OUR MANAGEMENT TEAM
President and CEO
Andrei Hedstrom brings vision, leadership, and his deep concern for people, community, and the Earth to his role as SweetRush’s Chief Executive Officer. Andrei earned his master’s degree in counseling psychology, building on his undergraduate degree in religious studies, and served our country in the Persian Gulf War: a fascinating, fine, and tempered human with a rich and varied life experience. As a co-founder, he has worn every hat in the company, from graphic design to overseeing production, yet his sweet spot is building long-term, strong relationships that serve as a foundation for partnership and ongoing success. Just as he captures his love for the beauty and richness of nature on canvas as a painter, at SweetRush he creates an environment that embraces everyone and encourages them to be the best they can be. By fostering a culture of caring and commitment, and applying SweetRush’s expertise within sustainable and socially responsible businesses, Andrei drives and shapes our mission and purpose.
Chairman and CFO
One call with Arturo Schwartzberg may change your life. As the elder statesman on our team, Arturo brings a long resume of entrepreneurial efforts, including heading up the renowned boutique 3D and the special effects company, Xaos, and its sister organization, Xaos Tools. A graduate of Cal Berkeley with a degree in political science and economics, Arturo is a whiz at the financial and legal aspects of the business — but that’s not his only calling. Arturo cares deeply about people: their hopes, their dreams, and their desires for growth and change. He is a gifted mentor, who treats every call and every encounter as an opportunity to make a real connection. Arturo helps shape our team, and his way of being infuses our culture. Whether guiding the finances, building our marketing plan, crafting the company vision, or making that famous SweetRush jam, Arturo puts a dash of sweet, creative determination in our recipe for success.
Chief Creative Officer
John-Carlos Lozano can simply be described as a force of nature. He’s an extraordinary artist, and a passionate learner, leader, and teacher. With a dual degree in graphic design and illustration/animation, John-Carlos has formed and leads a phenomenally talented team of artists, designers, and animators as our Chief Creative Officer. John-Carlos sets the bar of quality at SweetRush and, rather than accepting status quo, he constantly pushes the team to reach higher. Seriously; have him walk you through our portfolio, and be prepared to be impressed. And yet, he is humble, personable, patient, and consultative and, just like on his surf board, always ready to take on a new wave. With John-Carlos on your team, you can be sure to shine, because he will do everything in his power to make sure you look good.
Chief Operating Officer
Linda Fleming keeps SweetRush humming. She has a BA and JD, and practiced law for several years before transitioning into business management. As our Chief of Operations, you might find her on any given day managing our finances, making staffing decisions, defining a more efficient process, mentoring a project manager, or helping orient a new client. No matter which hat she happens to be wearing, Linda does it all with intelligence, thoughtfulness, decisiveness, and a terrific sense of humor. With her varied background in business administration, operations, project management, and law (she is a member of both the California and Massachusetts bars), Linda is highly respected for her eagle eye on the details and longer-view focus on results. She herds the SweetRush cats with a gentle hand, much like her dedicated volunteering with local animal shelters. We’re all very lucky to have Linda on the team.
Manager, Project Management & Director of Costa Rica Operations
Ernesto Uribe’s intelligence, calm demeanor, and steady guidance earn him kudos from his clients and the utmost respect from his teammates. After graduating with degrees in computer engineering, he began his career as systems administrator for a call center and soon rose through the ranks to head its Intel account. At SweetRush, Ernesto quickly proved himself dependable and organized as a build manager on many successful projects. He then became a project manager, and in this role clients love his attention to detail, keen clarity, and the way he takes ownership of every aspect of the engagement. A natural leader, Ernesto now heads SweetRush’s incredible Project Management Team, serves as Director of Costa Rica Operations, and is a member of the SweetRush Leadership Team. Ernesto steps up to every new challenge with a combination of analysis, determination, and compassion, and his leadership continues to echo throughout the company.
Director of Engineering
Like his spirit animal, the wolf, Misha has a set of highly refined senses: he sees in the dark, he hears for miles, he can run like the wind — and, most of all, he can lead the pack. After working at Yahoo!®, Misha joined SweetRush in 2005 and transitioned from project manager to Director of Engineering, proving his ability to provide organization and guidance to our amazingly talented technical team. With calm consideration and highly developed skills in risk management and technical analysis, he effectively consults with our clients on the best use of technology given the audience, environment, and corporate requirements. Misha is our litmus test: If he’s on board, not only can we get it done, but chances are we’ll take a great leap forward.
Director of Client Solutions
As Director of Client Solutions, Erin heads up our talented Solution Architect Group. She brings a whip-smart ability to capture the big picture and the details, and then craft solutions that are better than you imagined. Erin holds a master’s degree in learning systems design and development, and is a certified professional in learning and performance. She’s both a speaker and author on numerous topics, specializing in learning techniques for Millennials. Bringing expertise in both instructional design and project management, she’s the ultimate consultant for your projects. Erin asks the questions you hadn’t thought of yet, and answers the ones you have with a calm clarity. She’s creative, and yet practical — which is why she enjoys both cake decorating and running (a perfect fit, she says!). With Erin on the case, you can be sure to get an innovative solution that really does work for your audience, your resources, your timeline, and your budget.
Sixteen years ago, Lauren got dropped off in a rural village in China with only her English degree and a strong focus of early childhood education courses to prepare her to teach English to 22-year-old university students. So began her interest, passion, and career as an adult learning professional. Fast-forward through many years of being an instructional force and the journey continues to be wonderfully fulfilling; helping others learn and grow is always her ultimate goal. As a Solution Architect at SweetRush, Lauren has the ability to follow her passions every day—applying her Swiss Army knife of skills in instructional design, project management, process improvement, and organizational leadership to help cut through clients’ problems and develop their best asset: their people. Whether she’s in the kitchen cooking and preparing for a gathering of friends, crocheting a lovely creation for a gift, or helping a client find the right learning solution for their audience, you can count on Lauren to put style and heart into everything she does.
Join a call with Lisa, and you might just hear about the golden eagle soaring outside her window, her bear-proof compost bin getting tested, or the fantastically dramatic weather happening in her little mountain town in Colorado. Lisa brings that high-altitude attitude to creative design solutions. With a master’s degree in instructional technology leadership and over 20 years of experience in the adult learning field, Lisa has also been part of the eLearning world since the days when people called it “CBT.” She’s worked most of the angles . . . designer, developer, account manager, project manager, vendor evaluator, and learner. Lisa can jump from drilling down on your challenge and framing up innovative solutions to thinking through the tactical details on any project so you can be sure that your project is as effective and elegant as possible. (And did we mention she is a fantastic person that you will greatly enjoy having on your side?)
Annie loves to solve problems and have fun along the way! She’ll roll up her sleeves to dig into a project and create a solution that makes an impact. That’s her favorite part of being a Solution Architect—combining skill and imagination to help all involved reach their fullest potential. When she’s not snowshoeing in the Rocky Mountains or cooking for family and friends, Annie is busy dreaming up engaging learning solutions for her client partners. As a certified Project Management Professional, she brings her expertise in instructional design and technology together to create innovative solutions for even the toughest challenges. Annie is passionate about change management and personal development, and you can always count on her to bring enthusiasm and excitement to your project!
With over a decade of experience in educational technology and instructional design, Dr. Kate Hixson works with clients all over the globe to design and develop thoughtful learning solutions with impact. Some of her work has literally been out of this world—during her doctoral dissertation, she performed research with NASA on astronaut team training for Mars missions. When she’s not test-driving Lunar Rovers, Kate can be found exploring on two legs, hiking Colorado’s Rocky Mountains with her husband and their little Labrador, Annie Oakley. She brings her passion for adventure, infinite curiosity, and constant focus on creativity and collaboration to all that she does at SweetRush. As a Solution Architect, Kate is dedicated to designing innovative solutions that meet your unique needs.
Director of Client Lifecycle
Marni’s remarkable career has led her to being SweetRush’s Director of Client Lifecycle. This role was conceived to help ensure that our client partners have the quintessential SweetRush experience—genuine, communicative, and collaborative—at every stage of our relationship, from initial meeting through development and delivery. For our clients, Marni is both thought partner and risk management partner. She has been working in educational technology and eLearning for more than 10 years, predominantly behind the scenes managing the creative and technical development of digital learning. At SweetRush, we’ve brought her passion and experience out from behind the scenes to focus on client relationships and ongoing business development. A history buff with artistic talents and a zest for life, a conversation with Marni will always leave you with a smile. We hope you get to meet her.
Director of Cultural and Organizational Transformation
As Director of Cultural and Organizational Transformation, Ashley skillfully navigates complex human dynamics and charts a clear course forward, integrating executive team mission, vision, and strategy with leadership development and communications planning. As a strategist, facilitator, consultant, and coach, Ashley has worked with corporations and communities to transform culture through a systems approach and the power of values. Her work has been featured on Deepak Chopra’s radio show; in Forbes, Fast Company, and South Africa’s The Star; and at TEDx and leadership consortiums globally. A true believer in life balance, Ashley spent a month studying with Tibetan Buddhists. She also adores hiking through tree-covered mountains with her husband and son—and scouring fashion magazines, too. Passionate about strategic planning, Ashley thrives when creating concrete and measurable results that support an organization’s mission. Above all, she cares—deeply and compassionately—for others.
Manager of Talent Solutions
Rodrigo Salazar leads Talent Solutions services at SweetRush, where he and his team work with clients to help them find talent and augment their teams in learning and development, a people-centric field that impacts all lines of business within the enterprise. In previous roles, Rodrigo discovered that it is the people and by extension the team that really is the driver for and enabler of business success. Today he focuses on the world of talent management: how teams are built, how individuals are taught to perform better at their jobs, and how engaged, motivated people are the secret formula organizations need to thrive.
Design Team Manager
Laura Murillo is always thinking ahead. With multiple degrees in graphic design, multimedia, video, and animation, she started her career in advertising at BBDO and Gray. She then discovered SweetRush and knew she had found a home where all her skills could really make a difference. With her creativity and solid design skills, she quickly became an invaluable team member. As the team grew, we found Laura’s exceptional organizational skills and natural leadership abilities made her a perfect fit as Design Team leader. At the same time, she immersed herself in the world of training and eLearning, and her ongoing research (including a pro-bono degree project, an eLearning course for teenage girls) informs her thoughtful approach to our clients’ needs. From conceptualization to creation, you can count on Laura to think through every step, build and lead a powerhouse team, anticipate each roadblock, and overcome any challenge with grace.
Director of Instructional Design
Clare Dygert is a smart, experienced, and empathetic professional, and as SweetRush’s Director of Instructional Design, every bit of her magic is fully engaged. As a leader and mentor, Clare infuses her team with positive energy and a can-do attitude. Working with Clare always proves to be an enriching experience. Think of a topic area, and chances are Clare has experience forging that subject matter into teachable components. Her natural curiosity and penchant for research in cognitive science always inform her design approach. As the ID team lead, Clare guides our highly accomplished instructional designers as they develop cutting-edge ILT and eLearning for the world’s most successful organizations. Like all of us at SweetRush, Clare is passionate about fairness, diversity, and inclusion. She loves being part of a culture that believes business can and should make a difference—a belief that validates the hard work and energy she applies to her craft every day.
Manager of Instructional Design Resourcing
Alicia’s collaborative, flexible, and diplomatic working style has quickly earned her the trust of the SweetRush Instructional Design (ID) team, clients, and team members. Alicia has a BA in organizational psychology, an MBA, more than 15 years of instructional design (ID), extensive project management (PM) experience, and a business operations background to her role as ID Resourcing Manager at SweetRush. This challenging and fulfilling position is tailor-made for Alicia. All her capabilities are called upon as she aligns ID resource activities to business needs and matches SweetRush’s incredibly talented IDs to the best projects fitting their interests and skills. Whether participating in brainstorming sessions, developing training, or working through project complexities, Alicia is a strong problem-solver, a dedicated team member, strategically focused, and hands-on. Outside of her home office, you might find Alicia hiking, snowmobiling, or riding her mules and donkey near her home in the mountains of Montana. An animal lover, she volunteers her time developing programs for animal shelters to increase success in their mission.
Build Manager Team Lead
Our build managers have the very challenging job of assigning, organizing, and staying on top of each and every screen, image, and activity we produce for our learning solutions. And there’s no one more qualified and capable to lead this team than Shelby! As an integral part of the SweetRush team since 2008, Shelby is always top of mind when there’s a big challenge to take on—and lucky for us, she has eagerly spread her wings to embrace new opportunities and skills in project and team management. Obsessively organized, process oriented, and a creative problem-solver, she anticipates challenges and creates a positive experience for her clients and teammates. While Shelby is whip-smart at the nuts and bolts, she brings a true balance of analytical and emotional intelligence. Her passion and warmth for people knows no limits: a devoted mom to Zoe and Jack, she is also a postpartum doula, a Reiki practitioner, and a life coach. Working with Shelby, you’ll find a person who values (and personifies) extreme competence, compassion, and, let’s not forget, fun!