JB Smith, Managing Partner
Smith has worked at the executive level in venture capital for ten years, playing a key role in the development of many companies. Smith was integral in the growth of Web Group, LLC, recognized in 2002 as one of Inc. Magazine’s Fastest Growing Private Companies in America (#189). Smith is an active investor with a focus on, but not limited to, security-related businesses and hedge funds. Smith holds a bachelor’s degree in Administration of Justice from The Pennsylvania State University. Also known as the creator of the “Philanthropic Investmentsm,” Smith is currently a partner in WM Reign, Ltd., an investment model solely dedicated to helping finance churches and Christian causes by utilizing Smith’s “Philanthropic Investmentsm” concept.
James M. Juliano - Partner
Prior to joining Equity 11, Juliano was the founder of Omega Development Corporation, a 27-year old, full-service general contractor that develops projects in the retail, governmental and institutional sector throughout the Midwest. Under Juliano's management, Omega has generated over $300 million in revenue since its inception. Previously, Juliano spent four years as an advisor and cost analyst for the rehabilitation of government apartments and housing. He holds licenses in real estate, building and contracting in several Midwestern states. His resume also includes U.S. military service from 1969 to 1972, when he was a paratrooper in Germany to reconnaissance in Vietnam.
Matt Bitonti - Partner
Bitonti is currently a Partner with Equity11, and is focused on management of the firm's security industry interests. After receiving a Bachelors Degree from the Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University, Bitonti has thrived as an entrepreneur including but not limited to creating and producing "STATE CHAMPS!" High School Sports show, now in its 8th season. Bitonti's STATE CHAMPS! received an Emmy Award in 2008 for Best Youth Program; Bitonti has a broad level of experience in the insurance industry, cleantech, entertainment, and security. Bitonti was a 4 year member of The Michigan State University Football Team, and played a key role in what ultimately led to a revival of the program. Bitonti is also a founding partner of 9 Ventures, a premier venture capital management company.
Larry D. Lee, Partner
Prior to joining Equity 11, Lee was the director of capital development for Greystone Management Group. Lee also spent eight years as vice president of football operations with The Detroit Lions and was a member of Former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue’s Player Advisory Committee. Lee starred as an All American Football Player at UCLA where he earned a bachelor’s degree in U.S. History. He was drafted by The Detroit Lions in 1981, and he participated in Super Bowl XXII with the Denver Broncos. Lee has been active with and served as vice chairman of the Detroit chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Ralph Terry, Partner Emeritus
Prior to joining Equity 11, Terry spent nearly forty years concentrated in the oil and gas industry, as well as almost a decade of experience in the venture capital industry. Terry has played major roles in the success and development of both The Hulen Oil Company in Oklahoma and Sky Blue Ventures, an independent investment fund. Terry is perhaps best known for his twelve-season career as a Major League Baseball player with the New York Yankees, where he earned the Most Valuable Player honor in the 1962 World Series. Terry played on seven pennant-winning seasons with the Yankees side-by-side with of some of Baseball’s greatest players including Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Roger Maris and Whitey Ford.
Kellie M. Kern, Chief Counsel
Prior to joining Equity 11, Kern was employed by the U.S. Secret Service as well as two law firms: Steinberg, Shapiro, and Clark; and Biber, O’Toole, Fowler, and Clarkson. Kern has experience in the Federal District Court and the Michigan District Court. Kern has wide ranging experience including, but not limited to, bankruptcy, commercial transactions, contracts, trademarks, valuations and business law. Kern earned her bachelor’s degree in Public Law and Government with a minor in Mathematics from Eastern Michigan University, and she received her J.D. from Wayne State University.
Michelle Macdonald, Associate
Macdonald has spent seven years in the venture capital industry, with extensive experience in real estate development, swing trading and research analysis. Macdonald has a proven track record utilizing statistical analysis to create a profitable trading platform. Macdonald serves Equity 11 in a multitude of facets and holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Eastern Michigan University.