Management Team

D. Sean McEwen (Chairman/CEO - KonaTel)

Mr. McEwen founded KonaTel in 2014 as a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) providing wireless voice and data services. Prior to creating KonaTel, from 2010 to 2013, he served as an executive management consultant to international MVNOs in the U.S., Peru, Croatia, Serbia and China, providing expertise in the areas of telecommunications technology procurement & deployment. From 2010 to 2011, Mr. McEwen also served as a founding board member of the exchange traded fund One Fund (NYSE: ONEF).

In early 1983, Mr. McEwen co-founded Online Data Corp, and through a series of acquisitions/mergers, the company eventually became TriTech Software Systems. From 1983 to 1990, TriTech developed enterprise software applications for numerous companies, including E. F. Hutton Life Insurance, Travel Lodge Hotels, Foodmaker (Jack in the Box restaurants), AT&T, and Visa’s Plus Systems national ATM network. In 1990, TriTech evolved into an enterprise application and systems integration company specializing in telecommunications-oriented mission critical software solutions for public safety (Police, Fire, EMS). TriTech’s flagship product, VisiCAD, was the world’s first 9-1-1 emergency dispatching system based solely on Microsoft technology with integrated GPS based tracking and predictive routing technology.

In 1995, TriTech won Microsoft’s Most Innovative Windows Application award, and in 1998, TriTech was named to the Inc. 500 as the 344th fastest growing privately-held company in the United States. Mr. McEwen served as Vice President of TriTech from 1983 to 1988, President from 1988 to 1996, Chairman/CEO from 1996 to 2000 and finally served as a member of the Board of Directors until successfully exiting the company when controlling interest was sold to Westview Capital Partners in 2006.

Brian Riffle (CFO)

Mr. Riffle is a Certified Public Accountant with over 35 years of experience in various industries. He is the Managing Partner of a Certified Public Accounting firm and his industry experience has included retail, healthcare, financial services, cloud computing and telecommunications. He has also served as a master’s level college accounting instructor since 1994.

Mr. Riffle holds certifications in several popular accounting system packages and cloud-based software applications, and he has implemented accounting systems and industry-specific operational software solutions for over 200 companies. He has served as KonaTel’s corporate accountant since 2014 and CFO since becoming a publicly traded company in December 2017.

Mr. Riffle earned a B.A. in Accounting from the University of Pittsburg and became a Certified Public Accountant in 1987.

Joshua Ploude (CEO - Apeiron)

Mr. Ploude is the CEO and co-founder of Apeiron Systems, and since 2013, he has been responsible for defining the company’s product vision and operational strategy. Apeiron became a wholly owned subsidiary of KonaTel on December 31, 2018. He has worked directly with software, hardware and carrier network vendors to oversee the development of Apeiron’s product set. He also works with internal software development teams to ensure Apeiron’s software provides the requisite function to support product and operational initiatives.

Prior to founding Apeiron, Mr. Ploude has led the planning and construction of other national Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (CLEC) and Internet Service Provider (ISP) facilities-based networks since 2001. He has also managed multiple greenfield network deployments (i.e., a new network where no previous network existed) across various wire-line and wireless network infrastructures.

From 1999 to 2005, he served as CTO of PCS1/Datavo, a facilities-based CLEC serving a California-wide footprint. From 2006 to 2010, he served as President/CEO of Ethos Communications, a consultancy assisting CLECs and ISPs with operational and technology development. From 2010 to 2013, Mr. Ploude served as CTO of TNCI, a facilities-based CLEC & ISP, serving a 48-state national network.

Mr. Ploude holds a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from UCLA and a Master of Science in Telecommunications Management from Golden Gate University.

Nicholas Metherd (Vice President - IM Telecom d/b/a Infiniti Mobile)

Mr. Metherd has over 15 years of operational and general telecommunications management experience. Mr. Metherd worked at T-Mobile for 7 years, becoming an Associate Director of Technical Care responsible for supervising over 140 customer service staff that processed/resolved an average of 250,000 service requests per month.

In 2013, Mr. Metherd joined TAG Mobile, a wireless Lifeline service provider, and worked with the company for over four years. While at TAG Mobile, Mr. Metherd served in various capacities, including customer service, agent sales support, software/network and billing system management, provisioning, Lifeline eligibility verification, inventory management and ensuring government/regulatory compliance across 32 states. He also served in multiple management roles including Director and Chief Operating Officer. During the height of TAG Mobile’s operations, Mr. Metherd supervised a team that was successfully provisioning an average of 31,000 new Lifeline eligible enrollments and activations per month, with a cumulative total of 1.6 million during his tenure.

Mr. Metherd joined KonaTel in 2017 and managed KonaTel’s Lifeline distribution program through which KonaTel helps distribute the Lifeline services of eligible telecommunications carriers. After KonaTel acquired IM Telecom, Mr. Metherd assumed the role of Director of Operations for IM Telecom. Mr. Metherd was recently promoted to the role of Vice President for IM Telecom and is now responsible for overseeing all day-to-day operations including indirect (agent) sales management, e-commerce sales, customer service, software billing system management, and eligibility verification for new Lifeline applicants.

Paul LaPier (Vice President of Finance)

Mr. LaPier has over 20 years of experience working for a variety of telecommunications companies with revenues ranging from $1 million to $23 billion. Throughout his career, Mr. LaPier has held management positions in different capacities including regulatory compliance, Lifeline operations, finance, accounting, taxation, and billing. Immediately prior to joining IM Telecom, Mr. LaPier served as Finance Manager-Regulatory Fees/Taxes for British Telecom Americas.

Prior to British Telecom, Mr. LaPier served for over 4 years as Chief Financial Officer, then President, of US Connect, a regional wireless Lifeline ETC. While at US Connect, Mr. LaPier oversaw all Lifeline operations and the activation/management of over 50 thousand lines of Lifeline service. Prior to joining US Connect, Mr. LaPier was Financial Controller of dPi Teleconnect, a regional prepaid wireline service provider. While at dPi, Mr. LaPier led the creation of the financial and reporting platform for dPi Mobile, which later became the Lifeline carrier TAG Mobile.

Mr. LaPier has held other telecommunications-related management positions across several regional and national general telecom carriers, including Director of Taxes & Regulatory Reporting at Sage Telecom, a regional competitive local exchange carrier. While at Sage, his responsibilities included overseeing all telecom tax compliance, regulatory compliance across 12 states, and end user billing for 200,000 customers. At VarTec Telecom and Excel Telecommunications, both national long-distance service providers, Mr. LaPier served as Director of Taxes & Regulatory Reporting. Mr. LaPier has also served as a telecommunications / technology tax consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Mr. LaPier holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from The University of Texas at Austin.