John Shumate
John Shumate
Chief Executive Officer
Profile

John founded Venture First to fill a gap in the financial services ecosystem affecting ventures, early-stage investors and other lower-middle-market companies. He has worked with hundreds of early- and growth-stage companies across many industries, many of them dealing with highly-technical products or business models. He has over a decade of financial and transactional experience, including buy-side and sell-side M&A; debt and equity capital raises; strategic consulting; complex financial modeling; business plan development; equity and derivative valuation; and venture incubation. Prior to Venture First, John served as Vice President at Blue Equity, a growth-stage private equity firm, and Chief Financial Officer at Bellanovus, an early-stage medical device development company. He was an Associate at bCatalyst, an incubator and financial services provider to early-stage companies. He has also held analytical roles for Ethicon-Endo Surgery, a division of Johnson & Johnson, and Hilliard-Lyons, a regional brokerage house. John attended the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, receiving a B.S. in Economics and dual concentrations in Finance and Management.

Contact
Email: john@venturefirst.com

Phone: +1.502.208.2125 Ext 1

Liza Bowersox
Liza Bowersox
Vice President
Profile
Liza Bowersox serves as Vice President for Compliance Valuation at Venture First. Her primary focus is Fair Market Value and Fair Value Opinions for tax and financial reporting purposes. She is a leading provider of independent valuation advisory and valuation education services to private companies, institutional investors, attorneys and entrepreneurs in the United States and globally. She has deep experience analyzing complex capitalization structures for the purpose of valuing common stock, preferred stock, derivatives, and equity appreciation rights. Liza has served companies with Enterprise Valuations ranging from $1-$300MM in a variety of industries. She is a member of both the American Society of Appraisers and the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts with credentials in process for both organizations.
Prior to joining Venture First, Liza led the 409a Valuation Practice at Oxford Valuation Partners. She began her career with Arthur Andersen Business Consulting and later spent 5 years managing systems integration and technology strategy engagements with Adecco, Inc. Liza received a BA in Economics from The University of Virginia.
Contact
Email: liza@venturefirst.com

Phone: +1.502.208.2125 Ext 3

Will Baumgardner
Will Baumgardner
Vice President
Profile

Will is Vice President of Venture First. He has extensive experience in the e-commerce industry, holding roles in finance, strategy, and operations. Will started his career with Zappos.com, a subsidiary of Amazon.com, where he was ultimately responsible for the finance function of three fulfillment centers and over $230 million in operating and capital expenses. He has strong expertise in financial planning and analysis, financial modeling, forecasting, budgeting, and corporate strategy. Will comes to Venture First after most recently working for NastyGal.com, an online fashion retailer, which was named Inc’s #11 fastest growing company in 2012. At Nasty Gal, he served as a Senior Financial Analyst and later, as a Project Manager in Los Angeles, CA. Will attended the University of Louisville, where he received his degree in Finance.

Contact
Email: will@venturefirst.com

Phone: +1.502.208.2125 Ext 4

Bob DeRossett
Bob DeRossett
VP, CFO Services
Profile
Bob DeRossett is Vice President of CFO Services for Venture First. Bob has worked with several start-up companies in the Louisville area for the past fifteen years.  He served as the Chief Financial Officer of Greater Louisville, Inc. - The Metro Chamber of Commerce and as the Executive Vice President of Nucleus: Kentucky's Innovation Center, the economic development arm of the University of Louisville.  Bob also held roles as the Budget Director for the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, AEGON / Transamerica and Brown-Forman Corporation.
 
Bob is a Certified Public Accountant, a Chartered Global Management Accountant and a holder of the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.  He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting from Bellarmine University and an M.B.A. with a concentration in Entrepreneurship from the University of Louisville.  Bob was also an instructor of the Becker CPA Review Course for over ten years and an adjunct professor of entrepreneurship at Indiana University Southeast.
Contact
Email: bob@venturefirst.com

Phone: +1.502.208.2125

Frank Marx
Frank Marx
Senior Advisor
Profile
Frank is a Senior Advisor for Venture First, and brings three decades of strategy consulting, M&A advisory, and business development experience to our client projects and engagements.  His work for us includes assisting our valuation team in building advanced capabilities and techniques; assisting with M&A and capital raising activities on behalf of our clients; and providing project leadership to management consulting engagements.
 
Frank has worked in both senior finance and operating roles with a number of large corporations, including Bankers Trust (now Deutsche Bank), KFC International (now Yum! Brands), and LG&E Energy (now a division of PP&L Energy), and Columbia Energy Group (now NiSource).   His strategy consulting experience includes roles with Strategic Decisions Group, and Dean & Company.  Frank also managed his own independent strategy consulting and advisory practice for 13 years, prior to joining Venture First.  
He has led or participated on M&A transactions on behalf of clients or employers in excess of $1 billion.  He has assisted companies with valuation projects for capital raising activities in excess of $50 million in early stage capital raised.
Frank holds a BS in Mathematical and Computational Sciences, and a MS in Engineering-Economic Systems, both from Stanford University.  He also holds an MBA from the Chicago Booth School of Business, with concentrations in analytic finance and business policy.
Contact
Email: frank@venturefirst.com

Phone: +1.502.208.2125

John Toner
John Toner
Business Development
Profile

John Toner is Business Development lead for Venture First in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has extensive experience managing multi-faceted relationships and building connections that matter. Prior to Venture First, Toner worked in the UN system to manage partnerships between national governments, UN agencies, and vendors to deploy innovative technology for human development reaching millions of citizens in over 100 countries. He has held roles in product development & management, client relationship management and business development. Toner studied International, Business, Trade and Development at New York University where he co-founded the Society for International Business and Development in 2009 which now has an alumni network of over 300. His research includes developing innovative social impact models for Microfinance in Central America, integrating human centered design into public-private partnerships, and applying business principles to nonprofit management. He has lived in 4 countries and worked for extended periods in over 20. John is a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar and graduated from Wake Forest University with a degree in History.

Contact
Email: toner@venturefirst.com

Phone: +1.502.208.2125 Ext 5

Ruchi Agarwal
Ruchi Agarwal
Associate
Profile

Ruchi brings over 10 years of experience in the financial services industry. Prior to joining Venture First, Ruchi was an accounting associate at JPMorgan, providing financial and investor reporting for multi-million dollar private equity funds. While working in New York, she was selected to support the Chicago office initiative. Ruchi has also provided accounting support to the biggest LGBT non-profit center in Chicago. She received a B.S. in Finance and Accounting from Syracuse University.

Contact
Email: ruchi@venturefirst.com

Phone: +1.502.208.2125 Ext 8

Marcie Doll
Marcie Doll
Valuation Analyst
Profile

Marcie is a Valuation Analyst for Venture First. Her experience includes operational and corporate accounting roles. She is a member of the Institute of Management Accountants. Prior to joining Venture First, she has been a National Controller with Sodexo USA, Inc. where she worked with corporate dining accounts for a Fortune 75 company. She was also an Operations Controller with Levy Restaurants, a subsidiary of the largest contract foodservice company in the world, Compass Group. While with Levy, Marcie managed financial aspects for multiple contractual accounts for Sports and Entertainment dining venues and events including Super Bowl (XXXVIII) Village, Breeders’ Cup, and the most exciting two minutes in sports, The Kentucky Derby. Marcie graduated with a BS in Business: Accounting from Indiana University.

Contact
Email: marcie@venturefirst.com

Phone: +1.502.208.2125 Ext 9

Logan Burchett
Logan Burchett
Financial Analyst
Profile

Logan Burchett is a Financial Analyst at Venture First. Logan has experience with large scale institutional asset management, helping with asset allocation and strategy selection of multi billion dollar public equity and fixed income portfolios. Logan has experience within all major asset classes, with his tenure giving him exposure to hedge funds, private equity funds, Real Estate Funds, and Real Return funds in addition to traditional asset classes. Mr. Burchett is a CFA level 2 candidate, and holds an MBA in finance from Xavier University as well as a bachelor’s degree in economics from Transylvania University.

Contact
Email: burchett@venturefirst.com

Phone: +1.502.208.2125 Ext 10

Steven Plappert
Steven Plappert
Analyst
Profile

Steven is an Analyst for Venture First. Prior to Venture First, Steven was accepted into Techstars, the #1 Global Accelerator for Startups, with a company he founded, FantasyHub, a popular daily fantasy sports app. At FantasyHub, Steven was in charge of operations, fundraising, and contest/user analysis to optimize their gameplay ecosystem. He successfully raised over $1M in capital from experienced investors and led the company to become the fifth provider in the space. He has extensive experience in startup operations, early-stage business development, raising capital, and project management. Steven received his B.A. in Mathematical Economics at the University of Kentucky and has completed Level 1 of the CFA exams.

Contact
Email: steven@venturefirst.com

Phone: +1.502.208.2125 Ext 6

Jackie Endler
Executive Assistant/Office Manager
Profile
Jackie is the Executive Assistant/Office Manager for Venture First.  She has experience in the legal and financial fields, providing executive support and overseeing office management.  Jackie also has experience in human resources with a start-up e-commerce company, supporting a diverse employee population and young company through complex organizational changes.  A commitment to process improvement, smooth functioning of the office environment and dedication to exceptional administrative support are hallmarks of Jackie's professional experience.
Contact
Email: jackie@venturefirst.com

Phone: +1.502.208.2125