I am the father of three young boys, an entrepreneur who has started several innovative companies, an inventor with several issued patents in my name, and was an elected official for 12 years.
I was born and raised in the 14,000 person town of Lincolnwood, Illinois. I came to California in 1985 after earning degrees in both Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Northwestern University.
I started working at the Aerospace Corporation, a nonprofit organisation that served as a program manager and watchdog into Department of Defence programs. I performed cost estimation on large Air Force software projects, some of which cost billions of dollars.
While working full-time, I took the classes required for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) test at UCLA night school before moving to Santa Clara County to pursue an MBA at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.
I graduated in 1989 and I dove into the burgeoning technology industry that would become known as Silicon Valley, where I served as controller for a biotech startup and was a financial analyst for an innovative dial-up modem company, Telebit.
I then co-founded with Ben Dubin, Full Source Software, the world’s first UNIX open-source software company. After that, together we started another company, Los Altos Technologies, that created and market computer security for those using UNIX computers. It was in business for nearly 20 years.
After many interesting dating experiences while at the same time seeing consumers get email access, I came up with the idea of online dating and founded Match.com. Initially funded by cash advances on my credit card, I wrote a business plan and found a few great programmers. I then raised venture capital.
One recent survey placed Match as being responsible for more than 2,000,000 babies and, hopefully, just as many happy and secure families. The vision was broader, registering such domains names as jobs.com, autos.com, housing.com and even sex.com (more on this here)
After Match.com was sold, I embarked on a series of startups focused on sustainability and responsible stewardship including forays into solar energy. I then created a company — Clean Power Finance (now Spruce Power), the leading white-label residential solar finance company, backed by Google, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Claremont Creek Ventures and several large utilities.
By helping solar installers be more efficient, leading to tens of thousands of rooftop solar installations using our software and financing. We supported hundreds of local employees as well as a huge network of solar installers — many from disadvantaged communities. After Clean Power Finance, I co-founded Pace Avenue, which was a customer acquisition firm marketing renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions to low and moderate income (LMI) households).
I also founded Sociogramics, (assisting unbanked and underbanked consumers without credit files gain credit), founded Cap Gain Solutions (help investors realise tax losses in worthless companies) and co-founded Cross Coin Ventures (an incubator for crypto ideas based on the XRP protocol).
I also incubated Crowdflower (formerly Delores Labs, later Figure Eight, acquired by Appen), WaterSmart Software (the leading water conservation software company, acquired by Vertex One) as well as several other projects.
It was through this lens that I sought the first opportunity for public service in 2010, serving on a local water board (the Purissima Hills Water District serving several thousand people in Los Altos Hills). In 2014, I was elected to the larger Santa Clara Valley Water District (now known as Valley Water) and then reelected in 2018.
During my tenure, I have focused on bringing fiscal responsibility and transparency to an institution commonly referred to as the “Golden Spigot” due to the way money flowed in and out with minimal accountability. At the same time, I served at a board member of the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority, President of the Delta Conveyance Finance Authority, San Francisquito Creek Joint Powers Authority Chairperson and a board member of the Los Vaqueros Reservoir Joint Powers Authority.
Other past public services included being a trustee at the University of California at Merced Foundation, the California Clean Energy Jobs Act (Proposition 39) Citizens Oversight Board and as a California State Democratic Party ADEM.
Currently I am spending my professional time helping companies such as being a board member at Identiv, strategic advisor to Bidlist.io(founded by former Pace Avenue employees) and a co-founder of Voter.Vote.
Most of my time is being spent with my three cute boys as well as my partner. I am still getting in some California County Peakbagging and helping other at non-profits such as the Saline Preservation Association, where I sit on the board.