Executive Team

Founder, Chairman and CEO

Tony Perez carved out a successful career in building businesses around break-through products rooted in technology, security and innovation. His first security experience occurred when he received a U.S. Army “secret” clearance to work with nuclear tactical weapons. Mr. Perez received a field promotion to U.S. Army Captain, Artillery, and was awarded the Purple Heart in combat. This military experience grounded him in the importance of security best practices, which he implements in working with new product development.

His initial start-up experience was with IMAGIC, a video gaming business, where he served as Vice President of Operations. He built the department from the ground up, overseeing manufacturing operations and steered the company to $70 million in video games shipments worldwide in his first year. Mr. Perez later founded Safety Syringes, a suite of medical devices where he received 10 U.S. patents and FDA approval for 5 medical devices. In 2012, the company was sold to Becton-Dickinson, a leading global medical device technology company.

Mr. Perez is a futurist who became intrigued with cyber-technology and the growing danger of cyber-attacks at scale, that led to identity theft, ransomware, etc. In an online world where large-scale devastating hacking events were becoming commonplace, his research pointed out that passwords needed to be replaced. As a behavioralist, he determined that creating a user-friendly passwordless login was the best approach to helping online users to protect themselves and their organizations. He created a unique identity and authentication technology (called Photolok®) that replaces passwords and/or passphrases with greater online security.

Today Photolok is a passwordless Single Sign On login method comprised of an Identity Provider (using photos) and Authentication Server (using OAuth 2.0 and Open ID Connect). Photolok is the first consumer-friendly login method that provides situational security protection by allowing the user to label photos for 1-Time Use and Duress. Photolok can also be used as a second factor behind biometrics to prevent a compromised biometric from reaching the user destination. Netlok is currently offering Photolok through Auth0’s Marketplace as a Social Connections Partner.

In July 2017, Mr. Perez received his first U.S. Patent and, in 2018, his second U.S. Patent for his photo-based authentication technology (branded as Photolok). In October 2017, Netlok started to receive innovation awards as a state-of-the-art identity and authentication solution.

Mr. Perez received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from California State University in Los Angeles and dual master’s degrees in Public Administration and Healthcare Administration from the University of Southern California where he also focused on Future Studies, Behavioral and Organizational Theory. He is an insightful, engaging, dynamic and passionate speaker on cyber-security, and his TEDx talk entitled “Black Hats Rising” gained an enthusiastic response. Mr. Perez enjoys living in Santa Barbara, CA.

Co-Founder and CFO

Chris Sherman is a business strategist and operational leader who thrives on helping companies advance through smart, disciplined approaches. With 25 years of senior leadership and management experience in the security space and a range of other industries and having led 2 startups, Sherman brings the kind of intuitive thinking and decisive action that a company like Netlok needs to move from promising start-up to successful enterprise.

Sherman brings directly relevant experience in the security industry through his work with Inter-Con Security Systems, one of the largest privately held security companies in the world. During his eight years with the company, he served as Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, and Chief Administrative Officer. He worked with clients at the federal and state government levels, including the Department of State and a number of foreign government embassies. In addition, he served a variety of public and privately held companies across many different industries in eighteen countries.

He has worked in a number of corporate settings, each of which had a security and cybersecurity component, including Pacific Enterprises (now Sempra Energy), which was the parent of the largest natural gas distribution company in the U.S. He spent 13 years with the company serving in a variety of leadership roles including President of Pacific Energy, an alternative energy company; President of Pacific Enterprises Leasing Company; and he co-founded and served as President of Pacific Enterprises International, an international energy development company, created to invest in natural gas distribution, transmission and storage and related power opportunities.

Sherman also served as Executive Vice President of IndyMac Bank and was responsible for the Global Resources Group, which conducted the bank’s sizable offshoring programs, non-traditional workforce, and talent acquisition functions. From there, he joined InfrastructureWorld as Executive Vice President and Managing Director, where he led the company’s CleanTech business and financing and investing activities primarily outside the U.S. Sherman also spent 7 years at McKinsey & Company where he focused his work on corporate strategy.

Sherman holds a Bachelor of Science degree with Honors in Economics from Purdue University and a MBA from Harvard Business School. He has served on a number of corporate and non-profit boards. He is based in Los Angeles.

Moe Vela

Moe Vela is the CEO of MoeVela, LLC, a strategic business advisory firm with business partnerships and ventures that span the globe across a diversity of sectors and industries.  He is also the Founder of The Vela Group, LLC, a global business development consulting firm.  In addition to running his firms, he is Of Counsel/Senior Advisor at the law firm of Stein Mitchell Beato and Missner.  

Moe is currently consulting and advising clients and partners on several multi-million dollar international commodity transactions, resort, and real estate development projects, and assisting dozens of early-stage to mid-growth size companies in identifying millions of dollars of investment capital from his global network of family offices, venture capital, and private equity firms, and high net-worth individuals.

One of Moe’s most recent entrepreneurial endeavors is as the co-creator, co-producer, and co-star of the hottest new business reality streaming series, Unicorn Hunters.  Mr. Vela stars alongside Steve Wozniak, Lance Bass, Rosie Rios, and several other business titans and luminaries. 

Vela is a long-time Washington insider, and his leadership & counsel have been sought by some of the country’s top political and business leaders.  Mr. Vela was the Director of Administration and Senior Advisor for then-Vice President Joe Biden.  The stint was his second White House appointment as he served as Chief Financial Officer and Senior Advisor on Hispanic Affairs for Vice President Al Gore.  Vela holds the distinction of being the first Hispanic-American and LGBTQA-American to serve twice in the White House in a senior executive role.

Vela is often heard as a keynote speaker and is a frequent contributor or quoted in articles in the Associated Press, Fortune, Forbes, The Guardian, The Hill, INC magazine, Yahoo Finance, Entrepreneur, and The Daily Mail, to name a few.  Moe is often seen on Fox, Fox Business, Yahoo Finance TV, and BBC, among other national and global news outlets.

He has been named one of the “Top 100 Hispanics in America” by “Hispanic Business” magazine and was twice named as one of the “101 Most Influential Latinos” by “Latino Leaders” magazine, as well as one of Washington’s Top 300 Insiders by the “National Journal,” as well as, named to the Powermeter 100 – the Washington area’s most influential individuals for Hispanic communities by “El Tiempo Latino,” a Washington Post publication.

A proud fourth-generation Texan, Mr. Vela earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Texas at Austin and his law degree from St. Mary’s University School of Law.  Vela hails from a pioneer South Texas family dedicated to service for decades.

Vela is the author of the best-selling book Little Secret, Big Dreams.

Keith Roberts
Director and CTO

Over a 20 year career, Keith has been involved in developing complex systems for commercial, military, startups, and financial institutions. As a lead developer and architect, Keith has been instrumental in designing overall system architecture to handle high transaction volumes, integrity of data and maintainable infrastructure. He has an extensive track record with enterprise systems, API design, queuing, server-push, cryptography, and security – including the following experiences:

  • CTO, Architect and Technical Leader for Ntersol LLC, a subsidiary of CINT (NYSE), global and public development software company that builds successful and scalable proprietary software solutions.
  • Senior architect for Mello, a next generation lending platform, which modernized digital mortgage operations for the 5th largest mortgage lender in the US.
  • Led architecture for Loanz, bringing to market a highly automated, cloud based loan origination platform from scratch in 6 months. Within months of launch, Loanz had originated over $1 million in loans.
  • Designed cloud based architecture for a massive volume IoT solution for building management and fire detection systems. Created a now patented security and cryptography system for securing data between the low-powered devices and the cloud.
  • Re-architected a retail RFID system to address scalability, performance, and reliability problems. Redesigned and rewrote large parts of the product to allow it to scale from a single store to thousands of stores worldwide, resulting in the sale of the company to Tyco for $43m.
  • Designed and built an operator station for the world’s first tactical high energy laser (THEL) weapon system used by the U.S. Army. At White Sands, NM, helped oversee installation and testing.
  • Helped build the first organization wide portal and email infrastructure for the US Army. In the aftermath of 9/11, more than 1 million soldiers, civilians, and contractors used this portal without interruption. Received the TRW “Enduring Freedom” award for contributions made during the crisis.
  • BS in Computer Science from California Polytechnic University, Pomona, Magna Cum Laude.