Meet the Solara-Analytics Team

read this 11ba5ad98f32a081744a84158c3e276eJens Geitmann –  Chairman of the Board, Director
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Jens is the co-founder of TriStone Partners, a European based investment advisory firm.  Since 1981 Jens has been in the banking/financial services industry, serving as a commercial and investment banker with 30 years of European/US market experience and specializing in Corporate Finance/M&A Advisory/Direct Investments/Private Equity/Debt Capital Advisory.

Jens has worked at several major financial institutions including Kidder, Peabody & Co., New York, Smith Barney, Harris Upham, London and BHF-BANK, Frankfurt.  He is a graduate of the European Business School (ebs), London and holds a Diploma of European Business Administrations.

Jens is also the Vice-President of the Prague Society for International Cooperation (, an organization dedicated to promoting a global approach to business, politics and academia and to enhance intelligent discourse among leaders and thinkers, particularly in Central Europe


Richard Nelson – Managing Director, US

Rick has over 30 years of Wall St. experience as a research analyst and investment banker, working at such firms as Kidder, Peabody, Lehman Brothers, ING-Furman Selz and Morgan Joseph.  His responsibilities included research on special situations, institutional convertible securities research, investment banking and departmental management.   During his career, Rick was involved in over $1 billion in new financings.  His focus ranged from large cap companies to small, venture capital situations, all of which involved a wide variety of capital structures and dynamics.

Hans Weber – Executive Director, Europe

Hans worked with EDS in the Netherlands from 1986 to 1989. He completed the Systems Engineering Development Program and worked on IBM COPIX installations and an EDS insurance application called 'The Insurance Machine'.

Hans started his real estate career with DTZ in Amsterdam in 1989 and went to Central Europe in 1993 to head up DTZ's offices in Prague and Moscow. He is a founding partner of Cresa in the Netherlands. His experience is diverse and includes IT, Real Estate (including brokerage, valuations, investment, property development, and property management), Leisure, and various small business start-ups. International clients and business partners have included such companies as Digital, Accenture, Allianz, Plaut, Immofinanz and Doughty Hanson.

philPhil Thomas - CTO

Phil Thomas is the founding CEO of Sage Technology Resources. He founded Sage with the mission of providing clients with services that truly change the trajectory of their technology focused businesses.

Phil has an extensive business and technical background in both semiconductors and systems in the networking and general computing areas. He has organizational experience that ranges from building and managing product divisions in large companies to founding and running start-ups. Phil also serves on the Board of Directors of public and private companies.

Prior to Sage, Phil co-founded and was CEO of Enpirion, a fabless semiconductor company, which was acquired by Altera. He was VP of Marketing at ANDA Networks where he was responsible for market awareness and product definition. Phil served as Senior Vice President of Global Strategic Initiatives for Hitachi Semiconductor (America), Inc. which included product marketing, business development and strategic planning for Hitachi’s initiative to create products for the US market. He was a senior director for Cisco Systems Inc. where he was responsible for product lines and developing relationships with technology companies for potential acquisitions. Prior to Cisco, Phil spent 15 years at AT&T, where he held a series of increasingly senior technical and business management positions, most recently Chief Technical Officer.

Andy Balmuth -  Senior Vice President, Sales

Andy Balmuth is a creative, entrepreneurial executive with 25 years of strategic sales and marketing success within the Information Technology Industry. Andy was Co-Founder, EVP Sales, as well as Corporate Vanguard of Eracent Inc., a leading provider of IT Asset Management (ITAM) & Software Asset Management (SAM) solutions. Eracent’s focus was on large Enterprises with an average size of 30,000 computers; many with 100’s of thousands of computers. Eracent was completely self-funded and had grown organically for 13 years as a result of his efforts. His clients included Defense Intelligence Agency, US Air Force DCGS, Raytheon, Xerox/ACS, Booz Allen Hamilton, Cap Gemini Consulting, Ernst & Young U.K., GSK, State Farm, Barclay Capitol, Experian, LexisNexis, Ministry of Defense (UK), USAA, Comcast, Cablevision & Sears Holding Company.
Previously Andy was Director of Software Solutions at Lanalysis which focused on IT Management consulting, network engineering, network analysis, cable plant design, trading floor and network design.

Andy has been successful in getting product’s on GSA schedules quickly and has experience in closing multi-million dollar engagements with both UK and US defense/Intel agencies. Andy has also presented at Gartner shows (US & UK) as well as the IAITAM shows(US). He has acted as company liaison to both Gartner & Forrester successfully getting an unknown start-up to the high side of the magic quadrant.

Todd Hayes – SVP Product Management and Engineering

Todd is a seasoned IT Finance and compliance technology professional. Todd carries twenty-five years of experience in building and deploying IT operational and financial transparency, both in the private sector and the defense and intelligence arenas.  (TS/SCI clearance and projects with DIA and USAF Intel.)

Todd has presented technology solutions at Gartner's London conferences as well as DODIIS (Department of Defense Intelligence Information Systems) conferences.  He has built data warehouses and data marts from the ground-up using native SQL tools and has implemented Oracle/Hyperion-based repositories and budgeting/forecasting systems and has re-implemented others failed implementations. Todd ran Wellpoint/Anthem's IT Finance organization from 2003-2006, directing the M&A efforts over 6 BCBS entities, oversaw the consolidation of 16 data centers into 2 and directed implementation of SOX and HIPPA compliance initiatives.  While with Eracent, Inc., Todd leveraged the WellPoint experience by implementing software and hardware asset management tools in his new, professional services role.

Todd holds Masters degrees in Accounting and Business Administration from Seattle University and is a CPA.

Dr. Philip McNeil – SVP of Data Applications Development

Phil holds a PhD in Plant Biology and an MSc in Computer Science, building over 25 years of experience in the management and administration of large scientific databases.  He worked for Shell Research in the UK and American Cyanamid in the USA before moving to the European Bioinformatics Institute.  At EBI he headed the Macromolecular Structure Database and Database Applications groups. The DNA and protein databases maintained by these groups were accessed from all over the world.   Philip then became Head of Database Management at the Biosystems Informatics Institute, managing a team that developed tools for the integration of large databases.

In 2008 Philip joined Analytical Applications, later Illumix, as their database specialist for the development of the Intelligent Data Analytical Processor (IDAP) application.  Prior to joining Solara Analytics, Philip served as an IT consultant and has worked with Eracent, Inc., a U.S. based IT company.

Keith Taylor – Senior Vice President, Marketing & Business Development

Experienced executive with 30 years in ever-expanding roles at Canon, spanning all business areas of a $35 billion global technology giant. A creative and strategic leader with a proven track record of creating and managing business units, developing corporate strategy, brand enhancement, and alliance building.

Solara-Analytics Senior Advisors

Rong Zhao – Senior Advisor

Rong Zhao, PhD, MBA, is Director of Software Systems Division at the New York State Center of Excellence in Wireless and Information Technology (CEWIT), a faculty member of Department of Computer Science, and an adjunct faculty member of Department of Technology and Society and the College of Business at Stony Brook University.  He is also Deputy Director of the Center for Dynamic Data Analytics (CDDA) which is a National Science Foundation (NSF) Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) focused on developing technologies for big data applications.

Rong Zhao has more than 20 years of software research and development experience and more than 13 years of project management and technology commercialization experience. His areas of expertise include information retrieval, database, data mining, machine learning, semantic web, user interface, software engineering, healthcare informatics, and mobile computing. He has provided consulting and training services to several Fortune 500 companies and served as an advisor, consultant or expert witness for companies in many industries.

pfh-photo-3-226x250Paul F. Hartzell – Senior Advisor

Paul F. Hartzell is currently the founder of The Perfect Pitch, LLC which is focused on using highly effective sales techniques to grow SaaS companies. Prior to this he was Vice President of Sales, APAC for EVault, a Seagate Company located in Singapore. From 2002 to 2012 he was Senior Vice President and founder of Merrill Corporation’s merger and acquisition SaaS service, DataSite, in London and New York where combined annual revenues went from zero to over $125 million. Paul was previously associated with the financial services industry for more than 30 years with such firms as Kidder, Peabody & Co. Inc., Sorg Printing and RR Donnelley. He is a graduate of Lehigh University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and also a member of Lehigh’s Penske Athletic Hall of Fame in recognition of his baseball career at Lehigh and in Major League Baseball from 1976 to 1984.


Mike Killian – Senior Advisor

Michael Killian is a Senior Technology and Engineering specialist with an extensive technical and organizational background in the Telecommunications Industry. His experience includes leading the definition and delivery of products and services in Unified Communications, Conferencing, Collaboration, VoIP Telephony systems and devices, CRM and VLSI semiconductors. He has extensive experience in technology and industry trend assessment, successfully applying it to identify new product strategy for competitive and differentiated products and services for telecommunications product and service provider companies. He also has extensive experience in technology partnerships and managing global development teams.

Prior to Sage, Michael was Director of Technology delivering enterprise class audio, net and video conferencing services and a new cloud-based Unified Communications service for Verizon. He was Director of Engineering at Avaya for over 10 years leading the definition and development of several lines of IP Telephone devices that began at the early stage of VoIP adoption. Once VoIP was established his focus turned to emerging Unified Communications applications. He was awarded three patents related to Unified Communication innovation. Prior to Avaya, Michael led the development of advanced CRM and Internet bill presentation and analysis applications at NCR. Michael started his career with AT&T Bell Laboratories where he led the design of the first VLSI 32-bit microprocessor brought to production and later managed the development of several enhanced processers and associated peripheral devices for over 10 years.

jame-rocker-picture-3-2016-226x250James Rocker – Senior Advisor

James Rocker has over 17 years’ experience in the IT industry. James is a self-taught network security engineer with a passion for everything technology and business. James graduated with honors from the Bryan School of Business from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. James continued on at and excelled at every level by obtaining certifications from Microsoft and Cisco. After working for 7 years in the industry at various Systems/Security Engineer positions, James formed iNetworks, Inc in 2005.

James currently serves as the President and CEO of iNetworks (Nerds That Care), a rapidly growing IT company on Long Island, New York. While overseeing the majority of operations in the company, James is also still heavily involved with projects and planning for clients. James is considered an expert in network infrastructure planning, security assessments, architecture design, policy planning and development, disaster recovery, LAN/WAN security, and network penetration testing. James works with a wide variety of clientele and is at the forefront of strategic shifts in the Information Technology industry.



steffen_naumann-226x250Steffen Naumann – Investor

Steffen is a seasoned financial executive. He currently serves as Chief Financial Officer of the Zuellig Group in Hong Kong. Mr. Naumann has been privately investing in young companies for several years. From 2001 till 2009 Mr. Naumann has been Member of the Executive Board, COO and CFO of Axel Springer AG, an important European Media Group. Previously, he spent about 10 years with Bertelsmann, the biggest German Media Group, his last positions being Member of the Executive Board of Bertelsmann’s book business and Executive Vice President and CFO of Random House Inc., New York, the book publishing division of Bertelsmann. Mr. Naumann also worked with McKinsey and Ford of Europe earlier in his career.