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Our people, our mission, our values.

Welcome to Opus Connect, the premier networking and deal-making community for private equity and M&A professionals. We are dedicated to revolutionizing the way professionals connect, collaborate, and succeed in their industries. With a range of high-quality events and valuable networking opportunities, we empower our members to grow their professional networks, source deals, access capital, and share ideas.

Our Mission

Facilitating lasting connections

To empower M&A professionals to achieve greater success through lasting relationships and meaningful connections in the deal community.

Our Values

Community, growth, and empowerment

Lou Sokolovskiy


Lou is a serial entrepreneur with extensive private equity transaction experience. He is the founder of multiple entrepreneurial ventures in the technology arena, and has unique expertise in operations management, strategic partnerships and new business development. He is a former consultant who has advised many companies in the healthcare management, finance, and technology industries on improving operations and corporate strategy. Lou is the founder of professional networking organization Opus Connect, and is an active member in numerous nonprofit organizations including FIDF, AIPAC and JNF. He is a member of the Milken Institute Young Leaders Circle and is Wexner Heritage Fellow.

Athenas Valles

Operations & Executive Assistant

With over a decade of experience as an Executive Assistant in both the financial and legal sectors, she brings a wealth of expertise to her role at Opus Connect. She thrives in dynamic environments, where adaptability and attention to detail are paramount. Her background in law school has equipped her with a keen understanding of the nuances within these industries.

Americo Garcia

Investment Banking & Corporate Development Associate

Americo Garcia is a finance professional that joined Opus Connect in 2023 with 8 years of experience in the financial industry. Based in Monterrey, Mexico, he held key roles at MSCI for 6 years, as a Real Estate analyst and an account manager for the major investors. His diverse experience also includes a role as a Derivatives Specialist at Banco BASE, a bank in northern Mexico.

In addition to his corporate roles, he is an adjunct professor at ITESM, sharing his industry knowledge in the economics department. Americo holds a Finance degree from Universidad de Monterrey (2017) and an MBA from EGADE Business School (2021), showcasing his commitment to continuous learning and professional growth.

Mariela Flores

Membership Engagement Manager

Mariela Flores is a seasoned sales and event manager, renowned for her successful coordination of global events for Fortune 500 companies like Audi, GM, Santander, and Bank of America. With her role as Regional Events Manager at Entrepreneurs’ Organization, Mariela ensured flawless execution by meticulously planning and coordinating diverse events throughout the Americas. Her adeptness in handling multicultural groups and providing translation support created engaging and inclusive experiences for attendees. As a Senior Events Manager at Destination Mexico, Mariela showcased her expertise in event design, planning, and implementation while overseeing events across various industries and countries. Beyond logistics, she prioritized client relationships and conducted surveys to ensure utmost satisfaction. Mariela’s unwavering commitment to delivering outstanding experiences and fostering personal growth undoubtedly makes her an asset in her role as Membership Engagement Manager.

Anna Karen De Lara Meraz

Operations & Executive Assistant

Anna Karen De Lara Meraz is a recent graduate from Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) with a Bachelor in International Business and a minor in Marketing. Her passion for new cultures and businesses led her to do a year abroad in Geneva, Switzerland where she studied a specialization in Business Administration. She also had the opportunity to be an intern at the Mission of Mexico at the UN, in which she attended (online) conferences and meetings to take key points in where Mexico could be benefited from. She later worked as an intern at a Swiss startup called Equal Profit Sàrl, in which they focused in the sustainability of supply chains in the agricultural sector.

Patricia Cuesta

Sales enablement manager & operating consultant

Patricia Cuesta is the Sales Enablement Manager & Operating Consultant at Opus Connect. She began her career at Grupo Carolo, a restaurant chain company, where she started as an intern and worked her way up to a full-time finance position, reporting directly to the CFO. She then gained experience in Treasury and Cash Flow management at Grupo Dupuis, a furniture retail company in Mexico. Before joining Opus Connect, she spent several months at Le Macaron Boutique, a retail company, where she focused on finance, operations, and HR roles to enhance efficiency. Patricia holds a degree in International Business and completed an academic course on Financial Modeling and Corporate Valuation at the University of Chicago.

Bill Bowler

Sales Associate

Bill joined Opus Connect in June 2021. He has bachelor’s degrees in Economics from Northern Michigan University and Environmental Science from Southern New Hampshire University. Previously, Bill worked as a researcher and life sciences editor. He enjoys traveling, skiing, cycling, rock climbing, and tennis.

Atul Sehgal

Research & Business Development Associate

Atul joined Opus Connect in October 2020. He graduated from the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities in 2020 with a Bachelor of Science in Finance and a minor in Business Analytics. Atul has previously interned as a Summer Investment Banking Analyst at a boutique firm in New Delhi. In college, Atul worked as a Teaching Assistant and assisted professors in the Marketing and Finance department.

Valeria Ruiz

Junior account manager

Valeria is Junior Account Manager of Opus Connect. Prior to that, her experience includes finance and data analysis roles at a restaurants company in Mexico City. She has both international business and finance and accounting bachelor’s degree in Universidad Anahuac.

Swayze Yancey

Senior business development associate

Swayze joined Opus Connect in 2020. Before Opus he spent years selling, coaching, and speaking for a global financial education company. During his time there he led a team hosting weekly events and worked to grow a mastermind community for students. Swayze is passionate about helping people grow personally and in their career. He’s active in his community and loves mentoring people to see them rise to new heights. He graduated with a Bachelors in Education & Theology from Concordia University Texas in his hometown of Austin, TX

Marisol Salcido

Event Operations Manager

Marisol joined Opus Connect in July of 2019. She graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in English and a minor in Italian Studies. In 2015, she moved to Salamanca, Spain to work as a Language and Cultural Ambassador for the Spanish Ministry of Education. There, she taught English and assisted in preparing lesson plans and activities centered on American culture for students ages 3 to 14. Prior to joining Opus, she worked in the legal industry for 4 years assisting with legal research, investigation analysis and trial preparation.

Lena Dobreer


Lena joined Opus Connect in February of 2017. Prior to joining, she spent five years in the entertainment industry at Fox Studios where she was responsible for integrating and innovating traditional product licensing support with eCommerce delivery in the Consumer Products division. She graduated from Loyola Marymount University in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration. During her years at LMU, Lena interned with the United Nations in Bonn, Germany for the Conference on the Conservation of Migratory Species in the Public Information Department. There, she focused on the various migratory species threatened with extinction and assisted in the department’s efforts towards raising awareness for the sustainability of their habitats and migration routes. Lena is an avid global traveler and former basketball player. She remains active in her community, is a member of LMUs Alumni Association, and continues to referee and coach young basketball players at Cheviot Hills Park on the weekends.