Meet Our Leadership Team

  • David DeStefano

    President, CEO and Chairperson of the Board

    David DeStefano has served as President and Chief Executive Officer since 2016, joined our board of directors in 2019, and was appointed Chairperson of our board of directors in 2020.

    David previously served as Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, and Executive Vice President. Prior to joining the Company, he was Principal and Vice President at The Mid Atlantic Companies, Ltd.

    David is also on the Advisory Board for Corporate Social Responsibility at the Satell Institute and the Board of Trustees of the Joseph Fund in Camden, New Jersey. He received a B.S. in Finance from Lehigh University.

  • John Schwab

    Chief Financial Officer

    As Chief Financial Officer, John is responsible for the development of company’s financial strategic objectives, mergers and acquisitions, and international strategies for expansion.

    John has deep experience in leading global finance teams, developing multi-channel business models, and creating alternate investment strategies. Prior to joining Vertex, John was Chief Financial Officer at Flagship Credit Acceptance. John started his career in assurance services at Arthur Andersen.

    He holds a B.S. in Accounting from LaSalle University and was a Certified Public Accountant.

  • Sal Visca

    Chief Technology Officer

    As Chief Technology Officer, Sal leads the company’s technology strategy, software engineering and innovation roadmap to accelerate growth. 

    He joined Vertex in 2021 after 30 years of technology and executive management expertise transforming and operating large-scale cloud software businesses. 

    Sal spent his early career at IBM as a software engineer, architect and then in executive roles developing the company’s e-commerce and middleware products. He has also held Chief Technology Officer roles at Elastic Path Software, Business Objects and SAP. 

    He holds a bachelor’s degree with honours in computer science from Western University.

  • Chris Jones

    Chief Revenue Officer

    As Chief Revenue Officer, Chris Jones is responsible for the strategy and execution of the organisation’s revenue generation operations. He leads the global sales, product, partnerships, consulting, and channel functions, and drives the go-to-market strategy to achieve the company’s targets.

    Chris has served in various sales, marketing, and leadership positions in the two decades he’s been at Vertex including Vice President of Global Sales where he helped to build both an international and SaaS sales team while growing and leading the entire tax technology sales organisation.

    Chris holds a B.S. in Marketing from Temple University.

  • Steve Hinckley

    Chief Operating Officer

    As Chief Operations Officer, Steve Hinckley is responsible for managing operations to achieve business goals, promote growth, and execute the company’s strategic vision leading the areas of Corporate IT, Tax Research, and the Customer Center of Excellence (COE).

    Steve has more than 25 years of executive leadership in the creation of global supply chain strategy, enterprise resource planning platforms, corporate operations, and client delivery management.

    Prior to joining Vertex, Steve held various leadership positions with IBM Global Business Services and the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Consulting Practice where he was a Partner in the Supply Chain & SAP Practice.

    He holds a B.S. in Finance from the University of Maryland.

  • Kate Shields

    Chief Customer Officer

    As Chief Customer Officer, Kate Shields leads customer experience, including customer success, support, and enablement. Kate provides leadership and guidance to the organisation to ensure that the customer is at the center of all strategic decisions and is focused on driving growth, retention, and customer satisfaction.

    Since joining Vertex in 2013, she has held several business and marketing leadership roles, including head of cloud line of business. Kate holds a B.S. in Management Information Systems and an MBA with a concentration in Marketing from Saint Joseph’s University.

  • Bryan Rowland

    Vice President & General Counsel

    Bryan Rowland is Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary responsible for all general corporate, information security, and transactional matters. In addition, he is responsible for corporate governance and advises leadership on critical business priorities including privacy, business strategy, and potential new markets.

    Bryan possesses a deep knowledge of business operations, security, and compliance in technology and the software industry. Previously he was Senior Vice President, General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer, and Corporate Secretary at Checkpoint Systems, Inc.

    Bryan holds a J.D. from Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law and a B.A. in Psychology and Philosophy from Towson University.

  • Jeff Foucher

    Chief Marketing Officer

    Jeff Foucher is Chief Marketing Officer responsible for leading all corporate brand, communications, product marketing, and demand generation teams. His passion for combining artful storytelling and data-driven marketing have accelerated the company’s go-to-market expansion and transformational growth.

    Previously, he held senior leadership positions in corporate, product and field marketing at CA Technologies (now Broadcom). Earlier in his career, Jeff honed his marketing chops with AT&T and at advertising agencies Y&R and McCann-Erickson where his client roster included IBM, AT&T and General Motors.

    Jeff holds a B.A. in Communications from the University of Michigan.

  • David Henkin

    Chief Innovation Officer

    David is Chief Innovation Officer and leads the company’s Strategy & Innovation Board. This group’s cross-disciplined focus on our strategies, markets, technologies, ecosystems, and people is responsible for advancing strategic initiatives through the incubation and accelerated delivery of new, innovative technologies that drive global commerce.

    David has been recognised for his expertise in team leadership, people development, and relationship management. David has led the development of multiple lines of business at Vertex including the Public Cloud solution, as well as the Managed Services Outsourcing business. Prior to joining Vertex, David was Chief Operating Officer at Coates Analytics LP.

    David received an M.B.A. from Villanova University, an M.A. from the City College of New York, and a B.S. from the University of Maryland. He is a noted author and an adjunct faculty member at Villanova University School of Business and serves as a coach for senior executives who are Villanova students and alumni.

  • Venkatesh Jayaraman

    Vice President, Commercial Software Engineering

    Venkatesh Jayaraman is the Vice President of Commercial Software Engineering responsible for providing strategic direction and technical leadership for the entire software engineering organisation including user experience (UX). He is also responsible for the Agile product management organisation (PMO), Cloud Operations, and Systems Automation areas of the company.

    Venkatesh is a senior technology and software development executive with over two decades of industry experience and an extraordinary record of success in technical leadership, cross-functional product development, and software architecture. Prior to joining Vertex, Venkatesh was in various leadership roles at Citrix Systems and Motorola where he led Agile and cloud transformation across the core engineering and product development organisations. He is experienced in Lean-Agile practices and has a proven record of building business agility while managing large scale enterprise organisations across multiple geographies.

    Venkatesh holds a Master's degree in Engineering Management from University of Florida, Gainesville, and a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from India’s National Institute of Technology.

  • Michael Davis

    Chief Tax Strategy Officer

    Michael Davis is the Chief Tax Strategy Officer responsible for advancing the company’s business and technology strategies to enable next-generation corporate tax transformation.

    Michael joined Vertex from Nestlé Holdings, Inc. where, as Vice President and Corporate Officer, he had extensive experience in tax planning, compliance, audit controversy, provision, and operations, as well as tax data management.

    During his career at Nestlé, he led the team that built the first digital corporate tax department, which has been recognised for its industry-leading best practices for automation and standardisation of global platforms.

    Michael holds a B.S. in finance from the University of Bridgeport; and an MBA in accounting and Post Graduate Certificate in taxation from the University of New Haven. He is also a member of the Business Advisory Council and executive director of the Executive MBA (EMBA) program at the University of New Haven.

  • Ben Askin

    Chief Information Officer

    Ben Askin is Chief Information Officer, responsible for enterprise technology strategy, security, data analytics, and digital transformation, using cognitive solutions and data insights across the organisation to advance the delivery of value to customers.

    Ben has more than 25 years of consulting and organisational management experience with small to large enterprise-sized clients in a variety of leading industries, primarily involving business innovation, strategy, and large-scale technology enablement.

    Ben earned a B.S. in Business and Finance from the University of Maryland College Park and is also the founder of the Heroes Youth Baseball and Basketball Club, dedicated to the development of well-rounded youth through positive sports competition.

  • Lisa Butler

    Chief Accounting Officer

    Lisa Butler became Chief Accounting Officer in 2020 and leads the company’s accounting operations having previously served as Chief Financial Officer from 2015 to 2019.

    Lisa's expertise is in accounting and finance operations, including risk management and internal controls reporting. Prior to joining Vertex, Lisa was a Controller at Kenexa (now an IBM company). She started her career in assurance services at PwC serving both private and public companies.

    Lisa is a member of the Society of Professional Women (SPW), founded by the Main Line Chamber of Commerce. Lisa received a B.S. in Accounting from LaSalle University, is a Certified Public Accountant, and a member of both the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

  • Rebecca Polley

    Vice President, Global Operations

    Rebecca Polley is Vice President of Global Operations responsible for leading the company’s international go to market activities to drive growth and expansion into new regions around the world, including business development and strategic partnerships.

    Rebecca has extensive experience in business management and finance for SaaS and B2B software and services companies. Prior to joining Vertex, Rebecca held financial leadership roles in Europe with German and U.S. multinationals in the technology sector, including Vice President at SAP in Walldorf, Germany.

    Rebecca holds a B.B.A. in Accounting from Southern Methodist University. She is a Certified Public Accountant and is a member of Financial Executives International (FEI) and the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA).

  • Uwe Sydon

    Vice President, Product Management

    As Vice President of Product Management, Uwe Sydon is responsible for driving the product vision for the company, including a strategic, global product portfolio, as well as line of business management.

    Uwe has over 22 years of technology experience growing multibillion-dollar global product portfolios and platforms in the consumer and business markets.

    Before joining Vertex, he was Senior Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer at Checkpoint Systems, Inc. and held executive leadership roles at Blackberry, Nokia Siemens Networks, and Siemens AG, Mobile Devices. Uwe has worked and lived in many locations across the globe, including Germany, where he was born, as well as Canada, Switzerland, and the U.S.

    Uwe holds over 30 patents and was awarded Inventor of the year from Siemens AG in 1998. He received his Diplom Ingenieur at the University of Wuppertal, Germany in Electrical and Electronics Engineering.

  • Nigel Rughani

    Vice President, Corporate Development

    Nigel Rughani is Vice President of Corporate Development. He is responsible for identifying, evaluating, and executing growth opportunities for Vertex through partnerships, acquisitions, joint ventures, and strategic investments globally. Nigel has extensive experience in M&A including management of all phases of analysis, due diligence, and transaction structuring.

    Prior to joining Vertex, Nigel led M&A activities at AmeriHealth, a national health insurer based in Philadelphia. He began his career in the Investment Banking department at Jefferies, and later in the M&A department at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey.

    Nigel holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Harvard University.

Board of Directors

  • Ric Andersen


    Ric Andersen joined our board of directors in January 2008 and currently serves as lead director. He has over 25 years of consulting and management experience at IBM, Price Waterhouse and PwC Consulting. His last 15 years have been spent in private equity. He is currently a managing partner at Peak Equity (‘‘Peak’’), a Philadelphia-based private equity firm focused on lower middle-market enterprise software. Prior to joining Peak, Mr. Andersen was a partner at Milestone Partners, a Philadelphia-based private equity firm and he was a managing director at Silver Lake Partners, a technology-focused private equity firm based in New York. During his tenures with Price Waterhouse, PwC Consulting, and IBM, Mr. Andersen was a senior partner and senior executive leading several businesses in the United States and Asia as well as globally. Mr. Andersen is currently chairman of G5, a privately held software company. In addition, he serves on the Board of American Public Education Inc. (‘‘APEI’’) a publicly traded online higher education company where he is chair of the compensation committee and a member of the audit committee. Mr. Andersen holds an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a BS from Bucknell University.

  • Bradley Gayton


    Bradley Gayton joined our board of directors in 2021. In addition to serving on our Board, Mr. Gayton is currently a Strategic Consultant at Coca-Cola and previously served as the company’s Assistant General Counsel and Assistant Secretary and Group Vice President, General Counsel.

    Prior to joining Coca-Cola, Mr. Gayton spent 29 years in various leadership positions at Ford Motor Company and most recently as Group Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel. 

    Mr. Gayton has deep experience in law, governance, tax and technology. He brings a global perspective in terms of the tax obligations for multinational enterprises and has experience in developing solutions through organizational innovation. While at Ford, he led explorations to see how artificial intelligence could be used for different business applications and collaborated with Vertex on the company’s tax compliance solutions worldwide. 

    Mr. Gayton has a BS in Business Administration from State University of New York at Buffalo, School of Management in 1986 and a JD from State University of New York at Buffalo, Law School in 1991.

  • Terrence Kyle


    Terrence Kyle joined our board of directors in June 2004. Mr. Kyle was previously a partner with WIN Capital, LLC, a private equity group that invested in emerging growth companies from the manufacturing, technology and service markets. Mr. Kyle joined Shared Medical Systems in April 1976 and helped take the company public later that year. At Shared Medical Systems, Mr. Kyle served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer before the company’s sale to the Siemens Corporation in July 2000. Mr. Kyle began his career with Arthur Andersen LLP in 1972. Mr. Kyle received a BS in Accounting from Drexel University.

  • Amanda Westphal Radcliffe


    Amanda Westphal Radcliffe has served on our board of directors since 1993. Prior to joining our board of directors, Ms. Radcliffe served in a variety of roles at the Company, from technical software instructor and production, to middle-market product teams. Prior to joining the Company, she was a middle-market Managing Director at a global corporate travel management company. Ms. Radcliffe serves on the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Board of Trustees, Foundation Board of Overseers and the St. Joe’s University Kinney Center for Autism Education and Support Advisory Board. Ms. Radcliffe is Chair of the Drexel University A.J. Drexel Autism Institute Board and Chair Emeritus of Ms. Radcliffe is also a member of the Philadelphia Chapter of Women Corporate Directors. Ms. Radcliffe holds a BA from Moravian College, attended business school at Drexel University and attended the Executive Education program at the Wharton School.

  • Kevin Robert


    Kevin Robert joined our board of directors in February 2015. Mr. Robert spent more than 30 years at Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting as a tax executive. Beginning as an Account Sales Manager in 1981 with CCH Computax, Mr. Robert progressed through leadership positions at CCH Computax and CCH Publishing before being named President and Chief Executive Officer of CCH Tax Compliance in 2001. Following CCH’s 1995 acquisition by Wolters Kluwer, Mr. Robert led the Tax & Accounting division’s operations in North America and Asia Pacific before being named Global Chief Executive Officer in 2010. Mr. Robert brings deep experience in developing and marketing cutting-edge accounting, tax and audit software and solutions for tax professionals around the world. His multinational experience includes developing business in North America, South America, Europe and the Pacific Rim, identifying global opportunities and negotiating the acquisition of companies. He also served on the Board of Epiq Software, which was sold in September of 2016. Mr. Robert holds a BS in Marketing from the University of New Orleans and an MBA in Business Management from Pepperdine University. He is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors (‘‘NACD’’) and has been a NACD Leadership Fellow since 2015. Mr. Robert currently owns his own consulting firm providing board and management consulting services.

  • Rick Stamm


    J. Richard Stamm joined our board of directors in January 2019. Prior to joining our board of directors, Mr. Stamm was a partner with PwC for 30 years, during which time he served a long list of domestic and international clients and held numerous leadership positions. Over the final 12 years of his career with PwC, Mr. Stamm was the firm’s Vice Chairman and U.S. Tax Leader, and then progressed to PwC’s Vice Chairman of Global Tax. Mr. Stamm is Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Stamm Development Group LLC, a Philadelphia area real-estate developer. Mr. Stamm is a member emeritus of the Board of Advisors for the Leventhal School of Accounting at the University of Southern California and was formerly a member of the Boards of Germantown Academy and Lycoming College. Mr. Stamm received a BA in Accounting from Lycoming College.

  • Stefanie Westphal Thompson


    Stefanie Westphal Thompson joined the Company in 1991 and has served in a variety of roles, including Treasurer. Prior to joining the Company, Ms. Thompson was a Vice President at Chemical Bank (now part of Chase), where she specialised in managing the banking relationship for middle market companies. Ms. Thompson sat on Bryn Mawr Hospital’s Foundation Board for eight years, serving as Head of their Trustee Committee and as Vice-Chair. Ms. Thompson also served on the Board of the Agnes Irwin School in Rosemont, Pennsylvania, for ten years, heading its Trustees Committee. Ms. Thompson received an MBA in Finance from Fordham University and has a dual BA in Engineering and Economics from Lafayette College.

Discover What Makes Vertex a Top Workplace Year after Year

For the sixth year in a row, we have been named a 2020 Top Workplace by The Philadelphia Inquirer based on employee surveys over a variety of categories.