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Darren Smith

Darren is the founder of Traipse LLC and is responsible for day-to-day operations and strategic planning. He holds an MA in Urban and Regional Planning from Virginia Tech. He has more than 15 years of experience in urban planning and economic development, including policy work, advocacy and technical assistance for a nonprofit, and grant-writing, making him familiar with the world of local economic development and tourism.


Darren has also designed individually or led design teams in developing interactive games and activities for training programs and public workshops, which provides expertise in how to shape the experience of Traipse app users and give them both educational and entertainment payoffs. Through past computer programming and application development endeavors in previous professional roles, he is familiar with relevant technologies and programs to guide the implementation of the Traipse vision.

Darren lives with his wife Caroline and 3-year-old son William in Washington, D.C. He enjoys playing board games and participating in group activities such as scavenger hunts. He also enjoys traveling and exploring new places with friends and family.

Founder, President and CEO

Dan Wright

Dan is a developer, sys-admin, and researcher. He has expertise in high-performance computing, database systems, app development in many languages, and scientific research. Dan holds a PhD in Library and Information science, focusing on data-mining and use of statistical techniques to find patterns in genomic data. He lives in Staunton, VA, and spends most of his time that's not in front of a computer riding or working on bikes.

Chief Technology Officer

Michael G. Jacobides

Michael holds the Sir Donald Gordon Chair of Entrepreneurship & Innovation at the London Business School, where he is Associate Professor of Strategy. He has held visiting appointments at Wharton, Harvard Business School, NYU- Stern, has visited Bocconi, U. of Paris and Singapore Management University, and teaches in Columbia for the LBS/Columbia EMBA-Global. He has served on the Global Agenda Council of the World Economic Forum on the Financial System and the Future of Investments, and is a Visiting Scholar with the New York Fed, focusing on changing business models in Financial Services. He studied in Athens, Cambridge, Stanford and Wharton, where he obtained his PhD. Michael’s focus is change, design and strategy: he studies industry evolution, value migration, new business models, and structural change in firms and sectors.

Vice President - Strategy

Austin Auclair

Austin Auclair has 17+ years of marketing and communications experience, recently coming from the nonprofit world where he served as marketing director for a major performing arts institution. Austin is also an avid consumer of geolocation games, interactive immersive experiences, puzzles, and overall has far too many hobbies.

Director of Creative Content

Allison Peronne

Allison is a storyteller at heart and loves figuring out different ways to capture the heart of a place through words and images. She has a BA in Media Arts & Design from James Madison University where she studied filmmaking and creative writing. She lives in Charlottesville, Virginia but lived in South Jersey most of her life and is always debating the merits of the beach versus the mountains. Outside of Traipse, Allison enjoys writing fiction and nonfiction stories, as well as producing ridiculous comedy podcasts with friends.

Creative Content and Marketing Associate

Zarana Shah

Zarana Shah has the energy of a happy bumble bee and a passion for organization. She is a business management enthusiast and her motto is: to push organization’s dream to reality. Zarana’s niche is assisting small businesses in the areas of strategic planning, process development, and management consulting. Bad planning drives her nuts and so does missed potential. During her time off from Traipse, she enjoys reading, traveling, and yoga.

Director of Strategic Marketing and Business Development

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