Meet Our Board of Directors
Nathan Johnson is an Owner and Chairman & Co-CEO of TruConnect, where he oversees the strategic vision and effective governance of the organization. He has co-managed the overall operations and growth of the business with his brother for the last 15 years. In concert with his duties at the company, Nathan is also a Founder and Managing Partner of Drake Star Partners, a global M&A Advisory Firm with offices throughout the US and Europe. In that role, he leads restructuring and bankruptcy advisory services. Among his past achievements, Nathan served as Director of Overseas Finance for GM’s Treasury Office in NY where he oversaw all M&A, divestitures and investments in Latin America. With an MBA and MA from the Wharton School & Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania with a concentration in Finance and Multinational Management, Nathan’s focus at the Lauder Institute was a specialized international management program with concentration on fluency in Spanish and International Studies. Nathan was twice nominated finalist for E&Y’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award and was a finalist in the City of Los Angeles in 2015 and 2016.
Matthew JohnsonBoard Member
Matthew led TruConnect to prominence as the 4th largest wireless lifeline company and fastest growing in the United States with over 600,000 customers nationwide, in his role as Co-Founder, Board Member, and Co-CEO. With his brother Nathan Johnson, Matthew built the company with both internal growth and acquisitions including Telscape Communications, Sage Telecom, and TruConnect Mobile among others. Along with his focus on TruConnect, Mr. Johnson is also a Managing Partner and Board Member of Drake Star Partners, a global technology investment bank headquartered in New York with offices in eight countries. A member of Young Presidents Organization ("YPO") and a two time finalist for E&Y's Entrepreneur of the Year. Matthew also serves as Chairman for UCP Wheels for Humanity, a non-profit supplying wheelchairs to disabled children and young adults globally. Matthew holds an MBA from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.
Darryl ThompsonBoard Member
Mr. Thompson has held the role of Chief Investment Officer at New General Market Ventures based out of New York since 2016. Previously, Mr. Thompson has served as a Managing Member of Bacara Partners, President of Belenos Capital, and Partner at TSG Capital Group. He holds an MBA from Stanford University, a Master’s Degree in Technology & Policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a BA in Mathematics & Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Richard StarkeBoard Member
Managing Partner as well as a co-Founder of Banyan Investment Partners based in Miami, FL. Prior to forming Banyan, Richard was a Managing Director in Bank of America’s Miami based Global Corporate and Investment Banking Group. His responsibilities included the origination, underwriting and structuring of approximately $5.0 billion of syndicated senior credit facilities to primarily low or below investment grade corporate clients. Finally, Richard’s prior experience was in the Media, Telecom and Leveraged Loan Groups at both NationsBank and Shawmut. In addition to Banyan, Richard is the Chairman of Ale Viola, LLC, a company that was formed in 2018 to take control of IPPOLIITA, the fine jewelry company, along with the company’s magnetic founder, Ippolita Rostagno. Richard is also a Managing Partner of BCP Capital, LLC which assumed control of the J. Peterman, Territory Ahead and Guideboat catalog businesses in 2019. Richard received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a double major in Finance and Marketing from The E. Claiborne Robins School of Business at The University of Richmond.
Moe VelaBoard Member
Mr. Vela is the Founding Partner and CEO of The Vela Group, LLC and MoeVela LLC, global business development consulting firms with clients in the U.S. and Latin America; and on the Board of Directors of TransparentBusiness, the market’s leading transparency and people-management software. In addition to running his firm, Mr. Vela has previously been Of Counsel at the law firm of Stein Mitchell Beato and Missner, and a partner at the law firm, Holland & Knight. Mr. Vela’s areas of experience include business development, public policy, public relations, government relations, regulatory affairs, management consulting, and Latino and LGBTQ advocacy. Mr. Vela was also an adjunct professor at American University Washington College of Law. Mr. Vela is a longtime Washington insider. Mr. Vela’s leadership and counsel have been sought by some of the country’s top political and business leaders. Mr. Vela served in President Obama’s administration as the Director of Management and Administration, and Senior Advisor in the Office of Vice President Joe Biden. A proud Texan, Mr. Vela earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Texas at Austin and his law degree from St. Mary’s University School of Law.