Mr. Rice has extensive principal investor experience in the mezzanine and private equity asset classes. He also has a deep background in credit and leveraged lending, operating management and investment banking. Mr. Rice was a founding partner of Rice Capital/RSTW Partners, a $900 million mezzanine/equity investment firm. He has been involved in more than 82 transactions with investment values of approximately $1 billion. Mr. Rice also serves as Chairman and CEO of Ascend Acquisition Corporation, a Special Purpose Acquisition Corporation that went public in 2006. Mr. Rice has also served as President of First Texas Merchant Banking Group and Vice President with PruCapital, Inc. (Prudential Insurance Co.) and as President/CEO of Hunter Air Freight. In addition to serving as Chairman, director and/or advisory director on numerous portfolio companies, Mr. Rice has or is currently serving as a director of FlexSol, Mrs. Fields Famous Brands, Inc, NationsHealth, Inc., Westaff, Inc., the Houston Venture Capital Association, Houston Chapter Association for Corporate Growth, the University of Texas-McCombs School of Business, and the City Year Organization of Philadelphia (Americorp). Mr. Rice received his BBA and MBA degrees from the University of Texas-Austin.