Our Team Leaders
Wendell is a serial entrepreneur and inventor whose creative triumphs include building a global VoIP solution (acquired by Microsoft), founding America’s largest online voicemail platform (acquired by AOL) and creating one of the world’s first cybersecurity solutions (acquired by Intel). The unique intersection of his expertise led to Averon’s breakthrough technology.
Chief Executive Officer
Lea has deep cross-domain experience as an accomplished investor in mobile, FinTech, and consumer Internet. Prior to her role as a director of Northzone (Stockholm/London), she enjoyed success as an associate at Morgan Stanley and McKinsey. Lea is a Harvard Business School graduate, a Kauffman Fellow, and holds MSc degrees from HEC Paris and Stockholm School of Economics.
COO & President
Hershey holds degrees from MIT in Physics, EE/CS, and a Masters in Cryptography. He’s worked in Fortune 500s and startups, tracking cybercriminals on the dark web, developing wireless application platforms, big data tools, and a VOD service (now Hulu). In academia, he has created new case study teaching methods at Harvard, and is a popular teacher at MIT’s UPOP accelerator.
Chief Technology Officer
Taro has enjoyed multiple careers in Silicon Valley and around the world as a cofounder, creative director, writer, and angel investor, having successfully exited multiple startups including eVoice (acquired by AOL/Time Warner) and Teleo (acquired by Microsoft). He is also a New York Times best-selling author of inspirational books. Taro leads the creative side of Averon.
Chief Creative Officer
Tom has a strong FinTech background, having served as a senior analyst at Capital One as well as VP at Lending Club where he managed their Small Business group. Tom also has extensive experience at Bain & Company, is a graduate of Harvard Business School, and earned a degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Oxford. Tom is currently leading our AverX project.
Chief Product Officer
Aaron earned his MBA from Harvard Business School after enjoying success as a Management Consultant at KPMG, focusing on IT strategy, organizational change management, and business process optimization for government agencies. Aaron also has experience in the healthcare industry in corporate development and strategy at PPD.
Dir. of Operations & Finance
Karolina has rich experience in building brands and capturing broad market share in her work with dynamic global organizations (PwC, Deloitte, Thomson Reuters, McGraw-Hill) and with growing startups (Exiger, Bureau van Dijk). She holds an MBA from the Johnson School at Cornell, and a degree in Business & International Marketing from the University of Technology, Sydney.
VP of Marketing
Brendan is a Bronze Star-decorated U.S. Army Ranger veteran whose roles in the military included deployment of secure mesh networks and UAVs in the Special Operations Command. He is a graduate of Harvard Business School, a former GM and sales leader at PepsiCo, and he helped start the first Hunter Team at Salesforce.com where Brendan was honored as a president’s club awardee.
EVP of Global Sales
Mark is a Silicon Valley veteran and co-founder of numerous successful startups, including some he created with other Averon executives. His deep experiences in technology include roles as Director of Mobility Solutions and the founding CTO of a variety of startups that were acquired by companies including AOL, Avaya, Intel, and Arbitron. Mark holds an MSEE from Stanford.
Chief Data Scientist
Tony’s experiences in sales and marketing span more than ten years, from research and preparation through strategy and execution of sales processes. Early in Tony’s career he was also a player advocate and public speaker on sports concussions after his time as a successful NCAA DII basketball player for Babson College, where he earned a B.S. in Business Management.
Strategic Accounts Executive
Dan is an experienced senior leader with a demonstrated history of creating customer, employee, and shareholder value. His background is squarely in the nexus of tech engineering and FinTech, having spent more than a decade at Intuit as well as at American Express, and as a Principal at a technology management and consulting agency.
Sr. Dir., Solutions Engineering
Shoshana has enjoyed success in business management and administration, having managed a variety of teams in the hospitality, real estate & technology sectors. She has worked with Averon’s co-founders in various managerial capacities for over 20 years, and currently oversees our Averon team management to help everyone operate as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Prior to founding JC2 Ventures, John was CEO & Chairman at Cisco, where revenues grew from $70M to $47B during his 20+ year tenure. He’s been honored with many awards for leadership, philanthropy & the advancement of technology including the Padma Bhushan, one of the highest civilian awards by the Government of India.
CEO, JC2 Ventures; Fmr Chairman & CEO, Cisco
Emily has enjoyed success as VP & Worldwide Chief Technology Counsel for eBay and PayPal (’02 – ’16), and as Co-founder of ChIPs, a non-profit organization dedicated to the development and advancement of women in law & technology. She holds an engineering degree and JD, and has testified before Congress on patent law.
Fmr VP, eBay & PayPal
John served 11 years as an executive at Google, and was most recently Head of Google Identity Platform through 2017. Prior to Google, John worked for 2 years as an Engineer at Amazon. He’s currently a VP of Engineering at WeWork. John holds a degree in Computer Science from Stanford University.
Sheila founded & leads the world’s largest family care company, Care.com (NYSE: CRCM). She earned her JD and MBA from Harvard, is a member of The Aspen Institute 2012 Class of Henry Crown Fellows, was named a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, and received the HBS alumni award for her outstanding achievements.
Founder & CEO, Care.com
Chief Data Scientist
K. V. Rao co-founded Zuora, a unicorn startup that held its IPO in April 2018 (NYSE: ZUO). Previously, he was Dir. of Technology at WebEx (acq. by Cisco) and began his career as a rocket scientist at NASA. He holds a Ph.D. in Engineering from Iowa State, an M.S. from Univ. of Missouri-Rolla, and B.Tech from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. He is currently the CEO of Aviso.
K. V. Rao
Prof. Smith is a top cryptography & cybersecurity expert. He’s the Olga & Alberico Pompa Professor of Engineering, Applied Science & CIS at UPenn, was a DARPA Program Manager awarded the OSD Medal for Exceptional Service, served on the National Research Council Board on Army Science & Technology, and is an IEEE Fellow.
Jonathan M. Smith, Ph.D.
Prof. of CIS, UPenn
James is a former VP of Twitter Inc. & Chairman of Twitter Japan, and was previously at McKinsey & Co. He’s an Advisor at MIT’s Media Lab of Social Machines and Silicon Valley Japan Platform Co-chair. He graduated from Keio and Harvard, was a Yale World Fellow, and was named a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader.
Fmr VP, Twitter
Ruvan is a payment cards & consumer credit expert, formerly the Managing Director of Citibank’s global credit card business, President of Innovis credit bureau, a senior member of Mastercard Advisors, and an early Internet privacy & security innovator as CEO of iPrivacy. Ruvan holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.