Startups

Power Moves: Margaret Roth Falzon is now COO at Squadra Ventures

Plus, Baltimore City Chamber of Commerce gets new leaders, two Greater Baltimore business groups merge, and executive teams expand at Sonatype, Netography and Cerebro Capital.

Squadra Ventures COO Margaret Roth and Managing Partner Guy Filippelli.

(Courtesy photo)

Power Moves is a column where we chart the comings and goings of talent across the region. Got a new hire, gig or promotion? Email us: baltimore@technical.ly.


Margaret Roth Falzon has been promoted to chief operating officer of Baltimore venture capital firm Squadra Ventures. She was formally director of portfolio operations at the small but mighty early-stage fund and goes from managing a team of two to a team of seven.

Squadra has seen two of its portfolio companies acquired and has multiple companies prepping for Series A rounds, Roth Falzon said. As it gears up to expand its portfolio of eight companies in the new year, Roth Falzon stepping into her new role signifies the continued evolution of the 2019-founded fund that’s still a startup in its own right.

“The priority that we as a fund continue to place on developing [founders’] capacities as leaders,” Roth Falzon told Technical.ly, “that’s the thing that gets me excited everyday — being able to grow our entrepreneurs as a team.”

Expanding the capacity of Squadra’s portfolio companies while also providing funding is the secret sauce for the company. Supporting founders was among the primary duties of Roth Falzon’s former role — and nothing’s changed there. She’s still going to be imparting her knowledge as a former founder of her own startup, Yet Analytics. Now as COO, she’ll be paying closer attention to the growth of Squadra’s own employees, too.

Two Greater Baltimore business orgs have merged

Economic development groups Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore (EAGB) and the Greater Baltimore Committee (GBC) have merged in an effort to maximize their impact on the Baltimore region and do away with a “siloed approach.”

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As the world goes remote and workforces become distributed, the dynamic of what it means to be a geographically focused business association changes. Both orgs realized the ties that bind companies to one specific region are looser than ever. As one new entity, called Greater Baltimore Committee, they aim to further economic development in the region, with an eye to addressing modern challenges.

“The Greater Baltimore region needs one comprehensive organization with a clear, inclusive vision to increase economic opportunity, invest in lasting, equitable growth in local communities, enhance civic engagement and create a thriving environment for Baltimore’s diverse people, neighborhoods and businesses,” GBC Chair Calvin G. Butler, Jr. said in a press release.

These massive changes for the two organizations follow the retiring of Donald C. Fry, the longest-tenured head of GBC, and the stepping down of EAGB’s current CEO, Michele Whelley.

Baltimore City Chamber of Commerce gets two new leaders

Kimberly Royster. (Photo via LinkedIn)

With a new year comes a new slate of leaders for a Baltimore org that looks to promote business and economic development in the city: Baltimore City Chamber of Commerce has picked Kimberly Castle Royster as its chairwoman for the next two years, and Lenora Henry will be its new executive director.

The Chamber’s board of directors voted to elect Royster for a two-year term at the end of 2021. Royster is also the owner and CFO of boutique accounting firm Kimberly Services LLC.

“With Kimberly Royster as our new Chairwoman, I believe that Chamber members will have better networking opportunities, Board members will be more engaged and the Chamber will provide greater value to Baltimore’s business community,” Emeritus Chair Will Holmes said in a statement. “Additionally, with her background in accounting and a strong business acumen, I am certain that she will provide invaluable practical information to our growing businesses and larger members and to our community partners.”

Lenora Henry. (Photo via LinkedIn)

For her part, Henry is a longtime Baltimore business leader, including her most recent role as director of strategic initiatives and senior development officer for corporate relations at the Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts.

“She is well connected to the Baltimore community and passionate about supporting local businesses and helping others achieve their goals,” Royster said. “As Executive Director, she will be a strong advocate for Baltimore’s business owners and employers in our city.”

Royster and Henry succeed Holmes and William Honablew Jr., respectively.

Cerebro Capital hires experts in growth

Baltimore fintech company Cerebro Capital has brought on John Robinson and James Paterson as managing directors of credit origination. With these two hires, company’s platform for corporate lending in the middle market will continue to grow while working with private equity firms and investment banks.

These hire come after Cerebro released a report last year that showed commercial lending activity picking up during the pandemic. CEO Matthew Bjonerud is excited about these hires to keep the company up with the credit market’s growth and return to health.

“It is paramount that we bolster our team with professionals with the right mix of industry experience, ingenuity and work ethic,” Bjonerud said in the press release. “Their middle-market lending expertise will be key to accelerating our growth.”

Alex Berry is the new president of Sonatype

Alex Berry. (LinkedIn)

Software supply chain security company Sonatype has appointed Alex Berry as its first president. The role operates under CEO Wayne Jackson.

The Fulton-based company provides tools for software developers using open source code to build applications. It maintains a repository of open source libraries, and uses data tools to automate processes to reliably use the building blocks within those libraries. Its Nexus products help ensure the code is secure by detecting vulnerabilities in third-party software and keeping risky components out.

It wasn’t too long ago the company was being noted for how fast it was growing after an $80 million seed round. The hiring of Berry, two decades of expertise in company growth, could be a sign of gearing up for further growth — especially as it surpasses $100 million in annual recurring revenue, a milestone it announced last week.

Netography expands its executive team

Jennifer Leggio is the new chief marketing officer and Joel Esler is now the VP of threat research at Netography. This comes after fall 2021’s massive $45 million raise.

The Annapolis-based cybersecurity company last year also saw the founder Barrett Lyon moving into role of chief architect and the appointment of Martin Roesch as CEO. These new hires solidify the Netography executive team and gives the cybersecurity team strong leadership to guide the growth of the company in 2022.

“Joel and Jennifer are two of the top minds in their respective fields and will bring their skills and passion to help us deliver a new vision for network security,” Roesch said in the press release. “Netography experienced a phenomenal year in 2021 and, with an expanded leadership team in place, is poised for even greater success in 2022.”


Donte Kirby is a 2020-2022 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation. -30-
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