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lunacap foundation

Team

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. 

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CHRISTOPHER MENDEZ | founder

Christopher Mendez is the General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer at Commonwealth Asset Management LP. Commonwealth is a Los Angeles based asset management firm founded in 2019 and led by Adam Fisher, former Head of Global Macro and Real Estate at Soros Fund Management LLC. Commonwealth offers separate but complimentary strategies across its Global Macro and Real Estate platforms.

Mr. Mendez joined Commonwealth from Semper Capital Management, L.P in New York where he served as General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer. Mr. Mendez was previously in the Business Law Department at Goodwin Procter LLP and prior to that held several legal and compliance roles at large institutional asset management firms.

Mr. Mendez started his career at Vanguard in 2006 after having served on active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps. He is a frequent speaker at industry conferences, most recently at GAIM Ops Alternative Investments Conference in Palm Springs and the Alternative Investments General Counsel Summit in New York. He advises several emerging asset management firms and venture capital funds. He serves on the Board of Directors of Volunteers of Legal Service and is a Co-Founder of LunaCap Foundation. He received his JD from Rutgers School of Law and BBA from Temple University.

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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.

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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.  

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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. 

victor w. cardona | founder

A Global Cybersecurity Strategist & Advisor - A native of Paterson NJ, Victor is a singular figure in the Metro New York and Greater Philadelphia community. Despite his youth, Victor has been a highly lauded executive in the Cybersecurity, Tech, and Media fields. With the unique ability to understand enterprise needs and objectives at the macro and micro level, Victor is capable of generating large scale revenue opportunities in every position he has filled.

Victor has honed his vast arsenal of management and business skills while working with some of the most esteemed companies in the country. He serves, and has served in various advisory roles at Netacea, Comcast NBCUniversal, Boston Scott Golf, Gesture, LunaCap, Bisnow’s Data Center Division, and is currently serving as a President of The Cardona Group of Companies. His unbroken line of professional successes has made Victor synonymous with hard work, competitiveness, professionalism, and an unparalleled networking machine.

In addition to his outstanding qualities as a business leader, Victor is also a devoted family man, father of four children, and a community advocate. He bases all of his decisions, on his faith in God, and his love for his family, friends, and neighbors. His enormous commitment to those around him is evident in his involvement in organizations like The LunaCap Foundation, Liquid Church, The Tim Tebow Foundation, Living Water International, United Way of Passaic County, National PKU Alliance, and New Jersey Technology Council.

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Karen Perez | corporate communications & marketing director

Karen is a corporate communications professional with over 16 years of experience across multinational B2C and B2B sectors. With a proven track record in enhancing brand reputation through strategic communication initiatives, managing both internal and external communications, public relations, social media marketing, and corporate social responsibility programs.


Prior to joining LunaCap Foundation, Karen co-founded and served as an Associate Founder at Comuni-KAR Strategic Communications Consulting Group. There, she led the establishment and growth of a Digital Marketing and Communication agency, where her leadership was instrumental in directing comprehensive branding campaigns for new product launches and developing corporate communications strategies for organizations and non-profit foundations.


Karen holds a bachelor’s degree in communication sciences and has pursued further education in Digital Marketing, Artificial Intelligence, Corporate Reputation and Business Management. As LunaCap Foundation's Communications and Marketing Director, Karen brings a wealth of experience and a relentless commitment to driving positive change through effective communication strategies.

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