The Team

Get to know our accomplished team members and advisors.

Executive Leadership

Mike Fong is the Founder and CEO of Privoro. He is an experienced technology executive and entrepreneur who decided to start a company focusing on security and privacy, allowing people to protect their sensitive information, be they businesses, governments or individuals. Smartphones are central to daily life and they can access the most sensitive personal and corporate information. Recognizing that smartphones are becoming ground zero for data collection and increasingly targeted by sophisticated hackers, Mike decided to initially focus Privoro on protecting these important devices.

Understanding at the outset of Privoro what has now become mainstream news – that the entire commercial technology stack, from the chips on up, can be compromised, Mike set about developing a solution to what had previously been an untenable problem. The solution – a high-security, hardware root of trust, intelligent, modular platform for smartphones, extending their functionality and providing unique and advanced security capabilities. The result – the ability to use smartphones with the peace of mind of knowing that you can control your personal and sensitive information.

Prior to founding Privoro in 2013, Mike founded Calence LLC and took the company from a startup organization to the largest pure-play networking integrator in the United States at the time of its sale, with $300+ million in sales to prestigious corporate and government clients. Prior to its acquisition by Insight Enterprises Inc. Calence was recognized as a leading network consulting firm, a Gartner magic quadrant managed services provider and one of Cisco’s top US partners. Mike has consulted and/or served as a board member for companies across many industries, including chairing the Arizona Governor’s Council on Innovation and Technology. He is a two-time Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist and was named the Ed Denison Business Leader of the Year for the State of Arizona. Mike started his career at Arthur Andersen Consulting and holds a BS degree in Electrical Engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University.

David Husband has served as a CFO and COO for both private and public companies for 20 years. He possesses a wealth of knowledge in process optimization, accounting, financial reporting and corporate finance, including domestic and international merger and acquisition transactions and public and private financing. Prior to his role at Privoro, David served as CFO, Secretary and Treasurer of Calence LLC. David led the process of the company’s acquisition by Insight Enterprises, Inc. in 2008. David also served as CFO of Vodavi Technology, Inc., a leading supplier of small business telephone systems and EVP and COO of Action Performance Companies, Inc., a $400+M consumer products company. He began his career with Arthur Andersen LLP and is a CPA in the state of Arizona. He holds a BS degree, Magna Cum Laude, in Finance and Accounting from Humboldt State University.

Neric Fong is Privoro’s Chief Technology Officer and comes to the team with over 15 years of industrial experience in RF systems and circuit design. Neric spent 6 years at MediaTek Inc. in San Jose, CA growing and scaling products from system definition to mass-production. During his tenure, he was responsible for leading design teams across a broad spectrum of radio design, including 2G/3G/LTE cellular RF chipsets and 802.11ax WiFi RF systems. The RF chipset is widely adopted in the high-volume smartphone market, with over 140 million units shipped per year. He also initiated an ultra-low-power R&D project for wearable and IoT applications, and kick-started the WiFi 802.11ax product development. Prior to MediaTek, Neric served as a design engineer for Marvell Semiconductor, VIA Technologies in the Bay Area and Cognio Inc. in Ottawa, Canada. Neric is the author of 9 patents in the areas of RF/RFIC, amplification, circuits, on-chip gain calibration, and gain asymmetry. He is a co-author of numerous peer-reviewed journals and conference papers, and received best paper awards in IEEE, ISSCC and RFIC symposiums. Neric holds both a PhD and a BS in Electrical Engineering from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada.

Haydn Taylor leads all aspects of product design for Privoro. His 20-year career in industrial design has focused on best practices for technical innovation across a diverse portfolio of complex device product development including medical pharmaceutical and surgical devices, life sciences instrumentation and consumer products. Haydn started his career at IDEO, growing to serve in senior roles with some of the world’s top design and engineering firms, most recently as a design expert at Cooper Perkins Inc., an engineering firm specializing in highly integrated, electromechanical systems. His diverse background also includes work in the film, TV and theme park industries as a producer and mechanical special effects designer. Haydn is the author of more than 10 US patents along with a number of international patents and design registrations. He holds a BA in Industrial Design (with engineering) from The University of Teesside, Middlesbrough, UK.

Ken Stephens leads all aspects of Privoro’s manufacturing and global supply chain activities. He brings over 20 years’ experience in global distribution and logistics networks, manufacturing, strategic sourcing and supplier relationships. Prior to joining Privoro, Ken was Vice President of world-wide operations for Prynt Corporation where he was responsible for product design, manufacture, delivery and success for the first photo printing phone case. In this role he led all operational departments including design, mechanical and electrical engineering, firmware and supply chain operations. He has also served in progressively senior global manufacturing and operations leadership positions across a range of companies and industries including Ouya Inc., an android-based video game console funded by Kickstarter in 2012, Lytro Inc., the first professional light field mixed reality solutions for CG content, and integrated services providers such as Moduslink Global Solutions and Arvato Services North America. Ken received his Bachelor of Electronic Engineering degree from the Cork Institute of Technology, Ireland.

Ted Thomas is Privoro’s senior engineering executive and is a key member of Privoro’s product strategy team. Prior to Privoro, Ted drove major product and business initiatives at Texas Instruments for nearly two decades. During his tenure with TI, Ted led teams across a broad range of technologies, including signal conditioning and audio and power products. Under his leadership, the company delivered several first-to-market products such as the first integrated Class-D amplifiers for computer, handset and other low-power consumer applications. He and his team also developed TI’s first LED Light Bulb reference design. Ted is the author of 7 patents in efficient power conversion, data acquisition and audio amplifier systems. He holds a BS degree in Electrical Engineering, Summa Cum Laude, from West Virginia University.

Dan Hill comes to Privoro with over 20 years’ experience in IT, systems integrations and product management. In his current role, Dan is responsible for all product management functions for Privoro’s assured identity solutions. Previously Dan served in various roles at SRP, the nation’s 3rd largest public power and water utility company. He directed large enterprise projects including the enterprise work management system for power generation, water and facilities. Dan also headed up IT for Calence (now Insight), a global provider of information technology and services. He was recognized for creating an award-winning business system implementation for Great Plains, an accounting software company that was eventually acquired by Microsoft. Earlier in his career, Dan architected and developed business systems for Nike, Microsoft Xbox and American Express. He holds a BS in Business Management from Arizona State University.

Julie Dexter Berg comes to Privoro with over 30 years of marketing and operations experience spanning the wireless, mobile, internet, broadband and consumer goods and services industries. She is a game-changing team leader with a proven track record of creating brands and customer experiences that deliver superior bottom-line results and real shareholder value. Most recently Julie served as the CMO for Cricket Wireless, a $3B prepaid wireless player that was acquired by AT&T in 2014 for $1.2B. Julie also served as the CMO for SuperValu, a $44B retail grocery company and as CMO for MediaOne (now Comcast) a $5B cable broadband provider. In the mid-1990s Julie was the EVP and GM for AirTouch Cellular’s largest operating division before it was acquired by Verizon. She has served as a consultant and advisor in the areas of marketing, operations and post-merger integration work and is a published author in the business and academic press. Julie spent 10 years in consumer packaged goods with Carnation Company/Nestle Foods after receiving her MBA from the University of Oregon. She also holds a BA in Hotel and Restaurant Administration from Washington State University.

Blake Kotiza is Privoro’s Vice President of Sales with over 18 years of experience providing technology solutions to clients and partners. Over the course of his career, Blake has managed strategic relationships with Fortune 50 clients and led large sales teams producing over $250M in revenue. His experience ranges from providing point products and services to managing large and complex outsourcing solutions. Blake started his career with Calence (now Insight), a global provider of information technology and services, directing inside and outside sales teams handling software, hardware, consulting and managed services. More recently he served as enterprise account manager for Cisco Systems responsible for large corporate clients such as Charles Schwab and US Airways. Blake holds a BS in Communication from Lake Forest College and an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis, MO.

Matt Shaheen leads the development of Privoro’s channel partnerships around the world. He brings nearly 22 years of experience in B2B account management and advisory work. Matt spent over 18 years at Accenture, a $30B+ global professional services company providing a range of services such as strategy, consulting, technology and operations services. Most recently, Matt was a Managing Director within the communications, media and technology group focusing on electronics and high-tech clients. Over the course of his career at Accenture, he held key leadership roles with Microsoft and was the client account lead for Intel, Sunpower, Oracle and Avnet. Matt led large teams responsible for sales & marketing, mobility and supply chain. He developed comprehensive multi-year account plans that delivered over $5M annually. Matt holds a BS in Finance from the University of Arizona.

Michael Mahoney leads Privoro’s IT and business operations and comes to the team with over 15 years of experience in finance, operations and strategic analysis. In his current position, he has broad responsibility for all IT systems and business operations for the company. Prior to joining Privoro Michael served in various leadership positions in business operations, data analytics, and systems implementations for CenturyLink. In his most recent role he was a senior finance and operations leader for CenturyLink’s $600M+ managed hosting and cloud services business, a Gartner Magic Quadrant leader. There, his scope of responsibilities included strategic planning and budgeting, sales operations, financial reporting, business management KPI development and tracking and strategic analysis functions. Michael also held business operations and strategic planning roles for Solutia, Inc., a global manufacturer of performance materials and specialty chemicals and DRS Technologies, a manufacturer of integrated military electronic support equipment and support services. Michael began his career as a financial analyst for Accenture. He holds an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis, MO and a Bachelor of Science degree in finance and accounting from Tulane University in New Orleans, LA.

Advisors & Investors

John Chambers, founder and CEO of JC2 Ventures, focuses on helping disruptive startups from around the world build and scale. He invests in companies that are leading market transitions, such as Airware, Aspire Food Group, Dedrone, OpenGov, Pindrop, Privoro, SparkCognition, Sprinklr, and Uniphore. He serves on the Board of Directors for Airware, OpenGov, Pindrop and Sprinklr.

Chambers is also the Chairman of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) and was recently appointed Global Ambassador of the French Tech by President Emmanuel Macron of France.

In addition to investing in and mentoring startups, Chambers promotes entrepreneurship, gender equality and accelerating overall new business creation, as he believes that startups will be the core driver of economic growth and job creation in the Digital Age.

Prior to founding JC2 Ventures, Chambers spent 25+ years with Cisco, serving as CEO, Chairman and Executive Chairman. He currently holds the title of Chairman Emeritus with the organization.

Pankaj Patel was Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer at Cisco Systems, Inc. Mr. Patel reported into the CEO as the Engineering head of the company’s $38 billion product and solution portfolio. He drove the business and technology strategy across Cisco’s Routing, Switching, Wireless, Security, Mobility, Video, Collaboration, Data Center and Cloud offerings delivered by a global team of over 26,000 engineers.

Mr. Patel is a proven results-oriented and seasoned technology leader with 25+ years of experience developing highly scalable products and services by building and leading large, high-performance global engineering organizations, setting clear vision, directing strategy and delivering against goals. He is passionate about translating strategy to execution and delivering the best experience for the customer.

Mr. Patel retired from Cisco in October of 2016 and now serves on the Board of Directors of several startups. He is focused on incubating, investing, and advising startups with their strategy, product development, and go-to-market as well as helping them scale. Patel is also a mentor and sponsor to numerous employees throughout the industry.

Jim Kavanaugh is the co-founder and CEO of World Wide Technology. Kavanaugh and his proven management team have guided WWT from a small start-up technology company into a world-class organization.

In the early years, Kavanaugh solidified WWT’s financial position through profitable growth and a $27.5M venture capital investment which was repaid in 2005. Kavanaugh currently focuses his time in the areas of technology innovation, long term planning, strategic acquisitions, financial performance, employee development, and passionately overseeing WWT’s unique corporate culture. Prior to founding WWT, Kavanaugh worked at Future Electronics and played professional soccer. He received his Bachelor of Science in business administration from Saint Louis University (SLU) in 1986.

Kavanaugh has won numerous business, entrepreneurial and charitable awards over the years and earned a position in the Saint Louis University Business Hall of Fame. He was recognized by Glassdoor as the #2 ranked CEO in 2017 for all large businesses in the U.S.

Deeply committed to giving back to the community, Kavanaugh has been involved in supporting numerous local and nationwide charitable organizations. He also has been a trustee of the board for his alma mater, Saint Louis University since 2010. He is Chairman and Founder of Saint Louis FC, which plays in the United Soccer League, Chairman of Scott Gallagher Soccer Club and investor owner in the St. Louis Blues.

Jim McGuire recently retired from the Charles Schwab Corporation where he was the Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer for Schwab Technology Services (STS) responsible for Schwab’s technology innovation, development, infrastructure and operations and a member of the Schwab Executive Committee.

While at Schwab, McGuire focused on developing and advancing Schwab’s business and technology strategy as well as Schwab’s cyber-security program.

McGuire rejoined Schwab in August 2009 from eBay, where he was responsible for workplace technology and enterprise applications at eBay and production site operation of eBay’s PayPal business. Prior to eBay, McGuire also held senior executive positions at companies including Source Informatics and American Express.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in computer information systems at Arizona State University and attended several executive education courses at Harvard and Stanford Universities.

With more than 30 years of business experience including 18 years in the IT industry, Dave has established a strong reputation for enhancing partner relationships, driving sales growth and ensuring partner satisfaction through the development of innovative business programs. He is a member of a very exclusive group of channel veterans who have held executive positions at a Manufacturer, Value-Added Reseller and a Distributor.

Dave is currently the Senior Vice President of Global Channels and Enterprise Sales at erwin, Inc., a leading data management and data governance software company in the Big Data space. He is accountable for all sales revenue generated by partners in the channels and alliances ecosystem.

Prior to his current role, Dave was Vice President, Worldwide Channels and Alliances at Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Software and also served as Vice President of Worldwide Channels at Dolby Laboratories. Before joining Dolby, Dave was part of the leadership team at Adobe Systems where he last held the position of Head of WW SMB Cloud Services.

Brian Marlier comes to Privoro’s advisory board with 35 years of enterprise sales experience. Most recently Brian was Senior Vice President of Global Architectures and Enterprise Transformation for Cisco Systems and led the Cisco team responsible for selling complex technical transformations to large customers across the globe. Before assuming this role, Brian served as Cisco’s Senior Vice President of U.S. Enterprise sales, where he was responsible for sales of Cisco technology and services to 560 of the company’s largest customers in the United States. Brian also held leadership positions at Nortel, EMC, Hitachi Data Systems and IBM. He holds a BA in Business from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Jason Lish is the Chief Information Officer of $2.3 billion Alight Solutions. As CIO he is responsible for Alight’s overall digital, technology, enterprise risk and security strategy, and execution. Lish also leads the team charged with designing and developing Alight’s latest human-centric designs and advancements at the Alight Innovation Lab.

Jason initially joined Alight as the Chief Security Officer of Alight, where he directed all physical and cyber security initiatives. This included developing and enforcing security policies and strategies and establishing security standards and programs across the company.

Prior to Alight, Jason was the Senior Vice President of Security Technology and Operations for Charles Schwab and Company. In this role, he was responsible for operational and architecture security services to strengthen Schwab’s security posture and enhance the protection of Schwab’s critical assets. Jason also had responsibility for IT Risk and Operational Control across the information technology organization. Before Charles Schwab, Jason was Senior Director of Cyber Security Operations at Honeywell International where he was responsible for the design and maintenance of the cyber security program and delivering cost-effective and efficient secure IT security services.

Jason began his career in the United States Air Force as a telecommunication and intelligence specialist where he administered large network, communication, and cryptographic systems. Jason resides in Phoenix, Arizona and holds a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master’s degree in Business Administration. He holds several certifications in security, networking, process management, and participates in several industry security advisory boards including Privoro and SecureCircle.

Klaus M. Knappik is the CEO of MLA International Consulting, a privately held company operating out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He serves on the Board of ACE Express Inc., Seoul, Korea and the Advisory Board of PRIVORO, Tempe, AZ. He is also a Member of the Leadership Council of Thunderbird Global School of Business.

Mr. Knappik has held Executive Management Positions in the Airline and Logistics Industry for 40 years with Lufthansa Airlines in Germany, Schenkers International Forwarding in the U.S. and Japan, Pandair in Holland, Danzas in the U.S. and the Swissair Group in Switzerland.

He was the Chairman and CEO of DHL Global Mail, the world’s largest international mail organization from 2002 - 2007 and the Chairman of YDM - a Direct Marketing Joint Venture of Yamato and DHL in Tokyo/Japan from 2008 - 2017.

He also served on the Board of Cargolux Airlines, Swiss Post (the national postal service of Switzerland), Panalpina and the IATA Cargo Committee.

Dave is Chief Architect at Cisco Systems, responsible for architectural governance, defining strategy, development of new technology and leading use-inspired research. Working via tight partnerships with customers, partners, developers and academia he is also leading co-development and co-innovation initiatives. He has been the Routing Area Director at the IETF and chair of four Working Groups: IS-IS, HIP, BFD and Softwires and worked with the ITU-T, ONF and several Open Source consortia. David was also a Juniper Fellow and
Chief Architect working on the operating system and next-generation routing systems. Dave has a small vineyard in the Santa Cruz Mountains and an heirloom tomato farm along the St. Croix River in Somerset, Wisconsin.