Senior Advisors

INVESTMENT BANKING AND FINANCE

Jeff Jones is Vice President and Managing Director of Growthink. Lombard Global is the Texas affiliate for Growthink and clears eligible transactions through its broker-dealer, GT Securities.

Jeff has an extensive background in corporate finance and financial services, with an emphasis on assisting middle market companies with debt and growth financing.During his tenure at Growthink,  Jeff has led more than 250 client engagements spanning industries including healthcare, financial services, real estate, consumer products, entertainment and technology for clients including NEC Corporation, Hooters Restaurants, JVJ Pharmacy and Wilson Supply, a division of Smith International.

Previously Jeff worked at Morgan Stanley, where he assisted in the management of a $300 million individual and institutional investor asset base. Jeff also worked at Taycor where he assisted emerging and middle market companies with both debt and growth financing.

Jeff earned a Bachelor's degree in Business Economics and Accounting from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

VesiMs. Vesi Kertikova, CFA has extensive international experience in the investment management industry and is responsible for the expansion of the business in overseas markets. Her professional path, which spans across three continents, started with the highly recognized graduate program of HSBC Holdings where she completed strategy and product assignments in various parts of the business. Subsequently, she joined the investment team of the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund. There, she has completed due diligence and investment transactions in banks and consumer led companies in the rapidly growing markets in Europe and Asia. As part of her Asian mandate, she managed a portfolio of $3 billion USD assets under management, and was the sole gatekeeper for all Asian capital market transactions for the fund, including the cornerstone investments in Formula 1 and Mapletree Greater China Commercial Trust. Her international exposure and first hand experience in various investment cycles have reinforced her strong business acumen, ability to navigate complex transborder interactions as well as her  capacity to take well measured risks. She currently resides in Singapore and is qualified rescue diver and hobby travel photographer.

Ms. Kertikova has a  BA from The American University in Bulgaria and an MS in International Management from The University of  St. Gallen, Switzerland.

Daniel L. Robben is President of DLR Consulting LLC based in Saint Louis, Missouri.  DLR Consulting is a management consulting firm focused on operations improvement and transition / integration  management. Scope of work, within the U.S. and overseas, includes managing programs in the areas of finance operations improvement/systems integration, merger and acquisition integration, outsourcing assessment and transition management and operations compliance management. Business clients served are domestic to international, multi-industry and small to large in size.

Prior to the formation of DLR Consulting, Mr. Robben served as a Senior Manager of Management Consulting for PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC.  Mr. Robben focus was in the areas of project management and business development within the Supply Chain Management and Business Process Outsourcing sectors.

Before a career in management Consulting, Mr. Robben held engineering positions with McDonnell Douglas Corporation (Boeing)

Mr. Robben has an MBA from Washington University – St. Louis and a Bachelor of Science degree from The University of Illinois – College of Engineering.

Sylvie-150x150Sylvie Le Bouthillier, CA began her career in public accounting with KPMG in Montreal,  Canada where she served as an external auditor and earned her  designation as a Chartered Accountant, the equivalent to a CPA in  the U.S. Over the next 17  years, she served mostly as internal and external consultant within Finance and IT, but also had some traditional Sarbanes Oxley, Corporate Controller and Interim CFO roles. Sylvie is a creative and dynamic executive with demonstrated and successful  experience in leading financial and cross functional teams, turning around and/or integrating departments, managing critical projects, designing strategic solutions, reengineering business process within limited time frames, developing internal controls, optimizing systems, orchestrating ERP  implementations, meeting cash flow targets, developing budgets and forecasts, and coordinating internal and external audits. Sylvie has also been involved with M & A post-investment assignments in issues ranging from talent acquisition and retention to process, policy, procedure and system integration's. She is regarded as a highly effective communicator and owes much of her organizational success to her ability to work effectively with all levels of organizations.

Daryl Brown is an economist, financial analyst, independent translator and consultant based in São Paulo, Brazil. He initiated English language coverage of Brazilian capital markets at Brazil's first and largest independent equity research firm, Empiricus Research. Previously, Daryl was an account manager at Travelex, and Congressional staff member in the US House of Representatives. Daryl holds a master's degree in Economics from the Federal University of Bahia, and graduated cum laude from Texas Tech's Rawls School of Business. He speaks Portuguese, Spanish and French. Daryl is a 2012 Level II CFA candidate.

GLOBAL EXPANSION 

Vijay Govindarajan (VG)  is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading experts on strategy and innovation. He is the Earl C. Daum 1924 Professor of International Business at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. He was the first Professor in Residence and Chief Innovation Consultant at General Electric. He worked with GE’s CEO Jeff Immelt to write “How GE is Disrupting Itself”, the Harvard Business Review article that pioneered the concept of reverse innovation – any innovation that is adopted first in the developing world. Harvard Business Review rated reverse innovation as one of the ten big ideas of the decade. His new book, Reverse Innovation, which was published in April 2012 already reached #1 on the USA Today and Barnes and Noble bestseller lists and #7 on the NY Times list.

VG  has been identified as a leading management thinker by influential publications including: Outstanding Faculty, named by Business Week in its Guide to Best B-Schools; Top Ten Business School Professor in Corporate Executive Education, named by Business Week; Top Five Most Respected Executive Coach on Strategy, rated by Forbes; Top 50 Management Thinkers, named by The London Times; Rising Super Star, cited by The Economist; Outstanding Teacher of the Year, voted by MBA students.

Prior to joining the faculty at Tuck, VG was on the faculties of Harvard Business School, INSEAD (Fontainebleau) and the Indian Institute of Management (Ahmedabad, India).

The recipient of numerous awards for excellence in research, Govindarajan was inducted into the Academy of Management Journals’ Hall of Fame, and ranked by Management International Review as one of the Top 20 North American Superstars for research in strategy and organization. One of his papers was recognized as one of the ten most-often cited articles in the entire 40-year history of Academy of Management Journal. He is a rare faculty member who has published more than ten articles in the top academic journals (Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Strategic Management Journal) and more than ten articles in prestigious practitioner journals including several best-selling Harvard Business Review articles. He has published nine books, including international best sellers Ten Rules for Strategic Innovators and The Other Side of Innovation.

VG works with CEOs and top management teams in Global Fortune 500 firms to discuss, challenge, and escalate their thinking about strategy. He has worked with more than 25% of the Fortune 500 corporations including: Boeing, Coca-Cola, Colgate, Deere, FedEx, GE, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, J.P. Morgan Chase, Johnson & Johnson, New York Times, Procter & Gamble, Sony, and Wal-Mart. He is a regular keynote speaker in CEO Forums and major conferences including the World Innovation Forum, BusinessWeek CEO Forum, World Business Forum, and World Economic Forum at Davos.

He received his doctorate from the Harvard Business School and was awarded the Robert Bowne Prize for the best thesis proposal. He also received his MBA with distinction from the Harvard Business School where he was included in the Dean’s Honor List. Prior to this, VG received his Chartered Accountancy degree in India where he was awarded the President’s Gold Medal for obtaining the first rank nationwide.

photoID_JCLJean-Christophe Lonchampt (JC or Chris) is a trusted advisor to CEOs of young innovative and global companies. He is the founder and CEO of Ask Sherpa, and agile global strategy and investment advisory firm focused primarily but not exclusively on the technology sector. Chris has 25 years of international industry experience in engineering, channel and OEM sales, strategic marketing, and venture capital management earned mostly in the Semiconductors and Communications industry. Chris held senior business management roles at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company and Agere Systems (AT&T Microelectronics spin-out) and he had a very successful 10-year management career at Intel Corporation and Intel Capital. He won large business deals with global communications accounts, worked extensively with the innovation ecosystem around the world and served on Boards of Intel Capital invested start-ups and the WWRF Wireless World Research Forum until 2004. Chris is a Board member of DesignGov and was nominated as a private sector thinker by the Australian Federal Government's Board of Secretaries in 2012. Chris holds a Master of Engineering from Ecole Polytechnique de l'Université d'Orléans and an MBA from Bocconi School of Management in Milan; he is also a Wharton School (University of Pennsylvania) alumnus and graduated as a Wharton Fellow. Chris is fluent in five languages. 

Bruce MitchellAs Vice President, Engineering in the Magnetics Division at Spang and Company for 13 years, Bruce Mitchell’s responsibilities included overseeing strategic business growth, production capacity maximization, plant expansions, maintenance, engineering and environmental initiatives.  He managed department managers, a staff of buyers, project managers, designers, and electrical, mechanical, civil, and environmental engineers. He oversaw the Division’s global facilities and manufacturing equipment installations. Through his department equipment was identified and purchased. He was also responsible for the design and fabrication of in-house testing and automation equipment.

From 2003 to 2012 he had overall responsibility for the relocation of all manufacturing to China. Potential locations were identified and selected, Chinese equipment was sourced and purchased and installed in a pilot operation in parallel with the design and construction of a new Greenfield plant and later expansion into a second facility.  The Asian expansions required the creation of two wholly-owned foreign enterprise. From his experiences he wrote and had published by Palgrave MacMillan in 2012, “13 Steps to Manufacturing in China, The Definitive Guide to Opening a Plant, From Site Location to Plant Start-Up”. Purchase from Amazon. Bruce held numerous engineering supervisory and managerial roles at Honeywell Corporation from 1974-1989.

Mr. Mitchell received his Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University (Virginia Tech),   Blacksburg, Virginia and a Master of Business Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia.

Dr. Mansour Javidan is Dean of Research and Garvin Distinguished Professor at Thunderbird. A multiple award-winning executive educator and author whose teaching and research interests span the globe, Dr. Mansour Javidan received his MBA and Ph.D. degrees from the Carlson School at the University of Minnesota.

Mansour is the President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the world-renowned research project on executive performance and leadership, titled GLOBE (Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness). As the primary editor and writer of the recently published GLOBE book, he is the co-principal investigator of the GLOBE Phase 3 research program. The book was the recent winner of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology’s (SIOP) award competition for “The M. Scott Myers Award for Applied Research in The Workplace.”

Dr. Javidan has been designated an Expert Advisor (Global Leadership) by the World Bank and a Senior Research Fellow by the U.S. Army. He is also on the Board of Directors of Business for Diplomatic Action (businessfordiplomaticaction.org).

He has designed and taught a variety of executive development courses, offered and facilitated workshops, conducted consulting projects, and made presentations in 22 countries around the world.

His publications have appeared in such journals as Journal of International Business Studies, Strategic Management Journal, Academy of Management Perspectives, Leadership Quarterly, Management International Review, Organizational Dynamics, Journal of Applied Behavioral Sciences, Human Relations, Journal of World Business, and Journal of Organizational Change Management.

A proven academic, Dr. Javidan took a four-year sabbatical from his university teachings to work with the CEO of TransCanada PipeLines, a multi-billion dollar Canadian energy company. Dr. Javidan was instrumental in helping the CEO develop new directions and strategies, and facilitate cultural change within the company and its pipeline business. He was directly involved in the acquisition of a $15 billion corporation, at the time the largest such merger in Canada. The merger resulted in the formation of the fourth largest energy services company in the world. He established a process for new business development that involved over 200 employees throughout the company and produced new business ideas estimated to produce $50 million in net after tax earnings.

Dr. Javidan is the Senior Editor, Global Leadership, for the Journal of World Business. He just completed a three-year term on the editorial board of the Academy of Management Executive. He was recently elected a Fellow of the Pan Pacific Business Association and was named in Lexington’s 2001/2002 Millennium Edition of the North American Who’s Who Registry and Empire’s 2003 Who’s Who Registry.

A dual Canadian and German citizen, Andreas Schotter, Ph.D is professor of strategic management at Thunderbird School of Global Management. He is an award-winning and highly accomplished scholar whose thought leadership and expertise has been tapped by top global companies. In addition, he has a dual background as a highly accomplished global business executive.

Before embarking on his academic career, Dr. Schotter was a senior executive with several multinational corporations in the automotive, industrial equipment, and consumer goods industries in Europe and Asia, where he worked and lived for almost a decade. Before becoming the Asia-Pacific Regional Managing Director of Bitzer International, a world-leading commercial refrigeration equipment manufacturer from Germany, he worked for Volkswagen AG, the Lancaster Group and Linde AG. As an entrepreneur, he jointly owned and operated a manufacturing business in Australia, China and Hong Kong. He has consulted globally with for-profit and not-for profit organizations in the manufacturing, retail, healthcare, renewable energy, and service industries. Dr. Schotter’s primary interests are dynamic capabilities, multinational corporate development and subsidiary evolution, the management of headquarters-subsidiary interfaces, corporate strategic change, global innovation and technology management, emerging markets, and the role of boundary spanners in multinational corporations.

His research has culminated in numerous management journal articles, books and book chapters, published cases, conference presentations and he regularly appears as an expert on strategy and international business issues on television. The Wall Street Journal has selected Dr. Schotter twice as a “WSJ Distinguished Professor of the Year” for his impact and effectiveness in leadership development.

Dr. Schotter applies highly innovative and experiential pedagogic methods in Thunderbird’s MBA, EMBA and executive education programs that enable participants to both gain cutting-edge strategic management knowledge, and develop critical global leadership capabilities. Dr. Schotter has a Masters in Economics and Business Management from the University of Kassel, Germany. He earned an MBA and Ph.D. from the Richard Ivey School, University of Western Ontario, Canada. He has taught at the University of Western Ontario and McMaster University before joining Thunderbird. You can follow Dr. Schotter on Twitter (@andreasschotter).

Dr. Mike W. Peng received his PhD from the University of Washington. He holds the first ever Provost’s Distinguished Professorship at the University of Texas at Dallas. Prior to joining UTD, Dr. Peng was an associate professor at the Ohio State University. He has taught in five states in the United States, as well as China, Hong Kong, and Vietnam.

Professor Peng is widely regarded as one of the most prolific and most influential scholars in global strategy—both the United Nations and the World Bank have cited his work in major publications.Truly global in scope, his research focuses on firm strategies in regions such as Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, and North America, covering countries such as China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Thailand, the United States, and Vietnam. He has published approximately 60 articles in leading academic journals and authored four books, including Global Strategy (1st edition, 2006; 2nd edition, 2009), which is the best-selling textbook in this field in the world, and Global Business (1st edition, 2009).

Professor Peng is also an active faculty trainer and consultant. He has provided on-the-job training to over 300 professors. He has consulted for organizations such as BankOne, Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Hong Kong Research Grants Council, National Science Foundation, Nationwide Insurance, Ohio Polymer Association, U.S.-China Business Council ,and The World Bank. He has also published his work in leading practitioner journals such as the Harvard Business Review, Academy of Management Executive, and China Business Review.

Professor Peng’s high-impact, high-visibility research has attracted significant external funding, totaling more than half a million dollars. At present, his research is funded by a prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER Grant (formerly known as the Young Investigator Award). At $423,000, this is the single largest grant the NSF has awarded to a business school faculty member. He carried more than half of this five-year funding to UTD.

yixiangFu Yixiang, best known to all as Gianni, was born in China and immigrated to Italy with his family very early on in his life.  He picked up the Italian language and an international way of conducting business.  As a seventh generation entrepreneur, Mr. Fu conducts business at some of the highest levels of Chinese government and business. His charisma and salesmanship should only be experienced.  Gianni is an unbelievable asset to Lombard Global, our clients and his firm, Passion Group and clients.

Mr. Fu has started and runs several businesses globally in furniture, fashion, real estate and selected import/export.  He resides in Parma, Italy with his family when he is not in China or elsewhere in the world.

Dr. Yan Zhongming is one of China's top 10 real estate and strategic planning consultants. The three well-known cornerstones of his theory are entitled The Real Problem Analysis, The Globalization and Adoption of Ideas and the Project Profit Pattern Study. As an expert on Macao urban development research, Dr. Yan wrote a book named as "A City Brought by Monsoon Winds: Early Macao City History Research ". Besides this, another monograph book entitled  "Real Estate Concepts  And Adoption" which presents his main theory exploring the development and progress of Chinese real estate.  Dr. Zhongming and his firm, Yansplan work for some of the most prolific and important developers in China. Their work includes residential and mixed-use development throughout China, particularly in Guangdong Province and Macao. These areas, concentrated in the Pearl River region of China, are the fastest developing and richest in terms of trade, GDP per capita and real estate in the world's fastest-growing and third largest economy.

Billy Bisanga is a Ugandan based expert on international business strategy, the dynamics of doing business in Africa with East Africa in particular being his specialty. With the East African Community working towards full political and economic integration and also as one viable trade and investment destination, Billy has demonstrated and proved himself as a formidable resource person on investment opportunities, information and business advisory services in the region as more Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) continue to flow in. He currently works with Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU), which is Uganda’s apex body for the private sector advisory and info center in Uganda. It is an association of more than 200 business associations, corporate bodies and the major public sector agencies that support private sector growth. He is a holder of a degree in International Business pursued at the prestigious Makerere University Business School, Kampala Uganda’s leading business school and also in the East and central of Africa. He has completed and presented a research paper to the business school as a requirement for the award of his degree entitled “Export product quality in LDCS and trade volumes” in June 2008

He has also been on a specially selected team of expert business people in the country to attend an Executive development programme on International Business conducted by highly acclaimed Professors from the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade covering areas of strategic management process, market identification, product & pricing decisions, export import documents, e-governance, international trade logistics, methods of payment in international business, international sale/purchase contracts and interpersonal skills for international business and trade services. He also has extensive knowledge in his study and practice areas related, but not limited to, international business law, multilateral trade systems, export and import systems and export marketing management. Billy currently resides in Kampala, Uganda.

 

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

Robert Wyatt is a proven leader in building, directing and maintaining successful global IT projects and infrastructures. He optimizes technology in multiple countries while also developing emerging technology savvy cross-cultural teams.  He has a reputation for consistently reducing costs while delivering projects on time and to budget. Robert approaches IT with the perspective of a seasoned executive who strives to guarantee full functionality of systems,  while also executing complex implementations and improvements. His success is derived from his understanding of business and people, in addition to technology. 

Robert has served extensively in large to mid-sized organizations including non-profit groups such as The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) and VHA, Inc. (formerly Voluntary Hospitals of America).  He successfully oversaw budgets over $10M, while growing and managing international staffs of at least 40 employees. He was instrumental in overhauling the IT department and integrating it into a strategic business during SPE’s global expansion.  In less than five years with SPE, Robert was promoted from manager to senior manager, and then finally to Director of IT (effectively CIO). He achieved aggressive technical and business goals and developed global-IT infrastructure supporting the USA, Canada, UK, U.A.E., Russia, and Malaysia. His accomplishments at SPE include the build-out of an offshore IT department in Malaysia, leading the planning process of the LAN/WAN, VoIP, backup and security integrations and migrations, as well as implementing the firm’s CRM/Data Warehouse enterprise-wide system.  In each of these efforts, Robert delivered these projects under budget and on time or ahead of schedule.  In addition, Robert led the redesign of the organization’s website which resulted in SPE’s recognition as a world-class web business.

During his tenure at VHA, Robert led all IT support areas, including LAN/WAN, system programming, help desk, training, security and recovery.  He established enterprise-wide desktop standards and platforms for the organization and implemented WAN in over 26 locations in addition to the development of their first website.  He consolidated IT departments, merged data centers and completed consolidation 30 days ahead of schedule with zero loss of systems availability.

Robert attended SMU majoring in computer science and is or has been a member of several professional organizations including National AMS User Group (president for two years), Nation Systems Programmers Association, Association of Information Technology Professionals (board member), Counsel of Engineering and Scientific Executives and American Society of Association Executives (track chair).

Mike AllisonMichael Allison  has two decades of experience applying highly innovative and cost-effective solutions to some of the toughest IT challenges. He is an expert in all facets of the software development process,  starting with initial project conception and requirements to design,  implementation, testing and deployment, maintenance and eventual shutdown. His experience ranges from leadership in the research labs of a Fortune 50 multinational automotive manufacturer to a medical office software startup.  Mike successfully led a software project from a research prototype to a global production environment generating a savings of $19.2 million annually. His technical skills and knowledge range from computer languages, operating systems and databases to development environments, configuration management and web servers.

In 2011 Michael formed the Loch Tetra Systems LLC consulting company where he continues to provide expertise and leadership in the IT field. Loch Tetra’s clients are receiving help in the M2M space, social media, manufacturing automation, Big Data and cloud. both in house and in the cloud. With Loch Tetra, Michael applies his knowledge and expertise with companies both large and small.   He is experienced at leading in a global team environment and is fluent in English and Spanish.

Michael has a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Wayne State University.

Juha Harkonen assists companies in the EMEA, Russia and the Americas on reorganization initiatives and startups. His typical client is in the technology field of collaboration spaces, access management, mobile, and/or social software but has experience across verticals. Juha is an expert on business processes and re-engineering for operational excellence. He has lived most of his life in different regions of the globe and has a heightened appreciation and ability for building cultural bridges in a fast paced multinational environment.

In 2006, he joined Tellus International, Inc. as a Chief Operating Officer. In his current role Juha leads Tellus Research initiatives into social media marketing and B2B social networking. Juha is a frequent speaker on the social networking and has advised a number of Fortune 100 companies on their social engagement strategies.

Before joining Tellus, he was Chief Executive Officer of Stonesoft Inc., the American subsidiary of Stonesoft Corp., a global business continuity solutions vendor. During his tenure at Stonesoft, he accumulated numerous contacts within the federal, financial services, and telecom sectors. He has extensive experience in selling to the US federal government and collaborating with Microsoft and IBM in the Americas region.

Mr. Harkonen received his Masters in Science - Industrial Engineering Management from the University of Lappeenranta in Finland and a second Masters in Science - Quality Management from Cranfield University in the UK.

LAW

William Billeaud, Sr. has been an active practicing trial attorney for over 35 years. For the past twenty years Bill has concentrated in the FELA field of practice which involves railroad related litigation representing railroaders injured on the job. He first practiced railroad law with a defense firm in St. Louis, Missouri, from 1986 to 1992. Since 1992, however, he has represented only railroad employees injured in the course of their employment. He has brought cases in both state and federal courts for railroad employees in all crafts including Locomotive Engineers, Conductors, Switchmen, Carmen, Electrical Workers and Maintenance of Way Employees.

Bill is licensed to practice law in Louisiana (1972), Illinois (1973), Missouri (1990) and West Virginia (2001). In addition to those states where he is a member of the bar licensed to practice in that jurisdiction, he has represented numerous other injured railroad employees in Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky, Ohio, Virginia, Minnesota, Oklahoma and District of Columbia. Bill has been a frequent speaker at rail labor union meetings throughout the south and midwest.

By way of background, Bill graduated from Louisiana State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Geology. He then entered the United States Air Force as a 2nd Lieutenant and three years later he was accepted as a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He left the FBI in 1969 to resume his legal education at Loyola School of Law in New Orleans. Bill retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force Reserve where he was assigned to the Judge Advocates General Office.

Bill was elected President of the Madison County, Illinois Bar Association in 1986 while he was living and practicing in the St. Louis metropolitan area. He has also been a mediator in the St. Louis area since 1997. He has received advanced mediator training and has successfully mediated numerous personal injury cases.

Bill and his wife returned home to Louisiana in 2001 and reside in Mandeville, Louisiana. Since returning, Bill has practiced out of the Davis • Saunders Law Firm in New Orleans (Mandeville), Louisiana, directly with Ben Saunders of the firm, who is Chair of the Executive Committee of the Designated Legal Counsel for the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers. The firm is experienced in handling not only railroad cases, but also certain Maritime cases involving career loss for seamen, as well as Aviation Death litigation.

Richard Gallagher is a graduate of the U. S. Merchant Marine Academy & University of Miami School of Law. He was admitted to practice law in Texas & Florida and has been designated a Proctor in Admiralty by the Maritime Law Association of the United States. He is also a licensed ship's officer and a retired Naval Reserve Officer. His professional experience includes three years as a ship's officer, three years as a maritime trial attorney, 10 years on the staff of SEDCO, Inc. and another 10 years with Hunt Oil Company.

Since 1996, Richard has maintained an international and maritime law practice based in Dallas with an emphasis on performing projects and overseas assignments for oil industry companies.  He has also served as an expert witness and performs ad hoc consulting services.  His clients have included ExxonMobil & Mobil Oil, Triton Oil, Pioneer Natural Resources, ENSCO International, Paragon Engineering, Shell Oil, Dublin International Petroleum, Kosmos Energy, British Petroleum plc and RA Global Services. Richard's work has carried him to 40 countries. He is adept at dealing with foreign governments, enjoys working in multi-cultural environments and is a longtime member of the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators.  For the past three years he has served as the Chair of the International Law Section of the Dallas Bar Association and received the “2008 Special Section Award” by the DBA.

Colonel Ralph J. Capio, USAF (Ret.), is an attorney specializing in contract law and international law.  He also has teaching experience that spans more than 30 years.  Presently, he is the President of International and Business Consultants, Las Vegas, NV.
Col. Capio, a former US Air Force judge advocate, held numerous responsible positions at home and abroad.  He was the legal advisor at the United States Transportation Command, Scott Air Force Base; Director of the Contract, International and Aviation Law Division at Headquarters, Air Mobility Command, Scott Air Force Base; and, Chief Counsel and Staff Judge Advocate at the headquarters for the United States Training Mission to The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh.  He was also a previous Staff Judge Advocate at Sembach Air Base, Germany, Staff Judge Advocate at Misawa Air Base, Japan, and directed the US Sending State Office at the US Embassy, Rome, Italy.  He also had extensive experience in the private practice of law.  He was Of Counsel at Armstrong Teasdale, LLP, St. Louis, Missouri, one of the oldest and largest law firms in the Midwest, where he specialized in Government Contract Law.  He recently completed an extended assignment in Afghanistan for the World Bank.

Col. Capio has been a member of the adjunct faculty at Saint Louis University, where he taught The Legal Environment of Business and International Negotiations.   He has also held teaching positions at the University of Maryland's European and Asian Divisions, McKendree College, Boston University, the University of Tampa, and Webster University, where he taught various legal and contracting related courses. Col. Capio is the author of numerous published articles, including "The Nature of Contracting in a Global Environment," presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Academy of Business Disciplines.

Col. Capio has a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration (BA) from Rutgers University, a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from the University of New York at Albany, a Juris Doctor (JD) from Union University, Albany Law School, a Master of Laws (LLM) from George Washington University, and a Master of International Business (EMIB) from Saint Louis University.  He holds a Professional Designation in Contract Management (PDCM) from the Air Force Institute of Technology, and a Masters Certificate in Commercial Contract Management from George Washington University.  He is admitted to practice law before the United States Supreme Court, the New York Court of Appeals, the United States District Court (NDNY), the United States Court of Federal Claims, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.

SUSTAINABLE ENERGY

Dallas PhotoDallas Terry is a sustainable energy expert, project manager, and project feasibility consultant with certifications as a GPEKS Clean Energy Project feasibility analyst, LEED AP, and certified Building Energy Sustainability Technician (BEST). He has managed, analyzed and assisted in the design of projects in the field of sustainable energy at various locations around the world. A native English speaker, he is also fluent in French, German and Spanish. .

Dallas currently holds the title of Managing Director of ECSE (Earth Circle Sustainable Energy), a boutique sustainable energy consulting firm geared towards driving profitable and innovative cleantech solutions to clients around the globe. In addition to this Dallas also holds a position as a partner with boutique feasibility consulting firm Wert-Berater Inc, where he has played an active role conducting feasibility studies and consulting with clients on various projects including Multifamily housing, medical centers, manufacturing plants, wineries, and sports complexes to name a few.

Dallas is a graduate of the Environmental Science (2007) and MBA (2011) programs from M.U.M. in Fairfield, Iowa (USA), and the MFA in Creative Writing program (2010) from Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. 

REAL ESTATE

Mark Billeaud began his career in the commercial real estate business in 1988 and has developed a broad background in development, leasing, acquisitions, dispositions and construction. Prior to forming Laurus Realty Ventures, Mark was a partner with Maune Development Company in St. Louis where he was involved in all facets of growing a “ground up” real estate enterprise including deal generation, leasing, development, re-development, acquisitions, dispositions, new markets and construction.  Mr. Billeaud and his partner developed and acquired a portfolio of 1,000,000 square feet and $55.0 million in value in a five year period.

Before joining Maune, Mr. Billeaud was Vice President of the St. Louis Industrial Business Unit of Duke Realty (NYSE:  DRE).  During his six years at Duke, Mark was involved in the leasing, acquisition and development of an industrial portfolio that eventually grew to over 4.25 million square feet.  Mr. Billeaud was in charge of operations of the industrial group in 2003 and 2004 before joining Maune.  Prior to Duke Realty, he was a Vice President with Trammell Crow Company in its St. Louis office, involved with general brokerage, office and industrial product leasing, and investment sales.  Mr. Billeaud graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in finance.

Mr. Billeaud is involved as a developer associate with the local St. Louis Chapter of SIOR (Society of Office and Industrial Realtors).  He is also on the board of MGA (Missouri Growth Association) and serves in multiple capacities with the St. Louis Chapter of NAIOP, Commercial Real Estate Development Association, including the President of the Chapter, Governmental Affairs Chairman and the founding Board of Governors.  Mark is also a member of the National NAIOP Capital Markets Forum.

Peter Eckel is the Valuation & Taxation Manager for Sealy & Company(www.sealynet.com) located in Shreveport, LA and Dallas, TX. Sealy &Company is a commercial real estate firm that owns and operates commercial real estate in the southeastern, south-central and southwestern United States and operates out of Dallas, Houston, Nashville and Atlanta. Peter also is the Senior Property Tax Consultant with Premier Valuation & Taxation Services, LLC and consults on twenty million square feet of improved property including both private and institutionally owned commercial real estate assets. His expertise in asset management primarily is in industrial properties however he has experience in office and retail property as well as mixed-use landdevelopments. His real estate valuation work involves portfolio market valuations, estimating replacement costs, insurable values, appraisals, development construction costs, underwriting acquisitions/dispositions, and refinancing/recapitalization analysis and strategy. He has been involved in identifying, analyzing, and structuring 1031 like-kind tax deferred exchanges and is well-versed in DCF analysis and providing intangible asset allocations and valuations upon real estate acquisitions. He writes quarterly economic reports and contributes to quarterly investor reporting. He is involved in leasing and property management working on financial reviews and providing leasing and budget support. He also has significant experience in both personal and real estate tax appeals, litigation, strategic analysis and reporting. Peter’s administrative and management roles include overseeing and providing the Sealy/CalSTRS joint venture with quarterly market valuations including accounting and audit support. He also oversees and manages third party property tax consultants, service providers, support staff, and accounting personnel. In 2009, he was successful in reducing Sealy’s property tax liability by over $1 million solely through informal appeals and was successful in gaining further concessions with assessors through formal appeals and litigation. His knowledge of property taxes is extensive working throughout 8 states and he has utilized a unique strategic tactical approach to aggressively reduce property taxes benefitting the $600 million portfolio’s assessed value.

Peter Eckel holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a minor degree in Computer Science from Centenary College of Louisiana where he graduated on the Dean’s List and was acting President of the Centenary College Republicans as well as the Executive Committee for Kappa Sigma. Peter is currently a Certified Commercial Investment Member Candidate and he holds the Marshall & Swift Trained Appraiser Certification in the Cost Approach to Commercial Appraisal.

GLOBAL RETAIL

Pierpaolo Dondi is the Chairman of Dondi Salotti SRL, one of Italy and Europe's largest and fastest growing furniture retail chains.  The roots of Dondi Salotti go back to 1958, when his father opened the first store near Montova, Italy.  Today Dondi Salotti has over 40 stores across the country and revenues near $150 million USD. Dondi was one of the first furniture chains in Europe to use modern consumer financing. The success of the firm can be also attributed to an untiring work ethic, industry innovation and attention to business detail, particularly in regard to analytics.

Lombard Global has helped Dondi Salotti complete transactions in commercial real estate and international relocation. In addition, it has an ongoing advisory relationship with the firm.   As such, it has provided consultation in issues ranging from global expansion to international taxation, point of sale, marketing and advertising, supply chain and human resources.

Randy Huffman's background consists of over 30 years in global retail strategy and tactical execution with Fortune 500 and small to medium-sized businesses. He consults regularly with executives from a variety of industries to help create solutions to retail problems by providing strategies for short and long term growth. Prior to forming his own company, he led the International General Merchandise team at Wal-Mart, helping develop and execute global growth strategies. Randy has a diverse background in retail which include international business strategy development, brand development, global sourcing, supplier development, merchandise assortment planning, financial analysis, process improvement,  business integration, buying and store operations. 

Randy is knowledgeable in multiple categories including housewares, small appliances, furniture, consumer electronics and apparel.  He also has diverse knowledge of mass retailers, dollar stores, discount stores and department stores, having demonstrated success throughout his career in each of these areas.  He was named Store Manager of the Year, Buyer of the Year, Sourcing Manager of the Quarter and Outstanding Business Leader for his accomplishments.

Randy began his retail career in 1976 with a regional department store chain learning the fundamentals of retail as Sales Manager, where he successfully launched his career being promoted to Store Manager through creative merchandising, marketing and sales solutions. He has a BS in Business Administration from the University of Southern Arkansas.