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Board of Directors

Putting our experience, talent, and leadership to work for Pasadena

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.

Executive Committee

Design

Rob McClinton

President

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.

Entrepreneurship

Aaron Wheeler

Vice President

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.

Technology

Erick Herring

Treasurer

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.

Technology

Beth Kuchar

Chairperson

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.

Science

Mike Giardello

Co-Founder and Chairman Emeritus

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.

Design

Jered Gold

Co-Chair, PR & Marketing Committee

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.

Entrepreneurship

Lawren Markle

Co-Chair, PR & Marketing Committee

Lawren Markle is the Director of Public Relations at the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC), a nonprofit focused on advancing opportunity and prosperity for all, and he also supports World Trade Center LA in that role. Lawren leads issues management, content development and media relations, and helps reporters develop stories about LAEDC’s economic research and the dramatic transformations underway in our economy. He often highlights the role of innovation in our region as an economic driver. Prior to joining LAEDC in 2013, Lawren served as Director of Media Relations at Caltech, where he helped media cover the successful landing of Mars Curiosity Rover and many scientific breakthroughs. Prior to that, Lawren worked at PR Agency Tech Image for many years, where he designed and implemented media relations strategies for dozens of high-tech companies. Lawren received his degree in Economics and International Relations at University of Wisconsin-Madison and has lived in and around Pasadena for over 20 years. He is married with two boys, coaches soccer, served as Vice President on the board of Arroyos and Foothills Conservancy, and is an advocate for sustainability.

Board

Entrepreneurship

David Bailey

Board Member

David is a founding partner of KPPB LLP. KPPB is a boutique intellectual property law firm that specializes in developing and enforcing IP portfolios on behalf of venture backed startup companies and leading research universities including Caltech, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Stanford, and UCLA. David’s practice primarily involves advising a clientele of high technology companies on a range of patent, copyright, trademark, and Internet related issues. David also has extensive experience in guiding KPPB's clients through diligence processes associated with fundraising, acquisition and successful IPO. Among David’s current “portfolio” of clients are companies in the portfolios of Andreessen Horowitz, Atomic Ventures, Battery Ventures, Benchmark Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners, the Facebook Fund, Google Ventures, Greycroft Ventures, Intel Capital, IQT, Oak Investment Partners, O’Reilly Alpha Tech Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures, Rincon Ventures, Sequoia Capital, and Silicon Valley Bank. David holds degrees in Computer Engineering and Law from The University of Melbourne and is admitted to practice in California, New York, and before the USPTO. David is also a frequent guest lecturer at Caltech and UCLA on topics relevant to branding and patent strategies for startup companies.

Science

Erin Beck

Board Member

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.

Entrepreneurship

Mimi Carter

Board Member

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.

Entrepreneurship

Salvatrice Cummo

Board Member

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.

Technology

Gene Chuang

Board Member

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.

Technology

Ken Funahashi

Board Member

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.

Entrepreneurship

Michelle Garrett

Board Member

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.

Entrepreneurship

Evan Hitchcock

Board Member

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.

Technology

Minnie Ingersoll

Board Member

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.

Entrepreneurship

John Keatley

Board Member

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.

Entrepreneurship

Alex Maleki

Board Member

Alex Maleki brings experience in sales, marketing, and law into his role as Vice President of Business Development for Idealab. Prior to joining in 2008, Alex wore a variety of hats for two venture-backed startups focused on enterprise software and services (Net Effect, Mobile Automation), both of which were acquired. He holds a BA from UCSB, a JD from Southwestern University, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for Xosphere, Oewaves, Innovate Pasadena and STEAM:CODERS.

Design

Robbie Nock

Board Member

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.

Technology

Claire Ralph

Board Member

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.

Technology

Harrison Tang

Board Member

Harrison is Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of Spokeo. He started Spokeo with his college roommates Mike Daly (CTO) and Eric Liang (CIO) in 2006 in his parents basement in 2006. and serves as Spokeo's Chief Executive Officer.

Harrison guides Spokeo's product vision to build an experienced team that helps the company realize its mission of making the world around us more transparent. Under his leadership, He Harrison has helped build and scale Spokeo ’s user base from zero to serving tens of millions of users. He is passionate about building products that help customers get their jobs done.

Harrison earned a B.A.S. degree in Electrical Engineering and Economics and a M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering at Stanford University.

Staff

Ka-Yun Lau

Marketing & Events Manager

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.

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