Our team is made up of smart and dedicated agriculture, design, and technology professionals from around the world. Our diversity fosters constant cross-pollination of innovative thoughts and ideas.

The Gro team today includes domain experts in plant science, agronomy, hydrology, commodities trading, data science and machine learning. These experts sit side by side with the best designers and engineers, enabling our users to maximize the value they generate from our data platform.

Our Leadership

Sara Menker

Sara Menker

Founder and CEO

Sewit Ahderom

Sewit Ahderom

Co-Founder and COO

Nemo Semret

Nemo Semret

Co-Founder and CTO

Lori Arndt

Lori Arndt

Chief Commercial Officer

Sara Menker

Founder and CEO

Prior to founding Gro, Sara was a Vice President in Morgan Stanley’s commodities group. She began her career in commodities risk management, where she covered all commodity markets, and subsequently moved to trading, where she managed an options trading portfolio.

Sara is a Trustee of the Mandela Institute For Development Studies (MINDS) and a Trustee of the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). Sara was named a Global Young Leader by the World Economic Forum and is a fellow of the African Leadership Initiative of the Aspen Institute.

Sara received a B.A. in Economics and African Studies at Mount Holyoke College and the London School of Economics and an M.B.A. from Columbia University.

Sewit Ahderom

Co-Founder and COO

Prior to joining Gro Intelligence, Sewit was a Vice President at Helios Investment Partners, an Africa-focused private investment fund with more than $4bn in capital under management. She joined Helios after working with IPS, an investment arm of the Aga Khan Development Network focused on food and agro processing as well as infrastructure development. Prior to that, Sewit was a VP at Citigroup’s Investment Banking Division in NY where she worked in the leveraged finance and global portfolio management teams.

Sewit holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Connecticut and an M.B.A. from Columbia University.

 

Nemo Semret

Co-Founder and CTO

Nemo joined Gro after 8+ years in engineering at Google, where he first worked for several years in web search on ranking algorithms. He was then Tech Lead on Google’s Ad Exchange. He led the engineering team responsible for auction algorithms and mathematical optimization. Most recently, he was Tech Lead for Contributor by Google, a product that he invented and led from research to launch. Contributor enables a post-ads business model for the web through market-based micropayments.  

Previously, Nemo was co-founder of Invisible Hand Networks, Inc. which provided real-time auction-based bandwidth exchanges for content providers and ISPs.  Nemo was also co-founder of a VOIP startup, and Adjunct Professor of Electrical Engineering at Columbia University.

Lori Arndt

Chief Commercial Officer

Lori joins us after spending over 20 years in Investment Banking, on both the buy-side and sell-side. She was most recently at Deutsche Bank as a Senior Relationship Manager and Global Head of Equities and Fixed Income Client Strategy & Analytics. Lori joined Deutsche Bank from Citadel, where she was Head of Broker Relations and Corporate Access for Surveyor Capital. Prior to Citadel, she worked at Nomura Securities in New York where she built and ran their Global Markets Client Strategy business, as well as managed Equity Sales for over a year. The majority of Lori's career was spent at Goldman Sachs where she worked first in Healthcare Investment Banking and then in the Equities division where she built and ran their Corporate Access product. Lori has a BA from the University of Pennsylvania, where she graduated magna cum laude, and an MBA from Columbia Business School, where she graduated first in her class.

Arnaud Sahuguet

Arnaud Sahuguet

Chief Product Officer

James Heneghan

James Heneghan

SVP, Agribusiness

Steve Mathews

Steve Mathews

SVP, Financial Services

Michael Simonetti

Michael Simonetti

SVP Climate & Index Products

Arnaud Sahuguet

Chief Product Officer

Prior to joining Gro Intelligence full-time, Arnaud spent a few years in academia where he launched the Urban Tech hub (Jacobs Institute at Cornell Tech), served as the director of The Foundry (a research incubator at Cornell Tech) and was the first CTO of the Governance Lab at NYU. Prior to that, he spent 8 years as a product manager at Google in New York City (speech recognition, Google Maps infrastructure) and Google.org, and 5 years at Bell Labs Research.

Arnaud holds a PhD in computer science from the University of Pennsylvania and is a graduate of Ecole Polytechnique (B.S) and Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées (M.S.) in France.

James Heneghan

SVP, Agribusiness

Jim’s more than two decade career has been focused exclusively in agriculture. Before joining Gro, Jim was a Managing Director of the agricultural commodity division of Freepoint Commodities in Stamford, Connecticut. Before Freepoint he was a Global Business Manager for agricultural commodities at BTG Pactual also in Stamford. Prior to BTG Pactual, he began his career and worked for fifteen years at the multinational agriculture company Louis Dreyfus. During his time at Louis Dreyfus he worked in a variety of managerial, research, and trading roles in Wilton, CT, Singapore, and Beijing, China. 

Jim has held memberships at major commodity exchanges and has been involved with national agricultural associations. Jim also owns and manages a farmland business in upstate New York. Jim has a BA in Economics from Trinity College in Hartford, CT and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Columbia University in New York City. 

Steve Mathews

SVP, Financial Services

Before joining Gro, Steve worked as a portfolio manager and the head of commodities research at Tudor Investment Corporation. During his tenure there, he developed extensive commodities analysis software and conducted practical study of agriculture, energy, and metals.  He is a crop scout with the Pro Farmer Crop Tour each summer, and teaches agricultural hedging at the University of Memphis.  Prior to finance, Steve commanded a tank company in the U.S. Army.

Steve holds a B.S. in Operations Research from USMA (West Point) and an M.B.A. in Statistics from the Stern School of Business at NYU. He’s currently about halfway through an M.S. degree in Agronomy from Iowa State University.  He’s also a holder of the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.

Michael Simonetti

SVP Climate & Index Products

Before joining Gro, Michael spent 20 years in financial services with a career spanning investment banking (Citi), asset management (Ziff Brothers Investments), and hedge funds (Point72).  He has built repeatable processes for improving returns grounded in quantitative financial theory and sound data analytics in every role he has held.

Michael holds an MBA from Columbia University and a BA in Mathematics from Harvard University.

Allison Tepley

Allison Tepley

Head of Marketing

Riddhima Shelat

Riddhima Shelat

Head of Design

Allison Tepley

Head of Marketing

Joining to lead marketing, Allison works with growth stage companies on their go-to-market efforts. She builds teams to connect the company and products to key groups, to lay out marketing roadmaps with Product, to build revenue pipelines with Sales, and to listen to prospects and customers. When she had her daughters, Allison started a go-to-market strategy practice focused on growth in Enterprise and SMB markets, most recently working with companies like GLG, Aventri, Newscred, and Klara. Before that, she led teams at Google, AOL, AddThis, Axial, and Yext. She started her career in Washington DC in the International Trade Administration and the US Senate, and she grew up in Tennessee. Pre-covid, she loved talking about global and American travel, and now she focuses more on puzzling, writing, and shows worth checking out.

Riddhima Shelat

Head of Design

You might call Riddhima a Jill-of-all-trades when it comes to UX.  Her background in computer science coupled with 10+ years of hands-on design experience, UX strategy, and user research puts her at the focal point of creatively solving human problems.

In her previous role at Fidelity- she created digital security products,  helped frame the right client conversation for financial advisors and worked on Fidelity’s trading platform (ATP). Outside of work you can find her dabbling with different art forms (Kintsugi has her steady attention at the moment) or at her local Girls Who Code Club - coding mazes in Scratch with third graders.

Sara Menker

Sara Menker

Founder and CEO

Sewit Ahderom

Sewit Ahderom

Co-Founder and COO

Sara Menker

Founder and CEO

Prior to founding Gro, Sara was a Vice President in Morgan Stanley’s commodities group. She began her career in commodities risk management, where she covered all commodity markets, and subsequently moved to trading, where she managed an options trading portfolio.

Sara is a Trustee of the Mandela Institute For Development Studies (MINDS) and a Trustee of the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). Sara was named a Global Young Leader by the World Economic Forum and is a fellow of the African Leadership Initiative of the Aspen Institute.

Sara received a B.A. in Economics and African Studies at Mount Holyoke College and the London School of Economics and an M.B.A. from Columbia University.

Sewit Ahderom

Co-Founder and COO

Prior to joining Gro Intelligence, Sewit was a Vice President at Helios Investment Partners, an Africa-focused private investment fund with more than $4bn in capital under management. She joined Helios after working with IPS, an investment arm of the Aga Khan Development Network focused on food and agro processing as well as infrastructure development. Prior to that, Sewit was a VP at Citigroup’s Investment Banking Division in NY where she worked in the leveraged finance and global portfolio management teams.

Sewit holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Connecticut and an M.B.A. from Columbia University.

 

Nemo Semret

Nemo Semret

Co-Founder and CTO

Lori Arndt

Lori Arndt

Chief Commercial Officer

Nemo Semret

Co-Founder and CTO

Nemo joined Gro after 8+ years in engineering at Google, where he first worked for several years in web search on ranking algorithms. He was then Tech Lead on Google’s Ad Exchange. He led the engineering team responsible for auction algorithms and mathematical optimization. Most recently, he was Tech Lead for Contributor by Google, a product that he invented and led from research to launch. Contributor enables a post-ads business model for the web through market-based micropayments.  

Previously, Nemo was co-founder of Invisible Hand Networks, Inc. which provided real-time auction-based bandwidth exchanges for content providers and ISPs.  Nemo was also co-founder of a VOIP startup, and Adjunct Professor of Electrical Engineering at Columbia University.

Lori Arndt

Chief Commercial Officer

Lori joins us after spending over 20 years in Investment Banking, on both the buy-side and sell-side. She was most recently at Deutsche Bank as a Senior Relationship Manager and Global Head of Equities and Fixed Income Client Strategy & Analytics. Lori joined Deutsche Bank from Citadel, where she was Head of Broker Relations and Corporate Access for Surveyor Capital. Prior to Citadel, she worked at Nomura Securities in New York where she built and ran their Global Markets Client Strategy business, as well as managed Equity Sales for over a year. The majority of Lori's career was spent at Goldman Sachs where she worked first in Healthcare Investment Banking and then in the Equities division where she built and ran their Corporate Access product. Lori has a BA from the University of Pennsylvania, where she graduated magna cum laude, and an MBA from Columbia Business School, where she graduated first in her class.

Arnaud Sahuguet

Arnaud Sahuguet

Chief Product Officer

James Heneghan

James Heneghan

SVP, Agribusiness

Arnaud Sahuguet

Chief Product Officer

Prior to joining Gro Intelligence full-time, Arnaud spent a few years in academia where he launched the Urban Tech hub (Jacobs Institute at Cornell Tech), served as the director of The Foundry (a research incubator at Cornell Tech) and was the first CTO of the Governance Lab at NYU. Prior to that, he spent 8 years as a product manager at Google in New York City (speech recognition, Google Maps infrastructure) and Google.org, and 5 years at Bell Labs Research.

Arnaud holds a PhD in computer science from the University of Pennsylvania and is a graduate of Ecole Polytechnique (B.S) and Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées (M.S.) in France.

James Heneghan

SVP, Agribusiness

Jim’s more than two decade career has been focused exclusively in agriculture. Before joining Gro, Jim was a Managing Director of the agricultural commodity division of Freepoint Commodities in Stamford, Connecticut. Before Freepoint he was a Global Business Manager for agricultural commodities at BTG Pactual also in Stamford. Prior to BTG Pactual, he began his career and worked for fifteen years at the multinational agriculture company Louis Dreyfus. During his time at Louis Dreyfus he worked in a variety of managerial, research, and trading roles in Wilton, CT, Singapore, and Beijing, China. 

Jim has held memberships at major commodity exchanges and has been involved with national agricultural associations. Jim also owns and manages a farmland business in upstate New York. Jim has a BA in Economics from Trinity College in Hartford, CT and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Columbia University in New York City. 

Steve Mathews

Steve Mathews

SVP, Financial Services

Michael Simonetti

Michael Simonetti

SVP Climate & Index Products

Steve Mathews

SVP, Financial Services

Before joining Gro, Steve worked as a portfolio manager and the head of commodities research at Tudor Investment Corporation. During his tenure there, he developed extensive commodities analysis software and conducted practical study of agriculture, energy, and metals.  He is a crop scout with the Pro Farmer Crop Tour each summer, and teaches agricultural hedging at the University of Memphis.  Prior to finance, Steve commanded a tank company in the U.S. Army.

Steve holds a B.S. in Operations Research from USMA (West Point) and an M.B.A. in Statistics from the Stern School of Business at NYU. He’s currently about halfway through an M.S. degree in Agronomy from Iowa State University.  He’s also a holder of the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.

Michael Simonetti

SVP Climate & Index Products

Before joining Gro, Michael spent 20 years in financial services with a career spanning investment banking (Citi), asset management (Ziff Brothers Investments), and hedge funds (Point72).  He has built repeatable processes for improving returns grounded in quantitative financial theory and sound data analytics in every role he has held.

Michael holds an MBA from Columbia University and a BA in Mathematics from Harvard University.

Allison Tepley

Allison Tepley

Head of Marketing

Riddhima Shelat

Riddhima Shelat

Head of Design

Allison Tepley

Head of Marketing

Joining to lead marketing, Allison works with growth stage companies on their go-to-market efforts. She builds teams to connect the company and products to key groups, to lay out marketing roadmaps with Product, to build revenue pipelines with Sales, and to listen to prospects and customers. When she had her daughters, Allison started a go-to-market strategy practice focused on growth in Enterprise and SMB markets, most recently working with companies like GLG, Aventri, Newscred, and Klara. Before that, she led teams at Google, AOL, AddThis, Axial, and Yext. She started her career in Washington DC in the International Trade Administration and the US Senate, and she grew up in Tennessee. Pre-covid, she loved talking about global and American travel, and now she focuses more on puzzling, writing, and shows worth checking out.

Riddhima Shelat

Head of Design

You might call Riddhima a Jill-of-all-trades when it comes to UX.  Her background in computer science coupled with 10+ years of hands-on design experience, UX strategy, and user research puts her at the focal point of creatively solving human problems.

In her previous role at Fidelity- she created digital security products,  helped frame the right client conversation for financial advisors and worked on Fidelity’s trading platform (ATP). Outside of work you can find her dabbling with different art forms (Kintsugi has her steady attention at the moment) or at her local Girls Who Code Club - coding mazes in Scratch with third graders.