Robert Jewell is the CEO and Chief Revenue Officer of Exchange Solutions and is responsible for leading the company’s customer growth trajectory. Robert’s focus includes developing strong client relationships based on results, executing our sales strategy, positioning and driving awareness of our solutions and cultivate strategic partnerships that strengthen our business, and expand the company’s market reach.
Robert brings over 30 years of leadership experience in the information technology and software industries building, managing and leading sales teams, developing channel and strategic partnerships and providing general management and revenue growth for public and private technology companies alike.
Prior to joining Exchange Solutions, Robert held a variety of executive leadership and business development roles including: Director of Business Development, IBM Watson, Vice President of Global Sales, Services and Business Development for Bowstreet (now IBM), CEO of Altio, Vice President Sales and Marketing at Level 3 Communications (LVLT) and various executive and management roles at IBM.
Robert holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Westminster College.
Mike Hughes is the CEO and Chief Operating Officer of Exchange Solutions. Mike is responsible for leading the business, technology, operations, analytics, and administration functions of the company.
Mike is a seasoned executive with a long track record of success, leading organizations through rapid growth and expansion. As a senior operations and financial executive, Mike raised over $800 million in public and private financings, built companies from early stage through large scale growth and managed several highly successful exits.
Prior to his role at Exchange Solutions, Mike served as Chief Financial Officer and operating executive for several software companies, including Vertica Systems Inc., which was acquired by Hewlett-Packard. Mike also held executive level operating and finance positions at two telecommunications companies, both of which completed IPOs and were acquired by AT&T and KPN respectively.
Mike has broad high tech experience including: SAAS and enterprise software (Database, IT and Retail Systems), advanced analytics, marketing technology and telecommunications services. He earned his MBA in Finance from the Franklin W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College and a Bachelor’s Degree in Accountancy from Bentley University.
Shane O’Neil, Chief Technology Officer
Shane offers extensive experience in leading product management, software development, quality assurance, as well as IT operations and business development.
In his most recent role as Chief Technology Officer of Lavalife, Shane was responsible for the design and deployment of current and future technology applications on web, voice and mobile platforms to enhance product development. He developed and integrated product launches with Web 2.0 technologies such as Twitter, Facebook and Yahoo, and has deep experience in semantic (Web 3.0) technologies and machine learning. His track record of success spans multiple organizations, including running global operations for DoubleClick Email, as well as consulting engagements with American Express, Yamaha Corporation and Avery Denison.
Shane is a certified Birkman consultant and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from McMaster University.
Ron Gerace, Senior Vice President, Product and Marketing
Ron Gerace is responsible for overseeing Exchange Solutions’ global product and marketing strategy, retail practice, and brand presence. He brings extensive leadership experience in omni-channel retail and e-commerce including general management, marketing, merchandising, and sales.
Prior to joining Exchange Solutions, Ron held various leadership roles in retail. Ron was part of the launch team for Staples.com. From 1999 to 2006, Staples.com was the second largest online retailer crossing the $1B mark in 2006. Ron, as VP Chief Merchant for Staples.com, was part of an innovative team that delivered online success when there was no playbook. He championed omni-channel solutions such as in-store kiosks, embraced show-rooming for large scale items such as furniture, regionalizing assortments and marketing.
Ron then moved to Wayfair Inc. as General Manager. Ron was part of the transition from CSN Stores to Wayfair while focusing on the B2B and B2C businesses. Ron was a key member of the birth of Wayfair, using his skill and experience to assist in supply chain strategy, supplier rationalization and sell-side merchandising.
Ron joined Exchange Solutions to lead the retail practice. Ron championed the ES Engage product, bringing the organization’s skills in advanced technology, AI analytics and customer experience together. Driving innovation and operating in uncharted markets have always been Ron’s passion.
Ron resides in the Boston area with his wife and three children. He has a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Bentley University and a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts.
Brenda Higuchi, Senior Vice President, Analytics and Optimization
Brenda plays a critical role in the next stage of advancement of Exchange Solutions’ analytical capabilities. This includes responsibility for building out the organization’s Analytics solutions to superior industry leading levels, utilizing state-of-the art tools and techniques, to ensure that all customer engagement programs deliver the maximum impact and return on investment for our clients.
Brenda brings extensive experience in the data analytics and loyalty marketing industries, most recently as the VP of Analytics and CRM for a global loyalty management organization, and with such accolades as the SCENE (Cineplex and Scotiabank™) and myHusky Rewards programs in her repertoire of accomplishments.
Brenda has a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Statistics from McMaster University and the University of Toronto respectively. She has also attended an Executive Education program at the Harvard Business School.
Mark Schindel, Senior Vice President, Technology
Mark is one of the original architects of ESI’s solution and has been at Exchange Solutions since 1999. Mark is responsible for the team that develops, tests, configures, integrates and operates the platform at the heart of the programs created for Exchange Solutions clients.
Mark brings his more than 20 years of hands-on practical experience in designing, building, integrating, and operating technology platforms to leading Exchange Solutions’ development and delivery teams.
Prior to joining ESI, Mark spent 6 years at IBM in AIX Support, DB2 development and Global Services. Mark holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from McMaster University.
Board of Directors
Alan Grant, Non-Executive Chairman of the Board
Alan The founder of Exchange Solutions, Alan led the innovation of the value exchange networking platform. Alan currently provides thought leadership and strategic guidance to the company’s executive team and the Board of Directors. Additionally, Alan is actively involved in helping the company find and develop significant new commercial and business partnership opportunities.Before founding Exchange Solutions, Alan was the CEO and founder of a company (Exchange Partners, Inc.) that used Alan’s innovative “value exchange” methodology to build one of the first campaign-management software applications. Earlier in his career, Alan gained a solid grounding in the science and methods of customer profit improvement as result of his 10 years of experience at Bain & Company where he was a leading practitioner in the customer value management practice area.Alan has an MBA from the Harvard Business School, a Canadian Chartered Accountancy designation and a BS in Accounting from the University of Toronto.
Geoffrey S. Oblak
Geoff is a General Partner at Ascent with 16 years of experience investing in early stage information technology companies. He specializes in opportunities within information security, data analytics, and enterprise infrastructure. Prior to joining Ascent in 1998, Geoff served as an Investment Analyst in the Boston office of Norwest Venture Partners, where he researched emerging technology markets and worked on successful investments, including Quadritek Systems (acquired by Lucent) and Nashoba Networks (acquired by Cisco). Prior to Norwest, he worked in the audit/business advisory division of Arthur Andersen LLP, where he was sponsored by the firm in an accelerated MBA program.Geoff currently represents Ascent on the boards of ClickFox, Exchange Solutions, Fidelis Security, Vi Labs, WebLayers, and Auction Holdings. His prior Ascent investments include Guardium (acquired by IBM), Network Intelligence (acquired by EMC), Business Layers (acquired by Netegrity), Synchronoss Technologies (NASDAQ: SNCR) and Forefield (acquired by Broadridge). Geoff serves as an independent consultant to the US Department of Defense Venture Catalyst Initiative (DeVenCI).Geoff has a BA in Economics from Hamilton College, an MBA from Boston University, and studied at the London School of Economics. He is a former CPA and current CFA Charterholder.
Brett J. Rome
Since founding North Hill Ventures in 1999, Brett has worked closely with companies in several financial services sectors, including information services, compliance management, and electronic payments. Previously, Brett was a Principal at Westbury Capital Partners, a New York-based venture capital firm. Prior to Westbury, Brett was a Principal at The Parthenon Group, a Boston-based strategy consulting firm. Brett’s current portfolio includes not only Exchange Solutions, but also Smart Destinations and Live Well Financial.Brett holds an MBA from the Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth College, where he was an Edward Tuck Scholar and an AB, magna cum laude, from Princeton University.
Harry D’Andrea has served as the Chief Financial Officer for both established and startup companies for over twenty years.
Prior to founding Valhalla Partners, Harry was the Chief Financial Officer for Advanced Switching Communications, Inc., a telecommunications equipment supplier that he helped take public. Prior to ASC, Harry was the Chief Financial Officer at Call Technologies, Inc., a start-up telecommunications software company. At CTI, Harry played a central role in preparing the company for growth and for its ultimate sale to 3Com Corporation.
Harry also served as the Chief Financial Officer for Yurie Systems. Prior to Yurie Systems, Harry served as Chief Financial Officer for American Communications Services, Inc., a facilities based publicly traded competitive local exchange carrier. Earlier in his career, Harry held positions with Marriott Corporation and Xerox Corporation.
Harry serves on the Board of Directors of the Washington chapter of the Private Equity CFO Association, the Board of Directors of the Alumni Society of the College of Liberal Arts of the Pennsylvania State University and on the Advisory Board of MTECH Ventures. He served for ten years as a member of the Nasdaq Stock Market Listings Qualification Panel, was a judge for the Greater Washington Technology CFO Awards, and was a charter member of the CFO Steering Committee of the Maryland Hi-Tech Council.