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Stephen Johnston

Stephen Johnston was Chief Executive Officer of SmartSynch, Inc., a smart-grid technology company headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi. He led the company from a start-up in 2000 to a leading company in the build-out of America’s smart grid. During his 12-year tenure at SmartSynch, the company became the global technology leader for cellular-based smart grid communications after securing over 200 utility customers throughout North America. As a result of its success, SmartSynch was selected as one of the ten firms to watch globally in the smart grid industry. Mr. Johnston was also named one of the most influential executives in the smart grid space and was a finalist for Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award. SmartSynch sold to Itron, Inc., in May 2012 for $100 million. Mr. Johnston left Itron in March 2015 after spending almost three years focusing on global business strategy, mergers and acquisitions, and innovation.

Mr. Johnston currently manages public and private investments in the technology, entertainment, real estate, and venture capital arenas as the Chief Executive Officer of Global Development Group. He is a Producer of Same Kind of Different as Me, a feature-film released by Paramount Pictures on October 20, 2017. He is a Limited Partner and Corporate Advisor to Forte Ventures, Board Member of Strategic Resource Management, Inc., and an Advisor to Exceleron Software, LLC and Deposit Alternatives, LLC. In his early professional career, Mr. Johnston was an investment banker with Wells Fargo Securities in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Mr. Johnston was a Hearin-Hess scholar at The University of Mississippi, where he earned a BBA in 1993. He is a Founder and Fund Advisor of the Everybody Can Help Somebody Foundation and is involved in several not for profit foundations and charitable organizations. He and his wife, Melissa, have four children and reside in Jackson, Mississippi.

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