BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Lawrence R. Samuels is a Partner at McGuire Woods and currently heads the firm’s Corporate Securities practice in the Chicago office. He is a member of the firm’s Securities & Corporate Finance, Mergers & Acquisitions, Corporate Governance, International Transaction and Business & Securities Litigation practice areas.
Mr Samuels’ focus areas include advising businesses with regards to intellectual property matters, corporate finance transactions, corporate compliance and representing hedge funds and other investment entities with regards to capital raising and investment activities.
He is admitted to practice in New York and Illinois and also the US Supreme Court, US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, US Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, US District Court for the Southern District of New York, US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Trial Bar) and the US District Court for the Central District of Illinois.
Mr Samuels received is B.A. from the University of Chicago in 1968 and his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1971.
Mr Samuels also sits on the Board of the National Chamber Foundation, US Chamber of Commerce.
Mark McGrath currently holds the position of Senior Advisor at Gleacher & Company. Prior to his current position, Mark was a Senior Advisor to Gleacher Partners and spent 27 years with McKinsey & Company where he worked with more than half of the 50 largest consumer goods companies and retailers in North America, assisting them with questions on business development, strategy and operational improvement.
Mark has held of a number of senior level positions during his career including leading McKinsey’s Americas Consumer Goods practice from 1997 to 2003.
Mark is a Director of GATX Corporation, Aware Inc and Lincoln Park Zoo and serves on the Advisory Councils of the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business, Notre Dame’s Kroc International Peace Studies Institute and Notre Dame’s Kellogg International Studies Institute which he chairs. He is also a member of the Supervisory Board of Royal Ahold of the Netherlands.
Mark holds a BBA degree from the University of Notre Dame, and MBA from the University of Chicago and an MSc (Econ) degree from the London School of Economics.
Irwin Heller is a member of Mintz Levin’s corporate practice in Boston, Massachusetts and served on the firm’s Executive Committee for many years. He was the firm’s Managing Partner for six years, through March 2003. Irwin’s practice includes a diversified clientele ranging from start-up to publicly traded entities.
Irwin devotes a significant portion of his practice to representing early-stage companies and individuals with new products or concepts, both high tech and low tech, that require strategic partners or need money. He also provides wide-ranging assistance to growing companies of all sizes, including involvement in mergers and acquisitions and public and private financings. In addition, Irwin often is involved with joint ventures, product development and marketing agreements designed to advance the interests of multiple parties. For example, a significant portion of his career has involved project financings, including leveraged lease transitions which require integrating and satisfying multiple parties. These financings, totaling billions of dollars, financed waste and other alternative fuels to energy plants, among other assets, on behalf of Fortune 500 companies and banks. Irwin’s clients often utilize his business experience and judgment, in addition to his legal skills, and appreciate his high level of commitment to client service.
Irwin is admitted to practice in Massachusetts and is a member of the American, Massachusetts and Boston Bar Associations. He received his B.A. from Tufts University (1967) and his J.D., cum laude, from Columbia University Law School (1970).
Irwin is an Alumni Trustee of Tufts University and a trustee of the Boston Tufts Alliance, a Board member and former President of Temple Beth Elohim of Wellesley, and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Wang Center.
Rod Vautier has led BiOWiSH Technologies’ global expansion since founding it with Vince Wise in 2007 until 2013. Under his leadership, BiOWiSH Technologies has conducted extensive research and development, expanding the ways our core technology can be used. This has led to the commercialization of BiOWiSH® and the development of applications in environmental management, animal agriculture, agronomy, aquaculture, human health, and consumer products.
Before forming BiOWiSH Technologies, Rod was a Founder and Managing Director of The Australian Plasterboard Company which grew rapidly to more than $30 million in turnover within two years against large corporate incumbents. Prior to this, Rod was General Manager of Sales and Marketing at James Hardie.
Rod received his MBA from Sydney University of Technology and also holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Western Australia.
Charles Funai is President of Barga, LLC, a private investment firm in Dallas, Texas. Charles previously served as the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Cummins Southern Plains, LLC and its predecessors from 1991 until 2015 during their evolution from private ownership to a joint venture to finally a subsidiary of Cummins Inc. all of which involved sales and service of diesel and natural gas engines and power generation equipment in Oklahoma and Texas.
Prior to his affiliation with Cummins, Inc., Charles held financial roles with public and privately owned firms in the oil and gas, engineering and construction, and computer industries including D. H. Miller Investments, Inc., Williams Brothers Engineering Company (part of Ashland Oil, Inc.), Adams Affiliates, Inc., and Datapoint Corporation. He previously was a member of the board of directors of Coda Energy, Inc., a NASDAQ-listed oil and gas exploration and production firm.
Charles serves on the Advisory Board for the Collins School of Management at The University of Tulsa and is a member of the Jim Lehrer Roundtable of supporters for public radio station KERA serving the north Texas area.
Charles holds a BSBA degree from The University of Tulsa and a Master of Management degree from Northwestern University. He also is a Certified Public Accountant.
Geoff Rosenhain is Founder and CEO of Jado Investments, which focuses on equity investments in seed and early stage companies with innovative business ideas and significant growth potential.
Jado partners with entrepreneurs to build market-leading companies, complementing management teams with a wide range of strategic, human and financial resources.
Prior to forming Jado Investments, Geoff was Founder/CEO of Gator Group and Operating Officer of Creata.
Jeffrey McCormick founded Saturn Partners in 1994 to finance early-stage growth companies. He spearheads Saturn’s investigation into new areas of investment and is active in managing its portfolio companies. Working closely with entrepreneurs, he helps forge strategic relationships, build management teams, and develop marketing and distribution strategies to enable significant growth.Jeff’s experience as an investment banker, entrepreneur and venture capitalist dates back to the early ’90s. Prior to founding Saturn, he was as an analyst and investment banker with Bariston Associates, a Boston firm that originates and manages private investments for individual and institutional clients.
Jeff is involved with the Sean McDonough Charitable Foundation, Citi Performing Arts Center, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and Trinity Church Boston. A Syracuse University alumnus, he also serves on the Dean’s Advisory Committee of the Whitman School of Management.
Ian Edwards has a wealth of experience in developing and managing a wide range of partnerships, joint ventures and business relationships on a global scale.
He co-founded “Big I” Investments, a Boston based early stage venture capital company. He was also the CEO of TRT-Holdings (formerly known as Twin Rivers Technologies).
Before this role, Ian had a successful career at the Procter and Gamble Company where he spent 36 years on assignments across Europe and North America. His last assignment was Vice President, General Manager of P&G Chemicals, where he grew the business from $450 million to $1.3 billion. He is recognized as a world-renowned expert in the natural ingredients/ bio-fuels and oleo-chemical industries.
Ian completed an honors degree in Chemistry and a year’s postgraduate research at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth.
Dr. Nabil Y. Sakkab is a 1970 graduate of the American University of Beirut with a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry. In 1974, he joined Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati, Ohio, following a doctorate in chemistry from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1973 and post doctorate studies at Texas A&M.
Nabil retired from P&G in 2007 as Senior Vice President, Corporate Research and Development following several assignments in Cincinnati, Brussels, Belgium and Kobe, Japan on a variety of businesses, including OTC Health Care and Household Products. He served on P&G’s Leadership Council and the Innovation Committee of P&G’s Board of Directors.
He is a thought leader and worldwide speaker in the Open Innovation movement, the author of several scientific and Innovation Management publications, and co-inventor on more than 27 patents. Nabil was awarded the 2007 IRI Medal for Leadership in R&D Management and the 2007 Holland award for best article in Innovation Management.
Nabil served on the Boards of IRI, CEFIC, CEFIC Research & Science and Greenearth Company while working for P&G and is an Advisory Professor for Tsinghua University in Beijing. Nabil served on the Givaudan Board from 2008-2014 and is now a strategic advisor. Currently, he serves on the Board of Altria, Celltex, PharNext, BiOWiSH Technologies and Deinove.