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
James Lambright
James Lambright
Chief Business 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.

 

James Lambright
Chief Business Officer

Jim's leadership roles before Gro included serving as Chairman & CEO of the U.S. Export-Import Bank, where he oversaw a $60 billion credit portfolio supporting U.S. exports to over 150 countries. As Chief Investment Officer of the U.S. Treasury Department's Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), he built the team and programs to execute over 600 investments designed to prevent the collapse of the financial system and led the rescue financings of AIG, Citi, Bank of America, GM, and Chrysler. Jim was also Senior Vice President-Corporate Development of Sempra Energy, where he led strategy and M&A for the Fortune 500 utility and gas infrastructure company.

Jim's other roles include serving as Professor of Practice at UC San Diego's School of Global Policy & Strategy, board member of PeacePlayers International, and Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute. He began his career in finance after earning degrees from Harvard Law School and Stanford University.

TR Newcomb
TR Newcomb
SVP, Growth
John De Oliveira
John De Oliveira
VP, Product
James Heneghan
James Heneghan
SVP, Agribusiness
Steve Mathews
Steve Mathews
SVP, Financial Services
TR Newcomb
SVP, Growth

T.R. has been working with technology companies in various capacities for the past 15 years. Before joining Gro, he ran the Finance and Business Development functions at Tumblr, the blogging platform acquired by Yahoo (and later Verizon).  

Prior to that, T.R. spent six years investing in late-stage technology companies at General Atlantic, the global private equity firm, backing companies such as Alibaba, Uber, and Airbnb. He also spent five years as an investment banker at Allen & Company working on M&A transactions for large internet companies. 

John De Oliveira
VP, Product

Prior to Gro, John led product for TrendKite and Dachis Group, both of which experienced rapid growth and successful exits. He began his career as a software developer and subsequently worked on the DARPA-funded Cyc artificial general intelligence project before focusing on product management.

John serves on the advisory board for Texas A&M’s Masters in Analytics, was founder of Semantic Web Austin, and led the team that published the OpenCyc commonsense knowledge base and ontology. He holds patents in social analytics and in extracting knowledge from unstructured text.

John received a B.A. in English from LeMoyne College and an MBA in Market Research from Regis University.

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.

Terence Yarde
Terence Yarde
VP, Sales
Terence Yarde
VP, Sales

Terence began his career as a systems analyst for Ford Motor Company. His primary focus involved designing and implementing technology for their Parts & Service Division. After several years in the automotive sector, he transitioned to the financial technology space and joined FactSet Research Systems. In so doing, he began a 20+ year tenure in which he held numerous client facing leadership roles. Most notably, he directed their Consulting Services group and managed several institutional sales teams focused on the global equity markets. 

Terence holds a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems from Carnegie Mellon University.

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
James Lambright
James Lambright
Chief Business 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.

 

James Lambright
Chief Business Officer

Jim's leadership roles before Gro included serving as Chairman & CEO of the U.S. Export-Import Bank, where he oversaw a $60 billion credit portfolio supporting U.S. exports to over 150 countries. As Chief Investment Officer of the U.S. Treasury Department's Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), he built the team and programs to execute over 600 investments designed to prevent the collapse of the financial system and led the rescue financings of AIG, Citi, Bank of America, GM, and Chrysler. Jim was also Senior Vice President-Corporate Development of Sempra Energy, where he led strategy and M&A for the Fortune 500 utility and gas infrastructure company.

Jim's other roles include serving as Professor of Practice at UC San Diego's School of Global Policy & Strategy, board member of PeacePlayers International, and Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute. He began his career in finance after earning degrees from Harvard Law School and Stanford University.

TR Newcomb
TR Newcomb
SVP, Growth
John De Oliveira
John De Oliveira
VP, Product
TR Newcomb
SVP, Growth

T.R. has been working with technology companies in various capacities for the past 15 years. Before joining Gro, he ran the Finance and Business Development functions at Tumblr, the blogging platform acquired by Yahoo (and later Verizon).  

Prior to that, T.R. spent six years investing in late-stage technology companies at General Atlantic, the global private equity firm, backing companies such as Alibaba, Uber, and Airbnb. He also spent five years as an investment banker at Allen & Company working on M&A transactions for large internet companies. 

John De Oliveira
VP, Product

Prior to Gro, John led product for TrendKite and Dachis Group, both of which experienced rapid growth and successful exits. He began his career as a software developer and subsequently worked on the DARPA-funded Cyc artificial general intelligence project before focusing on product management.

John serves on the advisory board for Texas A&M’s Masters in Analytics, was founder of Semantic Web Austin, and led the team that published the OpenCyc commonsense knowledge base and ontology. He holds patents in social analytics and in extracting knowledge from unstructured text.

John received a B.A. in English from LeMoyne College and an MBA in Market Research from Regis University.

James Heneghan
James Heneghan
SVP, Agribusiness
Steve Mathews
Steve Mathews
SVP, Financial Services
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.

Terence Yarde
Terence Yarde
VP, Sales
Terence Yarde
VP, Sales

Terence began his career as a systems analyst for Ford Motor Company. His primary focus involved designing and implementing technology for their Parts & Service Division. After several years in the automotive sector, he transitioned to the financial technology space and joined FactSet Research Systems. In so doing, he began a 20+ year tenure in which he held numerous client facing leadership roles. Most notably, he directed their Consulting Services group and managed several institutional sales teams focused on the global equity markets. 

Terence holds a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems from Carnegie Mellon University.