Meet our Founders

At Veriily, our team is our company, and our company is our team. We make up what represents America, from all walks of life and backgrounds. We recognize the value and importance of diversity in the workplace. We pride ourselves in not only “talking the talk”, but “walking the walk” when it comes to diversity and inclusion amongst our team members. Our diverse team represents the American ideals that our nation was built upon, and encompasses individuals from all different walks of life, education levels, race, gender, and sexual orientation.

Founder & Executive Chairman

Mark Mazzone

US Army & NC Army National Guard Veteran

Mark is a regular guy from a military family (dad is retired USMC), and he’s been serving his fellow citizens in some capacity since he was younger. Additionally, he’s a US Army combat veteran, has B.A. in English from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, worked in software and IT project management, and is a consumer of all things tech and fantasy (e.g. Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, etc.).

Email:mark.mazzone@veriily.com

Location:North Carolina

Chief Executive Officer

Robel Tekeste

Rob has been working in the tech world in some capacity, for 20 years. He started his career as a NAVY contractor with Northrop Grumman and followed that up with owning and operating a franchise company for 10 years before selling it and returning to his roots as a tech junkie. He’s a Software Developer by trade and has been involved with the development of several applications over the years. And as such, when the opportunity presented itself to team up with Mark and build the Veriily platform, it was serendipity at its finest.

Email:robel.tekeste@Veriily.com

Location:Virginia

Chief Technology Officer

Akilas Yemane

Akilas is a tinkerer of all things technology and design. He’s worked in the software development space for over 20 years and has varying degrees of expertise in numerous software languages and frameworks. He spends most of his time working on mobile development, and is equally an amazing artist as well in his spare time!

Email:Akilas.yemane@veriily.com

Location:Georgia

Director of Engineering

Dino Yemane

Email:dino.yemane@veriily.com

Location:Georgia

Lead Mobile Engineer

Simon Tsegay

Simon comes from New York by way of California. Prior to joining Veriily, he studied computer science at San Jose State University, worked as a software engineer, developed and taught STEM curriculum at a youth development non-profit where he also volunteered as a mentor to inner-city at-risk teens. He enjoys traveling, especially as an avid photographer.

Email:simon.tsegay@veriily.com

Location:New York

Executive Assistant to the Chairman and CEO

Bill Foster

US Marine Corps Veteran

Bill is a well-rounded individual with a passion for service in many capacities; whether it be his service as a United States Marine, volunteering as a firefighter, or with local community-based nonprofit organizations. Being a very creative person, he has been an artist from a young age, and also earned a BFA in Media Art and Animation from the Art Institute of Washington. He would consider himself a bit of a “nerd” as he loves all things Marvel Comics, is an avid gamer, and he also has a passion for science — especially astronomy.

Email:bill.foster@Veriily.com

Location:Georgia

Meet our Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors brings together subject matter experts across several industries and professions, who are demographically diverse and joined in a common cause to realize the vision that is Veriily.

Human Resources Advisor

John Tenerowicz

John Tenerowicz, has 20 years of experience developing, implementing, and managing the correlating systems, programs, and metrics that serve as the foundation of the employee experience. Placing a strong emphasis on training, professional development, and employee retention, John holds the belief that Human Resources’ responsibility is to align process and compliance with company needs and objectives, all while maintaining a strong focus on people. Prior to joining Colonial, John served as Vice President of Human Resources at Coastal Sunbelt Produce. He received his MBA from the University of Baltimore. John holds a Senior Professional in Human Resources certification from the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM).

Email:john.tenerowicz@Veriily.com

Location:Maryland

Business & Financial Advisor

Maurice Gilliard

US Army Veteran

Restauranteur of Savannah Chocolate Bar & President of Gilliard and Company, a 501(c)(3).

As an Army Officer and former Black Hawk helicopter pilot, Maurice was responsible for direction, accountability and leadership of both personnel and equipment. Maurice’s organizational leadership skills and management have proven results in the office and on the battlefield. Supervisors and peers have spoken of Maurice to have an uncanny ability to bring a group of individuals together and mold them into a cohesive and motivated team, regardless of the tasks at hand. Maurice has served in 3 combat tours between Iraq and Afghanistan.

Maurice is co-owner and operator of the Savannah Chocolate Bar, a Franchised restaurant based out of Buffalo New York. Maurice is the youngest franchisee of the chain and has the vision to expand the brand through the entire southeast of the United States. Maurice also sits as the President of the Board of Directors and Co-Founder of Gilliard and Company, Non-Profit organization, focused on providing services and assistance to Foster Youth in and out of Care. Maurice has first-hand seen, through his wife and mother’s stories, the magnitude of building a purposeful and thriving life with an element that he truly believes is the glue to permanency and resiliency: companionship.

Maurice has a Master’s of Business Administration (M.BA) through Syracuse University, NY, and has achieved a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Austin Peay State University.

Maurice’s compass quote in life is “if my mind can conceive it and my heart can believe it than I can achieve it” – Muhammed Ali.

Sales Advisor

Whitney Gilliard

Whitney Gilliard is a nationally recognized child advocate who works with at-risk youth and families within the American foster care system through her and her husband’s IRS recognized 501(c)(3) private foundation, Gilliard and Company.

Whitney has worked on capitol hill alongside the nation’s top leaders becoming knowledgeable in policy and procedure. Whitney has been a voice and advocate for both foster youth as well as child abuse awareness through her service as a child welfare trainer, speaker, advocate, and advisor.

Through Whitney’s advocacy and leadership, she has been a successful partner in overseeing projects to ensure support is provided to underserved communities. A few examples of these projects include approving grant allotments, sitting on various for/non-profit advisory cabinets, and piloting progressive legislative change. Whitney’s advocacy and leadership has supported movements such as the extension of Indiana’s Older Youth Initiatives (OYI)  allowing youth in care to have the option of aging out at 21 rather than 18;  with the ability to receive services until a youth turns 23. Whitney was also a successful partner advocate in raising the foster care per diem by $10/day and relative subsidy programs by $5/day. “This is notably the highest increase ever approved for foster parents and relative caregivers in Georgia”.  Whitney’s advocacy has also impacted both mental health and educational practices through her partnership with George Washington Medical University and her involvement with the Adverse Childhood Experience studies, as well as “Children’s Rights” to fight for improved educational opportunities for foster youth across the nation.

Whitney has a Bachelors in Human Services, and is currently pursuing a Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a focus on Trauma and Crisis Counseling.

During all of her hands-on work within the foster care community, Whitney’s motivating reminder is this:

“It is the people no one imagines anything of, who do the very things no one can imagine.”

Meet our Sales Team

Engineers build, Sales sustains. It is the lifeblood of Veriily, and by the effort of our Sales and Business Development Team to bring clients into our family, our foundation is solid, and our house – full. We can continue to build our platform and sustain the Veriily family through the strength and suppor of our sales and business development team.

Business Development Representative

Will Ferguson

US Army Veteran

Will is a Native Vermonter who has spent all his life his his home state except Military Service. He joined the Army at 18, was in Basic Training on 9/11 then became a Paratrooper and deployed with 2nd Infantry Division in 2003 as an Infantryman. Whereas he is dedicated to the job he loves, he spends his off time hiking and camping in the Adirondacks for New York.

Email:will.ferguson@veriily.com

Location:Vermont

Meet our Media ArmWrestlers at FoundersTap

If engineers build the foundation and sales maintain the structure, then marketing provides the very oxygen Veriily needs to breathe. It is formed by all of the complex structures that come together to welcome new clients and users into our family. Marketing, by extention, is the warmest of greetings to our clients and users, and the welcome back whenever they’ve taken the time to reflect and regroup.

Editor-in-Chief

Tracy LaFon

Tracy LaFon, Editor-in-Chief of FoundersTap, hails from the coastal North Carolina beaches.  She comes to the Veriily team with a strong background in publishing, academics, and public speaking. After receiving her degree from the University of North Carolina Wilmington, she spent time in the academic setting teaching eager minds how to write. She then moved into publishing, writing both technical and creative nonfiction works. Throughout her career, she has served as a trainer and motivational speaker to private, public and non-profit organizations as well.

Email:tracy.lafon@veriily.com

Location:North Carolina

Creative Director

Athen Brandon

Email:athen.brandon@veriily.com

Location:Arkansas

Social Media Manager

Michele Beck

Michele comes to Veriily with a wide range of skills.  From teaching to property management, fitness training and even stage and theatrical experience, she brings it all. As a wife, millennial mom, grad-student and even a bit of a pop culture nerd, she fills a unique niche on the Veriily team.  Look for Michelle’s quick wit and sense of humor as she expresses herself on Veriily and FoundersTap’s social media pages.

Dedicated, as always

Our team is dedicated to providing superior service. 

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