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Direct to Consumer Brand Discovery

  Stephan Aarstol Resume


4475 Mission Blvd., Suite 241 • San Diego, California 92109 • (858) 733-1055

Strategic Planning • Business Development • P&L Accountability

Highly accomplished, creative executive with extensive experience developing and driving initiatives to increase revenues, profits, and market share for start-up and high-growth organizations. Results-oriented, decisive leader, with proven success in establishing a lasting presence in new markets, identifying growth opportunities, and developing / launching new products. Thrive in dynamically changing environments requiring focused decision making.


  • SEO and Viral Marketing
  • Web Analytics
  • Operations Leadership
  • SEM and PPC Campaigns
  • Ecommerce Strategies
  • Email Marketing
  • Database & Web Design
  • Internet Filmmaking
  • New Product Launch
  • Contract Negotiations
  • Social Media
  • Affiliate Marketing


SIDEPOT GAMING COMPANY – San Diego, California 2003-Present

Designer and developer of premium quality products for home gaming industry.
CEO / Internet Marketing and Ecommerce Director
Hold full P&L responsibility for start-up business and manage all aspects of operations and business development. Optimally position products in highly competitive and saturated market through premium pricing and marketing strategies.

Key Achievements:

  • Turned $10K investment into $2.5M in revenues over 5 years, maintaining 40% gross margins and 26% profit margins from launch in 2003.
  • Generated more than 600 visitors daily with $0 advertising costs. Seized market share using low-cost SEO and viral marketing strategy.
  • Served more than 15,000 customers and established company as leading brand in industry.
  • Expanded into international markets. Sales from 30 countries make up 30% of total revenues.
  • Ensured business continuity by diversifying manufacturers.
  • Achieved 25% sales growth between 2007 and 2008 to reach $500K.
  • Reduced labor costs 40% with minimal impact on customer satisfaction by staggering shipping days.
  • Blocked competitive advances by using Web 2.0 tactics. Hosted online communities to hold design competitions, create community ownership in product, and generate pre-sales to fund roll-out of new product line.
SMARTBAR DRINK TOKENS – San Diego, California 2007-Present

Provider of B2B promotional products.
President / Internet Marketing and Ecommerce Director
Founded company to design and sell custom drink tokens through ecommerce portal. Leveraged traditional and emerging sales and marketing strategies to establish brand recognition and online presence. Researched and selected offshore designer and manufacturer.

Key Achievements:

  • Quickly dominated SEO arena for “drink tokens,” “bar tokens,” and “pub tokens” keywords.
  • Negotiated sales management deal to grow sales to $860K over 3 years.
AUNTMINNIE.COM, INC. – San Diego, California 1999-2004

Subsidiary of Eastman Kodak; comprehensive community internet site for radiologists and related professionals in medical imaging industry.
Director of Business Development
Led business development efforts for start-up site, from pre-launch stage to dominant industry position. Identified and pursued new business opportunities. Planned and implemented new revenue streams, led online marketing and audience recruitment functions, and directed all partner negotiations and joint venture development. Reported directly to CEO.

Key Achievements:

  • Reduced search engine marketing costs 95% while increasing results by modifying strategy to leverage newly emerging PPC model.
  • Overshadowed major competitors by acquiring broader audience with minimal costs. Conceived, planned, and executed internet marketing strategies.
  • Expanded advertising to target over 1,200 new customers by developing Buyer’s Guide.
  • Recommended strategies to maintain innovative edge, such as developing hardcopy resources and AuntMinnie Radio.
  • Refocused direct sales team toward large ticket sponsorship sales of $120K rather than $1K to $10K CPM deals by influencing strategic change in revenue model.
  • Increased audience by building partnerships for continuing medical education program, medical bookstores, medical supplies, and marketing research reports.

** *** **

Additional experience as Director of Business Development and eCommerce Manager with Discmo Kids Toys and Assistant to Business Development Manager with Space Electronics.


Master of Business Administration (MBA) • University of San Diego – San Diego, CA
Emphasis in New Venture Management

Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration • Western Washington University – Bellingham, WA
Emphasis in Finance, Marketing, and Decision Sciences




John Sadler
Principal Consultant
The Code Lab


“Stephan is creative, persistent, and energetic, and he really knows his web marketing from years of entrepreneurial experience. At Auntminnie we counted on Stephan both for creative approaches to developing our audience and strong deal closing skills. It would be a pleasure to work with him again.”


  Paul Davis
Director of Marketing

“Stephan brings a wealth of experience to the online realm. He is excellent at researching and evaluating opportunities and then creating ways to monetize them. He is professional, results driven and understands online marketing inside and out. I would highly recommend working with Stephan.”


  Jay Gibson
Marketing Project Manager

“Without a doubt, Stephan has the most entrepreneurial spirit of anyone I know. He is a can do, will do type of guy. His dedication to a given objective is unwavering. Stephan will get the job done, and have a great time doing it. He is an asset to any organization. Highly Recommended!”


  Kelly Andrews
Founding Partner
Fairhaven Health

“I had the good fortune of making Stephan's acquaintance when his company, Sidepot Gaming, was headquartered in Bellingham, WA. As both our companies are ecommerce-oriented, we had much in common and frequently met to discuss our respective operations. Stephan quickly became an invaluable resource for us, providing guidance on a wide range of issues. In particular, his expertise and creativity when it comes to online marketing has yielded us significant returns. Stephan tends to be the first person outside of my own company I consult when confronted with a challenge, and the first opinion I solicit when assessing an opportunity.”


  Serhat Pala
TestCountry (an Inc 500 company)

“Stephan found the concept, planned on it, acted and executed and followed to improve it. Sounds easy but in my work experience I have come to learn that, this is exemplary behavior. Stephan will be a great source for any size company that can benefit from a creative individual, with a winner drive and a focus for execution. Stephan is a good learner, good listener and a business savvy individual. He is a good entrepreneur and can also be an excellent intrapreneur for a company that values and looks for entrepreneurialism in their corporate culture”



Robert McArdle
Director of Online Marketing


“Stephan and I have worked together on projects over the last 10 years and his work is exceptional. He has an in-depth knowledge of all facets of online marketing and has an uncanny ability to bring profitable revenue streams to market in a timely manner. He has both the creativity and analytical mind for online marketing and understands how they relate to each other, a quality not found in many.”


  Joanne Gavalec Aarstol
Marketing Communications Consultant

“I have known Stephan since we both attended the MBA program at the University of San Diego in 1998, and I have collaborated on and closely followed most of his business pursuits (corporate, entrepreneurial and consultative) for the past decade. He has an outstanding ability to produce results and create value and growth, quickly and wisely. By relying on his innate business acumen and constant evolving understanding of cutting edge Internet marketing principles, I’ve literally seen him double a company’s Internet revenues in a matter of months. I’ve seen him take a company from unknown to industry leader in a remarkably short period of time. Additionally - but importantly - he has accomplished this every time with minimal, if any, investment required, with constrained resources and at a breakneck pace, against many obstacles. To a small company, what he brings to the table will likely quickly and perpetually change the dynamics of their competitive positioning within their industry, while having a significant financial impact. To a large company, his contributions will be measured financially in the millions.”


  Matt Madeoy
Sound Cleaning Resources

“I have had the pleasure of knowing Stephan both as a friend and classmate at Western Washington University and as an online marketing advisor. Stephan is a visionary entrepreneur with the creative and analytical abilities to produce great results. He is unsurpassed when it comes to maximizing results while minimizing expenses with regard to search engine optimization, web design and overall online marketing. He is able to do this with the overall intent being maximum profitability. I would highly recommend Stephan and his impact on companies large and small.”


  Travis Smith
Vice President of Sales
CampusDocs Inc.

“Whether it’s through hard work, creative thinking or both, Stephan will get the job done. He is a patient listener and outstanding team leader. He gets results. He has always been an honest, knowledgeable and an upfront person to do business with. You always know where you stand with Stephan and being in business I appreciate that. I will make it a point to continue my relationship with Stephan and would highly recommend him to any organization.”