Co-Founder Director of Operations
Chief Financial Officer
Chief Technology Officer
Director of Marketing
VP of Operations
Senior Software Engineer
Jeff Sharrock oversees accounting, procurement, and IT solutions for the company. He is also in charge of financial analysis, budgeting, compliance and corporate governance for Blackboxstocks.com.
Prior to joining Blackboxstocks, Mr. Sharrock served as the Director of Operations for G2 International, Inc. G2 is an investment banking consulting firm specializing in taking private companies public and providing those companies with advice regarding capitalization, strategic planning and investor relations. Sharrock oversaw all aspects of daily operations and was heavily involved in the accounting and regulatory aspects of the company. He also served as the main point of contact for larger clients.
Mr. Sharrock came to G2 from Toytech Creations Inc, where he served at their Operations Director from 1996 until 2009. He was the primary contact for all national accounts, including: Wal-Mart, Target, Dollar General, and Toys R Us. Responsibilities included oversight of vendor compliance, order receipt and processing, logistics, and accounts receivable. During his tenure, Mr. Sharrock designed a CRM database to automate and streamline order processing. These systems cut the order processing time by over 50% and reduced customer charge-backs by over 75%. He also installed new IT solutions for printing and shipping logistics that cut associated costs in this area by over 50%.
Gust Kepler serves as the Chief Executive Officer for BlackBoxStocks, Inc. Mr. Kepler is a firm believer in the adage "simplicity sells". His mission as the founder and developer of the company's technology is to offer the general public a comprehensive financial technology tool in a simple and user-friendly format. In addition to overseeing all aspects of product development, Kepler is responsible for strategic planning, marketing and corporate financial decisions.
Mr. Kepler previously served as the President of G2 International, Inc. G2 is a consulting firm with expertise in investment banking founded by Mr. Kepler in 2002. G2's primary focus is taking private companies public and providing advice with regard to capitalization, strategic planning, and investor relations.
Prior to founding G2, Mr. Kepler founded Parallax Entertainment, Inc. in 1996. Parallax was an independent record label, online promotional vehicle and e-commerce solution for musicians. Prior to Parallax, Kepler was the founder and President of Glance Toys, a toy and junior sporting goods company. Over its 10-year span, Glance sold its brand of products in dozens of major retail chains including Wal-Mart, Target, The Sports Authority and 7-Eleven.
Eric Pharis has been working in quantitative finance for 20 years. Pharis earned his bachelor of in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Texas Austin in 1998 and his Masters Degree in Operations Research from Cornell University with a certificate in Financial Engineering in 1999. While studying at UT, Pharis also worked for IBM and developed financial models to assist in output optimization.
After graduating Cornell, Pharis moved to Wall Street and began proprietary trading at Daytek Securities, the founders of Island ECN, a pioneer in the area of electronic and algo trading.
In 2004, Pharis joined forces with David Kyle and founded Karma Blackbox LLC (not affiliated with BlackBoxStocks, Inc.). This company focused on developing algorithms for high frequency trading. In 2005, Pharis and Kyle launched their first algo and it was profitable every month thereafter, generating only 15 days of net trading losses in its first 650 days of trading. The duo subsequently expanded their automated trading operations to exchanges in London, Tokyo, and the commodities markets.
In 2012, Pharis and Kyle launched QuantBrasil – a fully quantitative, computer driven hedge fund in Brazil. This fund was built using the proprietary logic from their previous trading platforms, and was headquartered in Miami and Rio de Janeiro.
Pharis is in charge of developing and implementing all tools and features for the market analytics on the Backbox platform. He also manages all historical data and acts as the lead data analyst for BBS.
David Kyle has been working in software development for 21 years. Kyle earned his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 1996. While at UT, Kyle worked for Microsoft supporting the launch of Windows 95.
After graduating from the University of Texas in 1996, Kyle returned to Dallas and began working in quality assurance and support at J. Driscoll & Associates, who specialized in account reconciliation software for retailers. Kyle left Driscoll to develop software for Globeset from 2000. In 2002 he advanced to Trintech as a Senior Software Developer.
In 2004, Kyle joined forces with Eric Pharis and founded Karma Blackbox LLC (not affiliated with BlackBoxStocks, Inc.). This company focused on developing algorithms for high frequency trading. In 2005, Kyle and Pharis launched their first algo and it was profitable every month thereafter, generating only 15 days of net trading losses in its first 650 days of trading. The duo subsequently expanded their automated trading operations to exchanges in London, Tokyo, and the commodities markets.
In 2012, Pharis and Kyle launched QuantBrasil – a fully quantitative, computer driven hedge fund in Brazil. This fund is built on the Karma Blackbox trading platform and has headquarters in Miami and Rio de Janeiro. Kyle is in charge of software engineering, database management, tick feed processing and all aspects of system development for the BlackBoxStocks platform.
David McKay was one of the first subscribers to BlackBoxStocks after the platform went live. Shortly thereafter, he became a profitable trader and active member in the Blackbox community. His success as a trader and affinity for the product lead him to lobby the company to hire him. In September of 2016, McKay became Director of Marketing & Business Development.
Before joining Blackbox, McKay spent 9 years as the Marketing and Promotions Manager for the luxury spirits company, Moet Hennessy. He specialized in marketing strategies and brand development.
McKay also began a very successful career as a model and actor at the age of 18. His list of clients and campaigns includes Giorgio Armani, Calvin Klein, Neiman Marcus, and many other high profile names in the fashion industry. He also worked as an actor in television and film for clients including the CBS network and Paramount Studios. His experience in this field made him a natural spokesperson and brand ambassador for Blackbox.
McKay oversees brand management, all content development for digital and traditional marketing, social media, as well as acting a liaison with ad agencies and PR firms.
Brandon Smith serves as the Acting Chief Technology Officer for the company through his consulting firm Cyfeon Solutions. Brandon serves as the lead architect and developer for BlackBoxStocks real-time web application.
Cyfeon is a Financial Services vertical focused on operational and regulatory compliance. Financial Institutions such as Schwab, HSBC, Cowen, and more use Cyfeon's purpose built solutions to federate and analyze large and disparate sources of data.
Prior to co-founding Cyfeon, Brandon managed the Telecom & Network Outsourcing vertical for S3. His responsibilities included business development and delivery oversight of companies such as British Telecom, Hewlett Packard, and Proctor and Gamble.
Prior to S3, he managed Lavastorm's Professional Services unit. He was responsible for managing a team of 50 full time employees worldwide as well as ensuring the delivery of enterprise grade solutions to those global customers.
Brandon holds an MBA from Southern Methodist University, a BBA in CIS from Texas State University and served four years in the United States Marine Corps.
Daniel Woods serves as the Senior Software Engineer for the company. He is in charge of the development of new products and features, as well as managing, and maintaining the UI/UX upgrades, services and integrations with third party tools for Blackboxstocks real-time web application.
Daniel has almost two decades of experience as a software developer, during which time he has built systems to support business intelligence and growth across a wide array of professions including government, customer service, health, finance, and telecommunications. Some of his former clients are Comcast, Impact Telecom, ACL/Galvanize, Troux Technologies, The US State Department and the United States Army.
Prior to joining our team at Blackboxstocks, Daniel was the Senior Solutions Engineer at Blacklight Solutions, an applied analytics solutions provider in Austin Texas. Daniel has helped businesses integrate visualization tools with large data sets to inform data driven solutions. He has also created biometric software for the Federal Government which he later deployed on-site in Baghdad, Iraq. Daniel holds a Bachelor of Science from University of Missouri, St Louis.
Brad Swearingen has been in the Information Technology industry for more than 25 years and in the Financial Services industry since 1996. In 1996, Swearingen cofounded CyberCorp and became the Chief Technology Officer. CyberCorp was one of the first companies to develop a direct market access system. Swearingen managed the software development, quality assurance, and product development teams as well as programming the CyberTrader line of products.
CyberTrader was purchased by Charles Schwab in March of 2000. At that time, Swearingen was employed with Charles Schwab & Co. as a Senior Vice President of Technology. In addition, he held the title of CIO and Executive Vice President. Swearingen's professional leadership highlights while working at Charles Schwab and CyberTrader included managing a multi-million-dollar budget and workforce of over 200 employees and contractors domestic and offshore. The areas of responsibility included product development, product management, software development, training, and quality assurance. Mr. Swearingen oversaw much of the technology integration between CyberTrader and Schwab including the addition of streaming quotes for Schwab's Velocity clients, the introduction of StreetSmart Pro to 250,000 active trader clients.
In 2015, Swearingen joined forces with Rod Taylor and co-founded Switchback Partners, which focuses on financial consulting and software development. Switchback Partners works closely with the BlackBoxStocks management team to provide development, quality assurance, as well as product recommendations for BlackBoxStocks products.
Swearingen earned his Bachelor of Computer Science in 1989 from Missouri Southern State University. In addition, he attended graduate school at the University of Missouri Rolla concentrating on predictive technology and artificial intelligence.
Rod Taylor has been in the Financial Services industry for 20+ years. He was a designated principal at CyberTrader, which was acquired by Charles Schwab in 2000. After the acquisition, Rod ran the company's Brokerage/Operations & Brokerage Technology, Risk Management, and Order Flow Management. Rod also managed the Market Data team which built Schwab's ticker plant powering every Schwab trading application with quotes, executions, news, etc.
Rod left Schwab in 2005 to build a Financial Services vertical for S3, a best execution product company for banks, bulge bracket firms, and capital markets.
In 2011, Rod joined with Brandon Smith at Cyfeon and launched a Financial Services vertical focused on operational and regulatory compliance. Customers such as Schwab, HSBC, Cowen, and more use Cyfeon's purpose built solutions to federate and analyze large and disparate sources of data.
Rod is in charge of project management and budgeting for web and UI and UX development for BlackBoxStocks, Inc.
Keller Reid is a fintech veteran with 15 years of experience in all aspects of the financial services industry. He has advised fintech startups and serves on multiple boards in addition to his work in the wealth management space. Keller earned his BS in Social and Decision Sciences from Carnegie Mellon University, and is a graduate of the Securities Industry Institute at Wharton. He speaks regularly at industry events, sits on a variety of industry committees and is a Director and former Secretary of the Dallas Securities Traders Association. He holds his series 4, 7, 24, 55 and 63 licenses, and is studying for the CFA Institute's CIPM exam in April.
Keller began his Wall Street career as an engineer at Schwab Capital Markets (now UBS) in 2001. In 2002 Keller began managing technology for Jefferies, the largest market making desk in Dallas. In 2005 Keller started Pensons' Execution Services division. The system he designed for Penson is still regarded as the most sophisticated retail router on the street. By 2009 his division was generating $20mm+/year in revenue and 15% of all stock traded in the US used his products. Keller served as COO for Penson Execution Services from 2010-2012, where he implemented a sophisticated dark pool trading system.
In 2012 Apex acquired Penson. Apex is a leading provider of clearing and execution solutions to the financial services industry. Among Keller's clients at Apex were Wealthfront, Betterment, Personal Capital, TradeKing, OptionsHouse, Zecco, FirstTrade and ThinkorSwim.
Keller leverages his vast experience and strong relationships in the financial industry to assist the company in forming strategic partnerships. He also serves as a liaison, sourcing, communicating, and collaborating with key vendors for the company.
Mr. Winspear was appointed as a Director and our Chief Financial Officer and Secretary on September 11, 2021. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Winspear had been the President of Winspear Investments LLC, a Dallas based private investment firm specializing in lower middle market transactions, since 2002.
Winspear Investments has made investments in a wide range of industries including banking, real estate, distribution, supply chain management, mega yacht marinas and hedge funds. Mr. Winspear was Vice President, Secretary and Chief Financial Officer of Excel Corporation, a credit card processing company (formerly EXCC:OTC) from May of 2014 to June of 2017. Mr. Winspear is on the board of directors of Alpha Financial Technologies/EAM Corporation, located in Dallas, Texas and VII Peaks Co-Optivist Income BDC II, Inc. an investment management company located in Orinda, California. Mr. Winspear earned a BBA and a MPA from the University of Texas at Austin.
Maria Chaudhry has extensive experience in financial services including 17 years of trading experience. Prior to joining BlackBoxStocks, Maria was a licensed stockbroker. She has worked for firms Charles Schwab, Scottrade, & TD Ameritrade Institutional.
Maria became a member of BlackBoxStocks in October 2016 and quickly became a well-known member of the Blackbox trading community. In 2017, Maria joined the BlackBoxStocks team as a moderator in their online community.
Maria spends her days trading with the BlackBoxStocks community as well educating and mentoring BlackBoxStocks members. In addition, Maria actively promotes Blackbox on multiple social media platforms to showcase the unique proprietary features and benefits of the platform.