The Savana Team

With decades of experience in building financial software, and roots in the very companies that forever altered the way we view banking, the Savana team is transforming the financial services industry.

Leadership Team

With decades of experience in building financial software, and roots in the very companies that forever altered the way we view banking, the Savana team is transforming the financial services industry.

Michael Sanchez

Chairman & CEO

Michael Sanchez

Michael is a proven entrepreneur, business executive and early pioneer in financial services technology. He has served as founder, president, chief executive officer, and chairman for a number of private and public companies. His vision, leadership, and execution experience have resulted in numerous success stories over his career.

Michael currently serves as Chairman and CEO of Savana, Inc., a fast growing business process automation company serving the financial services marketplace. Prior to his current role, he served as president of the international division of Fidelity Information Services (NYSE:FIS), where he led significant growth during his tenure. Prior to FIS, he was the founder and Chairman of Sanchez Computer Associates (NASDAQ:SCAI) a leading global supplier of core banking systems.

Michael has been a frequent guest on national TV and radio programs. He also holds several US and foreign patents for computer interconnect technologies. Michael has been recognized with various business awards, including the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for the software industry in the mid-Atlantic region in 2002 and the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2001. He sits on the board of Trustees of the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia Pennsylvania, one of the oldest and most prestigious centers for science and education in the United States.

David Smith

President & COO

David Smith

As President and Chief Operating Officer at Savana, David is responsible for managing all operational aspects of the company including software and hosting support, product management and engineering, professional services and client relationship management.

A veteran of the financial services industry spanning over 30 years, David has served in a number of executive management positions at FIS, Certegy, Equifax and TSYS. Prior to joining the Savana team, David acted as President of his own technical consulting firm, Get IT Going. He also served as SVP & CTO for the International Division at FIS, responsible for IT oversight of application development, product development, portfolio migrations and IT operations. David also served on the Board of Directors of CELTA Holdings, SA, a card processing joint venture with FIS, Bradesco and Banco Santander.

Mike Wolfel

Chief Technology Officer

Mike Wolfel

As CTO and Executive Vice President of Strategy at Savana, Mike is responsible for planning and directing the architecture, software engineering and delivery of enterprise-wide information technology system and solutions.

With a strong technology and product leadership background, Mike has a proven track record of delivering solutions that maximize organizational benefit and return on investment.

Prior to joining Savana, Mike acted as SVP and CTO at Epitome Systems, and also served as a consultant and software architect for GMAC Commercial Mortgage. During his time at GMAC, Mike led the design and delivery for enterprise-wide process automation and content management systems in mortgage origination, mortgage servicing, corporate administration and finance areas.

Mike is a Certified ScrumMaster (CSM), Product Owner (PSPO1) and Six Sigma Green Belt. Mike has a Bachelors in Economics from Penn State.

Nicole Venere, CPC

Chief Administrative Officer

Nicole Venere, CPC

As Chief Administrative Officer, Nicole is responsive for driving the human capital strategy for Savana, building and leading all of the human resources functions, including organizational design, talent acquisition, talent management, and employee engagement. She also has executive responsibility over legal, corporate compliance and facilities.

Before joining Savana, first as Chief Human Resources Officer, Nicole was a human resources executive at De Lage Landen, serving in a variety of roles including Director of Organizational & Talent Development, Change Leader, Director of Human Resources and Director of Strategic Partnering. Nicole also worked as the Director of Human Resources for Sanchez Computer Associates.

Nicole is a Certified Professional Coach and is also certified in International Organization & Systems Development (IOSD). She holds a BA, English Literature from Marist College.

Steve Slone

Chief Financial Officer

Steve Slone

As Savana’s Chief Financial Officer, Steve Slone helps clients build the business case/ROI for Savana’s solutions while also leading Savana’s accounting, planning, pricing, reporting and vendor management functions. Steve brings a broad array of finance, strategy, and operations experience, including his most recent positions at PHH Mortgage (NYSE: PHH), where he was the head of finance for originations ($60Bn annual production; 7th largest) and then the head of cash management, reporting and analytics for Servicing Operations ($225Bn portfolio; 8th largest).

Prior to PHH, Steve held a number of finance and strategy roles at ING Direct and Capital One (NYSE: COF), and was a member of the finance integration team during the acquisition by Capital One. Earlier in his career Steve held positions in investment banking, where he raised institutional private equity ($5-$30MM) and supported M&A for growth companies, and management consulting firms that specialized in helping management use finance and analytics to improve decision making. Steve has a Bachelors of Science in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

Pete Chiccino

CISO

Pete Chiccino

Spending over 25 years in the financial services space with over 18 years of that focused on Fintech, Pete brings a passion for technology and banking operations with him to Savana along with process and organizational disciplines.

Prior to Savana Pete was part of the Executive Leadership team at The Bancorp since its inception and served in rolls such as Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer, CTO and COO. Pete also started and ran a Fintech innovating lab as part of the banked named Cube8. His expertise with technology guided and sustained all the areas of The Bancorp for which he was responsible; these include the strategy, guidelines, policies and management of the Deposit Operations and Information Technology areas, as well as the Global Call Center Operations.

Pete serves on the executive council of SocialTurns, a social media community for the financial industry. He is also a member of the Philadelphia chapter of InfraGard and the Information Systems Audit and Control Association. Pete is an advisor to FinxTech, a bridge between Financial services and technology.

Laurel Quigley

SVP of Product Management

Laurel Quigley

In her role as Savana’s SVP of Product Management, Laurel is responsible for overseeing the product strategy and roadmap. Her product management organization includes compliance, business analysis, documentation, and quality assurance. Prior to this position, Laurel served as VP, Solutions Delivery at Savana. She has over 19 years of experience delivering software products and solutions.

Before joining Savana, Laurel served as an Enterprise Content Management Solution Architect at Princeton University and held several positions at Identitech, including VP Product Services and Director of Product Management.

Laurel graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a BA in Professional Writing and also later received her Master of Public Management (MPM) degree with a concentration in Information Systems from the University.

Steve Lucas

VP, Sales

Steve Lucas

As VP of Sales, Steve draws on more than 20 years experience in the enterprise banking industry to show financial institutions the value of partnering with Savana, while managing a growing sales team.

With a multimillion-dollar track record in B2B sales throughout the banking industry, Steve’s expertise is unsurpassed. Prior to Savana, Steve served as SVP of Sales for NYMBUS, where he kick-started their expansion into the banking industry. Instrumental in startup growth, Steve laid the framework for NYMBUS to pitch large banks with their software, resulting in high-ROI relationships, often in excess of $100 million. Steve has also led sales teams at other prominent banking technology companies including nCino, S1 Corporation, Financial Fusion and Sybase.

An expert in cultivating relationships with C-level banking executives, Steve has a proven track record pinpointing clients’ software needs and providing the product solutions that maximize their workflows and efficiency. Under his leadership, sales teams have achieved near-constant revenue growth through perpetual relationship building and innovative solutions.

Steve is a graduate of Penn State University and holds a bachelor’s degree in Marketing.

Mario Garcia

Chief Experience Officer

Mario Garcia

Mario Garcia serves as Chief Experience Officer at Savana. A seasoned digital storyteller with extensive experience in multidisciplinary design and usability, Mario is responsible for the development and ongoing management of Savana’s brand image as well developing the user experience and interface for Savana products.

Mario Garcia previously served as Chief Experience Officer at Nymbus, where he was responsible for the development of Nymbus’ brand, design and intuitive user experience for its bank core product. Equipped with more than 20 years of experience in online user engagement and experience design, Mario has provided consulting on audience engagement, user experience, and interactive design for more than 300 clients worldwide, including Morgan Chase, Epson and Volvo. He is a graduate of the University of South Florida and Loyola University College of Law. Mario lives in Tampa, Florida with his wife and three sons.

Board of Directors

The Savana board of directors brings together financial and software industry leaders to help set the course for Savana as we create solutions that help you adapt and thrive.

Michael Sanchez

Chairman & CEO

Michael Sanchez

Michael is a proven entrepreneur, business executive and early pioneer in financial services technology. He has served as founder, president, chief executive officer, and chairman for a number of private and public companies. His vision, leadership, and execution experience have resulted in numerous success stories over his career.

Michael currently serves as Chairman and CEO of Savana, Inc., a fast growing business process automation company serving the financial services marketplace. Prior to his current role, he served as president of the international division of  Fidelity Information Services (NYSE:FIS), where he led significant growth during his tenure. Prior to FIS, he was the founder and Chairman of Sanchez Computer Associates (NASDAQ:SCAI) a leading global supplier of core banking systems.

Michael has been a frequent guest on national TV and radio programs. He also holds several US and foreign patents for computer interconnect technologies. Michael has been recognized with various business awards, including the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for the software industry in the mid-Atlantic region in 2002 and the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2001. He sits on the board of Trustees of the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia Pennsylvania, one of the oldest and most prestigious centers for science and education in the United States.

Jerry L. Johnson

Director

Jerry L. Johnson

Jerry L. Johnson has served as director and Vice Chairman of PRWT Services, Inc. since May 2008. Mr. Johnson is responsible for developing growth strategies around PRWT’s merger and acquisition activities. Prior to joining PRWT, Mr. Johnson served as Chairman of Radnor Trust Company, a nationally chartered full service bank based in Radnor, Pennsylvania.

Mr. Johnson is Chairman of RTC Holdings, Inc., Chairman of E-Smith Legacy, Inc. and Chairman and co-owner of Axum Partners. He also chairs the Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis and Education Board, and serves on the board of the Academy in Malayan, the Elite Companies Board, and is a trustee of the Elite Company Foundation. Previously, Mr. Johnson served on the boards of Episcopal Academy, the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Westar Institute.

Mr. Johnson holds a B.S. from Truman State University, an M.S. from Northern Illinois University, and an M.S. from MIT’s Sloan School of Management.

Rob Adams

Director

Rob Adams

Niraj Patel

Director

Niraj Patel

Niraj Patel is a senior business executive with a successful track record of uncovering a corporation’s hidden value and opportunities to create long-term innovative solutions to increase market share profitability. His successful plans have included strategies to address organic growth, in-organic growth through acquisitions, investments, technology solutions and exit strategies.

Mr. Patel is currently the CIO of IBM’s Lending Platforms and an executive member of the innovative IBM Mortgage Team specializing in delivering Watson, cognitive machine learning solutions, the cloud, big data, blockchain and evidence-based decisioning to transform the mortgage industry.

Mr. Patel Co-Founded ISGN, is a Partner at Witmer LLC and Managing Director for the Musser Consulting Group. Mr. Patel works closely with diverse clients including single product firms, medium size firms targeting rapid growth and international conglomerates. Previously Mr. Patel served as a founding member and Executive Vice President/CIO for GMAC Commercial Mortgage. As a member of the Executive Committee, he was a key contributor to the organization’s international growth by consistently delivering double-digit net income growth reaching as high as $341.6 million annually, increasing loan originations from $2 to $29.9 billion, building loan servicing from $5 to $276 billion.

Recognized as an award winning innovator and viewed as one of the leading technologists of his generation, Mr. Patel serves on numerous boards and panels, speaks at industry conferences and has been quoted by The Wall Street Journal and numerous commercial real estate, finance and technology publications.

Mr. Patel’s community and professional memberships have included the Microsoft Executive Circle; Eastern Technology Council; the Board of Advisors of the Marketing Center at the Temple University Fox School of Business; the NPower CIO Advisory Council. His executive board experience includes: the Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization (MISMO) Board of Directors, EnableUS and MortgageRamp.

Mr. Patel has a B.B.A. in Finance and a M.I.S. from Temple University.

Ronald R. Rock

Director

Ronald R. Rock

Ron Rock brings three decades of experience as a bridge builder between new technology strategies and legacy enterprises. Ron is the CEO of  Point.io , a software company that enables organizations to share and access documents behind the firewall and in the cloud from any location on any device. Prior to Point.io, Ron was the founder and CEO of Knowledge Rules, an international technology company that was sold to Accenture in 2010.

Ron holds senior advisory roles for several mid-sized and start-up organizations and recently served as an Independent Director for Philadelphia Insurance Companies (NASDAQ: PHLY). With his extensive technology background, he acted as liaison between the Board and the IT group, which represented the second 
largest annual operational spend in the organization.

Ron is a native of Philadelphia and graduated
 LaSalle University with a B.S. in Accounting.

Lucille S. Salhany

Director

Lucille S. Salhany

Lucille Salhany is the President and CEO of JHMedia, Inc., and a managing partner and director of Echo Bridge Entertainment. Now immersed in new media, Ms. Salhany had a long and very distinguished career in television. She made history as the first woman ever to head a national television network (Fox Broadcasting Company); she also served as the President and CEO of United Paramount Network (UPN).

In addition to serving on Savana’s board, Ms. Salhany is also on the board of directors for Ion Media Networks, Inc. and a former director for Hewlett Packard, Inc.

Ms. Salhany was educated at Kent State University and holds an honorary doctorate from Emerson College, where she is also a trustee. Other honors awarded to Ms. Salhany include the HELP Humanitarian Award and the Silver Satellite Award from American Women in Radio and Television.

Frank R. Sanchez

Director

Frank R. Sanchez

Frank Sanchez currently serves as a director or advisor for a number of private companies. Mr. Sanchez was President of Strategic Solutions atFidelity National Information Services Inc (FIS) from 2007-2010 and its President of Enterprise Banking and Retail Solutions from 2005. Mr. Sanchez was also a corporate officer and a member of the executive committee of FIS from 2004-2010.

Prior to joining FIS, Mr. Sanchez served as the Chief Executive Officer of Sanchez Computer Associates Inc. During his long tenure with Sanchez Computer Associates, he also served as the President and Chief Operating Officer and as Executive Vice President in charge of Technology and Product Development. Mr. Sanchez was the chief architect and developer of one of the industry’s most successful core banking systems, which operates across hundreds of financial institutions around the world and is recognized as an industry leading banking platform for direct banks.

Mr. Sanchez is the recipient of a variety of business and technology awards, including the 2010 IBM Beacon Award for ‘Best Enterprise Application by an ISV’. In 2007 he received the Fox Information Technology Innovator Award from Temple University’s Fox School of Business and Management. In 2002, he received the Ernst and Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” award.

Mr. Sanchez attended the University of Connecticut where he studied Astrophysics and Finance.

Admiral R.J. "Zap" Zlatoper

Director

Admiral R.J. “Zap” Zlatoper

R.J. “Zap” Zlatoper assumed his current position as the 24th Trustee of The Estate of James Campbell, a private real estate trust which has administered assets valued at over $2 billion, after successful earlier careers in the high technology industry and the United States Navy. During his service in the private and public sectors, Admiral Zlatoper has served for over 10 years as the Chief Executive Officer of large organizations in the national defense and commercial sectors. From 1997 through 2000, Admiral Zlatoper served as Co-Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Sanchez Computer Associates, Inc., a leading global supplier of core banking systems.

Admiral Zlatoper regularly lectures on leadership, management, and military matters at universities and corporate conferences around the country and overseas, and serves on the board of numerous educational councils.

Admiral Zlatoper holds an Honorary Doctorate in Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (“RPI”), a Master’s degree in Management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a Master’s degree in Administration from the George Washington University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from RPI. He is a distinguished graduate of the Naval War College.

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