Jonathan Garfinkel, TPG Capital
Mr. Garfinkel is a Principal of TPG Capital, where he leads the firm’s investment activities in the Financial Services sector in North America. Mr. Garfinkel joined TPG in 1998 and has worked in both the San Francisco and London offices. Prior to joining TPG, Mr. Garfinkel was an investment banker at Lehman Brothers in New York. He serves or has served as a Director of ProSight Specialty Insurance, 2Co Energy, Aleris International, Midwest Air Group and Education for Change. Mr. Garfinkel holds a B.A. in Economics from Stanford University, an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and an M.A. in Education from Stanford’s School of Education.
Bill Hughson, President, Healthcare Group at DeVry
An Aspire Director since 2003, Bill is President of the Healthcare Group of educational institutions at DeVry. His responsibilities include Ross University School of Medicine, Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, Chamberlain College of Nursing, Carrington College, and Carrington College of California. He serves as Chairman of the Board of Chamblerian College of Nursing and as Vice Chairman of the Board of Ross University. Prior to DeVry, Bill was a Vice President at DaVita,, the second-largest provider of dialysis services in the United States and President of DaVita Rx, an institutional pharmacy created to provide comprehensive pharmacy services to individuals suffering from renal disease. He graduated rom Williams College in 1986 with a degree Cum Laude in English Literature and from the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 1990.
Beth Hunkapiller is a member of the Board of Aspire Public Schools. She is a former middle school educator and administrator who taught 8th grade reading and English in El Monte, CA. Mrs. Hunkapiller is a 19-year member of the Board of Education of the San Carlos School District Board of Trustees. She is also a founder of the San Carols Charter Learning Center, the first school to receive a charter in California. Mrs. Hunkapiller served on the State Board of Education's Advisory Commission on Charter Schools, representing governing board members in California since the commission's formation in 2001, and was its chair for two years until April 2010. She then served in the California Department of Education as Director of the Charter Schools Division. She has also worked at the Kansas City Star and the Los Angeles Times. She graduated from Oklahoma Baptist University with degrees in English and political science and received her masters from the University of Southern California.
Greg Jones is the President & CEO (Retired), of State Farm General Insurance. He is the Chairman of California Business for Education Excellence and Chairman of the California Business Roundtable. Mr. Jones currently serves on the Board of Directors for Junior Achievement of Southern California, the California Chamber of Commerce, Franklin University, the Los Angeles Urban League, the National Urban League, the NCAA Leadership Advisory Board, the Tiger Woods Learning Center and the California State Board of Education. He is listed in Who's Who of Executives and Professionals.
Jones earned his B.A. degree in business from Franklin University and his M.A. degree in 1981 from Hood College. He also attended the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School and has earned the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation.
Before he was 25 years old, Jones started an NAACP branch, was chairman of a $2 million community action agency, and hosted a community service radio program. He is the founder of 100 Black Men of Sonoma County, California and has served on the national board of directors of 100 Black Men. He is a chairman of the board of the Los Angeles Urban League, the California Education for Excellence Foundation, the Los Angeles Sports Council, and Operation Hope. Jones is past chairman of Junior Achievement of Southern California and is a member of the board of trustees of Franklin University and the National Urban League. Jones was a recipient of Empowerment Achievement Award in 1995; Dollars and Sense Magazine’s Corporate Trailblazer Award in 1998; and was the 2000 honoree of the Insurance Industry Charitable Fund.
Melvin J. Kaplan, Chief Executive Officer, Wellington Financial Group
Mel Kaplan has been a real estate investor since 1960. He is CEO of Wellington Financial Group, an entity that invests in commercial real estate nationally.
In 1988 Mel and his family founded the Harry Singer Foundation, a nonprofit educational operating foundation dedicated to youth development. He serves on Harry Singer's Board and advises various other 501 c (3) corporations.
Mel is an alumnus of MIT and UC Berkeley where, in the 70s, he lectured at the School of Business Administration. His specialty continues to be problem solving and entrepreneurship. His biography has appeared in Marquis Who's Who In Finance and Industry and Who's Who In The World.
Steven L. Merrill, Venture Capitalist
Steve Merrill has been active in venture capital investing since 1968, and most recently was a Partner with Benchmark Capital. He was president of BankAmerica Capital Corporation in 1976 and managed this very successful venture activity until 1980 when he formed Merrill, Pickard, Anderson & Eyre (MPAE), a privately held venture capital partnership. MPAE managed funds of approximately $285 million provided by a group of 50 limited partners, including major corporations, pension funds, insurance companies, university endowments, and prominent families. Some of the companies funded by MPAE include America Online, Aspect Telecommunications, Cypress Semiconductor, Documentum, and Palm Computing. MPAE stopped making new investments in 1996 and the partners founded Benchmark Capital and Foundation Capital. Steven is a limited partner in both of these firms but is no longer involved in the day-to-day management.
Currently, Steven is devoting more time to civic and non-profit activities as well as his private investments. He was chairman of the Board of Trustees of Town School for Boys, a member of the Committee to Restore the San Francisco Opera House, and he is a past director of the Children’s Health Council.
Steven is also a past president of the Western Association of Venture Capitalists and a past director of the National Venture Capital Association, and has been a director of numerous privately held companies. He holds an MBA from the Wharton School of Finance and a BA in Sociology from Stanford University.
Louise Muhlfeld Patterson
Louise Muhfeld Patterson has had an extensive career as an HR executive and trustee of college-preparatory schools. She was Vice President of Human Resources for American Express company for 14 years, where she was a generalist for the Western Region, supporting over 1500 employees in 40 different locations. She specialized in organizational effectiveness, executive leadership and team development. She has consulted to beverage company Odwalla as Acting VP of Human Resources and to Addis Corporation, a marketing and branding organization. She implemented a Quality of Work life Survey for startup companies in Silicon Valley for Klein Associates. As a volunteer, she has served as a Trustee for many independent schools, including St. Mark’s School in Massachusetts, Drew College Preparatory High School in San Francisco, and Marin Country Day School. As Trustee, she has led the governance committees, chaired a number of executive director searches, led strategic planning efforts, and participated in several capital campaigns. She also currently serves as a Trustee for the San Francisco Zoological Society. Ms. Patterson received a BA in Psychology and Education from Vassar College and also studied the British school system at Oxford University.
Richard C. Spalding, Kearny Venture Partners
Dick is a managing director of KVP. He has been investing in and advising private companies for more than 30 years. Prior to KVP, Dick was Vice President and the first CFO at Portal Software (1997 - 1999), which grew from 10 to 120 employees during his tenure. Prior to Portal Software, he served as CFO for Fusion Medical Technologies, and was responsible for all aspects of the company's IPO.
Before Fusion, Dick was the head of West Coast investment banking for Alex. Brown and Sons, which included supervision of the firm's Japan office. Dick was with Alex. Brown between 1991 and 1996, during which time he and Jim were partners. Dick joined Alex. Brown, after a fourteen-year tenure at Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison, where he co-founded the firm's Palo Alto office, which grew from 2 to over 100 lawyers. He specialized in representing biotechnology companies, including IDEC Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Gen Pro, Inc., and Xoma, Inc., among others.
He was previously an observer to the board at Align Technology [NASDAQ: ALGN], and currently serves as an observer to the board at Kai Pharmaceuticals and is a director and co-Founder of SpinalMotion. He holds an A.B. with honors from Harvard College, and a J.D. with honors from Columbia Law School.
Technology Advisory Board
Aspire Public Schools Technology Advisory Board assists Aspire Public Schools management in developing, executing, and renewing the organization’s strategy for leveraging technology to improve student performance, administrative efficiencies and for attaining the maximum benefit for students and teachers from Aspire’s public and private funding.
John loves building software that people love to use and helps them in their work. He has been a senior-level contributor and consultant to many innovative organizations in Northern California, including Apple Computer, BigBook, Charles Schwab, eBay, Intuit and Kaiser Permanente. His background spans UNIX kernel development, financial trading applications and award-winning web sites. John's current technical focus is cloud computing and is a consulting architect at Elastra, bringing IT delivery automation and optimization to large and small enterprises.
John is an active member of Parents for Public Schools. In his spare time, he manages 100 computers at his kids' elementary school. He's glad to lend his wealth of technology experience to an education innovator like Aspire.
Barbara is a technology executive with over 20 years of leadership experience in dynamic environments. She has a proven track record delivering complex web-based technologies to achieve business results, while effectively managing cost and risks. Barbara previously worked as a Vice President of Technology at Charles Schwab, where she held several positions developing technology strategies that aligned with business goals and objectives. She has strong planning and collaboration skills and a reputation of successful implementation of innovative programs and process across technology and business organizations.
Martin is a Professional Enterprise and Application Architect working for the Advanced Analytic Group at Gap Inc Direct. Martin develops the technology strategy to enable enterprise-wide usage of various analytical models and statistics. Prior to joining GID, Martin worked at Quanis Inc, serving in the role of Chief Architect, where he developed both technology roadmaps and designs for a live insurance underwriting platform used by European Carriers and Re-insurers.
Martin's key strengths include Enterprise Architecture, Service Oriented Architectures, and Project and Program Management. Martin has obtained both an MBA and an MS in Computer Science from San Francisco State University.
Scott Strait has over 20 years of experience leading technology organizations. He is currently co-founder and CTO of Aria Retirement Solutions and CIO of Renewable Funding. Previously, he was with Charles Schwab & Co., where he was CTO, CTO, divisional CIO for the Schwab Institutional business serving independent financial advisors, and divisional CIO for the Schwab Investor Services business serving retail investors. As CTO and as head of the retail technology, Scott developed the technology strategy to emphasize cross-channel integration and common view of the customer to enable Schwab’s strategy shift from transaction-based to relationship-based client experience and led the complete rewrite of Schwab.com. As head of Schwab Institutional Technology, Scott led the effort to build SchwabInstitutional.com and to support the independent advisors as they adopted the Internet for the first time. Prior to Schwab, Scott was with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Arthur Andersen, where he was a CPA.
Scott earned a Ph.D from Stanford University in Engineering-Economic Systems and an MBA and a BS in Engineering from Lehigh University.