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Investors & Team

Our Investor:

We are a firm with a single limited partner, the George Kaiser Family Foundation. This relationship allows us to draw on a deep network of fund managers, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and thought leaders who share a mission of cultivating a more vibrant and inclusive Tulsa. As such, we are at the center of the effort to recruit jobs, talent, and new economic opportunities right here at home in Tulsa.

Our Mission:

Our mission is not only to drive returns and create jobs in Tulsa, but also to be an example to the world of inclusion, equality, and equity across all races, genders, educational backgrounds, and socioeconomic statuses. We believe in leading by example and are proud of the diversity of our team and our portfolio.

Our Team:
43% Underrepresented
Minorities

Our Team:
43% Women

Intern Cohort:
57% Underrepresented
Minorities

Intern Cohort:
57% Women

University Investment Fellowship:
55% Underrepresented
Minorities

University Investment Fellowship:
55% Women

Our Founders:
43% Underrepresented
Minorities

Our Founders:
17% Women

Our Founders:
57% Immigrants

Our Team:

The team at Atento Capital shares a common goal of doing both good and well. We want to deliver for our shareholders, but we have an equal focus on doing good by our stakeholders. Each team member has a passion for making the world a better place, and we subscribe to the notion that social change can be driven through economic opportunity. We also believe in an inclusive universe of entrepreneurs that reflects the broader diversity of humanity. And we work with passion each day to achieve our goals and turn our dreams into reality.

The founding team has a very diverse background, but we are all generalist investors. Our team is a combination of successful entrepreneurs and traditional finance analysts. All of us are competitive and thrive on the process of improvement.

We are honored to work at Atento and feel incredibly grateful to work at the crossroads of entrepreneurship, economic development, finance, and social improvement. For us, work is not a chore, it is a passion, and that is the same mindset we look for in all of our partners.

Michael Basch

Managing Partner

Mike on LinkedIn

Originally from California, I was born in San Francisco, and raised in Los Angeles. From 2010 to 2018, I lived primarily in New York with 2 years in London and a splash of Tel Aviv before moving to Tulsa at the beginning of 2018. Raised by two parents working in the non-profit space, I have always been torn by my inner struggle for doing good vs. doing well. During my summers as a kid, I remember volunteering at my mom's non-profit (The Shoah Foundation) in the mornings, and selling lemonade on my street corner in the afternoons. But my love for business largely prevailed, leading me to pursue a BA in Business at USC in Los Angeles, as well as an MBA there a few years later. My passions outside of work include running (I have run 5 marathons), volunteering, traveling, seeing friends, introducing strangers, and spending as much time as possible with my amazing wife, Romi and our son, Leo.

For as long as I can remember, I have always loved to work, and loved to immerse myself within different kinds of businesses, both as an operator and as an investor. I started working full time in high school as a barista at a coffee shop in LA, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. Seven years later, I was operating 22 stores, overseeing nearly 400 people, and managing a $19 million revenue operation. I was in the coffee space through undergrad and business school. During that time, two close friends of mine started a t-shirt company out of our fraternity. I joined as the 5th partner, and the 5 of us bootstrapped the business to 150+ people across 6+ countries and $30 million+ revenue before selling to the publicly traded Superior Uniform Group. Prior to that sale, I had already begun angel investing, and eventually joined one of my portfolio companies, Spotad, as President.  Within two years there, we built the company to 45 people across 4 countries and $15 million+ in revenue. But then the 2016 election happened, and I felt compelled to follow my heart into the Clinton Campaign--initially as a volunteer and eventually helping to organize Madison, Wisconsin. When we lost the race, I was looking for ways to make an impact given the current American political climate, which led me to Tulsa. More on that here.

For the past two years, I have had the privilege of working closely with the George Kaiser Family Foundation in Tulsa, in a role that straddles both investment and economic development.  Some of the questions we were looking to address in the work we were doing were: “Can you be intentional about how you deploy capital that not only drives return but has a local economic impact as well?”  “What are the right economic incentives needed to attract and retain talent in Tulsa?”  “Can you make large-scale social change through economic opportunity?”  While many of these questions have yet to be answered, the initial work was compelling enough that it led to the birth of Atento Capital.  Now, with a committed team behind our work, we are looking to shift our efforts into turbo drive and really catalyze growth for 21st century jobs in Tulsa.  I couldn’t be more excited and grateful to be on a team undertaking this challenge.


Will Gray

Head of Investments and Partnerships

Will on LinkedIn

Born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, I spent the majority of my life playing tennis. By the time I was 18 years old, I had competed from coast to coast against all the best US players my age. Most of the other top junior players were from big coastal cities, but I took pride in being a tennis player from Tulsa, and I have that same passion for my hometown today. I later played for the University of Tulsa, where I played on a team represented by eight different nationalities, and it was that immersive experience which gave me an appreciation for other languages, cultures, and people. After playing at TU, I tried my luck on the ATP tour. But as it turns out, it’s tough to make a living playing professional tennis, so I went back to school to complete my Spanish degree and pursue my MBA.

I first realized that I enjoyed business when I helped organize one of the largest tennis events in state history. The exhibition featured several of the highest ranked professional players in the world and served as a benefit for the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Oklahoma. Having volunteered as a Big Brother for several years, I wanted to help the organization at scale, and the best way I knew how was through tennis. The event raised funds and gained several new volunteers for the Big Brothers and Big Sisters. I've always had a passion for helping others, and through that event, I got my first business experience.

After completing my MBA at The University of Tulsa, I took a job at BOK Financial, where I always felt gratified working because of the incredible impact our chairman, Mr. George Kaiser, was making in the community. I spent the majority of my career as a fundamental equity analyst for the internal mutual fund company Cavanal Hill Investment Management, where I covered the Consumer Discretionary, Energy, REITs, and Communication Services sectors. While working on the buy-side, I became a CFA charter holder, and gained a strong interest in tech related businesses. I still love tennis and occasionally get to hit balls with my wife, Michelle (who played for the women's team at TU) but today I also enjoy riding bikes, doing yoga, and walking our dog. Michelle and I also love hanging out with friends and introducing others to the city of Tulsa!


Reagan Haas

Director of Special Projects

Reagan on LinkedIn

Born and raised in Muskogee, OK, I am a Cherokee Nation citizen and first in my family to attend college. My career path has been winding, but my commitment to serving others has remained steadfast. While I loved my time in SF and NYC, I'm thrilled to be in Tulsa helping to tackle intergenerational poverty and create equitable economic opportunities.

After graduating from Oklahoma State University, I taught special education in Oklahoma City as part of Teach for America where I met my now husband. I moved to the Bay Area to attend UC Berkeley School of Law, and I also taught special education at City Arts and Technology High School in San Francisco. In California I discovered a love for hiking, backpacking, and all things outdoors, and I'm excited to explore all of the outdoor adventures the Heartland has to offer.

I started my legal career as part of the Ropes & Gray family advising clients on executive compensation and employee benefits matters. Thanks to Ropes' commitment to public service, I was also able to maintain a robust pro bono practice in immigration, non-profit formation, and disability rights. Most recently, I had the privilege of working at Smithline PC where I advised industry-leading SaaS/software companies on a variety of privacy, product, and technology matters.

Dozie Ibekwe

Principal

Dozie on LinkedIn

I grew up in Lagos where community service and team sports were important in my childhood. I have led community service and international development projects as a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, Engineers Without Borders and World Economic Forum Global Shapers. I also founded a pro bono consultancy for small businesses. I am a rower and soccer goalkeeper: I was a member of the rowing and soccer teams of Sidney Sussex College at Cambridge University and Harvard Business School—I represented HBS in the Head Of The Charles Regatta.

Before Atento Capital, I was an investor at Pamoja Capital, the Geneva-based family office of the McCall MacBain Family and the McCall MacBain Foundation. Previously, I was a management consultant at Boston Consulting Group. At BCG, I worked in the Houston, London and Lagos offices and advised clients around the world. I started my career as an associate in General Electric’s Operations Management Leadership Program. At GE, I worked in multiple roles across different countries, most recently in a supply chain management consultant role. I earned a bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, in electrical engineering from the honors college of University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) and a master’s degree in supply chain management from Pennsylvania State University. I also earned a master of public policy (MPP) from University of Cambridge as a Gates Cambridge Scholar and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Through Atento, I am working to drive innovation and accelerate economic development in Tulsa and create a model that may be replicated in cities around the world.

Chandler Malone

Venture Partner

Chandler on LinkedIn

I was born and raised in Dallas before moving to St. Louis to attend Washington University, where I played on the basketball team as a freshman and sophomore. Much of my collegiate experience centered on finding ways to help people improve their life situations. Through the Linus Foundation and Pyramid Foundation, my team and I were able to donate over $100,000 to low-income St. Louis middle and elementary schoolers, and my time with Building Futures and the Alberti Program allowed me to mentor over a hundred young people in St. Louis. My coursework as an American Culture Studies major helped to shape my interest in the intersection of technology, entrepreneurship, and economic development, and my Capstone explored how entrepreneurship and intentional venture capital are the most effective vehicles for job creation in today's world. Now that I am a retired athlete, I still love to play basketball and exercise; spend time with my wife, Sahee and my mother, Yolawnde; and travel. I'm always open to suggestions for new books to read and places to eat!

As a sophomore in college, the entrepreneurship bug bit me and I fell in love. That year, a friend and I launched a successful events company that went from selling concert tickets for a commission to booking a Billboard Top 10 artist in one year. A year later, I was blessed with the opportunity to spend some time at St. Louis based venture capital fund iSelect, learning the ins and outs of the early stage investing space. These experiences early on were quite empowering and in 2017, I founded and served as CEO of The Moves, a software company designed to disrupt the event ticketing space with industry-leading transaction fees, text message notifications, and secure private events. After selling The Moves to Atlanta-based Wright Enterprises in July of 2019, I returned to St. Louis to join the investment team at SixThirty, a cybersecurity and fintech focused corporate-backed venture capital fund, and began angel investing on the side, writing checks into Atlanta-based MedFlik and St. Louis-based Ideate. My experiences as both an entrepreneur and investor have given me a level of insight and empathy necessary to assist early stage companies in accomplishing their growth goals and becoming "investment ready".

Chandler recently launched his own startup, Ideate, and will remain with Atento Capital as a Venture Partner.

Hugh Martin

Principal

Hugh on LinkedIn

I am a native of Anderson, SC who is passionate about technology, business, and community development. During my youth, I was an avid basketball player, which taught me teamwork, discipline and competitive grace, and led me to play on the varsity basketball team at Harvard College. There, I took advantage of as many opportunities as I could to broaden my interests, enhance my perspective and experience different walks of life.

This unlocked a lifelong obsession for Social Entrepreneurship within me, and in 2013, inspired me to co-found CommunityCode, an EdTech company that has taught computer science principles to thousands of diverse K-12 students, as well as educators and schools across the Southeastern US.

After participating in my own entrepreneurial journey, I knew that I also wanted to help other driven entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses. To this end, I spent time at Plexo Capital, a global venture capital fund that invests in woman- and minority-led startups and seed funds; in Tanzania at ZOLA Electric, a late-stage solar technology company that provides more than a million people across Africa with access to affordable solar energy; and in management consulting in the San Francisco Bay Area.

I completed my JD at Columbia Law School in New York, NY, earned my MBA at the University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business in Berkeley, CA and have had the honor of being recognized as a 2015 Hive Global Leader, a 107.3 JAMZ 2015 Upstate Black History Maker, a 2016 Management Leadership for Tomorrow Fellow, a 2017 Consortium Fellow, a 2018 Forbes Fellow by Forbes Under 30, a 2018 Haas Social Impact Fund Award Winner, a 2018-2019 Rankin Fellowship Recipient, and a 2019 Beyond Yourself Fellow.

In my spare time, I’m a fitness enthusiast and licensed private pilot who loves to travel. I’m looking forward to becoming a part of the Tulsa community and am excited to play a role in driving economic impact, community development, financial returns and large-scale social change through my work at Atento Capital.

Sean McCroskey

Investment Associate

Sean on LinkedIn

I'm a Cincinnati, Ohio native with stops in London, England and Washington D.C along the way. Having grown up in Cincinnati, I witnessed firsthand the transformation a city can go through when its government and residents are aligned on a mission to pursue growth and change for the good. It was this experience that turned me on to entrepreneurship and led me to begin interning at several startups in the city. Having deep roots in the area, I went to Xavier University to obtain my degree in Finance. At the end of my junior year, a friend mentioned a program called Venture for America (VFA). I applied and was accepted as the second student from Xavier ever to receive the fellowship. I spent a summer learning a multitude of skills from IDEO, Mckinsey, and Training the Street, and even met my now-wife! I eventually went on to serve my fellowship in Charlotte, North Carolina, where I worked in operations at a high-growth, cloud-based deal management software company. After realizing I wanted to experience life at an early-stage company, I moved to Birmingham, Alabama, where I worked as the first full-time employee in Biz Dev and Product Management within the construction technology space. I continue to be involved in VFA as a volunteer and supporter.

I met my incredible wife at a VFA job fair, where we were both pursuing roles at startups. We got married in June and packed our bags for Tulsa just a few weeks later! We have a dog named Griffey -- named after Ken Griffey Jr., of course. Outside of spending time with them, I love to read science fiction and history books, cook anything from Matty Matheson’s Cookbooks, play basketball, and watch the Bengals, Musketeers and Reds play. I have successfully summited Mt. Rainier and Kilimanjaro and hope to climb a few more down the road. When I’m not meeting or researching founders and tech companies for work, I’m writing about them in my weekly tech startup newsletter called Welcome to the Stage. 

In the documentary The Defiant Ones, famed record producer and founder of Interscope Records Jimmy Iovine described what it was like for him and Dr. Dre to meet Eminem for the first time, ignoring the advice of their peers not to meet with him. Despite the many critics who said someone from Detroit couldn't make it in music, Dr. Dre and Jimmy signed Eminem. When asked why, he simply said, “Greatness can come from anywhere.” I believe the same message applies to entrepreneurs -- today more than ever. The internet has helped level the playing field in the world of tech, and founders can emerge from anywhere. I’ve come to Tulsa and Atento because I want to make sure that all founders -- no matter where they are -- have the resources they need in order to innovate and grow incredible businesses. Atento is a firm that believes in being more than just a check to those founders innovating and growing their businesses. They’re truly dedicated to being the trailwise sidekicks every entrepreneur needs in order to be successful.

Josephine Nelms

Director of Operations

Josephine on LinkedIn

I am a Tulsa native who comes from humble beginnings. The youngest of five siblings and daughter of an African American mother and a Ghanaian father, I was raised in a single-parent home. My mom worked in non-profit as a recreation director for low-income housing. Watching her drive inspired me to work hard at an early age and taught me the importance of having a variety of skillsets. At the age of 10, I was folding “The Chronicle” (a neighborhood newsletter) to earn income. By 12, I was charging girls to style their hair during lunch at school and had convinced my aerobics and weightlifting teacher to let me use the locker room as my salon. By the time I graduated from high school, I was a licensed cosmetologist. I used that license to work my way through college, while also maintaining a work study in media relations. At the close of my post-secondary education from the University of Tulsa, I earned a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences and a minor in Chemistry. Outside of work, I love spending time with my husband Courtney, our daughters JoAnna and Allena, painting, and watching a lot of HGTV. 

Post-graduation, I followed in my mom’s footsteps and entered the non-profit sector for a span of 10 years. I worked as a Mentor Coordinator and a Director of Community Outreach. It was during that tenure that I discovered my strength in identifying gaps in compliance, developing processes, and finding ways to make processes more efficient. I am a proud alumna of Leadership Tulsa’s New Voices Class 11, the 2019 recipient of the Youth at Heart Alumnus Achievement Award, and the 2018 recipient of the Youth Work Professional Supervisor of the Year Award.

Atento’s mission falls in line with my personal mission. The word literally means “helpful” in Spanish. I am passionate about ending the generational cycle of poverty in my community. Our Atento team has been given the great gift of being at the forefront of nurturing and developing entrepreneurial talent, creating business sustainability, and in turn creating jobs in Tulsa. I am so honored to be a part of a team that is intelligent beyond measure and hungry for change.



Susan Spears

Principal

Susan on LinkedIn

I am originally from Dallas, TX but have called Tulsa home since 2014. I grew up as a ballet dancer and attribute my lack of skill in organized sports to the fact that I spent my youth years at the barre and not on the field. I am a Double Domer and received both my undergraduate and Masters degree in Accountancy from the University of Notre Dame (Go Irish!). I met my husband Reid while at ND, and we have a son, Anthony, who brings so much joy to our lives. I love running, show tunes, and have recently taken up piano.

After college, I began my career with Ernst & Young as a tax professional. I worked in both the Dallas and Tulsa offices for several years. I then had the opportunity to work for The McNellies Group as a Financial Associate and helped with analytics for 15+ restaurants. Most recently, I worked as an Associate for Argonaut Private Equity in Tulsa.

I have always wanted to have a voice and make a difference in the community where I live. In Tulsa, that opportunity is tangible. Since moving here in 2014, I have found that it is possible to be involved in the future of the city as a young person in her career. The united desire for a better Tulsa is real, and I feel incredibly fortunate to be a part of the progress through my work at Atento.

Brentom Todd

Tulsa's Emerging 100 Associate

Brentom on LinkedIn

I am a newlywed husband to Zoe, a father to Nova, a son of Brenda and Tommy, a brother and friend to many.  I am a graduate of The University of Tulsa with a Business Management degree and a specialization in Entrepreneurship and Family-Owned Business. While being a full-time student-athlete, I gained invaluable leadership experience as part of the TU Football team, as well as strategic involvement in organizations such as the Student Athletic Advisory Committee, Team Leadership Council, and the FCA Leadership Board. Ultimately, I returned to work for TU after my football career ended to mentor upcoming student-athletes as well. In my time at Transformation Church, I have held a variety of leadership roles including: Project Manager in the Office of the Pastor, Human Resources Recruiter, Executive Assistant to Lead Pastor, and Facilities & Building Assistant. More than any of the titles, I felt my role was to be a vision cultivator and help propel the organization through its exponential growth in the last three years.

Alongside my roles, I have continually worked with entrepreneurs and organizations in their development from ideation and strategic planning to marketing implementation. For me Tulsa is home. I am born and raised here and although I am well-traveled, I can not see myself calling anywhere else home (although a beach house in Miami for vacations will be nice one day). I know I am called to Tulsa and I am excited to be able to add to the economic growth of the city through walking with entrepreneurs and helping to cultivate their visions.

Aaron Whigham

Program Director

Aaron on LinkedIn

Born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA, I spent most of my youth playing sports. I competed with some of the best in the region in shot put and discus and came within inches of qualifying for the National Junior Olympics. It was through sports that I learned how grit, tenacity and hard work pay off. In addition to playing sports, I always had a mind for business, which led me to California University of PA, where I received my BS in Finance. While in college, I transitioned from playing sports to playing music and was hired as the school’s pianist. Before graduating, I became president of the gospel choir and treasurer of the Black Student Union. I did not know at the time that all these successes and experiences were working together to make me a multifaceted individual, something I realized as I transitioned to a professional career.

I have served the last three years as Director of Strategic Initiatives at Penn State University Greater Allegheny (PSUGA) and Founder of the Mon Valley Launchbox (MVL). Through the MVL, a business incubator that strives to cultivate a solvent ecosystem within the Mon Valley, I have provided strategic leadership and business acumen to current and aspiring entrepreneurs. Throughout my career at PSUGA, I’ve worked to create access points to resources and forge mutually beneficial relationships between government and community stakeholders. Over the last eight years at PSUGA, I have managed an $11M campus budget, led multiple efforts on campus designed to increase retention and degree conferral rates, and served as a pillar of support to the campus and broader community.

I never thought my career would lead me to Tulsa, Oklahoma. However, my wife and I are excited to join the Tulsa community. As Program Director at Atento, I will be diligently working to cultivate talent in Tulsa, while creating high quality programming to advance the mission of both Atento Capital and the George Kaiser Family Foundation. In addition to working at Atento, I am pursuing my master’s degree in Organization Development Change Management from Penn State University, and I serve as the Senior Pastor of Christ Is All InnerCity Ministries in Turtle Creek, PA. I embody servant leadership to the highest degree in everything I do, and I have an unwavering commitment to excellence.


Randolph F. Wiggins

Venture Partner at Atento Capital and Managing Director of Build in Tulsa

Randy on LinkedIn

Randolph F. Wiggins (“Randy”) serves as Venture Partner at Atento Capital and Managing Director of Build in Tulsa, the national and multi-sector effort to rebuild and revive Black Wall Street by attracting Black high-growth tech entrepreneurs and venture capitalists from across America and providing their companies and funds with the financial backing, relationships, partnerships, and entrepreneurial supports required for breakout success.

Prior to joining Build in Tulsa, Randy served as Vice President of Growth and Operations for Reading Tree China, a Chinese artificial intelligence-powered education services company; Executive Co-Lead of Princeton Alumni Angels (Silicon Valley), Princeton’s Silicon Valley angel investing community; and Manager on the Tech and Society team at Omidyar Network, the founder of eBay’s impact investing and venture capital fund. There, he co-led the team’s efforts to prevent, mitigate, correct the societal downsides of technology – and maximize impact through investments in and strategic partnerships with ventures positively impacting Silicon Valley and its associated companies, teams and products. Before joining Omidyar Network, Randy spent time in Shanghai and Beijing with leadership from KKR China and consulted on the promise and impact of artificial intelligence on labor, economies, education, and society in China. Prior to his move to Silicon Valley and the technology and venture capital sectors, Randy built a career in policy -- a highlight of which was his work under Lawrence S. Summers in the United States National Economic Council in the Obama White House to help rebuild the American economy following The Great Recession.

Randy holds a B.A. from Princeton University, where he majored in public policy at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and a J.D. from the UCLA School of Law. Randy is a proud inaugural member of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Millennium Scholarship Program – a $1.6 billion effort funded by Bill and Melinda Gates to promote academic excellence; increase diverse representation in areas like computer science and engineering; and develop a deep bench of future leaders to help build a stronger society and protect the future of the US economy.

As a native of Newark, New Jersey, Randy could not be more proud to be a new member of the Tulsa community because of the power of Tulsa's history, the brilliance and resilience of the North Tulsa community, and the opportunity to contribute to bringing change to Greenwood, the American tech sector, the American economy -- and America itself. Randy sees his work as directly aligned with his alma mater's mantra -- "In the Nation's Service and in Service to Humanity."


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