Our Team

Merging Traffic's team consists of investors, researchers, geeks and entrepreneurs with decades of experience building, scaling and selling companies. They understand what it takes to succeed in the new economy.

Leadership

David S. Metcalf Chairman

David Metcalf is the Director of the Mixed Emerging Technology Integration Lab (METIL) at University of Central Florida's Institute for Simulation and Training. Dr. Metcalf has more than twenty years of experience in the design and research of web-based and mobile technologies converging to enable learning and healthcare. His approaches have saved companies millions of dollars while guiding business transformations for learning organizations. Specific areas of Dr. Metcalf's focus include learning business strategy, performance measurement, operational excellence, outsourcing, blended learning and mobile learning. His current research topics include simulation, mobilization, mobile patient records and medical decision support systems, visualization systems, scalability models, secure mobile data communications, gaming, innovation management, and operational excellence.

Max W. Hooper Managing Director

Max Hooper is responsible for the management and growth strategy of Merging Traffic, serving as the corporate liaison to multiple industries and various capital formation groups. Prior to starting Merging Traffic, Max was co-founder of Equity Broadcasting Corporation -- a media company that owned and operated more than one hundred television stations across the United States. Dr. Hooper was responsible for activities in the cable, satellite, investment banking and technology industries, , and during his tenure, it grew to become one of the ten largest broadcasting companies in the country. Dr. Hooper has started multiple businesses in the technology, lodging, internet and service industries. Additionally, he served as President of Mergers and Acquisitions for a national financial services company. Max has served on the investment committee of several venture capital and angel funds, and has completed "work out" transactions as a Certified Debt Arbitrator representing banks and private transactions. A lifelong learner, Dr. Hooper has earned five doctorate degrees, Ph.D, D.Min, Th.D, Ph.D, D.Min, from a variety of institutions. As an avid runner, he has completed more than one hundred marathons, an additional twenty ultra-marathons, which are fifty or one hundred mile runs, and the Grand Slam of Ultra Running. Dr. Hooper is committed to his family and is a husband, father to five children, and grandfather to seven grandsons. He is active in many organizations and serves on various boards of directors, and works globally with several ministries and non-profit aid groups. Max had the honor of speaking at the United Nations in New York in 2015.

John C. Lessel General Counsel

John Lessel is an attorney with a solo practice in Little Rock, Arkansas. He and Dr. Hooper have been involved in dozens of projects involving the raising of funds, acquisitions and dispositions of businesses and general corporate matters since the mid-1980s. John holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Oklahoma, and a Juris Doctor, Cum Laude and a Master of Laws in Taxation from the University of San Diego. Mr. Lessel is admitted to practice in Arkansas and California. He has been listed in Best Lawyers in America since 1993. Mr. Lessel is married with two adult sons and six grandchildren. For recreation, he is a certified instructor for the Porsche Club of America and the BMW Car Club of America high-performance driving schools.

A.J. Ripin Chief Operating Officer

A.J. Ripin has more than a decade of experience in research, design and implementation of mobile/social technology convergence. He has a deep understanding of global data privacy and protection requirements. Mr. Ripin brings experience in entrepreneurship, business, development, marketing, product management, instructional design, mobile learning and emerging technologies. He is active in the South Florida technology space. A.J. is a committed husband and is a father to two daughters. He participates in many organizations and serves on a board of directors.

Griffin D. Hooper Director of Platform Operations

Mr. Hooper has spent the past twelve years in project management and system design within the entertainment industry. He joined Merging Traffic after a career change that had led him to Partners Advisory Group, where he managed the back office systems and support processes. Earlier in his career, Griffin was a warehouse lead and Show Technician for CTS Audio. He was later recruited by Vision360 to become the Technical Director and Facilities Manager of their National and Global Headquarters located in Central Florida. After traveling extensively with Seabourn Cruise lines across the Americas and the Mediterranean, where he was the sole Audio Engineer aboard, Mr. Hooper took on a Lead Technician role and functioned as a Project Manager for PSAV®, a leading company that provides event technology services for the hotel, resort and conference center markets.

Bill Findley Director of Global Capital Markets

Bill brings a unique ability in building and maintaining client relationships through his thirty-four years in the investment industry. During his tenure at The Russell Investment Company in Seattle, WA, Bill had the responsibility for the development of new innovative retail mutual fund distribution initiatives as a Regional Director for the Mid-Atlantic region of the country and the state of Florida.

As a Regional Vice-President of Dreyfus Institutional Services in NY, Bill was responsible for developing the southeastern United States for all institutional markets including major banking relationships in multiple channels, government and corporate entities, and non profit sectors of the financial markets. In addition to his skills in the financial industry, in the last few years Findley broadened his experience by becoming a wealth advisor through the G. A. Repple Organization.

Bill is an honor graduate and received his BA Degree from Clemson University with one year of postgraduate work at The University of South Carolina School of Law. He is a graduate of National Trust School, and a designated investment advisor in Collaborative Law. He received wealth management training from The Cannon Financial Institute, and financial training in banking from the Institute of Financial Education.

Bill has a passion for Christian filmmaking and is a Managing Member of a media company in Orlando, Florida, which has exposure in publishing, merchandising, and film production markets. Bill is an Eagle Scout, and he along with his wife Pam, are currently involved in helping others through their training with The Association of Certified Biblical Counseling. Bill has three grown children and a passion for staying balanced physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Vicki Rabenou President, Israel and Global Emerging Markets

Dr. Rabenou brings to Merging Traffic more than 20 years experience in the Israeli high-tech and health-tech industries. She has a proven record of identifying and developing opportunities for growth and expansion, taking companies through the entire life cycle, from inception to sustainability, profitability, and ultimately, an IPO. Her successes include VCON Videoconferencing, where she served as Vice President from launch through IPO, and management of Rad BioMed, an Israeli biomed incubator specializing in promoting early-stage life-science startups.

Propelled by her success founding the Rad Biosciences Group and winning the prestigious government tender to establish and run the biomed incubator, Dr. Rabenou was selected by the Office of the Chief Scientist of Israel’s Ministry of Economy to serve as a director on the bio-tech and high-tech Incubators Investment Committees. In this role, Dr. Rabenou vetted hundreds of startups seeking government funding to identify which promising companies would receive the funds.

Dr. Rabenou received her MD degree from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel, later serving as a practicing OB/GYN at Hadassah Medical Center there. Vicki was born and raised in Jerusalem, has dual Israeli-U.S. citizenship, and is an avid horseback rider. Passionate about animals, her nonprofit activities include supporting several animal shelters and organizations. Vicki currently resides in the Tampa Bay area with her husband. She has three children, four dogs, and three horses.

Matthew Tang Director of Strategic Operations

Matthew specializes in delivering technology solutions with an intense focus on bottom-line results. Over the past 15 years he successfully led the design, develop, and implementation of technology products in academic institutions and corporate enterprises. Matthew has extensive experience in managing enterprise deployments of HR technology platforms and solutions. Matthew holds a B.S. in Computer Science from North Carolina State University.

F. Jacob Cherian photo

F. Jacob Cherian Practice Lead, Blockchain India

F. Jacob Cherian has over 20 years of experience that includes, international financial services consulting, mergers & acquisitions, investments, and cross-border transactions. As Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of two publicly listed funds on NASDAQ, Mr. Cherian has raised over $110 million from Wall Street investors, private equity and hedge funds to invest in emerging markets in high growth sectors such as in financial services; disruptive technology; digital and on-line platforms and virtual reality and artificial intelligence.

F. Jacob Cherian’s international work experience spans four continents with extensive work in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, and South Asia and has developed extensive high-level strategic partnerships, alliances, and deal-flow network in the U.S., South Asia and the Middle East UAE.

Prior experience with a Wall Street bulge bracket firm, Director at a Big Four and Partner in a Fortune 500 global technology company. F. Jacob Cherian was also an Adjunct Professor of Finance at St. John’s University, Tobin College of Business MBA Program for ten years.

Through partnership between Merging Traffic, Inc. and I-AM Capital Technologies, LLC

Suhel Kanuga photo

Suhel Kanuga Practice Lead, Blockchain India

Suhel Kanuga has over 20 years of investment and financial services experience on three continents, and has co-founded and listed two companies on NASDAQ, raising over $100 million in growth capital. He has deep experience around investments in India, particularly in the technology, virtual reality, gaming, sports entertainment and online financial services sectors. He has deep relationships on the ground in Asia, and is skilled at identifying business value and scaling up businesses. Previously, he served as Chief Financial Officer, Secretary and Treasurer at Simplicity Esports and Gaming Company (which he merged with Smaaash Entertainment Inc on NASDAQ) until 2019. Prior to that, Mr. Kanuga served as Co-Founder, Chief Financial Officer and Director of I-AM Capital Acquisition Company, a NASDAQ listed investment fund with over $50 million in investment capital. Mr. Kanuga co-founded Millennium India Acquisition Company Inc. in 2006 and served in various capacities as its President, Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer, Secretary, Chief Compliance Officer and Director. Mr. Kanuga also served as Principal in the financial services division of CSC from 2004 to 2006, then a $15 billion NYSE listed technology services company that significantly grew by acquisitions. He has expertise in complex business topics, including structured international investments, mergers and acquisitions, capital allocation, asset-liability management, derivatives, international expansion, corporate governance and international regulation, and business restructuring. Prior to joining CSC, he held management positions at KPMG Consulting in New York, and prior to that, U.S. West Inc.

Mr. Kanuga has authored a number of articles published in leading financial publications across the world. He also has significant Board of Directors experience, having served on various public and private company in Boards in the US and abroad for over 13 years. He serves as Director of Simplicity Esports and Gaming Company, and prior to that served as Director of Smaaash Entertainment Inc and I-AM Capital Acquisition Company. He served as a Non-Executive Director of SMC Global Securities Limited. He served as Director of Millennium India Acquisition Company Inc. He holds Bachelor’s degrees in Mathematics and Economics from Lawrence University.

Through partnership between Merging Traffic, Inc. and I-AM Capital Technologies, LLC

Dilip Chauhan photo

Dilip Chauhan Practice Lead, Blockchain India

Dilip Chauhan serves as Managing Member of I-AM Capital Technologies LLC. Dilip Chauhan is a name that needs no introduction in the South Asian Community. A tireless community activist for South Asian causes and is well respected at the highest levels at both the State and National levels in the United States as more than 40 elected officials and other government agencies have sought out his advice on South Asian affairs. In addition, Mr. Chauhan is well recognized and has extensive relationships at the highest political levels of India and major Indian business enterprises who seek out his advice on cross-border transactions.

Mr. Chauhan has earned the coveted position as the first South Asian to be appointed as a Deputy Comptroller of Minority Affairs in Nassau County, State of New York. The United States Congress recognizing Mr. Chauhan's work has dedicated 12 November 2016 as "Dilip Chauhan Day" in 6th District in New York.

Mr. Chauhan currently serves as President of New York South Asian American Chamber of Commerce and serves as a bridge between the South Asian Community and U.S. business.

Through partnership between Merging Traffic, Inc. and I-AM Capital Technologies, LLC