Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Richards is a proven successful entrepreneur and visionary strategist and a co-founder of the company. He sets the corporate goals and leads the development of business and market strategies. Previously, his leadership has led Blackboard Connect (formerly The NTI Group) to be the number one provider of hosted, time-sensitive mass notification services focused on assisting government and civil leaders to communicate quickly and efficiently with their constituents using multi-modal technologies.
Honored as a Readers' Favorite in Inc. Magazine's 2007 Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Mr. Richards has also received Customer Interaction Solutions Magazine's Lifetime Achievement Award and the LAVA (Los Angeles Venture Association) Award for Best M&A. He is a member of several boards, including LASEC (Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment Commission), Morehouse College Board of Trustees, and the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business - Board of Leaders.
Prior to forming The NTI Group Inc., he served as the CEO of Vivendi Universal Net USA, an entity created to oversee the U.S. Internet-related companies owned by Vivendi Universal. Mr. Richards was also the founding president and chief operating officer as well as a director of MP3.com, Inc., the Internet's first and preeminent digital music provider that had the largest IPO for an independent Internet company at that time. He was the lead negotiator in the sale of MP3.com to Vivendi Universal.
Previous to MP3.com, Mr. Richards served as managing director of Tickets.com, Inc., an Internet ticketing service company that was sold to Advantix. He was the founder, president, and CEO of Lexi International, the largest tele-services and database management company in the United States by mid-1991 and appeared twice on the Inc. 500 Fastest Growing Companies list. The company was successfully sold to Thayer Capital.
Mr. Richards currently serves as president of the Chase Foundation.
Mr. Richards holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Michigan State University and attended Whittier College School of Law.
Co–Chairman, President and Chief Operating Officer
Mr. Ouyang is a co-founder and responsible for the overall execution of corporate strategies and operations including finance, technology, client services, marketing, legal and general administration.
Mr. Ouyang successfully built several start-up ventures into high growth companies that either went public or were sold to strategic partners. He has been directly involved with over $15 billion of strategic and financial transactions.
Previously, Mr. Ouyang was the co-founder, President and COO of The NTI Group, Inc., the premier SaaS based time sensitive mass notification system that was later sold to Blackboard, Inc. in 2008. Prior, he was the Chief Executive Officer of Vivendi Universal Net USA, a subsidiary of Vivendi Universal in online entertainment, and also served as its Chief Operating Officer. As Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of MP3.com, Inc., Mr. Ouyang played a key role in the sale of MP3.com to Vivendi Universal after orchestrating what was, at the time, the largest initial public offering for an independent Internet company. Mr. Ouyang has also served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Tickets.com, Inc. that was acquired by Advantix and held a similar position at Cheap Tickets Inc. He was a Managing Director of Corporate Finance at KPMG Peat Marwick LLP and a Vice President in Investment Banking at J.P. Morgan & Co.
Mr. Ouyang is currently a director of Huntington Hospital, Internships Holding Corporation, and a trustee of the Collis P. and Howard Huntington Memorial Trust. Previously, he was a director of Bluebeam Software, Inc., the NTI Group, VU Net USA, FastSoft, Inc., Southern California Healthcare Systems, SeeUthere.com, and a trustee of the Chandler School. His family established and funds scholarship programs at several academic institutions including Amherst College, Yale University, and the Wharton School. He also gives talks on entrepreneurism at the University of Southern California.
He received his Master of Business Administration in Finance and a General Electric Fellowship from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Amherst College.
Vice President of Finance
With over 20 years of experience in the Finance, Strategic Planning and Accounting arena, Mr. Wang is currently responsible for all finance functions in the company.
Prior to joining the company, Mr. Wang oversaw all financial, human resources, and administrative functions for MeziMedia, a start-up company in the on-line shopping and deals space. He was part of the executive leadership team that was responsible for the sale of MeziMedia to ValueClick (NASDAQ: VCLK) in 2007 and stayed on in a senior operational role subsequent to the sale.
In addition, Mr. Wang has worked in a financial and analytical capacity in a variety of industries, including such Fortune 500/multi-national Companies as Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO), PPG (NYSE:PPG), and Nestle (OTC: NSRGY.PK). He began his professional career at Price Waterhouse Coopers where he earned his CPA.
Mr. Wang holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics-Accounting-Psychology from Claremont McKenna College.
Chief Technology Officer
As the Chief Technology Officer of the company, Mr. Christie is responsible for overseeing all technical aspects of the organization, including product development, infrastructure management, system integrations, and vendor selection and management.
Prior to joining the company Mr. Christie ran Engineering for Spark Networks (NYSE:LOV) a leading provider of online personals services in the United States and internationaly. While at Spark Networks he built the product development process into a repeatable, highly successful program tied directly to the company’s strategic objectives. He also drove the design and construction of a new enterprise wide purchasing platform used across all 31 of the company's properties.
Previous to Spark Networks Mr. Christie has built and run technology organizations ranging from small teams for startups to teams spanning seven locations around the globe for companies like AIG (NYSE:AIG). His industry experience includes banking, entertainment, mortgage fraud detection, insurance, brokerage, and publishing. Mr. Christie has a broad technical background building systems and teams around architectures in Ruby on Rails, .Net, LAMP, Java, and C/C++.
Mr. Christie received his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Cornell University.
Chief Marketing Officer
Mr. Riemer is responsible for leading the company's marketing and product strategy.
He was previously a founding team member at Amuzu, a SaaS mobile solution for higher education institutions, where he led product, marketing and business development efforts.
In the venture capital industry, Mr. Riemer performed due diligence on potential investments, analyzed market characteristics, and presented research findings and recommendations to a team of angel investors, primarily focused on SaaS startups. Earlier in his career as a strategy consultant at Putnam Associates, Mr. Riemer worked with Fortune 50 companies on Business opportunity sizing, growth strategy, sales & marketing analytics, and joint ventures.
He received his Master of Business Administration from Bar-Ilan University in Tel Aviv and his Bachelor of Arts from Vanderbilt University.