Management Biographies

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.

Nick Banchetti

Chief Operating Officer, Founder

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.

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.

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.

Craig Strawbridge, CPA

Chief Financial Officer, 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.

Andrew Gonnella

VP, 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 VP 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.

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