What do Deem and cats have in common? Whiskers!

In Culture and news by James Deem

This week, we’re all abuzz about the brand new members of our team—Ram Trichur, Vivek Chandran, Steven Lee, Yuri Goldfeld, and Juan Almonte—who’ve all joined us from Whisk, aka “Whiskers”. The Caltech-educated bunch has brought new technologies, opportunities, and energy with them to Deem, and we’re excited to see what our collaborative future holds.

On this week’s Employee Spotlight, we wanted to take some time to get to know our new colleagues from Whisk a little bit better.

Meet Yuri:

Yuri describes himself as meticulous, direct, and intense. Originally born in Moscow, Russia, he now lives in San Jose. When asked where in the world he would love to live, he replied, “Nice, France.” On a typical Saturday afternoon, you’ll find Yuri at home, playing with his 1 and 3-year-olds. And his icebreaker at a cocktail party? “Jackhammer!”

Yuri is very passionate about coding—he’s been at it since he was 8 years old. He described his first week in the office as surreal, and told us that he “kept thinking, ‘Is this really happening?'” For him, the best part about joining Deem is getting the opportunity to turn the Whisk product “into something that will reach tons of people.”


Meet Steven:

Steven says that he is persistent, cerebral, and assertive. He’s from Sacramento, CA, and would choose Taipei, Taiwan if he had to pick one place, anywhere in the world, to live. Before he joined the Whisk team, he worked at Amazon.

Outside of work, Steven is passionate about trying new foods, restaurants, and drinks of all kinds. On a typical Saturday, you’ll find him relaxing at home, his cocktail party icebreaker is two truths and a lie, and if he was on “Dancing with the Stars,” his celebrity dance partner would be Psy (of Gangnam Style fame).

Steven’s first week in Deem’s SF office was “exciting, and full of meetings to learn more about everything Deem does!” He told us that the best part about joining Deem is the ability to work with world-class sales, marketing, and engineering teams in the travel and car service industries.

Steven Lee of Whisk joins Deem


Meet Vivek:

Vivek describes himself as hopeful, dedicated, and authentic. He was born in NYC, but his family moved south for the warmer weather soon after. He grew up in a small town in Alabama called Winfield, and would have to go to the next town over for things like Chinese food, KFC, and the movie theater. He describes it as being “green, tranquil, and serene.” Straight out college, he worked at a small startup with fellow Whisker, Yuri. Then, he worked at Symantec, and later Akamai. When we asked him where one place he’d love to live is, he simply said, “Somewhere tropical.”

On a typical Saturday afternoon, you can probably find him at brunch, weight training at the gym, walking around a mall, or riding his bike.

Vivek is passionate about “finding the cutting edge of open source technology that is just barely ready for prime time and leveraging it to bring a new commercial-grade product to life faster and more smoothly than possible before. It does often mean that the open source project may have some rough edges because few people have used it as seriously before, and we’ll be the ones closing the gap, but I find that it usually pays off big and lets you build something grander.” He described his first week as intense: “meeting a lot of new people and marathon planning sessions to bring what the Whisk team has built to Deem.”


Meet Juan:

Juan told us that he’s friendly, open-minded, and adventurous. He was born in the Dominican Republic and moved to the Bronx, NYC (“Home of the Yankees!”) when he was 3 years old. He’s lived in NYC almost his whole life, even co-owned a black car service based in NYC.  But, if he could live anywhere else in the world, he’d choose SF, LA, or maybe Miami.

On a typical Saturday, you can find Juan spending time with his family, watching movies, or eating out. He’s very into all types of new tech, loves motorsports (especially automobiles), and music: “Spanish rock, bachata, merengue, hip hop, pop — the good stuff, you know?” His celebrity partner on “Dancing with the Stars?” That’d be Rihanna, who Juan thinks is an awesome dancer. He also told us that he’d break the ice at a cocktail party by “probably making some kind of funny joke about myself.”

While he’s currently remote and wasn’t in the SF office during his first week, he is looking forward to hanging with the Secaucus, NJ team soon. He told us that for him, the best part about joining the team is that he thinks “a lot of the hard work that was done in the past 3 years at Whisk will start to flow down to many more clients and change the way they do business.”


Welcome to the Deem Team, guys!


About the Author
James Deem

James Deem

James Deem will make the opposition green with envy as he highlights our awesome social events, casts a spotlight on our amazing collection of talent, and provides potential hires with insight into who we are, what we do, and why Deem is one of the hottest places to work in San Francisco. Keep an eye on the culture blog for frequent updates on all things Deem.