Please meet Paydiant's executive management team!
Kevin Laracey, Co-Founder
Kevin is a proven entrepreneur and technologist with over 20 years in the electronic billing and payments space. Prior to co-founding Paydiant, Kevin was a venture partner at Sigma Partners, an early stage venture capital firm with more than $2B under management where he evaluated investment opportunities and assisted portfolio companies with operational and strategic issues. Prior to Sigma, Kevin was the Vice President and General Manager at Siebel Systems' Customer Self Service group, now part of Oracle. He was also a founder and the CEO at edocs Inc. edocs was a multi-year member of both the Inc. 500 and the Deloitte & Touche Fast 500 before it was sold to Siebel Systems in 2005. Before founding edocs, Kevin was Vice President of Marketing at Elixir Technologies Corporation, a provider of publishing solutions to the global 2000. Kevin currently serves on the board of directors of xPeerient, the leading provider of social network based IT procurement solutions, and serves on the board of advisors for Virtusa (VRTU), a global information technology services company. Kevin has been a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award, and some of his teams' activities at edocs are documented in the Harvard Business School case study "edocs, Inc. (A)". He holds an M.B.A. in Marketing and Finance from the UCLA Anderson School of Business, a B.A. in American Studies and Computer Applications from the University of Notre Dame, and has been awarded a patent in the area of online billing and payment solutions.
Chris Gardner, Co-Founder
With 20 years in high-technology marketing and product management, Chris' background spans a variety of technology areas including mobile payments and marketing, e-billing and payments, digital media, customer self-service, document management and speech recognition. Most recently, Chris was the CMO at ExtendMedia, a digital media content delivery and commerce platform software company that was acquired by Cisco in 2010. Prior to that, Chris was the SVP of Products and Marketing at m-Qube, North America's leading premium SMS mobile payments provider that was acquired by Verisign in 2006. He was also the Vice President of Products and Marketing at edocs, Inc., an e-billing, payments and customer self-service company that was acquired by Siebel Systems. Chris' first foray into mobile began in 1998 when he joined the founders of OmniBrowse, Inc. as the VP of Marketing, and led the launch of its wireless portal that provided real-time data services to wireless devices. OmniBrowse was sold to Microsoft and became part of MSN Mobile. Chris also served as Product Manager for internet technologies at PC DOCS, as a product manager at Gartner Group and as Corporate Communications Manager at Dragon Systems, a leading speech recognition technology provider. Chris received a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Jed Rice, Senior Vice President of Business Development
Jed is responsible for identifying, creating, and building new market and revenue opportunities for Paydiant's Mobile Wallet technology through direct and indirect strategic relationships in the United States and overseas. Previously, Jed was the VP of corporate development and member of the core executive team at Skyhook Wireless, the world leader in hybrid location technology that is the basis for the location services that are deployed on almost all smartphones throughout the world today. Prior to that he created, launched, and led the Self-Service OnDemand new business unit initiative at Siebel Systems, growing it into a more than $5 million-a-year business in less than six months and what is today a significant component of Oracle's on-demand customer self-service platform. Jed joined Siebel as part of the acquisition of edocs, where he had held a range of key positions managing new market and business development initiatives. He also established and managed key strategic relationships, to include the one with Siebel, which eventually led to Siebel's successful acquisition of edocs.
Prior to edocs, Jed served as a corporate attorney with a nationally recognized law firm where he was involved with and led a wide-range of strategic transactions, including venture financings, M&A deals, IPOs, and technology licensing relationships. He also served four years as an officer in the United States Army, where he held a number of leadership positions as a unit commander conducting Airborne, Ranger, and Reconnaissance operations both in the United States and overseas. He holds a B.A. in International Affairs from Georgetown University and a joint J.D./M.B.A. from Boston College.
Melinda Smith, Chief Financial Officer
Ms. Melinda Smith is responsible for leading Paydiant’s financial and administrative operations including financial reporting and control, investor relations, human resources, risk management and legal affairs. Ms. Smith has more than 20 years of experience in financial administration and operations in the high technology industry. Most recently, Ms. Smith was Chief Financial Officer at expressor software corporation where she led its financial operations from 2008 until expressor was acquired by Qlik Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: QLIK) in 2012. As Chief Financial Officer of edocs, Inc., she led the financial initiatives related to edocs' rapid growth and expansion into worldwide markets until edocs was acquired by Siebel Systems in 2004. Previously, Ms. Smith served as Director of Finance at Aspen Technology (Nasdaq: AZPN) where she held several positions including managing its financial and billing operations and its business process and controls group with oversight for process improvement and the Sarbanes Oxley program. Earlier in her career, she also served as Vice President of Finance at Gradient Technologies and worked in public accounting as an Audit Manager at Price Waterhouse in the high technology practice group. Ms. Smith holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Michigan.
John Polcari, Executive Vice President of Sales
John is an accomplished business development leader and marketer with more than 20 years of sales and marketing experience across various industries, including the payments industry. Prior to joining Paydiant, John served as Executive Vice President of Product Sales at e-Dialog, an integrated digital marketing services provider offering GSI Commerce/eBay Global Marketing Services. In that role, he successfully negotiated long-term partnerships with more than 35 top online retailers, including: Buy.com, Nike, CVS, Comcast, American Airlines and the Washington Post. Prior to e-Dialog, John served as Senior Vice President of Global Marketing and Sales at Optaros, a leading provider of social commerce solutions. John also served as a sales leader at Epsilon (an American Express Company) and Vice President of Corporate Development for Genesys Conferencing, where he managed Internet channels, digital relationships, alliances, and strategic partnerships. In addition, John has extensive database marketing experience through senior national sales and marketing leadership roles with Hill Holliday Advertising, and GE Capital. He began his career with American Express serving in key sales management and national account management positions, spanning transaction services and technical sales.
John has contributed to the DMA as an author and Senior Leader on the Retail Operating committee and has also consulted with leading retailers on best in class commerce solutions. He graduated from St. Anselm College with a BA in Politics/International Relations and attended Advanced Management Studies at Harvard University and the Executive MBA program at the University of Notre Dame.