Company Leaders

Our Inquisitive Executives
Dale P Holt

DALE P. HOLT

CEO

Born and raised in Salt Lake City, Dale Holt grew up enjoying Utah’s outdoor life and developed a passion (addiction) for golf and bike riding. He attended the University of Utah, where he studied business and enjoyed attending “Runnin’ Utes” football and basketball games. He also began his career in the electrical distribution industry. In 1975, he founded Codale Electric Supply with just five employees and a 5,000-square foot building in Salt Lake City. Codale steadily became one of the most innovative and fastest-growing electrical supply distributors in the nation, culminating with a state-of-the-art 210,000-square foot headquarters facility, 13 branch locations, 260+ top-tier employees and $330,000,000+ in sales. He sold his “little company” to Sonepar, the largest electrical distributor in the world, in 2012, and eventually stepped away to enjoy some well-deserved free time.

 

During what would turn out to be a short, 14-month (a.k.a. boring) retirement, he took the reins at his wife’s technology company, which inspired him to create a new business to provide what he saw as a much-needed service to distributors struggling to embrace and compete in the new world of e-commerce. Dale continues to be blown away at what the DDS team of “wizards” crank out as they work tirelessly to grow another successful and important business serving an industry he remains passionate about. As he puts it, “It has been so fulfilling to see our vision come to life and then some, with our unparalleled product data and associated tools.”

 

In his free time, Dale enjoys fly fishing, golfing, dabbling in the stock market, and especially spending time with his lovely wife and their grandchildren.

Matt Christensen

MATT CHRISTENSEN

President

Matt Christensen couldn’t be more excited or proud to be part of the incredible team at DDS. Having worked closely with Dale for more than ten years as IT Manager at Codale Electric Supply, he has long recognized and appreciated the innovative, decisive, go-big-or-go-home mindset that Dale brings to the table. He is equally impressed, day after day, at the amazing group of talented staff at DDS and the technology they are building, and he looks forward to the challenges and successes that come from helping distributors and manufacturers conquer their e-commerce goals.

 

Matt was born in Nebraska (Go Huskers!) and raised in Wyoming (Go Pokes!), where he grew up living by one of his dad’s favorite mantras: “You’ve gotta be tough to live in the West.” He has always enjoyed going “full speed”—starting out on bicycles and dirt bikes, joining the ski patrol in college, and logging some serious hours on a snowboard—a quest that continues today, where you’ll find him testing the limits of his Polaris RZR (and occasionally, his wife) as often as he can.

 

After attending the University of Wyoming, Matt was more than ready to start applying his skills and determination toward real-life projects. He moved to Salt Lake City in 1999, where he was able to pursue some great opportunities in IT management roles. While the focus of his work experience has been on information technology, he has always had an interest in and a knack for the business and operations side of things, enjoying all aspects of the entrepreneurial process.

 

When he’s not working, Matt enjoys camping, ATV-ing, bowling, woodworking, and hanging out with his wife Jenny and their “spirited” young Dane (she hasn’t earned her “Great” yet), Macy.

Data Team

Our Devoted Deans of Data
Joel Manchak

Joel Manchak

Director of Data Operations

Joel Manchak uses his diverse background in the financial sector and sports management industry to bring fresh thinking and outside-the-box solutions to the data world. He thrives on simplifying and organizing complex data, which results in accurate and detailed deliveries to clients. Joel sees an unquestionable need for e-commerce data that not only drives sales but is a true information source. He strives to be a difference maker wherever he is.

 

Joel comes to DDS with a bachelor’s degree, having earned a double major in finance and economics from Eastern Washington University. He is a talented decision maker who enjoys being in the details. He believes leadership is about setting an example of trust, hard work and focus. When Joel is not in the office he can be found podcasting about fantasy sports and spending time with his family.

James Woodburn

James Woodburn

DDX Product Manager

James Woodburn has been with DDS since 2015, starting as a data engineer and now playing a key role as our DDX Product Manager, working closely with both manufacturers and distributors to facilitate the exchange and management of e-commerce product content. Starting with a bachelor’s degree in business from Eastern Washington University (Go EAGLES!!), his professional journey has led to a real passion for the tech industry.

 

Although marketing was his emphasis in college, he has gravitated towards becoming a full-time nerd in his time with DDS. He has continued to develop his Python and SQL database skills in his quest to become a truly certified nerd. He is not afraid to mess it up, but you better believe it’s going to get done right. He enjoys what he does and has never seen a challenge he isn’t ready to rise to. He enjoys taking something that may seem impossible and turning it into the standard. Known to be extremely meticulous, he is his own biggest critic. When he isn’t helping DDS become the greatest supplier of data on the planet, you can find him outside enjoying the beauty of his personal playground, Utah.

Tyler Woodburn

Tyler Woodburn

Data Engineer

Tyler Woodburn began working for DDS as an intern in 2016 while finishing up his bachelor’s degree in Geological Sciences at Brigham Young University. Observing the ease with which his coworkers could write and manipulate code inspired him to develop more computer science skills. He finished his degree at BYU and has continued working at DDS as a data engineer while pursuing a second bachelor’s in Computer Science from the University of Utah. He has a strong desire to continually contribute to the team dynamic as DDS strives to produce the best e-commerce data possible.

 

A huge UCLA fan, Tyler’s favorite quote is from legendary coach John Wooden: “It isn’t what you do, but how you do it.” Most of Tyler’s life outside of work revolves around sports and family. He is a firm believer in loyalty, whether it’s to those he surrounds himself with or his sports teams. Someday Tyler hopes to travel and see the northern lights from Iceland.

Bryce Draper

Bryce Draper

Data Engineer

Bryce Draper joined the DDS team in May 2017 as the Best Damn Data Engineer Ever. He has years of experience finding creative ways to organize and express data to generate useful insights. He is also the weirdest data engineer because of his love of data munging. He thinks working at DDS is the best job he’s ever had and that there will never be cooler or more handsome people than his bosses, Matt and Joel.

 

Bryce is proud to be half centaur and a Utah native. He spends his summers riding motorcycles and his winters skiing and the rest of his time playing video games. He is known for his groan-inducing jokes – people are always surprised to find that he does not have kids. Bryce dreams of one day riding a motorcycle from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi.

JD Lauret

JD Lauret

Data Engineer

JD Lauret is another virtual Utah native, having spent most of his life in Orem, just south of the Salt Lake Valley. He briefly considered a career in aviation, but instead began exploring the world of security electronics and ultimately software development. Entirely (and impressively) self-taught, he started programming a few years ago and quickly became specialized in JavaScript and Python, and he joined the DDS team in 2019 as a data engineer.

 

Prior to DDS, JD was with local powerhouse Vivint Solar for six years, starting as a CAD designer and moving to business analyst and web developer. He is excited and eager to be working at DDS and fully immersed in software engineering and back-end development. A life-long lover of puzzles and problem-solving, he actually enjoys the debugging aspect of coding, which he views as an added challenge and always a learning experience.

 

In his spare time, JD is a big video gamer (his two littles—a boy and girl—are named after virtual characters) and a huge fan of all things LEGO, especially the Star Wars sets, a few of which adorn his desk at work. Although his son is getting old enough not to need Dad’s assistance as much as he used to (*sniff*), he still loves helping (or watching) the kids build their own imaginative LEGO sets. He also has a soft spot for Sci-Fi (especially the Godzilla franchise and Interstellar) and loves sharing good sushi and ramen with his wife and kids.

Development Team

Our Engineers of Elegance
Tyson Navvab-Safavi

Tyson Navvab-Safavi

Director of Software Engineering

Tyson Navvab-Safavi was raised on farms in Utah and Idaho. He carries his work ethic from the farm to his engineering and UX work at DDS. From reading web development books and building websites at 18, to studying computer science at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, he’s always seeking education to improve his craft. Most importantly though, he’s a lucky husband and father of two daughters. Some of his favorite pastimes include eating breakfast burritos and hanging out with his wife. (Not necessarily in that order.) (But sometimes definitely in that order.) Plus he really, really loves writing self bios.

Benjamin Graff

Benjamin Graff

Senior Software Engineer

Benjamin Graff has been a software engineer for DDS since November of 2015. After working in disparate fields developing processes and applications, he is excited to be at DDS working on systems to enhance data collection and management. A graduate of the NC State Master’s program, he enjoys explaining things to his children and working on home improvement projects.

Sean Carrico

Sean Carrico

Senior Software Engineer

Sean Carrico is a consummate data and information junkie. Sean’s background work as a Business Reference Librarian planted a seed of interest in the underlying design in information indexing and abstraction systems. This in turn pushed him into the world of Web development, where he worked his way to Lead Developer at ZAGG, and later, CTO of InboundBrew. However, the limits of traditional web languages and web data storage methods lead him to the world of Big Data, where his passion for data and information indexing and abstracting has found fertile grounds. Sean holds a BA in History from the University of Utah and a MS in Information Systems from the University of North Texas. On his off time, Sean enjoys hiking, cycling, swimming and cooking.

Igor Birioukov

Igor Birioukov

Senior Software Engineer

Igor Birioukov joined DDS in June 2016 as a Java expert software engineer. He has extensive background in back-end development using C#, Java, Scala, as well as JavaScript front-end development. Igor is happy to be part of the great DDS team and helping to develop its innovative products.

 

Igor earned his bachelor’s degree in physics from Moscow State University in Russia, and worked as an accelerator physicist in the early years of his career. He became a professional software engineer more than 20 years ago.

 

An avid snowboarder, Igor enjoys Utah’s long winter season.

Craig Merrell

Craig Merrell

Software Engineer

Craig Merrell first joined the DDS team in June of 2015 as a data engineer. He received a bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems from Utah State University where he discovered an interest in working with databases and large data sets. After several years of working on DDS’ data team, his growing interest in programming led to him transition to our development team, and he is excited to be its newest member.

 

In his free time, Craig can be found hammock camping, mountain biking, snowboarding, or basically anything else in the mountains. He has also taken up traveling and happily spends his time off visiting other countries with his wife.

Sales

Our Prolific Prospector
Colleen Ehrhardt

COLLEEN EHRHARDT

Director of Global Sales

Colleen Ehrhardt joined DDS in 2019 as Director of Global Sales, where she is spearheading efforts to build relationships with DDS’ current and prospective customers throughout the wholesale distribution industry.

 

As a seasoned sales executive and marketing professional for more than 20 years, Colleen has achieved tremendous success in both the Information Management and e-commerce industries. Continuing her expertise as a collaborator and marketer, several Fortune 500 companies have relied on her industry knowledge to provide valuable sales solutions and develop marketing campaigns.

 

Colleen’s innovative sales strategies, coupled with her experience, passion for developing relationships and dedication to customer service, have greatly benefitted her clients, and in turn, positively impacted their strategic business results.

 

Prior to joining DDS, Ehrhardt was with Snap36, the market leader for interactive 360-degree photography, for nearly ten years, where she served as Director of Global Strategic Accounts most recently, and Director of Sales prior to that. Ehrhardt played a key role in Snap36’s swift growth over the past decade, helping revolutionize the online interactive customer experience for manufacturers, distributors and retailers across multiple verticals. She was integral in launching the company’s offerings within the electrical industry for B2B e-commerce.

 

In her spare time, Colleen enjoys volunteering in the community and playing any sport with her husband and two children, especially golf and tennis, or taking long walks to debrief on life’s journey.

Marketing

Our Cunning Creative
Jenny Christensen

Jenny Christensen

Director of Marketing

Though she only recently joined our ranks officially as Director of Marketing, Jenny Christensen has been gracing DDS with her marketing and creative skills as a consultant for a few years now. Having served as marketing director at Codale Electric Supply with Dale and Matt (not to mention being married to the latter), Jenny has been a champion of DDS since its inception, and she was eager to collaborate with them on another venture.

 

Jenny holds bachelor degrees in English and mass communication from the University of Utah. She has enjoyed a number of roles related to marketing, public relations and web and graphic design throughout her career. She lives to be creative, both through her work and in her spare time.

 

She wasn’t born—but was definitely bred—in Utah, and she enjoys making her home in the woodsy foothills of the Salt Lake Valley, where she likes skiing and snowboarding, playing golf and—recently (and despite a sobering lack of mastery)—bowling. She jumps at every opportunity to travel, whether to foreign countries, or one of her favorite camping spots in the gorgeous landscape of the Wasatch and surrounding mountains.

Accounting/HR

Our Lady of the Ledger
Diane Schmidt

DIANE SCHMIDT, CPA

Director of Accounting + HR

Diane Schmidt has worked with the founders of DDS for 19 years, starting at Codale Electric Supply with Dale as his corporate controller. She handled the accounting for Dale’s wife’s technology company for several years, and when Dale started DDS, he brought her in to head the accounting and administration once again.

 

Diane graduated from Southern Utah University with a master’s degree in accounting and she is a licensed CPA. She has long recognized that the best part of accounting is the relationships you build. Utah-born and -raised, she comes from a farming community of less than 1,000 residents. She learned the value of hard work from her dad, which has served her well through her life. She also learned to love the outdoors and the simpler things in life from her small town upbringing.

 

In her free time, Diane can be found reading a good book, working on her many yard and gardening projects, or vacationing with her family. She especially enjoys visiting Yellowstone and Disneyland, two of her favorite places in the world.