Lodestone: Samar Ali

Amr El-Husseini

Chief Executive Officer

Amr El-Husseini is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Lodestone Advisory Group. Based in Nashville, he directly oversees the global operations of the firm and execution of client mandates. Amr works with clients and portfolio companies located across the world in the areas of global innovation, entrepreneurship, business acceleration, venture capital, international business, cross-border expansion, market-entry strategy, business and corporate strategy, deal negotiation, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate turnarounds. He is currently an entrepreneur mentor at the Wond’ry, Vanderbilt University’s innovation center, a board member at the International Business Council of the Nashville Chamber of Commerce, an advisory board member to the Tennessee World Advisory Council, and has served on the selection/investment committees for a number of local and international accelerators. Recently, Amr served a two-year term as a board member for an international banking subsidiary of the QIB Group, and has been selected as part of Nashville’s Leadership Connect 2017/2018 cohort.

Over the past several years, Amr has authored works and presented globally on entrepreneurship, corporate strategy, business innovation, cross-border expansion, banking, and Islamic finance, including speaking engagements at leading academic institutions and international forums. Amr has also been involved in investments and transactions around the world covering sectors such as financial services, technology, real estate, telecom, and infrastructure. He has previously led and successfully negotiated agreements with governments and multinational corporations for the development of international business enterprises.


Lodestone : Samar Ali

Samar Ali


Samar Ali serves as a Director with Lodestone Advisory Group. She supports clients with international engagements, business development and market entry. Samar is also a Senior Advisor to GSIS, a Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm specializing in security and data analytics, and serves as an Adjunct Professor with Vanderbilt University. Samar is a practicing attorney with the law firm of Bass Berry & Sims PLLC, where she concentrates on cross border transactions, international law and private diplomacy.

Samar was most recently nominated as Young Global Leader; as a member of the Leadership Nashville Class of 2013-2014; as a 2012 U.S. delegate to the U.S. - Italy Young Leaders Summit; and as a U.S. delegate to the World Islamic Economic Forum. Samar also serves on the following boards: the Vanderbilt Alumni Board, the Vanderbilt Law School Board of Trust, the International Business Council of the Nashville Chamber of Commerce, the Board of Directors to the St. Thomas Medical Center, and the Women in Numbers Junior Board, and the Board of Directors for the Foundation for Society, Law and Art in South Africa.  Samar is also involved with Beats, Rhymes and Relief, an initiative that supports international relief organizations working in conflict-torn areas.

Lodestone : Samar Ali

Giles Cunningham

Senior Advisor

Giles Cunningham serves as Senior Advisor with Lodestone Advisory Group, bringing over 25 years of experience in investment management, international banking, organizational leadership, insurance, and finance roles. He has a strong track record in delivering results in growth, re-alignment and turnaround situations. Strategy development to execution and leading M&A deals on the buy and sell sides are some core capabilities Giles has utilized in numerous international roles, in addition to large scale change and project management of organization-wide programs. He has experience across both conventional and Islamic finance. In addition to the UK, he has lived and successfully operated in countries including Brazil, the UAE, Malaysia, Qatar, Oman and Lebanon, accumulating extensive cross border experience.

Previously, Giles served as the Chief International & Investments Officer at Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB), responsible for the Group’s international banking operations and investment portfolio in the UK, Malaysia, Lebanon and Sudan. He led all group M&A, and was a Director on the Boards of Asian Finance Bank (Malaysia), Arab Finance House (Lebanon), QIB-UK (London) and QInvest, the largest investment bank in Qatar. Giles is also a founding shareholder of Insight Discovery, an award-winning market intelligence and media consultancy based in Dubai.

Lodestone : Allen Hovious

Allen Hovious

Senior Strategy Advisor

Allen Hovious serves as a Senior Strategy Advisor with Lodestone Advisory Group. He is heavily involved with the development and implementation of strategic plans as well as marketing and consumer behavior programs for international, national and local clients. Allen brings substantial expertise in the areas of strategic management, succession planning, information strategy, organizational productivity, and image-driven marketing. His broad experience includes work across many industries including medical providers, service firms, financial institutions, major manufacturers of durable goods, telecommunications companies, packaged goods, record companies, entertainment managers, and a variety of entrepreneurial ventures.

His techniques help companies understand their total business, and as a result, improve performance, communication, accountability, and morale. Allen’s unique methods of diagnosing an organization’s strategic needs and his team approach to implementation have earned him long-term relationships with many globally recognized companies.

Lodestone : Shyam Pullela

Shyam Pullela

Senior Technology Advisor

Shyam Pullela serves as a Senior Technology Advisor with Lodestone Advisory Group, bringing 20+ years of experience in managing engineering teams and delivering multi-billion dollar revenue products. Shyam supports Lodestone with strategic programs for clients both internationally and domestically. He brings substantial expertise in the areas of engineering leadership and design, including project, process, product, and people management.

Prior to joining Lodestone, Shyam worked for almost seventeen years at Cisco Systems’ headquarters in San Jose, California. He was a founding member of the Internet of Things (IoT)/Smart Grid business unit of Cisco Systems and delivered several first-in-class products in the areas of Smart Grid, Manufacturing, Transportation, Oil & Gas and Public Services. In addition to being the Director of the System Development Group, Shyam was an executive member of the leadership team at Cisco, and helped driving the business strategy, designing long term plans, negotiating partnerships, and planning and delivering new products. Prior to that, Shyam also worked with Cisco as a Senior Manager and delivered several Data Networking products in the areas of both service provider and enterprise routing and switching.

Lodestone : Ali A. Zaatari

Ali A. Zaatari

Senior Advisor

Ali Zaatari serves as a Senior Advisor with Lodestone Advisory Group, bringing over ten years of private equity and advisory experience in international markets. Ali supports clients with international mandates focusing on investment advisory, cross border transactions, market entry strategies, deal sourcing and execution.

Ali is also the current owner and president of Amalia SAL, a leading wholesale distributor of agrochemicals and seeds based in the Middle East since 1979. Ali took over the business in November of 2011 and led the quick turnaround of the company through capital restructuring and implementation of new management processes, and other significant measures that positioned the company towards long term sustainability, growth and a healthy balance sheet. Ali oversees the working capital management of the company, relationships with banks, and is currently involved in negotiations to expand Amalia regionally.

Lodestone:Noah Kroloff

Noah Kroloff

Senior Advisor

Noah Kroloff is a Senior Advisor to the Lodestone Advisory Group, bringing over 20 years of public policy experience to the firm, including expertise in crisis and change management, Homeland and National Security strategies and policy, and campaign development. He is also a Partner and Co-Founder of GSIS, an international business advisory and security consulting firm based in Washington, D.C.

Prior to co-founding GSIS, Noah held a variety of leadership positions in state and federal government, including more than four as Chief of Staff of the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from 2009-2013. In that capacity, he oversaw 240,000 employees, a $60 billion budget and 22 federal agencies and was the principal advisor to Secretary Janet Napolitano on all operational and policy functions of the Department. Noah also served on the 2008 Obama-Biden transition team, where he advised the DHS nominee.

Lodestone : Dennis K. Burke

Dennis K. Burke

Senior Advisor

Dennis Burke is a Senior Advisor to the Lodestone Advisory Group, bringing over 20 years of public service at both the Federal and State levels to the firm. He is also a Co-Founder of GSIS, an international business advisory and security consulting firm based in Washington, D.C. In 2009, he was appointed by President Obama and confirmed by the United States Senate as the United States Attorney for the District of Arizona, where he oversaw all federal prosecutions in Arizona for one of the largest United States Attorney’s offices in the country.

Prior to his term as US Attorney, Dennis was a Senior Advisor to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano after serving on the Obama/Biden Transition team focusing on homeland security administration and policy. Dennis was Chief of Staff to Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano from 2003 to 2008 after serving as the Chief Deputy in the Arizona Attorney General’s Office managing the largest law firm in Arizona.

Lodestone : Adnan Zulfiqar

Adnan Zulfiqar

Senior Advisor

Adnan Zulfiqar is a Senior Advisor to the Lodestone Advisory Group, bringing substantial private and public sector experience to the team, as well as over a decade of field experience in the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Prior to joining Lodestone, Adnan was an Associate in the Washington, D.C. office of Hogan Lovells, LLP where he was a member of the Investigations, White Collar and Fraud Group.

His practice focused on advising clients on government enforcement actions, corporate compliance, internal investigations and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. In addition, Adnan was also a member of the Legislation and Political Compliance Group, where he provided guidance to the firm's clients on matters relating to the Middle East and Central Asia.


Patrick Baird is an Associate with Lodestone Advisory Group, where he works with international and domestic clients on engagements covering business strategy, entrepreneurship, company and project valuation, market entry, feasibility studies and corporate structuring.

Prior to joining Lodestone, Patrick served as Chief of Staff of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (ECD)'s International Division, where he contributed to the development of ECD's Five-Year International Strategy for job growth amongst small- and medium-size businesses, which laid the ground work for the State of Tennessee's global business development footprint. He was also responsible for the coordination and management of eight international offices charged with investment recruitment and export development.