Our Leadership

Stopher Bartol
Stopher Bartol Founder & Chief Executive Officer

Stopher Bartol focuses on strategic partnerships and opportunities while supporting the company in every way to achieve its ambitious goals.

Stopher founded Legacy.com in 1998, introducing the category of online obituaries and growing the market from a small number of newspaper partnerships to the current network of over 1,500 newspapers, 2,500 funeral homes and 140 broadcast stations in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, U.K. and Europe.

A native of Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, he earned a Bachelor's degree from Beloit College and a MBA from the University of Chicago. 

Alan Press
Alan Press Chief Operating Officer

Alan Press leads Legacy’s commercial efforts across several businesses, including e-commerce, programmatic, traffic and new ventures. He oversees marketing, technology, product and operations.

Before joining Legacy as COO in May 2018, Alan was President of Newsweek Media Group in charge of all commercial revenue and business. He got his start in publishing when he joined The Economist in 2006 as Vice President of Consumer Marketing, where he went on to spend nine years leading various digital marketing and general management efforts including events, thought leadership, custom research, and new business development. Under his oversight, The Economist saw record growth in circulation readership and profits.

Previously, Alan led various marketing efforts at Gartner, American Express, and the Columbia House company. He received his bachelor’s degree at Tufts University and his M.B.A. at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He resides in New York City with his wife and two sons.

Mike Medema
Mike Medema Chief Financial Officer

Mike Medema leads the accounting and finance teams responsible for delivering timely and accurate financial reporting, forecasting, and performance measurements.

Mike brings to Legacy more than 18 years of senior financial leadership at rapidly growing direct-to-consumer e-commerce and technology companies, including positions at Hostway.com and TicketsNow.com, acquired by Ticketmaster during his tenure. Most recently, Mike was head of finance for Analyte Health, a venture-capital-backed, web-based medical practice focused on leveraging technology, scale, and the web to disrupt how patients are tested and diagnosed for over 50 conditions.

Previously, Mike served for over ten years in the U.S. Air Force as an officer and navigator flying C-130s. He is also a CPA with over seven years in public accounting. A native of Chicago, he earned a bachelor's degree from Northern Illinois University.

Ernie Roth
Ernie Roth General Manager, Channel Partners

Ernie Roth oversees sales and client relationship management across Legacy's entire network of affiliates and businesses.

Ernie joined Legacy in 2006 from the Chicago District Golf Association, where he served as Associate Executive Director. Before that, he had been with Tribune Interactive as General Manager of ChicagoSports.com, and with the Chicago Cubs, where he was Director of Publications and Special Projects.

A native of Chicago, Roth earned his bachelor’s degree from Amherst College. He also holds an M.B.A. from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.

Joel Grossman
Joel Grossman Chief Technology Officer

Joel Grossman leads the team responsible for the design, development, and delivery of the Legacy.com technology platform.

An active member of Chicago's entrepreneurial community, Joel is a founding mentor at Techstars Chicago. Prior to joining Legacy in 2019, he was CTO for iProspect, the leading digital performance agency. Previously, Joel held senior technology and operations roles at Playboy Enterprises, Encyclopaedia Britannica, and Leapfrog Online, a digital marketing agency acquired by Dentsu Aegis Network in 2017. He was the founder and managing principal of Pivotal Click, a digital product development firm focused on online customer acquisition, acquired by Leapfrog in 2008.

A native of Chicago, Joel earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a master's in political economy from the University of Minnesota.

 

Paul Roche
Paul Roche General Manager, International

Paul Roche oversees the management of Legacy's business outside North America and serves as Managing Director of iAnnounce.

Paul has more than 25 years of experience working in the IT industry, mostly in the U.K. and Ireland. Before joining Legacy.com, he spent five years with the global telecommunications company British Telecom. His roles in Dublin, London and Belfast included General Manager for BT Global Services eBusiness and Director of Software and Systems Integration.

A native of Greystones, Co. Wicklow in Ireland, Roche now resides in Co. Tyrone in Northern Ireland.

Rae Ali
Rae Ali Vice President, Human Resources

Rae Ali leads Legacy’s human resources organization in the areas of talent management, culture & employee engagement, leadership & development, and rewards & compensation.

In her 20 years of senior HR experience, Rae has helped lead organizations encountering explosive organic growth and rapid change across a span of industries: retail, education, healthcare, and hospitality. Before joining Legacy, she was the Vice President of HR for Round the Table Hospitality, a family of companies including Blue Plate. Rae previously held leadership roles in human resources for R1 RCM (formerly Accretive Health), La Petite Academy, and Blockbuster.

Rae received a bachelor's degree in communications from Loyola University with a minor in Spanish. She is a proud Chicago native and lives in River North.

Dan Blasko
Dan Blasko Vice President, Advertising

Daniel Blasko leads Legacy’s advertising operations and new business development.

A seasoned digital executive, Dan comes to Legacy after a decade at Cars.com, where he focused on building revenue-generating business lines through ad technology, including programmatic buy- and sell-side programs, data management, and licensing. He also oversaw revenue management, yield, and strategic sales for national advertising. Previously, Dan led business development for Q Interactive, building advertising networks including lead generation, partner development, email and distribution opportunities.

A native of Glen Ellyn IL, Dan is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, OH. He lives in the Chicago area.

Dan Bodde
Dan Bodde Vice President, Marketing

Dan Bodde leads Legacy’s digital marketing efforts spanning audience development and ecommerce. He oversees traffic, data analytics, content and product marketing, and audience engagement.

Before joining Legacy in 2018, Dan spent the previous 17 years developing and managing performance-based, data-driven online marketing programs. He has led marketing operations for healthcare firms including Visibly, an online eye care hub, and Analayte Health, one of the fastest growing providers of medical care in the United States. Dan also contributes time as an advisory board member at YoDerm, an online health platform that creates personalized treatment plans.

Dan received his bachelor’s degree in business administration and his M.B.A. from the University of Kansas. A native of Kansas City, he lives in Chicago.

John Heald
John Heald Sr. Vice President, Channel Development

John Heald oversees funeral home and newspaper partnership development. He was one of the original members of the team that started Tributes.com in 2008, which was acquired by Legacy in May 2015.

John is a fourth-generation funeral director and has been licensed in Massachusetts for 19 years. With his twin brother, Jim, he built a start-up funeral home in 2009 located in Shrewsbury, Mass.

A Massachusetts native, John earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Bryant University and an associate degree in funeral service from Mount Ida College.

Lamaretta Kelderman
Lamaretta Kelderman Vice President of CX & Operations

Lamaretta Kelderman leads our Operations team, as well as Legacy.com’s award-winning client support team.

Since joining the organization in 2003, she has been promoted through a variety of roles that have informed her unique understanding of Legacy’s user and client base. Her leadership has transformed our support operations: growing and modernizing our support infrastructure, building client trust, and constructing scalable processes. As a customer-centric thought leader, she encourages a customer-driven approach to product development, strategic planning and problem solving.

A Mississippi native, Lamaretta earned a bachelor’s degree from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts and an M.F.A from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Pete Matarangas
Pete Matarangas Vice President, Advertising & Commerce

Pete Matarangas oversees revenue generation for commerce activities focusing on new business initiatives and strategic partnerships.

Pete joined Legacy in 2008 and has held positions as Director of Integrated Commerce, Senior Manager of Revenue, and Senior Technical Quality Engineer. Before that, he held technical positions at AT&T and Riverside Publishing, a leading publisher of clinical and educational standardized tests in the United States.

A native of DeKalb, Illinois, Pete earned a bachelor’s degree from Northern Illinois University.

Ron Speechley
Ron Speechley Vice President, Sales

Ron Speechley oversees newspaper affiliate relationships for Legacy.com with a focus on non-Legacy partners.

When Ron joined Legacy.com in November 2017, he brought 20+ years of media experience. Most recently, he held the position of VP/Sales at Kantar Media/SRDS, where he built relationships with newspapers across the United States.

A native of Westchester, Illinois, Ron earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Northern Illinois University.

Kim Vander Velde
Kim Vander Velde Sr. Vice President, Newspaper Affiliate Partnerships

Kim Vander Velde oversees all newspaper affiliate relationships for Legacy.com in North America.

Kim joined Legacy.com in 2002 as Director of Newspaper Affiliates. She was promoted to Director of Sales in 2007 and to Vice President of Sales in January 2008. She previously worked as Director of Business Development for YesMail and as Affiliate Relations Manager for Classified Ventures.

She previously worked as Director of Business Development for YesMail, and as Affiliate Relations Manager for Classified Ventures.

A native of Cleveland, Vander Velde earned a bachelor’s degree from Miami University in Ohio and an M.B.A. from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.