About Us

Founded in 2010, Keeping It Local has developed proprietary multi-platform applications to become a leader in card-linked offers and transaction-enabled marketing.

Keeping It Local secures privacy-controlled data through cardholder transactions with a financial institution partner. We then leverage proprietary analytics to provide targeted marketing platforms directly to existing cardholders of our partner banks.

Through our relationships with Chamber of Commerce's and Visitors Bureaus, we have over 1,000 brick-and-mortar merchant partners and growing. Keeping It Local is able to provide the right offer, through the right media channels, to the right cardholder, for our financial institutions.

Our Pledge: To provide our marketing partners with the most dynamic and customized turnkey solutions comprised of multi-platform ad campaigns, information technology and data analytics –

Our goal is to bring you increased customer loyalty and consumer spend, and a compelling way to differentiate your brand from the competition.

 

Team

Oscar Bazan, CEO - Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Bazan has been extensively involved in the loyalty and stored value industry for the last 10 years as acting CEO of StoredValuePlus.com. He has executed over 50-branded stored value programs globally and oversees all business development, marketing, administrative and operations for all facilities. As CEO of KeepingItLocal, a pioneer in loyalty strategies and measured marketing, he heads our enterprise business, leveraging the knowledge of millions of customer relationships to create relevant communications and enhanced shopper experiences.

Mark De Backer, CFO - Chief Financial Officer

Mark spent almost 20 years in leadership and executive management positions in public accounting, healthcare and financial services firms. Mark has managed significant audit, tax and consulting projects at Deloitte & Touche, following which he served as Chief Financial Officer for various healthcare and financial institutions, including Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, Evans Bancorp and Stampede Holdings where he oversaw overall financial management and regulatory compliance, including oversight of operations and technology initiatives. Most recently, Mark has been Managing Director of the Financial Institutions Practice of Carillon Capital Partners, a boutique Investment and Merchant Bank, assisting companies with capital markets activities, including capital and debt structuring as well as business advisory management.

Mark’s experience is diverse, including technical accounting and compliance matters including significant interface with the SEC, FDIC, OCC, Federal Reserve and State Banking agencies.

Kayhan Fatemi, CLO - Chief Legal Officer

For the last several years, acted as the managing partner of the Los Angeles office of a national law firm, Wickwire Gavin, LLP. Practiced law in the areas of construction, real estate, employment and general business/corporate. Provided counsel to clients during all phases of the construction/real estate/business cycle, including drafting and reviewing contracts, providing general advice, consulting, ADR (mediation and arbitration) and litigation. In addition to actively practicing law, participated in firm management, including being on the firm’s Executive Committee, acting as the managing partner of the Los Angeles office, as well as managing the summer associate program for several years. Pepperdine University of Law, UCLA B.A.Economic

Derek Higgins, CTO - Chief Technology Officer

Securities-related software design and development. Derek’s skills are in Web and desktop software architecture, user interface design, requirements gathering, functional spec creation, database schema design, software project management, stakeholder relationship management, internet server administration, visual design, design and user documentation, digital media, complex business logic and algorithm implementation. Derek’s technological expertise is in Specialties web development, Database Design, Networking, Server Management, Virtualization. PHP, SQL, MySQL, C#, Java, Javascript; Linux, Windows server, Unix, Active Directory. He bring such Intangibles such as exceptionally creative thinker. Motivated, diplomatic, organized, excellent verbal and written communication. Strong aesthetic sense. Asks questions. Able to learn new technology quickly and thoroughly . Deep understanding of business needs. Strong problem solver.

Jeff Bazan, COO - Chief Operating Officer

Mr. Bazan's expertise comes with extensive development with integration of services and alliances, specifically in the prepaid debit industry. Since 2004 Mr. Bazan has been in charge of the development, implementation, integration and execution of over 100 viable prepaid debit card programs. For the past few years Mr.Bazan has been involved in every aspect of product development and marketing for loyalty programs. Mr. Bazan has acquired card programs from U.S. and International issuing banks. His excellent relationship with such clients as banks, processors, corporate brands allows us to have a dynamic operating officer. He now brings that same intellectual property to local communities and leveraged when playing out KeepingItLocal’s business model and strategic alliances.

Jeremy Hilton, Creative Director

Jeremy has been working in the web space and internet marketing for the past 11 years. His experience ranges from entrepreneurial roll working with 2xtremestudios which over the course of his years developed a game for Franklin Nerf, Project for Microsoft Halo 2, social media, marketing and worked on many other additional projects. In addition was the creative director for SN Entertainment in which he managed a team of designers and worked with programmer to design and develop media creatives, multiple web sites. Recently in the past 2 years he has developed a social media platform, Along with creating flash media for name.com. along landing pages for Ponoko, and IOU. Jeremy has also worked in the corporate work space for the past 7.5 years as a Sr. Designer for a major retailer in the private sector in which his skill set is used for rich flash media, web design, and landing pages along with UI , mobile and Android Apps. Jeremy's fine eye to details and clean design had allowed his past projects to be nominated for many awards along with winning 2 flash awards for his work and Creative Direction in creating the 2xtreme Studios website.

Will Goldstein, Senior Data Scientist

Mr. Goldstein has a bachelors degree in mathematics from Macalester College and a masters degree in Analytics from the University of San Francisco. His expertise is in advanced statistics, data mining and machine learning, and as the application of these technologies to guiding business decisions.

Tristan Taru, Senior Analyst

He holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from Macalester College, and is an expert in applying economic and statistical frameworks to business problems.

Jeff Melodia, - V.P. of Business Development

Jeff’s business and marketing background has provided him with the excellent people and communication skills necessary to succeed as V.P. of Business Development. Jeff has played a major role in increasing our strategic partnerships with local banks, chamber of commerce and local associations. Jeff is adept at creating and implementing successful sales and marketing strategies, and is familiar with advertising and promotional program management as well.

Jeff is able to establish rapport with partners, customers, and vendors, as well as communicate with individuals in all levels of business and management. He has an ability to generate new business while at the same time increasing profitability among already established accounts.

Bret Lee - V.P. of Banking Relations

Bret has a B.S. in Business Administration and has clear and concise communication skills, along with technical and analytical expertise. Bret is experienced with proposals, presentations, and working with senior level executive management. As a Keeping it Local team member he plans to integrate local community bank partners with the local community to effectively execute beneficial outcomes for all parties.

Frank Bathe, V.P. of Banking Relations

Franks experience as a former Director and Vice President of both a major consulting firm and technology based companies gives him a unique qualification to bring financial institutions real solutions. Frank's priority is to provide community based financial institutions with a state-of-the-art platform that will increase cardholder usage, deposits and make your card top-of-wallet. The cornerstone of every financial institution is member acquisition and retention, Frank will help you to get there.

James Corazzini, V.P. of Merchant Relations

James is an accomplished, senior professional in the Redondo Beach community for over 25 years. Able to create support and buy-in across a wide range of stakeholders; create a strong network of relationships among peers, internal partners, external constituencies, decision makers and stakeholders. James promotes a culture of collaboration and teamwork across organizational boundaries; willing to break down functional silos to optimize business results and encourage the overall growth of our merchant partners

Priscila Galles - VP of Hospitality & International Relations

Priscila brings vast experience and knowledge in promotional and experiential marketing, specializing in the hospitality industry. Residing in southern California and a native of Brazil, Priscila has built a reputation of being a very professional executive with a high level of dedication and passion for her clients.

Prescila's background and experience comes from working with large brands such as Victoria Secret, Miller Lite and Toyota to name a few. Her role in working with these brands ranged from events, promotions to field marketing manager and modeling at hospitality venues.

Today Prescila leads our hospitality division to provide exceptional merchants ranging from 5 star hotels, restaurants, tourism and experiential activities. With a loving and outgoing personality, Priscila brings exceptional communication skills and a professional attitude to each client.

Marcelo Galles - VP of Hospitality & International Relations

Marcelo resides in southern California and is a native of Brazil. His career begun as a model but soon realized he had more to offer and actively became promotionally engaged with companies such as: O'Neill Hawaiian Dreams, Mantra Sunglasses (USA), Casio G-Shock (Japan) and Rip Curl.

Since his arrival in the United States he has worked with alongside Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony and Jagged Edge in promotion of their music videos as well continuing his promotional work for other companies such as Touchsport Footwear, Yuki Sharoni, Clairol Professional, Roar USA, Fusion Hair, GMC, Lexus, Mazda and many more.

Today Marcelo heads our Hospitality & International relations department bringing a range of relationships from California, Miami, Las Vegas, Chicago and New York. His international ties and product development in countries such as Brazil and Spain will propel our licensing initiatives internationally.

Evan St. Andrew, Merchant Marketing Manager

Evan's bachelor’s degree in Sales and Marketing with a minor in IT Tech Services, created a unique synergy that has served him well. His technological background and understanding of systems has enabled Evan to excel in creating unique analytic reports to enable measurable results. These results are used in targeting the right consumers for his merchant clients by using frequency, recency, amount spent, geographical and category data to score your consumers for you. His ability to target your top 20% customers and increasing their visits will bring a measurable return on investment that is only paid by performance.

Brandon Clarke, Merchant Marketing Manager

Brandon started off his professional career in the service industry. While being a server at a fine dining establishment and a doorman at a 5-star hotel, he built his marketing skills around a network of merchants that resulted in increased visits both at the restaurant, the hotel and the merchants. Those skills have now been enhanced with targeted analytics which Brandon customizes for his merchant clients. As a marketing manager for Keeping It Local, his priority is to increase frequency of visits and amount spent for his merchant clients. His ability to create a unique offering with a positive experience for the end user, is his goal that brings profitability to your company and credibility to your brand.