John DeBlasio

Interim CEO

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John DeBlasio is Founder and Executive Director of the GPD Charitable Trust as well as Managing Partner of Bootstrap-Capital LLC. Both were established following the sale of Sallyport Global Holdings in June 2011 where John was previously Owner. The Foundation was established to assist at-risk young adults as well as to promote democracy world-wide and has made several significant grants and partnerships since inception while Bootstrap Capital has focused on investing in strong entrepreneurs leading growth stage companies.

Previously, as owner of Sallyport Global Holdings, John built an organization which employed over 1,900 people worldwide and became the largest provider of security and facilities management services to USAID prime contractors operating in Iraq as well as a primary contractor for DoD and DoS work in Central Asia and Africa. John is a 1989 West Point Graduate who retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army Reserve Civil Affairs branch and was deployed to the Middle East in 2003-2004 where he worked with the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) as an Advisor to the Ministry of Trade and with the US Embassy in Amman Jordan as the CPA Liaison for the Embassy. During that time he was awarded a Bronze Star as well as a Joint Service Commendation medal.

John has lived and worked in Europe and the Middle East and has traveled extensively throughout the world over the past 25 years. He is a resident of Chicago and was appointed in 2006 as a member of the US-Iraq Business Dialogue by Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, and serves on the Board of Chicago Council on Global Affairs as well as several non-profits.

John has been extensively quoted in the press, has had full articles about Iraq published in the Chicago Tribune and Washington Post (Outlook Section), and has appeared as an expert commentator on the History Channel, ABC News, MSNBC, NPR, and the Lehrer News Hour.


Company Stage Focus: Startup, Early Stage, Private

Owner, President & CEO of Sallyport Global Holdings

Sallyport Global Holdings Inc. was founded in mid-2004 to support the post war reconstruction efforts in Iraq and has expanded its operations throughout the Middle East and Africa in support of U.S. foreign policy initiatives. Sallyport has in the past or is currently operating in Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Kenya and Sudan (south).

Sallyport brings first hand expertise in providing Logistics, Construction, Base Operations Support and Security for its clients in remote and hostile environments. It has done work as a Prime Contractor or as a Tier 1 Subcontractor for the following government agencies; USAID, The United Nations, U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of State, NASA, The World Bank and Foreign Ministries as well as a number of private clients.

Significant accomplishments;

• Developed a global government contracting business from scratch into an organization with operations on three continents, annual revenues of over $180M, over 2,100 employees of various nationalities, and contract value in excess of $500M in less than six years.
• Established an operational infrastructure at each location by building links to the local governments and successfully recruiting local talent and supplier networks.
• Developed enduring relationships and contracts within the USAID, DoS, DoD and federal contracting communities which will enable Sallyport Global to continue to thrive beyond contracting opportunities in the Global War on Terror. Currently over half of SGH’s revenues are derived outside of Iraq.
• Successfully sold the business to a Private Equity buyer in 2011. Maintain a position as Director and owner of 20% of the combined Kaseman-Sallyport International entity.

LTC (Retired), US Army Reserve (Civil Affairs Branch) 1989 – 2010

Re-called to active duty in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and currently serving as a drilling reservist.

• Advisor, Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), Ministry of Trade, Baghdad, Iraq
Developed the Iraqi Ministry of Trade’s trade promotion plan

• CPA Liaison Officer, Iraqi Assistance Center, US Embassy Amman, Jordan
Developed and implemented a plan to re-orient the mission of the Iraqi Assistance Center from supporting humanitarian operations to supporting the mission of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA).

• Director Private Sector Initiatives, Iraqi Assistance Center, US Embassy Amman, Jordan
Worked directly with the Commerce Department, State Department and the Jordanian American Business Association (JABA) to create a private sector outreach program designed to assist businesses with working in Iraq.

Senior VP, International Sales & Operations, META Group, Inc.

$140M publicly traded company on NASDAQ (METG) world’s second largest IT research, analysis, and consulting firm.

Managed a $44M international business that included 3 subsidiaries and 12 affiliated distributors with over 250 employees. Direct reports included the Managing Directors for Asia/Pacific and Canada as well as a 5 person staff.
• Developed the strategic plan to migrate the company from an international to a transnational organization by integrating the functions of the various global affiliates and subsidiaries into a matrix organization.
• Restructured and acquired distributorships resulting in a reduction in the number of third party distributors from 19 to 12 and an increase in META’s direct control of international distribution from 15% to 66% in one year.
• Delivered $44.6MM in billings which represented 23% growth and 103% of a challenging 2001 plan.
• Developed an audit plan and hired a forensic auditor to reduce abuse resulting in the recovery of over $4M.

Senior VP, Business Development & Online Marketing

Led a 4-person team that developed and implemented the e-business and on-line marketing strategy.

• Developed an on-line marketing strategy (permissioned e-mail and membership campaign) that resulted in incremental revenue of $550K, over 1M ad impressions, and an 85% increase in user sessions over 10 months.
• Led the IT team in the development of several critical business Internet applications.
• Led the $3.2M acquisition of SPEX Research resulting in the creation of an entirely new product division.
• Completed a $2.5M investment in Ajunto to establish an on-line IT Procurement marketplace.

Director, E-Commerce Products, GE Capital Auto Financial Services (GECAFS)

Leader in the commercial mid-market and consumer finance markets.

Led the B2B e-commerce product development effort for a $1B provider of automotive loans and leases. Responsible for developing the on-line strategy to increase sales through automotive dealers and other potential broker channels, creating key alliances, and implementing the go-to-market effort.

• Developed the case to focus resources on building the B2B marketplace for GECAFS products instead of only the emerging business to consumer marketplace.
• Identified, developed and structured key alliance relationships to co-opetively offer Internet financing solutions to dealerships. Completed a marketing alliance with Cobalt Group, the leading provider of web services to auto dealers.
• Led the acquisition team in purchasing a $1.7M proprietary software system to implement indirect Internet lending.


• Awarded the Bronze Star Medal and Joint Service Commendation Medal for service in Iraq
• Fellow, The American Assembly Next Generation Project sponsored by Columbia University
• Appointed in 2006 by Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez to serve as a member of the Commerce Department sponsored US-Iraq Business Dialogue. Accompanied Secretary Gutierrez to Iraq in February 2008 to present the USIBD’s recommendations directly to Iraqi Prime Minister Al Maliki.
• Led a successful IPO and follow-on offering
• Press/Media Interactions include appearances on ABC News, the Lehrer News Hour, NPR, CNBC quotations in the Washington Post, the Daily Herald and Chicago Tribune, and full length articles appearing in the Chicago Tribune and Washington Post (Outlook Section).


•Board Member, Kaseman-Sallyport International (KSI) schools
•Board Member, Chicago Council on Global Affairs
•Board Member, University of Denver Social Science Foundation
•Board Member, MVP BioTech Veterans
•Board Member, Military Rugby Association


• United States Military Academy, West Point, NY 1985 – 1989 Bachelor of Science, Industrial Engineering. Co-captain of nationally ranked rugby team.
• University of South Carolina 1992 – 1994 Master of International Business Studies. International Marketing & German concentration. Ranked as the #1 International Business program in 1993 & 1994 by US News & World Report.
• School of Advanced Military Studies, Ft. Leavenworth KS 2008 Military Studies – Intermediate Level Military Education Course

Years Executive Experience: (10+)
# of Interim Roles: (0)
# of Board Roles: (5)
Company Size: ($201M-$500M)

• Building a Management Team
• Corporate Development
• International Business
• Business Valuation
• Investment Advisory
• Debt and Refinancing
• Risk Management
• Logistics
• Distribution
• Client Relations Management
• Business Development
• Sales Management
• Company Sale
• Fundraising
• Acquisition Integration
• E-Commerce
• Market Development
• Marketing Strategy
• Staff Augmentation
• Technology Team Development

• Government Contracting Services
• Logistics and Security Services
• Remote Housing and Support Services
• Staffing Services
• Financial Services (Auto leasing)
• E-Commerce Development
• Technology Consulting
• Plastics and Materials
• Medical Devices and Equipment