Management Team

Meet Akerna’s Senior Management Team

Jessica Billingsley

Jessica Billingsley

Chairman of the Board & Chief Executive Officer

Jessica Billingsley serves as Akerna’s Chief Executive Officer. In June 2019 she became the first CEO of a cannabis ancillary company to be listed on Nasdaq. She co-founded MJ Freeway in 2010, where she served as President until April 2018, and later as the CEO until MJ Freeway was acquired by MTech to form Akerna. In 2015, she was named as one of Fortune’s Most Promising Female Entrepreneurs, in 2018, she was named one of Inc. Magazine’s 100 Female Founders, and in 2019, she was named to Entrepreneur’s inaugural list of 100 Powerful Women.

Prior to MJ Freeway, Jessica earned her degree in Communications and Computer Science from the University of Georgia and later became CEO and founder of Zoco, a technology services firm with clients across the United States. With 20 years of technology and systems experience in rapidly scaling businesses, Jessica is a highly regarded executive in both the tech and cannabis space.

Ray Thompson

Ray Thompson

Chief Operating Officer

Ray Thompson is the Chief Operations Officer at Akerna. He has 15+ years of corporate management experience including operations, sales, and talent management. From 2008 to 2016, Ray served as the Senior Vice President of VisionLink, a multiagency humanitarian software platform. From 2016-2018, Ray was Head of Customer and Sales Operations at Gloo, a people development platform. With 20+ years experience in software systems, Ray specializes in meeting the unique needs of high growth technology companies and helping them scale. Ray has an MBA from University of Denver.

John Fowle

John Fowle

Chief Financial Officer

Throughout his career, Fowle has overseen several divisions such as finance, business operations, business intelligence, and monetization operations. Before joining Akerna, he served as CFO for REV360, a SaaS and business services company, and as vice-president and controller for WELLTOK. While at WELLTOK, Fowle led the successful diligence and integration of six acquisitions valued at over $230 million.

Fowle is a certified public accountant. He holds an MBA from the University of California, Irvine, and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern California.

Nina Simosko

Nina Simosko

Chief Revenue Officer

Nina Simosko is Akerna’s Chief Revenue Officer (CRO). With more than 20 years’ experience in bringing strategic innovation to companies such as Oracle, SAP, and most recently, NTT Group, Nina is extremely well suited to her current role with Akerna. She oversees all of the company’s revenue generation streams, builds strategies to drive revenue growth, and plays a pivotal role in aligning revenue generation processes across the entire organization.

Jessica Billingsley

Akerna

Jessica Billingsley serves as Akerna’s Chief Executive Officer. In June 2019 she became the first CEO of a cannabis ancillary company to be listed on Nasdaq. She co-founded MJ Freeway in 2010, where she served as President until April 2018, and later as the CEO until MJ Freeway was acquired by MTech to form Akerna. In 2015, she was named as one of Fortune’s Most Promising Female Entrepreneurs, in 2018, she was named one of Inc. Magazine’s 100 Female Founders, and in 2019, she was named to Entrepreneur’s inaugural list of 100 Powerful Women.

Prior to MJ Freeway, Jessica earned her degree in Communications and Computer Science from the University of Georgia and later became CEO and founder of Zoco, a technology services firm with clients across the United States. With 20 years of technology and systems experience in rapidly scaling businesses, Jessica is a highly regarded executive in both the tech and cannabis space.

Ray Thompson

Chief Operating Officer

Ray Thompson is the Chief Operations Officer at MJ Freeway. He has 15+ years of corporate management experience including operations, sales, and talent management. From 2008 to 2016, Ray served as the Senior Vice President of VisionLink, a multiagency humanitarian software platform. From 2016-2018, Ray was Head of Customer and Sales Operations at Gloo, a people development platform. With 20+ experience in software systems, Ray specializes in the meeting the unique needs of high growth technology companies and helping them scale.

Ruth Ann Kraemer

Chief Financial Officer

Ruth Ann leads MJF’s financial operations. From 2012 to 2018, she served as CFO of Tempo Financial Holdings, Tempo Financial US Corp, and Unidos Financial Services, subsidiaries of Catalina Acquisitions. From 2010 to 2012, she worked for Linc Energy Operations as Divisional CFO. Prior to that, Ruth Ann was CFO for Allegro Multimedia, and has held various financial roles throughout her career. She was certified as a CPA in 1985.

Mark D. Iwanowski

Global Visions-SV, Inc.

Mark D. Iwanowski is the Founder, CEO and President of Global Visions-SV, Inc. He was previously a Managing Director with Trident Capital, Cleantech and served as Senior Vice Presential Global IT and CIO for Oracle Corporation. Mark also held executive positions with Raytheon and was principal at three successful startups—Applied Remote Technology, Quantum Magnetics, and Neohapsis. He earned his MBA from National University and California Institute of Technology, and B.S. in Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania.

Emery Huang

Batu Capital

Emery Huang is senior partner at Batu Capital, which is a multi-family office managed by Emery and Evan Huang. Batu looks for opportunities in cryptocurrency, cannabis, and big data that constitute either game-changing technologies or are late-stage/pre-IPO enterprises that have built wide economic moats. Prior to Batu, Emery was senior partner at Titan Capital.

Matt Kane

Green Shades Software

Matt Kane is the Co-Founder, Board Member, and former Co-CEO from 2005-2019 of Greenshades Software. He is also a Co-Founder and Board Member of Welltality, where he served as CEO from 2014-2018. Matt’s background is in building, growing and scaling software companies. He has been a member of the MJ Freeway Board of Directors since 2015 and earned his MBA from Warrington College of Business at University of Florida and B.S. in Computer Information Systems from Jacksonville University.

Roger McNamee

Elevation Partners

Roger McNamee co-founded Elevation, an investment partnership focused on the intersection of media and entertainment content and consumer technology. In 1999, he co-founded Silver Lake Partners, the first private equity fund focused on technology businesses. He notably was a key early investor in Facebook, and he released his insights on the social media site in a new book called “Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe,” published by Penguin Random House.

Tahira Rehmatullah

MTech

Tahira Rehmatullah is President of T3 Ventures, Partner of Big Tent Ventures, and member of the board of directors for Akerna Corp. Tahira has previously held positions at Hypur Ventures, MTech Acquisition Corp., Marley Natural, Privateer Holdings, City First Enterprises, Perry Capital, and Ernst & Young. She is an investor and advisor to numerous cannabis businesses and entrepreneurs, including the advisory board of The Initiative and the Last Prisoner Project, and is dedicated to developing female and minority leadership in the industry. Tahira earned her MBA from the Yale School of Management and BS. in Finance from The Ohio State University. She resides in New York City.

Alex Shah

solo*sciences

Ashesh “Alex” Shah is the founder and CEO of solo*sciences, a leading anti-counterfeiting and supply chain validation company. Mr. Shah founded The London Fund in 2002 and continues to serve on its investment committee. In June 2018, Mr. Shah was appointed Special Advisor to the CEO of Eaze Technologies, Inc., a position which he continues to serve. Mr. Shah is also currently on the board of directors of RevolutionWear, Inc. and EdCast. Mr. Shah’s has 28 years of experience building, integrating, and leading technology-focused companies from concept to an initial public offering and has led successful exits across a range of sectors including: loyalty; category management; data analytics; high-performance computing; payment processing; human resources technology; consumer packaged goods; artificial intelligence and fashion. Mr. Shah holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Economy from Williams College.

Scott Sozio

Akerna

Scott Sozio serves as Head of Corporate Development for Akerna. He was the CEO of MTech Acquisition Corp., a Nasdaq-listed special purpose acquisition company that merged with MJ Freeway to create Akerna. He is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Hypur Ventures, a cannabis-focused venture fund and a Partner at Van Dyke Holdings, a family office investment firm. Scott is Director of Hypur Inc., a banking compliance technology business, and Director of Simplifya Holdings, LLC, a cannabis compliance technology business. He received his B.A. in Architecture from Columbia University.