The Directors

Meet our directors at Defend Your Head.

John Roman, Chairman

John Roman enjoyed an impressive career as a professional football player followed by more than two decades as a successful financial services executive. John spent seven seasons as an offensive lineman for the New York Jets, (1976–1983), after playing for one year for the Philadelphia Bell, part of the original World Football League. In 1983, he received the Menorah Sports Award given to the most outstanding Jet.

Prior to his current role, John served as a management consultant for Arin Risk Advisors, LLC (Conshohocken, PA), where the firm’s assets under management rose 100% in one year under his sales leadership. John was also founder and managing director of Whitford Capital Advisors, LLC (Malvern, PA), an investment advisor representative firm. Prior to that he served as President and Director of Global Marketing for Valley Forge Capital Advisors Inc. (Malvern, PA), a SEC Registered Investment Advisor providing institutional asset management to diverse distribution channels, where he successfully led the firm through a $746 million asset expansion. Earlier, John served as President of mutual fund provider Quaker Funds Inc.; President of mutual fund Penn Street Funds; and Executive Vice President of the Wealth Management division of the Bryn Mawr Trust Company.

John began his financial services career at Merrill Lynch Trust Company where he rose to the position of President stationed in Somerset, NJ.

John graduated from Idaho State University with a Bachelor of Science in Education. He received the ISU Professional Achievement Award and was inducted into the ISU Sports Hall of Fame, in addition to being named to several Big Sky Conference teams during his college years.

Anthony “Tony” Furnari, Director

Anthony “Tony” Furnari is a Managing Member of RDA Ventures, LLC, an investment firm that invests as principal or lead investor in diverse companies and projects. Since 1993, RDA and its affiliated entities and investors have invested in more than 30 companies and situations focusing on identifying management talent and partnering with management to develop a shared vision to create or enhance enterprise value.

RDA’s principals have extensive background in private equity investments, senior debt placement, mortgage procurement, mezzanine and high yield financing’s, mergers and acquisitions, liquidation and bankruptcy reorganizations and restructuring. Typically, RDA invests between $1 million to $20 million in any one company or situation at any stage of development, from start-up through expansion. Tony was also an executive in charge of sales and operations for one of RDA’s earliest investments, a company dealing exclusively in the business of telecommunication.

Prior to RDA, Tony managed the Mid-Atlantic region for a national printing manufacturer and computer supplies corporation, responsible for growing the sales force and increasing the company’s sales and profits. Tony became an active member of the Village of Roslyn Harbor;s Planning Board, overseeing issus involving zoning, variances and property rights. Tony is also the founder of a charitable organization, Twins for Education (TFE), which provides tuition, books and uniforms for primary and secondary school students in Zimbabwe, Africa. Tony is responsible for TFE’s quarterly review of progress reports, assessments, selection of qualified recipients, and allocation of funds. Tony is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park.

Frank Lytle, Director

Mr. Lytle has enjoyed an extensive career in Furniture and Technology sales. He was one of the founders of Protective Sports Equipment International, Inc., which was recently, renamed Defend Your Head. Mr. Lytle has also demonstrated a penchant for recognizing a unique idea or product and developing that opportunity into a commercial success. His experience ranges from innovation and design to product launch and market development.

Mr. Lytle has also managed sales teams (i.e. Finger-Works) and guided multiple companies (i.e. Kimball International) from their incubation stage into profitable going concerns. He started his career as Sales & Marketing Manager for Hardwood House. He grew Hardwood House sales from $2.2 million to over $18 million. Later he started his own independent rep group in upstate New York that successfully increased many companies’ sales (5 companies) from zero to over $3 million. In 1993 he developed the REASONS panel system in conjunction with a company named Transwall. This product line was launched in 1994 and sales grew to $11 million in 1997. In 1998 Kimball International bought Transwall and Frank’s intellectual property for the REASONS product line. Frank was retained as a consultant and worked for the President of Kimball in investigating office trends of the future.

Through the years Mr. Lytle has worked with The Work Place of the Future at Carnegie Mellon, MIT, with Alan Hedge at Cornell University and assisted in the last written booklet of BOSTI (Buffalo Organization of Social and Technological Innovation).

Glenn Tilley, Director

Glenn Tilley brings over 30 years of leadership experience in sports and entertainment marketing, and management. Glenn, most recently, is the Founder and CEO of The Champions Network (Baltimore, MD), a business acceleration firm. It’s mission is to accelerate the growth of companies with products and services that make a positive difference in the lives of athletes and families in the sports, health and wellness spaces.

Prior to these roles, Glenn was President and CEO of Ripken Baseball Inc., a baseball management and sports marketing firm that owns and operates minor league baseball teams, operates youth tournaments, camps, and clinics, and manages the marketing direction of the Ripken brand. In that role, Glenn led an organization-wide transformation that resulted in significant revenue growth, debt reduction, and the repositioning and expansion of the Cal Ripken, Jr. brand on a national level. Glenn’s leadership led the alignment of the Ripken Mission with all business growth initiatives. Previously, Glenn served as President and CEO of The Becker Group, transforming a niche Christmas decor company into a nationally recognized entertainment and experiential marketing company with clients including The Walt Disney Company, Warner Brothers, The Discovery Channel, The Taubman Company and Simon Properties. Glenn grew Becker Group into an internationally recognized success where he led a successful acquisition of the company to Viad Corp. Earlier in his career, Glenn was an executive at sports management firms Shapiro and Robinson and Eastern Athletic Services, which managed professional athletes in baseball and football.

Glenn graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Political Science from Princeton University, where he was an All-Ivy League Football Player.

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