meet the team
PIUS team members have successfully facilitated more than $40 billion in technology and intellectual property transactions.
Joe A. Agiato
Founder and CEO
Joe Agiato is the Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of PIUS. Joe oversees the structuring and pricing of deals, all due diligence functions, and developing and maintaining deal sourcing, patent, trademark and trade name valuations.
Joe holds a MBA with a concentration in Finance, a MS in Valuation Sciences, and a BS in Accounting and Economics.
Harry W. Rodgers
Harry has responsibility for product distribution through the insurance broker channel and for insurance carrier relationships. He also assists with the design and development of PIUS’s insurance programs.
Harry is a graduate of the University of Tennessee and is accredited as a Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC). Harry is proud to serve on the board of the Divers Alert Network (DAN), which provides worldwide medical assistance, medical research, and scuba-diving insurance products for over 250,000 members.
Sam Khoury brings to PIUS more than 25 years of valuation and licensing experience. In addition to the valuation of patents, trade secrets, trademarks and general know-how, he has developed training courses on technology assessment and valuation. He is also the President and Founder of Inavisis, a firm dedicated to intellectual asset management (IAM) and leveraging of corporate intangible properties. Previously, he was Senior Intangible Asset Appraiser of The Dow Chemical Company.
Sam holds a Ph.D in Chemistry, MS in Organic Chemistry, and a MBA.
Jaime Siegel brings more than 25 years of international intellectual property experience to the PIUS team. More than half of his career was spent with Sony, where he was the Vice President and Senior IP Counsel, responsible for global patent licensing and litigation. He oversaw programs that generated well over one billion dollars. Jaime’s responsibilities included intellectual property licensing, litigation, and counseling. He led a global team developing and executing on licensing programs on a variety of Sony’s technologies, which included a patent portfolio of several thousand patents.
Jaime also served as Chairman of the Board of MPEG LA, the world’s most successful patent licensing pool, for two years. Prior to joining Sony, Jaime was an associate attorney at the leading IP firms of Fish & Neave and Kenyon & Kenyon, and an engineer in the aerospace industry.
Amelia Erickson is a Director at PIUS and uses her technical skills to assess potential clients. Amelia takes a holistic approach when analyzing companies, looking at not only the intellectual property and technology, but also the company’s financial position, investors, business model, and market share.
Catherine L. Smith
Catherine Smith is the Chief Administrative Officer for PIUS, managing the day-to-day administrative needs of the company. She oversees the planning, management and direction of activities between the departments and outside the company. She is also responsible for budgeting, executive reporting, and HR administration.
Laura Schoppe has over 35 years in technology development, management, and commercialization. In addition to supporting PIUS, she also founded Fuentek in 2001, and under her leadership, the company has become one of the world’s leading technology transfer companies for university, government, corporate, and nonprofit research organizations.
Recognized as a leading expert in technology commercialization, Laura has a record of success in helping clients manage their technology proactively, efficiently, and effectively. Her expertise includes restructuring/establishing technology management organizations; IP portfolio management; open innovation; collaborative R&D partnerships, sponsored research agreements (SRAs). Laura serves on advisory panels at the state and national level, including multiple White House panels.
Passionate about encouraging women and minorities to pursue careers in STEM fields, Laura served on the board of FIRST North Carolina for five years and is still a sponsor and a judge during robotics competitions. She currently serves as the chair of the AUTM Foundation that runs an international fellows program to train young people in technology commercialization skills.
Laura holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University and Princeton, and she earned her MBA at the University of North Carolina.
Keleigh Stender has over 15 years of experience in the financial services industry. She began her career at The Mechanics Bank as a commercial credit analyst and later as a loan underwriter for Corporate Technology clients at Silicon Valley Bank, East West Bank, and City National Bank.
Over the last 12 years, Keleigh's primary focus has been working with technology companies of all sizes and sectors to provide creative financing solutions.She holds a BS in Economics from Saint Mary's College of CA.
Over the past decade, Erwin has spent his career investing in debt and equity securities, with a focus on senior and junior credit and equity in the lower/middle markets and technology sectors.
Prior to joining PIUS, Erwin served as Vice President and Relationship Manager within the Technology Banking group at City National Bank, where he was focused on business development, structuring, underwriting, and portfolio management. Prior to that, Erwin worked for ORIX USA, a financial services provider based in Dallas, in its venture debt and private equity groups.Erwin graduated cum laude from Baylor University with a BS in Mathematics and minors in Physics and Economics.
Kevin is a Managing Director who currently leads the structured finance team at PIUS. Kevin previously led the Technology Lending Practice for the New York office of City National Bank (which is owned by RBC). Kevin established the New York office for City National’s Technology Lending business and has completed hundreds of millions of dollars in technology tech lending loans. Prior to City National Kevin worked 8 years at Silicon Valley Bank in the corporate finance group and helped establish SVB’s Life Sciences group in San Diego.
Kevin has a BS in Business Administration from Cal-Poly San Luis Obispo and is a Certified Treasury Professional
John Elmore brings over 15 years of experience as an expert in the valuation of technology-based businesses and intangible assets, with particular emphasis on the valuation of patents and trade secrets. He has served in managerial roles with leading multinational financial advisory firms including Duff & Phelps and EY, and he led the IP Valuation Services practice of a boutique valuation firm founded by business valuation icon Dr. Shannon Pratt. In his valuation career, John has valued thousands of patents, IP assets, and business interests in variety of industries. He also has provided deposition and trial testimony as a valuation expert, a damages expert, and a computer technology expert in state and federal courts. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV), as well as an Accredited Senior Appraiser (ASA).
In addition to his valuation work, John has been a patent examiner with the US Patent and Trademark Office, a software engineer, and an inventor on six issued patents. John graduated first in his class with a B.S. in computer engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and he earned four graduate degrees from Georgia Tech in electrical engineering, computer science, economics, and an MBA. He further holds a law degree, with honors, from the University of Georgia and a master’s degree in IT management from Harvard University.