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.
"We have a strategic plan. It's called doing things."- Herb Kelleher (co-founder of Southwest Airlines)
Antonio approaches engagements for Growthink clients with a blend of creative, strategic and financial skills. As an Engagement Manager, he executes business plans, feasibility studies, company valuations, and financial models for start-up and established businesses.
Notable projects include:
Antonio joined Growthink directly following his tenure at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Europe 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.
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 Business Analyst, Kyle is responsible for assisting senior team members with business consulting, investment banking, and dashboard services.
Prior to Growthink, Kyle worked at Bardi Co. LLC, a boutique investment bank that specializes in sell-side M&A advisory and fairness opinions. Kyle has also held positions at Harvey & Company, a merchant bank in Newport Beach, CA, and Venture West Funding, a commercial mortgage brokerage in El Segundo, CA.
Kyle received his B.A. in Economics, cum laude, from Loyola Marymount University.
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.
Prior to his work at Growthink, Andrew spearheaded online and offline marketing initiatives, oversaw content creation, and aided in the development of strategic partnerships for an online music news provider. A published scientific author, he has also created articles which generated significant traffic and were syndicated across the internet on sites including SportsIllustrated.com, CollegeHumor.com and Maxim.com.
In 2008, Andrew managed tech development and search engine marketing for a group of niche social networks.
With the Growthink marketing team in New York, Andrew has assisted in the creation and growth of the Publishing and Products division into a 7-figure business. In addition to the production of in-house audio/visual materials, Andrew has produced viral videos for Growthink clients that have attracted nearly 1 million YouTube views. Andrew currently manages email marketing and membership programs for Growthink Publishing.
Andrew earned a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Harvard University.
"What excites me about working at Growthink is the creative energy of entrepreneurship which constantly surrounds us. Through working with talented business owners and entrepreneurs, we're afforded the opportunity to be hands-on with the embryonic companies, ideas, and products that go on to revolutionize our world.
I also love the educational aspects of what we do in the publishing division:
What continues to amaze me is that across industries, there are some fundamental skills that are essential to every business's ability to survive and thrive in our new economy. Regardless of whether you are a fresh college graduate with a novel idea or a seasoned MBA with decades of industry-relevant experience, your ability to grow your business will be contingent upon your ability to communicate your mission to your team and your ability to deftly raise capital.
Here in New York, we work hard to provide timely and accurate information on those areas that are most critical to entrepreneurial success."
"The spirit and passion of entrepreneurship is exceptionally powerful and drives business owners to achieve the supposedly unachievable. The people of Growthink are deeply committed to helping entrepreneurs achieve their goals and change the world for the better."
In his role as an Engagement Partner, Luke helps entrepreneurs in startups and early stage growth companies focus on what it will take for them to achieve their goals. He also helps established companies move to the next level.
Having started and sold three companies, Luke evaluates everything in business from an entrepreneurial and investor mindset. His passion for entrepreneurship, startups and fast-growing companies drives him the extra mile to help his clients succeed.
Luke's most coveted skill is his ability to teach entrepreneurs how to successfully pitch investors. He has seen thousands of pitches and knows what investors want to see in a presentation. Luke has created this content for investor accelerators and spoken about it at universities and business organizations. Luke's other major interest is sales and sales training, skills he willingly shares with co-workers, entrepreneurs and clients.
Luke is also working with students at the University of Southern California in his role as a Visiting Entrepreneur at the Lloyd Grief Center for Entrepreneurial Studies in the Marshall School of Business. He teaches business planning and presentation skills and works with students in the USC Entrepreneur Club.
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 startups to Fortune 100 firms and was a member of their prestigious Inner Circle for top performers. Prior to that he was Vice-President of Sales for ProLine Industrial, one of the top industrial parts distributors in the country. In this role, he was instrumental in helping the company more than double its annual revenue.
Luke earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Management from Pepperdine University with a minor in Psychology. He also has a certificate in Internet Marketing from HubSpot's Inbound Marketing University.
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.
Phillippe Chau is Growthink’s director of engagement management and is responsible for overseeing the consulting team, in addition to partnering with clients seeking to raise capital and develop growth strategies to start or expand their businesses. 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, and has assisted them to build their business from the ground up, starting from the concept and idea phases to launching the business and generating revenues. He has also provided ongoing advisory to mid-market companies seeking to obtain growth capital and enter new markets.
Notable engagements include the following:
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 healthcare, retail, mobile applications and social media. 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 worked 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.
"I would rather earn 1% off a 100 people's efforts than 100% of my own efforts."
“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.
In her role as a Business Analyst, Darlene Fukuji is responsible for firsthand support in Growthink Consulting. She has a passion for entrepreneurship and during her time at Growthink, has helped companies grow in the following industries: construction, restaurant/bar, mobile app, mining, fashion, insurance, health and fitness, food chain, and many more.
Prior to working at Growthink, Darlene has experience working in healthcare consulting; the U.S. Senate in Washington D.C.; the legal field specializing in business law, family law, trusts and estates; and in higher education at the Conrad Hilton School of Business.
Darlene has strong passion for the community and is active in Rotary International. In the future, Darlene would like to be a social entrepreneur.
Darlene holds a Bachelor’s degree in Entrepreneurship from Loyola Marymount 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.
At Growthink, Jonathan is responsible for firsthand support on business planning engagements. Since joining the firm, he has worked with clients in several industries including entertainment and music, social media, restaurant, media broadcasting, and more.
Before joining Growthink, Jonathan worked with a venture capital firm specializing in consumer tech and software. He also has sound experience in the socially responsible consulting space - working with several Fortune 500 firms and a billion dollar health foundation. His experience in growing and relevant industries give him an all-around approach when executing client projects.
Jonathan graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a Bachelors of Science in Economics and a minor in Applied Mathematics.
Before joining Growthink, Justin was responsible for overseeing the day-to-day function of the LA County Economic Development Corporation’s membership program, the planning of member engagement activities, identification and solicitation of member and event sponsor prospects, as well as the planning and implementation of member meetings. Justin collaborated with senior leadership from hundreds of the region’s top firms on various projects and policy initiatives.
Prior to the LAEDC, Justin worked as a consultant for Kurtzman Carson Consultants, a leading claims and noticing agent, providing administrative-support services and technology solutions to parties primarily involved in Chapter 11 bankruptcies.
Justin’s experience also includes two distinctive positions working for his alma mater, Loyola Marymount University, where he spent four years coordinating a National Intercollegiate Business Ethics Competition and a year-and-a-half cultivating presidential level donors.
Often using accrued vacation, Justin has held various contract positions with ESPN X Games and Medalist Sports.
A native Californian, Justin was born in Sacramento, and has spent the past 13 years living and working in Los Angeles.
He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and a Master of Business Administration degree from Loyola Marymount University.
Megan manages Growthink's customer service department. She also assists with marketing existing and new products and services to help entrepreneurs achieve more success.
Prior to joining the Growthink team, Megan was an Executive Assistant at an investment management firm where she learned the ins and outs of high net worth advisory. Prior to that, Megan served as an intern at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, a not-for-profit music and educational center, where she took on the role of Operations Assistant supporting the Operations team.
Megan also serves as an assistant team leader for the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life program.
Megan earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing at Marist College
Lauren is a Dashboard Developer at Guiding Metrics specializing in the creation and implementation of tools to complement entrepreneurs' business growth and efficiency.
Lauren brings to Growthink experience in account management, education and creative arts.
Lauren earned her Bachelor's degree in music with a minor in business from New York University.
"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 an Engagement Manager, 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.