Elie is the CEO of Oyster.com and one of its co-founders.
Elie has been an entrepreneur nearly since graduating from college in 1997. After spending a year working for Trilogy in Austin, Texas (where he and Ajay Agarwal of Bain Capital Ventures first met), Elie moved back to the East Coast and was involved in the founding of his first company, Wired Business, a telecom services company funded by Norwest Venture Partners. In the fall of 2000, Elie founded Epana and, as its president and CEO, grew the company to more than 400 employees between 2002 and the end of 2005. Elie departed Epana in the spring of 2006 and spent a year as a venture partner at Lime Rock Partners, a private equity fund based in Westport, Conn. Since Oyster.com launched, Elie has made frequent TV appearances as a hotel industry expert.
Elie resides in New York. He received his B.S.E. from the University of Pennsylvania.
Eytan Seidman -- Co-Founder and Vice President of Product
As vice president of product at Oyster, Eytan leads product management, planning, design, and usability of the Oyster.com site.
Prior to Oyster, Eytan was a principal program manager lead on Microsoft's Live Search team (now Bing.com), a position he held for four and a half years. This team was responsible for the vision, planning, and specifications that power the web search software for Live Search. This includes all aspects of Live's core ranking and relevance measurement. Earlier in his career at Microsoft, Eytan worked as a program manager on the Microsoft CRM team, driving the program management of functionality related to the core user experience and integration with back-office applications.
Eytan lives in New York with his wife Ilana and their two children. He received degrees in computer science and history from the University of Pennsylvania.
Kelsey Blodget -- Editorial Director
Kelsey leads the editorial team at Oyster.com, and has managed the rapid growth of the site's hotel review coverage. She is responsible for determining needed resources, hiring, traning, and managing all editorial employees.
Kelsey has published articles in in Conde Nast Traveler, The Los Angeles Times, The Huffington Post, Business Insider, and FoxNews.com, among other publications, and has been interviewed as a travel expert by media outlets such as USA Today, Smarter Travel, the Daily Mail, and the Rudy Maxa radio travel show.
Before Oyster, Kelsey worked as the Associate Producer of the video blog Beet.TV, where she interviewed leaders in the startup and digital media space, and was a member of the PR team at Plesser Holland Associates. She graduated Cum Laude with degrees in English and Classical Studies from Dartmouth College.
Jennifer Garfinkel -- Director, Operations
As Director, Operations, Jennifer is responsible for coordinating all aspects of Oyster's hotel coverage expansion and oversees the daily happenings of the sales team.
At Oyster, Jennifer has grown a team of 60 reviewers around the world, hiring, training, and managing each of them. She has also assisted in building a solid sales team, creating all necessary systems and processes.
As one of the company’s unofficial spokespeople, Jennifer has appeared on national and local TV segments in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, and Phoenix. She’s been quoted by USA Today multiple times and has been a guest on Peter Greenberg’s Worldwide Radio show.
Prior to Oyster, Jennifer worked at mediabistro.com and was a freelance writer. She received BAs in psychology and human geography from Dartmouth College.