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Leadership Team

Leadership Team

The Zift leadership team has a proven track record across multiple industries, with deep expertise in marketing automation, online marketing optimization and sales channel management. The Zift team takes a strong hands-on approach to developing solutions that support channel success by understanding the practical realities of marketing in a channel sales environment.

Meet the Management Team

Ken Romley – President and CEO

As President and CEO of Zift Solutions, Ken is a driving force behind the company’s strategic vision and mission to offer complete, prescriptive, multi-channel marketing support for channel partners that both improves results and reduces costs by empowering the efficient use of global brand resources. Over the last two decades, Ken has co-founded and run a wide range of technology and Internet-based enterprises while leading innovations in marketing technologies. As CEO and CTO of SmartPath, he helped to establish Enterprise Marketing Management solutions as essential technology for improving marketing effectiveness. He also served as Director of Product Development for DoubleClick after the company acquired SmartPath and held executive leadership roles with Marathon Group, Micro Focus and Burl Software Laboratories. Ken has a BS in Operations Research and an MS in Computer Science from Cornell University.

Bryan Ferren — COO

With over 24 years of experience working with high-growth software and high-tech companies, Bryan is a proven business operations, sales and international business development professional. At Zift, Bryan leads the sales team and oversees organizational operations. Before joining Zift, he served as Managing Director of EMEA for SmartPath and continued in that role after SmartPath’s acquisition. Ferren also served as VP of International Sales and VP of Corporate Accounts at Aprimo, where he was responsible for developing and managing the company’s largest strategic accounts, including Intel, Target, CitiGroup and Nestle. Prior to SmartPath, he was President and CEO of MicroMass Communications and a Manager in Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneurial Services Group. Bryan holds a BA in Political Science and a minor in Accounting from North Carolina State University.

Lionel Farr — CTO

Lionel has a passion for new technology and a strong background in building and leading agile software development teams. As Zift’s VP of Technology, he is responsible for the development of all Zift technologies, products and services. Before joining Zift Solutions, he served as Senior Engineer at DoubleClick where he played a key role in a major product redesign to ensure quality and scalability for such online giants as eBay, AOL and Orbitz. Prior to DoubleClick, Lionel spent more than three years as a Senior Engineer and Developer for IBM. He holds a BS in Computer Science from James Madison University.

Will Sendall — CFO

Will brings nearly two decades of financial expertise working in high growth, publicly traded and privately held technology firms to his role as CFO. Prior to Zift, Will served as Vice President of Finance for Bronto Software, building and managing all aspects of Finance and Accounting, Legal, HR, Information Systems and Operations functions for the fast growing startup and eventually overseeing Bronto’s acquisition by NetSuite and subsequent integration. During his tenure as Bronto’s VP of Finance, Will was named Triangle Business Journal’s CFO of the Year. He was also Manager of Finance and Accounting for Red Hat, managing various finance, accounting and operations teams and processes, and a Senior Audit Associate for “Big 4” accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers. Will holds a Masters of Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a B.S. in Accounting from Appalachian State University.

Laz Gonzalez – Chief Strategy Officer

A prominent industry analyst and thought leader, Laz brings unparalleled channel expertise to Zift and has served as strategic advisor to leading B2B channel programs worldwide. Before Zift, Laz was Group Director of Channel Sales and Marketing Strategies at SiriusDecisions, where his team published extensively on channel management, partner recruitment, enablement and lead generation, while developing transformative frameworks, such as the SiriusDecisions Channel Program Model©. Laz gained extensive experience implementing solution-driven sales programs with OEMs, strategic alliances, distributors and resellers during two decades as a channel practitioner himself. He also headed up North American Channels for Unipress Software, served as EVP of sales and marketing at Beast Financials, and VP of alliances and OEM programs at Viewpoint. Internationally, Laz led sales efforts for Lotus Development in Latin America and Baan in Europe. Laz attended the U.S. Air Force Academy and majored in computer science at Rutgers University.

Andy Wilson — VP of Solution Engineering

Andy brings a wealth of experience in marketing and channel program automation to his current role as VP of Solution Engineering, in which he works directly with Zift prospects and customers to architect solutions designed to deliver the best possible channel outcomes. Prior to joining Zift, Andy served as Practice Leader for Systems Integration and Analytics for Aprimo and Deployment Director for both DoubleClick and SmartPath, where he managed teams that provided support for enterprise marketing product lines. He has also held strategic and software engineering positions with Merant, Trebax, Inc. and The Marathon Group. Andy has a MS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Rhode Island and a BS in Electrical Engineering from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.

David Buffaloe — VP of Marketing

David is responsible for all aspects of marketing including strategy, tactics and programs needed to create interest, demand and recognition for Zift Solutions. Prior to this role he was Director of Marketing at SciQuest, Inc. where he managed internal and external communications through their Initial Public Offering and three acquisitions. Before SciQuest, he was president and founder of M-pact Marketing, a services company geared at helping early stage companies grow through integrated marketing. He was also VP of Marketing at First Research where he helped drive the company’s growth, which led to the acquisition by Dun & Bradstreet. David holds a BA in Business Management with a concentration in Marketing from North Carolina State University.

Damian Rochman – VP of Product

Damian brings over 20 years of proven experience leading cross-functional teams in the software solutions space to Zift Solutions. As VP of Product at Zift, he is responsible for the overall Product Roadmap and oversees both the Product Management and Documentation teams. He also works in tandem with executive leadership to define and manage overall strategic direction and development for Zift products. During the course of his career, Damian has amassed an array of IT service and product management, R&D, business development, technical and training skills. He has managed product lines across their life cycles at BMC Software, Kaltura, Infusion, Identify Software and, most recently, CloudFactory. He is ITIL® v3 certified, multi-lingual and holds a BS in Computer Science from Mercy College.

 

Meet the Board Members

Ken Romley

Ken Romley is President and CEO of Zift Solutions, Inc. Over the last two decades, Ken has co-founded and run a wide range of technology and Internet-based enterprises while leading innovations in marketing technologies. As CEO and CTO of SmartPath, Ken helped to establish Enterprise Marketing Management solutions as essential technology for improving marketing effectiveness. He also served as Director of Product Development for DoubleClick after the company acquired SmartPath and held executive leadership roles with Marathon Group, Micro Focus and Burl Software Laboratories. Ken has a BS in Operations Research and an MS in Computer Science from Cornell University.

Matthew Safaii

Matthew Safaii is an established entrepreneur and Managing Partner at Arrowroot Capital, a California-based growth equity firm that invests in software-as-as-service and internet-based businesses. He co-founded the digital media company Quewey and is a sitting board member of MednetSoutions, EiQ Networks and 4tell Solutions. Prior to founding Arrowroot, Safaii led the acquisitions team at Actua Corp. and served on the board of MSDSonline, Parchment, Instamed and InvestorForce, among others. While working in the technology group at TA Associates, he was also an active investor with Creditex, Smartstream technologies and OpenLink Financial. Matthew holds an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and BA in Finance and Marketing from Boston College.

Hunter Witherington

Hunter Witherington is a Partner of SSM Partners, a growth equity firm that focuses on making investments in software and technology, Internet and consumer, and healthcare companies. Hunter currently serves as a board member for Complete Holdings Group, DialogTech, OpinionLab and Zift Solutions, and serves, or has served, as a board observer for All Web Leads, Bulldog Solutions, Datacert, FrontStream Payments and New Era Portfolio.  Prior to joining SSM in 2004, Hunter spent several years in investment banking with Stephens, Inc. working on mergers and acquisitions, private placements and public offerings for middle-market companies across numerous industries. Hunter received a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Vanderbilt University.

Jason Caplain

Jason Caplain is general partner of Southern Capitol Ventures, which is focused on software and internet companies in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic US. He co-founded Southern Capitol Ventures after spending two years at Red Hat, the world’s leading provider of open source solutions. There, he directed the company’s global budgeting process, provided financial analysis for the successful IPO in August 1999 and performed due diligence on many of the company’s acquisitions. Prior to Red Hat, Jason was at Harrison Hurley and Company, an investment banking and business consulting firm headquartered in Providence, RI. He is a board observer at Contactually, Medfusion, ReverbNation and WeddingWire. Jason received his BS in Finance from Bentley College.

Bill McCarthy

Bill McCarthy brings a wealth of channel expertise, enterprise sales operational experience, as well as mergers and acquisitions (M&A) insight to the Zift Solutions Board. He is currently a Vice President in Cisco’s Global Service Provider organization. Prior to Cisco, Bill held executive roles at Inktomi, CoSine and Anixter. He served as Advisory Board Chairman for Digitalsmiths and mDialog, is an active Board Member for Bull City Venture Partners and Iron Academy, as well as Cisco’s Executive Sponsor for North Carolina State University. Bill has a BS in Business Administration and Marketing from Illinois State University.

Ed Olkkola

Ed Olkkola is Managing Director of Teakwood Capital, which provides growth equity capital and capital for management buyouts in the private company micro-cap market. His career spans a wide range of executive-level positions in marketing, finance, information technology, strategy, product development, corporate development and professional investing. He holds multiple patents for unique inventions and has received numerous awards, including the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Venture Capital 1999, is listed on the Forbes Midas Top 100 List of Influential Investors, and was named one of the Top 10 Most Influential Venture Capitalists by Venture Capital Journal. Ed received his undergraduate degree from the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, holds an MBA from Northeastern University and completed the Compaq executive leadership program at Harvard University.