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Our Team

Good people united by a common mission to help others.

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Our Team

Good people united by a common mission to help others.

Success Starts With People Who Care

Elevant Capital is not just a conglomerate of companies working in the legal, finance, marketing and technology industries. We are much more. We are a family of businesses that seamless connect with the business customers we serve.

Board Of Directors

Shane Blain

Shane Blain

Board of Directors

Shane Blain has over 20 years experience restructuring corporate teams, as well as developing process efficiency within internal teams and with external partners. Mr. Blain’s tenure started with Bankrate NYSE RATE at a 200m market cap company to the sale in November 2017 to Red Ventures for $1.4 billion. Over the 14 years he was at Bankrate the company became the largest credit card, insurance, mortgage and deposit aggregator on the web. His most recent position at Bankrate was Chief Business Operations Officer. In this position he was responsible for compliance, quality control, data acquisition, editorial content, customer service, sales, vendor relationships and General Manager of the Bankrate mortgage vertical.

Mr. Blain has spent most of his professional career in operations with a focus on efficiency while being highly conscious of the consumer experience. His career began early in the credit card space as Senior Manager at Cross Country Bank. At the time they were the leading participant in the NACHA electronic check program. Mr. Blain’s team led the industry with the conversion of paper checks to electronic transactions. Many banks including AMEX adopted this type of processing after his team successfully completed their pilot.

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Richard N. Bernstein, Esq.

Richard N. Bernstein, Esq.

Board of Directors

RICHARD N. BERNSTEIN, ESQ.

Board of Directors, Elevant Capital LLC

Richard N. Bernstein is a master negotiator and communicator, a lawyer’s lawyer. A pre-eminent veteran attorney with more than three decades of experience, Mr. Bernstein has vast knowledge on corporate finance, strategic and venture capital financings, mergers and acquisitions, licensing and technology transfer transactions; domestic and international joint ventures; nonprofit organizations; and general corporate matters. He brings his wealth of experience and insight representing large corporations to the other side now, fighting them for the people who they have hurt. He understands how big business thinks and that positions him well to challenge them.

As Managing Partner of the Bernstein, DeCailly & Marshall, PLLC law firm, Mr. Bernstein is dedicated to fighting for justice on behalf of their clients whom have been injured or otherwise harmed by defective medical devices, dangerous pharmaceutics or others.

Mr. Bernstein has counseled private and public companies in a variety of matters, including formation, financing, intellectual property, and strategic alliances. He has also managed mergers and acquisition transactions and technology licensing matters in the United States, Israel, Poland, the Netherlands, Russia, Ukraine, Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay.

In addition to his busy work life, Mr. Bernstein is a community leader, serving as a board member on several non-profit organizations and advocating for them in both local and international arenas.

Mr. Bernstein was educated at two very prestigious institutions. He earned a Bachelor in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1976 and starting the MBA program in 1977. He then went to the University of Miami, where he earned a J.D. in 1980, graduating cum laude.

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David Hammer

David Hammer

Board of Directors

DAVID HAMMER

Board of Directors, Elevant Capital LLC
CEO & Chief Information Officer, Elevant Solutions LLC

David Hammer is a veteran software developer and systems designer whose vast knowledge of technology and experience in the legal industry, he helps keep Elevant Solutions on the cutting edge of legaltech and fintech advancements.

With more than 25 years of experience in coding and programming, including two decades of Microsoft Access, Mr. Hammer brings his love and understanding of technology to the bear on all of Elevant Solutions transactions and partnerships.

Mr. Hammer has also served as director or chief officer in a number of private and publicly-held companies in North America, Europe and Australia where he mastered the technology behind enterprise architecture and customer relationship management systems. He then set out to find and build a skilled and dedicated team of talented and experienced database and web developers to form the core of Elevant Solutions, which provides customized cloud-based rapidly-deployed database development for lawyers and finance firms.

Mr. Hammer earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a major in computer science, from the University of Florida in 2002. He earned his Juris Doctorate in 2005 and his Master of Laws in Taxation in 2006.

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Diane Sugimoto, CPA.

Diane Sugimoto, CPA.

Board of Directors

DIANE SUGIMOTO, CPA

Board of Directors, Elevant Capital LLC
Chief Financial Officer, Elevant Services LLC

Diane Sugimoto is a corporate executive who brings the financial acumen, analytical understanding and hands-on leadership of a CFO to both corporate positions and client consulting engagements. With more than 40 years’ experience in a variety of executive posts and client assignments across a broad range of industries, she understands the finances and practicalities of corporate organizations and focuses her keen financial eye not only on public audit and tax accounting but on the entire spectrum of private sector financial operations.

Ms. Sugimoto uses her expertise in systems development and capitalization to build rapid growth companies and restructure stalled organizations. Her deep experience in all major financial transactions — including acquisitions, partnerships and investments — combined with her advanced technical knowledge helps her maximize a company’s valuation, capital efficiency and profitable growth. She has served as CFO for numerous growth companies during her career across diverse business sectors, including: consumer and captive insurance, luxury retail consumer goods, home building, telehealth, sustainable agriculture and others.

She co-founded innovative insurance organizations where she guided growth while managing finances. At a leading national retailer, Ms. Sugimoto helped transform the company from three stores to a national chain resulting in an eventual multi-million dollar acquisition.

Ms. Sugimoto is a Florida licensed Certified Public Accountant with a Bachelor’s of Science in marketing and finance, as well as a Masters in accounting with a focus on internal controls. She is also an Authorized Captive Insurance Manager in the State of Delaware.

Ghen Sugimoto

Ghen Sugimoto

Board of Directors

GHEN SUGIMOTO

Board of Directors, Elevant Capital LLC
Chief Executive Officer, Big Mouth Advertising LLC

Ghen Sugimoto brings a wealth of legal and business operations experience, with a focus on process development, cost efficiencies and lean manufacturing. He is trained as an engineer and brings a disciplined approach and overall understanding of highly regulated work environments to the table at Elevant Capital.

Mr. Sugimoto’s experience spans across a wide swath of industries and specializations — biomedical manufacturing, quality assurance, call center building and management, direct marketing driven businesses, legal and business process outsourcing, software development, consumer goods, technology, telehealth and insurance.

As vice president at multiple companies, and using his certified Six Sigma Black Belt approach to project management, Mr. Sugimoto’s dynamic leadership has helped drive growth and profitability while cutting costs and waste. His role as a change agent at several domestic and multinational corporations always increased productivity and improved customer satisfaction.

Mr. Sugimoto completed his Bachelor of Science in 2000 and his Master’s degree coursework in biomedical engineering from the University of Miami in 2002.

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Mitch Hammer

Mitch Hammer

Board of Directors

MITCH HAMMER

Board of Directors, Elevant Capital LLC

Mitch Hammer has acquired and operated a number of companies since 1975. He has served as CEO at most of those businesses, which specialized in automotive services and replacement parts, the chemicals and supplies aftermarket, the tire industry, the apparel industry and software development.

Since 2010, Mr. Hammer has been busy expanding and investing in opportunities in legal support services such as case management and lead generation through internet and digital marketing strategies. He has helped a number of law firms and insurance carriers with mass torts, personal injury and other mostly medical litigation by providing high volume and cost-effective services including but not limited to record retrieval and review, case resolution, client support and call service centers.

His specialties are business strategy, entrepreneurship and start-ups, venture capital, community outreach and global talent acquisition. In fact, it is Mr. Hammer’s skills and experience recruiting remarkable talent and building expert teams that makes him an exceptional asset to any organization.

Mr. Hammer earned his Bachelor of Arts at Temple University in Philadelphia in 1973.

Management Team


Big Mouth Advertising LLC
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Ghen Sugimoto

Ghen Sugimoto

Chief Executive Officer

GHEN SUGIMOTO

Board of Directors, Elevant Capital LLC
Chief Executive Officer, Big Mouth Advertising LLC

Ghen Sugimoto brings a wealth of legal and business operations experience, with a focus on process development, cost efficiencies and lean manufacturing. He is trained as an engineer and brings a disciplined approach and overall understanding of highly regulated work environments to the table at Elevant Capital.

Mr. Sugimoto’s experience spans across a wide swath of industries and specializations — biomedical manufacturing, quality assurance, call center building and management, direct marketing driven businesses, legal and business process outsourcing, software development, consumer goods, technology, telehealth and insurance.

As vice president at multiple companies, and using his certified Six Sigma Black Belt approach to project management, Mr. Sugimoto’s dynamic leadership has helped drive growth and profitability while cutting costs and waste. His role as a change agent at several domestic and multinational corporations always increased productivity and improved customer satisfaction.

Mr. Sugimoto completed his Bachelor of Science in 2000 and his Master’s degree coursework in biomedical engineering from the University of Miami in 2002.



Elevant Capital LLC
Shane Blain

Shane Blain

President

Shane Blain has over 20 years experience restructuring corporate teams, as well as developing process efficiency within internal teams and with external partners. Mr. Blain’s tenure started with Bankrate NYSE RATE at a 200m market cap company to the sale in November 2017 to Red Ventures for $1.4 billion. Over the 14 years he was at Bankrate the company became the largest credit card, insurance, mortgage and deposit aggregator on the web. His most recent position at Bankrate was Chief Business Operations Officer. In this position he was responsible for compliance, quality control, data acquisition, editorial content, customer service, sales, vendor relationships and General Manager of the Bankrate mortgage vertical.

Mr. Blain has spent most of his professional career in operations with a focus on efficiency while being highly conscious of the consumer experience. His career began early in the credit card space as Senior Manager at Cross Country Bank. At the time they were the leading participant in the NACHA electronic check program. Mr. Blain’s team led the industry with the conversion of paper checks to electronic transactions. Many banks including AMEX adopted this type of processing after his team successfully completed their pilot.



Elevant Services LLC
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Diane Sugimoto, CPA.

Diane Sugimoto, CPA.

Chief Financial Officer

DIANE SUGIMOTO, CPA

Board of Directors, Elevant Capital LLC
Chief Financial Officer, Elevant Services LLC

Diane Sugimoto is a corporate executive who brings the financial acumen, analytical understanding and hands-on leadership of a CFO to both corporate positions and client consulting engagements. With more than 40 years’ experience in a variety of executive posts and client assignments across a broad range of industries, she understands the finances and practicalities of corporate organizations and focuses her keen financial eye not only on public audit and tax accounting but on the entire spectrum of private sector financial operations.

Ms. Sugimoto uses her expertise in systems development and capitalization to build rapid growth companies and restructure stalled organizations. Her deep experience in all major financial transactions — including acquisitions, partnerships and investments — combined with her advanced technical knowledge helps her maximize a company’s valuation, capital efficiency and profitable growth. She has served as CFO for numerous growth companies during her career across diverse business sectors, including: consumer and captive insurance, luxury retail consumer goods, home building, telehealth, sustainable agriculture and others.

She co-founded innovative insurance organizations where she guided growth while managing finances. At a leading national retailer, Ms. Sugimoto helped transform the company from three stores to a national chain resulting in an eventual multi-million dollar acquisition.

Ms. Sugimoto is a Florida licensed Certified Public Accountant with a Bachelor’s of Science in marketing and finance, as well as a Masters in accounting with a focus on internal controls. She is also an Authorized Captive Insurance Manager in the State of Delaware.

Linette Cottrell

Linette Cottrell

Sr. Accountant

LINETTE COTTRELL

Sr. Accountant, Elevant Services LLC

Linette Cottrell is a highly-motivated, goal-oriented senior accountant whose passion is giving business leaders the freedom to focus on their core business by designing and managing their accounting systems. Working closely with executive leadership, Ms. Cottrell supports their vision through accounting operations in high growth environments.

With 20 years of accounting experience at various levels, she has worked in multiple industries, including: healthcare, software development, the legal field, film production, finance, marketing and advertising. She is not only seasoned in payroll but also in generating bank reconciliations and deposits, annual audits and the preparation of financial documents for management and investors review.

Her areas of expertise include managing cash flow, reducing accounts receivable aging, cost management and reduction, strategic planning, internal controls and compliance, streamlining processes, maximizing financial reporting, and optimizing financial systems for company growth.

Ms. Cottrell earned her Associate of Science degree in accounting from Massey-Draughon Business College in 1987 and her Bachelor of Science degree from Florida A&M University in 1994.

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Fredy Schmiele

Fredy Schmiele

Director of Computer Hardware Engineering

FREDY SCHMIELE

Director of Computer Hardware Engineering, Elevant Services LLC

Fredy Schmiele is a information technology hardware and software specialist. With more than 30 years of experience as a human help desk, he can build and manage any hardware or network. and, as director of hardware engineering, ensures our network infrastructure is fully supported.

His job is to support, install, manage and troubleshoot any servers, computers, switches, routers, firewalls, printers, scanners and, yes, even IP phones as well as maintain and repair all IT equipment. He resolves our technical issues quickly and efficiently, often identifying ways to improve the systems. He also creates and maintains all documentation and inventory of equipment, software and licenses. An expert service provider, he can oversees all wireless network connectivity, performance and access.

Before joining the team, he worked at a outsourced service provider and a respected publishing house whom he helped usher into the 21st Century.

Mr. Schmiele is CompTIA A+ certified, CompTIA Network+ certified, CCNA, MCP, MCTS and MCSA certified. Fredy has a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from the Federal University of Lavras in Brazil, earned in 1985. He got his System Analysis certification at FECAP in Sao Paulo in 1996 and his Technology Computer Networks certification at Lavras in 2008



Elevant Solutions LLC
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David Hammer

David Hammer

Chief Executive Officer & CIO

DAVID HAMMER

Board of Directors, Elevant Capital LLC
CEO & Chief Information Officer, Elevant Solutions LLC

David Hammer is a veteran software developer and systems designer whose vast knowledge of technology and experience in the legal industry, he helps keep Elevant Solutions on the cutting edge of legaltech and fintech advancements.

With more than 25 years of experience in coding and programming, including two decades of Microsoft Access, Mr. Hammer brings his love and understanding of technology to the bear on all of Elevant Solutions transactions and partnerships.

Mr. Hammer has also served as director or chief officer in a number of private and publicly-held companies in North America, Europe and Australia where he mastered the technology behind enterprise architecture and customer relationship management systems. He then set out to find and build a skilled and dedicated team of talented and experienced database and web developers to form the core of Elevant Solutions, which provides customized cloud-based rapidly-deployed database development for lawyers and finance firms.

Mr. Hammer earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a major in computer science, from the University of Florida in 2002. He earned his Juris Doctorate in 2005 and his Master of Laws in Taxation in 2006.

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Tyler Fritz

Tyler Fritz

Chief Data Officer

TYLER FRITZ

Chief Data Officer, Elevant Solutions LLC

Tyler Fritz is a highly determined and resourceful individual whose attention to detail is unmatched and whose dedication to his team results in boundless loyalty and increased production.

His combined experience in health administration, pharmacy operations and computer programming has made him a leader in providing software solutions for medical records analysis, legal support services, insurance risk assessment and claims management.

Mr. Fritz is driven by a desire to improve the day-to-day operations, processes and systems that make or break a business. He has worked, as well, in human resources, distribution, records management, software development, risk assessment, legal outsourcing, case management, leads generation and performance analysis. At Elevant Solutions he is responsible for client data management, analytics and reporting.

Mr. Fritz studied health administration at Florida Atlantic University.

Brandon Kozak

Brandon Kozak

Chief Technology Officer

BRANDON KOZAK

Chief Technology Officer, Elevant Solutions LLC

Brandon Kozak is a veteran software developer and designer with more than 15 years of experience in the building, development and management of software and IT projects and applications. He uses a wide variety of technologies – from PHP for web to Titanium for mobile – to deliver successful products and services to companies across the U.S. and the world.

His client portfolio includes successful deliveries to Fortune 500 companies across the U.S. and internationally. With specialties in database design, data modeling, systems integration and process engineering and enterprise architecture, Mr. Kozak brings a wealth of technological knowledge to Elevant Solutions. He is highly trained in PHP 5.x, HTML5, CSS3, Javascript, jQuery, YUI, AJAX, JSON, REST, SaaS and MySQL.

Mr. Kozak studied computer science at the University of Akron and Western Governor’s University in Ohio.

Stefan J. DeVocht

Stefan J. DeVocht

Chief Transformation Officer

STEFAN DEVOCHT

Chief Transformation Officer, Elevant Solutions LLC

Stefan J. DeVocht is a management consultant and data-driven business transformation facilitator with 26 years of experience in the use of enterprise architecture to deliver modernization projects and streamlining to for both government and private clients.

With specialties that include strategic planning, information systems planning, process engineering and mapping, capital investment planning and portfolio management, Mr. DeVocht has been a featured speaker on enterprise architecture at many conferences and symposiums and has conducted webinars.

At Elevant Solutions he is responsible for the establishment and oversight of our company’s own processes as well as our lead architect on client software.

Working in Russia, Europe, the U.S. and Latin America, Mr. DeVocht has accumulated an impressive list of clients that includes multiple Fortune 100 companies, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Air Force and the Royal Dutch Navy.

Mr. DeVocht earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Gent, Belgium, in 1979.



Smart Legal Solutions LLC
Shane Blain

Shane Blain

Chief Executive Officer

Shane Blain has over 20 years experience restructuring corporate teams, as well as developing process efficiency within internal teams and with external partners. Mr. Blain’s tenure started with Bankrate NYSE RATE at a 200m market cap company to the sale in November 2017 to Red Ventures for $1.4 billion. Over the 14 years he was at Bankrate the company became the largest credit card, insurance, mortgage and deposit aggregator on the web. His most recent position at Bankrate was Chief Business Operations Officer. In this position he was responsible for compliance, quality control, data acquisition, editorial content, customer service, sales, vendor relationships and General Manager of the Bankrate mortgage vertical.

Mr. Blain has spent most of his professional career in operations with a focus on efficiency while being highly conscious of the consumer experience. His career began early in the credit card space as Senior Manager at Cross Country Bank. At the time they were the leading participant in the NACHA electronic check program. Mr. Blain’s team led the industry with the conversion of paper checks to electronic transactions. Many banks including AMEX adopted this type of processing after his team successfully completed their pilot.

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Zach Fritz

Zach Fritz

Chief Operating Officer

ZACH FRITZ

Chief Operating Officer, Smart Legal Solutions LLC

Zach Fritz is an extremely self-motivated individual with an equally high performing work ethic who has diverse management experience. He has held either management or consultant positions in pharmacy operations, call center operations, lead generation, sales, surgery coordination, distribution center operations, warehouse operations, customer service and legal support services.

As a customer service manager, Mr. Fritz has worked with patients, physicians, pharmacists, nurses, insurers, attorneys, and paralegals. He also has extensive record retrieval experience.

A one-time NCAA college football player, Mr. Fritz values the collaborative effort and has served in a leadership role on several teams in the Elevant Capital family. Currently, at Smart Legal Solutions he leads multiple teams – including several outside of the U.S. – who qualify legal cases by evaluating medical and other records.

Mr. Fritz studied business management at Methodist University.

Heidi M. Laub

Heidi M. Laub

Sr. Vice President

Heidi M. Laub brings more than two decades experience supporting law firm and business operations – managing projects, improving efficiencies and helping them grow. She is a proven team leader who has demonstrated much know-how in managing projects in risk and dependency rich environments and who has delivered business and technical objectives on time, on budget and to specifications.

Ms. Laub oversees the company’s administrative and client communication activities. Her interpersonal skills and supervisory experience in managing both administrative and client centric teams provides the basis for a strong, professional liaison between the company and its clients.

She studies the changing personal injury and mass tort landscapes to advise both internal teams and support providers. Ms. Laub earned a Bachelor of Science at Florida Atlantic University with a concentration in Business Management and Psychology.



Smart Record Solutions LLC
Brianna Kelly

Brianna Kelly

Director of Client Support Services

BRIANNA KELLY

Director of Client Support Services, Smart Record Solutions LLC

Brianna Kelly is a dynamic and result-oriented professional with more than decade of experience in call center management operations in highly regulated industries and all phases of customer service and sales. Self-motivated and results-oriented, Ms. Kelly is skilled at managing and supporting daily client support services such as supervising staff, coaching team members, and training.

Ms. Kelly proactively improves the working environment on a regular basis with her highly-developed organizational skills. She is accustomed to maintaining high productivity levels with heavy workloads across both on-premise and remote teams. She is also experienced in the day-to-day management of outside vendor teams.

Her core competencies include customer service, quality assurance, team management, problem resolution, employee training and development and omnichannel communications. She excels in the analysis of performance trends and team optimization.

Ms. Kelly earned her Bachelor of Science in elementary education at Florida Atlantic University in 2003.

Sara Byers, PharmD

Sara Byers, PharmD

Director of Record Review Services

SARA BYERS, PharmD

Director of Records Review Services, Smart Record Solutions LLC

Sara Byers is a seasoned health professional with extensive medical and pharmaceutical knowledge. Extremely organized and habitually rigorous, she has a decade of experience in clinical and healthcare environments, supervising teams and interacting with patients. She is deeply knowledgeable in pharmacologic matters, which positions her to oversee record evaluations. Dr. Byers is goal-oriented and her attention to detail makes her a star in quality control and thorough technical record analysis.

Dr. Byers’ core competencies include technical knowledge, organizational skills, management, quality control, documentation analysis and research.

With pharmacist licenses in multiple states, including Florida, Virginia, Texas and Kentucky, Dr. Byers is also certified to administer immunizations in the state of Florida. She is HIPAA trained and certified.

Dr. Byers earned her Bachelor of Science, with a concentration in nutritional sciences, from the University of Florida in 2006. She earned her Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Florida in 2011.