Diverse businesses are an engine for economic growth and community empowerment in the United States. That’s a simple fact. However today, these business owners face significant challenges in obtaining the necessary capital to fuel their business growth. Our mission is to address this fundamental imbalance and expand access to capital and critical advice necessary to assure the survival, stabilization and success of the diverse business community.

We’re building a network of partners, including highly successful diverse businesses, technology innovators and major corporations and financial institutions who share our goals, to help diverse companies obtain needed capital and advice more easily and on better terms than has traditionally been the case. We believe a level playing field is not only the fair thing, it’s the best outcome for society and the overall economy.

“Those that know more, have to do more. At Diversity Capital, we are bringing to bear critical financial and technical resources to assist in the rebuilding of the minority business community.”


Lawrence C. Manson, Jr. | CEO of Diversity Capital

Our Leadership Team


Lawrence C. Manson, Jr.

Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Manson has more than 30 years of financial management and private equity experience. During his career, Mr. Manson has evaluated thousands of leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations, joint ventures or other types of investment transactions, invested more than $530 million of equity or subordinated debt in various transactions, arranged debt financings in excess of $2 billion, closed more than 30 merger, acquisition or divestiture transactions, participated in the underwriting of public equity offerings in excess of $250 million, managed several hundred employees, created and executed numerous strategic plans and provided consulting advice to many business owners.


Prior to founding Diversity Capital, Mr. Manson founded in 2012 NexTier Companies, LLC, an investment advisory and consulting firm that he still leads. Previous to that he held leadership roles with NexGen Capital Partners, LLC and Performance Trust Capital Partners, LLC including several private equity firms, Foundation Equity Investors, LLC, PENMAN Partners and Prudential-Bache Interfunding Inc., a subsidiary of the former Prudential-Bache Securities, Inc., an entity absorbed into Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. through a series of acquisitions.


Mr. Manson received an AB degree in economics from Princeton University and an MBA degree in finance from the Columbia University Graduate School of Business.


Donald C. Mullins, Jr.

Chief Revenue Officer

Mr. Mullins has more than 30 years of business experience, including more than 20 years of investment management experience, spanning various disciplines and asset classes prior to joining Diversity Capital. In addition, Mr. Mullins currently serves as a Senior Consulting Principal with the NexTier Companies, LLC (NexTier).


Prior to joining NexTier, Mr. Mullins most recently served as a partner, responsible for business development, with Attucks Asset Management, LLC (Attucks), a leading manager of emerging managers based in Chicago. Before joining Attucks, Mr. Mullins led the marketing effort for Stux Capital Management LLC, an emerging manager, based in New York, specializing in domestic, quantitative equity portfolios. Mr. Mullins also served as Director of Marketing for Piedmont Investment Advisors, LLC, a leading minority-owned investment manager, based in Durham, North Carolina and served as Vice President of Marketing and Sales at Lipper & Company, a New York-based hedge fund that specialized in convertible arbitrage, merger arbitrage and high yield bonds.


Mr. Mullins, who attended Howard University, received a BS degree in computer information systems from Jacksonville University and an MBA degree from the Stephen M. Ross Graduate School of Business, University of Michigan.


Mason W. Wiley

Chief Marketing Officer

Mr. Wiley has over 30 years of marketing and advertising experience including client and agency sides, both B2B and B2C, and has served a wide range of companies from startups to large companies like Disney, Coca Cola, Wellpoint, Deloitte, Kraft, NBC Universal and more. In addition to serving as Chief Marketing Officer for Diversity Capital, Mr. Wiley also currently serves as Chief Marketing Officer for the NexTier Companies, LLC.


Previously, Mr. Wiley has led marketing for nine startups – Market Rebellion, Connect Now Inc., tradeMONSTER, Talegent and more – including three on the INC500 List of Fastest-Growing Companies and two successful acquisitions. He has also led marketing for leading digital direct response marketing agency Fosina Marketing Goup, and two of the largest performance-based ad networks W4 and Hydra Network (acquired by AdKnowledge), overseeing the latter’s growth from under $40M to over $100M in just 18 months. Prior to that, Mr. Wiley served as Creative Consultant to Universal Pictures Marketing and leading Hollywood entertainment ad agencies, and served as Principal for marketing consultancy The Wiley Group.


Mr. Wiley received a BA degree in European Intellectual History from Wesleyan University and a Masters in Integrated Marketing from Northwestern University.


Marlene Orozco

Senior Research Consultant

Marlene Orozco is Senior Research Consultant for Diversity Capital Company, LLC and has a decade of research experience on reducing systems-level bias facing people of color, women, and other historically underrepresented groups in entrepreneurship, finance, and the digital economy. As a mixed methods researcher by training, Dr. Orozco has qualitative, in-depth research experience coupled with expertise in big data, multivariate analysis, and large-scale survey design. Dr. Orozco has co-authored an academic volume, Advancing U.S. Latino Entrepreneurship (Purdue University Press, 2020), written academic publications in peer-reviewed journals like Small Business Economics, Social Science Quarterly, and Qualitative Sociology, and authored several industry reports and research briefs. A well-recognized scholar, Dr. Orozco’s research has been featured in over 100 media outlets (Bloomberg, Forbes, MarketWatch, etc.) and was named of Silicon Valley Business Journal’s “40 Under 40: Top Young Professionals.”


In 2019, Dr. Orozco founded Stratified Insights, LLC, a research consulting firm that provides academic grade research solutions to organizations from research planning and design, data collection and analysis, to reports and presentations, tailor-made for key stakeholders. Dr. Orozco formerly served as Associate Director on entrepreneurship research initiatives at Stanford Graduate School of Business.


Dr. Orozco received a BA degree in sociology with honors from Stanford University, a Master’s degree in education policy and management from Harvard University and a PhD degree in sociology with a focus in entrepreneurship from Stanford University.


Lloyd Appel

Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Appel has over 30 years of financial management experience serving in the role as Chief Financial Officer of various alternative asset firms, including hedge fund and venture capital fims. Currently, he serves as the Chief Financial Officer for Diversity Capital Company, LLC. During his career, he has assembled, turned around and lead rapid-response, high-performing finance teams giving investors comfort that the financial control environment was sound.


Since 2020, Mr. Appel has been consulting for several established and start-up venture capital funds by providing strategic guidance, setting up and maintaining books and records, writing policies and assisting with service provider selection and relationship management. He also has coordinated compliance responsibilities and has served as a Chief Compliance Officer. Prior to that, Mr. Appel was the Chief Financial Officer of two venture capital firms, focused on technology and life science investments. In additional to financial matters, Mr. Appel was typically responsible for all non-investment-related functional areas, including compliance, operations, legal, human resources and benefits, facilities and technology. Previously, Mr. Appel served as Chief Financial Officer or controller of several hedge fund firms and a large multi-strategy alternative asset platform. At these firms, he specialized in introducing new systems and improving both investor and portfolio reporting. Mr. Appel began his career at BDO, where he was promoted to financial services audit manager.


Mr. Appel received a BA in Accounting and Economics from Queens College. He is a CPA and a CFA charter holder.


Sherry L. Manson

Director, Accounting and Administration

Ms. Manson has more than 30 years of business experience including administration, bookkeeping, corporate records management, human resources and insurance program implementation and oversight prior to joining Diversity Capital. In addition, Ms. Manson also currently serves in a senior administrative role with NexTier Companies and Drexel University. Ms. Manson has also served in senior administrative roles at NexGen Capital Partners, LLC, Foundation Equity Investors, LLC, Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP, PENMAN Partners, Altheimer & Gray and PNC National Bank, N.A.


Ms. Manson received a BA degree in economics from Sweet Briar College and an MBA degree in business administration from Keller Graduate School of Business.

“Don’t ever go with the flow, be the flow.”


Jay Z

Our Senior Advisory Team


James A. Casselberry, Jr.

Senior Advisor

Mr. Casselberry has over 30 years of experience in investment management and investment management consulting. In the roles of Chief Executive Officer, Chief Investment Officer, portfolio manager, fund manager, principal consultant and advisor, he has individually or in concert with colleagues raised over $4 billion from institutional investors for traditional and alternative investment management strategies; invested more than $50 billion in aggregate transactions both private and public in debt, equity and alternative investment securities and has co-managed the continuing asset allocation structure and strategic plan for a large foundation.


Currently, Mr. Casselberry serves as the Chief Investment Officer of 4S Bay Partners LLC and as trustee for the National Urban League and Morehouse College. Currently he serves as a Senior Advisor to NexTier Companies, LLC, an investment advisory and consulting firm, although in the past he served as a Senior Managing Director. In addition, he has held senior roles at NexGen Capital Partners, LLC and Dearborn Park Group, LLC (DPG), both firms offered strategic consulting advice to investment management and financial services firms. Prior to DPG, he served as a principal at Ennis Knupp & Associates Inc. (Ennis Knupp, currently known as Aon Hewitt Investment Consulting, Inc., an Aon plc company) and served as the primary consultant and managed consulting assignments. Mr. Casselberry has also held leadership position with Ennis Knupp, Trias Capital Management, LLC, Wedgewood Capital Management, Inc. and The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.


Mr. Casselberry received a BA degree in economics from the University of Illinois and an MBA degree from the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business.


Carmen A. Heredia, CFA

Senior Advisor

Ms. Heredia is currently the Chief Investment Officer for the Illinois Assistance Commission (ISAC). ISAC’s mission is to make college accessible and affordable for Illinois students. Prior to ISAC, she was the Director of Investments for one of the largest U.S. philanthropic foundations, W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), where she ran their $400M Foundation investment portfolio and was a member of the $8B WKKF Trust investment portfolio team. Additionally, Ms. Heredia oversaw and enhanced their diverse manager and impact investing portfolio, which consists of mission driven investments (MDI), program related investments (PRI), and a grant portfolio.


Ms. Heredia has also served as Chief Investment officer for Chicago Teachers Pension Fund (CTPF) where she managed an $11B investment portfolio through 91 external investment managers with a $45M budget. Ms. Heredia started her career in asset management in 1993 when she started working at Fortaleza Asset Management, a Chicago-based minority owned investment management firm. Since then she has been promoting and executing ‘access to capital’ strategies for emerging and minority-owned businesses. Similarly, many programs, conferences and mentoring relationships are a direct result of her passion to promote higher education for the Latinx community.


Ms. Heredia earned her International MBA in Finance, Accounting, and Business Economics from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, her undergraduate degree in International Management and Marketing from Georgetown University, and her Associate in Arts degree from College of DuPage. Carmen is a CFA Charterholder and an alumna of the Robert A. Toigo Foundation.


Milton M. Irvin

Senior Advisor

Mr. Irvin has more than 40 years of experience in financial services and currently serves as Chair of the Advisory Board for Castle Oak Securities, L.P. as well as Non-Executive Chairman for NexTier Companies, LLC. In 2012, Mr. Irvin retired from UBS AG (UBS) where he had been a Managing Director and the Americas’ Head of Diversity and Inclusion since 2002. Before working at UBS, Mr. Irvin served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Imbot.com, from 2000 to 2002 and Blaylock & Partners L.P., from 1998 to 1999. Prior to joining UBS, Mr. Irvin spent the prior 20 years working at Salomon Brothers, an entity absorbed by Morgan Stanley through a series of acquisitions. While at Salomon Brothers, Mr. Irvin held numerous positions in fixed income sales and sales management. He was one of the first African-Americans to be named a Managing Director for a “bulge-bracket,” Wall Street firm. Mr. Irvin began his career as a corporate lending officer at Chase Manhattan Bank, currently known as JPMorgan Chase & Co.


Mr. Irvin currently serves on the Wharton Graduate Advisory Board, the Board of the Harlem School of the Arts, and LEAD, a non-profit that unites colleges and universities with corporations to encourage minority high school students to explore careers in business, science, engineering and technology. In 1994, President Clinton appointed Mr. Irvin to the Advisory Committee of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation for which he served as chairman from 1995 to 1997. Mr. Irvin also served on the board of the Harlem School of Arts and the Summit, New Jersey Board of Recreation. A founding member of the Executive Leadership Council, Mr. Irvin currently sits on its Foundation Board. Mr. Irvin also sits on the Board of Governors at the Baltusrol Golf Club and the Summit, New Jersey YMCA.


Mr. Irvin earned a BA degree from the United States Merchant Marine Academy and an MBA degree from the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania.


Derek K. Jones

Senior Advisor

As a Vice Chairman of GCM Grosvenor, Mr. Jones co-heads the firm’s private equity co-investment practice and diverse manager practice and his responsibilities include deal sourcing and investment underwriting activities. He is also a member of the Private Equity, Real Estate and Infrastructure Investment Committee and serves on the Global Investment Council and the Diversity & Inclusion Governing Committee. Prior to joining GCM Grosvenor, Mr. Jones was a Managing Partner at Oncore Capital, as well as a General Partner at Provender Capital. He started his private equity career at Prudential Insurance Company as part of Prudential Equity Investors, which subsequently became Cornerstone Equity Investors, where he was a partner.


Mr. Jones received his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from American University and his Master of Business Administration in Finance from New York University. Mr. Jones serves on the Board of, and was former Treasurer to, the National Association of Investment Companies. He is a recipient of the Pacesetter Award from the National Association of Investment Companies in 2012 and the UNCF Keeper of the Flame Award in 2016. He was also recognized as one of the 75 Most Powerful Blacks on Wall Street by Black Enterprise Magazine in 2011.


Darrell J. Mays

Senior Advisor

Darrell J. Mays is a Managing Partner of Navigation Capital’s SPAC Operations Group, which makes equity investments in Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs). Mr. Mays currently serves at Chairman of the Board at American Virtual Cloud Technologies (Nasdaq: AVCT) where he was previously Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Mays was the founder and CEO of nsoro, LLC, which provided turnkey infrastructure services to the top telecom operators. nsoro grew rapidly to approximately $70 million in revenues within 5 years and was acquired by MasTec, Inc. in August of 2008. As of 2016, MasTec Network Solutions, formerly nsoro has increased revenues to $2.3 billion and $245 million of EBITDA.


Mr. Mays began his career in telecommunications at AT&T, Inc. where he held various positions in the Network Operations, Engineering, Marketing and Sales organizations for twelve years. In 1996, Mr. Mays was hired by Ericsson, Inc. as Sales Manager for a major account in the Southeastern region of the U.S. After holding the position of Services Director, he was named Vice President of Business Development for Global Accounts. Mr. Mays joined Motorola as the Vice President of Global Accounts in 2000 and in 2002 he was named Vice President/General Manager of Wireless Products at PalmSource, Inc.


Mr. Mays holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business from Georgia State University, and is a devoted husband and father of four. In 2005, Mr. Mays founded the nsoro Foundation which provides access to postsecondary education for youth who age out of the foster care system.


Jim Rothberg

Senior Advisor

Jim Rothberg became CEO of Credibility Capital in Sep. 2020, and is a member of the company’s Board of Directors. Credibility Capital is a technology-enabled lender to small businesses, whose mission is to improve small business owners’ access to fair, transparent credit. Mr. Rothberg has 3 decades of experience in financial companies of all sizes – from emerging businesses to Fortune 200 companies.


Most recently, he was a General Partner at Route 66 Ventures, an investment firm. He founded and led Route 66’s private credit business, which provided bespoke financing solutions to emerging fintech lenders. Previously, Mr. Rothberg was CFO of The American Home (TAH), which acquired, renovated, leased, and managed single-family homes. At TAH, he transformed a high-growth, operationally intensive business into an efficient, cash flow-positive enterprise, and guided the sale of the company’s portfolio of 2500 homes. Before joining TAH, Mr. Rothberg was Chief Investment Officer at Goal Financial and managed the company’s $8 billion student loan portfolio, which consistently generated operating profits of $100 million during his tenure. Prior to Goal, Mr. Rothberg was the head of financial risk management at Capital One, and led the asset/liability management and corporate finance departments at Fannie Mae.


Mr. Rothberg earned a B.A. with Highest Distinction in economics from the University of Virginia, and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth Graduate School of Business.