Chief Executive Officer
Douglas Muir is an authority in business strategy, Customer Development, and the Business Model Canvas. Having successfully built several multimillion-dollar enterprises from the ground up, he is considered the Start-Up Guru and speaks internationally on topics of entrepreneurship, innovation, and business growth.
Muir teaches Entrepreneurship at the prestigious University of Virginia, both in the School of Engineering and in the MBA program for the Darden School of Business. In addition to being a professor, he is the Director of the Business Minor Program in the School of Engineering. He is an expert in the Customer Development and Business Model Canvas theory of building businesses, and teaches this methodology to undergraduate students who are hungry for entrepreneurship and eager to start their own companies.
Muir has been interviewed by Gerri Willis of CNN and Bloomberg Radio. He has also been published and quoted in numerous publications, including Business Week and The Scotsman Guide, a prestigious magazine for the banking, mortgage, and investor industries. Douglas was the host of The Doug and Eric Show on ABC, “Exposing the Hidden Truths about the Three Credit Bureaus and the Banking and Finance System.”
He was featured in Kaihan Krippendorff’s business tactics book, Hide a Dagger Behind a Smile, which described how Muir infiltrated the insurance industry and locked out his competition.
Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
David Sade, CFA, is an entrepreneur with hard-earned experience in the finance and IT sectors. After working as the sole portfolio manager for an investment firm with $750 million in public equities under management, he transitioned into technology as an IT consultant at Freddie Mac. At Freddie, he taught himself how to program in Visual Basic and transact-SQL, and eventually “owned” the single application that priced over $20 billion in multifamily deals. He then took on a technical manager role at SNL Financial, implementing data warehouse and reporting solutions for banking clients. Currently, David is the Executive Administrator for CAV Angels—an angel investment network bringing UVA related start-ups to a network of UVA alumni for start-up funding—and is also Managing Partner at Ivy Technical Partners, where he consults for small businesses on their financial and IT reporting needs. He is an MBA-candidate in the Executive MBA program at the University of Virginia expecting to graduate in May 2016, and is a CFA-charterholder.
Joseph P. Romanoski
Master of Arts in Organizational Management
Joseph Romanoski enjoyed a stellar career at Verizon Communications. His career consisted of increasing areas of accountability in multiple disciplines including strategic management, financial modeling, staffing, process reengineering, marketing, sales, and training development and delivery. He skillfully combined his on-the-job acumen with the concepts and skills he gleaned while achieving his master’s degree, along with those obtained via training courses at Wharton Business School, the University of Richmond (VA), the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, NC, and Six Sigma training.
After successful tenures in field operations and account executive and regional sales managing, Romanoski developed and proposed a precedent-setting national account management program to Verizon’s leadership team. The program complemented business as usual as a regional revenue protection program with a new revenue stream that went beyond the confines of a regulated environment. A significant contributor to the program’s success was Romanoski’s ability to perform in-depth skill assessments designed to build a complementary team of salespeople, a quality assurance team, and a tactical implementation team.
Romanoski’s skills were called upon again by the Verizon leadership team when he was charged with the task of profitably exiting a non-strategic market by the Verizon leadership team. His strategic plan included the identification and marketing of 200,000 valuable assets to be sold to interested entities, as well as assets that were to be removed by Verizon employees. An equally crucial objective included resource allocation efforts for 200 management employees and over 1,000 union employees. Again, a cornerstone of this initiative was the need to identify and assemble a resilient team that was equipped to think and act beyond the restraints of the business as usual telecommunications landscape.
Romanoski was recently sought out by an international telecommunications company to act as their consultant to negotiate a purchase of a Verizon business. He developed the necessary financial models and resource planning in a comprehensive effort to complete the sale. While a purchase price was mutually agreeable, the reluctance of the potential buyer to absorb a large unionized work force ultimately ended negotiations.
JAMES J KELLERK, CFA
Finance, Private Equity, Operations Executive
James Kellerk is an executive with a wide breadth of business acumen spanning private equity, operations, finance, capital markets, quality/Six Sigma Methodology (with a focus on customer needs while driving growth), managing costs, and, ultimately, yielding high returns. He is a CFA charterholder and holds a B.S. in Finance, as well as a Mathematics minor from Fairfield University.
Mr. Kellerk has worked for over twenty-five years across GE Capital and GE Company. He began his career at GE Healthcare after graduating with high honors from the GE Financial Management Program, holding positions in X-ray Manufacturing Finance, Computed Tomography Marketing Finance, Tax Planning and Analysis, and Global Strategic Financial Planning and Analysis.
Subsequently, Mr. Kellerk held GE Corporate Treasury roles in pricing the $125 billion Short Term Paper programs issuing $3 trillion in annual volume, while also managing the $5 billion corporate portfolio. His Capital Markets experience ranges from securitization, interest rate hedging programs, mortgage products, and investor relations.
As Global Director-Corporate Treasury, Mr. Kellerk launched and led the Global Corporate Treasury Six Sigma quality initiative. This effort articulated customer needs, improved and redesigned processes, and streamlined operations. He obtained his Master Black Belt certification, managing processes across all treasury functions.
As head of Equity Capital Markets, GE Corporate, he monetized the global portfolio from large structured $1 billion public deals to private illiquid deals. Mr. Kellerk managed all aspects of the private equity deal cycle, including origination, portfolio management, valuation, risk management, and sales execution. He also worked with Access GE, or lean processing, to improve companies’ underlying portfolio performance.
Jose is a professional with years of finance and operational experience. He has spent the greater part of his career advising and working with c-level executives to identify growth opportunities and potential process optimizations. Previously, Jose has worked in the financial services, pharmaceutical, and aviation industries for both private equity owned and listed companies.
Jose received his Bachelor’s in Economics from Amherst College, an MBA from the Wharton School, and an MA from the Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania.
Chief Technology officer
Valeria Bisenti has been involved in the IT industry since 1999, when she started working for PeopleSpace, Inc., in Charlottesville, VA. There she was involved with the implementation and successful launch of numerous time-critical, web-based promotional projects, providing resilient database designs to survive the onslaught of thousands of eager customers for companies such as AskJeeves, Lifetime Television, and Corvette.
In 2001 she relocated to Florida, where she has worked for Douglas Knight & Associates as a programmer, database designer, and systems administrator. She has extensive experience administering Linux-based systems and in programming database-driven systems, using well-known tools such as Postgres and MySQL, PHP, and ColdFusion.