Board Of Directors
Michael Adolphi joined Bcause LLC in March 2014 as our President and Chief Executive Officer and has since transitioned into the Chief Operating Officer & CTO role. He brings over 30 years of executive management and operations experience to this position including a solid background in planning, engineering, programming, integration, networks, and communication systems, as well as business development and strategic planning.
As co-founder and Executive Vice President of Professional Software Engineering, Inc. (PROSOFT), Mike focuses on corporate development, and he led the business development effort to achieve PROSOFT’s strategic growth plan. PROSOFT, a 350-employee company with $30 million in annual sales, headquartered in Virginia Beach, provides information systems engineering, networking and telecommunications, C4I systems integration, training, systems analysis and engineering. PROSOFT spun off its manufacturing business into pTerex, LLC in July 2009. Mike undertook the responsibility of overseeing the new company as its President and CEO until December 2013. pTerex created communication gear primarily for the U.S. Government.
Mike has been responsible for managing and implementing many large-scale projects, particularly wide area networks and software engineering programs. He led the effort to create a quality management approach throughout PROSOFT based on the principles taught by Dr. Deming.
Before founding PROSOFT in 1984, Mike was with Naval Sea Combat Systems Engineering Station in Norfolk, Virginia as an Electrical Engineer. He participated in the AN/SQQ-28(V) sonar system reviews, system installation and testing. He also functioned as the system manager and software engineer for the Sonar System Integrated Support Complex (SSISCOM).
Mike previously served as a board member of the Hampton Roads Technology Council, the mission of which is to accelerate the transformation of Hampton Roads technology firms into world-recognized technology leaders. He serves on the Council of Advisors for the Hampton Road Technology Incubator, designed to promote economic development of Hampton Roads through the commercialization of new technologies developed at NASA’s Langley Research Center, local universities and other regional government and industrial R&D Laboratories; he previously served as the Council of Advisors Chairman.
Mike has also served as the Chairman of the Old Dominion University Engineering Steering Committee, responsible for raising $16 million in endowed chairs and scholarships for the Engineering Department. Previously he was appointed, serving six years, including one year as Chairman, to the Board of Advisors at Virginia Tech for the Electrical and Computer Engineering department. He was also appointed by the Governor of Virginia to the Virginia Technology Council; its mission is to help accelerate the transformation of Virginia into the Technology State.
Mike has both a graduate and undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering from Old Dominion University and Virginia Tech.
Thomas Flake founded Bcause in 2012 and has served as the firm’s Chief Marketing Officer and as Treasurer of the Board of Managers since January 2014. After leaving an 8.5-year career in the Navy, in 1994, Tom started a business, Synergy Consultants, which provided computer education seminars, software development and outsourced desktop support to the Internet Service Provider (ISP) community. In 1998, Synergy Consultants was merged with another company, iTribe, and with outside investors contributing $1 million, Picus, LLC, a competitive local exchange carrier, was formed. During the next two years, Picus invented flat-rate long distance, bundled local, long distance and Internet Access, and SS7 enabled toll-grade voice over internet protocol. Also during this period, Picus raised over $17 million in direct investment from accredited investors and another $50 million in loans from vendors (Nokia, Nortel, Coppercom and GE Capital), merged with or acquired seven other companies and grew its customer base to over 35,000 customers in the Mid-Atlantic region. As founder, Board member, Vice President of Business Development and later Chief Operating Officer, Tom was integral to all of these activities. In 2000, Picus’ ability to raise additional capital was impeded by the market crash and the company declared bankruptcy.
Later in 2001, Tom founded TeliOn, the first-of-its-kind municipal area wireless network for Internet access. The company was sold in 2002 to Pinnacle Online. Also in 2002, he joined Jacobs Engineering, a Fortune 500 firm, as a Project Manager.
In 2004, Jacobs Engineering won the largest contract ever awarded by NASA’s Langley Research Center – the ROME contract – and Tom was promoted to Manager, Information Technology Projects. In 2005, his responsibilities were expanded to include all aspects of managing the team responsible for information technology infrastructure, including desktop support, server management, data acquisition systems at the five largest wind tunnels and information technology security. During his tenure, customer feedback scores began in the 80’s but quickly rose to over 99% and remained there for over four years. In 2005, he was certified a Project Management Professional (PMP).
In 2009, Tom accepted re-assignment and became responsible for all aspects of Jacobs-ROME organizational development, marketing and Minority Serving Institution outreach. During his tenure, ROME’s customer scores increased from the low 90’s but quickly increased to over 96%. In 2011, Tom was informed that his position was being eliminated due to NASA budget cuts, and he decided to return to entrepreneurship. In October 2011, he and a partner (John Ashby) purchased VBB Communications, rebranded it as Utility Scale Computing and re-launched the company, US Computing LLC, which provides outsourced solutions for maintenance and monitoring of computer infrastructure (including server co-location, network connectivity, power, HVAC, systems administrator services and rack space). Tom owns 50% of US Computing.
In 2012, Tom joined with the National Institute of Aerospace and proposed the creation and funding of a small business incubator (Peninsula Technology Incubator or PTI) on the peninsula to leverage the enormous potential represented by the proximity of Langley Research Center, National Institute of Aerospace, Jefferson Labs, Hampton University, Christopher Newport University and The College of William and Mary.
Tom received a Bachelor of Science degree from Old Dominion University School of Business and Public Administration with a major in Decision Science (Quantitative Methods) and minors in Business Administration and Information Systems. He graduated from The College of William and Mary’s Executive MBA program and is certified by NASA as a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt.
Dr. John Ashby joined the Bcause LLC Board of Managers in January 2014. Since 2006, he has owned and operated a private orthodontic practice, Ashby Orthodontics, with offices in Virginia Beach, Norfolk and Chesapeake. He also is on staff as a consultant at CHKD for its craniofacial anomalies center. He is a member of the American and Virginia Dental Association and the American Association of Orthodontists.
John is involved in several local early stage companies, having invested in a number of local companies. In October 2011, he and a partner (Thomas Flake) purchased VBB Communications, rebranded it as Utility Scale Computing and re-launched the company, US Computing LLC, which provides outsourced solutions for maintenance and monitoring of computer infrastructure (including server co-location, network connectivity, power, HVAC, systems administrator services and rack space).
John graduated from the University of Oklahoma with degrees in zoology (BS) and dentistry (DDS). He received a Master’s Degree in orthodontics from St. Louis University.
A bilingual Japanese-American, Jonathan Tanemori joined the board at Bcause LLC in November 2017. Jonathan has worked in Japan since 1992 in a wide range of industries for both Japanese and multinational corporations. He is currently Chief Business Development Officer at SBI BITS, developing B2B fintech solutions for cryptocurrency and exchanges, financial private clouds and others. Prior to that, he was Corporate Development & Strategy Director at Asurion Japan Holdings after seven years in corporate strategy and planning at KVH, a telecom/data center/cloud provider. Core competencies include due diligence, financial analysis and modeling, market intelligence, investor relations, business planning and development, post-merger integration and people development.
Jonathan graduated from the University of California, Berkeley (economics, Japanese) and Henley Business School’s MBA Program.
Karan Rai has served on the Board of Bcause since September 2016 and has been affiliated with the company since 2013.
He has his MBA with a concentration in Finance and Strategy from Yale University’s School of Management. He is the founder and CEO of ASGARD Partners & Co., a New York-based investment and advisory firm.
Karan was the CEO of Theodor Wille Intertrade Inc and President of ADS Inc. Previously, Karan was with JPMorgan’s investment banking practice in New York, covering various industries and products. He was appointed in August 2017 to the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council.
W. Christopher Sikes, Sr is one of the founders of Bcause, he re-joined the Board in January 2018 after serving from January 2014 to January 2017. During that time he was secretary of the Board for three years.
Chris has more than 25 years of experience in Management, Information Technology, Data Center Operations and Computer Security, and he is skilled in systems engineering, project management, budget development and execution.
Chris continues to work as the Computer Security Official and IT Project Manager in the Center Operations Directorate at NASA Langley Research Center. Before joining NASA in September 2013, he was the Manager of the Systems Administration and Security group for Jacobs Technology [the advanced technology arm of Jacobs Engineering (NYSE: JEC), one of the nation’s largest engineering and technical services-only companies] from July 2009 through September 2013. Before that, Chris was the Project Lead – Enterprise Applications and then the Area Manager for Northrop Grumman from November 2001 through April 2003 and April 2003 through August 2008, respectively, and the Systems Manager for Langley Federal Credit Union from August 2008 through July 2009. He has extensive experience with information technology management in a mid-sized credit union, large public companies and the government.
Chris holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in Physics, both from Old Dominion University. He also teaches Shaolin Kenpo for Isla Ohana Kenpo.