Advisory Board


“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.


"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 and a Senior Advisor in their Strategic Consulting work, Jim Hartley brings extensive background in consulting engineering management and community board leadership.

In 35 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 also continues 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 served for 9 years as the Vice Chair of Strategic Planning for the Reno-Tahoe Winter Games Coalition, an entity dedicated 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 both in graduate school.


"The ideas and innovation we encounter daily at Growthink are not only interesting but also inspiring. Working with and assisting entrepreneurs provides a unique and challenging experience - you never know what you're going to get. It truly is exciting and rewarding work!"

Growthink's Vice President, Jeff Jones, has an extensive background in corporate finance and financial services, with an emphasis on assisting emerging and middle market companies with debt and growth financing.

During his 10 year tenure at Growthink, Jeff has led more than 300 client engagements spanning industries including IT, healthcare, financial services, mobile, real estate, consumer products, and media/entertainment.

Past and current clients include NEC Corporation, Hooters Restaurants, Wilson Supply (a division of Smith International), The K&D Group, University Chemists, DecisionStep (, mobileStorm, Cognitec Systems, NuORDER, PermaCity, Terex Corporation, and a variety of startup and early stage ventures.

Previously Jeff worked at Morgan Stanley, where he assisted in the management of a $300 million individual and institutional investor asset base.

Jeff earned a Bachelor's degree in Business Economics and Accounting from the University of California, Santa Barbara.


"I really value the role that entrepreneurs play in building a growing, sustainable economy.  It is the entrepreneurs who bring innovation to fruition.  Growthink plays a key role in working with entrepreneurs to support, guide and help them realize their potential as viable businesses. Growthink understands how best to work with start-ups and provide valuable business tools as they develop past the initial phases of their business.  I believe in investing in the future through involvement with companies like Growthink."

As a member of Growthink’s Strategic Board of Advisors, Linda Mayer brings a rich background of leading companies to transform business and organizational structures. Linda has been transforming organizations to improve business results for over 25 years. With her unique ability to understand consumer behavior, she develops strategic plans to drive and meet demand. Demonstrating success in both privately and publicly held companies in consumer, industrial, and OEM products, she is consistently sought after to transform organizations.

Most recently, Linda served as the Vice President and General Manager for Global Marketing and Product Management of Genie, a $2.1 billion (2008) division of TEREX. In that capacity, she restructured the global leadership of the division and implemented an inventory management system and promotional incentives that reduced finished goods inventory 65% and maintained positive cash flow during the economic downturn. Linda has also held executive level positions with well-regarded brands such as Moen, John Deere, Rexnord Industries, Brilliant Imaging and Kohler.

Linda’s career began as an International Economist with the U.S. Treasury Department. She earned an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania where she authored a manual on starting and operating a business. She also holds a Masters of Art from Johns Hopkins University in advanced international studies and a Bachelors degree from Stanford University.

Linda has served on numerous corporate boards including CTP Products, a division of MTD, Connor Sport Court International, and Ann Sacks Tile and Stone. In addition, she served on the board of Kids In Need, a Cleveland, Ohio based non-profit and has been an active volunteer of Agros International.


Ross Meador is a lawyer, entrepreneur, investor, teacher and philanthropist.

Now an internationally recognized authority on business and law, Mr. Meador’s career began in Vietnam in 1974 when he went alone to Saigon to open the wartime office for a child welfare organization, FCVN.  The story of his evacuation from the roof of the American Embassy in Saigon has been told in several books and screenplays, and his organization has been nominated twice for the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Mr. Meador has practiced with leading law firms in the US, Korea, Indonesia and Vietnam.  He spent 13 years with Morrison & Foerster and until recently was a partner at Preston Gates & Ellis (the firm founded by Bill Gates Sr.).  He is currently the Managing Partner of Meador & Engle in Anaheim Hills, California, and Counsel to Kirin Law International in San Francisco and Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam.

Mr. Meador’s practice is focused on the legal issues faced by technology entrepreneurs, their companies and the organizations that finance them.  On the investor side, Ross has closed deals for well known Silicon Valley and East Coast venture capital and private equity investors.  On the company side, Ross has led financing and corporate transactions for many companies, from startup to large multinationals.

Mr. Meador graduated from UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law.  He serves as Advisor Emeritus to the Executive Committee of the International Law Section at the California Bar Association, and formerly served as Vice Chair of the US Vietnam Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Legal Services Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce in Korea and President of the Korean American Chamber of Commerce in San Francisco.  Mr. Meador is listed in Who’s Who in American Law, Who’s Who in America, and Who’s Who in the World.


“I’m proud to be invited to join Growthink’s Board of Advisors. I’ve been associated with entrepreneurs for most of my career from both an academic and a practical viewpoint. Entrepreneurs have drive and a will to succeed that captures your imagination. Growthink is both an entrepreneurially driven company as well as one that assists other entrepreneurs in realizing their dreams. It’s an exciting opportunity for me to see entrepreneurship in action while enabling me to be a contributor to Growthink’s promising future.”

As a member of Growthink’s Strategic Board of Advisors, Al Portnoy brings a significant background in operations, finance, investment management, investment banking and entrepreneurship. He has served as an executive in finance and operating roles for over twenty years. Some of his notable roles include past Director of Taco Bell; Chief Operating Officer of Kayne Anderson Investment Management; Executive Vice President-Finance for Shappell Industries, a publicly-held, Southern California residential homebuilder; and Chief Operating Officer for HS Group, a publicly-held operator of premium winegrape vineyards located on the Central Coast of California.

Al’s volunteer activities include serving as past President of SCORE - Los Angeles, a national organization, which assists start-ups and early-stage companies and mentoring graduate students at the UCLA Anderson School of Management and the USC Marshall School of Business interested in entrepreneurship.

Al is a Chartered Financial Analyst and holds a BBA from Baruch School of Business and has attended the Columbia Graduate School of Business and Loyola Law School.


"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.


“ 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. ( 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.

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