Working
On My Playlist:
Classical, Electronic, Punk
Most Hated Food:
None—I love ALL food!
Vice President, Finance

Heather Pilat

Heather leads CJ's Finance team, acting as a liaison between Epsilon and CJ and ensuring that forecasting and budgeting are transparent and seamless. She has also been responsible for CJ's financial planning since 2007.

Since joining CJ in 1999, as part of Be Free, Heather has held multiple positions across the organization, within marketing, analytics, and product marketing.

Heather graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BS in Quantitative Methods and Marketing from Babson College.

Fun Facts:
On My Playlist:
Audio books
Favorite Trip:
Munich, Germany
First Job:
Working at a shoe store
Vice President, Support Operations & Compliance

Clara Holm

Clara joined CJ Affiliate in 2010 on the Support & Compliance team, managing advertiser compliance standards, and has since led several operational teams at CJ and Conversant. In her current role, Clara is responsible for leading the front-line client support teams and oversees Network Quality & Program Compliance. Prior to her role at CJ, Clara started her career at Cox Communications as a marketing manager overseeing marketing operations for residential video services.

Clara graduated from Westmont College with a BA in Communication Studies and earned her MBA from Pepperdine University.

Fun Facts:
First Job:
Grocery store bagger
Talent Wish:
To speak another language
Most Hated Food:
Director, Human Resources

Jenny Pena

Jenny provides HR programs and strategies designed to make CJ Affiliate a great place to work. She coaches leadership, managers, and associates on how to navigate conversations and decisions on performance and development.

Before joining CJ, Jenny was the HR Lead for the Enterprise, Retail, and PMO teams at Deckers Brands, a global footwear company. She also held HR and Talent Acquisition roles at aerospace and engineering company ARINC. Throughout her nearly 20 years of HR experience, Jenny has used her love of technology and data to influence HR systems, analytics, and data-driven decision-making.

Jenny has a BA in Communications, Legal Institutions, Economics and Government from American University in Washington, DC and an MBA from Texas A&M University in Information Technology.

Fun Facts:
Family Tradition:
Homemade donuts on Thanksgiving
Favorite Trip(s):
Hong Kong and Macau
Best Advice:
“Choose your boss, not your job!”

Trusted by the World’s Largest Brands

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Our Accolades

Preferred Network by Advertisers and Publishers      2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018

Industry Choice of Network (Winner) 2017, 2018
Best Use of Data (Winner) 2018
Best Performance Marketing Campaign – USA (Winner) 2018
Best Full-Service Affiliate Network (High Commendation) 2018
Best Industry Collaboration (High Commendation) 2018
Best Influencer Campaign (High Commendation) 2018
Best Managed Global Affiliate Program (High Commendation) 2018
Best Managed Affiliate Program – Western Europe (High Commendation) 2018
Best Use of Data (High Commendation) 2017

Best Managed Affiliate Program – Eastern Europe (Winner) 2017
Best Managed Affiliate Program – Western Europe (Winner) 2017

Advertiser Innovation (Winner)         2016
Best Account Management Team (Winner)  2018
Best Affiliate Managed Program (Winner)     2016
Best Brand Engagement Campaign (High Commendation)   2018
Best in Retail (High Commendation)  2016
Best Managed Affiliate Program (Winner)    2017
Best Paid Search Campaign (Winner) 2018
Best Retail Campaign (Winner)          2017
Best Travel & Leisure Campaign (High Commendation)        2017, 2018
Best Travel & Leisure Campaign (Winner)     2018
Best Use of Automation (High Commendation)        2018
Best Use of Data (High Commendation)        2016
Global Excellence (High Commendation)       2016

Top 50 Industry Players: 

Jessica Woodbury, Director of Content Development, CJ Affiliate   2017
Owen Hancock, EU Head of Strategy, CJ Affiliate      2017

Top 500 Best Employers for Diversity (2019)
Top 200 Growth Champions (2017)
Top 25 Fast Tech (2017)

Top 100 Best Companies to Work For (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019)
Top 100 Best Top 50 Best Workplaces for Diversity (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)
Top 100 Best Workplaces for Millennials (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)
Top 100 Best Workplaces for Women (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)

Payment Systems 2015 (Winner)

Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality (2017)
Learn More

Want to find out more About Us? Check out the links below to learn more about affiliate marketing, see what we’ve been up to, check out career opportunities, and get in touch.

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