Our Team

Leadership

  • Salim Elkhou CEO

    Salim Elkhou is CEO of Onna and founded the company in 2015 when he realized that a technology-based solution was needed to address the growing ‘discovery’ problem at scale.

    Salim Elkhou is CEO of Onna and founded the company in 2015 when he realized that a technology-based solution was needed to address the growing ‘discovery’ problem at scale. Throughout his career, Salim identified a gap with the rise in popularity of cloud-based and hosted enterprise apps. He saw that knowledge quickly becomes fragmented, making search between applications manual and time-consuming, and slowing down overall performance and productivity. Risk and compliance issues get tougher too, especially given the fact that many governments are strengthening regulations. So, Salim started Onna with a mission to make the totality of people and organizations’ proprietary knowledge accessible, useful, and secure.

    His role as CEO is to ensure that the business stays focused on the long-term vision, and for transmitting that vision to shareholders, potential investors, and current and future employees. He is also focused on protecting the culture of the company as it grows, and on bringing new senior leaders into the business.

    Salim has 20 years’ experience in the technology space. Straight from university and aged only 23, he created eStet, a successful eDiscovery business, which was a consulting company that was acquired by Ernst & Young (EY).

    Salim and his wife had their first child in 2020 - their son was born during the Series B funding round so paternity leave was delayed! Salim studied in Virginia where he graduated with a Computer Science degree and has a passion for flying planes (he has a pilot’s license, although expired) and kite surfing.

    View Profile on
  • Kelly Griswold COO

    Kelly Griswold is Onna’s Chief Operating Officer, formerly the company’s Chief Strategy Officer. She oversees Sales, Customer Success, Partnerships, Finance, Marketing, and the People Team.

    Kelly Griswold was appointed as Onna’s Chief Operating Officer in October 2020, having originally joined the company as Chief Strategy Officer. She oversees Sales, Customer Success, Partnerships, Finance, Marketing, and the People Team. Her focus is on the day-to-day operations of the company, working closely with founder and CEO, Salim Elkhou, on delivering Onna’s mission.

    Kelly previously led the go-to-market function at Knowable (which was spun out of Axiom) and built the global partnerships and alliances team. Prior to Axiom, Kelly worked in finance and corporate development roles in renewable energy - she was the SVP of Business Development at Sungevity, co-founder of GSSG Solar, and part of the Global Special Situations Group at SunEdison. She started her career at UBS in a variety of roles including global corporate development.

    Kelly lives in Alameda, California, with her husband, two young children, a dog, and a cat. She has a BA in English and Sociology with a Legal Studies focus from Bucknell University.

    View Profile on
  • Michelle Wideman CCO

    Michelle Wideman is Onna’s Chief Customer Officer, responsible for the company’s customer relationships and for ensuring that organizations using Onna’s products get the best value from them.

    Michelle Wideman joined Onna in October 2020 as the company’s first Chief Customer Officer. Michelle has overall responsibility for the company’s customer relationships and for ensuring that organizations using Onna’s products get the best value from them.

    Michelle joined Onna from Dell Boomi, where she was the company’s Chief Customer Success Officer. Previously, she was the East Coast VP of Sales for Boomi and has over twenty years of experience having worked at Dell via Dell Technologies, Quest Software, Imceda Software, and Embarcadero Technologies.

    Michelle has four children, including 8-year-old triplets, and lives in Boulder, Colorado. Her parents are both retired university professors, which has fueled her passion for higher education, and previously served as Alumnae Board President for Elon University where she graduated with a BA in Broadcast Communications and Journalism.

    View Profile on
  • Russ Grant VP of Revenue

    Russ Grant leads Onna’s Revenue function from the company’s New York headquarters. His focus is on high-value strategic enterprise initiatives and he oversees Onna’s global Sales & Solution teams.

    Russ Grant leads Onna’s Revenue function from the company’s New York headquarters. His focus is on high-value strategic enterprise initiatives and he oversees Onna’s global Sales & Solution teams.

    Russ has spent his career in information technology, starting at IBM in strategy consulting for large technology companies to then running enterprise sales teams for the entire IBM software portfolio. Following his time at IBM, Russ helped seed the enterprise business at Dropbox and moved on to build a new solution-oriented sales team at leading EdTech company, Blackboard, before joining Onna.

    Russ earned two undergraduate degrees in Information Technology and History & Policy, and his MBA with a focus on Technology Strategy, all from Carnegie Mellon University. He has also served as a Captain in the United States Army and was published in the Harvard Business Review while deployed overseas. Russ is getting married to his partner, Brandi, who he met while they were both serving in the army… and is a proud owner of a rescue poodle-mix pup, Rocky.

    View Profile on
  • Headshot of Emoke Starr

    Emoke Starr VP of People

    Emoke Starr heads up Onna's Global People Team. She has overall responsibility for the company’s Human Resources function and relocated to Barcelona from San Francisco, where she was living for the last few years.

    Emoke heads up Onna's Global People Team. She has overall responsibility for the company’s Human Resources function and relocated to Barcelona from San Francisco, where she was living for the last few years.

    Emoke joined Onna from Workday, where she was most recently Senior People and Purpose Partner with overall responsibility for HR within her aligned business units globally –– including Global Expansions, Enterprise Business Technology, Enterprise Program Portfolio Office, and Emerging Services. Before Workday, Emoke was VP of People at Benchling where she built the HR function from scratch during a period of hyper-growth for the company. Previous roles have included senior HR positions at Prezi, and Cisco Systems.

    Originally from Romania, Emoke has a license in Psychology and started her career working for non-profit organizations, before pivoting to HR and leading the function for Financial Services companies in Romania. When not at work, Emoke enjoys staying physically active, cooking, and attempting DIY projects that involve power tools.

    View Profile on
  • Darin Bar

    Darin Bartik VP of Marketing

    Darin Bartik leads Onna’s global marketing team, responsible for building market awareness and driving demand for Onna’s technology.

    Darin Bartik is responsible for building market awareness and driving demand for Onna. Working closely with Sales, Customer Success, Product, Partnerships, and Communications, Darin is focused on defining Onna’s marketing strategy and leading, operationalizing and scaling the global marketing team.

    Darin Bartik has 20+ years of global marketing and senior leadership experience. He has proven success with go-to-market strategies that develop new markets, drive customer adoption, and create a platform for long-term value creation. In his previous roles with Aelita Software, Quest Software, Dell, BMC Software, and WSO2, Darin worked with a broad range of technologies, notably data integration, database management, security, analytics and cloud applications.

    Darin lives in the Atlanta metro area with his family. He has a B.S. in Marketing and an MBA from The Ohio State University. He loves to run, hike, write, and work outside in his yard.

    View Profile on
  • Headshot_Shannon Smith

    Shannon Smith VP of Engineering

    Shannon Smith leads Onna’s global engineering team toward building the world’s first Knowledge Integration Platform. He also oversees Onna’s security and IT teams.

    Shannon Smith leads Onna’s engineering organization in developing scalable software, systems and processes to support the growth of Onna’s Knowledge Integration Platform. He also oversees security and IT operations for Onna.

    Shannon has 17+ years of experience working with both startup and enterprise software companies, leading teams to deliver high quality software products. Prior to joining Onna, Shannon was Director of Engineering Operations and Quality at K4Connect. He previously led teams within the research and development division of SAS Institute.

    Shannon has a passion for helping others discover, develop and utilize their skills, while building company cultures that value learning and growth. Outside of Onna, Shannon is also the founder and executive director of Dynamic Water, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing local, clean water access to communities in need.

    View Profile on

Board of Directors

  • Ben Blume Atomico

  • Norman Fiore Dawn Capital

  • Jordi Vinas Nauta Capital

  • Salim Elkhou Onna

Onna Investors