Company

Our Story

Our team came together with different critical backgrounds and saw the need for a new way for companies to show that they are doing the right thing with people’s data.

“In representing the United States on data privacy all around the world during the Obama Administration, it was clear that privacy is a fundamental human right, it is critical trade issue, and it is a bet-the-company issue for almost every company. To really tackle privacy, you have to really understand privacy protection, the technical stack, and how data is used, stored, and processed. We saw immediately that we had the team to do that.”

Justin Antonipillai

Founder and CEO
Former Acting Under Secretary, US Department of Commerce

“When leading the technology teams at small and large companies, I really understood how difficult it had become to show your customers that your were taking care of their personal information — even when you were. It was clear that development teams needed a better solution… we were just spending way too much time answering the same privacy questionnaires over and over.”

Ed Peters

Chief Technology Officer

“For over two decades of studying and developing big data platforms and writing more than 100 research papers, I witnessed how such platforms were making it easy to collect, distribute and analyze data, but hard to trace where it came from, where it was going and how it was being used. We needed a different way to think about privacy in the big data world.

Amol Deshpande

Co-Founder and Chief Scientist
Professor of Computer Science

“Starting with my days at NASA, I knew that machine learning could really help on tough issues for companies, and I saw that in field after field. When the challenge of privacy hit my radar, I knew that bringing that insight to this fundamentally people driven problem was critical.

Chris Getner

Chief Product Officer
Former Rocket Scientist

“In representing the United States on data privacy all around the world during the Obama Administration, it was clear that privacy is a fundamental human right, it is critical trade issue, and it is a bet-the-company issue for almost every company. To really tackle privacy, you have to really understand privacy protection, the technical stack, and how data is used, stored, and processed. We saw immediately that we had the team to do that.”bb

Justin Antonipillai

Founder and CEO
Former Acting Under Secretary, US Department of Commerce

“When leading the technology teams at small and large companies, I really understood how difficult it had become to show your customers that your were taking care of their personal information — even when you were. It was clear that development teams needed a better solution… we were just spending way too much time answering the same privacy questionnaires over and over.”

Ed Peters

Chief Technology Officer

“For over two decades of studying and developing big data platforms and writing more than 100 research papers, I witnessed how such platforms were making it easy to collect, distribute and analyze data, but hard to trace where it came from, where it was going and how it was being used. We needed a different way to think about privacy in the big data world.

Amol Deshpande

Co-Founder and Chief Scientist
Professor of Computer Science

“Starting with my days at NASA, I knew that machine learning could really help on tough issues for companies, and I saw that in field after field. When the challenge of privacy hit my radar, I knew that bringing that insight to this fundamentally people driven problem was critical.

Chris Getner

Chief Product Officer
Former Rocket Scientist

We are passionate about helping organizations around the world show that they really protect the privacy of their customer’s personal data.

The WireWheel team is comprised of privacy experts, data scientists, cloud ninjas, PhDs, policy wonks and others who care deeply about data, privacy and building trust in the digital era.

We designed the WireWheel Data Privacy and Protection Platform with a deep, first-hand understanding of what it takes to align privacy and data protection teams with software development, data science, security teams and outside advisors to modernize the compliance process.

The WireWheel Platform automates the most important tasks required to comply with GDPR and CCPA.

Our Senior Team

Justin Antonipillai

Founder and CEO

Justin is the Founder and CEO of WireWheel, and is recognized as one of the leading experts on privacy and data protection.  

Before WireWheel, Justin served as Acting Under Secretary for Economic Affairs at the US Department of Commerce during the Obama Administration, and led a number of high-priority international efforts around privacy and security.

For example, from 2013 until 2016, Justin led the U.S. Negotiating Team in reaching the E.U.-U.S. Privacy Shield with Europe. Among other things, Justin led dialogues with the European Commission, outreach to industry and civil society groups, briefings for Congressional committees and EU Members States, and engagements with the CNIL and E.U. Member State Ministries and Data Protection Authorities. He also testified in the EU Parliament in support of adoption of Privacy Shield.

Justin also led extensive dialogues with European Regulators on the EU General Data Protection Regulation, as the GDPR was being considered for approval.

In addition, Justin led a number of other domestic and international efforts on the issues of cybersecurity, encryption, privacy and data protection, signals intelligence reform, and other US domestic privacy law issues – and a wide range of economic issues, including tax and data policy.

Justin also led the Economics and Statistics Administration, which includes the Office of the Chief Economist and two of our nation’s leading information agencies: the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Before joining the Obama Administration, Justin was a partner in the private equity practice of Arnold & Porter LLP.

In 2016, Director James Clapper recognized Justin with the National Intelligence Medallion.

Amol Deshpande

Co-Founder and Chief Scientist

Amol Deshpande serves as WireWheel’s Chief Scientist, and leads our backend cloud engineering and data analytics product development team.

Amol is a world-renowned researcher in the field of Big Data, with a deep and broad expertise in the topics of database systems, machine learning, and cloud computing. Amol received his PhD in Computer Science from the University of California at Berkeley in 2004. Since then, Amol has spent the last 13 years in the Department of Computer Science at the
University of Maryland at College Park, most recently as Professor.

During his tenure at the University of Maryland, Amol led several high-profile and successful research projects. Some of the most prominent projects include designing a “probabilistic data management system” that enables users to systematically reason about data uncertainty; building a distributed and scalable “graph database system” to efficiently process and analyze very large and dynamic information networks; and developing a novel “collaborative data science platform” inspired by GitHub.

Amol has also done groundbreaking and highly-cited work on query optimization, adaptive query processing, sensor networks, data provenance, privacy, and cloud computing. Amol has supervised 14 doctoral students at the University of Maryland, 10 of whom have graduated with their PhDs and gone on to successful careers in industry or academia.

Amol has authored or co-authored over 80 research publications in leading conferences and journals in the fields of databases, machine learning, and algorithms. His papers have received over 8,500 citations, with an “h-index” of 38. He has received several “best-of” citations, including three best paper awards at leading conferences. He received a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award in 2006, which is given to outstanding junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars so they can further their research in their areas of expertise.

He is also on the Editorial Boards of the two most prestigious journals in the field of databases (Transactions on Databases, and VLDB Journal), and has served leading roles for numerous conferences.

Chris Getner

Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer

Chris has deep experience in starting and leading startups, including as both a startup CEO and CTO of several machine-learning driven services companies. Among other things, he co-founded and served as CTO to Aaxis Technologies – a data discovery company that later sold to Huron Consulting. Chris has established himself as an industry leader in applying machine learning and advanced analytics in the legal, regulatory, and other markets.

Chris started his career with NASA in the Space Shuttle program, and was recognized for his work on the Challenger accident investigation.

Mike Lees

Chief Revenue Officer

After starting his career in accountancy and corporate finance with KPMG, Mike entered the technology world in 1997 as an investment analyst and secondary market investor. In 2001, he started his own software company (Cerebra) raising funding from tier 1 investors such as Nokia Venture Partners and Palomar Ventures. Cerebra was sold to webMethods in 2006 where Mike became a Product Marketer for the first time, leading the company’s go-to-market strategy as they entered a new market space for BPM. This path continued in 2011 with Intralinks where as VP Product Marketing, Mike helped build a new revenue stream in secure, cloud-based collaboration. He started his CMO/CRO career with WealthEngine in 2013 and most recently, Metalogix (sold to Quest Software in July 2018). In addition to owning the entire marketing function at these companies, Mike has built inside sales teams and helped build and close pipeline for enterprise sales. When he’s not working, he is usually indulging in one of his three passions…cars, fitness or food!

Jenn Wagener

Head of Operations

Jenn Wagener serves as WireWheel’s Head of Operations, and is responsible for the day-to-day business, financial, customer and HR operations, as well as supporting strategic planning.

Jenn brought a wealth of real world and practical business expertise to WireWheel. She has a wide range of strategic and operational knowledge of SaaS businesses.

For the fifteen years before joining WireWheel, Jenn worked in the SaaS space for Hobsons, an education technology company. Jenn was initially COO of a Hobsons’ acquisition, where she led the growth to over $10 million in Revenues, a 95% renewal rate and 50 employees at the time of its acquisition. Upon joining Hobsons, Jenn built and led a Professional Services organization of over 150 employees, serving Hobsons’ 2,000 plus global customers, where she was responsible for the implementation, support and renewal of customers. Then, Jenn led M&A execution, key corporate projects and overseeing the company’s global management information systems.

Before joining Hobsons, Jenn worked for a start-up business partnered with the US Chamber of Commerce to provide services to small businesses. Jenn began her career working for JP Morgan, where she supported debt financing activities for primarily Media & Telecommunications companies.

Jenn played competitive sports in college – so beware of challenging her on the Volleyball court. When not shuttling her kids around to soccer, base/softball, basketball games or swim meets, Jenn likes to run and enjoy the outdoors.

Ed Peters

Chief Technology Officer

Ed Peters leads the software development and technology team at WireWheel, and is a veteran of multiple successful startups in the DC area, with over 15 years of experience as a technologist and an executive in software development. Most recently, he was the CTO of Opower, while it was a public company, and later led the company’s technical integration into Oracle’s Utilities Global Business Unit in their 2016 acquisition. Ed was also a leader at webMethods (now part of Software AG), Clearspring (now part of the Oracle’s Data Cloud), and Appian.

Ed brings a rare combination of technical and interpersonal skills to bear on solving important business problems. While working on critical system design problems, he’s been a regular contributor to internal and external company outreach, is a regular speaker at technology-related events around the country, and devotes much of his time to mentoring junior engineers and managers.

Ed is also a dyed-in-the wool geek—he’s never stopped programming or guiding the architecture of the products he’s working on. He spent his spare time at Opower re-implementing key algorithms for 50x performance improvements. And, while he was managing dozens of integration-related projects for the Oracle acquisition of Opower, he spent nights learning Node and Electron by building a custom application for scoring Boggle games so he and his wife could continue their bloodthirsty competition (she’s winning).

Arzu Ozbek Akay

Product Manager

Eric Amster

Head of Sales

Courtney Barton

Head of Privacy Strategy & Counsel

Scott Handler

CISO and Head of Partnerships

JJ Johnson

Lead Developer

Susan Markel

Lead Development Manager

Shepherd Smith

Head of Marketing

Jason Stevens

Lead Data Scientist

Arzu Ozbek Akay

Product Manager

Arzu leads a number of efforts on the product development and management fronts at WireWheel. She works with design and development teams to take ideas into well thought through features. She is involved with customer on boarding and success and enjoys providing WireWheel customers a smooth ride during their interaction with the platform. She is experienced in government consultancy and has led projects with several federal agencies before joining WireWheel. She previously worked in data analytics and systems management roles at a public research university and a telecommunications company. Data privacy is something that wakes her up at night (the other one is her two very active boys:J) She is an agile methodologist in life and an avid learner who carries her childlike curiosity everywhere she goes. She loves nature and smiles a lot.

Eric Amster

Head of Sales

Eric Amster has had significant success developing and managing sales organizations for both large and emerging technology companies. At Mercator Software, he was part of the management team that initiated and developed the EAI (Enterprise Application Integration) sector growing the company to 140M in five years. Though his sales leadership, he built the sales team, processes and systems enabling the company to IPO ultimately achieving a $4.5B market cap.
His prior experience includes IBM, SAP and emerging companies such as Cloudera.
Karen and Eric have two children—Alexa who just graduated from Virginia Tech, and Cole who is also a Hokie now in his sophomore year.
He enjoys tennis, car racing both watching and driving, playing guitar and a nice bottle of red wine.

Courtney Barton

Head of Privacy Strategy & Counsel

​Prior to joining WireWheel, Courtney led the global privacy programs for two Fortune 500 companies, and has over twenty years of experience as an attorney with large law firms, in-house, and with the government. She brings a wealth of experience to WireWheel on how to operationalize privacy compliance requirements.Courtney is an Advisory Board Member for the IAPP Privacy Bar Section, for the Georgetown Law School Cybersecurity Law Institute, and for the GWU Law School Privacy and Security Council. She is a former member of the Board of Directors for the Association of Corporate Counsel for the National Capital Region and Chair of the ACC Privacy and Data Security Forum. She is a graduate of Colby College, Tulane Law School, and she holds a Masters degree from Harvard University. She is a member of the bar in Virginia and D.C. and is a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US).Courtney is a native of New Orleans and so naturally loves good food, good music, and a good party. She lives in Arlington with her husband, daughter, and dog, Peggy-O.

Scott Handler

CISO and Head of Partnerships

Scott is a fellow in New America’s Cybersecurity Initiative. As a White House Fellow, he served as special advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. He served in a variety of command and staff positions during 22 years as an Army officer, including as a professor and director of international relations at West Point and second-in-command of a cyber battalion, that he helped create and grow from 20 to over 450 persons tasked with conducting full-spectrum cyberspace operations. He commanded a military intelligence company and led an infantry scout platoon inside the demilitarized zone (DMZ) at Panmunjom, Korea. Scott was senior advisor to the Commander, U.S. Cyber National Mission Force, special assistant to the senior leadership team that created U.S. Cyber Command, and special assistant to two commanding generals of the Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq. He earned a Ph.D. in political science from Stanford, a M.U.R.P. from the University of Hawaii as an East-West Fellow, and a B.S. from the U.S. Military Academy. Scott is a French-American Foundation board member and was a Council on Foreign Relations term member.

JJ Johnson

Lead Developer

JJ is the lead platform engineer and heads up application architecture for WireWheel. He designed the current application systems utilized today. He spends most of his time now designing and developing DevOps systems and creating POCs to further along future development efforts.While JJ has twenty years experience in the field, he is also a trained Semitic philologist and is an avid learner of Japanese language and culture.In his spare time, he creates translation engines for ancient languages and plays Japanese video games.

Susan Markel

Lead Development Manager

Susan leads the software development team at WireWheel. Susan brings over 15 years of experience building enterprise security products and services. Prior to joining WireWheel, she was the VP of Engineering at SecureAuth. Susan was responsible for the Access Management portfolio of products. She also held leadership positions at FireEye/Mandiant and Symantec.

Shepherd Smith

Head of Marketing

Shepherd specializes in Lead Generation and has led the marketing function at DC-area technology companies such as 3Pillar Global, True Influence, Real Magnet and Avectra, and has an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management. Fluent in German, Shepherd lived in Europe for 5 years and has worked for German, French, British and American companies.

Jason Stevens

Lead Data Scientist

Jason leads the team responsible for engineering WireWheel's technology platform. He has extensive cloud architecture experience and spends his days pondering ways to improve system scalability, security, and cost. He brings a background in software development, systems engineering, and security and is zealous about automation. Prior to joining WireWheel Jason lead R&D teams for various Department of Defense and intelligence organizations. He specialized in helping clients tackle data exploration challenges by bringing to bear big data and entity resolution methodologies. Jason is the unofficial WireWheel bike-commuting evangelist and will talk your ear off about bikes, photography, role-playing games and his kids.

Want to join the WireWheel team?