The Unicorn Group Management Team is comprised of seasoned senior-level executives. Collectively we bring over 100 years of experience in the business industry and have spent over 20-years defining and developing Executive Relationship Marketing (ERM).
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Aggrey has spent many years in the technology sector and is responsible for the vision and long-range strategic plan for the company. Clients include Clear Channel, AirMall USA, Commonwealth Technology, Union Track, MediaBarn, Dig-It Games, Truvincio, Vet Advisors and Mobile Commons. Prior to The Unicorn Group, Mr. Aggrey held positions in a Vice President or Director role for several companies including Edgewater Technology. Inc., a publicly-traded premium IT services company; B2e markets, a strategic sourcing software company which was acquired by VerticalNet; and KnowledgeMax, Inc. an e-Learning corporate training company.
Mr. Aggrey’s experience as an entrepreneur also includes serving as the Founder and CEO of Serious2Learn, a streaming media corporate portal that was acquired by KnowledgeMax, Inc. in 2001. Mr. Aggrey is the Founder & CEO of 2phlo.com, a first to market internet-based platform to provide business development opportunities and sales lead by curating and monetizing the ‘free time’ of business professionals to meet. In addition, he currently serves as an equity Advisory Board member (and/or Co-Founder) of KiwiTech, BizGravity, Solebrity, EdBacker, Stocknights, BeamSmart, HyLighter, Trustify, and Supercook.com.
Prior to joining The Unicorn Group, Barry has headed up TNT Advisory Group, a business development and consulting firm, with a mission of helping companies to grow and expand.
He is currently serving in the role of EVP of Sales & CMO of Declaration Networks Group, an early-stage company that is building wireless access networks in underserved markets, primarily through the deployment of disruptive White Space technology.
Among his many accomplishments, Barry has turned around a telecom division at an NYSE firm, increasing revenues from $24M to $62M, and he has taken two early-stage companies from under $10M to $100M+ – each in less than two years. His background consists of carrier and enterprise sales, marketing, and senior management roles, and he has twice run $300 – $500 million sales organizations. Barry was also the CEO of an early-stage mobile payments company, and he has led the M2M division of a $2B international company.
Barry also serves as the President of The HUB, a networking organization for telecom and technology professionals that he co-founded in 1999. The HUB is one of the largest organizations of its kind in the U.S., with a participant database of over 5,000 individuals.
Barry has held senior management positions for Neustar, Giesecke & Devrient, TNS, Teleglobe, Cable & Wireless & Sprint.
John has over 25 years of experience in business development, sales management and operations, and has worked in a leadership role at numerous organizations including the Daily Times (Salisbury, MD), The Altoona Mirror (Altoona, PA), The Record (Troy, New York), Patuxent Publishing Company and the Daily Record (Baltimore, MD). John also serves as an advisor and VP, Business Development for Trigger Transformation, LLC, a local technology startup based in Baltimore City. He is also the host of iHeart Radio’s (Baltimore) CEO’s You Should Know weekly podcast.
Prior to joining The Unicorn Group, John was the president and publisher of the Baltimore Business Journal (BBJ) for 11 years and VP of Sales for 5 years. The BBJ is the premier business-to-business news organization in the Baltimore Region.
John is a board member of Business Volunteers Maryland and was appointed to the Bay Restoration Fund Committee by Governor Larry Hogan in 2017. He is also a member of the President’s Advisory Council for Stevenson University and is co-founder of the Roundtable for Young Executives. John previously held board positions at the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore, the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, Junior Achievement of Central Maryland and the Center Club.
Willie Hensley has over 40 years of experience in the Federal government. In August 2008, the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs appointed Mr. Hensley as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary (PDAS) for Human Resources and Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs. In that capacity, Mr. Hensley was responsible for leading the management of the Department’s human resources programs and initiatives – He managed and executed a $300M budget in support of the Department’s investment in human capital, a major transformational initiative, involving over 10 major contracts and approximately 35 private sector companies. He directly supervised the Dean of VA Learning University and 6 Deputy Assistant Secretaries who lead and managed the Department’s human resources policies and programs impacting some 310,000 employees, nationwide.
Prior to this appointment, he served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Human Resources Management where he supervised 11 major human resources business lines; ranging from marketing, recruitment, and staffing to employee benefits, human resources accountability, and workforce/succession planning. Prior to his VA appointment, Mr. Hensley was the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel with the U.S. Army Operational Test and Evaluation Command, where he directed personnel and administrative functions for 2,000 military and civilian employees.
Mr. Hensley’s military awards include the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Commendation Medal (three awards), the Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), the Defense Meritorious Service Award and the Legion of Merit. He is a 2009 Presidential Rank Award recipient and has been awarded the VA Secretary’s Exceptional Service Award.
Robert Lawrence, Ph.D.
Prior to joining The Unicorn Group, Dr. Lawrence was the Chief Technology Officer at BAE Systems Inc where he provided senior leadership and direction across a broad set of technical and business projects. He has extensive experience in system engineering, technical management, program management, and business development. He has expertise in communication, radar, and combat systems; signal processing; system architecture; and has specialized in technology development and management.
Before joining BAE Systems, Dr. Lawrence was the chief engineer of MITRE’s Navy Division and was the founding Director of their Signal Processing Center. Dr. Lawrence started his career at Bell Laboratories after receiving his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and has over thirty continuing education credits.
He attended the NATO International Summer School for Advanced Study, was an associate professor with two local universities, and taught at the undergraduate and graduate level. He was one of the founding members of the Network Centric Operations Industry Consortium (NCOIC) where he led much of the technical effort and was a member of the executive committee.
He is a past member of the MILCOM Board of Directors and previously was a technical program chairman. Dr. Lawrence is a past member of the Washington AFCEA Board of Directors and was the technical chairman of the AFCEA Spring Symposium on Information Security. He also has had the pleasure of supporting both the Army Science Board and the Naval Studies Board.
Marc is the former Executive Vice President, Marketing of Fortune Builders Inc., a multi-faceted international real estate company providing B2B & B2C investments, development, education, coaching, and SAS services. Before being named EVP in 2016, Marc headed marketing for ThinkorSwim Inc. (NASDAQ: TOS) and was responsible for the company’s investing education marketing and related operations, including end-to-end management of TOS’s acquisition and matriculation funnels, x-sales activities, service and education-customer experience in all markets. He also headed their market research & analytics, creative and student marketing divisions and played a key role in the continued development of strategic supplier relationships, ensuring partner flexibility in response to an increasingly demanding marketplace strategy. TOS was sold to TD Ameritrade (NASDAQ: SCHW) in 2009 where he worked cross-functionally to expand TDA’s RIA penetration, education services, related product development and platform integration post-acquisition.
Prior to joining TOS, Marc was a Senior Vice President in Credit Cards & Expansion Markets for Citicards, driving partner relationships, x-sell campaigns and managing expansion markets for the AT&T card relationship.
Brian is a seasoned executive with years of experience managing the expectations of SMB’s and large organizations. In addition ot managing several Vistage groups he had held executive positions in other companies including:
COO of Zenetex, a system integrator and process improvement company serving both commercial and government markets; SVP of Engineering and Operations for a DSL provider, Network Access Solutions, serving the SMB market; Managing Partner of the Mid-Atlantic for Grey Peak Technologies before they were acquired by USWeb, and e-commerce services firm that rolled up over 40 companies in a couple of years. In the early 90s, Brian headed up Field Operations, Network Operations and Provisioning for MFS Datanet. After acquiring top business Internet provider UUNET, MFS was then acquired by WorldCom. At MFS Datanet, Brian’s team was responsible for the implementation, operation, and continual upgrades of MAE East, the world’s first ISP interconnection point.
Brian served in the US Air Force as an enlisted man before being selected for an officer program and finishing his BS degree in Computer Science from University of Maryland, College Park. His assignments included the White House Communications Agency, and he was on the Presidential advance teams for the first two Reagan-Gorbechev summits in Geneva and Reykjavik. After becoming an officer, he worked in the USAF’s communications group at the Pentagon.
From 2004-2007, Brian also hosted Washington DC’s top-rated business radio show, Taking Care of Business with Brian Roberts, focusing on all aspects of business. Always the entrepreneur, Brian’s primary reason for the show was not to showcase Croix Connect, but to provide him a venue to get “one phone call access” to any corporate or government executive in Washington to build relationships and increase revenue. In addition to local executives, guests on the show also included nationally known executives including Carly Fiorina and Sandy Weill.
CEO Opus8, Inc.
Mr. S. Tien Wong is Chairman of Opus8, Inc., a private investment, strategic advisory, and conference management firm based in the Washington, DC area.
Opus8 provides strategy and fundraising advice to technology companies and investors. The firm organizes tech networking events as well as fundraising missions for private equity and VC firms to meet overseas LPs. As an investor, Opus8 invests in BPO, ITO, call center, CRM, mobility, and datacenter/cloud technologies and services.
Mr. Wong is Chairman & CEO of Tech 2000, Inc. a Herndon, Virginia-based world leader in technology training, mobile virtual education, and mobile content management software. The company leverages its patented mobility technology to create products and solutions for organizations including Fortune 100, Federal Government, nonprofit, and SMB clients around the world.
He is also Chairman of Lore Systems, Inc., a Silver Spring, Maryland-based provider of enterprise network engineering and cloud computing services to enterprise, government and SMB markets. Lore is an SBA-certified HUBZone company.
Mr. Wong also is an Advisory Board Member of some of the most promising technology companies in the US, including Parature (parature.com), Transactis (transactis.com), DataRPM (datarpm.com), and SpydrSafe (spydrsafe.com).
He is a graduate of Dartmouth College where he majored in Government, and writes about leadership and “hypergrowth in the Entrepreneurial Economy” on his blog, Winning Ideas (tienwong.wordpress.com).
President - SC&H Capital
Chris Helmrath is the Managing Director at SC&H Capital. With experience spanning various industries — including healthcare, federal government contracting, information technology, manufacturing, distribution, and business services — Chris’ transactional and advisory service engagements have reached over $8 billion, in aggregate.
He has a track record of helping owners, boards of directors and management teams increase shareholder value. He has advised organizations on the best methods for achieving goals, provided real-world tools for measuring and evaluating progress, and led sell-side, buy-side, and capital raising transactions.
Chris was named a “Top Advisor” by SmartCEO Magazine, and he received the Johns Hopkins University Alumni Association Excellence in Teaching Award for his work as a professor at the university’s business school. He is a regular contributor to the Baltimore Business Journal and the Washington Business Journal, as well as several national publications, including “The Deal”. He is also a speaker to national and regional industry groups on issues affecting corporate finance, strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, and business valuation.
When he’s not in the office or off-site with clients, Chris loves to spend time with his wife, their three children and their extended families. He’s an avid golfer and loves to travel and discover new wines, and cheer on Auburn and Georgia Tech, except when they battle each other.
To say he’s active in the community would be an understatement. Chris is heavily involved in organizations promoting health, education and community support serving on the board of the American Heart Association (AHA), the Johns Hopkins University Heart and Vascular Institute, and has served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Wheeling Jesuit University and on several committees supporting the Archdiocese of Baltimore.
Chris is a General Securities Principal and Representative (Series 7, 79, 63 and 24).
President and CEO of Zips Dry Cleaners, LLC
Robert J. Barry, Jr., is a respected/recognized leader in the hospitality, food & beverage and service industry. He currently serves as the President & CEO of Zips Dry Cleaners. Prior to his current role at Zips, Bob served as president and CEO of The Greene Turtle Franchising Corporation. Bob joined The Greene Turtle as Chief Operating Officer in 2007, by which time he had already enjoyed a lengthy and successful career of 35 years in the food service and hospitality field with such companies as Marriott Corp., W.R. Grace & Co., and Bakery Resources Group.
Bob has been involved with several mergers and acquisitions along with preparing companies for successful exit strategy.
Bob is an experienced Chief Executive Officer and business development professional with a drive to increase value for businesses.
Ambassador Howard Gutman
Managing Partner of The Gutman Group
Ambassador Gutman is currently the Managing Partner of The Gutman Group, through which Ambassador Gutman runs a board, consulting, advisory, project finance, venture capital, and speech practice. Clients of The Gutman Group range from giant energy, industrial, logistics, entertainment, chemical, financial and advisory firms to family offices and start-ups; from Europe, America, Asia and the Middle East; and also include larger advisory or law firms in search of broader reach and greater expertise.
Ambassador Gutman serves on boards and as a consultant for a variety of public and privately-held companies and concerns. He brought a rich and diverse background to the diplomatic corps. He previously was a senior partner with the Washington D.C. law firm of Williams & Connolly LLP. Identified as one of “Washington’s Top Lawyers” by Washingtonian magazine (December 2004, December 2007) and selected to numerous “Superlawyers” and similar attorney award lists, Mr. Gutman’s areas of practice spanned the full gamut of litigation, investigation, and counseling matters.
Earlier in his career, during the Reagan administration, Ambassador Gutman served as a Special Assistant to F.B.I Director William H. Webster, focusing on counter-terrorism and counter-intelligence; as a law clerk to Justice Potter Stewart (retd.) on the United States Supreme Court; and as a law clerk to Judge Irving L. Goldberg on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
Founder and CEO of The Beckles Collective, LLC
Ingrid Beckles is the Founder and CEO of The Beckles Collective, LLC a Washington DC based executive consulting firm specializing in Mortgage Banking, Housing Policy, Operations Process Optimization, and Compliance and Expert Testimony. Ms. Beckles is the former Senior Vice President and Head of the Default Asset Management Division for Freddie Mac. Prior to Freddie Mac, Beckles spent ten years with PNC Mortgage Corp. of America with her final position being that of Vice President, and Head of the Credit Policy Division where she led the Credit Policy, Underwriting Policies, Quality Assurance, Appraisal Policies, Regulatory Compliance and Investor Resolution departments. Ms. Beckles holds a combined B.S. in Accounting and Technology Management from The University of Maryland, UMC; Executive Certificates in Finance and Operations from The Kellogg School of Management, and the MIT Sloan School of Management, and has extensive Board of Directors experience including serving as Audit Committee Chair. Ms. Beckles was named one of the ‘Most Powerful Women in Business’ by Black Enterprise in 2010.