Founded in 2013, Trokt has been sweeping the industry and helping groups and organizations of all sizes reach agreements efficiently and amicably. Our team saw the need for an equal and level platform for all parties involved in a collaboration. The old-fashioned method of conducting collaborations electronically overwhelmingly inefficient – leading to rushed and under-informed decisions and high error rates. Trokt entirely eliminates the clutter and provides the space you need for clarity and thoughtfulness.

IT'S ALL ABOUT PEOPLE

Meet our Team

Chris Draper

Chris Draper

Managing Director

Chris specializes in directing the adoption of unconventional technologies and institutionalizing innovative corporate processes. As Trokt’s Founder and Strategic Product Director, he is responsible for identifying user needs, developing solutions and overseeing the seamless implementation of the product into their organizational structure.

A trained engineer, Chris was principal and aerospace engineer at the Federal Aviation Administration and ACTA Inc. To stay on the pulse of the engineering industry, Chris has been involved in professional organizations such as: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), Glasgow University Engineering Society, American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). He has been published in numerous industry journals, reports and publications.

In addition to his career as an engineer, Chris is a serial entrepreneur and businessman. In the past two decades, he has directed and advised on numerous projects including the EmergeHUB venture management platform at Simpson College; the Green Fuels Exchange; Snitch’n; Iowa Youth Rugby Association; Grogan, Foster, Lloyd and Company; the Des Moines Social Club; the Modern Dickens Foundation; the Green Fuels Exchange; Meidh Corporation; and Trokt.

Chris received a Ph.D in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Glasgow in Scotland and a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley.

Joe Vande Kieft

Joe Vande Kieft

Director of Technology

Joe has been active in software development for over 20 years. As Trokt’s Director of Technology, he is responsible for overseeing all software development, infrastructure, and security.

Joe previously worked for a consulting company in West Des Moines, where he developed internal and public-facing web sites for clients in a variety of industries, including state and federal government agencies, insurance companies, and private commercial enterprises. He has been involved with several startup companies specializing in healthcare, secure communications and education. Joe is also CEO of Catchwind, a marketing and software development company.

Joe received a B.A. in Computer Science from Central College in Pella, Iowa.

Susan Gentz

Susan Gentz

Director of Government Policy

Susan is an expert in public policy with a strong focus in education.

Prior to Trokt, Susan served as the Deputy Executive Director for the Center for Digital Education, a staffer in the United States Senate, and Legislative Aide in the Iowa House of Representatives. Along with experience at both federal and state levels, she worked for a government relations firm in Arlington, VA and heavily worked on federal and state education policy at iNACOL. She works to educate federal, state, and district leaders on how technology can transform lives.

Thomas Klein

Thomas Klein

Mobile Development Specialist

Thomas is a skilled mobile developer who is responsible for the Trokt Tracker line of mobile products.

With roles at Solstice in Chicago and VCI in Indianola, Iowa, Thomas has built a strong reputation for applying robust technology solutions to innovative applications. Thomas is an experienced developer for early stage startups, serving as founder or lead developer for Snitch’n, ChowBank, and NotYourSpot.

Thomas received a B.S. in Computer Science and Computer Information Systems From Simpson College.

Breanna Owen

Breanna Owen

Marketing Specialist

Breanna is a skilled marketer with experience in B2C sales, and is focused on applying the Trokt platform to IEP/504 management.

Breanna served in management at GAP Inc before joining Trokt in 2017. Prior roles included marketing, management, and direct sales roles with the Interior Design Group and Premier Designs.

Breanna is a native of Indianola, Iowa, and received her B.A. in Management from William Jewell College.

Nate Hayes

Nate Hayes

Blockchain Development Specialist

Nate is a skilled blockchain developer who is responsible for the blockchain line of Trokt tools.

Nate comes to Trokt from NanoBytes, a development company focusing on blockchain technologies in Des Moines, Iowa. Combined with his full-stack, member facing web development experience at the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines, Nate brings a strong combination of technical innovation and efficiency that is needed to meet the blockchain needs of institutional customers.

Nate received a B.S. in Computer Science from Simpson College, where he has also President of the Computer Science Club.

Natalie Berkowitz

Natalie Berkowitz

IEP/504 Specialist

Natalie Berkowitz is a subject matter expert supporting Trokt’s growth in the IEP/504 process management vertical.

Natalie primarily serves as a student and family IEP advocate, tutor, curriculum developer for parents within the Des Moines metropolitan area. Her expertise includes well executed IEP/504’s, educating parents on their rights at an IEP/504 meeting, follow through of IEP, and use of school resources to improve their parent/student/teacher relationship.

Prior to her focus on IEP/504 support, Natalie supported both Wyzant and MindSpree. In 2014, Natalie was designated as one of the Top 100 Tutors for Wyzant out of 75,000 candidates, and during 2015 and 2016, she supported the rollout of Ed-Tech startup MindSpree.

Natalie is a 1998-99 alumnus of the U.S. Peace Corp, she received her B.A. in Communicative Disorders/Speech Pathology from California State University – Long Beach, and her M.A. in Secondary Science Education-Biology from the Teachers College of Columbia University.

Mark Clarke

Mark Clarke

Advisor, UK Market

Mark’s commercial and professional interest is in developing strategies for the negotiation of commercial conflict between companies both domestic and trans-jurisdictionally. Mark currently chairs London-based GDS-Trust.

Mark has successfully lobbied and negotiated at the highest levels of government in both Australia and the UK. As chair of a national training organisation for 10 years he worked at the heart of shifting Australia towards reconciliation with its indigenous population with a focus on employment.

As a board member of the Rural Industry Training Council he had executive responsibility for the organisation’s communications function, this included media training for members, commissioning PR professionals for specific campaigns and creating strong relationships with national journalists.

His career has spanned operating at board level in merchant banking and the telecommunications industries, giving him insight into innovative approaches to organisational financing and technology.

Academically, Mark spent many of his early years at Sydney University coming away with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. A masters in law “Aboriginal perceptions of the criminal justice system” followed by more years writing a PhD Law focusing on the moral conflict resulting from the interaction of multiculturalism and the criminal law.

Mark now permanently resides in an English village in Yorkshire with his wife yet remains current in the global market thanks to great internet and fast transportation links to London, Europe and the US.

Meet our Board

Kenneth Beck

Kenneth Beck

CEO | CEO Connection

Kenneth is the Chief Executive Officer of CEO Connection. A lifelong entrepreneur, he has launched and run several successful businesses throughout his career. In addition to running CEO Connection, he also operates Beck Enterprises as a conduit for his other ventures, including Member Services, and RJ Real Estate. Kenneth previously served as CEO of Beck Office Furniture, which he built into the largest retail office furniture chain in New York before selling the enterprise in May 2004. As President of the Wharton Club of New York, he transformed the organization from an events-driven group to an active association with more than 250 volunteers, all committed to fostering the personal and professional growth of Wharton alumni.

Kenneth holds an undergraduate degree from Tufts University and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business. He currently serves on several boards, including Ivy Technologies and the Penn Club.

Leighton Carroll

Leighton Carroll

CEO | QuadGen Wireless

Leighton Carroll is the President of QuadGen Wireless and a 25 year veteran of technology and telecommunications. QuadGen is a leading systems integrator for telecommunications companies specializing in the design, deployment, integration and commissioning of networks. The company is over 600 strong and lists AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Charter among its customers.

Prior to joining QuadGen Leighton was the CEO of Squan Holdings where he oversaw its expansion from a wireless construction company outside of Manhattan to 10 offices across the east coast with full wireless and fiber engineering capabilities.

Formerly with AT&T, Leighton ran the Merger and Integration organization , having led the acquisitions and integrations of Alltel and Cricket among others. In this capacity he was also the acting President for acquired companies, successfully leading all business functions until integration was completed.

While with AT&T he was part of the executive turnaround team for Customer Care, ultimately winning the JD Powers award for customer service.

Finally he is the former CEO of Wireless Maritime Services, having grown that business from $3.7m in revenue to $100m with strong margins in 3 years.

Leighton is a graduate of Virginia Tech and has attended executive education at Harvard, Wharton, and MIT.

Donald Cravins, Jr.

Donald Cravins, Jr.

National Urban League | Senior Vice President

Don Cravins, Jr. serves as the National Urban League’s Senior Vice President for Policy and Executive Director of the Washington Bureau. Cravins leads the development of the National Urban League’s policy, research, and advocacy agenda, while expanding the organization’s impact and influence inside the Capital Beltway.

Since 1998, Cravins has been a practicing attorney and a member of the Louisiana Bar Association. In 2004, he was elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives. In 2006, Cravins was elected to the Louisiana Senate. During his tenure in the Louisiana Senate, Cravins was heavily involved in post-Hurricane Katrina issues as the Chairman of the Senate Insurance Committee and was an active member of the Juvenile Justice Commission of Louisiana.

In January of 2009, Cravins left the Louisiana Legislature to serve as Staff Director and Chief Counsel for the United States Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. In January of 2013, Cravins began serving as Chief of Staff for U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana.

In addition to his duties at the National Urban League, Cravins is an adjunct professor at The George Washington University where he teaches Judicial Politics in The Graduate School of Political Management. He also serves as a Captain in the District of Columbia Army National Guard Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps with the 352nd Legal Operations Detachment. Don sits as a Trustee for the Keystone Policy Center and as a Board Member of Louisiana Youth Seminar.

He is married to Attorney Yvette Puckett Cravins and they have three children, Dominique Claire, Trey and Chloe Denise. Yvette serves as Chief of Staff for Congressman William Lacy Clay, Jr. of Missouri. Cravins and his family currently reside in Washington, DC.

Bill Dillon, Chair of the Board

Bill Dillon, Chair of the Board

Former CEO | Hamon Corporation

Bill is a seasoned Chief Executive Officer experienced in financial turnarounds in multi-culture environments. He has a demonstrated history in the global energy and power generation industries. He has a proven capacity to navigate complex situations and deliver strategic growth, enhanced profitability and operational excellence across global organizations. His collaborative leadership style centers on building performance-based teams through open communication along with aligned short and long term objectives. He facilitates accountability throughout the business utilizing metrics driven incentives to insure growth, profitability, quality, and safety. His experience in business development and global supply chain has allowed him to successfully lead organizations and drive global expansion. He is a proven resulted oriented, entrepreneurial P&L leader that brings fresh ideas and innovative solutions to business challenges. He leads by valuing and inspiring people, establishing a safe and open work atmosphere, promoting a winning, collaborative culture stressing a high energy team approach. He clearly communicates a strategic vision while empowering and energizing employees to produce as an efficient team.

His extensive background includes sales, operations and P&L leadership positions. Bill was formerly the Chief Executive Officer of Hamon Corporation and an Executive Committee Member of Hamon & Cie. Prior to joining Hamon he held various executive positions in sales and operations with Foster Wheeler North American Power Company.

Bill holds a Civil & Environmental Engineering degree from the University of Rhode Island as well as a MBA in Finance from Rutgers University.

Shane Hubbell

Shane Hubbell

Founder & Managing Partner | Alkali Partners

Shane is the Founder and Managing Partner at Alkali Partners and has more than 10 years of experience as an investment banker, business operations manager, and entrepreneur. In his role at Alkali, Shane is responsible for driving the firm’s business development efforts to source new clients as well as helping clients execute successful transactions.  Shane has executed over $600 million of M&A and capital raising transactions over his career. Prior to forming Alkali, he was responsible for establishing the sales processes that drove growth at Arbor Advisors, he helped drive the strategic development of Goldman Sachs’ derivative trading systems. Previous to this, he was co-founder and CFO of a biotechnology company that developed a safer device for a cricothyrotomy.  Shane holds dual bachelor’s degrees in biology and economics from Union College.

Jeff Lang

Jeff Lang

Former CEO | CECO Environmental Corporation

Jeff Lang is the former CEO of CECO Environmental (NASDAQ: CECE), a global diversified and energy technology company with decades of experience engineering, sales, leadership for complex specifications addressing the challenges of environmental air pollution control, energy, and fluid handling and filtration. Prior to CEO of CECO, Jeff held roles ranging from sales leadership to global operations, manufacturing and M&A that include Managing Director for North America at Ingersoll Rand Corp Industrial Technology and EVP COO at MRC Global a a Leader and provider of Pipe, Valve & Fittings to the Energy & Industrial sectors.

As a hands-on business leader with substantial global innovative process experience, particularly in North America and Asia, Jeff is known for his ability to create winning teams and renewed strategies, coupled with successful transformational-turnaround experiences in challenging environments. His focus on human productivity in all business activities and situations drove his broadly successful experience in various types of Industrial, Energy, Utilities and Environmental sales, services, customers, manufacturing-distribution-operations, with globalization supply chain, and keen financial P&L management.

Jeff is a graduate of Ohio University in General Business Studies and and received an MBA from Averett University with a two year thesis around Services.


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