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Jeffrey Balash, CEO

Jeff Balash founded Comstock Investors in 1992. He has conducted business on six continents and has been integral to eight startups—agribusiness, B2B services, consumer products, financial services, hardware, manufacturing, software and telecom. Previously, he co-founded Anthem Partners (NYC/LA), a multinational merchant bank, where The Sanwa Bank of Japan, the world’s largest bank at that time, provided $500 million in capital.  Anthem was liquidated in 1993 when Sanwa required this capital to support its core business in the Japanese depression of the early nineties. From 1985 to 1990, Jeff was a Managing Director at Drexel Burnham (LA), where he founded and managed the Transactions Development Group. The TDG originated, financed and executed investments and acquisitions for corporations, financial sponsors and family office clients.

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Earlier, Jeff had been at Lehman Brothers (NYC), which he joined in 1979 and was a managing director in Corporate Finance and M&A. There he initiated the first joint venture between The People’s Republic of China and a Fortune 100 company. Previously, Jeff had been a Director at Avon Products, where he ran Avon’s Export Operations, which sold to foreign distributors. He spearheaded Avon’s development into new markets by founding businesses in Nigeria and the Ivory Coast. Jeff’s first position was Assistant to the CEO of Louis-Dreyfus Corporation, a privately held multinational engaged in grain trading, banking, shipping, manufacturing and real estate development. At Princeton, he assisted Prof. Burton Malkiel in the preparation of A Random Walk Dow Wall Street, now in its eleventh edition.

Harvard Business School / MBA Baker Scholar
Harvard Law School / JD cum laude
Princeton / AB Economics summa cum laude

Rachel Costello

Rachel most recently oversaw project management and business development for Tesla’s Energy Products Team. A proven expert in change management and design thinking, Rachel harnessed her deep knowledge of Tesla’s corporate culture and operations to play a critical role in leading and completing numerous large-scale projects globally, including infrastructure development and construction of Gigafactory 1; opening Tesla’s second largest retail showroom in the world; emerging market entry in global commercial and government sectors for energy and automotive products; and launch of $1.2B government compliance program and $37.5M education and workforce development initiative in Nevada. Prior to joining Tesla, Rachel served 30 years in U.S. Navy as an executive business management and talent professional.

Dr. Marshall Goldsmith

World-renowned business educator and coach, Dr. Marshall Goldsmith is the leading expert in his field. His singular ability to get results for top leaders has drawn over 150 CEOs and their management teams to address change in the workplace. They want what Dr. Goldsmith offers: practical and proven methods. Doctor Goldsmith is the world’s most influential leadership thinker (2015 and 2011), top ten business thinker, top rated executive coach (2015, 2013, and 2011). Forbes Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The Timesof London and the American Management Association have each recognized him as one of the top business thinkers, executive educators and executive coaches in the world.

UCLA / PhD Anderson School of Management
Indiana University / MBA Kelley School of Business
Rose‐Hulman Institute of Technology / BS

David M. Hughes

David Hughes joined The Search Agency in early 2004 as Chief Executive Officer. Prior to The Search Agency, David served as Senior Vice-President, Corporate Development for United Online, Inc. He was responsible for developing and running all user acquisition programs, new products and services to be offered to NetZero/Juno customers, broadband services, developing and implementing search services and large strategic relationships. Prior to United Online, he was a Management Consultant with the Boston Consulting Group and an Associate with Mercer Management Consulting. David is a past President of the Harvard Business School Association Club of Southern California and currently serves on its Board.

University of Western Ontario / BA cum laude
Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration / Dean’s Award for Leadership

Michael Kubin

A 30-year veteran of the media industry, Michael Kubin was originally a member of INVIDI’s Board of Directors and joined the operating side three years later as the Executive VP, Media. He acts as the evangelist for addressable television to agencies and advertisers to get them to adopt addressable television as part of their media plans, and is involved in the company’s global expansion, in particular to Latin America and Europe. Michael has managed a significant string of successful entrepreneurial ventures. At his first media buying company, Corinthian Media Buying, he was integral in the creation and growth of its direct response subsidiary, Corinthian Direct, which grew to over $100 million in billings in just three years.

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After Corinthian, Michael became president of Club Med Inc., the travel company’s U.S. subsidiary. With Club Med as his first client, he co-founded Media Incorporated, which along with its direct response subsidiary, Media Direct Partners, was sold to IPG (The Interpublic Group) in 1996. Michael then went on to co-found Evaliant Media Resources, a web-based advertising tracking firm, which was sold to CMR (Taylor Nelson Sofres) in 2002. He is a member of several corporate boards of directors, and his articles have been published in the New York Observer, The New York Times and The New Yorker.

Cornell / BS Operations Research
Harvard Business School / MBA
Columbia / MA Journalism

Joseph Lillie

Joseph Lillie is currently enrolled in the MBA/JD program at Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School. He anticipates graduating in May 2022. He is also a Naval Reserve Officer stationed at the Naval War College. Until spring 2018, he was the Weapons Officer on the USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) and led an initiative to integrate commercial technology into ship operations. The Zumwalt is the Navy’s most advanced ship and employs stealth technology. Its construction cost was $5+ billion. Before his assignment to the Zumwalt, Joe was a Surface Warfare Officer on USS Laboon (DDG 58). Joe joined the Navy in 2013 after having worked at Grosvenor Capital Management, a Chicago-based investment firm.

University of Notre Dame / BBA Finance
Harvard Business School MBA candidate

Frank Murray

Frank Murray is founder, president and chief executive officer of InterTech Media and Zocle Media. In the 1990s, Murray was the chairman and CEO of Goodman Manufacturing Company who engineered Goodman’s purchase of Amana Corporation from Raytheon and initiated Amana’s successful brand-revitalization campaign. Under Murray, Goodman moved up Forbes’ list of 500 Biggest Private Companies from #405 to 66.Early in his career, Frank Murray was a partner in the Beacon Group, a managing director of Mergers & Acquisitions at Merrill Lynch and a vice president at Dillon Read. At Dillon Read, he was a key member in the defense team for Unocal Corporation which prevented a takeover-attempt by T. Boone Pickens’ Mesa Petroleum in 1985. The case resulted in the Delaware Supreme Court landmark decision Unocal v. Mesa Petroleum.

Harvard Business School / MBA
Ohio Wesleyan University / AB Mathematics & Economics

Scott Tait

Scott served as an officer in the US Navy for 27 years. His last command was Commanding Officer of the USS Zumwalt. He held several positions leading strategy, policy and innovation efforts, working directly for 3 and 4-star commanders in the Indo-Pacific region and Washington, DC. His projects included both disruption and counter-disruption against peer competitors, ranging across elements of strategy, operations, assessment, training, strike, cyber, advanced technology and logistics. His primary focus was the use of war gaming to uncover key opportunities and risks. He also held senior policy positions, with a focus in Indo-Asia, on the Joint Chiefs of Staff (J-5), Pacific Fleet (N00 WAR), and US Seventh Fleet (N00 EA). At the US Naval War College, he was a member of the Halsey Alfa Advanced Research and Wargaming Project.

Stanford University / MA International Policy
US Naval War College / MA National Security and Strategic Studies
Harvard Business School MBA candidate

Robert Thomas

Vice Admiral Robert L. Thomas, Jr., U.S. Navy (ret), is a professor of practice at the School of Global Policy & Strategy at UC San Diego. In his last assignment, Robert commanded the US 7th Fleet. Robert was a career submarine officer and served on fast-attack submarines operating in both US Pacific Command and US Central Command theaters of operation. He served as commander, Submarine Force, US Pacific Fleet Representative West Coast; commander, Submarine Squadron 11 and commander, Task Force 74/54 in Yokosuka, Japan.

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Ashore, Robert served as flag aide to the deputy chief of naval operations (OP-07); program analyst in the Secretary of the Navy’s Office of Program Appraisal; director of Operational Support (CNO N23); assistant deputy director for Politico-Military Affairs, Western Hemisphere, J5, on the Joint Staff; director, Plans and Policy (N5) for Naval Special Warfare Command; director, Strategy and Policy Division (OPNAV N51); vice director of operations, J3, on the Joint Staff; and chief of staff, J5, on the Joint Staff.

University of California / BS Civil Engineering
National War College / MS National Security Studies

Denise Winner

Denise Winner is president and CEO of Winner Squared. With over 15 years of experience developing technologies for the capital markets and entrepreneurial ventures, Ms. Winner founded Winner Squared in 2000 to provide cutting edge financial engineering and analytical solutions. Denise was formerly the director of Fixed-Income Analytics for Transamerica Investment Services, where she led a development team in the implementation and operation of a real-time analytics platform. Her prior experience includes: Quintelligent Corporation, where she was a partner and responsible for research and implementation of a fund of funds; and, Leland O’Brien Rubinstein/Geske Bock, where she was financial product manager. Denise is a Chartered Financial Analyst.

University of Pennsylvania / Wharton’s School BS Economics
Accounting & Decision Sciences

Brown University / MS Computer Science
Artificial Intelligence & Office Automation

ADVISORY BOARD

Lauro Gonzalez

Until his retirement in 2018, Lauro led a team of transformation specialists in Amgen, a NASDAQ top 10 company. In this role, he created and led the Business Performance, Acquisition Integration and Enterprise Risk Management functions for the company. Previous to Amgen, he developed and managed multinational joint ventures in the Americas. He was CEO of companies owned by Vodafone, Citi Group and Loral Space and Communications. Lauro was Satmex CEO, where he guided the company through its privatization, substantial corporate transformation and international growth. Satmex is the largest Latin‐American satellite operator with commercial operations in 38 countries.

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Lauro also has extensive experience in corporate restructuring and refinancing. Lauro has also developed multiple start‐up companies in high tech fields throughout the Americas. The companies Lauro led as CEO ranged from very small start‐ups later sold to strategic investors/operators, such as Telefonica (for an ROI of over 400% in 3 years) to Satmex. Previously, Lauro was one of the first pioneering consultants who started‐up McKinsey’s operation in Brazil in the early 90’s.

Harvard Business School / Executive Education for CEO’s
Duke University / MBA Fuqua School of Business
Texas A&M University / BS Industrial Engineering

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