GLAC Board Member Bios


John BairdJohn Baird, Principal Partner, ExecutivEdge

John W. Baird, Ph.D. is a Principal Partner of ExecutivEdge of Silicon Valley . John has over 20 years of coaching experience and is an Emeritus Senior Professor in the College of Business at San Jose State University.

John has worked with CEOs and Senior Executives in start-up, mid-size and large corporations over the past 20 years. This experience, as well as his independent research, has led him to develop Survival in the Fast Lane: Leadership Tools for Navigating Entrepreneurial Transitions, a coaching program for CEOs that focuses on the skills they need at critical phases of the business life cycle. John specializes in one-on-one coaching, executive development, succession planning, strategy and team development and organizational change. John is an active speaker on leadership and coaching for business and professional associations.

John has extensive business experience, having worked for General Motors. He has consulted for such companies as Apple, Applied Materials, AT&T, BEA Systems, Compaq/Tandem, Dell Computers, Gap, LSI Logic, Nike, Intuit, IBM, Network Appliance, Genelabs, Gilead Sciences, Hewlett Packard, Netscape, 3-Com, Rapt Technologies, Regional Medical Center, Sun Microsystems, Coherent Laser, Dolby, Octel, Silicon Graphics, General Electric, Yahoo!, University of California, San Jose State University, Watkins Johnson, Community Leadership San Jose, The Red Cross, The Valley Foundation, The Children's Discovery Museum, San Jose Convention Center, San Jose Sports Authority, The San Jose Mercury News as well as a large number of start-ups.

John is the author of three textbooks on communication and management. He has authored over 50 articles and papers on organizational communication, management and organizational development. John is extremely active in the community and has served on boards for the San Jose Rotary, YMCA, and the Center For Nonprofit Excellence. John recently served as an Executive in Residence at the University of San Diego where he lectured to students and faculty on executive development and leadership. John received his Ph.D. from Purdue University in the field of organizational communication and management.


Janet BennettJanet Bennett, Ph.D., Executive Director, Intercultural Communication Institute

Janet Bennett, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Intercultural Communication Institute and Chair of the ICI/University of the Pacific Master of Arts in Intercultural Relations program. Her Ph.D. is from the University of Minnesota, where she specialized in intercultural communication and anthropology. For 12 years, she was Chair of the Liberal Arts Division at Marylhurst College, where she developed innovative academic programs for adult degree students.

As a trainer and consultant, she designs and conducts intercultural and diversity training for colleges and universities, corporations, NGO's, government, and social service agencies. She teaches courses in the training and development program at Portland State University and has published many articles and chapters on the subjects of developmental “layered” intercultural training and adjustment processes. She co-edited The Handbook of Intercultural Training, 3 rd edition, and recently authored the chapter “Cultivating Intercultural Competence: A Process Perspective” from the SAGE Handbook of Intercultural Competence.


Annette FinsterbuschAnnette Finsterbusch, CEO, Firefly Green Technology


Jeremy King, CTO & SVP Global eCommerce, WalMart.com

Jeremy King currently serves as the CTO and SVP of Global eCommerce at Walmart.com.

In 2008, King was appointed as executive vice president of technology for LiveOps, where he was responsible for the LiveOps On-Demand Call Center Platform and Applications and oversaw product management, network operations and engineering.

Prior to that, King served as the vice president of engineering and architecture for eBay, King was responsible for eBay's buying, search, selling, stores, advertising, merchandising and security development teams, which included more than 340 engineers and contractors. King also previously ran eBay's customer support and trust and safety development teams. During his tenure, eBay's platform scaled to handle more than a 400 percent increase in quarterly transaction volume. King also drove key initiatives to increase code standardization and quality while dramatically reducing project development efforts, time-to-market and overall efficiency.

King's earlier experience includes positions as the VP of Engineering at Petopia.com, Sr. Manager of eBusiness Development at Bay Networks and Technical Analyst/Developer at SynOptics Communications.


Roop Lakkaraju, Executive VP & Chief Financial Officer, Quantros, Inc.


Brad MaihackBrad Maihack, Director of Worldwide Business Operations and Business Program Management, Hewlett-Packard Software and Solutions

Brad is a 36 year veteran of Hewlett-Packard's Financial & Business Operations leadership community. Over Brad's career at HP he has held a wide range of senior financial management and controllership roles across a broad range of high technology and innovation-centered businesses. Brad currently is the worldwide Director of Business Operations and Business Program Management for HP's Cloud Automation Business Unit. In his leadership role, Brad is helping drive a range of new strategic growth business initiatives for the Hewlett-Packard company that will help the world's largest and most demanding enterprise IT customers transform and “cloud enable” their IT service delivery capabilities.

Brad is a recognized financial & business leader within HP and is often sought after in regards to leading significant business turnarounds and growing high profile new business ventures in the company. He and his global team of New Product Business Program managers and Business Operations professionals lead the development and implementation of business management strategies & processes necessary to optimize global business performance and to transform its product and solution innovation cultures to achieve new levels of business and operational success. Recognized for his unique background and experience in successfully managing high technology businesses throughout every stage of the business and innovation life cycle, Brad's leadership has been seen as a key success factor in turning HP's innovations into leading edge products, services, and solutions that have helped make it the world's number one information technology company in the world.

Brad holds a Bachelors degree in Business Administration; Accounting concentration, from San Jose State University. He has played a leadership role in a number of Silicon Valley professional organizations including, being the co-creator of the San Jose Social Innovation Institute, acting as a SJSU Executive in Residence within Global Leadership Advancement Center's Social Innovation Initiative, being co-founder of the San Jose Financial Management Institute, being an active member of Silicon Valley Financial Executive International, sitting on the board of the Center for Employment Training/CET, and serving on the Knight Foundation's San Jose Community Advisory Board. Brad is currently serving as Hewlett-Packard's SJSU campus recruiting manager, President of the SJSU College of Business Alumni Network, and as a board member on the Dean's Global Advisory Board for the College of Business.


Richard OkumotoRichard Okumoto, Global Leader-In-Residence, SI2

Rich has more than thirty years of experience in multi-national Silicon Valley technology companies. He has held the positions of Chief Financial Officer, Chief Executive Officer, and Division General Manager. Currently he is a principal with Miller/Okumoto, Inc., a management consulting company. His most recent assignment was a two year engagement in Shanghai, China as the contract CFO for a joint China and USA venture-funded technology company.

Rich is an instructor in the Lucas Graduate School of Business MBA program and an instructor in the undergraduate College of Business at San Jose State University. Rich recently accepted the position of Global Leader-in-Residence for the Global Leadership Advancement Center at SJSU. He serves on the Board of Directors for the San Jose State University Research Foundation and the Center for Education Training. Rich completed his bachelors degree in business administration in accounting from SJSU and will complete his masters degree in communication and leadership from Gonzaga University in 2011. Rich holds the designation of Registered Financial Consultant - RFC.


John PiconeJohn Picone, Attorney at Law and Shareholder, Hopkins & Carley

John V. Picone III's practice emphasizes complex litigation cases, including patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret, labor and employment, white-collar criminal defense, and complex contractual disputes. His experience also includes employment, white-collar criminal, complex business, and intellectual property jury trials, numerous appearances before administrative bodies, private and judicial arbitrators and mediators, and state and federal courts throughout California and in Delaware and Texas. He was voted one of the “Best Commercial Litigators” in Silicon Valley by Bay Area Lawyer magazine. Mr. Picone received his J.D. from Santa Clara University and was an Emery Scholar, a B.T. Collins Scholar, and the Comments editor for the Santa Clara Law Review. His previous experience includes service as a Naval Aviator stationed at the Naval Air Station, Moffett Field, California, flying the U.S. Navy' s P-3 “Orion” aircraft.


David SteeleDavid Steele, Dean, College of Business, SJSU

Dr. Steele joined San Jose State University (SJSU) in July, 2008 as Dean, College of Business and Lucas Graduate School of Business. Previously, he was Dean of the Silberman College of Business at Fairleigh Dickinson University, the largest private university in New Jersey. It includes the prestigious Rothman Institute of Entrepreneurial Studies. Dr. Steele was also Professor and Dean of the College of Business at Florida Institute of Technology, a leader in science, engineering and business in the Florida “Space Coast”.

Dr. Steele also has over 25 years of richly varied executive experience in global business development, finance, and engineering in the petroleum and IT industries. He rose through the ranks of Chevron Corporation (ranked Fortune # 3 today) to become President of Chevron Latin America. He had a broadly diversified career track in R&D, project engineering, finance, strategic planning, and IT before moving to senior executive management as Vice President Finance of a $7.3 billion division; and operational positions, including President of Chevron Latin America. Responsible for activities in over 30 countries, he managed complex engineering projects with capital outlays of $950 million over 3 years in countries with difficult social, economic and political environments; and chaired the operating committee of an international consortium.

After leaving Chevron, Dr. Steele was an Executive Consultant to the founders of 4 international early-stage ventures, providing strategic, financial, and operational expertise and developing and executing worldwide strategic alliances. He also served as Interim CEO of one of these ventures, Online Resolution, Inc., a software startup. In addition, he was Interim CEO of a non-profit educational foundation based in The Netherlands, Kids 2020 Foundation, that helps children make better choices for themselves based on values.

At SJSU, he is building on the College's strengths by enhancing academic quality and student success; and by emphasizing practical business knowledge and global business education - the International Business concentration, the Study Abroad program, the new Thompson Global Internship Program, the new Global Leadership Advancement Center, and the SJSU Salzburg Program. Other priorities are to increase the size and reputation of the Lucas Graduate School, dramatically increase external funding, and strengthen ties with corporate, employer and industry associations. He is a member of the advisory boards for 1st ACT (Arts/Creativity/Technology) Silicon Valley and the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley; and is a judge for the Silicon Valley “CFO of the Year” competition.

Born in Venezuela of Hispanic heritage, Dr. Steele-Figueredo attended Birmingham University in England, receiving BS and Ph.D. degrees in Chemical Engineering. He later completed graduate business training at UC Berkeley and at the Wharton School. He has achieved distinction as an industry leader for programs on safety, educational, and environmental issues and was awarded the prestigious Rafael Urdaneta Medal for outstanding public service in Venezuela. He has lived in 8 countries in South America, Asia, Europe and the Caribbean and is fluent in Spanish.


Colby StuartColby Stuart, Chief Creative Officer, Quantum brands BV and Kids2020 Foundation

Dr. Colby Stuart is Chief Creative Officer of Quantum Brands BV in the Netherlands and Founder of Kids 2020 Foundation, The Institute for Collaboration Creativty & Culture and Sustainable Futures Foundation CIC.

Dr. Stuart combines her PhD in physics with a natural creativity and real world business expertise. As a Creative Director, backed by over 30 years of research into human values (Applied Connective Dynamics), she spends most of her time developing and prototyping concepts that help people make informed choices by understanding the powerful role that human values play in creating multi-dimensional worth and shaping their future. She helps clients grow successful organizations by wiring up their brand to fully realize the creativity that emerges from their talent and resources.

Dr.. Stuart has recently co-authored the 1st book in a series - Quick Start Guide to Making Choices - initiating discussions in organisations about how people make choices and impact growth. She is starting up the Go-Choose platform in Silicon Valley to feed her pet project: Kids 2020 Foundation, helping children learn how to build visions and strategies for a preferred future for themselves and their communities. Colby speaks at international conferences on innovation, decision-making and global issues impacting the future. She sold her ad agency into a worldwide; has 30+ years international business in 86 countries; speaks 5 languages; holds a PhD in Quantum Physics and developed Applied Connective Dynamics (ACD).