Advisory Board

Steve Zapata

Steve Zapata bTrade

Steve Zapata – President, CEO and Managing Member of bTrade 

Steve is a highly respected e-commerce and data security executive who has led many well-recognized technology companies and managed company initiatives both domestically and internationally.  Steve currently serves as President, CEO and Managing Member of bTrade where he has led tremendous expansion, innovation, and customer service excellence.

Prior to leading bTrade, Steve served in a variety of roles for 12 years at IBM including as Country Manager for the IBM Global Network and its EDI/VAN/AS2 solutions located in New York and Mexico City.  As a General Manager at GE, Steve successfully grew GE’s GXS operations in Mexico and the Caribbean.  As President and CEO of DNS Commerce, a Boston-based EDI software and services company, Steve guided a turnaround and eventual acquisition by a European e-commerce company.  He was also President and CEO of TIE Commerce USA and Chief Strategy Officer of TIE Holding, a publicly held company on the NYSE, located in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.  Before that, Steve was VP of Sales and Strategy for Cyclone Commerce (now Axway), an AS2 and MFT provider located in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Senior Vice President of Sales & Business Development at INOVIS which is located in Alpharetta, Georgia.

Over the years, Steve has acted as an advisor to public and private companies, including a private equity firm located in Naples, Florida named Avantce (  He has also sat on Advisory Boards for DirectEDI, a web services and hosted transformation company located in San Diego, California, of Los Angeles, California, and XsCapacity of Northampton, Massachusetts.

Steve completed coursework towards an MBA at San Francisco State University, a BS Degree from California State University, Chico, and an Associate of Arts Degree from Riverside City College.  He is a graduate of both IBM’s Entry Marketing and Business Education Program and GE’s Executive Training Program.

Michael Davidovich

Michael Davidovich bTradeMichael Davidovich, President and CEO of Direct EDI, Inc
Michael Davidovich co-founded Direct EDI, Inc., in 2002, as an e-commerce solution provider, specializing in offering solutions for business integration of supply chain networks. From a secure and user-friendly web-based electronic data interchange (EDI) system to a comprehensive integrated solution, Direct EDI, Inc. empowers its clients to streamline workflow systems while satisfying compliance requirements. The company is based in San Diego, California.

Michael has over 7 years of experience in building EDI solutions. A fresh, creative approach to EDI is at the center of Direct EDI’s service. Operating in an industry driven by set standards, strict guidelines and requirements, the EDI delivery service method is what makes the company unique. By continually keeping tabs on developments in the marketplace, incorporating emerging best practices and learning the needs of customers and trading partners, Direct EDI creates innovative EDI systems which not only deliver EDI service and translation, but also solve customer problems, filling previously unmet gaps in business processes.

Prior to Direct EDI, Michael worked in several web application development firms including Web Dynamics, Net Create and Vicinity developing web systems for clients such as Intuit, FedEx, Starbucks, Mc Donalds, and MapBlast (now part of Microsoft Virtual Earth), and creating innovative solutions embraced by other companies in the marketplace.

Currently, Michael sits on the Advisory Board for IT@Once, managed and outsourced enterprise IT services, Value AD – a Web Application Technology provider for online marketing. He is also a member of the California E-Business Group and San Diego Chamber of Commerce.

Michael holds an MBA from University of Phoenix and a BS in Computer Science with minor in Applied Math from Radio Electronics Institute of the Ukraine.

Aivars Lode

Aivars Lode, Chairman & CEO, Avantce Private Equity and Investments LLP.
Avantce invests in software and business services companies. Aivars has advised promised companies such as BainCapital, Citibank Venture Capital, Golden Gate Capital and others on capital structures. Aivars has spent the last 10 years developing and profitably proving a proprietary structured financing model, and in the process, he has created a track record of success and increased profitability.

Previously, Aivars was Group President of Descartes Systems Group based in Canada. As Group President, Aivars led the company’s global expansion efforts, achieving profitable growth as well as completing the successful acquisition and consolidation of two EDI businesses, TDNI and Transettlements. He was named Group President in April 2000 after leading Descartes’ successful expansion into the Asia Pacific region as President Asia Pacific.

Prior to joining Descartes, Aivars was with Oracle Australia as CEO of Applications Software. He led the organization’s change from an aggressive customer relationship model to that of a consultative business partner.

Throughout his career, Aivars has lived in Australia, Canada, Singapore, Hong Kong, and has conducted business in most of the industrialized countries in the world. Aivars holds a Bachelors of Business, Accounting, from Swinburne University in Melbourne, Australia.

Aivars also served as a member of the Board of Directors at First Bank and Trust of Illinois.

Theresa Perez

TheresaTheresa Perez – Vice President of Finance and Accounting

Theresa is responsible for all finance functions worldwide including external reporting, treasury and cash management, business insurance, tax planning and compliance, risk management, and accounting.

Theresa joined the CPA firm of King, King, Alleman and Jensen as a Junior Associate and later became a Tax partner of the firm. Theresa gained International tax experience from her tenure at the Big 4 firms of Ernst & Young, LLP and PriceWaterhouseCoopers, LLP. At E&Y she worked in the Personal Financial Planning Tax group and at PWC, she worked in the Middle Market Advisory Services group assisting in tax, accounting and financial matters.

Theresa has also served as CFO for the Burbank Community YMCA overseeing the finance and accounting functions and also served as Interim CEO for an eighteen month period. She has assisted in the acquisition of various properties and has been instrumental in securing financing options for the organization.

Theresa Perez received her Bachelor of Science Degree from California State University, Chico in Accounting and she received her Masters of Tax from the Leventhal School of Accounting at the University of Southern California (USC). Theresa is a Certified Public Accountant and is a member of the American Institute of CPA’s and the California Society of CPA’s. Theresa has been a volunteer board member for various nonprofit organizations in the Los Angeles area.

Hatem El-Sebaaly

Hatem El-Sebaaly – CEO of Bayroot TechnologyHatem (2)

Hatem has more than 30 years of experience in the technology sector with significant experience in a several domains (Secure Managed File Transfer, B2B, Collaborative Commerce, Factory Automation and Medical Systems, Financial Systems). In addition, he has extensive experience in mergers and acquisitions.

Hatem served as the CTO for IPNet Solutions, CTO for Inovis,/Chief Software Architect, CTO/SVP for bTrade, President and CEO of his own consulting company (Bayroot Software).

He successfully lead a project that reinvigorated and reinvented the healthcare supply chain document exchange for GHX (on contract) and all its customers.  He took a legacy platform which was over 10 years old, nearing the end of its life and at full capacity with few hundred thousand documents a day, and re-architected it into the cloud, while seamlessly migrating all North American customers onto the new platform capable of millions of documents a day with less than half of the operating infrastructure costs.

Hatem worked/consulted for Harris Controls, GE Medical Systems, Toshiba America Medical Systems, Wonderware/Invensys, SAP, IPNet Solutions, Inovis, bTrade, Satorp (Aramco/Total), GHX and ABC Financial.

Hatem is currently leading the architecture of next generation cloud based/micro services platform for ABC Financial.

He is passionately committed to pushing new concepts and enterprise level solutions in the financial and B2B domains to help advance collaborative commerce.

Hatem holds a Master’s of Science in Computer Science and a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering from Florida Tech.

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