Our team members share a big appetite for life, an appreciation for the value of hard work and life/work balance, and a belief that technology and mobile communication is changing almost every industry.   


PETE WALSH - Founder  President/CEO

PETE WALSH - Founder


Pete Walsh - President and CEO of Owards. Pete has had a career spanning more than twenty three years in investment banking and structured finance, having structured and funded in excess of $21 billion in structured transactions across a wide variety of esoteric asset classes for many first-time issuers, private companies, and leveraged companies.  

He always has been intellectually curious, looking for businesses and industries that were about to go through significant disruption.  During his many trips traveling on airplanes for his investment banking career, he noticed people of all ages, demographics and income levels playing many different types of games.  He took the steps to build Owards, where players can pick high quality games that they like and earn Owards based on how long they play.  These Owards can be redeemed through our partners for for discounts at hotels, airline miles and gift cards, and as we learn more about our players' preferences, we will seek to continue to add tailored discounts on more products and services. Pete enjoys almost anything involving outdoor activities, including golf, running, cycling, football, and tailgating. He has been skydiving, scuba diving and fly fishing in Alaska.

Pete is proud and thankful to be an American and serves as a board member for Sentinels of Freedom, a great grass roots non-profit offering services and support for severely wounded veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

 Pete graduated with an undergraduate degree in finance from the University of Notre Dame and a Masters of Management degree with concentrations in finance and entrepreneurship from Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management. 

Sam Midanek - Co-founder  Chief Strategist and head of Marketing

Sam Midanek - Co-founder

Chief Strategist and head of Marketing

Sam Midanek is the Chief Operating Officer of Owards. Sam has had a career spanning more than fifteen years in technology and marketing, having been part of technology startups including me!box media and Latte Labs and Orion Vacation Club.

Sam’s goal for Owards is simple: create a fun place for players to play awesome games and earn rewards the players can reedem for something real. 

Sam enjoys spending time with his wife and kids and anything that gets him outdoors, including running, cycling, football, and baseball. He has completed a number of triathlons and is currently training for a half marathon and a half Ironman.  

Sam graduated with an undergraduate degree in Industrial Design from the University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana.