Meet the Team


Robert Schulte, Chief Executive Officer

Prior to joining Zurple, Robert was chief executive officer and co-founder of Taxcient, a SaaS business focused on providing large-scale, enterprise clients with mission critical tax compliance applications. Taxcient’s client-base included Fortune 500 companies such as Apple, Nokia and Robert has over 20 years experience leading successful entrepreneurial ventures from ideation to acquisition. He holds a B.S.B.A. in Accounting and Finance from the University of California, San Diego, and a M.S. in Entrepreneurship from San Diego State University.

Robert Schulte

Melanie Spiegelman, Chief Analytics Officer

Prior to joining Zurple, Melanie was Vice President of Engineering for Intuit tax products, where she led the development of TurboTax for the Web, one of Intuit’s first SaaS offerings. Melanie received a B.A. in Computer Science from the University of California at San Diego.

Melanie Spiegelman

Ryan Owen, Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer

Prior to co-founding Zurple, Ryan ran business development and international operations for At, Ryan established co-marketing efforts with such international brands as AT&T, The Daily Telegraph and Time. His earlier experience included consulting for Redpoint Ventures, a $2 billion venture capital fund that was a lead investor in TiVo, Netflix and MySpace. Ryan received both his undergraduate degree and M.B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Ryan Owen

Lu Saenz, VP of Engineering

Prior to joining Zurple, Lu was VP of Engineering at Taxcient, where he led the development of the company’s flagship SaaS product, which became recognized as best-of-breed in the industry and was implemented by companies such as Cardinal Health, Apple, Ingram Micro, Deere, AutoZone and Symantec. After Taxcient merged with Avalara, Lu led the successful integration and rebranding of the Taxcient technology and product line with Avalara’s suite of offerings. Prior to Taxcient, Lu worked as a lead consulting developer at Oracle, delivering large scale enterprise content management products to customers such as Allstate, Siemens, La Caixa and the FAA. Lu graduated from the California Institute of Technology, in Pasadena, California, with a B.S. in Computer Science and Engineering.

Lu Saenz

Marc Staheli, VP of Technical Operations

Prior to joining Zurple, Marc was Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of Taxcient, where he was awarded “SMB Architect of the Year” by the world’s leading database company, Oracle. While at Taxcient, Marc worked closely with companies like Intuit and Ingram Micro. Marc holds a B.S. in Information Systems and a M.S. in Business Administration from San Diego State University.

Marc Staheli

Carole Cluttey, VP of Client Services

Prior to joining Zurple, Carole was VP of Client Services for the Customer Care and Billing division of the Naspers Group, where she worked with national and international clients like DirecTV, Canal+ and Telenor. During her tenure at Naspers, Carole won multiple client focus and training awards, including Training Magazine Editors Pick and the Brandon Hall Gold Award for the Best Blended Learning training program. She is a technology executive with over 18 years experience designing, developing, implementing and supporting software applications for companies such as BMW and First National Bank. Carole holds a B.S. in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of South Africa.

Carole Cluttey

Eddie Earnest, Director of Inbound Marketing

Prior to joining Zurple, Eddie held a variety of roles in early-stage startup companies - most notably as Senior Marketing Director with HigherNext (acquired by ProctorU), where he started as the firm’s first full-time employee. Before developing a particular focus in inbound marketing, Eddie worked in corporate finance for JPMorganChase and PNC Bank. Eddie holds a B.S.B.A. in finance from the University of Pittsburgh and a M.B.A from the University of Florida.

Eddie Earnest

 Board of Directors

 Board of Advisors


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