Deposit Alternatives presents a simple option to the traditional security deposit process — a necessary but awkward business practice for utilities. Our plan delivers benefits for both the utility companies and their “security required” customers, with a smaller, non-refundable charge at service activation. In case of default, Deposit Alternatives will reimburse the utility, up to 125% of the traditional security deposit amount.
One case study: In a competitive market, our utility client boosted “security required” activations by over 40% with more than half enrolling in our plan.
Deposit Alternatives is grounded in utility industry and financial expertise. Backed by highly successful entrepreneurs and built on five years of research and development, our reliable plan makes the process easy for utilities, and introduces an attractive option for their customers.
Our dedicated team helps power, water and gas companies better serve their customers while providing a tool to reduce bad debt.
Meet our Team
Mike Kerce, Chief Executive Officer
H. Michael Kerce, principal and chief executive officer of Deposit Alternatives, LLC, is a financial executive with more than 30 years experience in accounting, finance, and insurance for public and private companies.
After a career start with a CPA firm, Kerce joined First Mississippi Corporation, a NYSE company with operations in agriculture, chemicals, oil and gas, natural resources and other technology startups, where various positions included director of corporate risk management.
He joined the venture capital firm Gulf South Capital, Inc., founded by telecommunications pioneer John N. Palmer Sr., as CFO in 2003, and is now the firm’s CEO, building and managing an investment portfolio of private equities, stocks, oil and gas exploration, real estate, timber and more. Kerce also serves on the board of Bedford Reinsurance Ltd.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Mississippi and has completed executive courses at various universities, including the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Steve Shelton, Chief Operating Officer
Steve Shelton, chief operating officer at Deposit Alternatives, LLC, has more than 20 years experience in corporate management and administration.
His broad and extensive business expertise draws from service in areas as diverse as systems development, sales and marketing, and program development with various organizations, including, ultimately, the role of president of a managing general insurance agency.
Over his corporate career, he has overseen rapid growth, implemented and maintained new online applications and introduced new programs on both a direct and retail basis.
Shelton earned a Bachelor of Science in chemistry from Mississippi College and a Master of Business Administration from Millsaps College.
Jason Tuckley, Chief Analytics Officer
Jason Tuckley, chief analytics officer at Deposit Alternatives, LLC, has more than 20 years of insurance-specific experience across multiple disciplines, including financial reporting, systems development and implementation, organizational and process efficiency, complex financial modeling, and project management.
With Deloitte in London, Tuckley trained as a chartered accountant specializing solely in the insurance sector, and then became the senior finance manager of a London-based reinsurance company.
He went on to become a senior director in an insurance consultancy and intermediary operation, based in London but with operations in the United States, which he oversees.
Tuckley has a Master of Science in chemistry from Oxford University in England and is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. He has a Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt from Villanova University.
Rob Samuels, Vice President of Sales and Marketing
Rob Samuels, vice president of sales and marketing at Deposit Alternatives, LLC, has more than 20 years experience in sales, corporate sales leadership, marketing and company growth.
Samuels has launched multiple companies and he has managed sales, marketing, operations and personnel at district, regional and corporate levels for both startup and established companies.
As regional sales manager for realtor.com, he was appointed to the 2011 Sales Council for Top Performers, and achieved 30 percent growth year over year within the Southeast territory.
When he was sales and project manager at Denyse Signs, Samuels closed over $1 million in sales nationally. At Multifamily Utility Company in his role as director of sales and marketing, he increased company sales by more than 300 percent annually and was brought in to close deals with a 90 percent close ratio.
He oversaw the largest year over year growth in company history, during his leadership role as vice president of sales with American Painting & Renovations, Suwanee, Georgia.
Samuels has a degree in communications from the Connecticut School of Broadcasting in Atlanta.
John Palmer, Chairman
John N. Palmer, a principal and chairman of Deposit Alternatives, LLC, is a telecommunications pioneer, former U.S. Ambassador to Portugal and chairman of the Jackson, Mississippi-based venture capital firm Gulf South Capital, Inc.
His telecommunications career began with the 1965 purchase of a Mississippi radio common carrier. By 1973, his Mobile Communications Corporation of America (MCCA) had become a significant force in the cellular telephone business. He sold MCCA to BellSouth in 1989, retaining certain businesses he then forged into SkyTel Communications, which became a leader in advanced wireless messaging. He served as SkyTel’s chairman until its 1999 sale to MCI WorldCom.
Palmer was a board member of three New York Stock Exchange companies: AmSouth Bancorporation, EastGroup and Entergy Corporation. His civic leadership roles include chairman of the national trustees of the National Symphony Orchestra, trustee of Millsaps College and president and director of the University of Mississippi Foundation as well as board membership of the Institute for Technology Development, Foundation for the Mid-South and more.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Business Administration from the University of Mississippi and an honorary Doctor of Laws from Millsaps College.