Leadership

Michael Vellano
Chief Executive Officer, Founder

As CEO, Mr. Vellano’s primary focus is fulfilling the corporate mission and ensuring Vortex... Read More

Michael Vellano

Chief Executive Officer, Founder

As CEO, Mr. Vellano’s primary focus is fulfilling the corporate mission and ensuring Vortex delivers on its promise of being a turn-key, cost-effective trenchless solutions provider ranging from consulting and project management services to the delivery of products, training and installation.

Formerly, Mr. Vellano was Vice President of Sales and Marketing for one of the largest privately held trenchless underground contractors in North America. His primary responsibilities included overseeing sales, marketing, and product development functions for all business entities. He was also in charge of forging strategic business alliances as part the company’s vision of providing the widest selection of environmentally friendly, trenchless underground repair solutions to its customers. During his five-year tenure, Mr. Vellano’s used his vision and leadership to help measurably grow the company’s revenue.

From 2001 to 2009, Mr. Vellano worked for Albany, New York based Vellano Brothers, where he rose from the ranks from local Branch Manager to Vice President. During his tenure there, he helped streamline operations, grow accounts and increase sales exponentially.

Neil Wisener
President, Founder

As the President of Vortex Companies, Mr. Wisener oversees the company’s infrastructure rehabilitation materials... Read More

Neil Wisener

President, Founder

As the President of Vortex Companies, Mr. Wisener oversees the company’s infrastructure rehabilitation materials and products. Mr. Wisener serves as the President of Quadex, LLC, a company he co-founded in 1993. Under his guidance, the company has evolved from a hybrid cement mixture manufacturer to one of the nation’s largest developers and formulators of materials, products, and lining systems for water and sewer infrastructure repair and rehabilitation.

Throughout his career, Mr. Wisener never strayed too far from the contracting and construction industry. Prior to co-founding Quadex, Mr. Wisener managed a heavy equipment dealership and spent several years with Master Builders Solutions (now part of BASF), a concrete admixture and fiber manufacturer. This is where Mr. Wisener learned about the science of concrete mixture formulations and custom blending to produce high performance products for the water and sewer market.

Mr. Wisener is a 1976 graduate of the University of Arkansas at Monticello and is married with two grown children.

Nick Banchetti
Chief Operating Officer

Mr. Banchetti oversees the daily operations, logistics and budgets for all Vortex products and... Read More

Nick Banchetti

Chief Operating Officer

Mr. Banchetti oversees the daily operations, logistics and budgets for all Vortex products and services. A large part of his responsibility is managing installation crews and training teams on Vortex trenchless repair systems. Prior to joining the company, Mr. Banchetti was the Southwest Division General Manager for one of the nation’s largest trenchless contractors. Beyond his extensive operations knowledge of CIPP installation, slip lining, pipe bursting, bypass operations and pipeline assessment, Mr. Banchetti’s career has also included sales and management positions with Flowserve Corporation, Honeywell and Amri Valves, Inc.

Mr. Banchetti is a graduate of the University of Mississippi, with a degree in Business Administration. He also earned a Master’s in Business, with emphasis in Energy & Management.

Matthew Samford
Chief Financial Officer

Matthew Samford is the Vortex Companies Chief Financial Officer and oversees the corporate financial,... Read More

Matthew Samford

Chief Financial Officer

Matthew Samford is the Vortex Companies Chief Financial Officer and oversees the corporate financial, accounting and human resources teams managing all day-to-day fiscal operations for the Company. Matthew has over 14 year of professional accounting and finance experience and prior to joining the Vortex Companies, he served in various leadership positions after leaving Deloitte as an audit manager. In 2016, Matt joined Vortex as its corporate controller. His construction and Big 4 accounting background proved to be a tremendous asset and he was quickly promoted to EVP of Finance, before his eventual promotion to CFO.

A graduate of Texas A&M University's, Mays Business School, Matt holds both a Bachelors in Accounting and Masters in Finance. He has been a licensed CPA in the state of Texas since 2005 and lives in the Woodlands with his wife and three daughters.

Craig Strawbridge, CPA
VP, Tax Compliance, Founder

Mr. Strawbridge is a licensed CPA with over 40 years of diversified experience. He... Read More

Craig Strawbridge, CPA

VP, Tax Compliance, Founder

Mr. Strawbridge is a licensed CPA with over 40 years of diversified experience. He possesses a broad range of knowledge that includes financial accounting, cash flow analysis, management reporting, capital expenditure, strategic planning, forecasting, tax planning, as well as both domestic and international financial and operational performance. Mr. Strawbridge also has an extensive working background in acquisition analysis, capital project analysis, cost accounting, and multi-million dollar budgeting for the multi-company/division/plant environment.

Quin Breland, Esq.
VP, General Counsel and Acquisitions

Mr. Breland has over a decade of diversified legal expertise in both transactional and... Read More

Quin Breland, Esq.

VP, General Counsel and Acquisitions

Mr. Breland has over a decade of diversified legal expertise in both transactional and litigation matters. Formerly a shareholder with Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC, Breland has extensive experience in entity formation and management, mergers and acquisitions, commercial contracts, lending/finance, and construction law. He has represented publicly traded and privately held corporations in complex merger, stock and asset purchase transactions (on both the buy-side and sell-side), corporate financing arrangements, distribution and supply agreements, and other transactional matters.

Mr. Breland has also successfully advocated for clients in state and federal trial courts, appellate courts, and arbitration panels. Breland received his Bachelor of Science in Management (double-major in Finance and Management) magna cum laude from Tulane University’s A.B. Freeman School of Business, and his Juris Doctor cum laude from Tulane University Law School.

Andrew Gonnella
EVP, Sales and Marketing

Over the course of his career, Mr. Gonnella has proven to be an effective... Read More

Andrew Gonnella

EVP, Sales and Marketing

Over the course of his career, Mr. Gonnella has proven to be an effective sales leader in both the SaaS and construction industries. As EVP of Sales and Marketing, his focus is on sales strategy and fostering partnerships for the Vortex family of companies portfolio. Mr. Gonnella is particularly adept at working with progressive procurement methods and implementing unique go-to-market strategies for water and wastewater infrastructure solutions. He thrives on driving positive change in the way private companies collaborate with public agencies.

Prior to his role at Vortex, Mr. Gonnella was a Regional Business Development Manager for a national utility contractor, where he recorded record sales through the development of previously untapped markets for proprietary sewer rehabilitation technologies.

A New York native, Mr. Gonnella completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Maryland. He recently earned his executive MBA at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business with a focus in entrepreneurship and global strategy.

Wesley Kingery
EVP, Vortex Services

As Executive Vice President of Services, Wes oversees Vortex Companies diverse yet complementary services... Read More

Wesley Kingery

EVP, Vortex Services

As Executive Vice President of Services, Wes oversees Vortex Companies diverse yet complementary services offered be each of the divisions and seeks ways to improve operating efficiencies. He is also charged with integrating Vortex regional services on a more national scale.

Kingery began his career as a project foreman, then later project manager, for Roese Contracting Co. in Tampa, Florida. In 2003, he was hired as vice president for Tampa-based Comanco Environmental Corp., a position he held until 2006. During his time with the company, he streamlined automated equipment control systems and eliminated outside repairs and maintenance.

In 2006, Kingery and two other partners started VacVision Environmental and began focusing on CCTV cleaning, inspection and CIPP lining. Over the next decade, his vision and direction helped fuel consistent company growth by focusing on innovation and client needs. In 2017, VacVision was acquired by the Vortex Companies, where he is now a key member of the executive management team. Wes, and his wife Gena, have been married 10 years and live in Greensboro, SC with their four children.

Ram Vela
VP, Corporate Development

As Vice President of Corporate Development / Mergers & Acquisitions for the Vortex Companies,... Read More

Ram Vela

VP, Corporate Development

As Vice President of Corporate Development / Mergers & Acquisitions for the Vortex Companies, Ram focuses on both the planning, development and execution of business performance metrics. This extends across multiple business functions such as finance & accounting, operations and in some cases, sales & marketing. Additionally, his efforts focus on the identification, initial assessment, diligence and execution of all potential acquisition targets alongside Legal Counsel, Quin Breland. Together, they collectively manage and execute the entire lifecycle of all M&A transactions.

Prior to the Vortex Companies Ram owned and managed a small business consulting firm based in Annapolis, MD, Vela Associates LLC. The Company targeted clients that were pre-revenue or early in their revenue generation and aided in key areas such as implementing business development strategies, marketing & advertising and private capital fundraising. Prior to that Ram was a Senior Analyst at Greenspring Associates, a full-service provider of venture capital solutions.

Ram is a 2010 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Economics. While there, Ram was also a standout varsity football player and Distinguished Graduate Award recipient. He currently resides in Annapolis, MD, with his wife, Jennifer Collins Vela.

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