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, 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 is an experienced executive in Enterprise Architecture, Development and Product Technology Integration, creating and managing product engineering labs in a distributed development environment. As CTO, Suhas is responsible for leading AFS Technology direction, strategy, including development of the company’s Products and ensure that AFS continues to bring cutting edge technology solutions to the industry we serve.
Prior to joining AFS, Suhas was the Practice Head and VP Software services at CGI consulting. Suhas 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. During this tenure, he successfully developed and integrated products and development teams from multiple acquisitions. Suhas had earlier worked with organizations including Robert Bosch, Germany and Tata Consultancy Services, leading their architecture and product development.
Suhas 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 she 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, Lisa 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.
John Fraser has over 25 years of experience in a wide range of Senior Sales Leadership and General Management roles across many areas enterprise software and technology. Prior to coming to AFS, Fraser was with Accenture in their Communications and Technology group and helped build a North America Sales Team around predictive analytics. In the 90s, he was with Sybase when the company grew from $90 million to $1 billion in revenue in 6 years, where he held a number of roles and established a strong track record of performance. Fraser also has worked in a number of early stage and high growth organizations. He has a B.S. from Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester, NY and a MBA from Pepperdine U in Malibu, Ca.
During a 25 year career in the software industry Chris 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.
In these roles Chris has worked with many client executive stakeholders to understand their business cases and the key aspects of the IT solutions that will enable the business case to be delivered. This understanding has not only lead to the selling of appropriate software solutions but has also often enabled Chris to broker collaborations between the software organisations he represents and his clients. These collaborations have resulted in significant new functionality coming to market within standard products and the ability for clients to develop long term road maps for cost effective adoption of solutions.
Chris has been involved in many regional/global initiatives which require a balance to be struck between local needs and the standardisation required to achieve economies of scale. Chris 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. This has enabled Chris to proactively work with his clients to help plan the progressive rollout of global solutions.
Prior to joining AFS Chris worked for CAS as the Global Account Director for a small number of global top 20 CPG companies. In this role he was exposed to the best practice thinking and practical experience of these major organisations in areas such as Trade Promotion Management, Trade Promotion Optimisation, Retail Execution, Direct Store Delivery and Merchandising. This extensive experience will enable Chris to quickly engage with his new customers at AFS.
Frank Recht has over 20 years of experience in consulting, project management and field operations in the distribution and food industry. As Vice President Professional Services, Frank is responsible for customer implementations and consulting services. This includes resource management, financial tracking, training, and implementation. Frank has been with AFS over twelve years and has held various positions in Operations, Technical Sales and Professional Services, and obtained a B.S. degree in Computer Information Systems from Arizona State University.
Alan 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 was acquired by Silvon Software, the US market leader at the time, and Alan ran product management in the US, and then relocated to Australia to establish Asia Pacific sales channels. 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.
Alan has joined AFS to manage the Mobile product suite. 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, Abby 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, Abby 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. Abby holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pittsburgh.
Board Of Directors
Avin Bansal is a Vice President in the Private Capital Investing (PCI) team, part of Goldman, Sachs & Co.’s Americas Special Situations Group. In that capacity, Avin invests in private, middle market companies throughout North America in the technology, business services, healthcare, and consumer sectors. Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, he worked at Summit Partners and Great Point Partners, both growth-oriented private equity firms, along with a stint at Google. He earned a B.S. and M.S. in Management Science & Engineering from Stanford University, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
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.
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.