Our Team

The Ibex Group consists of independent professionals based in strategic locations, who are flexibly assembled to address the specific requirements of each project or transaction.

Each of our team has achieved a level of experience and distinction in multiple and complementary disciplines. This diversity enhances our ability to address a broad range of complex challenges faced by clients in various market sectors and across all regions.


Jody Daniel Newman

Chief Executive Officer
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Mr. Newman has served more than 25 years as a business advisor, P&L executive, in-house general counsel, and outside legal counsel, working with some of the world’s most globally oriented companies.


He has led cross-functional teams on projects and transactions on-the-ground in more than 100 countries, covering:

  • Developed & competitive markets

  • Emerging & liberalizing markets

  • Highly restrictive, monopolistic markets

  • Non-rule-of-law countries.

He serves as a business advisor to:

  • Prepare companies for rapid scaling, new market entry, and capital investment

  • Structure & negotiate customer and channel deals, joint ventures, strategic partnerships

  • Craft simple, clear, airtight contracts of all types in all jurisdictions 

  • Qualify & manage local counsel on behalf of clients.

Since founding the Ibex Group in 2003, he has advised boards, CEOs, and senior leadership at organizations of all sizes and across many sectors, including:

  • IoT, artificial intelligence, machine learning

  • Open source software, SaaS, mobile apps

  • Satellite antenna systems

  • Wireless networks, telecommunications

  • Equipment manufacturing

  • Agriculture, coffee & tropical commodities

  • Impact investments & economic development projects

  • Travel & air transportation

  • Digital media & entertainment production

  • Intellectual property & patent monetization

  • Digital banking & electronic cross-border remittances

Prior to the Ibex Group, he held commercial and legal positions in several multinational companies.

Group Vice President, International Development

Equant NV (now Orange Business Services)

  • Head of new markets, partnering, and channel sales for world's largest global communications provider to MNCs, govts, NGOs.

  • Launched company's first business unit to secure operating authority and expand business in 200+ countries.

  • Closed dozens of highly accretive, industry-first agreements with dominant technology providers and government ministries.


General Counsel

Equant Network Services (now Orange Business Services)

  • Chief legal & regulatory officer on original team who propelled company from startup through exit—$200M Morgan Stanley private placement, $800M NYSE IPO, $8B SPOs, $3B annual revenue, $25B market cap, CAC 40, and acquisition by France Telecom (now Orange).

  • Closed scores of strategic customer and partner contracts.

  • Negotiated complex operating licenses with govt officials.

  • Launched & built team of 25+ legal & regulatory experts.

  • Executed structure and intra-corporate agreements to manage 10,000 staff, operations, and assets in 200+ countries.


Senior Legal Advisor

SITA (Société Internationale de Télécommunications Aéronautiques)

  • Corporate counsel for $1.7B information technology provider to airline and travel sectors.



Squire Patton Boggs

  • Telecoms regulation, litigation, and legislation at law firm with 45 offices in 20 countries.



  • J.D., with distinction, University of Iowa. Associate Editor, Iowa Law Review.

  • M.A., Political Science, University of Iowa, with Georgetown University.

  • B.A., Economics & Political Science, University of Iowa, with Central College (Yucatán, Mexico) & College of William & Mary.


Garold (Gerry) LaRue II

Senior Advisor, Coffee, Cacao, and Tropical Agriculture
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For more than 30 years, Mr. LaRue has led projects in food security, food safety, product design, supply chain processing, and quality control in developed and emerging markets.

Demonstrated success in building cross-cultural relationships and introducing practical business solutions to increase sales, compatible with established industry practices.

An innovative and versatile team player, both in the USA and Latin America. Fluent in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and reads French.

Managing Director

  • Yucapuca, LLC  2014 – Present (Forth Worth, TX)

  • Initiatives supporting low-production farmers in rural areas of Latin America

  • Industry advisory for governmental and non-governmental organizations

Executive Vice President, Development
Voyava Republic, LLC  2006 – 2014 (Houston, TX)
Developed licensing programs for fortification of roasted coffee
Industry advisory for growers, operators, roasters, retailers across the supply chain

Director of Operations
Coffee Quality Institute (CQI)  2004 – 2006 (Long Beach, CA)

  • Co-managed USAID-funded program for Central America and Dominican Republic.

  • Introduced coffee industry measurement standards.

  • Initiated 1st time joint participation of coffee grower associations from five Central American countries in an international trade delegation: trade mission to Japan and Singapore representing $330 million dollars in specialty coffee sales.

  • Developed coffee blends (Citavo®, JavaRama®) for US national distribution with various market segments and popular blends in Mexico and Central America (1820®, Café Britt®, and Café La Selva®).

  • Developed industrial drying application for coffee dry mill, utilizing solar patio drying in the Sébaco region of Nicaragua. Annual national savings in petroleum and timber burning dryers equivalent to .56 million equivalent barrels of petroleum per harvest.


  • Executive M.B.A., St. Mary's College of California

  • B.S., Food Science Engineering, University of Florida


Shawna Butler

Associate, Medical & Health Innovation
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Ms. Butler is a nurse economist and technology enthusiast. She currently serves as EntrepreNURSE-in-Residence at Radboud University Medical Center in The Netherlands. She also is part of the Exponential Medicine team at Singularity University.


She specializes in bringing the clinical, practical, and human sensibilities of a nurse to work with early-stage ventures, large-scale enterprises, and emerging and converging technologies. In doing so, she leverages a unique ability to find and activate the mavericks and projects with a serious chance of delivering better health, experience, and value.


Her diverse portfolio of projects includes:


  • Implementing an enterprise-wide digital radiology solution;

  • Creating an international emergency medicine training rotation between a U.S. medical school and a New Zealand hospital system;

  • Producing a global competition for oncology-focused startups; and

  • Activating nurses as digital health leaders and innovators.


Her clinical experience includes emergency, cardiac, critical care, international medical flight transport, and workplace wellbeing.


Ms. Butler serves as an advisor to a variety of local, national, and global initiatives including: Food+City, End Well, Dutch Health Innovation School, SXSW Accelerator, MassChallenge Texas, Impact Pediatric Health, Nursing Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Northeastern University, and Austin Chamber Music Center.



  • M.B.A., summa cum laude, University of North Carolina, Cameron School of Business.

  • B.S.N., summa cum laude, Catholic University, Washington, D.C.


Jim Forbes

Senior Advisor, Technology, Media, and Telecom
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Mr. Forbes is a telecommunications executive focused on creating and operationally implementing corporate strategy for highly competitive global technology & telecommunications companies. His versatile background spans business strategy, go-to-market execution, product development, technology partnerships, and mergers & acquisitions (due-diligence and integration).

His engagements include publicly traded B2B & B2C telecom brands (Arris, Internap, Telstra) an AT&T MVNO, and ventured-backed technology startups.

He served as Corporate Vice President of $3 billion global internet & data provider, Equant (acquired by France Telecom). Previously, Jim was President of a Cable & Wireless acquisition, Vice President of a Metropolitan Fiber Systems startup division, and General Manager of startup operation for MCI International.

Mr. Forbes is currently a board member of the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG), Corporate Development, a C-level forum on VC/PE and M&A.

He has spoken at industry conferences (Wall Street Technology Association, Telephony Live Summit, CompTel, Cisco Systems, TAG) and presented to state & federal regulatory agencies regarding M&A matters.


  • B.A., Communication, University of Georgia


Shy Blick

Associate, Software Development, AI, Machine Learning
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Mr. Blick is an accomplished technology pioneer and entrepreneur. For more than 25 years, he has led technology research, design projects, and cross-border development teams in small and large companies. He has earned a reputation as a thought leader in artificial intelligence (AI) and the internet protocol interconnectivity space.

He has produced technological innovation that has delivered strong financial returns and strategic impact for global companies, as well as for multiple startups, where he served as founder or co-founder. His expertise spans the areas of AI, machine learning, data gathering, and data normalization. He is a co-inventor of several patents in the “big data” sector.

Mr. Blick’s technology and entrepreneurial pursuits have spanned multiple industries, including:

  • Travel —Chief Technology Officer, LF Technology—built the normalization technology assets and AI infrastructure, which the company uses to interconnect with a multitude of common and obscure travel suppliers.

  • Finance—Founder & CEO, D.C. Tech Financials—built company from startup to successful exit. Built generic high-frequency trading (HFT) and algorithm trading (AT), which were ground-breaking functionalities, and first off-the-shelf financial algo-trading system. System was used by multiple financial institutions around the world, including Alliance Capital Bank and ING Bank in Spain. Previously, Senior Software Engineer, E*Trade– developed company’s first mutual funds trading system and led the team that built the first foreign exchange interconnectivity system.


  • Telecom —R&D Manager, Amdocs—led implementation of protocol conversion system allowing Southwestern Bell (now AT&T), Orange, KTF, Vodaphone, and other large telcos to service customers, suppliers, and remote dealers using an auto-translating, cross legacy system. Previously, Head of Software Development, Golden Lines—spearheaded infrastructure of various systems to manage telecom billing, switch controls, AI-enabled call routing, and agent/affiliate clearing.


  • E-Commerce—Software Manager, Blue Square—developed robotic warehouse and warehouse system and implemented “white hat” security assessment to protect company against credit card fraud.


  • Marketing/Advertising —Founder & CEO, Wiser Solutions—invented Business Intelligence (BI) crawling system and Internet Protocol Converter to enable “evolutionary algorithm engine” to gather user reviews and comments and assess user sentiment.


  • Investments —Investment & technology advisor to Wiser Investments, a US$200M family office investment fund focused on technology for travel, hotels, and casinos.


He was awarded an O-1A visa in the United States for individuals deemed to have extraordinary ability or achievement and who have been recognized in nationally or internationally in a particular discipline.