Our 200 + engineers work hand in hand with our team to deliver
custom integrated solutions.
Co-Founder & Managing Partner
Mr. Huffman has over two decades of experience as an entrepreneur. Most recently, he was a Co-Founder and Principal of Ascendance Partners. Ascendance Partners is a Chicago-based real estate private equity firm, established in 2006, focused on commercial real estate investment in metropolitan Chicago. Ascendance has sponsored institutional real estate funds for foundations, endowments, pension funds, family offices and high net worth individuals. Prior to Ascendance, Mr. Huffman worked in diverse senior management roles in the sectors of entrepreneurship, education, non-profit and politics. Notably, Mr. Huffman served as the Assistant Treasurer for two re-election campaigns of Illinois State Senator Barack Obama and he was also a fellow in the 2000 class of Leadership Greater Chicago. Mr. Huffman holds a B.A. from Morehouse College, a master’s degree and an MBA from the University of Chicago.
Co-Founder & Managing Partner
Mr. Kenney is an established entrepreneur, business builder, and economic development expert in the Northern Indiana area. He is the owner and Founder of 504 Redevelopment, LLC, a real estate development firm committed to advancing the urban landscape, a Managing Partner of Advance Energy, LLC , a multi-million dollar fuel supply business that supplies fuel to Midway and O’Hare airports in Chicago. He is considered one of the pioneers in the ongoing redevelopment of Gary, Indiana. Vance is an active speaker and influential business leader. Mr. Kenney holds a B.A. from Northeastern Oklahoma State College.
Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer
Mr. Diamond has over 2 decades of experience launching and leading technology companies. He has been instrumental building and scaling several technology businesses on a global scale, specifically companies with recurring revenue models. Notably, he was a founding team member of Capital IQ in New York City, scaling from pre-revenue, now generating in excess of $1B in annual recurring revenue. Mr. Diamond has held executive leadership roles at Morningstar, managing a global division with +500 full time employees, while driving exponential growth. Mr. Diamond is an active advisor and board member to many private technology firms in the Europe and the U.S. and holds a B.A. from Gustavus Adolphus College.
Ms. Vargas brings over seven years of experience in politics, education and business. A native of the South Side of Chicago, Ms. Vargas recently served as Chief of Staff to Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer. In this role, she managed Commissioner Gainer’s office and she served as the lead on legislation that impacted thousands of individuals and families in Illinois. Legislation drafted by Ms. Vargas was featured in the Chicago Tribune, Crain’s Chicago Business and the New York Times. In addition to Commissioner Gainer’s office, Ms. Vargas’ professional experience includes work for the University of Chicago’s Office of Civic Engagement and work as an independent political consultant. She currently serves on the board of directors for the non-profits Mujeres Latinas En Accion, in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood, and the National Diversity Advisory Council for the American Red Cross in Washington, D.C. Ms. Vargas received her Bachelor’s Degree in International Studies and Business Administration from DePaul University in Chicago.
Chief Technology Advisor
Mr. Wampler is a technology entrepreneur with over 30 years of experience designing, building, advising and implementing information technology solutions to Fortune 500 companies. He has served as Netrix’s CTO for 14 years, and has direct management of their Data Center Solutions business. Jeff is an industry renowned expert in all things network operations and implementation.
Christie Hefner is a seasoned professional with more than thirty years’ experience at executive levels in both public and private companies, as well as multiple company directorships. Presently, her portfolio consists of advisory work for a company with patents to convert CO2 and methane to biodegradable plastic and artificial leather, a company that owns 30 newspapers and four TV stations, and a cannabis company. She also serves as Chairman of the Board of Hatchbeauty Brands and on the Advisory Board of the Offutt Companies, a multi-billion dollar agricultural conglomerate.
Previously, Christie served as Chairman and CEO of Playboy Enterprises for 20 years making her the longest serving female CEO of a publicly traded company. Under her leadership, the company was transformed into an international multi-media, brand driven company. She was one of the founders of both The Chicago Network and the Committee of 200, and is a member of Women Corporate Directors and National Association of Corporate Directors.
Steve Dress is Partner/Managing Director of Netrix, LCC where he is responsible for the strategic and operational planning and execution for U.S. and global entities. He has a 30-year track record in the technology industry beginning with PC Magazine as a District Manager for the Central Region and Canada. He founded Midland Solutions Group in Chicago, IL in 1993 and is an expert in mid-market business consulting around IT operations and logistics including collaboration, security and compliance. He received his B.B.A. from University of Iowa.
Mr. Porrello brings over 40 years of experience in technology strategy, technology implementation and cyber security. Ken currently serves on the board of SteelCloud, LLC, a leading provider of cyber security solutions to the Federal sector. Ken chairs the Board of Advisors of the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University and serves as Executive Director of the CEO Perspectives program, a pre-eminent leadership development experience for senior executives of Fortune 500 and equivalent companies. Previously, Ken served for 30 years as a member of Deloitte Consulting, where he served in a number of executive roles in the US and India.
Matt has over 15 years of experience working with emerging business models and strategic implementations at the highest level of both the public and private sector, internationally and domestic. Matt’s skillset lies in understanding complex relationships and restrictions that exist in developing and deploying new business systems that rely heavily on rapidly developing, new technologies. Prior to joining Dandelion and founding Antonym, he advised and worked in various strategy and client management roles in government and private organizations such as United Talent Agency (UTA), Warner Brothers, Derby County F.C., The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, STATS Inc, and ThyssenKrupp.