Grow California | About Us

Publshed by admin on May 9, 2011. Last edited at 9:49 pm on August 23, 2011 by admin.

Grow-California is a spin off of Golden Capital Network, which has spent over 10 years helping businesses to grow in California. Grow-California formed in April 2011, is uniquely positioned to help growth companies succeed in the golden state — leveraging our management team’s collective 150+ years in leadership positions in venture-backed start ups, academia, banking, venture capital, technology corporations, economic development, and advocacy. This combination of diverse experiences, skills and contacts is a fresh approach driven by a vision to establish a new economic development paradigm in California where innovative entrepreneurs are recognized as the state’s key competitive differentiators in the global marketplace. Grow-California hosts 4 business development conferences that each showcase an industry vertical important to the state, and it brings two new products to the innovation marketplace, the Innovation Scorecard and its subsequent service offering for communities, called Momentum Builder.

Jon C. Gregory, President/CEO

Jon Gregory - CEO / President Grow CaliforniaIn April 2011 Jon Gregory formed Grow-California as a spin-out venture from Golden Capital Network. Previously, Gregory co-founded Golden Capital Network in September 1999, serving as its President and CEO since inception. Companies featured at Golden Capital Network events raised well over $1.5 billion in angel or venture capital investments and created thousands of jobs. Under Jon’s leadership, Golden Capital Network was featured in the Wall Street Journal, Venture Capital Journal, LA Times and San Francisco Chronicle, among others. In 2001 Gregory led Golden Capital Network’s efforts to partner with UC Davis and the Sacramento Metro Chamber to co-found the Sacramento Regional Technology Alliance.

Prior to that he held a series of increasingly responsible management and board positions in local, regional and statewide economic development organizations. Gregory is a frequent guest speaker at statewide and national conferences on innovative approaches to economic development. He completed his major in journalism and his minor in political science from CSU, Chico. He started his career in the U.S. Army as part of the Inspector General’s Office of the 32nd Army Air Defense Command in Darmstadt Germany from 1982-1984.

Bob Linscheid, VP External Relations

Bob Linscheid - VP External Relations of Grow CaliforniaBob is the Vice President of External Relations on the Grow California Executive Management Team.
 As the Vice Chair of Board of Trustees of the California State University, one of his primary goals is to advance the state’s 23-campus system to become a national leader in Applied Research with a focus on Innovation.  He also intends to drive the state’s connectivity between academia, venture capital, private equity, entrepreneurship, public policy and federal labs.
 Bob also serves as the President/CEO of the Chico Economic Planning Corporation, a position he has held for almost nineteen years.

Bob was previously a leader in California as a CEO for several Chambers of Commerce including a term as Chair of the Western Assoc of Chamber of Commerce Executives and the Institute of Organization Management. Most recently Bob served twelve years in the administration and marketing of two independent professional baseball leagues in California.

Bob holds a BA and Masters degree from Chico State and remains very active in alumni relations throughout California.

Chet Watson

Mr. Watson is an innovative thinker, entrepreneur, project manager and team leader with a successful history of managing complex social, political, domestic and international projects with the focus on bringing them to marketplace success.  Over the past 30+ years he has been a founder and principal in successful start up international telecommunications companies, water development companies and web centric database decision applications for hospitals, construction companies, social innovation organizations and Internet portals. He has been directly involved in raising investment capital and developing technical and human resource infrastructures and has held positions of CEO, CFO, CTO and angel investor for these companies.

Since 2008, Mr. Watson has focused on opportunities in the energy efficiency, technology innovation and venture finance markets.  He has acted as a business and finance development consultant.  He also partnered with long time colleagues to develop and create a web portal that connects consumers, individual and commercial, with a desire and need to create better energy based efficiency including windows, lights, solar hot water systems, and photo voltaic systems.

Mr. Watson has extensive experience in communication technology, computers (MAC & Windows), international and US business development, partnership development, government relations, team building, social change pressure points, investor relations and start up operations.

Dr. Rick Hubbard, VP Research & Client Services

Dr. Rick Hubbard - VP Research and Client Services of Grow CaliforniaBased on three decades executive & start-up experience with Silicon Valley software firms, Dr. Rick Hubbard crafts & transforms business strategy into successfully implemented—economically-valuable—applied technology solutions. A former Big-5 Consulting Manager, Systems Dynamist and Decision-Scientist, Dr. Hubbard fosters innovation by shaping strategy, business cases and constructing sound financial models. He has extensive experience in technology, financial services, telecommunications, media and IT sectors. Rick is the inventor of the Small Project System (SPS); and has founded and sold two technology firms.

He is frequently called on as author, speaker & advisor to business & technology leaders. He contributes the Voice of Experience to the next generation teaching University courses (Corporate/Business Strategy & Financial Modeling; Advanced Project Management; and Advanced Computer Science). In addition to working with GROW CA—Dr. Hubbard is a principal in a Mobile Web Application Development start-up.

Brian Sweat, VP Website Development

Brian Sweat - VP of Website Development of Grow CaliforniaBy far the youngest of the group, Brian is graduating from California State University: Chico this May with a bachelors degree in Internet Communications. Brian, as part of the tech generation, has been developing websites for just under a decade. He is focused in front end design and development, however has extensive programing and scripting knowledge for dynamic and strategic applications.

Brian has significant experience in the public relations and marketing as the director of 4-Greeks.com, a start-up based out of Chico State which offers apparel, printing, public relations, and other services for Greek Life across the country. Brian is currently starting his own business in Chico, California offering Web Design / Development, Graphic Design, Photography, Social Media, and Marketing services. The Grow California website is designed, built, and managed by Brian and his team.

Strategic Partners

invencor, inc.

invencor, inc. is a San Francisco Bay Area based, multi-disciplinary firm founded in 1997. invencor is the fund manager for several funds; both debt and equity. invencor, through its consulting practice, works with CEO’s mentoring them on building sustainable companies. invencor’s philosophy leverages a hands on approach, with a team oriented roll-up-your sleeves discipline. invencor’s principals represent a balance of both debt and equity investing experience, as well as strategic, operational and marketing experience to assist entrepreneurial teams in starting and building new businesses.
invencor, inc. has provided strategic consulting services to numerous early stage companies. Samples of invencor’s past consulting assignments include: Review and development of focused strategic plan, Assisting the CEO in developing a milestone-based investor focused business plan, Review of and recommendations for financial controls and projections, Review of and recommendations for human resource policies, Organization and verification of cap tables in preparation for the next round of financing, Evaluating and negotiating a venture capital term sheet, Market and competitive analyses. More detail can be found at www.invencor.com

Debra Guerin Beresini

Debra Guerin Beresini - CEO of invencorDebra Guerin Beresini has served as CEO of invencor, inc. since its inception. She is also a co-founder and Managing Director of International Venture Fund (IVF). Ms. Guerin Beresini previously held senior positions at the seed/technology-transfer venture firm of AR&D Corp., at the venture leasing arm of Ford/US Leasing, as a Venture Director at Technology Funding, and as Senior Vice President and Manager of the National Division at Silicon Valley Bank. Under her guidance at Silicon Valley Bank, Ms. Guerin Beresini and her team built the National Division for the bank opening loan production offices throughout the Western United States.
Ms. Guerin Beresini focuses on the healthcare and life science sectors as well as the fund accounting and investor relations. She also speaks at national conferences on venture capital and technology transfer. She presently sits on the Board of AGIS Networks, San Ramon, CA; Hawaii Biotech, Honolulu, Hawaii; HiBEAM, a Hawaii based business accelerator and the Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship, University of Hawaii. Ms. Guerin Beresini is currently the Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Wayne Brown Institute located in Salt Lake City, Utah an educational nonprofit focused on mentoring entrepreneurs. Ms. Guerin Beresini graduated summa cum laude from Dominican University and has completed the Global Biotechnology program at UC Berkeley as well as several specialized courses in life science and biotechnology.

D. Kirk B. Westbrook

Kirk B. Westbrrok - President and CFO of invencorD. Kirk B. Westbrook is the President and Chief Financial Officer of invencor, inc., which is a manager of several funds, both debt and equity, and provides strategic consulting services to emerging, high growth companies. Mr. Westbrook has been involved with debt and equity finance since the mid-1980s. In 1989, he accepted a position with Silicon Valley Bank, a nationally recognized debt and equity provider which specializes in serving early stage, pre-profit technology companies, most of which are venture backed. While at Silicon Valley, Mr. Westbrook worked in all of the lending areas of the Bank, as well as managed an extensive portfolio for several years in the Bank’s workout group. His last position was as Vice President in the Bank’s National Division, then one of the fastest growing divisions within the Bank, where he actively developed client and venture capital relationships in Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin. Mr. Westbrook is a co-founder and raised International Venture Fund I, a seed stage equity fund. He has or previously has held board seats on four of IVF’s portfolio companies and he was instrumental in the sale of AdOn Network, Inc. to Prime Visibility Media Group. Through invencor, he has been an active investor and manager of other debt and related equity funds. In addition to these duties, Mr. Westbrook is a reviewer of Center for Commercialization of Advanced Technology grant submissions and an invited business plan judge or company selection panelist for venture conferences in the states of Arizona, California, Hawaii, Illinois, Texas and Utah. He served for many years as a board member of the non-profit Hawaii Venture Capital Association and is a member of the executive committee of HiBEAM, a Hawaii based business accelerator and the advisory board of the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Hawaii. Mr. Westbrook is a graduate of San Jose State University.

Square 1 Strategy Building

Jeff Blanc

Jeff Blanc - President and Co-Founder of Square1 Strategy Building LLCJeff Blanc is President and co-founder of Square1 Strategy Building, LLC, a marketing consulting firm that focuses on early growth companies. Square1 develops and executes marketing plans to help drive those companies to achieve their business goals. Past and current client industries include, professional services, software, consumer electronics and energy. Prior to joining Square1, Mr.Blanc was VP of Worldwide Sales and Corporate Communications for NeoMagic, Inc (Nasdaq:NMGC) and was responsible for leading a corporate turnaround that added millions in shareholder value. Before joining NeoMagic, Mr. Blanc was Chief Operating Officer at Triton Funding Group managing HR, sales, marketing, finance, and IT. Prior to Triton, Mr. Blanc was VP of Marketing for Planetweb, a software provider for consumer electronics, where he restructured and re-branded the product line and worked closely with the sales team. Mr. Blanc has also held marketing and sales positions with IBM, Time-Warner Inc., Atari, and CaseCentral, Inc. Mr. Blanc holds a B.S. degree in International Relations from Georgetown University.

Chabin

We are more than a consultant, we are a solutions network bringing together best practices of renowned experts in urban and rural economic development, site location analysis, and hands-on experience in implementing and managing results-oriented economic development programs. We recognize the demands and challenges faced by communities and economic development professionals to sustain their competitive advantage, create successful programs, and achieve results. Chabin in committed to supporting the economic development professional by delivering solutions, tactics and tools.

Why Chabin: We use an asset-based approach to creat strategies that focus on the opportunities available to communities that will enhance and improve their economic base. Through our network of creative and energetic economic development and marketing professionals we provide: Excellent research and business intelligence Useful tools and systems you can use to respond to market and customer demand A realistic tactical plan that matches organizational capabilities, leverages resources, and guides implementation.

Chabin’s Strategic Planning Process: Where are you now? What are your opportunities? How will you get there? Who will do what? How will you measure?

Strategic Solutions: Asset-based strategic planning. Corporate Location Assessment conducted from company and site selector perspectives Economic Base Analysis Target Industry identification and timely business intelligence Innovative initiatives based on your community assets.

Innovative Tactics: Create the buzz! Your Marketing Roadmap with tactis designed to communicate your competitive advantages. A compelling business case that proves your community is apart from the competition Branding, Key Messages and Proof Points 30-60-90 Day Launch Plan.

Dynamic Tools: Execute the plan. Step-by-step guide for executing the plan Implement calendar Collateral materials Custom-designed economic development website Software and electronic tools unique to the economic development industry.

Audrey Taylor

Audrey Taylor - President and Founder of Chabin Concepts Inc.Audrey Taylor is president and founder of Chabin Concepts, Inc., specializing in economic development and marketing solutions. The firm’s goal is to creatively position cities, counties and states to win new jobs and investment. Audrey was the recipient of CALED’s prestigious Golden Bear Award for her vision, drive, enthusiasm, creativity, and commitment to the economic development profession. Because of her dedication and passion for the economic development profession, Audrey is a frequent speaker and instructor on the subject of economic development marketing and community readiness. She was appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger to the California Workforce Investment Board, Green Collar Jobs Council and recently appointed as Chair, Health Workforce Council. Audrey continues to dedicate time to the Economic Development Profession through CALED and TeamCalifornia. Chabin’s portfolio of clients – from Anchorage, AK to Gridley, CA – have benefited from Audrey’s unique five step process focused on implementing customized economic development initiatives, coaching community stakeholders and assisting economic development staff with successful tools and implementation practices.

The McClean Group

Neil Paschall

Neil Paschall - Managing Director of The McLean Group's Sacramento OfficeNeil Paschall, Managing Director of The McLean Group’s Sacramento, CA office, has 35 years’ experience, including public accounting with a Big Four firm, serving as a Fortune 500 company’s corporate financial executive responsible for acquisition due diligence and valuation, and serving as a business valuation and investment banking firm’s CEO.
A graduate of the Advanced Negotiation Program at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, Mr. Paschall graduated magna cum laude from San Francisco State University in international business finance. He also is a CPA.
Mr. Paschall has served on the Practice Standards Committee of the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts (NACVA), and was an elected member of NACVA’s Litigation Forensics Board which sets practice standards for litigation consulting practitioners. He is a highly-regarded speaker, author and instructor on acquisition due diligence, corporate valuation and transaction analysis, enhancing business value, and M&A. Mr. Paschall sits on the editorial board of the national magazine, The Value Examiner.

Professional Credentials

  • FINRA Registered Representative (Series 7, 66, 79)
  • CPA (California)
  • Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV) through AICPA
  • Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF) through AICPA
  • Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA) through NACVA
  • Certified Forensic Financial Analyst (CFFA) through NACVA

Professional Memberships

  • The California Society of CPAs
  • American Institute of CPAs (AICPA)
  • National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts (NACVA)

Worldbridge Partners

Dave Sanders

Dave Sanders - Managing Partner WorldBridge PartnersDave Sanders is a founding member and Managing Partner of WorldBridge Partners. He leads the global practice for Clean Technology and is also very active in Venture Capital backed Technology companies.

Beginning his executive search career in 1993, Dave is well established in the West Coast venture capital community and is a national expert working with early and mid stage high growth companies.

With his Corporate Finance background at Intel and his sixteen years of sales and marketing management experience at IBM, he understands what is required to successfully manage an organization in high growth stages as well as attracting top talent in increasingly competitive markets.

Dave earned his MBA in Finance from the University of California at Berkeley and his Bachelors of Science Degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Michigan. He is a founding board member and Chairman of the Board of the Golden Capital Network (www.goldencapital.net), a founding board member of the Sacramento Area Regional Technology Alliance (www.sarta.org), and a member of the Northern California Council of the AeA. He also sits on the board for Altergy Systems (www.altergy.com), Avake (www.avake.com), and Marquiss Wind Power (www.marquisswindpower.com) and is a member of the Sacramento Angels (www.sacangels.org)