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Management Team

Jim Sharpe

Jim Sharpe joined Aventri as CEO in January 2020 and is focused on leading the global Aventri team as it executes on its vision to help the world Connect Better. Throughout his career, Jim has led high-performing teams in private equity-backed tech-enabled businesses, investing in talent, service and product resulting in significant revenue growth. Prior to Aventri, Jim was Managing Director and GM of Gerson Lehrman Group’s (GLG) largest and most profitable business unit, Financial Services. In this capacity he led several hundred professionals and achieved significant expansion of the userbase while growing revenues to over $200 million. His recent experience at GLG was his second six-year stint at the company, following a first term which saw him co-found and lead the firm’s Energy and Industrials practice. His combined tenure at GLG saw company revenues grow 100x. In between his turns at GLG, Jim engaged in an entrepreneurial venture, partnering with a New York private equity firm to acquire, rebuild, and operate a manufacturing company in the water filtration space. Over a four-year period, Jim developed strategic manufacturing and distribution relationships throughout the industry, won significant market share through data-driven analysis of its market, and ultimately sold the business to a European chemical company. Jim graduated from the University of Virginia with degrees in Commerce and East Asian languages. He resides in Westchester County, New York with his wife, son and Brittany Spaniel.

Shane Edmonds

Chief Technology Officer
Shane joined Aventri in April 2014 as the Chief Technology Officer focused on executing Aventri’s technology vision. His responsibilities include managing the engineering, QA, and product teams to deliver on the Aventri’s product roadmap. As a forward-looking technologist, he plays a prominent role in guiding the long-term product vision. With 20 years of entrepreneurial software engineering and management background, he most recently served as the Chief Technology Officer of Motionsoft, a venture-backed leading provider of CRM, member management, payment processing and billing software solutions. He was recognized in 2012 as one of the top Washington area CIO/CTO by SmartCEO Magazine. Shane holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering & Applied Science from Arizona State University.

Julian Ward

Chief Client Officer
Julian joined Aventri in November 2008 to create and build the global support team for the Aventri platform. In September 2013 he was appointed Chief Client Officer – responsible for the support, implementation, professional services and ongoing client relations globally. Julian has become an expert in the customer service and technology space having held a variety of positions. Prior to Aventri, Julian headed up the regional internal support initiatives and global deployments at Gartner Inc. – creating best practices and user acceptance for several Fortune 100 companies. He was also the Event Director for info’ Products UK , a startup that produced and ran high-level hosted buyer events in financial, healthcare and datacenter technologies space. Julian holds a Diploma in Computer Science from South East Essex College of Arts and Technology (SEECAT).

Dan Vanchieri

Chief Revenue Officer
Dan has led sales and go-to-market organizations for most of his career, specializing in growth software businesses. He was most recently the CRO of Unacast, a location-data analytics platform. Prior to that he led commercial teams at MyWebGrocer, a retail e-commerce SaaS provider, and Collective Bias, an influencer marketing software platform, both of which yielded successful liquidity outcomes for shareholders.

Varun Athi

VP Finance
Varun joined Aventri in 2020 as VP Finance. He's a strategic finance leader with business building, financial modelling and analytical skills. He's responsible for building Aventri's global, lean and high performance finance team. Varun has led strategic finance function in several technology firms where he has led fund raising, set up financial infrastructure, created Go-To-Market plans and improved execution on operating margin and cash management. He has helped technology startups raise over $600 million in funding and built pricing models to win more than $1 billion in contracted revenue at Cognizant, a Fortune 500 firm. In his most recent role, he worked on listing Butterfly Network in NYSE through a $1.5B SPAC transaction. He is based out of New Jersey with his wife and two sons. He loves interacting with startup ecosystem and playing volleyball during the weekends.

Karin Wichman

Vice President, Legal Affairs
Karin joined Aventri in May 2017 as the company’s first in-house attorney, coordinating legal activities across all departments. Integrating legal requirements with practical business goals, Karin’s responsibilities include client and vendor contracting, employment matters, regulatory compliance, strategic partnerships, and merger & acquisition activity. Karin began her legal career 20 years ago, at Silicon Valley law firm Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison. She has been in-house counsel at several NYC-based fintech companies, serving as General Counsel at Creditex Group until its acquisition by Intercontinental Exchange/NYSE, and as Chief Legal Officer at TrueEX Group. Prior to Aventri, Karin was General Counsel for Skystream Markets, a provider of financial technology to the renewable energy markets. Karin earned her J.D. at NYU School of Law, and holds a B.A. in English and Political Science from Williams College.

Alan Ivory

Vice President, General Manager - APAC
Alan joined Aventri as the Vice President and General Manager for the Asia Pacific region in February 2013 when Aventri acquired the long-time regional partner. In January 2015, Alan was appointed Vice President of Professional Services – overseeing this function globally, he will work with various teams to procure and deliver on-boarding, implementation, training and other paid services requested by customers. Alan brings his experience and knowledge of over 20 years within the corporate, association and government meetings and event space. Prior to joining Aventri, he owned and operated an event management company for 15 years in Asia Pacific, where he produced high profile special events and road shows. Alan’s strength is his ability to assemble, motivate and manage exceptional customers and teams. Alan holds an undergrad degree from the Auckland University of Technology.

Karen Herckis

Vice President, People
Karen joined Aventri in June 2019 as the Vice President of People. In her role, Karen oversees Aventri’s Global HR, Talent Acquisition and Learning & Development Teams. Prior to Aventri, Karen was at Epiq, a global provider of technology-enabled solutions to the legal market, where she last served as Senior Director, Human Resources. Prior to Epiq, Karen held marketing roles at Pitney Bowes. Karen received a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Communications from the University of Texas at Austin.

Kurt Chessman

Vice President, Strategy & Planning
Kurt joined Aventri in October 2020 as Vice President of Strategy and Planning and manages Aventri's corporate development, business intelligence, and financial planning initiatives. He most recently joins Aventri from WeWork, where he served as Associate Director of Finance and Strategy in their Enterprise group. While there, he helped to grow this newly formed segment over 3X to $2B in revenue, created tools and processes to significantly expand margins, and implemented new business intelligence strategies to provide better insights into the growth of the enterprise group. Prior to WeWork, he was Associate VP of Client Strategy at Barclays Investment Bank. Kurt holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Indiana University.

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