Mr. Stevens is Chairman of the Board, founder and Chief Executive Officer for Jopari Solutions, Inc. Mr. Stevens has built a reputation as an excellent market executor, building alliances and customer opportunities with limited resources. He has over 35 years of experience in sales and marketing, and is also adept at obtaining capital for new ventures such as eStellarNet and Jopari Solutions.
Mr. Stevens is responsible for enabling flawless execution across the company and building capabilities for Jopari’s future growth. He helps to enable Jopari’s vision, strategy, and innovation by managing prioritization, decision ownership, effective resource alignment and accountability across the company.
As a leader and motivator with in-depth knowledge of management team building, Mr. Stevens has demonstrated his success in creating and incubating new firms. Most noteworthy are his experiences in fundraising with eStellarNet, where he successfully served as Chief Fund Raiser and raised over $44 million dollars for the company. He also served as Chief Sales and Marketing Officer until the firm was acquired by the Hartford Insurance Group. In other ventures his clients have included: Disney; Viacom; Kawasaki Motors Corp.; Garth Brooks; and Ethel M Chocolates (M&M’s).
Leonard Lafrance has over 30 years of experience in Information Technology, having started his career with IBM and NCR, after which he co-founded and served as Executive Vice President of Century Analysis, Inc., (CAI) a San Francisco area software manufacturer that provided integration technology solutions to commercial, industrial, and healthcare enterprises from 1975 until its sale to New Era of Networks in 1998. Leonard is currently involved in a variety of activities, some of which include Sierra Angels (an angel investment group based in Incline Village); SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives which counsels small businesses); and board memberships in Jopari Solutions and Educational Pathways International, a private Lafrance family foundation.
Gary Benson is the Chairman and CEO of the Benson Group, a diversified group of companies. He has been involved in significant residential and commercial real estate development and construction, both new and renovation, for the past 40 years. In addition to real estate, he was a pioneer in television home shopping and was a founder of Valuevision International (NASDAQ VVTV), one of the largest home shopping TV networks in the country which is now affiliated with GE and NBC (Shop NBC). In conjunction with Duskin Company of Japan, he conceived and developed a chain of American themed fast food restaurants in Japan.
He has structured and invested in many private financing offerings for public and private companies as well as Initial and Secondary Public Offerings.
He has been both a management member as well as an independent member of the board of directors of numerous companies including Jopari Solutions, Inc. and Global Traffic Network, Inc. (NASDAQ GNET). He served as an independent board member of GNET from its inception as a public company. He was the first chairman of the Audit committee and served on the Governance and Compensation committees. In addition, he was a member of the “Special Committee” of independent directors that negotiated the price and terms of the sale of the company in 2011 to a private equity firm after the company received an unsolicited tender offer. The special committee (independent from management) also selected the legal and financial advisors and supervised the process, documentation, and successful closing of the transaction.
As a financial services executive with three decades of experience focusing on large-scale payment technology solutions, Mr. Kennedy brings to Jopari the expertise to direct and advise on payment technology offerings and product positioning within a broad range of target industry segments. He has an extensive background in strategic planning, merger integration leadership within the financial services sector, product development both domestically and internationally, as well as commercial payment product positioning and commercial sales.
Mr. Kennedy has developed specific expertise in the areas of electronic payment settlement, payment fraud and risk management, imaging/Check 21 and electronic commerce/EDI. A graduate of Duke University, he holds an MBA in Finance (with distinction) from the Katz Business School, University of Pittsburgh. In addition, he has served on the faculty of the U.C. Berkeley Haas School of Business and on the Payment Systems Committee of the American Banker’s Association.
Prior to his financial services career, Mr. Kennedy was a Department of Defense/Department of Energy contracting officer for the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Directorate involved in propulsion system design and acquisition in support of the nuclear submarine and aircraft carrier construction requirements of the U.S. Navy. Following active duty, he retained his commission as an officer in the Naval Reserves, retiring after 25 years of service having achieved the rank of Captain.
In addition to his Board affiliation with Jopari, Mr. Kennedy also serves as Board Chairman for Bread & Roses, a non-profit organization which provides music outreach in the form of over 600 live concerts annually to shut-in populations throughout the Bay Area to impart to individuals in need with the message of hope and healing that music can provide.
William Deters is a business executive and entrepreneur. His present focus is as an “angel” investor and director of private companies. Mr. Deters lives in Incline Village, NV and is active in the Sierra Angels, an angel investment group based in Northern Nevada. Mr. Deters is a founder of Apartment Search Inc., a national apartment marketing company where he served as CEO until the company was sold to Times Mirror in 1996. From 1981 to 1986 Deters served as the founding CEO of North American Technologies which designs and manufactures industrial heat recovery systems. Mr. Deters has developed condominiums in MN and has been a general partner for several apartment developments.
Mr. Deters was a director for RTWI, a NASDAQ listed company providing workers compensation insurance and claims management services. RTWI was sold to a private equity company in December of 2007.
Mr. Deters was an NROTC Midshipman at the University of Minnesota graduating in 1960. From 1960 until 1963, Mr. Deters served in the U.S. Navy aboard a destroyer and in an aircraft squadron as a Supply Corps Officer. In 1963 & 1964, Mr. Deters was a Teaching Assistant at the University of Minnesota while he pursued his MBA.
Mr. Deters is an officer, director or consultant for the following companies:
Director of Jopari Solution Inc., (Concord, CA) a private technology company providing e-billing, e-remittance and portal services to worker’s compensation, group health and auto insurers and providers.
Chairman of My Coach Inc. a private company which trains apartment managers and leasing agents via streaming videos.
Chairman of Coast Music Conservatory, a music teaching business located in Hermosa Beach, CA.
Nancy Larget is the Chief Financial Officer for Jopari Solutions, Inc. Ms. Larget is a seasoned finance executive with particular expertise in assessing and completing acquisitions, raising capital, creating financial control environments, and developing sound financial planning and analysis. She has a strong interest in solving the challenges of scaling high growth organizations.
Ms. Larget has accumulated her financial expertise in a broad range of roles. At Charles Schwab and Co., she was Senior Vice President of Global Expansion and Integration where she defined and executed Schwab’s expansion into international markets. She served as CFO for Charles Schwab Europe during its launch of on-line trading. She also was employee number 16 and CFO of Schwab’s high growth 401(k) business. At Citicorp, she was a corporate banker, where she developed funding and cash management strategies for a broad range of clients. She received her CPA while working in Deloitte Touche’s audit practice. She has a BS in Business Administration from UC Berkeley and an MBA in General Management from Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Patrick Stack is the chief architect and technical visionary for Jopari Total Transaction Gateway. He is instrumental in guiding Jopari’s product strategy and interfacing with prospective clients, customers and business partners. Mr. Stack adds not only experience in software technology, but also extensive knowledge in working with and developing solutions for the provider side of the healthcare industry.
With over 30 years of software development experience, Mr. Stack’s career includes senior management positions as Chief Technology Officer at Altary LLC, VP of Advanced Technologies at New Era of Networks, Inc. and VP of Research and Development at Century Analysis, Inc. (CAI). In these positions, Mr. Stack architected and developed products ranging from a mainframe database to a rules based event processing system. At CAI he was chief architect for the company’s application integration products including the Transaction Distribution Management (TDM) product (currently sold as Impact! by Sybase). Prior to Century Analysis he was with NCR as a senior systems analyst where he developed applications for a wide range of customers including Varian Vacuum Division, California Mutual Insurance Group, Merced Medical Clinic and Applied Materials Inc.
Mr. Stack currently serves on the State of Texas and California’s Electronic Bill and Payment Task forces which are responsible for defining the Workers’ Compensation business rules and ANSI X12 transaction sets for electronic bill and payment transactions. Mr. Stack has served as the ANSI X12 expert in assisting California and Texas in developing a proposed National EBill and Payment ANSI Implementation Guide. Also Mr. Stack serves on the IAIABC Medical Subcommittee for E-Bill and Payment Processing.
Rob Furst, Advisory Board Member, is a founding Managing Principal with Alternative Strategy Advisers (ASA), a $600 million alternative investment management firm. The ASA Opportunity Fund is a significant investor in Jopari as is Mr. Furst personally. A licensed attorney, CPA and member of the Chicago Board of Trade, Mr. Furst has been an active investor and board member with private and public companies for over 25 years. Many of these companies have been acquired or conducted public offerings including Home Diagnostics, Inc., NOW Technologies, a division of ATMI, Force10 Networks (acquired by Dell), CME Holdings, and CBOE Holdings. Mr. Furst currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of ASA, Adestinn LLC, Altra, Inc., Grocery Shopping Network, KIP Biotech, Sentry Technology Corp, and Todocast.
Bill Pfann is a retired Managing Partner at Pricewaterhouse Coopers where his responsibilities included managing the Northern California Emerging Business Group, managing the Silicon Valley Audit Practice and serving as the Western Region Risk Management Senior Partner. Upon retirement from PwC, he later served as CFO for a publicly held biotech company for fifteen months. He was the engagement partner on numerous IPO’s while at PwC. He was involved in many community and professional organizations, serving in leadership positions on a regular basis.
Mr. Pfann is a member of the Sierra Angels which has a number of members invested in Jopari. He has been fully retired since 2001, and has continued to serve in community organizations as well as SA. After graduating from college he served in the US Navy for 5 years, retiring as LT SC USN. He immediately joined PwC where he served for 31 years. After retirement from PwC, he was asked to join a former client, who had just completed its IPO, as CFO. He remained there until final retirement 15 months later. His career has provided him with hands on experience in growth companies, board governance, public offerings and financial management and controls. He has been active in Kiwanis and NAA where he served as club/chapter presidents. He was active on the local Boards of The Alzheimer’s Assn, Goodwill Industries, and YMCA, serving as chairman of the latter two. He graduated with a BS in Business Administration in 1964 from University of California, Berkeley. He received his MBA in Accounting in 1969 from Golden Gate University. He is a retired Certified Public Accountant.