Startups

Power Moves: Philly’s former director of civic tech heads to Google

Aaron Ogle most recently spent three years at DC's Nava. Plus, former PSL director Kiera Smalls takes a new role, and growth companies EverWash, Houwzer, PowerPay and Bresslergroup pick new leadership.

Aaron Ogle.

(Courtesy photo)

Power Moves is a column where we chart the comings and goings of talent across the region. Got a new hire, gig or promotion? Email us: philly@technical.ly.


Aaron Ogle, the City of Philadelphia’s former director of civic technology, is taking his civic tech chops to Google.

He comes to the role after nearly three years at DC’s Nava, which builds software for governments, as the company’s senior engineering lead, then director of engineering. His experience in civic tech runs deep: After spending a year and a half with the City, he put in two years with the OpenGov Foundation in DC and as a tech and democracy fellow at Harvard University’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation following the 2016 election. There, he was working on understanding how Congress listens to its constituents via targeted tech solutions, and worked on the From Voicemails to Votes project.

Ogle’s new role is Google’s technical program manager for civic tech, which he began early this year. He told Technical.ly he’s supporting the Google.org Fellowship program which sets up cross-functional teams of Googlers to complete up to six months of full-time pro bono work with nonprofit and civic entities.

The corporation is “a very different” org for him, he said, but he looks forward to using his engineering leadership experience and government experience for the public benefit. Ogle’s based out of Narberth, and will split his time between the Philly area and Google’s New York City office.

“I get to draw from my engineering leadership and subject matter expertise in the civic and nonprofit spaces to help maximize positive impact for the public,” he said of the new role. “Any technical solution we build is open source by default, so we use a standard open source stack to simplify development and maintenance while also enabling reuse. The specific stack depends on the current infrastructure and technical expertise of the organization.”

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It’s a strong couple of weeks for civic and government tech leadership changes: The Office of Innovation and Technology just promoted Sara Hall to director of digital services, and is currently on the hunt for a CTO.

Kiera Smalls has a new ED role

Kiera Smalls. (Courtesy photo)

Kiera Smalls, former head of Philly Startup Leaders and ebike-powered delivery service Bloc Delivery, is joining Seattle-based Running Industry Diversity Coalition (RIDC). The national organization consists of running brands, retailers, clubs, events, and runners dedicated to uniting the industry and providing resources to making it more equitable and inclusive to BIPOC folks.

Smalls is also a cofounder of Strides (formerly City Fit Girls), a group focusing on mental and physical health, and has touched on tech and fitness across her career. She’s joining the 2020-founded RIDC as its first-ever executive director. Smalls confirmed to Technical.ly that she isn’t going anywhere — she’ll be holding the role from Philadelphia.

Reaching RIDC’s equity goals will require a lot of collaboration with a focus on uplifting voices in the communities the org serves, Smalls said. She hopes the org will become the go-to resource for running industry-related DEI practices including community enhancement, education and corporate responsibility.

“I am excited about the momentum and progress I’ve seen from running companies and run leaders when it comes to this work,” she said. “RIDC gets to be at the center of it all and has a unique opportunity to help the industry keep progressing forward.”

EverWash is adding to its leadership team

Six-year-old car wash subscription service EverWash just hired two key members of its executive team, the company announced this week. Todd Rendle, most recently at Avero, has joined as the company’s CFO, and Harriet Ayoade, formerly of LeadingAgile, is now VP of marketing.

Both hires bring more than 20 years of experience in their respective fields and will help with the company’s expansion after a recent $11 million raise, which was intended to scale marketing for its consumer-facing brand and grow its Philly-based team.

Harriet Ayoade (left) and Todd Rendle join EverWash. (Courtesy photos)

“As we build out the first national consumer brand in car washes, we’re elated to have Harriet leading the charge in our marketing efforts,” said Scott Caplan, EverWash cofounder and president, in a statement. “She has enormous creative capacity and a proven track record of success across multiple brands and industries. Her leadership is exactly what we need to scale and evolve the EverWash brand.”

Chief Revenue Officer Scott Pashley said Rendle’s work will help in managing the company’s rapid growth and solidify its financial foundation for long-term success.

“His demonstrated track record in financial leadership, coupled with his passion for EverWash’s industry-changing model will open a new chapter in our company’s future,” he said.

PowerPay is boosting its home improvement division

Greg Cicatelli. (Photo via LinkedIn)

Fintech company PowerPay announced this week it had hired Greg Cicatelli as its new head of the home improvement division. In this role, Cicatelli will recruit, structure and support the entire sales operation.

Cicatelli comes from Ally Bank, where he lead their home improvement devision. He also has experience with Visa, Green Dot, American Express and GE. The King of Prussia fintech company, which manages a digital lending platform for home improvement financing, has seen a lot of growth in the last two years, including growing from 10 employees to more than 100 in 2020. It recently is expanding its offerings with the launch of a new lending platform that will increase processing speeds at the point of sale, the company said.

“We’re excited to have someone of Greg’s caliber join PowerPay. We expect to double our volume this year and we have immense confidence in Greg’s ability to help us build a world-class team,” said Michael Petrakis, PowerPay’s CEO, in a statement. “Greg is joining us at a great time — with best in class products, new technologies, and a big investment in customer support. We are anticipating big things in home improvement this year.”

Houwzer has a new GM

Real estate tech company Houwzer announced it had brought on Bob Griffith as its general manager of home services, a newly created position that will help solidify the company’s one-stop-shop mission with support and oversight for the mortgage and title teams, as well as their integration into Dash, Houwzer’s proprietary tech.

“I took a deep dive into Houwzer during a three-month consulting engagement in 2021 and came away a big fan of its value proposition, unique culture, and leadership,” Griffith said in a statement. “The GM of home services role is a perfect fit for me given my broad career experiences in mortgage and title insurance. I could not be more excited about joining this amazing group of people and leveraging my skill set to help Houwzer continue to grow and disrupt the real estate business.”

A newly merged company picks a CEO

Delve and Bresslergroup, which merged in 2021, announced that it had appointed George Demou as the combined company’s CEO. Demou recently served as the CEO of Avex, a client-focused company. He’ll work on the combined company’s brand, vision and strategic plan.

“We wanted a leader with deep experience in people-based, consultative experiences. Beyond that, we wanted someone outside our core physical product ‘centroid,'” said Dave Franchino, co-COO of the combined company, in a statement. “George’s human-centered design experience is rooted in the digital side of innovation—a valuable perspective for us. Beyond his passion for innovation, George brings the demonstrated ability to grow companies in a way that preserves, protects, and celebrates culture and people along the way.”

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