Talent Box: Who We Are

Leonid Tunik - Founder & CEO of Talent Box

Leonid Tunik

Founder & CEO

Leonid comes to Talent Box with a unique background that combines education, technology product development, and entrepreneurship. He has worked with leading educational publishers to develop math tools and tutorials for award-winning high school and college programs, as well testing and monitoring tools for K-12 teachers working with struggling students. In 2006, recognizing the need to engage students into technology and engineering early on in their education, he began teaching after-school classes in animation and video game design to kids in elementary grades. In 2013, seeing an ever increasing demand from parents and kids, he took this project to the LearnLaunch startup accelerator, and set up a permanent location for camps, classes, and the after-school program in Lexington & Newton, now known as Empow Studios. He has also launched Empow Labs, a digital makerspace for adults and teens based in Newton, MA.

David Gutierrez

Director, Sales & Marketing

In an effort to mash together his passions in education, technology, art, and business, Dave serves as the Director of all revenue for Talent Box, in addition to his responsibilities with Empow Studios and Empow Labs. Dave developed a passion for education after teaching percussion to individual students and group ensembles at various music outlets. After kicking off his career in the Education department at the historic Avedis Zildjian Company (est. 1623!), Dave began to gain experience in sales & marketing roles across music, education, and emerging tech products. Dave comes to Talent Box with a goal to make meaningful impacts to communities across the country by giving opportunities for kids to learn specialized technologies they may otherwise not have access to. In his spare time, Dave enjoys hanging out with his daughter, supporting Everton Football Club, and hiking with his dog.

David Gutierrez, Director of Sales & Marketing at Talent Box
Victor Kushch, Director of Technology Development at Talent Box

Victor Kushch

Director of IT & Software Development

Victor has been in the IT industry for over a decade, solving problems in eCommerce, SAAS, blogging, SEO, and networking. In 2016 he joined Empow Studios for a full website redesign, and began the development of what now is known today as Talent Box. He is continuing to work on more exciting projects that are helping our team deliver high-quality, effective programs & software. Victor runs an IT support service, Clever IT Systems.

Theo Swartz

IT & Support Manager

Theo is a technology enthusiast who is passionate about the creative applications of computers. His journey through the world of creative technology started pre-university, as he worked on pixel art, texture packs, QA testing, and level design for indie video games. Since receiving his Bachelors degree in Game Design & Development at RIT, Theo has been employed as a software developer, a QA tester, and a part-time music composer for games released on Steam. Now he utilizes his technical ability and passion for helping others together as the IT & Support Manager at Empow, where he assists the teaching team, performs QA testing on the Talent Box software, and contributes to curriculum development. Outside of work, Theo enjoys spending time in the outdoors, playing the game of Go, producing electronic music, and publishing self-made video games.

Theo Swartz, Manager of IT & Support Manager at Talent Box
Mandy Stickles, PR & Communication Coordinator at Talent Box

Mandy Stickles

Marketing & Customer Service

Originally from Hamilton, New Jersey, Mandy went to school in Pennsylvania and studied Communications. As an editor for her school newspaper, she edited and created video production and was a host for one of their radio shows. She also interned at a Radio Station where she worked as a Promotional Intern and helped with running and prepping for their events. After college, Mandy became a Copywriter and Marketing Assistant and was able to pursue her love for writing. A year ago she moved to Boston and searched for a new career path where she could learn, grow, and incorporate her skill sets. She has now joined the Talent Box team and is very excited for the work she will be doing and working with a great team!

Jason Carpenter

Content Marketing Specialist

Having spent a lifetime split between Los Angeles, California, and Massachusetts, Jason has ultimately merged his professional background and passion for education and content creation here at Talent Box. After over twenty years of teaching a diversity of subject matter and student demographics–and a master’s degree in film in his back pocket–he relishes the opportunity to write and produce materials for marketing campaigns, curriculum and the web to support Empow Studios, Empow Labs, and Talent Box.

Jason regularly engages in writing about film/art, reading, hanging with cats, consuming potato chips, and driving to the hoop on folks much younger than him (as seen in the accompanying action photo).

Jason Carpenter, Content Marketing Specialist at Talent Box