Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Chairman of the Board
Vic Macchio, founder and CEO of Dinova, is personally involved in creating the company vision and culture, spearheading innovation, and bolstering rapid expansion and growth. Macchio has built a reputation of leadership and advancement in the travel industry since 1980.
Macchio realized there was a large deficiency when it came to business dining spend. This area, which makes up the third largest expense in corporate T&E, was wildly undermanaged and needed a solution. Thus, Dinova was born.
Now eight years later, Macchio is CEO of a $6 billion proprietary marketplace that exclusively connects business diners with quality restaurants nationwide. Like other successful internet marketplaces, such as Airbnb and Uber, Dinova is quickly capturing market share and providing unrecognized value for businesses and restaurants alike. Due to Dinova’s success, in 2014 Macchio was named one of the 25 Most Influential Executives in the Business Travel Industry by Business Travel News.
Macchio spent 17 years at American Express where he progressed steadily in consumer marketing, supplier relations, corporate services, and general management. In 1997, Macchio founded Windward Marketing Group and served an array of clients within and outside of the travel industry.
Macchio holds a BA in Romance Languages and Psychology from Queens College, an MBA from Villanova University, and has completed a certificate program at the European Institute for Advanced International Studies. He speaks French, Spanish and Italian, holds a private pilot license and lives with his wife in Johns Creek, Georgia.
Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer
Rhonda Hills is responsible for driving marketplace demand and revenue growth for the company. A pioneer in digital media, Hills has 20+ years of building awareness and high volume growth for both emerging Internet businesses as well as established brands.
Most recently Hills was Executive Vice President for BLiNQ Media, an award winning social media ad tech company. In this role, Hills was responsible for long-term strategic planning and growth strategies as well as overall company operations. Prior to joining BLiNQ, Hills was CMO of the Home and Footwear businesses for both Sears and Kmart where she was responsible for delivering $4 billion in multi-channel sales.
As VP and CMO for Kudzu.com, Hills was responsible for driving the multi-channel go-to-market strategy, brand management, marketing operations, product strategy and roadmap, business development and cross-media partnerships/content distribution activities. Before joining Kudzu, she was SVP of Digital Services for Archer>Malmo, where she provided digital and web development services for clients like FedEx, Kraft Food Ingredients, Colgate-Palmolive, Hilton, Terminix, Medtronic, Smith & Nephew, Reynolds, Valent and AutoZone, among others. In the 1990’s Hills led the marketing activities for Cox Interactive Media's network of 30+ city websites and was a Founding Father of AOL's Digital City.
Rhonda Hills is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of the University of Maryland, receiving two Bachelor of Arts degrees; one in Radio, TV & Film, and a second BA in Music. She is classically trained in opera, but has performed Broadway, Jazz and Country Music as well – with performances at The Kennedy Center and The National Theater of Brazil.
Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Jay Ruhm leads all finance, HR and administration functions at Dinova. Ruhm’s 30-year career as a senior finance and consulting executive has focused on innovative, value-added solutions to business issues while protecting the assets of the company. Ruhm spent 15 years at American Express progressing to CFO of Southern Region Corporate Services, an American Express subsidiary supporting several Travel and Corporate Card business units spanning from Texas through Washington, DC.
Following his tenure at American Express, Ruhm was a Divisional CFO for Kelly Services, and spent time as a successful entrepreneur in the commercial equipment leasing space as a Principal at First Access Leasing Corp. As a Senior Managing Consultant with Huron Consulting Group, Ruhm led multiple efforts in the financial restructuring of a major US manufacturing company.
Ruhm graduated with honors from Boston University with a BSBA in Finance and International Management and holds an MBA with concentrations in accounting, finance, and international management from Columbia University. He currently holds the fastest race time at his local go cart track, where he is frequently seen racing with his son.
Vice President, Enterprise Partnerships
Chris Froelich is responsible for building Dinova’s corporate marketplace. A 25+ year veteran of the travel and travel management services industry, Froelich started his career as a partner in BPF Travel, a start-up that grew into the fourth largest travel agency in the U.S. within five years. BPF Travel helped transform and shape the corporate travel business by creating customized travel and expense management systems and processes for Fortune 500 companies.
When American Express acquired BPF Travel in 1984, Froelich held various roles at American Express for the next 15 years, including Director of Business Travel Operations, VP/GM of Membership Travel Services, and VP/GM of the Public Sector, the corporate card program for colleges, universities, state and local governments. As VP of Supplier Relations for Europe, Chris was the architect of a pan-European supplier strategy and responsible for negotiating and managing relationships with all major airlines, hotel chains, cruise lines and car rental companies. Based in Paris, Chris served as member of the American Express European Executive Committee.
After American Express, Froelich served as CEO of Happy Vacations and Advanced Travel Center, two leisure-oriented national travel brands. He also acquired the Somerset School of Massage Therapy, and eventually served as a board member of the American Massage Therapy Association Council of Schools. Froelich helped create and build Cortiva Institute, acquiring 13 of the top massage schools across the USA.
Froelich holds a BA from Assumption College and an MBA from Pepperdine University, and he is based in Spring Lake, New Jersey. He is a two time American Express President's Award winner.
Vice President, Restaurant Acquisition
Scott Martin is responsible for building the Dinova national restaurant network. With 25+ years in business development, strategic planning, multi-media marketing, and technical operations, Martin has built a reputation for sales leadership, digital marketing expertise and a relentless commitment to success. Most recently, Martin was EVP of Sales and CMO for Curran & Connors where he was responsible for business development and marketing services for multiple clients including, the Atlanta Braves, United States Olympic Committee, the City of San Jose and Lowes Corporation.
Prior to joining Curran & Connors, Martin was a National Sales Director within the Cox Media Group, responsible for leading both the digital product solutions and geographic expansion to targeted media properties across the Cox Media Group’s portfolio.
Prior to Cox Media Group, Scott held a leadership positions with Hibu (formerly Yellowbook) where he was responsible for leading a widely dispersed sales team selling multi-media advertising solutions to SMBs. Preceding Hibu, Scott invested the first half of his career in the broadband and telecommunications industry starting with AT&T and then culminating into leadership roles with OnePoint Communications where he was Vice President of Sales and subsequently with Verizon overseeing the Multi-Dwelling Unit (MDU) division based out of Thousand Oaks, CA.
Scott is a Cum Laude graduate of Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, GA. He resides near Peachtree City, Georgia with his wife and two daughters.
Vice President, Partner Relations
Bev Heinritz is responsible for all major accounts and is the face of Dinova to both the Corporate Travel Management industry and Dinova’s vibrant restaurant community. Heinritz is a seasoned travel executive with 25 years of expertise in B2B travel and customer success.
Most recently Heinritz served as SVP, Global Services and Support at Rearden Commerce (now Deem), where she had responsibility for the entire post-sales customer lifecycle. Prior to joining Rearden, Heinritz served as SVP/GM of GetThere, Sabre's online B2B e-commerce unit. At GetThere, she set the company's overall business direction, and was responsible for sales, partnerships, and customer service. During her tenure, Heinritz led its global growth from less than $4 billion in gross travel volume booked to $9.4 billion.
Prior to GetThere, Heinritz enjoyed a long career at Sabre Holdings with leadership positions at Sabre Business Travel Solutions and Sabre National Accounts as well as field Account Executive roles in Florida, California and Arizona.
Heinritz has a successful professional track record of driving value and she places a significant emphasis on the customer experience as well as how corporate travel professionals can achieve greatest success in online travel and expense management. Heinritz attended Northwood University in Midland, Michigan and is based in Plano, Texas.
Director, IT and Business Operations
Alberto Romero is responsible for Dinova’s business operations, IT infrastructure and security, and analytics services. Romero has more than 30 years of experience in the IT space, driving IT execution alignment with the top company initiatives, helping drive growth, optimize operations and manage risk. His passion for IT security was born out of extensive work and very large projects he led for Iron Mountain, the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy.
Most recently, Romero was the Chief Architect at Groundlink where he was responsible for developing and implementing IT programs that supported business scale and availability. Prior to Groundlink, Romero was VP and Chief Architect at Iron Mountain Records Management, responsible for business-IT planning, maintaining an enterprise road map for the evolution of legacy systems, and business process management systems.
Prior to Iron Mountain, Romero was the Director of Technology for Sales, Service and Finance for Travelocity and was the Principle Architect for Sabre. Earlier in his career, Romero was a software engineer for a variety of companies, including Hughes, Octel and Datapoint.
Romero holds a Doctorate of Science and Medicine from the University of Panama, and a degree in Computer Science and Math from the University of Texas at San Antonio. He currently lives in Irving, Texas with his wife.
Board of Directors
Tom Garzilli is co-founder and Managing Partner of Custom Marketing Group, an award-winning destination marketing and custom publishing company that specializes in the travel and tourism industry. Founded in 1992, CMG maintains offices in Atlanta, Los Angeles and Miami.
A veteran of 30 years in the travel industry, Tom first worked in his family's wholesale travel business in the 1970's and 80's. He later joined senior management with the Wholesale Travel Division of American Express where he directed sales and marketing, co-op advertising and managed national trade show and training programs.
Since founding CMG, Garzilli has collaborated with American Express, AT&T, Travelocity and dozens of other high-profile companies to develop marketing programs in print and online. These programs have raised more than $200 million in partnership funding for leading destinations including California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Las Vegas, North Carolina and New York. CMG has also developed cooperative marketing programs for several national and international tourism boards and industry groups, including the Caribbean Tourism Development Company, and the Travel Industry Association (now the U.S. Travel Association) with which it developed and launched the Discover America-UK marketing campaign.
Garzilli is a New York City native and a 1980 graduate of Pace University. He currently resides in Seneca, South Carolina with his wife and three children.
Mark E. Haidet is the co-founder and CEO of Orderly, a technology company focused on helping independent restaurants take control of their operations so they can thrive. Orderly provides mobile technology solutions to help restaurants improve their ordering, receiving, inventory and cost management processes. He is also a founding partner of Actuate Partners, a private equity firm formed in 2011 to make equity investment in Retail and Restaurant technology companies.
Previously Mark served as the Chief Financial Officer of Radiant Systems Inc. (RADS) from January of 2003 until its successful sale to NCR in July of 2011. In that capacity Mr. Haidet had responsibility for various corporate functions including finance and accounting, legal, human resources, internal technology systems and corporate development. He joined Radiant in June of 1997 and has served in various leadership roles across the business operations including business unit leadership and service organization leadership. Prior to joining Radiant Mark served as a management consultant with Andersen Business Consulting, focusing on finance re-engineering and corporate performance management from December 1992 to June 1997. Previously, Mr. Haidet was a certified public accountant with Arthur Andersen's financial audit practice.
He has a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Miami University, Ohio as well as advanced courses in strategic finance, and mergers and acquisitions from the Kellogg School of business.
Chairman of the Board
Edwin M. Cooperman
Ed Cooperman is principal of Edmarc Investments, a privately-held management consulting company. Formerly, he was Chairman of the Travelers Bank Group and Executive Vice President-Travelers Group, which became part of Citigroup, one of the world's leading financial services companies. During Cooperman's earlier tenure at Travelers (then Primerica) he served as Chairman & CEO of Primerica Financial Services Group, which included Benefit Life Insurance Company.
Previously, Cooperman had a distinguished career at American Express where he started as an attorney in 1972 and eventually became Chairman and Co-Chief Executive of American Express Travel Related Services, North America. During his tenure, Cooperman pioneered the travel management services movement, integrating travel agency services, corporate credit card systems and supplier data management—a model which today serves as the standard for all large corporations.
Cooperman holds a Bachelor's degree from Queens College, a J.D. from Ohio State University and an L.L.M. degree from New York University School of Law. He became an associate professor at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he also served as counsel to a cadet accused of violating the Academy's honor system. The incident received nationwide news coverage and was the subject of an NBC television movie, "The Silence."
Committed to the country's cultural, economic and educational sectors, Cooperman has raised capital for the restoration of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, and chaired the host committee for the Grammys in 1991, leading to their return to New York. He has served as Chairman of the Foundation of Queens College of the City University of New York, and still serves as honorary chair of that board. Ed serves as a director on the Ohio State University Foundation, and is a former director of the New York City Ballet.
Alon Goren co-founded Radiant Systems in 1985. Mr. Goren led the design and development of innovative software and hardware solutions that drive business growth for convenience store, hospitality, and entertainment operators. Goren spearheaded Radiant's technology strategy and vision since its inception, overseeing the transformation of Radiant products through technology changes from basic POS to advanced consumer-centric solutions. Mr. Goren served as Chairman of the Board and Chief Technology Officer of the Company until its sale to NCR Corporation in July 2011. Mr. Goren earned his Bachelor of Science in Computer Systems Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Mitch Gross is CEO of Mondee Inc., bringing transformational technology to the sale of international air tickets through its family of leading air consolidation brands. He brings more than 25 years of experience in general management and marketing in a variety of industries including travel, financial services, technology and retail.
Before Mondee, Mitch focused on driving record growth in new business lines within major corporations, integration of recent acquisitions, and new ventures. Prior roles include Global President, Travelex Insurance Services, COO of AIG Travel Guard, Chief Integration Officer of Cendant's Travel Distribution Division, President of Galileo Americas, head of business services at Staples.com, and several start-ups. Mitch cut his marketing teeth at American Express Business Travel.
Mitch has served on several not-for-profit boards focused on children’s issues, including the National Association of Child Advocates and statewide child advocacy groups in Utah and Massachusetts. He holds a Bachelor's degree from Middlebury College and an MBA from Columbia University.
John H. Heyman founded Actuate Partners in 2011 upon the sale of Radiant Systems to NCR Corporation for $1.2 billion. Actuate Partners focuses on investments in the technology industry, including software, SaaS and tech-enabled services.
Prior to founding Actuate, Mr. Heyman served as CEO of Radiant Systems, Inc. During his 17-year tenure, Mr. Heyman led the company through its early growth phase, a public offering and its evolution to a $400 million business. At the time of its sale, the company was the leading U.S. provider of technology solutions to the retail and hospitality industry. Mr. Heyman grew the business by entering new vertical markets, expanding into new geographies, launching new products and acquiring over 15 companies, including three outside the U.S.
Radiant's success and ability to create shareholder value was made possible by assembling a remarkable team of people who focused on delivering exceptional customer satisfaction. The company was a leader in delivering innovative solutions such as cloud-based and mobile solutions in an easy-to-afford SaaS business model. Actuate seeks to invest in businesses that embrace these same philosophies in building their own companies.
In addition to Radiant, Mr. Heyman has been an angel investor in several Atlanta-based companies. He began his career at Arthur Andersen & Co. prior to pursuing his M.B.A.
Mr. Heyman and his wife, Erin, live in Atlanta. He has three sons and enjoys golf, fly fishing, exercise, reading and skiing. He is a graduate of the Harvard Business School and the University of Georgia, where he serves on the board of advisors of the Terry College of Business.
WIlliam E. La Macchia
Bill La Macchia is chairman and chief executive officer of La Macchia Enterprises, the holding company of The Mark Travel Corporation and Trisept Solutions. La Macchia began his career as a travel agent in 1963 and, in 1974, founded Funjet Vacations. Nine years later, he established The Mark Travel Corporation to serve as parent company to Funjet Vacations and other travel-related brands. In 2000, Trisept Solutions was formed as a standalone subsidiary providing dynamic packaging and other technology products and services to the leisure travel industry.
Today, The Mark Travel Corporation is recognized as one of the largest and most diversified leisure travel companies in the United States. Headquartered in Milwaukee, the company owns and manages 19 of the nation's most respected leisure travel vacation companies, including Funjet Vacations, Blue Sky Tours, Air Jamaica Vacations, Midwest Airlines Vacations, Southwest Airlines Vacations, United Vacations, Spirit Airlines Vacations and MGM Mirage Vacations to name a few. The company employs more than 1,400 team members, operates seven offices worldwide and serves more than two million passengers each year.
In June of 2004, Bill La Macchia was inducted into the National Tourism Foundation Hall of Fame in recognition of his and his family's efforts to help shape future travel industry leaders through education and research.
Peter S. Velardi
Peter’s experience spans more than 30 years of successfully building multiple organizations, and helping others do the same.
Along the way, he has enjoyed the privilege of recruiting, training and developing thousands of financial advisors, sales professionals, entrepreneurs, and leaders to achieve business, career and life goals.
Peter is currently Chief Executive Officer of FiPath4Advisors - a web-based online marketing company that makes it easy for financial advisors to acquire targeted clients. FiPath4Advisors provides automated lead generation, training and education, and consulting services to financial advisors and enterprises.
He was a Senior Vice President at Ameriprise Financial Advisors, Inc., (formerly American Express Financial Advisors). During his career, he built top performing organizations, including the development of a 5,000+ personal financial advisor network. He also led the Leadership Development Program for field leaders. Most recently, he has impacted start-ups and small business organizations through multiple growth stages as the Founder and CEO of The Velardi Group.
A graduate of the Boston University School of Management, Peter is also a Certified Financial Planner™. He is a nationally recognized speaker on topics including, “How to Achieve Wealth and Happiness”, “Quantum Leap Business Growth”, “Your Communications Dilemma–Building Trust and Credibility Online!” and “Cultivating New Clients Through Automation”. In addition, he has led hundreds of highly rated leadership development workshops for national organizations such as American Express, ING, LPL, Bacterin, Dinova, The Financial Planning Association and many others. He has been featured in national publications such as The WSJ online and Financial Advisor Magazine.
Peter and his family reside in Johns Creek, Georgia. He enjoys family activities, water sports, golf, fly-fishing, and health and fitness. He is on several boards and advisory groups including Junior Achievement of Georgia, Legends of Oz, Lion Life and Dinova.