Our Board of Directors

Ziad K

Ziad K. Abdelnour

Founder and Chairman

As Founder and Chairman of the Financial Policy Council, Ziad K. Abdelnour is also a Wall Street Financier, Author, Philanthropist, Activist, Lobbyist, Oil & Gas Trader & President & CEO of Blackhawk Partners, Inc., a New York based private equity “family office” that focuses on originating, structuring, advising and acting as equity investor in management-led buyouts, strategic minority equity investments, equity private placements, consolidations, buildups, and growth capital financing in companies and projects based both in the US and emerging markets and the trading of key physical commodities.

Since 1985, Mr. Abdelnour has been involved in over 125 transactions worth in aggregate over $10 billion in the investment banking, high yield bond and distressed debt markets and has been widely recognized for playing an integral role in those three key market sectors.

Mr. Abdelnour serves on the board of Elate Partners, a Chinese investment group backed by large institutional, strategic and wealthy individual investors from China.

Mr. Abdelnour also serves on the Advisory board of DPG Investments, a recognized premier multi strategy global merchant banking, alternative investment, management and advisory firm.

He is the author of “Economic Warfare: Secrets of Wealth Creation in the Age of Welfare Politics” ; a best seller manuscript written for investors that need to navigate the troubled geopolitical waters of the post-crisis world and a prolific writer for 100+ entrepreneurial and financial publications advising and educating investors in private equity, hedge funds, crowdfunding, Sovereign Wealth Funds, fund-of-funds, angel networks, venture capital and family offices.

Mr. Abdelnour is also a regular speaker on Private Equity, Physical Commodities trading and Middle East geo-political analysis at industry conferences & TV outlets nationwide including but not limited to Fox News, Newsmax, etc… and a key “influencer” in his own right having a hard core constituency of over 2 million viewers having read his blog postings and analyses since January 2014.

Mr. Abdelnour holds an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and a BS in Economics, Summa Cum Laude, from the American University of Beirut.

He was recently listed as one of the 500 Most Influential CEOs in the World.


Hari Eppanapally

Vice President - Founding Member

As Vice President of the Financial Policy Council, and with over 25 years of experience as a financial services IT professional, Mr. Eppanapally has been involved in directing and managing global technology initiatives including
strategic planning, architecture, design, development and deployment. He has worked over the years at several Wall Street investment banks like Merrill Lynch, Blackrock, Credit Suisse, Alliance Capital and BNY Mellon.

Mr. Eppanapally is the Chairman of the board for Quibble Genomics Institute, Inc. (QuibbleMD.com), focused to bring a revolution in consumer genomics, personalized medicine, and population health. Quibble specializes in human genome modeling, analysis and visualization by transforms the bio samples to visually appealing Genomic insights based on Unity3D gaming technology.

Mr. Eppanapally is the Chairman of the board for the CIC Group, Inc., a management consulting and advisory firm for mergers and acquisitions. He has a keen interest in investing and promoting education, healthcare and energy sectors.

Mr. Eppanapally was the Vice President of Concepts in Computing, Inc., an IT services company providing specialized services to major Wall Street firms and global investment banks.

Mr. Eppanapally is the founding Chairman of the board for Lead India 2020 Foundation, Inc. a social transformation organization promoted by the former President of India Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam to educate, inspire and transform 640 Million youth of India into responsible citizens to develop the nation.

Mr. Eppanapally was the founding President of VT Seva, (Volunteering Together for Service), a global non-profit organization with over 100,000 volunteers dedicated to providing education to tribal and blind children, cancer screening for rural women and children, and disaster relief during floods/tsunamis and earth quakes.

Mr. Eppanapally received his B. Tech in Mechanical Engineering from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad, India, and M.S. in Computer and Information Science from New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, New Jersey.


Alexander Ferguson

Secretary - Founding Member

Mr. Ferguson has more than 25 years experience launching and managing several successful high technology ventures and designing complex information environments. Mr. Ferguson brings the business experience garnered from building a multi-million dollar defense contracting company, as well as a cutting-edge technical know-how, and the visionary acumen of a true futurist to the complex needs of solving today’s business problems. The sole founder of Crius, Inc., one of the founders of Intercom Consulting and Federal Systems, and a co-founder of Scarlet Fire Entertainment; Mr. Ferguson brings the business experience of founding and building a multi-million dollar defense contracting company, as well as a cutting edge entertainment technology firm to his high level of competence in solving the complex needs of today’s businesses. In the Washington Metropolitan Area, where technologists abound, Washington Technology magazine noted Mr. Ferguson as one of the area’s notable technology entrepreneurs and
futurists. Of note is that Mr. Ferguson’s patented concept preceded market leader Apple Inc’s iTunes service by two years, and correctly predicted the rise of downloadable internet content which today represents an important and significant growth sector of the global economy today. Mr. Ferguson’s next patent in individual medical logistics predicted the rise of personalized medicine and information logistics.

Mr. Ferguson’s clients include various Cabinet level Departments, and Inter-Agency working groups. Mr. Ferguson also served as CIO-level consultant to the Executive branch of the US Government, along with lead architect and technical leader for a number of major global information networks. Currently, his recommendations to a Cabinet level Department’s Strategic Planning Office are regularly reviewed by the Executive branch, Legislative branch, and other agencies. Mr. Ferguson founded Crius, Inc., providing system architecture and design services for both government and commercial clients. As an example of the level of work done by his companies, while heading up Crius, Mr. Ferguson played a lead role in restructuring architecting the changes that dramatically improved a US Government global network that was ranked as one of the worst in the federal government, and two years later was ranked one of the best.

Mr. Ferguson continued to build upon his early success, co-founded Scarlet Fire Entertainment, a content aggregator and music download service. Recently, he has also founded Dawn’s Light, a media company that is an executive producer and management team for multiple feature length films. In 2000, Mr. Ferguson founded Kaang, Inc. to provide strategic, enterprise-level consulting on the intersections of security, technology, and business alignment for major clients. Mr. Ferguson is a graduate of the Harvard Business School’s Owner/President Management Program. He also served in the 29th Light Infantry, and is a multi-decade practitioner of the martial arts.


Maria Ramirez

Treasurer - Founding Member

As Treasurer of the Financial Policy Council, Mrs. Ramirez is currently President & Chief Executive Officer of Maria Fiorini Ramirez, Inc., (MFR) an independent global economic and financial consulting firm formed in August 1992. Mrs. Ramirez and her colleagues are highly rated for their consistently accurate, unbiased analysis of economic trends and other issues that affect markets and investment decisions.

Mrs. Ramirez is a frequent speaker at U.S. and international forums and is a regular guest on a variety media outlets such as CNBC, CNN, ABC, Fox News, Bloomberg Financial News, PBS, CBS, and TV Tokyo. She is also a regular contributor to the Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Japan’s leading financial publication.

Mrs. Ramirez began her career in 1967 with Meinhard Commercial a subsidiary of CIT. In 1968 she joined American Express International Banking Corporation and learned various aspects of banking while earning a BA in Business Administration/Economics from Pace University. In 1973, she spent one year as a credit analyst at Banca Nazionale del Lavoro in New York. In 1974 she joined Merrill Lynch where during her 10 year tenure she was appointed First Vice President and Senior Money Market Economist. Mrs. Ramirez became a Senior Vice President and Senior Money Market Economist at Becker Paribas in 1984 when the firm was acquired by Merrill Lynch. From 1984 to 1990 (when the firm dissolved) she was Managing Director and Money Market Economist for Drexel Burnham Lambert.

In March 1990, she founded Maria Ramirez Capital Consultants, Inc., a subsidiary of John Hancock Freedom Securities. As President and Chief Executive Officer, Mrs. Ramirez created an economic consulting business and was responsible for the management of the firm’s global fixed income funds. In 1992, Mrs. Ramirez established Maria Fiorini Ramirez, Inc., which also serves as the holding company for MFR Securities, an institutional brokerage firm specializing in taxable and municipal securities, with offices in New York, Miami and San Francisco.


Philip Falcone

Business Development

Philip Falcone is a seasoned entrepreneur who started his career at the age of 13 working for Donald Trump’s father as a maintenance man. After being let go (in a way in which he learned a huge lesson on how to deal with people) he held a variety of jobs in the Commodities market and film industry landing a job in 1980 with Conti Commodities on Wall Street.

He later moved in 1981 to work for a local Commodity Trader Gino Tommaselli, where he became a member then in 1983 started working for John Tafaro Brokerage in the Crude Oil Pit becoming one of the leading paper brokers in the industry at that time.

In 1998 Philip opened JLS Futures when Tafaro Brokerage floundered due to poor management and kept JLS prosperous and going till 2007 when the market went to computers and electronic trading.

In 2010 Philip began writing scripts for motion pictures and in 2012 began to cast, then film Joe’s War a full length feature film. For Joe’s War, he took on many titles. Producer, Director, Writer, Set Design, etc…”Joe’s War” is a movie about a Marine returning home with PTSD. The movie had a theatrical release in LA during the end of 2015 and should be released on video shortly in 2016.

Mr. Falcone is currently working on the book adaptation of Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld and an action film titled “Paintball” , is happily married to his wife Lisa and has three children. Joseph 32 (COMEX, NYMEX trader till 2009 now works on films too), Lisa Marie 30 (works in Fashion and has recently started her own company in life and Nutrition coaching) and Samantha 28 (works as a salesperson for Life Science).

Philip is a patriot with a keen understanding and insight of global economics, finance and entrepreneurship as reflected by his movies in the making


Kristine Farra, DDS


Kristine Farra is a nationally recognized Top Residential Producer and Founder / CEO of GOLD COAST EXCLUSIVE | REAL ESTATE, a boutique full service luxury firm representing clients ( from individual buyers / sellers to seasoned investors and developers ) with superior service and expertise to meet their individual real estate needs.

Kristine has been featured in many publications including: The Wall Street Journal, Madison’s Who’s Who, Crain’s Chicago Business, The Chicago Collection, Real Estate Executive, Chicago Agent, Pinnacle Magazine, CS Modern Luxury, Ultimate Address, Michigan Avenue Magazine …

Kristine has been involved in the Real Estate Lifestyle + Marketing Sector for over 10 years and is known for her unsurpassed knowledge of this dynamic market, offering the most comprehensive as well as ultimate custom marketing programs, such as partnering with Comcast Digital / XFinity in offering clients / properties exclusive exposure on the network.

Kristine has also been featured on HGTV House Hunters, elevating the show concept to cater to a higher level of demographic with Million Dollar Power Shopping On The Magnificent Mile.

Kristine received her doctorate from Northwestern University, with an international background maintains a global perspective and speaks 3+ languages.

In keeping consistent with “giving back” to the community, Kristine is actively involved in social and philanthropic circles by supporting non-profits including The Service Club Of Chicago, Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation, Friends Of Conservation, Primo Classico and was actively involved in the inaugural Chicago Beach Polo Cup.

christoper fey

Christopher Fey

Chairman, Sponsorship Committee

Christopher Fey is an experienced health care executive with more than three decades in managed care, clinical diagnostics and preventive medicine.

As a management consultant, Mr. Fey assisted in the development of HMOs for U.S. HealthCare, Lincoln National Life Insurance, as well as Blue Cross and Blue Shield in markets such as Baltimore/Washington, D.C., Florida, New Jersey, New York, Boston, Chicago and St. Louis. Following these major market launches, Mr. Fey founded his own multi-state managed care company, HealthCare USA, which grew to a $150 million business in less than three years. HealthCare USA has generated more than five billion dollars in revenue since its founding. The Company was also ranked #1 in Quality in the State of Florida outranking 28 other established HMOs at the time. HealthCare USA was acquired by publicly-held Coventry Health Care where, as Corporate Senior Vice President, he led Coventry’s sales and marketing efforts nationwide. Coventry Health Care was acquired by Aetna.

Mr. Fey is the founder of U.S. Preventive Medicine, Inc. and its core products, The Prevention Plan and the Macaw mobile personal health management application, which won the Consumer Electronic Show for best mobile app in 2012, as well as the CTIA (Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association) Award for Health and Fitness and the NIH 2012 “Frankie” award for diabetes management. Mr. Fey also founded U.K. Preventive Medicine, Ltd.

As a member of the Wall Street Journal CEO Council, a select organization of 100 CEOs from across the U.S. and internationally, Mr. Fey participated in its yearly roundtable conference which presented its annual business priorities list to the White House. He has also traveled extensively to discuss population health management and prevention efforts and opportunities with business, health care and government leaders across the U.S., Europe, United Arab Emirates, China, Malaysia and Singapore.

Mr. Fey is the founder, chairman & CEO and director of Big Bang Health, Inc., a connected network of health care providers serving the self-funded employer market, as well as co-founder and chairman of Blood Tests at Home, Inc., a national home or work diagnostics company. He is also the founder and managing partner of Eagle Strategy Partners, LLC. Mr. Fey is a graduate of the University of Florida.


Marc Leibowitz

Business Development

Marc manages an unconventional investment practice catering to ultra-high-net-worth and institutional clients.  Following fourteen years at Merrill Lynch, Marc joined Oppenheimer in December of 2010. 

Marc holds degrees from Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. 

He is a fellow of the prestigious Wexner Heritage Program sponsored by L Brands CEO Les Wexner.

Marc has always been an active leader in his community.  In addition to his involvement with Financial Policy Council, Marc is a Newark Arts Council Board Member.  Other organizations that Marc supports include the Columbia Alumni Association and the Or Movement.

Marc lives in New Jersey with his wife and two sons. 


Steven G. Lord

Chairman, Private Wealth Committee

For the past 25 years, Steve Lord; Founder, President and CEO of Valgard Capital Partners, LLC has been an accomplished entrepreneur and private investor in middle market companies. His investments in over a dozen private companies have led to many successful exits in both the private and public markets. Mr. Lord co-founded Valgard Capital Partners after successfully selling his own financial services company to a large regional industry player.

Mr. Lord has extensive experience working with private, family-owned businesses in dozens of industries. His understanding of both the financial and emotional dynamics of the selling, oftentimes multi-generational, entrepreneur has led him to great success as an investor and banker. His knowledge of building different businesses in different industries combined with his operational experiences in his own businesses, make Mr. Lord a uniquely skilled banker.

Mr. Lord, through Valgard Capital Partners, specializes in working with buyers and sellers in the middle markets (transactions requiring between $10M and $1B in equity). He leads a team of highly experienced bankers, lawyers and accountants in finding, vetting and transacting business for large family offices as well as private equity funds, hedge funds and sovereign wealth funds interested in making direct investments in operating companies. Mr. Lord and his team at Valgard have the financial and operational acumen to find highly attractive privately-held businesses across a variety on industries who are seeking long-term capital partners to assist in growing their businesses.

Mr. Lord consults with both private and public CEOs with regards to their capital structure issues and needs. He is highly familiar with the myriad of issues that arise when entrepreneurs seek capital partners. He prefers transactions that are done confidentially, quickly and without the typical auction process where sensitive financial and competitive information is made largely public to a list of would-be buyers.

Valgard operates with a high level of confidentiality for both buyers and sellers, never publicizing its activities. Valgard’s style and mode of operation gives business owners and buyers great confidence that their interactions will remain private both before a transaction and after. Anonymity on Valgard’s part insures confidentiality for both buyers and sellers.

Mr. Lord is a lifelong resident of the state of Kansas where he resides with his family. An active member of his community, he sits on numerous private and charitable boards.


Dr. Joseph J. Louro

Business Development

Dr. Louro, currently Chairman and CEO of Investview, Inc – a publicly traded company whose purpose is to provide state-of-the-art investment tools and proprietary systems, coupled with top of the line financial education, delivered via the Internet in a highly cost effective manner – is a successful businessman who has successfully operated companies in multiple business sectors and has been involved in educating through lecturing in the education space domestically and internationally.

Dr. Louro, from 2006 to 2011, served as the CEO and President of LDG-Louro Development Group, a business development company focused on real estate transactions, new construction and downtown development projects as well as foreclosure-bankruptcy turnaround solutions.

From 1981 to 2006, Dr. Louro acted as an international speaker for live seminar educational companies.

Dr. Louro’s topics for physicians and businessmen included success principles, practice management skills and leadership skills. Dr. Louro also taught staff and employees how to enhance the customers overall experience through first class service.


Emilio Mahomar

Corporate Sponsorship

Emilio Mahomar is a visionary and strategist with over 16 years of experience as an entrepreneur, marketer and networker. Mr. Mahomar currently serves as President, CEO of Resilient Media, a video production, post production, duplication and language localization company headquartered in NYC, with operations in Burbank, CA and Latin America. Mr. Mahomar is also President, CEO of Resilient Resources, a marketing and consulting company specializing in import/export, commodities, renewable energy and financing for government and private projects throughout Latin America.

Mr. Mahomar, a US Citizen and native from El Salvador, began his professional career in the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX). During his 15 year term (1983-1998), Mr. Mahomar worked for and/or serviced futures (crude oil, heating oil and natural gas) business accounts for several major corporations including Cargill, Smith Barney, Dean Witter, Prudential Bache, Enron and several independent companies.

The much talked about possibility of the NYMEX going online (during late 1997) convinced Mr. Mahomar the time had come to retire and focus on his other passion, media. In February 1998, he co-founded Soundwriters (1998-2010), the leader in offline closed captioning services in NYC and the tri-state area. Soundwriters was dissolved (2010) and immediately after, Mr. Mahomar lunched Resilient Media, which to date their clients include: A&E, truTV, Lifetime, History Español, Starz Entertainment and Sony to name a few…

The collapse and stagnant US economy motivated Mr. Mahomar to diversify and pursue business opportunities throughout Latin America, the closest emerging market to the US. During early 2010, Mr. Mahomar launched Resilient Resources to help bridge the gap between US and Latin American governments, corporations and investors interested in doing business. To date, Resilient Resources represents several US and Latin American growers, producers and distributors of comestible products and commodities, as well as renewable and IT companies and government officials.

Mr Mahomar is the Founder of the New York International Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (NYIHCC), one of the over 230 Hispanic Chambers of Commerce (across the US) members of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) located in D.C. The mission of the NYIHCC is to educate, promote and facilitate business opportunities between US and Latin American companies. Mr. Mahomar is also a member of the Minority Business Enterprise Input Committee (MBEIC) of the New York / New Jersey Minority Supplier Development Council.

Mr. Mahomar is the Financial Policy Council lead board member when it comes to the organization’s outreach to Latin America at large.


Barry Moniês

Private Wealth Sponsorship

Barry Moniês serves as President and CEO of Computronix, LLC an 18 year old technology solutions company that designs, implements and manages data networks and communications infrastructures for small to medium sized businesses in the financial, legal and medical industries.

Almost consecutively, from 2008 through 2015, Computronix has been included in the MSP mentor 501 list, a distinguished list of the world’s top managed technology service providers. In addition, From 2012 through 2015, Mr Moniês has been included in the yearly MSP mentor 250, a global list of the top 250 worldwide executives in the technology managed services industry.

Through Mr. Moniês leadership, Computronix has become one of the forefront managed technology service providers in the New York metropolitan area. Computronix specializes in Microsoft based server environments, multi-office networking (including international implementations), Communications/Exchange server implementation, network security assessment & implementation , data backup & recovery, remote services/VPN implementation, Cloud services, 24/7 monitoring and remote support/maintenance.

Mr. Moniês is also noted for his expertise in the area of internet security and the protection and recovery of electronic data. Several years ago, he was invited to participate in a Congressional Conference in Washington, D.C. with Homeland Security on issues relating to internet security and electronic terrorism. Mr. Moniês has also worked with the Federal Bureau of Investigation on matters related to electronic security, internet forensics, and issues related to network intrusion.

In 2000, Mr. Moniês spun off Computronix’ security division as a separate incorporated entity. Under the name Computronix Security Systems, Inc. (CSSI), the new company built a state-of-the-art security operations center (SOC) and monitored more than $4 Billion in annual transactions & 50-100 hacker incidents per day. In 2002, Mr. Moniês successfully forged a strong alliance with Sony Electronics to jointly offer an Internet security service for small to medium sized businesses nationwide. In 2004, Mr. Moniês purchased CSSI from the investors and incorporated the business as part of Computronix’ managed services offering.

As a consummate entrepreneur, Over the years, Mr. Moniês also started and/or participated in various businesses including an exotic automotive sales and service business, a day-trading & stock advisory service, a commercial real estate investment firm, an international importing business and several Internet based ecommerce businesses.

Mr. Moniês is an active participant in local, regional and national business organizations. He has served on many Boards and continues to serve as Chairman of the Board of The Soundview Club, a private regional business club located in Stamford, CT. Mr. Moniês and his companies have received media attention in many publications including Forbes magazine, the Connecticut Business Magazine, the Fairfield County Business Journal and various other news outlets.

Mr. Moniês believes strongly in community involvement and has actively participated in several non-profit organizations including Stoneage Incorporated, where he held a position of Chairman of the Board, the United Way, the Outreach Program for the blind, the Special Olympics and many others.

Mr. Moniês enjoys spending time and traveling with his wife Indira and sons, Eric, Brandon and Julien. He also enjoys fishing, day trading and starting new businesses.

Honorio Jose Padron

Honorio Jose Padron

Business Development

Mr. Padron is an energetic critical thinker with 40 years of experience as an operations efficiency expert. He brings to the Financial Policy Council a diverse background having spent time as an entrepreneur, Fortune 500 Senior Executive, as well as a US Federal Government Top Executive.

Mr. Padron is one of those people that can navigate the spectrum of being a strategic thinker, to a hands on practical doer. Mr. Padrón has been able to extend his initial Engineering and NASA training into many areas with several very productive projects. He has been a large programs manager for NASA, a founding board member for a startup bank, as well as the owner operator of several restaurant concepts, combined with serving as a division CEO and CIO for several Fortune 500 companies in the Hospitality, CPG, Technology, and Energy industries.

As a Partner in a boutique consulting firm, he helps large complex organizations improve their back office operations via the design and implementation of new operating models that include processes, technology, shared services, and outsourcing. He often speaks at conferences and publishes in the areas of Global Service Delivery Models, and Information Technology. He is considered a global expert in Outsourcing and Global Business Services, and has co-authored several books in these subjects.

Mr. Padrón enjoys maybe the highest frequent flyer status with Delta and American Airlines, travelling virtually every week while currently doing business in North, Central, and South America, as well Europe and Asia. He lives on a lake in Miami FL, with his wife Yolanda. During the weekends, you will find him swimming in the lake, or pulling family and friends behind his most favored Sea Doo Jet boat.

Mr. Padrón holds Electrical and Biomedical engineering degrees from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He currently serves on several Boards both profit and non- profit.

As he keeps telling his friends: ” Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”… How true.


Lev Paukman, MD, Ph.D

Business Development

Dr. Lev J. Paukman is known as a highly acclaimed and respected physician at a number of prestigious New York City hospitals and the Tri-State area and is a global activist on philanthropic issues.

Dr. Paukman began his career in Russia where he completed medical school and also got his PhD degree from Saratov Medical University. His medical training continued in the United States with both a Residency in Internal Medicine and a Fellowship in Cardiology at Mount Sinai Hospital.

With over forty years of clinical experience and having treated nearly 17,000 patients Dr.Paukman’s expertise includes Internal Medicine, Cardiology, as well as drug addiction therapy and rehabilitation. Dr. Paukman also brings the concept of alternative/preventive anti-aging medicine and holistic wellness to his patients.

Dr. Paukman is Executive Director of the Paukman Medical Plaza; a multi-specialty medical facility and of the Vitamore Medical Center. He is also a Board Member of Finding the Cure, Inc.

Through his career Dr. Paukman has received numerous professional appointments and prestigious public credits as his research has been published in major medical publications. He has been participating in multiple conferences and symposiums for Anti-Aging medicine and is a member of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine dedicated to enhancing the quality and extending the length of Human Lifespan.

Renowned for his personal generosity and compassion to those less fortunate Dr.Paukman has received numerous awards for his relentless philanthropic activities and communal involvement. He is committed public servant, who works tirelessly on behalf of the Ethnic Russian Community. He also has been an active political liaison to the Russian community with strong ties to Former Governor Pataki, Mayor Giuliani, Senator D’Amato and Mayor Bloomberg.


Roy J. Salame

Corporate Sponsorship

Roy J. Salame is Vice Chairman Global Commodities. He joined JPMorgan in October 2008 and is responsible for senior commodities client relationships and for the origination and management of large strategic deals globally. In this capacity, Roy is a member of the Global Commodities Management team and the Americas Sales & Marketing Executive team. Most recently, Roy was Managing Director and Global Head of Sales and Structuring for Commodities.

Prior to joining the firm, Roy was a Managing Director and Head of Global Natural Resources Sales and Origination at Lehman Brothers. Roy led a team of professionals responsible for structured and flow risk management solutions for corporate, investors and sovereign clients

Roy spent nearly 14 years at Goldman Sachs, where he was most recently a Managing Director and Head of Oil, Metals and Mining and Forest Products in the US and Latin America. Roy spent 7 years in London where he led the effort to build a large commodity based non-conventional banking and finance franchise in the Arabian Gulf. Roy was responsible for the firm’s Metals Sales and Structuring efforts in the Middle East and Africa, pioneering a number of exotic derivatives in both base and precious metals. Roy was also responsible for all Central Banks in Europe, Middle East and Africa on gold reserves management optimization strategies. The last 2 years of his assignment in London, Roy worked extensively with various sovereigns and national oil companies in the Middle East and North Africa on various strategic energy risk management initiatives.

Prior to his career at Goldman Sachs, Roy worked at Citigroup for more than 10 years, where he was VP and Head of Marketing for the Financial Institutions Group for the Middle East Africa Division in New York initially, and subsequently out of Bahrain. Roy was lead marketer to Central Banks, government agencies, commercial and investment banks in 22 countries. During his tenure in Bahrain, Roy significantly expanded Citibank’s structured finance and cross border risk participations with institutional investors in the region and led the effort to launch a separately capitalized Citibank Islamic Bank to compete more effectively in the region

Roy is Co-Chair of the Advisory Board for the JPMorgan Center for Commodities at University of Colorado, Denver. He is also on the Board of the Financial Policy Council, a research think tank and educational institution. Roy also serves on the Board of B*CURED, a non-for-profit organization dedicated to funding cutting edge research to cure brain cancer. Roy holds a BA in Economics “With Distinction” and MBA in ‘Finance and Investment’, both from The George Washington University; Roy lives in Connecticut with his wife Melissa.


Karl G. Schlegel III

Chairman, Events Committee

Karl Schlegel is a New Jersey-based entrepreneur and business strategist, with an extensive network spanning fashion and entertainment, to technology and venture capital.

In addition to advising Blackhawk Partners as an Associate Partner on matters of brand positioning and marketing, Karl is a Senior Partner at Branded Global, a firm that specializes in product placement and brand integration in major movies, TV shows, music videos, video games, celebrity engagements, and emerging media. Through its retail distribution and direct marketing programs, Branded Global leverages the marketing format to drive sales, thereby increasing revenue and valuation for its clients. Branded Global recently received an award for work carried out for the Brazil World Cup and is in discussions regarding several unique high-profile branding programs in the luxury and retail segments.

Karl also oversees branding and business development at CallsThatROCK, a company specializing in call center services and business process outsourcing, with over 150 agents and management in the #1 global outsourcing market, the Philippines. In 2015, Karl cemented a series of US partnerships as well as a relationship with Ukraine based resources (lead gen, back office, development) which enables CallsThatROCK to provide the best of all worlds. The synergistic relationship between Branded Global and CallsThatROCK provides a strong foundation on which to scale both companies.

Karl served as lead consultant to a social media technology fund and currently advises several uniquely positioned companies, including a firm whose disruptive IP banner ad delivery solution has made the news for its effectiveness in political campaigns. In 2015, Karl helped secure the New York venue for the inaugural fight of Championship Title Boxing; a boxing series broadcast on CBS Sports Network. Karl was also instrumental in several key successes that helped 180 South Group become one of the most sought after companies to work with in New York and secure a place on the Inc. 500 list.

Prior to Branded Global and CallsThatROCK, Karl’s experience includes running merchandising and apparel for The Rocket Racing League’s Inaugural Flight at the EAA AirVenture Air Show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin in 2008, setting up a unique sponsorship opportunity for RRL with Ferrari, working side by side with management teams and investors at various portfolio companies while in venture capital, helping to personally position the world’s first HIPAA compliant online portal for the exchange of electronic medical records (EMR) with Microsoft HealthVault, serving in operations with a garment sourcing company, and co-founding a technology marketing firm that helped a Skype-meets-WebEx technology client find its niche in healthcare and become a publicly traded company.

In 2009, Karl traveled to Southeast Asia as part of an advisory team working with a foreign government on the movement of strategic commodities. During that time, he also worked with members of the management team from an oil technology company that is currently helping to reduce the cost of upgrading crude oil from $20 to $30 per barrel to between $0.50 and $1 per barrel. Additionally in commodities, Karl worked with a team developing a scan-track-trace technology for diamonds to support GIA efforts to enforce the Kimberly process, outlined a risk mitigation model for importing gold into the US, and outlined a model for a gold bullion stacking fund.

Over the course of his career, Karl has consulted or advised over 100 companies helping them address key challenges. Client sectors include nano-cement technology, parabolic solar, global container security, genomics, mobile, biometrics, item level tracking, apparel, consumer products, biotech, sales behavior analytics, private charter, online media, trade financing, barter, media, and entertainment.

Karl was a featured panelist at Pharrell’s Kidult Conference, and is part of the selection committee for the Catholic Finance Association. Karl also serves on the board of St. Joseph’s Outreach and is an active member of the Association for Fundraising Professionals serving on the Young Professionals Committee. He is a graduate of Rutgers College and lives with his wife and children in New Jersey.


Robert Seaman III

Private Wealth Sponsorship

Robert Seaman III is a New York based attorney and businessman specializing in entrepreneurial activities involving representation of public and private companies, individuals, and institutions in connection with planning, structuring and negotiating asset based high technology and other financings, mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and capital transactions. He also acts as an international escrow agent and advises clients on the Internet and Cyber Security issues associated with the rapidly evolving methodologies and techniques by which entities protect systems and computer codes.

Mr. Seaman served as President and Chief Operating Officer of the most profitable subsidiary of a publicly owned financial company traded on the New York Stock Exchange. From his involvement in the financing, marketing and distribution of a foreign film which garnered fourteen (14) international awards in the mid 1970’s, through his involvement in legal, financial and promotional aspects of other international activities, Mr. Seaman has been actively dealing as an attorney and Board Member in activities involving international banks and the evolving world marketplace.

Mr. Seaman was Founder and Chairman of the Millennium Foundation, an international charitable organization. He has been the Chairman and principal Owner of the Pittsfield Colonials, a Champion independent league professional baseball team in the Can-Am League. He is also in his third decade as a limited partner in a National Football League (NFL) team that has won three (3) Super Bowl Championships. In recognition of his contributions to international business, sports and charity, he was knighted and designated “Knight Commander-Grand Cross, Minister of Finance and Avocat General” by the Order of Saint John during the same year in which Mother Teresa, the President of Turkey, Turgut Ozal, and actor Anthony Quinn were similarly honored by the Order.

Mr. Seaman served as Vice President-Legal and Assistant to the Chairman of the Board of PaineWebber (now UBS), and was a Registered Principal with the New York Stock Exchange, the American Stock Exchange, the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) (which evolved into FINRA), the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations (NASDAQ), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and various other stock and commodities exchanges. He is a member of the New York and South Carolina Bars. Mr. Seaman is also admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court and the U.S. Tax Court, among others.

Mr. Seaman has served on American Bar Association Committees and Subcommittees. He has spoken and written on various financial, estate planning and business subjects in conjunction with legal and accounting groups and business trade organizations. He also wrote and/or compiled handbooks for professionals. In multi-disciplinary activities, he has addressed the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants and the Certified Public Accountants Association UK.

Mr. Seaman also served as a lead attorney, responsible for preparation of documents necessary for filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and other regulatory authorities for public offerings of securities and resolving various complex tax issues. Additionally, Mr. Seaman worked with the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) and leaders in foreign countries on their fiscal and regulatory programs.

Mr. Seaman was a McCormick Scholar at the Citadel, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree, and a DuPont Scholar at the University of Virginia Law School, where he received his Juris Doctor degree. He has also secured post-graduate education and/or served as guest lecturer at Harvard Law School, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the New York Institute of Finance, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and other institutions.

A Military Intelligence/Infantry Officer, he served his country as Commander of the 198th Army Security Agency and is a Life Member of the 82nd Airborne Division Association.


Paul Vancea

Business Development

Paul Vancea is an aggressive entrepreneur and our youngest board member.

Paul started his career as a financial analyst for Lightower Fiber Networks, a $5B telecommunications company in MA. After 1 year, Paul decided it would take way too long to achieve his potential in the corporate world, so he quit his job and partnered with a couple of serial entrepreneurs and investors in Boston. He helped create and operate a few companies, as well as a startup investment fund. Paul also worked with Northeastern University’s Center for Research & Innovation to evaluate the market fit for 10 patents (biomedical, electro-magnetic, medical devices, etc.).

Most recently, Paul partnered with a retired transactions partner from Ernst & Young, to form a dental service organization (DSO) through which to consolidate the U.S. dental office industry.

Paul moved to San Diego, CA, from Romania with his family when he was 14. In high school, Paul was MVP of his football, wrestling and track teams while maintaining a nearly perfect GPA. His original plan was to win a football scholarship, but when learned in his junior year that he could win a scholarship for academic achievement, he quit all sports and focused on school.

Paul graduated Magna Cum Laude from Brandeis University, where he earned a triple major in Economics, Business, and Film Studies

Paul is currently working with the Massachusetts Corrections Institute (MCI) where he teaches FDIC’s “Money Smart” finance class, to both minimum and maximum security inmates. He is also a member of Toastmasters International, where he delivers frequent speeches and serves as Treasurer.

Paul likes to hike, box, work out, and be deliberate about doing something that scares him every single day. He has 11+ years’ experience of martial arts, including Tae Kwon Do, Jiu Jitsu, Wrestling and Boxing.