Members of Ventera’s Leadership Team average more than twenty years of experience in their respective areas of expertise. Together, they set the strategic direction for the company and provide ongoing leadership and direction to the company's senior managers.
Robert AcostaChief Executive Officer
Robert founded Ventera in 1996 and today serves as the company's President and CEO. He is a visionary leader with an entrepreneurial spirit. Robert sets the tone for the company's success, stressing long-term relationships with customers, taking care of employees, and consistently doing the right thing. Prior to founding Ventera, he worked in the Technology and Finance Practice of Coopers & Lybrand Consulting. Robert felt that larger organizations like Coopers did a great job attracting the best and brightest professionals, but that these firms typically were not able to retain most of these people for the long-term.
Robert’s goal when starting Ventera was to create a company where outstanding people want to come, work hard together, and stay – which is exactly what happened. Robert uses his casual, easygoing nature to draw in talented people, who enjoy working together to serve Ventera’s customers. His emphasis on doing the right thing garnered numerous awards for Ventera, including awards for providing an exceptional place to work, for corporate ethics, and for serving the community.
Robert served a 10 year term on the Board of Directors for The Neediest Kids, a non-profit organization that provides assistance to disadvantaged youth in the Washington DC area. In addition, he has been an active volunteer and coach since 1999 and was named Chantilly Youth Association Volunteer of the Year in 2009.
Robert received a BA in Economics from the University of Virginia and an MBA from George Mason University.
Chris FordExecutive Vice President – Commercial Services
Chris has been leading the Commercial Services unit in Ventera since 2000 and is responsible for the overall operations for the business unit. His responsibilities encompass business development, operations, to participating in defining Ventera’s strategy. His proudest accomplishments include his participation in many successful activities that have impacted customer engagements.
Chris’s consulting and communications career has spanned over twenty years. Prior to joining Ventera, Chris was the Director of Client Services with Doceus, a small local consulting firm. Chris elevated the market segment that Doceus was targeting, strengthened existing alliances with AT&T, and developed partnerships with other leading technology firms. Earlier in his career, Chris served as an Account Executive and Internet Specialist with AT&T.
Chris holds a BBA from James Madison University.
Jeff SmithExecutive Vice President – Government Services
Jeff is an accomplished business leader with extensive experience providing business and information technology consulting services. Jeff leads Ventera's Government Services practice which provides consulting and IT solutions to Federal, State, and Local Government clients. Throughout his career he has worked with large client organizations using creative application of technology solutions to meet business needs and customer requirements. As part of Ventera's executive management team, Jeff works to set the company's strategic agenda and corporate objectives for solution delivery and client relations.
Prior to joining Ventera in 1999, Jeff was a founding partner and executive at two successful consulting firms. He also previously worked at large consulting and technology firms delivering solutions and services to clients.
Jeff earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Master Business Administration (MBA) from Auburn University. Continuing to pursue a lifetime of learning, he completed a Master of Science in Management of Information Technology (MS-MIT) at the University of Virginia, McIntire School of Commerce in 2017. He earned recognition from the Beta Gamma Sigma honor society for academic excellence for both of his master degree programs.
Joe McMahonExecutive Vice President – Business Development
Joe is an accomplished executive manager with 30 years of experience as a business owner, business developer, senior executive, and advisor to senior management. He is an Executive Vice President with Ventera, with corporate-level responsibility for sales and marketing to both the commercial and Federal sectors. Immediately prior to joining Ventera, Joe was the Director of Marketing and Business Development with Perspective Technology Corporation, where he was responsible for all new business capture strategies and for managing, mentoring, and motivating the business development team.
Prior to that, Joe was a Senior Manager and Director at Coopers & Lybrand Consulting, where he sold and delivered value-added solutions to executive management in both the commercial and government sectors. Joe also spent over eight years with McLean Group, where he rose from Associate to Vice President/Principal-in-Charge of the New York practice and was instrumental in facilitating the sale of the company to a Big-6 consulting firm. Earlier in his career Joe was the co-founder and President of The Virginia Brewing Company, where he managed the profitable day-to-day operations of the company.
Joe earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Marketing from Washington and Lee University.
Hugh ShawChief Financial Officer
Hugh has over 20 years of finance, accounting, and contracts experience with a strong record of facilitating major growth for a number of privately-held technology companies. As Chief Financial Officer at Ventera, he is responsible for the company’s overall financial, contracts and legal activities.
Prior to joining Ventera, Hugh was the Chief Financial Officer for Tenacity Solutions, a provider of Information Technology services to the federal government, where he developed finance strategies to support the company’s rapid growth. Hugh has also held leadership positions at L-W Corporation, NetCo Government Services, and Creative Technologies Incorporated.
Hugh earned his Bachelor’s degree in Economics from George Mason University and obtained a Certificate of Professional Development in Finance at the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton Business School.
Doug BullardSenior Vice President – Commercial Services, Business Development
Doug joined Ventera in 2008 with a focus on client management and revenue growth for Commercial Services. In this role his responsibilities encompass business development, P&L management, client management and participating in the definition and execution of Ventera’s corporate strategy. Doug is dedicated to providing value to the customers we serve and strives to build teams that exceed our customers’ expectations and represent Ventera’s core values.
Prior to joining Ventera, Doug held a senior management position in the Communications industry, a distinguished sales career for several solution and technology providers and was self-employed as an independent consultant. These roles position Doug with a unique blend of management, sales and consulting skills which assist Ventera in achieving goals for Ventera and our customers.
Doug holds a BS in Management from Millersville University of Pennsylvania.
Praveen NedungottilVice President - Solutions Delivery
Praveen has over 17 years of hands-on experience in crafting complex enterprise solutions using a broad range of technologies for a diverse set of sectors. As Vice President of Solutions Delivery, Praveen works closely with client managers to support sales efforts, oversee delivery, and provide technical, organizational and operational leadership to the delivery team. He leads Ventera’s Technology and Innovation Council and brings an unyielding drive for innovation and spirit of collaboration to the role.
After joining Ventera in 2005, Praveen quickly became known as a leader who could span a breadth of technologies and business areas. He led several initiatives that resulted in improved delivery of solutions and contributed to Ventera’s growth. Prior to joining Ventera, he was Technical Leader and Product Manager at Hitachi’s R&D division in Japan guiding several cutting-edge products and technologies.
Praveen holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree with distinction from University of Mysore and a Certificate of Advanced Project Management from Stanford University. He is also certified as a Project Management Professional by the Project Management Institute and Certified Scrum Master.
Christina PritchettVice President – Human Capital Management
Christina joined Ventera in 2005 and serves as the Vice President - Human Capital Management. She has responsibility across all Human Resources functions including Staffing and Recruiting, Employee Relations, Training, Compensation, Benefits, Team and Leadership Development, and Performance Management. In addition, Christina plays a key role in all facets of Corporate Operations.
Prior to joining Ventera, Christina spent over 5 years at Booz Allen Hamilton where she served as a lead recruiter for the Organizational and Change Management Teams.
Christina serves as the Nominating Chair for the Northern Virginia Family Service CARE Awards Advisory Committee. This awards program recognizes companies in Northern Virginia who are leaders in providing innovative and supportive, family-friendly policies, programs, and services.
Christina received her Bachelor’s degree from the College of Human Resources & Education at Virginia Tech and is a member of several HR professional organizations and network groups.