The Smylee Ethos
In 2019 one of the Smylee founders had a real life issue.
A corporate professional, on the dating scene, he was using dating apps to meet new people. During this experience he was being stood up and cancelled on with no reasoning at all.
Not only frustrating, it caused feelings of hurt and self-doubt. Wondering if he was the only one with this experience he started chatting to friends. He discovered that hundreds of people were feeling this way, not only with dating but all types of events.
This experience harnessed the Smylee values, our ethos, which sit at the core of what we do today…
Meet the Team
We work together with a key focus on helping to increase social reliability, by encouraging people to want to show up in person. We do this from a place of kindness, helping people to become more mindful of how their actions can impact others in order to inspire better habits.
“Never a no, only a how”
Skye is a Business Consultant and Program Management specialist who has spent a majority of her career partnering with CEO’s, Executives and Entrepreneurs to create strategic plans that bring even the most complex business ideas to life.
Spending over two decades delivering innovative insurance and finance projects to multinational companies from Sydney, London and Dubai, Skye understands the significant preparation that goes into successfully executing large programs targeting operational cost reductions; system enhancements and new technology solutions, allowing businesses to sustain their market leadership positions and increase profitability.
Skye has been a keynote speaker at a number of company and government driven seminars, conferences and executive forums providing her insights on business culture, risk management, project management, safety and leadership, achieving several government awards for her programs delivering operational excellence in the workplace being a career highlight.
Skye holds a Diploma of Project Management, Agile Fundamentals and Practitioner Certifications, Diploma of General Insurance, CISI Certification, Masters of Marketing from Sydney University and has completed her MBA through the Australian Business Institute.
“Let’s get it right from the start”
Finance Manager/ Spreadsheet enthusiast
Apart from numbers, Jenny has three great loves, her son, travel and tea! She served in the RAAF for 10 years in the finance area before starting her own Events Management company and is a qualified and licenced BAS Agent & Bookkeeper, complimenting her 30 years background in Accounting and Business Management, so in general, a perfect fit for Smylee!
Jenny loves to help the team keep their accounts in order and helps them to manage their finances so they can get back to what they do best, creating an innovative app for you to enjoy!
Freya Elizabeth Bland
“Stay focussed on the goal”
Scrum Master/Team Motivator
Creatively Compelled + User Inspired + Tech Grounded
A Comp Sci Grad and experienced Creative. I have a comprehensive portfolio of expertise cultivated in the creative industries, alongside a rapidly evolving tech skillset.
I’ve had a broad and colourful client-base, providing an extensive array of digital design/strategy, photography, digital imaging and creative direction/project management.
Clients Include- Toscana, EB Cosmetics, Eco Tan, Carita, Amica Magazine, Mestige, The French Beauty Academy, Red Magazine UK, Gold Coast Eye, Ugg King, Catherine Halfpenny, My Look Instyle, Poni Cosmetics +++
“If we can’t build it, nobody can!”
Head of Development / Code Master
With over 20 years industry experience, he brings a solid skillset in development for both web and mobile applications.
Dan holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (Computer Science) and has proven skills in – React JS, GraphQL/Apollo, Styled Components, Webpack, Jest/Enzyme, and Node/Express.
Dan has run dev teams building enterprise level and government solutions in his time at Oakton and MPG. He also has a strong interest in front end motion graphics and skills in database development and management.
Dan is a brilliant team manager and an accomplished developer, with a proven history of projects behind him. As a full stack developer he is called on to handle everything from client and team management to back-end strategy.
“It’s about the journey”
Ross is the lead UX and UI designer on the Smylee app and has been working as a UX/UI designer for the last 11 years. He was the Global Creative Director at Appster where he managed an international team of designers who produced apps which one various design awards including a Gold W3 award, several Davey awards and a Gold Webby award for UX design.
In his career he has designed solutions for brands like McDonald’s, Expedia, Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Reebok and Porche to name a few. ..
Head of Marketing/PR/Creative Guru
Kirsty brings Smylee’s brand essence to life, ensuring it is lived and breathed in everything we do. She thrives off living on purpose. Connecting people with each other and within oneself, optimizing performance, energy and quality of life. Our resident wellness expert and qualified Holistic Wellness Coach, she holds people around her accountable to their own purpose and passions. Kirsty loves a creative challenge. With 17 years experience in Sales, Marketing and Events, she has won awards such as TAA Public Relations, Sales and Marketing Employee of the Year. As a previous Director with Accor Hotels she delivered strategy and implementation of events infrastructure in the Pacific, launched the first
M Gallery hotel in Australia and worked on large scale event activations such as NRL, Invictus Games and College Football. She currently supports the industry as a Director on the Meetings and Events Board of Australia. In her spare time she loves yoga, her dog Doug the pug and immersing herself in nature.
“Stop, collaborate & listen”
Strategy and Corporate Development Executive. Extensive experience in Asia and Australia in the development of growth strategy, origination of acquisitions and partnerships, negotiation, execution and implementation of growth initiatives. Special interest in Social and Affordable Housing.
Experienced General Counsel and Senior Commercial lawyer. Broad cross-section of experience from roles with leading law firms and corporates spanning general corporate, merger & acquisition, IP, trade practices, risk management and compliance, commercial litigation. Highly pragmatic, commercial and result oriented.
- Negotiation of joint ventures, partnership agreements, distribution/sales contracts, acquisitions and divestments.
- Good knowledge of most Asian countries, culture (corporate & social) and negotiating style, especially financial services markets
- Dispute resolution
- Commercial and pragmatic legal advice
- Regulatory compliance, especially trade practices
“I have an idea”
Passionate about flying, with one of his greatest achievements being a captain at Jetstar, Raj has been behind the controls of Qantas Group aircraft for more than 18 years.
His motto is not to take things at face value, but rather look behind and beyond to understand the mechanics, and then figure out what to do about it.
But ask him what he does in his spare time, and this is where it gets interesting. A nutty professor trying to make sense of the world, Raj enjoys exploring new business ideas and opportunities. This lead him to being Co-Owner and General Manager of Stepathlon, an evidenced based wellbeing program that measures and evaluates a range of key health areas, including mental health.
But in true Raj style, in 2019 there was a new problem to solve; why are people so unreliable? From there the concept of Smylee was developed. “People at times can be guilty of not taking responsibility for their actions, and not respecting others like we would like to be respected ourselves.”
Holding people accountable to show up for each other, by encouraging greater reliability and genuine connections amongst new and existing friends, Smylee aims to create large-scale cultural change in the world.
For the past 2 years Smylee has grown from an idea into a value aligned business on a mission, bringing along Raj’s personality with it. Goofy, yet funny, he doesn’t like to take himself too seriously, always searching for the humorous side of life.
If all that isn’t enough, Raj also holds Bachelors Degrees in Economics and Law, and is a qualified solicitor.
Favourite dad joke: A turtle walks into the police station and says “Officer officer I’ve just been mugged by a gang of snails!” And the policeman says “What happened?” And she says “I don’t know, it all happened so fast!”
Where to catch Raj: On a cricket field, asleep on the lounge, behind the wheel of his vintage Mercedes, or in his Smylee active wear working out in Bondi.
“Let’s change the world”
Ben specialises in UX design, digital strategy, creative direction and management.
Over the last 20 years, he has been fortunate enough to manage projects for some great companies including CHE, Frank Media, ISS Marketing, Village Roadshow, Telstra, Ford, NAB, The Sydney & International Olympic Committees, Cricket Australia, Hallmark, Channel 10, The Holden Racing Team, AFL, NRL, CUB and Lucasfilm.
He has started 3 companies the first of which ‘Sharp Creative Agency’ he sold in 2011. His second company ‘App In The Box’ produced apps which sold millions of units worldwide and was rated the 6th most successful app company in Australia.
He holds a Bachelor of Visual Communication (Design) from RMIT. He was part of the team that designed the Olympic Relay Torch for the Beijing Olympic Games, the Gold Medalist stamps for the Sydney and Athens Olympic Games, the brand for the City of Sunbury, a worldwide promotion for Starwars Episode III and his work has been exhibited twice in the National Gallery of Victoria.
He is 44 years old and his passions are everything UX, design, writing, digital, apps, animation, games, movies, science and being a great dad to his 4 boys.
Marketing/PR/ The Voice of Smylee
His name is Nicholas and his passion for socialising is slightly ridiculous.
Part of the OG #SmyleeSquad, Nick frequents our social media channels as the ‘Ultimate Third Wheel’, dishing out expert advice on all things dating, event organising and current trends, crafts captivating copy for our blog, manages a lot of our marketing efforts and is never without a beaming smile.
He’ll never turn down a margarita, is fuelled by iced coffee and is passionate about ‘showing up’ for those he cares most about.
“We all can grow, make changes”
Kati is our Front End Developer, supporting her team with changes and suggestions
that will lead to a fabulous user experience.
Kati is from a small village in the South East of Madagascar. After finishing high school,
her ambition to learn English was stronger than ever, and after being selected into the
Onja program in 2019 she fulfilled her dream and now speaks fluent English and is
proud of the work she undertook to become a Developer, volunteering for companies
to gain experience and meet people from diverse backgrounds where she can continue
to learn and grow both personally and professionally.
Kati usually spends her spare time reading articles, going out with friends and loves
visiting great places in Madagascar especially in the place where she lives now. She also believes that nature brings her
the most happiness and focuses on the peacefulness it brings her when she takes care
of her outdoor flowers.
Kati believes that every little step that we do everyday should be valued, as it will pay
off now and into the future.
“It all starts with music”
Rosny is one of Smylee’s talented Developers, working on the enhancements
of the app and assisting with bug fixes and solutions that drive change and
innovation leading to a better user experience.
Rosny grew up in Andromba, which is a town and commune in Madagascar
and was selected by Onja to join their program. Onja a non-profit social
enterprise that trains underprivileged youth, teaching them English and
programming for three years, ultimately turning them into world-class
Rosny is inspired by the quote, written by Joseph Campbel, that “we must let
go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us”
and often spends her free time writing songs in her native language, listening
to music or creating art as she is passionate about following her childhood
dream of one day becoming a designer and songwriter.
“Always think outside the box”
Pao lives in the Philippines and before Smylee, was a member of the management team and head of IT in a private company. In his free time, Pao watches Netflix series or likes to tune out to movies for several hours, he enjoys playing guitar, but most of the time you’ll find him on the Nintendo Switch.
Pao is inspired by the saying “Everything happens for a reason”, he believes although he’s not a perfectionist, he will always aspire to do things in a way that is market leading and innovative to help Smylee grow. He is always there for his team members who have technical questions or to discuss new ideas and how they could be executed and you can find him celebrating with the guitar over zoom on the completion of each sprint (yep, we support the Agile approach here at Smylee!).