our team

Meet our team: engineers, project managers, leadership, and even a few interns!

Nick Gluzdov picture

Nick Gluzdov


As well as being Speed & Function’s CEO and a seasoned software engineer, Nick is a partner and father of 3 with a passion for personal and professional development, and pours many hours into developing himself as a leader.
Nick grew up in a family of professional artists in the city of Kiev, which at the time was part of the Communist USSR. He studied and practiced graphic design early in his career before moving his focus to user interface design and engineering.
He co-founded S&F in 2006 with his partner, Irina, and has a wealth of experience delivering value to clients in multiple industries such as large, high-traffic web portals, online retail, education and entertainment. Over the last few years, Nick has poured his focus into creating the most collaborative experience possible for clients alongside prioritising state-of-the-art software development. He’s part of several developmental communities Read More >> , such as Integral Life, Deliberately Developmental Practitioner’s Network, and Carol Sanford’s CAD, and he’s focused on evolving Speed & Function’s culture so that it becomes a Deliberately Developmental Organization®. He believes in the power of transparency and reflection, meditation and of course, good strong coffee. << Show Less

Irina Abramson picture

Irina Abramson


With a background in aquatic ecology and paleobiology, Irina brings a scientific perspective to her role as CFO and owner of Speed & Function; her research skills, attention to detail and commitment to quality are among her strongest skills.
Irina’s interest in information design was initially sparked by her experiences of creating presentations for scientific conferences. She made the shift to web development in 2003, leading a team of designers, engineers, copywriters, and front-end developers in an e-commerce environment. Three years later, she co-founded Speed & Function with Nick Gluzdov.
In recent years, Irina has turned her attention to taking a developmental approach. She gets to apply a scientific approach to her roles by doing experiments to further her own development and growth. She has led multiple Developmental Sprints® within S&F and also trained as a Sprint Leader with Minds at Work, a Robert Kegan company. Read More >> She’s incredibly inspired about seeing developmental approaches being brought to the younger generation, teaching the leaders of the future that they can change themselves and can help others change. << Show Less

Olga Michai picture

Olga Michai

Head of Customer success department

Olga is one of our most prolific globetrotters and is the only team member to have met everyone at S&F in real life. She has a masters in biology and experience as a lecturer and academic advisor in forestry and horticulture. Olga’s love of science fiction and desire to be at the leading edge of things brought her to the tech industry, where she joined us initially as an intern. She quickly progressed to becoming a project manager and then almost single-handedly built up our Account Management Department from scratch. She now leads the customer success department and is passionate about the personal and professional development each new role and project offers.
In early 2020, Olga completed the three-day Developmental Sprint Leader Training with Bob Kegan, which gave her further tools to tackle the inevitable challenges of working in software development as growth opportunities in disguise. Read More >> She’s excited about the ongoing learning curve that being part of a DDO provides. Olga’s story with S&F is a living testimony to what she considers to be our core strengths – the meritocratic approach, the wide range of opportunities for growth, flexibility, and the great team spirit. Her life goals include seeing the nearby planets, achieving some great things for her descendants, and retiring to a tropical island. << Show Less

Peter Ovchyn picture

Peter Ovchyn

Head of Delivery

Peter joined S&F as a PHP engineer in late 2019, and has since been promoted to Head of Delivery/CTO. His skills lie in two key areas: first, creating environments where products, projects and even entire startups can flourish both technically and in the market; and second, supporting people to adapt products and change direction easily in order to meet the users’ needs. Alongside this, he loves being at the leading edge of innovation and is passionate about finding ways to dramatically increase a startup’s chances of success. He firmly believes that alongside a solid idea, what influences a product or business’s level of success is how flexible, adaptable and able to pivot you are. Read More >> Peter has travelled much of Europe on two wheels, including through Germany, Austria, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro and Hungary. Unsurprisingly, having the mind of an engineer led him to set up a side business selling bespoke bike equipment that’s designed for long-distance bikepacking, which he runs in his spare time with his wife. << Show Less

Navi Tulkun picture

Navi Tulkun

Producers Department Manager

Navi joined Speed & Function in 2018 as a Producer and was promoted to her current role just two months later. She describes herself as the warden of the company’s processes, and alongside training the company’s managers and junior producers, she keeps a constant eye out for weaknesses and risks in projects to make sure client projects run smoothly and successfully. With a flair for problem solving, project management and strategic thinking, she is the go-to person at S&F when people have ideas for improving how projects are managed.
Born in Uzbekistan, Navi comes from a diverse background of Central Asian ancestry and speaks seven languages, including three dialects of Ossetian. Her childhood dream was to become a wrestler, which she has fulfilled through practising the martial art of Sambo. She also loves horseback riding.
Read More >> Despite being a Sambo champion in her hometown and her valuable contributions to S&F, Navi’s proudest accomplishment to date is her agricultural investment startup, Fermopolis, which she founded because of a lack of quality local produce in Innopolis in Russia, where she now lives. Navi works full time at S&F but somehow manages to run her business alongside this, too. Her aim is to go global and one day, to spearhead a unicorn. For now, she’s proud that more and more people have heard Navi has a BSc in business information systems from Westminster University and a masters degree in software engineering from Innopolis University. She loves sharing her knowledge, creating beautiful, engaging presentations and proposals, and growing as a trainer and a coach in her role at Speed & Function. << Show Less

Sam Stern picture

Sam Stern


A Philosophy major and a Brooklyn native, Sam spent the majority of his career in Southern California, working with tech startups, non-profits, and state government organizations. His 14 years of product and project management experience ranges from helping create a freelancer social network, leading an international community in crowdsourced educational game design, working as a manager and a lobbyist for the expansion of a California water utility, and learning freight and logistics to aid the design of an LA based Alibaba competitor platform.
Read More >> Sam’s professional strengths include a focus on creative user onboarding, system gamification, contract negotiations, and operational processes improvement. In his free time Sam likes to garden with his kids, or indulge his inner game design geek by building up a role playing game that he hopes will help teach positive psychology concepts and self-awareness to teenagers. << Show Less

Anri Bolon picture

Anri Bolon

FullStack Department Manager

Anri grew up in a family of mathematicians and followed the lead of his older brother in familiarizing himself with computers and programming from an early age. Even though he now says that his origins left him no choice but to become a software engineer, before moving into tech, he first got a master’s degree in economics. That came in handy later when Anri worked on e-commerce projects as a lead web developer with a digital marketing agency, prior to joining S&F as an Engineering Lead.
Now, after more than seven years with us, Anri describes himself as “the shepherd and the priest” for our software developers in their mission to convert our clients’ needs into solid products. He is, in turn, much valued by the team for his proficiency in everything JavaScript, approachability, patience, reliability, and his inquiring mind.
Read More >> Anri is exceedingly modest and does not like the concept of being “proud” of anything. He does admit though to a superb collection of funny stories, sufficient for a good book (we add, much anticipated if he ever decides to go ahead with it!). For now, it, however, remains a project of the distant future, while Anri is busy traveling and hiking with his wife, being an avid music fan, playing guitar, and watching his favorite TV shows. << Show Less

Sasha Hariton picture

Sasha Hariton

Solutions Department Manager

Web development is not a job but a passion for Sasha, and he often laments having to spend a good chunk of his time on other things, like project launch and control. That, however, has helped him reach a level of expertise in a variety of areas of S&F’s work where he can now address any issue for our clients, except contracts and invoices, something he is actually quite proud of. His primary focus, nevertheless, has been Ruby on Rails and content management systems.
Sasha has discovered his path to glory in taking over, persevering through, and succeeding in tasks that appear too confusing or insurmountable to others. He likes to treat our clients as partners in projects and counts his communication skills, along with the weight of his word in the team, among his key strengths.
Read More >> Sasha’s personal goal is to find his own way in life and to consistently be able to take care of his loved ones (as well as to eventually learn to show up to offline meetings on time). He adores his wife and their teacup yorkie. A warrior at heart, he enjoys soccer, which he has played since an early age, and mixed martial arts, his newest hobby. << Show Less

Vlad Korn picture

Vlad Korn

QA Department Manager

Vlad has been with the company since March 2015 as a QA engineer. He comes from the game industry quality assurance background and his last position was at Arkadium, where he tested games for Windows 8, 8.1 and 10. He also has experience with testing mobile games and applications. Vlad graduated from the National Academy of Environmental Protection and holds a degree in computer science for economics.
When not testing applications, Vlad enjoys road trips, cycling, weightlifting, and spearfishing. If asked to describe himself in a few words, Vlad says, “I am so serious that I cannot laugh even at myself.”

Eugene Chernov picture

Eugene Chernov

DevOps Department Manager

Eugene leads the DevOps team, mentoring fellow engineers and ensuring they move toward project objectives in a healthy working environment. Eugene collaborates with clients directly and helps them estimate the scope of work, making each solution highly secure, scalable, and cost-effective.
Eugene considers himself to be a highly disciplined person, and the level of self-organization he maintains in his personal life proves to be quite helpful at work. But not only that makes him a confident team leader, but he also has a fair share of experience under his belt. Eugene has worked on many projects in various niches, both building them from scratch and improving what was already there. He’s particularly enthusiastic about contributing to challenging assignments that have a real impact on human lives. Read More >> What drives him most about his job at S&F is a great team and the ability to keep up with the best engineering practices while maintaining a positive, friendly environment. He enjoys working with self-starters who know what they’re doing and facilitating others’ jobs with automation tools. Eugene is motivated to make the world a better place: as ambitious as it sounds, he believes that our society can grow to be kinder and have a higher quality of life. On a personal level, he makes his living better by taking regular trips, at least once in two weeks. Besides getting away from it all to enjoy the sea, mountains, or forests, he spends time reading history books and watching documentaries. << Show Less

Vas Jaremchuk picture

Vas Jaremchuk

CMS Department Manager

With 15+ years of Drupal experience, Vas initially started with S&F a few years ago as a sub-contracted freelancer and later assumed a permanent team role. He now helps the company to minimize custom development by looking for existing solutions to emerging needs. He especially likes addressing new challenges to which he does not have an immediate answer.
Vas is inspired by the idea that he may one day create a product that would attract customers directly through its webpage or a GitHub, without the need to proactively and continuously sell it.
Vas studied in Moscow and got a PhD in Fluid Dynamics. In 2007, much to his friends’ consternation, he moved to Kyiv - and has not regretted that decision for a day. He appreciates the more relaxed pace of life and the opportunity to often work from home, dedicates to his wife Irina and two daughters, Sofia and Margarita, the hours he would otherwise spend commuting. Read More >> Vas is very protective of his family’s privacy and possessions. That is particularly manifested in his habit of pulling heavily on the door handle of his 25th-floor apartment every time he goes outside, to be absolutely certain that the door is locked. (He admits to breaking quite a few doors handles that way!) << Show Less

Anna Milkash picture

Anna Milkash

Enterprise Department Manager

Anna joined the S&F office in Montenegro as a producer in 2020 and works with its largest clients. Prior to that, she has had a rich experience of working with people and managing projects of various scale and ambition. For instance, Anna ran a tourism project, held educational courses for parents, and even was a PR manager of a popular Ukrainian rock band. Read More >> “I’m just fond of life and curious what will happen next,’’ she confessed to us. This explains her inner drive to seek adventures and start new ventures. By continuously pushing the boundaries of her comfort zone, Anna can achieve new heights and stay in the flow of a deliberately developmental organization like Speed & Function. Indeed, her courage to do absolutely new things allows the company to embrace challenges and deliver beyond expectations. She also adores the “virtual travel” opportunity as she communicates with clients from all over the world. But nothing is better than a good sweet home: Anna is a proud mother of two daughters. << Show Less

Anna Krigan picture

Anna Krigan

HR Department Manager

With over 11 years’ experience in HR, talent and L&D, Anna is a woman on a mission to help people become stronger, better and more fulfilled at work. As an HR leader, she is focused on implementing strategies in the business to help it and everyone who works in it to develop and grow.

Anna sees herself as a kind of translator in situations where people find it hard to hear each other, and looks for the win for everyone in each situation. She is learning to look at the world through the eyes of another person in order to better understand each other and work on unifying goals. She pays close attention to detail in all spheres of life, and has used this throughout her career to reflect on and optimize the processes companies use. Read More >> Anna graduated from music school and went on to study data science, politiology and history. She was one of the first HR consultants in Ukraine to use HR modules in Microsoft CPM and ERP systems. Always a forward thinker, Anna has many interests including psychology, neurophysics, being out in nature, dancing, and raising her son, who she calls her “little man of the future.” Her career ambition is to work for an international, progressive company that creates meaningful products for people and the world alongside unique, cool people. This dream, she says, has pretty much come true. << Show Less

Helga Nikitin picture

Helga Nikitin

Project Manager

Helga contributes to S&F’s projects by monitoring budgets, timelines, and resources, as well as assessing and addressing present and emerging risks. Coming from an educational background, Helga treasures her time with S&F (five years and counting) for the progress that she has made towards her professional development goal of becoming a recognized expert in product management – as well as towards her personal goal of making the world a better place. She also highly values the S&F team, flexible hours, and access to opportunities for growth through the regular training that the company offers. Read More >> Independent since the age of 17, Helga has moved cities (and countries!) on her own and prides herself on her perseverance, communication skills, and ability to see hidden challenges. She is motivated by her keen interest in people and in learning something new every day. Helga loves solving riddles and once spent a day going through three escape rooms! She also likes horror films and theater, the latter having been her hobby some years ago. (Interestingly, Helga remembers always being cast as evil characters – a great contrast to her personality and mission in life!). << Show Less

Russ Zhurba picture

Russ Zhurba

Full Stack Engineer

From Junior Engineer at Speed & Function to Senior Engineer at Facebook.
Russ Zhurba’s career began at Speed & Function in 2013 as a Junior Software Developer. In the next five years, he progressed through the ranks to become the company’s acting CTO.
Along the way, S&F sponsored his visa, enabling him to move from Europe to the US, where he got the opportunity to work in two major US companies. And in 2021 he completed the famously difficult recruitment process at Facebook and was offered a role as a Senior Engineer, something he says he didn’t ever think he’d be able to do.
At Speed & Function, we’ll go the extra mile to support you to grow and fulfil your potential (even if that ultimately means you move on).

Eleni Zhukovski picture

Eleni Zhukovski


Eleni is our chief accountant, a professional in her field. She is an example of a person who deliberately works and improves within the specialty she studied for. She likes accounting; she could stay at university to educate others on this topic but “teaching is not mine,” says Eleni. After graduating, she went to work at a bank and later got into the IT industry.
Read More >> A notable fact: Eleni was so open in the community that HRs chatted with her frequently. That’s how she knew about the vacancy at S&F. Eleni joined the team when it was 2-3 times smaller. Now, Eleni is one of those people who develop together with the company. She truly loves her job, her two children, and the quality time with the family. And when there’s some free time, she goes into nature to paint a landscape in serenity. << Show Less

Andrii Demko picture

Andrii Demko

Product Manager

Andrii Demko is an international, multilingual, proactive, and results-oriented entrepreneur who has founded five companies in different industries such as retail, manufacturing, advertising, and technology. While running those companies, he has developed a strong understanding of how to create an innovative product and take it to a market, how to scale companies, and how to manage talented people. Andrii received his MBA from Philadelphia University.

Stas Nikitin picture

Stas Nikitin


Stas Nikitin has over nine years of experience in quality assurance and over three years in management. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. For the past four years, he has been leading a QA team of five to six people, including both staff and contractors. Stas has participated in testing projects for Bayada Nurses, FULLHAUS, GSW Worldwide, Jason Hewitt, Newdea, PMI, Ramada, Reliable Reports, SunGard, and Tire Kingdom. He devotes his free time to photography, traveling and hiking. He has also played in checker tournaments, and holds the title of a master in the game.

K Pastor picture

K Pastor

Back-End Engineer

Pastor's first name is Konstantin, but no one calls him that around here. He has been working as a technical and team leader for the last several years, leading both front-end and server-side engineering. Holding a dual degree in mathematics and computer science, Pastor has been in the web industry since 2006 and has plenty of experience in developing large web applications such as CRMs, as well as tools for business and sales. He especially likes working on architecture and structure.

When not working, Konstantin likes to spend time with his family, his main source of pride and motivation. He particularly enjoys playing with his two young children: a daughter and a son.

Max Tor picture

Max Tor

Front-End Engineer

Max’s goal is to develop in many different spheres, both professionally and personally, and he does not waste time pursuing it. Within the past ten years, he has ventured into a variety of web development and e-commerce directions, and now holds certificates in web design, e-commerce, database development, and web layout, on top of his degrees in engineering, applied science, and management. With S&F, Max is currently focusing on User Interface engineering, with an eye towards taking responsibility for entire projects (and their teams) sometime in the near future. Outside of the office, he has dabbled in snowboarding, kitesurfing, paragliding, surfing and photography, among other things, while constantly trying something new.
Read More >> Despite his hankering for novelty, Max is endearingly pedantic in his daily habits. He wakes up with the sun and takes his Scotch terrier for a walk. Once he gets to the office, he makes sure that none of the windows are draped and that there is as much light in the room as there can be. Then he brews himself a cup of tea, the first of about twenty he drinks while working (or of about a hundred if he is having a stressful day). He is very precise in how his desk should be organized and knows immediately if anyone has touched it. Max’s favorite aspects of his work are socializing with clients and colleagues and finding optimal solutions to people’s needs and problems. Together with his adventurous and punctilious nature, his well-developed communication skills make him particularly good at it. << Show Less

Natalie Poda picture

Natalie Poda

QA Engineer

Natalie started her career in tech support and eventually advanced into quality assurance engineering. She holds a master's degree in mathematics and computer science, and her master’s studies were fully funded with a fellowship. She is driven to learn new skills. Not only has Natalie a graduate degree in music, but she also earned a second master's in foreign languages. She still plays the piano whenever she has time.

Peter Sirotinsky picture

Peter Sirotinsky

Full Stack Engineer

Peter is our Renaissance man. He describes himself as modest, smart, practically an Apollo, and a rare workhorse (“well, someone has to be, right?”). With such a starter kit of personal traits, he believes that his key achievements are still ahead of him, although seven years of software engineering experience, a degree in computer science, and participation in some of our most unusual projects are definitely something to be proud of.
Currently, Peter is working as web, mobile (native iOS and hybrid), and JavaScript developer, as well as a CMS engineer. He views his job almost as a drug and has found S&F to be a reliable supplier of his daily dose of challenge, in an environment optimally combining flexibility and professionalism which is not synonymous with tediousness.
Peter’s versatile talents are not limited to tech and encompass, among other, Irish dance, playing keyboard, and sketching. He also has a deep interest in folk and rock cultures, reads a lot, and enjoys cinema and hiking.

Tim Chudin picture

Tim Chudin

Full Stack Engineer

Tim has been working for Speed & Function since 2011. He is a charismatic individual with a unique sense of humor and is appreciated by both the team and our clients. Tim graduated with a degree in computer science and networking. This was a clear choice for him, since technology has been his passion from a young age. Tim started experimenting with coding in middle school and began coding professionally when a friend invited him to help out on a project in 2007. Tim excels at UI engineering and Node.js and plans to build more iOS apps in the near future. In addition to software engineering, Tim is interested in radio electronics. He also likes to play tabletop games and with his PlayStation, and to ride his Cannondale Trail SL4 mountain bike.

Val Rudi picture

Val Rudi

Full Stack Engineer

Val is a full-stack software engineer and tech lead with a focus in Java and OSX desktop applications. He holds a master's degree in math and computer science. Val has a great sense of humor; he says he likes watching fitness videos on YouTube while eating fast food.

Alister Ignatius picture

Alister Ignatius

Full Stack Engineer

Alister graduated from the National Aerospace University in 2015 with a degree in system analysis. He focused on mathematics and data processing in his studies, and it was there that he started programming in C# and C++. Alister later returned to his alma mater to run a computer science lab. Having joined S&F as an intern, he quickly rose to become a solutions engineer specialized in JavaScript, thanks to his ambition, hard work, and conviction that he could succeed in anything he would put his mind to.
Alister considers software tech to be the future and looks down upon most other occupations as “the past”. Despite that, like many of us, he sometimes feels the need to escape to tech-less worlds, giving strong preference to Middle Earth of the Lord of the Rings film series and 19th century France of the Count of Monte-Cristo, one of his favorite novels.

Ellen Svejin picture

Ellen Svejin

QA Engineer

While studying psychology in college, Ellen took an opportunity to do a QA engineering internship with a startup and was inspired to try a variety of software development roles, including project management. She went on to lead a number of projects from inception to finish, mastering myriad tech skills along the way. Not surprisingly, when a friend introduced Ellen to S&F, she felt like it was a match made in heaven. Open-minded, extraverted, flexible, and self-motivated, she found a perfect environment to set free her infinite curiosity and realize her versatile potential.
Outside of work, Ellen maintains a strong interest in her original field of studies and reads extensively on psychology, medicine, and nutrition. These come in particularly handy now, as she and her husband recently became parents for the first time.

Anna Bondar picture

Anna Bondar

QA Engineer

Anna grew up in a family of computer science teachers who cultivated her love for math and engineering since her early childhood. She graduated with a dual master’s degree in Computer Science and Management and dove right into quality assurance. After a decade in the profession, she firmly believes that a good QA Engineer does not have failed projects, only routine issues to deal with and, if treated with due care, can help shape results that go well beyond clients’ expectations. Anna’s own record of innumerable completed projects, quality products, and contented clients, is largely due to her ability to get fully immersed in her work, identify priorities, learn fast, and persevere in the face of challenges. She admits that none of her multiple certificates (ISTQB, QA automation, test management, and test analytics, to name a few), although a definite achievement, give her as much pride and satisfaction as a job well done. As one of our most experienced team members, she often takes a leading role and coaches younger colleagues, infusing them with her ceaseless excitement for new projects and ideas.
Easy-going and communicative, Anna finds joy in surrounding herself with good people and interesting events. She is proud of being a mother and a homeowner. Her free time is divided among drawing, dance, sports, hiking, reading, and watching fairy tale adaptations. With so much going on, one thing Anna never seems to find time for is getting a decent hairband: her long hair is often seen being precariously held together by a pen or a pencil. (Quite possibly, she just wants to be always prepared to sketch something – or to add another party to her diary.)

Inna Mis picture

Inna Mis


Inna has a bachelor’s degree in computer science and had worked as a UI Engineer before deciding to look for an occupation that would help her grow as an entrepreneur and a project manager. Her search led her in 2016 to Speed and Function’s team of producers where Inna finally got a chance to convert her creativity, positive mindset, and drive for quality, into an extensive portfolio of successful projects. Always in pursuit of a challenge, and detesting routine, Inna prides herself on having taken on (and won over) some of our most demanding clients.
Independent since an early age, and with a travel record of over 20 countries (including experience living in three of those), Inna is full of the most amusing and bizarre stories (none, however, are fit for print). Fearless as she may seem, Inna does admit to keeping her eyes half-closed when watching horror movies and occasionally hiding behind her cat Simba if the action on-screen becomes too frightening.

Alex Ost picture

Alex Ost

Back-End Engineer

Alex was working on a PhD in genetics and teaching college-level anatomy classes, supporting his studies through a job at a maritime agency, when he realized that he was actually an artist. Not the Van Gogh type, for he wanted to create something beautiful and useful, preferably without any risk to his bodily integrity. Alex found his calling in software engineering and Ruby on Rails, and is currently focusing on the back end, with an eye towards becoming an indispensable Fullstack CMS developer.
Alex is valued in the S&F team for his lack of preconception and prejudice, high trainability, and attention to detail. He charms our clients with the way he cares about how the projects he contributes to will turn out, as well as with his surprisingly minute reports.
Unlike many others, Alex is impatient to turn 45, the blissful moment when he releases his kids into the world. While he considers them his main source of pride and motivation, he does look forward to the time when he can finally enjoy all his favorite animated features, especially Japanese anime, in uninterrupted peace and quiet.

Helen Klymenko picture

Helen Klymenko


If Helen was Wonder Woman trying to go incognito in the “real” world, we’d say she wasn’t doing a very good job hiding her superpowers. A PhD in cellular biology and a bodybuilder of four years, Helen has years of project management experience and joined S&F with aspirations to become a Digital Producer. (Even if she later loses interest in this career path, her impressive skills in plucking and carving poultry have her covered!) Invaluable for her love of paperwork and keeping things organized, Helen drafts contracts, keeps an eye on timesheets, talks to clients, coordinates the team and monitors project performance. She believes that her persistence, attention to detail, constant pursuit of improvement, and ability to acknowledge mistakes and learn from them are her keys to success. We believe it’s her big heart (Helen modestly considers helping her sister conquer cancer her biggest achievement. She also once rescued a cat, but that’s just a regular day for a superhero, isn’t it?).
Motivated by the prospect of a tasty breakfast followed by at least three cups of Americano, Helen wakes up early even on weekends and looks forward to learning something new every day. Read More >> (We suspect she also needs the extra hours to take care of her 30 house plants!) She likes to read popular science books on physics and biology and moonlights as a freelance translator of patent applications from English into Russian and Ukrainian. Her non-scientific interests include watching crime shows, medical dramas, or thrillers while sipping on one of her favorite drinks (whiskey or Jägermeister), and spending time with her family (mom, brother, and sister) or boyfriend (not necessarily in that order). << Show Less

Stephan Protsack picture

Stephan Protsack

Full Stack Engineer

Stephan is happy to wake up every day to the prospect of doing what he loves. (This includes about a hundred things – from writing code to creating estimates, assisting the sales team, and everything else, both at the front-end and server-side!) Goal-oriented, persistent, and curious, Stephan prides himself on his multifaceted skill set and ability to make quick decisions. He appreciates the opportunity to take up challenging tasks in a team of interesting individuals, which he has found at S&F.
Stephan describes his personal goal simply - “to see the world”. We suspect he wants to do that as a touring rock star, knowing that he plays guitar and is learning to play piano, or, as an amateur detective investigating macabre mysteries – considering his love of crime novels, especially those of Edgar Allan Poe.

Anatoly Shipitz picture

Anatoly Shipitz

Full Stack Engineer

When Anatoly transitioned from freelancing to a permanent staff role with S&F, he brought with him over 20 years of web development experience, to build software applications guided by his strong vision of a quality final result.
Anatoliy likes to feel useful and in-demand and enjoys the opportunity to work with cutting-edge technology in a supportive team while dealing with something new and unexpected every day. That is not, however, why Anatoly wakes up early every morning; like many parents of young children, he has to go through a considerable ‘to-do’ list to get his two kids ready for school before he can dive into coding.
Persistent and meticulous, Anatoly can figure out anything that interests him, even if it is completely unrelated to his profession. Read More >> Almost anything, that is – as long as he knows where he’s going with his research. (In one instance, just like Jules Verne’s Jacque Paganel, Anatoliy learned how to say a few phrases in perfect Portuguese, where what he actually needed was Spanish!). << Show Less

Vicky Sulzhenko picture

Vicky Sulzhenko

Account manager

Vicky left a managerial position in advertising to start a career as a business analyst and project manager in custom software from scratch. Goal-oriented, open to new tasks and challenges, meticulous, and attentive to detail, her personality is the right combination of ingredients to succeed in her professional and personal endeavors. Working as a Producer and Account Manager, Vicky keeps our clients abreast of the current status of their projects, informs them of emerging hurdles, offers potential solutions, and monitors budgets. She believes that the complexity of her work at S&F is exactly the learning platform she needs to implement the myriad grandiose plans she has built for her future, inspired by the success stories and biographies of famous people.
Read More >> Vicky loves to cook, particularly desserts, which she rarely eats, giving preference to savory foods. Most of her creations are consumed by her lucky husband. Fortunately for his long-term health, Vicky dislikes driving and insists that they ditch the car and walk to most places. She also occasionally taps into her ten-year experience of ballroom dancing to let loose. Vicky’s personal goal is “to seek harmony in everything,” which is essential to running her contemporary Noah’s Ark of a household. She and her husband take care of three cats, four pit bulls, a dachshund, and a parrot living under the same roof. In fact, Vicky could easily give Noah a run for his money, considering that she also manages her pets’ careers: her Maine Coon named Ashley has a large following on Instagram, and the five dogs regularly tour to participate in dog shows. << Show Less

Paul Petrovich picture

Paul Petrovich

QA Engineer

Paul is a versatile professional who can take on a variety of roles, including those of a tester, a lead, or a QA, drawing from his broad scope of experience with leading the US- and EU-based companies. His current focus is on enhancing the testing processes and products as a whole from the consumer’s point of view, adopting an approach which Paul himself describes as “pedantic” and “quality manic”.
Having chosen S&F for the opportunity to work remotely, Paul is highly valued for his confidence, strong understanding of business and product development, and the ability to effectively communicate with anyone.
Paul loves the routine and simplicity of home life with his wife and three-year-old daughter and works continuously on improving its quality, too. His free time is dedicated to professional photography.

Anastasia Gabriel picture

Anastasia Gabriel

Communication Manager

Anastasia sees her mission in life as ‘living happily and helping others do the same.’ That is why when S&F was looking for someone who could create and nurture a welcoming, warm, and comfortable working environment at our office, we struck gold when we found her. Kind, empathetic, optimistic, and creative, Anastasia loves people and has an uncommonly high level of emotional intelligence. In addition to taking care of all kinds of household matters at our office, Anastasia plays an important role in HR management by helping onboard new staff, facilitating internal communications, and organizing corporate events, trainings, team building activities, and birthday celebrations. She also helps our overseas staff develop their English language skills and arranges tutoring, speaking clubs, and testing support.
Read More >> Anastasia values the atmosphere at S&F where everyone can express their opinions freely and be heard, and draws her inspiration to grow from working with the team of bright individuals. It is easy to see how neither would have been there without Anastasia. A win-win! (Incidentally, it is one of the principles promoted by her favorite book – Stephen Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly-Effective People”). True to the first part of her mission, Anastasia does not spend all of her time being a “mom” to everyone at S&F. Some of the things that make her life a happy one are raising her young daughter, taking fitness classes, and studying psychology. << Show Less

Alexander Laurie picture

Alexander Laurie

Front-End Engineer

Alexander works on the front end (typesetting and coding in ReactJS) helping our clients turn a picture into a web-app, a website, or a prototype. He has a master’s degree in information systems and management and previously worked as a user interface developer with Yandex.

On weekends, Alexander likes to go for car rides with his wife and, when he has more time on his hands, to play video games, his Bengal cat at his side.

Kristina Bazay picture

Kristina Bazay

Front-End Engineer

Much like her favorite book character, George Sand’s Consuelo, Kristina is a self-made woman. She has a master’s degree in computer graphics and web design and is proud of having been accepted to university solely on the merit of her portfolio. Before recently joining S&F, Kristina worked on web development and tech solutions for music education, with a strong emphasis on graphic design, interactive features, and animation. In the meantime, she learned English by watching TV shows and YouTube videos, while also developing a keen interest in languages less widely spoken (her most recent fascination is Irish).
Kristina likes myths and adventure in all shapes and forms, especially if they are a product of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. When not immersed in the latest Avengers installment, she enjoys alternative rock, watches TV shows (her favorites include The Office, Parks and Recreation, Doctor Who, and Breaking Bad), and cheers for ManU.

Nazar Ilch picture

Nazar Ilch

Full Stack Engineer

Nazar got a PhD in Materials Science from the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland but later chose a career as a software developer instead. He saw tech as the sphere where he could get the most opportunities to create and grow continuously while working alongside some of the most interesting people of his generation.
Initially a freelancer, Nazar joined S&F on a few projects before being offered a permanent position. He readily accepted having found our team welcoming and supportive, and our working processes well organized. Nazar now develops products, provides estimates for project stages and tasks, and works directly with clients to demonstrate product features and address identified shortcomings. His current professional goal is to become an ultimate expert in his tech stack and a client relations guru while mastering other existing and emerging technologies and learning from others’ experiences of leading projects.
Read More >> At work, Nazar is happiest when he gets to analyze a particularly complicated problem and find durable solutions (preferably, while sitting at a window-side desk with a steaming cup of coffee). But whatever the task is, Nazar always strives to carry it out to the best possible level of completion (he even finds it hard to leave a book he does not enjoy unfinished!). He is valued for his strong drive for quality, his patience, persistence, and openness (particularly to feedback), and his integrity is almost legendary (Nazar once saved a client from being ripped off by a graphic designer who almost sold the latter a plagiarized logo!). Nazar is proud of his independence and motivated by anything which is a project of his own, be it his family, his work, or a personal endeavor. He loves sports and has played soccer and volleyball as part of amateur league teams both in Switzerland and back home. Great fans of the mountains, he and his wife always look for opportunities to go hiking in summer and skiing in winter. Indoors, Nazar’s free time is mostly dedicated to reading, which he has loved since being a child. His favorite book is The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov, famous, among other things, for one of its characters being a mischievous talking cat. Perhaps that’s who Nazar thinks of when he often talks to his own cat Manu. Who knows, maybe one day Manu will answer back. << Show Less

Ally Pugolovok picture

Ally Pugolovok

Executive Assistant

With her two degrees in software engineering and banking, Alyona was headhunted for a position at S&F that combines all of her favorite things – tech, math, statistics, and English. She is now, among other, responsible for keeping our CRM up to date, tracking opportunities, making sure we provide all the necessary communications to our clients at the pre-sales stage, conducting research, and drafting reports, while also hoping to eventually dabble in data management and operations.
Alyona’s vision of the world as a place where animals thrive living alongside people starts in her own household. Her two cats are perpetually forgiven for waking her up early in the morning, get priority to be fed breakfast, and, unlike Alyona’s husband, are allowed on her work-related Skype calls (you may occasionally see them staring straight into the camera). They also share Alyona’s love of stretching exercises but are less supportive of her other pursuits such as reading and traveling.

​​Stacy Tikhony picture

​​Stacy Tikhony

Leadgen manager / Sales Operations manager

A teacher by education, Stacy was pretty sure that was her true calling—until she started her career in sales. Interestingly, she finds these two domains quite similar. At S&F, Stacy is responsible for generating new qualified leads and building relationships with existing ones. With a love of learning and trying new things, she is always keen to take on a multirole position and enjoys stretching herself by taking on new opportunities, such as getting involved in marketing and developing her agile management skills as a qualified Scrum Master.
Stacy is both career-driven (she couldn’t help working on the third day after giving birth) and a dedicated mom, and she thinks of her relationships with husband and daughter as her biggest accomplishment.
What she loves the most about S&F is the team support and excitement that comes from being a part of truly interesting, challenging projects. Stacy doesn’t want to miss out on any opportunities and always shares her enthusiasm with everyone around her.

Elloa Phoenix Barbour picture

Elloa Phoenix Barbour


Elloa is Speed & Function’s copywriter who works on an array of projects across the business. She is multi-passionate and fascinated by relationships, organisational culture and reimagining the way we think about and approach work. With a Masters in consulting and leading in organisations, plus a wealth of experience of working with teams large and small across multiple sectors, Elloa brings lived experience to her role as a writer. She has previously contributed to, co-written or edited ten books, and her writing has been featured in Forbes and The Huffington Post, among other publications. When she isn’t writing, you can usually find Elloa facilitating workshops, coaching or adventuring with her partner and loved ones.

Natalie Lifer picture

Natalie Lifer

Associate Delivery/Operations Manager

Working with S&F, Natalie contributes a lot to ensuring a healthy environment and team productivity in the company. Moreover, she brought a new market to the company’s map by attracting 2 large-scale clients from Austria. Taking a proactive approach to her role, she sees herself in the position of a Head of Delivery one day.
Natalie has tried different things throughout her education and career, and there’s no end to how she can extend her knowledge and skills. She graduated from two different programs and switched to HR from a background in sales. Having worked as a Business Development Manager, Natalie discovered she could be great at finding the right people for the right job. That’s when she decided to unleash her potential in recruitment and HR. Unsurprisingly, this type of work comes naturally to her – the ability to listen and understand any team member is one of Natalie’s strongest skills. Read More >> Intellectually curious, Natalie always finds some time to brush up her spoken English or listen to industry-related lectures. You can also find her horseback riding, doing CrossFit, reading, or playing chess (nobody knows how she manages to keep so many hobbies!). In fact, practicing sports and keeping a healthy lifestyle has become her second nature. With a spirit of gratitude to life and a flexible mind that never stops learning, Natalie is a great fit for our ambitious company. She knows for sure that to work with people and tune up the processes across different teams, you need to be mindful about what you’re doing and easily adaptable to a changing environment. << Show Less

Julia Syzonenko picture

Julia Syzonenko

HR and Recruiting Associate

Julia works with us as an HR and Recruiting Associate. It’s her responsibility to look for the right specialists for our numerous and highly diverse projects. She leads the onboarding process and deals with crucial tasks at the HR Department, for people are at the core of S&F.
Our clients expect high-level specialists to implement complex projects and become a profitable, sustainable business. HR’s key role is to be decisive regarding all potential candidates, and Julia pays special attention to interviews, hiring, and retention of the team. She believes that her value lies in bringing talented and qualified candidates while contributing to the company’s growth. In addition to this, she builds trust within the S&F team, ensuring frequent feedback and effective internal collaboration overall. Read More >> Indeed, her colleagues are an essential element of the work. Among her strengths, she highlights achieving goals, completing work on time, self-organization, business orientation, and stress resistance, along with social and negotiation skills. Julia has already achieved a lot professionally. For instance, she was able to consistently recruit teams for projects, train new recruitment specialists and mentor researchers, and participate in critical decision-making at the company. << Show Less

Jen Wright picture

Jen Wright


Jen is a master communicator who is known for her ability to build relationships, consistently exceed expectations, and help unify teams to work towards their common goals. She is passionate about project management and loves working with and learning from people from all around the world in her role at Speed & Function.
Highly analytical and strategic, Jen is an expert in leading and delivering projects for big data and logistics products. An experienced and certified Scrum product owner with a range of project management certifications, a masters in higher education, and a wealth of experience, she consistently delivers product releases with an exceptional track record of delivering on time whilst surpassing project goals.
Read More >> Energetic, determined and resourceful, Jen is a creative with multiple passions outside of work including furniture rehab, painting, crafts, singing, baking, and photography. At Speed & Function, Jen has discovered ways to balance work and life outside work, which she credits for helping her be an even better mom. She dreams of one day opening a tea room that caters to families of all shapes and sizes and a snowball stand with her family in Florida. Her true calling is to help people so she strives to find ways to do that in every area of her life. << Show Less

Daria Diaz picture

Daria Diaz


Daria is a brave and proud Producer who had enough experience in business and marketing. Before our team recruited her, she was working in 3D production and helped promote blockchain projects. In her free time, she jumps with a parachute, goes paragliding or rafting. “I love the taste of life,” says Daria.
Her parents are from two distant parts of the Earth, which explains her warm heart and an open mind. When she just joined S&F, one could underline the chaotic nature of our organization. However, this only sparked her curiosity as she learned how we thrive in the VUCA world.
Today Daria confirms that her investment (in terms of time) and commitment (by giving up other jobs) paid off in full. She highlights the freedom, entrepreneurial spirit, and DDO approach to all the processes. After spending her first year at S&F, Daria is happy to see how she has a voice in the company and can start up side projects.