Meet the Team

Meet the RTV, Inc Virtual Tour Team Members

Jason LaVanture

Vice President / Founder

jasonbw-avatarMeet Jason LaVanture! Jason finished school in 1999 with a business degree, a private pilot’s license, and a burning desire to make a difference in the world. He saw the need for a greener home shopping experience, as well as digital marketing partners for real estate agents, so Jason began developing the RTV virtual tour software system. Several months into his endeavor he met Doug Knorr, owner of Knorr Marketing, a Traverse City ad agency and web development company.

Present day, Jason is the Vice President of RTV, Inc which maintains the largest network of independent virtual reality photographers in the world. RTV has sold several thousand of their virtual tour software kits, has created over two thousand jobs in the USA, and RTV’s virtual tour photographers service over sixty thousand real estate agents worldwide.

In late 2008 Jason was challenged to “walk the talk” and start up an RTV providership of his own in the small town of Traverse City. He accepted the challenge and BlueLaVaMedia came to fruition. Employer of three, BlueLaVaMedia is amongst the top fifty RTV providerships in the world and in a three year span has already published over 700 virtual tours. Jason takes the vast information that he learns from running his own successful RTV providership and hosts a talk show for his virtual tour photographers twice a month called The FORMULA so he can share the secrets of success with the network of providers.

Jason brings over twelve years of internet savvy and expertise to the table and wears many hats at RTV including sales, marketing, product development, and head money spender.  Jason loves assisting his virtual tour photographers and making the RTV network the strongest network of independent photographers in the world.

Jason is happily married to his lovely wife Heather. They have a beautiful son named Emerson who has become the center of their life.

Direct: 231-932-1586


Douglas Knorr

Chairman / CEO

Doug-Knorr-avatarDoug’s enthusiasm and zest for life has guided his professional career in medical technology, broadcast advertising, real estate development, and as founder of Knorr Marketing in 1986.

Doug’s synergistic approach in a marketing-partnership philosophy bodes well with the clients that list Knorr Marketing as their agency of record.

Considered a “Retail Marketing Activist”, Doug is nationally known for his expertise in branding and the retail furniture industry, with clients throughout the United States.

Beginning in 2004, he began writing articles for the NHFA’s Home Furnishings Retailer magazine. He now writes a monthly column for them called, “Turn it Around!”. In his column, he has addressed everything from branding to traditional advertising and the Internet to operational accountability.

Mr. Knorr is also Chairman of the Board of RTV, Inc. – a world leader in virtual tour software, panoramic virtual tours with providers throughout the U.S. and in 20 foreign countries.

Virtual tours are a powerful sales tool used by the Real Estate industry, travel/lodging industry, colleges & universities, health care institutions, recreation facilities such as golf courses. A variety of corporate businesses also use this tool to enhance sales, training, human resource communications, investor relations, safety programs and security

Tom & Tim Barrons

RTV Technology Director

Virtual Tour Technnology DirectorTom and Tim Barrons are owners of Byte Productions, a Northern Michigan based, family owned web design company and also technology partners for RTV. Byte Productions was founded in 1991 and is operated by brothers Tom and Tim Barrons. Byte began working for RTV in 2005 and each member of Byte’s team brings unique talents and specialties to RTV.

From graphic designers, musicians and writers, to programmers and hard-core techies, the Byte team has been carefully chosen as a technology partner by RTV because of their ability to cover the broadest possible spectrum of creative and technical areas.

Direct: 231-947-9687


Kirk Wagonlander

National Sales Manager

kirkbw-avatarKirk grew up in Metropolitan Detroit. A high-school and college wrestler, he loved competing in sports and spending time with his friends and family. Graduating with a business degree from Eastern Michigan University in 1992, he began selling cable television advertising for Time Warner Cable in the Detroit area. He received a promotion to Advertising Sales Manager a couple of years later and was relocated to Time Warner’s Cincinnati Division where he spent five-years in that capacity.

When AOL merged with Time Warner in 2000, his position in Cincinnati Ohio was eliminated and he made a life changing decision to leave the city life and moved to beautiful Traverse City Michigan were he had vacationed for years. Once in Traverse City, Kirk sold cinema advertising for a couple of years and then formed his own internet sports memorabilia company, Wagonlander Vintage Collectibles, Inc. specializing in vintage baseball, football, basketball and hockey cards which he still owns and operates today.

When the economy slowed down in 2009, Kirk got involved in real estate and received his Michigan real estate sales person license. He is a landlord with a true passion for both real estate and internet marketing.

“I’ve been involved in internet marketing and have been an eBay Power Seller for years now. I’m very impressed by the virtual tour software that RTV offers. I’m thrilled to be a part of the team and to have the opportunity to sell such a dynamic product.”

Direct: 231-932-1603


Ken Stephens

National Sales Manager

National Photography Service Sales Manager

Ken grew up in Flint. Michigan, attending Flint Central High School . A high school and college football player, he was a member of two Mid-American Conference Championship football teams at Central Michigan University, where he obtained a Public Health Education Administration degree in 1981.

Ken has worked over the last thirty years has a computer applications instructor in adult education, advertising sales in the Yellow Pages industry and education sales with a national education company. During his tenure, he has won several national awards for new business sales and best business development. “ In 2007, I won a national award for “Best Business Development” and flew to Indianapolis, Indiana to have lunch with NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace. It was a great thrill!”

“I’ve been involved in sales most of my adult life. I enjoy meeting new people every day and the interaction in the community. I’m very impressed with the RTV Virtual Tour software. I’m excited to be a part of the RTV team!”

Direct: 231-486-5904 


Jim Kitch

National Sales Manager

Hotel Photography Services Sales ManagerJim is a northern Michigan native, CMU graduate, and enthusiastic communicator. An outside of the box thinker, ( “there’s a box?” ) Jim is always focused on helping customers reach their business goals through creative solutions and enjoys building on success. As a salesperson, he has worked in a variety of industries, but especially loves the fast pace of working with the RTV team. “There’s never a dull moment, and there’s always something new just around the corner.” In his free time, Jim loves spending time with his family, biking, golfing, water sports, cookouts, and many indoor activities.  

Direct: 231 938 6088


Russ Ryba

Senior Software Engineer

russbw-avatarSenior Software Engineer with 25 years of experience programming computers to do my bidding.  I love to build big scalable sites and work with the latest and greatest gadgets and technology.   I’ve worked with computers at every level from low level assembly language, web, mobile, and giant databases.

I have two great kids who keep me on my toes. I mentor local schools on how to build robots, electronics and 3d printers.  I also like to build, collect and race bikes of all kinds in my spare time.

Tyler Anderson

Front End Web Developer

tylerbw-avatarHello RTV Fans and Family! I’m Tyler Anderson, affectionately known as “Mr. Anderson” here in the office.  For the last several years I’ve flourished here in Northern Michigan as a professional Front End Web Developer while completing my bachelor’s degree from Baker College. I have a passion for learning new programming languages and most of the time that’s what you’ll find me doing in my spare time.

From building responsive websites (a site that adjusts to screen size and looks great on all devices) of the highest quality and functionality, to working on the latest software technology, I am a high energy programmer that gets it done. I’m looking forward to putting my full energy into helping the team take fusion to the next level, and maximizing RTV’s and their provider’s web presence. You can rest assured that I’m the right guy for the job. Thank you all!  Oh yeah…in my spare time I enjoy camping in the great outdoors, playing video games with my friends, and did I mention that I enjoy learning more about programming?


Erik Jacobson

Software Engineer

Virtual Tour ProgrammerMy name is Erik Jacobson and I’m originally from Davisburg MI. I’ve also lived in Troy MI, Punta Gorda FL, and Traverse City MI. I’m married to my wife Anndrayea and I have three adorable children named Erik, Philip, and Viola.

Here at RTV I specialize in all aspects of Web and Software Development. I’ve worked for over 8 years as a programmer for various physical and virtual companies. I’ve worked on all sorts of interesting projects such as company websites, eStore integrations with Quickbooks, mp3 processing, web scraping, and much more.

I love technology, I’m really into computers, video games, the internet, and especially eating my wife’s home cooked meals. In the outside world, I enjoy going to the park, the beach, the mall, and really just getting out of the house.

Josh Wilson

Customer Service Representative

joshbw-avatarMy name is Josh Wilson, I’m somewhere around 30-40 years old, but at the point where I have to do the math to remember, so I just try to avoid it. I grew up in the area, originally Central Lake, then Charlevoix/Petoskey, then moved to Traverse City in 2000, and I love it here. I am married with two sons; Ronin (3yo) and Calvin (8 months). They definitely keep me plenty busy, but when I get spare time (not often), I enjoy golfing (ball and disc), hiking, being outside in general, and also enjoy technology and tinkering with/building computers. I’ve had a pretty wide career path, doing everything from construction to bar-tending, CAD drafting, and spent the bulk of my years at a local TV station in production, doing everything from Master Control to directing newscasts. I’m definitely happy I’ve now landed here at RTV, which has a great product and a great crew of people behind it!

Derek Conrad

Customer Service Representative

derekbw-avatarHello, I’m Derek.  Derek Austin Conrad, was the name I was given.  My first name: Derek was chosen from the band “Derek and the Dominoes” (great tunes) and Austin from my great grandmother’s maiden name.  I was born and raised here in Michigan, but I have lived elsewhere.  I was born in Lansing, MI and my first memories are of being raised in the greater Houston, TX area.  However, from first grade and on through high school I was living and enjoying life in Suttons Bay, MI.  Once I graduated I took a year off and was invited to tag-along with my brother on an adventure to Arizona, where he would be going to the Art Institute of Phoenix for a tour of their Video Game design program. I toured the school with my brother and I decided to join him there in the fall!  I have always been into theatrical arts and their Video Production program stuck me as the perfect opportunity to get into that and finally maybe have some classes with my brother, who is two years older than me, but is pretty much my best friend.  I had a great time there.  Afterward I worked on some commercial productions and earned an IMDB credit as an actor for an episode of TV’s Psychic Investigators.

While at school I met my wife.  We married and 5 years later our first daughter was born, 15 months later our second daughter was born.  We soon moved to Massachusetts (where my wife is originally from).  We were living in a rural area and the jobs just weren’t there, some perfect possibilities opened up back in Michigan so I seized the chance and we moved back to the Grand Traverse Bay area.

Two years later here I am at RTV.  Loving the clients, the co-workers, the location, and the work!  I look forward to being a part of the team and doing what I can to help out.  I enjoy doing things outside, I like writing, editing, making music, being with family/friends, video games, movies, and being a revolutionary.  Much peace, love, and abundance to all… for 100% of humanity.  Hope to hear from you with any Technical Support inquiries.  Take care.

Direct: 231-943-1136


Liz Tiffany

RTV Photography Director

lizbw-avatarLiz graduated from Central Michigan University with a degree in photography and art history.  She has lived in Michigan her whole life, moving to the Traverse City area more than a decade ago.  As RTV’s photography director, her main goal is to make sure that projects are completed in a timely manner while spreading the Tour Track opportunities fairly across the network of photographers.  When she is not “herding cats” at RTV, Liz enjoys camping, hiking, running, kayaking, yard work, and the lifestyle of living in northern Michigan.

Direct: 231-932-1605


Jay Stringham

Manager / Internet Marketing Coordinator

Lucky enough to be born and raised in Michigan, I grew up in the sticks of Manistee County. Northern Michigan has been my home ever since, and all though I dream of warm beaches and palm trees during the long winter months, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I suspect the constant exposure to the lakes, rivers and forests is what born in me a love of all things beautiful.

I knew I wanted to be a photographer early and had a camera in my hand photographing nature from the age of 10 or so. I have been shooting weddings and portraits in the Traverse City area since 1994. I expanded my artistic skill set by graduating the graphic design program at NMC. It was graphic design that opened the door to the world of content and social media marketing. I had no idea the field of internet marketing existed until a fellow graphic designer introduced me to the concept and took me under his wing. I found I not only had a knack for this new endeavor, but a passion as well.

I am happy to bring my experiences and abilities to the RTV team. I love the high energy and camaraderie of the team and look forward to working with RTV’s many clients.

Direct: 231-943-1667


Elizabeth Nixon

Lead Processor / Digital Imaging Specialist

bethbw-avatarHello, my Name is Elizabeth Nixon, and I joined the amazing team at RTV in July of 2014. I am a graduate of Northern Michigan University and majored in Photography. I have been an avid photographer for about 10 years, mostly focused on Fine Art and Weddings. I have experienced an internship at Ralph Lauren in NYC, and have worked with as well as assisted some great professional photographers throughout Michigan. In my free time you will catch me fishing with my husband and son (when weather permits), watching a documentary film, or spending time with my friends and family.

Direct: (231) 486-6549


Brandon Rusniak

Digital Imaging Specialist

brandonbw-avatarBeing a true native of Traverse City, Michigan is the greatest gift I could receive. Being outdoors fishing, kayaking, hiking or just sitting at a desk drawing works of art is what I have always loved doing. Drawing and designing works of art are a huge part of my life. I am 21 about to turn 22 years old and recently graduated from Northwestern Michigan college for Visual Communications. I recently started working at RTV as an intern and have proven myself to become a full time employee.

One of the biggest dreams I’ve had when I was about 8 years old was to become professional photographer and illustrator.  Since then I have been shooting a lot of nature and architectural images for people to view and buy. I also have been drawing a lot of images, from cars to nature to just whatever pops into my head. When I’m not designing or being an artist, I enjoy being with family and living the Northern Michigan lifestyle.