Management Team

Paul Cusenza

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Cusenza has over thirty years of experience in building and managing businesses. He has been Chief Executive Officer of Nodal Exchange since January 2008 and led Nodal Exchange to its commencement of trading in April of 2009. Prior to Nodal Exchange, he was a co-Founder and co-President of 23andMe, a personal genetics company, and the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Alliance Management at Perlegen Sciences. He was part of the Senior Management Team of Capital One Financial during a period of great growth in the 1990s, as the Managing Director of Value-Added Alliances and Vice President Marketing & Analysis. Prior to Capital One Financial, he was a Vice President and Partner at Mercer Management Consulting (now Oliver Wyman) for nearly a decade focusing on financial services. He also worked for IBM early in his career. Mr. Cusenza holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the Harvard Business School and a B.S.E. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan.

Cody Alvarez

Chief Compliance Officer & Corporate Counsel

Mr. Alvarez joined Nodal Clear as the Chief Compliance Officer in February 2015. He has over fourteen years of compliance experience in the futures industry. Prior to joining Nodal Clear he was Special Counsel in the Division of Market Oversight at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission where he evaluated the compliance policies and procedures of futures exchanges and their compliance with core principles. Mr. Alvarez was formerly a Regulatory Analyst at FINRA where he was responsible for monitoring and reviewing trading activity on the Chicago Climate Exchange. Mr. Alvarez holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Connecticut School of Law and a B.S. in Finance from the Pennsylvania State University Smeal College of Business.

Alan Askew

Chief Technology Officer & Chief Information Officer

Mr. Askew has been the Chief Technology Officer and Chief Information Officer at Nodal Exchange since January 2008 and is responsible for all Nodal Exchange technology development, acquisition, and operations. Mr. Askew began his career as an analyst at Dean and Company, a strategic consultancy, and then moved into the field of enterprise software design and development. He has worked in both technical and technical lead roles and came to Nodal Exchange from a position as Director of Development for a custom software development company. Mr. Askew holds a B.A. in Applied Mathematics from Harvard University.

Danny Gomez

Chief Operating Officer

Danny Gomez re-joined Nodal Exchange in 2022 as the Chief Product Officer of Nodal Exchange and the Chief Operating Officer of Nodal Clear. Most recently, Danny was the Managing Director of Financial and Emerging markets for FreightWaves, a leader in supply chain data, technology, media and news. Prior to that Danny was at Nodal Exchange for almost 13 years, dating back to 2008, helping to build and launch the exchange and later was a key member of launching Nodal Clear. Danny Gomez holds a B.A. in Economics from Texas A&M University.

Ken McCracken

General Counsel

Ken McCracken joined Nodal in 2019 as Deputy General Counsel to the exchange and clearing house. Ken began his commodity futures career at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, staying for over ten years and serving as a Chief Trial Attorney in the Division of Enforcement and as a member of the CFTC-SEC Product Definition team that further defined a “Swap,” “Security-Based Swap,” and “Security-Based Swap Agreement” that effectuated the Dodd-Frank Act changes to the Commodity Exchange Act. Previously, Ken served as an Attorney at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, as a Partner at the law firm Schiff Hardin LLP, as an Adjunct Professor at George Washington University Law School, and as Assistant Attorney General for the State of Missouri. Ken McCracken holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Kansas School of Law.

Demetri Karousos


Mr. Karousos joined Nodal Exchange in January 2008. As President, he oversees the technology, operations, risk, and clearing services for Nodal Clear. Prior to the Nodal Exchange clearing house transition from LCH.Clearnet Ltd to Nodal Clear, Mr. Karousos worked closely with the risk team at LCH,Clearnet Ltd in developing risk models, conducting risk analysis, and monitoring risk performance for the Nodal Exchange market. Mr. Karousos began his career at Cambridge Energy Research Associates and later joined Williams Energy Marketing & Trading’s origination team for the international natural gas market. He has held a variety of roles in industry and management consulting prior to joining Nodal Exchange. Mr. Karousos holds a B.A. in Economics from Harvard University.

Palloma Peterson

Chief Financial Officer & Treasurer

Palloma Peterson re-joined Nodal Exchange in 2019. As Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of Nodal Exchange and Nodal Clear, Palloma is responsible for financial planning and strategy, treasury management, and oversight of all aspects of finance and accounting across Nodal’s portfolio. Palloma has over 15 years of experience in operations, finance, and accounting including over 9 years supporting Nodal, dating back to 2007, where she was previously Nodal’s Controller and Director of Human Resources, Treasury and Finance. She holds a B.A. degree in Business Administration from the Federal University of Mato Grosso, Brazil.

Nicole Ricard

Chief Marketing Officer

Ms. Ricard has over fifteen years of experience in marketing, and joined Nodal Exchange in March 2008. Prior to joining Nodal Exchange, Ms. Ricard was a Senior Manager, Marketing and Alliance Management, at Perlegen Sciences. She also previously worked in marketing management at AOL, Microstrategy and Capital One Financial. Ms. Ricard holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Georgetown University.

Huan Zhang

Chief Risk Officer

Mr. Zhang serves as the Chief Risk Officer for Nodal Clear, overseeing the Risk Team. Prior to this role, Mr. Zhang spent almost two years in China managing the clearing operations at the Dalian Commodity Exchange and leading the product and operations team at the newly-established Guangzhou Futures Exchange.  Mr. Zhang began his career at Dean & Company as a strategic consultant and then worked at Nodal Exchange in market administration and risk management roles for 10 years.  Mr. Zhang holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering and an MSCEP from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a M.Sc. and B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from Tsinghua University. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).