About The Authenticity Institute

The Authenticity Institute is a combination of incubator and business licensor. While its offerings are legally considered to be certification programs rather than franchises, we use franchise methods and procedures to ensure that our licensees have what they need in order to successfully bring Authenticity to their chosen markets and audiences.

Members of our team have built and managed effective and secure online meeting places for magazine publishers, Fortune 50 computer firms, and others. Our clients enjoy the security that comes from confidence in the identities of those who touch their valuable digital assets and processes.

The Authenticity Infrastructure

Our Authenticity Infrastructure is a complete technology, standards, and business platform, bringing intellectual property licensing and support services to member companies of the Authenticity Alliance. Member companies of the Alliance are able to build upon enrollment services, public key certification services and other capabilities to ensure that the identities of individuals are sufficiently reliable for the purposes of the parties that rely upon them. The Authenticity Infrastructure is one of three parts of the Quiet Enjoyment Infrastructure.

The Authenticity Alliance

The tools of the Authenticity Infrastructure are available to qualified entrepreneurs who want to bring Authenticity to their target audiences and markets. Members of the Authenticity Alliance are independent enterprises and noncommercial organizations.

Authenticity Capital

Authenticity Capital is a planned early stage venture firm. Its mission is to help qualify prospective licensees - entrepreneurs - of The Authenticity Institute and to seek investors and board members for the Authenticity Enterprises that the licensees will launch.

Authenticity Capital may itself be considered an Authenticity Enterprise.


Our History had its beginnings as The Village Group, formed in the late ‘90’s to address the need for reliable digital identities. Its first project was the development of the VIVOS Enrollment Workstation. Designed to be used by notaries with minimal training, VIVOS binds biometrics of subjects to digital identity certificates.

Digital identity certificates imply PKI. In the process of writing a book about about a hypothetical world public key infrastructure built upon reliable identity certificates, our CIO was introduced to a group at the International Telecommunication Union that was attempting to implement a world PKI that was similar to the one he envisioned. In 2002 The Village Group became a charter signatory to the International Telecommunication Union’s World e-Trust Initiative. The company is now a Sector Member of the ITU.

At the Quiet Enjoyment Infrastructure meeting at ITU headquarters in Geneva on March 7, 2005, representatives of the ITU, the International Union of the Latin Notariat, and the media were presented with our vision of the component of QEI that has to do with certification by duly constituted public authority. The group wrote the first draft of the charter of an online World City Hall, using the authority of the ITU, which would serve as certification authority to the world.

In 2007 our founding entrepreneur was appointed to one of the five Individual Experts positions in the High Level Experts Group of the ITU’s Global Cybersecurity Agenda. http://www.itu.int/osg/csd/cybersecurity/gca/hleg/

Management Team

The mission of The Authenticity Institute and Authenticity Capital is to incubate enterprises that are built upon, and which help to deploy, the Authenticity Infrastructure. Necessarily that means we not only wear many hats, but we change hats frequently. Partly for that reason, and partly because it reflects our view of what’s needed to prevail in the age of agile, flattened organizations, each of us carries the same title: Entrepreneur.

Wes Kussmaul

Wes was the sole founder in 1981 of Delphi Internet Services Corporation, “The Company That Popularized The Internet.” At the time it was sold to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation in 1993, Delphi had been profitable for years and was among the four largest online services, along with AOL, CompuServe and Prodigy.

In 1986, while CEO of Delphi, Wes launched a spinoff, Global Villages, Incorporated to serve magazine publishers and business clients with their own private-label online services. During the next twelve years Global provided business planning, design, engineering, hosting, management and promotion services for Digital Equipment Corporation, William F. Buckley’s National Review, BioTechniques, Hardcopy, International Business, Business Digest, and many other companies and magazines. Global’s hosting business was sold in 1998 to NTT Verio.

Wes then turned the attention of his new team to the need for reliable identities of individuals on the Internet, starting with the development of the VIVOS Enrollment Workstation. Designed to be used by notaries with minimal training, VIVOS binds biometrics of the enrollee to digital identity certificates.

While developing VIVOS, Wes began collecting source material for a book about a hypothetical world public key infrastructure, built upon certificates representing reliable identities, that would bring authenticity to online interactions and privacy to individuals. As the book began to take shape Wes was introduced to a group at the International Telecommunication Union that was attempting to implement a world PKI that was similar to the one he envisioned. In 2002 the predecessor of , The Village Group, became a charter signatory to the International Telecommunication Union’s World e-Trust Initiative and is now a Sector Member of the ITU. Wes is a member of the High Level Experts Group at the ITU’s Global Cybersecurity Agenda. In an address in 2008 to the United Nations World Summit on Information Society in Geneva, Wes introduced the City of Osmio, which applies the global public authority of the ITU to the process of identity certification and to other digital certificates. Wes received his BS in physics in 1971 from the University of Central Missouri while serving nearby in the U.S. Air Force. Upon graduation and discharge he became a systems analyst at Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, developing mainframe database applications for the next four years. Subsequent positions in sales and sales management at Gould Incorporated, Benson SA, and Tektronix, Inc. brought him in contact with the pioneers of the pre-Web Internet.

Wes is an individual adherent of the International Union of Latin Notaries and has been appointed a Notary Ambassador by the National Notary Association.

Edward C. H. Schmidt

Following graduation with a BSEE from MIT, Ed began his career at Bolt, Beranek & Newman, Inc. (BBN), where email and the Internet protocols were being invented. BBN was prime contractor for the then ARPANet (Advanced Research Projects Agency), which subsequently became the Internet. Although he was involved in early Internet development at several stages, Ed’s time at BBN began with work on several acoustic technologies, predominately forensic and underwater acoustics. Most notably in his involvement with forensic acoustics, Ed was a member of a small team of experts who analyzed the acoustic evidence in the US House of Representatives investigation of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

After several years as a senior analyst in underwater acoustics, Ed spearheaded a group focused on the development of highly sophisticated SONAR systems utilizing advanced signal processing and systems technologies. This group grew five-fold in three years and developed a substantial reputation among its client community for leading edge system development.

As the Internet achieved growing interest in the commercial marketplace following the Cold War, Ed engineered ground-up development of a successful Internet marketing and Web development consultancy, which focused on promotion of Web sites for small to mid-sized retail and service organizations and enabled clients to leverage new capabilities of Internet for business promotion and growth focused on promotion of Web sites for small to mid-sized retail and service organizations More recently, at LavaStorm, a startup Internet systems engineering firm, Ed led the design and development management of several ultra-high concurrency Internet sites of national and international scope.

In particular, Ed managed the software development and system design for a gaming site which could accommodate up to 4 million simultaneous contestants in a head to head tournament with a million dollar grand prize. This presented formidable challenges in data security, not only to ensure the integrity of the game (and the $1.0M), but also the need to process the data in real time. This system was hosted by the then most powerful Internet site in the US, capable of handling in excess of 0.5 billion hits/hour. Ed was also a consultant on the physical site’s development and installation. Other projects included the Mormon genealogy website complex.

Ed subsequently did consulting work on computer security for a financial engineering firm.

Ed received both his MSEE and MBA from Stanford University. His undergraduate degree is in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (BSEECS) from MIT.

Peter Hadley

Dr. Hadley is responsible for develoment of the software components of The Authenticity Infrastructure and the InDoors Infrastructure portions of the Quiet Enjoyment Infrastructure.

As a software engineer at Amazon.com Peter developed a new email generating system and gift certificate customer acquisition application. Prior to his Amazon.com experience he had responsibility for all email systems at PlanetAll.com including automated generation and response. Prior to that he was CTO at InfoDeal.com.

He has taught engineering (MATLAB, C Programming, Civil Engineering and wave propagation) as a faculty member at Northeastern University and at Bogazici Universitesi in Istanbul, Turkey.

Peter has done volunteer work for Habitat for Humanity and has served as an advisor to Sigma Chi Fraternity at MIT. He recently survived teaching high school level Sunday School in Hazelwood, Missouri.

Peter received his Ph.D. and A.M. from Princeton University, M.S. from Northeastern University, and S.B. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Joanna Lilly

Having served as Executive Director of the American Society of Notaries, Joanna joined The Village Group in September 2001 both as Communications Director and as the leader of the development of the new profession of Enrollment Officer. Joanna has contributed media communications, notary expertise, and advertising services. Editor of several books and magazines, she has extensive knowledge of notary law, practice, and procedures with many years of experience with the Florida-based American Society of Notaries (ASN), a national non-profit organization, serving as Executive Director of the ASN as well as Chief Editor of over 40 publications including American Notary, ASN’s quarterly magazine, and Notary Tipsheet, distributed to over 14,000 members. Joanna has written groundbreaking articles for the Society, such as “The Unlawful Notary” in the Fourth Qtr. 1999 issue of American Notary and was the primary contributor to the Society’s website. Joanna is a notary thought leader in a state that is at the forefront of the national effort to improve notarial standards, having instituted the first Latin (Civil) Notary designation in the U.S..

In addition to successful promotion of membership in the Society through many marketing endeavors, Ms. Lilly has taught professional notary public courses in Florida for years, and as Chief Editor has been involved in the writing and editing of state-specific notary handbooks for Arizona, Delaware, DC, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, New Jersey, South Carolina, and Texas, and the Marriage Handbook for Florida, Maine, and South Carolina notaries. She collaborated on the creation of the Society’s classroom and online notary training programs for Florida and South Carolina, and on the 40-Hour ASN Instructor Certification Program. Her knowledge of proper notary procedures makes her a valuable and qualified Professional Notary Instructor.

Prior to her tenure with the Society, she worked for 3 years with Notary Public Underwriters (NPU), a large notary bond firm. She marketed the company to potential clients, provided extensive technical assistance and customer service, assisting and educating notary clients regarding proper notarial practice. Prior to that she served the Capital City Bank Group for ten years.

Lee FitzSimmons

Lee manages the PKI Press and 4-Realz enterprises. He possesses a wide array of creative and technical skills, bringing a unique perspective to issues of identity authenticity and Internet privacy.

Many of his creative endeavors include writing for Blerp.com as well as editing and creating different types of freelance works for a diverse collection of clients. At a very young age, he began to excel in the creative and academic arts, winning numerous awards for literary, mathematics, and musical achievements. He was a TSSEC outstanding performer in the UIL musical theory and ear training competition, where he won the state championship in 1985 and 1986.

When he was eighteen, Lee received a scholarship to Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he tested out of several semesters of theory and ear training upon arrival. In 2006, Lee won an award at the Miami Museum Film Festival for “Best Musical Soundtrack.” In addition to directing different events for the local musical theatre scene and performing at many community functions, Lee has also performed onstage with a large number of nationally distributed artists.

Lee has a degree in English from the University of Houston, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude and was a member of Gamma Beta Phi.