Advisors

Jeffrey Hayzlett

Jeffrey Hayzlett

Primetime TV & Radio Host, Keynote Speaker, Best-Selling Author and Global Business Celebrity

Jeffrey Hayzlett is a global business celebrity, a prime time television show host on CSuite TV, and a radio host on CBS Radio's Play.it and C-Suite Radio. From small businesses to international corporations, his creativity and extraordinary entrepreneurial skills have enabled him to lead ventures blending his leadership perspectives, insights into the C-Suite and business strategy, mass marketing prowess and affinity for social media. He is a well-traveled public speaker, the author of the bestselling business books, The Mirror Test and Running the Gauntlet, and one of the most compelling figures in business today.

Jeffrey is a leading business expert, cited in Forbes, SUCCESS, Mashable, Marketing Week and Chief Executive, among many others. He shares his executive insight and commentary on television networks like Bloomberg, MSNBC, Fox Business, and C-Suite TV. Hayzlett is a former Bloomberg contributing editor and primetime host, and has appeared as a guest celebrity judge on NBC's Celebrity Apprentice with Donald Trump for three seasons. Drawing upon an eclectic background in business, buoyed by a stellar track record of keynote speaking and public appearances, and deeply rooted in cowboy lore, Jeffrey energizes his role driving and delivering change. He is a turnaround architect of the highest order, a maverick marketer who delivers scalable campaigns, cachet of mentorship, corporate governance, and brand building.

Paolo Tasca

Paolo Tasca

Digital Economist, Blockchain Advisor

Paolo Tasca is a Digital Economist specialising in P2P financial systems. An advisor on blockchain technologies for different international organisations including the EU Parliament and the United Nations, Paolo is founder and Executive Director of the Centre for Blockchain Technologies at University College London (UCL CBT). He recently has also been appointed Dean of Research of the Jiangsu Huaxin Blockchain Research Institute (JBI) in Nanjing and Honorary Research Professor of Sogang Univ. Blockchain Research Center in Seoul. Previously, he was Lead Economist on digital currencies and P2P financial systems at the German Central Bank, Deutsche Bundesbank in Frankfurt.

As Executive Director of the UCL CBT, Paolo is also directly involved in various research projects concerning different application fields of blockchain technologies. Among them, the BARAC Project (Blockchain technology for Algorithmic Regulation and Compliance) supported by EPSRC, and the P2P-IoET Project (The Internet of Energy Things: Supporting peer-to- peer energy trading and demand side management through blockchains) supported by Lloyds Register Foundation.

Dr Tasca holds an M.A in Politics and Economics (summa cum laude) from the University of Padua and a M.Sc. in Economics and Finance from Ca’ Foscari, Venice. He did his PhD studies in Business between Ca’ Foscari Venice and ETH, Zürich. His doctoral dissertation on Systemic Risk in financial markets was subsidized by the Swiss National Science Foundation with more than 500.000 Euros.

Christie Hefner

Christie Hefner

Business Advisor

A seasoned professional with more than thirty years of experience at executive levels in both public and private companies, as well as multiple public company directorships. Christie currently serves as Chairman of Hatch Beauty, a personal care branding, product development and manufacturing company whose clients include retailers such as Trader Joes and Costco, and brands such as Bliss and Orlando Pita. She is also on the Advisory Board of RDO Companies, an international family-owned multi-billion dollar company in the agricultural businesses.

Previously she served for four years as Executive Chairman of Canyon Ranch Enterprises, a new division of the renowned wellness lifestyle company created to extend the Canyon Ranch brand and content via licensing and business partnerships.

From 1988-2008, Hefner was Chairman and CEO of Playboy Enterprises, Inc. making her the longest serving female chairman and CEO of a U.S. public company. During her tenure, she oversaw policy, management and strategy in all areas of the company. She restructured the company, initiating its highly successful electronic and international expansions. Under her leadership, the company developed its profitable television business—the first time a magazine successfully leveraged its brand into television. Continuing the company's electronic expansion, in 1994, Hefner led the company onto the Internet, making Playboy the first national magazine on the web. She also greatly expanded the leveraging of the Playboy brand via licensing, generating close to $1 billion in annual global retail sales, 80% of them in women's products. When she left, over 40% of her executives were women. For three years she was named to FORTUNE's list of "Most Powerful Women."

She was a founding member of The Chicago Network, The Committee of 200, and the Chicago Chapter of Women Corporate Directors, and she was the first woman elected into the Chicago Chapter of the Young Presidents' Organization.

Hefner was born in Chicago in 1952. Elected to Phi Beta Kappa in her junior year of college, she graduated from Brandeis University summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and American literature in 1974.

Hon. Max Sandlin

Hon. Max Sandlin

General Counsel

Max is general counsel of Mercury and a former member of the United States House of Representatives, and provides clients with expertise and strategic counsel concerning issues such as energy, healthcare, taxes, financial services, and trade.

  • Served as the Democratic congressman representing Texas District 1 in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1997 to 2005.
  • Chief Deputy Whip to Minority Whip Steny Hoyer.
  • Chief Deputy Whip to former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
  • Elected and later a leadership representative on the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee.
  • Member of small group of legislators chosen for the Parliamentary Group.
  • Served on the Ways and Means Committee, the Financial Services Committee, and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
  • Member of the Blue Dog Coalition and chairman of the Blue Dog Energy Task Force.
  • Chairman of the Democratic Caucus Financial Services Task Force.
  • Member of the New Democrat Coalition.

Adam Johnson

Adam Johnson

Author of Bullseye Brief

Adam Johnson is Founder and Author of Bullseye Brief, an investment letter which presents thematic and actionable stock ideas twice each month. Previously he anchored several business programs at Bloomberg Television, interviewing CEOs, heads of state, and prominent investors. He has also traded global risk assets for ING Furman Selz Asset Management, Louis Dreyfus Energy Corporation and Merrill Lynch. He graduated from Princeton University with a degree in economics.

Ashley Podhradsky

Ashley Podhradsky

Associate Professor of Digital Forensics, DSU
  • 9 years of experience teaching and researching in cybersecurity.
  • Founder of Digital Data Recovery Service, a firm leading digital forensic investigations.
  • Co-Founder of CybHER, an effort to increase diversity in cybersecurity.
  • Over 25 published research papers and conference proceedings.
  • Dozens of invited presentations at several events including Department of Justice, Google, Penn State, UC Berkeley among others.
  • Recipient of over 1 Million Dollars in research grants from NSF, NSA, AAUW and NCWIT.
  • Recipient of Google's Anita Borg Scholarship.
  • Recipient of EmBe's 2017 Young Women of Achievement.
  • CyberSecurity Policy Fellow for New America, a non-partisan think-tank out of Washington, D.C.
Hon. Alex Ferrer

Hon. Alex Ferrer

Former Police Officer, Attorney and Florida Circuit Court Judge

Former police officer, attorney and former Florida Circuit Court Judge, Alex Ferrer is the former host of "Judge Alex," the popular court room show which aired for 9 seasons in approximately 96% of the United States. On September 12, 2005. "Judge Alex," launched with the highest rating for a daytime show since the launch of "Dr. Phil" in 2002, and beat out both "the Martha Stewart Show" and "Tyra" to become the highest rated new daytime show in syndication.

Judge Ferrer obtained his Bachelor’s degree from Barry University and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Miami School of Law, where he became a published member of its Law Review. As a lawyer, he practiced in Miami at Sparber, Shevin and Stroock & Stroock & Lavan before starting his own firm which focused on civil litigation—including commercial business disputes, corporate litigation, medical malpractice, wrongful death and personal injury.

In 1995, at the age of 34, he became the youngest Circuit Court Judge in Miami’s Eleventh Judicial Circuit, the largest trial court in Florida and the fourth largest in the United States. Throughout his high-profile tenure on the Criminal and Family bench, Judge Ferrer handled thousands of cases, ranging from first degree murders involving the death penalty, drug related offenses, RICO conspiracy indictments, kidnappings and armed robberies to dissolutions of marriage, child custody and support issues, general financial disputes, adoptions and paternity suits. Judge Ferrer also presided as an appellate judge over appeals from the Miami-Dade County Court, County Commission and numerous other governmental bodies. After 10 years on the bench, he was unanimously recommended by the Judicial Nominating Commission to Florida’s Governor, Jeb Bush, for a vacancy on Florida’s high-profile Third District Court of Appeal, an opportunity he bypassed to accept the television role on "Judge Alex."

Judge Ferrer has served as an adjunct professor at Florida International University, teaching graduate courses in criminal law and procedure and continues teaching judges at annual judicial conferences. He has authored a "bench book" on closing arguments that is used by judges throughout Florida and appears as a legal commentator on Fox News, CNN, Headline News, MSNBC and broadcast television networks, as well as a frequent host on Wendy Williams, Steve Harvey and other daily entertainment shows.

In addition to his current law practice, he is involved in the creation and development of television content for syndication, primetime and cable, with two projects currently in play, and slated for Summer 2017, with a major broadcast network.

James Livermont

James Livermont

VP of Engineering
  • 20 years of experience in software and systems development, 10 years of which have been in leadership roles up to the executive level.
  • Over 7 years of experience architecting computing platforms built on industry-standard best practices and best-of-breed components and tools.
  • Deep technical competence in design, implementation, rollout and support of enterprise-level, distributed systems.
  • Over 10 years of experience with all aspects of full stack development, including development, testing, CI, CD and system administration.
  • Strong communication skills and the ability to communicate effectively with technical and non-technical audiences.
Richard Lowe

Richard Lowe

Business Advisor

Richard Lowe is the president and chief operating officer of Franchise Services Inc., (FSI), a management company headquartered in Mission Viejo, California specializing in franchises that meet the needs of the small-to medium-sized business market. FSI's brands include: Sir Speedy, PIP Marketing Signs Print, Signal Graphics, MultiCopy and TeamLogic IT.

Lowe started his career in 1986 in the printing industry as a copy product sales representative for Eastman Kodak. He then joined Sir Speedy, Inc. as director of the Copies Now franchise brand. After several more promotions and increasing responsibilities throughout the organization, in 1996 he was appointed vice president of strategic development responsible for managing the factors of change in the printing industry, including technology, competition, and customers in the marketplace. At the same time, he served as president of an industry research and development facility owned by FSI. In 2004, he was promoted to senior vice president of FSI's print management group, and in 2006 was appointed president of Sir Speedy, Inc. Lowe assumed his current role as president of all FSI brands and chief operating officer of Franchise Services, Inc. in 2009.

A graduate of San Diego State University with a degree in marketing, Lowe is also on the board of directors for the Electronic Document Scholarship Foundation (EDSF).

Franchise Services Inc. is a company known for innovation—in technology, management, training—and ongoing commitment to its network of franchisees to help them succeed as small business owners. Richard Lowe's leadership has helped guide the company and its brands toward numerous awards and recognition including: Franchise Times To 200, Entrepreneur Franchise 500, Printing Impressions 400, Printing News Top 100, Franchise Business Review Franchise 50 Satisfaction Awards, and the International Franchise Association's Franchise of the Year Award.

Karthik Iyer

Karthik Iyer

Blockchain Advisor

Karthik Iyer is the India Ambassador of the P2P-Foundation (the world's largest think tank on decentralization and peer to peer), and founder and CEO of BlockchainMonk, a DLT research and consulting firm. He is part of one of the largest EU research project on P2P, P2PValue.eu. He holds close to half dozen degrees in technology, research and management from leading schools in Europe and Asia like KTH in Sweden, BI Norwegian Business School in Norway and Fudan University in China. He has over a decade of experience working for large technology firms such as Red Hat, Novell and Sun Microsystems and has successfully ran various hi-tech ventures in the past.

Mark Eaton

Mark Eaton

NBA All Star, Author & Award Winning Speaker

Mark Eaton is a 7'4" NBA All-Star, author, entrepreneur and team building expert. He teaches Company Leaders how to employ the principles and coaching techniques he mastered in his twelve year basketball career, to take their team to the next level. The Four Commitments of a Winning Team enables industry leaders, teams and individuals to outsmart, outlast and outperform their competition and achieve record breaking success.

In his keynote speech and book, The Four Commitments of a Winning Team, Mark shares his incredible journey of how he went from being a 21-year-old auto mechanic with no future in basketball to an NBA All-Star and Two Time NBA Defensive Player of the Year.

After his career with the Utah Jazz, Mark went on to success after success as an entrepreneur, TV and radio talk show host and world class speaker, trainer and coach. He is also the managing partner in two fine dining restaurants in Salt Lake City, Utah, Tuscany and Franck's.

Colin Luce

Colin Luce

Crypto Advisor

Colin Luce is an active financial technology (FinTech) investor, advisor and operator in Silicon Valley. He currently serves as SVP & Global Head of Business Development at Uphold Inc. (the San Francisco-based digital bank of the future). His specialties include data and account aggregation, alternative lending, global payments and remittances and, notably, crypto currencies.

At Uphold, his team has been responsible for partnerships with leading digital currencies, such as DASH, as well as recent ICO successes including BAT and other upcoming ERC-20 tokens.

In addition his day-to-day role at Uphold, he's also busy working with his current angel portfolio (Finix Payments, Prepaid2Cash and more).

William Bushee

William Bushee

VP of BrightPlanet & Author of Wired for Coding

As vice president of development at BrightPlanet, a data harvesting company in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, he manages a team of senior developers and oversee all the technology and innovation that goes into BrightPlanet’s data harvesting engine. He's been with BrightPlanet since it was founded in 2001, where he served as the lead engineer and oversaw the inception of their harvest platform. The internet has changed substantially since those days, not only in size but also sophistication. He's worked with many open-source and private technology companies doing innovative things with data. At BrightPlanet, he is the go-to guy for software engineering, managing teams, and understanding the roles technologies play in business success. He is an expert in open-source intelligence, deep web harvesting, web crawling, and unstructured data collection and management.

In 2014, he co-founded Code Bootcamp of South Dakota. Code Bootcamp teaches web development to students over an intense, twelve-week program which includes mentorship, networking, life skills, and everything they will need to start a career as an entry-level developer. Code Bootcamp quick spawned a sub-organization called Gaming Bootcamp, geared toward educating kids from 4th to 9th grade. The boot camp was an instant success; and he continues to run the events regularly today.

In 2016 he wrote Wired for Coding. This book is a blueprint that will guide you from a computer science major to a full-time developer. Step-by-step, you will do the things that no one else is doing to set yourself apart and become a front-runner for any development job in the world. From forking in GitHub to crafting a remarkable personal brand, you will be ready to be a rockstar coder from day one.

He volunteers his years of experience as a director on multiple boards, including Health Connect of South Dakota, Zeal Center for Entrepreneurship, and the DSU Cyber Security Industry Advisory Board. As an avid technologist, he helps keep these organizations up to speed with the ever-changing landscape. Will is an avid technology enthusiast and a firm believer that almost any problem can be solved with a little creative thinking, the proper dataset, or by building the correct enrichment of web data. He enjoys working with kids, entrepreneurs, early-stage startups, and those struggling with the latest technology.

Jared Polites

Jared Polites

Blockchain Advisor, Former FBI Analyst

Jared started his career at the FBI, where he was an Intelligence Analyst in the New York Field Office specializing in securities fraud. After the FBI, he studied at Sciences Po in Paris, France, graduating with a Masters in Finance. For the past 4 years, Jared has worked in marketing for high-growth tech and blockchain startups, including one year for a leading Asian VC firm. His specialties are growth marketing, focusing on PR, product marketing, and executing go-to-market strategies for early-stage projects. In total, Jared has worked on teams and roughly 20 ICOs actively raising over $100 million. Jared resides in NYC and also holds a BBA from the University of Texas at Austin.

Adam McKenna

Adam McKenna

Blockchain Advisor
  • 20 years of experience in software development and systems engineering.
  • Founder & Inventor of Multipool, the world's first profit-optimized mining pool.
  • Co-Founder of ZapChain, the first social network with Bitcoin micropayments.
  • Experience working with Crypto-currencies since 2013.