Meet our Leaders

Pictured from left to right, Vena Kostroun, Sean Burrows, and Gary Dorris.

Founded in 2002, we are an employee owned software service company. Our solutions are used by dozens of energy companies in North America and Europe. Ascend Analytics is managed by a seasoned team with over 60 years of direct energy experience.

Ascend Analytics is an innovative software service company focused on energy analytics.  Energy portfolios and markets have increased in complexity, making decision analysis more difficult.  Ascend's solutions provide the core analytic infrastructure to streamline processes, enhance understanding, and support decisions.

Our offices are in Boulder, Colorado, Bozeman, Montana and Oakland, California – our solutions are used by dozens of energy companies in North America and Europe.  

Our management team has over 60 years of direct energy experience, and our focus remains on the analytic and data infrastructure that supports decision analysis from the next hour to the next thirty years.

Ascend utilizes the latest technologies and modeling techniques to allow energy analysts and risk managers to meet today's challenges.

Meet our Leaders

Gary Dorris, Ph.D

CEO & Co-Founder
Dr. Dorris has been a pioneer of innovative solutions for energy risk management and portfolio planning for over two decades.

For the last 18 years, Dr. Dorris has led the organic growth of Ascend to an industry leading 50 person energy analytics software and consulting company. He has been a pioneer of innovative solutions for modeling power markets to support real-time operations, portfolio management, resource planning for over two decades.  His expertise is highly sought after to provide expert testimony on risk management, asset valuation, and resource planning, including acting as the lead expert witness for Merrill Lynch in the prominent Enron proceedings. He has performed independent market assessment to support over $10 billion dollars in project financing. He has been an advisor to Board of Directors.

His analytic vision to bridge the physical models for production cost with the financial models of risk management has led to development of over a dozen software applications used by over fifty energy companies.  He has been engagement director for major solutions of over two dozen power market participants in the areas of near-term operations, portfolio and risk management, data infrastructure, and resource planning.

Prior to founding Ascend, he served as CEO of e-Acumen, a 60 person energy analytics software firm.  He began his career developing structured power transactions at Citizens Power & Light.  Dr. Dorris holds a Ph.D. in applied economics and finance from Cornell University and a BS in mechanical engineering and BA in economics with Magna Cum Laude distinction also from Cornell University.

Sean Burrows, Ph.D

CTO & Co-Founder
Dr. Burrows has two decades of energy analytics experience developing technology solutions and software for energy trading and risk management

Dr. Burrows leads the development of applications such as PowerSimm and manages the operations of Ascend’s computing infrastructure including Software as a service.  With his leadership role in software development, he has focused on the development of innovative techniques for optimizing energy portfolios based on both physical and financial structures.

Dr. Burrows has led commercial development and implementations projects covering a large range of activities from solving complex statistical models to managing extremely large databases. He also has broad experience in statistics, computer management, database management, and application development.

Dr. Burrows holds a Ph.D. and M.S. from University of Wisconsin and a B.S. from Cornell University.

Vena Kostroun

Vice President of Development & Co-Founder
Mr. Kostroun has two decades of experience developing high-end analytic and software tools for energy trading and risk management.

He has successfully grown Ascend’s development team to have a rich depth of experience, breadth of skills, and high degree of innovation with a strong focus on delivery.

He previously worked as Senior Consultant at Nexant, Inc. where he led software development of PRYM for asset valuation and physical risk management of generating assets. Prior to Nexant, he served as technical lead and manager of the AcuPower analytics team at e-Acumen, Inc.

Mr. Kostroun also has experience in energy risk management and asset valuation.

Mr. Kostroun holds a M.S. in physics from the University of California at Berkeley and holds a B.S. in physics from Cornell University with Cum Laude distinction.

Carlos Blanco, Ph.D.

Managing Director of Analytic Solutions
Dr. Blanco provides expertise to Ascend's clients in the areas of analytic modeling, forecasting, optimization and simulation and also contributes to advance the software product and services to meet the evolving client needs.

He is the former co-founder and managing director of Black Swan Risk Advisors where he worked with leading organizations worldwide on a wide range of advisory and education projects.

Dr. Blanco is also a faculty member of the Oxford Princeton Programme since 2004, where he teaches several courses on energy and commodity derivatives pricing, hedging and risk management. He has published over 150 articles on a wide range of financial and commodity risk management topics. Carlos was also a lecturer at the Finance department at the University of California, Berkeley.

He is a former VP, Risk Solutions at Financial Engineering Associates (a BARRA/MSCI company), where he was a member of the Executive Management Committee as well as an essential contributor in the development and client support of the financial and energy derivatives pricing and market risk management models.

Dr. Blanco holds a Ph.D. in Finance from Universidad Complutense, Madrid, where he was awarded "Magna Cum Laude". He also has a Masters degree in Investments and International Economics from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

Keith Aubin, Ph.D

Senior Director of Development
Dr. Aubin has over a decade of financial and scientific research and development experience. He is nationally recognized as a scientist and inventor.

With previous experience in portfolio theory, rocket science, and nano-biotechnology, Dr. Aubin’s main interest is in the application of advanced mathematics to complex problems.  As Senior Director of Development, he leads the creation and enhancement of Ascend's product offerings as head of the .NET development group. Prior to working for Ascend, Keith held a position at MIT Lincoln Laboratory as a systems and architecture analyst.

Dr. Aubin holds a M.S. and Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Cornell University and a B.S. in Physics and a B.S. in Applied Mathematics from the University of Rhode Island. Dr. Aubin has published his work in a number of journals, proceedings, and book chapters.  He is also an inventor on several issued or pending patents.