Executive Profiles

Prior to Guard-IT, Mr. Ford spent more than 15 years developing online information systems for the legal and business newspaper industry. While managing a nascent, online division of the Austin American-Statesman in the 1990s, he transformed the Austin Daily Record newspaper into one of the earliest online, for-profit databases, and later developed and launched the first-ever online access to the Austin American-Statesman's news archives.

Taking a leap of faith in 1999, Mr. Ford left the Statesman to start his own venture and saw a vacancy in the booming software and IT services arena. When asked about software escrow services, recognized the need, studied the global market and ran with the idea.

Ford studied the existing rigid and expensive software escrow models and launched Guard-IT in March 1999, later incorporating the business in June 1999 as a Texas corporation. His vision and company mission remains to help software developers and their clients set up and maintain escrow accounts with flexibility, online account tools and competitive fees.

Ford graduated magna cum laude with a journalism degree from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University) and is the former president and program director of Austin's Technology Advisors Group. Jim and Sheri, his wife of 28 years, have three children (two in college) and reside in Austin, Texas.

Contact Jim: (512) 282-1995 or jford@guard-it.com


For more than 40 years, Mr. Belt (JD, University of Texas Law School, 1972) has operated a commercial law practice in Austin as a solo practitioner, focusing on business contracts and litigation.

Before establishing his Austin practice, Mr. Belt practiced in Geneva, Switzerland and Paris, France. Mr. Belt has taught business law at the University of Texas School of Business and business studies at Austin Community College.

In addition to his law practice, Mr. Belt assists startups and other businesses in raising venture capital, locally and internationally.

Contact Terry: (512) 327-7360 or beltlaw@yahoo.com


Mr. Ditta brings a broad perspective on business development and client relationships, having experience in a wide range of sectors including IT, financial services, energy and telecommunications.

As partner in a Sydney-based consulting firm, Mr. Ditta spent most of the 1990s working with Australian IT startups and "turn around" tech companies. He then launched his own international e-procurement company.

In 2006, he returned to the U.S. to manage the launch of an e-procurement platform within the management teams at British Petroleum (BP), and started his own consultancy which connected oil & gas investors with renewable energy companies. The ever-changing landscape of products and services drew Mr. Ditta back to the IT sector.

With his diverse business development experience, Mr. Ditta's focus has remained on protecting both sides of the business transaction, which matches Guard-IT's mission to protect developers' intellectual property while also protecting their licensees' IT investments. His experience with both startups and enterprises provides keen insight to understand and support the needs of IT developers and their clients.

Mr. Ditta is a graduate of Baylor University, where he was an All-American football player and is a member of the Baylor Athletic Hall of Fame. He resides in Austin with Kelly, his wife of 24 years.

Contact Frank: (512) 282-1995 or fditta@guard-it.com


Ms. McLain (JD, South Texas College of Law, 1989) is licensed to practice before the all Texas state courts, the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals and the U.S. Southern and Western districts of Texas.

Ms. McLain is a distinguished and credentialed mediator, handling cases in a variety of business and civil arenas. She has been recognized by Official Proclamation of the Texas Senate for her contributions in community affairs.

She is the founding member of Linda McLain, P.C. and McLain Mediation Services.

Contact Linda: (936) 825-6533 or mclainmediationservices@gmail.com