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Luncheon with Nicholas Shurgot ’95

The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship welcomes Nicholas Shurgot ‘95, CEO of Saddle Peak ...

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CIE’s advisory board is comprised of experienced entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and other industry experts who understand how to mentor students as they consider launching their own ventures. The advisory board members work closely with students and faculty to help CIE facilitate and encourage entrepreneurship at the Claremont Colleges.

Kip Hallman- Chairman - CMC '81, P'14


Kip Hallman is Chief Executive Officer of CFMG, Inc., the largest provider of comprehensive healthcare services to county correctional facilities in California, serving 65 facilities across 27 California counties.  He is responsible for CFMG’s overall strategic direction, including expanding their business into additional markets.  Prior to CFMG, Mr. Hallman was President and CEO of Insight Health Corp, a national provider of diagnostic imaging services, where he led a successful turnaround and financial restructuring.

Prior to that he was President and CEO of Right Manufacturing, a manufacturer of fitness, leisure and other products. Prior to that, Mr. Hallman was founder, President and CEO of Home2 Inc., a venture capital-funded provider of web-based CRM applications for production homebuilders. Prior to Home2, he was co-founder and Vice President Corporate Development of TheraTx Inc., a rapid-growth, diversified national healthcare services company. TheraTx was recognized in consecutive years as the 2nd and 14th fastest growing public company by Inc. magazine, and Mr. Hallman shared an E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year Award in Healthcare for this effort. He began his career at Price Waterhouse.

Mr. Hallman received his Bachelor of Arts, Cum Laude, in Economics from Claremont McKenna College in 1981, and is an inactive California CPA. He is a director of Vericare, a leading provider of behavioral healthcare services to the elderly.

Mr. Hallman lives in Solana Beach, California with his wife and their youngest daughter, and his two older children attend Claremont McKenna College and Brown University. Mr. Hallman is an avid skier, surfer, and triathlete, who also enjoys diving, travel and pretty much any active outdoor activity.

Joel Appel - CMC '87

Owner, Launchpad LLC

Joel has been an entrepreneur and business manager most of his life.  After attending Claremont McKenna College and Northwestern’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Joel worked at the Quaker Oats Company for eight years.  He then founded Orange Glo International, marketers of Orange Glo, OxiClean, and Kaboom, with his parents.  Joel created the famous television ads featuring the late Billy Mays.  In 2006 Joel and his family sold Orange Glo to Church & Dwight/Arm & Hammer.

A year later Joel co-founded Launch Pad LLC, a marketing company that backs and runs several consumer products companies such as FullBar, Brainetics, Tortle, 2 Red Hens, and Gallo en Fuego.  Joel also owns the Moda Man store on Larimer Square in Denver.  Joel sits on the boards of two non-profits, First Descents and the Hoffman Institute.  Joel has two high-school aged kids, loves the outdoors, and has tremendous passion for personal and spiritual growth.

Richard Chino - CMC '90

Richard Chino, of Pasadena, CA, graduated from CMC in 1990 with a major in Economics/Accounting and Mathematics.  After graduating, he spent 5 years in Management Consulting, received his MBA from Northwestern University, and spent 12 years in the online marketing industry, most notably with GoTo.com, Overture, Yahoo!, and ValueClick.  He currently is a member of the Pasadena Angels, is on the board of Pollenware Inc., and is an advisor to a handful of startups.

Richard is a member of the CMC Alumni Association Board, has been active with CMC’s Mentoring Program since its inception, and has conducted case interview workshops to prepare CMC students for Management Consulting interviews.

Phillip Friedman - CMC '74, P'14

CEO, Harlow Aerostructures LLC

Phillip Friedman has served as CEO of Harlow Aerostructures since acquiring the Wichita, Kansas based company in 1981. During his 32-year tenure, he lead the teams that developed electro mechanical and structural assembly products such as autothrottles and flap actuators for OEM airframers such as Cessna, Hawker Beechcraft, Gulfstream, Learjet, Boeing, Spirit Aerosystems, and Lockheed.

After earning his B.A. in economics, Magna Cum Laude, from Claremont McKenna College in 1974, Mr. Friedman attended Harvard Business School where he received his MBA with honors in 1976. Following his graduation, he worked in Drexel Burnham Lambert’s Corporate Finance Department in New York and eventually moved back to Los Angeles where he served as Vice President of the Corporate Finance Department at Shearson Loeb Rhodes.

In 1980, Mr. Friedman started his entrepreneurial career with the acquisition of Nasco Aircraft Brake Inc. based in Gardena, CA, in a highly leveraged transaction with the minimal equity gathered from the savings from the three years of prior employment . He directed innovative efforts to launch its friction lining R&D team and build a brand new brake dynamometer testing facility. Nasco became the first new entrant in 40 years to receive FAA approval to sell aircraft brakes to large commercial aircraft and break the oligopoly stranglehold of competitors Honeywell, Goodrich and Goodyear in the market place.

In 1988, Mr. Friedman bought a controlling interest in the publicly traded Genisco Technology Corporation. The Anaheim based corporation held government contracts for the manufacturing of military computer systems that ran the North Atlantic Sonobuoy Network that tracked Russian nuclear submarines. He sold his controlling interest in the company in 1994.

Mr. Friedman spent 30 years as Owner and Skipper of three generations of FARR 40 racing sailboats participating in offshore yacht races such as Newport-Ensenada, Los Angeles- Puerto Vallarta, and Los Angeles-Hawaii. After receiving his private and instrument ratings as a pilot in 2006, Mr. Friedman has logged over 1700 hours in his Cirrus SR 22 G3 GTS.

Matthew Goldman - CMC '04

Founder/CEO of Wallaby Financial

Matthew Goldman is the founder and CEO of Wallaby Financial.  He raised more than $2 million dollars from venture capitalists such as Founders Fund, prior to successfully selling Wallaby to Bankrate, Inc.  Before Wallaby, Mr. Goldman founded or was an early employee at several startups of which you’ve never heard.  Outside of these small startups, he was Executive Director, Product Management for AT&T Interactive (YP.com), where he had responsibility for a $650 million P&L.  Prior to AT&T, Mr. Goldman was Director of Retail Strategy at Green Dot Corporation, a leading provider of reloadable prepaid debit cards. He also has experience in strategy consulting, e-commerce, and systems administration. Mr. Goldman is a graduate of Claremont McKenna College and lives in Pasadena with his wife and two children.

Robert Ketterer - CMC '85

CEO Pupsquest.com, Colvard Learning Systems

Robert Ketterer brings a diverse background in real estate, consulting, and investment expertise in startup consumer companies. Prior to forging an entrepreneurial career, to allow him to spend more time with his kids, Robert was a Director of Real Estate at CB Richard Ellis, a consultant to a variety of real estate, financial and consumer companies, and product manager with Security Pacific Bank International Private Banking and Financial Management and Trust Group. Currently, Mr. Ketterer sits on the boards of Luum.com and Village School, and is actively involved in From1000.com, Music Meets Video, PopMurder.com, and A Malibu Horror Story. In addition, he serves on advisory committees at the Brentwood School, Pacific Palisades-Malibu YMCA, and OPCC. Mr. Ketterer has a BA in International Relations from Claremont McKenna College, without distinction; at least they didn’t kick me out. In addition, he has a Masters of Corporate Real Estate (MCR).

Jon Kirchner - CMC '89

Chairman and CEO, DTS Inc.

Jon E. Kirchner has served as Chairman and CEO of DTS, Inc. since February 2010, and CEO since 2001. Since joining DTS in 1993, Mr. Kirchner has served in a number of senior leadership roles including COO and CFO. Previously, Mr. Kirchner worked for the consulting and audit groups at Price Waterhouse LLP (now PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP). During his tenure at Price Waterhouse, he advised clients on a range of finance, strategy and operations issues. In 2012, Mr. Kirchner received the Ernst & Young Technology Entrepreneur Of The Year Award for Greater Los Angeles. In 2011, Mr. Kirchner was honored by the Producers Guild of America and Variety receiving the “Digital 25: Leaders in Emerging Entertainment” award for being among the visionaries that have made significant contributions to the advancement of digital entertainment and storytelling. Additionally, he routinely speaks to MBA and undergraduate students about entrepreneurship and executive leadership. Mr. Kirchner is a Certified Public
Accountant and received a B.A. in Economics, cum laude, from Claremont McKenna College.

Mr. Kirchner serves on the Board of Directors of Free Stream Media (FlingoTV) and as Chairman of the YPO Santa Monica Bay Charitable Foundation.

James Montgomery - UCSD '81, P'15

Principal, Montgomery & Co.

James Montgomery manages the principal investment activities at Montgomery & Co., including Payvia, Vantage Media, FindTheBest, ServiceMesh, and other holdings.  Mr. Montgomery has also been an investor in a range of successful software, technology, internet, biotechnology and communications companies.

James Montgomery is a recognized industry expert in high technology industries and markets, and has advised leading global, media, communications, and technology companies regarding industry consolidation, new market entry, divestitures, strategic alliances and capital formation.  He founded Montgomery & Co in 1986 and has advised over 500 leading companies.    Mr. Montgomery also founded the highly successful Montgomery Technology Conference, the largest technology conference in the world, which is hosted each March in Santa Monica.

Mr. Montgomery currently serves as a Senior Advisor to Signal Hill Group.

Mr. Montgomery is a board member of Vantage Media and a board observer at Payvia. Mr. Montgomery received his master’s degree in economics from Cambridge University and holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, San Diego

Mike Sekits - CMC '88

Director of Private Investments, Jacobs Asset Management

Mike Sekits has over 25 years of investment banking and private investment experience, primarily in financial service and consumer product industries.  He has advised on M&A and financing transactions totaling over $10 billion in aggregate value.

Mike is currently the Director of Private Investments for Jacobs Asset Manager (JAM), a money management company with over $750 million in committed capital.  Mike Sekits joined JAM in 2006 as a founding member of JAM Equity Partners, LLC.

Prior to JAM, he was the President of Sekits Capital providing investment banking services to financial services and consumer product companies. Prior to founding Sekits Capital in 1999, he was an Associate Director in Bear Stearns & Co.’s Investment Banking Department where he specialized in M&A advisory, high yield finance and public equity issuance for financial service businesses. Prior to Bear Stearns, Mike was an Associate at The Shansby Group, a private equity fund that acquires and manages consumer product businesses. Mike started his career in investment banking at Dean Witter and later joined PaineWebber.

Mike received his Bachelor of Arts in economics and accounting from Claremont McKenna College in 1988 with the Phi Beta Kappa distinction.

Mike Sekits has served on the board of directors of Vertical Lend, Reverse Mortgage Solutions, Wingspan Portfolio Advisors, JCR Capital, ClearVue Management, American Advisors Group and Security One Lending. He currently serves on the board of directors of Cove Financial, Kondaur Capital and Acorns Grow.

Wayne Slavitt - CMC ‘80

President and CEO The PrimeMark Group, Inc.

Over the past 33 years, Wayne Slavitt has worked with middle market, privately-held companies in both principal and advisor capacities. Wayne’s extensive experience on both sides of the aisle ranges from executive positions as corporate controller, CFO, and CEO to advisory roles as an investment banker and specialized business consultant. For all of these roles, Wayne’s focus has been to maximize business value.

With extensive experience in mergers and acquisitions early in his career, Wayne formed a boutique investment banking house The Slavitt Ellington Group (now Strategic Equity Group), serving the middle market, providing business valuation, merger and acquisition, and workout and turnaround services. In 1998, Wayne sold his interest in The Slavitt Ellington Group to his partners and pursued similar opportunities in the Inland Empire of Southern California. Over the next two years, Wayne sold six companies, including Sundance Spas to Jacuzzi Corporation, along with several other privately-held companies to publicly-traded firms, as part of various industry roll-ups.

Toward the end of 2000, Wayne began what would be a very exciting journey as a business owner with three different ventures, including the formation of an e-commerce platform for International E-Z UP®, Inc., the world’s largest manufacturer of instant shelters, a real estate investment and management firm, and a successful patent portfolio that was recently sold. Today, Wayne is President and CEO of The PrimeMark Group, which works with growing companies to maximize business value.

Wayne, a magna cum laude 1980 graduate of Claremont McKenna College, served as President of the CMC Alumni Association and was Alumni-mentor for the Entrepreneurial Studies course at CMC. Wayne’s Athenaeum talk is jointly sponsored by the Robert Day School of Economics and Finance and CMC’s new Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. His presentation is one of several activities that will help launch the new Center on September 28th.

David Obrand - CMC '91, P'18

CEO, Fuzebox

Serving as Chief Executive Officer, technology and SaaS veteran David Obrand brings close to 20 years’ experience in sales, technology, operations and management to Fuzebox.  David drives the growth of Fuzebox, accelerating product development and expanding global sales and marketing operations.

Prior to joining FuzeBox, Obrand was Chief Customer Officer at Yammer, playing an instrumental role in the company’s fast-paced growth and eventual acquisition by Microsoft for $1.2 billion in 2012. Additionally, David served as Vice President of Vertical Sales at Salesforce.com. During his near 10-year tenure, he established record revenue growth, quickly scaling Salesforce’s global footprint. He has also held sales and business development positions at leading technology companies such as Promptu Corporation, Sagent Technology and Siebel Systems.

David holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Science from Claremont McKenna College. In his spare time, David is an avid scuba diver, angel investor, and philanthropist. He lives in Moraga, California with his wife and two amazing children.

David Spencer - CMC '86

Founder, SenSpa

The inspiration for SenSpa came from Dave Spencer’s personal quest for wellness. A life-changing car accident at age 19 cost him a leg and the use of an arm while leading him to pursue a positive attitude, holistic therapies and keen physical awareness. Along the way, he developed a passion for body care and good health.

For years, Dave shared his experiences with others as a volunteer and motivational speaker for amputees and trauma victims at medical facilities throughout the Bay Area. He broadened that outreach during six years of work for the Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants, with a focus on children and community marketing. He was also involved in the 1996 campaign for AT&T Park.

Working with kids through sports then inspired him to found BayKids, a nonprofit organization that serves children of the greater northern California area through self-empowerment programs.The concept to create a totally different spa and wellness center in San Francisco came to him while earning an MBA at Stanford. SenSpa is a 13,000 ft. facility in the Presidio, offering a resort-like setting in a day spa as well as a tailored approach to wellness.

A native of New York City and one-time commercial real estate broker, Dave currently resides in Hillsborough and serves disabled athletes through Challenge Aspen; his alma mater, Claremont McKenna College with the Kravis Leadership Institute; and aspiring young artists through the Florence Academy of Art. He is also involved in the San Francisco arts, serving as a trustee of the de Young museum and founding member of the ballet’s Allegro Circle. His passions include travel, politics, sports and of course, humor.

Scott Zajac - P'16

CEO and Chairman of the Board, Iron Rock Capital Partners

Scott A. Zajac is an investment professional with more than 25 years of experience in impact investing, venture capital, small business lending and investment banking.  Mr. Zajac recently launched IronRock Capital Partners, a new private equity firm with new partners, after 16 years as senior partner of Advantage Capital Partners.  His focus is double-bottom-line-impact investing addressing social objectives, with a special emphasis on environmental issues and entrepreneurship/job creation, while ensuring competitive profits. He has actively participated in fostering legislation supporting entrepreneurship.

Prior to Advantage Capital Partners, Mr. Zajac was with A.G. Edwards & Sons, Inc., where he led a structured finance transactions group and was involved with the design, development, and trading of billions of dollars of structured investment products. Before that, Mr. Zajac was responsible for analyzing, issuing and monitoring complex structured finance transactions at Citicorp Mortgage.

Mr. Zajac is a 2011 graduate of the Stanford University Executive Program. He received a master’s degree in information systems from Washington University in St. Louis and an M.B.A. from Saint Louis University. He also received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri and a bachelor’s degree from Truman State University with an interest in osteopathic medical engineering.

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