Applications are now being reviewed from executives who would like to represent their companies as members of our Executive Speaking Faculty. If you or a colleague have extensive knowledge and expertise in any area related to the cloud-based marketplace lending industry, and would like to apply for a position on our speaking faculty, please complete our online JOIN OUR FACULTY application or contact:
Don Buford, Founder & CEO, iiBIG and Founder, Cloud Computing Association (CCA)
Phone: 212-300-2521 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris Asbrock, Chief Operating Officer, Debt Management Partners (DMP)
Chris Asbrock has been active in the Accounts Receivable Management (ARM) industry since 1995 and is currently the Chief Operating Officer for Debt Management Partners (DMP). DMP is a passive debt buyer that purchases distressed receivables from lenders and subsequently outsources those delinquent accounts to collection agencies. Since 2008, DMP has purchased over 1,000 portfolios containing 4.5 million accounts with a face value of two billion dollars. In 2004, Chris co-founded Covenant Data Systems, Inc., one of the industry’s first true inventory management systems built for the debt buyer that outsources collections and manages the administrative duties associated with the buying and selling of receivables. Over the last 20 years, Chris’s primary focus has been collection agency and data management, directing the development and implementation of new technologies and workflows that improve production, compliance, and management. Chris resides in the suburbs of Chicago with his wife and two children. When he is not working, Chris enjoys volunteering his time coaching youth football.
Sam Bouso, Founder/CEO, Precognitive
Sam Bouso is a seasoned executive who has brought his ingenuity and aptitude to the online fraud and information security space for over ten years. As the founder of Precognitive, Sam is marking a dramatic leap forward in the industry by applying his expertise to create adaptive fraud technology that looks towards future threats. Prior to starting Precognitive, Sam was a member of the 41st Parameter product team, where he developed and enhanced fraud technology. After the acquisition of 41st Parameter by Experian he went on to lead global product innovation for their advertising division. Before that, he was an early team member of the fraud prevention start-up Accertify where he led implementation engineering and development of fraud prevention strategies for large-scale retailers and airlines. Prior to American Express acquiring the company, he took on a senior consulting role that focused on data mining and machine learning. Earlier, Sam was part of the original Prepaid Solutions USA team, where he led efforts to mitigate risk and fraud that was new to the industry. During his time at Prepaid Solutions, he built his first fraud prevention platform.
Bo Brustkern, Chief Executive Officer, NSR Invest
Bo Brustkern is co-Founder and CEO of NSR Invest. NSR Invest helps individuals, financial advisors, family offices and institutions intelligently access p2p lending investment opportunities. Mr. Brustkern is co-founder of the LendIt Conference, partner at Lend Academy, and founder of Arcstone Valuation. He is a member of EO – the Entrepreneurs’ Organization. He holds an MBA with distinction as a Deutschman Venture Fellow from the Anderson School at UCLA, and a BA from Dartmouth College.
Brendan Carroll, Co-Founder and Senior Partner, Victory Park Capital
Brendan Carroll is a senior partner at VPC, which he co-founded in 2007. He is responsible for sourcing, evaluating and executing private debt and equity investment opportunities, including assisting portfolio companies with strategic initiatives. Mr. Carroll also manages the co-investment process, fundraising and investor relations. Mr. Carroll is a member of the firm’s management and investment committees. Mr. Carroll serves as member of the board of directors of Victory Park portfolio companies, EMS Holdings I, Inc., Enteris Biopharma, Inc., johnnie-O, Inc. and VPC Pizza Operating Corp. (Giordano’s). Mr. Carroll is also a member of the Board of Regents at Georgetown University, the Finance Council of the Archdiocese of Chicago, the Board of Trustees at National Louis University, and Loyola Press. Previously, as a member of the Solutions Group at Magnetar Capital, Mr. Carroll specialized in direct financings to lower middle market companies. He has held various investment banking positions at William Blair and Company and Robertson Stephens, specializing in corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions. Mr. Carroll has also worked in various capacities for former U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman (I- CT). Mr. Carroll received a B.A. with honors in government from Georgetown University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Larry Chiavaro, Executive Vice President, First Associates
Larry Chiavaro is a Principal and the Executive Vice President at First Associates, the fastest growing loan servicer in the country with a $9 billion dollar portfolio under management for various asset classes including marketplace lending, automotive, powersports and student loans. His straight-forward approach to market insights and his amicable and engaging presentation style makes Chiavaro a very popular conference speaker. Chiavaro is a dynamic sales and business development executive with an outstanding 25-year track record of identifying and developing growth financial services markets. Prior to joining First Associates, he developed the Loan Servicing Business for CSC, managed divisions for NovaStar, HSBC/ Household, and GE Capital, working with banks, investment banks, finance companies, and credit unions on a national level. Chiavaro has strong historical ties to the rating agencies built over years of experience in the consumer finance industry, and was active in the fi rst marketplace lending securitization for Eaglewood Capital, CAN Capital and Blackrock’s securitization for Prosper’s loans. Chiavaro is a graduate of the GE Management Institute and GE Six Sigma program. He is a former semi-pro ice hockey player and a current HS and youth hockey coach.
Don Davis, Managing Partner, Prime Meridian Capital Management
Don Davis is a Principal and Portfolio Manager of Prime Meridian Capital Management, an investment management firm specializing in online P2P/marketplace lending strategies. As a seasoned industry veteran and skilled portfolio manager, Mr. Davis applies his knowledge, conservative management principles, and hands on expertise to the day-to-day management of Prime Meridian Income Fund, LP investing in the peer-to-peer consumer lending market, Prime Meridian Small Business Lending Fund, LP investing in the small business lending market, Prime Meridian Real Estate Lending Fund, LP investing in the real estate lending market, and Poise Lending Fund, LP which is a leveraged peer-to-peer lending fund. Mr. Davis is also a principal of Novus Investments, LLC (“Novus”), a boutique alternative investment management firm, and was previously the #1 ranked futures trader in the US for performance over both a 5 and a 7 year period. Mr. Davis is also a recognized speaker in the marketplace lending institutional investing space recently featured at: Mr. Davis is also a recognized speaker in the marketplace lending institutional investing space recently featured at: Bloomberg, LendIt, Wall Street Journal, China Credit Conference, American Bankers Association, Forbes, IMN, and LendAcademy. Mr. Davis resides in the San Francisco Bay area and is actively involved in local charities with a special interest in assisting disadvantaged children, the disabled, and veterans.
Amala Duggirala, Head of Technology,
Amala Duggirala serves as Chief Technology Officer for Kabbage. An accomplished technologist with expertise in building large scale high-performing systems with a keen eye towards exponential business growth. In recognition of her technical transformation and FinTech contributions, Mrs. Duggirala was named as one of the 25 most influential women in payments by Payments Source. Prior to joining Kabbage Mrs. Duggirala served as Executive Vice President of Global Software Development and implementations services at ACI Worldwide. At ACI, Duggirala lead a team of hundreds of payment professionals, working to develop end-to-end payment technology between consumers and retailers. She was accountable for the architecture, development, and delivery of nearly 30 products in the Consumer and Commercial Payments space. Prior to ACI Worldwide, she worked in telecommunications for Century Link and British Telecom where she held various technical leadership positions. During her time at Century Link (then known as Qwest) she served as the chief technologist of the team that developed the first Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) for Telecommunications system. She was instrumental in 21CN transformation for British Telecommunications. Mrs. Duggirala holds an MBA from the University of Omaha, an Electronics and Communications degree from MVSR Engineering College (Osmania University) and certification in Advanced Project Management from Stanford University. With her daughter as an undergrad student at Duke, after meditation (favorite) much of her focus remains on research related to ”re-transforming large corporations to run like startups.”
Jon Farber, VP, Citi Trust
Jon Farber is VP of Sales at Citi in the Agency and Trust group, focusing on Financial Institutions, Esoteric Products, Power, Project Finance, Infrastructure and Renewable Energy. Prior to Citi, John was a Vice President of Sales in BNY Mellon's Corporate Trust Division, where he was responsible for managing key clients in both the Structured Finance and Environmental Finance Markets.
Rebecca Fox, VP, Sr. Associate General Counsel, Lending Club
Rebecca Fox has been working at Lending Club since December of 2014, currently in the role of Vice President, Sr. Associate General Counsel, where she oversees the Borrower Legal Team and is responsible for oversight of all Lending Club’s borrower side products which include personal loans, small business and most recently, auto refinance. Initially she began working with Lending Club’s Patient Solutions and Educational Financing arm before transitioning into managing Lending Club’s Personal Loan line of business, where she continues to provide legal support to operations, marketing, credit/risk, and partnerships. Rebecca also participates in strategizing new products and regulatory/government responses and inquiries. Prior to joining Lending Club, she spent 9 years at Community Choice Financial, where she was most recently Assistant General Counsel - Online Operations managing multiple products offered across the country for a state by state licensed model. Prior to moving into her online roll, she helped grow its California financial service retail operations from 60 to 140 stores, which enabled the merger into a national chain. She is a graduate of the Seattle University School of Law, cum laude, and received a BA in Economics and a BA in Political Science/International Studies from the University of Washington. Rebecca regularly participates in running, cycling and duathlon races.
Alonso Garza, Chief Investment Officer, MPOWER Financing
Alonso Garza is Chief Investment Officer at MPOWER. Prior to that, he spent 12 years with Goldman Sachs, where he worked with Latin American corporations on balance-sheet hedging strategies as well as with Latin American family offices on global investment strategies. With Alonso’s guidance, the latter portfolio grew from a conceptual idea into a concrete $300 million in assets, generating revenues of upwards of $4 million. Prior to Goldman Sachs, Alonso served as the founder and CEO of the Junior Achievement Chapter of Monterrey Mexico, a still-thriving education-focused non-profit, whose mission is to develop the entrepreneurial spirit in students. Alonso holds a Master of Business Administration from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania. As Chief Investment Officer at MPOWER, Alonso oversees the debt capital side of the business, where his responsibilities include managing debt capital raises, investor relations, and MPOWER’s funding facilities.
Anupam Gupta, Founder & Director, Avenues International, Inc.
Anupam has over twenty five years of comprehensive & in-depth experience in successfully growing and managing IT organizations. He has specialized expertise in Big Data Analytics, Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence. Anupam has successfully deployed Big Data, Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence solutions with major Fortune 100 corporations. He and his team have also advised numerous clients on data analytics and DW/BI projects. He has additionally provided guidance on the technology, tools, architecture, design, and deployment of Big Data Analytics Solutions. This involves analyzing a large volume of data, complex in nature (both structured and unstructured), in close to real-time. Anupam earned an Engineering Degree from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in New Delhi, India. He currently resides in Princeton, New Jersey.
Jacob Haar, Managing Partner, Community Investment Management LLC
Jacob Haar serves as Managing Partner of Community Investment Management and leads the firm's investment and operations activities. He was co-founder of Minlam Asset Management, an investment advisor which launched and managed Minlam Microfinance Fund, the first global investment fund focused on providing local currency debt investment to micro, small, and medium enterprise (MSME) lenders in emerging markets. Mr. Haar served as Managing Director of Minlam from 2005 to the Fund's acquisition in 2012 and managed MSME investments, fund and firm operations, and public-private partnerships. Following Minlam's acquisition, Mr. Haar oversaw Minlam Microfinance Fund's transition to the MicroVest GMG platform and served as a Partner of the acquirer, GMG Investment Advisors, where he continued working on MSME investments and fund operations until founding Community Investment Management to focus on the United States MSME market in 2013. Prior to co-founding Minlam in 2005, Mr. Haar worked in Azerbaijan for Save the Children USA's microfinance institution. Previously, he was the Founder and Principal of Ihylma, a socially responsible Indonesian manufacturing and real estate company. Mr. Haar is a Fulbright Scholar, received a M.A. from the University of Chicago's Center for Middle Eastern Studies and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. from the University of Chicago.
Bill Kassul, Principal, Ranger Capital Group
Mr. Kassul serves as a Principal and Partner of Ranger Alternative Management II, the manager of the Ranger Specialty Income Fund and Ranger Direct Lending Fund plc, an Investment Trust listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange (ticker: RDL). Mr. Kassul has been involved in the Direct Lending industry since 2012 and has been a featured speaker at events such as the Marketplace Lending & Investing Conference, the Lending Exchange Summit and the China – U.S. Private Investment Summit. He has been a key voice on the disruption that is happening in the lending industry and has been interviewed and quoted in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg and the New York Times. Prior to joining Ranger, Mr. Kassul worked as a senior level marketing executive with first-hand experience influencing technology disruptions in other industries including travel, video and online trading. Mr. Kassul earned a BBA in Marketing from Texas State University in August 1986.
James Kim, Of Counsel, Ballard Spahr LLP
James advises companies and individuals in matters involving financial regulation and litigation, and the myriad of federal consumer financial laws, such as Title X of Dodd-Frank (UDAAP), TILA, RESPA, EFTA, and the FDCPA. He has represented clients in examinations and investigations with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and various state and local agencies. His practice focuses on cutting-edge issues, including financial technology (FinTech), mobile financial services, and marketplace lending. Before entering private practice, James served as a senior enforcement attorney with the CFPB where he coordinated with the OCC, FDIC, Federal Communications Commission, and state authorities. He was lead counsel in the CFPB’s first enforcement actions involving mobile payments and was a member of the credit card/prepaid card/emerging payments issue team that helped coordinate enforcement activity with other offices at the Bureau.
Steve Kohles, President, SLFC
Steve Kohles, President, first came to SLFC in 1989 and was with the company until 2005 returning July 2010. From 2005 to 2010, Mr. Kohles worked in venture capital and private consulting. During his previous tenure at SLFC he served as both CFO and COO. Prior to Student Loan Finance Corporation, he was employed by First Bank Systems where he held Vice President and Controller positions. Mr. Kohles is a CPA and has also been employed by Ernst and Young and Midland National Life Insurance Company. He served on the Board of Directors of the National Council of Higher Education Loan Programs, and has been active with the Education Finance Council and various other state financial aid associations. He has served as President of United Way, President of Rotary, President of the Roncalli Foundation and President of the United Way Foundation. He also served on the school board for the Aberdeen Catholic School system and the Northern State Foundation Board. Mr. Kohles has a BS degree from Iowa State University and post graduate studies at the University of South Dakota, University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management, Harvard and Babson College.
Brian S. Korn, Head of Digital Finance and Marketplace Lending, Capital Markets, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP
Brian S. Korn is Head of Digital Finance and Marketplace Lending in the Capital Markets practice group at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, and is resident in the firm’s New York office. He counsels over 100 clients in the Marketplace Lending space, including platforms, investors and service providers. He has been recognized for his skills in developing innovative investor products and is chair of the prestigious Practising Law Institute annual Marketplace Lending & Crowdfunding conference. His practice also focuses on corporate finance transactions, including initial public offerings (IPOs), early-stage and start up venture financings. He also advises clients on SEC compliance, broker-dealer compliance and investment adviser issues. Mr. Korn has made multiple appearances on Fox Business Television, Bloomberg, CCTV America and National Public Radio commenting on the JOBS Act, including its impact on crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending, IPOs and market trading dynamics. He is an honors graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and the Northwestern University School of Law.
Chris Levya, President, Infinity Enterprise Lending Systems
Chris Leyva is the founder and CEO of Infinity Lending Systems. Infinity was founded in 2001 and quickly became the top software provider in the lending industry. Over the last 16 years, Chris and Infinity have revolutionized their industry, helping small lenders to Fortune 500 lenders along the way. Chris now speaks at conventions around the U.S. about business growth, development, and new technology.
Lisa McGreevy, President & Chief Executive Officer, Online Lenders Alliance
Lisa McGreevy has lad the growth of the Online Lenders Alliance (OLA) – the center for lending, technology and innovation, representing the growing online lending industry. She played a role in launching LEND360, the conference that connects every angle of the online lending industry, from business to consumer lenders and vendors. Lisa has spearheaded the development of industry best practices and code of conduct, and has guided the online lending industry to ensure that consumers have the safest and best possible customer experience. Lisa has a deep background in public policy and financial services and is regularly featured in national and beltway publications, as the voice of the online lending industry. Prior to OLA, Lisa served in leadership positions with the Financial Services Roundtable, Managed Funds Association and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors. She has extensive experience in Washington –named one of the top lobbyists, and one of the "Most Powerful Women in Washington,” having also worked in the White House, U.S. Treasury Department and on Capitol Hill.
Joao Menano, CFO and Head of Business Development, Crowd Process
João Menano is co-founder Head of Business development at CrowdProcess, a data science company based in New York. He has a Master in management with a major in Strategy from the Nova SBE. João started his career at Fidelidade, the leading insurance company in Portugal, where he was responsible for managing a small team and lead projects related with marketing predictive models. He dove into Fintech at 24, with CrowdProcess, which has recently been awarded best European Fintech Startup of 2016. He is motivated by making machine learning accessible to a greater number of people and by growing talent in the field.
Kirby Miller, Director of Sales, VoApps
A practitioner in the Collections and Call Center industry for the last 10 years, Kirby has shared his knowledge with VoApps to improve product features and client relationships. Kirby launched his career at MBNA, which later merged with Bank of America. While working in the credit card line of business, Kirby ascended through Loss Prevention, Sales, and Consumer Marketing. Recently, Mr. Miller served as Call Center Manager for MacFarlane Group where he directed Lending Operations, Recovery Operations, and Product Development. Kirby Miller graduated with honors from Shippensburg University.
Matthew Myers, COO, Goal Structured Solutions
Matt Myers has more than 17 years of experience in consumer finance spanning credit risk, forecasting, analytics, ABS, debt financing, valuation, and operations. As Chief Operating Officer of GS2 and its subsidiary Turnstile Capital Management, Matt currently oversees Product Development, Information Technology, Business Intelligence, Borrower Services, and Private Loan Services. Private Loan Services manages more than $7 billion in private loans across 10 servicers and 15 collection agencies. The division optimizes collateral performance and cash flows for more than 50 clients, including hedge funds, traditional banks, investment banks, insurance companies, securitization trusts, colleges, and universities. Product Development oversees the origination programs at GS2, which include the FAQS Loan Program and the Ascent Program for Funding Education, designed to serve students in need across all types of higher-education institutions. Matt chairs the Operational Implementation Team at GS2 and is a member of the Investment Committee, Compliance Governance Committee, Information Security Governance Committee, and GS2 Board of Directors. Prior to joining GS2 in January of 2007, he worked as a Sr. Credit Risk Analyst at GE Capital for six years, managing HELOC and retail-card portfolios. While at GE, Matt was twice the recipient of the coveted GE Americas Award given to employees for outstanding contributions to the business. Matt has a BA in Economics and History from Macalester College and an MBA from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.
William S. Nass, Founder, President and Director, Teledata Communications
Bill Nass has more than 25 years of experience in the consumer credit industry. He is responsible for all corporate activity with a focus on sales, marketing and product development. As co-founder and president of TCI, Bill has spearheaded the company’s evolution into several new markets resulting in a consistent 25 percent growth rate, and its position as one of the largest loan origination solution providers. Today, TCI serves some 500 lenders on its DecisionLender loan origination solution, which include credit unions, banks and finance companies. The DecisionLender platform processed well over 100 billion dollars of loan requests over the past year. Bill is actively involved with several industry associations, including the American Financial Services Association (AFSA) and serves on their Business Partners Committee. Bill holds a B.A. from the University of Maryland in Economics.
Judy Newberry, Supervising Partner, Regulatory Compliance, Aldridge Pite, LLP
Judy Newberry is the Supervising Partner for Regulatory Compliance in the Atlanta office of Aldridge Pite LLP. Judy has 30+ years of legal experience in finance, banking, and technology. She counsels clients in the non-banking lending and payment services industries, including online consumer lenders, money transmitters, and bill pay companies. She specializes in advising early-stage innovative lenders on licensing and compliance issues. Specifically, she advises start-ups on long term growth by focusing on business realities while reducing the likelihood of regulatory hurdles and compliance pitfalls. Clients range from private investment, middle-market companies with regional footprints to venture capital backed global APIs. The firm provides audit services that identify operational, compliance, IT, and data privacy risks and provides remediation guidance. Judy advises mortgage companies and banks on onboarding service providers and developing affiliate relationships. She has served on both national and state committees as a legal expert on financial services matters, has held a multitude of leadership positions in financial services industry trade groups, and has spoken at national conferences on topics related to emerging markets and forging alliances between the traditional banking sector and financial services pioneers.
Gregory Nowak, Partner, Pepper Hamilton LLP
Gregory J. Nowak is a partner in the Philadelphia office of Pepper Hamilton LLP and a practice leader for hedge funds in the firm’s Funds Services Practice Group. He concentrates his practice in securities law, particularly in representing investment management companies and other clients on matters arising under the Investment Company Act of 1940 and the related Investment Advisers Act of 1940. Mr. Nowak also handles mergers and acquisitions, corporate and regulated investment company tax work and other corporate matters. He also represents broker-dealers and CTAs and CPOs with respect to matters under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the Commodity Exchange Act. In addition, Mr. Nowak represents many hedge funds and other alternative investment funds in fund formation and investment and compliance matters, including compliance audits and preparation work. Mr. Nowak has represented a broad range of investment funds, from funds that use the traditional broad investment charters and invest globally in virtually any financial asset that can be readily traded to specialty niche funds with narrowly defined investment strategies that invest in distressed debt and other illiquid securities. He also represents fund managers with products spanning both the private equity and hedge fund markets. Mr. Nowak also handles mergers and acquisitions, tax matters for corporations and registered investment companies and other corporate matters. Mr. Nowak joined Pepper from Gartmore Global Investments, Inc., an asset management subsidiary of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. Mr. Nowak was Gartmore’s executive vice president for mergers and acquisitions and was responsible for all aspects of acquisitions of investment advisory firms. He also was instrumental in developing and managing Gartmore’s hedge fund business and in developing a compliance module that allows Gartmore to manage alternative assets, such as hedge funds, along with traditional investment products.
Sid Panjwani, Head of Sales and Strategy, ACTICO Corporation
Sid Panjwani is the Head of Sales and Strategy for the Americas business at ACTICO Corporation. In his current role, Sid leads ACTICO’s business strategy and sales for Banks, Credit Unions, FinTech firms and other financial institutions. Prior to joining ACTICO, Sid worked for Moody’s Analytics where he was focused on identifying and launching new business opportunities leveraging big data and analytics technologies to deliver real time research and portfolio analytics. As a Director with Register.com he managed the product team and worked with the CEO and the Board focusing on M&A and business strategy. Sid began his career with A.T. Kearney as a management consultant in strategy and operations practices. He received his BSE from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and an MBA from London Business School and Columbia Business School at Columbia in New York.
Scott Pearson, Partner, Ballard Spahr LLP
Scott Pearson leads Ballard Spahr’s Marketplace Lending Task Force, and is widely recognized as one of the preeminent authorities on the unique issues facing this industry. He focuses his practice on the defense of regulatory enforcement actions and class actions, other complex business litigation, and regulatory compliance counseling. Prominent companies regularly entrust Mr. Pearson with matters involving bet-the-company exposure or extreme complexity, such as overlapping claims being pursued simultaneously in multiple jurisdictions by federal regulators, state Attorneys General, and class action plaintiffs. He also serves as a trusted strategic business advisor, drawing on more than twenty years of experience.
Jim Powell, President, World Credit Recovery LLC
Jim Powell is Founder and President of World Credit Recovery (WCR) and Portfolio Group Investors (PGI) and has been an active industry participant in the acquisition and recovery of delinquent consumer receivables for the past 17 years. WCR is responsible for all facets of recovery management through a network of third party collection agencies and law firms which it oversees. WCR oversees all day to day aspects of performance management including scoring analytics, strategy selection, compliance, vendor oversight and audit. PGI is the investment entity formed by Mr. Powell in 1998, which has acquired over $6 billion of delinquent consumer receivables to date. PGI also employed a syndications strategy to acquire accounts on behalf of over 40 leading collection law firms throughout the U.S while developing expert knowledge in legal recovery management. Prior to the formation of these two entities, Mr. Powell was an executive at Household Commercial and managed teams responsible for national commercial real estate lending and loan workouts. He helped form and served for 15 years as Treasurer of the Jeffrey Pride Foundation which is dedicated to funding pediatric cancer research. Mr. Powell earned a BS degree-Finance from Northern Illinois University and MBA from DePaul University.
Aaron D. Smith, Vice President Business Development, Innovative Solutions Group, TransUnion
Aaron Smith is vice president of business development for TransUnion’s Innovative Solutions Group department. In this role, Aaron leads a small consultant team at TransUnion to maximize distribution and innovation with business alliance partners. These business partners are technology companies who process TransUnion's credit and non-credit information to create innovative solutions to U.S. businesses. Aaron has worked in business development, sales, and product management functions for companies small and large in the telecommunications and information technology industries. Smith received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Washington and an Executive MBA from the University of Colorado. He also advises small technology companies and entrepreneurs where he has enjoyed long-lasting business relationships for over ten years.
George Souri, Founder and CEO, LQD Business Finance
George is the Founder and C.E.O of LQD Business Finance. George has over 15 years of entrepreneurial experience, and is an expert in the areas of risk management and pricing, operational optimization, and predictive analytics. Prior to founding LQD, George was the founder and CEO of Atria Capital, a Chicago-based middle-market investment bank and consultancy focused on the acquisition, turnaround, and sale of companies in distressed, workout, and complex situations. At Atria, George oversaw over $1 billion in structured debt, equity, and M&A transactions. George is a dynamic and engaging speaker who has given numerous talks at national conferences, and who has been a repeat guest in national media outlets such as Fox Business, CNBC, and Bloomberg TV.
Marc Stein, CEO, Underwrite.AI
Marc has worked extensively at the intersection of technology and lending as Chief Technology Officer at Y2M Networks, the Student Loan Consolidation Program, the Education Loan Marketplace and JP Morgan Chase Education Finance. Founder of College Loan Market, co-founder of LeaseQ, and currently the founder and CEO at Underwrite.ai. He was instrumental in the adoption of electronic signature in student lending, created the current state of the art methodology for the automation of debt settlement services, and is currently developing real-time trading systems for peer lending, as well as machine learning algorithms for loan underwriting. He is currently focused on practical applications of artificial intelligence to solve real-world problems. Current concentration is on the development of better tools to predict financial risk, especially in credit transactions, and the development of improved diagnostic methodologies for cancer detection by applying machine learning ensemble techniques to a state model of genetic expression.
Lucas Timberlake, Chief Venture Investment Analyst, Fintech Ventures Fund
Lucas Timberlake is Director and Chief Investment Officer of Fintech Ventures Fund, a financial technology investment firm headquartered in Atlanta, GA. While focused primarily on making early-stage investments in the non-banking lending and payment sectors, Fintech Ventures has a flexible mandate that allows the Fund to make later-stage investments in financial technology companies, on a case-by-case basis. Lucas serves on the Board of Directors of an early stage real estate lending startup based out of New York and also as a mentor/strategic advisor to a variety of early-stage financial technology and transportation startups across the country. Prior to joining Fintech Ventures, Lucas held various roles in private equity and investment banking. He received a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from Columbia University.
James Turino, Managing Partner, Drake Star Partners
James Turino is a Managing Partner at Drake Star Partners. Over the past 20 years, he has advised numerous companies in the technology and communications industries on over $5 billion in mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance transactions. In addition to his advisory roles, James has underwritten several principal equity and mezzanine investments in client companies. Prior to joining Drake Star Partners, James served as Director of the Technology Investment Banking team in New York for SG Cowen, where he managed public and private equity offerings, principal investments, and mergers and acquisitions for emerging growth software companies. He was also Director of the Media and Telecommunications Group for Prudential Securities in New York. Previously, he held the position of Vice President, Corporate Finance for ING Barings, where he started the Telecommunications Group. He holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and a Bachelor of Arts from Columbia College.
Michael VanErdewyk, Founder & CEO, ReliaMax
Michael VanErdewyk brings strategic vision to ReliaMax, drawing on more than 25 years of experience leading the growth of insurance and financial organizations. He worked for EC Fackler, a third party administrator of workers’ compensation benefits, and led the startup of a self-insured workers’ compensation fund in the State of Minnesota. VanErdewyk also held positions at Prudential, EF Hutton and Merrill Lynch, and was the chairman, CEO, and founder of Bioverse, Inc., a biotechnology company.
Nick Varnitski, CEO, Armada Labs
Nick Varnitski is an entrepreneurial leader with proven record of starting and growing several businesses in IT arena over the last 15 years. Founder and owner at Armada Labs, software development company specializing in FinTech. Armada Labs offers software development services with expertise in business and financial software development as well as develops its own software products. Mr. Varnitski is a founder and serves as a Chairman for Prime Debt Soft, the largest provider of debt management and debt settlement software. Another venture started by Mr. Varnitski is PayLine Direct - a cloud based payment negotiation platform. Prior to that Nick led Armada Labs team in developing a cloud based loan management system for online short term lenders.
Robert Villani, Partner, Clifford Chance
Robert Villani has extensive experience in structured capital markets. He has been involved in traditional and novel asset-backed and mortgaged-backed offerings as well in offerings of both traditional and novel structured credit products, investment funds and other financial instruments. Robert's experience includes representation of underwriters, issuers, credit enhancers, warehouse providers and other transaction parties in securitizations and repackagings of commercial real estate loans, leveraged loans and other corporate debt instruments, automobile and equipment loans and leases, corporate fleet leases, trade receivables, health care receivables, and securities and asset-backed securities. Many of these transactions were among the first of their type. Robert has also advised participants in the creation and maintenance of several investment funds and asset-backed commercial paper programs, particularly those focused on the acquisition of distressed assets, and has substantial experience working with derivatives and related products.
Eric VonDohlen, Chief Analytics Officer, Elevate
Eric VonDohlen is the Chief Analytics Officer of Elevate, a fintech leader using technology and advanced analytics to disrupt the nonprime lending space. Eric’s team of 35 data scientists uses deep learning methodologies to increase access to credit for America’s growing New Middle Class, who are underserved by traditional credit options. His passion for analytics spans a 20-year career, with experience in risk management, lending, and a background in economics.