Earnnest Announces New Executive Leadership Appointments

Leaders will leverage expertise and experience to expand the technology startup nationwide

GREENVILLE, S.C.--()--Earnnest, a digital platform that allows for the secure deposit of funds directly to an escrow holder, today announced new appointments to its senior executive leadership team.

Co-founders George Clements, Cameron Sallé and Daniel Jeffords, also chief technology officer, appointed Rick Altizer as chief executive officer, Kent Elmer as acting chief financial officer and Melissa Kandel as acting chief marketing officer. These appointments are effective immediately.

“I’m confident in the experienced and innovative leadership team we’ve assembled,” said Clements, a Greenville-area mega agent with 15 years of experience in residential real estate and real estate development.

Built by real estate agents, escrow attorneys and technology veterans, Earnnest is uniquely positioned to facilitate faster and more secure real estate transactions. “Our system, which is OWASP Top 10 compliant, has banking level security and encryption,” said Jeffords, a seasoned developer, designer, market researcher and analyst, who spent six years as an operations intelligence analyst for the U.S. Air Force.

Added Sallé, founding partner at Sallé Galloway Law Firm and longtime attorney: “Earnnest eliminates the threat of wire fraud and transforms the deposit of earnest money into a safe and efficient process.”

The easy-to-use mobile platform creates a secure and direct transfer of earnest money from buyer to escrow holder, while keeping agent, broker and escrow holder updated through automated emails and tracking information.

“Earnnest is an amazing financial solution that will streamline and simplify a great American tradition: buying and owning a home,” said Altizer. “I couldn’t be more excited or proud to be part of this team.”

Altizer brings a wealth of experience to his position. A CPA and MBA, he has held senior executive positions in finance, operations and marketing. He joins Earnnest from BP, where he was senior vice president of fuel sales and marketing for North America. Prior to BP, he served as regional vice president for McDonald’s, running a $1 billion region with 500 stores. Altizer was also president of Jiffy Lube International, vice president of marketing for Shell Oil Company, CEO of startup pioneer Elevation Burger and president of private-equity-owned McAlister’s Deli. He is a graduate of Bob Jones University and the University of South Carolina.

Like Altizer, Elmer comes to his position with decades of experience and knowledge. “I look forward to supporting the growth and expansion of Earnnest,” Elmer said. “Our team will select the very best capital partners, aligning Earnnest’s commitment to technology and talent with the incredible demand for its transactional solutions.”

Elmer is the founder and managing partner of Atlanta-based TechCXO, a fractional executive advisory firm providing a wide array of services to multiple industries across the U.S. with a specific emphasis and expertise in technology. Through TechCXO, he provides early and growth stage technology companies with CFO and other executive leadership services. He is a CPA and graduate of Bob Jones University, with broad-based Big Four public accounting experience. Additionally, he has held multiple CFO roles in public and private technology companies.

“I’m honored to be working with such respected and visionary leaders,” said Kandel. “Earnnest represents a unique, digital remedy to the pervasive threat of wire fraud, packaged in revolutionary, industry-defining technology; it’s a fascinating story to tell.”

As acting CMO, Kandel will guide the company’s overall marketing strategy. She is the founder and chief executive officer of little word studio, a boutique creative marketing agency in Newport Beach, servicing clients from million-dollar startups to some of the most respected brands in America. Previously, she was global director of PR, communications and digital media at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. She is a member of the Forbes Communications Council and her writing is frequently featured on Forbes.com. She holds a B.A. from Columbia University and a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.

“Earnnest’s dedication to simplifying and safeguarding the transfer of earnest money is now exponentially strengthened by this powerhouse team of executives,” concluded Clements. “Together, we’ll make wire transfers and paper checks a thing of the past, while ensuring the ease and security of Earnnest is the way of the future.”


Greenville, S.C.-based Earnnest is changing the way money moves in real estate. The digital platform allows buyers to securely and electronically deposit funds directly to an escrow holder. Earnnest keeps agents, buyers and escrow holders in the loop with automated emails and tracking information. Learn more at www.earnnest.com.


Melissa Kandel
(949) 903-9752

Release Summary

Technology startup Earnnest will leverage the expertise and experience of three newly appointed executives to expand the digital platform nationwide.


Melissa Kandel
(949) 903-9752