Meet the PPC Team (Star Trek: TNG Style)

Ryan MootHart, PPC Architect

Here at Portent, we have many Internet marketing teams: SEO, content, and design, just to name a few. But the best team, objectively speaking*, is the PPC team.

*This is completely subjective as I am a member of the PPC team.  That does not mean what I say is not the truth.

We are a special bunch that takes great pride in our work as individuals and as a team.  We geek out on data, we go beyond paid search management and develop strategies to ensure our clients kick everyone else’s ass, and we can pass the AdWords certification tests in our sleep.  But that’s not all. We also have a hierarchy convention which correlates to one the greatest television series to ever grace our airways: “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”

I’d like to take a moment to introduce the members of our illustrious PPC team, which may or may not* be an excuse for me to merge our company photos with our corresponding character photos.

*This is definitely just an excuse to do just that.

I present to you the crew of starship “Enterprise” Portent’s PPC Team:

Elizabeth Marsten

Senior Director of Search Marketing / a.k.a. Captain Jean-Luc Picard

Elizabeth is the guru of everything PPC at Portent and became director of the entire search marketing team in 2009.  She has spoken at SEM conferences such as HeroCon and SMX, and has become a leading authority on product listing ads and merchant feed optimization (with presentations and articles on this blog).  She’s also written more than one of our eBooks available for download in our store regarding paid search, from product listing ads to the essentials of PPC to ad copy strategy.

She is the captain of our crew and has dubbed her office “Ten Forward.”  It would have been “The Ready Room,” but there’s a beer fridge in the corner.  So naming it after the USS Enterprise’s bar felt more appropriate.  In addition to being awesome at PPC, she practices and teaches the martial art of Kendo.

Michael Wiegand

Senior PPC & Analytics Strategist / a.k.a. Commander William Riker

Michael has been a PPC strategist at Portent for six years and has been in marketing his entire professional career.  Since Google Analytics came online, he has spent time learning every facet of it: how it works, how to customize it, how to utilize reporting features, and how to implement to any site you can think of.  Rumor has it that when he’s not awake using Google Analytics, he dreams about Google Analytics in his sleep.

With his expertise, experience, and facial hair, he has earned the rank of First Officer in our PPC crew.  He even has an old school poster of Riker from the 90s hanging on the wall behind his desk.  In addition to his duties in the fields of paid search and analytics, he is an avid fan of soccer and cigars (albeit he highly discourages smoking cigars while playing soccer).

Kiko Correa

PPC Strategist / a.k.a. Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge

Kiko came to Portent last year and has worked with paid search accounts for the past five years.  He is our go-to reference for using Excel to analyze click and conversion data.  He specializes in B2B paid search strategy, along with Facebook advertising.  Much like his character counterpart, he digs deep into numbers and formulas to get a full understanding of what’s happening with any account he works on.  He is, without a doubt, one of the best additions Portent has made since the formation of the PPC team years ago.

His Excel wizardry and ability to diagnose any problem in AdWords makes Geordi La Forge a perfect fit in our Star Trek hierarchy, although his glasses do not have the capability to analyze his surroundings in different light and energy spectrums.  In addition to his work at Portent, Kiko is an avid fan of alternative rock music.

Chad Kearns

PPC Essentials Program Manager / a.k.a. Lieutenant Worf

Chad started at Portent as an intern while still attending college.  After graduating, he was hired on full-time and was charged to develop a brand new program to manage small business AdWords accounts.  He quickly put together an ambitious plan to retain and manage large numbers of small business accounts in what is now Portent’s PPC Essentials program.

As you might have guessed, Chad’s specialty is small business PPC: accounts that have limited budgets and desire highly specific targeting methods to ensure every dollar spent is worth as much as possible.

Chad’s reputation for not taking any nonsense makes Worf a more-than-adequate fit in our hierarchy, although he admittedly has not mastered the use of the bat’leth sword.  In addition to making small businesses very happy, Chad maintains his athletic prowess playing pick-up soccer.

Tim Johnson

PPC Strategist / a.k.a. Ensign Wesley Crusher

Tim was recently hired on full-time at Portent after spending months as a PPC intern.  Even though he’s not the intern anymore, Tim is still “the new guy” – relatively speaking.  His youthful ambition and the fact that we used to make him do a lot of grunt work makes Wil Wheaton’s character of Wesley Crusher a perfect fit for him.  Unlike Wil Wheaton, however, Tim does not wear a horse head mask while rooting for the LA Kings.*

*Seriously, look up Wil Wheaton’s Twitter account – this is a thing.

In addition to being Portent’s newest PPC strategist, Tim enjoys almost anything to do with Seattle sports teams.  And, unlike Michael, he fully endorses smoking cigars while playing soccer.

Ryan Moothart

PPC Strategist / a.k.a. Lieutenant Commander Data

That’s me – I’ve been a PPC strategist at Portent for almost three years and, like Chad and Tim, started as intern out of college.   I have experience in all types of paid search accounts (B2C, B2B, e-commerce, traffic generation, etc.) and am also certified in Google Analytics.  Much like my character counterpart, I’ve been told I have knack for spotting patterns quickly when working with data (no pun intended).  When Elizabeth and Michael are out of the office, I “have the bridge,” thus making Data a near-perfect fit for me in our awesome hierarchy.

In my free time, I’m an avid Seattle Sounders fan (yes – there is a soccer trend on our team as well, as much as Elizabeth makes fun of us for it).  I enjoy studying matters of politics and culture, having spent the past year researching and writing a personal project pertaining to such matters in the Pacific Northwest (or Cascadia, to use the region’s proper name).  And I’m a firm believer that U2 is better than the Beatles.*

*Deal with it.

We, ladies and gentlemen, are the PPC team here at Portent.  We’re nerds, we’re damn good at PPC, and we’re giant fans of Star Trek.  Well, most us are giant fans of Star Trek.*

*Chad is lame. Tim is also lame.

Thanks for taking the time to learn about us. Now, go form your own team hierarchies based on awesome TV shows.

Start call to action

See how Portent can help you own your piece of the web.

End call to action


  1. I love the fact that you all have invested your person inner nerd into your job profile. As I am a first gen nerd born of the early 70’s, I totally respect what your doing. I saw a Junior Social Media position and am hoping to apply soon to Star Fleet, I mean PPC. I always thought a PPC meant Practical Projection Cannon which is one very cool weapon. Aside from that I have always been looking for a new position that will bridge my skill in social media into one job to the benifit of both you and myself. I am a ready to learn more, work hard, and prove that even Scottie can make it in the Next Generation. If you have insight on for me on how to secure this position please send me an email. I am updating my resume this weekend. Thx for reading this post.
    Nate Robbins

Comments are closed.

Close search overlay