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Management Team

Thomas M. Dean, Founder, spent twenty-six years associated as an officer or partner with investment banking firms including Kidder Peabody; L.F. Rothchild; and Cowen & Co. Known for his short sale recommendations, Mr. Dean developed and cultivated numerous contacts in corporate finance, research and sales at firms throughout "The Street". In 1990, he joined Alaris Corp. as Senior Vice President, Investor Relations. In 1992 he, formed Innovative Research Associates, which is now a subsidiary of Murdock Capital Partners.

Luis J. Mejia, Managing Partner and Principal, brings extensive international marketing and financial services experience. In 1980  Mr. Mejia joined Trans Ocean Leasing & Finance, and in 1985 subsequently joined Triton International. In 1989 Mr. Mejia co-founded Geneva Capital Resources, Inc. and has been active in the investment banking field. Consecutively, he was Senior Vice President with Yorkville Corporation, an investment portfolio management company specializing in derivative products and managed futures.

Siqi Chen, Bilingual (Mandarin/English) MIT/INSEAD alumni with eight years of experience defining strategy, leading scientific research and guiding international business development initiatives for the healthcare industry. Engaged in business development consulting, with strong emphasis on biotechnology, medical devices, and related healthcare  initiatives. Well documented research writing abilities.

Thomas S. Drolet, Managing Director, Energy Projects.  -  Mr. Drolet has worked in the energy industry and technology innovation industries for over 43 years.  He brought a wealth of experience at the senior management level to the electrical utility industry at Ontario Hydro, the fourth largest electrical utility in the world as President and CEO of all International Projects (Hydroelectric, Natural Gas, Oil, Coal, Nuclear, and Renewable Energy systems).He also worked with the second largest electrical utility in the USA (American Electric Power) as Managing Director-Canada and with DTE Energy (SVP International Projects). 

He has planned and managed the construction and has done operational maintenance related work on Hydroelectric Projects in Canada, USA, Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania and in several countries in South America.

He has worked on many Boards of Directors, and as a consultant in the oil and natural gas industries in North America and on Renewable Energies (Hydroelectric, Solar and Geothermal) in North and South America, Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines. He has also worked with several new technology industries in the areas of energy (fusion energy, distributed generation, fuel cells, and two very innovative new geothermal processes), as well as in the area of medical pharmaceutical breakthrough applications in cancer treatments.  In the last 25 years, Mr. Drolet has worked internationally in 44 countries, predominantly in North America, Africa, South America, Australia, China, Russia, South Korea, Japan, and Europe. He has spoken at over 180 major conferences on issues in energy and the effects of new technologies on the economies of the world. 

Mr. Drolet was born in Canada, educated as a Chemical Engineer at the Royal Military College of Canada (B. Eng.), and served as aircrew on C130 Transport Aircraft in the Royal Canadian Air Force. He has an MSc and DIC from Imperial College of Science and Technology (part of the University of London, England) in Chemical Engineering and Nuclear Technology. He is currently working as a consultant and advisor in the hydroelectric, geothermal, nuclear and natural gas energy industries (Japan, Kenya, USA and Canada) and in the mining of gold (USA) and uranium (Canada). He is a specialist in the structuring of Power Purchase Agreements and their negotiations and has acted as an advisor to the senior managements of many electrical utilities worldwide.  He resides in Florida and North Carolina.

 Christopher Kaplan, Managing Director, Business Development, has extensive experience in marketing, sales and business development having worked in the healthcare field for 25 years.  Mr. Kaplan also brings significant international experience having spent half of his working career living in Europe and managing global projects. He has held senior leadership positions at Bristol-Myers Squibb, Novartis  and Boehringer Ingelheim and is also a Principal at Cajetan LLC, and an independent global healthcare consulting firm.Mr. Kaplan holds a BA from Columbia University and a Master of Science degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

Charles Athle Nelson, Managing Director - ASEAN, has been active in the capital markets for the past 35 years.  He began his financial career as a market representative with American International Group and in 1978 joined Dean Witter Reynolds as a Financial Advisor, working with high net worth and institutional clients.  In 1980, he joined Drexel Burnham and Lambert, and subsequently, at Ladenberg, Thalmann, Auerbach Pollack and Richardson originating equity and investment banking transactions.  Mr. Nelson has been active in the Chinese and ASEAN markets since the 1980’s with exceptional results and has been instrumental in bringing major foreign companies for listing on senior USA exchanges. Mr. Nelson is responsible for advisory, merchant banking and general business developments for the Pacific Basin and Austral Asian markets.   He holds a BA from Villanova University and an MBA from Rutgers University.

Steven A. Solazzo, Managing Director, brings extensive financial and analytical expertise. He has served as hedge-fund portfolio manager, senior equity and   high yield sell-side analyst, and desk analyst for proprietary trading positions in distressed and high yield securities. Mr. Solazzo has advised management of corporate issuers of debt and equity securities on issues regarding capital structure, timing, and operational metrics as they pertain to raising capital for nascent businesses. He has provided industry and company specific analysis and buy-sell recommendations to institutional equity and high yield investors. Mr. Solazzo has served large financial institutions including ING, Bank of America, and Toronto Dominion. As legal counsel, Mr. Solazzo has also advised management of client companies regarding issues involved in litigation and reorganization and bankruptcy proceedings.

Raymond H. Todd, Managing Director, brings substantial financial, operational and analytical expertise having spent the bulk of his career in commercial real estate finance. In 1985, after five years with Chase Manhattan Bank in their Commercial Real Estate Division, Mr. Todd joined Centennial Development Company in Northern Virginia and was involved in the financing and development of many signature buildings in Reston and Tyson’s Corner. In total, Mr. Todd spent 12 years as the CFO for two separate development companies and managed the financing and accounting activities for 35 different partnerships. Mr. Todd’s background also includes securitization, CMBS underwriting, due diligence and general corporate financial analysis. He was involved in one of the very first CMBS deals in 1993 in which 115 properties were simultaneously underwritten, refinanced, and funded in a new CMBS issue. In total, Mr. Todd has underwritten or analyzed over $8 billion of commercial real estate loans in 43 states and Canada.  

Yvonne Fong Yee is Senior Assistant and has significant business experience in human resources, business administration  and  management. In 1960, Miss Fong Yee joined Associated Merchandising Corporation where she was the assistant to the Vice President of Overseas Operations. Most recently, she was the Office Administrator Orion Royal Bank Limited from 1982-1987 and was at the Royal Bank of Canada, New York City from 1988 to 1993 as Personnel Liaison Officer of the Treasury Division. Miss Fong Yee is a graduate of the Durham Business College, Kingston, Jamaica and the Administrative Certificate Program of New York University. 

Advisory Board 

Bruce E. Balding, President of Balding & Company, Inc. a registered investment advisory firm. He graduated from Harvard University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1953 and Master's degree in 1954. From 1972 to 1985, Mr. Balding served as President of Controlled Equities, Inc., a New York based financial consulting concern. From 1980 to 1984, he was President of Hamilton Gregg Capital Corporation, an investment advisory firm in New York City. From 1970 through 1971, he served as President of Van Cleef, Jordan & Wood, investment counselors. He is a Trustee of Davis & Elkins College and a Director of the National Institute of Social Sciences. Mr. Balding is also a senior security analyst and member  of the New York Society of Security Analysts and the Financial Analysts Federation.

Angelo K. Baskaran is Treasurer and Vice President for the US operations of President Petroleum Company PLC, a London listed international oil and gas company.  From 2006 to 2011 he was the Chief Financial Officer of President Petroleum Company PLC (formerly, Meridian Petroleum plc).  He is also a member of the Board of Directors of London Court Limited, a UK based  merchant bank since 1990.  Mr. Baskaran has broad experience in oil and gas and private equity, as well as, trading derivative hedge funds in the commodities markets, globally.  He served as Executive Vice President of MBf Asia Capital Corporation, a diversified financial services company operating in Hong Kong from 1992 to 1996 and as Vice President of The Chart Group LP, a private equity and a hedge fund firm in New York from 1996 to 1998.  Mr. Baskaran is involved in structuring and raising private equity and debt in relation to mid-market companies in the US and has managed The Iona Fund, a futures trading fund.  Mr. Baskaran holds an M.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and an MBA in Finance from the City University CASS Business School in London. He is a Chartered Accountant in England and Wales.

Roger K. Baumberger, Managing Director, Corporate Finance of Spencer Trask Securities, Inc. He has over twenty five  years of corporate finance experience, focused principally on emerging growth companies throughout the United States. Prior to joining Spencer Trask, Roger Baumberger held senior corporate finance positions at Josephthal Lyon & Ross, Ladenburg, Thalmann & Co., the Equitable Life Assurance Society, BDO Seidman and Marine Midland Bank. He is a member of the New York Society of Security Analysts, Association for Investment Management and Research, and Executive Forum at New York University. He is a Director of Rx Technologies, Inc., a vaccine development company. Mr. Baumberger, a Chartered Financial Analyst, received an M.B.A. degree with distinction from the New York University Stern School of Business and has an A.B. degree from Dartmouth College.

Howard Butcher, IV. Since 1957, he had been associated in various capacities with Butcher & Company, Inc., and its predecessor firms, Butcher & Sherrerd, of which he was a General Partner, and Butcher & Singer, Inc. Butcher & Singer, Inc. was the leading Philadelphia based investment banking and brokerage firm in the Mid-Atlantic States, prior to its merger, in 1988, into WFS Financial, which was the parent of Wheat, First, Butcher, Singer. In February 1998, First Union Bank acquired Wheat First Butcher Singer for more than $400 million. Mr. Butcher last served the company as Executive Vice President and Director of Butcher Resources, Inc., which was the Energy and Natural Resource investment-banking subsidiary of Butcher & Company, Inc. 
Mr. Butcher is President and CEO of Butcher International, Inc., a privately owned company that he founded in 1978. The company currently provides private investment banking and corporate advisory services to young companies across a wide range of industry. The company has provided advisory services to foreign and domestic investors seeking real estate, natural resource, energy and energy-related and other corporate opportunities in the U.S. The company has engaged in import and export transactions between the United States, Central and South America, Europe, Nigeria and elsewhere. Mr. Butcher has spent more than thirty years as an advisor or principal, in corporate finance, venture capital and investment and corporate management, across the full range of industry. He was especially active in the energy, natural resource and power generation industries in the 1980s. Mr. Butcher currently serves as a Director of Butcher Energy, Inc., Butcher International, Inc., and the Philadelphia Bourse, Inc. He is a past Chairman and Director of DRX, Inc., and formerly a Director of Coopersburg Handle & Tool Company, Distribix, Inc., Harrison Industries, PLC, Alexandra Mining, Ltd., Holmes Protection of Philadelphia, Frances Denny, Inc. and International Light & Power, Limited. Norman M. Dean, Chairman of the Board of Miller Diversified Corporation, a publicly traded entity and former Chairman of the Board of New York StockExchange listed Alaris Medical Inc. (acquired in 2004 by Cardinal Health).He is past president of the American Bankers Association and served on the Board of Directors of United Banks of Colorado. Over the past 40 years, Mr. Dean has been active in mergers and acquisitions in banking, food services medical devices and transportation.  

Christopher D. Gee, Director of International Sales and Marketing, Radient Pharma Corp.  Mr. Gee is a successful technology and biotech executive with extensive sales, marketing, and distribution management experience.  He has held executive positions and managed projects in the USA and internationally overseeing product development, marketing, sales, licensing, and distribution partnering.  His purview has spanned domestic and global operations including negotiated licensing and distribution agreements with top tier companies.  Mr. Gee’s background includes serving as a senior analyst at New York University, Stern School of Business - IT department and working as an executive at Apple Inc., to manage business development, sales activities, and enterprise computing projects.  He has also served as a principal in start-up companies. Mr. Gee received his M.A. from King’s College, University of London and his B.A. from New York University.  

 Dr. Richard S. Matthews brings 40 years of experience in the medical and scientific fields including teaching at Syracuse University, and research positions at both Pfizer and Amgen. Dr. Matthews had responsibility for the study of worldwide licensing opportunities at Pfizer Medical Systems, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals and Amgen. As a patent chemist at Pfizer, he prepared applications and testified on infringement issues. At Pfizer Medical Systems, Dr. Matthews also represented Pfizer at the Bureau of Radiological Health Section of the FDA and was a liaison with the Department of Commerce for export license negotiations. Dr. Matthews was responsible for evaluating the first whole body MRI device, numerous bone cements products, heart valves, insulin delivery systems, and artificial joints. He was also responsible for coordinating the committees on Acquisitions, Strategic Analysis, Acquisition Candidate Analysis and Venture Fund Candidate Analysis, and was the principal RDIT liaison for R&D Operations. In 1973, he designed the first computer program to analyze medical opportunities by combining market size and development costs to determine pricing. Modern variations of this program are widely used even today throughout the industry. At the Licensing Department of Central Research he conducted therapeutic analyses in the areas of cardiovascular medicine, osteoporosis, diabetes, obesity, ulcer therapy, asthma and CNS. In 1998 he moved to Amgen as the Director of Licensing. There, Dr. Matthews supervised a team of scientists, overseeing their interactions with small research companies and recommending potential licensing opportunities for Amgen. He received a BA from Brooklyn College and his Ph.D. at Columbia University in Synthetic Organic Chemistry. Dr. Matthews resides in Connecticut and California.

William D. Priester, M.D. has been in the private practice of Internal Medicine and Cardiology since 1983. He has been the Medical Director of the Lenox Hill Physicians Hospital Organization in New York City and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Lenox Hill Health Network. Dr. Priester is also the President of Lenox Hill Cardiology Associates, P.C., which is a group of 16 physicians who interpret all non-invasive cardiology procedures at Lenox Hill Hospital. Dr. Priester received a B. A. from Stanford University and his M.D. from the University of Iowa College of Medicine. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Disease, and a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology.

Diane M. Smith, Principal. Ms. Smith joined Darby in December 2007, bringing nearly 20 years of experience in domestic and emerging market private equity investing, fund management and banking, including the launching and management of several new private equity and mezzanine investment businesses in both the U. S. and Latin America. Prior to forming her own firm to advise early stage entrepreneurs seeking private growth capital, Ms. Smith served as Managing Director and Senior Portfolio Manager for Electra Investment Trust PLC of the U.K., playing a key role in building the firm’s new U. S. principal investing business to over half a billion dollars in equity and mezzanine investments in a wide variety of industries. Joining Electra in 1991, Ms. Smith focused on growth financings and leveraged buyouts in middle market-sized companies in a broad range of sectors, with emphasis on consumer products and services, telecom and broadcast media, transportation operations and service providers, specialty industrial manufacturing and healthcare. 
In the late 1990’s, Ms. Smith spearheaded Electra’s expansion into South America, targeting infrastructure privatizations and related service providers as well as specialty manufacturers and consumer products and services. Prior to joining Electra, Ms. Smith was involved in building the new leveraged buyout business for a NewYork based thrift, as well as serving in international banking and corporate finance roles with Manufacturers Hanover Trust. Before joiningMHT she spent several years in Spain developing export markets for Spanish producers of industrial and consumer products. Ms. Smith holds a Masters in International Management from Thunderbird School of global Management and a B.A. in Communications from Washington State University. She speaks Spanish and Portuguese.