Who We Are

We founded Cortex in 2016 in Portland, Oregon, after spending a few years developing a concept for a reversible knife system which could adapt to numerous applications.  Our mission has always been to provide the forest products industry with a higher performing reversible knife system at a lower price point.  We believe that the sawmill industry benefits from increased competition for their business.  Our solutions include complete chip heads, upgrades to existing chip heads, or drop in knives without any conversion necessary.  Cortex knife systems are installed worldwide in some of the largest and fastest sawmills in the world, where uptime and reliability is critical for profitable production of lumber.  We value the trust they have put in Cortex, and we strive to continually improve and earn that trust every day.

Our Values

  • Customer Obsessed 
  • Integrity and Transparency
  • We Believe in Competition and offering Customers a Choice
  • Spartan - We operate Lean and pass the Savings onto our Customers
  • Win-Win Partnerships with Vendors and Customers

Our Team

Trent Carpenter


Trent has a degree in Finance and Accounting from Washington State University in 1999, and was raised in Lake Oswego, Oregon.  His first exposure to the forest products industry was when he was 11 and traveling to the Oregon Coast with his father, Tom Carpenter, and stopping in chip mills where his dad was selling a novel two-sided chipper knife he made in a friend's garage.

After college he lived and worked in Northern California and then did some traveling in South America, where he learned Spanish.  Since then, he has worked with wood chipping systems for 20 years, and founded Cortex in 2016 with his brother Gavin.

He enjoys traveling, exploring the great Northwest, and spending time with his wife and kids,  who are active in Portland youth sports such as football, wrestling, and baseball.  He is the president of the Grant Youth Football Association in Northeast Portland.

Gavin Carpenter

Vice President

Gavin Carpenter has a degree in Finance and Marketing from the University of Oregon.  He has worked in insurance, the entertainment industry, and prior to Cortex in business development for a regional biodiesel firm.  For the past 8 years he has been co-owner and Vice President of Operations at Cortex North America.  He oversees a team that runs Procurement, Logistics, Manufacturing, and Finances for all business activities.  Outside of Cortex he enjoys spending time with his family and assistant coaching his son’s soccer team.

Raymond Grinder

Sales Manager

Raymond has worked for Cortex for 4 years and in the forest products equipment industry for 30 years.  Raymond is the sales manager for the Southern US, based in Mississippi, he travels extensively from Virginia to Oklahoma - always hunting for new Cortex business during the week and installing systems on the weekends.  He can be reached directly at (601) 669-1442.

Jamie Kidby

Supply Chain Manager

Jamie joined Cortex in 2022 and brings along with her over 15 years of experience working in supply chain and logistics. Her passion for strategic sourcing and drive for providing a positive customer experience make her a great addition to the team. As a native Oregonian, Jamie enjoys spending time in the great outdoors with her family.

Madiha Essa


Madiha is a highly experienced finance professional with over 7 years of experience in finance accounting, business partnering, and consulting. She is a Qualified Management Accountant (ACMA UK) who brings a wealth of expertise in financial strategy, forecasting, and analysis.

Madiha joined CORTEX in 2022 , and has already made a significant impact on the organization through her innovative financial solutions. She is passionate about driving business growth and profitability, and has a track record of delivering successful projects in diverse industries.

In her personal life, Madiha is a proud parent to two beautiful children and loves spending quality time with them. She is passionate about teaching them new things and exploring new cultures through travel, and enjoys traveling the world with her husband and kids.