William C. Joern, Executive Chairman
As executive chairman of ROI3, Inc., William (Bill) Joern has responsibility for establishing the company's strategic direction and achieving its long-term goals. He is also responsible for identifying and establishing partnership opportunities with other organizations and representing the company at conferences and in other public events in the Washington, DC region.
Mr. Joern has more than 40 years of general management, strategic planning, program development and evaluation, budget development and monitoring, proposal development, marketing and contract management experience with small and medium-sized enterprises, private corporations, non-profit entities on behalf of U.S. government agencies.
Mr. Joern also serves as president of Business Development Associates (BDA), which provides representation and marketing services to U.S. companies that design, manufacture, install, and maintain equipment across multiple sectors, including food processing, packaging, and storage; waste water treatment and water purification; and construction technologies and systems. He is familiar with a wide range of program and funding sources including private venture funds, the Export-Import Bank of the United States, the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), and the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC).
Mr. Joern is an elected member of the Afghan-American Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and Executive Committee. Furthermore, he is an active participant in several other international organizations including the Washington International Trade Association (WITA) and the Maryland China Business Council. He routinely participates in events and meetings sponsored by the Corporate Council on Africa, the Asia Society, the Council of the Americas, and the Middle-East Institute. He is also associated with the Greater Washington Board of Trade, the Wharton Club of DC, and the Nebraska Society of Washington, D.C.
Mr. Joern served as Vice President of a Washington-based international language training company; as Group Manager and Manager of Washington Operations for a Philadelphia, Pa.-based research development and federal contract organization where he developed and managed large-scale searchable database information services and research & development organization; as CEO of a regional health planning organization; and as a consultant to hospitals and small businesses.
Mr. Joern was a principal with a start-up company in the mid-1980's that attempted to develop an early version of a portable computing device using pad and pen technology with adaptive software.
Mr. Joern received his Bachelor of Science from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts with a major in history and political science. He also studied international relations and public administration at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and attended the New Mexico Military Institute. Connect with Mr. Joern on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Aaron D. Rose, President, Treasurer, and Chief Executive Officer
Aaron Rose serves as president, treasurer, and chief executive officer of ROI3, Inc., responsible for the overall management and leadership of the company. He possesses extensive experience in developing successful businesses worldwide. Through his experience of building innovative technology companies in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, Aaron learned the value of delivering localized content through mobile applications and services. His goal is to provide individuals in developing countries and regions with the ability to access information and services through mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers.
Prior to the founding of ROI3, Aaron served as president and CEO of Rose Global Advisors where he consulted Fortune 500 companies such as Microsoft, Starbucks, and Yahoo, along with several startup ventures on global strategic planning and business development, international growth management, and knowledge management. Moreover, he evaluated market readiness, barriers of entry, and strategic alignment of business operations and product development.
In the public sector, Aaron advised governments to promote comparative national advantages to attract foreign direct investment to stimulate private sector development. He communicated investment opportunities to prospective investors while creating public-private partnerships. His client work includes The World Bank, United Nations, and the governments of Afghanistan, Cameroon, Canada, China, Federated States of Micronesia, Haiti, South Africa, Spain, Uganda, United States, and Uzbekistan.
Aaron launched his entrepreneurial career with the founding of ROI3 Global Management, a private investment and holding company that provides financial and advisory support to early-stage companies. Portfolio companies reside in the information and communication technology, renewable energy and clean technology sectors.
Aaron, who studied philosophy at Seattle University, is engaged with various professional and nonprofit organizations. He is the founding president of FURSA Africa, a nonprofit organization that provides opportunities for girls and women in Africa through education and entrepreneurship.
In addition, Aaron serves on the Board of Directors of the Florida Association for Volunteer Action in the Caribbean and the Americas, Inc. (Tallahassee, Florida), Get Fit With Heath, Inc. (Lakewood, Colorado), SASIHA (Kenmore, Washington), and Visions Northwest Optical, Inc. (Seattle, Washington). Furthermore, he is an advisor to the Center for Global Business at Seattle University Albers School of Business and Economics and the Trade Development Alliance of Greater Seattle.
Aaron teaches seminars on entrepreneurship and international business development, and he regularly lectures on the role of the private sector in nation recovery and reconstruction. He served as a delegate to the United Nations World Summit in 2005 and continues to advise world leaders on economic, technology, and trade development issues. Connect with Aaron on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Steven E. Drake, Executive Vice President and Corporate Secretary
As executive vice president and corporate secretary of ROI3, Inc., Steve Drake oversees the company's marketing, communications and public affairs.
He also serves as principal of Steven Drake Associates, LLC, a communications consulting firm which provides corporations, small businesses, non-profit organizations and government agencies with targeted, expert and cost-effective communications, marketing and business development strategy and implementation.
Drawing on his more than 25 years of experience developing and leading strategic, global communications programs for some of the world’s most recognizable and influential organizations, Drake provides services designed to help ROI3 and his Steven Drake Associates clients effectively communicate with audiences most important to their success, influence or reinforce perceptions and opinions, and achieve their organizational objectives.
Before launching Steven Drake Associates, L.L.C., in 2003, Steve Drake held senior executive positions in the corporate and public relations agency sectors. As vice president, communications with Laureate Education, Inc., formerly Sylvan Learning Systems, Inc., Drake built and managed the first comprehensive corporate communications function for the $1 billion, then-publicly traded global provider of education services. His responsibilities included oversight and direction for Laureate’s marketing communications, public affairs/government relations, investor relations, and charitable giving activities.
Drake also held positions of increasing responsibility with Fleishman-Hillard, Inc., one of the world’s largest and most-recognized public relations firms. There, over a 12-year span, he served the marketing and public affairs needs of clients in many sectors, including telecommunications, financial services, consumer products, transportation and retail. In the mid- to late-1990s, he launched and managed the firm’s presence in China, opening offices and serving clients in Beijing, Shanghai, and throughout Asia. Upon his return to Washington, DC, Drake directed Fleishman-Hillard’s international practice.
Drake has also held management positions with two small high technology marketing communications firms, and an account position with Ogilvy & Mather Public Relations.
He holds both a Master's and Bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Maryland, where he currently serves as an adjunct professor in the Department of Communication. He teaches, speaks and writes on a range of communications topics, including public relations in China, international public relations, and strategic thinking. Connect with Steve on LinkedIn.