Super Power Moves: The 10 biggest DC tech leadership shifts of 2019 - Technical.ly DC

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Dec. 13, 2019 10:19 am

Super Power Moves: The 10 biggest DC tech leadership shifts of 2019

As the year comes to an end, we're highlighting the CEOs, executive directors and other leaders who made major career changes this past year in the D.C. area.
Hatch cofounders Param Jaggi and Amelia Friedman.

Hatch cofounders Param Jaggi and Amelia Friedman.

(Courtesy photo)

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? Email us at dc@technical.ly.


Hiring, promotions, departures and more — we’ve seen all the employment shifts at local tech organizations this year.

Each month, we feature the latest leadership shifts in the region in a column called Power Moves. Accordingly, as we publish a series of lookbacks at trends and reporting from the past year in these last weeks of December, we want to highlight some of the most important 2019 career changes from D.C. area tech leaders, aka Super Power Moves.

Though there are many to highlight, here’s 10 of the biggest leadership changes in #dctech:

Social Tables founder Dan Berger left the company after eight years.

Dan Berger announcing his Social Tables departure to the team. (Photo via @danberger on Twitter)

This one may have came as a surprise to the tech community, but Berger said he was preparing for this departure for quite some time. Social Tables is a D.C.-based events planning software company, which was acquired last year by event management platform company Cvent. Post merger, Berger transitioned from Social Tables CEO to general manager and led the company as a subsidiary of Cvent.

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After eight years of leading the growing event tech company, Berger said he made the shift to focus on publishing a book, exploring other “entrepreneurial endeavors” and potentially moving back to New York.

He concluded his works at Social Tables at the end of November and the company has yet to name a new GM.

Amelia (Friedman) DeSorrento left Hatch in March, and now works at Capital One.

Amelia DeSorrento. (Photo via Hatch Apps website)

In March, as part of our Women in Tech-focused Power Moves edition, DeSorrento shared that she was leaving her COO role at Hatch and shifting to focus on some freelance consulting work. The cofounder is among the best networked of a young entrepreneur class in D.C. and also helped bring a chapter of the Vinetta Project to the region years ago.

“The team should expect to see me at Friday happy hours and popping into the Slack conversation. I’ll also be on call as an advisor and champion for the company,” she said at the time. “Hatch Apps is still my baby, and I’m going to do all I can to help ensure its growth into maturity.”

DeSorrento, with cofounder Param Jaggi, founded Hatch in 2015. The company manages a platform to help organizations build, launch and manage apps without having to write code. Jaggi still leads Hatch as CEO, and DeSorrento has since concluded her advisory role with the company, and now works in Capital One’s product division.

Verodin added four key executives to its leadership team.

Some key hires at Verodin this year. (Photo via @VerodinInc on Twitter)

McLean, Virginia-based Verodin, maker of a platform to measure how a company’s cybersecurity tools are working, was acquired by California-based FireEye back in May, a publicly traded cybersecurity company, which has a Reston office.

These hires that joined the team back in March were in the areas of sales, marketing and business development:

  • Tracey Moon became CMO, overseeing Verodin’s branding and go-to-market strategy.
  • Lyndon Brown joined the team as VP of business development, focusing on accelerating corporate growth through a growing ecosystem of global strategic and alliance partners.
  • Michael Persechini was hired as VP of sales for the eastern region, leading account teams serving clients in the Eastern U.S..
  • Neil Hall is now VP of sales for the western region, where he oversees the client sales and account management teams.

All executives still maintain their positions post acquisition.

Bobbie Kilberg will be leaving the Northern Virginia Tech Council after 22 years.

Bobbie Kilberg. (Courtesy photo)

Northern Virginia Technology Council’s (NVTC) president and CEO announced that she is retiring after 22 years leading the organization. Kilberg has been the organization’s head since 1998, and during her tenure, she has helped grow NVTC’s membership base and strategic partners.

NVTC is a membership and trade association for the tech community currently representing approximately 1,000 companies and organizations and 350,000 employees across the region. Kilberg is set to stay in her role through next summer as the council searched for her successor. The NVTC board of directors formed a search and advisory committee to work with consulting firm Korn Ferry as it hunts for its next president and CEO.

Lucas McCanna left 1776 to lead marketing efforts at CuCollaborate.

Lucas McCanna, director of marketing at CUCollaborate. (Courtesy photo)

McCanna previously held the role of senior director of strategy at 1776 before joining D.C.-based CuCollaborate, a consulting, software development and digital marketing company with a mission to help credit unions grow. He is now the startup’s director of marketing.

McCanna spent nearly three and a half years working at the prominent incubator network, and even worked through the time when 1776 shifted its business model in 2017 after the merger deal between it and Benjamin’s Desk. The incubator has gone through various changes since then.

“1776 was a great job for me to make valuable connections and learn about growing a startup,” McCanna told Technical.ly during his transition. “Now I am looking to put everything I learned into action.”

Arcadia promoted its first COO.

Kate Henningsen, Arcadia’s chief operating officer. (Photo via @ArcadiaPower on Twitter)

In July, the D.C.-based renewable energy tech company promoted its SVP of operations and general counsel, Kate Henningsen, to become its first COO.

Henningsen now oversees Arcadia’s member experience, analytics and data science, finance, policy and legal teams while focusing on new ways to scale the company for growth and impact. Prior to joining Arcadia in 2015, she worked as a litigator at an international law firm and worked on an array political and policy campaigns. She started her tenure at the company as director of community solar before working her way up.

Ebony Lee left Comcast for a role at 2U.

Ebony Lee is 2U’s managing director for graduate programs. (Courtesy photo)

Lee, former SVP of strategic development at Comcast Cable Communications Inc., left the large corporation in May to join Lanham, Maryland based edtech startup 2U.

She now works as 2U’s managing director for graduate programs. Lee oversees the execution and growth of the graduate program business, including future product innovations and customer experience enhancements for both students and university partners.

Brian Kenner left DMPED to join Amazon.

Deputy Mayor Brian Kenner speaks at the finished In3 space. (Photo by Tajha Chappellet-Lanier)

Brian Kenner speaking at the Inclusive Innovation Incubator. (Photo by Tajha Chappellet-Lanier)

Amazon tapped former D.C. deputy mayor for planning and economic development Brian Kenner to work on regional economic development issues in the D.C. area and around the U.S. He left the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) in July after working for the department for nearly five years.

This move made sense since Kenner worked on D.C.’s bid to land Amazon’s second headquarters during the ecommerce giant’s search. He also worked on formulating D.C.’s annual inclusive innovation report with Mayor Muriel Bowser during his tenure at DMPED.

This comes after Amazon finally started hiring in May after it announced it’s bringing a headquarters to the Northern Virginia region last fall.

Shana Glenzer left Crowdskout.

Shana Glenzer was most recently the CMO of Aquicore. (Courtesy photo)

Shana Glenzer. (Courtesy photo)

Glenzer parted ways with Crowdskout in March after working for nearly two years as the company’s CMO. Glenzer is no stranger to the #dctech community, having previously held leadership roles at Aquicore, SocialRadar and MakeOffices. Most notably, she spent roughly eight years working at Blackboard.

When she left Crowdskout on Feb. 8, she said it was to pursue personal consulting projects to provide additional flexibility to manage the needs of her growing family. She has since then taken on the role of VP of marketing and communications at Diligent Corporation, a SaaS company providing online platforms to C-suite executives to assist with communication protection.

C’pher Gresham transitioned to CEO at SEED SPOT.

SEED SPOT's new CEO, C'pher Gresham. (Photo by <a href="https://www.aaronkes.com/">Aaron Kess of Aaron Kes Photography</a>)

SEED SPOT CEO C’pher Gresham. (Photo by Aaron Kes of Aaron Kes Photography)

After five years working in multiple roles, longtime SEED SPOT leader C’pher Gresham took over as CEO of the incubator on Aug. 1. He succeeded cofounder Courtney Klein, who had been SEED SPOT’s CEO for nearly eight years.

“We will serve over 1,000 entrepreneurs this year who are solving issues related to climate change, income inequality, food security, to lack of economic opportunity,” Gresham said when this reporter asked him about his goals as CEO. “We are deepening our roots in Phoenix and Washington, D.C., and are focused on expansion of our programs in Santa Barbara, Philadelphia, Seattle, and beyond.”

He started out as the director of entrepreneur initiatives at SEED SPOT, and prior to his CEO role, he was the chief strategy and operations officer, where he led strategic plans to expand beyond the incubator’s Phoenix, Arizona, headquarters to D.C., Philadelphia and other major cities. Gresham continues to be based out the District, though he travels to other SEED SPOT markets.

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