Meet The Team
Meet the hardworking people who make NextGen happen.
Meet The Team
The hardworking people who make NextGen happen.
Chris Kelly briefly worked as an investment banker before starting his career in earnest at Google, where he held product and marketing positions with AdSense and Google Apps. He left in 2010 to start his first successful online advertising business, primarily focusing on lead generation. He founded NextGen Leads in 2014 with the aim of modernizing the way insurance leads are generated and sold, putting a strong emphasis on improving agent experience through technology. Chris graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Claremont McKenna College. In his spare time, he enjoys playing with his son, learning piano, reading and travel.
Our goal from the outset has been to provide a superior customer experience through a relentless focus on lead quality and solving problems with technology. I'm very proud of what this team has built, and excited to see where we go next!
Kent Kirkwood began his career as a consultant for Bain & Company and then later at HP as a manager on the corporate strategy team. After getting his MBA, Kent began his career in the digital advertising and insurance industries working for AWL as the Director of Corporate Development, responsible for M&A and product strategy. After completing a series of acquisitions, strategic projects and product launches, he led the start-up and growth of the in-house insurance agency as the VP of Policy Sales. After AWL, Kent served as an executive for Zander Insurance before being reintroduced to Chris and the NextGen team who he first met while at AWL, taking on the role of CEO for NextGen Leads in 2022. Kent graduated with honors from SMU in Dallas with a degree in Finance, and has his MBA from the University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business. Outside of work, Kent enjoys spending time with his wife and two kids and playing golf whenever he gets the chance.
Seeing how far this young and hungry team of entrepreneurs has taken the company in its 8 year history is truly amazing and a source of consistent inspiration. It's an incredible honor to lead this team, and together we look forward to conquering new and previously unimaginable heights.
Ronnie Garcia is a San Diego native that has been working in the online marketing industry since 2000. He started his career doing mostly work as a designer and front-end web developer, but soon after transitioned into full stack development. Ronnie has done work for brands such as Sony Playstation, American Red Cross, Honeywell and RailEurope. Ronnie spends most of his free time relaxing and going on adventures with his wife, son, and daughter.
What sets NextGen apart from all other lead companies is our unique technology. We are always working on developing the next cutting edge feature to enhance the quality and conversion rates of our leads.
George Mueller is a passionate teacher and salesman who began his career in insurance and marketing after graduating from San Diego State University with a degree in Psychology. George likes to brag about being one of NextGen’s first hires, but is most proud of his own employees’ professional growth and desire to succeed, and is grateful to be a part of such an amazingly talented team. He looks forward to developing a deeper understanding of the powerful and complex world of advertising and programming.
At NextGen we leverage our technological advantages to provide superior leads. Our passion and commitment to education create awesome company culture.
Director of Marketing
Kevin Girgis is originally from Columbus, Ohio, but his career has taken him to more than 20 countries on five continents. Kevin began his career interning for an ad agency in Singapore and now works on marketing analytics and strategy for NextGen Leads. A Division 1 track and field athlete, Kevin graduated magna cum laude from the University of Cincinnati in 2016 and joined NextGen Leads because of the focus on creating great work/life balance in a friendly environment.
NextGen is a close-knit team. We bring our unique skills and talents together each day to create an amazing company culture. The result is a great place to work and a superior experience for our customers.
Director of Business Development
Cassie Scott is a Central Coast native with a reputable history in sales achievements from various industries. After completing her education at Allan Hancock College, she ventured off to San Diego to pursue her marketing and advertising career at NextGen Leads. Cassie oversees strategic accounts and is passionate about optimizing and maximizing the sales success of her partners. Her extensive background in sales and customer service allows her to reach her goal of profitably connecting her partners with their ideal sales prospects. In her free time, she enjoys spending time at the beach, chasing sunsets, traveling, trying new brunch spots, and exploring beautiful San Diego.
True, raw, transparency is a personal trait I take pride in, so you can imagine my excitement to be part of a team that also carries that core value. NextGen’s commitment to remain truly transparent provides a strong sense of authenticity and trust between our team and clients.
Director of Accounts
Marcus Bergamaschi is a San Francisco Bay Area native who began his professional career at Intuit after graduating from California State University, Chico. He is passionate about client retention and what it takes to meet the needs of potential and current customers alike. Marcus migrated down to San Diego to be a part of an exciting, rapidly growing family at NextGen Leads. When he is not watching his favorite bay area sports teams, you can catch Marcus running on the beach or eating San Diego's best burritos.
Seeing NextGen grow to what it has become in such a short amount of time, while continuing to exceed customer expectations, is truly inspiring and keeps me motivated to see what we can accomplish next!
Human Resources Generalist
Hunter Leum was born and raised in Los Angeles, having moved to San Diego to pursue a degree in Psychology. He has always had an interest in helping others to achieve their fullest potential personally and professionally, which led him to continue his education and obtain a Master’s Degree in Organizational Psychology. Hunter has experience in various Human Resources functions, with a focus on employee relations and team cohesion. When he isn’t working, Hunter loves enjoying the San Diego outdoors with his family and friends. You’ll most likely find him in the ocean, cycling along the coast, or hiking the local mountains.
I was immediately drawn to NextGen Leads because of their amazing technological innovations and incredible company culture. I am very excited to be part of this team and am looking forward to growing together!
Robert Mah began his career in accounting in sunny Orange County, California after graduating from UC Irvine with a B.S. in Biology. He is a licensed CPA with public and private company experience. Robert has an affinity for new technology and is naturally drawn to startups and forward thinking companies. He appreciates working smarter and aims to leave things better than when he found them. In his spare time, Robert enjoys travel, food, and petting his two dogs.
NextGen Leads takes pride in its work-life balance and company culture. The team is knowledgeable, respectful, and always looks for ways to improve. I’m grateful to work with such good energy and excited to see the company grow!
Daniel has touched every aspect of digital advertising in his 8+ years of experience as a marketer. Primary strengths pertain to PPC management, SEO, and most importantly - analytics. Daniel began his career working alongside Gary Vaynerchuk at Vaynermedia, learning from the best in the industry for creative branding and media. Daniel joined the NextGen Leads family in June of 2019 as a media buyer, handling internal and affiliate lead-gen campaigns for the company.
Our focus on data-driven decision making is what really sets us apart from other lead-gen companies. As a media buyer, reliable and actionable data is the key to running successful campaigns which in turn means more successful campaigns for our clients.
Christian Welsh is London born and San Diego raised. He began his career in Big 4 public accounting after graduating with an accounting degree from SMU’s Cox School of Business. Christian entered the digital marketing world with L.A. based company Brightcast where he focused on PPC management, data analytics, and client relations. He joined NextGen Leads in January of 2021 as a Marketing Analyst to contribute in leading marketing efforts. Christian is a scratch golfer and big wave enthusiast.
"The science of today is the technology of tomorrow”. This quote holds true with NextGen Leads as we provide unparalleled technology-driven data through which we are able to exceed expectations and grow into a greater tomorrow.
Sarah Blanco is a California central coast native who decided to take a leap of faith and move to San Diego in hopes of growing both personally and professionally. During her time on the central coast she worked at a large dental supply company where her focus was customer support and sales. She has also completed her education at Allan Hancock College. In her free time she enjoys spending time with friends, traveling, and going to the beach with her two Australian Shepherds.
Two things that really excite me about NextGen are the work culture and the advanced technology we use to provide outstanding support to our buyers. This combination is what sets us above and makes us go beyond on what is expected in our field.
Jan Cruz began his career with the U.S. Marine Corps where he participated in two campaigns in the Al Anbar province of Iraq. He aided in multiple missions and provided support for hostile regions like Fallujah, AR Ramadi and Baharia. After receiving his honorable discharge, Jan attended Concorde Career College, earning his AAS in Medical Science. Post college he helped set up two satellite stores for retail store, J. Tomson. He enjoys going to the beach and spending time with family and his two dogs.
NextGen is a team full of individuals who want to change the lead industry by providing the best experience for our customers, using a combination of unique technology and personalized account support.
Lisa Montgomery moved to San Diego at 8 months old. She was homeschooled all the way through high school and has spent time in Europe, South Africa, and Australia as an exchange student. She started her professional career working for start ups in the preventive medicine space, here in San Diego. With medical administration as her background, Lisa has joined NextGen as an account manager. In her spare time she enjoys anything involving sunshine: beaches, hiking, exploring new cities, and traveling outside the country are amongst her favorite activities.
NextGen Leads has transformed the lead purchasing market! We provide a modern and seamless experience for our customers and are committed to staying true to our authenticity. I take pride in working for NextGen Leads and can’t wait to see the magnitude of impact it will continue to have in this space.
Jay Araiza is a San Diego native with experience in customer service and marketing. Jay's passion for being the best version of himself is the driving force of his professional growth which was prominent during his time at a San Diego startup in the alternative health care sector. Jay attended Missouri Baptist University on an athletic scholarship. In his free time, Jay is learning web development, practicing Portuguese and, exploring new parks throughout San Diego with his son.
NextGen offers a fostering culture that’s both challenging and rewarding. Driven by its modern technology and team atmosphere that allows one to passionately drive results to achieve client and company objectives.
Paige Calvo moved to Vandenberg Air Force Base when she was 2 years old and has been living in the California central coast ever since. With 8 years of dedicated sales and customer service experience, she has a passion for doing whatever it takes to exceed customers expectations. In her free time Paige enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, weight lifting, and taking her son on adventures.
What made me want to work for NextGen is the transparency and technology they provide their buyers. I take great pride in working for a company that actually cares about providing the best and being the best for its consumers.
Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, Eugene is a midwest kid at heart. Eugene joined the United States Air Force and was stationed at Vandenberg Air Force Base and has seen as much of the world as possible. After seeing the world from different perspectives, he began his career on the civilian side. With a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, Eugene moved to San Diego and started his career in sales. Eugene's free time involves physical activities such as bike riding, traveling as much as possible, and meeting new people with new stories/perspectives.
NextGen Leads does an outstanding job of combining high-end technology with home comfort atmosphere. Expect high quality leads from high quality people.
Rizaldee Balza is a San Diego native whom’s experience in the sales industry has molded her professionalism. Starting in 1998 as a Property and Casualty Insurance Agent, Rizaldee has since been employed in various professions and excelled in all. Now, instead of selling insurance she plays a major role in connecting major health companies with a large volume of individuals who need it. Her extensive background allows her to follow her passion in sales and customer service. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family, traveling, trying new eateries and going to the gym.
I love working for NextGen Leads because it allowed me to move up and around while gaining experience within the company. By promoting within, NextGen is comprised of many strong individuals that make this company enjoyable to work for.
Felicia grew up in the small town of Lone Pine California. She began competing in different sports at a young age and has medaled in the Junior Olympics twice. She started working for NextGen Leads in the call center. Starting as a live transfer agent she was quickly promoted to a Team Lead position before moving up as a Sales Associate. This experience gives Felicia excellent working knowledge of the lead to agent relationship. Over 12 years in customer service gives her the understanding and skills necessary to thrive in the sales industry. In her downtime, Felicia enjoys skiing, fishing, camping, and creating in the kitchen.
NextGen is ever-changing and constantly improving on ways to generate and deliver leads. The ever-changing environment gives me the opportunity to expand my industry knowledge and continue to grow professionally.
Deshawn is originally from North Carolina, but moved to Boston when he was 12. Adventurous by nature, he moved to San Diego in 2019 because building snowmen lost its luster. Deshawn has always sought to provide excellent customer service throughout his professional career in home security and in insurance. When he's not reading comics, he's typically playing video games or trying to find new cuisine to try.
NextGen is full of some of the most welcoming, smart people I have had the pleasure to meet, who make every day an adventure worth exploring.
Director of Engineering
NextGen has a fun team dynamic that empowers you to contribute and grow. With the focus on modern technology, you can rest easy knowing your skills will always be at the forefront of the industry
Senior Application Developer
Luis was born south of the San Diego border and grew up in Chula Vista, CA, a southern suburb of San Diego. He graduated from the University of California San Diego with a Computer Engineering degree in 2017. Luis' last semester was spent studying abroad in Lund, Sweden. During his time at UCSD, Luis was part of a few different research groups and worked closely with hybrid network topologies, cloud service providers and optical circuit switches. After a year of working in automation testing, using tools like Selenium, Appium and Postman, Luis turned his attention to full stack development. In his free time, when Luis is not working on his personal meal-prep/cookbook web application, he is at his parent’s house smoking ribs and pulled pork with an offset smoker he made himself.
NextGen generates high quality leads because we focus on building robust and cutting edge features. Our ability to adapt and grow speaks to our passion for technology and our clients' success.
Senior Marketing Engineer
Brett Wray is a San Diego native that began his career as an office assistant for a marketing and technology company where he worked alongside a team of developers each day, after only a few months working there Brett realized he had a passion for web development and began teaching himself to code, after years of moonlighting as a developer after work, Brett was ready to start his career as a Web Developer which is what brought him to NextGen Leads. When Brett is not at his computer you can find him driving his boat on the Colorado River, exploring San Diego with his girlfriend Jann, or spending time with his best friends Dozer the english bulldog and Tank the french bulldog.
NextGen has built an extremely fun and talented team of individuals that truly care about the product and the success of our clients, the modern technology that our platform is built on allows us to continuously innovate and build new features to ensure that we’re delivering the highest quality leads.
Born and raised in San Diego, Josh discovered his passion for web development when his family needed a website for a restaurant they opened. As his interest grew, he taught himself how to code and built out a portfolio which allowed him to land a position at a marketing agency and start his web development career. Josh joined NextGen Leads in 2019 and handles split testing and API integrations.
NextGen Leads has an awesome work atmosphere with many talented individuals. I enjoy my work at NextGen because of the focus on the most modern technologies.
Jonathan originally hails from Boston, MA, and graduated from James Madison University with his BFA in graphic design. He moved to San Diego because he never wanted to deal with another Boston winter again, and he has no regrets about the decision. He has worked as a professional graphic designer for several years, and is currently pursuing his Masters in graphic design. When he isn’t doing something design-related, he is usually out and about enjoying all the fabulous things San Diego has to offer.
NextGen has been a dream job. I couldn’t image when I started working here that I would be working with such smart and innovative people who take such passion in what they do.
Full Stack Developer
Sean was born into a military family and grew up moving all around the world before calling San Diego his home. After graduating from San Diego State University with a degree in Electrical Engineering, he discovered a passion for creating products from design to production. Always up to the task, Sean found web development as the perfect medium to solve both creative and technical challenges. Sean has over 5 years of experience working at full service digital marketing agencies building a variety of apps, websites, and e-commerce stores before working at NextGen Leads. When he is not at work you can find him solving bouldering problems at the gym or on an adventure outdoors.
Working at NextGen is a blast. It’s great to work with a talented team that is passionate about the quality of their work and wants to deliver robust products that implement the most modern technologies.
Web Application Developer
Having been a resident of Orange County for most his life, Andre and his family frequented and very much enjoyed San Diego for the relaxing getaways it provided when he was younger. Those fond memories made it easy for him to accept the opportunity to study Computer Science at UC San Diego. Andre appreciates the challenges and creative expressions that come with designing and implementing solutions via web development. While he is away from a computer, Andre likes to play basketball, spend quality time with friends and family, and explore all the sights and food establishments of San Diego.
NextGen brilliantly hosts a tight-knit and enjoyable working environment comprised of passionate and intelligent individuals working towards one goal: provide the best leads on the market. I am honored to be a part of the team and excited to contribute.