The PISTn team

“I’ve always had a passion for helping small businesses.” Kevin Steeland / Founder and CEO of PISTn Digital Marketing


An ambitious kid, Kevin grew up in the suburban Detroit neighborhood of Sterling Heights. He earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing at Oakland University in Michigan. He attended R.O.T.C. at the University of Detroit and served as an officer in the Army National Guard while working at a large regionally recognized franchise.

That local business provided him his first real opportunity. Kevin worked his way up, eventually becoming the Director of Marketing and Training. Along the way, he helped the business expand from 14 units to more than 100. It was also there that he learned the importance of creating value and finding effective ways to communicate that value to others. It was a theme that would stick with him as he decided to branch out on his own, eventually bringing his wife Lauri into the company, as well.


At first, he worked as a marketing consultant for several pizzeria and auto repair franchises. Assembling a team of graphic designers and web developers, he devised and fine-tuned marketing strategies to help those businesses reach and retain more customers.

One of those early clients was an auto repair and tire shop. That account showed him the issues facing shop owners and other small businesses, too. They were so busy running the day-to-day operations, wearing so many hats, that sometimes things fell through the cracks. Air conditioning coupons would still be on their websites in the middle of winter—or, worse yet—they weren’t marketing their businesses, at all. Marketing was the one ‘hat’ that was often left behind.


As demand for his services grew, Kevin realized he needed a better, more efficient system—and so did his clients. His clients consistently faced the same problem of how to formulate and execute a customized, locally-targeted marketing strategy amidst the pressing day-to-day obligations of a business owner. Nothing in the existing market fulfilled their needs.

So he decided to make one.

His experience working with these business owners gave him a unique perspective—an  appreciation for day-to day operations in a small business. This experience and his knowledge of branding, technology and the competitive marketplace fueled the creation of the PISTn system, which he has been continuously evolving to solve the problems that small business owners face every day.

Kevin founded PISTn so that businesses owners could enjoy the benefits of having their own personal marketing consultants while also taking advantage of ready-made digital marketing processes proven to deliver real results.


PISTn has evolved with the marketing world—from print advertising to the beginnings of digital marketing, to the more recent advances of social media platforms like Facebook and Search Engine Optimization through Google.

Kevin has surrounded himself with a team of professionals. Together this group offers something different from the high-pressure, national corporations or advertising and marketing firms. They focus on personalized service provided by real people.

Today, PISTn serves the digital marketing needs of hundreds of businesses across several different industries throughout the country. With offices in Michigan and South Carolina, we take pride in delivering personalized service and are powered by our technology headquarters in the Silicon Valley Bay Area of California.

Kevin is now known nationally as a hands-on leader and a visionary who observes the trends and translates new marketing developments into practical plans that keep his clients relevant in the marketplace. He and his team have been serving small businesses across the United States for more than 20 years, helping them stay competitive in an ever-changing digital marketing landscape, no matter the size of their staff or budget.

Our Team

The PISTn team

Lauri Steeland

Director of Digital Media

After earning a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Western Michigan University Lauri Steeland began her marketing career with a 16 year stint at USA TODAY. During her time there she learned all facets of marketing in a fast changing industry and her efforts resulted in many company awards. Recognizing that the industry was changing, and following her passion for the digital side of marketing, she decided to join the PISTn team in 2010. Read More…

Lauri’s “right brained” nature enjoys the continuously changing puzzle that the digital marketing landscape provides. She thrives in learning and uncovering ways to ensure her customers’ marketing budgets are spent wisely. When not managing her current work responsibilities, Lauri can be found on the tennis court serving up an ACE. Off the court, Lauri can be found on the phone speaking with the wizard behind the curtain: “Google”. Read Less…

The PISTn team

Sherrie Brindley

Director of Client Communication & Service

Sherrie believes every business has an interesting story to tell and she puts her 20 years’ experience to work helping our clients share their stories with the world. She approaches each new project with creativity and a genuine client-service focus. Her professional career includes both public sector and small business experience. Read More…

She earned her bachelor’s degree at Eastern Michigan University. In her spare time she helped found Wayne Main Street, a non-profit organization dedicated to revitalizing the downtown in her home town, Wayne, Michigan. She is also a self-proclaimed voting geek who serves as an election inspector every election day. Read Less…

The PISTn team

June Ku

CTO – Chief Technology Officer

June has a decade of experience in professional software engineering. Prior to joining Pistn, she had run all aspects of a web development company and worked with big data and machine learning. She holds a computer science degree from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and a master's degree from University of Michigan Ann Arbor. Read More…

She has also done extensive research in academic philosophy and is programming a way for AI to understand and share our values. Read Less…

The PISTn team

Bob Roberts

Senior Software Engineer

Bob Roberts is a Senior Software Engineer with over a decade of hands-on experience. His technical knowledge is complemented with a deep-rooted understanding of the business value of features, and the ability to successfully deliver a product which exceeds client expectations. He approaches each new challenge with a “no task too small” attitude for problem solving. Read More…

During his service with the U.S. Army, Bob learned the skills to be both a humble follower and a great leader.In his spare time, he loves riding his motorcycle, spending time with his wife, daughter and grand-kitties or watching football. He also is a volunteer mentor for OperationCode which is a non-profit charity that helps veterans and their families learn programming, and he has managed several programming language meet-ups. Read Less…

The PISTn team

Philip Sparks

Director of SEO

Philip has over 20 years of web development and digital marketing experience. After graduating from the University of Arkansas, he spent 20 years at a fortune 100 company working as a web programmer, digital marketing technology expert, and web architect. Philip focuses now on helping clients with technical and on-page SEO, and helping them optimize their website's performance. Read More…

Philip is also passionate about mentoring and teaching other developers and clients. One of his most rewarding roles was lead programmer on a web development team. He loves being able to come along side developers or clients to help them grow in their web development, SEO, and marketing technology skills. Outside of marketing technology, Philip enjoys reading, spending time with friends and family, and spending time outdoors cycling or with his dog Winston. Read Less…

The PISTn team

David Wanagat

Creative Director

A 1985 graduate of the Design Center at Western Michigan University, Dave has extensive experience in graphic, print and web design, brand identities, marketing and sales materials. No matter what type of company or business, Dave is committed to providing clients with fresh ideas and graphic visions that translate into a stronger bottom line. Read More…

An avid gardener and backyard birder, once he’s completed his projects for the day (amazingly, always on time), Dave heads out to the vegetable garden or his workshop to build one-of-a-kind bird houses and feeders. Read Less…

The PISTn team

Krista Smith

Client Outreach/ New Customer Development

Krista earned a Bachelor of Science degree at Liberty University. After college, she taught at her former elementary school in Michigan, then traveled abroad to teach English to children in Russia for a year. Read More…

She joined PISTN in 2012 as their Social Media Director and now serves as the Client Outreach and Development Coordinator. She prides herself on being a detail-oriented, highly organized person. She enjoys working behind the scenes helping PISTN clients reach their potential and helping them maintain their customer relationships through a strong online presence. In her free time, she enjoys reading, watching Hallmark movies and watching her kids in their various sports and activities. Read Less…

The PISTn team

Po Ku

SEO Writer and Social Media Specialist

As mentioned in her Twitter handle bio: Singer-songwriter, poet even though she doesn't know it, and punner because it's funner. Whether it's writing a song in 10 minutes or describing why you should visit the surrounding communities around our shops, Po looks on the bright side of life and hopefully makes it brighter for everyone in contact with her and her work. Read More…

She has a B.S. in Biology from Caltech, has finished the Competent Communicator manual in Toastmasters and has been with Pistn over 5 years now. She's tweeted at least 1500 puns in her tenure on Twitter and can be followed @PoKuPuns. Read Less…

The PISTn team

Scott Spielman

Content and Social Media Writer

Scott Spielman is a former newspaper reporter and editor who has been honored by the Michigan Press Association for his work. He joins our team as a Content and Social Media writer, creating clever and engaging content for the web, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. He spends his off-hours writing fiction including a series of mysteries based loosely on his experiences in the newspaper industry and affectionately inspired by the people he met along the way. Read More…

He can be found kayaking northern Michigan when the weather cooperates. Read Less…

The PISTn team

Dan Smith

Sales & Advisory Council

Dan has been in and around automotive and maintenance shops for over 17 years. He has experienced many aspects of the industry, but his work has always come back to helping clients better market their businesses. The thing that really sets Dan apart is the personal attention he gives to every client; he cares about the people he serves and it shows. The client’s success drives his whole process. Read More…

If you work with Dan for long, you’ll start to recognize his signature catch phrases like “rabbit trail”. He is a dedicated family man and spends much of his free time at the baseball diamond with his son. Read Less…