Technology Executive & Innovation Leader

Dré Barnes is a creative technologist engineer and a visionary executive and innovator, currently serving as the Head of Innovation & Consumer Technology at UP Entertainment. In this role, Dré spearheads the technological vision, strategy, and execution for the Tech Group that drives the company’s consumer entertainment platforms and services that has generated millions of dollars in subscriber and ad revenue.

As the architect, under his leadership UP Entertainment’s Tech Stack has become a robust and scalable infrastructure, enhancing user experiences and operational efficiencies through the integration of first-party data, actionable insights, business intelligence, machine learning, and AI.

Dré has worked on projects for Fox Entertainment, Disney’s Babble, PBS, Ford Motors, Rolling Out Magazine, Barcroft Media and a plethora of others.

Recent Achievements and Notable Highlights

  • Best SVOD Service awarded by Cynopsis for UP Entertainment in December 2021.
  • Appearances on CNN for the use of Technology and Digital Media Strategy
  • Tech Startup featured in CNN’s “Black in America” documentary
  • Case Study: Enhanced email campaign engagement and reduced churn with Twilio Segment, improving UP Entertainment’s martech strategy.
  • Winner of the Best Twitter Marketing Campaign for “GilMORE the Merrier,” achieving over 317 million impressions
  • Videographer for the film “Blended(2016)”
  • As a lead instructor, won first place in BDPA’s national high school computer competition in 2012
  • Contributed as a drone operator for Bounce TV’s “Saints & Sinners” and TVOne’s “The Secret She Kept”
  • Filmed videos for Barcroft Media that garnered over 3 million+ views on YouTube.
  • Filmed and edited music videos for artists such as Avery*Sunshine and Latrese Bush.
  • Contributed as a drone operator for UP TV’s “Small Town, Big Mayor” and aspire TV’s “Tank and the Bangas”
  • Captured professional celebrity photos of tv, movie actors and music artists.
  • Public Speaker and Panelist at PR, Media and Technology conferences.

Impact and Media Features

As Technology Director at Impact Church in Atlanta, GA, Dré pioneered digital experiences using live streaming, social media, web, and mobile technologies, earning features on CNN and Huffington Post. His expertise in social media campaigns and digital content creation has been highlighted in the Wall Street Journal, Fusion Media, CNN Money, Upscale Magazine, Tech Crunch, and Rolling Out. Additionally, Dré co-founded the startup Gokit, featured in CNN’s documentary “Black In America 4: The New Promised Land Silicon Valley.”

Dré’s journey in technology and innovation includes significant roles at Katz Networks, where he collaborated with digital, creative, and programming teams to develop unique business applications and customer experiences across linear, streaming and mobile platforms including apps for Laff TV and Bounce TV’s Streaming Service Brown Sugar. Since joining UP Entertainment in 2016 as the Director of Technology & Innovation, Dré’s strategic foresight and innovative approach have propelled him to positions of increasing responsibility, including Senior Director and now Head of Innovation & Consumer Technology. His expertise has been pivotal in executing major projects with Vimeo OTT, Verizon +Play, Brightcove Audience Insights, Apple Video Partner Program, Chargebee, and Stripe, consistently driving advancements in strategic planning, technology implementation, and operational improvements.

With over 15 years of experience in the creative and technology spaces, Dré has a proven track record of leveraging emerging technologies to optimize operational teams and marketers with their target audiences. His extensive background encompasses technology strategy, business intelligence, programming languages, web and mobile development, and strategic planning. Dré’s leadership, commitment to service excellence, and adept project management skills have been instrumental in his success.

Education and Personal Pursuits

Dré holds dual Master’s degrees in Software Engineering and Database Technologies from Regis University and the National University of Ireland. Residing in metro Atlanta, GA, Dré is a proud father who enjoys storytelling through photography and videography in his spare time. He continues to blend his creative passions with technological expertise, always striving to innovate and inspire.