engineering a transformative new model in homebuilding – integrating virtual technologies, robotics and human skills – ushering in a new era of total efficiency and maximized revenues.
We’ve assembled a team of skilled tradesmen, construction technologists, and automation specialists who are transforming the homebuilding process.
“In football, as in life, the most important person on the field is often the least noticed – the left tackle: he protects the quarterback’s blind side.” As a quarterback at Stanford University, this simple lesson laid the early foundation for Garrett’s servant-leadership philosophy: “It’s the people you work with every day who determine your ability to make an impact”.
After achieving a degree in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford, and despite an early desire to jump right into a Silicon Valley start-up after graduation, Garrett’s passion to serve led him to San Diego to become an officer in the Navy SEALs. During this time, he was also selected to become an Olmsted Scholar (similar to a Rhodes Scholarship). After learning Hebrew from scratch, he earned his master’s degree in Cybersecurity at Tel Aviv University…in Hebrew! Living there in Startup Nation, he learned another critical lesson, “Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world.”
You might see two common denominators in these life shaping experiences – a love of high performing teams and fearlessness in the face of challenges. Garrett and his co-founder Kyle run headlong into the fray when most would hesitate. “If a problem is too hard for everyone else, it’s probably just right for us”. And for that reason, he is wholly committed to solving America’s elusive housing crisis.
Garrett is married to his childhood sweetheart and loves to spend time with his family. It’s no surprise that he’s also an extreme sports guy, snowboarding, mountain biking and e-foiling whenever he can. By the way, don’t ever get suckered into a ping pong game with him. It won’t go well for you.
There’s a common denominator to the events that have shaped Kyle Tompane’s life and career: teamwork.
- Playing on football and decathlon teams at Colorado University, Boulder
- Late nights in the CU Engineering Labs
- Special operations with his Navy SEAL platoon
- Founding Agorus with Garrett Moore
- Rethinking an industry that has remained largely unchanged for over a century
Kyle believes that nothing meaningful gets accomplished without the efforts of a committed team. “It will take a village to innovate a whole industry”. And Kyle is excited about the team Agorus has assembled.
As you talk with him, you get the impression that Kyle’s thinking runs deep. “Businesses are really just a collection of people, seeking to do something important in the world”. He talks about the benefit of listening to his team members and facing every challenge with an open mind. He eagerly collaborates with his teams to pressure test ideas and form solutions to real-world problems. It’s not uncommon to hear him say, “OK…crazy idea here…”.
Kyle drives the same technology and product vision at Agorus that he and Garrett set in place when they started the company. Think of him as the connective tissue between Product, Hardware, Software, Marketing, and Sales. His business philosophy is based on the principle that there is no more worthy goal than having a positive impact on an individual. So it’s not a surprise that Agorus’ mission is to impact the industry to provide quality shelter and home ownership in places where there is need.
The notion of “impact” and “teamwork” shape his personal philosophy as well. Kyle and his wife are actively involved in their church’s outreach ministries (homeless aid, crisis pregnancy centers, elementary school, and mission work). He also actively supports veteran’s programs. “When we’re truly committed and we work together, we can accomplish anything”.
Vice President, Growth and Construction
When one decides to address the quantum of issues facing the construction industry, it’s important to see the problem from many perspectives. Greg Otto’s career has primed him to do just that. Educated as both architect and engineer, he has been focused on collaborative work across the spectrum of technical disciplines key to construction, opening up the potential for innovation. Greg has had the opportunity to work with several prominent industry innovators where he has successfully led teams in all areas of the construction value chain.
As Agorus’ Vice President of Growth and Construction, Greg is charged to position and advance our housing product line. With a deep understanding of the many voices of the customer, Greg is keen to unlock untapped value within the construction ecosystem and deliver truly transformational (price, quality and performance) housing.
Greg grew up in a small town in Nebraska where he was the first in his family to go to college. His educational journey concluded at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering. Having experienced first-hand the value of education, he remains dedicated in his desire to imbue knowledge to others and champion education as a positive change agency. To this day, he continues to be focused on mentoring young people and encouraging them to maximize their potential.
He has taught at prominent architecture and engineering schools throughout his career, including roles most recently at the University of Southern California (USC) and the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCIArc). “I very much enjoy working with young people, channeling their enthusiastic energy to purpose, and helping them seek and define new visions and solutions for the future.”
Principal BIM Engineer
Alfred serves as Agorus’ Technology Architect. He is responsible for the software and hardware development and selections. As a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA), he brings 30 years of prefab offsite construction and Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) knowledge. This deep expertise in DfMA gives our clients the confidence that we can deliver the expertise they have come to expect of Agorus.
Alfred has lived all over the world and is never shy to take on a big challenge. In the case of Agorus, he’s helping to take on the challenge of changing people’s lives by making home ownership possible. As a teammate, Alfred is a great listener, making sure to understand the problem completely before positing a solution. Like any great engineer he’s an analytical problem solver. It serves him well in this role.
When Alfred is not working, he’s out in the great outdoors — woodworking, canoeing and riding his motorcycle.
Head of People
As Head of People, David Norris has been charged with carefully selecting and motivating the Agorus team, giving them a common purpose – to change the way people build homes. It’s something he’s passionate about. “I’m excited to instill a common mission in our team. We will challenge the status quo in the construction industry. I’m committed to teaming with like-minded people in this quest.”
David studied pre-med and entrepreneurship at California State Polytechnic University, Stanford University and University of California San Diego. He served in the US Navy in Naval Special Operations, where he selected and mentored top military performers for special operations. He brings these same mentoring and leadership skills to the job every day.
He also unites his team around another common purpose – to create a workplace at Agorus that is fulfilling, not simply a fun place to work or the most competitive. David is creating a culture that brings purpose and fulfillment to the lives of the people who work here building the American Dream.
Chief of Staff
Kevin Gatley is a man on the go. As Chief of Staff, Kevin actively works with Agorus’ internal and external stakeholders to facilitate growth opportunities and monitor strategic risks. How did he come by this expertise? Some might say it’s his five years of start-up experience. Others would say it was his work at University at Buffalo School of Management. Or it could be that Kevin’s leadership, experience, grit, and determination was forged by his service in the US Navy SEAL teams. Kevin focuses every skill to revitalize the homebuilding industry and help others achieve the home of their dreams.
In his role, Kevin takes a pragmatic approach to problem-solving by gathering the critical facts, filtering the noise, and working collaboratively with Agorus leadership to find a lasting and impactful solution.
Kevin has a wide variety of interests – studying neuroscience and human performance, quantum physics and history. Sound too left brain-y? He also happens to play the piano, write poetry and enjoys sleeping under the stars. And he’s never said no to a beach run or a long hike.
MEET SOME OF OUR TEAM MEMBERS
Head of Automation
“Automation should serve people, not the other way around.” This sentiment reflects Will McColl’s career journey. Will is Head of Automation at Agorus and responsible for putting the right automation in place to manufacture our precision products. Will holds a BS/MS in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University, where he first learned the magic that occurs when multi disciplinary fields work together. “This is the way true innovation happens. At Stanford, I learned to speak the different design languages of software, mechanical, and electrical engineering. One must be able to move through these different worlds to make something special.”
Not long after Stanford, Will joined a growing young outfit called Tesla Motors in Palo Alto, CA. In his seven years at Tesla, he worked with his colleagues to transition the company’s manufacturing from tabletops into the world’s most advanced electric vehicle factories. He traveled the world and built an automation team dedicated to solving difficult manufacturing
challenges with beautiful automation.
Today, Will is charged with doing the same for Agorus. He believes that Agorus’ key to success will come from the innovative spirit of our local communities. He is helping create the industry’s first “micro-factory”, where there is a deeper focus on precision, craft, and community with the home builders we serve.
Will has returned to San Diego, his childhood home, and his part-time passions include surfing, swimming, and watching sunsets.
Assistant Plant Manager
Is there really anything that can prepare someone to work at a Agorus? Kyle Tenery thinks there is. “The best preparation has been to serve a variety of roles across different industries. Looking back, the jobs that best prepared me were those that allowed me to operate in a highly independent environment to create solutions to issues.”
Talking to Kyle, you get a sense that he’s driven by early child memories. “I grew up extremely poor and we lived in low-income housing. My mom worked her tail off, saved, and ultimately was able to build a home for our family when I was six- years old”. The memory of sleeping in their own home that first night (without any furniture) motivates Kyle to come to work every day to help others achieve the American Dream.
Kyle’s home today is filled with activity. His wife, three kids and a dog help keep his tank full. Quiet moments are few and far between, but he still enjoys a simple book, hammock, a hike in the mountains, or an evening out in San Diego with oysters and cocktails.
Juan Carlos Gonzalez
Juan Carlos Gonzalez represents Agorus’ commitment to long-term quality as our Sales Inventory and Operations Planning (SIOP) Manager. Juan helps guarantee the consistent quality in everything we manufacture. His responsibilities include acquisition of new equipment and key talent, as well as standardizing processes.
A citizen of Mexico, Juan received his bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering at the CETYS Universidad and an MBA at Universidad Tecmilenio, with an emphasis on Strategic Management in Manufacturing. His career has been solely focused on improving quality and consistency in all areas of the manufacturing process. This focus will help Agorus maintain our high manufacturing standards.
Juan is always challenging himself to personal growth. He is excited about the challenges of moving to a new country, absorbing a new culture, strengthening his language skills, and making such a significant life change. But San Diego is not new. He has visited here many times, and he even proposed to his wife here. He loves tennis and golf and is actively involved in his community, teaching recovering addicts about computer programming and volunteering with Helen Keller International.
There’s just something about the fast-paced, cutting-edge nature of a startup that is appealing to Michael Ki. “When you come to Agorus, you’re surrounded with smart, motivated people. It’s very inspiring”.
As Agorus’ Software Manager, Michael is at the center of the decisions that drive the development of our software products. He’s responsible for leading the development effort, building the team and maintaining the culture of continuous quality improvement.
This leadership role is very familiar to Michael. He has led software initiatives at University of California San Diego (his alma mater) for over 20 years and has held other IT leadership positions, including as CTO. Beyond his degree, Michael has achieved several notable certifications including .NET, C#, SQL and Agile Development. He has also taught certification courses.
Michael is committed to lifelong learning. He loves sports of all kinds and is an avid mountain and road cyclist. He has a busy household with 3 young children , 3 cats, a dog, and 2 birds. He is very involved in the community, supporting ASPCA and the San Diego Blood Bank. He also mentors entry-level developers, helping to refine their skills and prepare them for work in the tech industry.
“Technology needs to serve people, not the other way around.” This people-oriented philosophy informs Craig Burgess’ role as our IT Manager. Craig is responsible for infrastructure, platforms, networks, and devices that enable all employees to perform at the highest level. Or as one colleague put it to him, “If it’s electronic, it’s you”.
Craig’s Liberal Arts approach was formed early with a degree in English from San Diego State University. As a photography student at the prestigious Art Center in Pasadena, CA, Craig began to establish a link between technology and people. Then, as a professional photographer who documented large construction projects, he became deeply involved with the industry, even to the point of understanding mechanical drawings and plans for large scale projects like the Denver Airport and Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas.
His career in IT continued to evolve as he pursued his natural interest in all things tech. His work at Agorus culminates his expertise in tech and construction and he really appreciates the spirit of the company, where employees are treated with respect and care.
As a lover of people, nature and knowledge, Craig is passionate about his life and faith. He’s inspired by leadership gurus Cal Newport and Jeff Haden. Craig is an avid fly fisherman, skier, hiker, and runner. He’s also never one to miss a church potluck.
To Johannes Porsche, precision is beauty, and beauty is precision. As Agorus’ DfM (Design for Manufacturing) Manager, Johannes incorporates his residential and commercial carpentry experience to lead the company’s team of DFM engineers and continually improve the company’s building processes.
Having received his Journeyman Carpentry Red Seal Certificate from Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, Johannes jumped at the opportunity to work for PassivHaus, an offsite prefabrication company in Germany. It was there that he learned Germany’s approach to energy-positive construction which is unmatched in quality, efficiency, accuracy, and longevity.
Johannes’ precise nature is driven by his desire to develop best-in-class solutions that make Agorus homes, in a word, “idyllic”. He uses his prefabrication and 3D CAD/CAM modeling expertise to help achieve this vision. He wants Agorus homes to serve the societal need of providing quality and affordable homes for families, providing them with a beautiful and relaxing space to thrive.
Growing up, you couldn’t keep Kianna Jue away from her father’s construction sites. Even as a young girl, she had a passion for architecture and home engineering. This passion ultimately led her to the University of California San Diego where she graduated with a degree in Structural Engineering. Kianna also had the opportunity to study at Florence University of the Arts in Florence, Italy. It was a lifechanging experience that cemented her desire to create spaces where families can create memories.
As the Artificial Residential Construction (ARC) Manager, Kianna bridges the gap between the real and the imagined. Each day, Kianna performs structural engineering calculations and drafts plans for building permit sets. She is also focused on Agorus software development, increasing the ARC Team’s efficiency and product integration of construction trades. Equally technical and creative, Kianna creates processes to enhance the Agorus virtual reality models that help her teammates, partners, and customers visualize the entirety of a building.
Outside her work, Kianna is involved with the Mawanda Project, a charity that supports children and families located in Iganga, Uganda.
Systems Engineer Grayson Lynch spends his day making sure all the machinery and robotics in our manufacturing facilities are running smoothly. As an experienced engineer with deep knowledge in IT, automation, and woodworking, Grayson is also in charge of improving the efficiency of our facilities. He’s constantly inventing new machines and applications to support our ongoing effort to deliver the best, most efficient product to our partners.
Grayson’s love of engineering started early. He attended Embry Riddle Aeronautical University where he earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering and Robotics. As a team member, Grayson is a very efficient multi-tasker who keeps his eye on the big picture. He believes the best way to solve a problem is to distill it to its most basic components and then devise a clear, simple solution. We see this in action as he walks through the facility, determining how Agorus can bring modern, digital age innovation to the building industry.
When not at work, Grayson is involved with many charitable organizations and is an active leader in his church.
As you walk through the Agorus production facilities you’re likely to see Eddie gathering people together to address the challenges of the day. As the Morning Shift Lead, Eddie’s drive is to create the most professional production environment in the housing construction industry. This drive started early. As a student in college, he became a part of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) where he experienced first-hand, engineers and other business professionals who were at the top of their game.
His approach to problem solving is unique. As he works with his team, one of his first questions is, “Is the problem mechanical or material? Is this a problem that we need to solve, or has it already been solved by someone else?”. This thinking fosters better collaboration within his team and instills a more professional environment. While Eddie is all about maximizing productivity, he is equally committed to creating a place where he can bring together people of diverse backgrounds to solve a common challenge, while achieving their personal and professional growth goals.
Eddie has many other personal pursuits. One of his biggest passions is supporting an organization called Charity Water, bringing clean water to the 771 million people who do not have it.
Is it possible that 26 years of military service has instilled the same level of discipline and quality required for Agorus’ Training Coordinator? We think so. And that’s why we were delighted to entrust our San Diego production facility training to Yulin. Each day, we see his disciplined nature filter through the plant to ensure that Agorus production meets our (and our partners’) expectations for quality and on-time delivery.
Yulin has applied his military service and electrical engineering expertise to his team-oriented philosophy. “I really enjoy learning from others. It’s important that we all remain considerate, open-minded and coachable”. As a result, he’s created a supportive environment where teammates can learn from one another and enhance their professional growth.
Yulin is involved with multiple charities and civic organizations, including the Military (Retired/Active) Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and the Fleet Reserve Association (FRA).
Talent Acquisition Specialist
Never underestimate how your life might change when you least expect it. Corey Olson, our Talent Acquisition Specialist, met Kyle Tompane at a fundraiser in San Diego and the rest, as they say, is history. Since then, Corey has served in many capacities at Agorus. But in his current position, Corey has the opportunity to apply his broad knowledge of the company, combined with a servant’s heart, to develop the processes to attract and hire the top talent that makes up the Agorus team.
Corey’s spirit is contagious. He sees the workplace as a place where memories are made and life is to be enjoyed. “After all, we spend enough time at work, we might as well enjoy ourselves”. Corey has a keen, problem-solving mind and approaches every challenge by considering all aspects, then deciding and implementing a solution. He brings special skills to the job of process building, including Lean Six Sigma, Project Planning and Building Automation experience.
Corey’s work philosophy, positive attitude, and his passion – mentoring men to become leaders who make a positive difference in our world – are all informed by his faith journey. He is active with his church, serving on Sunday mornings and leading small group events on Wednesdays. During college, Corey was involved with his college’s ministry at Point Loma University. He’s also grateful for that decision to attend a fund-raiser one random Saturday night.
People and Experience Generalist
When you’re a company that builds homes for people, it’s important to create a culture where your own people feel at home.
Kari Ormond is largely responsible for creating a home and hearth atmosphere at Agorus. She leads our effort in talent acquisition and management, helping to recruit and onboard new Agorus employees and serving as a catalyst for better cross-team collaboration. Currently pursuing her MBA at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, her previous positions in Human Relations and business management are key to Agorus’ growth.
Kari is a career professional who served in similar capacities at other companies, improving employee communication and self-awareness. This commitment isn’t the norm with many construction companies, but Agorus found just the right person in Kari to facilitate our employee communication and care.
Kari is passionate about making a positive difference in the lives of others. She enjoys volunteering with the San Diego Padres, where she serves multiples groups, including the San Diego Food Bank and Rady Children’s Hospital. She is also an active volunteer with Grace Church.
As a Silicon Valley startup veteran, Peter Kent has spent his life growing things – businesses, startups, government entities and non-profits. As our CFO, this growth mindset makes Peter the best choice to take Agorus through its next chapter of successful growth. “What’s the key to leading a company as CFO”, you ask? Peter would tell you it’s two parts perseverance, one part collaboration and three parts integrity — being a person of your word.
So, when it comes to piloting Agorus through this next chapter, Peter daily lives out his philosophy of believing in the people around him and building a collaborative team based on trust.
Supported by a degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Michigan, Peter is an instructor at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and develops graduate engineering Tech Venture Formation courses. As if he were not busy enough, Peter, always the consummate underachiever is an avid Stanford Football blogger and active volunteer with the International Christian Chamber of Commerce (ICCC). Through the ICCC he continues to build relationships, make connections and help other businesses and organizations grow. See, we told you he liked growing things.
“Deliver on your commitments.” It’s a phrase that has shaped Jumie Yuventi’s professional career. Jumie’s achievments are largely a function of always doing what he says he will do. As a product lead and engineer of record in the Architectural, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry, he has led development of design automation, pre-fabrication, and building technology solutions, helping companies he was involved in generate over $1B a year in revenue.
Jumie got into this business for much the same reason that Agorus was created – to make affordable shelter and home ownership more attainable. In his daily work at Agorus, he provides advice on organizational strategy, product road mapping, and program development. In his 12 years as an industry professional he has worked with some well-known companies in this space, including Katerra, Cupertino Electric, and Construction Innovations.
On the side, Jumie is involved in private equity and real estate investing, including provision of sustainable housing solutions for individuals living with mental and physical disabilities.
Lynn Fulks is a natural born marketer. After a long tenure with Microsoft, delivering domestic and international marketing programs, Lynn became President and co-founder of Upstart Group. She serves as the Acting CMO at Agorus. Lynn brings a strong marketing mind and a huge helping of Texas charm to get the job done. She sets a strong marketing direction for Agorus and other technology clients.
One of Lynn’s strengths is her vast personal network of consultants. But it’s her constant drive and laser focus on results that largely accounts for her success. Lynn has assembled her many contacts and resources to provide a comprehensive marketing program for Agorus, setting it on a path of exponential growth.
Lynn enjoys being a citizen scientist, SCUBA diving and surveying tropical fish species around the world for REEF.org. Oh yeah, and on a good day she’ll take you golfing.
Meet the Founders
We’re backed by leading venture groups in the construction and technology space.