Meet the Team

Dan Hammond - CEO

Dan Hammond

Founder / CEO

Dan Hammond‘s career has centered around media. All three of the companies he founded have focused on celebrating the good news story in hometowns and food across America. Couple this theme of community content with a solid background in advertising and marketing, and Hammond has found a recipe for success.

Before founding American Hometown Media, Hammond was the founder of American Hometown Publishing (AHP), which acquires and manages local community newspapers by forming partnerships with local publishers. Through these efforts, AHP helps improve business operations, increase profits and build readership among its paper partners.

Prior to forming AHP, Hammond was the founder, chairman, president and CEO of Publishing Group of America, where he oversaw the creation and launch of American Profile magazine, the largest successful magazine launch in U.S. history, followed by Relish magazine, the largest epicurean magazine in the U.S., with an uncommon focus on American hometown people, communities and food. He also created Hometown Content, the first syndicated service for community newspapers and developed a channel for promotional advertisers to reach Neilson C&D America. Hammond and company sold Publishing Group of America to Bain Capital and Shamrock Capital Partners in November of 2007.

Earlier in his career, Hammond served as the senior marketing officer for a number of Fortune 500 operations. He has directed strategic marketing and media services for national and internationally based consumer and business advertisers, including DuPont, McGregor, Bostonian, NOMA, Clarks of England, Dial Corp. and Ceridian. He serves on various advisory groups and boards including the Tennessee Wildlife Federation and the Tennessee Rugby Foundation.

Mike Meyers - CRO

Mike Meyers

President / CRO

Mike Meyers’ 25 year career has been focused in publishing. First analog and then digital media including specialty magazines to websites. Mike has run publishing, operations, revenue generation, business development, network strategy and general management duties including co-founding Sheknows, LLC as CEO of one of the largest women’s lifestyle and advertising networks. Sheknows was successfully grown from concept to 20 million monthly unique visitors and subsequently sold to Evolve Media, LLC.

Saying Mike is an expert in digital media is certainly an understatement. Adding to his repertoire is the fact that having built and run plenty of network models, he has helped create the modern-day network platform concept here at Just a Pinch/American Hometown Media making it a publisher first concept.

Heralding from Wisconsin, media endeavors have taken Mike from the upper Midwest including Chicago, through Phoenix, San Francisco and the Western US, to New Orleans, Atlanta and the deep South, and now placing his roots in the Mid-South of Nashville, Tennessee.

Doli Stepniewski - CTO

Doli Stepniewski

CTO

Doli Stepniewski brings with him more than 25 years experience in application design, development and management. Stepniewski is currently CTO for American Hometown Media and Chief Application & Database Architect for Just A Pinch Recipes.

Prior to joining AHM, Stepniewski served as Chief Architect and partner at echomusic, LLC (echo), an entertainment marketing company in Nashville, Tennessee, where he led the development of the patent-pending echotools™, a web application and database that powered more than 300 entertainment brand websites and managed over 20 million consumer records. In February 2007 Ticketmaster purchased echo and the echotools™ which became part of Ticketmaster’s direct-to-consumer ticket sales platform.

In addition to his media work, Stepniewski has developed custom applications for an array of industries. As Interactive Producer at direct marketing company SmartDM (Acxiom), he created compelling web-based data collection portals for their proprietary online CRM solution. And early in his career, he worked at Philadelphia-based Resources for Human Development where he developed custom database applications to manage properties for the HUD funded HOPE3 program, providing home ownership opportunities to hundreds of low-income families.

Brad Webb - CYADO

Brad Webb

Chief Yield & Audience Development Officer

Brad Webb‘s 20+ years of digital media product, technology, and operational experience runs the gamut between bootstrapping start-ups to operating established brands.

Previously, Brad held executive positions at SheKnows Media (now SHE Media), Buddy Media (acquired by Salesforce), vSocial, Womensforum, and several other media holdings. His expertise is in building cream-of-the-crop, focused teams and scaling technology, product, and operations from there. Having both guided materially-substantial exits and multiple-rounds of fundraising, Brad is adept at juggling hats and roles as the team may require.

Beyond his career, Brad spends as much time with his sons as they’ll let him. Wrangling both a teenager and toddler is his proudest accomplishment, which he shares with his wife. Originally from Vancouver, B.C., Brad joins AHM by way of Phoenix, AZ, and loves to share (dry and warm) weather updates with the team.

Jerry Lyles - CDO

Jerry Lyles

Chief Development Officer

Jerry Lyles has spent his career in media, starting as a newspaper publisher in his home state of Kentucky. He jumped at the chance to move to the national publishing world when Dan Hammond founded Publishing Group of America (PGA). Jerry successfully led the PGA publisher sales team to create the largest publishing launch in US history.

Following the sale of PGA in 2007, Jerry continued his media journey at Athlon Sports where he was an integral part of the executive management team leading publisher relations to fulfill a strategy of growth through circulation expansion and acquisition. He then moved to Dobie Media and TownNews – where he facilitated the sales and delivery of digital solutions to news publisher websites by collaborating with publishers and delivering products to meet their online needs.

Keeping his teenage granddaughter in tennis shoes is one of Jerry’s favorite hobbies, and when he isn’t at Disney or the beach you can find him spending time with his family.


Meaghan Hickey - Director of Editorial

Meaghan Hickey

Director of Editorial

During the day Meaghan takes a break from attending concerts, trying out new restaurants around Nashville and cheering on her beloved New York Yankees, to develop content for Just A Pinch. She works with the Test Kitchen to award Blue Ribbons, plans content for emails and writes fun articles.

Before relocating from the New York City area to Nashville and joining American Hometown Media, Meaghan held print and digital marketing roles at The New York Times, Better Homes and Gardens and Seventeen magazine.

Matt Sullivan - Marketing & Ad Operations Manager

Matt Sullivan

Marketing & Ad Operations Director

Matt takes the lessons learned in fathering his young son to corral the hundreds of revenue solutions available to publishers and packaging them into a turn-key solution for the Just A Pinch Food Group of sites. After crunching numbers, optimizing setups, and managing day-to-day advertising activities, you can often find him in the woods of Tennessee camping with his family on the weekends.

Prior to joining American Hometown Media, Matt was the Quality Assurance Manager and Project Manager for custom ad products at Moontoast, Inc.

Alison Phalen - Social Media Manager

Alison Phalen

Director of Social Media

From a dairy farm in Upstate New York to attending Syracuse University (Go Orange!) to working in Charlotte, NC for a startup, Ali’s journey to Just A Pinch in Nashville, TN has been an adventure.

When she isn’t spending her time creating Pinterest-search-friendly pins, like-worthy Facebook posts or eye-catching Instagram photos, Ali is creeping on her dog via the doggy daycare cameras. Then she is right back to researching new social media trends, responding to customer service emails, writing interesting new blogs and creating fun quizzes.

Liz Larson - Premium Publishing Group Director

Liz Larson

Premium Publishing Group Director

When Liz isn’t on the hunt for the best new blogs and being an advocate for the Just A Pinch Food Group bloggers, this San Francisco native can be found at Giants or Golden State Warriors games cheering loudly with her husband and their three children.

Liz is a seasoned digital media executive with 20 years of experience spanning strategic business development and partner management nationally and globally. She is an expert in comScore Media Metrix and Nielsen NetRatings, programmatic monetization, and web analytics… somehow she even finds time to run her own blog!

Sam Ellis - Director of SEO & Digital Marketing

Sam Ellis

Director of SEO & Digital Marketing

Sam is a digital marketing specialist with over 10 years of experience, primarily focused on increasing exposure through SEO. Coming from a startup background, he helped grow multiple companies into prominent brands from the ground up. When he isn’t reading up on the new trends and algorithm changes, he is analyzing and optimizing the content for the Just A Pinch Food Group of sites.

Originally from Southern California, Sam relocated to Nashville and spends his free time with family, exploring the city, and continuing to support his hometown sports teams (Go Lakers!). Before joining American Hometown Media, Sam was the Digital Marketing Manager at Pleasant Holidays.

Jen LaRaia - Head of National Sales

Jen LaRaia

Head of National Sales

Jen’s passion for media started back in her college days. At Rutgers, she worked in advertising sales while managing a full class load and fitting in some time for fun. Now, almost 20 years later, with experience at Mode Media, Womensforum/VIX, and the IAB, she’s highly skilled at all facets of digital sales. By adapting to the ever-changing industry, Jen keeps researching, learning, and building strong relationships which means every day is a new fun adventure.

When not growing digital partnerships for American Hometown Media, working on RFP’s and negotiating rates, Jen loves to spend time with her 10 year old son. If you are up early enough and live in Jen’s hometown, you may catch her teaching yoga or a spin class.

Danielle Whitten - Accounting & Finance Manager

Danielle Whitten

Accounting, Finance & HR Director

While the rest of us are busy making beans, Danielle is counting them. She makes sure our bills get paid, balances our budget, and manages the office and benefits programs while racing between her three daughters’ track meets, basketball games, gymnastics tournaments and other after-school activities.

Test Kitchen

Test Kitchen

Just A Pinch Recipes

The gals in the Test Kitchen cook and review original recipes from Just A Pinch Members – The best are awarded Blue Ribbons! From lending a helping hand to chopping, shopping, and snapping yummy food pics, there’s nothing these savvy supergals can’t pull off. They don’t need capes… They wear aprons!