Company

Mission


Cortex is built to dramatically improve how buildings operate by applying software and analytics to highly underutilized data streams. By building the software and analytics layer overtop these disparate data streams, we can fundamentally improve the sustainability of commercial buildings, the value of those assets, and the experience of occupants inside them.

 

Team

Bryan Bennett | CEO & Founder

After growing up in a family that has developed commercial real estate for 30y+, Bryan spent 10y advising large utilities and technology companies on the direction of energy technologies and the implications on their business.  He loves building something with an incredibly talented team that can change the world around us. When he’s not working on Cortex, he’s chasing around two rambunctious boys with his wife.

Zack Nelson | VP, Product Development

Zack is a mission driven, passionate technical leader who brings years of experience building and growing SaaS product development teams. He most recently worked at Virtru Corporation, joining as employee number 6, eventually becoming VP of Engineering and leading the scaling of the Engineering team from 20 engineers to a peak of 60. Zack joined Cortex because he is passionate about the mission and excited to help their Product Development organization scale. Outside of work Zack enjoys Baltimore sports, wood working, brewing beer, and just in general building things. He and his wife get run ragged by his three young children, but love every second of it.

Abby Calabrese | VP of Sales

Abby is an experienced and passionate leader that has spearheaded swift enterprise growth, while developing best-in-class sales teams. Her experience spans from large multinational companies to early stage startups. Abby joined Cortex because she believes in the company’s mission and her ability to help scale the sales organization to meet the growing needs of our clients. Outside of work, Abby dabbles in interior design, the timeless programming of Bravo and HGTV; all while spending as much time as possible with her husband and two sons.

Kelly Rake | Director of FP&A

Kelly brings a financial lens to the Cortex team. Her experience and contributions have been focused on early-stage startups, leveraging software and data science to help organizations scale their accounting and financial planning with efficiency. When she’s not in excel, she enjoys being outside, doing yoga, playing pool and listening to music.

Haris Shafiq | Head of Product

Haris is a mission-driven product leader who believes in the impact of the double bottom line — creating products that are both socially meaningful and valuable. His passion for uncovering problems and creating solutions for all people has been a primary motivator throughout his career. Prior to Cortex, Haris was designing privacy products and building product teams at Virtru. He also launched demand-response products at Opower, another successful green-tech startup based in D.C. Outside of Cortex, Haris enjoys road biking, canoe trips, and cooking dinner for his friends and family.

Anthony Swenson | Chief of Staff

Anthony brings a passion for results to the Cortex team. Prior to Cortex, Anthony worked as a management consultant for Bain & Company in Dallas, TX where he served cybersecurity, industrials, packaging, and oil & gas clients. He graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2019 where he studied Engineering Science and Engineering Management.  

Rick Balsano | Director, Technical Operations

With a background in experimental physics and a veteran of three early stage startups, Rick enjoys optimizing the delivery of Cortex products to our clients. When he’s not working with Cortex, you might find him scuba diving, stargazing or traveling with his wife and daughter.

Guy Kosmin | Director, Operational Strategies

As a passionate energy professional with extensive experience in facilities management, energy retrofit projects, and software-enabled energy efficiency, Guy loves working with Cortex customers to help them optimize building operations.  When he’s not walking through chiller plants, he can be found at his local enjoying the English Premier League with the other neighborhood dads.

Claire Luik | Director, Customer Success

Claire has spent 20+ years fostering strong customer relationships and is focused on creating exceptional experiences and delivering value throughout the customer journey.  Her career highlights include working for Carr Workplaces, a DC based flexible workspace company, where she was instrumental in growing their portfolio from 5 to 30+ locations. Most recently she was the VP of Customer Success for essensys, a global SaaS platform delivering enterprise grade technology solutions to Landlords and Operators who offer Flexible Office Solutions. Outside of the office, Claire and her husband can be found on the edge of a wrestling mat or a baseball field cheering on her two sons.

Don Kasper | Sr. Director, Building Ops and Strategy

Don is a passionate leader with a focus on energy efficiency and decarbonizing large commercial buildings. He is a mechanical engineer and pioneer in Automated Fault Detection and Diagnostics (AFDD), previously serving as President and CEO of one of the first analytics companies in the commercial real estate industry. His experience includes leading technical teams at consulting engineering firms, scaling early-stage high-growth start-ups and now helps drive customer success at Cortex. Outside of work, Don enjoys exploring outdoors, all kinds of live music, and spending time with his wife and two adventurous poodles

Dave White | Senior User Experience Designer

Dave is an experienced product designer committed to understanding customers and creating great user experiences.  He’s worked as a UX designer and design consultant for a range of companies including AT&T, Lands’ End, and Motorola. In his spare time, he creates art, kayaks, and spends time with his wife, two sons, and their Aussiedoodle.

Nathan Bakirci | Senior Software Engineer

Nathan is a full stack engineer who loves building well-designed apps that solve important problems. When he’s not hacking away on side projects, he’s usually yelling at his TV watching Liverpool games, roasting and drinking his own coffee, or playing cat daddy with his little tortie named Cleo.

Will Koehrsen | Software Engineering & Data Science

Will’s singular goal is to have the greatest positive impact on the planet. He believes this will come as a software engineer/data scientist in the energy field, addressing current inefficiencies and enabling the path forward to renewable energy sources. Will is thrilled to be at a fast-moving start-up helping buildings save on costs while simultaneously becoming more sustainable. While not working to ensure our children’s children will inherit a planet in good health, Will can be found writing for his data science blog or racking up miles exploring whichever city he’s in on foot.

Zach Herriott | Technical Project Manager

Having experienced building scalable systems and processes for a large software organization, Zach joined Cortex to implement efficiency across the business. He is excited to be part of a brilliant, hard working team in an industry that is important to him. Some of Zach’s hobbies include running, yoga, exploring DC’s food scene, watching sports, and writing for a Washington Wizards fan blog.

Compton P. Tudor | Integrations Engineer

After receiving a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering technology, Compton spent 5 years leading production and quality control for a Brooklyn-based IOT start-up. He now brings his expertise and love for computer hardware to Cortex in order to expand and lead building integrations. Outside of work, Compton is a self-proclaimed movie aficionado and sneakerhead.

Melak Tamrat | Integrations Engineer

Melak is a detail-oriented, innovated engineer with a wide array of skills and experience. Melak is a member of Cortex’s integrations team responsible for connecting current software with new hardware systems. Prior to Cortex, Melak was a developer for a Dallas based start-up. Outside of work, Melak enjoys playing sports and touring different countries.

Jeff Schwane| Software Integration Engineer

Jeff is a professional engineer (mechanical) with a devotion to developing solutions to stop climate change and enable a 100% clean energy future. His focus to date has included the implementation of building energy efficiency retrofits (HVAC controls and lighting), beneficial electrification and heat pumps, modeling and designing renewable energy systems, energy storage, and green building design (including Passive House and LEED). More recently, Jeff has focused on software engineering and data science side, and is using these skills and his HVAC experience to help build the product at Cortex. Outside of work, Jeff enjoys the outdoors, traveling, biking, yoga, rock climbing, fitness and being a plant and puppy dad.

Paul Garrard | Account Executive

Paul works as a member of Cortex’s sales team and primarily works to drive new partnership opportunities across North America. Prior to Cortex, Paul served in a number of different sales roles in both the Media and SaaS industries, where he gained experience in both relationship management and new business initiatives. In his free time, he enjoys playing guitar and cooking new dinner recipes.

Gabe Lodge | Business Development Associate

Gabe is a member of Cortex’s sales and marketing team focused on generating new business opportunities across North America. He also works in conjunction with the customer success team to grow business relationships with existing customers.