The faces of Aspera.

Executive Team

James M Priest, CEO of Aspera Inc.

Jim Priest has 30+ years of Executive Sales and Management experience in Information Technology, including Infrastructure Management, Hosting, Software Development, Information Security, and Business Continuity. He joined Aspera Technologies as VP of Sales in 2014, and moved into the role of President a year later. Jim started his career with ADP, Bank of America, and Comdisco, then spent five years as International Director of Sales in a joint venture between Comdisco and Daimler Benz (debis) in Germany. Returning to the States, he worked in a Vice President of Sales role with several startups in a global capacity developing some of the early cloud-based services, which lead to the first SaaS and other cloud-based products and services. Most recently, Jim was in an Executive Senior Sales position with SunGard Availability Services. He has a BS Degree from Brigham Young University, and is currently VMWare certified along with other industry-standard technical certifications.

VPs & Directors

Robbie Plourde, Senior Vice President 

Robbie is a charismatic IT Business Executive with a broad background in international business. In his Senior VP role at Aspera, Robbie is responsible for Global Sales Engineering activities and License Management program leader. He has led process improvement initiatives and developing solutions that enable strategic and operational business goals for over a decade. Robbie holds both (PCOLM) Practitioner Certificate in Oracle License Management and (PCILM) Practitioner Certificate in IBM License Management. In the past 16 years, Robbie has specialized in corporate License Compliance initiatives for Fortune 500 companies in Europe, Asia, and the US. He holds an MBA from Quinnipiac University where he graduated Magna cum Laude.

David Cassery, VP/Director of Operations

David brings nearly 20 years of experience in the software industry, managing Operations, Services, Support, and Training. He joined Aspera in 2012, and quickly helped establish processes and procedures to support the rapidly growing US organization. Before Aspera, David spent nine years as Technical Services Manager at iET Solutions, heading Customer Support, Training, and Professional Services, and five years as Customer Support Manager at Applix. His education includes a BS in Business Administration as well as post-graduate studies in Computer Information Systems.

Shawn Smith, VP of Sales

Shawn joined Aspera in 2012 to lead the company’s sales efforts and expansion in the United States, both direct and through channel partners. He brings over 25 years of business leadership experience in the software and services industry, with a proven track record of closing global enterprise deals with companies like EDS, AT&T, AIG, General Electric, and Raytheon. In addition to his role as VP of Sales, Shawn is the Chief Sales Strategist for building a worldwide sales training program and methodology for Aspera and their parent company, USU Group. Most recently, Shawn was a principal of Sales Velocity Formulas, providing seasoned sales representation to overseas software companies establishing a United States footprint. He is an accomplished sales trainer and former Sandler Franchisee owner who has mentored and coached hundreds of seasoned salespeople. Earlier positions include iET Solutions, Connected Corporation and Merisel, at which he played a key role in Sales Management. Shawn has an MBA from Bryant University and a B.S. in Business from Worcester State University.

Nicole Panas, Director of Marketing

Nicole has built her career in technology ensuring that Marketing programs hit their financial and creative goals. Nicole joined Aspera Technologies in 2013 as Marketing Program Manager, and became the Director of Marketing two years later. She spent most of a decade in the Visual Effects industry specializing in online marketing campaigns for business growth, first as Senior Product Marketing Manager for GenArts, then Senior Marketing Manager at Assimilate. Nicole’s diverse foundation includes marketing for laundry technology at Mac-Gray Services, media buying/planning at Initiative, and a BSBA in Business & Marketing from Boston University.


Christof Beaupoil, Senior Advisor

As Co-founder of Aspera, Christof has over 17 years’ experience in Software Asset Management for large organizations. He heads projects and consulting using his extensive knowledge about risk management, process design, project management, global and enterprise-wide rollouts, and training. Christof has successfully led numerous SAM projects for international corporations in industries including: healthcare, chemicals, telecommunications, manufacturing, automotive, insurance, banking, and finance. Christof studied mechanical engineering and information technology at RWTH Aachen, one of the most prestigious universities in Germany, and is a certified ITIL Foundation and Licensing Specialist. 

Keith Sauvant, Senior Product Management Advisor

As Co-founder and Product Management Advisor, Keith Sauvant advises Aspera's product management team on the strategic advancement of software solutions for license management. In his previous role as Head of Technology at Aspera for over 16 years, Keith has extensive experience in Software Asset Management technology solutions for large organizations. He played a decisive role in the development of the award-winning SAM platform SmartTrack and thus decisively shaped the company. Prior to co-founding Aspera, he worked as a developer at a leading global provider of simulation technologies. Keith Sauvant studied electrical engineering and computer science at RWTH Aachen University.

Bernhard Boehler, Advisory Board USU Software AG

Bernhard Boehler is board member of USU Software AG, the parent company of Aspera. He has nearly 20 years of experience in the software industry. A co-founder of Aspera, Bernhard was previously in charge of international operations management. Before he co-founded Aspera, Bernhard was Global Account Manager at Software Spectrum Inc., where he was responsible for Fortune 500 companies in Germany and the coordination of international sales projects.