Power Moves is a column where we chart the comings and goings of talent across the region. Got a new hire, new gig or promotion? Tell us: email@example.com.
Baltimore cybersecurity security company clean.io is bringing on a revenue leader with roots in the Baltimore tech community’s adtech and ecommerce growth of the last decade.
Danielle Repetti joined the company as chief revenue officer, a role in which she will sit on the company’s leadership team, identify new market opportunities, and oversee sales, channel and business development teams.
Repetti most recently worked at Whitebox, the Baltimore ecommerce tech firm that has been growing quickly. During her two years, the company had 1,100% revenue growth, and went from 10 to 100 employees. She was previously VP of performance marketing at Millennial Media, and AOL/Verizon, which acquired the former company.
That experience makes sense for a fit with clean.io, Technical.ly’s top RealLIST Startups honoree in 2020 that has a base in Brewers Hill.
For one, the company’s CEO, Matt Gillis, was a top executive at Millennial Media, and has brought on a group of leaders from the adtech darling with this company. And clean.io is working in those areas where Repetti has experience, too. The company’s initial product was focused around cybersecurity for publishers seeking to protect against malvertising. It recently launched a second product, called cleanCART, which is focused on around helping online retailers. The team now sees the products as fitting into a wider offering around digital engagement security, said VP of Marketing Kathleen Booth, who joined the company last year and brought experience from a pair of the area’s cybersecurity startups.
“As we shift from focusing on adtech to building a true platform solution, we really need a true world-class sales leader to build the organization to support that,” Gillis said.
The hiring of both Repetti and Booth signify the company how the company has grown not just in numbers to about 40 employees, but also with leadership.
“We’re filling all these gaps in not just roles, but competencies that are the focus of our company,” he said.
It also a company that entered a new stage over the last year, so it’s a matter of bringing in the right leaders for that phase, as well: Raising a $5 million Series A signaled it had reached a point of initial revenue traction and product-market fit.
“Now it’s really about building scalable, repeatable monetization processes,” Gillis said. “There is no one better in my mind than Danielle Repetti to come in and do that at this company.”
Johns Hopkins Tech Ventures welcomed a new director of student ventures at the beginning of the month.
Josh Ambrose will oversee FastForward U, the initiative hat offers funding, accelerator programming and resources for student entrepreneurs at the Baltimore university. McDaniel succeeds Kerrie Carden, who departed from Hopkins at the end of 2020 and launched Equip Advisory.
Ambrose comes to Hopkins from Westminster’s McDaniel College, where he was associate dean. In that role, he started McDaniel’s innovation and entrepreneurship program. Ambrose is passionate about “problem solving,” and students who are looking to build new initiatives, as well.
“I’m really driven by students who want to do things and want to create,” he said. “That’s what gives me the most life.”
In that prior role, he got introduced to FastForward U as it launched the Remington innovation hub where it is now based. And he got more plugged in with the city while taking part in the Greater Baltimore Committee’s Next Up program, for rising leaders in the metro area. He was also taking part in Carroll County’s Leadership Carroll program at the time, and remembers a day where he was touring a dairy farm in the morning, and then later visiting the World Trade Center in downtown Baltimore.
The settings were a split screen, but Ambrose found that the conversations were the same: What is the story of the business community, how can they attract and retain talent and how can they build an ecosystem? He’s found those themes a lot in global travel, as well.
“All over the world, people are having the same conversations,” Ambrose said. “There is a universality to the challenges we face that I find fascinating. If you can dig into these local ecosystems, tackles these challenges and do something here, and now you are preparing yourself for a career anywhere in the world.”
While running the programming that is helping new entrepreneurs move forward, Ambrose is also passionate about continuing Hopkins’ work to build connections in the wider city. That will mean connecting teams with startups at other universities, and the wider network of the city’s ecosystem.
“We’re passionate about keeping our students in the city,” he said. “We want to have these students stay in Baltimore and our goal is to increase the amount of students who put down roots, form businesses in the city and have a transformative effect.”
Fearless is expanding its software development leadership with the hiring of Reena Patel as director of digital operations.
In this role, Patel will work with Fearless teams on project roadmaps that balance innovation and client needs. Patel joins the downtown Baltimore-based digital services agency after serving in software development roles with global tech and consulting firm ICF, and agile technology firm Excella. With the latter firm, she oversaw implementation of a digital experience for immigrants with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service. Fearless also works with federal agencies, such as the U.S. Small Business Administration and the U.S. Air Force.
“Throughout my career I have worked with organizations with a lot of red tape and resistance to change,” Patel said in a statement. “I like what Fearless is doing and am excited to be creative, think outside the box and advance modernization for our clients by working with them on organizational change.”
The Bio Technical Institute of Maryland named three new board members. The West Baltimore-based org, which provides onramps into the state’s life sciences industry with lab technician training for local residents, is adding expertise in education, business and workforce development.
Board members include:
- Will Anderson, the former Baltimore County executive director of economic and workforce development for Baltimore County who now leads the consultancy Impact Principals as managing director.
- Claudio Rattes, the director of product development at iconic Hunt Valley spice company McCormick & Co. The chemical engineer plans to work to extend the BTI’s influence to other science and tech-focused industries.
- Keena Thomas, the budget and financial manager at KIPP DC public charter school. She also brings working in Baltimore’s startup community, and at the Johns Hopkins’ Applied Physics Laboratory.
R2i recently named a new C-level sales leader: Chris Hessler joined the Inner Harbor-based digital agency as chief sales officer.
He brings immediate past experience as VP of North America enterprise in sales for FinancialForce. Prior to that he held sales roles in digital media and digital marketing with tech giant Adobe, a company with which R2i has a key partnership. Hessler also previously worked with Borland, SiVerion, Marimba, Spincircuit and Cadence.
Here’s a few more notable Power Moves from around the wider local business community this week:
- Wes Moore is stepping down as CEO of the Robin Hood Foundation, the poverty fighting organization that is a favorite of Wall Street leaders. Moore, who was born in Baltimore and continues to chronicle the city as an author and speaker, will leave in May after a four-year tenure. Robin Hood raised $230 million in 2020. Moore is also a member of Under Armour’s board. For some perspective from Moore, check out his latest Baltimore Sun commentary on being mistaken for the CEO of Robinhood, the stock trading app at the center of last month’s GameStop short squeeze.
- T. Rowe Price named a new president and COO, the Baltimore Business Journal reported. The Baltimore-based investment management firm said Rob Sharps became president of the firm after a tenure as head of investments. And Céline Dufétel, who is currently chief financial officer, will add the title of COO, as well.
- The longtime president of Loyola University Maryland will be retiring at the end of the 2021-2022 school year. Rev. Brian F. Linnane has led the North Baltimore Jesuit university since 2005, during which he aimed to tighten ties with the wider city in Baltimore. In the last several years, the university has also expanded activity around innovation and entrepreneurship. The university is convening a search committee for a new president.
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