Jan. 7, 2008 SDF Holiday Party

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On January 7, 2008 at SDForum Headquarters in San Jose, the annual holiday party and awards were held. If you don’t know these people you should get out more often. Below are Susan Lucas-Conwell’s comments for each of this year’s awards.

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“Above and Beyond” Award:
Brian Goncher has been on the Board of Directors for SDForum for so long that we couldn’t even find a record of when he started! Being so young at the time, barely in diapers, he can’t remember the date either. Over the years, Brian has helped SDForum at so many levels it’s hard to imagine… be it securing sponsorships at Deloitte and at other organizations, collaborating on one of the most successful and long-running programs, the quarterly Investor Forum, not to mention the less exciting tasks of working on the audit committee, helping to find an audit firm to do our audit and tax returns on a pro bono basis, or advising new CEO’s of the organization on what to watch for as they start up the learning curve!

And if that wasn’t enough, he’s participated on Board committees and is currently working with me to launch a dinner series on Clean Tech, with more news to follow.

In what little time is left outside SDForum, Brian is Director of Venture Capital at Deloitte and Touche where he has been since 2004. Brian has 21 years of financial and operating experience, including stints at Bank of America, four high-growth companies (Buyers Club, Gear 1, ArtSearch and Astoria Software), Coopers & Lybrand, Frontier Ventures and Crystal Ventures. He has a BS and an MBA from the University of Chicago.

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Jack of All Trades:
Richard Taylor has worked tirelessly on behalf of SDForum: participating on the SIG committee and Executive Council, running the Business Intelligence SIG with Paul O’Rorke and Sonja London; provided us with technical feedback on our website; and wrote numerous articles and book reviews for the newsletter. He has also recently started a blog: bandb.blogspot.com that highlights many of the SDForum SIG meeting as well as many other newsworthy events around Silicon Valley.

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New Kid on the Block:
Bob Ketner tapped into a new audience for SDForum with the introduction of the Virtual World SIG, the only virtual worlds group on the west coast with regular attendance. The SIG has brought in new members and expanded our reach into New Worlds. Bob has also helped SDForum participate in the Virtual Worlds Conference in the Fall and again will be working with us on the Virtual Goes Mobile conference Feb 21st.

In real life, he is a consultant to VC firms on topics ranging from Virtual Worlds to ecommerce and teen trends. His company, Studio SFO has been designing multimedia experiences since the early 1990’s. He guided the development of a major ecommerce retail site from just a few orders a day to a multi-million dollar phenomenon. He has consulted with startups in the fields of ecommerce, clothing, publishing, beverages, media, and retail.

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Most Ideas Award:
Nancy Tubb’s enthusiasm for running the startup SIG is contagious. She continues to grow the SIG and brings in new exciting topics on a regular basis, which may have something to do with our surge in new startup membership in the past year. But it doesn’t stop there- she is now assisting with the SIG Chair committee and provided precious input to the development of the new website last year. Nancy Tubbs has more than 15 years of experience creating and managing technical and non-technical products for consumers. She recently led marketing, product management and most business development for Intuit’s ground-breaking web-based personal finance service, known internally as “WebQuicken”. Nancy has an engineering degree from Cornell and an MBA from the University of Chicago.

A natural ringleader, Nancy has consistently led and participated in event-driven organizations, from student leadership roles in high school, to president of an award-winning engineering group in college, to today, where she participates in several associations in Silicon Valley. FullCalendar is based on her learning that event publicity is the single most important factor in event attendance and an organization’s vitality.

Consistency over time SIG Chair:
Head of the Security SIG which has been meeting every month for almost eight year, Ames Cornish starts the Security SIG with an “Opening Act” where he provides the audience with 20-minute very creative review of the most recent and funniest security breaches in the news. In addition, Ames has been on the Board of Directors and helped with the branding initiative this past year, as well as spearheaded the Secure Storage conference last fall.
Ames is the founder and Managing Partner of Montebello Partners, which provides information security consulting services. Previously, Ames founded and was CEO of Vividus, a venture-capital backed multimedia and Internet software company. Ames has held management positions at Apple Computer and Hewlett-Packard. Ames holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in theoretical physics from Harvard University, an MBA from Stanford University.

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Life After SIG Chair:
Jon Baer has been a long-standing volunteer in the organization playing different roles over time and currently is the strategic adviser on startup programs as well as coaching companies for the quarterly Investor Forum, coaching other companies when needed, and helping with the programs for international delegations.

Jon is a senior executive who brings a unique perspective to the world of startups. He has been both a venture capitalist as well as the founder and CEO of two venture backed companies, eBoomerang, an enterprise software company which was sold in 2006 and Artificial Muscle, Inc., a spinout from Stanford Research Institute (SRI). As a principal and founder of Threshold Ventures, Jon works with companies around the world, serving as an advisor/mentor, working on specific projects and when appropriate, taking on interim operating roles.”

My thanks for Susan Lucas-Conwell’s comments and to all the staff and volunteers for making this evening a success.

Copyright 2008 DJ Cline All rights reserved.