Jay Turo

"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.

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

See Jay's Twitter Updates Below

Bridget Quinlan

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.

As the public relations director and a member of the pre-opening team at the Elysian hotel, Bridget 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. 

Prior to joining the Elysian, Bridget spent three years at the renowned Peninsula Chicago Hotel as the public relations and marketing manager, 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.

In her tenure as a public relations and marketing professional, Bidget 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’s experience as a leader has proven to be a valuable asset to her community as well. She recently sat on the board of the Oak Street Council and was a member of the Greater North Michigan Avenue Association. 

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

Angelique Robinson

“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

Angelique Robinson has utilized her broad research and analytical background to both lead and support Growthink’s strategic advisory and business planning engagements.  Her client market and industry experience includes software as a service, healthcare, education, financial services, hospitality and restaurants, and retail, among others.

Prior to Growthink, Angelique provided research and bibliographical assistance for an award-winning environmental and medical journalist, Linda Marsa, and also provided research and editing support for author, philanthropist, and think-tank leader Joel Kurtzman (currently at the Milken Institute). Angelique has also worked beside Sony Entertainment as a production coordinator and live stream facilitator.

Angelique earned her Bachelors degree in English, with an emphasis in Rhetoric and Composition from Loyola Marymount University.

Jacklyn Rome

“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.

 

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.

Bret Stewart

"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 Stokes

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 Taylor

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.

Prior to founding Stanton Park, Mr. Taylor served as a Vice President at Moss Adams Capital (MAC), a West-Coast based investment banking firm.  Before joining, MAC he was a Vice President with Capstone Partners, a national investment banking firm focused on providing mergers and acquisitions advisory services to middle market businesses.

Mr. Taylor earned his B.S. in Economics with concentrations in Finance and Real Estate from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and has an MBA from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business.  He holds FINRA Series 7 and 63 licenses and is a NACVA Accredited Valuation Analyst (AVA).

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

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:

 

  • Pro forma financial statements, revenue and valuation modeling
  • Management team, board, joint venture and strategic alliance formation
  • Capital formation
  • Structuring sales and marketing
  • Statistical/quantitative research & analysis
  • Streamlining operations, and budget control
  • Technical writing and communication
  • Patenting  

 

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.  

Melissa Welch

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.

Maria Williams

"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.