Pilgrim on the 405

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Mike Skrypnek, Grow Get Give

October 13th, 2021


Mike helps spark mid-career entrepreneurs with great potential put their dreams into action for big impact. He is a renowned business catalyst, seven time bestselling author, and featured podcast guest.


Intentionally adding energy at the right time, the right way, with the right person allows impact to go interstellar and set off a cosmic ripple effect. The multiplier effect of entrepreneurial success extends through generations.


Mike’s recently launched Total Quantum Impact process lays the groundwork and a methodology to realize your personal and professional dreams, while quantifying your impact for life.


He lives, loves and adventures in Squamish, BC, Canada with his wife Sherri and their two young adult children.

For more information about Grow Get Give go to https://www.mikeskrypnek.com/

George McGraw, DigDeep

October 6th, 2021


George McGraw is a human rights advocate specializing in the human right to water and sanitation in the United States. George is founder and CEO of digdeep.org, the only WaSH (water, sanitation and hygiene) organization serving the 2.2 million Americans without access to basic plumbing. Founded in 2011, DigDeep develops education, research and infrastructure projects aimed at extending access to clean, hot-and-cold running water to every American.
Under George's leadership, DigDeep won the 2018 US Water Prize for its Navajo Water Project, which has brought clean, running water to hundreds of Native families across New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah. In 2019, George led an effort to publish Closing the Water Access Gap in the United States, the first national study to outline the domestic water crisis and propose a way forward. 
George has written for The New York Times, SSIR and The Nation, and his work has been featured in every major news outlet, including Emmy and Deadline award-winning pieces by CBS Sunday Morning. George is an Ashoka Fellow and former Social Entrepreneur in Residence at Stanford University. George holds an M.A. in International Law and Conflict Management from the United Nations University for Peace. He is also a Civil Society Fellow at The Aspen Institute, and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.  For more information on dig deep go to http://digdeep.org/

Todd Smart, Serial Entrepreneur

September 6th, 2021


A "serial entrepreneur," as described by Crain's Chicago Business, Todd has founded and been President of four successful businesses since the age of 22. 
In addition to Crain’s, Todd has been featured in a number of publications including Forbes, Success magazine, and a cover article of Inc. Magazine.
Todd’s first business in the food industry grew from start-up to 85 people in 18 months. Since then, he has also been in technology and publishing. Currently, he works with leadership teams and entrepreneurial peer groups to increase their effectiveness. In the last 17 years Todd has been a speaker, trainer, and facilitator for over 1,000 events. Todd is a Certified EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System) Implementer. He is also a master trainer with YPO/WPO/EO.
For more information about Todd Smart go to https://www.linkedin.com/in/tdsmart

Mike Goral, Armanino‘s National Cannabis Tax Practice

September 3rd, 2021


Mike leads Armanino's National Cannabis Tax Practice. A tax professional since 1989, he has significant experience in federal, state and local tax from both an accounting and legal perspective. He spent time with multiple Big 4 firms, including serving in KPMG’s Washington National Tax Office, and has worked with cannabis companies both large and small in California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Colorado.


He advises cannabis clients on a broad range of issues that affect the space, including mergers and acquisitions, loan structuring, and funding mechanisms from venture capital, private equity and investment banking. Mike provides guidance on cannabis technology, manufacturing, transportation and retail issues.


Mike is the contributing editor of Cannabis Taxation a 250-page treatise for Thomson Reuters discussing the 34 states that tax cannabis sales. He is a member of the California Society of Certified Public Accountants, the National Cannabis Industry Association and the California Cannabis Association, which nominated him for their CPA of the Year award for 2019. He holds a B.S. in mathematics and psychology from the University of Alabama, a J.D. from Cumberland Law, and a Masters of Tax Law from Emory Law School.


For more information about Armanino's National Cannabis Tax Practice go to https://www.armaninollp.com/industries/cannabis/

Jim Riley, Consultant

August 27th, 2021

Jim.jpgJim Riley has spent his entire life saying yes to career changes and unique opportunities that align with his foundational values.
Riley runs a successful, consulting business in Kalispell, Montana. Known for supplying value to clients by providing strategic recommendations, Jim Riley is known for smart strategic thinking, insightful operations, successful business growth and high pressure transitions.
Jim is currently the host of two successful podcasts. “The Answer is “Yes” podcast features business leaders discussing both the power of saying “yes” and the decisions that made them successful. “The Liberty of Lose” podcast features local and national public figures discussing current politics and where the country is heading.
In addition, Riley actively consults for several successful companies and is known for helping businesses through transitional phases, marketing strategy, sales improvements, public relations, providing innovation and facilitating operational improvements.
Riley oversees two of his own business and has an extensive background in marketing, food and beverage, and everything in between.
Well known work includes time spent with In-N-Out, Kettle One Vodka, Diego, Booth Creek Ski Holdings, Azunia Tequila, and Baja United Group.
Jim Riley is a leading advocate for conservative political actions as School Board Trustee in Smith Valley District 89. He is a popular speaker on the subjects of education, veterans, 2nd Amendment Rights, freedom of religion, small government, public land use, legal immigration, the constitution, pro-life, first responders, and the Save the Cowboy movement in Montana. For more information go to https://livelifedriven.com/

The California Love Drop

August 23rd, 2021


The California Love Drop supports and fuels healthcare workers and first responders by providing meals, beverages, treats, and supplies to hospitals, medical centers, fire departments, police stations, grocery distribution centers, and more. We provide smiles and much-needed relief. The deliveries have gone to several local families and organizations from Los Angeles to San Diego, including CHOC Children’s Hospital, UCI Medical Center, Hoag Hospital, UCLA Medical Center, San Bernardino Community Dignity Hospital, Dodger Stadium Testing Site and numerous police stations and firehouses.

We believe in the power of humanity, and the significant impact a delicious meal can have on uplifting spirits. Community support is more important than ever.

What started as a single delivery of 300 meals from Wahoo’s Fish Taco to Hoag Hospital in Irvine, CA on April 12, 2020, has turned into an astounding collaboration known as the California Love Drop.

Wing Lam, Co-Founder of Wahoo’s Fish Taco, Wendy Ellis, Director of Marketing of KLOS-FM, and Eric Morley, Co-Founder of Blue C, have actively partnered with other organizations such as Yogurtland, Antis Roofing, Monster Energy, Hint Water, North Men’s Wear, Constellation Brands, Boston Beer Co., Left Coast Brewing Company, B Candy, Yeti, Cholula Hot Sauce, Loan Depot, Coyle Repro, Vans, Drake’s Organic Spirits, Fortis Resource Partners, and The Purist Group to personally thank those on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of today, the California Love Drop has delivered over 11,000 meals at 61 different locations. The plan is to keep the positive momentum going and continue to applaud the courage of our frontline heroes. For more information go to https://californialovedrop.org/

Ted Miracco -Cylynt

August 12th, 2021


About Ted Miracco

Ted is co-founder and CEO of Cylynt. His high-technology experience spans 30 years in electronic design automation (EDA), semiconductors, defense electronics, RF/microwave circuit design, and cybersecurity.

Prior to Cylynt, Ted was a co-founder of the EDA company AWR Corporation, which was acquired by National Instruments in 2011 and became part of Cadence Design Systems in 2020. In addition, he has worked with several Fortune 500 software companies, including Cadence Design Systems and start-up company EEsof Inc., which was acquired by Hewlett Packard in 1994 and is now Keysight Technologies. Ted holds a B.S.E.E. from Carnegie Mellon University.

The Cylynt platform is trusted by some of the world’s leading software companies for enhanced business intelligence and globally is protecting around $50 billion of software assets.


Cylynt solutions, which evolved from anti-piracy and license compliance roots, are an integral part of the ongoing battle to safeguard intellectual property against increasingly sophisticated evasion techniques and result in significant revenue recovery and brand protection.

Detailed usage analytics provide unparalleled understanding into how users interact with a software vendor’s product and deliver valuable insight into customer experience, product development, lead generation, and sales processes. Across these elements, clients are currently realizing a gross ROI from Cylynt solutions of up to nine times their investment.

To find out more: Cylynt.com

Philip Rebentisch, GottaStory

August 5th, 2021


Creating Hand-Crafted Cannabis Content

Medical cannabis can make profound changes in people’s lives, and we’re here to share their stories. Like tales told around a campfire, people respond to stories that connect and engage them.

We’re bringing this concept to educational marketing content for cannabis brands, companies, and products. We feel it’s essential to help rebrand cannabis, moving away from the stoner stereotype.

Philip recently launched Don’t Strain Yourself, a patient-focused platform to educate adults age 40+ about medicinal cannabis. He shares stories from patients, medical professionals, and cannabis experts. You can also watch the videos on the GottaStory Video Page.

As an industry, we must first be a community. To that end, empathy and compassion drive everything that Gotta Story Media creates.

Philip’s ethos is to lend a hand when needed, and he relishes doing so. Philip creates educational marketing content for cannabis companies, products, and brands, via digital video, podcasts, and articles. He formed Gotta Story Media in 2018 and recently launched a new video platform entitled Don’t Strain Yourself. By sharing patient stories and advice from medical professionals, DSY educates adults age 40+ about medicinal cannabis.

Philip began his media career creating educational TV for NASA, and he's been fortunate to work in marketing, public relations, and entertainment in digital and broadcast endeavors. Philip also created content for non-profit organizations such as the American Heart Association Los Angeles, the American Red Cross, the Flying Samaritans, and the Aquarium of the Pacific.

Philip served as a two-term president of the American Marketing Association Los Angeles. As such, he exercised leadership skills, created its podcast series and blog, drafted weekly email content, hosted conferences, and moderated monthly educational panels.

When he is not behind a video camera, Philip is either with his amazing family or racing through the Southern California mountains on Triumph motorcycles.

You can see more of Philip's work at Gotta Story


Ira Rosen -Influencer

June 21st, 2021


Ira was featured in Forbes Magazine for helping his customers book 513,542 appointments into their sales pipelines. Ira Rosen  has “Cracked the Code” on LinkedIn B2B Prospecting, filling calendars, branding their clients and adding about 400 new targeted connections every 30 days.
Ira is considered to be one of top 1% influencers in the world by LinkedIn Corporation and have trained 100,000’s of entrepreneurs just like you how to create predictable leads, clients and revenue.
Winners of the prestigious “Marketer of the Year'' award through the Phoenix Business Journal, and “Best Selling Author” with customers in 50+ countries. He will show you how to tap into LinkedIn’s $26.2 Billion dollar “digital gold mine” to build your LinkedIn and email databases, book targeted appointments, and close deals. He and his team has helped customers generate over 1 million appointments and helped customers generate over $1 Billion in revenue from LinkedIn. He is passionate about personal development and helping others become the best version of themselves. Ira lives in Scottsdale AZ with his wife and loves traveling to Mexico, spending quality time with his two daughters and their spouses. for more information about Ira Rosen go to https://www.linkedin.com/in/ira-rosen-637366b2

Ed LaFrance - Datacate

June 10th, 2021


Ed began his career working in industrial models and design in the late 1980's, fabricating prototypes and scale representations for government and private industries. In the early 1990's, Ed moved into manufacturing and industrial equipment, working as a production designer and manager in a factory setting. In the latter part of the 1990s, Ed served as VP of sales for a manufacturer of industrial printing and automation equipment, at a pivotal time when sales and marketing were beginning to move into the online arena.

In 1997, Ed started New Media, an Internet services company offering web hosting, colocation, e-Commerce programming and payment processing services as a part-time effort. As the business evolved it became a full-time endeavor, with colocation and carrier services becoming a major focus. Eventually New Media was transformed into Connex Internet Services Inc, a colocation and Internet transit provider serving five regional US markets and beyond, utilizing the skills of dozens of engineers and technical staff.

In January of 2014, Datacate and Connex merged into one company, with Ed taking on full-time sales and marketing duties. The new Datacate gained a more diverse client base and multi-site capability. While continuing to serve the needs of the colocation marketplace, Ed and his colleagues at Datacate are forging ahead into the decentralized future of a virtual and cloud-based computing universe.

In November of 2016, Ed added business development for BlueDAG LLC to his responsibilities. BlueDAG's flagship ADA assessment software, delivered via the cloud to desktop and mobile devices, is a revolutionary development in the ADA compliance industry, with the power to reduce the time required to complete an accessibility audit by as much as 75%. Ed oversees the direct marketing and awareness initiatives to bring BlueDAG to the ADA compliance industry. For more information about Datacate go to https://www.datacate.net/

Mark Williams - Brokers International

June 10th, 2021


Mark Williams has taken an interesting approach to business all his life. When he was 16 and needed a job, he walked into a small, local business and told the owner, “I’ll make you a deal,” give me two weeks. At the end of two weeks, you can either hire me on and pay me or not pay me and send me home.” He got the job.  
As the CEO of Brokers International, a major insurance brokerage, Mark works every day to create a culture of transparent and authentic communication between those customers who he considers his true customers - employees, vendors, distributors and clients. 
Business Background 
He has spent his entire business career in the insurance world, working his way up the ranks from positions such as director of national sales and marketing for a top tier life and accident insurance company to overseeing sales on a regional level as a vice president to president of a financial marketing firm before going to Brokers International - first as chief of sales and one year later being promoted to president and CEO. 
His focus throughout his career has been to listen to the voice of the customer. He believes that intentional listening allows him to focus on where to explore new opportunities and take the calculated risks necessary to expand his company’s overall market share while enhancing sales and service. 
He looks to data to support his decisions while sometimes questioning the analysis of data. He looks for patterns that others might miss to find actionable insights that offer solutions to some of his greatest challenges. 
Mark is a leader who hires talented people and allows them to do great things. He is intrigued by the ever-changing landscape of technology, data, and the avenues that companies will deliver their products and services to the consumer. 
It is this passion that keeps him researching, reading and exploring new technologies, and observing customer behaviour. 
Mark holds both NASD - Series 6 and 63 licenses as well as a BS degree in business from the University of Phoenix.  For more information on Brokers International go to https://www.biltd.com/

Elizabeth Funk-The Dignity Fund

May 31st, 2021


works at the intersection of profit and purpose.  She is a thought leader and veteran in harnessing the power of capitalism to solve the world’s most pressing problems.   

Elizabeth serves as the Senior General Partner at Dev Equity, a venture capital fund investing in B-Corps in low-income housing, urban revitalization, and sustainable agriculture in Latin America (Nicaragua, Honduras, Panama, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Peru).

Elizabeth started her career in rapidly growing, innovative technology companies.  She served as a Product Manager for Microsoft Word when Windows was first launched and participated in forming the original Microsoft Office product.  After graduating as a Baker Scholar from Harvard Business School, she joined Yahoo! as one of the earliest employees-- quickly rising through the ranks to lead the business side of several divisions including Yahoo! Finance, Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! Search, Yahoo! Auctions, Yahoo! Classifieds, Yahoo! Greetings and other properties.  Most importantly, she was a founder of Yahoo! Shopping and became a leader in developing and shaping Yahoo’s e-commerce strategy.  Under her leadership, Yahoo’s e-commerce initiatives grew to become over 2/3 of the company’s revenue.

After Yahoo! Elizabeth was appointed President and CEO of CML Global Capital, a publicly traded investment conglomerate based in Canada.  As CEO she oversaw several major transactions including executing a takeover of another publicly traded real estate company, a normal course Issuer bid, and eventually a privatization of the corporation.  She sold several of the firm’s corporate assets and eventually sold the remaining portfolio company to its management. 

Since that time, Elizabeth has dedicated her career to impact investing and corporate social responsibility-- demonstrating that strong financial performance and positive social change are inherently connected.  Her first impact investment fund, the Dignity Fund, provided growth debt to 14 Microfinance institutions in 12 countries, enabling loans to over 35,000 poor entrepreneurs per year.  The Dignity Fund was one of the very first for-profit investment vehicles in the Microfinance industry, paving the way for the massive influx of capital into that field.

Elizabeth became an avid evangelist for impact investing and has served on many boards of impact funds and social enterprises.  Her board positions include Unitus (chair) a microfinance accelerator; Deutsche Bank’s Microfinance Consortium, FINCA Microfinance fund, Align Impact’s fund-of-funds, MicroPlace (chair) an online investment company she helped sell to EBay, Root Capital (farm expansion capital), and Ujjivan (Microfinance bank that has since gone public) among others.

Elizabeth is an active member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) where she served on the international board and founded the YPO Social Enterprise Network; Toniic, an association of impact investors, and many other communities.  Elizabeth is a thought leader and frequent speaker on impact investing and corporate social/environmental responsibility. For more information on Dignity Fund go to https://dignitycapital.com/

Catherine Nomura - Kountable Inc.

May 28th, 2021


Catherine Nomura is Founder and President of Kountable Inc. For Catherine, Kountable represents the culmination of a professional lifetime devoted to unleashing the maximum transformative power of entrepreneurs as positive change agents and economic drivers across the globe. She brings over 25 years of leadership experience working with entrepreneurs and organizations that support them, following formative stints in retail banking and microfinance.
Catherine is a bestselling author with a wide and deep understanding of entrepreneurial growth and the conditions, mindsets and support mechanisms that both hinder and maximize it. Her hands-on experience spans the entire income spectrum of entrepreneurs from countless industries across five continents. Her bestselling book, The Laws of Lifetime Growth, co-authored with top entrepreneur coach Dan Sullivan, has been translated into 15 languages and remains in print around the world in its second edition 13 years after its original release.
Catherine holds a Masters Degree in Political Economy of Development from the University of Toronto and an MBA in Entrepreneurship from University of Victoria in Canada. She is now a proud resident of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Jim Markham, author of Big Lucky and founder of Pureology

May 18th, 2021


Jim Markham, author of Big Lucky and founder of PureOlogy, believes everyone can be “big lucky” and achieve success. Jim’s perseverance, ability to overcome odds, business acumen and “made to win” mentality provided the foundation for him to have a highly accomplished career. Jim has founded four and developed five successful hair care companies, netting over $1.2 billion in combined retail sales – Sebring®, Markham®, ABBA®, PureOlogy® and ColorProof®.  With each success, the Markham name has become synonymous with authentic, quality, high-performance products that serve as an industry standard. Jim is best known for pioneering sulfate-free, salt-free products and creating the luxury color care category, and he continues making his mark as the acclaimed, best-selling author of Big Lucky: Serial Entrepreneur Jim Markham's Secret Formula for Success. This life-changing page-turner is an Amazon.com best-seller and was featured as Audible’s #1 new release.


But Jim’s path to success wasn’t foregone, obvious or easy. Married at 15 with a child, Jim Markham began his career as a barber as a means to support his young family. His undeniable ambition led him to California to meet with celebrity stylist Jay Sebring, an encounter that resulted in a lasting and important partnership. Jim became a Sebring distributor, Jay’s protégé and eventual successor, taking over the Sebring business following Jay’s untimely death as a result of the Manson murders. As a savvy celebrity stylist, Jim’s client list grew to include stars such as Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, Johnny Carson, Frank Sinatra, and Robert Redford. Jim quickly found that he had a gift for product development and for detecting needs in the market. His entrepreneurial spirit drove him to create companies that delivered innovative products to meet those needs, including being first-to-market with natural-based, 100% vegan, cruelty-free, carcinogen-free, premium, color-protecting haircare formulas. For more information about Pureology go to https://www.pureology.com

Rick Girard - Stride Search

May 17th, 2021


Rick developed his proven system for hiring—and gave the start-up world a much-needed kick in the ass. Rick didn’t grow up dreaming of changing the game in recruiting…or business of any kind. So he took a job in recruiting, and even though he phoned it in, he wound up making a lot of money. However, when a friend derisively referred to him as a “resume-slinging cowboy,” Rick knew. It was time to up his game…by changing everything he was doing. He studied many approaches to recruiting, ultimately perfecting the process into a single system that is both seamless and highly-successful in achieving the right results. The result is the Hire Operating System (Hire OS), a secret weapon that focuses on hiring consciously that consistently attracts the best people. As the founder and CEO of Stride Search, Rick used (and still uses) this system to build top-performing teams for Silicon Valley start-ups and other cutting-edge companies. His mission has been to give committed start-ups the clarity, power and system to make hiring a win, every time. And somehow, he has turned his unsettling impulses, unruly nature into success for hundreds of clients. For more information go to https://www.stridesearch.com/

Jon Conelias - CEO ReElivate

May 17th, 2021


Jon Conelias is the CEO of ReElivate.  Jon has been a CFO and Operator for the past 15 years of marketplace companies focused on both B2B and B2C channels.  For more information about ReElivate go to https://www.reelivate.com/

Joe Montag- President Timios Inc.

May 16th, 2021


Mr. Montag has over 23 years of industry experience.  He has worked in multiple Senior Leadership roles for several Title & Escrow firms.  He is one of the original members of the Timios leadership team for the last 13 years. Joe has led multiple operational divisions and has been instrumental the firms  growth. Today Joe operates as our President.  In his current role, Joe oversees all operations and client relationships across title and settlement services to ensure stellar service at every level. For more information on Timios go to https://www.timios.com/


James Waite, Roberson Waite Electric

April 29th, 2021


Outside of work:

I love spending time with my Wife and raising our two kids. Beyond that, I enjoyed dirt bike adventures and writing/performing songs.


James Waite is the Integrator at Roberson Waite Electric whose responsibilities focus on execution of the business plan, accountability of the Leadership Team, and creating organizational clarity, communication, and consistency.
James knows that the driving force behind all successful organizations is teamwork. He believes in human potential and strives to inspire people to push the limits of greatness.

Over the past 15 years, James has performed almost every task in the company from Departmental Operations Manager to Office Clerk. Through these experiences he’s come to understand not only the importance of having the right person in the right seat, but the profound significance of rowing together in harmony.
James’s greatest accomplishment has been bringing vision and traction back to the family business. Over five years, the company’s team and revenues have grown 5x, all the while not sacrificing or compromising the company’s core values. He strives everyday to make his predecessors (Grandpa and Mother) proud.

James holds a B.S. in Cognitive Sciences from the University of California, Irvine. For more information on Roberson Waite go to https://roberson-waite.com/

Rune Hauge, Mentorcam

April 29th, 2021


Originally from Tromsø, Norway, Rune Hauge moved to San Francisco to start his first company shortly after graduating from business school. He sold the company, an apparel brand, and went on to co-found a tech startup where subject matter experts demonstrate consumer products to an audience of shoppers and do Q&A via live video streams. This experience combined with his personal experiences with mentors led to his current company, Mentorcam, a startup that gives ordinary people access to renowned experts for 1:1 advice and mentorship via short video messages. For more information on Mentorcam go to https://errolallenconsulting.com/errol-allen/


Errol Allen, Author

March 26th, 2021


Internationally known operations consultant, speaker, author and customer service expert Errol Allen provides practical advice and solutions garnered from over 25 years of hands – on experience. He possesses a multi-faceted perspective of organizations through the various positions held during his corporate tenure with companies such as ADT Security Systems, TCI Cablevision, The Houston Post, Excel Communications, e-talk and GEICO Insurance. From the phone to the field, Errol has serviced customers himself and understands that a “systems” orientation is crucial to providing excellent customer service.
He assists his clients by facilitating interdepartmental process improvement projects to insure efficient service delivery to both internal and external customers.  As a “hands-on” consultant, Errol takes an active role with clients, from riding along with field personnel to spending time with customer service personnel as they take customer calls. He maps out his clients’ work processes and creates procedures manuals. He also helps with identifying customer centered key performance indicators and the internal processes that impact indicator results. Errol also develops and implements simple solution tools that clients utilize to improve the level of service provided inside and outside of the company.
Errol shares his operations and customer service expertise as a contributing writer for The Houston Business Journal and Small Business Today Magazine.  In his quest to acknowledge the receipt of great customer service, Errol personally awards his “Now That’s Customer Service! Award to deserving employees or companies. An avid blogger, his articles have been published in several online publications including Yahoo Small Business Advisor, Customer Service Manager, Customer Experience Magazine of the UK and Young Fabulous and Self Employed.  He has also participated as a workshop leader at the University of Houston’s Small Business Development Center, the Houston Community College Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Alumni Program, the Houston Association of Realtors and with the Service Corporation of Retired Executives (SCORE). Get your copy of Errol’s book – “Keys to Delivering Amazing Customer Service!” For more information about Errol go to https://errolallenconsulting.com/errol-allen/

Steve Sponseller, Author

March 26th, 2021


Steve Sponseller is an Intellectual Property Attorney and Patent Strategist with more than 20 years of experience helping companies protect their most valuable inventions.  He has helped more than 1000 inventors and businesses identify, develop, and protect their intellectual property assets.  Steve has worked with companies of all sizes – from startups to large corporations, including Intel, HP, Microsoft, eBay, and SAP.  He is the author of Cracking the Patent Code and host of the Tech Leader Talk podcast. For more information go to https://stevesponseller.com/

Curt Avallone-Chief Business Officer for Takeoff Technologies Inc.

March 19th, 2021

Curt_headshotb2iui.jpgCurt Avallone has dedicated the past 30 years to developing innovative retail solutions. He has collaborated with a variety of teams to build new businesses that today generate over $8 billion in annual sales and over 30,000 jobs. He launched successful eCommerce divisions at Ahold Delhaize, Giant Eagle, and CVS Pharmacy, as well as the HEB and Ahold Delhaize fueling divisions. Curt designed, patented and operated the Ahold "ScanIt!" mobile system, which allows shoppers to scan and bag groceries while they shop. He holds a BA from Harvard University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.  For more information about Takeoff Technologies Inc. go to https://www.takeoff.com/

Ryan Weiss, Effective Performance Strategies

March 16th, 2021


Ryan Weiss is the President of Effective Performance Strategies, specializing in driving organizational change and high performance by aligning three core components: purpose, people and process. He is a global executive with decades of experience spanning the Americas, Europe, and Asia. 


Ryan has successfully founded 3 companies, and worked as a global executive leading hundreds of people, managing a $500 million product portfolio, and developing a passion for organizational change. He serves on multiple boards of educational, profit, and non-profit institutions. For more information on Effective Performance Strategies go to https://epszone.com/


Sky Cassidy, MountainTop

March 15th, 2021

Sky_Cassidy_MTD8ec41.pngSky Cassidy is CEO of MountainTop Data and co-host of the If You Market podcast. MountainTop Data, headquartered in Los Angeles, CA, has been providing data services for B2B marketing for almost two decades. With an unrelenting commitment to quality, they were the first company to guarantee the accuracy of their licensed data and business emails.  They provide marketing lists, data cleaning, data appending and data maintenance services. Their data services have been used by some of the world’s biggest brands across a multitude of various industries from multi-national telecommunication companies to office technology, to PR firms and more. for more information on MountainTop Data go to https://www.mountaintopdata.com/

Ed Lee, Wahoo Fish Taco

March 15th, 2021

Wahoos-Ed-Lee.jpgEd Lee is co-founder and partner of Wahoo's Fish Taco, responsible for the expansion and development of what has become one of the most iconic fast-casual restaurant brands in the United States. With more than 35 years of experience in the restaurant and hospitality industry, he has helped his co-founding brothers Wing Lam and Mingo Lee establish Wahoo's as a pop culture mainstay in California and beyond. In addition to 
forging partnerships with renowned brands like Quiksilver, Billabong, Hurley and Vans, Ed has ensured Wahoo's consistent brand presence at high-profile surf, sporting and music events such as the X-Games, Vans Warped Tour and Coachella among others. An active supporter of many national and local community-based events, Ed serves on the board of various non-profit organizations including California Restaurant Association and Vocational Visions. He is also frequently invited to speak and give lectures at various universities including University of Southern California and University of California, Irvine, as well as his alma mater Vanguard University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in business. In 2018, Ed was named One of OC's Most Influential by the Orange County Register. For more information about Wahoo Taco go to https://www.wahoos.com/

Omri Traub, Popcart

March 15th, 2021


Omri Traub is the Co-Founder and CEO at Popcart, a shopping assistant tool helping thousands get the best prices online every time. Before that, he was VP of Engineering at Oracle where he led the Endeca team, acquired by Oracle in 2011 for $1.1B. Popcart is Omri’s third startup. He lives in Brookline, MA with his wife and four children. For more information about Popcart go to https://www.popcart.com/

Robert White, Author

March 6th, 2021


Robert White is a Speaker, Author, Leadership Trainer and Executive Coach who specializes in integrating a heart centered, result-oriented and transformational leadership approach to being effective.

Robert’s culture change work has been praised by corporations like JPMorganChase, Progressive Insurance, Duke Energy and The American Cancer Society.

Additionally top business experts and authors Ken Blanchard, Jimmy Calano, Kathy Gardarian, and Robert Wright, plus thousands of training and coaching clients, have endorsed his professional skills.

Today you’ll find him speaking at conferences, hosting masterminds, mentoring today’s emerging business leaders and teaching everything he knows about fostering entrepreneurial success and building an entrepreneurial mindset in established, growth-oriented companies.

For more information about Robert White go to: 







Victor Bornstein,  Justpoint

March 5th, 2021


Victor Bornstein is the CEO and Co-founder of Justpoint, an artificial intelligence company making it possible for people to understand the merit of their medical malpractice claim and find the right experts for their case. Victor saw the opportunity to redesign this industry after experiencing it from both sides: as a child when his mother suffered a life-threatening medical mistake, and from the perspective of hospital systems. He has served as an Assistant Professor at Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine, an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Texas Medical Center Accelerator, and a Fellow at the healthcare venture capital firm Digitalis Ventures.  For more information on Justpoint go to https://justpoint.com 

Chris Hale, Kountable Inc

February 23rd, 2021


Chris Hale is Founder and CEO of Kountable, Inc., a San Francisco-based technology company actively solving the world’s distribution problem by building a trust network for global trade that integrates, digitzes and optimizes collaboration between qualified big and small players. Its cloud-based global trade platform delivers transparency, governance and efficiency in trade by connecting the biggest global sellers with the most qualified buyers in challenging economies. For more information on Kountable go to https://www.kountable.com/

Patrick Frank, Patient Partner

February 22nd, 2021

Patrick.jpgPatrick Frank is the co-founder and chief operating officer of Patient Partner, a free platform that pairs future surgical patients with a “surgery mentor” who has undergone the same surgery. A savvy business leader, he helped scale Patient Partner into a million-dollar business in less than six months. For more information on Patient Partner go to https://www.patientpartner.com/

Dr. Reggie Edgerton and Parag Gad, SpineX

February 16th, 2021


Dr. Reggie Edgerton received his Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology from Michigan State University, Masters from University of Iowa and BS from East Carolina University. He is currently the Director of the Neuromuscular Research Laboratory and a Distinguished Professor of the Departments of Neurobiology and Neurosurgery. He is also the chair of the scientific advisor board and Co-Founder of SpineX. He has been teaching and conducting research at UCLA for over 40 years. His research is focused on how the neural networks in the lumbar spinal cord of mammals, including humans, regain control of standing, stepping and voluntary control of fine movements after paralysis, and how can these motor functions be modified by chronically imposing activity-dependent interventions after spinal cord injury.
Parag graduated from Mumbai University, Mumbai, India in 2008 with a Bachelors in Engineering in Biomedical Engineering. In the fall of 2008, he started grad school at UCLA working under Dr. V Reggie Edgerton towards his masters and PhD. in Biomedical Engineering. He received his masters and PhD in 2010 and 2013 respectively. Both his masters and PhD thesis were focused on locomotion rehabilitation and improvement in bladder function using spinal cord stimulation after paralysis. Parag has been working as a Scientist at UCLA in the department of Neurobiology under Dr. V Reggie Edgerton’s guidance. In 2019 Parag Co-founded SpineX Inc. and took on the role as founding CEO. For more information about SpineX go to https://spinex.co/

Jason Junge, Pointer Top

February 15th, 2021


Jason Junge is an MIT/Kellogg-educated Business Strategy expert in high-tech that has worked with companies ranging from new startups to Microsoft, to craft and execute successful growth strategies. He is currently CEO of PointerTop, an innovative Remote Sales and Service Software company based in Tempe, AZ. For more information on PointerTop go to https://www.pointertop.com/

Eric Morley, Blue C

February 15th, 2021


Eric Morley is the passionate Co-Founder and COO of Blue C, a Costa Mesa-based brand strategy and creative marketing agency. Since 1998, he has been helping companies across both B2B and B2C segments create brand strategies, campaign development, strategic design, content creation, and digital marketing strategies with a goal of outperforming the competition. Most recently, Morley led the Blue C team through the public launch of its proprietary BrandPWR platform, a strategic branding process that helps brands more effectively connect with key audiences. BrandPWR is the accumulation of Morley and Blue C's tried-and-true branding practices - a platform which enables clients to BRAND BOLD and build the most solid foundation for enjoying sustainable, long-term results.


Eric co-founded Blue C in 1998 and since then, has supported over 12,000 marketing projects for clients, including 500+ rebrands and 1,000+ new company brand launches. Outside of the office, Eric volunteers his time with philanthropies including Boy Scouts of America, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Goodwill of OC, Wounded Warrior Project, Second Harvest Food Bank and more. Eric is a co-founder (along with Wing Lam of SoCal's popular Wahoo's restaurant chain) of the California Love Drop, a non-profit that has served over 18,000 meals to more than 180 front line responders. In addition to philanthropy, Eric speaks as various Orange County universities, high schools and marketing and advertising professional organizations to share his decades of branding and marketing experience. When not working or volunteering his time, you'll find Eric in Baja Mexico 16 weekends out of the year, where he has raced and won the Baja 1000, an annual off-road motorsport race. 


To learn more about Blue C’s BrandPWR platform and services, please visit www.bluecusa.com or call (714) 540-5700.

Jared Rosenthal, StaffGlass

December 27th, 2020


Jared Rosenthal is a CEO turned entrepreneur, reality TV show host, and tech innovator. While coming up the ranks of corporate America, he cultivated a model of mobile marketing using RVs to deploy teams of people to the streets of NYC, replicated it in Chicago, and then brought it to dozens of cities nationwide, at one point managing over 400 people. Despite his success, he always yearned to strike out on his own. Ultimately, he bought a used RV and launched Health Street, a mobile drug testing and DNA testing company, in 2010. Initially driving the company's sole RV himself, he famously painted "Who's Your Daddy" on the side of the truck to advertise the company's paternity testing services. A photo was published in the NY Post, which led to a crush of interest from television producers. VH1 picked it up, airing an 8 episode series, Swab Stories, about Jared and his DNA testing clients. Recently, he has led Health Street's pivot to technology and launched StaffGlass, a hiring and recruiting software as a service that allows businesses to easily set up drug tests and occupational health services at over 10,000 clinics nationwide. For more information on Staffglass go to  https://staffglass.io/

Charles Antis – Founder & CEO, Antis Roofing & Waterproofing

December 22nd, 2020

Antis-122-HRDF_2_ae7gx.jpgCharles Antis – Founder & CEO, Antis Roofing & Waterproofing 

A well-respected and widely known roofing expert, entrepreneur and humanitarian, Charles has become one of the most trusted names in the roofing industry country wide, as well as an inspirational business leader championing social corporate responsibility.  Antis Roofing & Waterproofing celebrated its 30th Anniversary in 2019, or as Charles would say, “for over 30 years, we’ve been keeping families safe and dry!” 

Charles has served on a dozen national and local boards for well-known organizations including the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), where he co-initiated the national adoption of all 165 Ronald McDonald homes across the country. He is also a board member of The Roofing Alliance for Progress.  Locally, Charles serves on the Orange County Habitat for Humanity (Habitat OC), through which Antis Roofing & Waterproofing has donated every roof installation of every home built by Habitat OC since 2009 – over 80 families housed and $1M in “in-kind” donations, along with Eagle Roofing Products. Charles also serves the following organizations: 

  • Ronald McDonald House Orange County Board of Directors; Co-Chair of the Capital Campaign, raising over $9 million of the $12 million to double the size of the house; Chair of the Rock the Socks campaign
  • California State University Fullerton Center for Leadership Board of Directors
  • Orange County United Way Board of Directors and United 2 End Homelessness Executive Council
  • OneOC External Advisory Board

Charles has been the recipient of many prestigious national and local awards, including the 2020 Hispanic Leadership Award from the Orange County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, IMA Impact 2020 Award, OneOC 2020 Community Cup Best Overall Project: Team Antis Roofing & California Love Drop (CA Love Drop was founded by Wing Lam, bringing food, treats, and PPE to Frontline workers and First Responders), and OneOC 2020 Community Cup Best Hands-on Project: Team Antis Roofing & Second Harvest Truck Brigade. Charles was also honored with the American Red Cross Corporate Hero Award and a Civic 50 honoree of the most community minded companies in Orange County in 2019.  He was awarded in 2018 with the Business of the Year from the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce and the CACM Vision Award for Corporate Social Responsibility.  In 2017, Antis was honored as US Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Best Corporate Steward, Small and Middle-Market Business, and he was also named as National Philanthropy Day Honoree, Outstanding Corporation or Business, Mid-Size; the Civic 50 Orange County Emerging Company award; and received the top honor with the CNA Insurance/National Roofing Contractors Association (CNA/NRCA) Community Involvement Award. Charles has also sponsored the Community Corner at the Anaheim Ducks arena since 2017, donating over 50,000 seats each year to nonprofit organizations.  

Charles Antis is a master storyteller and sought-after speaker, panelist, podcast and radio show guest.  He was featured in 2019 as the keynote for Best of Success; in 2018 as the keynote at the Irvine Chamber of Commerce Legends and Leaders breakfast; and at the US Chamber of Commerce Corporate Citizenship Conference in Washington D.C. The Antis “model for giving – give to grow” has been featured in t three books: “How Goodness Pays” written by Paul Batz with Paul Hillen; and “Unlocking High Performance” by Jason Lauritsen; and “Success Mindsets” written by Ryan Gottfredson. Antis will be featured in Do Good at Work by Bea Boccalandro, due out next month. Charles and Bea are also co-authoring a “How-to” book in coordination with a class they are building for Orange County United Way that Charles believes will become a national model at all United Way’s across the country. It’s currently entitled, The New Leadership Imperative: Corporate Social Responsibility and the course is set to launch in January. 


As a proponent of multi-tenant housing ownership education, Charles served for more than 20 years on the Education Committee of the Community Associations Institute (CAI), teaching maintenance responsibilities to board members and community managers. He is a former 10-year member of Vistage 390. Charles annually serves as a judge for multiple institutions, including the ACG Awards, RT3, CSUF Center for Leadership and the National Roofing Contractors Association. He attended Brigham Young University and lives with his wife and children in Irvine, California.  

For more information on Antis Roofing & Waterproofing go to https://www.antisroofing.com/


BruceWilliam, HaulTail

December 16th, 2020


Bruce Williams is a 25-year construction veteran, and current CEO of Demo Bags® and Haultail®, a mobile application and on-demand last mile delivery service that can transport items of any size, junk and debris, to and from any location within just hours. Haultail® continues to aggressively expand and penetrate high-use markets throughout the US in conjunction with the numerous nationwide retailers selling official Haultail® Woven Contractor Bags. Haultail® and Demo Bags® are available in Home Depot, Lowe’s, ACE Hardware and other major home improvement retailers around the country.

Scott and David Coles, WMBC

December 9th, 2020

Scott_Coles_9s36z.jpgScott Coles, Founder, CEO and Wealth Advisor at WMBC:

Pioneering the evolution of wealth management since the early 80s, Scott Coles is the founder of WMBC. As a trusted advisor for both clientele and industry professionals, Scott has earned nearly 40 years of experience which serves as a dynamic platform for himself and his team to draw solutions and opportunities from.


Bringing the human element to the forefront of each and every decision, Scott recognized the need for Human Wealth Planning™ that brings comprehensive value to the lives of those he serves. Throughout the years, his motivating factor has been the fulfillment he receives from connecting with others and providing true value to their lives which has a dynamic ripple effect on those around them. With a dedicated interest in each person and their respective goals, Scott is able to advise and strategize synergistic steps to get each person to the place of financial freedom they desire.


As a champion for service driven work, Scott invests time every month supporting charitable causes and mentoring others. He is committed to seeing the evolution of those around him, and knows the power of one on one connection fueled by integrity, heart and soul. As a proud father, grandfather, husband, friend and advisor, Scott looks forward to seeing Human Centric Wealth Planning™ take flight in the industry, and transform the way financial planning and wealth building is approached globally.


Credentials, Career Highlights and Community Interests

– Charter Financial Consultant (ChFC)

– Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU)

– Specialist in Complex Estate and Tax Planning

– Founder of Colwin Financial Insurance Services Inc

– Former Radio Show Host, “You and Your Money”, 640AM

– Seminar and Workshop Host

– Actively Supports: OC and Second Harves Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity, youth sports programs, Boy Scouts of America, and Christian church services.

– Founder of Hawkeye Kids Wrestling Club

– Former Board of Directors Member for Zaytoon International


David Coles, President and Wealth Advisor at WMBC:

David Coles is the President, a Wealth Advisor, and one of the driving influencers at WMBC. As a firm believer in people and their genuine nature, David co-created the Human Wealth Planning™ process. This process takes the raw data of financial planning and pairs it with the latest in well-being science to create a truly unique and impactful wealth plan for the client.


The creation of Human Wealth Planning™ began in 2015, born of the realization that: 1) issues such as family relationships, career decisions, or vitality were much more important to individuals than the rate of return they can achieve and 2) that money is the main tool individual’s use to bring about change or improvement in their life. We set out to create a financial planning process that takes into consideration various areas of a person’s well-being. In 2018, Human Wealth Planning™ was born; reimagining the way advisors interact with their clients and helping all reevaluate their relationship with money.


When asked for his conviction as a wealth advisor, David says, “The money my clients entrust to me is something much greater than dollars and cents – it is a tool we use to build a fulfilling life.” David confidently believes that one of his main services to his clients is to ensure they are living gratifying lives now – not just in retirement.


David has an inherent ability to understand a person’s needs and motivations. This strength combined with 12 years of experience and from growing up with a father in the wealth management industry allows David to create impactful results for his clients.


Driven by a perpetual desire to learn, grow, and innovate, David is a self-proclaimed technology geek and student of life, continuously looking to expand his knowledge and to improve his business and self.


Born and raised in Orange County, California, David currently resides in Dana Point as his love of sailing drew him to live by the water. Recently discovering his strong enthusiasm for wine and the winemaking process, David decided to turn his passion into a continual learning experience by studying alongside wine industry experts and Master Sommeliers. He recently passed his Level 2 exam with the Wine & Spirits Education Trust of England and looks forward to continuing his journey with the art of wine.


Credentials and Career Highlights


-Series 7 & 66

-Life & Health insurance license

-Suits Magazine January 2015 “Trust and Transparency Tops the List”


Chad Willardson, Author

October 6th, 2020


  • Founder and President of Pacific Capital, a fiduciary wealth management firm in Southern California
  • Elected City Treasurer for our city, managing the $350 million investment portfolio
  • Co-Owner of the Draft Sports Complex
  • Married father of five kids
  • Chad’s been featured in: Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Inc., U.S. News & World Report, Entrepreneur Magazine, NBC News, Financial Advisor Magazine, California Business Journal, etc.
  • Author of Amazons Best Seller:  Stress Free Money: Overcome These 7 Obstacles to Find Financial Freedom

Kunal Verma, AppZen

September 28th, 2020


Kunal co-founded AppZen in 2012 and developed its core artificial intelligence technology. He is passionate about developing AI-based solutions to solve real-world business problems. He is responsible for AppZen’s product vision, and oversees the company’s R&D and data science teams. Previously, he led research teams at Accenture Technology Labs that were responsible for developing AI-based tools for Fortune 500 companies. He earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Georgia with a focus on semantic technologies. He is a published author with over 50 refereed papers and holds several granted patents. Kunal is a keen golfer and an avid follower of the Georgia BullDawgs and the Golden State Warriors.

Alice Comb, Author

September 21st, 2020


ALICE COMBS is the author of The Lady with Balls. She graduated from Cal State Hayward, where she earned a place on the Dean’s List. After a painful divorce, Alice took a variety of unrewarding jobs. She persevered through every obstacle; she taught herself to be a skilled entrepreneur and expert employer, and slowly developed her startup company, Vulcan Wire, into a thriving business. By Vulcan Wire’s forty-fifth year, it boasted $10 million in annual sales. Now semi-retired, she and her husband live on Mendocino County’s scenic north coast. One of her ongoing missions is to empower women to pursue careers in business, especially in a male-dominated industry. 

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