Before joining PayNet, Inc. in 2002, Mr. Butler was President and COO of Discover Card and Chairman of the Board for Discover Bank of Delaware. Prior to 1986, he was Director of New Ventures and Corporate Planning for Sears, Roebuck & Co. Sears’ strategy for Discover Card and its business plan were part of his responsibilities.
Mr. Butler is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor of Arts and received an MBA from Northwestern University.
WILLIAM PHELAN President and Co-Founder
As President, Mr. Phelan has grown PayNet into a firm with the largest collection of payment histories for commercial loans and leases. Under his strategic direction, Mr. Phelan oversees the sales, marketing, analytics and information technology functions of the business.
Prior to co-founding PayNet, Mr. Phelan managed an investment portfolio of fixed income securities for Trustmark Insurance Company in Lake Forest, IL. In this fiduciary role at Trustmark, Mr. Phelan managed asset and mortgage backed securities and corporate bonds to achieve policy holder goals of total return and safety of principal. From 1993 to 1995 Mr. Phelan worked at Dain Rauscher Securities helping pension funds, banks and asset managers meet their clients’ investment needs. As a consultant at Ernst & Young from 1988 to 1993, Mr. Phelan advised privately-held companies on acquisitions and valuations to help them expand their business and conduct estate planning. Prior to that time, Mr. Phelan worked for International Business Machines Corp. and started his career in 1982 as an operations director in the retail industry. In 1992, Mr. Phelan became a Chartered Financial Analyst from the CFA Institute. He completed a Masters in Business Administration in 1987 from Loyola University Graduate School of Business where he was a member of the Dean’s List and received the MBA designation with a concentration in Finance. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Carleton College in Northfield, MN.
Mr. Phelan is quoted by national media outlets on a regular basis including Reuters, Bloomberg Business News, CNBC, FOX Business News, Business News Network (Canada) and The Wall Street Journal. Mr. Phelan regularly speaks throughout the nation on the latest trends on the small business economy such as Testimony to the House Committee on Small Business, United States House of Representatives, February, 2011; Equipment Leasing and Finance Association Annual Conferences; Synovus Business Banking C&I Forum; Consortium on Bank Regulation. National articles Mr. Phelan authored include: ”Success to Come in C&I Lending in 2015,: RMA Journal November, 2014; “Business Loan Delinquency Rates Continue to Edge Up,” October 2006; “Banks’ Small-Business Lending Practices at Odds with Growth Aspirations,” July 2006; “Leasing and the Economy… Benchmarks Show Varied, but Improving, Credit Trends,” May 2004; “Technology & Credit: Pooling Lease Payment History,” November 2000.
PAUL TENNOLA Chief Financial Officer
Paul Tennola serves as PayNet’s Chief Financial Officer providing financial management, strategic planning, corporate finance, accounting, and investor relations.
For over 28 years, Tennola has held a variety of financial leadership positions specializing in corporate strategy, finance, operations and M&A/corporate development. He has successfully led the closing of 50+ transactions in the financial services, tax/accounting, consumer/finance and data/analytic sectors.
Prior to joining PayNet, Tennola served as Global Head of M&A for TransUnion during their IPO process. He served as Executive Vice President, Corporate Development, Tax & Accounting Division of Wolters Kluwer, leading and managing their first acquisition in Brazil. Tennola became Group Vice President of Business Development for SunGard Data Systems, Inc. from the divestiture of DerivaTech Risk Solutions, Inc. He also held financial management positions with Incent, GE Financial, Deloitte & Touche and Merrill Lynch.
Tennola is a member on the Advisory Board for the Global Higher Education Organization.
Tennola holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from Indiana University. He completed the Chicago Management Institute’s Executive Program from The University of Chicago, Booth School of Business, and the Six Sigma Master Black Belt program at GE.
THOMAS WARE Senior Vice President, Analytics and Product Development
Mr. Ware has 20 years’ experience in banking and equipment finance, including as Senior Vice President, Operations & Chief Credit Officer of American Express Equipment Finance.
Mr. Ware became acquainted with PayNet as a potential customer, while serving as Vice President & General Manager of a billion-dollar business unit at CNH (Case) Capital Corporation. In 1987 he founded Sequa Credit Corporation, which is today a subsidiary of Hypercom. His experience includes independent, bank and captive lenders/lessors and covers equipment types ranging from office equipment, telecom, computer and medical to transportation, construction and agricultural. He also has extensive experience with securitization, structuring transactions with rating agencies and surety providers. As Managing Director of PayNet Analytical Services, he is also responsible for PayNet’s Portfolio Benchmarking services.
Mr. Ware received a BA with Distinction in Mathematical Economics from Dartmouth College and began his career as a modeler with a consulting firm now part of Mercer Management Consulting. He subsequently earned an MBA from Harvard.
CRAIG ODEGAARD Vice President Technology and Operations
Mr. Odegaard is responsible for the management and oversight of information technology and operations related to Development, Integrations, Operations, Infrastructure, Quality and Corporate Security. He is instrumental in helping the Company to introduce new products to new markets, grow in our current market and enhance our technology capabilities.
Mr. Odegaard began at PayNet in 2001 as a software developer, later moving into leading roles in Development and Infrastructure, and became Vice President Technology and Operations in April 2011. Prior to PayNet, he was a senior consultant for the Revere Group, providing technical guidance and solutions for a variety of firms, from startups to Fortune 500 companies. Prior to Revere, Mr. Odegaard was a programmer for Tecnova, creating customized software for small and mid-sized businesses. Mr. Odegaard has a Bachelor of Science degree from Milwaukee School of Engineering.
J. DOUGLAS CLEVELAND Vice President, Marketing
Mr. Cleveland brings over 41 years of multinational experience in Financial Services, International Trade and Merchandising to the firm.
Over the course of his career, Mr. Cleveland has held senior management assignments domestically and overseas in six diverse companies within Sears, Roebuck and Co., ranging from start-ups to multi-billion dollar divisions.
His experience encompassed Product Development and Procurement, Sales and Marketing as well as Human Resources, Leadership Development and Quality Process Management.
Beginning with Sears Merchandise Group, Mr. Cleveland proceeded to broaden his business expertise through a progression of key assignments with Sears Roebuck of Spain, Sears World Trade, Sears Mortgage Corporation, Coldwell Banker and Discover Card – all part of the Sears family of companies. He joined PayNet as the Vice President, Marketing in June 2007.
Mr. Cleveland holds an MBA from the University of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree from Drake University.