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Executive Team

Joseph M. Sanda

Chief Executive Officer

Joe, Chief Executive Officer, is a successful entrepreneur in the customer care arena as well as an experienced software professional. Joe recognized an opportunity in the consumer niche of the customer service market and building upon his broad experiences, founded Astute Solutions in 1995. Joe has been instrumental in the development of cutting-edge technologies that have continued to revolutionize the customer care marketplace.

Joe also co-founded Symtech, a software company acquired by Symix (now Mapics), maker of leading ERP solutions for middle market make-to-order manufacturers. A senior member of the management team that took Symix public in 1991, he was also the Senior Vice President responsible for partnerships and technology acquisitions. Sanda was instrumental in defining product vision and direction for Symix.

He received an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in 1999 and in 2002 and received SBA’s (Small Business Administration) 2002 Business Person of the Year. Joe was also named TopCAT’s (Top Contributors to the Advancement of Technology) 2002 Executive of the Year while at the same time, PowerCenter™, Astute Solutions' flagship solution, was named 2002 Product of the Year. This was the first time in the history of the awards program that a company has achieved both distinctions in one year.

He has held roles in Business and Strategic Planning, R&D, Technologist and Professional Services. With General Dynamics, Sanda developed partnerships with companies such as: IBM, DEC, GTE, Oracle, and Apple Computer. At General Dynamics’ Data Systems Division, he was also Manager of Internal Research and Development for the 5,000-person software development and data processing group.

 

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Gary Ross

President

Gary joined Astute Solutions in early 2012. He is a highly seasoned software executive with strong leadership ability, global experience and significant accomplishments in the technology industry. For the past 14 years, Gary served as operating president of organizations ranging from $10 million to $160 million in revenues. He has proven success transforming product businesses into service and solution providers, and has successfully planned and implemented acquisitions. He also has 7 years of intensive global experience, including a 2-year relocation assignment in Europe.

Prior to joining Astute Solutions, Gary was President of Cott Systems for 8 years. He led Cott Systems to become one of the industry leaders in providing software and services to local government across 20 states. Under his lead, Cott Systems transitioned from a perpetual license model to a subscription based model, and built its own technical SaaS-hosted deployment infrastructure. He also ignited innovation by investing 5% of revenues into R&D – as a result the company now generates 54% of its revenues from new products launched in the past 5 years.

Before joining Cott Systems, Gary spent 14 years with Emerson Electric, the last 5 years as President of European and North American service businesses for Emerson Network Power. Upon departure, he was running the largest service business in Emerson with 600 employees. During his tenure at Emerson, he was also charged with expanding the service business globally and has driven global growth, acquisitions, Asia outsourcing, as well as international and improvement initiatives.

Gary graduated with honors from Kent State University with a B.S. in Mathematics. He achieved his MBA degree from the Ohio State University with a focus on International Business, and was recently recognized by the University with an alumni award for his international experience and accomplishments.

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Alex George

CTO

In 2010 Alex K George joined Astute Solutions as the Chief Technology Officer. He was part of Astute Solutions’ acquisition of Gamma Engineers LLC and Speechlabs LLC in 2010.

As an evangelist for what’s possible, Alex helps grow Astute Solutions’ capabilities, in technology, strategic partnerships and new business models. His role leads Astute Solutions’ Product Management and Engineering organizations. Alex helps set the vision and strategy for Astute Solutions’ products. He is a crucial leader for our engineers that execute on Astute Solutions’ strategic priorities like CRM, Knowledge Management, Social, Mobile, cloud computing and architectures for business transformation.

Alex has received a number of awards for innovation and leadership including Gartner's Cool Vendor 2010, CEO awards, Innovation Awards, and has a number of patents filed with the US Patent Office.

Prior to Astute Solutions, Alex was founder and CEO of Gamma Engineers Inc. and Speechlabs Inc. Gamma Engineers built SRM, a SaaS solution that provides Social Media Monitoring, Social Relationship Management and Social Media Analytics. Gamma Engineers also developed a Smartphone Platform that won Gartner's "Cool New Vendor for 2010" in the mobile space. At Speechlabs, he helped design and build a Speech Recognition product for voicemail transcription and real-time transcription for contact centers. Prior to Speechlabs, he was responsible for the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) consulting and technology division of iGATE.

 

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Jodi Curran

Senior Director, Customer Support and SaaS Operations

 Jodi began working at Astute in late March 2012 and comes to Astute with 17 years’ experience in Technical Customer Support. In 2004, she obtained a bachelor’s degree in Business Information Systems from DeVry University.
 
Jodi first began her technical career in 1995 at the Xerox Technical Welcome Center in Westerville, OH. At Xerox Jodi trained call center employees on entering customer calls into the company’s business system and troubleshooting technical support issues.  While working there Jodi created the first web site for the Westerville office and she was also on the development team that created the first knowledgebase for the Xerox Call Centers employees.

 In 2000, the Xerox Welcome Center moved to Dallas, TX and Jodi began working at Liebert Corporation as a Sr. Client Services Analyst III for their Network Services team.  At Liebert, Jodi received HDI certification and created the first Network Services Newsletter to provide technical information to the internal customers within the organization.  

Prior to joining Astute Solutions Jodi managed operations of two Technical Support teams at Cott Systems in Worthington, OH.  A Customer Support team that provided software and hardware support to external customers and the Internal Support team providing daily infrastructure support with a focus on customer service.
Jodi lives in Dublin, OH with her husband Michael and their two dogs Sam and Katy.
 

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Kathi Gurin

VP of Customer Development

Kathi joined the Astute Solutions team in 2013 as the VP of Customer Development. She brings to the team an immense amount of technical and creative experience and an intricate understanding of the application of technology to drive proactive and personalized care across all touch points of the customer lifecycle.

Kathi refined her abilities to enrich customer relationships throughout the customer lifecycle through over twenty years of quality work in the contact center technology industry. Kathi cites her roles at Convergys, Genesys Corporation, and Sage Consulting (Kathi’s own entrepreneurial venture) as the most influential on her current skill set and business practices.

Through her experiences with Genesys (where she was employee number 32 and helped grow the company from an early-stage startup to one with an international presence and IPO), her own successful contact center consulting practice, and Director roles where she managed rich multi-vendor contact center portfolios, Kathi has developed a lifetime passion for creating positive, proactive relationships between the tech providers she represents and their clients – and to truly understand her clients’ businesses, industries, and unique set of challenges.

Kathi studied Information Systems Management at the University of Maryland. She currently resides in Columbus, Ohio, and enjoys volunteering for several organizations (including the ALS Association) as well as hiking and restoring historic homes.

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Don Wolff

VP of Business Development

 

Don Wolff joined Astute Solutions as its Vice President of Business Development in early 2013. With a lengthy history of sales and business development success, Don has continually demonstrated the superb ability to direct sales teams to previously unrealized pinnacles of accomplishment.

Prior to joining the Astute team, Don excelled within the SaaS industry - most specifically within the customer relationship management and call center fields. In Don’s last position encompassing 13 years, He managed three separate sales teams at Genesys Corporation. Successes included building nationwide brand recognition, adding several new verticals,   while establishing and growing distribution partnerships.  Additional focus included opening and driving revenue in Fortune 100 enterprise accounts with his sales and support teams.

Each team achieved incredible accomplishments - from breaking company records to building sales pipelines of over $40 million in 2012, Don’s leadership and tactical expertise paved the way for exponential success.

Don has a B.S. in Law Administration and a minor in business from Western Illinois University. One of his many personal projects is supporting his spouse in her Special Education Volunteer Programs. His passions and interests include spending time with his family, boating, skating, waterskiing, golf, and snow skiing.

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Additional Members of Management Include:

  • Jennifer Clifford, Human Resources Manager LinkedIn
  • Shelley Kristensen, Controller
  • Chuck Miller, Director of SaaS Operations LinkedIn | Twitter
  • Ken Tuttle, Senior Director of Product Development LinkedIn