Who we are

CareZone simplifies the lives of those caring for children, partners and aging parents. We provide a simple and entirely private environment where family and helpers can stay organized and coordinated. CareZone’s cloud services help you organize and manage information on tablets, smartphones and computers, and stay connected to family and other helpers with whom you may share care responsibilities.

The CareZone team applies technology to human problems — we also try to have a little fun along the way. We’ve been a part of some of the most amazing innovations the world has ever seen, and worked alongside great inventors, investors, leaders in health, business, and government – people who committed to and delivered positive change at global scale.

That’s what we’re after. Should your face be here? Let us know.

Jonathan Schwartz
Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer

Jonathan was previously the President and Chief Executive Officer of Sun Microsystems, Inc., a Fortune 200 company whose pioneering innovations touched nearly every corner of the internet. Before that, Jonathan was a founder and CEO of Lighthouse Design, an exceptional group of people devoted to an exceptionally tiny technology platform known as NeXTSTEP. He began his career with McKinsey & Company, Inc., before they boldly experimented with casual Fridays. He holds degrees in Mathematics and Economics from Wesleyan University.

Walter Smith
Co-Founder & Chief Technology Officer

Walter has been creating software for a surprisingly long time (to him anyway), during which he has helped to build all sorts of products and services.

Before CareZone, he co-founded Jackson Fish Market, a small but powerful maker of adorable consumer software products and user experience design consultancy. Before that, he was a developer, architect, and development manager at Microsoft, working on several products including Windows, Internet Explorer, and MSN. He began his career at Apple Computer as a key developer of Newton OS (no handwriting jokes, please).

He has a degree in Applied Mathematics from Carnegie Mellon University, but please don’t ask him to solve a differential equation.

Wes Gibbs
Software Developer

Once upon a time, Wes journeyed around as a software developer for large organizations and small consultancies alike. When he landed in Seattle at CareZone, he had a finely tuned palate for Ruby on Rails from his time at the consultancy Hashrocket.

In his own words: “I’m working at CareZone because it’s a great team of people, and we’re working on something that can really help the isolation and stress caregivers feel.”

Wes spends his non-CareZone time with his wife Sarah and their three children, Alex, Abigail, and Emma. He’s also the occasional host of a podcast (with a few other CareZoners) called Ruby5, which covers happenings in the Ruby and Rails community.

Les Hill
Software Developer

Les writes awesome Ruby and JavaScript code for CareZone.

In the past he wrote rocket science software at a stealthy security firm and he pioneered one the the web’s first AJAX applications at his startup, Blue Ripple. Most recently he worked at Hashrocket where he honed his stellar Ruby chops.

Les constantly contributes to open source projects, is an infrequent conference speaker on very technical Ruby and Javascript topics, and co-hosts the Ruby5 podcast.

Working at CareZone allows Les to fully align with his philosphy of software, “Improve the world with code (and since you are there, improve the code.)”

When he’s not at CareZone, Les loves exploring the beauty of the Pacific Northwest with his wife Megan and their daughter, Lucy. Avid soccer fans, Les and Lucy barrack for Spain. Viva “La Furia Roja!”

Jon "Lark" Larkowski
Software Developer

Jon, software developer-extraordinaire and apprentice barista, has been a part of the Web development community for years. Before floating into happy orbit at CareZone, he (along with Wes, Les, and Sandro) worked at the consultancy Hashrocket, and like Wes and Les, occasionally plays host at the Ruby5 podcast.

As for why he’s with CareZone, he puts it simply: “It feels great to work on something that you know actually makes people’s lives a little easier.”

Outside of CareZone, Jon spends his time in San Francisco with girlfriend Lauren and their two chipper dogs, Evie and Lucy.

Peyman Oreizy
Software Developer

Peyman is one of our software developers. Before coming to CareZone, he spent a whole bunch of time earning his doctorate in software engineering from UC Irvine. He’s a gentleman for not asking to be called “Dr. Oreizy.”

Though he was a bit worried that it’d sound cliché, he has a simple and honest reason for joining our team: “I enjoy building technology to improve people’s lives.”

Peyman, his wife Deborah, and their three children Everest, Darya, and Eilan, live in Seattle.

Sandro Turriate
Software Developer

Sandro’s from Boulder, Colorado, and he likes to make the Web work. It’s what he’s done for years - before he started with us in May 2012, he ran the Web efforts of the University of North Florida, and then spent time consulting with Hashrocket.

As one of the San Francisco CareZoners, Sandro can almost always be found sitting next to Jon, getting into the nitty-gritty of CareZone code.

While he hasn’t experienced a caregiving situation just yet, he’d like everyone to know that he calls his mother every day.

Trent Gruenwald
Customer Development

Trent is responsible for growing our loyal user base. He joined CareZone after stints at Kodak Gallery, Six Apart, Yahoo!, and General Mills in a variety of marketing, product, and sales roles. Oddly, he’s wanted to be a marketer since the first grade (no joke).

For Trent, CareZone is more than a job. “It’s a way to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives and those don’t come around very often.” Outside of CareZone, Trent spends his time with the important ladies in his life — his wife, Colleen, and their daughters, Riley and Reagan — and desperately tries to catch a baseball or football game whenever possible.

In a box somewhere, Trent has diplomas from the University of Wisconsin and the University of California at Berkeley.

Chi-Kai Chien
Product manager

Chi-Kai makes things run smoothly at CareZone. A Baltimore native (now a California convert), he spent much of his recent professional time at hardware giants NVIDIA and Marvell, overseeing big projects.

CareZone was a natural fit for Chi-Kai, who’s no stranger to caring for loved ones. “I want to work on hard problems with great people. And more, I want to work on something that matters.”

When not at CareZone, Chi-Kai spends his time with his wife Setsuko and their two boys, Tomo and Masa.

Christian Hagel

Christian makes sure CareZone’s look, feel, and experience are top-notch. Born and raised in Denmark, Christian moved to Seattle in 2005 and has spent a good deal of his professional time with Microsoft. From server management software to MS Office for Windows phone, he’s done it all.

What brought Christian to the world of design also brought him to CareZone — it’s all about making the world a better place, piece by piece. And what do you do when you see something that could be improved? “There’s only one thing to do — work on making it better,” he says.

While not in the Seattle CareZone office, Christian spends his time with his wife Ida, son Erik, and their two cats, Habermas and Gauss.

Brittany Staten
Visual Designer

Brittany hails from a sleepy Washington town that also plays home to a nuclear power plant and a rampant gang of cows. Most recently, she worked with the design consultancy Jackson Fish Market; she has a compulsive need to whip things into visually pleasing shape.

“I know it sounds cliché, but I really like knowing I’m at a place where my work can leave a mark on people,” we once heard her say, although she fears she’s not a quotable person.

When she’s not in the Seattle office, she cares for a little long-haired wiener dog named Stella (who sometimes visits the office, too) and gets into no trouble whatsoever.

Erin Knobler
Community Manager

Erin is CareZone Seattle’s community manager, office manager, and utility player. She lives in Seattle, and has for long enough for her to consider it home. Although she comes from the grand world of Law, we don’t hold that against her.

“We’ll all have to face the challenges of caring for someone else, someday,” she says. “I’d like to think I’m helping to make that slightly easier for us all.”

During her non-CareZone time, Erin serves on two committees for the Washington-based organization, Food Lifeline. She also has a large canine roommate named Boomer with a severe identity crisis. It compels him to believe he’s an order of magnitude lighter than he is.

Scott Neilson

Scott has been designing technology experiences since the bronze age for companies like Amazon, Microsoft and a whole slew of groundbreaking startups. His personal experience as a caregiver and problem-solving malcontent led him to join the CareZone team to help create delightful tools that empower people to connect and care for each other.

When he’s not immersed in technology and design, Scott runs marathons, makes photographs, hikes, reads, travels, cooks, meditates and socializes. He’s an Aries, ENTJ, Vata-Pita and Ectomorph.

Fred Médous
Software Developer

Fred is as seasoned a mobile developer as they come. After spending 12 years traveling the world creating mobile applications, he’s landed at CareZone where he serves as our lead Android magician.

Like the rest of us, Fred feels good about what he does because, in the end, it’s all about helping others. “I’m very proud to help bring loved ones into the palms of those who care for them,” he says.

Fred also likes to jaunt around San Francisco, learning to kite surf and fly (planes).

Christoph Zelazowski
Software Developer

Christoph loves code and enjoys it most when it’s beautiful, concise, and not overly clever. He has worked at Accenture and spent a year at CERN in Switzerland, the birthplace of the World Wide Web. He was Principal Software Development Lead at Microsoft for nine years and lead teams in Windows Live and SQL Server. He founded Lumen Spark in 2009.

“I joined CareZone because we are going to change the world with this thing,” he says. “And Chloe is so cute! Who wouldn’t want to work with her?”

Christoph is a Commercial Rated Pilot and Certified Flight Instructor and spends his free time sharing his passion for airplanes by teaching others how to fly.

Katy Pedelty
Software Developer

Katy is a software developer at CareZone. She’s a recent graduate from the University of California, Berkeley, and is just learning to call Seattle home (in the past, she’s called Chicago, Moscow, and London home, so Seattle returns her to familiar latitudes). She’s had a variety of software internships, including working on laser controllers destined to help fabricate heart valves and other life-saving medical devices.

Having watched her mother and aunts care for her grandmother, Katy’s learned that “it can be hard to feel supported and loved when you’re caring for someone.” She joined CareZone “because the product aims to help people when they probably most feel they need support.”

Her pup Belle, a devoted Californian, declined to make the move north. Realizing that the office needs another dog, Katy’s considering adopting. When Katy’s not writing code, she sings. She was in DeCadence, one of Berkeley’s a cappella singing groups, and is hoping to join a singing group in Seattle.

David Spitzler
Business Development

David looks after CareZone’s business partnerships. He’s no stranger to building mutually beneficial relationships between companies—he’s led “biz dev” efforts at both start-ups and global leaders, including Adobe Systems, NeXT Computer, and Sybase. He also was involved in starting two pioneering Internet companies: Swell Software, a developer of web authoring tools he co-founded and sold to Adobe in 1996; and Bigstep.com, one of the first small business e-commerce platform providers.

Outside his work at CareZone, David has served on boards of several Bay Area nonprofits, including TechSoup and CompuMentor.

David’s path to CareZone is rooted in his desire to create products and services that make a difference in people’s lives. He believes, as John Wooden said, “You can't live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.”

Director of Team Happiness & Dog

Chloe is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with a heart of gold and a penchant for causing happiness wherever she goes. When she’s not bringing joy to those in the Seattle CareZone office, she can be found traveling the world with her mom and dad, Mary-Alice and Walter, chasing squirrels around various parks, and eyeing cats with suspicion.

She’s not a huge fan of percussive sounds like thunder and fireworks, but she quite enjoys squeaky, stuffed foxes. Don’t we all?