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Executive Team

Meet Praetorian's leadership team

Nathan Sportsman

As the Founder and CEO of Praetorian, Nathan is responsible for championing the vision, maintaining the culture, and setting the direction of the company. He also holds the additional duties of CTO, where he is responsible for overseeing the innovation and development engine of the company, keeping the firm well positioned to defeat the ever evolving cybersecurity threat.

Prior to bringing in professional management to help run the company, Nathan managed the day-to-day operations of the firm from its 2010 beginnings as a bootstrapped start-up to its current YoY hyper-growth. Since Praetorian’s founding, Nathan has successfully instilled a “customer first” mentality that has become part of the DNA of the company, which has led to unprecedented customer satisfaction reviews as reflected in a historical net promoter score of 86%. This reputation for delivering value to the customer has resulted in a three-year growth rate of 214%. Under Nathan’s leadership, the company has earned national recognition on the Inc. 5000 list multiple times, the Cybersecurity 500, CIO Top 20, and locally on Austin’s “Fastest 50” growing firms.

Prior to founding Praetorian, Nathan worked in various technical roles at industry-leading companies such as Sun Microsystems, Symantec, and McAfee. His experience has cross cut most industry sectors, and customers have ranged from Wall Street and Silicon Valley to government intelligence agencies and renowned educational institutions. Nationally recognized as a leader in the cybersecurity field, Nathan is a frequent public speaker, is a contributing author to the world's best-selling computer security book, Hacking Exposed, is a U.S. patent holder, and has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Texas at Austin (nationally ranked #5 for Computer Science and Engineering).

Nathan holds a BS in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.

Melissa Madsen

As Vice President of People, Melissa is responsible for the company’s human capital strategy. In this role, she leads the HR team to reinforce a strong company culture, create scalable employee engagement and development programs, and implement reward and talent management strategies that support the achievement of operational goals and objectives.

Prior to joining Praetorian, Melissa drove global Human Capital strategies for both startups and larger technology organizations. Given her passion for people and her out of the box approach, Melissa is a sought after speaker on topics ranging from scaling HR technology to employee experience and performance management..

Melissa holds an MBA from Vanderbilt and a Bachelor's from American University. In her off time, you can find Melissa on a lake or a trail with her dogs..

Chad Walters

As Vice President of Engineering, Chad is responsible for executing Praetorian’s product vision within engineering. In addition, Chad is responsible for recruiting top engineering and machine learning talent, while creating tools and processes to help the team succeed and grow.

A proven executive with 20 years of engineering experience, Chad joined Praetorian to buildout the product team, supported and funded by the company’s profitable professional services business. In his role, Chad continues to recruit top talent and scale Praetorian’s product team while guiding the firm’s engineering culture.

Throughout his career, Chad has led engineering teams and taken concepts from early idea to mature product for leading organizations, such as Amazon, Socialware, 21CT, and Civitas Learning. In addition, he has a successful track record of scaling high-performing engineering teams and guiding startups through hyper-growth.

Most recently, Chad was VP of Engineering at Civitas Learning where he was responsible for creating products that use machine learning techniques to predict student success in college. Chad scaled his team at Civitas from 14 to 82 people, while adding new engineering disciplines including QA, data QA, development management, and scrum master. Prior to Civitas, Chad was the VP of Engineering at 21CT where he was responsible for creating products that use machine learning techniques to find Medicare fraud.

Chad holds a BS in Computer Science from Vanderbilt University.

Ryan Macia

As Vice President of Finance, Ryan is responsible for all of Praetorian’s financial operations including business planning and analysis, accounting, audit and investor relations. In his role, he oversees the preparation of all financial reporting, identifies opportunities to improve unit economics, and leads the evolution and execution of the company’s long-term financial strategy.

Ryan has deep expertise developing and implementing scalable financial forecasting, reporting and budgeting processes with the goal of accelerating and maintaining sustainable cash flow and optimizing the allocation of capital in order to maximize value creation while minimizing risk.

Before joining Praetorian, Ryan served as the Director of Finance and Revenue Operations for TrendKite where he was responsible for managing all revenue-related activities across the company including sales, marketing, and customer success operations in addition to his traditional financial planning & analysis duties. Ryan has both buy-side and sell-side M&A experience and was most recently involved in facilitating the $225 Million acquisition of TrendKite by Cision Ltd in early 2019. Prior to this, Ryan was responsible for internal reporting, due diligence, transaction modeling and integration planning as a leader within the FP&A and Corporate Development teams at SolarWinds.

Ryan holds both a BBA in Accounting and MPA from the University of Texas at Austin.

David Bebko

Bringing more than 25 years of international marketing experience, David leads the marketing function for Praetorian. He is committed to driving incremental awareness and interest in the business through integrated brand communications, digital marketing, and exceptional customer experiences. David is passionate about delivering on Praetorian’s brand in ways that are relevant and beneficial to clients and prospects - ultimately leading to customer satisfaction and loyalty.

David’s career spans both startups and iconic brands including Google, IBM, and Coca-Cola. David’s functional experience spans both B2C and B2B marketing, communications, digital marketing, and social media. He is uniquely respected for his understanding of the evolution of marketing into our digital age, and is a frequent speaker on topics ranging from crowdsourcing to white hat/black hat marketing.

David holds a Master in Marketing Research from University of Georgia Terry College of Business, and a Bachelor of Science in Consumer Economics and Housing from Cornell University. In 2008, he completed the General Management Program at Harvard Business School.

With a passion for education, David has served on several boards, including the Culinary Institute of America, Singapore, the Harvard Business School Alumni Club of Singapore, and the MMR Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia.

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