Marc H. Goroff, Ph.D.
Dr. Goroff has more than 20 years of groundbreaking experience in business, technology and academia. Upon completing his Ph.D., Dr. Goroff remained at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) to perform advanced research in the application of super computers to theoretical physics.
Dr. Goroff left academia to co-found his first company, Parasoft, which developed tools for parallel computing. Among his other roles, Dr. Goroff has served as the Director of Software Development at Sandpiper Networks, Exodus, and Cable and Wireless and was Vice President of Engineering at Reliable Distributed Information Corporation where he developed infrastructure software for supercomputers. Dr. Goroff is currently the CTO and co-founder of Quorum Labs where he leads the development of automated management software for defense applications and disaster recovery solutions for commercial businesses. Prior to Quorum Labs, Dr. Goroff was the Chief Technical Officer for Themis Computer, a manufacturer of computer systems for the military & aerospace markets.
Dr. Goroff earned his Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from California Institute of Technology at age 23.
Mr. Myers is a highly successful, four-time serial entrepreneur and an internationally recognized global thought leader on business competitiveness. He founded an aerospace and defense management consulting company, a Russian-American joint venture, a business jet management company, and a private equity investment company. He graduated from Stanford University with a B.S. in Mathematics. He is the 1999 Ernst & Young "Entrepreneur of the Year" for Software and Information Services for Orange County.
Mr. Myers founded the aerospace and defense industry management consulting firm SM&A in 1982. He took SM&A public in 1998, and remained as Chairman & CEO until 2007. He spearheaded industry-changing innovations for winning U.S. Government programs, leading more than $360 Billion in competitions with an 86% win rate. With more than 450 employees and $100 million in revenue, the company was sold to Odyssey Investment partners in 2008.
Mr. Myers’ private equity investment firm, Dolphin Capital Holdings, invests in companies with innovative business strategies, including QuantumSphere where he is a Director and serves as Chairman of the Nominating & Governance committee. He also serves on a number of other for-profit and non-profit boards. He is lead Director at Neostem, Inc. a NASDAQ listed biosciences company. He is a frequent lecturer on entrepreneurship at the USC Marshall School of Business.
Mr. Myers is also heavily engaged in public service. He is a member of the U.S. State Department Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy and is a former Chairman of the Orange County Homeland Security Advisory Council. In 2012 he served on the Department of Homeland Security Advisory Council Task Force on Cyber Security Resources. He is a Director at the Pacific Council on International Policy and serves as Chairman of their National Security Membership Committee. He is on the Board of Advisors at the Truman National Security Project.
Mr. Myers is a two-time Air Force veteran and highly accomplished aviator, with more than 5,600 hours of flight time and ten jet type ratings. In 1992, at the end of the Cold War, Mr. Myers was the first Westerner to fly an aircraft into the Kamchatka Peninsula in Far-Eastern Russia. There, he led the creation of one of the first Russian-American joint ventures, converting a remote, but strategically located military air base into a refueling base for international cargo carriers. He recently finished a book about those experiences. Between 1994 and 2007, his business jet management and charter business operated charter flights worldwide in Gulfstream, Hawker, and Citation aircraft.
Jeff Palmer, MBA
Mr. Palmer is the founder and CEO of Rimports, LLC, a manufacturing company that specializes in design driven consumer products with more than 200 employees and annual revenues exceeding $100 million. Mr. Palmer manages relationships with major retailers such as Wal-Mart, Bed Bath & Beyond, Meijer, Fred Meyer, Hobby Lobby, HEB, and Kroger. Rimports has received numerous awards from their customers, Wal-Mart’s Supplier of the Year Award of Excellence in 2012 and 2013, Wal-Mart’s Product Award of Excellence in 2012, and Wal-Mart’s Exceptional New Product Award in 2011.
Prior to starting Rimports, Mr. Palmer was the Far East Area Director for ICON Health & Fitness in Hong Kong. He spearheaded the transitioning of its Taiwan-based manufacturing facilities to China, and expanded its production and resource base throughout Asia. During his nearly 10 years of working in China representing ICON, and through strategic partnering, Mr. Palmer was able to cut overall manufacturing costs by as much as 60%, and implement Quality Assurance programs to reduce quality-related costs by over 90%.
Mr. Palmer received two B.A. degrees, in Chinese and Philosophy, from Brigham Young University. He later earned an MBA from Northwestern University and an EMBA at the prestigious Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, with concentrations in marketing and finance within an Asian business core. Mr. Palmer speaks fluent Cantonese and Mandarin Chinese. He is a regional finalist in the 2012 Ernst & Young "Entrepreneur of the Year" for the state of Utah.
Francis C. Poli, Esq.
Francis C. Poli, is executive vice president, general counsel and secretary of Cohen & Steers, Inc. (NYSE: CNS), a diversified financial services firm with $50 billion in assets under management. He is a member of the firm’s executive committee and is president of their broker dealer. Mr. Poli is also secretary of Cohen & Steers Funds, a director of the firm’s non-U.S. funds and affiliates, and is a member of the Internal Audit and Risk Committees.
Prior to joining Cohen & Steers in 2007, Mr. Poli spent nine years with PIMCO/Allianz Global Investors, one of the world’s largest asset managers, as managing director, chief legal officer and director of compliance. He was chairman of AGI’s Compliance Committee, and served on the Operating Committee and Risk, Oversight and Controls Committee.
Previously, Mr. Poli was an associate general counsel at J.P. Morgan and a securities attorney for Kelley Drye and Warren. He began his securities career in the sales and trading department of a boutique municipal bond-dealer and later performed fixed-income portfolio management and equity investing for a regional asset management firm. Prior to making his way to Wall Street, Mr. Poli worked for IBM in the company’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center and he founded and operated a sports recreation company.
Mr. Poli is a financial industry adviser to the Metropolitan Corporate Counsel and he recently co-authored a C-Level business and legal book entitled, Inside the Minds: Understanding Legal Needs of Financial Service Companies. He earned his undergraduate degree at Boston College and law degree at Pace University. Mr. Poli serves as Trustee of the Leopold Schepp Foundation, is a member of the New York and Connecticut Bars, the New York City Bar Association and maintains series 3, 7, 24, and 63 licenses.
Robert S. Venable, MBA, CFA
Mr. Venable is Managing Partner and Chief Financial Officer of SW Asset Management LLC, a global fixed income investment manager primarily focused on emerging market corporate debt. He is responsible for all financial, operational, and compliance matters of the firm.
Previously, as Chief Investment Officer for First American Capital Management, an investment advisor that provided services to institutional, endowments, foundations and high-net-worth clientele, Mr. Venable led all investment decision-making activities as well as the investment operations, securities trading, and compliance efforts of the firm. First American managed over $2B in client assets. Prior to joining First American, he served as Vice President in charge of Global Asset Allocation at PIMCO Advisors. He also held the position of Vice President, Portfolio Manager at Pacific Investment Management Company (“PIMCO”). Prior to attending graduate school, Mr. Venable was a Manufacturing Development Engineer for Hewlett-Packard.
Mr. Venable received his MBA in Finance, graduating with Distinction, from the Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania and earned a BS degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences from the University of California, Berkeley, graduating with High Honors. He has also earned the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation and is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society.
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