Chief Technology Officer
Vaclav Vincalek is the President of Pacific Coast Information Systems Ltd. Over the past 20 years Vaclav has developed his talents from a foundation in information technology and web security to the connected worlds of crowd-sourced knowledge and social media. He is an award-winning technologist specializing in founding and growing service and software organizations with a strong emphasis on emerging markets. He is multi-lingual (English, Czech and some Russian) and his business perspective is global. His career began working for Nokia in Tampere, Finland and Prague. He then moved to Vancouver, Canada, where he worked as a Systems Analyst on control system for gas pipelines. After 4 years, Vaclav founded Pacific Coast Information Systems Ltd. PCIS has delivered innovative IT projects in almost every industry for organizations small as five employees to companies on the Fortune 50 list. In addition to starting his own IT consulting company, Vaclav have been involved with many startups either directly or as an advisor. Working with or representing organizations such as IBM and Microsoft has allowed Vaclav to appreciate the complex structures of multinational companies. A significant success was a project for Jones Soda of Seattle. The project allowed customers to create their own customized bottles of the drink and to have it ship to their homes. That was in 1999 and Vaclav is named as one of the two inventors on a patent which more than 130 patents refer as a prior art. Patent for My Jones: http://www.google.com/patents/US6493677 An early adopter of the Internet, Vaclav learned the importance of technology and its relationship to business. Vaclav is a recognized expert on protecting IP from third (foreign) parties. He is currently serving as a Member of the Board of Directors for Urban Opus, a non-profit smart city innovation cluster focused on the ways in which people and data will co-create the quality of life and economic future of cities. Vaclav strongly believes in giving back to a community. He volunteers as a mentor and board member for Executive Mentorship program - Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia, and as a mentor for Forum For Women Entrepreneurs (FWE). Vaclav earned his Masters Degree in Telecommunication technology from the Czech Technical University in 1987.
Chief Financial Officer
Paul Samek is an Advisory Board Member / CFO to Early Stage and Middle Market Businesses with experience building global businesses in over thirty countries spanning six continents. As a SEC qualified "Financial Expert" he has Permanent, interim and fractional CFO roles. Advisory Board Member for Alliance Realty Group, LLC (commercial real estate) and K&A Resource Group (Talent As A Service). Expertise includes Enterprise Value Maximization, Fundraising / Capital Markets - IPO / Equity / Debt Corporate Spokesperson, Investor Relations, M&A - Business Integration, Scaling Early Stage / Middle Market Businesses, Regulatory Compliance and Risk Management. Career highlights include Built CFO / Board Advisory Consultancy - PCS Solutions, Advisor to 10 Distinct Boards of Directors, CFO of 8 Companies - Pre-Revenue to $2B in Sales, 3 Business Turnarounds - Value Increase of $230M, Cross-Cultural Global Footprint, Multiple Equity / IPO and Debt Transactions Raising $300M, 350 Roadshow Presentations, 20 M & A Transactions / 8 Post Merger Integrations, Joint Ventures / Carve-Outs / Liquidity Events, 70 Strategic / Operational Business Plans, and 5 ERP System Implementations. Early Career at Motorola and Deloitte. Northern Illinois University - School of Business, Bachelor of Science. Certified Public Accountant - Illinois.
Business Development Manager
Vithal Deshpande is an accomplished leader with over 20 years of experience of leading and successfully developing a wide range of innovative projects and management systems for private and government agencies. His visionary actions and initiatives helped businesses, non-profits, and governments to increase revenues, avoid litigation, and to cut or manage the cost. He successfully acquired multimillion dollars in funding to develop and to integrate management solutions as well as web-based, mobile based and GIS-based technologies in the field of energy, environment, and sustainability. Some of his representative projects include water, energy, and chemical recovery system for textile manufacturing, disaster management, real-time data collection and predictive modeling of river quality, greenhouse gases (GHG) database development, satellite image analysis for the urban region to analyze storm-water management impact, green building development, and public education app development. He was a founder member and a co-chair for The Indus Entrepreneurs (TIE) Boston’s Social Entrepreneurs group where he mentored startup businesses from US, UK, South America, and Israel. He is serving as a director on the Board of Groundwork Somerville, MA and for Shashwat Eco-Solutions Foundation, Pune, India. In addition to technology solutions and strategic planning, Vithal also developed and implemented several modules for public education that helped to brand new initiatives and to achieve behavioral changes. He advised various graduate level students from engineering, policy, economics, public health, and business departments. His work has been published and presented in regional, national and international meetings. Vithal received Masters in Environmental Engineering from Northeastern University, Boston and an MBA from Isenberg School of Management, UMASS Amherst.
Business Development Manager
Gregory Ryan is an accomplished, highly-motivated Entrepreneur, Senior Executive, and Consultant with over-30 years of success across the ecommerce, wireless, retail, telecom, app development and transportation industries; with in-depth experience developing, supervising, and executing sales and marketing strategies. Currently, Greg serves as Interim President at Plaza Limousine---a small transportation company located in Tewksbury, Massachusetts---as well as Director at Avatwist, an Online Privacy and Security Company. In his present role at Plaza Limousine, Greg manages all day-to-day activities related to Sales, Marketing, Contracts, Administration, Cash Flow, Finance and Human Resources. At Avatwist, Greg oversaw the development and programming of their SAAS product along with the development of their iOS and Android products. In addition, Greg conceived and implemented Avatwist’s business plan, customer service policy, and general administration methodologies. Greg spent two decades of building a highly-profitable retail chain, where Greg took a $200 investment and grew it from zero to almost $20M in sales. Greg’s responsibilities while building the business included brick-and-mortar retail stores, launching Internet-based products, retail products, new product and design launch, software products, motivating sales teams, marketing and business development. He also acquired managerial experience in growing customer service and sales channels from zero to over-100 representatives; including retail sales, outside sales and telesales. Since 2012, Greg has been a contributor to Olin Innovation Labs at Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering, a collaborative problem-solving shared space for future-focused technical leaders. Greg received a Bachelor Degree in Management/Finance from Ithaca College in 1987 and is currently enrolled in Northeastern University’s Masters of Business Education Program. Greg resides with his wife and five children in Burlington, Massachusetts, where Greg has served as an elected member of Burlington Town Meeting since 1999
BOARD OF ADVISORS
Alexander Lowry Alexander Lowry is a strategic minded “been there, done that” entrepreneurial driven servant leader and entrusted fiduciary with nearly twenty years of C-suite experience building global businesses. He's a seasoned contributor in governance, strategy, growth, finance, planning, operations and administration. Alexander currently operates as deputy Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the JPMorgan Chase Foundation. In this role he leads a wide range of management and administrative functions to help direct the overall strategy for the firm's global philanthropic investments. JPMorgan Chase is a global leader in philanthropy with almost $240 million annually invested in communities and nonprofit organizations across 40 countries, spanning six continents. His previous role at J.P. Morgan was deputy COO of the U.S. Private Bank. Prior to joining JPMorgan Chase, Alexander served as a program management expert for PA Consulting Group, Europe’s leading management consultancy. After working in the London headquarters for seven years Alexander was promoted to Co-Head of Americas Project Management Centre of Excellence in New York. In this role he oversaw the full lifecycle of multiple projects concurrently – from pre-sales and proposal through execution and delivery. While at PA Consulting Alexander was asked to join the firm’s pension board. He led the Investment Committee that managed the $750M portfolio, including evaluating, selecting, and monitoring investment managers. Alexander directed a review of existing governance arrangements which resulted in the decision to become the first U.K. defined benefit plan to appoint fiduciary manager. He then oversaw the selection, appointment, and implementation of BlackRock. Alexander holds an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts in History (with Honors) from Haverford College where he also served for nine years on the Annual Fund Executive Committee, including most recently as chair.
Maria Jesus Alonso
Maria Jesus Alonso is a strategic thinker with Board experience in International Companies and Non-Profit Organizations. She is skilled in Business Strategy, Leadership, Institutional Relations & Regulatory Affairs, Corporate Governance, and Compliance. During MJ's 25+ years of professional career she has held several top positions, both at Board level and executive positions, at groundbreaking multinationals and Spanish companies in digital edutainment (education through entertainment for kids), telecoms, food, packaging, and pharmaceutical industries. She was President of International Business Women (a Non-Profit Org) General Counsel of Uni2 a France Telecom in Spain, Legal Director, Spain & Portugal of Tetra Pak and Legal Director of SmithKline Spain (now GSK). MJ is also member of an international network of Business Angels, supporting start-ups with growth capital and advisory services. MJ's educational background shows a Degree in Law (admitted to the Bar in Madrid - Spain); a Global Management Development program at Coventry Univ. (UK), Corporate Finance at IEB in 2015, and Stanford Executive Program 2016 at Stanford Graduate School of Business (USA). Maria Speaks 5 languages: Spanish (native), Italian (business proficiency), English (bilingual/full proficiency), Portuguese (business capabilities), French (full proficiency), and German (basic).
Aggie Clark is a seasoned executive with 25+ years of experience in the financial services industry. Most recently she served as President of Moneytree, Inc., a privately held company with 100+ retail branches in five western states and British Columbia, an online lending portal, and a full-service factoring division. Her experience steering the operations of the company through periods of significant regulatory change and the development of a formal governance structure, while simultaneously diversifying from two fairly simple primary products into offering a suite of lending products, gives her a distinct perspective on the challenges growing businesses face today. Her versatile communication skills, combined with the ability to learn and synthesize information quickly, operate successfully in a complex and ambiguous environment, and efficiently implement solutions, make her an effective contributor. While at Moneytree, she served as a board member and executive officer for both state and national industry trade organizations. She currently serves on the University of Washington Consulting and Business Development Center Advisory Board, and begins her term on the UW Alumni Association Board of Trustees in August 2017. She operates Nexis Solutions as a consulting company for small business and companies in the financial services industry.
Senior Executive and Financial Expert
Richard G. Fishman
Richard G. Fishman is an accomplished senior executive and financial expert with 40 years of success in the specialty chemical, diversified industrial products, and legal industries. His broad areas of expertise include organization building, international planning, compliance, joint ventures, dispositions, and tax accounting. Prior to his recent retirement, Richard was the Vice President of Tax and Vice President of Treasury, as well as Chief Tax Counsel of Albemarle Corporation. Major initiatives included structuring the $6.2B acquisition of Rockwood Holdings in 2015, ensuring maximum tax efficiency, repatriation of cash and the ability of the organization to pay off acquired debt, then structuring a tax-efficient sale for roughly half of Rockwood for $3.2B in 2016, resulting in a positive net income result while repatriating cash to repay acquisition debt, and provide an opportunity for share repurchases. Richard also successfully led various capital market transactions including a $350M bond issuance, a $750M credit facility and a $450M accelerated share repurchase program. Before his tenure with Albemarle Corporation, Richard was the Director, International & Business Tax Planning and Associate General Tax Counsel at Honeywell International Inc. Richard was instrumental in several multi-billion dollar acquisitions, each time ensuring millions of dollars in tax savings for the company. In addition to his executive career, Richard has been published in 13 tax journals and his career was recently featured in an issue of Profile Magazine. He also served as an Adjunct Instructor in Advanced Business Finance at Louisiana State University. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rutgers College, where he graduated first in his class with highest honors and highest distinction in Economics. He received his J.D. from Yale Law School and his LL.M. in Tax from New York University School of Law. He is a Certified Public Accountant and is admitted to the Bar in New York and New Jersey.
Tom Hollerbach Tom Hollerbach is an accomplished Senior Executive, Entrepreneur, and Board Member with over 30 years of experience in advertising, marketing, and communications in the consumer packaged goods, sports marketing, beverage, financial, computer, electronic, energy, tourism, hotel, fast food and automotive industries. Currently, Tom is the President and Founder of Big Picture Worldwide, Hershey, the culmination of his advertising, marketing, and branding experience. His unique approach to offering strategic services includes offering eCommerce, virtual reality, traditional advertising and marketing and digital solutions to agencies and clients. Additionally, Tom serves on the Boards of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Harrisburg, and Alder Health Services, Harrisburg where he leverages his extensive marketing and branding expertise to aid socially-positive causes. Earlier in his career, he grew Blackboard Co. from nearly zero revenue to a full-service national agency, leading a remarkable new business run that established the agency as one of the fastest-growing in the US. Clients at Blackboard included Pabst Brewing Company, Green Mountain Energy, Nike, Ole Smoky Moonshine and New Mexico Tourism among others. Prior to Blackboard Co. Tom was president of TBC Advertising and PR the largest agency in Maryland. Tom also led BBDO West for ten years as president and CEO winning well-known accounts such as Gallo Wines, Charles Schwab, Starbucks, Sheba Cat Food, Cesar Dog Food and the California Lottery. Tom holds a BA from Michigan State University and an MA from Michigan State University, Graduate School of Advertising. In addition to his Executive Board appointments, Tom is active with a number of non-profit organizations and community causes, including the Four A's, where he served as the West Coast Chairman for 4 years.
Energetic Marketing Executive
Jack LaRue is an innovative and energetic marketing executive with over 30 years’ experience in general management, sales and marketing management and product management. Jack has extensive experience in mergers and acquisitions, start-ups and turnarounds, and new product launches. Jack originally joined Creative Solutions, Inc. (CS) as Vice President of Marketing in 1993. At the time, CS was a small software company serving the tax and accounting profession, with 89 employees and $10 million in annual revenue. As a result of more than 20 fold-in acquisitions, today that business has 1,200 employees and is generating more than $400 million annually. CS was acquired by the Thomson Corporation (now Thomson Reuters) in 1997. In 2004, Jack was promoted to Senior Vice President, CS Professional Suite. Over the next two years, Jack grew CS revenue from $140M to $170M. In 2006, Jack became General Manager of myPay Solutions, a floundering payroll processing business. Under his leadership, the business grew from $1M to more than $7.5M. He increased operating productivity by 400% and increased new sales from $500K to $2M annually. Jack became Vice President of Special Projects in 2014, before retiring from Thomson Reuters at year-end 2016. Jack has a Bachelor of Science degree, Summa Cum Laude, from Eastern Michigan University and an MBA, With Distinction, from the University of Michigan.
Deborah Malinowski is an accomplished Senior Executive with 20 years of success in automotive and financial services. Leveraging extensive experience in sales and marketing, she is a valuable asset for startup to large companies looking for new product development and launch, and growth. Her areas of expertise include leadership, strategic planning, finance, market analysis, business development, turnaround, sales management, brand awareness, B2B, CRM, customer retention, portfolio management, strategic alliances and partnerships, risk and change management, M&A, training and coaching, and team management and development. In her executive career, Deborah has held leadership positions at United Auto Credit Corporation; Skopos Financial; Santander Consumer USA (formerly Drive Financial); and AmeriCredit (now GM Financial). She has spearheaded a sales team to successfully introduce 2 new products in 2 years and capture >$1B in new sales; and coached and mentored a sales team to accelerate annual sales from $2.5B to $3.1B spanning 3 consecutive recession years. She consistently delivered ~$5B annual sales revenues in most recent 3 years, improving efficiencies through 10% overhead reduction; new enterprise sales strategy; and 25% sales team productivity boost. She instituted formal marketing; data and metrics; and branding. Deborah was chosen by senior executives to direct, train, and ensure a >130-person national sales team generated >$2B annual sales in automotive financial products through a B2B sales model. She planned and reorganized sales into an energetic, motivated, high performance team that successfully delivers on sales goals and exemplary customer service. She has led >20 direct reports and >118 indirect reports. Deborah obtained a B.B.A. in Marketing from University of North Texas.
Licensed Mental Health Counselor
Jennifer Moore is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) with over 20 years of experience working with individuals and families dealing with the complex issues associated with mental health, trauma, domestic violence, and substance abuse. She has been trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Motivational Interviewing (MI) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). She has worked at various community mental health centers, domestic violence centers, addiction treatment facilities, and therapeutic residential programs and enjoys working with adolescents and adults with various life struggles. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Salem State College (now Salem State University) in Salem Massachusetts and a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from Argosy University in Tampa Florida in 2006. Her specialty, EMDR, clinically proven to be effective in treating anxiety and other issues, help patients where often talk therapy hasn't worked in the past. Her treatment is based in humanistic psychology, which values the individual's strengths and abilities, and recognizes the self-healing capacities of the client. She offers confidential video/teleconference therapy sessions for self-pay clients through her private practice which accepts most insurance plans.
Bill Popp is a seasoned executive with over thirty-five years of experience as a CEO and Board Member to consulting and software companies in the financial and energy industries. Bill’s strengths include risk management, acquisitions, strategic marketing, large complex sales, product/offering management, strategic planning, exploring new markets, active listening, coaching executives, technological solutions, entrepreneurial undertakings and achieving targets. Bill is the CEO of the POPP Risk Group (POPP) which he founded in 2005. In this role, he provides risk management consulting and execution to the world’s global and regional financial institutions. Bill engages with Chief Risk Officers and their teams, Group and Business Executives, and Board Risk Committees to deliver effective risk practices across all of his client firms’ risk disciplines. Bill was also a board member and interim CEO for Openlink Financial, a global leader in trading and risk management solutions for energy, commodities and financial services, while they completed a targeted CEO search that lasted longer than planned. As the Founder & CEO of BancWare from 1981-1999, he conceived, created and implemented many of the products that this preeminent firm offers world-wide to over 400 clients today. As CEO, Bill took the company from start-up (including three rounds of angel funding) and sold it to SunGard Data Systems (now part of FIS) for a price that made everyone happy. Prior to the inception of POPP, Bill was Group EVP of SunGard Trading and Risk Systems from 1999-2005. As a SunGard Group EVP, Bill spent his time providing business unit oversight, acquiring new trading and risk management companies, and actively engaging with financial services and energy executives worldwide. Bill joined SunGard with its acquisition of his company BancWare in 1997. Bill is well known for his thinking on bank risk management, publishes papers and is a popular speaker and discussion moderator for professional risk associations. Bill has a S.B. from the MIT Sloan School of Management.
Justice Rines is an Attorney admitted to Practice in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. A graduate of the JD/MBA program at the University of New Hampshire School of Law and has been practicing with Ascentage Law, PLLC on both Portsmouth, NH and Cambridge, MA since 2014. Prior to attending the joint-degree program at UNH Law, Justice was an entrepreneur, co-founding and managing an independent event production company in his early 20's, an on-demand web-based classic rock website in the late 1990's and later a full service record label in New York City. He is also currently an owner/manager of a New Hampshire-based real estate investment firm. Justice holds eight US patents ranging from a simple toy design to underwater lighting and videography platforms and methods for expanding the revenue streams of live events. As a result, Justice is acutely aware of the challenges that entrepreneurs and new businesses face and Justice possesses expertise in the support of technology and web-based companies, focusing on intellectual property, cyber law, data security and privacy, compliance, licensing and other commercial transactions, trademarks, fair and effective website terms and policies as well as new platforms for client and firm management. Justice holds a B.A., General Science, Notre Dame College a M.B.A., Peter T. Paul College of Business & Economics at the University of New Hampshire and a J.D., University of New Hampshire School of Law (f/k/a Franklin Pierce Law Center).
Leadership and Management Experience
Stuart Rogers has more than 30 years of leadership and management experience in financial services, information technology, artificial intelligence and with startups. Currently he runs a private strategic consulting firm focused on the financial services industry with expertise in startups, strategic planning, expense rationalization, operations automation and FinTech applications. Stuart's career included Nuveen Investments and multiple divisions of American International Group (AIG) for more than 30 years. For eight years with two smaller, entrepreneurial organizations: a US-based wealth management company and Arria NLG, a UK-based artificial intelligence software company for which he was Chairman and Chief Executive during its first five years. During the first half of my time at AIG, he had direct and dotted line responsibility for more than 1,000 employees in more than 20 international operations, including the UK, Germany, Italy, India, China, Japan, Singapore and Kenya. At Arria NLG, the core intellectual property driving the business came from R&D at the University of Aberdeen, intellectual property which Arria acquired from the university in the form of a spinout. The three top data scientists and academics at Arria, two in Aberdeen and one from Macquarie University in Sydney, reported to him. Stuart undergraduate degree was in Computational Mathematics and Theatre History, with a MBA from University of Chicago centered on Finance and Strategy.