Get to Know Brightly's New CEO, Don Kurelich

3 minutes

Last month, former Chief Operating Officer, Don Kurelich, was named Brightly’s new CEO following the departure of our previous CEO, Kevin Kemmerer, who is excited to pursue a new career opportunity. With more than 30 years of experience in the technology industry, and significant expertise leading large global organizations, Don’s appointment as new CEO felt like an obvious choice.  

His extensive knowledge and passion for delivering client-first experiences and developing world-class SaaS solutions make it clear that Don is more than up to the task of leading Brightly into the future. And we sat down with him recently for a short Q&A to learn more about his time as COO and what his plans for Brightly as new CEO.

You’ve been a part of Brightly’s leadership since 2022, initially as our Chief Operating Officer. What led you to joining the company

Well, I spent over two decades with Mentor Graphics, which was acquired by the Siemens Digital Industries software group.  Siemens Smart Infrastructure was looking to significantly expand their software portfolio and asked if I could support Brightly with its integration into Siemens Smart Infrastructure. Driving the integration and then becoming COO for the past two years has allowed me to get close to the portfolio, processes and clients. I’m amazed at how our products directly touch the lives of so many people. I’ve been really impressed with Brightly’s innovative solutions and our client-focused mindset. The company also has an amazing culture and is full of great people who really care about the work we’re doing, which continues to translate into more client-centric products and solutions. I’m very excited for what the future holds.

Speaking of being customer-focused, why do you think Brightly is best positioned to support clients with their biggest pain points?

Many of the organizations we partner with are dealing with labor shortages, budget cuts, knowledge and skill gaps, and just generally finding ways to do more with less. Our goal is to meet clients wherever they are. Some of our clients are still using spreadsheets and sticky notes and we help them transition to a CMMS, others are looking for new ways to leverage their existing data for forecast future budgets and capital planning or tie their CMMS to their building operations. We have over 25 years of expertise and an award-winning client success team to help us ensure we consistently provide clients with the right solution to help them plan, maintain, and sustain success.

As CEO, how has your approach to leadership evolved -- if at all -- since transitioning from COO?

I would say my approach is very much still the same. We want to continue having a very client-first mentality and develop products and services that align with our clients’ needs and goals. We want to emphasize simplicity and usability in our platforms and apps, ease adoption, lower operating costs, and we want to continue finding ways to better plan, deliver on, and measure positive outcomes, both internally and for our client partners.

What do you think sets Brightly apart in the market? 

First and foremost, our people and our culture. We are a value-driven business – we focus on doing the right things to drive value for the people who use our products and services. We also emphasize superior client service at every level, in every role. Our client-first mentality enables us to better understand our partners’ journeys and allows us to meet them where they are at any given time.

What are you most excited about as our new CEO? 

As I said, our mission is to support clients on their path to more reliable assets, infrastructure maintenance and management, investment planning, and sustainability. In my time as COO, I had the chance to enhance our operations, focus on excellence in product and service delivery, and get immersed in the culture. Now, I have an even greater opportunity to improve our client engagement and drive a longer-term strategy.  So, for me, it’s especially rewarding to continue this work and this vision in a new role.