Meet the Team
David Arcara is a Co-Founder & Managing Director of Laconia Capital Group. He serves as a Board member at Ocrolus, xtraCHEF, and ExecVision and a Board Observer for TowerIQ and Content Raven.
David has over 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur and general manager of young high-growth and turnaround media and marketing businesses, both digital and traditional. David has raised, either as lead entrepreneur or as part of the founding team, nearly $100 million dollars of angel and venture funding.
In 2010, David founded Rubber Soul Ventures to contribute his personal capital and operational expertise to emerging digital technology companies and entrepreneurs.
Prior to founding Rubber Soul Ventures, David was the co-founder of TalkSix, a consumer-facing interactive streaming video start-up with a significant B2B component. David has also served as General Manager of Imaginova Corporation’s digital publishing division, including the flagship property Space.com, founded by CNN’s Lou Dobbs and former astronaut Neil Armstrong.
Earlier in David’s career, he co-founded Alliance Custom Communications, to create custom content for marketers seeking to enhance their brands’ customer engagement. David was ultimately approached by Random House Publishing to re-launch and lead the business as Random House Custom Media.
David was also a co-founder of UGO Networks, which ultimately consisted of over 500 independent affiliate web publishers reaching over 15 million users a month and became one of the nation’s largest 18 to 34 male-targeted online entertainment content networks. The UGO founding team was among those pioneering the concept of an online ad-supported publishing network. David served as UGO’s Executive Vice President and led multiple operating functions including affiliate network development, sales, and marketing. UGO was purchased by Hearst Corporation in 2006 for approximately $100 million.
In 1992, David formed DJA Media, Inc., which focused on turning around underperforming radio stations by improving product and sales. In 1996, DJA Media formed Radio Enterprise, Inc., a joint venture with Clear Channel Communications, through which Clear Channel provided financing to allow Radio Enterprise to expand to a total of four stations under David’s leadership. Radio Enterprise was sold to Clear Channel in 1998 after more than doubling its asset value at the peak of government-deregulated consolidation.
David is a member of New York Angels, one of the country’s leading angel investor organizations, as well as Harvard Business School Angels. He is a graduate of the University of Colorado, Boulder, where he earned a BA in Philosophy, and holds his MBA from Harvard Business School.
Jeffrey Silverman is a Co-Founder & Managing Director of Laconia Capital Group. He serves as a Board member for PromoteIQ, Homer Logistics, and SyncOnSet and as an Advisor for AutoFi and C3 Metrics.
Jeffrey has over 20 years of experience building early stage media and technology companies and has been involved in all aspects of business management. In 2015, Jeffrey founded Laconia Ventures, LLC as an investment platform to contribute his personal capital into emerging digital technology companies and entrepreneurs. Through Laconia Ventures, Jeffrey has evaluated over 1000 businesses for potential investment and built a portfolio containing over 24 seed and early stage companies within the B2B and B2C markets. Jeffrey assists his entrepreneurs with all aspects of their business, including strategic planning, business development, sales, marketing, and operations. Laconia Ventures’ portfolio investments include TripleLift, SyncOnSet, ALICE, Rumble, and C3 Metrics.
Prior to founding Laconia Ventures, Jeffrey spent seven years as the CEO and President of Integrated Color Solutions (ICS), a B2B software company which pioneered color accurate monitor proofing for the graphics arts industry, where Jeffrey was responsible for developing and implementing ICS’s strategic and operating plans. During Jeffrey’s tenure, ICS raised over $25 million in multiple rounds of financing from private equity investors and strategic alliances.
Between 1997 and 2002, Jeffrey held several senior-level positions at DoubleClick, the leading provider of software tools designed for advertisers, markets, and web publishers to plan, execute, and analyze their marketing programs. Jeffrey’s positions included President of DoubleClick’s Media Division for North America and VP of Global Sales and was also actively involved in identifying, evaluating, and selecting strategic business alternatives for DoubleClick’s Media Division in the fast-changing post Dot-Com Bubble marketplace. Jeffrey helped facilitate the successful sale of the Media Division to its competitor L90, which was later acquired by IAC. Jeffrey’s early career included sales and marketing positions at TeleRep, CBS-TV, and Cover Concepts.
Jeffrey received a BS in History from Tulane University and attended Columbia University’s Executive Education Program. He is a member of Tulane’s President’s Advisory Council; a member of New York Angels, one of the country’s leading angel investor organizations; the Chairman for the New York City-Southern NY Chapter of Multiple Sclerosis; a Board of Trustees member at Project Morry, a nonprofit year-round youth development organization; and the Co-Founder and Chairman of the Connecticut grassroots environmental non-profit Friends of the Lake. Jeffrey is also the Founder and Chairman of Next-Generation Politics, a cross-partisan, national nonprofit organization launched in 2017 to equip young people to understand their rights, roles, and responsibilities and strengthen their ability to engage with people from different backgrounds, appreciate multiple perspectives, and foster civic discourse. With 15+ chapters across the country, Next Gen is building a movement of young people committed to building bridges through deliberative dialogue across various divides.
David Lee is the Managing Director of Laconia Venture Asset Management ("LVAM"), Laconia's venture capital advisory service for family offices and their venture capital activities. David has over 20 years of experience in the alternative asset management industry. In 2017, David joined Laconia to build and develop LVAM. Prior to joining Laconia, David was Managing Director of CSat Investment Advisory, LLC, an SEC-registered investment advisor that managed several hedge funds that utilized proprietary customer satisfaction data for its investment strategy. Previously, David was Chief Operating Officer of RNK Capital, an alternative asset investment firm that focused on the environmental and emissions market worldwide, the global carbon markets, and early stage environmental compliance projects. David's venture capital experience includes working at Investor AB, the publicly-trading Swedish holding company controlled by the Wallenberg Family, where he was Managing Director and Head of Technology Growth Investing; and as a Principal in Private Equity for Moore Capital Management and Eos Partners. David started his career as a consultant with McKinsey and Company. David brings a wealth of investment and venture capital industry experience that he can leverage to grow Laconia’s brand and market presence.
David received a BA in History from Harvard College and an MBA with high distinction from Harvard Business School. He is member of the Board of Visitors for the Orthopedics Department at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and is also a board member of the American Platform Tennis Association. Outside of work, David enjoys golf, tennis, platform tennis, poker, and wine.
Geri Kirilova is a Principal at Laconia Capital Group and is responsible for assisting Laconia in all stages of the investment process, facilitating Laconia's operations, increasing its presence and network in the startup and venture community, and supporting the Fund's portfolio companies. Prior to joining Laconia, Geri was a Business Associate at Techstars Internet-of-Things, a mentorship-driven accelerator program partnered with GE, SAP, Verizon, Bosch, and PwC to support companies rewiring legacy industries such as construction, healthcare, and transportation through connected devices, artificial intelligence, and drone technologies. In addition to facilitating program operations, Geri worked directly with the ten portfolio companies on customer acquisition, growth strategy, fundraising, business development, and messaging and storytelling. Additionally, Geri has worked in venture capital in Central and Eastern Europe (LAUNCHub in Sofia, BG and Credo Ventures in Prague, CZ). Beyond the venture space, Geri has operational experience managing a branch of Kweller Prep, a boutique educational services firm, leading hiring, training, sales, program management, client relations, and curriculum development. Geri graduated summa cum laude from New York University Stern School of Business, with a B.S. in Business with specializations in Information Systems and Management.
Padma Rao is the Head of Community at Laconia Capital Group and is responsible for developing Laconia’s communication and engagement infrastructure to meet portfolio companies’ needs. Additionally, she will be leading the firm’s marketing, community, PR, and branding efforts.
Prior to joining Laconia, Padma was the Director of Healthcare Business Development and Partnerships at Psocratic, a behavioral health AI startup that delivers personalized resilience, EQ, and leadership curriculums for businesses, incarcerated populations, hospital systems, and educational systems. As a key member of the business development team, Padma was directly responsible for building and maintaining relationships with key stakeholders, including Nestle, Galderma, Tiffany & Co, and the Mount Sinai Health System. Before Psocratic, Padma served with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and UNICEF in various capacities in development policy strategy and communications. Her primary focus was advising governmental and nongovernmental organizations on HIV, health, and human rights policy and programming in low- and middle-income countries. She designed and implemented advocacy campaigns for various UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) initiatives, including access to medicines and healthcare in the developing world, implications of public health on women and children, and social innovation, particularly in global health technology.
Padma graduated magna cum laude from the George Washington University, with a BS in Neuroscience and a BA in Psychology, with a minor in English Literature.
Garry Duncan is the Managing Director of Market Development at Laconia Capital Group (LCG). A seasoned professional with over 20 years in the financial services industry, Garry brings a unique breadth of experience across capital markets, corporate banking, and institutional asset management to the firm.
Prior to joining LCG in early 2019, Garry was President of Verger Capital Management. Verger Capital was created out of Wake Forest University’s Office of Investments with the sole purpose of providing Outsourced Chief Investment Officer (OCIO) services to non-profit endowments and foundations. As a key member of the Verger Capital leadership team, Garry was involved across all functional areas of the firm including internal and external asset management, portfolio rebalancing, risk management, compliance, business development, and client management. Before joining Verger Capital, Garry spent 13 years in various leadership roles at PNC Financial Services serving as Senior-Vice President and Managing Director of PNC Capital Advisors, Senior-Vice President of Corporate Banking, and Managing Director of Capital Markets and Foreign Exchange (FX) responsible for the bank’s out asset manager/broker dealer FX business. Prior to joining PNC, Garry worked in New York and London holding senior FX sales and trading roles with global institutions. Most notably, while working in London for Standard Chartered Bank from 1997 to 1999 during the Asian currency crisis, Garry was a market maker in Hong Kong Dollars and Malaysian Ringgit. In this role, he was responsible for managing an interest rate and currency portfolio out to two years on the yield curve.
Garry received his BA from The Pennsylvania State University and an MBA from the University’s Smeal College of Business. Additionally, Garry holds the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) designation. Outside of the office, Garry currently serves on the advisory boards of the Diabetes Education & Research Foundation and SquashSmarts and resides outside of Philadelphia with his wife and two daughters.
Robert F. Mancuso is an Advisory Partner to Laconia Capital Group. Robert is the President of Capri Capital, LLC, a family office, and a member of the Advisory Board of the Family Office Association. Earlier in his career, he was the first President and Chief Executive Officer of Merrill Lynch Capital Partners, Inc., the management and investment arm of Merrill Lynch’s private equity business, as well as the Chief Executive Officer of Mancuso & Company and The Dellacorte Group, which he also founded. Prior to Merrill Lynch, Robert was associated with Lazard Freres and Co. He also practiced law with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington DC. Robert has served on the boards of directors of twelve companies, including Dictaphone Corporation, where he served as Non-Executive Chairman; Life Fitness, now a part of Brunswick Corp.; and Denny’s Restaurants. Robert has experience guiding companies through various business cycles, interest rate environments, and changing competitive landscapes, which Laconia believes will help provide strategic and operational counseling to portfolio company management teams. Given Robert’s many years of corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, and private equity experience, Laconia believes he will contribute further valuable insight to portfolio company management teams.
Robert is the author of numerous articles that have been published in a variety of industry-leading journals and websites including “The Search for Alpha Goes Private: Why Single Family Offices Are Competing To Do Direct Deals and The Risks They Produce” and “Searching for Alpha in the Private Market: Why Many SFOs Shouldn’t Bother”, which were published by the Family Office Association. Other articles were published by ChiefExecutive.net, The Deal.com, Mergers and Acquisitions, Pensions and Investments, and Forbes.com.
Robert is currently a member of the board of the Henry Street Settlement, a not-for-profit social service agency serving the needs of the immigrant communities of New York’s Lower East Side and a member of the Advisory Board of Columbia University Medical Center. Robert holds a BA from St. John’s University, an MBA from the University of Chicago, and a JD from Cornell Law School.
Patrick Hoogendijk is an Advisory Partner to Laconia Capital Group. Patrick currently is Managing Partner and Chief Financial Officer of the Title Arbitrage Group, an activist private equity manager targeting mismanaged energy leaseholds in the continental United States. Most recently, Patrick was Chief Financial Officer and Head of Investor Relations at EIM Capital, a private equity manager that focuses on Mexican energy projects in exploration and production, midstream infrastructure, power, and services. Prior to EIM Capital, Patrick was a Partner & Chief Financial Officer of Capital E Advisors (New York) that he helped build from $250 million to $1.5 billion in assets under management ("AUM"). Patrick has 20 years of experience building and managing platforms with leadership roles in all aspects of the accounting-controlling-reporting cycle at both funds and portfolio companies. He has been an integral member of senior strategic planning and investment management teams, has orchestrated fundraising initiatives, managed investor relations, and coordinated third party service providers. Patrick has a broad investment experience with angel, venture, and private equity investing using a variety of investment vehicles including offshore, onshore, public, and private alternatives. Patrick holds an MSc in Chemical Engineering from the Delft University and an MBA from the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and a certified RCA Chief Compliance Officer.
Vamsi Sistla is an Advisory Partner to Laconia Capital Group. Vamsi is an innovative technologist with over 18 years of experience in the Television, Internet of things, Digital Media and Financial industries. He has built various enterprise quality software and technology (Web and Mobile) platforms. Vamsi currently serves as Chief Technology Officer for (acquired) OfferBoard (Entoro Capital) and Technical Advisor to various early stage startups. Previously, Vamsi co-founded – Telvetto (2nd Screen Social TV Platform), Mogozz (Mobile Events Platforms) and Captivision Networks (iTV Educational Channel). Vamsi is an active Angel investor in ARC Angels, Eniac Ventures (1 & 3), Hive Data Fund 3, Whats Next Angels and TIE SV Angels. He is also active in social and impact enterprises as a mentor (Microsoft Ventures 2015, The Unreasonable Institute, TechStars London IoT Spring 2013 Session and 37Angels), advisor to various early stage startups and a board member (The Good Life Organization & Chaupal India).
Helene Sorin is an Advisory Partner to Laconia Capital Group. Helene spent 20 years at Prudential Securities Incorporated in Equity Capital Markets, Institutional Equity Sales, Debt Capital Markets and Corporate Finance. She was a member of the Firm’s Operating Council, Investment Policy Committee, Business Review Committee, and Equity Transactions Board Committee. As Co-Head of Equity Capital markets, she spent ten years structuring, marketing, pricing and allocating all new issue equity and equity-related securities in a variety of equity market environments. She solicited new issues mandates from potential clients in a broad array of industries; worked with issuers to develop their investment thesis and story for the marketplace; managed institutional, international, and retail marketing, and the distribution of all equity new issues; and was responsible for the pricing and new issue capital commitments. For four years, Helene also managed the institutional equity sales force that included 48 professionals in 12 offices throughout the United States and Tokyo. She recruited and hired more than half of the sales team, significantly grew revenues, altered the compensation system, institutionalized team account covered, and developed a dedicated healthcare sales team and middle markets group to effectively cover small and emerging institutional accounts.
Helene holds a BA in Economics, Magna Cum Laude, from Tufts University and an MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.