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
GORDON RAPKIN – CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
As CEO, Gordon is the driving force behind Zift’s strategic vision and mission to deliver easy, integrated solutions that provide everything needed to build and grow a profitable channel partner program. Gordon has over 30 years of experience in the high tech industry, and has served as CEO of four technology companies, including Relayware prior to Zift. His career has focused on practical business applications of technology, and he has performed or led nearly every corporate function, holding senior executive positions at several public, private equity-backed, and venture capital-backed companies. He has also served on public and private company boards of directors. Gordon has built and led teams across the globe, with experience selling through both direct sales and channel partners. He holds a law degree (JD) and MBA from Emory University.
LIONEL FARR – CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER
Lionel has a passion for new technology and a strong background in building and leading agile software development teams. As Zift’s Chief Technology Officer, 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.
JEN FLEISSNER – CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
Jen brings 25 years of leadership experience to her role as Chief Financial Officer at Zift, where she oversees the company’s global financial operations, strategy and performance. Before joining Zift, Jen served as CFO at Relayware and several private equity and venture-backed growth companies. Prior to Relayware, she was the CFO of Archive Systems, a technology enabled document management business. She brings deep knowledge and experience in all financial, human capital and operational aspects of company management. A graduate of the University of Richmond with a B.S. in Accounting, Jen started her career in the financial markets group at Arthur Andersen.
BRYAN FERREN – CHIEF REVENUE OFFICER
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. As Zift’s CRO, Bryan is responsible for all revenue-generating operations and leads both direct and indirect sales teams. Before joining Zift, he served as Managing Director of EMEA for SmartPath. 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.
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. Since joining, Laz has helped launch Zift’s Channel as a Service (CHaaS) platform, which has redefined the channel technology landscape. 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©. Prior to SiriusDecisions, Laz 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. He attended the U.S. Air Force Academy and majored in computer science at Rutgers University.
ROI AMIR – CHIEF CUSTOMER OFFICER
As Zift’s CCO, Roi is focused on creating a seamless and superior experience for channel leaders and their partners, who rely on Zift Channel as a Service. A veteran software executive and R&D specialist with more than two decades of high-tech experience, Roi led Relayware’s R&D team while implementing strategic product development activities prior to Zift. Previously, Amir served as the Director of R&D at NICE Systems, where he established and managed the company’s Big Data R&D group. He also oversaw all engineering, technology, product and integration aspects in NICE Systems acquisition of the Customer Experience Management software Causata. Prior to NICE Systems, Amir led the R&D group at Algotec, and served in various software development roles.Amir holds a B.A in Economics from the Tel-Aviv University and an M.B.A from Northwestern, Kellogg School of Management.
Meet the Board Members
Richard Anton is the co-founder and General Partner at Oxx. Prior to this, Richard spent 18 years at Amadeus Capital, where he focused on B2B software investments in companies originating from the UK and Israel. Before joining Amadeus, Richard was in the TMT team at Apax partners. In his early career he worked as a management consultant and hands-on finance and business development executive, at software company Autonomy. In addition to Zift, Richard currently sits on the board of directors for Forescout, Clicktale, Celltick and Openbravo and his past investments include Autonomy, Clearswift, Secerno and Unruly. Richard is a past Chairman of the British Venture Capital Association and current Chairman of the Tel Aviv University Trust. He has an MBA from INSEAD and a BA and MA in Mathematics from Cambridge University.
Having co-founded Relayware, Bob brings 25 years of experience in the software industry to the Zift Board. He has headed the European operations of a number of US companies, including setting up Siebel Systems in Europe. Bob has also held board positions in the portfolios of 3i, Amadeus Capital, Alliance Trust, Beringea and Scottish Equity Partners. Currently, he is chairman of Openbravo, a global retail solutions vendor that provides point of sale applications to midsize and large specialty retailers; Linkfresh, a Microsoft Dynamics ERP partner focused on the fresh food industry; Contact Engine, a SaaS platform that intelligently automates the conversations between companies and their customers and ResponseTap, a SaaS company providing call intelligence software that delivers real-time, actionable insight, across the customer’s buying journey. He also sits on the advisory board of First Capital, a technology corporate finance advisor.
Gordon has over 30 years of experience in the high tech industry, and has served as CEO of three technology companies, including Relayware prior to Zift. His career has focused on practical business applications of technology, and he has performed or led nearly every corporate function, holding senior executive positions at several public, private equity-backed, and venture capital-backed companies. He has also served on public and private company boards of directors. Gordon has built and led teams across the globe, with experience selling through both direct sales and channel partners. He holds a law degree (JD) and MBA from Emory University.
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 founded the digital media company Quewey and is a sitting board member of MednetSoutions, Embotics, Evergage, EiQ Networks, Hookit and Zift. Prior to founding Arrowroot, Safaii led the acquisitions team at Actua Corp. and served on the board of MSDSonline 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 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, and Zift Solutions and serves, or has served, as a board member or observer for All Web Leads, Bulldog Solutions, Datacert, and OpinionLab. 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.
Seasoned CEO James Tallman has a strong industry background in enterprise software, legal, ecommerce and technology consulting. He currently serves as CEO and Board Member for Innovative Interfaces and as a strategic advisor to several private companies and private equity firms. His professional background spans the globe and he has a demonstrated track record with multiple next-stage growth companies. Prior to Innovative Interfaces, Tallman served as CEO and Board of Directors member for DataCert; led the sale of DataCert to Wolters Kluwer; and managed ELM Solutions, a combined entity of DataCert and TyMetrix. Tallman also provided thought leadership for the Passport Technology Platform, which was awarded multiple patents and is the industry leading legal applications software development platform for hosted, behind the firewall, and SaaS based legal applications.