Security, Reimagined!

We are on a mission to empower organizations to eliminate the world’s exposure to cyber threats.

Values

Circle’s breakthrough security API unifies the solutions for identity and data security into one architecture and empowers organizations to secure their identity, data and privacy into their applications. Our culture and leadership principles motivate us to carry this mission forward with conviction and commitment.

Champion’s Mindset

We dream big, reimagine the possibilities with a growth mindset, and deliver excellence in our approach and outcomes
Champion's Mindset

Integrity & Trust

We act with integrity guided by an uncompromising moral compass, and we place trust in each other to collectively propel the organization forward to achieve shared goals
Integrity and Trust

Respect for Individuality

We fiercely respect individual differences while operating as a unified team drawing on the strengths of diverse talents
Respect for Individuality

Customer Obsession

We are passionate about solving customer’s problems and use that as the singular guiding post for delivering impact to all our stakeholders
Customer Obsession

Learning Pursuit

We embrace change and commit to learning and adapting. We own up to our mistakes, learn from them and learn from each other
Learning Pursuit

Empathetic Culture

We live empathy and this is the cornerstone of our organizational culture
Empathetic Culture

Circle Leadership

Executive Team
Board
Advisors
Phani Nagarjuna
Founder and CEO
Phani Nagarjuna
Founder and CEO

Phani Nagarjuna is a successful high-tech entrepreneur, executive and investor with about 25 years of experience. He has held virtually every C-Suite role at marquee venture/private equity backed firms. He has successfully launched market-leading software products, opened global markets, and scaled organizations from zero to multi-million dollars in revenues. As a transformation leader at Sutherland, Phani helped increase its shareholder value by an order of magnitude while spearheading accelerated digital transformation of a linear business model. At Caritor in early 2000s, he led one of the fastest turnarounds in the history of IT industry launching a new brand, raising private equity, verticalizing customer solutions, quadrupling growth, and making accretive acquisitions. As an entrepreneur, Phani led three different software businesses through successful exits. His most recent firm Nuevora, a top-10 Big Data Analytics firm merged with Sutherland, a TPG backed company in 2016. Earlier at OneCommand, Phani built the auto-retail industry’s first customer loyalty SaaS platform, made strategic acquisitions, enlisted the company to Inc. 500, and attained #1 market share. Early on, Phani held product leadership roles at Siebel Systems. Nagarjuna is a recognized expert on Big Data analytics/AI, often quoted in major publications, has written for Forbes, and has advised Fortune 1000 executives on meaningful digital transformation initiatives. He is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and has guest lectured at UC Santa Barbara. He is currently the President of the HBS Alumni Club of Northern California, a 501(c)(3) organization and serves on its board. Phani has an MBA from Harvard, an MS from University of Cincinnati, and a BS from Osmania University.

Sara Duryea
Founder and CSO
Sara Duryea
Founder and CSO

Sara is an entrepreneur and visionary. She is the original inventor and patent holder. She has extensive leadership experience across many non profit boards, including recent past Chairman of the Board of Directors for Mission Dolores Academy, a school addressing Achievement Equity by providing equal access to first tier whole child education. She is also past President of Circolo Villa Taverna and The San Francisco Opera Guild. She has chaired over 65 major fundraising events, (with all but one exceeding projected profit) for various San Francisco Bay Area organizations in education, healthcare and the arts.

Richard Sexton
Chief Revenue Officer
Richard Sexton
Chief Revenue Officer

A versatile global Executive with extensive Board Experience, delivering business goals at both high growth technology companies and early-stage venture backed start-ups. Extensive operational, strategic, management and leadership experience in all functions across the US, EMEA and Asia Pacific geographies with a proven track record of building and leading cross-functional teams. An adaptive, innovative and highly credible customer facing leader who uses business knowledge, superior communication skills, technology and analytics to guide companies striving to transform & accelerate go-to-market strategies through people, process & systems. Experience in leveraging multi-channel sales strategies to deliver rapid growth for companies at varying stages of maturity.

Geoff Halstead
Chief Product Officer
Geoff Halstead
Chief Product Officer

Geoff is a visionary and innovative technology and product leader who brings over 25 years of successful execution in creating, designing and building Web and Mobile SaaS applications and platforms.   Prior to Circle, Geoff was Chief Product Officer of Connexient, Inc., where he took the company from a napkin sketch to the market leader, with over 35 healthcare network clients and 100 locations deployed.  Under Geoff's leadership, the product and engineering team solved numerous deep technical and UI/UX challenges to create and deliver the world’s first and most advanced turn-by-turn indoor navigation smartphone application, defining  an entirely new space for Enterprise Digital Wayfinding and Navigation Services.   Connexient was acquired by Everbridge, Inc. in March, 2020.

Abhishek Bishayee
Chief Growth Operations Officer
Abhishek Bishayee
Chief Growth Operations Officer

Abhishek is a seasoned executive with 18+ years in the tech industry. His major experience has been with working in AI and Analytics initiatives for global clients.

With hands on experience in both business and tech, he has played roles ranging from an Individual Contributor to a Business Leader.

Abhishek started his career in the mid 2000s with General Electric, developing a patented forecasting algorithm for their Energy business. He then moved on to building larger teams to support the analytics portfolios of global majors, living and working across 4 different continents.

At Circle, Abhishek will be responsible for building the Global Operations Center, which will become the heart of our organzation supporting the sales, customer success and technology engines. Additionally, Abhishek will also be looking to grow the business in the APAC and EMEA regions.

Gene Allen
VP of Engineering
Gene Allen
VP of Engineering

Gene Allen is a seasoned product engineering executive with 25+ years of experience architecting cybersecurity software products. Gene has held several engineering leadership roles including his stints with McAfee, SolARC, BBS Technologies, NetIQ and several other major software industry players. While serving in his most recent C-level roles, Gene designed a proprietary P2P secure messaging and collaboration system and launched his company’s flagship security product.

Gene’s past accomplishments include growing a Rapid Development Team 15-fold while shipping a total of 15 shrink-wrap products, creating several popular lead generation tools, architecting an event management software which was purchased by Microsoft for $275 million.

A natural-born leader who isn’t afraid to ask hard questions when solving problems, Gene has built a successful career utilizing technology to improve the way people work and communicate. As an engineering architect, software development, and product design team leader, he continues to bring innovative products to market with a focus on cybersecurity, data protection, identity security, secure collaboration, privacy preservation, and more.

Gene is currently the Vice President of Product Engineering at Circle, a Silicon Valley based stealth cybersecurity startup. He currently lives in Magnolia, Texas with his wife and two daughters. He cooks a mean chili and loves gaming in his free time.

Phani Nagarjuna
Founder and CEO
Phani Nagarjuna
Founder and CEO

Phani Nagarjuna is a successful high-tech entrepreneur, executive and investor with about 25 years of experience. He has held virtually every C-Suite role at marquee venture/private equity backed firms. He has successfully launched market-leading software products, opened global markets, and scaled organizations from zero to multi-million dollars in revenues. As a transformation leader at Sutherland, Phani helped increase its shareholder value by an order of magnitude while spearheading accelerated digital transformation of a linear business model. At Caritor in early 2000s, he led one of the fastest turnarounds in the history of IT industry launching a new brand, raising private equity, verticalizing customer solutions, quadrupling growth, and making accretive acquisitions. As an entrepreneur, Phani led three different software businesses through successful exits. His most recent firm Nuevora, a top-10 Big Data Analytics firm merged with Sutherland, a TPG backed company in 2016. Earlier at OneCommand, Phani built the auto-retail industry’s first customer loyalty SaaS platform, made strategic acquisitions, enlisted the company to Inc. 500, and attained #1 market share. Early on, Phani held product leadership roles at Siebel Systems. Nagarjuna is a recognized expert on Big Data analytics/AI, often quoted in major publications, has written for Forbes, and has advised Fortune 1000 executives on meaningful digital transformation initiatives. He is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and has guest lectured at UC Santa Barbara. He is currently the President of the HBS Alumni Club of Northern California, a 501(c)(3) organization and serves on its board. Phani has an MBA from Harvard, an MS from University of Cincinnati, and a BS from Osmania University.

Sara Duryea
Founder and CSO
Sara Duryea
Founder and CSO

Sara is an entrepreneur and visionary. She is the original inventor and patent holder. She has extensive leadership experience across many non profit boards, including recent past Chairman of the Board of Directors for Mission Dolores Academy, a school addressing Achievement Equity by providing equal access to first tier whole child education. She is also past President of Circolo Villa Taverna and The San Francisco Opera Guild. She has chaired over 65 major fundraising events, (with all but one exceeding projected profit) for various San Francisco Bay Area organizations in education, healthcare and the arts.

David Chamberlain
Board Chair
David Chamberlain
Board Chair

David Chamberlain has over 15 years of CEO experience, having led three successful NYSE-listed companies — Stride Rite, Genesco and Shaklee. He substantially increased shareholder value at each firm. He is recognized for his ability to rapidly change failed cultures, modify behavior and improve results. During his career, he bought and successfully integrated businesses, sold underperforming operations, as well as repositioned and rebuilt nationally recognized brands.

Mike Bassignani
Board Member
Mike Bassignani
Board Member

John Micek
Board Member
John Micek
Board Member

John Micek is a Managing Partner of Third Leaf Partners.  He is also the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Red Stitch Wine, a critically-acclaimed Napa Valley boutique winery that he founded in 2008 with Dave Roberts and Rich Aurilia.  His operational and investor relations experience has grown out of a 17 year career in the hedge fund industry where most recently, John was a Partner and held roles as COO and Head of Investor Relations and Business Development at Criterion Capital Management.

Cybersecurity & Privacy Advisory Council
CISO Customer Advisory Council
Business Advisory Council
Industry Advisory Council
Bruce Schneier
Internationally Renowned Security Technologist
Bruce Schneier
Internationally Renowned Security Technologist

Bruce Schneier is an internationally renowned security technologist, called a "security guru" by the Economist.

He is the New York Times best-selling author of 14 books -- including Click Here to Kill Everybody -- as well as hundreds of articles, essays, and academic papers.

His influential newsletter Crypto-Gram and blog Schneier on Security are read by over 250,000 people.

Schneier is a fellow at the Berkman-Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, a Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, a board member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and AccessNow, and an advisory board member of EPIC and VerifiedVoting.org.

He is the Chief of Security Architecture at Inrupt, Inc.

Lance Cottrell
Cybersecurity and Privacy Advisor
Lance Cottrell
Cybersecurity and Privacy Advisor

Lance Cottrell founded the worlds first internet privacy company, Anonymizer, in 1995. He is an internationally recognized expert in cryptography, online privacy, and Internet security.

He is principal author on multiple Internet privacy and security technology patents.

He took Anonymizer to a very successful exit in 2008, stayed on as chief scientist and later strategic advisor for the acquiring company Ntrepid.

Lance mentors founders as Global Entrepreneur in Residence at Founder Institute and through his own platform FeelTheBoot.com. He is an active angel investor and sits on the board of directors for the North Bay Angels.

Ray Everett
Privacy Officer & Associate General Counsel, Avellino Labs USA
Ray Everett
Privacy Officer & Associate General Counsel, Avellino Labs USA

Appointed as one of the world’s first corporate Chief Privacy Officers in 1999, Ray is a recognized pioneer in the field of privacy risk management and data governance.

He has held privacy leadership roles at Blackhawk Network, Yahoo, Keynote Systems, and TrustArc. As a consultant, his clients have included Pfizer, Huawei, ExxonMobil, Fujifilm, Merck, Kellogg’s, Mattel, and Toyota.

He holds FIP, CIPM, and CIPP/US credentials from the International Association of Privacy Professionals, an organization for which he was a founding board member.

He holds a Juris Doctor from George Washington University, in Washington DC.

Thomas Ristenpart
Associate Professor at Cornell Tech and the Department of Computer Science, Cornell University.
Thomas Ristenpart
Associate Professor at Cornell Tech and the Department of Computer Science, Cornell University.

Thomas Ristenpart is an Associate Professor at Cornell Tech and a member of the Computer Science department at Cornell University.

Before joining Cornell Tech in May, 2015, he spent four and a half years as an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He completed his PhD at UC San Diego in 2010.  His research spans a wide range of computer security topics, with recent focuses including digital privacy and safety in intimate partner violence, new threats to, and improved opportunities for, cloud computing security, improvements to authentication mechanisms including passwords, confidentiality and privacy in machine learning, and topics in applied and theoretical cryptography.

His work is routinely featured in the media and has been recognized by a number of distinguished paper awards, an ACM CCS test-of-time award, an Advocate of New York City award, an NSF CAREER Award, and a Sloan Research Fellowship.

Lucia Milica
Global Resident Chief Information Security Officer, Proofpoint
Lucia Milica
Global Resident Chief Information Security Officer, Proofpoint

Lucia Milică Stacy serves as VP, Global Resident Chief Information Security Officer at Proofpoint, a leading cybersecurity and compliance company. She is a senior technology leader with over 20 years of extensive technical and business experience. In her previous role, Lucia was the VP, Chief Information Security Officer & Chief Privacy Officer for Polycom, where she managed all aspects of data privacy and information security.

She has also held leadership and technical roles in IT governance & strategy, security risk and compliance, corporate and product security, data privacy, and IT infrastructure at other companies, including HP, Palm, Wells Fargo, and Franklin Templeton. Many organizations in the cybersecurity industry and broader business community have asked her to speak at their conferences, symposiums, and other events.

She has also extended her contributions to her profession by serving as an advisory board member and active participant with the cybersecurity industry and relevant industry groups, including board membership on the National Technology Security Coalition, and service with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) 405(d) Cybersecurity Task Group, SC Media Advisory Board, and Forbes Technology Council.

She has a Master of Science in Information and Cybersecurity degree from the University of California, Berkeley. She also holds Master in Business Administration and Juris Doctorate degrees.

Eric Liebowitz
Chief Information Security Officer, Thales Group
Eric Liebowitz
Chief Information Security Officer, Thales Group

Eric Liebowitz has over 15 years in the cybersecurity space. He is a strong leader who is experienced in building and maturing Information Security programs for large Financial Services and Technology organizations. Eric started his career on Wall Street where he led a global team of security professionals that implemented a 24/7 Security Operations Center to monitor threats and respond to attacks at Lehman Brothers.

Eric then moved on to Freddie Mac where he led multiple teams in different security disciplines such as Identity & Access Management, Governance, Risk and Compliance and Security Monitoring & Incident Response.

Eric’s attributes include strong leadership and communication skills with the ability to translate technical and risk based solutions to senior management as well as business partners. He also has a demonstrated track record of delivering innovative Security solutions that meet corporate strategic goals while promoting a team-oriented work environment.

Eric has partnered with peers in other organizations to start a CISO roundtable with security leaders from the Virginia, Maryland and DC area. He is also a 9 year contributing member of the CISO Executive Network. He holds the CISSP, CISA and CISM certifications and is member of ISACA National DC chapter and ISC2.

Eric is currently CISO at Thales Group where he leads IT Security across North America. Thales is an Aerospace, Transportation and Cybersecurity organization with a complex IT environment and multiple product lines.

Devon Bryan, CISSP, CIPP EU, CIPP US
Global Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), Carnival Corporation
Devon Bryan, CISSP, CIPP EU, CIPP US
Global Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), Carnival Corporation

DEVON BRYAN joined Carnival Corporation in October 2021 as the Global Chief Information Security Officer with responsibilities for conceiving, implementing and leading technology solutions that assure compliance, protect personal data and corporate assets, increase organizational capability and advance productivity within Carnival Corporation and our world-leading cruise line brands.

Prior to Carnival Corporation, Devon was  Managing Director, Chief Information Security Officer, MUFG Union Bank N.A where he was responsible for establishing and maintaining a comprehensive information security strategy and program to ensure that information assets and technologies are appropriately protected. He is also responsible for ensuring that information security risks are identified, evaluated, mitigated, and reported in a manner that meets compliance and regulatory requirements and aligns with the risk tolerance for MUFG in the Americas region.

Most recently, he  served as the CISO for KPMG LLC — one of the world’s big four accounting organizations — for the United States and the Americas, where he was charged with effectively designing and executing a best-in-class information and data security function with a proactive approach to enable business results.

Prior to KPMG, Devon was the Executive Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer for the National IT Organization of the Federal Reserve System.   As the System-level CISO, he was responsible for ensuring the Fed’s information security policies, architecture, programs and incident response team remain effective and efficient.  Prior to the Fed, Devon was the Global Chief Information Security Officer (CISO for Fortune 500 outsourced payroll and human resources provider ADP.  As Global CISO for ADP, Devon led ADP’s information security strategy, collaborating across the company’s geographically dispersed business operations to ensure coordination, consensus, and effective cybersecurity protections across global operations. Prior to joining ADP in 2011, he served as the Deputy Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) where he was appointed to the Senior Executive Services (SES) and directed the IRS’s FISMA-compliant information security program and the IRS’s cybersecurity incident response team.  His information security career began in the U.S. Air Force, where he served as a Captain and lead network security engineer working on systems and programs to protect the critical network and communications networks of the Air Force’s Air Combat Command.

Devon is Co-founder of ICMCP (International Consortium of Minority Cybersecurity Professionals), a 501c3 non-profit which he launched in 2014 and geared toward improving the underrepresentation of women and minorities in the field of cybersecurity through academic scholarships, certifications, mentoring and networking opportunities.

Devon received a Bachelor of Science, Applied Mathematics from South Dakota Technological University and a Master of Science, Computer Science from Colorado Technological University, graduating Summa Cum Laude.  He holds multiple cybersecurity certifications to include:  CISSP, CIPP/US and CIPP/EU, serves on several non-profit boards and participates in select industry forums as a sought-after speaker and writer on emerging cyber security trends and issues.

Shaun Marion
Chief Information Security Officer, McDonald’s
Shaun Marion
Chief Information Security Officer, McDonald’s

As Chief Information Security Officer, Shaun Marion leads McDonald's global cybersecurity organization and oversees risk management, brand protection, and executing McDonald's enterprise cybersecurity strategy. With over 20 years in the security industry, Shaun brings a wide breadth of technical leadership and operational expertise to McDonald's.

Before joining McDonald's, Shaun was the Chief Information Security Officer for Republic Services. He was also the former Chief Security Officer for Honeywell, where he was ultimately accountable for cyber, product, and physical security operations.

Although much of his career has been focused on cybersecurity, Shaun's responsibilities have ranged from executive protection, guard-force management, corporate investigations, and business continuity to classified security management, cybersecurity strategy and operations, and incident response. Shaun is active in the cybersecurity startup community, where he has advised multiple budding cybersecurity companies and several global venture capital firms.

Shaun holds a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. Shaun is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, where he served for four years based out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

Lance Thatcher
Global VP, Cybersecurity & Enterprise Architecture, Jacobs Engineering
Lance Thatcher
Global VP, Cybersecurity & Enterprise Architecture, Jacobs Engineering

Lance currently serves as Global VP, Cybersecurity & Enterprise Architecture at Jacobs.   He is a senior technology executive and brings extensive experience leading cybersecurity organizations in global companies.

He has also held senior IT leadership roles in application development, ERP and network operations across multiple industries including semiconductor design and manufacturing, defense contracting, consulting and healthcare companies.

Dave Farrow
Chief Information Security Officer, Barracuda Networks
Dave Farrow
Chief Information Security Officer, Barracuda Networks

Dave spent the first 23 years of his career developing software and building product development teams in the data protection, banking, telecom, and distribution industries. Since 2013 he has been building Barracuda Networks’ security program from the ground up as the company has evolved from offering purpose built appliance, through SaaS offerings in their private data centers, to SaaS offerings in the public cloud. He has been responsible for policy, product security, network security, and incident response. Prior to Barracuda he worked at Yosemite Technologies, Fiserv, AT&T, Qwest, Cabelas, and others. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science degree from UC Berkeley.

Saffet Ozdemir, CISSP, CISA, CEH, SANS GSEC
Chief Information Security Officer, The Pokemon Company International
Saffet Ozdemir, CISSP, CISA, CEH, SANS GSEC
Chief Information Security Officer, The Pokemon Company International

Saffet Ozdemir is a 20+ year veteran of the Information Security field. His experience has primarily focused on creating or recreating security programs across diverse industries. His career spans leadership positions in companies such as Wachovia Bank, Zappos, Amazon, AARP, and now Pokémon. This diversity in experience has helped him balance investments between establishing fundamentals and introducing general leaps in his programs. As is common amongst many security leaders, his passions outside of the office revolve around food and travel experiences.

James Carder
Chief Security Officer, LogRhythm Labs
James Carder
Chief Security Officer, LogRhythm Labs

James Carder brings more than 25 years of experience working in corporate IT security and consulting for the Fortune 500 and U.S. Government. At LogRhythm, he develops and maintains the company’s security governance model and risk strategies, protects the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information assets, oversees threat and vulnerability management, physical security, and product security and architecture, as well as the security operations center (SOC). He also directs the mission and strategic vision for the LogRhythm Labs threat research, compliance research, and operational risk teams.

Prior to joining LogRhythm, James served as the Director of Security Informatics at a large non-profit medical center in Minnesota, where he had oversight of the threat intelligence, incident response, security operations, and offensive security groups. Additional experience includes serving as a Senior Manager at MANDIANT, where he led professional services and incident response engagements. He also conducted criminal and national security-related investigations at the city, state, and federal levels, including those involving the theft of credit card information and advanced persistent threats (APTs).

James is a sought-after and frequent speaker at cybersecurity events and is a noted author of several cybersecurity publications. He is also an Advisory Board member for the University of Colorado Denver, PlexTrac, TruKno, Coalfire, Resurface Labs, and the Identity Defined Security Alliance (IDSA); a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP); an ICIT Fellow; and a member of the Forbes Technology Council. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems from Walden University and an MBA from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management.

Lian Jin
Leader in Security Architecture, Infrastructure & App Security, Credit Karma
Lian Jin
Leader in Security Architecture, Infrastructure & App Security, Credit Karma

Lian is a servant leader with 20 years of cybersecurity experience in government and multiple industries. He has served as Acting CISO for USDA NRCS and Chief Security Architect for USDA NRCS & MUFG Union Bank.

Proven track record of creating robust security solutions in hybrid-/multi-cloud environments with built-in security and compliance, delivering global security tech strategy, and managing security risks and projects. Demonstrated ability to provide world-class SecArch and Application Security (AppSec) services to reduce security and compliance risks and save money in constant threat environments.

Lian loves audiobooks and tennis.

Sunil Agrawal
Head of Security, Bolt Financial
Sunil Agrawal
Head of Security, Bolt Financial

Sunil has over 20 years of experience in various areas of security. He has worked at some of the marquee tech companies in the Silicon Valley, including Netflix, Adobe, Motorola (acquired by Google) and has founded and exited companies in the security space. Currently, he's the Head of Security at Bolt Financial, a company focused on democratizing eCommerce.

Sunil is passionate about all areas of security and holds ~40 patents. When not at work, Sunil is dabbling into different areas of Web3 technologies, including blockchain, NFTs, smart contracts and can be seen hiking the various trails in and around Silicon Valley with his son, Ishaan.

Lane Bess
Principal & Founder, Bess Ventures and Advisory
Lane Bess
Principal & Founder, Bess Ventures and Advisory

Lane Bess is Principal and Founder of Bess Ventures and Advisory. Prior, he was the Chief Operating Officer of Zscaler Inc., an innovator and leader in Cloud based Internet security services. He has spent over 30 years as an operational executive and has successfully launched start-ups and grown medium sized businesses to large scale. Between 2008 and 2011, Lane was CEO of Palo Alto Networks where he led the late fundraising and scaled the company from its early go-to-market, to a revenue run rate exceeding $200 million on the path to its IPO. Prior to Palo Alto Networks, he served as the EVP of Worldwide Sales and General Manager of publicly traded Trend Micro Inc. (Nikkei) - growing worldwide revenues to over $1 billion annually. He has extensive experience in building technology businesses in the Europe, Asia Pacific and Japan as well as other International regions. His considerable work in the security technology sector has made him a trusted advisor for many Enterprise CIOs and CISOs.

With core strengths in Sales, Marketing and Product Management, Mr. Bess has deep expertise in driving high growth for network/cloud security, computing, and software companies. His business experience includes providing critical technology solutions to Fortune 2000 companies, large enterprises, mid-size businesses, as well as consumer markets. Through continuous leverage of distribution channels, Lane has been consistently recognized as a leading "channel friendly" executive. During Lane's career he has also held senior Sales and Marketing roles at NCR Corporation and AT&T. During his time at NCR, he oversaw Multinational Corporation sales and managed large global sales divisions. At AT&T, Lane was responsible for the product launches of AT&T's Business and Consumer Internet services in the mid 90s.

Mr. Bess holds a B.S. Degree in Managerial Economics from Carnegie Mellon University and a Masters Degree from University of Dayton.

Kathleen Holmgren
Software Industry Executive
Kathleen Holmgren
Software Industry Executive

Kathleen Holmgren is a seasoned executive with 40 years of experience in the storage, software, computer systems, and management consulting industries. Ms. Holmgren currently serves on the Board of Extreme Networks (EXTR), Calavo Growers (CVGW), and Automation Anywhere.

Extreme Networks designs, develops, and manufactures wired and wireless network infrastructure equipment and develops the software for network management, policy, analytics, security and access controls. Since November 2015, she has been a member of their Audit and Nomination, Governance & Social Responsibility Committees. Ms. Holmgren is the First Vice-Chairman of the Board and serves on the Audit and Compensation Committees of Calavo Growers, Inc., a publicly traded food and distribution company, which she joined in January 2017. Kathleen is also a member of the Board of Directors and member of the Audit Committee of Automation Anywhere, Inc., a privately held developer of robotic process automation and testing software. She joined AA as Chief Operating Officer in 2013, facilitated double digit annual growth and retired from the company as of March 2018. In May 2017, Ms. Holmgren joined the board of Fresh Realm, LLC, a privately-held delivery and business platform for the perishable food industry, representing Calavo Growers’ interests until January 2021. From 2014 through 2019, Ms. Holmgren also served as Chairman of the Board of Group Delphi, a private design and media production company. In 2021, Kathleen was named as NACD’s Top 100 Directors.

Ms. Holmgren served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Mendocino Software, a privately-held enterprise-class application data developer, from November 2007 to March 2008. Kathleen was responsible for the company's vision, direction and operational management. She participated in fund raising within the VC community and eventually led the sale of the company. In 2008 Ms. Holmgren established Sage Advice Partners, a management consulting firm specializing in the high-tech and green-tech markets. From October 2009 to December2016, she also served as a director at the Alliance of Chief Executives, LLC, an organization for chief executives.

Prior to November 2007, Ms. Holmgren spent over 20 years at Sun Microsystems, Inc., a publicly held enterprise server company, where she held increasingly senior roles, culminating in Senior Vice President, Storage Systems. Kathleen rapidly grew Sun's storage business in 3 years to a $1.5B business. Before storage, Kathleen spent 11 years in the Operations group at Sun managing and leading all aspects of worldwide logistics, plant management, materials procurement, supply planning, process engineering, and manufacturing plant design.

Ms. Holmgren holds a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from California Polytechnic State University, where she is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board, and a M.B.A from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Nick Mehta
CEO Gainsight
Nick Mehta
CEO Gainsight

Nick Mehta (he/him),is the CEO of Gainsight, the Customer Success Company. He works with a team of over 1000 human beings who together have helped create the Customer Success category that's currently taking over the SaaS business model worldwide.Gainsight is a five-time Forbes Cloud 100 recipient and Nickhas been named the #2 CEO by the Software Report, has a 99% approval rating on Glassdoor, and was named Entrepreneur Of The Year for Northern California Award.On top of all that, he was recently rated as the #1 CEO in the world (the award committee was just his mom, but the details are irrelevant). He is a member of the Board of Directors at F5 (NASDAQ:FFIV) and has co-authored two books on Customer Success, Customer Success and The Customer Success Economy. He is passionate about family, football, philosophy, physics, fashion, feminism, parody music videos and SaaS Customer Success. People told him it’s impossible to combine all of those interests, but Nick has made it his life’s mission to try.

Don Peppers
Author of The One to One Future & Founding Partner, CX Speakers
Don Peppers
Author of The One to One Future & Founding Partner, CX Speakers

Don Peppers is a recognized global authority on customer-focused business strategies. His life’s work of helping companies build better customer relationships has taken him to more than 60 countries on 6 continents. Today, he is the most widely read LinkedIn Influencer on the topic of “customer experience,” with over 325,000 followers. With business partner Dr. Martha Rogers, Peppers has written nine business books collectively selling over a million copies in 18 languages, including the international best-seller The One to One Future (Doubleday 1993). In 2016 an updated paperback version of Extreme Trust: Turning Proactive Honesty and Flawless Execution Into Long-Term Profits (Penguin) was released, as well as and Peppers’ solo effort, Customer Experience: What, How and Why Now, a collection of essays offering insights on building and maintaining a customer-centric business. In 2022, the fourth edition of their graduate textbook, Managing Customer Experience and Relationships: A Strategic Perspective, is scheduled to be published (Wiley). Peppers and Rogers’ new company, CX Speakers, delivers workshops, keynote presentations and thought leadership consulting focused on customer experience topics.  Peppers has been an advisor to PayActiv since 2016.

Keith Giarman
Managing Partner, DHR International
Keith Giarman
Managing Partner, DHR International

Keith Giarman serves as Managing Partner of the DHR Private Equity Practice, based out of the San
Francisco and New York offices. He is also a member of the firm’s North American Executive
Committee driving overall strategy for the organization.

Keith led the launch and successful expansion of the Private Equity Practice over the past 10 years.
Under his leadership, the practice manages approximately 100 board, C level and senior search
assignments per year working with management teams and top tier investors.

Prior to joining DHR, Keith built the CEO practice for one of the premiere boutique executive recruiting
firms in Silicon Valley serving the venture capital community. Previously he worked extensively with VC
and PE investors, most recently as President and CEO of Clarus Systems. He was also Vice President
of Sales, Service and Marketing at Citizens Communications. He was one of five executives on the
senior leadership team responsible for 800 employees, $1 billion in revenue and $200 million in
operating income.

Keith earned his Bachelor of Arts at UC San Diego and his Master of Business Administration from
Harvard Business School. He serves as the Chairman of the Board at Mission Dolores Academy. He is
the former Vice Chairman of the HBS Association of Northern California, former Trustee for Schools of
the Sacred Heart in San Francisco, former Trustee and President of the Alumni Association at the
Hopkins School in New Haven, Conn. and former Chairman of the Western Region Board of Jumpstart
based in Boston, Mass.

Paul Pelosi Jr.
Business Advisor
Paul Pelosi Jr.
Business Advisor
Mr. Pelosi has experience in banking and advisors services related to corporate governance.  Mr. Pelosi’s cohesive vision propels him forward into new emerging ecosystems.  Mr. Pelosi advises innovative companies including publicly traded software companies, environmental friendly companies, and homeopathic medicine providers.  Mr. Pelosi graduated from Georgetown University Law Center, and awarded Gillette All Star Student Athlete.
Meghan FitzGerald (Healthcare)
Global Healthcare Strategist, Sr. Advisor to Goldman Sachs & Adjunct Professor at Columbia University
Meghan FitzGerald (Healthcare)
Global Healthcare Strategist, Sr. Advisor to Goldman Sachs & Adjunct Professor at Columbia University

Meghan FitzGerald is a global healthcare strategist, investor, academic and author. She has worked in every domain of healthcare from front line patient care through the Fortune 500 while serving on faculty at Columbia University.

Currently Meg is a private equity investor where she serves as a senior advisor to several firms including Goldman Sachs. Recently she was the CEO and managing partner at Letter One, a $25 billion international private equity firm. Meg led L1’s Health’s inaugural investment vehicle focused on biopharma and healthcare services allocating over~$4.7B in three years in pharma services and animal health.

Prior to this Meg spent twenty years in Corporate America working for many prominent healthcare companies. She was the EVP of Strategy, M&A and Health Policy at Cardinal Health (CAH) and a member of the executive committee. Before she was the President of Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions, one of the fastest growing businesses where her team took an underperforming division from $700mm USD to over $8BUSD in four years. Meg was the SVP of New Markets and Business Development at Medco Health Solutions (MHS). She previously held positions in strategy and marketing at top companies including Pfizer, Merck and Sanofi-Synthelabo.

Currently Meg is a member of the board of directors at Tenet Healthcare (THC) a leading Fortune 200 healthcare services company and a founder of K2HealthVentures a life science investment fund. She is also the founder of Grey Ghost Capital with 50AUM making equity investments into cyber security (Circle-AI), blockchain (Chronicled), and mental health (Mindbloom).

Meg obtained a Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) at New York Medical College, focusing on health policy and the social determinants of health. She earned a Master of Public Health from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Nursing from Fairfield University. Currently, Meg teaches strategy and “The Business of Healthcare” at Columbia University in New York. Her book “Ascending Davos: A career journey from the emergency room to the board room” was launched in 2020.

Meg is a lifelong runner, extreme sports enthusiast, and mixed martial arts fan. She resides in Naples Florida and Martha’s Vineyard with her husband Michael Darda, a Wall Street Macro Strategist and their Weimaraner dogs Hailey and Claus.

John Mitnick (Defense & Intelligence)
Former General Counsel of Department of Homeland Security
John Mitnick (Defense & Intelligence)
Former General Counsel of Department of Homeland Security

Mr. Mitnick is an attorney with over 30 years of experience serving at the highest levels of government and the private sector. From February 2018 until September 2019, he served as the General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), having been confirmed for that position unanimously by the U.S. Senate. In that capacity, Mr. Mitnick was the chief legal officer of a federal security and law enforcement agency with over 240,000 employees, was responsible for providing legal advice and counsel to DHS and all of its components, and supervised over 2,500 attorneys. From March 2014 to February 2018, he served as Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary of The Heritage Foundation, an influential think tank, and from November 2007 to April 2013 he served as Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary of a Raytheon division with over $3 billion in annual sales, over 9,000 employees, and business operations in over 40 countries and on all continents.

Mr. Mitnick’s recent tenure at DHS was a continuation of his homeland security public service. Beginning in November 2002, he assisted in establishing DHS and then served as Associate General Counsel for Science and Technology until August 2004, when he moved to the White House. He served in the White House Counsel’s Office as Deputy Counsel of the Homeland Security Council from August 2004 until April 2005, and then as Associate Counsel to the President, with responsibility for the entire homeland security portfolio, until October 2007.  He began his legal career in 1988 at the law firm now known as Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP, where he was a partner specializing in mergers and acquisitions, strategic alliances, commercial contracts, and business start-ups.

Mr. Mitnick serves on the boards of directors of Draganfly Inc., a publicly-traded drone company, and Valaurum, Inc., a private mint. He received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Jurisprudence from the University of Oxford. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Political Science (summa cum laude) from Emory University.

Timothy Allan Simon, Esq. (Energy & Utilities)
Former CA Public Utilities Commissioner
Timothy Allan Simon, Esq. (Energy & Utilities)
Former CA Public Utilities Commissioner

Timothy Alan Simon, Esq., Commissioner Emeritus, was appointed to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on February 15, 2007 ending his term on December 31, 2012. Prior to this appointment, he served as Appointments Secretary in the Office of the Governor – the first African American in California history to hold this post. As a CPUC Commissioner, Simon served on the Board of Directors of the University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley Energy Collaborative (BERC) and the Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) Regional Taskforce, Chairman of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners Gas Committee, Chairman of the Liquefied Natural Gas Partnership between NARUC and the U.S. Department of Energy and Vice Chairman of the Utility Marketplace Access Sub-Committee, a sub-committee concentrated on supplier and workforce diversity in the utility industry, Board Member of the California Green Jobs Workforce Development Board, and assigned Commissioner to the CPUC Low Income Oversight Board. Simon also was appointed by two  Department of Energy Secretaries as a member of the National Petroleum Council serving on the Coordinating Subcommittee, which produced the book, Prudent Development: Realizing the Potential of North America’s Oil and Gas Resources.

Simon also served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at U.C. Hastings College of the Law and Golden Gate University School of Law where he taught Securities Regulations and as an Advisor in the School of U.S. Legal Studies on International Securities Regulations. Prior to public service, Simon was in-house counsel and Chief Compliance Officer advising at major financial institutions including Bank of America, Robertson Stephens and Wells Fargo, specializing in securities, banking and complex financial products.

In 2013, Simon created TAS STRATEGIES and serves as an attorney and consultant on high stake areas that include energy, utilities, critical infrastructure, supplier diversity, transportation, financial services, and broadband projects. Simon has developed a global client base and performs public speaking engagement on energy, financial services and diversity policies. He is co-founder of the National Utilities Diversity Council and has published articles for the National Regulatory Research Institute “The Role of Natural Gas in California’s Climate Policy” and the Green California Community Colleges Summit – “A Discussion on Innovations in Technology Policy and Practice”.

In February 2019, Simon was elected as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the California Black Chamber of Commerce. He was also appointed to the University of San Francisco (USF) Board of Trustees in June of 2019. Simon also serves on the North American Energy Standards Board Advisory Council. He also serves as a member of the American Bar Association and on the National Board of Directors for the American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE).

Simon received a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of San Francisco, (Distinguished Alumni) and a Juris Doctor from the University of California Hastings College of the Law. Simon also takes pride in his civic duties as a member of the following associations: National Bar Association, American Bar Association, California Bar Association, San Francisco Bar Association, the Federal Energy Bar Association, Power Association of Northern California, and The National Board of Directors of the American Association of Blacks in Energy. He also serves in several leadership capacities as a Board Member of the Saint Thomas More Society of San Francisco, Board of Trustees Member for Saint Ignatius College Preparatory (Alumni), Member Sigma Pi Phi, Beta Upsilon Boulé, Board of Trustees Member for SFJAZZ, and is a Lifetime Member of the NAACP. In addition, he serves as a Board Member for Aemetis and Charah Solutions, two publicly traded companies. Most recently, Simon has also become a Strategic Advisor for Inter-Atlantic Energy Capital Ventures.


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