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The Team

Ziad K. Abdelnour – President & Chief Executive Officer
Hicham K. Abdelnour – Special Partner
Duane Adelson – Associate Partner
Todd Dean – Associate Partner
John Evans Galan – Associate Partner
Daniel Galvanoni – Associate Partner
Darcie Jacobsen – Managing Partner
Ashley John Heather – Associate Partner
Alexander S.W. Jarvis – Associate Partner
Knowledge Capital Group SAL – Venture Partner
Sampath Kumar – Associate Partner
Andy Lo – Associate Partner
Demetri Michalakis – Managing Partner
Alijandra Mogilner – Managing Partner
Sara Moreira – Associate Partner
Saurabh Nagpal – Associate Partner
Jeffrey Nichols – Associate Partner
Karl Schlegel – Associate Partner
Cheray Unman – Associate Partner

Ziad K. Abdelnour – President & Chief Executive Officer
Physical Commodities Trading/Private Equity
Ziad K. Abdelnour is a Wall Street Financier, Author, Philanthropist, Activist, Lobbyist, Oil & Gas Trader & President & CEO of Blackhawk Partners, Inc., a New York based private equity “family office” that focuses on originating, structuring, advising and acting as equity investor in management-led buyouts, strategic minority equity investments, equity private placements, consolidations, buildups, and growth capital financing in companies and projects based both in the US and emerging markets.

Blackhawk is also a reliable trader and supplier of a wide range of commodities to industrial and financial consumers globally. The Firm’s customers around the world rely upon Blackhawk as a source of Metals and Minerals and Crude Oil and Oil Products. These products originate either from Blackhawk directly or indirectly owned assets, or are secured by Blackhawk from third parties.

Since 1985, Mr. Abdelnour has been involved in over 125 transactions worth in aggregate over ten billion dollars in the investment banking, high yield bond and distressed debt markets and has been widely recognized for playing an integral role in those three key market sectors.

Mr. Abdelnour also serves on the Advisory board of DPG Investments, a recognized premier multi strategy global merchant banking, alternative investment, management and advisory firm.

On a more personal level, Mr. Abdelnour is Founder and President of the United States Committee for a Free Lebanon (USCFL), Founder and Chairman of the Financial Policy Council, Member of the Board of Governors of the Middle East Forum and Former President of the Arab Bankers Association of North America.

Mr. Abdelnour holds an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and a BS in Economics, Summa Cum Laude, from the American University of Beirut.

He is the author of “Economic Warfare: Secrets of Wealth Creation in the Age of Welfare Politics” and a regular panelist and speaker on private equity and venture capital topics at industry conferences nationwide.

Hicham K. Abdelnour – Special Partner
Real Estate Development & Finance/Emerging Markets
Hicham K. Abdelnour is a Project Developer and real estate expert who has been involved in both real estate and corporate transactions in the U.S. and Turkey, where he currently resides full time since 1995.

Among his key achievements, Hicham is the co-developer and owner of the Konak Pier project, a major waterfront retail centre located at the heart of Izmir, Turkey. Today, Konak Pier is the flagship of the city of Izmir and an essential destination center for international visitors.

Besides being Blackhawk’s lead partner responsible for the Firm’s involvement in real estate commercial projects in emerging markets, Mr. Abdelnour has been advising some of the leading U.S. and European private equity funds seeking investment opportunities in Turkey. His advisory role includes product identification and origination, transaction negotiation and final execution, all within specific guidelines and parameters dictated by the investor.

In addition, Mr. Abdelnour provides post-closing asset management services, including performance monitoring, corporate restructuring, financial reporting, debt/equity financing, board membership and other on-going supervision tasks. Overall, Hicham remains fully involved in the company/project until final exit by the investor.

Prior to 1995, Mr. Abdelnour has been actively involved in real estate transactions in the U.S. and Europe, including corporate advisory work, cross-border transactions, debt and equity securitization and property portfolio management. During this period, Mr. Abdelnour was associated with the major Wall Street firms of UBS Securities Inc., Kidder, Peabody and Co. and Paine Webber, Inc.

Hicham Abdelnour received a BS in civil engineering, a BA in Economics from Stanford University and earned an MS in real estate development and finance from Columbia University.

He spends a considerable amount of his time touring the globe for attractive undervalued real estate commercial development projects in emerging markets while vetting those properties

Duane Adelson – Associate Partner
Venture Capital/ Security, Intelligence
Duane Adelson is a Texan based technologist and financier who has been involved in the defense industry including military technologies and cyber security matters for over two decades.

Besides being Blackhawk’s lead partner responsible for the Firm’s sourcing and advising of transactions in the space, Mr. Adelson is CEO and Managing Director of Modern Capital Strategies, Inc., (“MCS”) a private equity firm which provides funding, strategy, and Board of Director services, building and growing companies to enterprise value since the 1990’s.

Prior to founding MCS, Duane served as Director of Marketing and Corporate Competitive Strategy and Competitive Intelligence for Nortel Networks in their CLEC and Carrier Groups. Duane led a team that positioned Nortel as a business partner while supporting multiple sales and marketing teams across North America, Europe and Pacific Rim. He was directly involved in building Venture Capital relationships relating to “leap frog” technology and product line enhancements and investments that extended to relationships in the emerging CLEC markets.

In an executive exchange, Duane joined Nortel Networks leaving SandStream Communications & Entertainment, Inc. where he was one of the first five employees to help their efforts in an emerging global market. While at SandStream in the mid to late 1990’s, Duane served as the Assistant to the Chairman and Vice President of Administration and Human Resources. SandStream was one of the first to market companies developed from concept several technologies that converged voice, video, data and transmitted those signals from fiber optics to twisted pair.

Previously at Moonfire SA, as its Chief Operating Officer and member of the Board of Directors, Duane managed global operations of the Stockholm headquartered company with operations in Hong Kong, Melbourne, Sydney, Los Angeles and Dallas offices in building global strategy in a new technology market. As COO, Duane led the investment banking efforts while developing significant business relationships through contract negotiations with organizations like Ericsson, Sony and Warner, British Telecom, and others.

On a personal level, Duane, his wife and five children live in Texas. Originally, from Memphis Tennessee, he attended Texas A&M University, and holds a BS in Business Management and a MS in organizational dynamics and behavioral psychology degree from Columbia State, is a CPC and holds other certifications as well.

Todd Dean – Associate Partner
Private Equity/Family Offices
Todd Dean, a Montana native and natural ‘Deal Maker’ has been connecting people and businesses in the entrepreneurial investment community for years.

Besides being a key partner at Blackhawk bringing a unique dimension to the firm with regards to access to investor groups the world over, Mr. Dean is the founder of Angel Market Consulting, a global, full-service venture capital and investment banking firm focused on the needs of early-stage growth businesses. He is also founder of the Keiretsu Forum Northwest back in 2005; a powerful collaborative network of the world’s largest angel investor group with 850 accredited investor members in 19 chapters on three continents whose members have invested more than $200m in 260 companies in technology, consumer products, healthcare/life sciences and real estate segments with high growth potential.
During the past four years, Mr. Dean has focused much of his time to business education and financial literacy for young adults. He is an adjunct professor for the University of Washington, Bothell campus. The primary objective of his courses introduce students to real world sales methods, sales management concepts and strategies presented by guest speakers active in the venture capital and private equity industry.

Mr. Dean is also an avid volunteer and works with several regional charities, boards, and organizations; the Junior Achievement, Montana Ambassadors, SCORE, University of Washington, Girls Giving Back and Washington State News Council.

Mr. Dean resides in the Seattle, WA where he enjoys waterskiing and attending matches with his son who is a nationally recognized US Rugby All-American Team athlete and is on the USA U-20 team.

John Evans Galan – Associate Partner
Physical Commodities Trading

John Evans Galan is a Philippine based entrepreneur with 11 years experience in the physical commodities trading space.

John started in sales with his father’s own family trading business in 2002; became the account manager for the company handling clients in the steel, paper, and cement industry after moving to running several deals in physical commodities trading globally.

John is a leader who is willing to take risks and exercise initiative, taking advantage of opportunities in the market by planning, organizing and making use of resources.

In addition to his responsibilities at Blackhawk expanding the Firm’s physical commodities trading business in South East Asia, John also serves as a marketing consultant to a construction company in the Philippines, RRMD helping in promoting the company’s revolutionary new method in the prefab housing industry.

John is also very active in promoting Iligan City, located south of the Philippines where he was born. The city is considered the industrial city of the south and John is dealing with some of the top Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) companies in the world to invest and expand in the city.

All in all, John’s business skills and expertise in trading and dealing with people brings in much value-added to Blackhawk’s trading business.

John is a graduate of Asia Pacific College where he studied Business Management.

Daniel Galvanoni – Associate Partner
Private Equity/Family OfficesDaniel Galvanoni is a Los Angeles based merchant banker who thrives in the structuring of complex financial transactions targeting private equity funds, hedge funds, REITS, equity portfolios, private merchant banks, pension funds, and life companies. In addition, Mr. Galvanoni’s emphasis rests strongly in ultra high net worth family office partnerships, predominantly based in North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.Besides being the lead partner at Blackhawk bringing a West coast presence to the Firm, Mr. Galvanoni brings in a mutually profitable relationship second to none – especially when it comes to middle market buyouts – being the Chairman and Founder of DPG Investments, LLC; a multi strategy investment, advisory and merchant banking firm managing diverse assets comprised of private equity interests, short term high yield notes, and private investment partnerships.As of to date, DPG is actively managing over 30 operating private partnerships and portfolio investments/interests in which Mr. Galvanoni takes an active role by adding strategic value to DPG positions in its portfolio on an annual basis. The Capital Markets Group of DPG Investments focuses on the structuring and securing of both debt and equity for multi strategy alternative investment fund managers globally.

Since the formation of DPG Investments, Daniel has originated over $1 billion in high yield debt and equity into DPG sponsored transactions and advisory mandates. Daniel also currently serves as a board member with DPG Realty Capital, DPG Investments, DPG Advisors and Fintramex.

Prior to DPG, Mr. Galvanoni was an associate at Lazard Frères and Wesselink & Galvanoni Enterprises, a General partnership founded after the Galvanoni families successful sale of computing mobile wireless company, Telxon corporation and affiliated entities, a hand held mobile wireless conglomerate the family had economic interests in. Wesselink & Galvanoni Holdings was set up as a multi strategy family office deploying capital into international and domestic real estate development projects, early/mid stage private equity companies, and various early stage technology investments.

Ziad Abdelnour, Blackhawk Partners CEO serves on the International Advisory Board of the Family Office of DPG Investments as well.

Darcie Jacobsen – Managing Partner
Physical Commodities Trading
Darcie Jacobsen is a Seattle based physical commodities trader who has developed over the years a substantial network of direct relationships with dozens of major buyers and traders for Iron Ore, Metals and Petroleum products.

Besides being one of the lead deal makers at Blackhawk responsible for the Firm’s placement of products, Darcie is the President of JayJeen International Trading, a company that specializes in global trading of physical commodities.

Darcie brings to Blackhawk unique expertise in negotiations, logistics, and contract facilitation and most importantly in vetting companies and working through tough contract situations.

In addition to trading physical commodities, Darcie is also part of Cascade Mining Equipment which refurbishes and sells mining equipment worldwide, is owner and President of Integrity Mortgage Solutions and has previous experience as an investment banker for US Bank.

Ashley John Heather – Associate Partner
Technology Venture Capital/Private Equity
Ashley John Heather is a New York based technology guru who has always been interested in the intersect between business and technology.

Besides being a long time friend to Blackhawk and one of the Firm’s key partners and sounding board for technology related deals, Ashley is also a partner with JWALK, a unique marketing and investment firm… On one hand, being a culturally relevant marketing agency, on the other hand an investor in fast growing consumer product and technology companies.

A technology guru second to none, Ashley John Heather has over 15 years of experience in Silicon Alley having founded and operated a number of innovative media/tech companies including Entertainment Media Works, MusiKube and CuttingEdged Technologies and built in the process partnerships with leading interactive groups including ABC, AOL, CBS/Showtime, 20th Century Fox, Fremantle/19, Intel, Microsoft, MTV Networks, MySpace, and Virgin Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Univision.

Mr. Heather’s companies have received awards from the prestigious AlwaysOn Top 100 in Hollywood award in 2007 to European Interactive Consultancy of the Year in 2001.

Mr. Heather is also a frequent speaker at leading wireless/media industry events such as iBreakfast, CTIA Wireless, iWireless World, The Digital Media Summit, MoMeMo and the Digital Coast Roundtable and is regularly quoted in press including the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, with frequent appearances on NY1, CCN Headline News too.

Mr. Heather holds a BA in Economics from Sheffield University, England and is a board member of Nextcode Corporation, Cutting Edged Technologies, Zaah Technologies and co-founder of MoMeMo.org.

Alexander S.W. Jarvis – Associate Partner
Private Equity
Alexander Jarvis is a Beijing based financier who in addition to advising Blackhawk Partners on matters dealing with the Chinese market and China cross-border investments is also Chairman of Blackbridge Cross Borders (BCB) leading and managing the team and its associates across Europe, Central Asia, East Asia, Western Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.Alexander has developed over the years an extensive network of international political and diplomatic business associates who counsel and support him in the continuing expansion of the Firm’s client base and has built a brand second to none in terms of structuring, advising and facilitating arbitrages, Asian outbound investments, and foreign direct investments for Chinese ultra high net worth individuals and privately-owned conglomerates mainly in the agribusiness, financial services and real-estate\ sectors.Since 2008, Alexander has sold two businesses and been involved in a multitude of projects across a diverse range of industries, most notably within the financial sector. Alexander actively promotes stronger Western and Sino economic integration and facilitates stronger cultural relations between the United Kingdom and the People’s Republic of China.He is also the China representative of Ogilchyn Capital Investment Bank Ltd (UA) and Geo-economic Strategist with Wikistrat

Alexander graduated from the National Enterprise Academy with an Level 3 Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Diploma; the first entrepreneur academy in the UK

Knowledge Capital Group SAL – Venture Partner
Knowledge Capital Group (KCG) is a leading private equity and proprietary trading group operating in the growth markets of Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. KCG’s focused investment portfolio is primarily in energy, commodities, technology and communications, and other knowledge-intensive industries.

KCG has made a sustainable positive impact through its commitment to environmental, stakeholder engagement and corporate governance standards. Through its social investing program, the Group has supported initiatives focused on entrepreneurship and job creation, healthcare provision, education, and community engagement.

Blackhawk Partners and KCG have partnered to unlock value creating opportunities in the energy industry. The 2 Firms combined resources, reach, and expertise continue to provide its investors and trading partners a distinct advantage in capitalizing on opportunities across the energy value chain.

Sampath Kumar – Associate Partner
Real Estate Development/Physical Commodities Trading
Sampath Kumar is a New York based deal maker with nearly three decades of international / U.S Senior Management banking experience in India, the U.S, the U.K and the Middle East and cutting edge expertise in International Correspondent Banking, International Trade Financing, Treasury Management, Credit Management & Marketing, Private Debt & Equity Financing and Foreign Exchange Risk Exposure Management.

Besides being one of the Blackhawk’s key partners responsible for the Firm’s expansion in the emerging markets of the Middle East and India, Sampath is also CEO/President of Comp Systems Inc, a privately held corporation that advises large Arab groups out of Dubai (UAE) & has deep & close connections with Oil Rig owners, Government owned Oil Majors in South America, investment banks in the United Arab Emirates and Private Equity firms in both the U.S and the U.K.

Through close affiliations, Mr. Kumar has built up over the years prized relationships with High Net worth entities and individuals including Single/Multi Family offices both in the U.S & South Asia.

Mr. Kumar headed an Arab International bank’s North American operation as the Executive Vice President/ Country Head & General Manager in New York for five years.

Prior to that, he had the responsibility of Group Treasury of the bank headquartered in Dubai as Group Treasurer & directed the resources of all the trading desks in different major centers of the world including the U.K, the U.S & Hong Kong.

Mr. Kumar holds a BA in Commerce (with Distinction) from Chennai, India, an MBA from Mumbai University- India & is a Certified Associate of the Institute of Bankers- India.

Andy Lo – Associate Partner
Physical Commodities Trading/Venture Capital, Asian Markets
Andy Lo is a world class Hong Kong based Serial Social Impact Entrepreneur who networks extensively with high net worth individuals, 100+ private equity funds, private bankers clubs, social impact investment funds, and strategic legal firms to facilitate global project transactions; ranging from debt to equity, infrastructure financing, sales and marketing, and mortgage banking.

Besides being Blackhawk’s lead partner responsible for the Firm’s expansion in Asia, Andy is also with a series of social impact and IT ventures via his own Advisory firm co-label owner of a gold leaf sparkling wine, co-owner of a 30-year old air conditioner installation business, a luxury online auction membership site, a couple of Crowd Funding Ventures (Buy2Crowd.com and Crowd2Build.com), and a Social Impact Real Estate Fund (PurposeDrivenGlobalCapital.com)

Andy also serves as Special Advisor for a few family offices in Asia and is part of a family office from Singapore and Indonesia with industrialist and banking background. On the High Finance side, Andy is one of the growing Social Impact Private Bankers in Asia who knows how to structure project financing using mezzanine financing, bank instrument, and collateral sponsors.

Andy is a 1998 graduate from University of San Diego with a BBA degree. One of his life-time goals is operate a long-lasting NGNPO in global scale. He is founding this NGNPO (SocialWorkersNetwork.org ) with a group of selected business associates aiming to solve the following world issues with other NPOs.

All in all, Andy brings unparalleled access to Blackhawk in the Asia Pacific region as he is also in direct position with a few established gold bar buyers / refiners in Hong Kong; along with being very well positioned with key oil & gas products along with some very reputable family offices in trading ultra-fine copper powders.

Demetri Michalakis – Managing Partner
Physical Commodities Trading
Demetri Michalakis is a Cyprus based international physical commodities trader with two decades experience in the space.

Besides being one of Blackhawk’s key partners developing the Firm’s physical commodities trading business to the four corners of the world, Demetri is also the CEO of Inter-M Traders, a Joint Venture trading firm in partnership with Blackhawk focusing on the physical trading and processing of oil products, LNG ship building and a service provider of oil rig platforms.

Since its inception in 2008, Inter-M Traders Ltd has become a capital partner with commodity related investment funds operating as their oil division for purchasing of crude oil, refining and selling off finished products to various clients .The company’s longevity and success lies in its ability to add value beyond the relatively straightforward movement of physical products and resolutely customer focused, providing fuel oil solutions along with stock and hedging expertise in Europe and the Mediterranean .

Mr. Michalakis has also been involved since 1992 in numerous oil exploration projects in Europe, the Middle East and Eastern Europe and has since then been involved in multiple capital raising assignments for companies in the region by forming business relationships with various hedge funds and banks located in the US , Europe and Asia .

Alijandra Mogilner – Managing Partner
Venture Capital- Security, Intelligence
Dr. Alijandra Mogilner is a San Diego based entrepreneur who has successfully helped develop over the last 10 years a wide range of businesses from virtual pharma in China, green building technologies in the US, to natural resources in Africa.

Besides being one of Blackhawk’s key partners in developing the Firm’s business in the security/intelligence space, Alijandra is very knowledgeable about various aspects of developing overseas corporations and facilitating legal presence in areas with particular tax and personal wealth advantages and advantageous economic structures in the United States. Her personal clients have included a British conglomerate; an oil trading company in Panama and Geneva, and those involved in a wide range of other endeavors from famous artists to cyber security. In the area of green development she has been involved in SIPs, natural materials for insulation, vertical axis wind mills, hydroponic farming, and deeply buried structural exoskeletons.

In other areas, Alijandra is an expert on counter terrorism and has been a member of the President’s Special Task Force on Terrorism, helped train the NYPD cyber counter-terrorism unit, and has acted as a consultant to the Fox national news channel.

Alijandra has done futurist work for the US government and business. She is currently particularly interested in electromagnetism; biotechnology, technology for learning enhancement; clean water technology; nanotechnology; and the transportation of mass at a quantum level (teleportation) as enterprises on the horizon that will change the world.

Alijandra holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México as well as personal studies in various cultures. She uses her background to focus on her work internationally. As a result, she has developed an eclectic network of long term business and security relationships.

On a personal note, Alijandra studies and works with the principals of Maneuver Warfare and prefers to use complimentary teams designed for each project rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. She is also deeply interested in what has been, until recently, the use of conceptual physics in a real world setting. She is the author of a half dozen trade books, two text books, hundreds of magazine articles, and was considered for a Pulitzer prize for her graded thesaurus. Dr. Mogilner’s work has been translated into over 40 languages and has been listed in Who’s Who in America for over 10 years. She is involved in helping those in intelligence as well as military veterans and their families and sits on the board, or is a trustee, of a half a dozen charities.

Sara Moreira – Associate Partner
Physical Commodities Trading/Private Equity – Latin America
Sara Moreira is a New York based deal maker who has successfully advised and helped develop over the last 10 years a wide range of businesses in Brazil.

Besides being one of Blackhawk’s key partners in developing the Firm’s business in Latin America, Sara assists in sourcing, structuring and closing transactions as well as advising on special investment structures that are conducive to the Firm’s investor’s interests.

The industries that Sara has executed transactions over the last decade include but are not limited to energy, retail, manufacturing, mining, technology, and healthcare.

Sara is also involved in structuring and closing physical commodities related transactions for governments and multi-national organizations.

She brings 8 years of litigation experience focused in areas such as workers’ compensation, products liability, personal injury, family law, contracts, and wills and estates; intellectual property matters involving trademarks, copyright, and the Internet. Knowledgeable in business/commercial aspects of marketing and advertising. Excellent courtroom, negotiation, communication, and client interaction skills.

Sara also served previously as a legal Advisor for the Medical Union, Foundations and Associations of the Medical Communities; all regarding Tax Law, Medical Civil Liability and Labor Law.

Sara is a native of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, has L.L.M from Pontifica Universidade Catolica de Sao Paulo and lives in New York City.

Saurabh Nagpal – Associate Partner
Physical Commodities Trading/Private Equity

Saurabh is a highly motivated and entrepreneurial lawyer, called to the bar both in India and Canada with extensive experience in transactions across different industries, deal-making, and strategic implementation. At Blackhawk, Saurabh is a key partner responsible for the firm’s expansion in the emerging markets of India.

In 2009 he co-founded 1618 Capital Corp., an India-based investment and advisory firm focusing on global opportunities in such industries as Mining, Energy, Real Estate, Infrastructure, and Commodities.
He has also served as India advisor to Azim Capital Corp., a Toronto based privately owned financial institution, which provides investment banking/commodities trading and advisory solutions to a global and diversified client base.

Saurabh’s role encompasses handling all legal and investment aspects of structuring transactions in the mining, energy, real estate and commodities trading sector. He has been involved in negotiating joint ventures, structuring international trade commodities transactions of metals (ferrous, non-ferrous and precious), and handling all transactional aspects (due-diligence, multi-jurisdictional laws, investment vehicles etc.), in mining acquisition deals for gold exploration companies. He is involved extensively in the mining sector in Uganda.

Saurabh brings to the team a well-rounded and diverse international experience, having lived and worked in countries like India and Canada; perfectly bridging the gap between different business cultures.
A graduate of the Panjab University with a Commerce background, Saurabh is also a member of the Bar Council of India. As a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, he completed his accreditation under a Certificate of Qualification (National Committee on Accreditation) equivalent to a Graduate of Law through the Law Faculty, University of Toronto, Canada.

Jeffrey Nichols – Associate Partner
Physical Commodities Trading/Gold Specialist
Jeffrey Nichols is a New York based Wall Street economist, precious metals analyst, and gold-market guru, with nearly four decades experience in the business who has long been recognized as one of the world’s top experts in the economics and finance of precious metals.

Besides bringing invaluable expertise to the Blackhawk Partners commodities team, Jeffrey provides expert analysis of precious metal markets and offers strategic consulting and market research services second to none.

Jeff began his career as an international economist at Citibank, moved to Wall Street to head the international economic forecasting unit at Argus Research where he rose to chief economist, and then led the precious metals research group at Goldman Sachs before setting out on his own as a gold and precious metals market analyst.

Over his long and successful career, Jeff has advised mining companies on financing and investor relations, served as a director of two public companies, managed a mining-related mutual fund, and worked with national mints, central banks, jewelry manufacturers, futures exchanges, and industry associations.

He has been and still is a keynote speaker at dozens of investment and industry conferences, corporate meetings, and private company events around the world.

Karl Schlegel – Associate Partner
Branding Residence Expert
Karl Schlegel is a New Jersey-based entrepreneur and business strategist, with an extensive network spanning fashion and entertainment, to technology and venture capital.

In addition to advising Blackhawk Partners on matters of brand positioning and marketing, Karl is a Senior Partner at Branded Global, a firm that specializes in product placement and brand integration in major movies, TV shows, music videos, video games, celebrity engagements, and emerging media. Through its retail distribution and direct marketing programs, Branded Global leverages the marketing format to drive sales, thereby increasing revenue and valuation for its clients.

Karl also oversees branding and business development at CallsThatROCK, a company specializing in call center services and business process outsourcing, with over 150 agents and management in the #1 global outsourcing market, the Philippines. Under Karl’s leadership, the company is preparing to roll out an automated social media lead generation program, helping clients identify and connect with key decision-makers using leading professional platforms such as LinkedIn. The synergistic relationship between Branded Global and CallsThatROCK provides a strong foundation on which to scale both companies.

Karl is also a lead consultant to a social media technology fund and advises several uniquely positioned companies, including a firm whose disruptive IP banner ad delivery solution was on the winning side in 190 out of 200 political campaigns and an emerging television network reaching over 30 million households.
Prior to Branded Global and CallsThatROCK, Karl’s experience includes running merchandising and apparel for The Rocket Racing League’s Inaugural Flight at the EAA AirVenture Air Show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin in 2008, setting up a unique sponsorship opportunity for RRL with Ferrari, working side by side with management teams and investors at various portfolio companies while in venture capital, helping to personally position the world’s first HIPAA compliant online portal for the exchange of electronic medical records (EMR) with Microsoft HealthVault, serving in operations with a garment sourcing company, and co-founding a technology marketing firm that helped a Skype-meets-WebEx technology client find its niche in healthcare and become a publicly traded company.

In 2009, Karl traveled to Southeast Asia as part of an advisory team working with a foreign government on the movement of strategic commodities. During that time, he also worked with members of the management team from an oil technology company that is currently helping to reduce the cost of upgrading crude oil from $20 to $30 per barrel to between $0.50 and $1 per barrel.

Karl was a featured panelist at Pharrell’s Kidult Conference, and is part of the selection committee for the Catholic Finance Association. Karl is also a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and serves on the board of St. Joseph’s Outreach. He is a graduate of Rutgers College and lives with his wife in New Jersey.

Cheray Unman – Associate Partner
Venture Capital/Private Equity

Cheray Unman, a California based deal maker, has been in the financial and venture community business since 1996; funding over $310 million into both private and public technology companies. At Blackhawk, Cheray is a key partner responsible for the firm’s expansion in the Technology, Media and Telecommunications sectors.

Cheray started her finance career by co-founding the boutique investment bank Tanner Unman & Co. in New York City that funded over $100 million in public technology companies; some of these included 3DO, Radius, IDT and Spectrum Holybyte. In 1996 Cheray started Venture Bank Capital Partners www.venturebank.com to provide strategic capital and relationships to private companies in Europe, New York City and the Bay Area. Cheray then partnered with Michael Schwab to create a venture alliance called Big Sky Venture Capital LLC. , www.bigskyvc.com The focus was to create global strategic relationships and funding partners for emerging growth companies in the mobile, media, broadband, e-finance, telecommunications and commerce space. Michael Schwab still runs this venture.

Cheray has also been involved in the family luxury real estate business since college, and an advisor to Ultimate Lifestyle Management in France http://www.lifestyleluxury.fr/ultimate-team-ambassadors.html a luxury events and social media platform.

Cheray received her undergraduate Degree from UC Berkeley; and her advanced degree in Art from Sotheby’s, London.