Leadership Team

James H. Gellert

Chairman & Chief Executive Officer

James H. Gellert, who is series 24, 7, and 63 licensed, was the Managing Partner of Howland Partners, LLC and Howland Securities LLC (member FINRA/SIPC), firms that provided consulting, business development, capital raising and M&A advisory to companies in the financial information and technology markets. He previously served as CEO of a number of technology companies including wireless software and research companies SkyScout and Unstrung, as head of Yankee Origination at Deutsche Banc Alex Brown, and as a member of Yankee and private placement teams at UBS Securities and Barclays de Zoete Wedd.

James is a member of various corporate boards and corporate advisory boards. He is also active in the nonprofit and educational worlds as a National Board member of Young Audiences/Arts for Learning Inc, the nation’s leading source of arts-in-education services. His views are frequently sought by major media outlets as well as federal governing bodies including the US SEC, Senate, and House.

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Douglas Cameron

President, Director of Ratings Operations

Douglas Cameron is a longtime entrepreneur who has been involved in capital raising and managing private companies for more than 20 years. Douglas began his career in investing and consulting when he founded Cygnet Investment in 1995, an Australia-based, boutique capital advisory and structured finance fund focused on providing capital and structured finance solutions for small and middle-tier mining companies.

He was a founding partner of Howland Partners and was actively engaged in consulting, business development, capital raising and M&A advisory to companies in the financial information services markets. Prior to Howland, he was COO of Voy Group, and founder and COO of sister companies, SkyScout and Unstrung. Douglas has his Series 7 and 63 qualifications with FINRA (formerly the NASD).

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Dr. Patrick Caragata

Founder, Head of Research & Development

The firm’s CEO until 2006, Dr. Patrick Caragata joined with James H. Gellert and Douglas Cameron in February 2007 to acquire 100% ownership of Rapid Ratings and bring it to the United States. Patrick is the architect and inventor of the company’s models and methodologies, including the programmed language in the automated reports.

Born in Toronto, Patrick received his PhD from the University of Toronto in 1981. He is a former Chief Tax Policy Advisor and Special Adviser Taxation Economics with the New Zealand Inland Revenue Department, Chief Economist of the New Zealand Ministry of Energy, and Senior Economist international at Toronto-Dominion Bank.

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Jonathan Lieberman

Chief Technology Officer

Jonathan Lieberman has a 20 year history in IT. He’s founded or run companies in everything from artificial intelligence to VOIP to mobile technologies. Here at Rapid Ratings, Jonathan has focused on the development process as well as security and productization. Moving forward, he looks to bring large-scale web development to enterprise solutions for Rapid Ratings and our clients.

His background is in large-scale, lights-out deployments and he’s personally developed and licensed technology to Microsoft, Verizon, Boeing, Google and a list of nearly 100 other companies. Before Rapid Ratings, Jonathan partnered with James and Douglas to sell a company to IAC.

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Pete Tantillo

Chief Financial Officer

Pete Tantillo is an accomplished technology finance executive who has been leading growth and profitability initiatives for over twenty five years. Prior to joining the team at Rapid Ratings in 2016, he was the CFO for two mid-sized private equity backed software companies. Pete also worked at publicly traded software company, Misys, where he built a ten-country global finance team in support of the professional and customer support business. Pete spent 12 years at software powerhouse SAP where he led both customer facing and back office teams during the Company’s period of explosive growth in the Americas. He started his career as a senior manager at Arthur Andersen & Co after receiving his B.A. from the College of William & Mary in Virginia. Pete is also a Certified Public Accountant.

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David Barton

Chief Revenue Officer

David Barton is a creative, visionary, and confident leader who is exemplary at growing revenue, margin, organizations, and people.  Over his 6+ years with Ariba, David’s sales teams were frequently ranked number one in North America and the World.  Prior to that, he had similar success at several different companies such as Mobius Management Systems, as SVP of Worldwide Sales, StorageTek, Digital Equipment Corp, and others.

David’s team-focused, passionate style has consistently elevated his reports to the highest levels of performance.  He has excelled in driving revenue of SaaS solutions, introducing positive change, and growth as a senior executive.  Because of David’s focus on positive outcomes for customers in complex markets, he has facilitated many large scale solution commitments at the “C” level.  David’s leadership experience across a wide range of industries and regions allow him to guide his teams to success.

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Jeffrey Gibb

Senior Vice President, Strategic Relations & Legal Operations

Jeffrey Gibb brings over 25 years of financial services experience as a lawyer and strategic business consultant. Jeffrey’s role at Rapid Ratings includes directing business development and managing customer and vendor contracts. Prior to Rapid Ratings he spent 12 years practicing real estate and corporate law in New York and Philadelphia, most notably as a senior transactional lawyer for GE Capital and lead lawyer for transactions at GE Capital Mortgage, the entity that serviced GE’s residential mortgage pools and issued mortgage-backed securities. Jeffrey has a B.A. from Cornell and a J.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

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Brad Longenecker

Managing Director, People and Culture

Brad Longenecker joins Rapid Ratings with a deep and diverse Human Resources leadership background stemming from his initial corporate M&A and legal career. He has held a number of senior HR leadership roles for both publicly and privately held global companies, spanning a wide breadth of industries including financial services, advertising, luxury apparel/jewelry and employment/staffing services. Most recently, he was with AIG as a member of the Talent Management CoE where he supported the Commercial business, as well as Legal and Compliance, through delivery of all talent related solutions, such as executive and employee assessments and development, organizational effectiveness, performance management, and diversity and inclusion initiatives. He received his B.A. from The University of Richmond and J.D. from The New England School of Law.

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Jarrod Shandley

Head of Product Development

Jarrod Shandley has been with Rapid Ratings since joining its former head office in Brisbane, Australia, in 2004. He has since worked in most divisions of the company, including R&D, Production, Client Services, Quality Assurance and Sales & Marketing. He currently drives product development initiatives. Jarrod is also a certified New York State Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).

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Nitin K. Walia

Managing Director, Head of Client Success

Nitin K. Walia leads all strategic and operational aspects of Rapid Ratings’ Client Success organization. In this capacity, he ensures that we are delivering solutions to our clients with accuracy, professionalism and timeliness.

Prior to Rapid Ratings, he spent several years developing and managing quantitative investment strategies in equities and futures markets. Most recently, he was a Vice President at LightBox Capital Management. Previously, he co-founded trading firm BCW Group LLC and spent time in the Systematic Strategies proprietary trading group at Lehman Brothers. He graduated from Princeton University with a BSE in Operations Research & Financial Engineering, and completed his MBA at Columbia Business School.

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Adam Lawrence

Managing Director, Client Success

Adam Lawrence oversees strategic and operational aspects of ratings production operations. He works with our public and private company teams to ensure timely and accurate delivery of ratings and reports to clients. He has worked with Rapid Ratings for nearly a decade and has a deep knowledge of our products, processes and ratings methodology.

 

Prior to joining Rapid Ratings, he was a director for a financial technology company where he designed, built and sold quantitative analysis tools to financial advisory groups in New Zealand. He graduated from Massey University with a B.Sc in Physics and Mathematics.

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Eric Evans

Managing Director, Business Development

Eric Evans works with the Senior team at Rapid Ratings to lead business development efforts in order to properly identify, create, and manage strategic partnerships and alliances of the company. He aligns Rapid Ratings’ efforts correctly with the right partners in delivering solutions to them with diligence, professionalism, and timeliness.

Prior to Rapid Ratings, Eric spent several years at EDGAR Online Inc. and helped grow the company’s customer base and revenue in various roles. He specialized in developing and managing several key large accounts and strategic partnerships including Moody’s, Thomson Reuters, Nasdaq Stock Market, Yahoo! Finance, Microsoft and RR Donnelley. Eric holds a BS in Finance from the University of Connecticut and completed his MBA in Finance at University of Hartford.

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Peter Murray

Managing Director, Supply Chain Risk Management

Peter Murray provides insight on leading practices in supply chain and procurement innovation focusing on predictive analytics, risk and financial health. Peter is an accomplished executive with 25 years of supply chain innovation and leadership with experience in operating roles, thought leadership, consulting and business development. Most recently, Peter led the market development for predictive supply chain analytics with Black Box Solutions.

Peter’s experience includes operating and transformative performance roles in Fortune 100 companies. He is well-versed in a variety of industries including life science, agriculture, aerospace, automotive, pharmaceuticals and consumer products with complex global supply chains.

Peter frequently speaks at major conferences, teaches an advanced supply chain course, publishes articles, and writes a regular column for APICS Magazine. He is a graduate of the University of Vermont (UVM) with a BS in Business Admin / Financial Accounting. In addition, Peter holds a UVM CE Certificate in Sustainable Business, a Six Sigma Greenbelt, is APICS CIRM Certified (developing the strategic value chain), and is a APICS Supply Chain Council SCOR-P Certified Practitioner and Master Instructor and Oliver Wight Certified Practitioner and Instructor Integrated Business Management.

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Sandra Gray

Senior Vice President, Third-Party Risk Management

Sandy Gray brings a strong level of experience in revenue growth and scaling operations. She has a proven track record with startups and large Fortune 500 companies demonstrated in prior roles at Gartner (Inteco Corp), AT&T, and IDG.  At INTECO, she was recognized for revenue growth and significant increase in contract value.  At AT&T, she established the Provider Offers, Wireless group and was recognized for significant revenue growth.

Sandy studied engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology and business at the Free Enterprise Institute, and is a member and speaker at several industry associations.

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Alla Valente

Executive Director, Marketing

Alla Valente heads Rapid Ratings’ marketing organization. She has 19+ years of B2B marketing experience working with financial services and technology organizations, with the last 12 years focusing on risk management solutions. Prior to joining Rapid Ratings, Alla lead marketing at Rsam focusing on strategy, product marketing, and analyst relationships. Previous companies include BPS, Fitch Ratings, Fitch Risk/Algorithmics, Regent Capital, and Liz Claiborne.
Alla holds a B.A. in English from Hofstra University and a Diploma in Credit Analysis from New York University.

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Dave Lawless

Director, Irish Operations

Dave Lawless is a seasoned software engineer with over 20 years’ experience architecting, delivering, and developing large scale projects in industries ranging from Banking to Artificial Intelligence. He has been a business owner and entrepreneur for the last 13 years, all the while remaining a technologist at the core. For 2 years prior to joining Rapid Ratings, Dave helped Bank of Ireland solve some major technical issues with their Corporate Risk Rating and Pricing system. In Dublin, Ireland, Dave heads up Rapid Ratings’ development center, where he is responsible for building and managing our team.

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Sarah Geaney

Head of Agile PMO

Sarah Geaney leads the Agile Program Management Office at Rapid Ratings, focusing on value driven management for the Technology team including steering and strategy activities. She coaches the teams on process improvement, leading Rapid Ratings’ transition to Agile.

Prior to joining Rapid Ratings, Sarah worked as a Project Manager and a Business Analyst at Accenture, a Development Team Lead at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and a freelance consultant.  Sarah holds a M.Sc. in Technology and Learning from Trinity College Dublin, a B.SC in Multimedia Systems from IADT and a Diploma in Enterprise Innovation from ITT.

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Vanesa Divkovic

Director, Client Services

Vanesa Divkovic joined Rapid Ratings from Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd where she managed the credit risk and approval of Corporate Bank exposures. In her previous role as Credit Manager, she spearheaded complex corporate transactions, including syndicated and club banking arrangements, which involved analysis of financial, structural and legal risk, and the development of appropriate risk mitigation strategies for loss minimization.

Vanesa also has 10 years of experience as a Credit Risk professional for Australia’s largest Banks, working for Westpac Banking Corporation and National Australia Bank Ltd.  She brings extensive corporate risk knowledge to her role as Director of Client Services, assisting Rapid Ratings’ clients with counterparty risk management. She completed a Bachelor of Economics with Honors from the University of Western Australia.

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Sean O’Donnell

Chief Technology Architect

Sean O’Donnell oversees the growth and evolution of Rapid Ratings Technology Platform. Prior to joining Rapid Ratings Sean led an Online Services team in Activision designing and building key infrastructure for Call of Duty and other Activision titles.

Sean is the founder of Python Ireland and a graduate of Dublin City University’s BSc in Computer Applications.

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David Markey

Senior Software Engineer

David Markey is part of the Rapid Ratings software development team in Dublin.  He has a decade of experience in the IT industry as well as 7 years experience architecting, designing, and implementing software solutions. His main focus has been on open source technologies and has contributions to many open source projects.

Prior to working at Rapid Ratings, David worked at the cloud solutions company Citrix systems, designing their data analytics and diagnostics platform and has also worked at IBM on their internal cloud platform. David holds an Honours Degree in Computer Science from Dublin Institute of Technology, and is also the chairperson of Python Ireland.

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