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SSVF Board

DAN LAZAREK

Dan Lazarek is a successful entrepreneur, investor, and advisor in approximately twenty exciting early to mid-stage Companies including Cleriovision, C2Sense, EkoStinger, Forsake, JUST Goods, Nanoramic Labs, Recruiter.com, Satelles Inc., Ubiquitous Energy, Wheels UP and a dozen others.  Dan strives to partner with great people and fresh ideas that apply and translate disruptive technology and new concepts into products and services customers need and want and fuel economic/business models with recurring revenue and then build scalable enterprises.

 

Dan is a visionary and philanthropist who founded The Simon Venture Fund in conjunction with the Simon School and provided a million-dollar founder seed stake to The Fund.

 

Dan also founded The Lazarek Family Foundation and has donated and committed millions of dollars to support and give back to causes that he has a passion for including fighting cancer and the educational institutions that taught him the skills he needed to achieve success: Niskayuna High School, Union College, and the Simon Business School - University of Rochester.

 

Dan was previously co-owner, day to day operator and Board Member of Access Holdco Management which was an enterprise scaled upon a technology-driven distribution platform servicing private passenger auto insurance customers. Access rose to #13 and #10 on The Inc 500 Fastest-Growing Privately Held Companies in America Rankings and was recognized six times by Inc. Magazine on the Inc 500/5000 Lists. In December 2015, Altamont Capital Partners (ACP), a $2 billion-plus private equity firm based in Palo Alto California purchased the Company via a majority equity investment into Access Holdco Management, LLC (Access). At the time of the acquisition, access was privately-held with 350+ employees and operated in 14 states.

 

Dan and his family reside in Palm Beach Florida and New York City. Dan holds an MBA from the Simon Business School, the University of Rochester with concentrations in Finance and Marketing and a Bachelor of Science, Electrical Engineering from Union College.

GREGG STEINBERG

Gregg Steinberg is Growcentia’s CEO. He has been involved in startups to mature companies and from private to public entities.  He has expertise in launching and scaling early-stage companies, executing on valuation creation strategies and in raising seed/venture capital. He has been an investor and advisor in numerous companies including retail and commercial CPG product rollouts. He was President of a company that was listed twice in the top 10 of the INC500 and cumulative revenues under his presidency of that organization exceeded $2 billion.

Gregg Steinberg is an active member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO/WPO) and has and does sit on numerous charitable boards, including the American Committee for the Weizmann Institute for Science, The Simon School (Univ. of Rochester) Executive Advisory Board and the Global Institute of Leadership, Tufts University.

He is an EIR at the University of Rochester and Co-Managing Director of the Simon School Venture Fund. He received his MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management and BSBA from the Univ. of Arizona.

RON GOETTLER

Ron Goettler is a James N. Doyle, Sr. Professor of Entrepreneurship and Professor of Economics, Marketing, and Entrepreneurship at the Simon Business School, University of Rochester.

 

In addition to teaching in the MBA program and in the Technical Entrepreneurship and Management (TEAM) MS program, Professor Goettler serves as Senior Associate Dean of Faculty and Research.  He is also a faculty representative on the board of the Simon School Venture Fund (SSVF) helping student teams assess investment prospects and manage portfolio firms.  His research spans quantitative marketing, industrial organization, and finance, with an emphasis on structural econometric methods to understand the consumer and firm behavior.  He is particularly interested in high-tech industries, focusing on the relationship between competition and innovation, and on the marketing of new products. Before joining the Simon School faculty in 2012, Ron was an Assistant Professor of Marketing at the University of Chicago.

 

Ron holds a BA in Economics from Miami University and a Ph.D. in Economics from Yale University.

PHIL FRAHER

Phil Fraher has over 25 years of senior leadership experience within technology companies. Phil is currently President & CFO of Utah based Bask Technology. Prior to Bask, Phil mentored 2 start-ups in Houston in the healthcare IT and supply chain industries. Phil recently served as CEO, COO and CFO for Houston based FuelQuest,  which he guided to a series of successful exits. Previously, he served as President and CEO of Visual Numerics, Inc.; performed as COO and CFO of Brightmail, Inc.; and held other financial management positions at Cahners Business Information Electronic Media Division, Pilot Software, and Dun & Bradstreet.

 

Phil has been a key advisor to several of Houston's emerging, fast-growth organizations and he previously served as an Executive in Residence at the Houston Technology Center. Phil has extensive venture capital, M&A, and international business expansion experience.

 

Phil holds an MBA from the Simon School of Business at the University of Rochester and a BS in computing engineering at Auburn University. Phil is very active serving on boards at Auburn, the Simon School of Business and St. Agnes Academy.

BRAD BANIKOWSKI

Brad brings a wide scope of experience to the Simon School Venture Fund. He is a June 2016 graduate of the University of Rochester’ Simon Business School MBA program, having concentrated in Finance and Entrepreneurship. Brad worked as an Analyst for the Simon School Venture Fund in his first year of the MBA program and was Co-President of the Fund in his second year. Following graduation, Brad joined the Simon Fund’s Board, and now supervises and supports the Fund’s current student management team and acts as a Teaching Assistant for a new practicum course, which he helped design, offered to Simon students working on the Fund.

In addition to his roles with the Simon Fund and students, Brad currently works as a Venture Consultant – spending most of his time working with Rochester-based seed-stage VC Excell Partners and the Rochester Angel Network. After completing his MBA, Brad interned with Constellation Brands’ (NYSE: STZ) corporate VC group and worked on consulting projects for RAN, The Democracy Collaborative, and several local startups. His prior experience includes strategy and business development at The Tech Garden (accelerator/incubator) in Syracuse, NY - where he supported startup residents on a regular basis, research and data analysis for CenterState CEO (regional economic development agency), and various positions focused on the public sector in NY and California, including as a Legislative Fellow at the NYS Senate.

In addition to his MBA, Brad also holds an MPA degree from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University, where he also received his BA in Philosophy.

DAVID OLIVEIRI

Professor Oliveiri has held several executive positions over a 30-year career in publishing and law. He most recently served as group vice president of legal education for West Group (an operating arm of Thomson-Reuters) and president of Foundation Press. He has held positions as senior vice president and publisher, vice president of business development, vice president of product systems, and general mana­ger/chief operating officer for various Thomson subsidiaries and operating groups. Oliveiri began his career at Lawyers Cooperative Publishing in Rochester, N.Y., where he was a managing editor, and later, an editorial director. He has also served as general counsel at Theatre Confections Inc. and was assistant counsel at Central Trust Bank.

He is a member of the New York State and Monroe County Bar Associations, Beta Gamma Sigma, the Scribes Society of Legal Writers, and the Academy of Legal Studies in Business. He is licensed to practice law before the courts of New York State and the Federal Court of the Western District of New York. Oliveiri is the author of the revised edition of Nimmer’s Commercial Asset-Based Financing (Thomson/West), a leading legal treatise.

JOE ABRAMS

Joe is a Special Advisor to the fund and actively mentors student deal teams in technology deals. He has spent most of his career in consumer technology, co-founding a software firm and an online marketing company. British media company Pearson bought the software firm for $460 million in the mid-‘90s. In 2005, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. paid $580 million for the marketing company and its prized property, the popular social media site MySpace. Abrams moved into the renewable energy industry in 2001 through an investment in Akeena Solar, a firm that developed a snap-in technology that plugs the solar panels together, reducing installation time and giving the company a strong competitive edge.

 

Joe holds an MBA from the Simon School of Business.