John officially launched Defiance in early 2020 with Tareq Amin and formally became the CEO in July of that same year. John is responsible for overseeing the execution of the company’s strategies across the entire portfolio.
Prior to starting Defiance Ventures John has been involved in the creation, capital raising, expansion, and sale of multiple companies including Amentra, Nexgrid, Reward Summit, and most recently Levvel. He hosts the Defiance Ventures podcast available on all platforms. Levvel is an industry leading digital transformation consultancy based in Charlotte and recognized as a top 6% fastest growing company on the Inc. 5000 list having grown to over 200 people under John’s leadership.
John has a bachelors degree from George Mason University and an MBA from Duke’s Fuqua school of business.
Tareq started Defiance Ventures in early 2020 with John Espey and is responsible for strategy, strategic projects, and M&A.
Prior to launching Defiance, Tareq Amin had a long history starting, investing in, selling, and advising technology companies, particularly in the data center, networking infrastructure, and cyber security. He was most recently the founder of DC74, a successful data center business that was acquired by Lumos Networks in 2017. DC74’s clients included all of the major telecom carriers and many Fortune 500 companies. Under Tareq’s leadership DC74 was recognized in Charlotte Fastest growing companies 5 years in row.
Tareq has a Bachelor’s degree from UNC Charlotte.
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Kevin O’Dell joined Defiance Ventures as employee one in February of 2020 as Chief Technical Officer. Kevin is responsible for technical vision, product vision, and cloud architecture of the global Defiance Ventures portfolio.
Prior to Ventures Kevin held roles at Cloudera, Rocana, and EMC in which he supported and architected some of the largest deployments on the planet. Most recently O’Dell was CTO of Stratifyd, an AI company focused on Democratizing AI for the masses. While involved in the rapid scaling of startups, O’Dell found tailored solutions to some of the most difficult problems faced by enterprises in the analytics market.
Kevin has co-authored the O’Reilly Publication “Architecting HBase Applications.”
Micah Minarik joined Defiance Ventures in August of 2020 as Chief Operating Officer. Micah has primary responsibility for Defiance Digital, the consulting arm of the Defiance portfolio. He is also responsible for growing the software delivery team and enterprise processes across the entire portfolio.
Micah loves building software and software delivery teams. Prior to Defiance, Micah co-founded Kingsmen Software and brought to market one of the industry’s first fixed capacity, cloud native software delivery offerings. Under Micah’s leadership, Kingsmen Software has been recognized as one of fastest growing companies in Charlotte through the Charlotte Business Journal’s Fast 50 and in the nation through the Inc. 5000. Prior to Kingsmen, Micah managed application portfolios and software delivery initiatives for some of the world’s largest banks and most prestigious asset managers. Working in the industry pre, during and post financial crisis has given Micah a unique perspective on value creation through software and building processes, teams and organizations to last.
Micah earned his Bachelor of Business Administration from James Madison University and Master of Business Administration from Wake Forest University.
Ashley Love joined Defiance Ventures in July of 2020 as Chief Financial Officer. Ashley is responsible for finance, accounting, mergers and acquisitions, risk management, and human resources.
Prior to Defiance Ventures Ashley served as Director of M&A for Driven Brands, a private equity held aftermarket automotive holding company with over 13 franchised and company-owned brands. At Driven Brands Ashley also served as Director of Finance and Controller on the Meineke and Take 5 Oil Change brands. Prior to Driven Brands, Ashley served as Senior Accountant for Modernizing Medicine, a medical software startup in Boca Raton, FL. Ashley started her career in South Florida working as an auditor at Deloitte.
Ashley earned both her Master’s of Accounting and Bachelor’s of Business Administration with a major in Accounting from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL. She was also a proud graduate of one of FAU High School’s first classes — a unique full dual-enrollment program which allowed Ashley to get her high school diploma and bachelor’s degree in the same year. Ashley is a Certified Public Accountant.
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Bryan joined Defiance in March of 2020 through an acquisition of his company, The Refinery Haus. As the Creative Managing Director of Defiance Ventures, Bryan leads creative initiatives for portfolio businesses and clients.
Prior to joining Defiance Bryan led the team at The Refinery Haus, where he created an agency focused on digital customer acquisition & creatively enriching digital customer experience. Bryan was an entrepreneur from early on, starting a technology business while on campus at the College of Charleston which he ultimately sold to Foursquare.