I was raised in the San Fernando Valley deep inside the concrete grid of tract homes. My dad, the inventive early adopter engineer, and mom, the no non-sense entrepreneur, put me to work at a young age tinkering around with new endeavors. Whether it was inputting years of California state lotto numbers into a database during my 5th grade summer break, or soldering relay switches for computer aided call centers, I realized that technology was creating opportunities for the curious and creative. After my father was laid off in 1994, the nightly dinner table discussions became fixated on how to capitalize on the emerging World Wide Web. In an effort to solve our own frustration with finding local companies online we set out to create the largest online commercial directory in the world. Four years later that vision was realized and the start-up Comfind.com was acquired by NBCi.
Captivated by the new currency of stock options, and skyrocketing company valuations I went to school at the University of Arizona to study economics. I followed the money trail directly to Wall Street and took an internship at the hedge fund Caspian Capital learning how to arbitrage derivatives. Spending weekends reading financial literature about mortgage-backed securities, swap spreads, and other mind numbing financial products I soon realized that my passion wasn’t for creating paper wealth. I wanted to create things, products, businesses that were tangible and that created real value.
I decided to move back to LA to dust off one of my father’s ideas and develop the product EcoTube (US Patent #7,410,054). EcoTube was a disposal bag for household fluorescent light bulbs. The bags contained a carbon filter to adsorb the mercury within the bulb. Working on product design, sourcing material, manufacturing in China, and marketing to hardware stores was an exciting time for an ambitious and naive young entrepreneur. What I wasn’t prepared for was stepping into the government’s bullpen. The EPA was getting serious about mercury pollution and the bureaucracy and approvals required to fully go to market were going to bankrupt the fledgling enterprise. EcoTube happened to catch the attention of some product designers in San Diego and when they offered a 4x return on my investment to purchase the patent I ran for the exit.
Inspired by what I didn’t know about big business I solicited all the large public companies headquartered in the area Los Angeles area for my next opportunity. I found a gig in the operations department at Korn/Ferry International and ended up sticking around for 8 years ending my tenure there as the Senior Director of Operations. I found a passion for a making sense of big data, and using analytics to drive high performing teams. I entrenched myself into everything from strategy & planning to M&A to performance management and business intelligence. I left Korn/Ferry in the early part of 2013 and have ventured off to explore the world and unearth my next pursuit.