Enabling the

OMNICHANNEL CONTACT CENTER

For Over a Decade

About Us > Management Team

Enabling the Agile & Omnichannel Contact Center for Over a Decade

Over the past decade, the OpenMethods team has helped many of the largest contact centers transform their operations and experience through CX Realtime Process Automation and Omnichannel Enablement. We’ve been continuously innovating our high-ROI SaaS solutions dramatically reducing the time, effort, and cost of complex CRM, telephony, and data and workflow integrations with our CX RPA platform with OMNI. By enabling best-in-class customer experiences, our plug and play SaaS solutions have saved some of the most advanced contact centers 30+ seconds in average handling times, years of custom development, and millions of dollars, while also significantly driving up customer satisfaction.

Management Team

Gerrit V. Lydecker Jr.
Founder & CEO
Gerrit Lydecker is the founder and CEO of OpenMethods, Inc. Gerrit has been responsible for setting the strategic vision for the company and managing its overall operations. His focus on innovation, customer experience, and team has acted as the catalyst for creating products that drive operational initiatives and improve customer & agent experience. Prior to OpenMethods, he served as CEO of Virtual CSR, a leading advanced speech recognition hosting company in Silicon Valley. With over 20 years of experience in enterprise, integration, and automation software, Gerrit has been delivering innovative technology solutions to drive business growth initiatives and address market needs. He has held various executive sales, marketing, and business development positions in the technology sector, working for Tellinfo, Voice Access Technologies, Cliffstone Corp., and Call Center Technologies.
Joe Newsum

CFO & CMO

Joe Newsum brings over 20 years of diverse experience to the CFO and CMO roles at OpenMethods. Previously, Joe was the COO at Goal Zero, the 9th fastest growing company in the U.S. (2013 Inc. 5000), where he led the Operations, Marketing, and Product Development teams to a successful acquisition. Prior to Goal Zero, Joe held multiple senior positions at Sports Authority, including SVP of Marketing, where he managed a $120 million budget, and SVP of Store Operations, where he led 15,000 associates and managed a $200+ million payroll budget. Joe has 7 years of experience as a strategy consultant at McKinsey & Company and Mercer Management Consulting, and held multiple leadership roles in ecommerce and communications start-ups. Joe has an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth with High Distinction, and a B.S. in Science, Technology & Society from Stanford University.

Joe Testa

CXO

Joe comes to OpenMethods with over 20 years of experience working with and for some of the top Omnichannel Brands in the US. Having most recently served as Vice President, Omnichannel Customer Experience for Academy Sports +Outdoors (a $5B US retailer) where he had responsibility for building world class customer journeys. He founded Academy’s Customer Service Department, and developed an award-winning organization, while growing the team to 500 employees. The department has been recognized by JD Power as tops in customer satisfaction, Oracle for Excellence in contact centers, and has personally been recognized by Oracle with their Chairman’s Award for his team’s innovations and excellence. Joe has also been a contributing member of the Oracle Customer Service Cloud Executive Customer Advisory Board. He’s a respected voice in the CX space and has been a multi-year presenter at both Modern Service Experience and Oracle Open World. Joe is also a CIAC certified Strategic Leader (CCSL) by the International Customer Management Institute. Joe previously held key strategic leadership roles with GSI Commerce, Accretive Commerce and Teletech Holdings, where he worked with over 40 IR Top 500 Brands to develop leading customer service programs.

Shannon Lekas

SVP, Product & Strategy

As vice president of product and strategy, Shannon Lekas is responsible for OpenMethods product portfolio, go-to-market initiatives and strategic product direction. Prior to joining OpenMethods, Shannon spent many years with both Genesys and VHT where he held various senior-level positions focusing on strategic customers and leading teams in sales, product management, strategy and business development. He successfully led go-to-market planning for new product lines, as well as played an integral role in Premise-to-SaaS business strategy changes. He is passionate about brand engagement and the use of customer in control solutions that make brand experiences, of all types, enjoyable for customers. Shannon holds a Bachelors of Science and Masters of Science from Stephen F Austin University.

Ankur Patel

VP, Product Development & Engineering

Ankur Patel leads product development and engineering and is responsible for the full SaaS offering where he leads a team of engineers across the stack. Before joining OpenMethods, Ankur was head of web applications at VPI (Voice Print International), where Ankur’s team built the full WFM and WFO suite including analytics, quality, coaching, and interaction playback. After 5 years of scaling the product and team, VPI was acquired by NICE inc. Ankur holds a B.S in Computer Science from Cal Poly Pomona.

Trip Gillman
VP, Software & Product Development
Formerly co-founded OpenMethods LLC., Creator of OpenVXML (Eclipse based IVR Design Studio (30,000 + downloads), Co-creator of OpenIVR.

Bala Karuppannan

VP, Engineering & Products

With over 20 years of product development and management experience, Bala Karuppannan is responsible for OpenMethods Products development and Quality Assurance. He has lead many groundbreaking projects as a VP, including the Media Bar Application, which integrates various telephony platforms, the Oracle Service Cloud BUI and Fusion, Oracle service Cloud’s Third party Queue Chat, and Email integrations. In addition, he manages Customer Support with the Engineering team for OMNI channel integrations.

Before OpenMethods, Bala was the head of Automated Speech Recognition and IVR products for Contact Centers with VirtualCSR. He holds a Bachelor’s of Engineering Degree.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Gerrit V. Lydecker Jr.
Founder & CEO
Gerrit Lydecker is the founder and CEO of OpenMethods, Inc. Gerrit has been responsible for setting the strategic vision for the company and managing its overall operations. His focus on innovation, customer experience, and team has acted as the catalyst for creating products that drive operational initiatives and improve customer & agent experience. Prior to OpenMethods, he served as CEO of Virtual CSR, a leading advanced speech recognition hosting company in Silicon Valley. With over 20 years of experience in enterprise, integration, and automation software, Gerrit has been delivering innovative technology solutions to drive business growth initiatives and address market needs. He has held various executive sales, marketing, and business development positions in the technology sector, working for Tellinfo, Voice Access Technologies, Cliffstone Corp., and Call Center Technologies.
Michael J. Montgomery
Board Member

Mr. Montgomery is currently the CEO of an advisory business, Montgomery Advisory LLC. He also serves on the Board of Directors at DreamWorks SKG. Previously, he co-founded and was president of Montgomery & Co., a boutique investment bank that was focused on internet based companies. Prior to this, Mr. Montgomery was chief executive officer of Sega Gameworks, a joint venture between Sega, Universal Studios, and DreamWorks SKG. In 1995, Mr. Montgomery joined DreamWorks and was instrumental in raising $1 billion in private equity financing. In 1989, Mr. Montgomery was the vice president and treasurer of the Walt Disney Company and was actively involved in the IPO of EuroDisney, where he later became the executive vice president and chief financial officer.

Kenneth Slutsky
Board Member
Kenny Slutsky is an investor in both private and public sectors enterprises. His experience spans numerous industries including: technology, energy, real estate and financial services. Among the corporations in which he has held CEO or other senior leadership positions are Kern Oil & Refining Co, Casey Co, and Candle Corporation, a leading provider of systems management software. He has served or is serving on an advisory board of Northwest Airlines, Red Cloud Capital, AT Curd/PCL Construction Co, Saybrook Capital and Wedgewood Enterprise Corporation, among others.
David Vap
Board Member
David Vap was formerly Group Vice President of Development at Oracle. He was the most senior development executive responsible for SaaS development organization of 1100 people including Product Marketing, Product Management, Engineering, QA, Development Operations and Strategy. The team was responsible for Oracle Service Cloud at Oracle, which included RightNow CX, Inquira KB, LiveLook, and TOA Field Service. Prior to Oracle, he was Chief Product Officer, at RightNow Technolgoies, he served as Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Software AG. He also spent time at content management vendor Artesia Technologies as the Vice President of products, where he was responsible for product management, development, and quality assurance. Before joining Artesia, he founded and ultimately sold a professional services company that focused on packaging solution offerings built using a CASE tool environment. He began his career at Price Waterhouse in Washington DC. David also serves as an advisor and board member to numerous technology startups.
Clete Brewer
Board Member
Clete Brewer is a Managing Partner of NewRoad Capital Partners. He brings 25 years of experience leading successful startups, high-growth companies and publicly traded companies that broadly encompass the service industry, retail, franchising and environmental services. He has lead two IPOs and raised over $400 million in public and private financing. Since 2013, he has served as Chairman and co-managing Partner of NewRoad Capital Partners. Mr. Brewer previously served as Chairman and CEO of BlueInGreen, a water technology solutions disruptor for the environmental treatment of water and wastewater from 2010-2015. Prior to that, he was President and co-owner of Sport Clips, Inc. from 2002-2010. During his tenure there, Sports Clips grew from 42 franchised stores to over 675 with revenues of over $250 million. From 1988 to 2002, preceding Sport Clips, Inc., Mr. Brewer served as President, CEO and co-founder of Staffmark where he led the IPO (STAF:NASDAQ). Under his leadership, the company grew from $600,000 in sales to over $1.2 billion. Mr. Brewer serves on the boards of BlueInGreen, Big Elk, Spot Right and the Executive Advisory Board at the Sam Walton College of Business. Mr. Brewer graduated from the Walton College of Business in 1987 with a BSBA in Finance. He was named the Sam Walton Entrepreneur of the Year in 1996 by the University of Arkansas. In 1997, Mr. Brewer was named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for Texas, Arkansas and Oklahoma regions of the U.S.
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