Cappex Senior Leadership Team

alex stepien

Alex Stepien, CEO 

Since joining Cappex in 2008, Alex has established a track record of building high-performance teams that deliver outstanding results through an obsession with execution and customer centricity.  He started with the company on the ground floor as one of the first Account Executives, selling Cappex’s solutions to college and university partners, and quickly rose into a leadership role. Alex was responsible for building the sales team and revenue operations behind our enrollment solutions business, and his involvement with Cappex’s strategic product development has contributed to an expanding solution set that closely aligns with customer needs, for both colleges and families. Alex assumed the role of CEO in 2017, and has led the organization towards a renewed focus on helping students get to Day One at the college that’s right for them.

Alex holds a BS in Economics from the University of Michigan.

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Kathy Menis

Kathy Menis, General Manager, Cappex Core Business

Kathy is an accomplished Chief Marketing Officer with demonstrated experience building and managing cross-functional teams focused on driving successful business outcomes. As head of the Cappex core business division, Kathy oversees Sales, Client Services, Marketing and Product Development, as well as the College Greenlight team.  She is a passionate storyteller and creative architect of integrated marketing campaigns leading to accelerated sales growth.

Kathy joined Cappex in 2019 with a successful track record of helping venture funded technology companies in the identity, data and advertising technology markets.  Prior to Cappex, Kathy led global marketing strategies and accelerated sales growth as Chief Marketing Officer for ORIGAMI Logic, marketing analytics software provider (acquired by Intel, June 2019), and as Chief Marketing Officer for SIGNAL, global SaaS company providing identity resolution solutions to help brands recognize and engage customers across devices and channels.  Her in-depth experience also includes Director of Product Marketing for Experian Marketing Services, a leader in consumer data products and addressable audience services for omnichannel marketing. 

Kathy earned her BA in Communications from DePaul University, and MBA in Integrated Marketing Communications from Roosevelt University.

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Tim Brennan

Tim Brennan, General Manager, Cappex Admissions Advising

Tim is a fifteen-year veteran of various start-ups and mid-market companies, currently leading our Cappex Admissions Advising team. 

Prior to joining Cappex in 2017, Tim was Chief Operating Officer at ParkWhiz, a venture-funded start-up in the on-demand parking market, leading a team of 100+ across sales, marketing, technology, operations, and product during a time of rapid growth.  While at ParkWhiz, he also oversaw and had P&L responsibility over a newly created Platform division, leading the acquisition and integration of an equal-sized competitor, building a single unified platform.  Prior to ParkWhiz, Tim was COO at Calumet Photographic, an International photo equipment manufacturer and retailer, where he managed both store and web operations.  Tim also spent time at web start-ups Viewpoints.com, Photo.com and Q Interactive. 

Tim holds a BA from Gettysburg College and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

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Steve KaniaSteve Kania, Chief Technology Officer

Steve is a skilled executive with extensive experience in technology, SaaS, mobile apps and product management, in both B2C and B2B markets.  Since joining Cappex in 2017 to lead product development efforts, Steve's responsibilities have transitioned and expanded to include managing the entire technology team and infrastructure powering Cappex's family of websites, with a focus on Software Engineering, Quality Assurance, DevOps, Data & Analytics, and IT operations. 

Prior to Cappex, Steve was the driving force behind SurePayroll's continual innovation in online payroll processing.  He spearheaded the creation of a Product Management division that defined product strategy and managed the company's expanding portfolio of HR services.  Prior to SurePayroll, Steve was a small business owner who ran a technology consulting firm that helped improve productivity for companies such as Abbott Laboratories, CNA Insurance and Ameritech Cellular.

Steve earned a BS in Mathematics from Illinois State University and an MBA from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management.

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David PruittDavid Pruitt, General Counsel & Chief Privacy Officer

David is responsible for Cappex’s legal and privacy matters and draws on years of experience as a corporate and technology lawyer in the financial services and higher education industries, including BMO Financial Group and Kaplan, Inc., a Division of the Washington Post Company. 

Joining Cappex in 2016 with extensive experience in privacy and cyber security, David has been successful in helping technology companies create great products and services while properly mitigating legal and reputation risk.

David holds a BA from the University of Illinois, a JD from Chicago-Kent College of Law and an MBA from the University of Chicago.  He also holds a CIPP/US privacy certification from the International Association of Privacy Professionals. 

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Jeanne ValentaJeanne Valenta, Vice President of Finance

Jeanne is responsible for all aspects of the Company’s financial management including accounting policies and procedures, budgeting, monthly closing process, forecasting, cash management, controls, accounts payable and receivable, management reporting and other financial processes.

Joining Cappex in 2013, Jeanne brings more than 15 years of experience in accounting to her role. Prior to Cappex, Jeanne spent 15 years at Meadows Credit Union, where she rose through the ranks from Accounting Manager to Controller.

Jeanne holds a BS in Finance from DePaul University, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude, and a Master of Science in accounting from Roosevelt University. 

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Di Gaerlen

Diane Gaerlan, Sr. Director of Human Resources

Diane is a seasoned HR professional, well-versed in the various disciplines of human resources.  Joining Cappex in 2016, she leads personnel programs related to compensation and benefits, talent acquisition, employee development and labor law compliance. 

Prior to Cappex, Diane was Director of HR for The Second City, the world’s premiere comedy club, theatre and school of improvisation in the US and Canada, and former Vice President of Human Resources for Jupiter Communities, a national multifamily property management firm with an employee presence in 15 states in both union/non-union environments. 

Diane holds a BA in Economics with minor in Sociology from Northeastern Illinois University.

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