Meet Our Team
When you seek advice and execution from a firm like Arbor, a critical factor to consider is the people that you will be working with.
Founder and CEO, NIRI FELLOW
Sam Levenson is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Arbor Advisory Group. For more than 25 years, he has served as a trusted advisor to Boards of Directors, CEOs, CFOs and other executive management in the investor relations, corporate communications and public affairs functions. In 2015, he was inducted as a Fellow to the National Investor Relations Institute, an honor bestowed on “distinguished investor relations professionals.”
Prior to founding Arbor in 2013, Sam’s experience includes leading investor relations for Sony North America in addition to creating and implementing the first investor relations program at Staples. He also directed global investor relations and corporate communications for Cendant Corporation in the wake of fraud and one of the largest-ever shareholder lawsuits brought against a public company. Sam has deep expertise in strategic and financial communications, crisis management, M&A and capital markets transactions, and legal and regulatory issues.
In addition to his professional responsibilities, Sam has been deeply involved with both the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI) and the Investor Relations Association (IRA). For NIRI, he has served on the Board of Directors, as chair of its Senior Roundtable as well as its External Affairs Committee and its Think Tank study on the application of AI in IR in addition to other roles at both the national and local level. In addition, Mr. Levenson co-chaired the CFAI/NIRI Joint Task Force on Issuer and Analyst Relations, which published Best Practice Guidelines that were subsequently endorsed by both the NYSE and NASDAQ. For the IRA, he served in each of the officer roles on the Executive Committee, including president.
Sam was appointed by the Financial Accounting Foundation as the sole member of the Financial Accounting Standards Advisory Council (FASAC) to represent the investor relations community and served for four years in this capacity. The FASAC is responsible for advising the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) on technical issues, project priorities and other matters that affect standard setting.
Sam holds a BS from Boston University.
Senior Advisor, NIRI Fellow
Barbara Gasper is a senior executive with 40 years of corporate experience, including 25 years in corporate investor relations. Most recently, she was Executive Vice President of Investor Relations for Mastercard. She created Mastercard’s global investor relations program in advance of that company’s 2006 IPO and led this effort for more than a decade, during which Mastercard grew from $4 billion to over $100 billion in market capitalization. In 2014 she was inducted as a Fellow to the National Investor Relations Institute. Prior to Mastercard, Barbara was Vice President and Head of Investor Relations for Ford Motor Company, Pricewaterhouse Coopers Consulting, Lucent Technologies, and Raytheon. She also served as Treasurer of Lukens Inc. Barbara has deep expertise in strategic and financial communications, initial public offering strategy and execution, M& A and capital markets transactions, and governance and regulatory issues.
In addition to her professional responsibilities, Barbara is a member of the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI) and served on the Board of Directors, as well as on the Senior Roundtable of that organization. Barbara has also served as an officer of the Investor Relations Association. She has been the recipient of numerous awards from Institutional Investor Magazine and IR Magazine, including IR Magazine’s 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award. In addition, Barbara is a member of the Board of Trustees for Main Line Health, a not-for-profit health system serving portions of Philadelphia and its western suburbs, serving on their Executive Committee as chair of the Education & Research Committee, as well as on their Audit, HR & Comp and Retirement & Investment Committees. She also serves as Treasurer of the Bucknell University Alumni Advisory Board.
Barbara holds a BS from Bucknell University and an MBA from Widener University.
Partner and Senior Advisor
Idalia is Partner and Senior Advisor with 20 years of combined experience as a corporate investor and public relations officer, and as an investor relations advisor providing strategic counsel to private and public companies.
Idalia has worked in an advisory capacity for companies representing some of the largest initial public offerings on the NASDAQ and NYSE over the last decade. She has been a trusted advisor to Chief Executive Officers, Chief Financial Officers and other members of executive management teams for mid- to large-cap companies. Credited by her clients for her immersive style and extraordinary commitment to their success, she is viewed as being completely engaged in their business.
Idalia has successfully developed and implemented a diverse range of solutions to investor relations and corporate communications issues. Her areas of expertise include initial public offerings, crisis communications, proxy advisory, M&A and other strategic and financial transactions. Her client engagements have spanned industries that include Industrials, Building Products, Beauty, Financial Services, Leisure and Entertainment, Real Estate and Technology.
Prior to becoming an advisor, Idalia was Head of Investor Relations for Axeda Systems and Aqua America. where she managed active investor relations programs. Idalia directed and managed the first-ever Investor Day for Axeda Systems and led all communications efforts for the subsequent breakup of the company. She also managed multiple proxy voting efforts to secure shareholder approval for the sale.
In addition to her professional responsibilities, Idalia is a member of the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI) and she is the former Chair of the steering committee for NIRI’s Senior Roundtable. Previously she served as President of NIRI’s Philadelphia Chapter. She is also a member of New York Women in Communications and 100 Women in Finance. Idalia is bilingual in Spanish and English.
Idalia holds a BA from Immaculata University.
Ron Parham brings over 25 years of investor relations experience with a concentration in the branded consumer products sector. Ron has counseled corporate management teams and developed effective messaging in support of significant corporate events and strategic initiatives, including brand positioning, mergers and acquisitions, financial restructurings, changes in senior management, corporate reorganizations, product recalls, lawsuits, corporate governance, social responsibility, enhanced earnings and guidance practices, investor days, and non-deal road shows. Ron approaches all of his engagements with the goal of fostering an atmosphere of constructive engagement between companies and their audiences.
He established Nike, Inc.’s first full-time IR program, serving as the company’s Director of Investor Relations for eight years, during which the company’s revenues grew from $900 million to $6 billion. In 1999 he launched PondelWilkinson Parham, an independent investor relations agency, where he developed effective investor communications over the next nine years for a diverse group of micro-, small- and mid-cap clients spanning consumer products, pulp & paper, high-tech, media measurement and manufacturing. From 2008-2017 he applied his extensive communications skills leading investor relations and collaborating on internal and corporate communications at Columbia Sportswear Company. Most recently, he served as Vice President of Investor Relations for Portland, Oregon-based Cura Cannabis Solutions, a pre-public leader in the cannabis oils markets.
Ron’s commitment to investor relations best-practices is reflected in his long history of volunteerism at local and national levels of the 3,300-member National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI), the largest investor relations association in the world. He was the 2019 Chair of NIRI’s national board of directors, serves on the board of NIRI’s Virtual Chapter, and previously served as president of NIRI’s Portland, Oregon chapter.
Ron received his BS in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting from Oregon State University and began his career as a certified public accountant (lapsed) with the Portland office of Coopers & Lybrand.
Senior Advisor, NIRI Fellow
Matthew Stroud is a senior investor relations practitioner with more than 30 years of corporate finance experience, including more than 25 years of investor relations practice. He is a senior advisor at Arbor Advisory Group as of September 2021, having previously worked with the firm from 2015 to 2017.
At Arbor, he has advised clients across several industries including Medical Technology, Defense, Leisure, Automotive, Business Services, Home Building Products, and Electronics Distribution. Prior to rejoining Arbor, Matthew was the vice president of investor relations at SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment from December 2017 to August 2021. Before joining Arbor in 2015, he led the investor relations program at Darden Restaurants for more than 15 years, where he gained experience with M&A, divestitures, crisis communications, leadership transitions, proxy contests, and activist investors. While there, he earned four nominations to Institutional Investor magazine’s “All-America Executive Team for Best Investor Relations Officer” in the restaurant sector, which he won twice, and was twice a finalist in IR Magazine’s annual award for best “Investor Relations Officer in a Mid-Cap Company.”
Matthew served a four-year term on the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI) Board of Directors, including a one-year term as Chairman of the organization. In 2014, he was named a NIRI Fellow, an honor bestowed upon a select few investor relations practitioners who “epitomize the leadership, integrity, involvement, and contributions of investor relations professionals.” He also served a four-year term on the NIRI Senior Roundtable (SRT) including one year as Chairman of the SRT. He has been a frequent speaker at investor relations professional conferences and holds BA and MBA degrees from Brigham Young University.
Jon is the founder of Anduril Partners, an investment and advisory firm focused on the application of data driven processes. Jon has over 20 years of technology, governance, and financial services experience as a portfolio manager, chief data officer, while serving on several board and advisory roles including Aiera (advanced, self-learning models, augmented with human insight), Arbor Advisory Group (Investor Relations and Corporate Communications), Aptiviti (360-degree due diligence platform for leaders and decision makers), Connacht Asset Management, Crux Informatics (ETL delivery platform for normalized data ingestion), Equity Data Science (data analytics process platform as a service) and SESAMm (big data, natural language processing, and artificial intelligence for investment). He recently served as a board advisor for Prattle (automates investment research by quantifying language) until its acquisition by Liquidnet, and for Kensho Technologies (artificial intelligence for financial services) until the largest acquisition of its kind by S&P Global.
Previously, Jon was the Chief Data Officer at Goldman Sachs Fundamental Equities, the first appointed role in the Asset Management division after demonstrating industry leading return on invested capital metrics as Portfolio Manager on the Technology Opportunities fund (AUM growth during firm tenure from ~$600M to $4B) through a data driven approach. Academic profile includes a BA in Business Administration from the University of St. Thomas, an MBA from the University of Chicago, and completion of the executive program in Artificial Intelligence: Implications for Business Strategy, from the MIT Sloan School of Management.
Evan A. Schnidman, Ph.D. is the founder and Managing Partner of EAS Innovation Consulting and was previously the founder and CEO of Prattle as well as the Head of Data Innovation at Liquidnet.
In his capacity at EAS Innovation Consulting, Evan specializes in providing data and technology strategy services to both large corporations and emerging startups. Evan’s expertise in innovation has allowed him to consult to C-suite executives at numerous large corporations. Evan also serves as an advisory board member to a diverse set of startups across finance, insurance, law and policy. At present, Evan is on the advisory board of AltHub, Arbor Advisory Group, Astrocyte Research, Cyber Atomics, EventVestor, Gravity AI, Mind Alliance, New Constructs and Suretys.
Prior to EAS, Evan served as both the CEO of Prattle and the Head of Data Innovation for Liquidnet. Launched in 2014, Prattle is a financial research automation company that analyzes the content of market-moving communications from central banks, corporations and regulators generating both tradable data and automated research reports. In early 2019, Prattle was acquired by Liquidnet as part of an initiative to build a global investment network. Evan remained with Prattle as part of Liquidnet until April of 2020.
Evan started his career as an academic. He earned his Ph.D. from Harvard University and served as faculty at Brown University. During his time in academia, Evan also had a robust consulting practice evaluating economic and political risk for large multinational corporations as well as advising small and midsize financial institutions on how to utilize technology to streamline their operations.
Jill Koval is a Senior Associate at Arbor Advisory Group. Her role is focused on working with clients to enhance their communications strategy to maximize investor engagement and ensure that consistent messaging is compellingly conveyed to the investment community. In addition, Jill is deeply involved in executing IPO best practices for companies seeking a successful entry into the public markets. Jill supports Arbor clients in quarterly earnings and presentations, including drafting communications and preparing external earnings materials, as well as market and competitive intelligence presentations.
Jill began her financial career in Chicago at Wachovia Securities, Inc. as an Associate Analyst covering wireless communication companies. After half a decade on the sell-side, Jill moved to the corporate world and served as Manager of Investor Relations at The Clorox Company in Oakland, California. While at Clorox, Jill developed best-in-class quarterly and annual materials through strong collaboration with the corporate communications team.
Jill raised four wonderful daughters while remaining active in the Investor Relations community and serving as Vice President of Communications for the Lake Bluff / Lake Forest Newcomers Club, as well as taking a diversity of courses through the School of Professional Studies at Northwestern University from 2019 – 2021.
Jill is an active member of National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI), Chicago Chapter, she holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Organizational Behavior from the Carroll School of Management at Boston College.
Director of Market Research
Jake is the Director of Market Research at Arbor, responsible for providing support to Advisors across the firm’s client base. He conducts in-depth industry and company research including financial analysis, peer analysis, and institutional investor targeting to help develop the best IR strategy for Arbor’s clients.
Jake brings a strong research background to Arbor. He most recently was an Analyst in the Global Business Development group at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. In this role he conducted research on global M&A, capital markets, and individual companies to support the firm’s internal strategy initiatives. He began his career as an Associate at Ridgetop Research.
Jake holds a BS in Finance with a minor in Economics from Fordham University’s Gabelli School of Business. In addition, Jake is pursuing the Charted Market Technician designation from the CMT Association.
Ned Mitchell is an Analyst at Arbor Advisory Group. He is primarily responsible for research and analysis that helps inform and empower Arbor’s services for its clients. He is passionate about the critical role that Investor Relations has on a company’s long-term success. With modern technology making market and investment information so readily available, Ned believes it is crucial for companies to have strong Investor Relations practices that control the narrative and proactively establish value for shareholders.
Most recently, Ned worked in Business Development at Oracle Corporation. In this role, he was responsible for helping clients execute their digital strategies as well as deal origination and closing. He was also responsible for research that supported clients’ digital strategy initiatives.
Ned holds a BA in International Relations with a minor in Economics from Bucknell University.