“So, who are you—and what even is this place?”
Basically, we're a small team of real estate investing weirdos. 😉
You should def check out our Awesome core values & mission below, but in a tiny nutshell…
- We're real humans who enjoy investing and making great money in real estate in a variety of ways and in various U.S. markets.
- We also enjoy helping other real humans (like you) level-up your REI game in some way.
- We do this with straight-talk and sharing candidly—not just from tour wins (which are nice, right?) but also from the losses too (which kinda suck, but are important to learn from too).
- The cherry on top of the lessons we learn (and share) from our own real estate adventures, is getting to explore, extract & share from the REI adventures of our trusty friends, colleagues and mentors too.
Real People Helped So Far ッ
Our Mission is to Inspire, Empower & Equip people to LIVE AWESOMELY.
To always be leveling-up with specialized knowledge, world-class training and rare insights that ➊ accelerate profits, ➋ amplify your results, and ➌ ultimately make your life easier, awesomer, and more rewarding in meaningful ways.
- Always care.
- Always have fun.
- Always keep it real.
- Always have an abundance mindset.
- Always be students, not just teachers.
- Always keep improving, learning and growing.
- Always be grateful. (not just for the good stuff)
- Always have a positive impact and build people up.
- Always respect people enough to just be honest.
- Always learn from your mistakes.
- Always give first.
- Always be awesome.
- Don’t make it too weird. (a little is ok)
- Don’t take yourself too seriously.
- Don’t sweat the
- Don’t NOT learn from mistakes.
- Don’t stop believing. (hold on to the feeling)
- Don’t do things half-heartedly.
- Don’t be that guy. (you know the one)
- Don’t put Baby in the corner. (nobody does that)
- Don’t lie even once. (or all your truths are iffy at best)
- Don’t be a hater, a jerk face, a troll, a telephone-tough guy or a grammar nazi.
- Don’t forget to be awesome.
- Real estate investing! (as a means, not an end to itself)
- Making mad money! (but also, people over profits)
- Freedom baby! (to write your story, steer your ship and rock those socks & sandals!)
- Integrity! (honest hearts produce honest actions)
- Winning! (success is fun and fuel for greater impact)
- Failing! (when you extract the lessons and fail forward)
- Growing! (constant and never-ending improvement)
- Kindness! (even when mean people suck, do unto others…)
- Over delivering! (as in, going the extra mile whenever possible)
- YOU! (you beautiful hunk of human, you)
Patrick Riddle–Founder, Beach Bum, Cold Brew & IPA Enthusiast
Patrick's entrepreneurial journey began while at Clemson University when he purchased his first investment property. Shortly thereafter, going to school no longer made sense... so he promptly quit, dove into the world of real estate investing, and never looked back.
Since 2003, Patrick has been self employed... and today, spends most of his "working" hours (if you can call 'em that) at Awesome REI.
A few of Patrick's favorite things:
-- His "Boosted" electric skateboard (which he says was the best purchase he's ever made)
-- TACOS: Beef tacos, chicken tacos, fish tacos, really any kinda Mexican cuisine
-- Coffee: Hot in the morning, cold brew in the afternoon
-- Playing beach volleyball at the Windjammer on Isle of Palms
-- His incredibly awesome wife & daughter
Patrick & his family currently reside in paradise (aka Charleston, SC).
JP Moses–Director of Awesome, Questionable Jokes Teller
Today JP runs a thriving wholesale operation in Memphis, TN that actively turns around 3 to 7 houses a month. And like Patrick, he's also passionate about helping others along their journey, and pours a ton of his heart and soul into helping his fellow real estate investors with tips, tactics and lessons learned from his own real estate and business-building experiences.
He's also a guy of deep faith, and a die-hard family man (have you seen how cute his kids are?!) Among his core values are authenticity, creativity, value-giving, general fun-ness and being unshaven.
He’s super proud to be in charge of bringing an extra dose of awesomeness to everything we do here.
Charity Akers–Chief Membership Experience Gal, Sand Person
Charity is the gal at AwesomeREI who holds everything together for us. From being in charge of Customer/Member Experience to helping with all the worky admin things behind the scenes that everyone else seems to take for granted because she does them so darn well.
Truth be told, Charity's not only the lubrication that keeps our gears rolling internally, but she's also kind of the awesome mom of us. Not that she's old enough to be... cause she's not. But she's just that way. And we love it. And we love her.
Also, her Snapple Fun Fact is that she's one of the Sand People. Meaning, she enjoys collecting sand at each beach she visits, and labels and proudly displays it in her home. True story.
Seriously. She's amazing. She's likely the one you'll be talking with most of the time when you contact us, so say hi to her next time you chat w/ her.
Tim Krulia–Numbers Cruncher, Steelers Uberfan, Tater Tots Lover
As our CFO and resident MBA, Tim is certainly the smartest sounding of all of us. Tim used to work for Patrick's real estate company and managed over 50 property renovations. Things evolved (as they do) and Tim's now our numbers guy and makes sure we're on the straight and narrow. He keeps all our money someplace safe like under his mattress or something. He also tries so hard to make Patrick remember to keep his receipts, but old habits die hard, so it seems to be a losing battle for sure. Still, Tim presses on.
He's also a huge Steelers fan, but don't hold that against him.
David Eldred–Systems & Tech Engineer, Digger of Bottles, Buen Chico
David Eldred's Jam is making systems, people and processes sing. He's our how-can-we-make-it-work-better-faster-easier guy here at Awesome REI. He's also the one most likely to wag his finger at JP for his sometimes questionable jokes.
He has a passion for continuous improvement and lean/agile methodologies. Formally trained in the dark magic of business administration and – OH yeah – he speaks Spanish. Like, for real speaks Spanish. He once disassembled his first car just to see how it worked. He's kinda like Sylar from Heroes but without most of the mess & psycho aspects. But this guy just loooooves to know how and why things work, and doesn't really understand what "good enough" means. He signs his emails with Semper Anticus which means "always moving forward", if that tells you anything.
So when David's not actively tuning the very welled-oiled machine that is Awesome REI, he is spending time with his lovely wife and three strapping boys. He loves the outdoors, carpentry, and most things history related.
A few more Snapple Fun Facts: He's been known to dig really deep holes in the ground searching for antique bottles, and never turns down an offer to go fishing (wifey approved of course). He's also almost never home on Sunday mornings, because that's precisely when you'll find him serving somehow in his local Church community, which he truly loves to do.
Shoshana Cenker–Crafty Content Crafter, Disney Zealot
Shoshana is our resident word nerd extraordinaire. She's been a professional writer, editor, proofreader, marketing consultant and all-around wordsmither since 2002. A graduate of Indiana University in Bloomington (Go Hoosiers!), she kicked off her career as a TV news writer and producer in Washington, DC and later in Atlanta, GA, before segueing into print and digital arenas. (That's segueing not Segwaying.)
She met up with the one and only JP Moses, whom she considers a mentor, back in 2013 and began collaborating with him on various real estate investing content endeavors. This lady knows her REI.
A diehard Disney fan/expert, Shoshana and her three young kiddos—twin boys Aiden and Akiva, and daughter Lyla—live happily in her hometown of Memphis, TN. She enjoys traveling, cooking, karaoke, working out, participating in her synagogue and spending time being active with her kids at parks, on hikes, biking around their neighborhood and walking their pups Dreidel and Memphis.
Jeracelle Joson–Support Hero, Potterhead, Not a Battery
Jeracelle joins the Awesome REI team from across the ocean in Manila, Philippines. As our Support Hero, she uses her degree from the University of the Philippines Manila and 10+ years of experience in the customer support industry to provide—yep, you guessed it—support and assistance to our Awesome REI customers. This Potterhead (aka Harry Potter fan) loves that she gets to connect with so many different people and help solve problems and make their life Awesomer. Yasss to that!
When she's not re-reading The Chamber of Secrets for the 27th time, she's with her family—a hubby and two little kids. She's fun and environmentally friendly, and her friends know they can come to her when they need a good giggle or outright belly laugh.
A favorite quote that guides her is, "What comes easy won't last long and what lasts long won't come easy."
Also her fun name kinda reminds us of this, but I digress...
Matt Proper–CMO, Wearer of Many Hats, Jolly White Giant
Matt's a dude you can't miss. I mean that quite literally—this Penn State grad is a towering 6'7". For real.
As our Awesome CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) this former pro volleyball player has spent years marketing professionally before landing with Team Awesome. He also has a super nerdy tech background in coding, but whatever.
So, from writing copy to creating new ads or other promotions for our Awesome programs and services, Matt's well-versed in the whole marketing 'verse. And—we shucks—he says that he especially enjoys our friendly, teamwork-driven Team Awesome atmosphere, 'cause he sees that we really, truly care about our customers and their success. Matt is a totally task-oriented, high-achiever kind of dude. Basically, he gets stuff done. (Btw, "totally task-oriented" is kinda fun to say out loud.)
Living with his wife and two young boys in Southern California, he enjoys surfing and spends most of his fun time hanging out with his family at parks and beaches. Suffice it to say, playtime is bigtime in the Proper place. (that's also fun to say out loud!)
Edy Dava—Factotum, Polymath, Swiss Army Knife
All the way in Laguna, Philippines, Edy Dava lends Awesome REI a huge helping hand—well, two of them actually. And we sure need ‘em both cause they can do so much!
On many days (OK, every day) she wears more hats than you probably have in your closet right now. Her official may be “Administrative Assistant”, but she’s actually more like the high-end motor oil any great engine needs—not easily noticed, but absolutely essential to keep things running Awesomely.
For serious. With a degree from Mapua University, her professional experience in market research, real estate, logistics, training, podcasting and social media management is a perfect match for us. She enjoys that her role calls for a variety of different skills, and especially loves being part of a work culture that’s so fun, friendly and super positive. ッ
Snapple Fun Fact: She wears makeup on workdays, even though she works remotely from home. Dedication!
And with wisdom beyond her years, she says ⤏ “What fuels me is to think that everything is temporary—that there is a deeper meaning to what life is, that we do not strive to gain everything for our own happiness, but for the happiness of others because in a life that's temporary the latter is more rewarding.”
When not working Awesomely, this spirited, spontaneous & sunny single mom of 2 delightful kiddos loves to chill & hang out with friends, check out vlogs and edit photos & videos. Her ambitious efforts to keep learning & growing (which she does well) are beaconed by her favorite quote: “We are not meant to stay the same. Change is good. Continue to evolve to a better you.” High five, Edy! ッ
Eman Cruz—Creative Technician, LEGO Enthusiast, The Man in Black
If you were to bump into Eman, our Creative Technician, odds are he’d be wearing a black shirt. How do we know? “I have 14 plain black shirts,” he says proudly. “Reason: Every time I go out, I don't have to think about what to wear! Operation: Brain Cell Preservation.” Pretty clever.
Eman does a bunch of cool stuff for Awesome REI, working with several of our programs and focusing on blog, website and email design and publication. We’re pretty sure there are a few solid reasons why Eman is so amazing at his job. #1. He lives by this saying: "Do something hard today." Eman says that quote forces him to keep getting better, no matter how little progress it may be. #2. He’s got severe OCD; bent French fries give him headaches. #3. His passion is exactly what he does for Awesome REI. “I love what I'm doing, and I love that I learn from JP, Patrick, and the rest of the team every single day.” (Aw shucks!)
Over in Bulacan, Philippines, Eman, who’s an avid reader, puzzle solver and LEGO builder, says he “feels so blessed to be working on what I love to do, in an environment that encourages growth, and knowing that my passion changes people's lives. Couldn't ask for more than that.” We feel the same, Eman, love fest!
Vince Zoleta—Support Mentalist, Doting Daddy, Funko Fan
Here at Awesome REI, we think that several years of successful professional experience in customer support qualifies a person for a gig as one of our superb Support Heroes. And Vince sure didn’t prove us wrong!
Living in Parañaque City with another home in Makati City, Philippines, Vince believes that “a person who feels appreciated will always do more than what is expected.” Well, Vince must feel appreciated ‘round these parts because he always exceeds our expectations.
His favorite way to spend time is with his sweet young daughter, and he also likes to game online and play guitar. Vince, a grown adult, is into Funko pop toys — to look at, not play with. (So he says.) And get this — he doesn’t eat the usual favorites like sweets and cakes and no fruit unless it’s in a drinkable version like a juice or smoothie. (Hey, no food shaming here, to each their own. Besides, that means more sugary treats for the rest of us!)
As if all of that wasn’t awesome enough, friends say his superpower is being able to persuade them to do something that they don't want to do. Ok, Vince, we’re on alert!
Shey Jusi—Multi-Trick Pony, Awesomely Optimistic, Beach Buff
Our resident Family Bank Funding program specialist, Shey, hails from Kawit Cavite in the Philippines. Lucky for us, she’s certainly not a one-trick pony — with a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing, Shey also provides loads of helpful support for our Facebook messages, phone calls and emails.
Others describe her as an independent woman who’s an open book, good at multitasking, and can easily adapt to anything. And we are definitely seeing all of that in her work efforts!
Shey’s passion is going to the beach because it’s so calming, and she loves swimming, singing, and baking. She knows that every day is a special gift and frequently references her favorite quotes to guide her: “You only live once so live your life to the fullest,” & “When you get what you want, that's God's direction, when you don't get what you want that is God's protection.” Carry on, Shey, with that positivity, you can’t go wrong!
Adrian Lyew—Ops Director, Scuba Diver, Meditating Jamaican
Hailing from the beautiful island of Jamaica, our incredible Director of Operations Adrian Lyew, now happily calls Miami home. Trading in stunning beaches for other amazing beaches is quite fitting for this aquatics lover who used to work in marine biology. (Cool, right?!)
Lucky for us, his educational and professional journey led him right to Awesome REI. With a bachelor’s from the University of the West Indies — Jamaica and master’s from the University of Miami, Adrian has 10+ years of experience as a real estate investor, doing deals in Florida and the southeast U.S. Plus, he’s a speaker/coach/trainer for real estate investment education companies.
“I keep the internal operations of Awesome REI running smoothly,” explains Adrian, who also has Singaporean heritage. “And, I oversee recruitment and hiring, implement and enforce company culture, and streamline operations so the owners stay in their respective genius-zones.” With that impressive skill set and confidence, clearly, our partnership was meant to be!
In plain English, Adrian is the person we go to for organizing our scattered thoughts, ideas and processes into cogent systems and usable workflows. He’s a bringer of sanity and efficiency. It’s no surprise that one of his personal guideposts is Thomas Huxley’s quote: “The rung of a ladder was never meant to rest upon, but only to hold a man's foot long enough to enable him to put the other somewhat higher.”
When he’s taking a break from “architecting" systems and processes, helping people think things through, and crafting awesome plans, Adrian loves all things beach — scuba diving and paddle boarding specifically — and he enjoys traveling the world, playing golf and basketball, weight training, and getting his relaxation on with yoga and meditation. No wonder he’s such a happy and chill dude!
Adrian’s quirkiest fun fact? He’s ridiculously good at trivia! Most heartwarming fun fact? His parents, grandmother and older brother still live in Jamaica, and he’s super close with them! (Swoon!) Awesome REI fun fact: SUPER happy to have Adrian on our team!
Eric Medemar—Electric Shredder, JV Magnet, Jack of all REIs
With an extensive background in several areas of real estate, Awesome REI was thrilled to bring Eric Medemar on board. This guy’s done it all — Realtoring, flipping, wholesaling, landlording, and even creating an REI educational course. So the Michigan native, who attended Western Michigan University, is a perfect fit as our Affiliate Ace Manager and Copywriter!
When he is not using his skills to attract affiliates to our amazing offers and write stellar copy, Eric makes sure to always spend time with his family: his lovely wife Beth and their 2 kiddos Brooke and Tanner. “My goal has never been wealth,” he says, “my goal has always been to make enough to support my family, while spending as much time with them as possible.” Yasss to that, Eric!
Two of his favorite things to do with his family are boating and electric skateboarding with his son (we sure hope there are photos of both!). This “Family Dude” also loves going to the movies, at least twice a week for sure. And, Eric is the person friends and colleagues go to for advice about dealing with difficult people and for persuasion tricks. That makes sense considering he’s awesome at “reading people.”
Fueling the movie buff in all his endeavors is this quote: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.”
We sure do see your light, Eric, and we like it!
Patricia Salazar—Support Hero, Outdoor Adventurer, Happy Healer
From beautiful Binangonan, Rizal in the Philippines, you’ll spot Patricia Salazar cycling, hiking, surfing, and playing tennis. “I can stay under the sun for an extended period of time.” Awesome REI’s Program Specialist and Support Hero is, naturally, the person people go to for travel, outdoor gear recommendations, and house extension tips.
With a cool professional background in publishing, Patricia is also studying for her BS in psychology. She somehow still finds time for other fun, like “watching post-tennis matches, ‘Big Bang Theory,’ or “Criminal Minds” over and over.”
Patricia has a twin brother and “the best-extended family one could ever ask for.” Which is perfect because she's fueled by her family and aspiration for a better future. This spontaneous, sporty, travel enthusiast is also ready for “more love, adventure, success, and happiness.”
Perhaps we should all follow her lead, based on her fave quote from Paulo Coelho: “When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”
And we’re definitely loving her superpower: “I like to be a healer. I want to help end too much suffering.” We want that too, Patricia, atta girl!
Jeremy Handeland—Superb Social Video-er, Horse Lover(?)
Jeremy Handeland is Awesome REI's resident social video specialist. Our Temecula, California-based Paid Social Video Editor creates videos for Facebook, Instagram and YouTube ads. With over 14 years of experience on creative or marketing teams, we’re in good hands — see, Jeremy is the person people go to for creating killer Facebook ads. Totes! His BA from the University of Phoenix and MA from Full Sail University are certainly serving him — and Awesome REI(!) — well.
Jeremy’s superpower is “golden brain,” (if you don’t know what that is, def look it up, it’s awesome!), and he says he’s fueled by winning — all of which makes sense considering he describes himself as “creative, analytical, and driven.” He continually produces high-quality work, propelled by his favorite quote from Bill Walsh: “The score takes care of itself.”
Happily married with four kiddos, Jeremy likes hiking, running, swimming, painting and laying on the beach listening to music. Not sure we want deets about this, but the quirkiest thing about him is that he “open-mouth kissed a horse.” Uh, hey Mr. Ed? We’re def up for horsin’ around here at Awesome REI, so we enthusiastically welcomed Jeremy to the team. Giddy up!
Yury Vilk—Digital Rainmaker, Mushroom & Cheese Aficionado
Yury Vilk is a pretty social kinda guy. Ok ok, what we really mean is that in his role as our Media Buyer, he tests, manages, and scales Facebook/Meta direct response ads. See, social; just a different kind. 😉 Aiding him in his abilities to crush it is his superpower of persistence and his B.A in psychology and B.S. in biology from Loyola University Chicago. Oh, and the way he describes himself plays into that too: He never stops learning. In fact, when asked what his favorite time waster is, Yury says “nothing is a waste of time if you’re learning.” Preach!
He also takes his cue from the one and only Bruce Lee: “If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.”
With his doggo and wife happily settled in Colorado, Yury enjoys hiking, foraging — especially hunting for mushrooms, which is his quirkiest trait — mountaineering, gardening, and kung fu. And he’s fueled by gratitude. (And we’re grateful for him!)
Finally, we asked Yury to complete this sentence… and we’re just gonna leave it at that: I am the person people go to for: cheese.
Olga Garcia—Support Hero, Mother Hen of 4, Photography Lover
As a Support Hero, Olga Garcia has to excel at communications — good thing her BA in mass communication at St. Scholastica's College Manila is paying off! Based in Las Piñas City, Philippines, she’s also a program specialist.
This “Mother Hen” is fueled by her 4 kiddos. Workaholic Olga doesn’t love change but is all about books and photography. Her superpower is multitasking, and she’s the person everyone goes to for advice — which is fitting considering she has a very big heart.
Olga is guided by her favorite quote: “She believed she could, so she did.” Whelp, Olga, we believe you can, and you are!
David Hodges–YouTube Media Buyer, Loves Golf but Loves Taylor Swift More!
David Hodges is the person people go to for “YouTube ads and the occasional decently funny joke.” And that works out great for us here at Awesome REI! See, the “awesome, incredible, humble” jokester is our phenomenal YouTube Media Buyer, and we LOVE to laugh. Win/win.
The golf-loving University of North Carolina Tar Heel’s quirkiest thing is his Taylor Swift fandom. (Yeah, we see you, Swiftie.) From his home in Charlotte, David loves playing video games and is fueled by “pub subs or the overwhelming desire to provide a good life for my family and myself.” (We say both!) His lovely fam includes wife Hailey, daughter Millicent, son Elliot, and doggo Saul.
His fave quote: “If your map is torn, navigate.” And we’re glad he navigated over to us here at Awesome REI!
Finally, for his superpower, “I’ve been told that I can argue about ANYTHING, but I don't think that's correct.” OK, David, drop the mic on those dad jokes.
Angela Aranda-DeVera–Support Hero, 'Professional Adult,' Pragmatic Ambivert
Support Hero and Product Specialist Angela Aranda-DeVera is driven by “adulting, mostly — being 100% self-sufficient, building our family, and winning at life.” And she sure is winning with us at Awesome REI, with her customer service background and education from José Rizal University, Pacasum College & AMA Online Education.
She’s the person people go to for a good talk or just to hang out. “I'm typically chill and enjoy sharing insights.” Speaking of chill, her fave timewasters are Netflix and YouTube. Though, she also loves crafty things (not the villany kind, the arts kind): crocheting and knitting, plus home improvements.
Living in Manila, Philippines with her adorable pup and husband (who’s also adorable, of course) — the two were married at a Jollibee! And she follows the wise words of the tiny green genius Yoda: “No, Try Not. Do or Do Not, There Is No Try.”
Shhhhh, this exploring ambivert and pragmatic’s superpower is: “Tell me your deepest, darkest secrets if you feel the need to spill them out and they'll be kept safe and hidden in the abyss. I'll totally forget you ever told me anything.” Angela, we’ve got things we need to say — let’s connect, please!
Chloe Zak–Video Editor, Creative Content Creator, Paddleboarding Brit
Chloe Zak is using her film studies schooling from the University of East Anglia (UEA) in the UK to excel as Awesome REI’s Video Ad Creator, making awesome Facebook, Instagram, and Google ads, from the comfort of her home in Austin, TX. She also racked up some real-world experience when she was a video producer for a big media company for several years and made ads and social media content over the years for several brands.
If you’re like us, you might ask Chloe to mind the gap — see, turns out many Americans think her British accent is quirky. (We LOVE it!) This creative, funny and kind lady’s superpower is “being able to get along with most kinds of people,” which we can certainly attest to here at Awesome REI.
Chloe, who loves her family dearly, enjoys paddleboarding, kayaking, biking and re-watching her favorite British comedy. Speaking of, her fave quote comes from the very funny and very British John Cleese: “Nothing will stop you from being creative more effectively as the fear of making a mistake.”
So, Chloe, let the creativity flow!
Maia Marzan–Support Hero, Volunteering Empath, People-Watching-Coffee-Lover
Maia Marzan’s favorite quote by Charles Dickens is quite fitting to her role as a Support Hero: “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” Which is exactly what she does helping members — and her Awesome REI colleagues — from the summer capital of the Philippines: Baguio City.
This curious, flexible, and on-time lady is the mom to two “wonderful kids who love music.” With empathy as her superpower, she’s powered by ambition and love for family. Maia is the person to go to if you need a referral, just don’t thank her by giving her a seafood dinner — she’s allergic!
Maia’s got 10+ years of BPO work experience and attended STI College. But when she’s not working, she enjoys listening to podcasts, people-watching while drinking coffee, trekking and volunteering/outreach. And Maia, we’re glad you reached out to us at Awesome REI!
Madz Bernardo–Singing Support Hero, Lovable Eavesdropper, Family Gal
Do you hear that tune? That’s just our Support Hero Madz Bernardo singing her heart out when she’s driving... or in the shower! She also loves baking and binge-watching Netflix and Disney+. This rationale, fun, and overthinking gal lives in Calamba, Laguna, Philippines, and went to St. Scholastica's College where she graduated with a mass communications major in journalism and then began a master's degree in creative writing at De La Salle University.
The oldest of three sisters, people go to Madz for advice on life and what/how to say the right things in certain situations — which is ideal for her role at Awesome REI. Watch out, though, according to her partner, the quirkiest thing about Madz is that she “eavesdrops unknowingly and unintentionally!”
Energizing her is her family and progress. “I really feel motivated when I know my family is safe and healthy... and when I am able to accomplish my goal or tick off a bucket list item.”
We certainly appreciate her fave quote: “What goes around, comes around.” And, we wish we all had her superpower: “My gut feeling on most situations is mostly right.” Well, Madz, we’re glad your gut told you to join us here at Awesome REI!
Melowin Camarao–Support Hero, Mountaineer, Cat Lover & Anime Aficionado
From the beautiful Taguig City, Philippines, Melowin Camarao helps our members with customer service as an Awesome REI Support Hero. Before joining us (and we’re so glad she did!), Melowin worked for some remarkable destinations, including Atlantis The Palm Dubai and Intercontinental Hotels Group’s Manila Corporate Office.
Melowin has a couple of meow-velous cats, which she considers family, along with her partner, of course. She enjoys candle-making, traveling and shopping for bags. Her fave timewasters are anime and K-Drama on Netflix.
Fun fact: “I was a mountaineer during my teens to mid-20s, until COVID and adult life hit,” said the happy, motivated and honest Melowin. With her awesome people skills at work and creativity in her personal life as a twofer of superpowers, she’s also the person people go to for friendly chats over coffee or tea.
Since college at Mapua Institute of Technology & Mapua University, her fave quote has been: “Fall down seven times, get up eight.” Whelp, from what we’ve seen here at Awesome REI, Melowin hasn’t fallen down yet — but if she does, we’ll be there to help pick her back up. We’re not kitten around, Melowin!
Jose Mallari–Support Hero, Biker/Outlaw, Fast & Furious Family Man
Jose Mallari provides awesome support as one of our, yep, awesome Support Heroes. He learned all the things at Philippine Normal University.
This self-described outlaw’s hobbies include bikes, cars, and motorcycles — which all plays right into the fact that people go to Jose for “extreme spontaneous stuff.” Uh, we’re sensing a theme here. 😉
Fueled by family, his fave quote is rather fitting, “I don't have friends, I got family,” by Dom Toretto from “Fast and Furious.”
And we def appreciate two words he uses to describe himself: tradition and respect. Yes, Jose, we feel you, brother.
Brian Gonzalvo–Awesome Admin Ace, Invincible Invisibility, Quiet Genius
Brian Gonzalvo, who’s lived in Santa Ana, Manila, Philippines since birth, is one of our awesome Support Heroes, providing admin support like processing orders, refunds, voids, rebates and a few other helpful tasks. He kicks butt in this role because he’s got a degree in business administration from Emilio Aguinaldo College, plus he worked as an admin and accounting assistant for 15 years.
Some might say Brian has a dual personality. “I'm a different person when I'm with my son. You would see me as an introvert, but my son would tell you otherwise.” And it’s his family and God that fuel him. “They are the reason why I always strive to be a better person every day of my life. Family is my everything. I can do everything for them, even the most impossible yet possible things.”
Brian has a range of interesting hobbies from travelling and fixing minor car problems to watching movies, documentaries and playing video games. Many of those make perfect sense for the self-described “simple, quiet, and mysterious” Brian. After all, he’s the person people go to “if they want to be heard. I'm not much of a talker, but more of a listener during conversations.” Along those same lines, Brian’s superpower is “invisibility — you may not always see or hear me, but you will feel my presence.”
And, we’ll take Brian’s advice from his favorite quote: “Don't watch the clock; do what it does. Keep going.” We will, Brian!
Jessica Blodgett–Marketing Coordinator, Ms. 'Keepin-it-Real', French Bulldog Mama
You’d think that someone with her own social media marketing business is a marketing pro, right? Well, that’s exactly the case with Awesome REI’s Marketing Coordinator, Jessica Blodgett! No doubt her bachelor’s from Northern Illinois University and master’s from Missouri State University helped get her here.
Living in Springfield, Missouri and married to her best friend, Jonathan, the happy couple has two adorable daughters, Olivia and Aubrey.
Jessica, who prides herself on being efficient, loves interior design, her two French bull dogs, and great skincare. She’s also known for being a leader and a servant… and for dishing out “real, non-sugarcoated advice.” While TikTok keeps her sane, she’s fueled by traveling, which “fills my cup — I love adventure and exploration.”
We are diggin’ her favorite quote, it’s quite powerful: “The version of you that will handle that tough thing — if or when that happens — will be born into existence in that moment… trust your future self to handle future problems.” And Jessica, we sure do trust you to handle Awesome REI’s marketing problems, should we encounter any!