Dean's Advisory Board
The Dean’s Advisory Board is the advisory council for the Dean of the Lucas College and Graduate School of Business. Board members assist the Dean, faculty, and staff in ensuring the college’s global status as a leading college of business is maintained and realized. Board members accomplish this effort by providing ongoing counsel to the Dean, supporting fundraising efforts, creating connections between faculty and the business community to apply research, and providing career guidance to students.
Chief Executive Officer of KFH Capital Investment Company
Abdulaziz Almarzooq is the Chief Executive Officer of KFH Capital Investment Company. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Finance from SJSU's Lucas College of Business and he earned his MBA in Finance from London Business School. For the past 23 years, his career and the company has evolved and KFH now provides financial advisory and asset management services to multiple vertical markets that include marketable securities, private equity, venture capital, and real estate.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Program Manager, VMware
Erinne Arias currently works at VMware as a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Program Manager. She supports the global employee resource groups, also known as “POD (Power of Difference) groups”, and runs multiple DEI and Community Engagement Programs. Erinne attended San Jose State University, graduating with a Bachelors in Psychology. She then went on to continue her education at Holy Names University where she received her Masters in Forensic Psychology. Erinne is passionate about restorative justice and providing opportunities in Tech for youth of color and has spent the last few years as a strategic partner with The Last Mile and Black Girls Code. She also received a Certificate of Appreciation from the Juvenile Hall Auxiliary for her 9.5 years of service mentoring and developing programs for young men and women in the Contra Costa County juvenile justice system.
James L. Bareuther
Former Chief Operating Officer, Brown-Forman
BS Business Administration, SJSU
James L. Bareuther retired from Brown-Forman in September 2010 after serving as the company’s Chief Operating Officer. Brown-Forman, headquartered in Louisville, KY is one of the world’s top ten wine and spirits companies.
Bareuther was responsible for Brown-Forman’s spirits and wine business in more than 140 countries across the globe. Bareuther, who reached the company’s mandatory retirement age in September, 2010 served as COO for the company since 2003.
Prior to joining Brown Forman as director of U.S. sales in 1994, Bareuther was executive vice president of sales and marketing for the Seagram Classics Wine Company in New York and California. He previously worked for Beringer Vineyards, a leading wine firm in Napa Valley, California. Bareuther earned a B.S. degree from San Jose State University in 1967 and served as a Naval Flight Officer in the United States Navy from 1968-1973.
Bareuther served three terms as chairman of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS), a national trade association based in Washington, D.C. representing producers and marketers of distilled spirits sold in the U.S. and around the world. Jim also chaired The Century Council, an organization designed to fight underage drinking and drunk driving.
Currently, Jim serves in an advisory capacity for two leading, multi-state beverage alcohol distribution companies, two Napa Valley wineries, on the board of First Beverage Group , a full-service financial services firm dedicated exclusively to the beverage industry, a board member of Windy Hill Spirits, and is a member of the global advisory council for the College of Business at San Jose State University College. Additionally, Bareuther serves on the board of Share Our Strength, a non-profit organization that works to eliminate childhood hunger in America.
William (Bill) E. Barton
Retired CFO and Senior Vice President of Granite Construction
BS Accounting & Finance, SJSU
Mr. Barton started at Granite Construction in 1980 as a cash manager until promoted in 1988 to company treasurer, and then in 1990 as Chief Financial Officer and Vice President. He is now Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President of Granite Construction and serves on the subsidiary board of directors of Wilder Construction, Incorporated and ITC, Incorporated, to which Granite Construction has a minority interest in. Mr. Barton received his MBA from Santa Clara University in 1973.
Edward E. Benson
President-elect of SIR
BS, Industrial Management (Minor in Psychology), SJSU
MS, Business Administration, SJSU
Upon leaving SJSU, Mr. Benson spent 14 years in human resources with three major companies. He then became a consultant with the Hay Group, a leading human resource consultancy, where he became Partner and General Manager of Hay's Northern CA and Northern NV consulting efforts and leader of Hay's telecommunication practice. He spearheaded the first ever Cellular Industry Compensation Survey in partnership with the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association when cellular industry was in its infancy.
He left the Hay Group to start his own consultancy, from which he retired. After retirement he served on the Board of the Contra Costa Humane Society and began his own business, Two Sheltie Productions, LLC, which imported exercise equipment, videos and clothing from China. In addition to his SIR role, he currently also serves on the Contra Costa County Council on Aging.
Phillip (Phil) R. Boyce
Board Member, Tower Foundation
Former CEO and Chairman of the board, Pacific Western Bank
BA Business Administration, SJSU
Mr. Boyce is the President of Boyce & Associates, a property development firm. Mr. Boyce is the retired chairman of Western Capital Management. He and his wife, Susan, founded Pacific Western Bank when he was 30 years old, which later became Western Capital Management. In 1994, the bank merged with Comerica Bank.
Gabrielle M. Capolupo
Engineering Office of the CTO, Juniper Networks
Capolupo is responsible for providing management for the Junos Architecture Board and the Juniper Distinguished Engineering (DE) community. This includes managing the Juniper DE Council - responsible for approving DE promotions and new hires, as well as the annual DE Summit. Previously in this team, she was responsible for project managing several DEs working on major OS library re-architecture. Prior to her work in the CTO office, she was Sr. Director of Junos Governance, responsible for policy, process, criteria and schedule for all Junos OS software releases.
Prior to Juniper Networks, in her more than 11 years with Cisco Systems, she was Sr. Engineering Manager for the IOS Packet Engineering Group, responsible for large-scale corporate level software infrastructure planning and implementation. In addition, previous roles included remotely managing the Edge Services software team in Bangalore India, the collective hardware and software engineering teams for the leading Broadband Aggregation platform, and the IOS Source Code team, responsible for all major source code integration.
Prior to her employment with Cisco Systems, Ms. Capolupo spent over seven years at various positions at Novell, Inc.
Ms. Capolupo has served as a lead judge for the International Collegiate Business Strategy Competition for the last 24 years, after participating as a graduate student for San Jose State University, and has made a number of industry panel presentations including sessions for Women in Technology International (WITI), Women in International Trade (WIT), Women Unlimited, and the Project Management Institute of Silicon Valley.
Ms. Capolupo received her Master of Business Administration from San Jose State University and her Bachelor of Arts, Cum Laude, from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where she was a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta National Honor Society and the Men’s Varsity Crew.
Chief People Officer, Klaviyo
Jenny is Chief People Officer at Klaviyo, a company that helps growth-focused ecommerce brands drive sales. She previously served as the Senior Vice President and Chief Learning Officer of SAP, where she was responsible for aligning and driving all corporate learning and enablement activity for SAP’s 75,000 employees worldwide. This was her fourth Chief Learning Officer role at a major technology company.
Recognized as one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Technology by the National Diversity Council in 2014 and 2015, Jenny Dearborn is a thought leader in learning, human capital management and business culture. A regular contributor to Forbes, Huffington Post and Fast Company, Jenny has also written for Tech Republic, USA Today and industry publications including CLO Magazine, HR Executive and Talent Development Magazine. Her book, Data Driven: How Performance Analytics Delivers Extraordinary Sales Results, published by Wiley in February of 2015 is #1 on Amazon.com in the “new business releases” category.
Emily Holland Enany
Senior Strategist in Trust & Safety at Google
Emily HollandEnany works at Google as a Senior Strategist in Trust & Safety. Her work helps make the internet a safer place for everyone. Emily stays connected on campus where she continues to mentor students and early-in-career professionals on career development. She is frequently spotted at the LCoB’s professional development events as a panelist or hosting a talk.
Emily graduated San Jose State University with a Bachelor’s in Management Information Systems, was the Lucas College of Business (LCoB) Student Commencement Speaker and was heavily involved on campus with Latino Business Student Association, Management Information Systems Association, and Salzburg Scholar’s Association. She is passionate about helping students and professionals to embrace their 'story' to accelerate their careers and to avoid underestimating their talent.
Nancie Fimbel, Ph.D.
Professor Emerita of the Marketing Department, former Interim Dean and Associate Dean of the Lucas College of Business
Nancie served as Senior Director of Development for the LCOB before retiring from San Jose State in 2012. Her last career position was as Associate Vice Provost at the Higher Colleges of Technology in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. With her husband Ed Van Deman, a former software entrepreneur who hired many LCOB graduates, Dr. Fimbel funded a student-managed investment fund, now advised by Dr. Stoyu Ivanov. Dr. Fimbel earned a Ph.D. and M.A. at the University of Chicago, an M.A. at Columbia University, and a B.A. at Mount Holyoke College.
Founder & CEO, Spheric Security Solutions
Jacques is the founder and CEO of Spheric Security Solutions. He joins us with an accomplished track record of industry and thought leadership in the field of Cybersecurity. He has published numerous technical white papers and has been a driving force in founding a number of cyber initiatives1 . Jacques’ corporate career includes Ernst & Young, SAIC, Adobe Systems, Inc., KPMG, and the Canadian Space Agency. He also has an accomplished academic record with a B.A.Sc. and M.A.Sc. from the University of Toronto and a MBA from Concordia University in Montreal.
Jay B. Fulcher
CEO, Zenefits (formerly Ooyala, Agile),
Board Member, Advisor, Investor
BS Management, SJSU
Jay Fulcher is CEO of Zenefits, *which was named among the world's most innovative companies in healthcare and one of the fastest growing SaaS companies in the world in 2014*. Previously, Jay served as President & CEO of Ooyala, President & CEO of Agile Software, EVP at Peoplesoft and VP at SAP. He has over 20 years of experience in leading both public and private technology companies where he has built dynamic, successful organizations and created new market segments. Jay has co-founded and launched many early stage start-ups. He is an alumnus of San Jose State University where he is a member of the Global Leadership Council for the Lucas Graduate School and College of Business.
Former SVP, Corporate Strategy and Marketing, Xilinx (2011-2018)
Managing Director, Copia Growth Partners (advisory/consulting)
BS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, UC Santa Barbara
MBA, University of British Columbia
Steve brings a unique combination of deep strategic skills and experience, a passion for emerging technologies, markets and business, and an ability to create simple but impactful perspectives and positions in communications.
Most recently, Steve spent 7 years as Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Marketing at Xilinx, a company that plays a significant role in enabling a very wide range of emerging technologies and applications.
Steve helped define and drive a strategic transformation at Xilinx from a hardware centric component provider to an increasingly software centric applications enabler. This included the establishment of growth drivers aligned to 5 industry megatrends; AI/Machine Learning, Cloud Computing, 5G, Vision Systems, and Industrial IoT.
Steve was responsible for all corporate strategy, market development, market research, and ecosystem development, as well CEO, employee, investor and corporate communications. During Steve’s tenure, Xilinx increased its market value from approximately $7B to $19B.
Prior to Xilinx, Steve served in strategic and senior executive roles driving industry initiatives, strategy, technology direction, M&A, investments and marketing for multiple leaders in design automation (including Cadence), ASICs (VLSI Technology) and communications (Hughes Space and Communications Group).
As part of these roles, Steve has also invested in small companies and served on multiple small company boards with successful exits.
Broker/Owner, Griffin International Acquisitions, B&A Realtors
BS Accounting and Finance, SJSU
Carla graduated from SJSU with a BS in Accounting and Finance, she has broad experience in accounting, auditing and financial management, having spent 10 years as a financial executive with Philco Ford Microelectronics, Product line Controller and Internal Auditor for Fairchild Semiconductors and Controller/Treasurer for Advanced Micro Devices. Following her semiconductor career, she started working in real estate and financial consulting with an emphasis on early-stage startups. She is now a broker/owner with B&A Realtors and is a Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES) and Certified Residential Specialist (CRS). In addition, she is a broker/owner with Griffin International Acquisitions, which are merger and acquisition specialists for mid-range ($5-50 million) companies. She has received many awards, including Ambassador of the Year from the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce; recipient of the Dean’s Service Award in recognition of her Outstanding Service; and an honoree of our Beta Gamma Sigma chapter.
Chairman and CEO of Overland-Tandberg
BS Business Administration, SJSU
Eric is a Chairman and CEO of Overland-Tandberg, a trusted global provider of and data management, backup and archive solutions for over 30 years for global enterprises and, small and medium businesses.
Eric has previously served as the Sphere 3D Corp Chairman and Chief Executive Officer since the company's merger with Overland Storage in December 2014. He served as Overland Storage's CEO since January 2009, its President & CEO since January 2010 and as a Board member since November 2007. Prior to joining Overland, Eric was President of Silicon Valley Management Partners Inc., a management consulting and M&A advisory firm which he co-founded in 2007. He is a seasoned executive with over 30 years of experience in the technology industry.
His earlier positions have included Vice President and General Manager of Storage Systems Solutions at Adaptec Inc., President and CEO of Snap Appliance which was acquired by Adaptec, President of the Systems Division at Maxtor Corp. as well as various executive-level roles with Dell Computer Corp., Diamond Multimedia, Conner Peripherals and IBM.
Eric currently serves on the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Manufacturing Council, where he offers advice and counsel to the Obama administration on strategies and policy recommendations on ways to promote and advance U.S. manufacturing.
He earned an MBA from San Francisco State University and a B.S. in Business from San Jose State University.
Vice President and Global Head of Strategic Insights, SAP
Mr. Logue recently joined SAP as the Vice President and Global Head of Strategic Insights. He is responsible for delivering a broad set of integrated customer and business insights to support corporate executive strategy, marketing, and sales across SAP’s business units. Paul is pioneering innovative research and analytic initiatives designed to enhance SAP’s understanding of its customers to enable and accelerate corporate growth.
Prior to SAP, Paul was Vice President and Global Head of Insights and Growth Analytics for Hewlett Packard Enterprise. With fifteen years of executive leadership experience at HPE, he took on successively expanded executive leadership positions across a broad set of marketing and strategy functions.
As the first in his family to graduate from college, Paul has a deep passion for serving the community and promoting educational programs and college accessibility. Paul currently serves on the Advisory Board for the SJSU Lucas School of Business. Additionally, Paul serves on the Diversity Council at the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business.
Paul graduated with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from San Jose State University, an M.S. In Mechanical Engineering from Santa Clara University, and an M.B.A. from U.C. Berkeley Haas School of Business, distinguished as a national fellow with the Consortium for Graduate Studies in Management.
Partner, Assurance Services, EY
Sara is a Partner in EY’s San Jose office. She has extensive experience providing assurance services to companies in the technology and aerospace and defense industries. She has served companies in all stages of development and growth, from private VC-backed companies to multinational public industry leaders. She tailors her approach to the unique needs of each company, and values continuous communication while providing effective technical interaction and relevant insights.
Sara is involved in the development of professionals through formal training facilitation, counseling, and mentoring. She leads the EY recruiting efforts for San Jose State University, participates in the EY Professional Women’s Network, and volunteers through EY charity events.
Prior to joining EY, Sara served in the U.S. Air Force. Sara received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from San Jose State University. She is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of California and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
Bradley S. Maihack
Retired worldwide director of Business Programs and Operations; Cloud Automation and Management Business, Hewlett-Packard Company
BS Accounting, SJSU
Brad is a 42 year veteran of Hewlett-Packard's Financial leadership community. Over Brad's career at Hewlett Packard he has held a wide range of senior financial management and controllership roles across a broad range of high technology businesses, most recently as Controller and Worldwide Director of Finance for Hewlett Packard; OpenView Management Software Business (the 13th largest software company in the world).
Brad is a recognized financial & business leader within Hewlett Packard 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 Finance professionals lead the development and implementation financial management strategies & processes necessary to optimize global business performance and to transform the financial management culture of organizations. Recognized for his unique background and experience in successfully managing high technology businesses throughout every stage of the business life cycle, Brad is uniquely qualified for the leadership challenges inherent in helping make Hewlett Packard the world's number one information technology company.
Brad holds a Bachelors degree in Business Administration; Accounting concentration, from San Jose State University. He is the co-creator & co-chair of the Silicon Valley Financial Management Institute, an active member of Silicon Valley Financial Executive International, and serves on Board's of a number of other Silicon Valley professional organizations.
Transformation Partner and Leadership Coach
Naresh is a consulting partner and leadership coach to senior executives for accelerating transformations, innovation and scaling growth. He has been a catalyst for performance improvements at numerous organizations by helping them shift from functional silos to collaborating as 'one team' with shared accountability.
Naresh's career spans leadership roles in large multinationals and startups. Previously he was Vice President of Business Development and Partnerships at Leeo, a VC funded startup in Silicon Valley. Prior to that he was Director of Strategy and Planning for Cisco's Industry Solutions Group and Associate Partner for the Emerging Business Opportunities practice at IBM. He has extensive cross-cultural experience having worked and lived in London UK, The Netherlands and Bangalore, India. He holds and MBA from City Business School London and a D.Phil in Physics from University of Oxford
Bob Monsour, retired
Now retired, Bob spends his time managing his family’s personal investments,advising young technology companies, reading, and playing tennis.From 2006 to 2009, Bob served for as the inaugural Associate Director of PrincetonUniversity’s Keller Center for Innovation in Engineering Education, supporting entrepreneurial activities among other duties. Prior to joining Princeton, Bob was a private investor in early-stage technology companies, and was a founding member of the Jumpstart New Jersey Angel Network.
Bob has served as an executive officer in two publicly held technology companies: Stac, the maker of the Stacker disk compression software popular in the early 90's, which Bob co-founded in 1983, and Hifn, a fables semiconductor supplier specializing in compression and encryption chips. Bob’s operational experience has included product development, sales & marketing, and mergers & acquisitions. Bob also served for eight years on the Board of Trustees at Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart, an independent boys school. Bob received a B.A.S. and M.A.S. in computer science from Florida Atlantic University and an MBA from UCLA.
Founder and CEO Markable Solutions
MBA, BA, SJSU
Ms. Reshma Nigam is Founder & CEO of Markable Solutions – a digital marketing company. Prior to that she was Co-Founder & CEO of aMarketForce, a leader in B2B sales, marketing and lead generation services. Ms. Nigam has worked with RightWorks Corporation, Xporta and nthOrbit, when they were startups. She was also VP of Medical Market Research for Frost and Sullivan. Her expertise includes digital marketing, business management, business strategy development, start-up marketing, market research, consulting, sales operations, product launches, global marketing, direct marketing
Ms. Nigam is an advisory board member of the Global Leadership Council at Lucas Graduate School of Business, SJSU. She is also the Chairperson of Art Forum at San Francisco, Bay Area
She holds MBA and BA degrees from San Jose State University, a Post-Grad diploma in Communication and Journalism from the Indian Institute of Mass Communications, and BA in English Literature from India.
Timothy S. H. Ome
Managing Director, Synergy Advisors, LLC
Mr. Ome's career spans over 20 years as an investment banker, management consultant, venture capitalist and senior financial officer. His experience involves a full range of corporate finance, corporate development, strategic advice and operating management for technology companies from start-up's to global multinational electronic firms.
Timothy Ome began his finance career with Lehman Brothers as an investment banker. He rose to Senior Vice President and Principal in the firm and was recognized as being the key architect and executive that built Lehman Brothers' Asia operations. He then joined Bank of America and was a key contributor for the establishment of its investment banking subsidiary BancAmerica Securities. At BancAmerica Securities he was a Managing Director, and head of its technology practice. Mr. Ome was also with Arthur Anderson's Corporate Finance Group as co-head of its national technology practice. He was also a senior investment banker with C.E. Unterberg, Towbin. He left investment banking and joined APPRO International as Senior Vice President Corporate Development where he restructured the company and engineered the acquisition of VA Linux systems hardware business. He transitioned to venture capital as a venture partner with Profile Venture Partners and later joined Star Capital Partners now known as Boston Biotech, as a General Partner. He was also at Genyous Biomed International an early stage oncology company as its Senior Vice President Corporate Development. He was last with Trenwith Securities as the Managing Director of the firm's Silicon Valley Office.
He received his BA in American Studies and Applied Mathematics from the University of Hawaii. He holds a graduate degree from the Japan America Institute of Management Science, Tokyo, Japan with concentrations in Computer Science and International Management. He received his MBA with emphasis in Finance and International Business from the George Washington University Graduate School of Business and Public Policy. In his academic career he received the Times Scholarship, the Fujitsu Fellowship and the Scottish Rite Fellowship. He is currently a board member of the Software Business Cluster, the Environmental Business Cluster, and the HiveGroup.com.
Senior Vice President and Controller for Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
BA Business Administration, SJSU
In this role Jeff has responsibility for the accounting, financial close and external financial reporting activities of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, including quarterly and annual financial statements filings with US and international regulatory agencies such as the SEC. His team also provides technical accounting support to HPE’s M&A and divestiture projects. Additionally, Jeff manages HPE’s import/export compliance and credit and collections organizations. Jeff served on the Board of Directors for Mphasis Corporation, a $1 billion IT services company, until its’ divestiture by Hewlett Packard Enterprise in 2016.
Prior to being named Controller, Ricci served as the Vice President of Finance for the HPE Technology and Operations organization that included Sales Operations, Information Technology, Global Real Estate, Global Procurement, Global Business Solutions and Global Security.
Jeff joined Hewlett Packard Enterprise in 2009 as the CFO of the $4B Software Business Unit, coming from BEA Systems where held financial leadership positions across the organization during his 9-year tenure. He served on the BEA Executive Leadership team.
Before joining BEA, Jeff was a director of FP&A for Compaq. He also served as the Controller for the $2B western region sales at Compaq. Early in his career Jeff held finance positions at Tandem Computers and Lockheed Missiles and Space Company.
Jeff holds a BA in Business Administration from San Jose State University and an MBA from the University of San Francisco. He serves on the Board of Directors and as Treasurer for the San Jose State Tower Foundation, a philanthropic organization.
Jeff is based in San Jose, California.
Gary J. Sbona
Board Member, Tower Foundation
Founder, Chairman, and CEO, Regent Pacific Management Corporation
BS Business Administration, SJSU
Gary founded Regent Pacific in 1974, and is chairman and Chief Executive Officer. As a senior executive with over 38 years of domestic and international business experience, Gary has led the Regent Pacific teams involved in the firm's most difficult and complex engagements. He has participated in over 100 technology, commercial and retail/distribution engagements providing expertise in the analysis and development of alternative courses of action available to underperforming or troubled companies. This expertise includes the development of successful turnaround plans, negotiations with creditors and stockholders, and management of worldwide operations for multinational companies, as well as, operational and financial restructuring for businesses of all types. Gary has also acted as an advisor or a principal in more than 85 merger, acquisition, and divestment activities. His experience spans global publicly-traded and privately-owned companies as well as limited partnerships and family-owned businesses.
Gary currently serves as executive chairman of Verity, Incorporated. He is a member of the board of directors of KTEH-TV, a San Jose public television station, and a member of the International Board of Advisors for the Lucas College and Graduate School of Business at San Jose State University. He has recently served as chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Auspex Systems, Incorporated, a publicly-traded storage solutions company; as chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Clarent Corporation, a publicly-traded broadband telecommunications company; as chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Accelerated Networks, Incorporated, a public company providing broadband telecommunications; as a director of 3D Systems Corporation, a publicly-traded global solid imaging and mass customization company; and as a director of Calico Commerce Corporation, a publicly-traded software company.
He is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors, the Institute of Directors, London-UK, the Turnaround Management Association (TMA), the International Federation of Insolvency Professionals (INSOL), the Bay Area Bankruptcy Forum, the American Bankruptcy Institute, and the Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Advisors (AIRA). Gary was selected as a finalist for the 2003 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Under Gary's leadership, Regent Pacific has been the recipient of the TMA 1999 National Award for the Large Corporate Turnaround of the Year, the 1997 Silicon Valley Service Provider of the Year award, and the 1994 TMA Turnaround of the Year award.
René Shimada Siegel
Partner, AMF Media Group and Armanino LLP
BS Public Relations, SJSU
René Shimada Siegel is extremely passionate about empowering colleagues and investing in the next generation of communicators. She was the founder and CEO of Connext, Silicon Valley’s marketing and communications consultancy, which was recently acquired by AMF Media Group and Armanino LLP, where Rene is now a partner. Her company supports hundreds of technology clients with specialized consultants ranging from recent grads to senior strategists. René also passes on her real-world experience to students as a public relations professor at San Jose State University.
As an entrepreneur, René’s been featured in Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Working Mother, Newsweek Japan, CNBC, and Dan Pink’s Free Agent Nation, among others. She’s also been a regular columnist for Inc.com and will be a featured speaker at the 2018 Public Relations Society of America International Conference. René earned a BS in Public Relations from San Jose State University.
Senior Director of Innovation at PayPal
Mike Todasco is the Senior Director of Innovation at PayPal responsible for increasing the creative output of employees across the company. Teams in the Innovation Lab are building experiences in AR (Augmented Reality), Blockchain, and Robotics. Prior to that Mike spent time at PayPal in Product Management, Product Marketing, Product Launch and Product Analytics roles. Before joining PayPal he was the Founder and CEO of the eCommerce marketplace, Sketch Maven. Additionally, Mike spent over four years as the Director of Strategy, heading up mergers & acquisitions and strategic planning at NewPage, a portfolio company of the private equity firm, Cerberus Capital. He has an MBA from the University of California at Berkeley, Haas School of Business and a BS in Finance from the University of Illinois. Mike has filed over 100 US utility patents since 2013 covering payments, online and offline commerce, beacon/BLE technologies, biometrics, and many other areas.
James (Jim) E. Thompson
Founder and Chairman of Crown Worldwide Group
BS Aeronautics Engineering, SJSU
Founder and Chairman of Crown Worldwide Group, Jim Thompson is a US citizen and permanent resident of Hong Kong. Raised in New Jersey, Thompson graduated from San Jose State University in California, receiving a bachelor's degree in aeronautical engineering. He has also studied in Stanford University's (US) Executive Program, a post-graduate course for senior executives.
An experienced expatriate, Mr. Thompson has lived in the Far East since 1963, when he moved to Japan. Two years later he founded his company, which was originally named Transport Services International. The company became known as Crown Pacific in 1970 and today it is known as the Crown Worldwide Group. He moved the company headquarters to Hong Kong in 1978.
Managing Director, Head of Design, JPMorgan Chase
Vince Voron is currently the Managing Director at JPMorgan Chase leading Product Design for digital consumer shopping and discovery experiences. Prior to joining JPMorgan Chase, Vince was the Vice President of Global Design at Ripple, a crypto tech company focused on simplifying cross border payments.
Previously, Vince was the Vice President, Executive Creative Director of the Global Brand Content Experience team at Dolby for six years, where he oversaw design, brand, creative content, audio video production, the Dolby Theatre®, and the Dolby® Institute.
Prior to Dolby, he was the Associate Vice President and Head of Design for Coca-Cola North America through 2013. His responsibilities included driving the strategic design vision and brand visual communications for eight global brands, creating innovative and alluring touchpoints for millions of consumer interactions per day. While at Coca-Cola, he led the form and user interface design for the Coca-Cola Freestyle® platform and developed the first 3D and 4D visual identity systems for proprietary Coca-Cola.
Vince began his career at Apple, serving as Senior Industrial Design Manager until 2006. While there, he developed and led the human factors and color teams responsible for iMac®, PowerBook®, iPod®, and iPhone® devices. In addition, he held engineering leadership roles at Apple offices in Singapore, Ireland, and France.
Vince is an Emmy Awarded Executive Producer of Dolby's first original branded film, Silent, and he holds more than 50 design patents. Vince has a BS degree in electrical engineering from Pennsylvania State University, an MBA degree from San José State University, and a diploma in human ecology from Université de Paris.
Co-Founder and VP of Marketing, Badu Networks, Inc
27 years of broad functional experience & leadership (Marketing, Sales, Supply Chain, Customer Service, SW Quality) at Apple, HP, Sun Microsystems, Gateway Computers, Black & Decker, and 3M
Vice President, Customer Adoption and Growth at Salesforce
Joan leads Marketing, Technology & Customer Success teams focused on creating best in class customer connections and engagements, showing customers how to be successful and helping them win. She is a strategic and seasoned leader with strong business acumen, analytical skills and technical depth who welcomes the opportunity to dig into the data, challenge the status quo and build the roadmap to deliver success. Joan has worked at Salesforce for ten years as a senior leader in sales strategy and operations, customer analytics, campaign and event marketing. Previously, Ms. Yanabu worked at Dell, Williams-Sonoma, E.piphany and Digitas. She is an alumna of National University of Ireland (Galway), where she received both her B.Commerce and Masters in Business Studies. She currently resides in Marin with her husband and three children.