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Board of Directors

288x432 Lawrence e Mock Jr

Lawrence E. Mock, Jr.

Lawrence E. Mock, Jr., is currently Managing Partner of Navigation Capital Partners, Inc., an Atlanta-based private equity firm which he founded in partnership with Goldman Sachs in 2006. From 1995 to 2006, Mr. Mock served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Mellon Ventures, Inc., which he founded in partnership with Mellon Financial Corporation, to make private equity and venture capital investments in operating companies. From 1983 to 1995, he was founder and Chief Executive Officer of River Capital, Inc. Mr. Mock holds a Master of Science degree from Florida State University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard College.

Chairman of the Board


Robert Willis

Director & Vice-Chairman

Robert Willis is a Managing Partner of Navigation Capital’s SPAC Operations Group, which makes equity investments in Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs). The SPAC Operations team recruits CEOs to lead SPACs and through its SPAC-in-a-Box operating system, powered by the NYSE, turns the SPAC process “Upside down and Inside out”.

Dr. Willis served as President of Pensare Acquisition Corporation (Nasdaq: WRLS), which completed an acquisition in April 2020 and was renamed to American Virtual Cloud Technologies (Nasdaq: AVCT), where he is still an advisor. He was the key financial architect of Pensare’s successful acquisition of Computex Technology Solutions, AVCtechnologies’ contract with AT&T, and subsequent acquisition of Kandy Communications in December 2020.

Dr. Willis began college courses at the age of 12 at a local college near his hometown of Lancaster, PA before being accepted to Northeastern University at age 15. He later dropped out of college to found Alpine Computer Systems, Inc which he grew to annual revenues of $35M and sold to Delphi Group in 1996. He joined Delphi Group as Chief Investment Officer where he completed 26 technology services acquisitions in North America. After Delphi was sold to Adecco, Dr. Willis bought back the Alpine business and later sold it to Mellon Ventures in 2000.

In 2004, Dr. Willis founded Gaming VC Holdings, took it public on the London Stock Exchange, and served as the Financial Director until 2006. Gaming VC is now one of the world’s largest gaming groups, employing more than 24,000 people in 20 offices across five continents.

Dr. Willis holds an honorary doctorate degree from Newberry College and lives in Philadelphia with his wife and children.

288x432 Darrell Mays_CEO

Darrell J. Mays


Darrell Mays is co-founder and former CEO of AVCtechnologies. Additionally, Mr. Mays was the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of nsoro, a turnkey wireless installation services provider, from 2003 to 2008, which was acquired by MasTec in August 2008. Mr. Mays has served as an executive of MasTec from 2008 to 2016, during which period the revenues and EBITDA of MasTec’s communications division, of which nsoro is a component, increased to approximately $2.3 billion and $245.0 million in 2016, respectively.

In 2005, Mr. Mays founded the nsoro Foundation which provides access to postsecondary education for youth who age out of the foster care system. Mr. Mays holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business from Georgia State University.

288x432 headshots_Dennis Lockhart

Dennis Lockhart


Dennis Lockhart recently retired from his position as president and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, a position he held from 2007 to 2017. Earlier, he was a professor at Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service, from 2003 to 2007. Prior to this, he held senior positions at Heller Financial Inc. and Citicorp (now Citigroup). Mr. Lockhart holds a Master of Arts from Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor of Arts from Stanford University.

288x432 headshots_Karl Krapek

Karl Krapek


Karl Krapek has served as the Lead Director at Prudential Financial, Inc. since 2014, and a Director since 2004, and Director of Northrop Grumman Corporation since 2008. From 2002 to 2009, he was the President and Chief Operations Officer of United Technologies Corporation, or UTC, which has a market capitalization of approximately $90 billion. Mr. Krapek has served as an Executive Vice President of UTC since 1997 and as a Director of UTC from 1997 to 2007. Mr. Krapek holds a Master of Science from Purdue University and Bachelor of Science from Kettering University.

Kent Mathy

Kent Mathy


Kent Mathy most recently served as President & CEO of Sequential Technology International, a business process outsourcer serving larger enterprises. Prior to that, he spent twelve years at AT&T, retiring in 2016 as President of the Southeast Region, and previously served as the President of the North Central Region and Executive Vice President leading the Enterprise Solutions Group before that. Before AT&T, Mr. Mathy served as the President of the Business Markets Group at Cingular Wireless, and before that as the Chairman and CEO of Celox Networks, a telecommunications network equipment company.

Mr. Mathy currently serves on the board of directors for Everbridge Inc. and JourneyCare Hospice, and has previously served on the board of directors for Ribbon Communications and Rogers Wireless.

288x432 headshots_Klaas Baks

Dr. Klaas Baks


Dr. Klaas Baks is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Emory Center for Alternative Investments, which was formed in 2008. He also serves as the Atlanta Chair of TIGER 21, which is a peer-to-peer network of high net worth wealth creators, since 2014. In addition, he has been an Associate Professor in the Practice of Finance at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School since 2002. Dr. Baks has a Doctoral degree from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Arts degree from Brown University.

Mark Downs

Mark Downs


Mark Downs is the founder of Navigation Capital Partners, a private equity firm where he has served as a partner since January 2007. Mr. Downs has in excess of 20 years of experience serving on for profit boards of directors as a control investor. Mr. Downs has served as a director of Computex, Inc. from January 2017 to April 2020; a director of Stratos Management Systems, Inc. from January 2017 to April 2020; a director of Stratos Management Systems Holdings, LLC January 2017 to April 2020; a director of Michon, Inc. (d/b/a Definition6) from July 2015 to the present; a director of Brown Integrated Logistics, Inc. from January 2017 to the present; a director of Brightwell Payments, Inc. from May 2015 to Present; and a director of Five Star Food Service, Inc. from October 2016 to March 2019. Mr. Downs holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Pittsburgh and a Master of Management degree from Northwestern University.

346x432 Bertram Ellis

U. Bertram Ellis, Jr.


U. Bertram Ellis, Jr. has served as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ellis Capital, a diversified investment firm, since 1984. In addition, Mr. Ellis was the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of ACT III Broadcasting from 1986 to 1991, which sold for $530 million and Ellis Communication from 1993 to 1996, which sold for $840 million. Mr. Ellis holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Virginia Darden Business School and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Virginia.

Carolyn Byrd

Carolyn Byrd


Ms. Byrd retired in 2000 as President of Coca-Cola Corporation. During her time there, she was promoted to positions of increasing responsibility, including Manager of U.S. and Corporate Treasury, Vice President, Chief Internal Auditor, and Director of Corporate Auditing. After retiring from The Coca-Cola Company, Carolyn formed a business process and financial consulting company called GlobalTech Financial, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.

Ms. Byrd served on the Boards of Directors of several major corporations, including Reliastar Financial Corporation, Freddie Mac, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Inc., and Regions Financial Corporation. Carolyn also served on the Audit Committees of each of these corporations and chaired the Audit Committees of several, including Regions Financial — which she continues to chair. She also served as Vice Chair of the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia; Audit Committee Chair of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta; and was a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Advisory Board.