PAUL CAPON | founder
Paul Capon has over a decade of experience in managing teams, investing in and running companies, in both start- up and distressed situations. After serving as a U.S. Air Force Captain responsible for 150+ personnel and convoy commander for over 100+ missions in Kabul and Logistics lead in Kandahar, Mr. Capon joined Capstone in early 2013 and worked in the restructuring industry. He worked on multiple cases representing both company and lender side helping recoup lent capital or helping companies secure DIP financing .
In early 2015 , Mr. Capon founded LunaCap Ventures, a Venture Debt firm focused on hybrid growth capital investing. As Managing Partner of LunaCap, he has led and executed a number of investments and distributed capital to LP’s within the first year. He sits on the board of one portfolio company as vice chairman, and helped guide it out of distress to its first profitable year and subsequent sale. He is also the CEO of Wessex Press, a LunaCap Ventures portfolio company, where he increased revenue 4X and turned the company to its first profitable year since inception within in his first three years. Paul holds a B.S from the United States Air Force Academy, and MBAs from Columbia Business School and London Business School.
Mr. Capon is a founding member of the New York City Military Officers Club, and also sits on the advisory boards of Comply First and the Joint Service Academy Network.
CHRISTOPHER MENDEZ | founder
Chris has over 12 years of legal and compliance experience; currently serving as the General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer of a $3B New York City-based asset management firm. Chris’ area of focus in the investment management industry include open and closed end registered funds, private funds, and separately managed accounts, as well as advising on investment advisory and broker-dealer regulatory compliance matters. Chris was most recently in the Business Law Department of Goodwin Procter LLP advising on corporate and securities law matters. Prior to joining Goodwin Procter, Chris was in the legal and compliance group of Invesco Ltd.'s alternative investments business, responsible for the private equity firm WL Ross & Co. LLC, Invesco Private Capital and Invesco Senior Secured Management. Chris began his career at Vanguard in 2006 following active duty service in the U.S. Marine Corps. Chris is a frequent speaker at industry events on legal and compliance matters and advises emerging asset management firms, entrepreneurs, and start-ups across various sectors and industries. Chris is actively involved in several charitable organizations, including serving on the board of directors of Volunteers of Legal Service, College and Community Fellowship, and the CFA Society New York’s Veterans Roundtable. Chris earned his J.D. from Rutgers Law School and B.B.A. from Temple University.
Won Palisoul | founder
Won Palisoul is a consummate regulatory compliance consultant and a Certified Fraud Examiner with a strong passion for leveraging her examiner and in-house experience to build best in class compliance solutions for asset management clients. Won has advised both domestic and foreign-domiciled registered private funds and institutional separate accounts. With her unmatched work ethic and ability to quickly analyze and resolved complex compliance issues, she is an invaluable resource to her clients.
Won served as a Senior Compliance Officer reporting directly to the General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer of $4 billion AUM credit-focused asset management firm. Won was integral in the joint oversight and administration of the firm’s compliance program. She was responsible for testing and implementation, policy and procedures review and maintenance, as well as frequent training and compliance communications.
Previously, Won was a Compliance Examiner at an SRO for the U.S. derivatives industry. Won’s examiner responsibilities included other-the-counter derivatives, swap dealer compliance programs, and implementation and adherence to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Prior to joining the SRO, she was an Office Manager for a retirement fund with $6 billion AUM and in 2012, she was named a Veteran Associate at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
Won began her career as a Gas Turbine Technician (Electrical) in the U.S Navy, serving aboard guided missile destroyers and was forward deployed in the Pacific region for Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). After eight years of service, she received an honorable discharge and founded a small business that she ran for four years. Given her passion in helping veterans, she founded the Women Veterans and Families Network (WVFN), is the Chair of Veterans Roundtable at CFA Society New York (CFANY) and Co-Lead of Women Veterans on Wall Street (wVOWS), a subcommittee of VOWS.
Won holds an M.A. in Information Technology Management from Webster University, and an M.S. in Nonprofit Management from Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies, where she is an adjunct associate faculty member. She resides in NYC with her husband, also a U.S. Navy Veteran, and two children.
BEN LABRA | founder
Originally from Denver, Colorado, Ben brings 20+ years of experience in management, operations, technology and leadership. An entrepreneur at heart, Ben started a successful IT business at the age of 16 while working the counter at a local KFC restaurant. Over two years, Ben raised enough start-up capital to purchase two franchises by the age of 18. Two years later, he sold both businesses for a strong return and enrolled in college to pursue a degree in information technology and business.
Immediately following graduation, Ben began a career in finance with Citi as a desk trader and later moved to the risk and compliance department. After 5 years with Citi, Ben made his way into higher education, where eventually managed 150+ people as a VP of Revenue & Marketing. In 2010, Ben joined the executive team of a large beauty, health and wellness education firm as the Chief Admissions Officer. He went on to attend executive education degrees at Columbia Business School followed by WashU Law School.
After leaving corporate life, Ben returned to his entrepreneurial roots and founded the first LinkedIn for high school students; yondster.com. This afforded Ben experience in coding & software development, startup operations and technology management.
Currently, Ben is the Co-Founder & CEO of Gesture Inc., a Founding Partner at 10X Ventures in NYC, a Data Science Specialist & Coach at Galvanize NY, and a start-up consultant and mentor.
GABRIEL MONTOYA | founder
Gabriel originally born and raised in Denver, CO brings 22+ years of experience in sales, marketing, operations, leadership development and management. At the age of 18 while a sophomore in college Gabriel started his entrepreneurial journey he owned and operated an auto performance shop in Denver / Colorado Springs area. After 3 years of successfully creating this brand he sold the company to a competitor in the Denver Market. At the age of 21 years old Gabriel entered Corporate America with a company called 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty in Aurora, CO as an Account Executive. This was Gabriel's first experience in Sales and within a year Gabriel was being recognized as the youngest in the organization to achieve Presidents Club top sales accolades and was asked to develop and train a complete sales team. After 2 years at 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty Gabriel was being highly recruited by Telecom companies, Pharmaceutical Companies and Finance Companies such as Wells Fargo and Citigroup. The next 3 years Gabriel would just dominate and shatter sales records accomplishing President Clubs and other prestigious awards. After Gabriel completed his College Degree in Business Administration he entered into Higher Education. Gabriel spent 14 years in Higher Education. Gabriel built admissions recruiting processes around ACICS Accrediting requirements, he trained and developed top Admissions teams in the organization. Managing over 150+
representatives and was part of many educational focused community outreach programs.
In 2015 Gabriel stepped out of corporate America and back in to entrepreneurship were he Founded a successful Real Estate Investment Firm focused on redeveloping inner-city communities in Chicago, IL. Gabriel is currently the VP of Strategic Growth and Development of Gesture Inc. Inspiring people to be their best, motivating others to champion growth, and helping organizations go from good to great then amazing is Gabriel's passion.
Sheri has more than 25 years experience in the corporate world, working with startups to fortune 100s within marketing, business development and organizational leadership. Now she gets to apply all she's practiced to the nonprofit sector where her efforts directly impact the success of others.
At LunaCap Foundation, she manages the organization's development and brings in corporate supporters to help the most brilliant people she's ever met achieve their education and career dreams.
Digital Marketing Intern
Elva Lee is a third-year student at Pace University- Lubin School of Business, studying Advertising and Integrated Marketing. She has discovered an interest in Marketing after being introduced to it at a high-school level and has been working towards becoming a consumer psychologist ever since then.
Previously, Elva has worked as a summer and afterschool camp counselor and a marketing intern at a online trading academy.
Kimberly is a recent MBA graduate of the Lubin School of Business at Pace University. She concentrated in Marketing Management because she is passionate about digital marketing and project management. She is excited to be working with the LunaCap Foundation because she believes in its mission and is excited to see it grow.