Board of Directors

Maha Sallam, Ph.D.

Founder and President of VuEssence


Lorne Thomas, CFA

Lorne is the Managing Director at Athena Partners with over 15 years of experience in corporate finance, investments, and business consulting including financial modeling and valuation in support of acquisition, new business and divestiture activities, capital structure, strategic planning, and portfolio analysis and management.

Lorne is a graduate of the University of Colorado (BA Physics, MS Electrical Engineering) and earned his MBA in Finance from the University of Denver Daniels College of Business.  In addition, Lorne is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).

Virginia (Ginny) Cates, CPA

Ginny is a CPA with over 35 years of experience in both major accounting firms and Fortune 100 companies, bringing broad international and domestic business experience to the Board.  Since 2003, she has operated her own firm, Virginia Cates, Consulting, providing tax support services to a broad variety of businesses. She was formerly Tax Vice President-International for AT&T.

Ginny attended Rice University in Houston, Texas.  She has BAs in Managerial Studies and Spanish and received her MBA at the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees at Tampa Preparatory School, is former Lay Leader for Youth serving on the Board at Hyde Park United Methodist Church in Tampa, Florida and is a Sustaining Member of the Junior League of Houston.

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