Jeff Cantalupo

Founder, Managing Partner

Where there's a Jeff, there's a way.

As an entrepreneur and investor, Jeff has taken his passion for brand and helped entrepreneurs build theirs since founding Listen in 2010. He honed his craft at global ad agency, Leo Burnett, where he strategized, energized, and innovated some of the world's largest brands.

Skills also include restaurant group ordering, dart board domination, and word crafting.

Serves on the board of directors for Interior Define, Here, Factor75, and Codeverse.

Rick Desai

Partner, Head of Investments

If you're not first, you're last according to Rick(y Bobbie).

The Chicago ecosystem got a taste of Rick's founders-first investment style through his co-founding of Dashfire in 2009. If that isn't enough, Rick teaches young minds at Kellogg, was an investor for Madison Dearborn Partners and was awarded a Clinton Fellowship in 2008. Okay, now we're done.

Skills also include Excel-arator, G.O.A.T cheerleader, and cookie consumption.

Serves on the board of directors for Public Goods, Oros, Catch Co., and Own Up.

Brentos Fernandez

Head of Creative

There's a Brent for that.

Up, down, right, left, A, B, Select, Start, Brent gives every brand a thousand lives and unlocks their full potential. With an abundance of years of ad and brand agency experience, Brent has come up with strategies, brand design, and brand ideas for some of the top brands in the consumer universe.

"Above and beyond" best represents him, "do less" is what he's constantly told.

Skills also include muraler, record spinner, and interior designer.

Joelle Cosmas

Head of Brand Platform

With Joelle, we never drop the ball.

A master juggler of all things brand, nothing falls through the cracks when JoCo is on the job. Constantly looking for ways to add value to our portfolio, Joelle takes our platform to the next level. She earned her stripes at Leo Burnett managing cross-channel campaigns for worldwide brands. With an ear to the ground, JoCo drops the latest consumer trends and insights to keep everyone on top of their game.

Skills also include beat boxing, photo captioning, and wedding napkin twirling.

Ryan Sievert

Head of Design

In a pinch? Ry’s your guy.

Ryan has spent nearly two decades making digital fans out of analog brands. Having cut his teeth in traditional design and advertising, Ryan helped create interactive experiences for brands big and small before immersing himself in the art of design thinking at IDEO. With a brain for digital product design and a strategist's heart, Ry is our conceptual visionary who helps execute our hardest 'what ifs'.

You can hear Ry saying “your brand is the real user experience” on any given day.

Skills also include: 90's music guru, master tinkerer, and purveyor of facts you didn’t realize you needed to know.

Nika Longo

Brand Platform Manager

“Go-Getter” is Nika’s middle name.

No matter what it is, Nika will help you find a way to get it done. Prior to joining Listen, she learned the ins and outs of building brands at DDB/We Are Unlimited and Energy BBDO where she led large-scale advertising campaigns. Nika’s can-do attitude solved business challenges for worldwide brands such as McDonald’s, Cape Line, and Jack Daniel’s. With a love for elevating brands, you can bet Nika is up for any challenge you throw at her.

Skills also include making a mean chocolate chip oatmeal cookie, daydreaming about Italy, and being indecisive when ordering food.

Kimmie Carey


Connect the Dots is Kimmie’s favorite game.

Kimmie is constantly searching for brands that offer better-for-you products and reimagine customer experiences. You need an intro? She’s your girl. Meeting people and connecting the dots between them is her passion. Kimmie learned the ropes of startup investing at Silicon Valley Bank and Morgan Stanley. While an MBA student at Kellogg, she put on multiple hats, from founder to operator to investor, and ultimately discovered her love for investing in and partnering with entrepreneurs.

Skills also include dissecting nutrition labels, hiking extreme peaks, and beating you at Catan.

Shawn Dennis

Venture Partner

Shawn's superpower is unlocking why a brand can be useful in people's lives.

As Brand President and CMO, Shawn has a solid history of driving sustainable, profitable, and scalable business growth for iconic consumer brands including DreamWorks, Mattel/American Girl Co., Dell, NFL, MasterCard, and Universal Studios. Shawn is a proven value creator, an expert in creating compelling consumer retail experiences, championing corporate mission, and creating synergies between brand assets to create connected brands that consumers embrace.

Skills also include: mad-good baking, professional archer and aerobic dance instructor.

Our Extended Fam

Scott Levy
Director of Growth

Emily Ruby

Hannah Anokye

Harold Giwa-Amu

Whitney Gonzales

Amira Khatib

Roshni Shah

Sonora Braun
Listener Alum

Julia Butz
Listener Alum

Anisha Chandra
Listener Alum

Claire Fitzpatrick
Listener Alum

Michel Habib
Listener Alum

Robert Kaplan
Listener Alum

Kirsta Kellin
Listener Alum

Aneesh Kudaravalli
Listener Alum

Connor Ryan
Listener Alum

Jenny Sang
Listener Alum

Andy Will
Listener Alum

Ellen Wilcox
Listener Alum