Dogster Founders


[Left to Right: Ted, John and Steven. Photo by Scott Beale of Laughing Squid.]

Our Founding Fathers

Ted Rheingold

Ted is currently VP of Social at Say Media, Dogster and Catster’s parent company. He founded Dogster, Inc. in 2004 and acted as the company’s CEO through 2011.

Prior to founding Dogster, Ted’s entrepreneurial and leadership skills were honed running the web services company One Match Fire, which he founded in 2002. Ted began building web applications in 1996, and held senior engineering and design positions at global companies such as Preview Travel (now Travelocity) and Voquette, Inc. (now Semagix). An authority in building profitable start-ups and community-backed media properties, Ted has spoken at numerous technology conferences and companies including Google, Future of Web Apps, Web2.0, SXSW, SmashSummit, Startonomics and CommunityNext. Previously, Ted was Administrative Director of the California Council For International Trade. He also spent a year in Bangladesh as a Fellow with the International Development Exchange supporting community and women’s initiatives.

John Vars

John currently operates as Director of Product Management at Say Media. He was Dogster’s Chief Product Officer through 2011.

As CPO, John was responsible for the vision, strategy, design and development of Dogster’s portfolio of premium pet properties. John has more than 15 years of product and technology experience. Previously, he served as Director of Software Development for the global travel company Preview Travel, which merged with Travelocity in 2000. In 2002, he combined his love of travel and coding by becoming the Sydney, Australia-based manager and lead software engineer for Travelocity’s international partnerships and joint ventures in the Asia-Pacific and Europe.

Steven Reading

Founder and former Chief Business Officer Steven Reading developed Dogster’s revenue and business strategies and has defined the company’s legal and accounting practices. He has successfully deployed strategic marketing solutions for a long list of advertisers including P&G, NBC, CBS, Fox, Pedigree, Purina, Del Monte, Target, Arm and Hammer, Clorox and Dyson. Born and raised in London he has made San Francisco his home since 1994. Steven holds a law degree from the University of London and a master’s degree in tax law from Golden Gate University in San Francisco. He has spent the last ten years in banking, finance, sales and business development. As a partner at Random Group in 1998 he helped design and implement the Adobe Atmosphere Developers’ Community, an early foray into online sociality.

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