Who We Are

At Techlantis, we are a lot more than just a premium staffing agency. With over 20 years of experience in the tech industry we are passionate and involved in all projects our talent are apart of.

Founder and CEO
Russell Spiesser

Director of Techlantis Russell Spiesser has been in the software industry since 2001.

Starting up a number of successful companies and software products along the way. He has a passion and a vision to create software for web/mobile that truly stands out and doesn’t follow the norm. With this intention Russell helped to create a set of software tools for desktop and mobile that were aimed at protecting children online.

The result was the most powerful solution for protecting kids online and an awarded USA patent for being the first to invent no texting and driving for mobile phones. What followed were many news publications and interviews on FOX, CNN, and Good Morning America.

Following this success Russell formed Techlantis with the aim of using his skills and unique team of developers to help many clients from around the world work on projects both privately and commercially.

The rapid development and deployment of software along with a unique approach and complete dedication to every single project is why clients from around the world enjoy using Techlantis.

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Board Member
Yosem Companys

Yosem Companys has worked continuously in Silicon Valley for over 20 years.

At the Stanford Technology Ventures Program, Yosem helped pioneer elements of what has become the Lean Startup model of high-technology entrepreneurship. With renowned venture investors and serial entrepreneurs, Yosem taught, coached, and mentored many entrepreneurs.

With Stanford Professor Terry Winograd — a pioneer of artificial intelligence and a father of computer-human interaction — and other Stanford professors, Yosem co-founded Liberation Technology, now one of the world's largest cybersecurity communities.

Yosem also helped launch Diaspora, a private, secure, and distributed social-network that to take on Facebook raised the largest Kickstarter crowdfunding round ever (with Mark Zuckerberg as a donor). Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jim Dwyer featured Yosem’s work in the book More Awesome Than Money.

Under the auspices of Internet co-inventor Vint Cerf, Yosem worked as a subject-matter expert with the Research and Development Corporation (RAND) to draft the recommendations adopted by the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to rebuild Puerto Rico’s technical infrastructure post-Hurricane María.

At the AI Fund Venture Studio, Yosem helped Google Brain and Coursera co-founder Andrew Ng build AI startups from the ground up.

Yosem is also co-founder of Techlantis, one of the few minority-owned, high-tech companies in Silicon Valley. Techlantis is a product-development shop specialized in artificial intelligence and cyber-security that custom-builds technical teams of Stanford PhD professionals, innovators from the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community, and the world’s best international talent to develop affordable, game-changing products.

Before tech, Yosem worked in brand management, marketing, advertising, and public relations at Procter and Gamble, and in investment banking and corporate finance at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs.

Yosem’s doctoral research at Stanford pioneered applications in machine learning and data mining that garnered the attention of the U.S. Department of Defense.

Yosem holds a bachelor's degree from Yale, a master's degree from Harvard, and a Ph.D. in engineering from Stanford.

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Head of Marketing, Sales, Business Development
Kate Zakharova

Kate is a proficient business development manager with the strong ability to turn clients into lifetime partners by matching clients’ dreams with company talents to fulfill them.

Started her career in an outstaffing talent agency where helped improve the workflow of interaction with prospective clients, arrange the teamwork of lead generation professionals to increase the number of prospects by 28-30% per year.

After joining a startup in 2018 helped to increase the team 5 times over a year by engaging more clients as well as establishing long-lasting relations, thus achieving a customer retention rate of up to 95%.

During her career, she contributed to the launch of new startups, testing the market for new ideas and upgrading old legacy systems by matching clients with talents in terms of technical skills, experience and soft skills.

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Head of Product, Cybersecurity
Zak Whittington

Being an expert in Privacy, Security, ICTD, Digital Advocacy, Zak studies and develops web/mobile technologies in support of international development and human rights (ICTD), with a particular emphasis on networking and privacy. He is on the leadership team of the Program on Liberation Technologies, a non-profit spun out of Stanford, which acts as an international communication hub for thousands of ICTD engineers, researchers, and activists. Currently working on internet connectivity in Puerto Rico.

In 2013 Zak worked as a First "Technology and Democracy" Fellow at National Democratic Institute (NDI), where he researched and tested the best technologies to protect human rights activists (encrypted email, encrypted messaging, HTTPS, VPNs and TOR, etc.)

Working at Benetech’s Human Rights Program, Zak, along with a team of a dozen people, developed and maintained an encrypted database software called Martus and gave in-person digital security training to human rights workers. His primary project was an internal data analysis and visualization suite which helped keep track of who and where the product was being used, while maintaining the customers’ privacy as the top priority.

As a Malware Research Scientist Intern of FireEye, Inc., he created an authentication and resource management system for a distributed computer cluster environment.

Being a Privacy and Cybersecurity Content Curator for Stanford's Program on Liberation Technology, Zak read over 4000 articles relating to privacy, cybersecurity, tech ethics, and policy issues, and shared highlights from the @LiberationTechnology handle. He went out of his way to not just forward clickbait, and to actually craft a succinct but valuable summary for the followers. For the past year, he has been on the core leadership team for a large-scale effort to rebuild and modernize Puerto Rico’s internet after Hurricane Maria, a role which has involved both technical and managerial duties as the project has progressed.

At Hoover Institution, Zak designed a curriculum for a new cyber policy course, focusing on deterrence theory in both classical and cyber contexts. His team at VMware developed and maintained Open vSwitch (OVS), a popular open source virtual switch used in many large-scale Software Defined Networking (SDN) solutions.

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Talent Showcase

Some of the world class talent that you get access to when you hire from Techlantis.

Sharon Zhou

Sharon is a CS PhD student at Stanford advised by Andrew Ng, focused on applying machine learning to climate change/healthcare, evaluating generative models, and improving neural network generalization. This is AI research with the aim of deploying systems for immediate real world impact.

On weekends, Sharon runs Sidepact, a weekend program for employed engineers to start companies — co-founded with her college friend.

Sharon graduated from Harvard in 2015, as the first in the University's history to study CS and Classics in a joint degree. She also graduated summa in both — it's important to her to become a chimera of highly technical, highly creative, and highly strategic.

Sharon is excited by the idea of crossing unconventional borders and setting new precedents. She believes in the beauty of precision, the power of hard work, and the necessity of completion. She places a premium on excellent UX and spends her time thinking and creating at the intersection of AI and impactful problem areas such as climate change and healthcare.

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NLP and ML
Dan Iter

Dan is a Stanford PhD in Computer Science advised by Prof. Dan Jurafsky. General research interests in NLP, machine learning and databases.

Working as a Software Engineer at Intel in 2015, Dan investigated the applicability of new massively parallel processor for machine learning workloads; and conducted rigorous performance testing and simulation on SVM, K-Means, KNN and others.

In Microsoft, Dan contributed to the Map feature in PowerView, an ad hoc reporting tool built into Excel and as a standalone SharePoint application. Focused on data visualization for geographic data.

He helped design, test and build software for account managers and analytics team of JPMorgan Chase & Co.

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Cyber Security, Risk Management and Data Privacy
Donald R. Codling

Don is a cyber security, risk management and data privacy expert with proven ability to transform vision and strategy into operational reality as both Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) and Chief Privacy Officer (CPO). Has advised and assisted in building enterprise systems with an emphasis on security and compliance metrics. Proven track record at identifying systemic threats and new threat trends. He currently holds CISSP, CIPP(US) and CIPP (E) certifications.

As an FBI Special Agent Supervisor, Don conducted investigations into international based multi-million dollar Bank Fraud/Wire-Fraud schemes; investigated murders, sexual assaults and drug related crimes; carried out technical operations, Cyber Criminal and National Security Cyber investigations. Assisted in policy development and operational plans implementing Cyber security program support; electronic surveillance policy development and program management for US and international public safety projects. Being a Unit Chief at FBI Cyber Division, he developed the FBI’s interface network with DHS-US-CERT to efficiently coordinate national response to all state sponsored cyber threats originating in Europe, Russia and the former Soviet Bloc States.

While CISO at Swift Exchange, Don was responsible for all technical and cyber security aspects of the companies online and internal operations and served as an active partner in corporate business development and strategic planning with the CEO and COO.

Since 2015, Don has worked as the CISO and CPO at multiple start up companies within the financial services sector., often tasked with the development of a holistic approach to cyber security and data privacy . At Urban FT and REGO payment solutions, Don developed and advised the executive staff on cyber security and data privacy programs for these Ecommerce mobile banking and social media platforms, and insured that these technical platforms exceed U.S. regulatory compliance guidelines for AML, KYC, COPPA, and PCI.

Currently, Don advises multiple clients globally in both the private (Fortune 500) and government sector (US, Canadian, U.K., Singapore, Austria and U.A.E.) on cyber threat intelligence, best practices in cyber security, data privacy , protection of Industrial Control Systems (ICS) and protection of critical intellectual property of multi-national firms.

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Alex Tamkin

Alex is a PhD Student in Computer Science at Stanford University. As a Research Assistant he co-designed and built “drone.io,” a system that uses computer vision and pico projectors to enable humans to interact with drones via gestures. Worked as part of the Stanford IxD research group under Professor James Landay and Dr. Jessica Cauchard. Co-authored paper.

Alex worked with the ten Techstars companies to help solve technical problems, with an emphasis on helping companies leverage machine learning in their products. Projects included inventing novel clustering algorithms, predicting customer churn, and creating ranking algorithms.

As a Software Engineering Intern at Google, Alex conducted research using unsupervised and semi-supervised machine learning to find semantic relationships between civic entities like legislative bills and political policies; designed and built a general system to generate a semantic network from structured and unstructured civic data; launched three live experiments that deployed civic information Knowledge Panels for 10% of US Google Search users. Since 2018 Alex has been a Research Intern at Google Brain.

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Jenny Hong

Jenny is a PhD Student at Stanford University with a specialization in Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning. She is involved in a number of interesting projects at Stanford, including one on differential privacy.

Besides being a Course Assistant and Artificial Intelligence Research Intern, Computer Science Department (DAGS) at Stanford University, Jenny’s experience, among others, includes working as a Visiting Lecturer at The Chinese University of Hong Kong and a Software Engineer at Rubrik, Inc., a market-leading Cloud Data Management platform.

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Anabel Jensen

Anabel Lee Jensen began attending Brigham Young University in 1961, graduating in 1966 with a BA in psychology and a Masters of Education. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1976, where she majored in child development and minored in statistics.

From 1983 to 1997, she was Executive Director of the Nueva Learning Center in California, where she helped develop the "Self-Science" curriculum featured in Daniel Goleman's 1995 book Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ, which helped bring EQ into the mainstream.

In 1997, former Nueva School administrators and teachers founded the Six Seconds EQ Network, a non-profit focused on education about EQ. As founding President, she has helped write training programs and psychometric assessments for the organization, including Six Seconds Emotional Intelligence Assessment (SEI) and the Youth Version (SEI-YV).

She co-founded the elementary and middle school Synapse School with Karen Stone-McCown in 2009, and remains CEO. As of 2013 she is a full professor at the Notre Dame De Namur University in California, where she teaches psychology to graduate students and is Department Chair of the school's College of Education. She is also a principal advisor to the Gifted Support Center and an advisor for Unite Education.

In 2015, Jensen was named one of the top 100 Women of Influence for 2015 by the Silicon Valley Business Journal for her work in the field of emotional intelligence. She has been interviewed frequently in digital and print publications such as Quartz (2015) and bizjournals.com (2015).

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