As a veteran of the Southern California tech scene with roots in several Idealab startups, Rob is passionate about helping people and organizations achieve their goals.
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Our board is made up of volunteers passionate about fostering a sustainable and robust innovation economy in Pasadena and greater Southern California. We have a diverse board of local business leaders, and together we represent the technology, science, design, entrepreneurship, capital, and education sectors—dedicated to providing leadership and resources to an engaged and growing community.
As a veteran of the Southern California tech scene with roots in several Idealab startups, Rob is passionate about helping people and organizations achieve their goals.
Rob McClinton is the founder and CEO of Designing Nation Holdings, a hosting and online marketing company focused on small and local businesses. He is a veteran of the Southern California tech scene with roots in several Idealab startups including GoTo.com and X1 Technologies.
Rob's career started with developing and leading sales organizations before moving into executive management and then management coaching. He's passionate about helping people and organizations achieve their goals. To that end, Rob has taught management development workshops and provides leadership mentoring through his consulting practice, Artistic Leader. Rob is the Executive Director of the Idealab Alumni Association, an organization dedicated to developing the network of professionals who have worked at Idealab over the years. Rob studied economics at Loyola University Chicago.
Aaron serves as an advisor and mentor, a blockchain / cryptocurrency professional, and an Executive Strategist. Leveraging his digital media entertainment background, Aaron is the creator and producer of "Innovate Pasadena Presents" television show.
Aaron B. Wheeler, a strategic entrepreneur, consultant and connector is the Chief Business Development Officer of SABLE ASSENT, the Strategic Executive Advisor at Wheeler.Company, the Founding Director of StartUp Grind of Greater Pasadena, and founding co-owner of Legion M Entertainment. Aaron, also currently serves as Executive Board Treasurer for Innovate Pasadena and sits as the NAACP Pasadena, Economic Development Committee Chair focusing on the development of entrepreneurial endeavors, professional growth, education, and job creation.
Aaron as over 20 years of experience in strategic marketing, community and business development encompassing social media, media, and entertainment. Aaron has expanded his professional portfolio into fintech investments, private equity real estate investment, Blockchain & Digital Currency.
In community service, Aaron currently serves an Advisory Board member on the Business & Entrepreneur (BE) Academy and the Arts, Entertainment, & Media (AEM) Academy for the Pasadena Unified School District. He has also served as a city commissioner for the City of Pasadena, as well, has sat on several Executive Boards of private entities. Aaron has the honor in continuing to serve the community and assist in championing freedom of speech and expression by heading community development and media training for Pasadena Media.
Erick is a CTO and has been an advisor to the X Prize Foundation, The Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles, Pasadena Heritage, and the Pasadena Unified School District.
Erick has been working on the Internet since it was still the NSFNet and has been building the web since it was a NeXTStep application. Erick's professional life has been devoted to software development, systems engineering, and security with the last 20 years spent in executive roles. Erick is currently the CTO at Vynyl, a team of technologists, developers, designers, and product experts who work with leading organizations and institutions to build their most important products. Previously, he has led teams large and small developing systems for WebVisible, Toyota, Privlo, Local Corporation, Feedback, LRN, California Federal Bank, Ticketmaster.com, Variety.com, Dell Computer, and many other Fortune 500 and startup companies. Erick has been an advisor to the X Prize Foundation, The Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles, Pasadena Heritage, and the Pasadena Unified School District.
Beth is an entrepreneur and expert in design and development, digital product strategy, and branding, with nearly 20 years in the tech industry.
Beth has been developing software and using digital design tools since childhood. She made that passion into a career, spending over 20 years designing and developing for the web. Prior to co-founding Enbroaden, a digital product agency, Beth gained significant experience and knowledge working at McKinsey & Company. She is also a startup veteran, having co-founded Netminds, a digital publishing and media platform.
In addition to serving as the President of Innovate Pasadena, she is a member of the Santa Monica College's Interaction Design Advisory Board, has served two terms on the Board of Directors for the South Lake Business Association, and received recognition by the California 41st Assembly District as a 2016 Woman of Distinction Nominee.
Mike is an entrepreneur, mentor, and investor with more than 20 years of experience commercializing catalyst and materials technology.
Dr. Michael A. Giardello (Mike) is an energetic and passionate entrepreneur, mentor, and investor with more than 20 years of experience in developing and commercializing technology. After completing a post-doctoral fellowship with Professor Grubbs at Caltech, Mike was an early employee or consultant at several start-ups before co-founding Materia in 1998. He served as President, CEO & CTO from February 1999 to November 2015 and then transitioned to a role as Senior Advisor.
In 2016, he became a founding Partner at Mount Wilson Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm focused on the physical and data sciences and serves as an advisor or Board member of several companies. Mike is a Co-Founder and current Chairman of Innovate Pasadena and served as Vice Chairman of the City of Pasadena’s Economic Development Task Force.
With a background in corporate communications, media and community relations, Jered heads up marketing and communications at ArtCenter College of Design.
With a background in corporate communications, media and community relations, Jered Gold heads up marketing and communications at ArtCenter College of Design, a global leader in art and design education.
Jered Gold is Vice President of Marketing and Communications at ArtCenter College of Design, a global leader in art and design education. In his current role, he seeks to create greater awareness of the College, its mission, students, faculty and alumni among key influencers by developing meaningful stories, sharing compelling images, amplifying the brand and creating significant touch points that resonate far beyond the College. Specifically, he oversees media and public relations, digital content, creative and editorial services, campus communications and special events.
Additionally, he serves as a member of the president's executive cabinet, addressing a number of strategic and operational issues on a weekly basis. Prior to ArtCenter, he worked in corporate communications at Universal Studios and, before that, in contestant relations for King World Studios. Jered majored in Hospitality Management with a minor in Business Administration and Marketing at San Jose State University, and early in his career held a number of management and community outreach positions in the hospitality industry.
Erin is an aerospace engineer, scuba instructor, theatre director, and round-the-world backpacker turned entrepreneur.
Erin Beck is Wana’s mompreneur Founder and CEO. Before Wana, she was a SpaceX Dragon Mission Director, designing and operating spacecraft bound for the International Space Station. Before that, an around-the-world backpacker, rescue scuba instructor, and award-winning theatre director. She believes skills are cumulative and transferable across disciplines. She believes being a parent tops them all. And she believes it is absolutely okay to have everything – even free babysitting.
Mimi Carter is an entrepreneur and investor in early-stage companies, a partner at Carterus Strategies, and director of the Pasadena Angels, named one of the top 10 angel investing groups in the US by Forbes Magazine.
Mimi Carter is an entrepreneur and investor in early-stage companies. She is a partner at Carterus Strategies and director of the Pasadena Angels, named one of the top 10 angel investing groups in the US by Forbes Magazine. Mimi serves on the advisory board for Mayor Eric Garcetti’s WiSTEM program, an initiative to lead the nation in developing and sustaining a robust pipeline of women in STEM. She is a strategic advisor for Women Founder’s Foundation, an organization providing access to capital, visibility, and mentorship for female founders.
In the last 10 years, Mimi has been an active community volunteer and leader, a committee member for LA County Science Fair, a former Science Olympiad coach, and a supporter and funder of STEM education for kids in underserved communities. Mimi has also volunteered extensively with local families and children’s services organizations. Mimi serves on the board of Five Acres, a children’s welfare agency serving Los Angeles since 1888. She is also a member of the Nash Scholarship Committee and Five Acres' 2020 Gala Co-Chair.
Christy is a community builder, connector in the innovative technology arena, author, and co-organizer of Friday Coffee Meetup.
Christy Conner is a driver of greater Los Angeles's innovative technology arena. She is a co-organizer of Friday Coffee Meetup, the largest active entrepreneurial and tech innovation group in Los Angeles, with 7,000+ members.
In The Confident Connector™: How to Build Your Must-Have Network in an Era of Job Insecurity, Christy enthusiastically shares strategies with readers to on how to build strong and authentic relationships. She seamlessly blends her perspective as a natural introvert with powerful techniques to inspire others to move past their fears and build a dynamic network that fulfills their aspirations.
Christy’s professional experience, global interests, and a light backpack have taken her to over fifty countries. Her career spans six business sectors, fourteen companies, and eighteen roles in nine departments. She has taught as an instructor of change management on five continents. It is from this unique vantage point that her grit and empathic leadership has been honed. Utilizing this global perspective coupled with local insights, she writes on leading-edge business topics that help companies work smarter and drive revenue.
She earned her private pilot’s license and went on to obtain a BS in Aviation Business Administration from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. She has an MA in International Relations from the University of Southern California (USC).
Gene has been in the technology and internet space for over 20 years, and also serves as a mentor for Mucker Labs and an advisor for 6 mobile startups.
Gene Chuang is a technologist who has been in the Southern California Internet space for 20 years. He is currently SVP of Technology for BeachBody, and has held tech executive roles at Yahoo, AT&T Interactive/YellowPages.com, Oversee, Synctree and Chegg. Gene is also a mentor for Mucker Labs, advisor for 6 mobile startups, and Public Safety Commission for City of San Marino. Gene lives in San Marino with his wife Jacki a physician at Kaiser Baldwin Park and 3 kids.
Salvatrice is the executive director of PCC’s economic and workforce development efforts and drives the college’s strategy to supply a trained, flexible workforce that serves the region’s labor market needs.
Salvatrice Cummo was recently appointed as the executive director of PCC’s economic and workforce development efforts. Her responsibilities include driving the college’s strategy to supply a trained, flexible workforce that serves the region’s labor market needs. Salvatrice previously served as director of PCC’s Small Business Development Center, which operates in partnership with the Small Business Administration to assist small business owners with low-cost training and no-cost one-on-one advising from experienced entrepreneurs and industry experts. Prior to her work at PCC, Salvatrice was the director of business development for the Montebello Chamber of Commerce. Her industry experience includes work with Macy’s and her family-owned businesses. She has a master’s degree in entrepreneurship and innovation from the USC Marshall School of Business and a bachelor’s degree from Cal Poly Pomona. Salvatrice is currently serving as a Co-Chair of IP’s PR & Marketing Committee.
Ken is a Pasadena resident and corporate partner at Wilson Sonsini who helps entrepreneurs and investors as their outside legal advisor ranging from corporate formation, venture financings, IPOs and M&A transactions.
In addition to practicing in California’s technology clusters for over two decades, Ken has studied and worked abroad and has extensive experience in cross-border transactions in Asia (including China, Korea and Japan) and Europe. He has handled more than $10 billion in financings, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, and IPOs. Ken works on a wide range of corporate finance matters, from startup companies obtaining angel financing to multi-billion dollar transactions for multinational and Fortune 500 companies. Ken’s practice focuses on technology (AI, AR/VR, CPG, CRT, cyber security, e-commerce, esports, IoT, mediatech, fintech, blockchain, SaaS) and life sciences (biologics, digital health, diagnostics, genomics, medical devices, pharmaceuticals). Ken also is a member of the Pasadena Angels and other angel networks.
In her role as Special Projects Manager for the City of Pasadena, Michelle has championed various initiatives and programming to connect people and resources within the innovation ecosystem
Michelle Garrett is a Special Projects Manager for the City of Pasadena. Michelle has managed a variety of projects on behalf of the city including a recent marketing effort for business and talent attraction. Other notable projects include management of the Tournament of Roses Parade and Amgen Tour of California, marketing of the city’s on-location filming program, and the One Arroyo effort to bring new investment for improvements in the Arroyo Seco. Michelle was instrumental in guiding Innovate Pasadena’s launch and championed various initiatives and programming to connect people and resources within the innovation ecosystem. Michelle studied Politics at Princeton University and earned her MPA with distinction from CSUN. She is a member of the Leadership Pasadena Alumni Network and resides in Altadena.
Evan has over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry and is an active supporter of the Pasadena community.
As the Vice President of Operations of E-Central Credit Union, Evan oversees operations, marketing, and business development. He has over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry. Prior to joining E-Central Credit Union, he worked for Vista Federal Credit Union (now called Partners Federal Credit Union), which served The Walt Disney Company, and North Communications, which sold technology to banks and credit unions. Before joining the banking world, Evan ventured out as a small business owner by opening a martial arts studio. With over 30 years of experience, he still practices martial arts today. He served as an executive board member for the Industrial Council of Commerce for over six years and a board member for Marketing Association of Credit Unions for seven years. Evan graduated with a bachelor of arts in public relations and marketing from California State University, Long Beach.
Minnie loves Pasadena. She's a partner at TenOneTen, a local venture capital firm, host of the "LA Venture" podcast, and founder of Shift.com.
Minnie Ingersoll is a Partner at TenOneTen and host of the LA Venture podcast. Prior to TenOneTen, she was the COO and co-founder of $100M+ Shift.com, an online marketplace for used cars. Minnie started her career as an early product manager at Google where she co-founded the Access team; a cross-functional product, policy, and engineering team.
Minnie studied Computer Science at Stanford and has an MBA from HBS. She recently moved back to Pasadena after 20+ years in the Bay Area and is excited to be a part of the growing tech ecosystem of Southern California.
Not only is John the Co-Founder and CEO of Pasadena-based startup Scratchpay, he was formerly CFO for two different "unicorn" fintech companies and was named "CFO of the Year" by the Los Angeles Business Journal.
John Keatley is the Co-Founder and CEO of Scratchpay, a point-of-sale financing company that offers payment plans to pet owners at the veterinarian's office. Scratchpay is just 3 years old but already has over 3,500 participating veterinary clinics in the U.S. and Canada and has helped 50,000 furry critters receive urgent medical attention. He was formerly CFO for two different "unicorn" fintech companies, Pasadena-based Green Dot Corporation and Klarna, a European e-commerce payment company based in Stockholm, Sweden. John led Green Dot's 2010 IPO which resulted in the company receiving a $1.6B valuation on the NYSE, and he was named "CFO of the Year" by the Los Angeles Business Journal. At Klarna, John helped the Swedish fintech company expand internationally and secure a $2.5B private market valuation. John received an MBA from Harvard and an AB in Physics from Princeton University.
Robbie Nock, ArtCenter’s Director of Entrepreneurship and Professional Practice, is an entrepreneur and educator, connecting art and design with business and technology to propel collaboration and innovation.
Robbie Nock is an entrepreneur and educator focused on inspiring creative innovation. As the Director of Entrepreneurship and Professional Practice at ArtCenter, he aligns art and design with business, entrepreneurship and technology. Driven to propel teams and collaboration, Robbie connects creatives with engineers, scientists, researches and investors to supports the growth of new ventures and social enterprises.
Over his career, he has worked as a founder and consultant across industries including photography, music, media production and emerging technology. Working on behalf of a wide range of communities, Robbie advises businesses, organizations and partners that strive to improve the human condition and positively impact the environment. He believes that solutions to the most challenging problems can be found in unlikely places and is drawn to the edges and intersections of established fields. Robbie serves on the Executive Committee for the Caltech Entrepreneurs Forum and the Creative Advisory Board for the Mayor of Los Angeles. He received an MA in English Literature from the University of Edinburgh and an MFA in Art and Technology from the California Institute of the Arts. Robbie is a practicing visual artist and lover of the outdoors where he surfs, skis and runs whenever possible.
In her role as Director of Outreach and Lecturer in the Department of Computing and Mathematical Sciences at Caltech, Claire aims to connect students and faculty to industry, with an emphasis on the local tech community.
Claire Ralph is the Director of Outreach and a Lecturer in the Department of Computing and Mathematical Sciences at Caltech. She directs the Caltech CMS Partners Program, which aims to connect students and faculty to industry, with an emphasis on the local tech community. In her role as a lecturer she developed and taught a new course targeted at junior and senior undergraduates majoring in computer science. Prior to coming to Caltech, she was the Director and Founder of Code for Princeton, a nonprofit focused on promoting open public data and closing the gap between the public and private sectors' effective use of technology. Additionally she has spent time at the Computer Science Research Institute at Sandia National Labs as a Graduate Research Fellow, was awarded a Computational Sciences Graduate Fellowship from the Department of Energy, received degrees in Pure Mathematics and Chemistry from the University of New Mexico, and a MS in Theoretical Chemistry from Cornell University.
Ka-Yun believes in diverse collaborations lead to strong community growth. Her experiences include storytelling through social media, creating visual graphics, and establishing relationships for cross-promotions. She is currently Marketing & Events Manager for Innovate Pasadena.