Our Team

Mark Ball, Managing DirectorMark Ball
Mark is the Managing Director of Emerging Sun, LLC. He has over 20 years of management consulting experience, specifically in the areas of strategic sourcing, IT strategy, supplier relationship management and performance improvement. He founded Emerging Sun in 2005 to help corporate and government clients reduce their IT costs and improve business performance. Mark has managed of all elements of the supply chain management and acquisition process, from analysis of client’s category spend and upfront opportunity assessment, through RFP activities, vendor selection and contract negotiations, with a particular focus on IT hardware, software, telecommunications and professional services. Mark also built the African operations of Emerging Sun based in Johannesburg, South Africa, focused on enabling global clients to pursue opportunities and expand their footprint across Africa. He has previously served as a senior manager with Fannie Mae, where he led technology sourcing projects and negotiated vendor contracts within the company’s IT department. Mark has several years of prior consulting experience with leading firms including A.T. Kearney.

Mark has worked on several engagements with the federal government, including a strategic sourcing IT assessment project for the IRS, a global strategic sourcing and acquisition strategy effort for the U.S. Army Materiel Command, and change management for the implementation of a new project management solution for HUD. During his work at the IRS, Mark was gained experience in Federal Acquisition Regulations and procurement practices within a federal agency.

Mark has an MBA from Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania.


Justin Valentine
Justin has over 17 years of management consulting, strategic sourcing and procurement experience. He recently advised the Chief Procurement Officer at the World Bank Group, leading procurement reform to re-design and modernize all internal procurement policies and procedures. His past clients include GSA’s Office of Strategy Management, where he assisted the Category Management PMO in developing the organizational and operational design of GSA’s Category Management program and the IRS’ Strategic Acquisition Initiatives Division, helping to develop sourcing strategies for wireless and IT hardware spend. He was VP of Strategic Alliances at FedBid – a procurement services firm focused on tail spend management.

Justin has an MA in Conflict Resolution and International Business from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and a BA from the University of Virginia. He also completed the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School and has a Master’s Certificate in Six Sigma.


Travis MellsTravis Mells
Travis has over 10 years of management consulting experience and has worked with clients in the public and private sectors. In the public sector, he has extensive knowledge of Federal government procurement practices and has led activities related to major transformational initiatives including the Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative and the government-wide implementation of Category Management. His public sector project experience includes spend analysis, strategic sourcing of product and service categories, organizational analysis and design, and supplier relationship management for clients including the General Services Administration, Department of the Army, and the Defense Logistics Agency.

In the private sector, Travis has experience in corporate strategy, operations, and information technology. His recent project experience includes development of a software renewal negotiation strategy for a Fortune 50 financial services company, growth strategy for a government focused consulting firm, merger & acquisition strategy for several aerospace & defense companies, and market research for an information solutions and services company. Travis previously worked at A.T. Kearney, a global management consulting firm, where he collaborated with clients in the financial services, health care, chemicals, and industrial goods industries on a range of projects including strategic sourcing, complexity reduction, business development, and manufacturing assessments.

Travis also has experience working as a Mechanical Engineer at Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems (now Mission Systems) where he led both mechanical design and thermal analysis activities for several development and production programs. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics-Engineering from Washington and Lee University, a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University, and an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.