Mentors

Fuel is home to a diverse group of more than 30 senior supply chain & logistics experts, including: Fortune 500 leaders, tech founders, venture capital firms, higher ed institutions, and public policy officials.

 
 

Tom Douglass

Director of Emerging Technology at Store Nº8 Walmart Stores, Inc.

Store No.8 at Walmart Stores Inc. identifies new technology pathways with startup and venture capital companies to enable new and meaningful experiences that will be integrated into the Walmart environment that both automate work and increase customer value.

Tom is known for his ability to create high performing teams and fostering the engagement of his associates. These attributes earned him the ISD-Strategic Services Leader of the year award for FYE 14.

Over the last 18 years at Walmart, Tom has held leadership roles in Logistics, Transportation and Technology. He has managed projects and teams with a variety of complex goals. Tom’s accomplishments include managing the development of RF based receiving and shipping systems for Warehouse Logistics and the systems integration of the first Grocery Mechanized Distribution Center in the United States. Tom has experience leading predictive analytics and project management teams for merchandising and marketing technology, as well as, process design and change management teams for Walmart Technology’s foundational demand management program. Tom developed the Lab 415-C brand and team for Walmart Technology Innovations; this group was then folded into the Store No. 8 team in 2017.

Dan Sanker

President & CEO of CaseStack, Inc.

CaseStack is a cloud-based supply chain management (SCM) leader in consumer packaged goods (CPG). CaseStack has been recognized as #1 in the Deloitte Technology Fast50, made the Inc 5000 list of fastest-growing companies nine times and has been recognized as one of the Best Places to Work in two states.

Recently, Dan was recognized by IBM as top Supply Chain influencer and selected to participate as IBM Watson Supply Chain Futurist. Prior to CaseStack, Dan served with talented people as Managing Director at Deloitte, as a Director at Nabisco, at P&G evangelizing category management with retailers, and in M&A at KPMG. He has extensive private equity experience, and serves on several boards. Dan’s book, “Collaborate: The Art of We,” explore what can be achieved by working together.

Amy Callahan

Chief Client Officer of Collective Bias

In 2009, Amy founded Collective Bias®, the leader in shopper-focused influencer marketing. As Chief Client Officer, Amy oversees Collective Bias’ operations and its influencer community Social Fabric®. Amy has over 15 years experience in shopper marketing, working with national retailers and brands. Honored on the Arkansas Business and NWA Business Journal‘s “40 under 40” lists, Amy has also appeared on Forbes’ list of one of 11 female entrepreneurs who started amazing companies in their annual coverage of “America’s Most Promising Companies.” Collective Bias was listed in the “Inc. 5000" and named one of Forbes’ “Most Promising Companies” three years in a row. Collective Bias was acquired by Inmar in November 2016. At Inmar, Amy leads the organizations Social Engagement strategies across their multiple business lines.


Amy currently serves on the Board of Directors for the NWA Mercy Health System, Arvest Bank and the Community Venture Foundation.

Scott Spradley

Executive Vice President & Chief Technology Officer of Tyson Foods

Scott is Executive Vice President & Chief Technology Officer at Tyson Foods. He is responsible for establishing and driving enabling strategies across all of Tyson Foods’ technology platforms, information systems delivery, information security, data and analytics, transforming the company through technology and advancing technology strategies.

He’s part of Tyson Foods’ enterprise leadership team, reporting directly to the President and CEO.

Before coming to Tyson Foods, Scott was the Chief Information Officer at Hewlett Packard and most recently Hewlett Packard Enterprise. He led the IT separation and spin-merge of the HPE Enterprise Services with Computer Sciences Corporation into a $25B publicly traded company. Scott’s reputation as a transformational CIO grew as a result of his leadership in executing the largest corporate divestiture-spin-merge in history, by taking $115B Hewlett Packard and splitting it into two separate and publicly traded companies in a period of ten months.

Prior to joining HP, Scott spent more than 15 years in a variety of leadership roles at Chevron and Intel Corporation. At Chevron, he delivered a strategic long-range plan covering 20 years designed to ensure Chevron’s global position as one of the world’s largest energy companies. During his time at Intel, Scott spent time honing his leadership skills across a wide array of roles, ranging from Information Technology to Product Development to Human Resources.

Scott has been named as one of ComputerWorld’s Top 100 Technology leaders, and in CIO Magazine’s list of the Top 100 CIOs. Scott received his Bachelor’s degree at San Diego State University.

Chad Wahlquist

Director Emerging Technologies at Tyson Foods

Chad has 13 years of experience in building large scale enterprise systems and now leads a team solely focused on bringing technology that is not only new to Tyson but new to the marketplace. Chad is one of the founding executive board members for the UofA Blockchain COE. His experience in advanced technology ranges from AI/ML, robotics, drones, blockchain and deep learning. He routinely works with startups evaluating technology, guiding product development and partners with Tyson New Ventures team in evaluating startups.

Angela J. Grayson, CIPP/US, CLP

Principal Member and Founder of Precipice IP, PLLC

PRECIPICE is an award-winning consultancy and intellectual property law boutique specializing in patent, trademark, copyright, and data law. PRECIPICE helps entrepreneurs and technology-focused businesses protect their products, brands, designs and data.

Prior to founding PRECIPICE, Ms. Grayson was Associate General Counsel, Intellectual Property and Patent Operations Lead at Walmart Stores, Inc. Before joining Walmart, Ms. Grayson served as in-house patent counsel for several Fortune® 100 companies, and she has prior experience as a Patent Examiner for the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Jim McBride

CTO of UniGroup, Inc.

Jim McBride brings two decades of leadership, technical architecture and engineering experience to bear in pragmatic ways to solve business and technical problems. He has brought industry leading technical developments to consulting firms, start-ups and Fortune 500 companies including Anheuser-Busch, Thomson-Reuters and Express-Scripts.

Greg Kessman

President at SupplyPike

As President, Greg leads the business development, advanced connectivity, and customer success departments at SupplyPike.

Greg has a storied career in Supply Chain Management for the U.S. consumer goods industry. Most recently, he served as Nestlé’s Director of Customer Facing Supply Chain where he managed over a $3.0 billion supply chain network across Nestlé USA and Nestlé Nutrition businesses. Through Greg’s leadership, the Customer Supply Chain Team was recognized as Supplier of the Year by Walmart. Greg graduated with an MBA from the University of Southern California and a B.S. from the University of California, San Diego.

Matt Waller, Ph.D.

Dean at University of Arkansas ­- Sam M. Walton College of Business

Mark Richards

Mark Richards, CPA, brings over 30 years of progressive financial experience in rapid growth and corporate revitalization situations. Mr. Richards has served as the CFO of both publicly-traded and privately-held organizations. He has worked with leading private equity groups including JH Whitney, Chase Capital Partners, William Blair & Co., Sprout Group and Warburg Pincus. From 2004 to 2011, Mr. Richards was the senior financial executive for BNSF Logistics, a third-party logistics company which grew from $40 million to $320 million in revenue during his tenure. Mr. Richards started his career with PricewaterhouseCoopers. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Arkansas Society of Certified Public Accountants.

Matthew Tarver

Partner at RZC Investments

RZC Investments is a firm in Bentonville, Arkansas. Prior to RZC, Matt spent over 10 years in principal investing and board advisory roles at Renovo Capital and Goldman Sachs’ Special Situations group where he provided debt and equity capital to middle market companies.

Matt started his career at Citigroup Global Markets in New York as an Investment Banking Analyst in the Global Consumer Group.

Matt graduated from Texas A&M University with degrees in finance and accounting.

Myron Burke

Principal, Store Nº8, Senior Director II, Walmart, Inc.

Highly accomplished retail executive with 20+ years of experience working across the core business segments at Walmart, Inc.

Studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Kentucky and continued his education with additional degrees in International Business Management and Philosophy at Georgetown College.

Experience includes tenure in Store Central Operations, Finance and Tax, Global Supply Chain, Store Innovation, Walmart International, and now in Walmart Technology, where he leads emerging technology programs as a Principal at Store No. 8.

In addition to tackling challenges in big retail, Myron also strives to mentor the next generation of leaders as a contributing speaker and advisor at Wharton Business School, UCLA Anderson Business School, the University of Arkansas, and Auburn University.

Myron, along with his wife Kim, and two sons, Xander and Jagger now reside in Rogers, AR after spending three years supporting Walmart International in Tokyo, Japan.

Brian Beasley

Yield Manager at ArcBest®

Brian’s experience within the transportation industry is extensive. He started his career as an analyst with one of the top truckload carriers in the country. This is where he developed a deep understanding of areas such as recruiting, risk management, safety, and operations. He utilized this experience to launch his own startup in 2010 focused on driver safety and accountability.

For the last decade Brian’s corporate focus has been within the area of pricing and yield management. In his current role as Yield Manager at ArcBest he handles yield initiatives across several markets; including brokerage, expedite, and international. This requires active leadership within the areas of predictive analytics, process improvement, price optimization, and data visualization.

Brian is a proud graduate of the Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas. He earned his undergraduate degrees in both Finance and Marketing. He also earned his Master’s in Operations Management from the University of Arkansas in 2010. Brian holds multiple professional certifications in the areas of pricing and logistics.

Shannon Bedore

Founder and CEO of Sightline Retail

Sightline is a management and consulting firm focused on big box retailers in the US market. Currently her firm works with clients such as Florida’s Natural Citrus products, Goslings Ginger Beer, ItoEn, Flapjacked, and Hearst Publications Car and Driver/Woman’s Day, and Seventeen licenses. Sightline provides end to end supply chain management, retailer pricing strategies based on distribution models, and merchandising day to day support with retail buyers and their merchandising team. Key focus is brand launches at retail including EDI Set up, GTIN/Casepack analytics, initial set and replenishment WIP, and ongoing sales analytics.

Shannon is 20-year retail veteran, working at high growth retailers. She led a $4.5B at Walmart as a DMM of Wellness. Her last role at Walmart she led a team of 140 associates managing merchandise layouts and adjacencies for Walmart US stores. She left her last role to open a free standing medical center. This business sold to Private Equity group in 2014, which was scaled and replicated in 6 cities nationwide. Sightline was founded in 2015 and is a certified woman owned business.

Ben Clark

CEO of B-Unlimited

B-Unlimited is a custom collegiate licensed apparel company located in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Ben bought the company in 2006. During the economic crisis of 2008, the company lost nearly all of their clients. Under Ben’s leadership, the company made a strategic pivot and prioritized offering unmatched customer service combined with incredible custom art on the highest quality product. From that point forward, B-Unlimited has continued to grow, and in less than five years, the company’s net worth escalated from two to ten million dollars. B-Unlimited is one of seven businesses in the state to be recognized by Inc 5000 as one of the fastest growing private companies in the nation and has made that list for three consecutive years.

Ben has not just built a fiscally successful company, however; he has also curated a unique company culture that has led to B-Unlimited being recognized by Inc Magazine as one of the Top Places to Work. This national designation was assessed by multiple factors, including low turnover rates and high employee satisfaction. Guiding all of those factors is an environment of care and commitment that is reflected in the company’s ethos: B-Unique. B-Yourself. B-Unlimited.

William J Hurst Jr.

VP of Sales at Xirgo Technologies

William Hurst’s mobile solution architecture and implementation experience spans over 24 years. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Systems Engineering from the University of Arkansas. He has held senior technology positions with FedEx Freight (American Freightways), Motorola (Symbol Technologies division), ID Solutions, TechniSource, US Logistics, Kona Ware, AT&T and now as the VP of Sales. While at FedEx Freight, he was a key leader in the development, deployment and ongoing support of wireless dock automation systems, freight movement systems, and mobile computing solutions. While at Symbol Technologies he designed and implemented mobile computing solutions to some of Symbol’s largest enterprise clients such as Intel, Boeing, and Johnson & Johnson. He has also successfully helped launch an auto ID technology integration startup that is still in operation today in Phoenix, AZ (ID Solutions). Will helped successfully found and grow the mobility solutions division at TechniSource and US Logistics, While at TechniSource Will spear-headed growth from $200,000 in sales to over $24 million in just over 2 years with such companies as Tyson foods, JB Hunt and International Paper. Also while at TechniSource he successfully partnered with the Northrop Grumman team to be selected as one of the chief suppliers of RFID solutions to the US DOD. Other key achievements have included the successful deployment of 3 generations of multimode handheld computers with FedEx Freight totaling over 10,000 units, the successful installation of thousands of wireless solutions within companies like FedEx Express, International Paper, Wal-Mart, Tyson Foods including the management of the survey and deployment of over 300,000,000 square foot of coverage for Wi-Fi technologies which was one of the largest deployments of its kind at that time. He also was part of the team that supported and deployed the Wal-Mart RFID program for pallets and cases. His industry recognition, hardware manufacturer experience and advanced technical skills are an attribute to the AT&T emerging technology team. He recently was recognized for leading the team that designed and deployed the second largest deal in AT&T’s Network Integration history. This was the design and deployment of a state of the art container tracking solution for one of the world’s largest shipping companies that involved over 380,000 devices deployed and operating in over 180 countries.

Clint Johnson

Director of McMillon Innovation Studio

Tejeshwar Sangameswaran

CTO at SupplyPike

TJ Sangam is the Chief Technology Officer at SupplyPike, where he develops and executes the company’s strategic technical direction, and oversees the engineering, design, and product teams. Under TJ’s leadership, SupplyPike retains the largest software engineering team in Fayetteville, AR.

TJ starting programming at age nine on a Commodore Amiga. He is still active in the technology community and works on numerous projects spanning across web scalability, computational mathematics, and data science. Previously, TJ worked with companies like Axiom, J.B. Hunt, and Mercy Hospitals, and helped numerous startups. TJ holds a Bachelors in Computer Engineering and a Masters in Computer Science from the U of A

Steve Sezna

Chief Operating Officer of CaseStack

CaseStack is company best known for its collaborative retailer logistics programs and supply chain management cloud-based technology products. In 2001 Steve joined the startup CaseStack as the director of business development and later served as vice president of strategic partners and vice president of operations before becoming COO. Prior to joining CaseStack he held various retail and supply chain management roles at Strouds, Target and Federated Department Stores.

Steve was a dual major at Syracuse University. He graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.S. in advertising from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and a B.S. in marketing from the Whitman School of Management. Steve returned to Syracuse and earned an MBA in innovation management from the Whitman School.

Julia Monk

Senior Client Development Manager at Casestack

Julia graduated from Western Governors University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management. She also recently completed a Supply Chain MicroMasters course facilitated by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It’s a rigorous 18-month course covering all aspects of Supply Chain Management, including forecasting methodology, inventory management and network optimization.

She has been with CaseStack since October 2014. During this time, Julia has managed many accounts helping her clients understand retailer compliance, and quickly becoming their subject matter expert. This industry is her passion and she truly enjoys working with her clients to help them streamline their supply chain and remove inefficiencies where possible. She also created the client development training program that is now used across the company.

Julia originates from Texas, but has lived in Arkansas since 2004, and now proudly calls herself an Arkansan. In 2012 she completed the Springdale Leadership program, and immediately became involved with her community, specifically the Springdale Rotary and chairing the first session of the Washington County Habitat for Humanity Women’s Build project. During her free time, she enjoys cycling the Razorback Greenway and reading most anything.

Jeff Amerine

General Partner at Cadron Capital Partners and Principal of Startup Junkie

Active angel investor with 27 years of deep technology and business leadership and early-stage investment experience that has included P&L responsibility in Fortune 500 firms along with startups. Jeff serves on multiple boards and has advised thousands of startups in the past ten years since forming Startup Junkie.

Prior to his current role as an adviser and investor, he was VP at American Freightways through the acquisition to FedEx where he became a Director managing IT communications and network infrastructure development and deployment across the enterprise. Jeff then went on to start venture-backed telecommunications startups and then served as the Director of Technology Ventures at the University of Arkansas. Jeff is a graduate of the US Naval Academy and is a certified PMP.

Kimly Phamvan

Product Owner at Supply Pike

Supply Pike is the premier cloud-based software platform for Supply Chain Management (SCM) professionals in the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) industry. As product owner at Supply Pike, Kimly manages building online products, from launch through growth. She has been leading software development teams since 2013. Her projects have covered online financial services, supply chain logistics, and customer relations management, with user-focused designs to prioritize efficiency and ease of use.

Jeff Charlson

CEO of Bike Rack Brewing

Jeff is the lead partner of Bike Rack Brewing Co., which is expanding to multiple locations across Arkansas. Jeff has a strong background in business & technology and is a champion of the start-up ecosystem in NW Arkansas. Jeff serves as an executive board member of the greater Bentonville Chamber of Commerce. Jeff also has a wealth of corporate experience with a successful 25 year Fortune 500 career. He was the former CTO of Rockfish, a digital marketing and advertising agency. Jeff was a global corporate officer for 8 years at Walmart leading enterprise IT efforts and technology for Sam’s Club. Prior to a 12 year career at Walmart, Jeff spent 9 years at General Electric leading business teams and 6 Sigma efforts within GE and 4 years as a sales leader within the Maytag Company.

Jared Faciszewski

Partner at RZC Investments

Jared Faciszewski is a partner at RZC Investments, a Northwest Arkansas-focused direct investment fund. Jared joined RZC in 2016 after two years with the Walton Family Foundation and, previous to grad school, 3 years at Walmart. Jared is a graduate of Colorado College and the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.

Bryce Paden

Co-Founder at i2i Labs


Bryce's atypical career path gave him incredible experiences within a Fortune 1 company. From managing inventory for a $300+ million category to building the future of retail through innovation, his background in business and technology has helped his voice stand out in a digitized retail world.

While working for Lab 415-C, WalmartLabs, and startup incubator Store No 8, Bryce was instrumental in building technology accreditation and evaluation methods that streamlined internal business development processes. He authored or co-authored white-papers that became part of the Walmart US strategy.

As co-founder of i2i Labs, he has taken his experience in corporate innovation to the masses by helping enterprises develop new models of collaboration with emerging tech companies. Through a unique multi-node platform, i2i partners with large corporations and works to advance their business by pairing them with world-class tech startups.

Bryce is a proud alumnus of the University of Arkansas and is a member of the 2018 NWA Business Journal Fast 15 class.

Dr. Mary C. Lacity

Professor of Information Systems and Director of the Blockchain Center of Excellence

Recently established at the Sam M. Walton College of Business, the Blockchain Center of Excellence aims to develop and establish research partnerships by conducting collaborative industry-university research, promote and enable dissemination of knowledge about blockchain and cognitive analytics, and accelerate industry adoption of blockchain technology.

Dr. Lacity was previously Curators’ Distinguished Professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She has held visiting positions at MIT, the London School of Economics, Washington University, and Oxford University. She is a Certified Outsourcing Professional ®, Industry Advisor for Symphony Ventures, and Senior Editor for MIS Quarterly Executive. Her recent research focuses on improving business services using Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Cognitive Automation (CA), and Blockchain technologies. She has published 28 books, most recently, A Manager’s Guide to Blockchains for Business. Her publications have appeared in the Harvard Business Review, Sloan Management Review, MIS Quarterly, MIS Quarterly Executive, IEEE Computer, Communications of the ACM, and many other academic and practitioner outlets.

Mike Couture

Founder and CEO at TY North America

Mike Couture has 30+ years’ experience as an entrepreneur in company start-ups, business ownership, sales, marketing, product development, distribution, importing, licensing, and finance. Mike has spent much of the past 20 years coordinating the efforts of Domestic and International Manufacturers establishing US distribution and selling direct to major US retailers.

Eric Wolfe

President of Watco Supply Chain Services and CEO of Midship Group

Eric has worked in the supply chain industry throughout his career, which began at J.B. Hunt as a billing clerk while attending the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. Eric has either led or played a key role in the launch of four separate logistics companies during his career, including: J.B. Hunt Logistics, Cardinal Logistics, Clicklogistics, and BNSF Logistics, where he led the company for many years and eventually served as the Chief Operating Officer.

“What makes Supply Chain interesting is that there is a story about everything. Every consumer product, every piece of heavy machinery, anything on a retail shelf, anywhere in the world has a supply chain story. To think of the supply chain that way makes it very interesting.”

Elise S. Mitchell

Chairman of Mitchell Communications Group, CEO of Dentsu Aegis Public Relations Network

Elise is a three-time CEO, leadership strategist, business consultant and executive coach. She is founder and chairman of Mitchell Communications Group, one of the top 10 fastest-growing public relations firms globally and a two-time Inc. 500/5000 fastest growing company. The agency has twice been named Agency of the Year, by PR Week and The Holmes Report. Their clients include Walmart, Procter & Gamble, Marriott, Mondelez and other well-known brands.

Under her leadership, her agency grew more than 500% in five years. At the end of 2012, Elise sold her firm to Dentsu, Inc., the world’s largest ad agency, based in Tokyo, Japan. She led the successful integration of her firm over a five-year period in a newly established global parent company, Dentsu Aegis Network. In addition, Elise serves as CEO of the Dentsu Aegis Public Relations Network. In this global role, she leads M&A efforts in the public relations sector and collaborates with colleagues in nine countries to leverage revenue opportunities and position the collective on an international level.

Elise has received numerous awards for her success in business including: Entrepreneur of the Year (NAFE), Agency Professional of the Year (PRWeek), a Top 50 Power Player in Public Relations (PRWeek), Top Speaker to See (Huffington Post), Diversity Champion (PR Council) and others.

Elise is a graduate of executive education at Harvard Business School and the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. She received a master’s degree from the University of Memphis and a bachelor’s degree from Abilene Christian University. She is a Results-Trained Coach™ from the NeuroLeadership Institute, accredited by the Public Relations Society of America and a member of the society’s prestigious College of Fellows.

When she’s not working with clients, you can find Elise riding motorcycles with her husband, running, or thinking, writing and speaking about what it takes to succeed in today’s rapidly changing business environment. She’s the author of a best-selling book on leadership “Leading Through the Turn” (McGraw Hill 2017) and a popular leadership blog.

She’s a passionate advocate for women entrepreneurs and is a regular contributor to Entrepreneur.com with a social reach of 18 million. Among many national and international boards she serves on, Elise is president of the International Communications Consultancy Organization, the global voice of public relations agencies.

She teaches a master’s level course on leadership for Syracuse University and is a frequent keynote speaker on leadership and the secret to savoring the journey of life.

Dr. Zachary Steelman

Assistant Professor of Information Systems

Author of refereed publications in prominent IS journals and conferences such as Information Systems Research, MIS Quarterly, MIS Quarterly Executive, Information Systems Journal, Communications of the Association of Information Systems, Americas Conference on Information Systems, and the Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences. His research interests include the selection, development, and management of IT portfolios for individuals, teams, and organizations. He has worked with a variety of Fortune 500 organizations to examine the impact of IT infrastructure and policy changes on individuals and the organization, specifically within the context of IT consumerization.

He is currently teaching blockchain technologies in graduate courses focusing on developing, integrating, and managing blockchains in the organization with collaboration from IBM and utilizing the University hosted IBM z13 mainframe. He is serving as an Associate Editor for the “Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies, and Distributed Business Models” track at ICIS 2018. In April 2018, he provided blockchain workshops at the University of Arkansas Blockchain Conference which is supported by the Blockchain Center of Excellence. He is currently working on multiple blockchain projects and initiatives with colleagues and PhD students utilizing design science, econometrics, case-studies, and survey-based research. His research on blockchain technologies relates to his overall research focus on organizational IT portfolio management, IT investments, and the impact of IT on the organization.

Greg Spragg

CEO of Solve For Food and Managing Director at GrowthWise Group

Mr. Spragg is a highly accomplished retail executive with broad merchandising and operations experience. He is the current CEO of Solve For Food, a food innovation services start-up, and Managing Director of the GrowthWise Group, a boutique retail focused consultancy. He has been an advisor to large scale retail, start-ups, specialty retail, turnarounds, global private equity, consumer goods and brand management firms.

Mr. Spragg has held senior level executive positions at the Walmart Stores, Inc., Sam’s Club division where he also served on the Walmart Executive Committee for seven years. While at Sam’s Club, he separately led the Merchandising/Replenishment and Operations organizations. He was known for a focus on results, leading process transformation and a commitment to integrity, service and excellence earning him the distinguished, Sam M. Walton Award of Excellence. He led successful corporate initiatives in packaging and fair trade through a genuine commitment to sustainable business practices.

Prior to his 10-year stint at Sam’s Club, he held similar senior executive positions for Ahold, USA. Mr. Spragg is a Member of the National Association of Corporate Directors. He has served as board member of the Center for Retailing Excellence at the University of Arkansas Walton School of Business. He has extensive board leadership experience in the non-profit sector and has served as an advisory board member for privately held companies.

Rob Lentz

Principal at Velan Ventures

Velan Ventures is an innovation investment company with a focus on games and game related technology companies. Rob is part of the investment team but also plays active management roles (CEO/COO/CTO) in portfolio companies to accelerate their plans. Prior to Velan Ventures Rob was a partner at Elyxor, a software engineering consultancy with expertise in DevOps and custom development. During his career, Rob has held executive roles at Acxiom, Andersen Consulting (Accenture) and was part of multiple start-ups (Dazel acquired by HP and Celarix acquired by GXS) which had successful exits. Rob holds an MBA from MIT Sloan, an M.S. in Computer Engineering from Syracuse University and a B.S. in Computer and Systems Engineering from RPI.