ANTHONY “TONY” PEREZ, Founder, Chairman and CEO
Tony Perez, a “serial entrepreneur,” has carved out a successful career in building businesses around break-through products rooted in technology innovation. 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 and quality assurance, and steered the company to $70 million in video games shipped worldwide in his first year. He later founded Safety Syringes, a suite of medical devices that received 10 U.S. patents and FDA approval. In 2012, the company was sold to Becton-Dickinson, a leading global medical technology company.
In 2014, Mr. Perez became intrigued with cyber-technology and the growing issues around security and privacy. In an online world where large-scale, devastating hacking incidences are becoming commonplace, his research clearly stated that the biggest vulnerability point on the Internet is through the password system. If that problem could be solved, online users had the best chance of gaining security and privacy. Working with another developer, he created a unique photo authentication technology that replaced traditional passwords as well as a companion cyber “vault” – the Netlokr® – where documents could be stored and shared and messaging could be conducted privately and securely.
In July 2017, Mr. Perez received U.S. Patent No. 9,710,641 for his photo-based authentication technology (branded as Photolok™). Starting in October of 2017, Netlok started to receive innovation awards for its state-of-the-art authentication. Today Photolok is serving as a foundation for positioning Netlok as a leading company in Identity and Access Management (IAM) and Know Your Customer (KYC).
Mr. Perez received his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Cal-State University in Los Angeles and dual Masters degrees in Public Administration and Healthcare Administration from the University of Southern California. He is a creative speaker on cyber-security and online privacy, and his TEDx talk entitled “Black Hats Rising” has gained an enthusiastic response. Mr. Perez lives in Santa Barbara, CA.
CHRIS SHERMAN, Chief Financial Officer
Chris Sherman is a business strategist who thrives on helping companies advance through smart, disciplined approaches. With 25 years of senior leadership and management experience in a range of industries, 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 publicly and privately-held companies across a number of different industries in eighteen countries.
He has worked in a number of corporate settings, 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 projects.
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 investment 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 his MBA from Harvard Business School. He has served on a number of corporate and non-profit boards. He is based in Los Angeles where Netlok has offices in Pasadena.
VIRGINIA AHERIN, VP of Business Development
For the last 25 years, Virginia has worked in top corporations in business development, consultative sales, strategic alliances, technology/computing, financial services, healthcare, global account management, and facilitation of key stakeholder communications.
She has experience of managing strategic client relationships across industry sectors. Her earlier career was spent as a Client Executive with IBM working with CEOs and CIOs to strategize on the best technology solutions to support both the business strategy and the necessary technological advancements to remain competitive in the marketplace. Virginia has gained significant experience and success in partnering with organizations in delivering strategic solutions that drive revenue.
Mid-career Virginia progressed into management with experience at Wells Fargo and Vantage Technology Group. She focused on being a leader, human resources, building coaching cultures, high performing teams and employee retention. At the same time, Virginia became a Certified Professional Coach due to her passion for developing people. She is part of the leadership development and coach community driving transformation one individual at a time.
Virginia grew up and was educated in Illinois. She has a BS in International Business from Southern Illinois University and has completed numerous courses through the Wharton School, UCSD Rady and UCLA. As part of her college studies, she spent time studying in Europe to complete her International Business degree.
She is a volunteer for the Special Olympics and participated in the Special Olympics World Games held in Los Angeles.
FELIPE CARINO, Chief Technology Officer
Felipe Carino brings more than 20 years of experience in hands-on technical management, innovation and new product development to Netlok. He has oversight responsibility for all technical aspects of the company, including: leading the company’s technical development and establishing its technical vision and policies; conducting research designed to improve the technological assets of the company; developing and directing systems risk mitigation strategies; and serving as an advisors to other senior managers on improving efficiency and effectiveness through technology.
His career has spanned the range of corporate settings, from startups and turnarounds to multi-billion dollar international corporations. He has served as CTO for such companies as Perscala, Winnol Corporation, XAP Corporation, and 4Medica. Carino also worked for two years as the Executive Director of Research and Development for MySpace, and the Director of Strategic New Business Development for FILETEK. Prior to those positions, he spent eleven years as the chief architect for Multimedia Object/Relational Databases and Intrapreneurial Laboratory Head and advisor to the Chief Scientist and CEO of NCR/Teradata.
Highlights of his professional experience include: founding and creating an elite R&D innovation group at MySpace which pioneered an R&D system, in collaboration with the University of Southern California, to reduce 50% of the 10,000 servers used for caching; conceiving and developing (and now patented) a break-through e-commerce system for monetizing any website without third-party permission; and securing more than 20 patents (eight of which were issued to Carino) for system technology at Teradata.
Carino earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Computer Science and Mathematics from New York University (NYU), as well as his Master’s degree in Computer Science from NYU, and an Executive MBA from the University of Southern California.
Board of Advisors
JESSICA ROBINSON, Founder and CEO, PurePoint International
Jessica Robinson is CEO of PurePoint International helping people and companies to be safe by bridging the gap between physical and cybersecurity. She is CEO of the #1 security company of choice for innovative and forward-thinking businesses globally and is the winner of the JCI Philippines-New York ICON of IMPACT Award for International Affairs and Women’s Security. PurePoint International provides cybersecurity consulting and training for financial services, insurance and other middle market global companies with $150-$500M in revenue. Jessica speaks internationally on cybersecurity and is on the board of both for-profits, and non-profit, technology and security organizations.
MICHELLE KATZ, MSN, LPN, Healthcare Advocate, Author, and Public Speaker in Washington, DC
Michelle Katz, MSN, LPN is perhaps one of the most well-known healthcare advocates today. For over 15 years, Michelle has used her “Healthcare for Less” platform to make healthcare accessible to those who may not have thought they could afford the care they needed as well as address some of the most critical aspects of healthcare in a simpler way.
Ms. Katz has used the power of the media to help deliver the message of hope and encourage through compelling stories about real people in a wide range of financial situations affecting their health from a physical to their emotional state. Ms. Katz is well known for her work, helping families across the country get out of medical debt, on the “Real Money” segments of ABC World News Tonight as well as being used as an expert by various media outlets, including CBS, Fox News, NBC, CNN, and MSNBC.
Ms. Katz has published three books on saving money in healthcare: Healthcare Made Easy, Healthcare for Less, and 101 Health Insurance Tips. These books are all one of a kind resources, helping businesses and families navigate through the health care system and avoid medical debt in a way that is understandable to all.