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Our Team

John L. Verna CBA, CPA, CFE
CEO & Executive Director

Mr. Verna is a highly accomplished business investigations and intelligence industry executive with over 25 years of client, technical and leadership experience.

Since 2006, Mr. Verna has been the CEO and Executive Director of Navigator Associates, a firm specializing in providing strategic development, M&A, investigations, controls and monitoring services to Fortune 1000 corporations as well as a Partner with Global Audit LLC, a special purpose forensic auditing firm concentrating on international issues. 

Mr. Verna has worked with many clients to manage both domestic and international investigative crises, evaluate breakdowns in internal controls as well as resolving related business disputes.  He has worked in partnership with Accume Partners, an internal auditing services firm, as well as several other professional services firms to prototype development of investigative and controls monitoring practices. 

From 2001 until 2005, Mr. Verna was a senior executive with Global Intelligence, an investigative and controls monitoring firm, which was acquired by Incepta/Citigate PLC in 2002.  As Executive Managing Director of Citigate Global Intelligence and Chairman of the governing Executive Group, he led the Firm’s Investigative & Intelligence Practices. In his most significant publically disclosed engagement, Mr. Verna’s Business Controls Consulting Practice was teamed with Giuliani Partners as the Independent Monitor of controls over the manufacturing of Purdue Pharma’s highly controversial narcotic, OxyContin.

At Kroll Associates from 1992 through 2001, Mr. Verna was a Senior Managing Director where he held a number of executive positions.  He was a leader in the Firm’s Forensic Financial Investigations Group as well as the Corporate Investigations Practice.  He founded and led the Total Business Controls Consulting Practice, an extension and enhancement of the Firm’s renowned global investigative business.  From 1996 until 1998, Mr. Verna was Kroll’s Chief Strategic Development Officer, creating the Firm’s long term growth plan which took it to almost $1b in revenues by 2007 as well as positioning and executing a number of acquisitions. 

While at Kroll, Mr. Verna led many of the Firm’s largest and most complex engagements which included independent confidential inquiries into allegations of serious, non-routine business controls breakdowns, corporate investigations, financial reporting misstatements, fraud, theft, Foreign Corruption Practices Act issues, gray market inquiries, economic espionage, and other types of material business irregularities.  He pioneered the concept of combining investigative services with business controls consulting, utilizing this methodology in such diverse engagements as the Bankruptcy of Orange County California, the Purdue Pharma OxyContin controversy as well as numerous confidential engagements for Fortune 1000 and other organizations.  Mr. Verna was a Deputy Federal Monitor for the U.S. Department of Justice’s mandated Monitoring of the Los Angeles Police Department where he was responsible for oversight of the Department’s Internal Auditing and Inspector General Groups.

Before joining Kroll in 1992, Mr. Verna was a Senior Manager with the Financial Advisory Services consulting division of PriceWaterhouseCoopers (then Coopers & Lybrand), where he had responsibility for the start-up and operation of the Atlantic Region M&A Divestiture Consulting Practice.  He was also a Senior Managing Consultant with the Firm’s Strategic Management Services Group, engaged in business turnaround and organizational strategy development. 

Prior to his Firm sponsored graduate school work, Mr. Verna had been a Manager with PriceWaterhouseCoopers in both the Computer and Financial Auditing Groups as well as working in the Firm’s Business Investigations (& Bankruptcy) Practice.

Mr. Verna was an adjunct professor at Widener University’s Graduate School of Business, where he lectured on litigation consulting and M&A strategy.

Mr. Verna is one of the founders and a former member of the Advisory Board of the Institute of Internal Controls.        

In 2013, Mr. Verna, along with several colleagues, founded the Center for Strategic Business Integrity, a research and certification organization dedicated to developing independent, effective corporate directorship oversight skills.

Mr. Verna holds an M.B.A. in Business Strategy and Entrepreneurship from Cornell University and a B.Sc. in Management from Rider University.  He is a Certified Internal Controls Auditor, a Certified Fraud Examiner, a Certified Board Advisor and a Certified Public Accountant, licensed in the State of Pennsylvania.

George J. Sherry
SBS - M&A Practice Leader

http://www.navigatorassociates.com/images/Photo%20Images%20Paid/row%20boat%20deep%20blue%20Get%20SP003713LowR.jpg George has been active in the merger, acquisition and divestiture arena for over the past 15 years: guiding a number of firms and owners through the process. In addition George has led numerous efforts to improve sales operations, competitive positioning and operating margins across a wide range of industries including high-tech, communications, specialty manufacturing, distribution and services.

Prior to his role with Navigator Associates, George has had extensive entrepreneurial and sales operating experience working with and coaching early stage and small middle-market companies. He established the original business relationship among Intira, Deloitte Consulting, and Deloitte Ventures, to provide an advanced form of mission critical application outsourcing. The initial value of the relationship was calculated at $200M pre-IPO.

He was also instrumental, first as a Director of Sales & Marketing, and later as general manager, in the rapid commercial growth as well as the successful divestiture of a Mid-Atlantic based computer systems integrator.

George began his career first as a sales account executive with Xerox Corporation, later moving on to sales management, product management and general management positions with Rolm and IBM. George’s initial professional consulting experience was with PriceWaterhouseCoopers Strategic Management Services were he was focused on developing business unit and operating strategies, improving client competitive position, implementing productivity improvements leading to acquisition and divestiture activities for Fortune 500 clients.

George received his MBA, with honors, from the University of Chicago (Finance & Economics) and holds a Bachelor of Science degree, magna cum laude, from Northeastern University.

Joseph Diegel CBA, CICA
Managing Director SBS – Turnaround Practice Leader

image6  Joe is a seasoned financial and operations executive who has dealt with multi-site global manufacturing as well as domestic financial and government entities.  He has acted as General Manager, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Restructuring Officer and Board Member in numerous commercial and financial Turnarounds along with public sector work.
Joe has over 25 years of general management, financial management, controllership, M&A transaction, fraud investigations, business controls and board advisory experience.  He has been a member and/or a trusted advisor of the board of directors of several privately-held companies, a member of the strategic advisory board of a group of multiple international companies and a key advisor to the board of emerging companies preparing for their initial public offering transactions.  He has been the Chairman of both strategy and global capital investment committees of several boards.  Joe has directly dealt with and resolved serious incidents of financial irregularities in both the domestic and international arena.

At Navigator Associates’ since 2005, Joe leads the Firm’s Turnaround Services.  His middle market clients spanned the corporate world including high-tech, medical, telecommunications and others.

Joe’s professional work began with Certainteed Corporation where he held various controllership positions in the financial department eventually working with the senior executive team in developing the company’s new Vinyl Building Products venture.

Following Certainteed, he became VP & CFO of a community bank in Philadelphia with over $100M in assets. He sat on the Board of Directors of the Bank and acted as Treasurer. Next he became VP & CFO of Bethlehem Wire Rope Works in Pennsylvania and also sat on the Board of Directors of the company as Treasurer.

Joe was recruited from Bethlehem, to become the Duty Major (appointed), CFO and Chief Restructuring Officer of the City of Williamsport Pennsylvania when the Home of the Little League descended into financial chaos.  In less than a year, working with the City’s Police, Firemen and Municipal Workers union leadership, Joe reestablished the City’s financial integrity.

Moving from Williamsport to Elkem Corporation, Joe assumed the role of CFO of Elkem American Carbide. He also held the position of CFO for a Joint Venture between Elkem and Airgas Corporation and sat on the Board as Treasurer for that Joint Venture.

Joe moved from Elkem to Metallurg Inc. a Fortune 1000 Company where he was CFO eventually becoming VP and General Manager of Shieldalloy Metallurgical Corporation.  He was responsible for all aspects of financial and risk management for this $240 million global multi – plant division with both union and non-union employees. Joe served on the Board as Secretary.  Joe was part of the Executive team which took this public company through a complex equity transfer transaction to a private ownership structure.

With Navigator, Joe joined Alliance Corporation as CRO, responsible for stabilizing a group of 37 operating companies from global manufacturing to commercial and residential real estate. Joe held full oversight of operations in the Latin America and China, where he led the investigations into serious irregularities which threatened the financial integrity of the entire Corporation.

Most recently, Joe was brought on at Felman Production LLC as CFO and Chief Restructuring Officer. Felman is part of a one billion dollar U.S. division of a major European metals enterprise. He is currently assisting in taking the Company public, generating their first audited financial statements in over 5 years.

Joe holds a BS in Business Administration and Accounting at LaSalle University in Philadelphia. He also has completed MBA studies at St. Joseph University in Philadelphia in Finance and Strategy. He is a Certified Board Advisor and a Certified Internal Controls Auditor.

Walter J. Sarkees CBA
Senior Managing Director – SBS  Practice

http://www.navigatorassociates.com/row%20boat%20single%20Get%20SP000472%20comp.jpg Walt is a managing Director with Navigator Associates Strategic Business Services Practice.  He has more than twenty-five years of experience in organizational development, executive mentoring, and executive level recruiting.  His client base ranges from large, multi-national corporations to fast growing, high-tech companies and well-known local firms in industries such as professional services, healthcare, financial services, and non-profits. 

Walt has developed a unique approach to organizational issues that has allowed enterprises with whom he has worked to move quickly to secure market success.  His approach to serious, game changing issues allows him to build close relationships with fellow senior executives.  In recent years, Walt has worked with executive management teams on mentoring and talent management issues.  He has worked with organizations to create the underlying human resources management and corporate structure that best suits the needs of executive leadership.  He has directed the hiring, training, and staff development for both large and small organizations. In addition, Walt has spearheaded the creation of recruiting strategies, implemented mentoring and counseling programs and reviewed benefits and compliance strategies.  He has also partnered with senior management to develop organizational growth plans, create job roles and responsibilities, and think through compensation issues.

Walt has expertise in organizational change, frequently teaming with senior management to solve critical issues at the individual or team level.  As an executive coach and senior level mentor, he is well known for his holistic style that incorporates the many aspects of achieving both professional and personal success in the work environment.  At the team level, Walt has worked with both high performing and stalled teams, and provided the guidance necessary to bring change initiatives to successful completion. 

During his career, Walt has held senior leadership positions at Cap Gemini, Chubb Computer Services, PricewaterhouseCoopers, KPMG and the Wharton MBA School.  He holds a Master’s degree in Organizational Dynamics from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Science degree from Widener University. He is currently an adjunct professor of management at Neumann College where he teaches Organizational Behavior and Human Resource classes.  A frequent speaker, Walt has delighted boardrooms and conferences with his ability to deliver topics in a personal manner.

Christopher T. Marquet CBA
Senior Managing Director – ICM Practice

http://www.navigatorassociates.com/images/Photo%20Images%20Paid/row%20boat%20deep%20blue%20Get%20SP003713LowR.jpg Chris is both an executive with Navigator Associates as well as the founder and CEO of Marquet International Ltd. and has more than a quarter of a century of professional experience in the investigative, litigation support, business intelligence, and security consulting industry. Chris’s extensive experience includes servicing a broad range of industry sectors and clients, including public and private corporations, financial institutions, law firms, governments and high profile individuals.

From 2002 to 2005, Chris was a founding principal of Citigate Global Intelligence, where, as a member of the company’s executive committee, he was responsible for the firm’s overall business development as well as delivering to clients in the Northeast all major service lines of the firm including business intelligence, business investigations and business controls consulting. He subsequently worked for Decision Strategies/Vance International as a senior executive in their consulting and investigations practice. 

Prior to Citigate, Chris spent 19 years at Kroll Associates in a variety of operational and senior management positions, most recently as Senior Managing Director and head of Kroll’s operations in the Northeast region. He also served as Senior Managing Director and leader of worldwide business development for Kroll, based in its New York City headquarters.

Chris also served as Managing Director and head of Kroll's online global risk assessment division and President of Kroll Travel Security Services, Inc. He helped create and launch innovative online and print publications covering travel security issues. Named the youngest Managing Director in that firm's history in 1993, Chris was a senior member of the international division responsible for managing key strategic relationships. During this period, he was intimately involved in the firm's highly publicized engagements on behalf of the Russian and Brazilian governments, as well as numerous other sensitive international investigations.

During his lengthy career, Chris has been involved in thousands of business intelligence, investigative, litigation support, and security consulting projects around the world. These matters have been diverse and include due diligence; general litigation support; investigations into intellectual property theft, environmental disputes, fraud, workplace violence, and employee misconduct; hostile takeovers and proxy battles; competitive intelligence, corporate security; executive protection; crisis management and insurance disputes.

Chris is the author of many professional articles and white papers, including the annual Marquet Report On Embezzlement; Integrity Hotlines: Getting the Inside Word on Fraud, Waste & Abuse; Managing Global Security Concerns: Practical Considerations; Anticipating Workplace Violence Can Reduce the Threat; Do You Know Who You Are Hiring?; Post 9/11 & Enron Due Diligence Must Dig Deeper; Identity Theft: How Companies and Consumers Can Combat the Nightmare; and Resume Fraud: The Top Ten Lies. Find these articles on our website at www.marquetinternational.com. He has also lectured extensively and been widely quoted on the subjects relating to due diligence & business intelligence, internal investigations, fraud, employee integrity, workplace violence, kidnapping, terrorism, crisis management and travel security. He also manages a popular industry blog called White Collar Fraud Talk at http://fraudtalk.blogspot.com.

Chris is or has been a member of many professional associations, including the Massachusetts Bar Association (non-lawyer member), the Licensed Private Detective Association of Massachusetts, the American Society for Industrial Security, the Society for Competitive Intelligence Professionals, The Association for Corporate Growth, the Society for Human Resource Management and the Risk & Insurance Management Society.

Chris is a Certified Board Advisor.  He received an A.B. degree from Dartmouth College in 1983, with a triple major in Physics, Economics, and Philosophy.

Billy F. Marlin, CFE
Senior Managing Director – ICM – Latin American Practice Leader

 http://www.navigatorassociates.com/row%20boat%20single%20Get%20SP000472%20comp.jpg Billy has over 20 years of combined domestic and international consulting and investigative experience.  Billy is both a senior executive of Navigator Associates as well as the founder and CEO of Veritas Assurance Partners, engaged in global investigative and intelligence work. Billy is also a Partner in Global Audit LLC a special purpose forensic auditing firm concentrating on international issues.

Prior to 2007, Billy was the Managing Director responsible for Navigant’s Latin American Practice including Financial Investigations, Fraud Risk Management and Litigation Consulting.  
Prior to joining Navigant, Billy held senior level positions with Protiviti, Diligence LLC and was Managing Director for the South East Region and Latin America for Citigate Global Intelligence (“CGI”). Before his tenure at CGI, Billy also had pivotal roles at Pinkerton Consulting & Investigations’ Florida office and as Regional Head of Financial Investigative Services in Latin America and the Caribbean for Kroll Associates, Inc.

In the public service Billy was a Senior Confidential Investigator with the New York City Department of Investigation where he conducted highly sensitive investigations of corruption and misconduct involving New York City agencies, employees and companies doing business with the City of New York.  The granting of the New York City Department of Investigation Commissioner’s Outstanding Achievement Award for outstanding investigative work recognized Billy’s contributions to the City of New York.

During his private sector career, Billy has been involved in hundreds of consulting projects in the United States and Latin America.  These matters have encompassed several industries including numerous business intelligence and due diligence projects, litigation support matters, fraud investigations, asset searches, employee misconduct inquiries, insurance dispute investigations and money laundering.

Billy has also actively participated and managed Independent Private Inspector General assignments in New York City and Miami-Dade County including the expansion of the Miami International Airport, the investigation of alleged organized crime and corrupt operations in the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union and the divestiture of organized crime entities controlling the Garment District and the Carting Industry.

Specifically on litigation support matters, Billy has consulted to several major law firms in the United States including Cleary Gottlieb and Hamilton, Carlton Fields, Greenberg Traurig, Steel Hector and Davis, Akerman Senterfit, White and Case, Carlton Fields and Hunton & Williams.

Billy has lead many international efforts including consultancy to major multinationals, law firms, financial and manufacturing companies and several governments in Latin America including Ecuador, El Salvador, The Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Trinidad Tobago, Guatemala, Colombia and Martinique. 

Billy holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from the University of Puerto Rico and is fluent in English, Spanish and is conversational in Portuguese. Billy has authored technical and investigative articles and is a frequent speaker in fraud and investigative related seminars and training in the United States and Latin America.  He is a member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.

Richard J. Sharoff
Senior Advisor – SBS Practice

http://www.navigatorassociates.com/pr03.h2.jpg Richard is a proven entrepreneur and senior executive in the consumer products/services industries with a recent focus on multiunit retail and franchising.  He has a distinguished track record of building successful brands primarily through marketing innovation and execution.  Sharoff is known as a conceptual visionary who applies his understanding of consumer behavior to the development and execution of strategically sound and relevant business plans.  Through this process he has a legacy of successes in both Fortune 500 and entrepreneurial venues.  He has served as a senior officer (and board member) of three public companies and has extensive M&A experience including capital raises to launch several successful start-up businesses and fund various acquisitions.
Richard is a Managing Partner of Windstar Advisors along with its affiliate Franstar.  Both companies serve the consumer products and services industries, with Franstar focusing on emerging multi unit retail companies.  Prior to this, he was the founder and CEO of an international restaurant chain, which he acquired and built to approximately 200 units. As one result of his efforts he was named a finalist in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Maryland in 2003.  He was also President and CEO of another 13 unit restaurant chain, and President and COO of a publicly traded foodservice manufacturing company where he affected a widely acclaimed turnaround.  He was Director of Corporate Planning for a Fortune 50 company where he was instrumental in several M&A transactions. 
Richard holds MBA and BS degrees from New York University.  He served on the Boards of 5 companies including one health care firm with revenues of $5 billion.  He is a past member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and has appeared as a guest speaker on several local radio shows.

James W. Morrissey CPA, ABV
Senior Director – SBS Valuation Practice

http://www.navigatorassociates.com/row%20boat%20single%20Get%20SP000472%20comp.jpgJim has developed or reviewed over 400 business valuation conclusions and financial analyses for litigation support, estate tax planning, employee stock ownership plans, purchase price allocations, buy/sell agreements, economic damages, mergers, acquisitions, recapitalizations, leveraged buyouts, and fraudulent conveyances for clients in the United States, Europe, Asia, Canada and Latin America. The equity valuations have included common stock, preferred stock, member interests, limited partnership interests, and general partnership interests.
Intangible assets valued by Mr. Morrissey include trademarks, trade names, customer information files, patents, information data bases, trade secrets, proprietary processes, contractual rights, subscriber files, copyrights, computer software, goodwill, going concern values, assembled workforces, licenses, net operating loss carry forwards, and engineering drawings.

Mr. Morrissey has managed special projects dealing with multi-discipline valuation engagements, remaining life studies, and feasibility studies. His investment banking experience includes guiding merger and acquisition transactions, and debt and equity placements for domestic and foreign clients.

Jim is an active speaker on business valuation and financial analyses before the American Institute of CPAs Continuing Education program. His articles were published by the Maryland Institute of Continuing Professional Education of Lawyers, Perspective, Daily Record, and the Legal Times-Special Report on Intellectual Property. He has authored a course and manual by the AICPA titled Research and Analysis: Critical Techniques in a Business Valuation Engagement. Jim served on committees of the American Society of Appraisers (ASA) and the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts developing professional practice standards for business appraisers. He is past president of the Northeast Philadelphia Chapter of the National Association of Accountants and a past officer of the Maryland Chapter of the ASA.

Jim earned his Master of Business Administration from Indiana University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, minors in economics and mathematics, cum laude, from East Stroudsburg State College. He earned the ABV designation, Accredited in Business Valuation, sponsored by the AICPA, and holds an inactive CPA license from Pennsylvania

Richard Madrid
Senior Director - SBS

http://www.navigatorassociates.com/images/Photo%20Images%20Paid/row%20boat%20Close%20Up%20Blue%20Get%20%20AA027520LowR.jpgRichard Madrid, prior to joining Navigator Associates, has spent 20 years serving the technology industry at both Fortune 500 and early stage ventures where he focused on performing business and technical due diligence, financial strategy, product/services planning and roll out, and business development.  In these capacities, he often served as an external interface to leading industry analysts, investors, and opinion leaders, and spoke at major industry forums.  Richard also led key marketing and software IT initiatives across vertical industries including Manufacturing, Healthcare, Financial, and Automotive.

While at Ameritech, Rich coordinated the $980M investment into General Electric Information Services’ subsidiary to develop new electronic commerce/EDI solutions which led to product/service roll outs for Supply Chain Management, Inventory Management, and On-line purchasing applications while also acting as the voting member to CommerceNet, the Alliance for Converging Technologies.  Richard also led the technical and business partner due diligence teams in approving venture investments in Broadvision, Open Market, Verisign, and Premenos.

Rich is very experienced in assessing markets, and analyzing revenue, operational, and financial metrics relating to successfully position products and services to optimize performance in highly competitive markets.  As Vice President of Product Development & Product Management at Dantis, Inc., Rich was responsible for providing software/service development and national service roll out plans.  Related, he was responsible for developing the Marketing Requirements in tandem with leading channel and technology partners, and responsible for negotiating the relevant value propositions, business models, and business relationships.

Ronald Bonlender
Managing Director

http://www.navigatorassociates.com/images/Photo%20Images%20Paid/row%20boat%208man%20angle-dark%20Get%20ACH_061LowR.jpgRon is very skilled at assisting organization’s to identify market/business/product opportunities and best position and better extend into markets they currently operate within through deployment of both a strategic and functional framework; the objective is to produce higher market valuations through better competitive positioning and superior operating results.

Prior to joining Navigator Associates, Ron Bonlender spent over 20 years engaged in new venture activity, new product development and product management, and process improvement. At IBM, Ron held senior product and market planning positions while building software product awareness and directing related product launches.

Ron is highly skilled in both qualitative and quantitative market research, and experienced in performing competitive analyses required to successful exploit various market segments. This experience includes prioritizing high profit and strategic markets for both established organizations and start-up ventures. While with IBM, Ron worked with Booze Allen to produce detailed market studies to determine trends that led to substantial increases in market share.
As VP of Product Management at Chorus Networks, Ron was responsible for delivering business results through his design and implementation of an effective product development process, integrating business strategies with financial objectives and organizational capabilities, while focused on exploiting the telecommunications market.

Previous to this, Ron built a consulting practice within RCI/HFS, a leading firm serving the vacation industry, to provide a global strategic planning process to achieve and maintain leadership in worldwide markets. He was also responsible for creating and implementing ‘Scenario Analyses’ to simulate future market and competitive actions. Earlier in his career, Ron developed advanced analytical skills working as an industrial engineer for the 3M Company. These skills serve our clients well in providing objective analysis to seek out best alternatives and options related to cost/benefit analysis, efficiency analysis, and profit or business value maximization strategies.  

Ron earned his MBA from the Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago, with a concentration in Marketing/Finance, and received his BS degree in Industrial Technology from the University of Wisconsin.

Helen Athey
Director – SBS Research

http://www.navigatorassociates.com/images/Photo%20Images%20Paid/row-boat-low-res-maur-bpontevecchio70%25.jpgHelen Athey is a Director with Navigator Associates responsible for Research and has over 10 years of business research experience.

Helen has extensive experience in identifying and qualifying potential business buyers. She is expert at gathering and analyzing intelligence on direct competitors, new market entrants, customers, vendors, financial groups as well as other potential company buyers.  She is highly skilled and creative in researching topics important to privately held companies using a variety of sources and techniques, both public and private.

Prior to joining Navigator Associates, Helen was a Research Assistant at the University of Maryland.  Helen was the only graduate student recipient of the prestigious Christa McAuliffe Scholarship Award in the State of Maryland. 

Helen graduated, Magna cum Laude, from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and earned her Masters in Education from the University of Maryland with honors.  She also attended the University of Colrain in Ireland.



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