Meet the Makara Team
We are a bunch of happy, hard-working people who are passionate about democratizing access to cryptocurrency.
Co-founder and CEO
Prior to Strix Leviathan and Makara, Jesse founded Blue Box, a cloud computing startup that he led to a successful acquisition by IBM. As an IBM Distinguished Engineer, Jesse was focused on blockchain and cryptocurrency. He currently serves on the board for the Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Washington. Jesse is an avid boater and holds a US Coast Guard 100 Ton Masters license.
Sadie previously served as Controller for Blue Box pre and post acquisition by IBM. She is part of the Female Founders Alliance and is a mentor for the Barcelona Technology Transfer Group. Sadie also serves on the board for Veriledger and is a member of the Strix Leviathan Nest Fund Investment Committee. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Pepperdine and her MBA from the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington, during which she attended the IE Business School in Madrid for an International MBA exchange. Sadie has two children, lives in Spain half of the year, and is an avid reader and traveler.
Nico Cordeiro is the co-founder of Makara and the Chief Investment Officer of Strix Leviathan, a systematic Hedge Fund trading the cryptocurrency markets. He built the Fund's trading system from the ground up, overseeing all of the Fund's activities including research, model development, risk management, portfolio construction, and trade execution. Nico earned a master's in finance from Seattle University and a bachelor's from the University of Washington. Prior to entering the investment world, he served in Iraq and Afghanistan in the US Army Infantry.
Co-founder and CTO
Vice President of Operations
Liz has over 11 years of experience in executive operations, contract review, and regulatory compliance, and over 10 years in the legal industry. Prior to Strix Leviathan and Makara, she was responsible for business operations at IBM’s regional executive office and was a member of the diligence team during the IBM acquisition of Blue Box. Liz is a certificated paralegal and has more than a decade of legal experience including compliance suits such as the McCleary v. Washington education case on constitutional funding, and earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington. She is an avid gardener and is a trained emergency volunteer for the City of Mercer Island.
Matt previously led business development at a boutique digital asset consulting firm and he held a variety of roles at IBM, including as a consultative sales lead within Watson Financial Services. He led operations for the Blackstone Group’s Hedge Fund unit’s London office, and evaluated mutual funds and hedge funds as an auditor at KPMG. Matt earned his MBA from the University of Washington, his Bachelor’s degree in Business-Accounting from UNLV, Lee Business School, and holds the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst designation (CAIA) and a Series 65 license. Matt is a fan of Michael Mann films, and has a cat named Edie.
Vice President of Marketing
Kelly has over 10 years of experience in marketing and strategy leadership roles. He began his career in politics, working on United States Senate campaigns, leading outreach and fundraising initiatives. After getting his MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he found his way into the world of financial services. He spent four years as Chief Marketing and Technology Officer at a regional credit union, leading go-to-market, analytics, and FinTech strategy. Prior to Makara, he consulted in the crypto space, providing market research and content strategy. When he’s not dreaming about how to lower customer acquisition costs or watching crypto YouTube videos, he’s spending time outside with his wife and two boys in Wisconsin.
Lead Backend Software Engineer
Markus is a 16-year software engineering veteran. He’s presented worldwide at conferences on mutation testing and is the creator of the Mutant mutation testing tool. He's an accomplished security researcher and prolific open source contributor. For the previous several years, he built complex FinTech systems in highly regulated environments. Markus is addicted to coding, and would do it for free, but don't tell anyone.
Senior Software Engineer
Martin is a developer with over 15 years of professional experience. From product development and various backoffice applications, he moved on to E-Commerce. He has no formal degree in CS, but ever since he got his hands on his first computer, has been keen on expanding his knowledge of programming and putting databases to use effectively. When not programming, he loves hanging out with friends and is doing his best to avoid pictures of himself on the internet.
Senior Software Engineer
Dan has over 2 decades of experience developing software and leading highly effective teams. He works primarily on web application development, and specializes in database design. Dan previously led development of a popular ruby ORM called DataMapper which was used by hundreds of companies and developers. His extensive open source contributions have earned him industry awards such as a Ruby Hero award. Dan enjoys flying and is currently earning his private pilot's license.
Director of Marketing
Cameron has over 15 years of experience in sales and marketing, and has founded three small companies, including a non-profit organization supporting the emergency medical service community and US Military Medical training. As owner of her own boutique consulting firm, Cameron has driven marketing and communications initiatives for companies ranging from military defense space technology to luxury travel. She has secured tens of millions of dollars in company investments, spearheaded channel partnerships to increase company earnings 100x, and specializes in creating GTM plans to fuel record setting sales. Cameron holds a B.A. in Communications and Advertising from the Edward R. Murrow School of Communications at Washington State University, and donates her time to Dress for Success, and can often be found frequenting local coffee shops with her judgy dog Dexter.
Vice President, Client Services
Prior to joining Makara, Matt co-founded Greenbits, a point-of-sale platform designed for highly regulated industries that raised over $48M in venture capital and was acquired in early 2021. He previously led operations at a high-growth digital agency that was acquired by Advance Publications in 2013. Matt earned his Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Idaho. Away from work he’s a diaper-changing, gravity-chasing, dice-rolling, switchback-climbing pretty relaxed family guy working remotely from Portland, Oregon.
Lead Frontend Software Engineer
Neil has been working on mobile applications since the early 2010’s starting with games and enterprise applications. He was an early adopter of React Native in 2016 after experiencing the struggles of building multiple mobile applications with a small team. Since then he has worked for Volkswagen and Stream leading development on large React Native projects that now run on tens of millions of devices. Neil lived for 9 years in Denmark after graduating from his alma mater, Northeastern University, in Boston. He now resides in Boulder, Colorado where he enjoys having more than a week of summer weather every year.
Senior Software Engineer
Adrien attended Bellevue Community College where he received an AA in Web Development and Computer Animation but his skills were mainly self-taught. Even as an engineer, Adrien has a strong passion with all things UI/UX - how things function, how things look aesthetically, and how something feels.
Adrien is a Seattle area native and is a huge local sports fan. He also has an addiction to sneakers.
Gregg previously served as Billing Coordinator and Financial Analyst for Blue Box Group. He was a member of the diligence team during the company's acquisition by IBM and assisted with the acquisition integration of the finance and operations systems.
Gregg stayed with IBM post-acquisition, eventually moving into a Product Manager role where he worked with Red Hat offerings on IBM Cloud. After that, Gregg joined the Makara team in late 2021. He lives in Manchester UK with his partner and their cat.
Marketing & Business Development
Jon grew up in the greater Seattle area where he played travel ice hockey for 15 years. Before going to work in the solar industry.
Jon comes from a background in project management working in the renewable energy industry in Southern California. Working directly with clients to make the shift from traditional utilities to owning their own solar systems. He is now back in Washington and working in marketing and business development departments at Makara.