Management Team

Paul Cusenza

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Paul Cusenza has over thirty years of experience in building and managing businesses. Paul has been Chief Executive Officer since January 2008 and led Nodal Exchange to its commencement of trading in April of 2009. Prior to Nodal Exchange, he was a co-Founder and co-President of 23andMe, a personal genetics company, and the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Alliance Management at Perlegen Sciences. He was part of the Senior Management Team of Capital One Financial during a period of great growth in the 1990s, as the Managing Director of Value-Added Alliances and Vice President Marketing & Analysis. Prior to Capital One Financial, Paul was a Vice President and Partner at Mercer Management Consulting (now Oliver Wyman) for nearly a decade focusing on financial services. He also worked for IBM early in his career. Paul Cusenza holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the Harvard Business School and a B.S.E. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan.

Alan Askew

Chief Technology Officer & Chief Information Officer

Alan Askew has been the Chief Technology Officer and Chief Information Officer at Nodal Exchange since January 2008 and is responsible for all Nodal Exchange technology development, acquisition, and operations. Alan began his career as an analyst at Dean and Company, a strategic consultancy, and then moved into the field of enterprise software design and development. He has worked in both technical and technical lead roles and came to Nodal Exchange from a position as Director of Development for a custom software development company. Alan Askew holds a B.A. in Applied Mathematics from Harvard University.

Danny Gomez

Chief Product Officer

Danny Gomez re-joined Nodal Exchange in 2022 as the Chief Product Officer of Nodal Exchange and the Chief Operating Officer of Nodal Clear. Most recently, Danny was the Managing Director of Financial and Emerging markets for FreightWaves, a leader in supply chain data, technology, media and news. Prior to that Danny was at Nodal Exchange for almost 13 years, dating back to 2008, helping to build and launch the exchange and later was a key member of launching Nodal Clear. Danny Gomez holds a B.A. in Economics from Texas A&M University.

Ken McCracken

General Counsel & Chief Regulatory Officer

Ken McCracken joined Nodal in 2019 as Deputy General Counsel to the exchange and clearing house. Ken began his commodity futures career at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, staying for over ten years and serving as a Chief Trial Attorney in the Division of Enforcement and as a member of the CFTC-SEC Product Definition team that further defined a "Swap," "Security-Based Swap," and "Security-Based Swap Agreement” that effectuated the Dodd-Frank Act changes to the Commodity Exchange Act. Previously, Ken served as an Attorney at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, as a Partner at the law firm Schiff Hardin LLP, as an Adjunct Professor at George Washington University Law School, and as Assistant Attorney General for the State of Missouri. Ken McCracken holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Kansas School of Law.

Mike Julian

Chief Commercial Officer

Mike Julian joined Nodal Exchange in 2008 and leads the Energy Markets team for Nodal Exchange. Prior to Nodal Exchange, Mike was an Energy Broker at Amerex Brokers in Houston. Prior to being an energy broker, he spent over a decade managing power trading for several entities including: Avista Energy (Vitol Gas & Electric), CMS Energy, and Tractebel Energy Marketing. Mike Julian holds a B.S.B.A. in Finance from West Virginia University.

Demetri Karousos

President and Chief Operating Officer

Mr. Karousos joined Nodal Exchange in January 2008. As President and COO, he oversees the technology, operations, and sales functions for Nodal Exchange. He began his career at Cambridge Energy Research Associates and later joined Williams Energy Marketing & Trading’s origination team for the international natural gas market. He has held a variety of roles in industry and management consulting prior to joining Nodal Exchange. Mr. Karousos holds a B.A. in Economics from Harvard University.

Palloma Peterson

Chief Financial Officer & Treasurer

Palloma Peterson re-joined Nodal Exchange in 2019. As Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of Nodal Exchange and Nodal Clear, Palloma is responsible for financial planning and strategy, treasury management, and oversight of all aspects of finance and accounting across Nodal's portfolio. Palloma has over 15 years of experience in operations, finance, and accounting including over 9 years supporting Nodal, dating back to 2007, where she was previously Nodal's Controller and Director of Human Resources, Treasury and Finance. She holds a B.A. degree in Business Administration from the Federal University of Mato Grosso, Brazil.

Nicole Ricard

Chief Marketing Officer

Nicole Ricard has over fifteen years of experience in marketing, and joined Nodal Exchange in March 2008. Prior to joining Nodal Exchange, she was a Senior Manager, Marketing and Alliance Management, at Perlegen Sciences. She also previously worked in marketing management at AOL, Microstrategy and Capital One Financial. Nicole Ricard holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Georgetown University.

Christian Schneider

Chief Strategy Officer

Christian Schneider has been with EEX Group since 2004, joining Nodal Exchange in 2019. He serves as Chief Strategy Officer and is responsible for EEX Group Strategy, M&A, and market data services. Prior to that, he led the business development for exchange traded derivatives in European power markets, global environmental markets and freight markets. Christian holds an MSc degree in Information Systems from Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany.

Laurie Smith

Chief Human Resources Officer

Laurie Smith joined Nodal in 2021. She has over 20 years of human resources experience, including leading human resources at Vibrent Health and the National Association of Home Care & Hospice. She received a Master of Science in Business degree from Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Baltimore. Laurie Smith has a Senior Professional in Human Resources Certificate (SPHR) and is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).