Bradley Palmer is Chairman of Palm Ventures which he founded in 1992. Previously, Mr. Palmer was a Senior Associate with James D. Wolfensohn, Inc., a strategic advisory and investment banking firm with an extensive client base of multinational corporations. While at Wolfensohn, Mr. Palmer worked for James Wolfensohn, Paul Volcker and other firm partners on numerous acquisitions for major clients. Before Wolfensohn, Mr. Palmer was a Vice President in the Acquisition Finance division of Manufacturers Hanover Trust Company where he financed numerous management-led buyouts. Mr. Palmer began his career as an entrepreneur, starting a multi-location restaurant concept in the Midwest which he sold successfully. Mr. Palmer holds a BS from Indiana University and an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Palmer serves on numerous for-profit and charitable boards.
Russell Palmer, Affiliate, The Palmer Group, an investment company founded by Russell Palmer (Brad’s father), co-invests in many transactions with Palm Ventures. Prior to founding The Palmer Group, he was Managing Partner and CEO of Touche Ross & Co. for ten years and Dean of The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania for seven years. Additionally, he serves or has served on the Board of Directors of Verizon, Honeywell, The May Department Stores Company, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, Goodyear Tire, IMASCO, Bankers Trust Company, Alco Standard and Safeguard Scientifics, and the Board of Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania, the National Constitution Center and as Chairman of the Board of the University of Pennsylvania Hospital System.
Rob Pflieger is Chief Investment Officer at Palm Ventures focusing on the firm's private equity and public equity investments. Prior to joining Palm Ventures, Mr. Pflieger was the General Partner of Crystal Brook Capital Partners, a small cap focused hedge fund, which he founded in 2014. Prior to that, Mr. Pflieger was a Portfolio Manager and Senior Analyst at Artha Capital Management, Inc., a long/short Emerging Market hedge fund, from 2011 until 2014. Mr. Pflieger was responsible for the firm’s investments in Latin America and South Africa. Prior to joining Artha Capital, Mr. Pflieger was a Managing Director at Coeus Capital, a long/short US focused hedge fund, from 2006 until 2011. At Coeus, Mr. Pflieger was responsible for the firm’s investments in a number of sectors including technology, media and telecom. Prior to joining Coeus, Mr. Pflieger was a Partner at Generation Partners, a private equity firm focused on providing capital to growth companies through buyout and growth equity transactions, from 1996 until 2006. Mr. Pflieger holds a BBA, summa cum laude, from the University of Michigan and an MBA with high distinction from Harvard Business School.
Jason Woody is a Senior Managing Director at Palm Ventures and focuses on investments in the education, business services and renewable energy sectors. Prior to joining Palm Ventures, Mr. Woody was an associate with Dubilier & Company, a private investment firm focused on the middle-market, and an analyst in the acquisition finance group at Chase Securities Inc. Mr. Woody holds a BS from Cornell University and an MBA, summa cum laude, from Babson College. Mr. Woody serves on the boards of several private companies.
Stephen Skoczylas is Chief Operating and Financial Officer at Palm Ventures. He has extensive finance, accounting, operations and executive recruiting experience. Prior to joining Palm Ventures, Mr. Skoczylas was a Managing Director at Glocap Search, where he led the firm’s C-Level executive search practice, working with corporate, hedge fund, and private equity fund clients. Previously he was a Managing Director at JPMorgan Chase, where he was CFO of various lines of business including the private equity division, and spent three years in the firm’s Paris office. Early in his career, Mr. Skoczylas spent four plus years at Peat Marwick Mitchell in the firm’s small business advisory group. He holds a BS in Economics and Mathematics from Boston College and an MBA from The Wharton School.
Julian Jaeger is a Managing Director at Palm Ventures and focuses on business development and talent relationship across all investments and ventures. Prior to Palm, Julian was the Chief Business Officer and the Chair of the Advisory Board of zkipster, a SaaS technology software company. Before joining zkipster, Julian spent three years leading partnerships at the Clinton Global Initiative, where he managed high-impact strategic partnerships and served as a member of the leadership team. Prior to CGI, Julian oversaw business development for North America at the World Economic Forum working from both the New York and offices, for nine years. Prior to his time with the World Economic Forum, he spent seven years at the United Nations' World Intellectual Property Organization with the Office of Management, Budget and Control. Julian currently serves on several other boards including Box, Team Rubicon Global, Mibi and Trusted Innovators. He holds both a BBA and an MBA in business administration from the International University in Geneva, Switzerland and a degree in hospitality management from Newbury College in Boston, MA.
Craig Connors is a Managing Director at Palm Ventures, performing various roles throughout the firm. In addition to serving as Chief Financial and Compliance Officer for its investment advisory branch, he is also a team member of many of its strategic ventures in the financial, fit-tech, food & beverage and health & wellness sectors, and spearheads its real estate initiatives. Craig has extensive accounting, operations, sales, trading and regulatory experience, having held senior executive positions with alternative investment managers Charter Oak Partners and Straus Asset Management. He began his career trading equities for mutual fund giant Neuberger Berman and then quantitative firm Vector Capital, before joining value investor ISF Management as its Operating Officer. Mr. Connors earned a BS in Business Management and Applied Economics from Plymouth State University, and sits on the boards of several private companies.
Joshua Horowitz is a Portfolio Manager at Palm Ventures, overseeing hedge fund and activist investments. He previously served as Director of Research for Inverlochy Capital, an asset management firm. Prior to Inverlochy he worked with a boutique European investment bank in Berlin and London. Mr. Horowitz also spent several years at Berggruen Holdings in New York, sourcing and working on several of their private equity deals, and helped oversee their entire public markets portfolio. He began his career at Crossway Partners LP, a value strategy hedge fund. Joshua holds a BS in Management, magna cum laude, from Binghamton University and also studied at the Bath School of Management in the U.K. He completed the Business of Insurance program at St. John's University. Mr. Horowitz has previously served as a Director of The Lincoln General Insurance Company as well as 1347 Capital Corp (Nasdaq: TFSC), now Limbach Holdings (Nasdaq: LMB). He is currently a Director of 1347 Property Insurance Holdings (Nasdaq: PIH).
Matt Wiant is an Entrepreneur in Residence with 30-year of experience in consumer products and services working across multiple functions ranging from R&D, Engineering, Marketing, Biz Dev and Finance to running companies as President and CEO. In 2014, Matt started working on projects with Palm Ventures where he has participated in a number of businesses, often taking a temporary C level role until a permanent team or person is hired. Prior to this, Matt was President and COO of “Murray’s Cheese” , served as CEO of “The True Citrus Co.”, was North American marketing head for Allied Domecq , CMO of Atkins Nutritionals, and SVP of New Ventures for Starwood Hotels. Earlier in his career, Matt launched Dannon Spring Water into a $200M company (now Dasani water) and started at Kraft/General Foods as a Food Process Engineer. Matt holds a BS in Engineering from Cornell University and holds several patents in food processing and packaging design as well as a HACCP certifications for quality control systems. He also earned an MBA in marketing and entrepreneurship from Wharton with high honors.
Bradley Tirpak is a Managing Director at Palm Ventures where he focuses on small cap public companies. He was, through 2016, the founder of Locke Partners and managed various investment partnerships that focused on engaging public companies to improve corporate governance and improve shareholder returns. From 1996 through 2008, he worked as a portfolio manager at Credit Suisse First Boston, Caxton Associates, and Sigma Capital Management. Prior to his career on Wall Street, Mr. Tirpak founded Access Telecom, Inc., an international telecommunications company based in Mexico City. He has served on the Board of Directors of USA Technologies, Inc. Applied Minerals, Inc. and currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of Full House Resorts, Inc. and on the Board of Directors of Flowgroup Plc. and as Trustee of The HALO Trust (USA). Bradley Tirpak earned Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Tufts University and an M.B.A from Georgetown University.
Karen Johnson Orphanos is a Director at Palm Ventures where she manages administration, finance and provides transaction support. Prior to joining Palm Ventures Ms. Johnson was Director of Operations for Reach Financial, LLC where she managed the financial operations for a specialty finance company that provided working capital to small businesses. She also coordinated all operations for a venture fund with fifty limited partners. Previously, she held several media-related positions in the advertising industry, including ad sales for Family Circle Magazine, and Vice President, Group Supervisor of Print Services at Young & Rubicam. She holds board positions with several community non-profit organizations. Ms. Johnson has a BA in English and Economics from Bucknell University.
Michel Finzi is an Executive in Residence at Palm Ventures where he focuses on FinTech platforms and solutions in the research, data science and analytics space. Michel has been at the intersection of technology and the financial markets for 25+ years having worked for companies both large and small. Prior to joining Palm, Michel held senior leadership positions, built businesses and managed teams at Instinet, RealTick (Lehman/Barclays) and Nasdaq OMX. He has also worked with growth stage FinTech companies including Chaikin Analytics and Celoxica as well as with entrepreneurial stage companies innovating in the private securities market, commercial finance, e-recruiting and micro-electronic manufacturing markets.
Jessica McCluskey is the Controller at Palm Ventures. She has several years of experience in accounting, finance, regulatory reporting, and investor reporting. Prior to joining Palm Ventures, Jessica worked in the private equity space in accounting, finance, and investor reporting capacities. She began her career as an auditor at Ernst & Young. She holds a BBA in Accounting from Iona College and is a Certified Public Accountant.