About

Our Vision

SelfOptima was founded by industry veterans in 2009 with a clear mission: to help people optimize and elevate their health and wellness.

SelfOptima is a virtual health coach platform to help people optimize and elevate their health and wellness. We look at a person as a whole and define health as freedom, across physical, mental, emotional and spiritual dimensions. Our platform provides personalized guidance, health advice and referrals, customized to the user’s needs based on credible, evidence based information and research on integrative and natural health.

Our Team

Nader Vasseghi – Founder and CEO
Nader has over 27 years of experience in Sr. Management and Executive leadership positions in public and private companies including Cisco, SGI, AMD. He is a seasoned entrepreneur with a successful track record in building companies from the ground up. He was also the CEO and co-founder of his last startup AuroraNetics, which was acquired by Cisco. Most importantly, Nader has a lifelong passion for integrative health and has been studying and practicing various modalities throughout his career.

Bill Gray, MD –Co-founder and Chief Medical Officer
Bill is a Stanford MD who decided to focus on natural health therapies early on in his career. He has been a Natural health practitioner for 37 years and is known as the father of homeopathy in the U.S. Bill is an international lecturer and has founded two homeopathic colleges. He is also the author of the book Homeopathy: Science or Myth. On a personal level, Bill has a variety of interests including aviation, flying gliders, enjoying dogs, running, and astronomy.

Dr. Kenneth R. Pelletier, PhD, MD -Board Member, Advisor
Ken is a Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Arizona and UCSF. He is the Director of Corporate Health Improvement Programs (CHIP), working with Fortune 500 companies to bring integrative health concepts into the workplace to reduce medical care costs and improve employee productivity. Ken has been chosen by the Obama administration as a member of their health reform team. He has authored 14 books on integrative health, several of which are international bestsellers.

Ted Butchart, ND – Health Expert
Ted is a Naturopathic physician who integrates multiple modalities in his practice, including herbal remedies, homeopathy, nutrition and psychology. He is the CEO and CMO of Virginia Natural Health Clinics. Ted taught Permaculture Design for the last 20 years. He is a board member at the Blue Ridge Permaculture Institute and the Director of the GreenFire Institute, offering education in the area of green construction. Outside of work, Ted enjoys hiking in the Appalachian Mountains and gardening.

Parham Akhavan – Director of Product Development and 100 other things…
Parham has 15 years of experience in product development and IT management. He was the founder & CEO of Booknolia, an online book recommendation site. Prior to that he was the director of IT at ONStor, and has worked for web companies such as MinuteFix, Evoca, KeyMedicus, and Schools Online. His professional passion is to build Internet products that are actually useful to people. Lately, he is training for San Diego’s 2010 Marathon with his Vibram Five Fingers (almost barefoot running) and has less injury than ever before!

Kathrin Nikolussi – Manager, Business Dev. & Marketing
Born and raised in Austria, Kathrin ventured to Silicon Valley and recently served a position as the Entrepreneur Director at Keiretsu Forum, the world’s largest private equity investment network. Prior to Keiretsu, she held a Business Development Manager position at PureDepth, Inc. an award winning developer of display technology. As a former Olympian, Kathrin shares a passion for holistic health and experimented with several practicalities during her time as a world class athlete. Outside of work she loves to explore the Bay Area’s stunning hiking trails with her dog, Coco.

Ken Hart – Developer
Ken studied Math, Finance, and Economics at James Madison University. After working at the Bank of America in Charlotte, NC he moved to Silicon Valley to launch his career as a programmer. Prior to joining SelfOptima, he spent some time consulting. Growing up in Pittsburgh, PA, Ken is a proud Steeler fan. Ken is extremely passionate about SelfOptima’s vision. When not programming until late at night he can be found bowling. He also loves to play hockey.

Jyotsna Saini – Quality Engineer
Born and raised in India, Jyotsna studied Computer Science at Punjab Engineering College (India). After spending a couple of years as a Software Engineer at Quintegra Solutions, she moved to Silicon valley where she has taken up a variety of assignments in SQA over the past years. Having been exposed to and experiencing first hand/at close range the effectiveness of the various alternate medicine systems practiced in her homeland, she developed a keen interest in these alternate regimes and is now a passionate proponent of the same. Beside work she loves to read fiction and her latest fav author is Indu Sundaresan.

Nitin Verma – Developer
Nitin was born and raised in India. In his quest to be a better ruby programmer, Nitin moved to Silicon Valley three years ago. Prior to this he studied Computer Science at Punjab Technical University (India) and worked with Persistent Systems (Pune, India) for three years. Like everyone at SelfOptima, Nitin is incredibly passionate about holistic health. In addition, he is a die-hard fan of cricket and never misses an ODI involving India.

Slobodan Manic – Developer
Born in Serbia, he started his career in interior design before going digital. Beginning his web career as a blogger, he kept his passion for the WordPress platform but also cares for clean code and usable pages that average user will not struggle with. Other than work, he is a huge basketball fan and former TV analyst and enjoys living an active life, working out and running on a regular basis.