Dealmakers Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
Congratulations to the 2022 Dealmakers Hall Of Fame Honorees!
Founder, Chairman & CEO
Joe Alala, III is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Capitala Group, one of the largest asset management firms providing equity capital and debt capital exclusively to lower middle market businesses. Mr. Alala founded Capitala Group as CapitalSouth Partners in 1998 at the age of 28, the youngest founder of an SBIC debenture fund in history. Mr. Alala is also the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Capitala Finance Corp., a publicly traded business development company (Nasdaq:CPTA) and is a board member of several Capitala Group portfolio companies. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the Friends of Princeton Track and Field Group, as well as the Board of Visitors for Wake Forest University School of Law and the Wake Forest Charlotte Executive Board of Advisors. Mr. Alala has been a member of the Young President’s Organization since 2000. Mr. Alala holds an A.B. in economics, with a minor in politics, from Princeton University. He earned his J.D. and M.B.A. from Wake Forest University.
Mr. Estevez is a Venture Partner with Accel, a $20B venture capital firm with nearly 40 years of investing in over 1,000 high growth start-ups. Previously, he was CFO of Atlassian (Nasdaq: TEAM), BigFix (Sold to IBM) and Datastream (Nasdaq: DSTM). Based in Greenville, South Carolina, Mr. Estevez has helped in the creation of 10 software unicorns. He is currently Chairman of NEXT Venture Summit and Chair Emeritus of Venture Atlanta.
CEO & Co-Founder
At 17, Tana Greene wrote a goal on a piece of paper: "own my own business by the age of 30." Along the way, the business became clear – she wanted to help others by finding them stable employment. Owning her own business became a reality in 1988 when she co-founded a national staffing company that grew to operate in more than 20 states. With over 30 years of experience in the industry, Tana saw first-hand the changing needs of the hourly workforce. In addition, she understood the vital role flexibility and technology would play moving forward. In 2017, she guided the company's transformation into MyWorkChoice, which now employs over 50,000 workers across 21 states.
In addition to the daily challenges of running a successful tech-based staffing company, Tana serves on the board of Safe Alliance Women's Services, and has published an inspirational book on business success entitled "Creating a World of Difference."
David co-founded Peak 10 in March of 2000. Aligning an expert leadership team, he built one of the industry's most admired companies in the data center and cloud infrastructure industry – consistently producing impressive, consistent year over year financial performance and growth. David led the company for 17 years as CEO and Chairman building Peak 10 to be the leader in hybrid data center operations, hosting and managed services east of the Mississippi. Flexential, a national, hybrid colocation, hosting, network and managed service data center company resulted from the late 2017 combination of two market leading data center companies, ViaWest headquartered in Denver, and Peak 10, headquartered in Charlotte. This combination created the largest national hybrid, facilities-based, hosting services company in the United States, currently with 3.2 million square feet of data center space, 37 data centers and 19 markets.
David holds a B.A. degree in Economics from the University of Virginia and completed the Executive Development Business Program at George Washington University. In addition to his responsibilities on the Flexential Board of Directors David serves on the board of directors of RadixBay (enterprise software development and support), chairman of TechWorks of Gaston County, NC. David is an advisory board member for McCarthy Capital, a private equity firm in Omaha, NE, a member of Morris, Manning & Minor, LLP’s Tech Advisory Council (Atlanta, GA), advisory board of Tech Leaders Forum of Charlotte.
Active on non-profit boards, he serves on the of directors, and was formerly chairman of the Steele Creek YMCA. He served for 6 years on the Board of Trustees of Queens University in Charlotte and is a board member of Innovate Charlotte, a public-private fund fueling entrepreneurial growth in the Charlotte region. David is a mentor with TECH Alpharetta, in Atlanta.
Founder, Chairman & CEO
An expert on the consumer finance industry and mortgage markets, Doug provides insight and analysis on the current and future state of consumer lending and how FinTech companies, such as LendingTree, are using cutting-edge technology to change financial services. Doug has been a frequent contributor and guest speaker on major news networks such as Bloomberg, CNBC, Fox Business and The Street. He has been featured on live televised programs such Mornings with Maria, CNBC Squawk Box and Mad Money with Jim Cramer.
Fortalice Solutions LLC
As one of the nation’s most respected authorities on secured digital transformation, Theresa Payton is frequently requested to advise Boards of Global Companies, CEOs, and Technology Executives. Theresa is a visionary in the digital world leading the way as an inventor of new security designs and has an approved U.S. patent in security. She provides advice drawing from her experience as a technologist first and now veteran cybercrime fighter, entrepreneur, and author.
Theresa started her professional career within the financial services sector during a time when unprecedented merger activity and innovative and creative banking solutions were market differentiators. Theresa went from a developer to the management ranks quickly, running over 60 significant merger integrations as well as deploying several “first ever” platforms for her banking employers such as expert systems, artificial intelligence, mobile banking, and more. She started her career in a Board Room – while in her early 20s, Barnett Bank (now Bank of America) put her in charge of the CEO’s top strategic technology initiative and asked her to brief the Board of Directors.
Theresa was named the first-ever female White House Chief Information Officer with vast responsibilities that extended globally and included other duties such as maintaining the Federal records keeping for the entire operation and building out the first ever 24X7 security operations center.
She continues to practice her craft as the CEO of a leading, profitable cybersecurity company, Fortalice Solutions. She is a thought leader in key areas of importance to management and boards, including combating fraud, insider threat, improving customer experience, operational resiliency, and securing leading-edge technology deployments leveraging blockchain, artificial intelligence, and big data analytics.
Theresa has a proven track record as an Advisory Board member for two public companies (UniCredit Bank and CyberArk). She has advised both and coached their teams in transforming key lines of business to meet market demands in a secure and innovative manner. She funded and co-founded a product company in 2014 and sat on its original Board. The company was sold in 2022 to Celerium Inc.
Co-Founder & CEO
Michael Praeger is our Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer. Since starting AvidXchange more than 20 years ago, he has led our growth to more than 1,500 employees, 7,000+ customers and over 700,000 suppliers nationwide.
Before establishing AvidXchange, Michael co-founded PlanetResume.com, a technology career enhancement and recruiting site that successfully completed its merger with CareerShop.com in November 1999.
Prior to that, he co-founded and served as CEO of InfoLink Partners, a software company specializing in automating the tax billing and collection functions for municipalities. Michael also served as an associate with Summit Partners, a Boston-based venture capital and buyout partnership with more than $1 billion under management.
Verl Purdy has been a leader in the collection, analysis and recommended utilization of complex data for the Health Care, Agricultural and Animal Health industries for over four decades. He developed the first electronic eligibility inquiry system for the Health Care market and pioneered the storage and access to Hospital system retirements. He has operated these business units in the US, Canada, South America and the EU Countries.
Private Investor, Ascent Investments
Strategist, Edgehill Investments
Drew has over 30 years of middle market M&A experience - as an advisor, board member and principal investor - across a variety of industries. He was a founder and Managing Partner of Edgeview Partners and BlackArch Partners - 2 leading middle market M&A advisory firms with a national presence based in Charlotte, NC. Drew facilitated the sale both organizations to Fortune 500 financial institutions and led the organizations post-sale. Drew was also the CFO and board member of W-H Energy Services in Houston - now part of Schlumberger. Over the course of his career he has led/advised on transactions in excess of $10 billion in enterprise value.
Drew is also a community leader and serves on the board of several not for profit organizations in the Carolinas.