"I believe that entrepreneurship is the greatest force for positive change in the world today. Growthink’s products, services, and ideas make a meaningful contribution to the spread and success of entrepreneurship worldwide. 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.
In his 15 years at Growthink, Jay has advised dozens of emerging, middle market, and corporate clients regarding their growth and capital formation strategies. His corporate clients have included Deutsche Bank, McKesson, Infospace, Samsung, Porsche, & Paramount Pictures.
He has worked with a wide host of emerging companies including Accelerant, C8 Medisensors, Dakim, DCIP, Free Conference, Fresh Games, Green Medical, Integreon, L3D3, Mobeze, MyPublicInfo, Nolatek, Ometric, Pocketsonics, Precision Time, Raise Capital, Recoup IT, Research Scientists, Sandel Medical, Spring Medical, Telverse, Thrombovision, XCOM Wireless, and Xorbent, among others.
Jay is an active angel investor and speaker and writer regarding private equity, entrepreneurship, and technology. His column appears on the Growthink blog on Mondays. View his past columns 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.
Serving as Director of Growthink's Expert Market Research Program, 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.
Over the past several years, Akira has gained significant experience leading strategic planning and market research projects both nationally and internationally. His expertise has been honed from working with boutique companies to large multinational companies using validated data driven approaches to provide multi-route roadmaps to success for his clients.
Prior to working with Growthink, Akira has served as the first-hire in a global consulting business, developing internal infrastructure to kickstart the business as well as working with clients around the global to provide actionable recommendations and tailored solutions. His previous experiences also include analyzing hemophilia drug performance and production in Los Angeles, performing biotechnology equity research in New York, and several years of conducting research and analysis for consulting firms in New York.
Akira was the Director of the Hopkins Biotech Network in New York, and he is working on expanding the group to Los Angeles. He led the expansion of Hopkins Biotech Network from Maryland to New York in the fall of 2011, and the group now has over 50 active members, representing all facets of biotechnology in the region.
Akira holds an A.B. in Biochemical Sciences from Harvard University and a M.S. in Biotechnology from Johns Hopkins University.
“Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Accordingly a genius is often merely a talented person who has done all of his or her homework.” - Thomas Edison
“The true pleasure for me in working with Growthink is engaging with passionate entrepreneurs and helping them to maximize their business’ potential. Our work at Growthink pushes entrepreneurs to think through the conceptual elements of their business as well as through the details, providing them with the necessary tools and support to succeed in business planning, fundraising and strategic positioning.”
In her tenure with Growthink, Jacklyn has worked with a variety of clients, representing over 50 companies, both nationally and internationally. Her work includes creating business plans, financial models, marketing plans, private placement memorandums and investor presentations. Jacklyn infuses each project with creativity and aims to provide each client with customized strategic advice to propel their business’ growth and meet their objectives.
Previously, Jacklyn worked as a senior consultant in the Strategic Advisory Department of Ernst & Young’s Tel Aviv office. During her time here, she worked closely with some of the largest international companies consulting them on how to expand their business abroad. Her work was comprised of commercial due diligence projects, new market expansion, market research, start-up consulting, and business planning. Additionally, Jacklyn worked at MTV Networks in their marketing department where she creating integrated marketing campaigns for select clients.
Jacklyn has also contributed to the entrepreneurial community by hosting business planning and fundraising lectures. She has lived abroad in several countries and speaks four languages.
Jacklyn holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Marketing from Boston University and a Master’s Degree in Finance from ESADE University in Barcelona, both of which she graduated with honors.
MISSION: A results-driven determination to be innovative and maximize sales by creating enriching, engaging and enduring brand relationships with customers through, honesty, integrity and excellence in all I do.
As a CIO Consultant and owner of an award winning web design business, I design and develop complex interactive, film, mobile and gaming related workflows, content and experiences and manage a wide range of creative digital content for B2C and B2B use from inception to completion meeting creative, budgetary and strategic marketing needs.
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.
"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.
“ 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.
"Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage." - Niccolo Machiavelli
Bringing nine years of business and consumer consulting experience, Bret’s focus at Growthink includes the implementation of business consulting and investment banking services for emerging markets as well as established businesses. Bret thrives in Business Plan Development, Financial Modeling, Fundraising, Business Disposition and Ongoing Consultation services.
Prior to joining Growthink, Bret worked in Commercial Real Estate at CB Richard Ellis and in Commercial Lending at US Bank. Each experience gave him the unique opportunity to advise corporations in a wide array of industries. Collaborating with corporate executives enabled Bret to maximize their potential and achieve positive results for their strategic initiatives. Bret has worked with renowned companies including Northrop Grummen, Boeing, Mar Ventures, Newsweek, Atari, Revolution Partners, Healthcare Partners and Tokidoki.
Bret received a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Finance from the University of the Pacific.
Ralph brings to Growthink over 20 years of extensive experience and expertise in environmental sciences- to include specifically land utilization, production methodologies, distribution strategies and marketing communications. He has successfully launched and exited numerous enterprises in the agricultural space.
At Growthink, Ralph has successfully helped to develop more than 30 strategies for companies in the consumer products, real estate, acquisition, non-profit development and Healthcare IT sectors.
Prior to joining Growthink, Ralph held positions as a V.P. for a national-recognized logistics and transportation company as well as loan and dept financing duties and was a major growth contributor to a national distribution company based in Los Angeles.
Ralph is actively attending numerous industry organizations including Southern California Technology News and Venture Capital sponsored events, as well as Venture Capital technology council of Sothern California. He is also actively involved in local philanthropic and nonprofit organizations, including the Special Olympics.
Jon has more than a decade of merger and acquisition, strategic advisory, and business valuation experience and has successfully advised clients across a broad range of industries, including technology, aerospace & defense, business services, consumer and industrial products, and metals and mining. He has closed over $2 billion in aggregate transaction value in his career.
"I never dreamed about success. I worked for it." - Estee Lauder
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.
“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.”
"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
Todd W. L. Vigil
“As a quote by Albert Einstein states: a life lived for others is a life worth living. At Growthink, we are in the unique position to help entrepreneurs reshape and improve the way they are conducting their businesses, which in turn is transforming the global business environment. This is not only a huge responsibility, but also a great privilege.”
Todd brings 20 years of entrepreneur experience to the Growthink team. With an extensive background in Business & Investment Banking Consulting, Professional Arbitration, Investment Management, Media and Advertising, Finance and Energy, Todd has co-founded and operated four companies, and was recruited by another two companies to act as their CEO.
Over the years, Todd has honed his business planning skills with specific expertise in:
Todd is a member of the California CEO Forum (CCF), California Capital Summit (CCS) and Rockies Venture Club (RVC) of Colorado. He has also attained the “Series 7 General Securities license,” “Series 63 Uniform Securities Agent State Law license” and “Series 3 Commodities and Futures contracts license.”
Todd earned a Bachelor of Science in Public Administration from The University of Arizona, where he was also a statistics tutor. He also recently completed his first semester of law school and currently sits on the prestigious Roster of Arbitrators for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), which is the largest regulator for all U.S. securities firms. In addition, Todd also sits on the prestigious Roster of Arbitrators for the National Futures Association (NFA), the industry-wide regulatory organization for the U.S. futures industry. Todd also has numerous Board of Director positions, and Advisory Board Member positions, to his credit.
Also serving as Growthink's Director of Client Development, Melissa has extensive experience in sales, business development, project management, and executive search.
Melissa began her career in the healthcare arena at industry leader Emerald Health Services, where as the organization’s Senior Business Development Manager, clients included some 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. Clients included companies in the software, entertainment, biotechnology, manufacturing, consumer products, retail, apparel/fashion, and real estate sectors.
Since joining Growthink in 2007, Melissa has developed and worked with a robust portfolio of clients and investment arenas ranging from startup SaaS and New Media/Web 2.0 models to early stage ISPs, Forex platforms, healthcare/medical device, biotechnology, and fashion/entertainment companies to a $ 9billion dollar multinational manufacturing company.
Melissa is known for being out and about the city of Los Angeles representing Growthink at entrepreneurial, finance, and other industry related networking events.
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 also an active member of the Junior League of Los Angeles, Santa Monica Junior Chamber of Commerce, and the National Association of Women MBAs.
"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great." - Mark Twain
Prior to joining Growthink, Maria Williams 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.
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.
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.