Sebastian was born in Johannesburg and after graduating with a degree in Aeronautical
Engineering worked as a consultant Project Manager for AECOM for in London.
From January 2007, he worked as a self-employed management consultant. In 2012 he moved to the US and is now based in Baltimore, Maryland. He is currently the Portfolio Head of Mergers and Acquisitions at IBM.
He has over 15 years experience in the IT, consultancy and construction industries with extensive management skills.
He has strong ties to South Africa, with his immediate family still based in Johannesburg.
Monica lives in New York City. She has a BS and a MS in Early Childhood Education and experience as a first and second grade teacher in Syracuse, New York and at Cathedral School, part of St. John the Divine on the Upper West Side.
She was also an assistant graphic designer and Department Coordinator for the Anesthesiology Department at Lenox Hill Hospital, before relocating to London for 14 years.
Monica currently serves on several educational and cultural boards in New York City.
She was drawn to Starfish on a visit to South Africa with Heather Muir Johnson.
Justine, who holds a CFA, is a managing director in the consumer investment banking group at Stifel, a leading growth-focused investment bank based in New York.
She joined Stifel from Alantra, an investment bank where she was a managing director in their US consumer sector and co-head of personal care globally. Prior to Alantra, she was Global Head of Consumer & Luxury at BDA Partners and a Director at DC Advisory Group in London.
She is a founding Board Member & investor in Exponent LLC, a New York based woman’s networking organization established in 2017.
She was recently selected as one of the “Most Influential Woman in Middle Market M&A 2019” by Sourcemedia, received a “40 under 40” award from M&A Advisor 2013, “Top 50: America M&A Dealmaker” by Global M&A Network in 2013; and included as Acquisition Finance’s “2014 Dealmakers of the Year’.
Justine graduated with a B.Com and postgraduate diploma in Accounting from Rhodes University and started her career in public accounting at KPMG in Cape Town and London.
Nicola grew up in South Africa and has been involved with the Starfish Greathearts Foundation since its inception.
Nicola joined Starfish USA in January 2013 to lead our development, run day-to-day operations, and maximize our impact on community organizations in South Africa. Most recently Nicola coordinated marketing and event management for Big Brothers Big Sisters head office in Philadelphia and was responsible for organizing their centennial celebration in Bryant Park in 2004.
Prior to her commitment to the nonprofit world, Nicola worked as an investor relations consultant for the Brunswick Group, both in Johannesburg and New York. She has volunteered at the Strathyre Home for Girls in Johannesburg, mentoring young AIDS orphans. Nicola received a bachelor’s degree in Law from the University of Natal and lives with her American husband and their two children in New York.
Brett (CA & CPA) is a partner within Deloitte’s attest practice, who has experience in working with publicly traded software and technology companies. He serves as a subject matter resource for the Southeast region in software and multiple element revenue recognition.
He also regularly delivers training to external audiences on the topic of software revenue recognition. He is accustomed to serving fast-growing acquisitive companies with complex accounting and reporting issues. Brett has assisted clients with equity and debt placements and has significant experience with SEC reporting and filings. However, most of his time is spent serving private-equity backed mid-market technology companies.
Brett received a B.Com degree from the University of Cape Town and lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
Heather Muir Johnson
Heather is a Managing Director and Private Banker in the Deutsche Bank Wealth Management New York office. Heather joined Deutsche Bank in 2014 with 33 years of industry experience.
Prior to joining the firm, she was in the Private Bank at Citigroup where she worked with ultra-high-net-worth families. Heather earned a B.A. in American Studies from Yale University and an MBA in Finance from New York University Stern School of Business.
She serves on the Boards of several not-for-profit organizations including The Madeira School, BOMB Magazine and the Starfish Greathearts Foundation USA.
Chris is a Principal in Fish & Richardson’s New York office. Chris was previously an associate, patent agent and technology specialist with the firm. His practice emphasizes patent prosecution and counseling, patent strategy and analysis, and development and management of patent portfolios.
Technical areas of Chris’ patent prosecution work include various sub-fields of physics. Chris has substantial experience in a variety of optical technologies.
Prior to joining Fish & Richardson, Chris served as a Senior Research Physicist in the Optical Systems Division of 3M. He was a graduate research assistant at Brown University and then graduated from Suffolk University Law School.
Chris is originally from South Africa, where he received a BSc in Physics from the University of Cape Town.
Valerie is the Senior Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer for Blue Cross of Idaho.
She has spent the majority of her professional career in the areas of health care and finance. Before joining Blue Cross of Idaho, Valerie held positions at Touche Ross, Goldman Sachs and Emblem Health. Valerie is a Certified Public Accountant, a member of Women in Health Management and a member of Financial Executives International.
She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, the New York Better Business Bureau, United Way and the Metropolitan Golf Association. Valerie has a BA in marketing management from Baylor University and an MBA in both finance and accounting from Pace University.
She and her husband Michael live in Tuxedo, NY.
Ted (CFA) is the Managing Principal at Crito Capital.
As an investment professional whose focus is marketing alternative investment products, Ted has previously held positions as an investment analyst, portfolio manager, product and sales manager and distribution professional. His expertise includes new product development, fund analysis and selection, jurisdictional review, as well as the interplay between legal and commercial issues related to fund launch and new investment strategies. He is also an experienced distribution professional, having built relationships with investors in Asia, Europe and North America.
As the Managing Principal of both Crito Capital LLC and Crito Capital LLP, his responsibilities include sourcing, due diligence, analysis and distribution functions on behalf of client engagements. Ted is responsible for working with colleagues to source client mandates and for leading or assisting distribution efforts on each client’s behalf. Current client mandates include work in private equity, venture capital and hedged investment strategies.
Board Member – Finance
Dan is the Sr. Manager, Domestic Corporate Tax for The Walt Disney Company in Orlando, FL. where he lives with his Ghanain wife, Jennifer. Dan has a BS Accounting from Roger Williams University and MST from Bentley University and has held senior management positions at several Fortune 500 companies.
He also holds a Fundraising Certificate from Boston University. A native New Englander, he has adopted South Africa as a second home and visits regularly. Inspired by the work of a relative in Johannesburg who runs daycare facilities and a place of safety for children in Orange Farm and Meyerton, Dan became aware of Starfish about 15 years ago while searching for means to help fund her efforts. Dan provides philanthropic support to a number of non-profit children and health organizations.
David has been a leader in the successful development of high-technology businesses for more than 30 years. Currently, he is a founding partner of Gamma 3 LLC. Gamma 3 provides early stage funding for start-up initiatives focused on IP creation, technology advancement and commercialization. It partners with best-in-class academic institutions, inventors and entrepreneurs to create advanced technology companies in the Maryland area.
He has raised more than $2.5 billion in six public offerings and has been recognized as a leader and visionary in several technology fields. His many awards and honors include acknowledgement as the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year; Mobile Computing Magazine’s Person of the Year for 2000, and the KPMG High Tech Entrepreneur of the Year. He received the Westinghouse award for Leadership in Research and Development. David also holds a U.S. patent for the airborne multi-function radar system. He is the Chairman and founder of Terbium Labs. Terbium Labs is an information security company that runs Matchlight, a data intelligence system that monitors the internet for breaches of organizations’ most sensitive data.
He is also Chairman of Gemstone Biotherapeutics LLC. Gemstone Biotherapeutics is a leader in the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. It is developing bioengineering technology for clinical cell therapy solutions and wound healing products. From 2007 to 2010, David was a founding partner of Global Domain Partners, LLC, a managed futures company that uses advanced optimization modeling as a predictive tool for worldwide markets, currencies and commodities.
From 1996 to 2006, he was the Chairman and CEO of Aether Systems, Inc., a leading provider of wireless and mobile data solutions for the financial trading systems, transportation, and public safety industries. He built Aether Systems from a small consulting company with a handful of employees to an industry leader in high-end wireless applications. From 1994 until 1996, David was president of NexGen Technologies, LLC, a wireless software development company. From 1992 until 1994, he was president of the Wireless Data Group at Westinghouse Electric. For a decade prior to that, he directed internal research at Westinghouse Electric, managing large
programs in advanced airborne radar design and development. He currently serves on the
Board of Directors for Evolving Systems, Inc. He is on the Board of Visitors for the University of Maryland Baltimore County and is the Senior Executive CEO In Residence. He also is on the
Board of Directors for Paul’s Place, a community outreach center in Washington Village.
Tanya Konidaris is a Senior Financial Sector Specialist with the Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation Global Practice of the World Bank Group.
Tanya provides policy advice on capital market development to governments and securities regulators around the world. She has over 20 years experience covering emerging capital markets, having worked for the Standard Bank Group in Johannesburg, Hong Kong and as a Director in London.
Tanya has a Masters Degree in International Affairs from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.
Candice was born in South Africa, where she graduated with a BA (Law) from the University of the Witwatersrand, B.Proc (University of Johannesburg) and Higher Diploma in Corporate Law (University of Johannesburg).
She ran a successful legal practice in Sandton before relocating to Dubai with her family in 2004. Dubai’s Sharia laws imprisons female victims of human trafficking for prostitution. During the 11 years she lived in Dubai, she established a program to help these women. All the women she assisted were released.
In 2015 she moved to the US and lives in the state of Connecticut with her husband and three children. Candice has a long history of humanitarian work and is particularly passionate about working with children.
For the last 15 years, both in South Africa and the US, she has been a loyal supporter of Starfish. She has a deep knowledge of the South African and the HIV/AIDS crisis.