Meet the Orchestra


My personal artistic capabilities stop at stick figures. I am tone deaf and lack almost all coordination. However, in high school I fancied a young lady who would later drop out of high school her senior year to pursue her career with the American Ballet Theater. In an effort to persuade her to date me at the age of 16, I show her how cultured I was and how much I appreciated the arts by accepting an invitation to attend a performance of Romeo and Juliet with her at the Kennedy Center. I was fully ready to feign my intrigue in order to win her interest. But within minutes of the curtains opening, I was so captivated that I had completely forgotten I was on a date with an amazing young woman. 

My love of the ballet and the arts has only grown over the years, but the ballet was my first true love. So much so that when I sought an analogy for the boodleAI team, I initially sought to analogize the two – but I realized I could not. As much as I love ballet, each dancer is ultimately supporting the next – building up until the reveal of Romeo and Juliet who are ultimately the best dancers. 

boodleAI does not have any best dancers, and I realized it is much more like a symphony. All of the different instruments and melodies weave together at the direction of the conductor as they bring a composer’s dream to life. It is magic. But it could not be accomplished without an entire team of musicians. Musicians, who are extraordinary on their own, but, together, can create something that captivates arenas and moves the soul. No one instrument is more important than another, but they all need each other. The conductor may actually be able to play a few of the instruments, but not nearly as well or proficiently as the musicians in the symphony.

In a similar sense, that is why the third component of building a successful Middle Layer AI company is the “rare talent to build and train models.” In short, you need an extraordinary team, and boodleAI has just that – remarkable individuals, who each specialize in a different skill set, working together towards a common vision. Without them, the data, the infrastructure, the models could not exist.

Introducing Our Musicians

At boodleAI, we have an exceptional team of engineers and data professionals who have worked tirelessly for the past few years to lay the foundation for boodleGPT.

Our team has come from all walks of life: some have careers that span decades from large to small companies; others are straight from the university with this as their first job. They are a diverse group of humans with full, rich lives outside of boodle; families, friends, faith and a whole cornucopia of interests: astrology, running, dancing, meditation, rock climbing, cooking, woodworking to name a few. I am delighted to introduce them to you.

They are:

  • Freddie Sanchez – Senior Backend Engineer / Senior Application Developer 
  • Michael Landis – Lead Front End Engineer Lead Front End Engineer 
  • Aaron Spruill – Quality Assurance Manager 
  • Jacob Lambert – DevOps Manager 
  • Reilly Stanton – Lead Data Scientist 
  • Meriem Touami – Data Science Fellow 
  • Kisa Brostrom – Chief Data Officer 
  • Ansel Teng – Chief Technology Officer

The Beginning Notes of a Symphony

As anyone who has ever worked at a startup can attest to, it is not an easy job. The hours are long, the resources are limited, and the challenges plentiful. The development of boodleAI and now boodleGPT is no different. 

The very first version of boodleAI’s product was developed for the purpose of peer-to-peer fundraising.  Under the guidance of our brilliant AI adviser, our engineers implemented machine learning algorithms into our SaaS product.  Even with a rather primitive approach, AI has shown its promising potential when operated on the wealth of data over the entire US population. As we received user feedback and market signals, we took our core technology and turned it into a predictive analytics tool for the nonprofit and commercial organizations.

After the development of the peer-to-peer fundraising platform, we officially started building out our data team, and the modeling/data capabilities of our platform skyrocketed. We revamped our modeling engine, shored up our foundation of descriptive analytics, and we quickly went from 20 instant models to over 100. Those 100+ models became the foundation of our proprietary database of 35 billion insights on the entire adult population of the United States.

Time to Turn Up the Music

We are so excited to be integrating our data and modeling capabilities with the power of generative AI (commonly known as GPT). The adoption of ChatGPT has been record breaking. To put it in perspective, it took 75 years from its inception for the telephone to gain 100M monthly users.  Many decades later it took the World Wide Web 7 years to garner 100M monthly users. Shortly after that Amazon took 4 years to reach 100M monthly users, as did Facebook. TikTok set new records when it achieved that same milestone after only 9 months. ChatGPT reset all of that, when it achieved that goal after only two months.

To bring even further clarity, I recently attended a nonprofit conference and sat in on the only presentation that was talking about ChatGPT. The room was able to seat about 300 people, and it ended up having standing room only.  For those of you not familiar with the nonprofit space, it is typically very slow to adopt new technology as opposed to other sectors. In a room of almost 400 nonprofit professionals, when the speaker asked how many of them had used ChatGPT nearly 90% of them raised their hands.

While they may not have cracked the code completely, it is clear that conversational AI is one of the easiest ways for people to digest new information and discover insights that may not be readily available when looking at raw data.  We can now bring the varied musicians with their instruments of generative AI, proprietary insights, identity resolutions, predictive analytics all in a form they easily understand.  The symphony can truly start, and no one in the audience will need to feign interest in the art that is created. It will be captivating no matter who you brought to the performance originally.

Co-founder and Co-CEO, Shawn Olds, is a technology and communications thought leader. He is a military veteran and current Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army. Shawn has found ample success in both private and government sectors and continues to dedicate his time to supporting nonprofit organizations and their missions.

Connect with Shawn on LinkedIn.