Click the photos of our leadership team to read their bios.
Kurien Jacob is an experienced executive having held CEO or CFO positions at five different companies in the transportation, manufacturing, consumer electronics, automotive accessories and software industries spanning 25 years. Prior to moving into general management, Mr. Jacob was in audit and consulting with Touche Ross (now Deloitte Touche). He holds a B. Com. from the University of Madras, India, is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, England and Wales, and holds an Advanced Management Certificate from the Sloan School of MIT.
Mark Schonau is an experienced Chief Financial Officer with 25 plus years of experience providing financial and operational leadership to public and venture backed corporations. Mr. Schonau has provided financial leadership to software companies in the Healthcare Information Technology, Transportation and B2B Commerce. Before moving into the private sector he spent eight years working for Ernst & Young as an auditor. Mr. Schonau has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from Arizona State University, is licensed as a CPA in the State of Arizona and holds a Certificate in Global Leadership from the Thunderbird School of International Management.
Suhas Gudihal is an experienced executive in Enterprise Architecture, Development and Product Technology Integration, creating and managing product engineering labs in a distributed development environment. Prior to joining AFS, Mr. Gudihal was the Practice Head and VP Software services at CGI consulting. Mr. Gudihal managed the Application development and e-business development practice generating revenues of over $160 million from the practice and was recipient of Chairman’s Pinnacle award. Mr. Gudihal had earlier worked with organizations including Robert Bosch, Germany and Tata Consultancy Services, leading their architecture and product development. Mr. Gudihal has a BS in Electrical Engineering from Institute of Technology in India and MS in Computer Systems from Boston University with specializations in Enterprise Architecture and Project Methodologies. He is also a certified CMA from IMA, USA.
Lisa Whinnie has over 20 years within all areas of Information Technology consisting of software development, professional services and customer support. Over the past 16 years, she has worked with end users to convert their business requirements into comprehensive, streamlined technical solutions. As Executive Vice President, Chief Customer Officer Ms. Whinnie is responsible for customer relations including customer service, customer communication, customer product positioning, ensuring the AFS strategy is aligned with customers’ objectives, including driving our Customer Advocacy and Consulting Group. Prior to joining AFS, Ms. Whinnie served as the IT Director for an international espresso distributor, Illy Espresso of the Americas, and was formerly the MIS Manager at the telecommunications company Executone Information Systems Inc. She holds a B.S. degree in Information Systems from the University of Phoenix.
With over 20 years of software industry experience, Mr. Christen for some of the most notable enterprise application companies, including Oracle, SAP and Siebel, to deliver measurable business results. He has successfully defined customer acquisition strategies and improved operational efficiencies for multiple top selling consumer brands. Most recently, Mr. Christen led Oracle¹s Customer Experience cloud sales team across all industries in North America. During his tenure at SAP America, he led the Customer Experience Strategy, CRM Center of Excellence and designed Executive Dashboards for 83 industries. Mr. Christen¹s mergers and acquisitions experience includes leading the integration team at Oracle during the acquisition of Siebel Systems and RightNow Technologies and again at SAP during its acquisition of Business Objects.
During a 25 year career in the software industry Chris Mitchell has collaboratively worked with many global Pharmaceutical, Consumer Healthcare and Consumer Goods companies to successfully deliver IT solutions to support specialised business processes – primarily in the front office. This has involved senior business development roles at national, European and Global levels in both large organisations such as Oracle and Accenture as well as specialised software vendors such as CAS, Cegedim and First Consulting Group. He has worked extensively in East and West Europe, North America, Latam, Middle East and Asia Pac and therefore understands many of the key differences of business practice, culture, regulation and politics which can undermine global programs. Prior to joining AFS, he worked for CAS as the Global Account Director for a small number of global top 20 CPG companies.
Milan Vacval leads the creation and development of the AFS DATUM solution. Prior to joining AFS, he led the MDS business unit responsible for master data management initiatives and global data synchronization solutions with strategic alignment and compliance to GS1 standard specifications at Gladson. Mr. Vacval has been longtime active participant in development of global standards managed by GS1, GDSN. Before joining Gladson, he worked at UDEX responsible for transforming proprietary UK product catalogue into standard compliant GDSN data pool solution. As Vice President of Product Strategy at Vista Technology Group he directed development of overall product strategy for all Vista’s trade promotion applications. He holds a Master Degree in Computer Science from Komensky University Bratislava, Czechoslovakia
Alan El-Kadhi has successfully managed the creation and commercialisation of multiple software products. In the early 1990s he started his own software development company in the UK, and his security and workflow products were sold to major banks in the City of London. His company wasacquired by Silvon Software, the US market leader in the space. He was General Manager of Commericalisation for the University of New South Wales, one of Australia’s largest universities, and generated millions of dollars in licensing and venture capital to fund start-up companies. He then restructured and ran sales for a VC funded start-up specialising in Video Analytics (Sensen Networks) and for a global BI software company (Phocas Software). He recently took 2 years out to volunteer in Indonesia, where he transformed a small local wildlife organisation into a well-funded and international award winning conservation NGO. He has a BSc from the University of Wales, and an MBA from Trinity College Dublin.
Abby Chitester is an accomplished marketing strategist with the proven ability to execute a Web 2.0 Go-to-Market strategy. She is known for developing dynamic and innovative business processes that create high visibility and increased sales. During her career, Ms. Chitester has held multiple leadership positions influencing key business decisions to drive direction, growth and overall company strategy. Her professional roles have spanned various roles in corporate marketing communications, product marketing and public relations for both start-up and multi-million dollar companies. Previously, Ms. Chitester was the Vice President of Marketing for MEI Computer Technology Group, where she branded and executed the North American roll-out of TradeInsight, the first true Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Trade Promotion Management solution for the Consumer Packaged Goods Industry. Some of her other prior experience includes working for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the National Basketball Association, the Women’s National Basketball Association, McDonald’s Restaurants, Things Remembered and Aspen Dental. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pittsburgh.
Jozef Sovcik is one of two founders of Visicom, he was responsible for establishing and defining Visicom as a global company. Responsible for product strategy, sales (direct + channel), and expansion to new markets. Prior founding Visicom Mr. Sovcik worked in different technical and management positions at IES s.r.o. a Slovak company whose services included designing, building, maintaining, and servicing electrical, data communications, and utilities systems. He has a Masters in Applied Economics from the University of Economics in Bratislava and BS degree in Computer Science from Comenius University in Bratislava.
As one of the founders of Visicom, Heliodor Macko was responsible for the very first implementation of our Visicom SFA product at Unilever. Since then, Mr. Macko is responsible for ensuring customers maximize value from their Visicom solutions through quality implementations and best-practice-based consulting. He has also driven further development of our Visicom SFA product. Prior to joining Visicom, he was a member of a micro-team at Wildcat Systems, designing and developing intelligent highway control systems. He has received a degree in Artificial Intelligence from Comenius University in Bratislava.
Board Of Directors
Taylor Mefford is Co-Head of Goldman, Sachs & Co.’s Private Capital Investing group, a division of Americas Special Situations Group (AmSSG) . GS PCI provides capital to middle market companies to accelerate organic growth, facilitate acquisitions, refinance existing credit facilities or provide liquidity to current investors. Prior to joining GS, Taylor was a Vice President at Wachovia Capital Partners, the principal investing group of Wachovia Corporation with over $1.5 billion in equity investments under management. Prior to Wachovia Capital Partners, Taylor was an Associate at The Robinson-Humphrey Company, a leading Southeastern focused middle market investment bank. Taylor earned a B.A. in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia in 1997 and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.
Art is a seasoned technology entrepreneur with more than 25 years of experience in the software industry. Most recently Art was CEO and Chairman of ISD Corporation, a leading provider of electronic payments management software, prior to its acquisition by ACI Worldwide. Before joining ISD, Art was the CEO of SecurePipe, a leading provider of managed network security services, prior to its merger with TrustWave. Before joining SecurePipe, Art was the president and CEO of Novarra, a leading provider of mobile solutions, prior to its acquisition by Nokia. Before joining Novarra, Roldan was president and CEO of The Premisys Corp., a leading sales engineering automation software company acquired by J.D. Edwards (Oracle). Art has been recognized in Crain’s Internet 100 Executives. Art began his career at IBM and holds a B.S. in Business Administration from DePaul University.
Holger Staude works in the Private Capital Investing team, part of Goldman, Sachs & Co.’s Americas Special Situations Group. In that capacity, Holger invests in private, middle market companies throughout North America in the technology and healthcare sectors. Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, he worked at Allen & Company. Investments include: Renal Ventures Management, Resolute Anesthesia and Pain Solutions, and SugarCRM. Holger holds a B.A. in Economics from Princeton University.
Tyler Wick, Principal, joined ABRY in 2011. Prior to joining ABRY, Mr. Wick was a Partner at Ticonderoga Capital. Over the course of his 15-year tenure at Ticonderoga Capital, Mr. Wick led over a dozen growth-equity and mezzanine investments in software, healthcare, and business and information services companies, and served as a director on over a dozen boards of Ticonderoga Capital’s portfolio companies. Prior to Ticonderoga Capital, Mr. Wick served in the Investment Banking Division of Advest. Mr. Wick is a graduate of Amherst College.