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Advisory Board

U. Bertram Ellis

Mr. Ellis is an active entrepreneur in the media and technology industries, having founded and operated numerous companies, both private and public, that have achieved significant returns for his investors.  Mr. Ellis currently serves as President and CEO of Ellis Communications, venture capital and merchant banking firm based in Atlanta, GA.  Ellis Communications makes growth capital investments in small and medium sized businesses that possess high earnings and growth potential, with a focus on the media and technology industries.  Mr. Ellis also acts as President of Titan Broadcast Management, a management firm that operates 15 broadcast television stations nationwide in several top markets.  Previously, Mr. Ellis was Vice-Chairman and Director of Scient, Inc. (a public IT consulting firm), Founder and Chairman of iXL Enterprises (a public IT consulting firm), Founder and CEO of Ellis Communications (private broadcast television group sold for $840M), and President and CEO of Act III Broadcasting (private broadcast television group sold for $530M).  Mr. Ellis received a BA in Economics from the University of Virginia as well as an MBA from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia.

Jonathan D. Goldman

Jonathan Goldman is the Founder and Managing Partner of Genesis Capital, an independent investment and merchant banking firm focused on clients ranging from over $30 billion to under $50 million.  Prior to Genesis Capital, Mr. Goldman was Managing Director & Member of the Management Committee of Robertson Stephens, L.L.C. where he led the Software Group, Electronic Manufacturing Group, Energy Technologies Group, and Healthcare Groups.  Prior to Robertson Stephens, Jonathan was a Managing Director with The Robinson-Humphrey Company, Head of the Healthcare Group and also focused on leading technology solution providers.  From 1987 to 1995, Jonathan was in the Investment Banking Group of Credit Suisse First Boston, Inc.  Jonathan currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Inc. (link is external) as well as a Director for The Paradies Shops, Inc. (link is external) and The Last Straw, Inc. (link is external)  Jonathan received a BBA in Finance and Marketing from the University of Texas in Austin.

Craig C. Hess

Mr. Hess is a co-founder of MAXEX and served as a director until 2018. He has more than 15 years of experience at Goldman Sachs and other top-tier investment banks specializing in development, implementation, and execution of complex equity and derivative trading strategies through electronic exchanges. Mr. Hess founded Structured Trading Advisors in 2004 to counsel hedge funds and independent traders in formulating, managing, and executing investment strategies in electronic markets. Mr. Hess is a former President of Pantechnica LLC, a quantitative hedge fund created by TLW Securities, a leading provider of algorithmic and program trading technologies. Mr. Hess is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley.

Blythe Masters

Blythe Masters is a Wall Street veteran and fin-tech executive with extensive experience in a number of operating leadership positions. She is the former CEO of Digital Asset Holdings, the New York headquartered blockchain fin-tech company which was named by the Wall Street Journal as one of the “Top 25 Tech Companies to Watch in 2018”. Masters currently serves as a Board Member and Advisor to the company.

Masters was previously a senior executive at J.P. Morgan, which she left in 2014 after a career spanning 27 years.  She was a member of the Corporate & Investment Bank Operating Committee and the firmwide Executive Committee. Her roles included head of Global Commodities, head of Corporate & Investment Bank Regulatory Affairs, Chief Financial Officer of the Global Investment Bank, head of Global Credit Portfolio and Credit Policy and Strategy, head of Structured Credit Products, co-head of Asset Backed Securitization and head of Global Credit Derivatives.

Masters served as Chair of the Global Financial Markets Association, GFMA, (2011 to 2013), and the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, SIFMA, (2008-2010). Masters was Board Chair of Santander Consumer USA Holdings, Inc (NYSE: SC), from 2015 to 2016, and is currently a member of the International Advisory Board of Santander Group and Board Member of Openbank S.A.. She is Chair Emeritus of the Governing Board of the Linux Foundation’s open source Hyperledger Project. She currently serves as an Advisory Board member of the US Chamber of Digital Commerce, of Figure Technologies, and of MAXEX. She is a member of the IMF’s High-Level Advisory Group on Finance and Technology and the Brookings Institution Taskforce on Financial Stability. She has also served on the Third Way’s Capital Markets Initiative Advisory Group, as a member of the Economic Studies Council of the Brookings Institution and as a fellow of the Foreign Policy Association.

Masters is a Senior Scholar of Trinity College, Cambridge, where she received a B.A. in Economics.

John R. Price

Price previously served as Chairman of MAXEX until 2018 and brings invaluable banking, government affairs, and executive management expertise to the Company. He previously served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh from 2006 through 2010. Prior to joining the Pittsburgh FHLBank, Mr. Price was a senior advisor to the Institute of International Finance. Mr. Price also held several senior-level positions at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in New York (formerly Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co. which later merged into Chemical Bank and Chase Manhattan Bank). Mr. Price was responsible for the mortgage banking and consumer finance subsidiaries and also led the team advising the U.S. government on the securitization of billions of dollars in community development and rural low-income housing loans. In his early years at J.P. Morgan's predecessor entities, he served as Corporate Secretary. Mr. Price was previously a member of the Board and Chair of the Audit Committee of the Principal Financial Corporation, is a life trustee of Grinnell College, and was the Founding Chairman of Americans for Oxford. Mr. Price also served as President of the Bankers Association for Finance and Trade. Mr. Price received a degree from Grinnell College, was selected as a Rhodes Scholar through which he received advanced degrees in Development Economics and Diplomatic History from Queens College at Oxford University, and he also received a JD from Harvard Law School.

Ralph F. Reynolds

Mr. Reynolds is the chairman of Bienville Capital Management and a former Co-Founder and Board Member of the International Securities Exchange (“ISE”).  From 2006 to 2009, he served as Chief Investment Officer of Carlyle Blue Wave, a multi-strategy hedge fund sponsored by The Carlyle Group which focused on Equity Long-Short, Event Arbitrage, Equity Derivatives and Credit Strategies.  Prior to Carlyle, Mr. Reynolds was a Managing Director and Global Head of Proprietary Trading, Convertible Bonds and Equities at Deutsche Bank where he managed over 2,500 employees globally.  Mr. Reynolds was the President and CEO of Natwest Securities in Greenwich, CT from 1996 to 1998.  He also served as a Managing Director and Head of U.S. & European Equity Trading at Morgan Stanley in London.  From 1984 to 1991, Mr. Reynolds was Principal Equity Derivatives Trading at O’Connor & Associates in Chicago and Tokyo.  Mr. Reynolds received a BS in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Jim Parrott

Jim Parrott is a fellow at the Urban Institute and owner of Falling Creek Advisors, which provides financial institutions with strategic advice on housing finance issues. Jim spent several years in the Obama White House as a senior advisor on the National Economic Council, where he led the team of advisors charged with counseling the cabinet and president on housing issues. Prior to his time in the White House, Jim was counsel to Secretary Shaun Donovan at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, after spending a decade as a civil litigator, first in New York with Sullivan and Cromwell, and later in North Carolina with Smith Anderson. He has a JD from Columbia University School of Law, an MA in philosophy from the University of Washington, and a BA in philosophy from the University of North Carolina. Jim also served in Sri Lanka with the Peace Corps. He and his family live in Chapel Hill.

N. Turner Simkins

Mr. Simkins brings a 25-plus year background in mixed-use real estate development, investment and management, as well community banking experience to MAXEX. He is President of Blue Beech, LLC, a real estate development consulting firm and he has played key senior roles in major master-planned communities throughout the U.S., having been involved with all aspects of project financing, marketing & sales, public/private development and project management. Mr. Simkins is also a Partner and the Parent Investor of Newfire Media, LLC, a digital advertising firm delivering transparent and scalable digital advertising strategy and management platforms to both major brands as well as regional and local businesses in the U.S. and abroad.  Additionally, he is an Associate Broker with Blanchard and Calhoun Real Estate Company in Augusta, GA, has previously served as Director for Savannah River Banking Company (recently acquired by First Community Bank in Columbia, SC), he is an alumnus of Leadership Georgia’s class of 2001, was Chairman of the Augusta Canal Authority, and is Co-Founder and past Board Chair of the Central Savannah River Land Trust.  He and his wife Tara are Co-Founders of the Press On Fund, investing in research and cures for pediatric cancers including AML and neuroblastoma.  Mr. Simkins received a BA from Washington & Lee University. 

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