Jake Pasternak and Dean Whitbeck are the creative brain-parents and long-time friends behind Jake + Dean. Despite coming from two different worlds (Jake from finance and marketing and Dean from education and photography), the two have always had a knack for 'seeing' bold ideas and connecting those ideas in order to help others.

Jake knew that trading card collections were keepsakes that people held on to. Dean understood the design impact and value of the cards. Their powers combined, Jake and Dean have set out to make the joy of nostalgia a tangible and shared experience. From the very start their mission was clear: make a lasting impact for our community by creating products that celebrate the relationship between the past, present, and future. 

About Jake Pasternak

Jake Pasternak is an entrepreneur and business leader who has dedicated his career to helping others in unique and innovative ways. Born in Richmond, VA, he graduated from Tucker High School in 1988, then received a degree from James Madison University in 1992. After that, he did graduate work in Economics from North Carolina State University, graduating with a Masters in Economics.

In 1999, Jake returned to Richmond and served as Visiting Professor of Economics at the University of Richmond until 2002. He then worked as a Senior Economist at Chmura Economics & Analytics. Following that, he held the role of CFO for a pharmacy providing medications to jails and correctional facilities. went on to found Plexecon in 2004, an organization dedicated to teaching personal finance to children.

In 2009, he helped start HELPING HANDS VETERINARY CLINIC – the first clinic in the country to focus exclusively on affordable surgery and dental care for pets – which has since expanded into Florida and other states. Then, in 2020, he co-founded Jake and Dean to create products that bring nostalgia and joy to the public.

About Dean Whitbeck

Born in San Rafael, California, Dean Whitbeck earned his MAT in Education from St. Mary's College (CA) and started his career as a high school teacher in the Bronx, New York. After years in the classroom being inspired by the originality of thought young people brought to creative thinking and the belief that technology was shifting the way young people could envision a future, Dean turned his attention to the intersection of business, creativity, and social impact advocacy. During his tenure as Director of Education at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond, he founded PROFITS, a social entrepreneurship program that partnered with national Be-Corps and social impact businesses to provide mentorship, training, and financial literacy to young adults.

In 2014, he started DEAN WHITBECK, a photography and visual design business that focused on expanding internal and external visual communication for nonprofits, small businesses, and corporations. Along the way, there have been publications featuring his work, lectures, and a TED Talk. Co-founding Jake and Dean UnCommon Coasters and the philanthropic arm, Project RePurpose in 2020, Dean turned his attention to creating a product with the sole purpose of bringing joy to people in a nostalgic, meaningful way. When Dean's not thinking about the next coaster design, he's spending time with his family and his golden retriever, Bear.