Jim Stallings is the Founder and CEO of PS27 Ventures, a firm that invests in early-stage technology companies. Jim has been directly involved in starting dozens of new ventures in FinTech, HealthTech, Ecommerce, and Software as a Service solutions. He believes innovation should be the core offensive strategy of any company, “either disrupt or be disrupted”. Prior to PS27 Ventures, Jim was IBM General Manager of several major lines of business including the company's $7B Linux software business, its intellectual property division with 39,000 patents, and its $21B global hardware sales group. He started his business career as a data analyst in the Space Division at General Electric. Jim earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the US Naval Academy and served as a Captain in the US Marine Corps. He is on the Board of Directors at Fidelity National Information Systems (FIS) and Cannae Holdings, Inc (CNNE). He also serves as a Trustee on the Folded Flag Foundation which provides scholarships to descendants of fallen warriors in the US Military.
Technology & Security
Tony Cusato (Technical Delivery Manager, IBM Thought Leader - Level 3,The OpenGroup Distinguished Certified IT Specialist) of IBM, has nearly 37 years of experience as a Technologist working with IBM's Fortun 500 enterprise clients in the Information Technology field, specializing in Cloud and IT Datacenters, and Cybersecurity. Tony has worked with the PS27 companies by bringing this experience to accelerate decisions in IT Strategy and Security, as these companies grow in size and IT needs. Tony is passionate about the development of people. He is a social eminence, personal and career coach for IBMers and IBM Executives, and loves to also bring that experience to the PS27 entrepreneurs and their companies. Tony is a frequent speaker and presenter at IBM Flagship events, as well as nonprofit STEM organizations such as the "FIRST Tech Challenge" and other global IT events. Tony has held a variety of other roles at IBM such as a World Wide Technical Team Lead for Managing Consultants, World Wide Technical Sales, an IBM Instructor, Strategist, IBM Special Events Webmaster, Global Organization Change Manager, and Stakeholder Manager Lead. Global IT projects Tony has led technology teams for; three World Wide Olympic Infrastructures and websites, PGA & ATP sporting event websites, and IBM's Supercomputer Deep Blue, showcasing IBM Artificial Intelligence event that beat the reigning world chess champion Garry Kasparov. You can connect with Tony on LinkedIn, follow him on Twitter and view his digital credentials on Acclaim.
Director of Communications
Christine Caven inspires, motivates, and educates startups on leveraging emerging technologies and digital marketing to stand out and tell their unique stories to reach millennial and generation z consumers. Since 2013, Caven has been helping founders with public relations, marketing, content management, event planning, and much more.
As Director of Communications at PS27, Caven helps to manage and improve the company's brand and serves as a media advisor to the PS27 Rhea Fund portfolio companies. The PS27 Rhea Fund is a 20-million dollar venture capital fund focused on early-stage technology companies. Rhea Fund is seeking to invest in early-stage solutions in SaaS, HealthTech, FinTech, Sustainability, and E-Commerce companies that can scale rapidly. Rhea Fund is also interested in founders who are women, veterans, and people of color.
Giving back to the community, Caven sits on the Board of Directors of startGNV as Vice President. In addition, she enjoys cooking, traveling, and spending time with her husband and cat.
Operations & Programs
Shannon LoGiudice is the Operations Manager and Programs Manager for PS27 Ventures. Where she oversees day-to-day operations, including hiring and training employees and programs. LoGiudice also strategizes process improvements to ensure tasks are completed on schedule.
LoGiudice ensures PS27 maintains a safe and healthy work environment by establishing, following, and enforcing standards and procedures; complying with legal regulations. LoGiudice also contributes to organizing and scheduling meetings with the PS27 Rhea Fund Limited Partners.
Giving back to the community, LoGiudice also serves as Program Manager for the PS27 Foundation helping to design and deliver the highly regarded PS27 Leadership Week and Female Founders Forum events. LoGiudice earned a Bachelor's degree in business with a major in finance from the University of North Florida. She has participated in a study abroad program in Santiago, Chile and Mendoza, Argentina. LoGiudice has supported hundreds of business start-ups as well as the expansion processes of PS27 Ventures effectively guiding components of the firm's operations. She is skilled in Operations Management, Event Management, and Customer Service. LoGiudice is also a Certified Notary Public.
Steve Sahd is a highly skilled and experienced business professional who is able to advise PS27 company founders on a wide variety of issues and challenges. With over forty years in sales, finance, international business development, operations, and IT leasing he has faced pretty much every type of problem a business can encounter. As an IBM sales rep, international product team leader, front-line sales manager, business unit executive, business unit CFO, and geographical sales executive, Steve has lived these experiences from a variety of perspectives. His specialties include leadership development, transactional sales, financial analysis, and any form of problem-solving. He possesses excellent communication skills along with exceptional relationship skills that transcend cultural backgrounds. In addition to a three-decade IBM career, Steve was responsible for the Asia Pacific region at ITXchange and started his career in public accounting. Steve earned his Bachelor of Science from Franklin & Marshall College and his MBA from the University of Pittsburgh in addition to being a non-practicing CPA. Steve also serves as a director for the Community Conservation Committee in Lancaster, Pa., and maintains an extensive business and personal network in Latin America.
Ron Burgess joined the PS27 team in early 2017 shortly after his retirement from his role as Chief Financial Officer for Wounded Warrior Project, a Jacksonville headquartered not-for-profit dedicated to serving wounded and injured military veterans. With over 40 years of fiscal and organizational experience, Ron is a U.S. Air Force veteran. He has earned his B.S. in Accounting from Bentley College and MBS from Stetson University. Ron is a licensed Certified Public Accountant and has worked for public accounting and Fortune 500 technology firms. His most recent corporate position was with Key Technologies, a $100 million, publicly traded manufacturer of automated sorting systems. Shortly after coming to Jacksonville, he joined a small technology company in need of a CFO. During his 2-year tenure there he experienced firsthand the challenges entrepreneurs face and the critical importance of leadership, discipline and support. Seven years ago, Ron assumed the role of CFO for the Wounded Warrior Project. As a Vietnam veteran, it seemed like the perfect way to wrap up a career and give back. He is now working with PS27 to support entrepreneurs and job development.
As a investment analyst with PS27 Ventures, Nick is responsible for identifying and evaluating investment opportunities and supporting portfolio company management teams. Prior to joining PS27, Nick worked as an analyst intern on the credit desk of The Energy Authority assessing credit risk, counterparty risk, and performance risk.
Nick graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of North Florida where he received a BBA in Finance. In his off-time, he enjoys playing the guitar, surfing, and spending time with friends and family.
Kim maintains the accounting records for the PS27 Rhea Fund and assists its portfolio companies with their bookkeeping and reporting needs.
Kim came to PS27 Ventures in 2021 with 13 years of experience in accounting and financial operations, reporting, and analytics for various start-up companies and small businesses. Most recently, she assisted the start-up company, Prima Eye Group, from inception through ongoing operations growth. Kim then led the financial due diligence for the eventual sale of the company and assisted in the integration of Prima into the acquiring company.
Kim also worked for KPMG for 4 years in audit and consulting and is a CPA (inactive). She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Missouri Columbia.
Chris joined PS27 Ventures as the PS27 Ventures Rhea Fund’s fund manager in April 2021 as the fund prepared to launch and is a member of the fund’s investment team.
Chris has decades of experience as a Finance, Accounting, and Operations leader and consultant, working with companies ranging from early-stage startups to Fortune 500 companies, with expertise in consumer products, retail, ecommerce, supply chain, logistics, warehousing, and real estate. Additionally, he has provided financial leadership in sales, marketing, merchandising, supply chain, warehouse operations organizations.
Chris earned his BBA in Finance; International Business from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida, and his MBA with a focus in Entrepreneurship from Florida Atlantic University.
Chris is also a real estate broker associate, licensed in Florida and Massachusetts.
Chris currently lives in Newton, Massachusetts and considers Jacksonville, Florida his hometown.
Sergio Pena Klaric
Research Analyst Intern
As the Research analyst intern at PS27 Sergio is responsible for conducting market research, supporting investment decisions, and performing company analysis. Currently, in his final year at UNF, Sergio is pursuing a double major in Finance and Business Intelligence. Outside of work, Sergio enjoys cooking, volunteering, and spending time with friends.
Senior Business Advisor
Craig Chambers is a former technology sector executive and corporate advisor with expertise in strategy, operations, and innovation management. During a thirty-year private sector career, he built and led executive and consulting teams serving the electronics, digital services, biomedical and diversified manufacturing sectors. He was chief executive of two venture-funded businesses in the advanced video technology industry, developing computer vision products for both government and commercial customers. In the public sector, he served as a senior advisor in the US Department of Homeland Security dealing with commercialization of emerging technologies, then led the State of Ohio’s Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, with responsibility for the state’s $2 billion venture investment initiative and various federal small business programs. Before joining PS27, he was an instructor in smart government at Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service, where he also served as an executive in residence for the university’s venture fund.
Craig’s early career was as a commissioned officer in the US Navy submarine force, where he served on two nuclear attack submarines. He earned a bachelor of science degree in ocean engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy, where he graduated in the top one percent of his class. He also holds a master of science degree in nuclear engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a master in business administration degree from the Harvard Business School.
Research Analyst Intern
As a research analyst intern with PS27 Ventures, Abhishek is responsible for conducting primary and secondary market research for potential investment opportunities. Prior to joining PS27, Abhishek worked as an investment banking analyst intern at Lightning Partners, where he assisted the firm in advising on mergers & acquisitions and capital raising.
Abhishek is currently a junior at the University of Florida where he is actively pursuing both an BSBA and MS in Finance. In his off-time, he enjoys playing basketball, listening to music, and spending time with friends and family.
Harry is an Analyst with a unique blend of expertise in marketing strategy and nuclear engineering. Currently studying at Duke University for his Master of Engineering Management (MEM), Harry effectively combines his engineering background with modern marketing techniques.
At PS27 Ventures, Harry has played a key role in evolving the approach to venture capital investments. He was instrumental in advising the $50M Titan Fund launch, demonstrating his practical approach to supporting startups in the SaaS and CPG sectors.
Harry's professional path is not just defined by marketing and strategy. As a United States Naval Academy graduate with a B.S. in Quantitative Economics, he developed his leadership and technical skills on the USS CARL VINSON. There, he managed intricate mechanical reactor systems and led a team in the demanding environment of a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. He founded his company, The Jacket Club, in 2023 and serves as the CEO/President, crafting tailored blazers for Naval Academy midshipmen and alumni.
Outside of work, Harry loves to surf, play pickleball, serve as the commissioner of his family’s fantasy football league, and spend time with his wife and their soon-to-arrive first child.