Dina Ellis Rochkind

Dina Ellis Rochkind is Counsel in the Paul Hastings Government Affairs practice and is based in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. Her practice focuses on representing clients before Members of Congress on Capitol Hill and the Executive Branch. Ms. Rochkind represents clients in matters involving regulatory initiatives, policymaking and legislation, and enforcement actions. Ms. Rochkind’s legislative experience allows her to advise her clients on the latest client initiatives, from starting a business to crowdsourcing; bitcoin ($bitcoin); and blockchain technologies. She is frequently called on to deliver presentations on complex issues of public policy to professional, trade, startups, hedge funds, private equity and political groups nationwide. Ms. Rochkind also gives strategic advice and assists with due diligence in terms of legislative/regulatory risk. She also serves on boards, including advisory boards for startups. Ms. Rochkind has over 20 years of experience on Capitol Hill, lobbying, and working for the Executive Branch. Prior to joining Paul Hastings, she served as Washington Director in the office of Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO). Other Capitol Hill experience includes serving as senior staff for various Congressional Committees and for Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA). Ms. Rochkind also served in the George W. Bush Administration as Deputy Assistant Secretary at the Treasury Department. She has been involved in drafting major pieces of legislation over the last two decades, including: the 2005 bankruptcy reform legislation, the FACT Act, E-Sign, Check 21, Federal Deposit Insurance Reform Act, Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, and, most recently, the comprehensive and bipartisan JOBS Act, for which she was the lead staffer in the Senate.

Ms. Rochkind has worked across party lines on both sides of the aisle to achieve key legislative successes and has a reputation for “getting things done” in Washington. She is also experienced in crisis management. During the auto industry crisis, Ms. Rochkind led the lobby to rescue Chrysler and handled the consequences and fallout from its bankruptcy. She has led legislative advocacy on behalf of major corporate entities and advised congressional leaders on issues such as banking, bankruptcy, insurance, other financial services, and economic development.


Prior to leading Rep. Coffman’s office, Ms. Rochkind served as Vice President of Federal Government Affairs for a leading mortgage lending company.


Ms. Rochkind is admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia and Pennsylvania.

Stephen Forte

Stephen Forte is a Managing Partner of Fresco Capital, a Silicon Valley and Asia based VC Fund. Prior to Fresco, Stephen was Chief Strategy Officer of Telerik, a leading vendor of developer and team productivity tools and acquired by Progress Software in 2014. At Telerik Stephen oversaw international expansion, partnerships, and corporate development. Previously, he founded and operated the Mach5 accelerator in Silicon Valley, AcceleratorHK, Hong Kong’s first startup accelerator, and the Laudato Si’ Challenge Accelerator, the Vatican’s first accelerator.


Stephen was the co-founder of several startups, including Chassis Finder (acquired in 2012), Triton Works (acquired in 2010) and Corzen (acquired in 2007). Prior to Corzen, Stephen served as the first CTO of venture backed Zagat Survey in New York City (acquired in 2011) and also was co-founder of the New York-based software consulting firm The Aurora Development Group.


Stephen has an MBA from the City University of New York, did post grad work at London School of Economics and has written several books on application and database development. An avid mountain climber, he leads an annual charity fundraising trek in the Mt. Everest region.


Stephen has been an avid crypto supporter for over 10 years and was lucky enough to buy some Bitcoin back in 2012, but dumb enough to sell most of it in 2019. After investing in several blockchain companies, Stephen took the lead of an open source “Fresco ICO Playbook for Portfolio Companies” back in 2017. https://stephenforte.github.io/FrescoICOPlaybook/Fresco

Crypto Resources

Sam Gaer

Sam Gaer is the founder, CEO, and CIO of Katana Financial LLC, a quantitative investment manager with a focus on cryptocurrency and volatility strategies. He is also the owner of Locust Walk Trading LLC, a financial markets software development firm which he founded in 2013.  Mr. Gaer has held numerous executive leadership positions in the financial industry. From 2010 to 2012, he served as CIO and executive vice president of the Financial Regulatory Authority Inc. (“FINRA”) where he was responsible for all aspects of technology and information services of the nation’s largest financial markets regulator.  From 2008 to 2010, he founded Tragara Alpha Partners LLC, a high frequency energy arbitrage proprietary trading firm. From 2003 to 2008, he was employed by the New York Mercantile Exchange (“NYMEX”), where he held the titles of CIO, CEO of NYMEX Europe, and concluded his service as the firm’s Executive Vice President (“EVP/COO”).  During his tenure at NYMEX, he was instrumental in its transformation to electronic trading, as well as its historic IPO and the eventual $13 billion sale to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in 2008. Prior to NYMEX, Mr. Gaer was the founder and CEO of TradinGear.com Inc., a software development firm whose assets were acquired by NYMEX in 2003.  Mr. Gaer started his career on the trading floor of the Commodities Exchange Inc. (“COMEX”) at the age of 15.  In 1988, at the age of 21, he became COMEX’s youngest members and presently continues to be a seat holder.  He has been a member of the CFTC Technology Advisory Committee and has served as the Global Vice Chair of the FIX Protocol Derivatives Committee. Mr. Gaer holds two technology patents and has been the recipient of numerous industry awards including twice being named to CIO Magazine’s “CIO 100” list.