MyVR - About Us

The open platform for the vacation rental industry

Our history

There had to be a better way

In 2012, MyVR co-founders Jonathan Murray and Michael Stachowiak were lamenting how difficult it was to manage their vacation rental properties while working full-time jobs. While there appeared to be dozens of legacy software solutions for larger professional property managers, they saw nothing targeting the small property manager or individual owner — and among those legacy solutions, nothing that seemed modern or easy-to-use. Having just successfully sold their prior startup, Jon and Mike teamed up with Markus Nordvik and agreed to commit the next phase of their lives to solving this challenging problem.

A study around the same time (by Global Radius Market Research) showed that about half of all professional property managers in the U.S. fit into this category: Too big to operate well without software but too small to make the clunky legacy solutions geared toward large PMs work. In fact, the study showed that almost two-thirds of small property managers didn’t yet use software and almost half of them didn’t even have a bookable website! This was in addition to the 57 percent of the U.S. vacation rental market that was rented directly by owners — virtually none of whom used software to manage their business. Very few even had their own property websites!

The MyVR team saw this lack of technological tools to be a real problem, particularly for a $100 billion industry that seemed to be on the verge of explosive growth. It seemed then that the need for software was only going to increase: The days of activities like faxing contracts, depositing paper checks, sending emails manually to inquiries and renters (across multiple distribution channels) were over. As vacation rentals continued to go mainstream, competition increased, distribution channels expanded, and bookings and payments moved from almost entirely offline to almost entire online. Software would become a necessity

Our approach

Solving a big problem takes fresh perspective

MyVR is on a mission to build the most robust and easy-to-use software available to vacation rental owners and property managers. More than that, our goal is to build a powerful open platform for the alternative accommodations industry.

We're focused on building robust and powerful software for owners and property managers. Our open platform approach also opens the platform to outside developers and service providers who can build on top of our platform.

This helps ensure our customers will always have access to best in class products and services, connected to the software they use to run their business.

This is a huge win for owners and property managers — they’re no longer stuck with archaic, legacy solutions with proprietary, vertically integrated systems that box people in, and hold their data hostage, and limit the choice of features and functionality.

As our developer community continues to grow, customers will increasingly have access to great technology solutions and services without ever needing to change software companies.

Our values

Our industry is built on respect. So is MyVR.

Your vacation rental business relies on the quality of your relationships — with guests, service providers, and the owners you work with. MyVR is focused on achieving results and getting things done for the owners, property managers, and third-party developers we work with. We’re committed to doing the right thing because it’s the right thing, putting people before personal agendas.

Our team



Jonathan Murray
CEO
Jonathan leads MyVR's product development, corporate strategy, and business development. Before starting MyVR, he co-founded Lift Media (acquired), an e-commerce advertising platform that worked with clients such as American Express, Netflix, and Fandango. He started MyVR after the frustration of setting up his own Sonoma cottage as a vacation rental. He studied engineering at Bucknell University and received his MBA from Stanford University.
Mike Stachowiak
CTO
Mike heads up engineering, setting MyVR's platform architecture and technology strategy. He's a serial technology entrepreneur and owner of a Lake Tahoe vacation rental. Before MyVR, he co-founded two other companies, Lift Media (acquired) and 4INFO ($70M+ raised). His lead generation and technology experience have helped him find innovative ways to make vacation rental marketing easier. He graduated summa cum laude from the University of Michigan with a degree in computer engineering.
Markus Nordvik
COO
Markus is responsible for engineering operations, technology integrations, and customer success. Formerly, Markus was the co-founder and VP of Engineering at 4INFO, leading a team of 35 engineers building a mobile advertising platform. He received his BS degree in Symbolic Systems from Stanford University.
Jesse Kasky
Sr. Software Engineer
Jesse was the first member of our software development team, and he has been instrumental in architecting our platform. He wrote his first piece of software when he was 9, and has not stopped since. Previously, he has worked at Hotmail (pre-acquisition), Microsoft and more recently spent seven years at Google.
Tristan Brotherton
Product Design / UX Engineer
Tristan is a tactician who loves to build great products, possessing a rare combination of design, UX, and software development skills. Tristan specializes in designing products from the ground up, honing his craft at numerous startups over the past decade. Previous adventures include founding an outsourcing company in Ukraine and several venture funded start-ups.
Jennifer Lewis
Marketing
Jen heads up marketing, setting MyVR’s go-to-market strategy – generating demand for our platform and building the MyVR brand. She is passionate about helping small and midsized businesses be more successful through the adoption of technology. Although Jen has spent much of her career at larger companies such as Intuit, this is her second start-up. She studied Radio/TV/Film at Northwestern University and received her MBA from Duke University.
Danny Eiden
Software Engineer
Danny is a software developer with a bias for action, focusing on rapidly coding up requirements and getting features into the hands of the customer. He graduated from Northwestern University summa cum laude with a BS in computer engineering, where he TA'd a startup class.
Wendy Gold
Technical Support
Wendy helps our customers get the most out of MyVR. Wendy has a Bachelor of Science in applied mathematics/computer science from the University of Nevada, Reno. She has honed her technical support skills over years of working with various programing languages such as Ruby and SQL. When she’s not talking to our customers, Wendy enjoys reading, playing video games, or simply enjoying life with her family and cats.
Alaina McBride
Program Manager
Alaina’s specialty is utilizing a clear vision of the big picture to design scalable systems that deliver on business goals. She is passionate about startups at the intersection of tech + real estate. Years of property management experience make her empathetic to both our customers & their valued guests. At MyVR she contributes a technical program management background on SaaS FinTech & appraisal products. If she’s not working, you’ll find her out in the backcountry or anywhere with horses.
Dan Collins
Sales Development
Dan has had a passion for this industry going back to his childhood family cabin. He brings that passion to the phone, where he speaks with prospective customers about MyVR. Dan has a degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management from Virginia Tech, Prior to MyVR, Dan helped start-up hotels get off the ground and grow their brands. Outside of work you will often find Dan skiing, exploring the great outdoors with his dogs, and working on home improvement projects
Elise Leben
Sales Development
Elise is often the first person a prospective customer speaks with at MyVR. Elise graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a degree in Public Relations. As an SDR, Elise works to determine if the MyVR platform is a good match for a property manager’s business. Prior to MyVR, she worked in economic development assisting startups with expansion and relocation to the Northern Nevada region. In her free time, she enjoys traveling and live music!
Bryan Keeney
Sr. Software Engineer
Prior to joining the team Bryan worked in casino gaming and consumer finance where he built products with a focus on customer usability. He graduated from Oregon Institute of Technology with a bachelors in software engineering and a minor in mathematics. In his spare time he enjoys long walks in the mountains and playing ultimate frisbee.
George Spark-Stahl
Sr. Software Engineer
Senior engineer with 15 years of software development experience in small and large teams. A genuinely nice guy with a striving eagerness to expand knowledge in new technologies, bees, and building rad stuff. Previously, George wrote the software for IGT's gaming machines.
Tommy Kilmer
Software Engineer
After graduating Yale with a degree in philosophy and an interest in startups, Tommy set out to learn software development by attending App Academy. In his spare time, he enjoys competing at Ultimate Frisbee, improvising on the piano, and cooking + eating pasta.
CJ Avilla
Sr. Software Engineer
CJ meant it when he set out to learn the full stack: in 2011 he deployed to Afghanistan and built a network for 50,000 subscribers over satellite, fiber, radio and microwave for the Army, all from scratch. In his past lives, CJ has been an instructor at the App Academy, written code to track insider trading, and programmed liquid-handling robots.
Brett Newsome
Finance
Brett is responsible for the finance, accounting, and legal functions at MyVR. He is a Silicon Valley veteran who has spent the last 18 years building growth focused technology companies. Prior to MyVR, Brett led finance operations and strategy for SaaS and cyber security companies including UltraDNS, GoGrid, Joyent, and RiskSense. Brett is a native of Richmond, VA and a graduate of James Madison University.
Jess Milligan
Customer Success
Jess is a passionate customer success advocate fostering ongoing, value-driven relationships between our company and our customers. Her technical roots began at Google where she drove impact for both SMB and Enterprise clients who used Google’s AdWords platform. Always attracted to fast-paced environments, her work history includes dynamic roles within public policy and digital marketing industries. She’s a UC San Diego alumna and California native who recently migrated to, and loves, Reno, NV.
Caroline Griffith
Marketing
Caroline joined MyVR's marketing team as a Demand Generation specialist. Although she spent the first 4 years of her career as a Sales Consultant in the financial services industry, she found her home in Marketing two years ago and has since become passionate about driving demand and lead engagement. A New England native, Caroline moved to California in early 2017, she graduated from UConn in 2012 with BA's in Journalism, English and Economics.
Amber Diehl
Technical Support
Amber is responsible for leading our technical support team as a Customer Support Manager, where she strives to build and maintain positive relationships with our customers. She has a passion for establishing spirited, customer-focused teams and has a background in supporting SaaS/FinTech applications. When she’s not working, she enjoys spending time with her family, genealogy, and travel — including occasional trips to the Happiest Place on Earth.
Lindsay Barrett
Technical Support
As part of the support team, Lindsay is eager to help customers succeed by resolving their technical issues. Lindsay began her career in technology after enrolling in a web development boot camp which honed her problem-solving and programming skills. When not debugging issues, she is hiking Lake Tahoe, creating logos or learning to code. Lindsay graduated with a degree in Communications and Design from Carson-Newman University in east Tennessee.
Kevin Poglitsch
Technical Support
Kevin has built his career providing excellent technical support to customers at a wide range of companies (from startups to Fortune 500) – and is thrilled to now be helping customers of MyVR. Kevin is an alumnus of Johns Hopkins and is committed to continually honing his knowledge of various technical concepts. Kevin recently relocated to Reno and, when not troubleshooting problems, he can be found dabbling in photography, gaming, or listening to music.
Bill Jennings
Talent
Bill is responsible for heading up Talent Acquisition at MyVR. With 20+ years of recruiting experience, he’s excited to be part of a quickly growing organization, helping build the MyVR team and culture. Prior to MyVR, Bill was Head of Talent at Madison Reed, seeing that company through stellar growth during his 4-year tenure. When not working, he’s involved with family activities and loves the outdoors…surfing, fly fishing, skiing and riding his bikes
Randy Sparks
Growth
Randy is responsible for revenue growth at MyVR and ensuring our customers are as successful as possible. He spent 6 years at HomeAway where he built the sales organization that served Property Managers. After the last 3 years leading Customer Success at Box, Randy decided to come back "home" to the VR space. Randy lives in Austin and is a graduate of the University of Texas. When he's not spending time with his wife and 3 boys, Randy is attending a concert or a Longhorn sporting event.
Amanda Flores
Sales
Amanda heads up sales and is responsible for growing MyVR’s customer base. Amanda has a passion for the vacation rental space. Prior to joining MyVR, she worked at HomeAway for almost 10 years. She is excited to be a part of the MyVR team to help streamline distribution for both owners and property managers. In Amanda’s spare time, you can catch her coaching her kids’ soccer team or catching a live show in Austin, Tx.

Our investors

MyVR is thankful to have some of the best and most helpful investors out there. We couldn't do it without them. The long list include awesome folks like Y Combinator, True Ventures, SV Angel, Chris Dixon, Alex Rampell, Paul Buchheit, Clem Bason, and Ben Boyer.