Wendy has almost two decades of experience in strategy consulting, marketing communications, and public relations. She has provided media relations and strategic communications counsel to a number of companies ranging in industry focus from high tech and Internet technologies, to financial management and FDA regulated environments, including Intacct Corporation, Callidus Software, CellMania, Hewlett Packard, LifeScan Corporation (a Johnson and Johnson Company), Genesys Telecommunications, Guidant Endovascular Solutions (a Boston Scientific Company), Mediaplex Inc., OmniCell Technologies, Vicinity Corporation, and WhereNet.
Wendy has substantial experience in business plan development, as well as strategic marketing, writing and public relations consulting for industries including high-tech, RFID, Internet, consumer electronics, medical technologies and biotechnology, entertainment and professional sports.
She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Canterbury University in the United Kingdom.
Antonio approaches engagements for Growthink clients with a blend of creative, strategic and financial skills. As a Senior Consultant, he develops business plans, growth strategies, and financial models for start-up and existing businesses.
Antonio joined Growthink directly following his tenure at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Italy as an Experience Associate. His career at PWC began in Public Accounting, with a focus on the Financial Services industry, but soon transited into strategic consulting. In this regard, he collaborated with the Sustainability & Climate Change Advisory team to assess the viability of sustainability strategies for several Fortune500 companies in Europe.
Throughout his career he has worked in the fields of Energy, Transportation, Banking, Food & Beverage, and Social Media, among others. Antonio is also an experienced entrepreneur – he co-founded and managed a start-up company in the green energy business.
Antonio completed his Bachelor in Economics and Master's Degree in Finance at Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Italy. During his graduate program, he studied at Santa Clara University, Leavey School of Business, and conducted a dissertation on private equity and venture capital partnerships in Silicon Valley. Antonio is fluent in Italian and English.
“As a small businessperson, you have no greater leverage than the truth.”--John Greenleaf Whittier
As a Growthink business consultant and strategy expert, Solomon helps clients’ development comprehensive business and operational strategies that are key to their growth and long-term success.
Solomon draws from his unique education and professional experience as an investment banker and lawyer employing a level of sobering realism and an exacting analytical precision in his practice that continuously exceeds his clients' expectations. Solomon’s extensive business leadership and advisory experience spans across many industry sectors with past engagements including a number of the Fortune 500 companies, non-profit organizations and government entities.
Solomon holds a Doctorate of Jurisprudence and a Masters of Business Administration in finance from Howard University.
Outside of his work, Solomon contributes to non-profit community-development organizations through his board membership and contribution of strategic management expertise.
Also serving as Chief Operating Officer of Growthink Publishing, Andrew oversees the Growthink publishing team as well as various firm operational functions.
He brings to Growthink a vast background in social psychology and new media content development.
"The spirit of entrepreneurship is a powerful attribute which makes business owners excited about their futures. The people of Growthink are passionately committed to helping entrepreneurs achieve their goals and improve their lives."
With 20 years of sales experience, Luke is able to effectively manage client inquiries and identify client objectives.
Luke was previously the director of client services for Tony Robbins and Chet Holmes at Business Breakthroughs International. He worked with many types of clients from start-up companies to Fortune 100 firms and was a member of their prestigious Inner Circle for top performers. Prior to this, he was the Vice President of Sales for Proline Industrial, one of the top industrial parts distributors in the United States. In this role, he was instrumental in helping the company more than double in size.
Luke also has an entrepreneurial background, launching two companies and successfully positioning them for acquisition.
Luke earned a bachelor of science in management from Pepperdine University and holds a certification in Internet marketing from HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing University. He is an active member of the community, volunteering with Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
David BurnsDavid has aided the business planning, start-up, and capital raising efforts of companies in the renewable energy, technology, and manufacturing industries. He has also consulted with small businesses, venture-backed and private equity-backed companies regarding mergers and acquisitions, partnerships, valuations, financing, and performance measurement/evaluation. David has worked in the middle market merger and acquisition group at Salomon Smith Barney, where he initiated, executed and closed transactions. He serves on the board of directors for RRE Regents Center TIC, LLC and Doorways, Ltd. David has an MBA from UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management, where he was a Management Development for Entrepreneurs Fellow. He earned a Bachelor's degree in mathematics with minor in English and Chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever experienced a better time to be an entrepreneur than now. The rapid changes taking place in so many sectors – from media to software to medical devices – are truly incredible.”
"The Growthink team works hard to provide its clients with the ability to achieve their entrepreneurial dreams. It is exciting to work with innovative professionals that transform ideas into action."
Also serving as Growthink's Director of Engagement Management, Phillippe brings to Growthink an operational and entrepreneurial finance skill set with specific expertise in real estate, construction, restaurant & hospitality, film & entertainment, consumer products and e-commerce.
Phillippe began his career at Growthink as a business analyst after graduating from Loyola Marymount University with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Entrepreneurship and Business Law. Since then, he has been involved with over 100 client engagements ranging from pre-revenue start-ups to multi-million dollar ventures. To date, Phillippe has helped secure early stage capital and financing for several of his clients within the healthcare, e-commerce, retail and consumer products space. He has also consulted clients on building their business from the ground up, starting from the concept and idea phases to launching the business and generating revenues.
Notable engagements include the following:
• Strategic planning and fundraising for a start-up healthcare platform focused on offering patient advocacy services
• Performing in-depth research and analysis on precision die cast market segments for a $500M company seeking to expand and grow into additional markets
• Developing the offering package for a start-up mobile application for a capital raise of $5M and providing ongoing consulting that lead to the development of a prototype into test markets.
Prior to joining Growthink, Phillippe worked as a marketing associate for one of Keller William’s top producing realtors in Beverly Hills, California. There, he was responsible for the marketing efforts of several multi-million dollar properties. He also gained experience at Planning Associates of Louisiana, a boutique financial planning firm, where he performed financial analysis on several advisory platforms for accounts ranging from $25,000 to $250,000.
"I think there are two types of people in this world – people who can start things and people who can finish things. And while I place great value on the finishers, it’s the starters who are rare because they can envision what isn’t there." - ED FRANK
Simone Chen is responsible for managing business planning engagements and supporting investment banking initiatives at Growthink. Since joining the firm, she has worked with clients across multiple sectors, including social media, retail, mobile applications and healthcare. Though clients range from start-ups through multi-million dollar firms, she enjoys working with both sides of the spectrum and assisting them in growing to the next level.
Notable projects include:
Prior to joining Growthink, Simone worked at a boutique investment banking firm in Pasadena where she performed market research, valuation and translation services for cross border clients seeking to tap into the Chinese market. She began her professional career in Taiwan, where she performed competitive analysis for Asia-Learning, an online E-learning company for further education. She then later interned with Synthes in Shanghai where she conducted industry analysis in the surgical implant space and worked alongside management to generate proposals for a newly implemented sales model. Her strong market research and analysis background, along with her bilingual skills in Chinese and English, has made her an invaluable asset to multiple international firms.
Simone holds a B.A. in Economics and a B.S. in Psychobiology from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Mr. Dickson has over 25 years of international business experience in sales, marketing, law and finance. He has negotiated over $500M in business transactions of various types on multiple continents (especially Asia), including business startups, product and service sales, intellectual property, licensing, financing and company acquisitions in various industries; including high technology, clean technology, manufacturing, services and software.
Paul has considerable experience working with companies of all sizes, from Fortune 50 companies such as Intel, Hewlett Packard and Motorola, to startups. Paul started up his own high tech software company, built it and sold it to a large public company. He also helped start a successful HVAC company. He has invested in, advised and served on the Board of Directors of startups. He has raised capital for and sold multiple companies and divisions of companies. Paul has volunteered with several local entities in helping the local business community, including the CleanTech Open, Innotech and the Oregon State Bar.
He holds a J.D. degree from the University of Oregon and undergraduate degree from the University of Santa Clara. He is a member of the California State Bar, holds Series 7, 63 and 24 FINRA/Securities Licenses and an Oregon Real Estate license. In his free time he enjoys engaging with his kids’ competitive activities, skiing, fishing and exercising.
Ryan has been engaged on more than 100 consulting and investment banking projects since joining Growthink in 2008, and has written numerous research reports on emerging industries such as Green Dry Cleaning, Green IT Consulting, Disease Management, and Enterprise Network Security. His functional expertise includes business planning, strategy development, financial analysis, market research, internet marketing and M&A advisory. His vertical expertise covers banking and financial services, consumer products, clean technology, alternative energy, entertainment, healthcare, Internet software and services, the public sector and non-profits, real estate and information technology.
“Entrepreneurs have been so instrumental in the improvement of everyone's lives that being involved with an organization like Growthink that assists entrepreneurs is an honor.”
As a member of Growthink’s Strategic Board of Advisors, Barry Fay brings high levels of strategic thinking, intelligence, positive attitude and team building to deliver optimal results to growing companies.
From 1992 to 2010, Barry was with Aqua-Flo Supply, which is a leading distributor of irrigation supplies and landscape products. Aqua-Flo has seven branches in the California counties of Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara. Barry served as President from 2000 to 2010 and he led the company’s 900% growth over a fifteen year period while maintaining above industry average profitability. Barry was involved in all aspects of the company including operations, strategy, purchasing, sales, personnel, central control, quoting and pricing. Aqua-Flo was awarded numerous awards including the National Distributor of the Year award from Weathermatic in 2008. In 2007, 2008 and 2009, Barry served as a judge for the New Product of the Year contest put on by the Irrigation Association, which is the international trade association.
Barry received his MBA from The Anderson School at UCLA and earned his BBA from the University of Notre Dame where he graduated Summa Cum Laude.
Barry has served as a judge in national and local collegiate business plan competitions. He has been involved with numerous local organizations, primarily in youth sports. Barry has been a member of YPO (Young Presidents Organization) since 2000 and has served two terms as the Santa Barbara Chapter chair. He has made numerous investments in emerging companies. His interests include travel and many sports. Barry lives with his wife and four children in Montecito, California.
Phil has extensive experience in pay per click advertising, search engine optimization, sales conversion optimization, and lead generation for both B2B and B2C markets. Over the years, Phil has created and managed hundreds of successful direct-response online advertising campaigns using proven analytics and landing page optimization techniques.
Prior to working with Growthink, Phil managed a one million dollar Pay Per Click advertising budget for an affiliate marketing business. He tracked ROI down to the exact keyword level across multiple ad outlets like Google, Yahoo, and MSN/Bing, which allowed him to maintain a 30% overall profit margin. In addition to detailed tracking, Phil also continually optimized the ad campaigns by split testing ad text and landing page design/layout.
Phil's first Growthink project was to re-design the website in order to streamline the lead generation and Search Engine Optimization efforts. Once the website was live, he then developed a custom marketing automation and lead nurturing system for Growthink's sales team and centralized project management to a single platform.
Currently, Phil helps clients (and Growthink itself) with their online advertising. In the past year he has profitably scaled Growthink Publishing's advertising budget by 1,300% and this business unit is now on pace to generate more than one million per year in profit from his advertising campaigns alone.
When Phil is not working, he enjoys running "barefoot" (he wears minimalistic shoes since his wife no longer lets him run totally barefoot) in Central Park in New York City. He also is a member of the Determination running team where he raises money for the American Cancer Society by running road races in NYC.
Phil earned his Master of Engineering Management degree from Thayer School of Engineering and Tuck School of Business and his Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Engineering degrees from Dartmouth College.
Brinnon brings 10 years of professional and research experience to Growthink. Her work in financial and strategic planning ranging from small non-profit organizations to large pharmaceutical companies offers a level of understanding and expertise in practical business strategy and competitive analysis.
Brinnon has led engagements with companies in the biotech, healthcare and life sciences sectors, offering strategic advice, business planning, marketing expertise and e-commerce strategies.
With extensive international experience in market and operations research, Brinnon has demonstrated leadership in helping organizations and companies achieve financial objectives and operational efficiency, and assessing opportunities for public-private partnerships and strategic partnerships. Past work experience includes Pfizer, Chemonics International, the World Bank, Dain Rauscher, and Johns Hopkins University.
Brinnon holds an MBA and an MPH from Johns Hopkins University.
I love research. You start with an assumption and end up with a great foundation of facts on which to build, or rework, your premise. Sometimes the facts are as you expected, and sometimes the facts are surprising. JRR Tolkien said it best when he wrote, “There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.”
Marci began her career as a Youth Librarian in public libraries, where she combined her love of books and her fascination with research to inspire the next generation of knowledge-seekers.
Before becoming a Growthink Market Research Analyst, Marci was a Competitive Intelligence Analyst with Fortune 500 Company, Kelly Services, where her research skills supported product development, strategic initiatives and executive thought leadership.
Marci holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music and a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science.
Megan manages Growthink's customer service department. She also assists with marketing existing and new products and services to help entrepreneurs achieve more success.
Functional Expertise: Strategic Consulting, Corporate Finance, Marketing, Communications
Industry Sectors: Digital Media, Mobile, Consumer Products, Manufacturing
As a Growthink Engagement Partner, Branden leverages his creative, technical and financial knowledge to the Growthink team. Since 2006, Branden has successfully managed clients in the Information Technology, Bio Technology, Consumer Products and Manufacturing sectors with a strong emphasis on corporate finance initiatives. Over the years, Branden has built relationships within the Venture Capital and Private Equity community and successfully sourced investment capital for Growthink clients in excess of $18m. Further, Branden has facilitated strategic relationships and licensing deals with Fortune 500 companies on behalf of Growthink clients.
Branden’s professional background includes marketing and account management roles at Visible Technologies- a leading venture-backed social media analytics platform- serving Fortune 500 clients SAP, ARCO-ampm, T-Mobile, TD Bank as well as global marketing firms Wunderman and Mindshare. He also served as lead consultant to Versaly Mobile guiding the commercialization and financing of their VSP mobile video syndication platform.
Branden has an MBA from the University of Washington Foster School of Business with focus on Technology Management and a BA from the University of Texas at Austin.
"The passion with which Growthink pursues its mission makes me want to see them realize their dream: to spread entrepreneurial opportunity everywhere it can make a difference for a person, within a market, and for society."
A member of Growthink’s Advisory Board, Jim Hartley brings to this role an extensive background in consulting engineering management and community board leadership.
In 30 years of consulting environmental engineering, Jim has established teams to serve local communities in San Diego, Los Angeles and Sacramento; as the Area Manager for CH2M HILL in Sacramento, Jim doubled the size of the office in 6 years (135 to 258) and reduced morale-based turnover to a new corporate benchmark.
Jim has also served as CH2M HILL’s California Governmental Affairs Director, and as the Program Manager for the largest utility client in his firm’s portfolio. Jim currently serves as a Principal Environmental Technologist, mentoring staff and directing teams addressing underground contamination over four continents. In 2006 Jim was named a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers.
In the northern California community, Jim is helping to lead the effort to bring a future Winter Olympic Games back to Lake Tahoe. He is active in his local area, serving as a Science Olympiad Coach, on the Editorial Board of Comstock’s Business magazine, and as a cantor and lector at his church. He also serves as an alumni volunteer for Stanford University, supporting the Haas Center for Public Service and the Undergraduate Admissions Office, and serving as an Alumni Mentor for engineering students.
Jim earned a M.Eng. degree in Civil Engineering from U.C. Berkeley, and graduated τβπ and φβκ in Civil Engineering and Italian from Stanford University. He lives in Fair Oaks, CA with his wife; their two children are in college.
“An entrepreneur is one who shifts economic resources out of an area of lower and into an area of higher yield” –J.B. Say, French Economist
As a Senior Consultant, Sean Harty is responsible for structuring business plans, helping entrepreneurs to develop their ideas, performing market research, and building financial models. Prior to joining Growthink, Sean worked in the accounting department at the Viceroy Hotel in Santa Monica, solving customer discrepancies and handling all accounts receivable. Previously, Sean has also worked for Wells Fargo Bank at the Los Angeles metro headquarters in a financial planning and forecasting capacity for branch locations. Sean’s financial planning experience began with The Barclay Group, a start-up financial planning firm that provides financial advice and services to individual private clients.
Sean graduated from the Hilton School of Business at Loyola Marymount University and received a Bachelor of Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance and Marketing.