Speakers

Speaker Biographies


Gregory La Blanc

Gregory 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, and is the recipient of teaching awards including the Earl F. Cheit Award for Outstanding Teaching, 2009; and the Haas EWMBA Graduate Instructor of the year, 2004-2005. Read More

Ross Levine

Ross Levine received his PhD from UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) in 1987 after graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Cornell University. He is currently the Willis H. Booth Professor of Banking and Finance at the University of California, Berkeley's Haas School of Business. Read More

Kimberly MacPherson, MBA/MPH 94 (@KimMacSF)

Kimberly MacPherson is the Associate Director of Health Management at the Haas School of Business and faculty in Health Policy and Management at the U.C. Berkeley School of Public Health. She directs the MBA/MPH program, the two-year MPH in HPM program, a one-year MPH for clinicians and the MPP/MPH offered with the Goldman School of Public Policy. Read More

Maura O'Neill, BCEMBA 04/05 (@MauraLONeill)

Maura O'Neill, BCEMBA 04/05, is a lecturer at the Haas School of Business and was appointed by President Obama to be the first Chief Innovation Officer of the U.S. Agency for International Development. Serving until summer 2013 she had responsibility for inspiring and leading breakthrough innovations in foreign assistance and development worldwide. Maura is most well known for adapting venture capital and drug discovery methods to development by co-creating the Development Innovation Venture Fund. 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. His teaching is in the areas of international macroeconomics for which he has won two teaching award Read More

Nicole Sanchez, EWMBA 12 (@nmsanchez)

Nicole Sanchez, EWMBA 12, is the VP of Social Impact at GitHub, responsible to diversifying the company's workforce and user base; building strong community partnerships; and promoting GitHub as a platform for impactful social change. She in an industry expert in diversity, inclusion and social impact with 20+ years working on access for underrepresented communities in government, higher education and technology. Read More

Juliana Schroeder (@jschroeder0527)

Juliana Schroeder conducts research on the experimental study of social cognition. Her research has been featured by outlets such as the New York Times, Newsweek, NBC, and the Today Show, and has been funded by the National Science Foundation. Read More

Cort Worthington, BCEMBA 07/08

Cort Worthington teaches leadership courses in Haas graduate and undergraduate programs, and delivers the core Leadership Communication class for all full-time MBA students. His areas of focus include leadership skill development, organizational and team dynamics, executive coaching, and negotiation Read More

Panelists & HaasX Biographies


Wendy Adams, FTMBA 97

Wendy Adams is the Research Grant Director at the Bay Area Lyme Foundation, the largest public non-profit funder of innovative Lyme disease research in the U.S. The Bay Area Lyme Foundation's mission is to make Lyme disease easy to diagnose and simple to cure. She joined the Foundation prior to its inception in 2011 and combines her personal passion and experience in Lyme disease with her background in biotech research and development to bring new awareness and research expertise to the field. As Research Grant Director she guides the research funding process, scouts new technologies and discoveries to leverage for Lyme disease research and works with funded researchers, government officials, and major academic institutions on behalf of the Foundation.

Before joining the Bay Area Lyme, Wendy served over 20 public and private biotech and biopharma companies as a business development consultant, with past clients including Proteolix (Amgen), Intrabiotics (AstraZeneca) and Cytokinetics. Prior to launching her consulting practice, Wendy was Director, Corporate Development at Aviron (AstraZeneca), where her responsibilities included strategic and tactical execution of corporate partnering activities, strategic planning, technology assessment and M&A evaluation. Wendy also worked in business development at Genentech. Earlier, Wendy worked for Cowen & Company pursuing corporate finance and strategic advisory assignments for clients in the biotech, medical device, and healthcare services industries. Wendy received her undergraduate degree from Duke University and her MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, where she has also served on the adjunct faculty in Entrepreneurship.

Victor d'Allant, FTMBA 87 (@dallant)

A Visual Anthropologist at heart, Victor launched Dallant Networks in 2011 by combining his dual cultural anthropology and photojournalism framework with his strong digital media outlook. Victor and his global team have been bringing to their clients and partners (the Gates Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Skoll Foundation, the Lumina Foundation, the World Bank) their strong expertise in cutting edge technology, content creation and community engagement.

Victor's photographs were exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in Paris and have been published in Newsweek, several World Health Organization publications, and many magazines in Europe and Asia. The video blog he produced for the Skoll Foundation's online community received an Honoree Mention at the Webby Awards (Webbies).

Victor holds an MA/ABD in Social Anthropology from the Sorbonne in Paris and an MBA from UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business.

His motto: "Right brain. Left brain. Why choose?"

Michael Berolzheimer, FTMBA 07 (@berolz)

Michael Berolzheimer, founder and Managing Partner of Bee Partners, is an active investor and entrepreneur. In 2008, Michael formed Bee Partners (www.beepartners.vc), a pre-Seed stage venture capital firm. Bee Partners works with entrepreneurs with deep market insights and who are passionate about company building. Frequently the first capital into a company, Bee also invests at the Seed-stage and then helps to deliver reference customers, additional capital sources, strategic insights, leadership support and more. He's been investing in and advising entrepreneurs since 2004, after he took a shot on a young team selling "Bear Naked" granola out of their van. Since then, he's invested with TubeMogul, Indiegogo, Skycatch, Tradesy, StatMuse, LeadGenius, Embroker, Magoosh, Neighborly, Zipongo, Ordergroove, BuildingConnected and many others. Prior to Bee Partners, Michael founded two companies while earning his MBA from Berkeley Haas, and apprenticed on Wall Street with Harvest Partners, a middle-market private equity fund. He completed his undergraduate studies at Vanderbilt University in Computer Science & Economics. Michael resides in the Bay Area with his wife and young family, and enjoys spending time in the mountains.

Shuonan Chen, BS 13

Shuonan Chen is the Founding Partner of Agile VC and Board Member of North America Blockchain Association. She focuses on helping startups globalize and expand into new markets. She is also the Advisor and Interim China GM for Rescale, a cloud simulation platform with high performance computing serving Boeing, Tesla and SpaceX, and she has led negotiations in deals with Alibaba to enter China.

Prior to venture, Shuo worked at Goldman Sachs in investment banking, where she represented the firm on the Board of Women in Finance and started a social enterprise for financial literacy. Shuo graduated cum laude from UC Berkeley with a triple major (and 2 minors) in 3 years, where she also taught about money management, and completed a JD with the Chinese University of Hong Kong, where her work on financial regulation is expected to be published by Cambridge University Press.

John Coelho, FTMBA 2007

John Coelho is a Partner at StepStone Group in San Diego where he has led the firm's venture capital and growth equity practice since inception. His investment focus includes fund investments, secondaries and direct investments in the IT, healthcare and tech-enabled services sectors.

Prior to StepStone, he was at ATEL Capital Group, a venture debt and asset-based lender in San Francisco. Prior to this, Mr. Coelho was in the Technology Investment Banking Group at Piper Jaffray & Co. in Menlo Park and began his career at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in Palo Alto.

John received his BS and MBA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley.

Emilie Cortes, FTMBA 02

Emilie Cortes serves as General Manager of Duma Explorer Ltd. and Chaka Camp Ltd. in Arusha, Tanzania. The two sister companies provide safaris, treks, and luxury tented camp experiences in Northern Tanzania, including such globally recognized highlights as Kilimanjaro and the Serengeti National Park. Previously, she acquired and attempted to turn around an all women's adventure travel company called Call of the Wild Adventures, Inc., leaving her illustrious finance career behind to align her passion and vocation — empowering women through positive experiences in the outdoors. Within the second year of operations, Emilie was nominated for the Bend Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneur of the Year award. She was nominated again and won the award in 2015 based on impressive top-line growth, but failed to return the company to profitability and shut it down in 2016.

Before her transition to adventure travel, Emilie's career in financial services spanned private company business valuations, quantitative risk analytics for equity and fixed income investors, structuring esoteric Collateralized Debt Obligations, and serving as a Senior Investment Consultant for institutional investors such as Taft-Hartley union pension plans.

Emilie received her MBA in Finance from UC, Berkeley and her BSBA in International Business from American University, summa cum laude. Emilie holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation, Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst designation, as well as certificates demonstrating business level proficiency in French and Spanish. She speaks five other languages of widely varying ability, most recently working on Swahili and Meru.

Peter Fiske, EWMBA 02

Dr. Peter Fiske was until recently the CEO of PAX Water Technologies, Inc. (acquired by UGSI Corp. in January, 2017) and is a frequent author and speaker on the subject of careers, career strategy, and innovation. Fiske's eclectic career has included stints at a nuclear weapons laboratory (Lawrence Livermore National Lab) studying meteorite impacts and the death of the dinosaurs, work at the Pentagon revising the federal civil service system (another type of dinosaur), and several technology start-ups (two of which are case studies taught at Haas). He served as a White House Fellow in 1996 and also won the business plan competition at Haas in 2001. Fiske also is presently on the Board of Kohana Technologies Inc. which is commercializing an advanced wind turbine technology. Fiske received his BA/BSE from Princeton in 1988, a PhD in Geosciences from Stanford University in 1994, and an MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley in 2002.

Mitch Fong, FTMBA 91

Mitch Fong, FTMBA 91, is both an Animal Care Specialist, and the Individual and Planned Giving Officer at The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito.

Mitch spent 23 years in the financial services industry, working with retirement related products and services. He was series 6, 7, 63, and California Life Insurance licensed, and his work included product development, marketing and distribution of various financial tools for both retail and institutional investors.

Prior to joining The Marine Mammal Center, Mitch worked for Hartford Life, Prudential, and most recently, Wilshire Associates.

Mitch holds a MBA from the Haas School of Business (1991), and a BA in Economics from UCLA (1988). Mitch resides in Mill Valley and chooses to ride his bicycle to work in the Marin Headlands every chance he gets.

Tracy Gray, BCEMBA 07/08

Tracy Gray, has over 20 years experience assisting organizations in a variety of industries reach their international, investment, strategy and marketing/communications goals.

Ms. Gray is currently the Founder and Managing Partner of The 22 Capital Group (The 22), a social impact, growth venture capital and advisory firm with a job creation mission by increasing the export capacity of Southern California manufacturing companies, targeting women- and minority-owned businesses. Ms. Gray is also an Executive in Residence at the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) where she advises portfolio companies on all aspects of their business and leads LACI's Diversity in Entrepreneurship Advisory Council and its initiatives.

In addition, Ms. Gray is the founder of the non-profit We Are Enough (WAE). WAE's only mission is to increase the flow of capital to women entrepreneurs by educating ALL women on how and why to invest in women-owned, for profit businesses or with a "gender lens." Ms. Gray was recently named one of the 50 "Women of Influence" in business in Los Angeles.

Prior to starting The 22, Ms. Gray was Senior Advisor of International Business and Marketing to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Senior Advisor to the Mayor's Small Business Office. Ms. Gray was also a managing director at a venture catalyst consulting firm where she raised over $30 million in equity capital; an investment professional at Zone Ventures where her first investment decision, DivX, had a market capitalization of $435M at IPO; a director at an economic development non-profit and a systems engineer/mission monitor on the NASA Space Shuttle program.

She is currently on the advisory board of Exergy Systems Inc. and Isidore Electronics Recycling (sold to Homeboy Industries). Ms. Gray also serves on several non-profit boards of directors and advisory board and is a frequent speaker at various conferences and events. Ms. Gray holds a B.S. in Mathematical Science with an aeronautics emphasis from the University of California, Santa Barbara and dual MBAs from Columbia University and University of California, Berkeley.

Rob Kaplan, FTMBA 07

Rob Kaplan is co-founder and Managing Director of the Closed Loop Partners, an innovative platform for impact investing, sustainability, and the circular economy. The firm aims to incubate, commercialize, and scale solutions that optimize supply chains and improve recycling around the world. Closed Loop Ventures and Closed Loop Fund are built to deliver strong financial and environmental returns.

Prior to joining the Fund, Rob served as Director of Sustainability for Walmart Stores and helped lead corporate responsibility and brand strategy for Brown-Forman Corporation. Rob received his MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley (2007) and his undergraduate degree in political communication from the George Washington University. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two children.

Lev Mass, BCEMBA 12/13

Lev Mass is a Partner at XSeed Capital in Portola Valley, CA where he leads the firm's AI and fintech practice. He is primarily focused on early stage software making the enterprise more efficient through technology.

Prior to XSeed, he was the COO of the Cloud Group at Yahoo in Sunnyvale, CA. Prior to this, Mr. Mass was in the Technology, Media and Telecom Investment Banking Group at Thomas Weisel Partners in San Francisco and began his career at Black and Veatch in Overland Park, KS.

Lev received his BS at the University of Kansas and MBA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley and Columbia University in City of New York.

Megan Mokri, EWMBA 16 (@megleg1313)

Megan Mokri is the founder and CEO of Byte, a food company using proprietary IoT technology to offer the highest quality, most affordable fresh food solution. Byte brings the retail experience of Whole Foods grab 'n go to workplaces, apartments, gyms, and hospitals using smart refrigerators. Byte serves hundreds of clients and tens of thousands of employees, including Tesla, Amazon, Sephora, Chevron, Williams-Sonoma, the San Francisco SPCA, and food service providers like Sodexo and Aramark.

Prior to Byte, Megan spent eight years in the online ad technology space, leading teams at Yahoo! and Ghostery. Megan studied biological engineering at Cornell University and received an MBA from UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business. She lives in Mill Valley, CA with her husband, two kids, two cats and two dogs.

Ryan Murphy, BS 17 (@ryan_f_murphy)

Ryan Murphy, is a three-time Olympic gold medalist, world record holder in the 100-meter backstroke and 10-time NCAA champion as a member of the Cal men's swimming team. A two-time NCAA Swimmer of the Year with one national championship meet still left to swim, Murphy ranks among the most accomplished and impactful swimmers in Cal history after winning both the 100 and 200 backstroke as well as the 400 medley relay at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

A native of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., Murphy is also regarded as one of Cal's most accomplished student-athletes in the classroom. Throughout a career in which he has trained for his first Olympic appearance while also competing collegiately, Murphy has on multiple occasions earned academic distinction while working towards a degree in Business Administration. A two-time Pac-12 All-Academic selection, Murphy was recognized nationally in 2016 when he was named a first team Academic All-American by the College Sports Information Directors of America.

Wes Selke FTMBA 07 (@wdselke)

Wes Selke is Managing Director and Co-Founder of Better Ventures, an Oakland, CA-based venture firm that backs early-stage technology companies solving big social and environmental challenges with models that scale. He's the resident "numbers guy" and enjoys rolling up his sleeves to help startups build viable and scalable mission-driven businesses. Wes has 15 years of venture capital and financial advisory experience with Good Capital's Social Enterprise Expansion Fund, William Blair, and Ernst & Young's Mergers & Acquisitions group. He earned an MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley and a BBA from the University of Michigan. Wes has volunteered with organizations around the globe, which has fueled his passion for applying his business skills to build a better world. He lives in Oakland, CA with his wife and two young kids and enjoys road cycling in the Oakland hills and Sunday trips to the farmers market.

Tootie Tatum EMBA 15

After participating in the Human Genome Project, Tootie Tatum began her entrepreneurial journey as a faculty member in the Texas Tech School of Medicine. She founded the school's Clinical Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory and subsequently left to help form a private venture, Pathogenius. She moved to California in 2011 and joined Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's Joint Genome Institute where she helped scale management of high-throughput DNA sequencing projects by 5X in under 4 years.

While a student in the Haas MBA program, she founded Blackhawk Genomics to assist startups and established companies enter the genetic testing market. She also directs 5 commercial clinical genetics laboratories across the United States and is on the board of directors for Pharmazam, a data analytics company focused on medication management and personalized medicine.

Lo Toney, FTMBA 97 (@lo_toney)

Lo Toney, joined GV from Comcast Ventures, where he focused on the Catalyst Fund, a group of investments in early stage technology startups led by entrepreneurs of color. He specializes in consumer technology investments, with an emphasis on mobile messaging, marketplaces, and e-commerce.

Lo has held executive roles at both startups and global consumer brands. He was the general manager of Zynga Poker, the gaming company's largest franchise, and held operating positions at Nike.com and eBay.

Lo received his MBA from the Haas School of Business (University of California at Berkeley), where he completed the Management of Technology program, a joint curriculum program with the College of Engineering. He received his B.S. from Hampton University in Virginia.

Tai Tran, BS 16 (@taictran)

Named the youngest Forbes 30 Under 30 and LinkedIn Top Voice in Marketing and Advertising, Tai is an experienced storyteller, marketing leader, and entrepreneur. Through his thought leadership, Tai has empowered young entrepreneurs, startups, and leading tech brands to share their breakthrough narrative at scale. Followed by over 100,000 marketers, executives, and young professionals, Tai's work has been widely recognized by Forbes, LinkedIn, Twitter, MarketWatch, and Tech Insider. As a keynote speaker, Tai has spoken at TEDx, Forbes CMO Summit, and LinkedIn.

Tai previously led digital and content marketing at top Fortune 500 tech companies, including Apple and Samsung. He is currently the Head of Content and Brand Marketing at SelfScore, a venture backed fintech startup. Tai is the author of upcoming book, Zero to Infinity. The book breaks down a new concept in personal innovation that Tai describes as zero to infinity, the process of harvesting isolated experiences and nurturing them into a product of design, disruption, and infinite opportunities.

Panpan Wang, MBA/MPH 12 (@peterpann)

Panpan Wang is cofounder at The Flex Company (flexfits.com), whose mission is to help create a world where every woman loves her body. Our first product, FLEX, replaces tampons. FLEX is disposable, is wearable for 12 hours, and also allows for mess-free period sex. The most common customer feedback is, "I'm never wearing tampons again. You've literally changed my life." Panpan leads business, product, and supply chain operations at The Flex Company.

Prior to The Flex Company, Panpan was a venture capitalist with Fosun Kinzon Capital, a $300mm cross-border early stage fund where he led the digital health practice. He joined Kinzon Capital after building the business development and sales teams at Jiff, which was recently acquired by Castlight Health (NYSE: CSLT). The first company that Panpan founded after his time at Haas was CareAnywhere, a medical tourism marketplace, which crashed and burned from a very low altitude. But it was quite a ride.

Panpan is dedicated to empowerment of at-risk youth through arts education and is currently a film, photography, and storytelling mentor at Venice Arts (venicearts.org).

John Woolard, FTMBA 97

John Woolard served as the Vice President of Energy at Google from 2014-2016, where he focused on Google's global energy strategy through investment in new technology and energy projects. Previously, John served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of BrightSource Energy, Inc. from 2006 to 2013, where he led the development, construction, and commissioning of the $2.2 billion Ivanpah solar thermal power plant, the largest in the world. Woolard Co-Founded Silicon Energy in 1997, and served as the President, Chief Executive Officer, and Chairman as he led its growth in enterprise energy management software through its acquisition by Itron in 2003. He then served as Vice President and General Manager of End User Solutions Business Unit and Energy Management Solutions Group at Itron through 2005.

John began his career in energy at Lawrence Berkeley Labs in 1996, in the Energy and Environment Division, and then joined PG&E Energy Services to lead their efforts in Facility Information and Control Systems. He served on the Board of the California Clean Energy Fund, the Tuolumne River Preservation Trust, and the Strategic Advisory Board for Xcel Energy. He is a Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute and holds an M.B.A. from the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley, an M.A. in Environmental Planning from the University of Virginia, and a B.A. in Economics from the University of Virginia. John is an avid whitewater kayaker, kiteboarder, and loves to spend time with his family, ideally playing outdoors.