Director of Finance
Director of business development
William F. Bice Mr. Bice is a serial Southwest entrepreneur and founding partner of Verge Fund. He started his first business as a freshman in High School, organizing road races like the Duke City Marathon. Bill founded ProLaw Software during the PC revolution while they were still teaching COBOL at the university (from which he subsequently dropped out). Under Bice's leadership as President and CEO, ProLaw achieved an average compound annual growth rate of 78% during the last 5 years as an independent company. ProLaw appeared on the Inc. 500 ranking of the fastest growing companies in the country three years in a row. In 2001, Bice and his team sold ProLaw to West Group, the foremost provider of integrated information solutions to the legal market and a division of what is now Thomson Reuters.
During his tenure at West, Bice served on the executive committee in the role of President, ProLaw Software and Vice President, Practice Solutions, during which time he completed the Thomson School of General Management. Bice created the West km business unit, which combines ProLaw technology with West content to create legal-specific knowledge management solutions. For his accomplishments in the creation of the West km business, Bice was co-recipient of Thomson Legal & Regulatory's President's Award for innovation. Bice was on the executive team which completed the acquisition of Elite Information Group, a former competitor to ProLaw Software, and led the product strategy team during the integration transition which combined Elite and ProLaw to create the Thomson Elite business unit. Bice continued in a consulting role with the Thomson Corporation as Chief Strategist, Practice Management Products until 2004.
Joining the founding team at Verge was Bice's route to return to startups. Bice focuses on helping founding teams build successful companies. Mr. Bice represents Verge Fund on the Boards of attachedapps, boomtime, Nuvita and SportXast. He serves as the Chairman of the Board of staart-up accelerator ABQid.
Larry Lujan Mr. Lujan joined the Verge team in the spring of 2015. Prior to joining Verge, Mr. Lujan was the CEO of the Manual Lujan Agencies (MLA) and under his guidance led the company to become the largest independent agency in New Mexico, helping over 2,000 local businesses. In 2013, the company became part of HUB International, the 9th largest brokerage in the US, making Mr. Lujan the Chairman of HUB New Mexico. In addition to his experience in running a large entrepreneurial business, he has also served as President of Columbine Insurance Company. Lujan is currently a managing partner of the Canyon Club and serves on various boards all throughout New Mexico, including: Santa Maria el Mirador Foundation, Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce, New Mexico School for the Arts, Youth Development Inc. Foundation Board, and the New Mexico State University Foundation Board.
Lujan attended New Mexico State University and earned his B.A. in Management and Marketing. He was presented the James F. Cole Memorial Award by the NMSU Alumni Association’s Executive Council for the support he has shown NMSU, along with his civic, humanitarian and professional service to the university.
Lujan demonstrates a passion for helping businesses, individuals, and communities prosper in New Mexico. He is an Advisory Board member with Nuvita and has worked closely with the company to help it grow, developing a channel partnership with another agency in Texas.
Ron J. McPhee After studying computer engineering at the University of New Mexico, Mr. McPhee founded HealthFirst Corporation in 1990, and served as its CEO from inception until the sale of that company to Polar Electro in 2000. HealthFirst, now Polar HealthFirst, is a leading global developer of health management software and web-based solutions used in health care, government, health and fitness centers and fortune 500 companies. While serving as CEO, Mr. McPhee originally built HealthFirst as a services business, leading the company to profitability in revenues in excess of $1 million in the first two years. In 1994, recognizing the greater business leverage in a products-based model, Mr. McPhee successfully led HealthFirst through the difficult transition from a services company to a products company. HealthFirst regained profitability in 1995, and enjoyed triple digit revenue growth through the late 1990s.
In September of 2000, Mr. McPhee negotiated the sale of HealthFirst to Polar Electro OY, the world leader in real-time fitness and cardiovascular monitoring devices. After the acquisition by Polar, Mr. McPhee continued to serve as CEO of the HealthFirst division and became a senior member of the North American management team ultimately responsible for all sales under the Polar brand in the United States. He grew HealthFirst revenue by 48% per year, established HealthFirst sales into 12 other countries and grew Polar US revenue in excess of 15% annually over the next four years.
Building on his health management experience, McPhee founded Nuvita in 2006. Nuvita is a technology services company focused on reducing health care related costs by reducing the claims associated with lifestyle related disease. In addition, McPhee is on the Boards of boomtime and Nuvita Professional. He has been a partner of Verge Fund since its inception.
In 2007, Mr. McPhee, along with Mr. Bice and another partner, purchased and refurbished the historic J.S. Brown Building in downtown Albuquerque to become a new, long-term home for the Partnership, the various Verge funds and several portfolio companies. Re-branded as the Verge building, it provides three important services to the previous Verge funds and to the Partnership: (1) it creates a close working environment between the Principals and the portfolio investments, allowing for the Principals to efficiently work with those companies on a day-to-day basis; (2) it creates a high-energy, entrepreneurial environment conductive to the creation of technology start-up companies; and (3) it provides strong leverage for the Fund's investments by cutting the costs in time and money required for a company to get started and keep growing during its critical early phases, allowing for the Fund's dollars to be focused on building enterprise value.
Thomas J. Stephenson Prior to co-founding Verge Fund in the Spring of 2003, Mr. Stephenson had been a General Partner of various funds of Murphree Venture Partners. He joined Murphree Venture Partners in 1997 to open their New Mexico office after serving as the Director of Education and Research for the Austin Technology Incubator (ATI), a world-recognized leader in fostering the development of high-technology start-up companies. At ATI, he prepared entrepreneurs for raising angel and venture capital, evaluated businesses for entry into the incubator and provided business consulting to ATI companies. Stephenson served as an invited speaker to the National Business Incubation Association's National Conference, and assisted the Russian Academy of Market Management's Morozov Project in the formation of six pilot incubators in that country by providing on-site advice, generating local government support, and authoring their "Incubator Operations Manual."
Prior to receiving his M.B.A. in Information Management and Technology Transfer from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin, Stephenson was a member of the science department faculty at his prep school alma mater, the Albuquerque Academy, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. While completing his B.A. in Physics at Rice University, he worked as a technical aide at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Stephenson represents Verge on the Boards of Altela, attachedapps, boomtime, Nanocrystal, Pajarito Powder, TruTouch Technologies and Wellkeeper. He is the founder and current CEO of Pajarito Powder. He also serves on several non-profit Boards, including the New Mexico Venture Capital Association and the Association for Commerce and Industry. He is a graduate of the 2000 class of Leadership New Mexico.
Paul Short Mr. Short holds BS and MS Electrical Engineering degrees from New Mexico State University, and held positions as an engineer with NMSU’s Physical Science Laboratory then as a principal engineer with Honeywell. He went on to found InnovASIC, a design services company that developed integrated circuits for other companies. He then successfully evolved the InnovASIC business model from a services firm to a semiconductor product company that designs, manufactures (through outsource), and sells integrated circuits, growing the company to over $5 million in revenue during a period of industry contraction. He is a founder of Pajarito Powder and represents Verge on the Board of the company. He is also the founder of Verge portfolio company, Slipstream, and serves as it's CEO.
R. David Franklin Mr. Franklin was co-founder, CEO and Chairman of Santa Fe-based Strategic Analytics Inc. until its sale to Verisk Analytics (NASDAQ: VRSK) in early 2010. Prior to his experience in New Mexico, Mr. Franklin was Managing Director at McLagan Partners, a leading management consulting firm to the financial industry. He also worked as a financial analyst in Mergers & Acquisitions and Corporate Finance at Morgan Stanley & Co., Incorporated. Franklin completed his undergraduate work at Yale and received an MBA with Honors from NYU's Stern School of Business. Mr. Franklin is a founder of attachedapps and serves as its CEO.
Dr. H. Raymond Radosevich Dr. Radosevich, a founding partner of Verge Fund, has four degrees including a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, M.S. in Industrial Engineering, M.S. in Industrial Administration and a Ph.D. For 30 years he was a professor, associate dean and dean in the field of management. In 1980, he was the Principal Investigator of a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to establish the University of New Mexico Technological Innovation Center, an organizational experiment to commercialize technology from the national laboratories and universities in New Mexico. Dr. Radosevich established and became President and Chairman of the Board of the New Mexico Technological Innovation Program, Inc. (NMTIP), a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation that provided business start-up assistance to spin-off companies in exchange for equity. The companies assisted by NMTIP raised more than $33 million in seed capital over a five-year period. Dr. Radosevich was involved in many of the infusions, frequently serving on the Boards of Directors.
From 1985 to 1988, Dr. Radosevich served as the Dean of the Robert O. Anderson Schools of Management at UNM. He was a Director of VAWTPower, Inc., a publicly-held corporation in New Mexico that manufactured vertical axis wind turbines under a technology transfer agreement from Sandia National Laboratories. He was also a Director of Pulse Systems, Inc., and Quasar International, Inc., spin-offs from Los Alamos National Laboratory and a Director of General Energy Technologies, Inc., which was founded by a scientist from the Department of Defense's Phillips Laboratory. He founded the New Mexico Entrepreneurs Association and in collaboration with the city of Albuquerque, planned and assisted in the launching of the city's first incubator, the New Mexico Business Innovation Center for which he served as the Chairman of the Board.
While on sabbatical during the 1990 academic year, he served on the Department of Energy (DOE) Technology Transfer Field Task Force and was responsible for providing first-draft versions of a number of key issue papers from which DOE's technology transfer policies have evolved. He was a consultant to DOE for nine years. He has also been a consultant to dozens of major corporations around the world. Dr. Radosevich is the author, co-author, editor or co-editor of 10 books and monographs (including From Lab to Market: the Commercialization of Public Sector Technology with Suleiman Kassicieh in 1994). He serves on the Boards of Intellicyt and Vibrant.
Amanda Giannini Ms. Giannini has been involved with the Verge Fund since 2007. Prior to joining Verge, she worked with a law firm in Albuquerque as their Accounting Assistant allowing her to gain extensive experience in finance and accounting. Giannini, a New Mexico native, has worked within the technology startup community for the better part of the last decade in a number of finance roles. She has worked as Director of Finance for Verge Fund for the last 8 years managing the accounting, finance and investor relations functions for the company. Giannini has been involved with the formation and management of five venture capital funds and has served as interim Controller for two of the Verge portfolio companies, assisting in taking one through acquisition. Last year she took on the role as CFO of ABQid, Inc. in addition to her role at Verge. Giannini’s finance and accounting experience allows her to operate at a Director/CFO level while also maintaining and managing day-to-day finances for both private equity firms as well as startup companies. She has been deeply involved with the New Mexico Tech Council, an organization which encourages technological innovation, entrepreneurship and community within New Mexico. She was chosen as one of New Mexico Business First’s 40 under Forty upcoming business leaders in 2009. She completed the Leadership New Mexico’s Connect New Mexico program in 2010. She has been an invited guest lecturer on venture capital and private equity for Entrepreneurial Studies classes at both Webster University and the University of New Mexico. Giannini is passionate about the startup community in New Mexico and is excited to be a part of moving the innovation forward as momentum within the community continues grow.
Pamela Weese Ms. Weese joined the Verge team in 2014 after working for national and regional nonprofits as a Director of Development for the past 12 years. She came to Verge from the University of New Mexico School of Engineering, which is where her interest in, and introduction to the New Mexico startup community began. Pamela’s first career was in the film business in NYC and LA, a proud member of I.A.T.S.E. working as an electrician. She holds a BFA from University of New Mexico and an MFA from Hunter College.
After being away from New Mexico for an extended period of time, Pamela chose to return to the Southwest. Working with entrepreneurs in the startup community and the investors who support them is the perfect landing place for her, as she is passionate about making New Mexico an economic success. The relationships she fosters are with those who share her philosophy of investing in our own state and the immense talent that we have here.
Pamela has clients throughout the state of New Mexico, and the lower 48. She provides them with a proven background of confidentiality and trust built across years of extensive work in development and stewardship. She also works with ABQid as their Director of Strategy and is a board member of TEDxABQ.
David L. Durgin Mr. Durgin is a founding general partner of Verge Fund and also served as a Partner in Phoenix-based Valley Ventures third venture capital fund. He was a founder and president of Quatro Corporation, New Mexico's first technology commercialization company and he founded Quatro Ventures LLC which is an “angel” investment company he spun out of Quatro in 1995.
Durgin has helped start up, finance and manage more than 20 New Mexico high tech companies of which several have been sold or taken public. He has held virtually every executive position in these companies including Chairman of the Board, Director, CEO / President, CFO and Vice President. Also during the last 10 years, Mr. Durgin evaluated morethan 500 business opportunities in New Mexico and provided literally hundreds of hours of pro bono assistance to entrepreneurs, start-up companies, and state and local economic development initiatives. He has served as a member of the New Mexico Governor's Technical Excellence Committee, been a Founder, Officer and Director of Next Generation Economy Corporation and has served as an Advisor and Sponsor of the Technology Ventures Corporation's New Mexico Equity Capital Symposium.
Durgin has 45 years experience as an electrical engineer, technical project manager, technical business developer, business executive, entrepreneur and investor. He designed, developed and manufactured advanced electronic systems for nuclear and conventional weapons at Sandia National Laboratories and was nationally recognized as an expert on mitigating the effects of nuclear environments on aircraft and missile systems. During the Cold War, he successfully built large, profitable system analysis, design and development businesses at BDM International and Booz Allen & Hamilton. At BDM, he was a Vice President responsible for managing over 200 people and numerous multi-million dollar projects. Durgin was hired as a Partner at Booz Allen & Hamilton, where he started and grew the Defense and Energy Technology Division of which he became the Managing Senior Partner. He is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of New Mexico State University with a B.S.E.E. degree. He was selected as a Centennial Outstanding Alumnus by New Mexico State University (NMSU) and is an Outstanding Alumnus of the NMSU College of Engineering.
Mr. Durgin retired from Verge Fund on March 31, 2015.