Meet the Team
Jorge Lizarraga, CoFounder
A native of Los Angeles, Jorge is a leader and staffing expert with over 12 years of industry experience in management, business development, and technical recruiting. Prior to co-founding Kinect, Jorge was a managing partner for a mid-size technology staffing and consulting firm, and specialized in the digital media and entertainment sectors. Jorge holds an MBA in supply chain management from Arizona State University and a B.A. in psychology from California State University Northridge. He is a regular at the gym, enjoys playing basketball and watching sports, and is a self-proclaimed novice foodie. Jorge also enjoys traveling, music, movies, TV dramas, and spending time with his wife and their two adorable kids.
Robert Lemken, CoFounder
Robert has a simple goal of connecting the best companies with the best talent in order to reach their mutual goals. Over the last 15 years, Robert has been highly successful in helping companies implement technology projects through a relentless focus on those represented and the clients they serve. Prior to co-founding Kinect, Robert, a native of Maryland, was a managing partner at a mid-size Los Angeles based consulting firm. Robert is an avid surfer, reader and lover of music. He has traveled extensively, and lived abroad upon graduating from Rutgers University with a B.S in Ecology.
John Petri, CFO
A native of Los Angeles, John is an executive with over 25 years of experience in finance & accounting, human capital and business operations. His goal is to cultivate operational excellence and create a balance of structure and flexibility for the company to ensure scalability and growth. Prior to Kinect, John held leadership roles for a variety of public and privately held companies. John is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of California and holds a B.A. in Business Administration from California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo. In his spare time John can be found running, hiking and snow skiing. He is also an avid wine collector and enjoys cooking and drinking wine with his family and friends.
Ashley Crotts, Talent Agent
Ashley joins Kinect with more than 8 years of technical recruiting, account management and sales experience. Ashley has built an extensive network of contacts over the years and is seen as a reliable resource in the field of career development and recruitment. She has a passion for building and establishing long-lasting relationships as well as providing a great customer experience. Originally from Virginia, Ashley earned a B.S. in finance with a minor in Spanish from Virginia Tech. In her spare time, Ashley enjoys traveling, cooking, and photography.
Sridhar Yalamanchili, Talent Agent
Prior to joining Kinect, Sridhar (goes by Sri) was a managing partner at a Southern California technology staffing and consulting firm, where he was responsible for managing relationships with large and medium-sized clients – including Fortune 500 organizations – and identifying and recruiting talented technology professionals. He has over 9 years of progressive industry experience and takes a lot of pride in connecting great people to opportunities where they will succeed and thrive. Sri is a UCLA graduate with a B.A. in film and television. He is an avid reader and enjoys writing short fiction in his leisure hours. He is also a fan of illustrative art and graphic novels, and dabbles with creating his own digital artworks on his iPad.
Connor Bradford, Talent Agent
Born and raised in Southern California, Connor brings 6 years of recruiting experience to the Kinect team. Connor played 4 years of Division 1 football at UCLA while earning his Bachelor’s degree in International Politics. He began his career in technical staffing and became an active member of the Silicon Beach start-up movement. Connor is often found collaborating with meet-up leaders and developing his strong network of talented tech professionals. Connor prides himself on developing long lasting relationships and is involved in various E-sports leagues, networking groups and tech conventions. He loves going to live events, where he can see and feel the energy. Currently living in Sherman Oaks, he is a regular at the CrossFit gym and hot yoga studio.
Samja Kout, Talent Agent
Samja was born and raised in The Netherlands and came to Los Angeles 13 years ago. After graduating from the Hogeschool in Amsterdam in Commercial Economics with an emphasis in Strategic Management, she started her career in finance. Samja continued her career in the U.S. and then progressed into the field of recruitment in accounting and finance and has since moved into technology. Samja believes in building meaningful, long-term relationships with clients and candidates, and understanding their needs and aspirations to make valuable connections. Samja enjoys being active and outdoors – taking in the mountains and beaches. She also enjoys traveling, watching movies and shows on the ID channel – her favorite guilty pleasure.
Joan Hwang, Talent Agent
Joan has 3 years of experience dedicated to technical recruiting. She enjoys being the messenger to create positive change in people’s careers – it’s extremely rewarding! Outside of work, she is passionate about holistic healing, yoga, movant, and Paleo/Primal health and wellness. She currently resides in Los Angeles with her boyfriend, James, and Pomeranian, Nala. During times of uncertainty, she keeps in mind “Lose not yourself in a far-off time, seize the moment that is thine” by Friedrich Schiller.