Speaker Biographies

David Aaker

David Aaker, the Vice-Chairman of Prophet Brand Strategy and Professor Emeritus of Marketing Strategy at the Berkeley-Haas School of Business, is the winner of four career awards for contributions to the practice and science of marketing, the most recent being named to the NYAMA Marketing Hall of Fame. Read more.

Steve Blank

Steve Blank is a serial-entrepreneur and academician. He has founded eight start-ups including his most recent -- customer relationship management provider, E.piphany. His book Four Steps to the Epiphany, which details his approach to the Customer Development Methodology, has been called the book that launched the Lean Startup movement. Read more.

Jennifer Chatman, Ph.D.

Jennifer Chatman , PhD 88, is the Paul J. Cortese Distinguished Professor of Management with the Haas Management of Organizations Group. She teaches, researches, and consults on leveraging organizational culture, leading change, and managing complex teams. Professor Chatman runs the flagship executive education program at Haas: The UC Berkeley Executive Leadership Program. Professor Chatman earned her PhD at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, and her BA in Psychology from UC Berkeley. Read more.

Laura Kray

Laura Kray is the Warren E. and Carol Spieker Professor of Leadership at the Walter A. Haas School of Business, University of California at Berkeley, where she has been on the faculty since 2002. Kray has published over 50 articles examining how gender and cognition affect life experiences, including conflict resolution, morality, meaning making, and problem solving. Read more.

Greg La Blanc

Greg La Blanc teaches primarily in the areas of finance and strategy in the MBA and MFE programs and in Executive Education at the Haas School of Business. La Blanc has also worked in competitive intelligence and litigation consulting and has advised consulting teams in finance, marketing, and strategy. His research interests lie at the intersection of law, finance, and psychology, in the area of business strategy and risk management. Read more.

Ben Mangan

Ben Mangan is Executive Director of the Center for Social Sector Leadership and lecturer at Haas, teaching the course Leading Nonprofit and Social Enterprises. Ben brings more than 15 years of experience in public policy leadership and strategic management, including leadership in Ernst & Young's Public Private Development Group. Read more.

Andrew K. Rose

Andrew K. Rose is the B.T. Rocca Jr. Professor of International Business in the Economic Analysis and Policy Group at the Haas School of Business; he also serves as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and Chair of the Faculty. Rose has published numerous articles and papers addressing his research on issues in international trade, finance, and macroeconomics. Read more.

Panelist & HaasX Biographies

Alex Abelin

Alex Abelin is the Co-Founder and CEO of LiquidTalent, a new generation job platform modernizing the way professionals discover, connect and work together. LiquidTalent's mission is to connect the world's most exceptional talent with meaningful, professional opportunities on demand. We believe the Future of Work will be more mobile, independent, and lifestyle driven. Prior to starting LiquidTalent, Alex served as Google's Public Affairs Manager from 2005 to 2013. Alex loves San Diego, New York and his alma mater, UC Berkeley and the Haas School of Business. Alex is a committed optimist.

Scott Adams

Scott Adams is the creator of the Dilbert comic strip that is published daily in more than two-thousand newspapers worldwide, as well as on Dilbert.com, and all over the Internet. Dilbert launched in 1989 and spawned hundreds of licensed products and an animated television show. Over 20 million Dilbert books and calendars have been sold.

Adams has written nine books, including the number one best-seller The Dilbert Principle. Adams' latest book is How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big.

Adams is one of the most highly-sought speakers in America, and he writes the influential Scott Adams Blog. He has been a banker, software developer, technologist, hypnotist, CEO of Scott Adams Foods, owner of two restaurants, inventor, investor, TV executive producer, author, cartoonist, speaker, and serial entrepreneur.

Adams graduated from the Haas School of Business, University of California at Berkeley, in 1986, and is active in helping to organize the Berkeley startup ecosystem.

Antoine Balaresque

Lily CEO Antoine Balaresque was born in Paris, France. Antoine's passion for computer programming and personal robotics emerged during his time at UC Berkeley, where he obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration. Frustrated by the limitations of current camera technologies during a trip to Yosemite with his family, Antoine came up with the idea for Lily's flagship product, the Lily Camera.

Jamie Barnett

Jamie Barnett serves at CMO for Netskope. Prior to Netskope, she served as VP Marketing for Zenprise, an enterprise mobility software company acquired by Citrix. Prior to Zenprise, she served as Senior Director, Marketing for McAfee's mobile security business unit, and prior to that, Vice President, Product Management and Marketing for distributed processing software company Blue Vector. She has held a number of management positions at EMC, including co-founding the data management company's security division and leading the charge for its acquisition of RSA Security. Jamie has a bachelor of science from U.C. Berkeley and a MBA from Stanford University.

Kevin Brown

Kevin Brown is the CEO and Co-founder of Innit Inc. Kevin is an accomplished entrepreneur and executive, with experience in the networking, storage, security, and cloud sectors. As CEO and Co-founder of Innit, Kevin is responsible for all cloud infrastructure, mobile applications, and big data aspects of the business.

Prior to joining Innit, Kevin served as CEO of Coraid, where he grew revenues 12x in 3 years, and was named a Top 50 startup by the Wall Street Journal. Prior to that, he was CEO of virtualization company Kidaro (acquired: MSFT), Vice President at storage security firm Decru (acquired: NTAP), and on the founding team of search engine pioneer Inktomi (NASDAQ, acquired: YHOO).

Kevin is a Fellow at UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business where sits on the Dean's Advisory Council, and earned his Bachelor's and MBA degrees at UC Berkeley, where he served as MBA class president.

Christine Leong Connors

Christine Leong Connors is the Head of Northern California for the J.P. Morgan Private Bank. In this role, she leads a team of professionals in San Francisco and Silicon Valley who provide wealth management strategies to individuals and their families as well as nonprofit organizations. Christine and her team help clients think through the challenges of sustaining wealth and develop innovative solutions to meet their evolving needs. Drawing on their experience with some of the world's foremost entrepreneurs, financial principals, nonprofit leaders and business executives, the team offers thoughtful ideas for preserving and growing wealth over multiple generations. Christine is focused on continuing to build the firm's local presence and driving new initiatives to bring the best solutions and advice to clients in Northern California.

Christine has spent the last 15 years as a Senior Banker, advising private company executives and entrepreneurs across the Bay Area prior to an IPO or sale. She continues to advise private company entrepreneurs around how best to optimize their ownership in their companies and speaks on Pre-IPO Panels across Northern California. Previously, she was the head of the West Coast Investment Bank/Private Bank Partnership, where she was responsible for delivering the firm's extensive personal wealth management capabilities to corporate executive clients of the Investment Bank.

Christine has been named as one of the Financial Times' Top 100 Women Financial Advisors in the United States for 2014. In 2015, Christine was named to the San Francisco Business Times 40 under 40 list, a prestigious and selective group of “dealmakers and entrepreneurs” in the Bay Area.

Christine joined J.P. Morgan in 1998 and worked as an internal consultant to a variety of business groups, including Executive Compensation, Global Credit and Assets and Global Markets. She received her B.S. in Business Administration with a minor in Economics from Bucknell University and her M.B.A from the Berkeley-Columbia MBA program at The University of California, Berkeley and Columbia University. Christine resides in San Francisco with her husband and two daughters and is on the Leadership Council for Tipping Point and the Board of Trustee of the San Francisco Ballet.

Aaron Dallek

Aaron Dallek is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Opternative, the first online eye exam that can be taken with a computer and smartphone. Patients can take a 25-minute eye exam from the comfort of home and receive a physician approved prescription within 24 hours. Aaron, A serial entrepreneur, started a computer consulting firm when he was only 14 years old. He loves building technologies that solve significant problems and make the world a better place. Since graduating from the University of California, Berkeley in 2006, Aaron has been committed to creating innovative start-ups that help the world. Before founding Opternative, he co-founded Cheap Ink, a printer cartridge sales and recycling company, which was ranked 544th in the 2011 Inc. 5000. He also co-founded Planet Metrics, a carbon information management software startup which was sold to PTC. In 2010, Aaron returned to his hometown of Chicago, where he's been helping grow the city's startup ecosystem.

Noah Doyle

Noah Doyle has founded, launched and grown dozens of high technology products and companies in 20 years of entrepreneurship and management of innovation. Noah most recently directed the enterprise product line for Google’s geospatial products, Google Earth and Google Maps. Prior to Google, Noah held several roles at Keyhole, Inc., the company that created the first Web-hosted 3D digital earth model and was acquired by Google in 2004. Prior to Keyhole he helped to start two companies in India, including i-mint (acquired by American Express). Noah helped establish the Internet loyalty rewards marketplace as a co-founder of MyPoints.com, the largest Internet loyalty program with over 7 million active members, where he led product management and business development functions from the company’s inception through an initial public offering and subsequent acquisition by United Airlines. Prior to MyPoints, Noah was based in Tokyo where he managed overseas sales and marketing for the OEM channel of Panasonic’s graphics communications equipment subsidiary in Japan. In other roles, he was chairman of the management board of the University of California, Berkeley’s campus bookstore, a $17 million retail operation, and also held product management and operations management roles at IBM/Rational (Pure Atria) and Oracle.

As an angel investor prior to forming Javelin Venture Partners, Noah has supported over a dozen start-ups including Keyhole (Google), Cantametrix (Gracenote), Amae Software (Verint), Nuvon, Ritter Natural Sciences, GET IT Mobile and Magnacash (Yaga). Noah holds M.B.A. and B.A. Economics degrees, as well as certificates in Management of Technology and Global Management from University of California, Berkeley. Noah’s board memberships include AppFirst, Correlated Magnetics, GET.IT, Nexenta, Nuvon, PowerCloud, Rixty, Sociable Labs, and Skytree.

Tom Frainier

Tom Frainier is CEO of Semifreddi's Bakery in Alameda. Since 1984, Semifreddi's has been baking European style bread and pastries, which are delivered to almost 600 restaurants, cafes, and grocery stores throughout the Bay Area. Tom is a graduate of the Haas School of Business with a B.S. (1979) and M.B.A. (1981).

He spent almost seven years at Clorox in financial positions with increasing responsibility ending up as Manager of Financial Planning. He had a midlife crisis at 30 and quit. Six months later he joined Semifreddi's and has spent the last 28 years at Semifreddi's where he is a fifty percent partner with his brother-in-law, Mike Rose. Semifreddi's has never had any investors.

Tom is a Virgo and likes long walks on the beach.

Marcos Kulka

Marcos Kulka is the CEO of Fundacion Chile, a technology developer, incubator and venture fund. FCH has created more than 80 companies in a variety of technologies. Marcos is currently a board member of Micomo (IT Company) and Austral Capital (Venture Capital Fund). He is member of the investment committee of Inversur (VC Fund of Telefonica). Marcos was the chairman of Phytomedics Chile and Vitis Biosciences (both biotech companies). He was also a board member of Oleotop (food company), Axon Axis (IT company sold to Equifax), Alimtec (Pharma company sold to Bayer) and Biofrutales (Biotech). Marcos was a board member of The Chilean Innovation Forum, member of the Open Innovation Forum at Berkeley and member of the Institute for Large Scale Innovation.. Marcos worked for Visa International, CMPC and CB Capital. He does have an MBA from UC Berkeley and an undergraduate in Business and Economics from the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. In 2007 Marcos was awarded By Diario Financiero as one of the 50 most successful youngsters in Chile. In 2008 Diario Financiero and Endeavor awarded him as "Country Contribution, young entrepreneurs."

Tim Kuruvilla

Tim Kuruvilla is Co-Founder and Chief Commercial Officer at Viewics, leading Sales, Marketing and Customer Success. Throughout his experiences in management consulting, private equity and entrepreneurship, Tim has been focused on transforming how businesses use data and information technology to drive value within their organizations.

Prior to Viewics, Tim was a founder of the Applied Technology Investing group at Opus Capital, a $280M private equity fund. Tim played a critical role in defining investment theses, evaluating investment opportunities and guiding entrepreneurs. Prior to Opus Capital Tim was an Investment Associate at Fog City Capital, where he led the firm's healthcare investment activities. Prior to Fog City, Tim was with Stockamp & Associates (acquired by Huron), a management consulting firm focused on large hospitals and health systems. At Stockamp, Tim managed the assessment, design and implementation of technology-based process improvement initiatives that led to multi-million dollar impact.

Tim holds a bachelor of Management Science, with honors, from the University of California, San Diego and an MBA from the University of California Haas School of Business.

Moses Lo

Moses Lo grew up small Malaysian village where his whole family slept on the floor in the same room. Moses' family moved to Australia where he represented Australia at Model United Nations competitions and began his career at the Boston Consulting Group. Whilst there he built two profitable businesses in his rare spare time that took him towards his MBA at Berkeley. At Berkeley he started Xendit by winning a hackathon by Andreessen Horowitz before joining YCombinator's Summer 2015 class.

Today he is founder and CEO of Xendit which challenges how modern finance works in a mobile, millennial-driven world by replacing antiquated payment rails with a free network of P2P payments between consumers. Now people can conduct commerce across the Indonesian archipelago instantly, for free. Xendit is the first Indonesian company to get into YCombinator and has raised funds from USA, Asian and Indonesian investors.

Andre Marquis

Andre Marquis is the Executive Director of the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship at the Haas School of Business at the University of California Berkeley. At UC Berkeley, he and his team have built a scalable, global infrastructure to deliver leading-edge, hands-on training to hundreds of teams and thousands of entrepreneurs and corporate innovators and their Faculty and mentors. Though world-leading programs including the America's Greatest Makers, the Bay Area NSF Innovation Corps, Innovate for Digital India, $1.3m Make It Wearable Challenge (driving corporate innovation on Intel’s computing platforms in 27 countries), Innovate for India, LAUNCH Startup Accelerator, and other Bay Area and international programs in dozens of countries, the Lester Center is redefining how to teach the process of evidence-based entrepreneurship and corporate innovation while creating scalable enterprises and driving deep culture change simultaneously. Mr. Marquis has a long record of starting successful biotechnology and IT ventures with a particular focus on winning in markets where scalability is critical. Two Web companies Mr. Marquis helped start became publicly traded and a third was acquired by amazon for over $190 million. The Chorus Group at Eli Lilly which he co-founded is a significant business model innovation that has dramatically speeded up and lowered the cost of drug development.

Orion Parrott

Orion Parrott is a lifehacker dedicated to humanizing personal finance. After helping design, code, and test our nation's ballistic missile defense system, he has turned his systems engineering skills toward empowering mortgage borrowers with full access to their own financial data. Orion holds a BSEE degree, Electrical Engineering from Virginia Tech, MS, Communications and Signal Processing from Northeastern University, and an MBA from the Berkeley-Haas Executive MBA program.

Laurie Peterson

Laurie Peterson founded Build & Imagine after noticing that the kind of play experiences she loved as a child (involving building and problem solving) were not well reflected in the "girls" section of the toy store. Laurie's line of magnetic building sets, known as "StoryWalls," feature adventurous female characters and rich narrative details. Laurie was named the "Rising Star Toy Inventor of the Year" and her Build & Imagine StoryWalls have been honored with numerous awards including 5 Parents' Choice Gold Awards and Dr. Toy's Best Classic Award for re-imagining the classic dollhouse as a building toy. Laurie has an MBA from UC Berkeley (EWMBA class of 2011) and lives in Oakland with her husband, kindergartener, and rescued mutt Bruiser.

Paul Rice

Paul Rice is the founder, President and CEO of Fair Trade USA, the leading certifier of Fair Trade products in the United States. Since launching the Fair Trade Certified label in 1998, Paul has pushed to innovate and mainstream the Fair Trade movement to improve the lives of farmers and workers around the world. Partnering with over 900 U.S. and global companies, Fair Trade USA is rapidly expanding in both food and manufactured products, building more transparent, sustainable supply chains that create shared value for industry, farmers, workers and the planet. With 58% consumer awareness of its label, Fair Trade has generated over $350 million in additional revenue for low-income farming and working families in 70 countries across the globe — helping them put food on the table, keep their kids in school and invest in the future. Paul and his team recently launched Fair Trade for All, an innovative strategy for taking the movement to scale, and announced a $25 million capital campaign to fund the strategy.

Paul has been honored for his pioneering work by the World Economic Forum, Clinton Global Initiative, Skoll Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, Ashoka and Fast Company magazine. Paul's dedication to improving the lives of farming and working families is rooted in 11 years of fieldwork in Nicaragua, where he founded the country's first Fair Trade, organic coffee export cooperative. Paul holds a BA from Yale University and an MBA from Berkeley-Haas.

Rhonda Shrader

Rhonda Shrader director, Berkeley-Haas Entrepreneurship Program is delighted to be back at Haas (MBA '96) where she launched a transition from science to business. After a valuable stint in strategy and operations consulting, she founded or was an early stage team member of start ups in retail, behavioral health, non-profit and big data. She served as a long time mentor for UCSF's Idea to IPO course, is an active advisor for NASA spinoff BrainAid, and recently lead the winning teams for both the Health Tech Forum Codeathon and the San Francisco MedHack 2.0 Hackathon.

Julia Silbergeld

Julia Silbergeld is Director of Community Strategy at Farmigo, an online farmers market, where she pursues her passion for bringing local, sustainable food to neighborhood and school pickup spots. In 2015, Julia received her MBA from Berkeley-Haas, where she focused on social entrepreneurship and food and served as President of the Culinary Club and VP for Net Impact. Before Haas, Julia spent eight years at Greenpeace, where she was the HR Director for the US. Julia originally hails from LA and studied film as an undergrad at Wesleyan University.

Marc Singer

Marc Singer, Director, San Francisco for McKinsey & Company, is a leader of McKinsey Digital focused on helping clients identify and translate digital and omni-channel opportunities into sustained growth. Working closely with clients to implement change and build digital capabilities, Marc helps clients make sense of the converging forces of commerce, technology, and consumer choice and navigate the complex and multifaceted changes necessary in organization and operations for a company to become deeply digital. Marc has published frequently on topics from analytics to the new role of the CMO, and is a co-author of the best-selling and critically acclaimed book Net Worth: Shaping Markets When Customers Make the Rules.

Marc serves clients in a variety of consumer-facing businesses including retail financial services, retail, gaming, airlines, media and telecommunications. In his recent client work, Marc worked with a premium retailer to improve conversion rates through better and more frontline uses of its shopping and loyalty program data; helped a top bank develop an omnichannel program to increase customer satisfaction rates while lowering attrition; worked with a wireless telecommunications leader on a multi-year project to both improve digital capabilities and boost contract renewal rates; and helped a digital music subscription business with subscriber growth and retention.

Marc also built McKinsey's Customer Lifecycle Management capability in the Americas, which has completed more than 1,500 engagements since 1995.

Kakul Srivastava

Kakul Srivastava is VP of Product Management at GitHub. She is a tech entrepreneur focused on building companies that empower people and create community. Kakul has helped build some of the best loved consumer tech products — Adobe's Photoshop line of software, Flickr, Yahoo! Messenger, and Yahoo! Mail. She was the founder and CEO of Tomfoolery, Inc., a start-up dedicated to making beautiful social apps for work. Tomfoolery was bought by Yahoo in 2014. Kakul is a graduate of MIT with a BSc in Mechanical Engineering, and also holds an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley Haas School of Business. She serves as Co-Chair on the Board of Cure Violence, a non-profit dedicated to stopping violence in some of the world's most high-risk communities, and is an active volunteer, advising in official and unofficial roles, to a number of start-ups and non-profits. She lives in SF with her husband and two children.

Lisen Stromberg

Lisen Stromberg is Chief Operating Officer of The 3% Movement, an advocacy and consulting organization championing creative female talent and leadership in the advertising industry. Previously, she was a Brand Manager for Nestle Corporation and a Vice President at Foote, Cone & Belding advertising agency.

Lisen is also an award-winning writer and journalist whose work has appeared in The New York Times, Fortune, Newsweek, Salon, and more. She is the author of the forthcoming book, Work Pause Thrive:How to Pause for Parenthood without Killing Your Career, which reveals how trailblazing women have integrated their work+life priorities.

Lisen has a B.A. from Dartmouth College, an M.B.A. from the Haas School of Business at U.C. Berkeley, and an M.F.A. from Mills College.

Kirsten Saenz Tobey

Kirsten Saenz Tobey founded Revolution Foods in 2006 with Kristin Groos Richmond while in graduate school at UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business. Revolution Foods, now over $100 million in revenue, today serves over 1.5 million healthy meals per week to students in 25 cities across the US and distributes a line of retail food products to over 3000 grocery stores nationwide. Kirsten continues to steward the mission and drive the vision for the company. Kirsten's work centers around developing innovative, attainable solutions for providing access to healthy food to families across the US. Kirsten spearheaded the company's expansion into the retail/packaged goods space and has led the company's efforts on thought leadership and impact strategy.

Revolution Foods was named by Fast Company as one of the world's 50 most innovative companies in 2015. Kristin and Kirsten were named by the Schwab Foundation and World Economic Forum as Social Entrepreneurs of the Year for 2015. They were also co-named Entrepreneur of the Year by NewSchools Venture Fund in 2010, identified as Time Magazine's Education Activists of 2011, and listed among Fortune's 40 under 40 for 2013. Kirsten is an Ashoka Fellow, an Aspen Institute Catto Fellow, and a member of the Culinary Institute of America's Sustainable Business Council. She currently is a member of the Board of Directors for Mercaris, Net Impact and The People's Community Market. She is on the advisory board for Homemade Cooking.

Prior to founding Revolution Foods, Kirsten was a teacher and garden educator. Her career spanned from leading experiential education programs in the US and Ecuador to evaluating the scalability of school feeding programs with the United Nations Hunger Task Force in Ghana. Kirsten holds an AB from Brown University and an MBA from UC Berkeley. She lives in the SF Bay Area with her husband and three daughters.

Michael A. Torres

Michael A. Torres is Chief Executive Officer and portfolio manager. Mr. Torres joined the firm in February 1995. He has 30 years of real estate and securities research experience. Prior to joining Adelante, Mr. Torres was the Director of Real Estate Research and a portfolio manager for Wilshire Asset Management. At Wilshire, he created the Wilshire Real Estate Securities Index, widely recognized as the industry's performance benchmark.

Mr. Torres is currently an active member of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT), Pension Real Estate Association (PREA), International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), Urban Land Institute (ULI), and YPO/WPO International. Mr. Torres serves on the Board of Directors of Renova Therapeutics and Colovore LLC; Investment Committee for the Stern Grove Festival Foundation, as well as on the Northern California Advisory Board for City National Bank. Mr. Torres received a B.A. in Architecture and an M.B.A. from University of California, Berkeley.