Club Pitch Philly Keynotes

Breakfast Keynote

Steve Barnes

Steve joined Energy Plus Holdings LLC in 2009 as Chief Financial Officer.  Energy Plus provides electricity and natural gas to residential consumers and businesses in deregulated states.  Based upon an innovative customer rewards platform, the Company has grown rapidly from a start-up in late 2007 to a multi-hundred million dollar revenue business that operates in seven states and provides energy to almost 200,000 customers.   Energy Plus was acquired by NRG Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NRG) for $190 million in September 2011.

Previously, from 2000 through 2008, Steve was with Novitas Capital, an early stage venture capital firm, most recently as Managing Director, where he focused on investments in Technology-based companies.  In addition to sourcing deals, performing due diligence on investments, structuring transactions, and serving on boards of directors of portfolio companies, Steve served as the Fund’s Chief Financial Officer.  In that role, Steve was responsible for managing the firm’s financial and other reporting to investors, tax strategies and compliance, overseeing the legal function and negotiation of agreements with limited partners, as well as having an integral role in overall portfolio allocation, analysis, and decision making.

Prior to joining Novitas Capital, from 1996 to 1999, Steve held various financial positions with Voxware, Inc. (Nasdaq:VOXW), a publicly traded speech-recognition technology company, most recently as Director of Finance and Investor Relations.  He worked closely with executive management to analyze and execute strategic, operational, marketing, and financial decisions, and developed and presented the company’s plans and performance to the investment community.  In addition, Steve directed Voxware’s finance and accounting functions through a divestiture of a business segment, and an acquisition which substantially changed the Company’s focus.

From 1992 until 1996, Steve primarily served early-stage technology and life sciences companies in the assurance practice of KPMG LLP, most recently as Engagement Manager.  He led or participated in engagements with private and publicly held start-up, early-stage, and growth companies in computer software and memory, life sciences, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, real estate, leasing, and a venture capital firm.   At KPMG, Steve also performed extensive due diligence assignments relating to mergers and acquisition transactions for clients of the firm’s National Life Sciences Practice.

Steve earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accountancy with high honors from Villanova University, an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, and is a CPA.  He was a founding Board Member of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Private Equity CFO Association.  He serves on the Board of, which creates innovative music education programs for children and special needs populations at Philadelphia’s World Cafe Live.  He is also a volunteer with the Philadelphia Reads program at an elementary school in West Philadelphia.  Steve is married with two children and lives in Berwyn, Pennsylvania.


Lunch Keynote

Michael Yavonditte

Michael Yavonditte is a veteran of new media and technology. Prior to being named chief executive officer of Quigo Technologies in 2002, Mr. Yavonditte served as vice president of sales for USA Networks Electronic Commerce Solutions Group in New York. In that position, he was responsible for negotiating complex ‘outsourced’ e-commerce alliances with leading U.S. retailers. His group managed the e-commerce operations for CBS Sportsline, and the National Hockey League.
In 2000, Mr. Yavonditte joined AltaVista, where he quickly negotiated and closed several large, multi-year, multi-million dollar agreements for the company. Mr. Yavonditte also took an interest in figuring out new ways to monetize relevancy-based search results and was instrumental in the formation of the Trusted Feed program, AltaVista’s paid inclusion product. As managing director of the strategic alliances group, he was responsible for the day-to-day operations of AV’s business development activities and one of their largest revenue streams.
In 1997, Mr. Yavonditte joined Juno Online Services, Inc. as a director in their business development group. In 1998, he was promoted to vice president and continued to focus on negotiating large advertising and e-commerce agreements. When Juno launched their “for pay” ISP in 1999, Mr. Yavonditte’s group shifted focus to work on signing OEM software distribution agreements, a key part of their customer acquisition strategy. They signed agreements with many top companies such as HP, Samsung and LG Electronics.
Mr. Yavonditte started his career at Ziff-Davis Publishing in New York where he held various sales and management roles. In 1996, he was named one of only three ZD employees to win the coveted Chairman’s Club Award two consecutive years.
Mr. Yavonditte has a degree in Business and Political Science from Pace University in New York.