How We Work
Our Philosophy & Mission
We bring innovative ideas to life
through experience and diligence.
We’re here to invest in world-changing founders and ideas born right here between the coasts. At Plains Ventures, investing means more than writing a check. When we uncover a powerful idea, we set to work removing barriers, providing capital, and sourcing the best investors across the region to support it.
Ryan Cargill, CFA
Vice President &
Ryan brings a varied corporate finance background to Plains Ventures to help build and maintain our various funding relationships with investors at the fund level and co-investors at the deal level. As Vice President and Director of Investor Relations, Ryan is responsible for directing Plains’ investor-facing efforts including raising capital for Plains managed funds and securing co-investment for Plains-led investments.
Prior to joining Plains, Ryan held positions as a Portfolio Manager at InvesTrust, Business & Planning – Financial Operations Analyst at Boeing, and Financial Analyst at Chesapeake Energy. Ryan also has experience as an entrepreneur and founder/owner of the Greystone Group, LLC, a financial consulting company.
Ryan received his BBA from the University of Oklahoma, Price College of Business with a concentration in entrepreneurship and finance and is a chartered financial analyst
Shannon Carr is an accomplished marketing and communications leader with over 15 years of experience producing effective strategies and impactful campaigns. With a diverse background spanning the nonprofit, healthcare, advertising, and manufacturing industries, Shannon brings a wealth of expertise to her role as Communications Director.
Dedicated to keeping up with industry trends and the dynamic marketing landscape of venture capital, Shannon creates innovative, mission-aligned strategies that drive tangible results for Plains Ventures. She has a passion for building meaningful connections, leading successful teams, and turning complex ideas into compelling stories that resonate with diverse audiences.
Shannon graduated from Southern Nazarene University with a degree in Marketing. She is an active member of the Oklahoma City Chapter of the American Marketing Association, where she is a past president.
Senior Underwriter &
As Senior Underwriter and Investment Compliance Officer, Cindy directs investment diligence efforts and the investment underwriting and closing process. Cindy is responsible for supporting the investment team throughout the investment closing process including ongoing diligence, legal document prep, and managing closings. Cindy also helps support portfolio company administration post-closing throughout the life of the investment.
Cindy has an Associate of Science in computer studies and her Bachelor of Science in Information Systems Management from the University of Maryland.
Matt comes to Plains Ventures from Goldman Sachs, whereas a part of the investment banking division in New York, he most recently advised companies on a wide variety of transactions, such as the largest software buyout in history, the largest healthcare buyout in history, the third-largest LBO of all time, and the largest financing in aviation history. Before that, he was in the Dallas, Texas, office of Goldman Sachs, where he worked on multiple teams in support of the Global Financing Group. While not a veteran himself, he had the privilege to help lead the Dallas Veterans network to give back to those who have sacrificed so much in service to our country.
A proud fifth-generation Oklahoman and graduate of Edmond Memorial High School, Matt holds a Bachelor’s degree in Management and a Master of Business Administration from The University of Tulsa. While at TU, he was blessed to be a letter-winner and captain of the football team. Additionally, Matt was involved in multiple entrepreneurial ventures while he completed his degrees, and he served as a graduate assistant within the TU athletic administration department.
As Senior Associate – Portfolio Management for Plains Ventures, Shaun supports a number of post-investment services including portfolio accounting, investment valuation, documentation management, and portfolio company management including, requisite approval items, financial statement analysis, and evaluation of portfolio company performance versus plan.
In addition, he reviews investment files for thoroughness and completeness and funding program compliance.
Shaun graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree, with emphasis in Economics and Supply Chain Management. As a Project Leader for developing comprehensive business reports for a variety of companies, he has demonstrated his strong mathematical and analytical skills. Shaun has previous experience in the local manufacturing industry working in Inventory Control. He has also worked with non-profit adult education services at Moore Norman Technology Center.
Mike serves as the Portfolio Manager for Plains Ventures. He has served as the Chairman and CEO of Thunderbird Resources Equity, Inc. since 2014. Prior to the formation of Thunderbird Resources Mike was the President and Director of GMX Resources, Inc. an E&P company which was based in Oklahoma City, OK. Before joining GMXR, he was the Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Marketing for ON Semiconductor a multi-billion-dollar semiconductor manufacturing company.
From 1991 until 1999 Mike was the CEO of VEBA Electronics North America, a global semiconductor distributor which grew from 5 locations and $18MM in revenue to over 70 locations including offices in Canada, Mexico and South America, with revenues in excess of $2.5 billion per year. Mike graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree and has over 30 years of experience in corporate leadership and business development in the energy and technology industries. He has led over $2.5 billion of capital
markets activities including IPO’s, acquisitions, equity, high yield debt, and debt restructuring transactions.
Michael J. Rohleder
Principal, Portfolio Management
Jon brings decades of private equity and consulting experience to help Plains Ventures portfolio companies reach their full exit potential.
As Senior Vice President and Director of Portfolio Management, Jon manages a team that supports a wide range of pre- and post-investment services for the Plains equity investment portfolio. Pre-investment services include underwriting and diligence. Post-investment services principally include portfolio accounting, investment valuation, and portfolio company management. Portfolio company management activities focus on evaluating company performance versus expectations, corporate governance through board seats and board observer positions and advising CEOs and founders on strategic direction, risk management, and optimizing investor value.
As a CPA and graduate of the University of North Texas with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Jon brings more than three decades of experience in both private equity and corporate environments. Jon most recently was Vice President of Solutions and Consulting for Conduent, providing consulting solutions and guidance to global companies. Jon also spent 13 years with Fidelity Investments in a number of private equity, consulting, and financial management roles including Vice President of Finance for Fidelity’s affiliated $6 billion private investment fund, Devonshire Investors. Jon has also held corporate leadership roles in finance with KPMG and has been involved in consulting engagements with companies such as for Michelin, Etihad Airlines, Cisco, BP and Citigroup.
Jon Sunthimer, CPA
Senior Vice President & Director of Portfolio Management
Meredith Wilkerson, Ph.D.
Meredith serves as our primary subject matter expert within i2E and Plains Ventures in evaluating life sciences and biotech opportunities. Prior to joining i2E and Plains Ventures, Meredith worked in the Office of Technology Commercialization at the University of Oklahoma. In this role she identified and evaluated life sciences technologies that were ready for a coordinated strategy of intellectual property protection and marketing to potential industry partners.
Meredith earned her Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Kansas and completed post-doctoral fellowships at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the Lynn Health Science Institute in Oklahoma City. She has experience coordinating and managing clinical trials at the research site level across a myriad of conditions. She is dedicated to using her professional perspectives from academia, clinical trials, and technology transfer to support innovative life sciences and biotech ventures across Oklahoma.
Justin Wilson is a Native of Wright City, Oklahoma, and a relentless believer in the power and potential of the people in America’s Heartland. He currently serves as President and Managing Director at Plains Ventures, an OKC & Tulsa based Venture Capital fund management firm with over $120m in assets under management. With a background in private equity, healthcare, politics, and non-profit leadership, Justin brings a broad base of perspectives to bear in his approach to leadership and asset management. At Plains, he employs a fundamentals-focused investment philosophy balancing quantitative rigor with a behavioral-rooted qualitative framework designed to produce a deep understanding of a company’s core value creation mechanism. This enables the firm to tailor their value-add approach to the specific needs of the company, and best positions LP’s for superior risk-adjusted returns.
Justin holds a Bachelor of Science in Physiology from Oklahoma State University and an MBA from the Yale School of Management. He is a proud Tribal Member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and lives in Edmond with his wife, Brooklyn, and their two young sons. He serves on the Board for several Plains portfolio companies, as well as the Sovereign Equity Fund, for which he is currently President and Chairman. He is passionate about mentorship and expanding opportunity to rural and Tribal youth and frequently volunteers his time toward those efforts. He is an avid lover of crawfish, live music, every OSU athletic squad, and the Wright City Lumberjax.
Justin Wilson, MBA
President & Managing Director
First, a Plains investment team member gets to know the founder and their business idea. If the idea is ready for investment—and we feel that we can add value beyond a check—we schedule a formal pitch. If the idea is powerful but needs some work, we’ll bring in our partners at i2E to help develop it.
At this point, someone on the team believes in the opportunity, so the pitch is the time for the founder to demonstrate their idea to the whole investment team. If it’s a good fit for both parties, we work to structure the optimal terms for an investment.
Throughout our ongoing diligence process, founders can expect a deep dive on things like product market fit, market opportunity, IP validation, and financial feasibility. We take the time to validate the underlying technology and its scalability with the help of our network of subject matter experts. This information helps us determine the viability of a scalable business and our ability to add value beyond capital.
We leverage strategic investor connections to source the capital and additional expertise needed to complete the round.
Once diligence is complete, the round is fully committed, and the documents are signed, then the real work begins!
After closing, we stick around for the long-term and help our portfolio companies reach their full potential.
Start your journey with us.
venture capital deals
between the coasts.
At Plains Ventures, our commitment is to continue doing what we’ve always done—uncovering inspiring entrepreneurs who are creating real value in places like our home state of Oklahoma and other traditionally overlooked places. We have a proven infrastructure consisting of capital, experience, and network that positions us to help companies succeed.
For more than 20 years, our team has invested in and served entrepreneurs, honing our industry expertise and forging powerful community and investor connections.
Our network of investors and subject matter experts across the region is expansive and poised to help innovative startups grow.