Matthew Nicosia joined Vivakor as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board in 2011. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Nicosia co-founded Dermacia Inc. in 1999, a dermatology product development Company. In February 2019, Mr. Nicosia joined Ridepair Inc., a software development company focused on the transportation market, as Chairman of the Board. Mr. Nicosia joined the Board of Directors of NarcX Solutions Inc., a developer of onsite drug destruction technologies in June 2019. During 2018, Mr. Nicosia co-founded and has since served as co-Chairman of the Board of Prosperity Utah, a non-profit economic think tank focused on the State of Utah. Since April 2018, Mr. Nicosia has served on the Board of Directors of CannapharmaRx Inc., a public company which trades on the OTC Markets. Mr. Nicosia received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Brigham Young University and a MBA from Pepperdine University.
Board of Directors
Al Ferrara joined Vivakor as a director on September 21, 2020. Mr. Ferrara retired as the National Director of Retail & Consumer Products at BDO USA, LLP in 2016. Mr. Ferrara is a CPA, who worked at BDO USA, LLP in a variety of positions beginning in 1991, and was a member of its board of directors from 2003 to 2010. Mr. Ferrara served as the Northeast Regional Managing Partner at BDO USA, LLP from 2000 to 2003. Mr. Ferrara was also a director representative at Trenwith Capital, Inc. (now BDO Capital Advisors, LLC) from 2000 to 2015 and a member of the retail advisory board at Hilco Retail Consulting from 2013 to 2015. Mr. Ferrara was previously on the Board of Directors for Barnes & Noble, Inc., from September 2016 until the company was sold in August 2019 where he served on its audit committee and Compensation Committee and in July 2019, he joined the Board of Directors of Steven Madden, Ltd. where he serves as Chairman of its audit committee and a member of its governance committee.
Joseph Spence joined Vivakor as a director on September 21, 2020. Mr. Spence previously spent the past two years as an investor, advisor, executive and philanthropist specializing in catalyzing high tech and tech infused real estate to create smart, sustainable cities that work for everyone, with ASPIRE Center for Electrified Transportation, We Are Makers Social Impact Initiative and IconIQ Talks. Previously, from 2014 through 2018, he was an executive director at Goldman Sachs leading teams in the Technology, Media and Telecom; Real Estate, Gaming and Lodging; and Structured Finance sectors for the Americas and EMEA regions. From 2007 to 2014, he was an associate director at Standard & Poor’s covering approximately $144 billion in debt, and, from 2006 to 2007, he was an assistant treasurer at Bank of NY Mellon. He started his career as an engineer at the NASA Academy at Goddard Space Flight Center. Mr. Spence holds an MBA from Columbia University and BS in Electrical Engineering Howard University (Magna Cum Laude). Mr. Spence also holds a Master’s degree in Nano & Biotechnology from Harvard University.
Matt Balk joined Vivakor as a director on September 21, 2020. Mr. Balk previously spent more than 25 years as an investment banker specializing in technology and biotechnology where he raised billions of dollars for both public and private companies and dozens of mergers and acquisitions. In 2011, he left investment banking to start his family office. He has since co-founded several companies including AzurX (Nasdaq: AZRX) and VerifyH20 and invested in a number of other technology companies. Mr. Balk also works as a consultant to a small number of companies in the areas of Biotech and technology in general. Mr. Balk received his MBA from New York University Stern School of Business.
Trent Staggs joined Vivakor as a director on September 21, 2020. Mr. Staggs brings a 20-year track record of developing and executing on business strategy, teams and relationships. Prior to advising the Vivakor Team, he was on the corporate leadership team of a global direct sales company that operates in over 35 markets, providing strategic direction and leadership of global integrated systems, software and IT infrastructure. Mr. Staggs has also been directly responsible for financial transactions in excess of 2 billion dollars as a VP at Morgan Stanley and also running his own nationwide financial company. Mr. Staggs received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Utah and received an MBA from the Marriott School of Management at Brigham Young University. Mr. Staggs is also an elected official in the state of Utah and serves on many boards, providing needed political guidance and consultation to Vivakor and its related companies.