Optimization Direct Inc.
202 Parkway
Harrington Park NJ 07640
Phone: 201 256 7323


Robert Ashford

Dr. Ashford has a Master’s degree in Mathematics from Cambridge University and a Ph.D. from Warwick Business School. He has authored over 20 academic papers in Optimization.

Robert co-founded Dash Optimization in 1984. Helped pioneer the development of new modelling and solution technologies – the first integrated development environment for optimization – in the forefront of technology development driving the size, complexity and scope of applications. Dash was sold in 2008 and Robert continued leading development within Fair Isaac until the Fall of 2010, Dr. Ashford subsequently, co-founded Optimization Direct in 2014.

Alkis Vazacopoulos
Vice President Sales & Marketing

Dr. Vazacopoulos is a pioneer in using Parallel Programming for solving Large-Scale Optimization problems for several verticals, particularly in Banking and Retail Industries.

Alkis Vazacopoulos is a Business Analytics and Optimization expert. From January 2008 to January 2011 he was Vice President at FICO Research. Prior to that he was the President at Dash Optimization, Inc. where he worked closely with end users, consulting companies, OEMs/ISVs in developing optimization solutions.

Dr. Vazacopoulos, co-founded Optimization Direct in 2014. He also consults with Fortune 500 companies in the areas of finance, marketing optimization, data mining, supply chain, retail optimization, procurement and decision analytics.

Dr Vazacopoulos’s dissertation paper Guided Local Search for the Jobshop Scheduling has more than 300 citations.

Norton Lazarus
Chief Financial Officer

Co-founded OEM Capital in 1985. Prior to that, Mr. Lazarus had been a Vice President of Chase Manhattan Capital Markets Corporation, managed the Corporate Finance Department at Elmco Holding Ltd., London, and before that was a Senior Executive at Slater Walker Securities Ltd.,London. He was formerly with Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co.

Mr. Lazarus holds a Master’s Degree in Management from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Cape Town. Mr. Lazarus is a Chartered Accountant.