Basket Plant

ESP leadership and board members

About Us

Easy Smart Pay was founded in 2017 with a desire to modernize and simplify the process of paying government. Even though the company is young, our board and executive team bring a wealth of experience in both financial and technology sectors, which makes us a natural fit for this space.

Easy Smart Pay (ESP) is a payment platform primarily focused on improving and facilitating tax payments for local government taxpayers. ESP has been developed as a public-private partnership for the primary concern for developing an easy and smart way to pay certain taxes.


Alan Fernandes

Alan, a California lawyer and entrepreneur with a specialization in State and Local Taxation, has spent a career in government affairs, law and finance. He has worked for government at nearly every level as well as a major investment firm, and now serves as the CEO of the California State Association of Counties Finance Corporation and is primarily responsible for the development of the ESP project.


Jon Palecek

Jon, a highly successful entrepreneur and business owner in area of technology, has built a profitable business in San Diego County, California where he currently resides. He has an extensive background in software security and architecture and is responsible for the business operations of ESP and the deployment of all technology applications under development.

Founding Director

Chris Gardner

Chris is an internationally known American businessman, investor, and author, who is perhaps best known as a world-class father who overcame the adversity of homelessness to reach the pinnacle of the world of Banking, Finance and Investment. His autobiographical book inspired the major motion picture "The Pursuit of Happyness", starring Will Smith, and today he travels the world challenging his audiences to find true happiness and fulfillment.

Founding Director

Marshall Geller

Marshall is perhaps one of California’s most successful businessmen in the area of finance and investments. From his early career as the Managing Director of one of the world’s largest investment firms, to his subsequent work as an investor, Director and Officer of many successful startups and major corporations, Marshall has a deep background and expertise in business. In addition, Marshall has also given generously of his time toward the development of public service and public policy in many ways but notably as a past commissioner of the Little Hoover Commission, prestigious policy think tank in California.

Founding Director

Matt Cate

Matt is the former Executive Director of the California State Association of Counties, where he successfully led the organization through some of the most consequential years from a fiscal and policy perspective through the history of California Counties. Prior to this work, he spent a career in public service holding many high profile positions in California Government such as Deputy Attorney General, Inspector General, and Secretary of Corrections under both Republican and Democratic Gubernatorial Administrations.


Leonard Moty

Leonard was elected to the Shasta County Board of Supervisors in 2008. Prior, he served as Chief of the Redding Police Department where he worked for 31 years. Leonard currently serves as the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) Finance Corporation Board President, CSAC Treasurer, CSAC Executive Committee, among many other state and local boards and commissions. Leonard has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from the University of Notre Dame and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Southern California. In addition, he has graduated from the FBI National Law Enforcement Academy among other law enforcement institutions.


Graham Knaus

Graham serves as the Executive Director for the California State Association of Counties (CSAC). Prior to his current role, Graham was the Deputy Executive Director, Operations and Member Services for CSAC. Before his career at CSAC, Graham spent his career working for California Counties including six years with Placer County as the County’s Assistant Director of Health and Human Services and as the County Budget Director. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science/public policy from UC San Diego, and his Master of Public Administration from the University of Southern California.


Sachi Hamai

Best known for her tenure as the Chief Executive Officer of Los Angeles County where she was responsible for managing the strategic direction and day-to-day operations of the nation’s largest municipal government, Sachi is a passionate marathon and long-distance runner who has participated nationally and internationally in nearly 40 races in the past five years. In between long runs, she contributes her strong fiscal management and valuable public sector insight to the Board of Directors among other organization. Sachi co-founded WomenLeadLAC as a forum for up-and-coming managers to network with L.A. County’s top executives. She serves on the board of United Way of Greater Los Angeles and is a member of the U.S.-Japan Council.


Matthew D. Chase

Matt has served as the CEO/Executive Director of the National Association of Counties (NACo) since September 2012. As the chief executive officer, he is responsible for the overall management of the association. NACo is the only national association representing America’s 3,069 county governments. During his professional career, Matt has focused on promoting America’s economic competitiveness, strengthening the intergovernmental system of federal, state and local officials, and engaging local elected officials in the federal policymaking process. In addition, he is a regular presenter on the impact of federal budget and policy trends on local governments and communities.


Vernon Billy

Vernon is the CEO and Executive Director of the California School Boards Association. He has been involved in the business, legislative and political process for nearly three decades. Having previously worked for CSBA in the early 1990s as a senior legislative advocate, and as the governmental affairs director for several of the largest school districts in California, he linked his knowledge of education policy with his business interest and operated several successful policy and advocacy firms.