Chairman of the Board
Mr. Manlunas has served as Chairman since his election to our board in 2019. He is the founder and managing partner of Wavemaker Partners, an early-stage cross border venture capital firm he founded in 2003 that’s dual headquartered in Los Angeles and Singapore. He is a two-time start-up entrepreneur turned venture capitalist as an early investor in over 300 early-stage businesses. Prior to becoming a venture capitalist. Mr. Manlunas founded two technology start-ups, one in e-Commerce (Interfoods.com) in 1996 and the other in Internet services (Sitestar) in 1999, both of which were successfully built and eventually sold to strategic buyers. Mr. Manlunas previously served on Phunware's board from December 2015 until December 2018. Since July 2008, Mr. Manlunas has also served on the board of PhilDev, a civic and social organization enabling success through education, innovation and entrepreneurship. Mr. Manlunas began his career as a consulting associate with Arthur Andersen’s retail management consulting division from 1991-1995. He holds an M.B.A. from Pepperdine University and an undergraduate degree in Communications from Florida International University.
Alan S. Knitowski
Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder
Alan is a successful serial entrepreneur with multiple exits over a 15 year period to companies including Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO), Level 3 Communications (NASDAQ: LVLT) and Internet Security Systems (now NYSE: IBM). He is a 2014 Finalist for the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Award for Central Texas and has been a Founder, Executive, Angel Investor and Fund Manager throughout his career in the private sector after serving in the United States Army as an Airborne, Air Assault and Ranger qualified Captain in the Corps of Engineers.
Alan has also built and managed companies that have won both regional and national awards for growth, including # 4 on the 2014 Deloitte Technology Fast 500 for North America, # 82 on the 2014 Inc. list of the 500 Fastest Growing Companies in the United States (and # 40 on the 2013 list), # 36 on the 2014 Forbes list of America’s Most Promising Companies, # 1 on the 2013 ABJ Fast50 list of the 50 Fastest Growing Companies in Central Texas and # 2 on the 2008 Deloitte Technology Fast 50 for Orange County.
As a mobile and multiscreen industry expert, Alan is frequently quoted in trade publications, serves as a panelist at industry events and writes for the Wall Street Journal’s Accelerators Blog.
Previously, Alan was President of Alternative Investments for Curo Capital LLC and Managing Director for Trymetris Capital Management LLC. In the past, he was a Co-Founder and Director of Telverse Communications, a next-generation advanced services ASP focused on wholesale communications services for carriers and service providers, which was acquired in July 2003 by Level 3 Communications.
Before this time, Alan was Director of Marketing for the Voice Technology Group at Cisco Systems and was responsible for business, market and community development, including business planning and strategy for Cisco’s global packet communications initiatives. In November 2000, Alan joined Cisco as part of the Vovida Networks acquisition, where he served as Co-Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer and led the company from idea conception through its eventual acquisition by Cisco.
Alan holds an MSIE degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology, an MBA degree from the University of California at Berkeley and a BSIE degree from The U. He lives in Austin, Texas, and serves on the President’s Council at the University of Miami (FL).
Chief Operating Officer
Randall is passionate about new venture creation and the innovative spirit that fuels entrepreneurs and advances in technology. As an active investor and entrepreneur, he understands what it takes to successfully launch and grow a new business. He regularly publishes articles and speaks on entrepreneurship, venture capital, healthcare and the rise of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.
Over the past decade, Randall has led over 40 angel investments and deployed over $60M across 14 companies as a venture capitalist. Randall is a co-founder and Managing Partner at TEXO Ventures where he focused on tech-enabled health services and he is the sole founder and Managing Partner at Novē Ventures where he focuses on investing in existing companies looking to leverage blockchain technology. Prior to TEXO, he led the Central Texas Angel Network (CTAN) to becoming one of the most active angel networks in the country. Randall also founded and launched Texas Venture Labs (TVL) at UT in order to give the next generation of investors unique experiential learning opportunities outside of the classroom.
Before getting involved in venture and entrepreneurship, Randall was a Captain in the United States Army and is both Airborne and Ranger qualified. He served over six years active duty and deployed twice in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom where he was awarded two Bronze Stars for his actions during combat operations.
Randall holds a BS from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from the McCombs School of Business. He is also a Kauffman Fellow and member of the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC).
George Syllantavos has served as Stellar’s co-Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Secretary and Director since December 2015. Mr. Syllantavos co-founded in February 2013 and is Chief Executive Officer of, Nautilus Energy Management Corp. (not affiliated with Nautilus Offshore Services Inc.), a maritime energy services company involved in maritime project business development and ship management focusing on the offshore supply and gas sectors. From September 2009 to December 2016, he was the President, Secretary, Treasurer and sole director of BTHC X, Inc. (OTCBB: BTXI) and has been serving on the company’s board of directors since its merger with iOra Software Ltd. From May 2011 until February 2013, Mr. Syllantavos co-founded and served as Co-CEO and CFO of Nautilus Marine, a special purpose acquisition company that completed an initial public offering on July 16, 2011 and was listed on Nasdaq. He served as the CFO of Nautilus Offshore Services Inc., an offshore service vessel owner and the successor of Nautilus Marine, from February 2013 until April 2014. From November 2007 to August 2011, he served as Chief Financial Officer, Secretary and Director of Star Bulk Carriers Corp., a dry-bulk ship-owning company. From May 2005 to November 2007, he served as the Chief Financial Officer, Secretary and Director of Star Maritime (AMEX:SEA), its predecessor, which was a blank check company. From May 1999 to December 2007, he was the President and General Manager of Vortex Ltd., an aviation consulting firm specializing in strategic analysis, fleet planning and asset management.
From January 1998 to April 1999, he served as a financial advisor to Hellenic Telecommunications Organization S.A., where, on behalf of the Chief Executive Officer, he coordinated and led the company’s listing on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:OTE) and where he had responsibilities for the strategic planning and implementation of multiple acquisitions of fixed-line telecommunications companies. Mr. Syllantavos served as a financial and strategic advisor to both the Greek Ministry of Industry & Energy (from June 1995 to May 1996) and the Greek Ministry of Health (from May 1996 to January 1998), where, in 1997 and 1998, he helped structure the equivalent of a US$700 million bond issuance for the payment of outstanding debts to the suppliers of the Greek National Health System. From 1998 to 2004, he served as a member of the Investment Committee of a merchant banking firm, where he reviewed and analyzed many acquisition targets of small or medium sized privately-held manufacturing firms in the U.S. and internationally, of which he assisted in negotiating, structuring and implementing the acquisition of several such firms. Before that, he served for almost 5 years as an aviation consultant specializing in strategic planning and fleet asset management. Mr. Syllantavos has a B.Sc. in Industrial Engineering from Roosevelt University in Chicago and an MBA in Operations Management, International Finance and Transportation Management from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University (USA). We believe Mr. Syllantavos is well-qualified to serve as a member of the Board due to his public company experience, business leadership, operational experience and experience in a prior blank check offering, such as Star Maritime and Nautilus Marine.
Lori Tauber Marcus
Ms. Marcus combines strategic vision, strong business and general management acumen with direct-to-consumer expertise in e-commerce, digital marketing and social media to grow consumer-facing businesses worldwide. In addition to Phunware, Ms. Marcus serves on several other corporate boards including Golub Corporation, a large, privately held regional grocery chain d.b.a Price Chopper/Market 32; Talalay Global, a privately held manufacturer of premium mattresses and pillows; and DNA Diagnostics Center (DDC), a private equity backed leader in private DNA testing services. She is the chair of the DDC board.
In addition to her corporate board service, Ms. Marcus serves on the board of two not-for-profit boards. Since 2016, she has served as a director for SHARE, a women’s cancer support organization. Since 2004, she has served on, and is currently Vice Chair of, the Board of Directors of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF).
Ms. Marcus founded Courtyard Connections, LLC in 2015 and since 2017 she has worked with the Harvard Business School’s Kraft Precision Medicine Accelerator as Chair of the Direct-to-Patient Initiative. Prior to founding Courtyard Connections, Ms. Marcus had a distinguished career in consumer marketing. She spent 24 years with PepsiCo, rising through the Marketing ranks to her final position as SVP, National Marketing Activation for the North America Beverage Division. She left PepsiCo to become SVP, Chief Marketing Officer at The Children’s Place Retail Stores (NASDAQ: PLCE), where she complemented her consumer products experience with omni-channel retail leadership. She then spent 2 years as Executive Vice President and Chief Global Brand and Product Officer at Keurig Green Mountain, Inc (formerly NASDAQ: GMCR). In 2016, she served as Interim Chief Marketing Officer for Peloton Interactive, where she was the leader of brand strategy, integrated marketing, public relations, acquisition marketing, loyalty, retention/engagement and email marketing, social media, creative services and advanced analytics.
Ms. Marcus holds a BSE from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
Kathy Tan Mayor
Ms. Mayor has held numerous leadership positions in business development, retail marketing, loyalty marketing, and digital marketing technology. She is currently the Chief Marketing Officer of BoxyCharm, a beauty subscription service company located in South Florida. From 2016 to 2018, Ms. Mayor was the Chief Digital Officer across the 10 portfolio brands of Carnival Corporation and the Chief Marketing Officer of Carnival Cruise Line.
From 2008 to 2016, Ms. Mayor held a number of positions at Las Vegas Sands Corporation including a number of vice president and senior vice president roles in strategy and marketing. From 2005 to 2008, she held multiple director positions with Caesar Entertainment Corporation. Prior to that Ms. Mayor worked for McKinsey & Company and Proctor & Gamble in Southeast Asia. Ms. Mayor has a B.S. in Management Engineering from Ateneo de Manila University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Mr. Cowan is an experienced executive officer, board member, advisor and investor. Since 2013, he has been CEO of Cowan Consulting Corporation that provides strategic advisory services to various companies in multiple industries. From 2007 to 2013, Mr. Cowan was President of Strategic Planning and Corporate Initiatives for Sprint Corporation. From 1996 to 2006, he served in multiple roles at Bell South Corporation, including Chief Development Officer, President of Marketing & Product Management, and Chief Network Field Officer.
From 1982 to 1996, Mr. Cowan was partner at Alston & Bird LLP. He sits on the Board of Globalstar (NYSEAmerican: GSAT), is Vice Chairman of the Georgia Intellectual Property Alliance, has been Vice Chairman of Fox Theatre in Atlanta since 2006, Chairman of the Morehead-Cain Scholarship Fund since 2009, and a Trustee of the Loomis Chafee School since 2014. Mr. Cowan holds a BA in Economics and Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a JD, Law from the University of Virginia School of Law.
Blythe Masters is an experienced financial services and technology executive and currently an Industry Partner at the private equity and venture capital firm Motive Partners. She is the former CEO of Digital Asset - provider of the world's leading smart contract language DAML - which she led from a startup in 2015 until 2018, serving customers including the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). She is Chair Emeritus of the Governing Board of the Linux Foundation’s open source Hyperledger Project, International Advisory Board Member of Santander Group, Board Member of OpenBank and Advisory Board Member of the United States Chamber of Digital Commerce, Figure Technologies - the blockchain-powered consumer financial products company - and the residential mortgage exchange, Maxex.
Blythe was previously a senior executive at J.P. Morgan, which she left after 27 years in 2014, following the successful sale of the physical commodities business which she built. Blythe was a member of the Corporate & Investment Bank Operating Committee and the firm's Executive Committee. Positions at J.P. Morgan included Head of Global Commodities, Head of Corporate & Investment Bank Regulatory Affairs, CFO of the Investment Bank, Head of Global Credit Portfolio and Credit Policy & Strategy, Head of North American Structured Credit Products, Co-Head of Asset Backed Securitization and Head of Global Credit Derivatives Marketing.
Blythe is a past Chair of the Global Financial Markets Association (GFMA), the Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) and the public consumer finance company Santander Consumer Holdings Inc. (NYSE: SC).
Blythe is currently Co-Chair of the Global Fund for Women, Vice Chair of ID2020, Advisory Board Member and past Board Member of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Board Member of the Feminist Institute, and former Chair of the Greater New York City Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Blythe holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Cambridge.