Leadership


Pete Blackshaw

Founder and CEO  

LinkedIn

Pete Blackshaw is Founder and CEO of BrandRank.AI, a Cincinnati-based startup company at the intersection of brand truth and generative AI search technologies. BrandRank.AI provides companies with actionable insights and clarity to both defend reputation and win share in a shifting landscape of consumer content discovery.

A lifelong student of consumer feedback, brand promise, and technology, Pete is uniquely positioned to help companies navigate this change now underway. Most recently, Pete served as CEO of Cintrifuse, a Cincinnati-based startup catalyst and venture fund supported by major corporations such as P&G, Kroger, Scripps, and Western & Southern.  In this capacity, Pete and his team served hundreds of startups.

Pete leads with two core beliefs: “Trust your inner consumer” and “Understand how startups work — how they think, design, exploit data, and iterate — and then apply that understanding to everything you do.” These beliefs have been cornerstones of his career.

Before Cintrifuse, Pete served for eight years as Global Head of Digital for Nestlé, S.A. in Switzerland, partnering with hundreds of brands including Nescafé, KitKat, Purina, Nespresso, San Pellegrino.  He created the industry-recognized Digital Acceleration Team (DAT), Silicon Valley Innovation Outpost (SVIO), and Open Innovation Platform.  

Earlier, Pete held the title of CMO at NM Incite, a collaborative venture between Nielsen and McKinsey. His career trajectory began at Procter & Gamble, where he co-founded the first "Interactive Marketing" team and shortly thereafter, was recognized as "Interactive Marketer of the Year" by Ad Age. Following his tenure at P&G, Pete launched PlanetFeedback.com, a pioneering consumer feedback portal, which eventually became a part of Nielsen after several mergers.

Pete is the author of Satisfied Customers Tell Three Friends, Angry Customers Tell 3000, published by Random House, and is a frequent contributor to Ad Age. His contributions to the field have been acknowledged with numerous awards, including induction into the Word-of-Mouth Marketing Hall of Fame, MediaPost's “Online All Star,” and the Advertising Research Foundation's “Great Minds” Award. He has also served as a juror for the Cannes Innovation Lions twice.

Driven by his commitment to fostering trust, Pete has served as National Chairman of the National Council of Better Business Bureaus and as a member of the National Advertising Review Board. At Nestlé, he championed the creation of the industry’s inaugural "Consumer Engagement Principles," aligning top brands and retailers around shared values.

Pete holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor's degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He resides in Cincinnati, Ohio with his family.


Hank Hudepohl

Co-Founder and COO

LinkedIn

Hank Hudepohl is Co-Founder and COO of BrandRank.AI, a Cincinnati-based startup company at the intersection of brand truth and generative AI search technologies.

A seasoned executive with entrepreneurial experience, Hank has built a diverse career marked by a passion for innovation, team building, experimentation, and driving results.

Most recently, Hank served as Vice President of Product at Paycor, where he oversaw the Core SaaS Products for this $600M business. During his 6-year tenure, Hank led a team of 30 Product Managers and the integration of several acquisitions that helped transition Paycor from a private payroll company to a publicly traded, full-suite HCM business.

Prior, Hank was the Product leader for New Initiatives at TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel website and a pioneer of consumer review content with over 2 billion annual visitors. Hank joined TripAdvisor as the first employee of this "startup" inside the company, and over the next 10 years, he led teams to ideate, build, launch and grow global products for many category firsts at the company including International Restaurants, Flights, and Vacation Rentals. During this time, TripAdvisor had a successful IPO and earned a dominant position in 35 countries while amassing over 100 million reviews. Hank helped TripAdvisor win “Innovator of the Year” in travel for a fees transparency product he developed for flight shopping.

Before TripAdvisor, Hank co-founded FirstAuto, a successful automotive web application. He made sales visits by day and coded websites at night. It became profitable in its second year and the company counted nearly every franchised car dealership in Greater Cincinnati a customer before growing to Dayton, Indianapolis, San Diego and other cities.

Hank’s journey began with service in the United States Navy, where he honed his leadership skills and strategic planning as a Lieutenant and Intelligence Officer aboard an aircraft carrier during a Persian Gulf deployment. He is also the founder of Pine Row Press, a nationally recognized poetry press, and he is a writer. He has published four books and his work has been featured in literary journals and on NPR. Hank is a graduate of Harvard College (BA) and Hollins University (MFA). He and his family live in Greater Cincinnati.


Matt Cox

Chief Technology Officer

LinkedIn

Matt Cox is the Chief Technology Officer at BrandRank.AI.  Matt is an accomplished technology leader with over two decades of experience in the software engineering field. As the CTO at BrandRank.AI, he spearheads the development of AI-driven solutions that redefine how brands optimize their digital presence.


Prior to joining BrandRank.AI, Matt played a pivotal role during the initial rollout of Toast’s Delivery Service (TDS) in 2020. This was a critical time in the restaurant industry when COVID-19 forced restaurants to end dine-in services. With 90% of Toast’s customers lacking their own delivery capabilities and reliant on third-party services, Matt’s strategic direction and engineering expertise enabled Toast's clients to offer direct delivery services, significantly reducing their dependence on high-fee third-party platforms.


At TripAdvisor, Matt was a key leader within the Experiences business unit, where he managed large teams and tackled complex engineering challenges over an 11-year span. His leadership helped expand TripAdvisor’s offerings and enhance user engagement across global markets. Matt and Hank overlapped for 10 years at TripAdvisor and together they worked on building global products during this time.


Following his impactful roles at TripAdvisor and Toast, Matt served as Director of Engineering at Panalgo and as Principal Software Engineer at Thrasio, where he continued to demonstrate his expertise in data analytics and e-commerce operations.


Dr. Kelly Cohen

Chief Scientific Advisor

LinkedIn

Dr. Kelly Cohen is the Chief Scientific Advisor at BrandRank.AI.  He establishes the math heuristics by which BrandRank measures the performance of brands, as represented in generative AI chat services. 

Dr. Cohen is widely recognized for his work in AI logic systems, particularly his ability to elucidate the workings of large language models (LLMs) and their "black box" aspects. As a Responsible AI leader in the community, he champions ethical practices and transparency in AI development. Furthermore, his expertise in Game Theory and risk analysis has made him an invaluable resource in understanding strategic interactions within competitive environments, with implications that reach from economics to national security.


Dr. Kelly Cohen serves as the Endowed Chair in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Cincinnati, a prestigious position that speaks to his expertise and significant contributions to the field. His role not only involves spearheading advanced research in aerospace technology but also mentoring the next generation of engineers. Dr. Cohen's leadership extends beyond the academic sphere as he continues to foster innovation and educational excellence within the department.

In addition to his academic duties, Dr. Cohen holds the title of President of the North American Fuzzy Information Processing Society. His presidency reflects his dedication to the advancement of fuzzy logic and its applications in various information processing systems. He is at the forefront of integrating fuzzy logic into complex systems, enhancing decision-making processes across multiple disciplines.


Ashish Chatterjee

Chief Sustainability Advisor

LinkedIn

Ashish Chatterjee is the Chief Sustainability Advisor at BrandRank.AI.  He establishes the criteria by which BrandRank measures the Sustainability performance of brands, as represented in generative AI chat services. 


Ashish is a global leader with a distinguished career in consumer brands where he oversaw innovation, sustainability, supply chain, and product launches at Procter & Gamble. In addition to North America, Ashish has work experience in Asia (lived in India and Japan), Europe and Latin America.


Ashish led Product Innovation for the biggest platform in P&G, translating consumer insight into product requirements and, using his end-to-end value chain experience, he managed a multi-year portfolio of value-accretive initiatives, to meet diverse consumer needs in all regions across multiple price points.    


Previously, leading Material Innovation, Ashish identified new global suppliers to meet developed and emerging market needs for sustainability, while generating win-win partnerships that spawned innovative materials, IP, and early mover advantages for P&G. He has influenced external forums, including EDANA, to evaluate new frameworks for measuring GHGs in the material supply chain.    


Over his P&G career, Ashish has built highly productive divisions world-wide across a range of R&D disciplines.  An engineer by training, he is a Gallup certified Strengths coach, who has pursued a strengths-based culture to yield robust business and organizational outcomes in large and small departments. Ashish holds BS/MS degrees in Chemical Engineering. He speaks four languages, including Japanese.