MEET THE TEAM
The Southern California Group takes pride in professional excellence and works with alumni from these academically excellent universities:
Pennsylvania State University
California State University, Long Beach
Claremont McKenna College
Fresno State University
University of Arizona
University of California, Santa Barbara
Michigan State University
University of Southern California
Cal State University, Northridge
San Francisco State University
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
University of California, Irvine
University of Redlands
San Diego State University
California Baptist University
California State University, Fullerton
University of Oregon
Born and raised on Bainbridge Island, Wash., Tedford moved from the Northwest to Southern California to attend Claremont McKenna College, where he earned his B.A. in International Government and Business Management while playing football and lacrosse for the school.
After graduating, Tedford headed to Alaska to brave the seas as a commercial fisherman in search of adventure and gain. After many stories, and valuable lessons learned, he returned to Los Angeles to dive into the business world.
In Los Angeles, Tedford took an entry-level outside sales position at a nationally recognized firm to learn the industry of outsourced sales and marketing from the ground up. With initial aims to simply gain experience, Tedford found the fast-paced, social, competitive, performance based, and leadership oriented nature of the industry to be a good fit for his background and personality.
Tedford gained further experience while working with another start-up marketing firm before opening The So Cal Group in Corona, Calif. in September of 2008. Within its first year, the initial leadership team of eight expanded to 50 employees, and increased revenue by 400%. The company has opened new markets in Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Concord, Los Angeles, Burbank and again in Orange County, and has taken on new clients as well. The company has plans to expand into twelve markets by 2024.
Tedford's goals over the next two years are to establish The So Cal Group's presence in all major West Coast markets, before taking the company international into London, Spain, Paris and the rest of the Western European markets. His passion remains tied to social entrepreneurship, as he looks to build self-sustaining non-profit organizations in years to come.
A Southern California native, Braden spent his childhood and teen years living in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley. Throughout his life he was heavily involved in sports and enjoyed competing against his peers and older siblings. Although most of his younger years were spent on the baseball diamond, he became an active participant in other athletics including basketball, hockey, golf, water polo, cross country, and lacrosse where he developed a strong foundation for teamwork and leadership.
After high school, Braden attended college at San Francisco City College where he received an Associates Degree in Fire Science Technology, and San Francisco State University where he received a Bachelors Degree in Business Marketing. Following his graduation from SFSU in the Spring of 2012, Braden moved back to Southern California to get closer to his roots and pursue a career in business.
Shortly after, Braden interviewed with The So Cal Group where he enjoyed both the team oriented atmosphere, and being surrounded by other young, motivated entrepreneurs. The exponential growth opportunities have motivated him to become a student of business, developing both himself and those he has the privilege of working with.
Away from the office, Braden enjoys spending as much time as possible outdoors- pursuing his love for nature, from surfing to backpacking and pretty much everything between.
Zac Smith was born and raised in “the best city on the planet,” San Diego. He attended La Jolla High School where he played baseball throughout his schooling.
Afterward, Zac attended the University of Arizona. Originally he studied Civil Engineering and later he switched to Economics as he felt it gave him a better foundation for business.
After his graduation from college, Zac started with The So Cal Group to gain sales experience and build his professional resume. But he quickly fell in love with the fact that everybody in the company starts out at the same position and must earn their promotions through hard work and results, not favoritism or tenure. He is excited for the next steps in his career, taking on more of a leadership role and spearheading new market expansion.
Outside of work, Zac enjoys going to the beach as well as exploring the limitless things to do in Los Angeles. Growing up, he spent every summer in Cape Cod, Massachusetts at the campground his grandparents owned. They sold it in 2008, after being in the family for 81 years. Zac and his cousins have a long term goal to buy back the campground and bring it back to the family.
Justine Goldsmith was born and raised in a small town called Duarte, in Southern California, right in the heart of the San Gabriel Valley. In her youth, she served as the Vice President for the Associated Student Body, and was named Homecoming Queen, and also the All-League MVP in her Volleyball league.
After high school, she attended Cal State University, Long Beach, where she studied English, Journalism and Film Theory. She spent seven years in the restaurant industry, and after college graduation, Justine was looking for a fresh opportunity. She wanted to try something more professional where she could apply her social skills and continue to challenge herself. She found The So Cal Group and was excited because it was unlike anything she’d ever come across before.
As a Manager at The So Cal Group, she loves that individuals are rewarded for their performance. She values the strong personal and professional relationships she’s formed and she is excited to thrive in an environment where she can push herself to develop and grow into a professional, young entrepreneur.
Outside the office, Justine enjoys three things: creative writing, playing guitar and competitive volleyball.
David was born in the proud town of Kwangju in South Korea. At the age, of five his family immigrated to the United States in search of the American dream. David's parents always emphasized the importance of education first, and just like many Korean parents made him play the violin and study hard. However, David was always attracted to sports, people and experiencing life.
As a child, David moved a lot due to his father's schooling and career. He has lived in Michigan, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Washington and of course, California. Following his father's wishes, David attended his alma-matter, Andrews University, a small private Christian college. There, he studied religion, neuroscience, and pre-dental studies. Religion and the human mind intrigued him but looking into people's mouths did not. After graduation David decided to teach English to students in Korea. That experience inspired him to start a tutoring business of his own. He soon realized he would need a lot more business experience in order to run a successful company of his own.
Soon he was introduced to the sales and marketing field. He quickly learned to love the industry because of its people oriented nature, and the constant challenge to adapt to new environments and circumstances. Being engulfed in a fast-paced, competitive environment, David thrived. He learned the value of the hard earned dollar and how sales were involved in so many aspects of the business world. Over time he learned to manage people, his priorities and his time. Most importantly David learned to coach and develop others to achieve their highest potential. He is driven by the opportunity to coach others and is motivated seeing their development and success.
David's plans in the future include getting a foothold in West Coast markets, particularly the Northwest, where he enjoys the fresh air and greenery year round. In his free time, David's hobbies include basketball, snowboarding and dancing. Although this part may be hearsay, he has been known to break some ankles, shred through five feet of powder, and slay many on the dance floor.
Shannon McMahon grew up in the Newport Beach area of Orange County, California. Shannon's work experience began in the telecommunications and commercial printing/advertising industries. She developed skills in sales, human resources, customer relations, administration, and accounting.
Shannon gained a lot of valuable experience in her previous positions and wanted to transition that experience into a career wherein she could be challenged and could enjoy a positive work environment.
She found The So Cal Group and was excited about the company's Leadership Development Program and the opportunity for growth within the company. Through the Leadership Development Program, Shannon has expanded her goals and developed her skill sets even further. She loves the positive environment of The So Cal Group and the fact that she has such a supportive team. She was able to hit the ground running and moved into a leadership role within her first two months with the company.
Outside of work, Shannon enjoys spending time with family and close friends. She loves being outdoors and activities such as going to the beach, hiking, and cornhusker football.
Sasha Tyomkin was born and raised in West Hollywood, California. Although 10 years ago she moved to San Fernando Valley, she has never lived anywhere outside of Southern California and never plans to.
Sasha grew up figure skating since the age of 4 and continued to compete throughout high school. Although she no longer skates competitively, she still remains close to her coach and skates for fun with family.
After receiving her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Cal State University, Los Angeles, she began pharmacy school to pursue her Pharm. D. degree. Although she was fascinated by the core concepts throughout her studies, Sasha realized she wanted to connect with people on a different level and assist with the progression of personal and professional growth, starting with herself.
Helping people has always been a passion of hers, and so, she found The So Cal Group. She has since grown throughout the Leadership Development Program, and with extensive training, has developed invaluable skillsets for the future. The support system, culture, and overall environment at The So Cal Group have allowed her to grow quickly. She wants to continue helping others progress in the same way.
After receiving her Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Journalism, Sandy moved to Los Angeles to pursue new opportunities. She began working with a television production company, assisting with casting for a few reality television shows.
She began her career in the field of sales and marketing- working with several established marketing firms in Los Angeles. This time allowed her to learn the industry from the ground up and prepared her for more dynamic roles in human resources and administration.
She fueled her passion for helping leaders grow into their greatest potential by playing a major part in building and preparing teams for expansion into new markets. Today she is responsible for overseeing operations, staffing, and client relations for The So Cal Group. She is motivated by the prospects of personal and professional development, national and international expansion and the belief in helping others succeed in order to gain personal success.
Born and raised in Sao Paulo, Ilan moved from Brazil to California to attend the University of Redlands. He earned his B.A. in Business Administration, taking classes with an emphasis in management and finance. He also played water polo for the school and earned the scholar-athlete in his time there.
With a strong entrepreneurial mindset, Ilan was intrigued by The So Cal Group’s company structure and joined the team after his graduation. He is excited about working in a performance-based, sales-orientated role. He enjoys the education-based atmosphere and the firm’s focus on personal and professional development. Ilan is passionate about the personal development of himself and others and is well-aligned with The So Cal Group’s core values and the training opportunities with the Leadership Development Program.
Outside of work, Ilan enjoys going to the beach and spending time outdoors. Watching and playing sports is also one of his passions, he grew up playing sports and is always up for a game. His favorite hobby is traveling, he has been in more than 7 countries and plans on visiting many more in the next few years. He is always up for an adventure and a new challenge.