Our Independent Directors

OUR INDEPENDENT DIRECTORS

MICHELLE ANN GITLITZ, Esq.

Michelle is a renowned attorney who specializes in blockchain and digital asset emerging technologies.                                                                                                                                                               


Michelle Ann Gitlitz has served as a partner at the law firm of Crowell & Moring LLP since September 2019 where she is the Global Head of the firm’s Blockchain and Digital Assets practice and a partner in the White Collar and Regulatory Enforcement and Corporate groups. From 2013 to September 2019, Ms. Gitlitz served as a partner at the law firm of Blank Rome LLP. An experienced regulatory lawyer and litigator, Ms. Gitlitz’s practice focuses on the legal and regulatory issues facing both emerging and established companies that invest in and incorporate blockchain technology and digital assets into their businesses. Ms. Gitlitz’s practice includes the handling of federal and state government regulatory inquiries and enforcement actions relating to financial services, securities, and disclosure issues. Ms. Gitlitz is a board member of the MIT Computational Law Report and a member of and contributor to the Wall Street Blockchain Alliance. Ms. Gitlitz is the founder and serves as president and director of Diversity in Blockchain, Inc., a non-profit organization committed to creating equal, open, and inclusive opportunities in the blockchain industry and the Art and Antiquities Blockchain Consortium, Inc., a non-profit organization committed to creating new ownership paradigms for ancient cultural artifacts by utilizing blockchain-based infrastructure.

Ms. Gitlitz received a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University and a law degree from Brooklyn Law School.

Read more

BILLY GOLDSTEIN

Billy is a leading global investment banking professional with over 20 years of experience advising global technology and telecom companies on their merger and acquisition strategies and execution plans, including 10 years as a managing director at Goldman Sachs.

Billy Goldstein is managing director at CDX Advisors, a technology-powered investment banking advisory firm. Mr. Goldstein is also managing partner of Persevent Group LLC, a consulting firm he formed in 2014 focused on the technology, media, telecom and business services industries. From 2015 to 2019, Mr. Goldstein was executive vice president of strategy, corporate development and mergers and acquisitions at Sterling Infosystems Inc. (“Sterling”), a leading global provider of pre-employment background screening and verification technology and services. At Sterling, a Goldman Sachs portfolio company, Mr. Goldstein led and executed the growth strategy which included sourcing, performing due diligence, structuring, acquiring and integrating businesses that grew Sterling into the largest company in its industry globally. Mr. Goldstein was also responsible for leading two of the acquired businesses. From 2009 to 2013, Mr. Goldman was managing director at Macquarie Capital (USA) Inc. (ASX: MQG), where he was head of North American Telecom Investment Banking. From 1998 to 2009, Mr. Goldstein held various positions at The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE: GS) most recently as managing director in the Global Technology, Media and Telecom Group, where he was head of Wireless Tower sector, head of Global Satellite sector and co-head of Goldman’s firm-wide Hispanic/Latin Investment Banking Network. Mr. Goldstein serves as Senior Advisor at Star Mountain Capital, LLC, a specialized asset management firm, since 2014 and is a board member and vice president of the Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation.

Mr. Goldstein received a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, with the highest distinction, in electrical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA, with honors, from Harvard Business School.

Read more

JAY ITZKOWITZ

Jay is a leading global senior executive and merger and acquisitions advisor with deep industry experience in the gaming, media and entertainment and sports industries including over 10 years as a partner and senior managing director at Cantor Fitzgerald and roles at News Corporation and Vivendi.   

Jay Itzkowitz has served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel of SD Malkin Properties, which operates Value Retail PLC and The Bicester Village Shopping Collection, from 2016 to the present. Mr. Itzkowitz has also served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel of New York Hockey Holdings LLC, the owner of the New York Islanders of the National Hockey League, since 2016. Mr. Itzkowitz also served as an independent director of Pininfarina S.p.A. (PINF.MI), the car design company, since 2015. Mr. Itzkowitz was previously Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Global Eagle Entertainment (“Global Eagle”) (Nasdaq: ENT), the in-flight communications technology company and a leading provider of in-flight entertainment content to the airline industry, from 2013 to 2016. Prior to joining Global Eagle, he was a Partner and Senior Managing Director of the financial services firm Cantor Fitzgerald and its affiliate BGC Partners (Nasdaq: BGCP) for ten years, based in London. Mr. Itzkowitz also served as an independent director of Silver Eagle Acquisition Corp. (OTCQB: EAGL), which merged with Indian satellite pay TV provider Videocon to become Videocond2h Limited (Nasdaq: VDTH) in 2015. Mr. Itzkowitz previously held senior positions in the media business. He was the Senior Vice President for Mergers and Acquisitions of Vivendi Universal (VIV.PA), the French media group, and earlier, he spent 10 years with News Corporation (NYSE: NWS). Mr. Itzkowitz served as Senior Vice President of Fox Entertainment Group in Los Angeles, chief legal officer of News International in London, and Executive Vice President of Sky Global Networks in New York. Earlier in his career, Mr. Itzkowitz was the Senior Vice President of Business and Legal Affairs at Carolco Pictures. He began his career as a corporate and mergers and acquisitions lawyer at Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison in New York.

Mr. Itzkowitz received a Bachelor’s Degree in History and Literature from Harvard University and a J.D. from Rutgers Law School. He is a member of the Bar of California, and his securities industry qualifications have included NASD Series 7 (General Securities Representative), and Series 24 (General Securities Principal).

Read more

ALOK SAMA

Alok is a leading strategic global technology executive with over 30 years of advisory, global investment banking, capital markets and investment experience previously serving as President and CFO of Softbank Group International and Chief Strategy Officer for Softbank Group Corp.

Alok Sama currently serves as a Senior Advisor to Warburg Pincus LLC, a New York based private equity firm, a role he has held since January 2020, and as Senior Advisor to The Raine Group, an investment banking firm, a role he has held since December 2019.

Mr. Sama was formerly President and Chief Financial Officer of SoftBank Group International (“SBGI”) and Chief Strategy Officer for SoftBank Group Corp. (“SBG”) (OTCMKTS: SFTBF) and from April 2019 to February 2020 served as a Senior Advisor at SBGI. His responsibilities included corporate development, mergers and acquisition, all proprietary investments and investor relations for SBG. Additionally, Mr. Sama was responsible for the finance functions for SBGI and its operating affiliates. While at SBG, from September 2014 to April 2019, Mr. Sama led the $59 billion merger of Sprint and T-Mobile, the $34 billion acquisition of ARM Holdings Plc, the $10 billion disposition of SoftBank’s stake in Alibaba Group Holding (NYSE: BABA), the $8.6 billion sale of Supercell Oy to Tencent Holdings (OTCMKTS: TCTZF), and the restructuring of SoftBank’s holding in Yahoo Japan. Mr. Sama was also responsible for multiple growth capital investments across technology verticals, including ride sharing, fintech, and communications. Mr. Sama represented SBG as a board member at Arm Holdings, Fortress Investment Group, SoFi, Brightstar Corporation, Softbank Energy, SoftBank Group Capital, and Airtel Africa (LON: AAF). Mr. Sama has over 30 years of investment banking, capital market and investment experience. He was formerly a senior Managing Director at Morgan Stanley and while at Morgan Stanley, he led the firm’s communications practice in Europe and the technology, media and telecom (TMT) practices in the Asia-Pacific region. He also established Morgan Stanley’s capital markets business in Asia, and the investment banking practice in India. His experience includes merger and acquisition advisory, IPOs, restructuring and financing transactions for clients in North America, Europe and Asia. Mr. Sama co-founded Baer Capital Partners, an alternative asset management firm focused on India, in partnership with the Baer family and Dubai Holding and currently serves as a Director of Baer Capital Partners.

Mr. Sama received a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from St. Stephen’s College and a Master of Business Administration in Finance from The Wharton School.

Read more

PAUL WHARSHAVSKY

Paul Wharshavsky is an advisor to high net worth individuals and investment firms with a focus on global technology and gaming investments.                                                                                                                                                               

Paul Wharshavsky currently serves as an advisor to high net worth individuals and investment firms, in addition to providing strategic advice to companies. From 2014 to 2019, Mr. Wharshavsky was an associate at SpringOwl Asset Management LLC, a New York-based investment management firm established in 2013. At SpringOwl, Mr. Wharshavsky was responsible for research related to the firm’s activist investing efforts and also focused on technology, gaming and lodging, real estate and consumer investments. Mr. Wharshavsky received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and a Master of Science (MS in Accounting) from New York University.

Read more