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April Underwood. (Zillow Group Photo)

Seattle online real estate powerhouse Zillow Group announced today that Slack executive April Underwood has joined the company’s board of directors. In addition, former Trulia CEO Pete Flint said that he’d not stand for reelection to the board when his term expires at Zillow’s annual shareholders’ meeting this year. Zillow purchased Trulia in 2015 for $2.5 billion.

Underwood has served as the VP of product at Slack for over a year, and previously served as Twitter’s director of product for four years. She is also a founding partner at a women-led investment firm #Angels, which focuses on funding technology startups.

“April is widely recognized as an outstanding leader in the technology community,” Rich Barton, Zillow Group co-founder and executive chairman, said in a press release. “Her extensive experience and unique perspective in technology product development, engineering, innovation and consumer engagement, as well as her deep understanding of the mobile and internet industries, will be a significant asset to Zillow Group’s Board of Directors. We are thrilled that she has agreed to join and I look forward to her contributions toward Zillow Group’s long-term success.”

“I have long been inspired by Zillow Group’s mission to build the largest, most trusted and vibrant home-related marketplace in the world. I am honored to join the Board of Directors,” said Underwood, who also previously worked at Google, Travelocity and Intel. “Zillow Group’s people, culture, brands and partnerships are impressive and I look forward to working closely with Rich, Spencer and the other Board members to help support the company’s continued success.”

Chris Manderino. (Utrip Photo)

Utrip, an artificial intelligence-fueled trip planning platform, announced that it is adding former Microsoft employee Chris Manderino as chief operating officer. 

Manderino joins the company from lunch delivery startup Peach, where she served as the national general manager for six months. She is also a veteran of a variety of Seattle-based tech companies. She served as VP of customer success at home improvement platform Porch, spent seven years at leadership positions in Microsoft and spent five years at Expedia.

She joins Utrip as the company prepares to continue its significant growth. It raised a $6.1 million round last year, and also added a former Expedia CFO Michael Adler to its board of directors.

“Utrip achieved impressive growth last year and I look forward to building on that momentum,” Manderino said in a press release. “Beyond expanding to serve over 50 partners, the company’s customer retention over the last three years is extraordinary.”

“Now is the perfect time to welcome a new key member of our senior leadership team,” Utrip founder and CEO Gilad Berenstein said in the release.  “Chris’ track record of results is an invaluable asset in continuing to grow our footprint and to provide even better service to our Utrip PRO clients and value to our travelers.” Berenstein was named CEO of the Year at the 2015 GeekWire Awards.

David Schultz (Vioguard Picture)

Vioguard, a Bothell, Wash., based startup developing Ultraviolet sanitation technology for use in medical settings, announced the addition of David Schultz as the company’s new CEO. Vioguard recently raised $5 million, and is developing products including a self-sanitizing keyboard and mouse.

Schultz comes to the company after eight years as the executive vice president of global operations at EagleView, which develops image capturing and 3-D modeling technologies. 

“I view this as a very exciting opportunity to join a company with technology that is a game changer in healthcare,” Mr. Schultz said. “My goal with Vioguard is to bring our UV-C know-how to both the medical arena and the public as a positive, disruptive solution that will provide for a healthier and cleaner world.”

The company’s previous CEO, Laurance Ranta, will maintain an advisory role.

Brian Silverman. (Spoken Communications Photo)

Fast-growing cloud-based communications platform Spoken Communications announced the addition of Brian Silverman as executive VP of Sales.

Silverman joins the company after spending five years as the CEO of Madrid-based software company BTAP Advisory services. He formerly served as the CEO of enterprise cloud company Five9 during the two years after the company’s founding.

“When I chose to join the founding team at Five9, I felt that I was about to embark on something that would ultimately change the future for contact centers,” Silverman said in a press release. “Likewise, I believe that Spoken will transform the customer experience with truly unique and inventive technology that can help businesses get dramatically more value from the conversations they are having with their customers. I am convinced this company will own the future. As Spoken continues to bring new offerings to market, there will only be more opportunities to expand our reach. I am looking forward to working with the management team during this exciting phase of growth.”

Kevin Kernan. (JM Search Photo)

— Executive talent search firm JM Search announced today that the company is expanding to the West Coast with two new offices in Seattle and Los Angeles. They will be led by longtime tech executive and advisor Kevin Kernan, who will be based in the company’s Seattle office. 

Kernan has been a partner at JM Search for a year, previous to which he served as managing director at talent search firm ChampionScott Partners for six years. He focuses on recruiting CEOs, C-level executives and direct reports to the C-Suite for SaaS, cybersecurity and analytics companies.

“Seattle and Los Angeles represent key growth areas for our firm, particularly in the technology sector where we have seen heightened demand for elite executive talent in both markets,” Kernan said in a press release. “Growing our presence in Southern California and the Pacific Northwest will allow us to better serve our growing client roster in these regions.”

Dave Hersh. (Monsoon Photo)

— Portland-based multi-channel e-commerce company Monsoon announced that it has been acquired by serial entrepreneur and tech executive Dave Hersh, who was also appointed CEO of the company.

Hersh previously served an eight year stint as the founding CEO of software company Jive Software, and also served for two years as a board partner at Andreessen Horowitz. He has since served as a co-founder and advisor to several other software startups. 

“The multi-channel ecommerce market is ripe for innovation. Customers need a new experience designed around how they sell their products today” Hersh said in a press release. “Monsoon is in the perfect position to seize this opportunity with a passionate customer base, deep industry knowledge, talented people, and a dedication to technology innovation. The company is well positioned to leverage its history while capitalizing on key technology trends to take the lead in this market and define the new standard for how products are sold online.”

The company also announced the addition of Matt Wilkinson as chief product officer and Mike Maloney as head of sales. 

Gabe Hicks. (Dev9 Photo)

— Cloud-based software consulting firm Dev9 announced the promotion of longtime employee Gabe Hicks to chief technology officer. 

Hicks has been with Dev9 since its founding in 2010, when he worked as a lead developer. He has climbed the ranks since then to serve as director of technology and then VP of delivery, before taking on the CTO position.

“Throughout my career, I have built and led teams to implement mission critical, high-scale applications,” Hicks said in a press release. “I have found that people and process drive great results. My experience with Continuous Delivery practices has shown me that software risks can be reduced and predictability maintained even on very demanding projects. I am excited to lead the effort to bring Dev9’s focus on Continuous Delivery to our Cloud services, and look forward to creating more successful outcomes for Dev9 clients.”

Kevin Davidson. (Bear Group Photo)

— Seattle-based web development consultant Bear Group announced the addition of entrepreneur and developer Kevin Davison as the company’s senior technical project manager.

Davison comes to the company after a year as the technical product manager and drupal architect for Hook 42, a boutique consultant in San Francisco. At Bear Group, he will work directly with clients and also coordinate the company’s development team.

“Bear Group appealed to me because of its clear values, choices in clients, and its dareful diversity to work with Drupal and Magento while being very open to the array of technology integrations that we must be open and ready for on every project,” Davison said in a press release.

MicroVision, a company developing ultraportable projection technology, announced the addition of financial exec Bob Carlile to the company’s board of directors. Former director of the company Jeanette Horan announced that she is retiring from her role. 

Now retired, Carlile served in the financial sector for almost 40 years, specializing in financial audits.

“I am honored to be joining the MicroVision board of directors. The technology the company has developed is awe inspiring and there are so many possibilities ahead for the scanning engines the company is introducing this year and next,” Carlile said in a press release.

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