Team

OUR TEAM OF EXPERTS

Is Here For You...

Our team approach is simple: engage only the most passionate experts across the banking, finance and technology sectors. Innovation starts from within and our culture reflects our dedication to revolutionize community banking with smart technology and powerful partnerships. We’ve taken a thoughtful approach to fintech, and we believe our employees reflect that. Check out our team below.
Joseph Bala
VP of Cloud Services
× joseph bala headshot

Joseph Bala

VP of Cloud Services

Experienced technology professional who has designed, built and implemented technology solutions across a number of industry verticals.

Responsible for spearheading Neocova’s cloud services management, software/application development and technology strategy development.

Former Enterprise Architect with Tag, an international marketing services company.

Established himself in the technology marketplace as a partner in a technology startup and IT management for a specialty retail convenience chain.

Graduated from West Virginia Northern Community College.

Matthew Beecher
Chief Operating Officer
× Matt Beecher Head Shot

Matthew Beecher

Chief Operating Officer

A 25-year fintech serial entrepreneur, innovator, operator and investor.

Former CEO of Vault, co-founder of Redstar Ventures, co-founder of SCS Financial (acq NASDAQ:FOCS), and early employee at myCFO (acq NYSE:BMO).

Proficient in growing and scaling financial service companies that help tackle financial challenges such as: retirement, student debt, financial education, and wealth transfer.

Engineers the Neocova team on establishing and safeguarding advanced operations and procedures uniquely designed to expand and deliver the vision.

Dennis Hild
Managing Director, Regulatory Affairs
× dennis hild headshot

Dennis Hild

Managing Director, Regulatory Affairs

Over 25 years of experience working with financial institution regulatory policy.

Serves as direct liaison to federal financial service regulators and legislators, manages trade association activities and establishes strategic industry partnerships.

Former Managing Director, Regulatory Affairs with Crowe’s Financial Services Risk Consulting Practice, where he monitored updates to regulatory guidance and evaluated the impact on financial institutions.

Spent nearly fifteen years with the Federal Reserve serving as a Commissioned Safety and Soundness Examiner and Supervisory Policy Analyst.

Received his Bachelor’s of Business Administration from Temple University and an MBA from The George Washington University.

Lee Keith
President of Banking Services
× lee keith headshot

Lee Keith

President of Banking Services

Former commissioner of the Missouri Division of Finance with a banking career spanning nearly four decades.

Led several Midwest banks as President & CEO.

Experience includes areas of strategic planning, capital raising, asset management, mergers and acquisitions and compliance with state and federal banking requirements.

Serves as Neocova’s ambassador to the financial institutions, regulatory organizations and key actors that make up our ecosystem.

Received his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Missouri in Columbia.

Courtney La Bau
Chief Global Strategy Officer
× courtney la bau headshot

Courtney La Bau

Chief Global Strategy Officer

Responsible for the overall strategy of Neocova’s international work – assessing & creating strategy around the intersection of political, economic & business environments of each new market.

Oversees the DC public affairs efforts & political connectivity for the company.

Has 18 years experience in the international political and business arenas around the world, is one of LA’s “40 Under 40” (2017) and has been featured on ABC News, Al Jazeera, CNN, Euro News, The Hill, and Sky News.

Recognized as a subject matter expert on counterterrorism & national security issues globally, drawing on former experience with the federal government, law enforcement, media, & think tanks around the world.

Former banking experience as a Global Investor at JPMorgan Securities.

Co-head of the Homeland Security & Community Resilience Group at Truman National Security Project, current Vice Chairman at Emerge California.

Lindsay Lockhart
Chief Digital Officer
× lindsay lockhart headshot

Lindsay Lockhart

Chief Digital Officer

Industry thought-leader and co-founder of Apiary + Co., with specialties in brand strategy, brand identity, market research, content marketing and social media.

Partners with global brands and corporations like True Refrigeration, Bacardi, The Wine Group and Monsanto as digital brand expert and marketing strategist.

Former COO of Hatch, a market research firm specializing in B2B and B2C qualitative and quantitative insights and analytics.

Peter Longo
SVP, Fintech Partnerships & Strategy
× peter longo headshot

Peter Longo

SVP, Fintech Partnerships & Strategy

Entrepreneur and former bank executive with 14 years experience in retail and digital banking.

Former VP of Digital Banking & Marketing for Axiom Bank where he led the development and growth of all digital banking solutions, including the bank’s digital brand AxiomGO and its surrounding ecosystem partners.

Championed the digital transformation of Surety Bank as Chief Operating Officer and helped architect the bank’s digital strategy to launch new products and platforms in the fintech space.

Received his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and his M.B.A from Stetson University.

Steven Maniec
VP of Business Development
× steven maniec headshot

Steven Maniec

VP of Business Development

Former Banking Executive with over 30 years experience assembling sales and operational support teams.

Senior partner and expert for both B2B and B2C development.

Responsible for implementing the Neocova Business Development process from conception through post sale support.

Focused on building strong client rapport and brand loyalty through expanding and improving team and business strategies for Surety Bank.

Graduated from Dayton State College and actively serves on the board for The Rotary Club of Debary, Deltona, and Orange City Florida.

Sultan Meghji
Chief Executive Officer
× man in glasses and suit

Sultan Meghji

Chief Executive Officer

Led the rebuilding of the entire banking platform, infrastructure and business process at American Express.

Responsible for building a new equities technology group focused on the NYSE, resulting in over $1.5b net revenue per year of NYSE traffic at ABN AMRO.

Worked on the first web browser, the largest cloud computing exit of its time, and the first cloud-based genetic analysis platform.

Advisor to G7, US Treasury, FBI, FDIC, OCC and others in cyber security, quantum computing, and artificial intelligence.

Present Washington University Adjunct Faculty member.

Cynthia Murdoch
Chief Human Resources Officer
× cynthia murdoch headshot

Cynthia Murdoch

Chief Human Resources Officer

Accomplished HR management executive who has served in senior leadership roles at leading companies including Centric Group, LLC – a division of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Nature’s Variety and AON.

Founded Murdoch Consulting Group, Inc., a turnkey human resources provider, where she worked with clients such as Lion’s Choice, Mercy Hospital Radiology, Lighthouse for the Blind and Speech and Language Learning Systems.

Executive Board Member for CASA of St. Louis, on the Advisory Board for the Bach Society of St. Louis and a Member of the National Charity League. She is also

Founder and President of the Smiles of Hope Foundation, which benefits cleft/palate patients and research at St. Louis Children’s Hospital

Past recipient of the MS Corporate Achievers Leadership Award and named St. Louis Business Journal’s Most Influential Businesswoman in 2006.

robert oconnor headshot
Robert O’Connor
Chief Information Security Officer
× robert oconnor headshot

Robert O’Connor

Chief Information Security Officer

Security specialist with 30 years experience aligning global information infrastructure to business requirements incorporating cyber and physical security.

Founded three businesses and has worked in the public and private sector.

Spent a third of his career in government service, including as Chief Information Security Officer for the third largest County in the U.S. and Deputy Director of Enterprise Information Security at the Central Intelligence Agency.

Studied at Washington University in St. Louis, Georgetown University and the University of Vienna and has degrees in Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, German and Music.

Robert Phelps
VP of Marketing
× robert phelps headshot

Robert Phelps

VP of Marketing

Data-driven marketer and researcher with nearly a decade of experience marketing directly to the C-Suite and board members of U.S. banks.

Former Director of Marketing at Bank Director, the leading information resource for CEOs, senior management and board members of U.S. banks.

A former associate editor of Modus Vivendi, he has published research on the topics of international security, terrorism and ethnic nationalism.

Studied at Rhodes College and The University of Antwerp and graduated with a major in International Studies and a minor in Economics.

Penny Sanders
Director of Risk and Compliance
× penny sanders head shot

Penny Sanders

Director of Risk and Compliance

20 year track record of effectively managing the complexities of a highly regulated environment as a values based leader in the financial services industry.

Directed the Enterprise Wide Risk Management and internal audit function as the Chief Risk Officer of Axiom Bank.

Former Controller and Compliance Officer with Surety Bank where she maintained the bank’s general ledger, all financial records, ensured adequate internal controls, efficient accounting systems and compliance with generally accepted accounting practices. 

Oversees Neocova’s compliance strategy and execution through responding to audits, concerning the business practices and technology systems, and helps to achieve, maintain, and demonstrate compliance with security standards.

Kelsey Weaver
Chief Business Development Officer
× kelsey weaver headshot

Kelsey Weaver

Chief Business Development Officer

Founder of Empact Innovation, a consultancy firm connecting banks and fintech companies for maximum success.

Former publisher of Bank Director magazine, the leading information resource for C-Suite and Directors of financial institutions across the U.S.

Founder and President of FinXTech, a media entity that helped banks navigate the fintech industry.

Current SebastianStrong Board Member, raising awareness and funds for childhood cancer cures.