Leadership

Brendon Riley

  • Co-Founder & Advisor (2013-present)

Strategic finance executive with more than 15 years of combined experience as a leader of high profile financial transactions and advisory situations. Deep experience in integrating business and legal thought processes to solve problems, lead and motivate people, build consensus, and orchestrate the necessary resources to fulfill strategic objectives. Interested in opportunities to leverage financial and legal skill set, including financial management, strategic planning, and legal analysis in a corporate finance or fiduciary role.

Professor Tonya M. Evans, Esq.

Tonya M. Evans, Esquire, is a Professor of Law at the University of New Hampshire School of Law with significant expertise in the areas of intellectual property, new technologies (including blockchain and crypto assets), entrepreneurship & innovation, entertainment law, trusts & estates, and municipal finance.

Professor Evans’ service on International Boards and Task Forces includes:

  • Member, International Telecommunications Union Focus Group on Digital Currency including Digital Fiat Currency
  • Member, International Telecommunications Union Focus Group on Application of Distributed Ledger Technology
  • Member, The Accord Project Intellectual Property Working Group

She also recently accepted a three-year term appointment to the Intellectual Property Committee of Advisory Council for the United States Court of Federal Claims.

Professor Evans graduated cum laude from Howard University School of Law, attended Northwestern University on a full tennis scholarship and is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania, District of Columbia, New Jersey, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the Third Circuit and New York. She is also Board Member of the New Hampshire Women’s Foundation.

Carla Banks Waddles

Detroit native Carla Banks Waddles has been working as a television comedy writer for the past 17 years.  She has written for and produced such shows as For Your Love (Warner Bros.), That’s So Raven (Disney), Half & Half (UPN), The Bill Engvall Show (TBS), The Fresh Beat Band (Nickelodeon), Sonny With A Chance (Disney), Let’s Stay Together (BET), Lab Rats (Disney XD), The Soul Man (TV Land), Truth Be Told (NBC), Hit The Floor (BET), and Good Girls (NBC).  She was showrunner on her own comedy series, One Love, starring Mark Curry, Sheryl Lee Ralph, and the late Sherman Hemsley.  It premiered on Bounce TV in April 2014, reaching more than one million viewers, making it the network’s most-watched original series ever.

A graduate of Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, she also earned an MFA in Screenwriting from the University of Southern California.  Looking to mentor other writers and share her craft, she has taught at Northwestern as a lecturer in the Radio Television Film Department. She founded Babycakes Productions, Inc. as a vehicle for her creative projects.  She resides in Los Angeles with her husband and two children.  For more on Carla’s projects, visit her website at BabycakesProductionsInc.com.

Crystal Houston

  • Member, Secretary and Senior Vice President of Communications & Brand Strategy (Life in the Cancer Lane Director) (2013-present)

Ms. Houston is a digital strategy “Futurist” and storyteller who paints tall tales in a single bound using a dynamic palette of business models, tools and platforms. She has overseen interactive marketing strategies, stakeholder engagement, and brand awareness efforts for several large companies and nonprofits.

Ms. Houston’s focus is on Business Development, Digital Strategy, Branded Content, and Stakeholder Engagement. She leads and designs data-based business and communication strategies for future-forward tech organizations. Additionally, she is a blockchain enthusiast focused on leveraging opportunities brought about through disruption and innovation using research, product management, and analysis to achieve performance goals. LinkedIN

Leslie M. Gray

  • Member,Treasurer, and Senior VP of Logistics and Strategic Planning (2015-present)
Ms. Gray is a Senior Director at Microsoft.  She currently owns business readiness and support for Microsoft’s corporate finance, business intelligence applications and reports.  As a marketing operations executive, Ms. Gray has been responsible for everything from documenting requirements for big data marketing systems and owning marketing automation solutions to delivering business intelligence capabilities and designing seamless electronic user experiences.
Prior to joining Microsoft, Ms. Gray spent over 12 years at Accenture in the Customer Relationship Management, Marketing Operations consulting practice.  During this tenure, she worked with several Fortune 100 companies in Financial Services, Automotive, and Telecommunications, helping them transform their marketing organizations to a more sustainable, data-centric function.
In addition to her corporate career, Ms. Gray was CEO of a small business specializing in owning and managing medical facilities.  During her 12 year tenure, Ms. Gray procured real estate, developed and managed the business strategy, opened a CMS approved dialysis facility, and brokered acquisition deals.
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