Meet the Man Who Keeps SparkPeople Up and Running

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Editor's Note: By popular demand, our Behind the Scenes at SparkPeople feature has returned.

Name: Josh Knepfle

Position at SparkPeople: Chief Technology Officer

Age: 34

Family: My wife, Julie, and I have 4 kids: Joellen (7), Jacob (5), Janie (2) and Jonathan (7 months, above)

How long have you worked for SparkPeople? I started working at SparkPeople in October 2001, but I had worked with Chris previously at eBay and Up4Sale.

Tell us your proudest accomplishment at SparkPeople or a fun fact about your job: I’m most proud of the efficiency of our team in keeping the busiest diet and fitness site running well 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

How do you stay in shape? I like to take advantage of our small gym here at the office. I’m here before 7 a.m. most mornings, working out on our elliptical machine and recumbent bike before I start work. I also try to incorporate my kids into my workouts (taking them to the park for hikes, wrestling with them, having them sit on my back while I do pushups, etc).

What's your favorite food? I really love crab legs, and the raspberries, blackberries, and tomatoes from our garden taste so good right now, too.

What's your favorite indulgence? I have trouble turning down any chocolate, especially when it comes in a baked good. My mom’s brownies come to mind. But, I also love a really good fruit pie or cobbler, especially blueberry.

How do you feel when you exercise? I find that on the days I have to skip my morning workout I’m sluggish and my brain sometimes gets a little foggy. When I do exercise, I feel like I’m happier and more productive.

What do you do to de-stress? I love to spend time with my wife and kids. We cherish and enjoy taking vacations together, and when I return home, I always feel energized and ready to build new stuff and solve more problems. Our favorite place to go is Disney World!

What is your passion in life? My family is my #1 priority. Chris’ goal when starting SparkPeople was to change the world in a positive way. I can’t think of a better way to make the world a better place than to send four productive, compassionate, happy and healthy kids into it, so my relationship with them and my wife Julie is most important to me.

How has working at SparkPeople affected your life? I’ve really matured personally and professionally since coming to SparkPeople. When I started, I was just a few years out of college and had been working for the internet giant, eBay, where my contributions were a very small part of the company with thousands of employees. Since then, our site has grown to be the busiest diet and fitness site on the internet, and it’s ultimately my responsibility to make sure it’s up and running all day every day. I’ve also learned a ton about fitness and nutrition that has helped me know the right decisions to make for a healthier life.

Have you gained or lost weight since starting here? Like many of our members I’ve always struggled with my weight. I weigh about 30 pounds less than I did when I started here. My weight has fluctuated a lot, but I attribute a lot of the successes I’ve had to all the things I’ve learned by working here--consistency, nutrition, etc.

Have you started any new habits? Yes! I eat a lot more fruit and vegetables than I did before I started working at SparkPeople, and I’ve never exercised as consistently as I do now. I had never run an entire mile at once in my life before I started working at SparkPeople, and I’ve run as much as 2 miles at a time on the treadmill since I came here.

What's your favorite breakfast cereal? Hmmm….when I was a kid we ate breakfast cereal almost every day, so I got a little burned out on it, so this is a tough one for me. I’d have to say either Kashi Crunch or steel cut oatmeal. I really like to make breakfast sandwiches with an egg and some cheese on a whole wheat English muffin.

What did you eat for dinner last night? We had a grill out after swimming all day with my in-laws: cheeseburgers with fresh lettuce and tomatoes, fruit salad, pickles, olives, cottage cheese, and homemade coconut bars for dessert!

Do you have any hidden talents? I like to think I’m a pretty good cook. I love to grill, and I make dinner for our family probably 4 nights a week. When I have some time to myself, you can usually find me trying out new recipes in the kitchen.

What are some of your goals? I’d like to continue to get healthier and lose more weight so I can make sure I’m around a long time for my family.

What's your favorite SparkPeople feature? I have a special place in my heart for the food tracker since I built it. I’ve also been loving the SparkPeople Android App lately.

Do you like this feature? What other questions should we ask our employees? Whom should we feature?