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Riskpulse | Financial Dynamics


John R. Plavan Jr. (“JP”)

CEO & Chairman of the Board

Linked In

JP became CEO of EarthRisk in June of 2011 with a focus on propelling the company from a successful prototype stage into a market leading weather analytics company. He provides strategic leadership at EarthRisk, and is responsible for the company's business development efforts as well as nurturing productive relationships with our investors and stakeholders.

Prior to joining EarthRisk, JP and his partners founded venture capital group SEAR Technologies in 2008 to spur innovative developments and capitalize on developing opportunities in predictive analytics and observational data technologies. In addition to his "day job" at EarthRisk, and role with SEAR, JP has had a varied entrepreneurial career as the founder of P-Fleet, an integrated fleet electronic transaction processing and resource management provider throughout the U.S., a founding partner of MRV Systems, LLC, providing products and solutions for the marine research communities, a founding partner of Commercial Property Tax consulting firm RPC Property Tax Advisors, and a founding partner of Pacific Scene Capital, a real estate management and investment firm, all based in San Diego, CA. JP also has extensive experience in the petroleum products and distribution industry. After building Plavan Petroleum for more than 16 years, he sold the company in 2008 to enable a more focused hands-on approach with SEAR Technologies and its growing portfolio companies.

JP's passion is in helping to develop innovative solutions to unmet needs. But in his spare time, he also has a lot of fun with his young family in Point Loma -- in and on the water or on any given youth sports field. JP also enjoys vintage auto racing and uses his multi-IFR rated private pilot's license for extensive family and business travel.

JP has enjoyed a long tenure in the San Diego chapter of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and is currently the Chairman of the San Diego chapter of YPO. He and his wife Beth are actively involved in a variety of local charitable organizations including Voices for Children, Makua, and the Naval Special Warfare Foundation. He graduated from the University of California, San Diego with a bachelors degree in Quantitative Economics and Decision Sciences.



Stephen Bennett, J.D.


Linked In
Steve helped launch EarthRisk Technologies in 2010 and he remains an active and vested owner who closely mentors EarthRisk’s leadership team.  Steve is also Senior Vice President for Capital Markets Solutions at Verisk Climate where he drives innovation and performance for weather and climate-based analytics applied to Capital Markets.  Verisk Climate provides software, data, and analytics for enterprise climate risk management.
A veteran applying weather/climate data in commodities markets, Steve has expertise leading product innovations, forging industry and research collaborations, and building/nurturing talented teams. Before joining Verisk Climate, Steve was EarthRisk's President and Chief Science/Products Officer.
Prior to founding EarthRisk, Steve was the Executive Director of the Scripps Partnership for Hazards and Environmental Applied Research at UC San Diego.  Earlier, Steve was Director of Reinsurance Research at Citadel Investment Group where he also helped launch Citadel's Global Energy Trading business.  For nearly 20-years, Steve’s career has focused on linking atmospheric science, big data and technology to business decision-making for corporate risk management, product development, and investment portfolios as well the media.
Steve has a BS in Meteorology from the University of South Alabama and graduated Magna Cum Laude from The John Marshall Law School. He serves for the American Meteorological Society’s mentorship program as well the Weather Enterprise Economic Evaluation Team and the Financial Weather/Climate Risk Management Committee.  Steve chaired the AMS Energy Committee from 2009-2012.  Steve is also a technology and commercialization advisor for Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego.

Jon Davis

Meteorology Team Lead

Linked In

Jon leads EarthRisk’s forecasting operations and consulting services for energy and agriculture markets.  He drives our meteorology team to link forecast applications to client-based decisions.  He constantly strives for an in-depth understanding of each unique client’s sensitivity to weather.  Based in Chicago, Jon brings nearly 30 years of experience and is widely considered one of the foremost experts on the impact of weather and climate on global commodities.

In 2008, Jon was a founding “Research Partner” with the Scripps Partnership for Hazards and Environmental Applied Research at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego.  Jon and his team provided a significant contribution to the underlying technology that became EarthRisk Technologies in 2010.

Prior to joining EarthRisk, Jon spent a decade as Chief Meteorologist at Chesapeake Energy, the largest natural gas producer in the United States.  During his time at Chesapeake, Jon formed, built, and managed a four person team responsible for monitoring global weather/climate and its impact on energy and agriculture.  His team developed state of the art tools to aid in mid-range and intra-seasonal forecasting and applied them to energy and agricultural risk management.  His responsibilities at Chesapeake entailed support for hedging/basis trading and weather risk for operations and Environmental Health and Safety.  Jon’s team contributed to hedging gains that amounted to 9.2 billion dollars over 10-years.

Before he moved to Chesapeake, Jon spent 18 years on Wall Street in the commodity divisions within Citigroup, focusing on risk management in agriculture, energy, and the financial sectors

Jon was the founding chairman of the American Meteorological Society's Energy Committee and he remains an active member of AMS today.  He completed a BS in Meteorology at the University of Wisconsin in 1985.  Jon lives in Chicago with his wife and two children and continues to patiently wait for the Bears to win another Super Bowl…or 2, or 3!


David Margolin

Research Team Lead

Linked In

Dave provides the meteorological link between EarthRisk's customers and the company's analytic products. He develops EarthRisk's short-term research milestones and manages the internal research team.

Dave has been at the forefront of weather research and forecasting as applied to the energy markets since 2000. Prior to joining EarthRisk, he managed the U.S. Meteorology desk at Citadel Investment Group, one of the world's largest hedge funds, working with teams of investors on the equities and commodities markets. Dave's diverse accomplishments include creating forecast tools to predict severe freezes in Florida's citrus belt and profitable weather/natural gas trading strategies. While at Citadel, Dave's strong relationship-building skills enabled him to pool talent from highly regarded research and academic groups from around the world.

Prior to moving to Chicago to work at Citadel, Dave spent three years at Reliant Energy in Houston, TX where he supported power and natural gas trading. He also worked at The Weather Channel and AccuWeather where he gained experience in forecasting and communication.

Dave is committed to the meteorology community and is actively involved in the American Meteorological Society (AMS). Dave serves as a board member on the AMS Board of Private Sector Meteorologists (BPSM) and is the current manager of the BPSM Mentorship Program. Dave has been a mentor in the program for the past three years.

Dave completed his undergraduate meteorology degree in 1998 and then went on to receive his master's of science at Florida State University in 2000.


Mark Russo

Senior Weather Analyst

Linked In

Mark leverages his meteorological expertise to interpret EarthRisk’s streams of internal and external weather data.  He works within EarthRisk's meteorology team to develop forecasts for energy and agriculture markets.  Mark specializes in forecast applications that are unique to each customer and each market.  Mark’s consultative experience ensures a smooth link to client-based decisions.

Prior to joining EarthRisk, Mark co-founded and spent 10-years as a key member of the weather team at Chesapeake Energy where his duties included supporting the firm’s hedging, marketing, and operations units. In addition, he provided accurate and timely weather forecasts for high stakes commodity hedgers, traders, and analysts in agribusiness.  Prior to Chesapeake, Mark was a meteorologist with Citigroup/Smith Barney for over five years where his duties included weather impacts on the energy, agriculture, and retail sectors.

Mark began his weather studies at the University of Oklahoma before transferring to Northern Illinois University where he obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Meteorology in 1998.

Based in Chicago, Mark is active in the American Meteorological Society serving on the Energy committee, private sector mentorship program, and having been President of the Chicago Chapter.  Furthermore, he is a member of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Advisory Committee at Northern Illinois University.  He has also advised the National Academies of Science/National Research Council regarding NOAA weather and climate data and has given numerous presentations to energy and agriculture associations.  Mark resides in the western suburbs of Chicago with his wife and three children.


Jason Buchanan

Chief Financial Officer & Chief Software Architect

Linked In

Jason is a founding partner of EarthRisk Technologies and has served as the company's Chief Financial Officer and Chief Software Architect since the company's inception in 2010. As of June 2012, he joined EarthRisk in a full-time capacity and in his expanded role as EarthRisk's CFO, Jason oversees all fiscal activities for the company including revenue/expense, payroll and insurance. He is also EarthRisk's Chief Software Architect and he manages the design and implementation of the company's product vision.

Prior to coming to EarthRisk, Jason was a senior software engineer for Illumina, a genetic sequencing and biotechnology company in San Diego. He worked with Illumina's Laboratory Automation and Systems Integration as a team member developing laboratory information systems for genotyping and genetic sequencing.

Before IIlumina , Jason worked in enterprise document management, essentially "taking the paper out of business", at Kansas-based Perceptive Software. Jason also spent three years at Cerner Corporation implementing a radiology information system that allows radiologists and technicians to efficiently utilize digital radiology in a healthcare environment.

Jason is a Sun Certified Java Programmer with additional expertise in accounting, tax and small business finance. Jason received his Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of Arizona, with supplemental software engineering course work at the University of Maryland, College Park. He has completed "Biotech Demystified: The Science Behind the Business" and "Innovation to Market: From Engineer to Entrepreneur" at U.C. San Diego's Rady School of Management.


Arnold Yoon

Chief Technology Officer

Linked In

Arnold is a seasoned IT professional and technologist. Well-versed in software, hardware and infrastructure best practices, he uses critical thinking and problem solving skills to guide the technology strategy for EarthRisk.

Arnold has a degree in business from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with past experience including work with Abbott Laboratories and The Options Clearing Corporation in Chicago. Arnold was also a partner in a private IT consultancy in the Chicagoland area, serving a variety of professional industries.

Arnold is also the president of digital-telepathy, overseeing all operations and driving company initiatives to promote the success of all client projects.


Miles Starr

Customer Team Lead

Linked In

As EarthRisk Technologies' sales administrator, Miles develops prospects, maintains customer relationships and is the creative force behind the company's marketing efforts. He also works with the products/system analysis team where he oversees the quality assurance of the EarthRisk product suite.

Miles Starr received his bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Georgia in 2009 where he graduated with honors from the Terry College of Business. Following graduation, Miles was recruited by Amerisafe, Inc., a national leader in risk management/insurance for hazardous industries. Milesʼ territory included the entire southeastern U.S. and he is credited with generating over one million dollars in premium for the company.

While attending the University of Georgia, Miles was a four-year baseball letterman and a four time Academic All American. He also served as a team captain and helped lead the team to the College World Series twice in four years. In 2008, the Bulldogs advanced to the national championship, captured a Southeastern Conference (SEC) title, and had the second best finish in school history.


William Henry, MS

Analytics Team Lead

Linked In

Will researches mathematical and statistical methods to help EarthRisk Technologies further leverage the use of vast amounts of data and meteorological expertise. He codes statistical tools, models and algorithms to create data mining and analysis processes for the TempRisk platform. Will is also a member of the products/system analysis team where he verifies code for EarthRisk products.

Will Henry received a master's degree in applied mathematics at San Diego State University. His thesis investigated ratcheting behavior of soliton solutions to the non-linear Schrodinger equation in a perturbed potential. Will's master's curriculum has covered both stochastic and deterministic models of various kinds with an emphasis on numerical investigation of the model's behavior and characteristics. His main interest is real-world applications of mathematical investigation and is furthering his knowledge via courses in machine learning and artificial intelligence via Stanford's online continuing education program.

Will grew up in Central Oregon and moved to San Diego in 2002 for college. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Point Loma Nazarene University in 2005 and obtained a perfect score on the quantitative SAT and GRE. Will supported himself in school by starting a personal training business and performing classical guitar at weddings.


Kristen Guirguis, PhD

Science Advisor

Kristen's code, developed at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, was the original source of data for the TempRisk product suite. As a science advisor and a research collaborator, Kristen has been an integral part of EarthRisk since its inception.

Kristen is currently a visiting scientist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Her research focuses on prediction and predictability of weather and climate systems with an emphasis on extreme events. Her background is in environmental fluid dynamics and application of global and mesoscale models to study complex ocean-land-atmosphere processes.

She received her Ph.D. in 2009 from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Duke University.


Jason Cordeira, PhD

Science Advisor

Linked In

Jason "Jay" is a science advisor involved in assessment and development of research projects conducted by team members and research partners. He provides research support for new product development and works directly with EarthRisk's Director of Meteorology.

Prior to his connection with EarthRisk, Jay worked as a postdoctoral research associate through the National Research Council at the NOAA Earth Systems Research Lab Physical Sciences Division in Boulder, Colorado.

His postdoctoral research investigated far upstream precursors to extreme precipitation events along the U.S. West Coast in association with atmospheric rivers.

Jay received his MS and PhD in atmospheric science from the University at Albany studying a broad range of atmospheric phenomena in the area of synoptic-dynamic meteorology with a focus on short-term climate variability, weather-climate interactions, and extreme weather events.

Jason also holds an undergraduate meteorology degree from Plymouth State University.


Chuck Longanecker

Director at Earthrisk Technologies & CEO at digital-telepathy

Chuck is the founder and CEO of digital-telepathy, the company whose creative team designed the intuitive analytic interface of TempRisk. digital-telepathy is a vested and active partner in EarthRisk Technologies, and Chuck serves on the EarthRisk board of directors.

At digital-telepathy, Chuck applies his passion for technology and his entrepreneurial arsenal to design unique online business strategies and revenue models for client projects. Chuck also leads the charge of the dt brand as an advocate of social capital, karmic business, design for change and community.

His past experience includes emerging technology consulting during the dot com boom for Arthur Andersen and sealing deals for !hey inc with brands such as HP, Microsoft and Marriott. For better or worse, Chuck decided to start digital-telepathy from the ashes of the dot com bust in 2001 and has delivered 100%+ growth on an annual basis.

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