Jay Turo

"Innovation and entrepreneurship are the greatest forces for positive change in the world today. Growthink’s services and ideas make a meaningful contribution to the spread and success of both. This is good and important work."

Growthink's co-founder and CEO, Jay Turo has led Growthink's emergence as one of the nation's largest strategic advisory and investment banking firms focused on the entrepreneurial marketplace.

Jay has over 25 years of experience in starting, building, advising and investing in high growth firms.

His advisory work spans industries and market sectors, with company clients including Accelerant, Caine & Weiner, C8 Medisensors, Dakim, DCIP, Free Conference, Fresh Games, Green Medical, Innoflight, Integreon, L3D3, Mahar Tool, Margartiaville Apparel, M3 Medical, Mobeze, MyPublicInfo, Nolatek, Ometric, Pocketsonics, Park Group PlC, Precision Time, Raise Capital, Recoup IT, Research Scientists, Sandel Medical, Shimmick Construction, Skyplex Entertainment Group,Spring Medical, Storied Media , Sunglass Hut, Telverse, Thrombovision, XCOM Wireless, and Xorbent, among many others.

Jay has also advised a wide array of corporate clients seeking to inject entrepreneurship and innovation into their organizations, including Deutsche Bank, McKesson, Infospace, Samsung, Porsche, & Paramount Pictures.

Jay is an active angel investor and speaker and writer regarding private equity, entrepreneurship, and technology (See and follow his weekly column here).

Jay has an MBA from the Anderson School of Management at UCLA and earned a Bachelor's degree with Distinction and with Departmental Honors from Stanford University. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two sons.


Watch Jay discuss entrepreneurship and relate his own experience starting and growing a company.

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Bridget Quinlan

Serving as Director of Market Research and Operations , Bridget Quinlan has a broad background in public relations and marketing. Bridget’s expertise is used to work with Growthink clients across various sectors to develop and implement marketing and customer acquisition strategies.

During her tenure at Growthink, Bridget has had direct oversight of hundreds of primary and secondary market engagements spanning every major industry, including IT, healthcare, fashion, automotive, financial services, real estate, consumer products and media/entertainment. She has worked with hundreds of organizations including startups, middle market companies, Fortune 500 companies, educational institutions and non-profits.

Bridget began her career working in public relations and marketing at the renowned Peninsula Chicago Hotel, where she developed an aggressive and on-going media relations campaign that generated strong local, regional and national awareness of the hotel, spa and restaurants as well as directed the marketing campaigns for the property.

She then went on to open the Elysian hotel, where she was responsible for introducing the property as the premier luxury hotel in Chicago and build awareness of the newly launched Elysian brand. In addition, she developed and implemented a comprehensive public relations and marketing plan, establishing national branding and generating positive media coverage for the hotel.

In her tenure as a public relations and marketing professional, Bridget has honed her promotional skills and established a strong rapport with local and national media constituents.  With a depth of knowledge in this area, she is an exceptional creative and strategic thinker with a brand-focused mentality.

Bridget graduated from Loyola University of Chicago with a Communication degree.

Erika Raney

Erika Raney is a brand and marketing strategist with expertise in helping businesses tell their stories – creating messaging alignment from product/brand development and internal communications to market positioning, consumer campaigns and thought leadership.  

She has cross-industry experience ranging from aerospace and technology/app development to lifestyle brands, mass-scale events and crisis communications. Her work has included quarterly campaigns for City National Bank Private Banking, marketing overhaul on upsells and quarterly campaigns for Toyota Financial Services and product development as interim CMO for FinTech apps by Paymation Inc.

Kiran Rouzie

As a Senior Engagement Partner for Growthink, a CIO Consultant and owner of an award-winning web design business, Kiran designs and develops complex interactive, film, mobile and gaming related workflows, content and experiences and manages a wide range of creative digital content for B2C and B2B use from inception to completion meeting creative, budgetary and strategic marketing needs. 

Kiran helps clients increase annual billings, decrease operational expensive and maximize time spent on what’s most important: the business of storytelling. Kiran’s commitment is to enable Creatives to stay creative and focused on delivering award-winning content and has helped some of the world’s largest production companies and studios do what they do, better.

Kiran’s work has been featured in major award shows including Cannes, the Emmys, the Oscars, Sundance, Tribeca and AICP.

On average, Kiran has increased her clients annual billings by 300MM and decreased their operational expenses by up to 40%.

Kiran is passionate about the people and the process of each engagement and prides herself on helping clients achieve higher profitability through efficient use of technology, ethical business practices and collaboration.

Marius Sava

Marius Sava has more than 12 years of investment banking experience. He focuses on mergers and acquisitions as well as corporate advisory. During his tenure Marius has worked with hundreds of companies on their strategic growth alternatives and has directly participated in transactions with aggregate value of more than $1 billion. He has advised owner managed and publicly traded companies on a number of transactions including buy side, sell side, negotiated sale, divestiture, and strategic investment mandates. Marius’ advisory experience spans several industries, most notably the life science and healthcare industry in which he specializes. His client list included several leading healthcare corporations such as Ansell, Covance, Life Technologies, Novozymes, and Valeant Pharmaceuticals.

Most recently, Marius served as Vice President of Mergers & Acquisitions at Achelous Partners, an investment bank based in New York and specialized in M&A advisory for healthcare companies. In this capacity he originated and executed M&A transactions for US and international companies.

Marius has a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Stern School of Business at New York University.

Robert Schwenk

Why did I join Growthink? Simple, I now access a collective experience and global reach across boards, disciplines, and business verticals. I have one goal: “helping business owners of all sizes realize their full potential by reducing time and energy to achieve stated outcomes and transactions." Robert Schwenk

As a member of Growthink’s Strategic Board of Advisors, Robert Schwenk brings over 30 years of strategic thinking, creative innovator, governmental relations, investor relations, entrepreneurial - been there done that, and growth consulting expertise from a variety of industries.

Robert currently serves as CDBG city commissioner for Huntington Beach.  In this role, I lead efforts to identify and develop new solutions fighting for women’s rights and financial development helping transitioning from a mindset of “Handout to a Hand-up.

Prior to joining GT Securities, Robert has worked for large financial banks, corporate America, become an entrepreneur with two CRM S/W companies started and sold, transitioned to SEC investor relations working with public relations and lobbyist to achieve client goals, only to bring a wealth of experience to investment banking clients.

Robert attended ENMU studying computer science and business finance. Robert Schwenk currently lives in Huntington Beach, CA with his wife Marcie.

Mat Segal

"The Growthink team is passionate about helping businesses of all sizes realize their full potential and approaches this mission with both creativity and analytical diligence.  I am very much looking forward to both contributing to and learning from this dynamic group of entrepreneurs."

As a member of Growthink’s Strategic Board of Advisors, Mathew Segal  brings  over 20 years of strategic thinking, entrepreneurial know-how and growth consulting expertise from a variety of industries.

Mathew Segal currently serves as Senior Vice President of Corporate Development for Trojan Battery Company, a leading U.S. Manufacturer of deep cycle batteries for industrial and renewable energy applications.  In this role, he leads efforts to identify and develop new business opportunities globally as well as growing Trojan Battery’s market share within existing markets.

Prior to joining Trojan, Mat was a Partner with OC&C Strategy Consultants where he managed key strategic initiatives for large corporate clients and led acquisition due diligence teams for private equity firms. Mat has also served as a senior consultant for The Mitchell Madison Group and has held business planning and management posts for Cedars-Sinai Health Systems and Disney Consumer Products.

Mat received his MBA with honors in strategy and finance from The Anderson School at UCLA where he served as president of the Management Consulting Association and director of the Entrepreneurial Association Mentor Program. He also received his bachelor’s degree in political science from Northwestern University.  Mat lives in Portland, OR with his wife Nancy and three children.

Dave Shevock

“ I am delighted to be working with such a bright and talented group of people.  I look forward to gaining more exposure to Growthink’s network to further all of our entrepreneurial interests.”

A member of Growthink’s Advisory Board, Dave Shevock brings to this role an extensive background in marketing and business strategy combined with true thought leadership from the technology industry.

Dave has more than 18 years of experience with entrepreneurial technology companies focusing on sales, marketing, product management and operations. Most recently, he served as senior vice president of sales and marketing for DecisionStep, Inc. (Buy.com). Truly a serial entrepreneur, he has also been part of the executive growth team for Subimo (WebMD), Pictage (Apax Partners) and Trividia Corporation (ValueClick).

Dave holds an MBA in marketing from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and BA in economics from the University of Michigan.

Anna Vitale

"I never dreamed about success. I worked for it." - Estee Lauder

Anna leads strategic planning and corporate strategy engagements for pre- and post-revenue companies. She is dedicated to delivering positive client experiences and actionable business results.

Anna holds an MBA in Finance from Saint Louis University’s John Cook School of Business and bachelor degrees in Magazine Journalism and Music from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Notable Client Engagements Include:

  • Operational expansion strategy development to secure $10 million capital investment from Luxottica Group: Developed operational expansion strategy and presentation for Luxottica subsidiary, Apex by Sunglass Hut. Presentation resulted in $10 million capital investment that enabled Apex to expand from 10 to 16 retail locations in 2013.
  • Financial Analysis and Projections for $7 million facial recognition technology company: Developed financial analysis structure and projections to support hardware integration initiative for leading facial recognition software company. Presented results to corporate board to secure buy in for vertical integration.
  • Management of sell-side process for $4 million medical billing company: Managed development of sell-side packaging and financial analysis, data room and sales process.
  • Strategic Planning and Retreat Moderation for one of Los Angeles’ largest and most prestigious hospitals: Led ongoing organizational advisory and strategic planning in executive team for LA hospital with 1,400+ employees
  • Market Validation for leading online sample company: Validated market opportunity for leading Internet-based “freebie” and sample company via independent research.
  • Business Plan creation to secure SBA loan for family-run bar: Developed business plan and financial projections for family-owned Wyoming bar. Upon completion of the plan, the Company secured an SBA loan and opened the bar in 2013.
  • Buy-side business plan development for mobile app development company for potential acquirer. Led to ultimate purchase of business by individual. Business plan currently being implemented.

Client Testimonials:

“Anna was a key part of the Growthink consulting team that worked with the Apex By Sunglass Hut team to help define several different business strategies and help us obtain Corporate approval and funding for 2014 expansion. Anna was great to work with and was exceptionally responsive to our needs and challenges, I highly recommend her.”
– Darrin Mills, CEO, Apex by Sunglass Hut

“Anna worked with me through the development of my business plan and investor deck for a cloud based application I am developing called CareVineTM.  Anna showed attention to detail, professionalism, integrity and great communication ability and enthusiasm for the project. I felt very comfortable and confident in her skills and ability to help me understand the relevant details as the project evolved and have always been pleased about the decision to bring in Growthink.”
– Sheila Mansell, Founder of CareVine

"We initially contacted Growthink to help us develop strategies to grow our business.  We were impressed with how quickly Anna became familiar with our particular industry, and the insightful questions she posed as we put together a growth plan.  She and the Growthink team were excellent in keeping the conversation on track and focused on our goals.  We were provided advice that was instrumental in changing the way we approach our business.   One outcome of the discussions was to look at potential investors and buyers for our business.  Anna’s work in coordinating discussions, providing support during initial calls, and offering constructive feedback during the debriefing phase was instrumental in making this process work.  Although we decided not to pursue the offer that came through, we are now much better positioned for future opportunities."

- Owner of Northeast-based medical billing company

Jack Weinstein

For the last ten years Jack has advised and led business ventures in the United States and Asia. He comes to Growthink from Madison Wells Media, the strategic investment firm where he served as Manager of Corporate Development. Jack’s team acquired stakes in a wide variety of media and technology enterprises, making several investments in the $1-5 million range each year. Prior to Madison Wells, Jack worked as a strategic planner in the international division of 20th Century Fox. Closely involved in the “green-lighting” process for new films, Jack was responsible for designing financial models predicting the performance of major titles in each overseas territory across multiple revenue streams. 

Before business school, Jack founded and ran a successful international business development consultancy with offices in Los Angeles and Manila. The firm, RedGold Trading, created market entry and marketing plans for clients in Asia seeking expansion opportunities in the United States. Clients also turned to RedGold for supply chain strategies and logistical solutions. Jack made introductions on behalf of clients and created ongoing supply chain operations for major Asian food importers such as Pampanga’s Best and defense importers such as Caballo Negro Industries. Best practices were carefully codified for use in training materials developed for these clients. Jack sold his stake in RedGold Trading in order to earn his MBA from UCLA Anderson. 

Passionate about helping businesses learn and grow, Jack has tackled substantial commercial concerns for clients from New York to Bangkok. Whether he is drafting a business plan for an entrepreneurial client seeking their first seed funding or overseeing a multi-million-dollar M&A transaction, he invests the same focus and effort to achieve optimal results for the client. Jack has advised dozens of clients over the years ranging from eyewear manufacturers, to e-commerce platforms, to established law firms. A seasoned generalist, he is always eager to pass on his knowledge and seek innovative solutions to marketplace challenges in a quickly changing world.     

Melissa Welch

"It's not about money or connections--it's the willingness to outwork and outlearn everyone...And if it fails, you learn from what happened and do a better job next time." Mark Cuban

Serving on the senior management team; Melissa is the Director of Client Development for Growthink as well as a Growth Advisor for Guiding Metrics. Melissa has extensive experience in business development, project management, operations, and organizational redesign.  Since joining Growthink in 2007 Melissa has been committed to fulfilling the company’s mission (and personal passion) to help entrepreneurs grow, start and exit their businesses. 

Melissa has developed and worked with a robust portfolio of clients and investment arenas to include: SaaS, New Media, mobile application, e-commerce, healthcare/medical device, consumer products and fashion/entertainment.  

Notable engagements include:

Expansion Planning for a chain of urgent care centers in Texas

Business Planning for Performance Management SaaS platform

Operational Strategy for $300M division of $9B manufacturing company

Strategic Planning and Investment Offering for well-known luxury women’s shoe brand

Opportunity  Assessment, Strategic Plan and Retreat Moderation for one of the country’s largest commercial and consumer collections companies

Business Planning for predictive dialing software company  

Melissa began her career in the healthcare arena with a start-up as one of the first ten employees for Los Angeles based Emerald Health Services. Serving as the organization’s Senior Business Development Manager, Melissa helped to grow the organization into one of the Top 20 healthcare staffing companies in the country, growing a client list to include many of the nation’s largest hospital systems. Melissa left Emerald to join the Lucas Group, one of the world's largest retained executive search firms. 

Melissa earned her Bachelor's in Legal Studies from Johnson & Wales University and her MBA from Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management. Melissa is an active member of the National Association of Women MBAs as well as a frequent speaker for Youth Business Alliance and mentor for Fulfillment Fund, a Los Angeles based non-profit organization focused on empowering disadvantaged youth through education. 

Testimonials:

What can I say about Melissa...Honestly, anything would be an understatement.  From the first call to the work she advises me with today, Melissa exceeds every expectation I've put on her and her team without fail. Melissa never questions, but just gets the job done with superlative results. If there is a question from her, it's only to clarify or correct. Her value and knowledge is immeasurable, and unsurpassed. She is deeply committed to what she does, and how she gets it down. Melissa, is not one to come up with "out-of-the-box" ideas or concepts, because in Melissa's mind.. There is no box. She puts no limitations on her creativity, ideas, or processes. She passes that philosophy on to her team, as she leads in a manner that defines Leadership. 

Thanks Melissa, and to Growthink for having such a valued asset on your team. 

Chad Roberts 

Vice President, Business Development 

Palio's Licensing, LLC

 

Over the years, I have had the pleasure to work with Melissa on various projects from start-up strategy, fundraising, web design and business plan development. Melissa has the rare ability to incorporate strong technical ability with a creative side that adds significant value to her clients. Melissa has become one of my most important advisors and I highly recommend her for anyone looking for an advisor that can quickly grasp your companies vision and turn your dream into a reality.

Jeffrey Stewart

CEO, Creative Capital Group 

Maria Williams

As a market research analyst, Maria conducts industry, market and competitive analyses, resulting in actionable data for clients to implement strategic business planning and growth strategies. 

In her time with Growthink, Maria has not only worked on hundreds of market research engagements, but also has led many strategic business planning engagements, developed business plans, investor decks and opportunity assessments.  

A professionally trained librarian, Maria excels at research and communication. She draws energy from expanding her knowledge and helping others to do the same.

Maria began her career as an English instructor with a private language school in Quito, Ecuador, teaching English to adult and young adult students. Prior to joining Growthink, she spent seven years at United Way for Southeastern Michigan as a resource information specialist, where she helped to develop and implement nationally recognized best practices in the field of information and referral.

Maria holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English from the University of Michigan and a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science from Wayne State University.