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Kasasa Leadership

Much More Than Friendly Faces

Devoted To Our Clients, Consumers, And Employees

These are the outriders on the frontier of financial innovation. Torchbearers. A diverse, uncommonly accomplished team unlike any other in the industry. Their collective experience spans community banking, global digital marketing, national brand management, core processor development, multi-billion financial services, successful startups, and many other worlds.

Our leaders are united by their love of breaking new ground in pursuit of common goal: restore the balance of power to local banks and credit unions. Learn about them here — then meet them face-to-face.

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John  Kish

John Kish

Executive Chairman

Sporting Clays

John Kish is the Executive Chairman of Kasasa® and an Operating Partner with The Riverside Company. He has more than 30 years of senior management experience in the software and hardware industries and has led seven companies as President and CEO. Those businesses ranged in size from raw start-ups through $200M+ multi-national businesses.

Earlier in his career, John served in several senior management positions at Oracle, including Senior Vice President of Business Development, Vice President of the Desktop Division, and Assistant to the President responsible for market strategy and planning. Reporting directly to Larry Ellison, John established Oracle's Desktop Division and founded the Business Development organization.

John graduated from the University of Maryland with a BA in Logics and received a Ph.D. in Logics from The Johns Hopkins University.

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Gabriel  Krajicek

Gabriel (Gabe) Krajicek

Chief Executive Officer

Star Trek (Team Picard)

Gabriel Krajicek empowers community financial institutions with disruptive innovations and champions them in their fight for market dominance against megabanks and new industry players.

Gabe is captain of Kasasa®. CEO since 2005, he has provided more than 700 community banks and credit unions with banking technology and marketing services, including the nationally-branded Kasasa product suite. If all Kasasa financial institutions were a single bank, they'd be the fifth largest bank in the country, based on number of branches.

Inc. Magazine heralded the company's advances under Gabe's guidance, naming it the 23rd fastest-growing private company in America in 2009. That year, Gabe unveiled Kasasa, a national brand of highly profitable consumer-centric financial products offered exclusively at select community financial institutions. Kasasa's accolades include “Best of Show” at Finovate as well as three Platinum and six Gold MarCom Awards.

Gabe won the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Central Texas 2011 Award in his third consecutive year nominated as a finalist.

Prior to Kasasa, Gabe was President and CEO of DealerSkins, an automotive web solutions provider that served 1,200 auto dealers. Gabe took the helm in 2001, spearheading a five-year plan to drive the company into profitable territory. In 2005, Trader Publishing (parent company of Auto Trader magazine) acquired DealerSkins.

He is a Community Board Member at the Center for Child Protection. He also serves on the board of the Association for Financial Technology.

Gabe earned his MBA from Vanderbilt's Owens Graduate School of Management and his BS from Louisiana State University. He graduated both as valedictorian.

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Don  Shafer

Don Shafer

Co-founder, Chief Evangelist

K1K all the way, baby!

Don Shafer builds companies that empower community financial institutions with the products, services, and fortitude to capture and defend market share from megabanks.

Don is Co-Founder and Chief Evangelist of Kasasa®. Under Don, the company’s client base of community banks and credit unions has grown exponentially; if all Kasasa financial institutions were a single bank, they’d be the fifth largest bank in the country, based on the number of branches.

In 2009, the company then known as BancVue launched Kasasa, a national brand of rewarding financial products offered exclusively at community financial institutions. For the successes of his team and the Kasasa brand, Don received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of The Year 2011 Central Texas Award.

Don first became attuned to the opportunities and threats in the community banking industry when he founded Banking Solutions, Inc., in 1993. At BSI, Don launched Cash Flow Manager, an accounts receivable and factoring program that funded more than a billion dollars in receivables for community financial institutions. BSI sold to Town Services, Inc., in 1998.

In 1997, Don co-founded BancLeasing, a turnkey equipment-leasing program for more than 250 community financial institutions in 37 states. Don was integral in launching FundsXpress, which was providing internet banking solutions to more than 650 community financial institutions when it was acquired by First Data Corp.

Don is a member of The Salvation Army's advisory board for the greater Austin area.

He holds a BBA in Marketing from Texas A&M University. He is also a founding member of the university's Sigma Phi Epsilon chapter.

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Jeremy  Foster

Jeremy Foster

Chief Financial Officer

Strategy games

A 13-year veteran of the banking industry, Jeremy Foster increases profitability and improves organizational effectiveness for Kasasa® and its clients through financial strategy.

Jeremy is Chief Financial Officer at Kasasa. He delivers insights on product design, cost management, and asset liability management for Kasasa's $20 billion client-held product portfolio.

During his first year leading the finance team, Jeremy reduced finance and G&A expenses by 21% annually by improving vendor management and department staffing. He also led the creation of tools to model client behavior, identify consumer revenue patterns, and create incisive product P&L statements.

He joined Kasasa as an executive consultant prior to leading the analytics team. Jeremy then led an important data integrity initiative for the company before moving to a finance role, leading pricing, collections, and renewal negotiation support.

Jeremy began his career at Pioneer Bank, a $600 million community financial institution. He oversaw the retail, marketing, and operations teams during the bank’s highest-profitability period in its 100-year history – managing a 31% increase in total retail deposits and a 105% increase in transaction account balances over three years.

Jeremy received his MBA in Finance from the University of Notre Dame and is a Meyer Fellow. He also holds a BBA in Marketing and Management and an MA in Communication.

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Keith  Brannan

Keith Brannan

Chief Marketing Officer

Fly fishing on Snake River

A 20-year veteran of the financial services and technology industry, Keith Brannan increases ROI for community financial institutions by aligning organizational design, differentiated brand strategy, go-to-market initiatives, and a vision for consumer and corporate marketing tactics with sales objectives. Keith designs and scales marketing products in order for community financial institutions to have access to best-in-class marketing.

Keith is Chief Marketing Officer of Kasasa®, the innovative leader in branded, community-powered banking products proven to drive profit and growth. He directs growth initiatives for Kasasa and the company’s client base of more than 700 community banks and credit unions. 

He also drives adoption of Kasasa, a national brand of free rewards checking accounts and other products offered exclusively at select community financial institutions.

Prior to Kasasa, Keith was Vice President of Strategic Marketing for Country Financial. He directed sales, marketing, and brand strategy as well as resource management and marketing program design.

Keith led dozens of growth initiatives for the $3.5 billion financial services organization over eight years. As Financial Security Office Director, Keith spearheaded the largest initiative in the company’s history. Starting in 2004, he led a successful five-year plan to increase ROI and re-position the company. Additionally, he developed Country Financial’s corporate strategy practice. called on Keith in 1999 to develop a new corporate identity, including image, logo, messaging, and pricing. He led the launch of in 2000, taking’s new brand and business component to positive EBITDA in less than one quarter. 

Keith first gained C-level vision of the financial services landscape in 1995 at Accenture, when he served as Financial Markets Consultant to Fortune 500 companies. Clients included NationsBank, Fleet Mortgage Corporation, Financial Ideas Exchange, and U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray.

Keith received his management education from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, where he received the Exec Education Certificate from Kellogg Management Institute. He also holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Alabama.

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Pradeep  Ittycheria

Pradeep Ittycheria

Chief Technology Officer


Chief Technology Officer at Kasasa®, Pradeep Ittycheria is an experienced technology executive and entrepreneur with 17 years of experience managing software product engineering teams across a range of industries.

Pradeep co-founded Oink (, a payments company that targets the under 18 demographic. Oink has over 1.3 million users with an online wallet and a prepaid product in collaboration with Discover Financial. Oink has won many industry awards including Finovate "Best in Show" 2013.

Pradeep has successfully led new product development initiatives using global engineering teams. Before founding Oink, he ran a distributed engineering organization at Energy Solution International, a Houston-based developer of software products for the oil and gas industry. Prior to that, he was the Director of Product Development at Thermo Fisher Scientific (NYSE: TMO), where he managed a large multinational product engineering team developing software products for pharmaceutical drug discovery and production.

Pradeep is a graduate of the Jones Business School, Rice University, and holds a postgraduate diploma in Management and a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science.

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John  Waupsh

John Waupsh

Chief Innovation Officer

Preservation Project – Visit

For more than a decade, John Waupsh has pioneered integrated financial technology and marketing solutions. His innovations give community financial institutions the edge against megabanks, new industry players, and ever-changing consumer behavior.

John is Chief Innovation Officer at Kasasa®. He leads the team that architects the company’s products including Kasasa, a suite of nationally-branded products and rewards checking accounts offered exclusively at select community financial institutions.

As Chief Creative Officer from 2012 to 2015, John directed the company’s B2B and B2C marketing creative. Kasasa’s national marketing campaigns received three Platinum and six Gold MarCom Awards.

Innovations under John’s leadership have earned Kasasa three Finovate “Best of Show” titles, recognition in Fast Company’s “10 Most Innovative Companies in Finance,” and standing in the FinTech Top 100.

Prior to Kasasa, John founded FIRST ROI. His company was first to drive online business for community financial institutions. FIRST ROI also created the award-winning Reward Checking search engine — another industry first. The company’s account opening platform generated seven times more funded accounts than its competitors’.

FIRST ROI was delivering coordinated marketing and technology solutions to more than 150 community banks and credit unions when BancVue acquired it in 2011.

John is the chief instigator of Vollee, a serendipity-powered picture-messaging app, and the Preservation Project, which restores and releases lost music from the 1920s to 1980s.

His book, Bankruption: How Community Banking Can Survive Fintech, is available on Amazon.

He received his BA in Marketing Communications from Columbia College Chicago.

Read John's Bio

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Vennesa  Van Ameyde

Vennesa Van Ameyde

Chief Operations Officer

Coaching youth soccer

Vennesa Van Ameyde builds and scales collaborative infrastructure that ensures white-glove delivery of marketing and technology services to community financial institutions.

Vennesa is Chief Operations Officer for Kasasa®, an innovative leader in branded, community-powered banking products proven to drive profit and growth. She leads all customer operations, including product implementation and support, as well as creative services. Additionally, she improves efficiency through continual lean, Six Sigma, and agile practices.

Vennesa develops methods to repeat and scale Kasasa successes as the company adds new functions and departments. Her teams now serve more than 700 community financial organizations nationwide.

As Vice President of Interactive Marketing from 2011 to 2013, Vennesa defined the long-term objectives and strategic direction of the company’s internal and external marketing functions. For the first time, she aligned the company’s marketing product launch team with sales, customer service, accounting, and development departments.

Upon joining in 2008, Vennesa immediately improved the efficiency of the company’s new interactive marketing division. She doubled the company’s product launch rate and cut backlog in half as she led the department to the 1,000-launch milestone.

Vennesa serves on the Board of Directors for Upper 90 Sports Foundation, a non-profit organization that seeks to unite young athletes of all socio-economic backgrounds through competitive sports. She is also a trainer for the Lonestar Soccer Club at the Lonestar Jr. Academy.

She holds an MA in Diplomacy from Norwich University and a BS in Political Science and Anthropology from Vanderbilt University. Vennesa received Lean Six Sigma training from the University of Michigan College of Engineering and studied Theory of Constraints for Operations at The Goldratt Institute.

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Nathan  Baumeister

Nathan Baumeister

EVP of B2B Marketing

Gymnastics and CrossFit

As a numbers guy, people person, and business enthusiast, Nathan Baumeister oversees all Business-to-Business marketing strategy.

Nathan is the Executive Vice President of B2B Marketing at Kasasa®, an innovative leader in branded, community-powered banking products proven to drive profit and growth. In this role, Nathan is responsible for using data-driven marketing to redefine the competitive landscape for community financial institutions.

Nathan began at the company in 2007, where he learned about Kasasa’s mission and values in those formative years. He has held a variety of leadership roles in multiple departments, running the gamut from consulting to analytics to product management.

Most recently, Nathan held the position of Chief Patch Officer where he oversaw the company’s culture, human resource practices, facilities, and internal training to make sure that Kasasa accomplishes its mission and Patch Values — 5-Star Leadership, Interdependence, Badassitude, and Love. Kasasa is continually recognized as one of the best places to work by various organizations, including Glassdoor and the Austin Business Journal.

Nathan has also held the position of EVP, General Manager of the Enabling Product Division. While in that role, he was responsible for strategic planning, product development, and operations for Kasasa’s products and services. All of which was aimed at enabling our clients to succeed out in the marketplace.

Prior to Kasasa, Nathan co-founded The WLC, a retail provider of meal plans, exercise classes, and weight- loss consultations. As Chief Operations Officer, Nathan opened three locations and sold the company in less than a year — early proof of his ability to use data-driven analysis to develop an effective retail strategy, achieve a profitable outcome, and create a vibrant company culture.

Nathan earned his BBA from the University of Texas in just five semesters and competed on the school’s 2006 NAIGC national championship gymnastics team. He received an MBA with honors from UT’s Red McCombs School of Business.

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Greg  Wempe

Greg Wempe

Chief Client Officer

My badass Jeep

Leveraging analytics as a growth driver and success indicator, Greg Wempe engineers data from community financial institutions nationwide to optimize each institution’s product sets for maximum profit.

Greg is Chief Client Officer at Kasasa®, an innovative leader in branded, community-powered banking products proven to drive profit and growth. He advises more than 700 client financial institutions in selecting the most profitable product set, platform, and strategy. 

Greg takes a data driven approach to consulting. His team pores over analytics for hundreds of the company’s clients, identifying patterns and key components for success. The result is a vast library of customizable tactics and strategies capable of meeting — and exceeding — any community financial institution’s goals.

Greg also believes in delivering service with a personal touch. Under Greg’s leadership, Client Directors have more than doubled their face-to-face time with the community financial institutions they serve.

In 2013, as Executive Vice President and General Manager of Client Profit Solutions, Greg managed all of the company’s revenue-generating offerings, tailoring the product suite into individual client solutions.

From 2010 to 2013, Greg led the Executive Strategy team to consult executives at more than 60 community financial institutions on long-term product strategy. He served on the Asset-Liability Committee for eight institutions.

Greg joined Kasasa in 2006 as Vice President of Consulting. He built the training and analytics divisions, established the company’s consulting procedures, and created a channel between client feedback and product development. In 2007, Greg was named Vice President and Senior Executive Consultant.

When Greg joined National Instruments in 2002, he became the youngest product manager in the company’s history. A year later, Greg gained ownership of the MatrixX software. He exceeded the product’s yearly sales expectation by 30% and achieved 30% year-over-year sales growth for the next three years.

Greg holds a BE from Vanderbilt University in Biomedical Engineering and Electrical/Computer Engineering.

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Mike  Davis

Mike Davis

Chief Sales Officer

Jumping out of airplanes

As Kasasa’s Chief Sales Officer, Mike Davis uses a blend of Patch values and proven sales methodology to enhance the client experience at every level of the business. By creating a comprehensive sales journey where every interaction builds agreement with the client, he is the cutting edge of our strategy to establish the Kasasa® brand as a household name.

With more than 30 years of record sales performance and executive leadership of top-producing sales teams, Mike excels at grooming leaders who consistently exceed their goals.

He is accomplished in a wide range of high-level sales tactics, allowing him to synthesize a repeatable sales process, regardless of industry or personnel constraints. He has led seven companies to successful IPO or private equity exits in the past 20 years and has never missed a sales goal in his career.

More important that the sales results he has delivered over the years is the path of successful leaders he has developed, many of whom have sustained his legacy after his departure.

Near the beginning of his career, Mike took a VP role at ILogistix and developed a nine-figure healthcare division for the successful tech company. From there he went on to transform the sales organizations at Xelus, Aprisma, Enterasys Networks, Siemens Enterprise Communications, Tadiran Telecommunications, and most recently YourMembership.

Mike received his BSEE in Engineering and Math from the University of Arkansas and also attended The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

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Guy  Daubenspeck

Guy Daubenspeck

Chief Information Security Officer

Avid sports fan and golfer

Guy Daubenspeck is Kasasa’s Chief Information Security Officer, and a 35-year veteran of the software development and security industries. His primary focus is to protect the information belonging to Kasasa®, its clients, and our end users. He leads a growing team of security professionals, who are dedicated to defending Kasasa’s client base of more than 450 community banks and credit unions.

This means implementing a state-of-the-art portfolio that allows Kasasa to identify, anticipate, and mitigate threats, as well as sailing through rigorous internal audits and regulatory examinations.

In addition to his industry certifications, Guy has developed security programs from scratch for more than 25 banks. He was also instrumental in developing the Texas State Department’s governance for reviewing and addressing corporate account takeover risks.

A native Sooner, Guy began his career in Oklahoma as a software developer for a defense contracting company. In an effort to diversify into the commercial sector, Guy launched a new department, repurposing the company’s expertise maintaining secret and top secret data systems to serve community financial institutions.

This led to his first encounter with Kasasa (as it was known then, BancVue). He went on to partner in the Solis Technology firm, which specialized in setting up security programs for small banks — getting them ready for FDIC and FFIEC compliance. In this role, he served as the outsourced, de facto CISO for a number of small financial institutions.

Afterwards, Guy became the Director of Security for CLEAResult, an energy-efficiency company based in Austin, Texas. Working in another highly regulated industry — public utilities — he expanded his role and served as a security advisor to General Atlantic, CLEAResult’s private equity firm.

Guy is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and a Certified Information Security Manager (CISM). He received a certificate in programming from Texas Institute in Dallas and studied computer science at Cameron University. Guy is a proud husband, parent of three, and grandparent of six.

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Patrick  Laughlin

Patrick Laughlin

SVP, Compliance & Government Relations

Single-digit handicap golfer

Patrick Laughlin is responsible for developing and executing upon Kasasa’s overall government relations, regulatory agency, and compliance strategies and initiatives. He and his team research regulatory requirements for current and future products. They also create and maintain account holder disclosures and marketing disclaimer guidance for clients. At the same time, they develop relationships with influential government and regulatory officials to minimize regulatory risks and generate positive business outcomes for Kasasa® financial institutions.

During his tenure with Kasasa, Patrick has held multiple management roles; resolved a major regulatory misunderstanding with a federal banking agency; automated the generation of TISA and TILA disclosures and disclaimers; and has participated in more than 400 meetings with Members of the United States Congress and/or their staffs, lobbying for regulatory relief and reform for community financial institutions.

Patrick joined Kasasa after serving as VP, Sales & Marketing for LGI Financial Solutions (LGI) in Austin, TX. LGI designs and manages commercial and consumer financing programs for manufacturers, captive finance organizations, banks, credit unions, and major lending institutions.

Prior to joining LGI, Patrick co-founded and served as Partner and Senior Vice President at Engauge Direct offering strategic consulting, marketing services, and traditional advertising agency capabilities. The company’s business philosophies and marketing methodologies were adopted by Adaptec Newbridge Networks, Mercedes Benz, CIDCO, Xerox, MPC, and Sony, the details of which can be seen in Patrick’s book “Planting Flowers, Pulling Weeds,” published by John Wiley and Sons, Inc. in January 2002.

Patrick graduated from Wake Forest University with a BA in Psychology.

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