Jeff Cooke, President/CEO/COO, Coversant Inc.
Jeff was the CEO for multiple early stage companies, and an executive at Hewlett Packard, Apple Computer and NEC. He has led 9 early stage/mid-market companies and completed 5 successful company sales including FDI Collateral Management. FDI grew over 3,000% EBITDA from -50% to 24% of revenue under Mr. Cooke’s leadership. At HP, Jeff led 3 global businesses with P&L responsibility over $1.4 billion. He served as a member of the board of directors for electronics manufacturing, software, publishing, financial services and business service companies.
Ted Gaines, Small Business Owner
Ted is a small business owner who has operated a successful insurance business for more than 30 years. He began working side-by-side with his father right out of college and continues to grow Gaines Insurance with his wife and one of his daughters. During his time as a California state Senator, he received an “A” grade from the Howard Jarvis Taxpayer’s Association for five consecutive years and also received a 100 percent score on the California Taxpayers Association’s 2011 Voting Record. In addition, he obtained a perfect “Job Creator” rating from the California Chamber of Commerce and has consistently appeared on the California Small Business Association’s honor roll.
Dr. Ernest Sirolli, Owner, Sirolli Institute
Italian-born, Dr. Ernest Sirolli received a Laurea di Dottore in Political Science from Rome University and a Ph.D. from Murdoch University in Perth, Western Australia. He has worked in Europe, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the U.S., and the U.K. in the field of economic development. Dr. Sirolli is an authority in the field of sustainable economic development, and is an in demand speaker worldwide. His TED talk “If You Want to Help Someone, Shut Up and Listen” has had over 2.2 million views. He is the Founder of the Sirolli Institute, an international nonprofit that teaches community leaders how to implement Enterprise Facilitation in their community.
Brandon Weber, Curator, TEDx Sacramento
Brandon is also a business owner and advocate for economic growth in the Sacramento region through the empowerment of entrepreneurs. He is the Founder of CORE DIGS, and an Ambassador for AngelHack. In 2009, Brandon launched The Urban Hive, a shared work space and incubator for creatives and tech start-ups. Brandon made Sacramento one of the first cities to hold a TEDx, along with Amsterdam, Paris, Moscow, Berlin, Boston and SF. His events have hosted more than 4,000 attendees, nearly 100 speakers (including a Nobel laureate) and performers from five continents, and have been viewed by nearly 100,000 people.
Gil Alvarado, CFO, Sierra Health Foundation
Since 2005, Gil has served as the CFO of Sierra Health Foundation, a nonprofit that provides funding and creates partnerships to improve health and health care in the Central Valley area. Gil is highly regarded as an innovator within his professional community. His recent accomplishments include restructuring $34 million in debt and reducing long-term liability by 54 percent over three years while expanding the foundation’s reputation and impact. He was honored as the 2013 CFO of the year. He has been a Director of Sacramento Area Regional Technology Alliance since February 2013 and Gil was the winner of the 2013 Sac-CESS I.D.I.A. Award.
John Kunhart, Owner, American River Ventures
John brings a quarter-century of broad-range experiences starting new ventures and working in major corporations to complement his investment background. Before co-founding American River Ventures, John was an active seed-stage investor. He was a co-founder of Professional Solutions, Inc. (PSI), a multimillion dollar IT consulting and staffing company. John held senior technical and marketing positions with IBM, Tandem, and Boeing Computer Services. During his tenure at IBM, John was a key contributor to the launch of what is now IBM Global Services. John regularly applies his first-hand experience to helping portfolio companies with important decisions and introductions.
Bill Tucker, Owner, Tucker Media Group
Bill has 25 years experience in advertising, marketing and media. Tucker Media executes advertising strategy, video production and content creation for clients throughout California. Bill’s past clients have included McDonalds, Ford, Taco Bell, GM, Toyota, Golden One Credit Union and many more. He lives in El Dorado Hills with his wife, former KOVR Channel 13 anchorwoman Jennifer Whitney.
Curt Cetraro, CEO, ConnectPoint Search Group
Curt has served at the Controller / CFO level within the Sacramento region in facility support services, construction and agriculture. He developed multiple businesses and managed both operational business units and the restructuring of subsidiaries. Curt is very "operations-orientated" and believes in intimately understanding the business from a "front-line" perspective. Curt has several years of Public Accounting experience as a Senior Auditor and Business Process Consultant with Arthur Andersen. Curt has a Bachelor of Science, Accounting from California State University, Sacramento.
Dave Sanders, Board Member, Innovate-Northstate
For over 20 years, Dave was a managing partner for WorldBridge Partners, where he provided executive search and recruiting for emerging growth companies in Technology, Financial services, Energy, and Biotech. Now he works with several non-profit organizations with a goal to bring entrepreneurs together with sources of capital. He is a founding member and Past Chairman of Golden Capital Network (www.goldencapital.net), and a founding board member and Past Chairman of the Board of Sacramento Regional Technology Alliance (www.sarta.org). He is also a board member of the Sacramento Angels.
Linas Jarasius, Partner, Swiss Avenue Partners
Linas Jarasius is a co-founding Partner of Swiss Avenue Partners. He is a corporate financier, business coach and mentor with experience in the Australian, Asian, European and U.S. markets. His career began with 15 years in the IT industry that culminated in founding and taking public a multi facet, HR-based services provider. He later moved to London in 2000 where he was the CEO and major shareholder of a Corporate Finance house that was a joint venture with a UK Top 50 accounting firm. He relocated to San Francisco in 2005 where he co-founded Swiss Avenue Partners, LLC.
John Tidgewell, Vistage International
John was the Vice President for Sacramento Tile Supply where he increased revenue from $1.1M to $19M in eight years. He then moved on to be the Director of Operations for Virginia Tile Company. Through his work in inventory acquisition and management, customer relations, staff development, and several other responsibilities, he contributed to almost doubling revenues to $34M in three years. Since the turn of the century, John has been a Group Chair for Vistage International, the world’s leading Chief Executive organization.