Cayenne Consulting’s business plan experts are second to none. We are experienced entrepreneurs and understand what you are going through. We have deep and broad experience in creating and executing upon business models of all kinds. We have a keen sense of what works in the marketplace and what doesn’t. Many of us have MBAs or PhDs from schools like Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley, Wharton, Cornell, Columbia, and Chicago. We also have experts in market research, business model design, business valuations, SBA certifications, financial modeling, and other fields.
Akira Hirai - Founder & CEO
Orange County, CA
With over 20 years of experience in entrepreneurship, management, business planning, financial analysis, software engineering, operations, and decision analysis, Akira has the breadth and depth of experience needed to quickly understand entrepreneurs' businesses and craft the most suitable solutions.
Before founding Cayenne Consulting in early 2001, Akira started two Internet companies in Silicon Valley. Previously, Akira held various management positions in New York at Salomon Brothers, most recently as Vice President in Fixed Income Derivatives Trading, focusing on new business development and risk management. He has also worked as a senior financial risk management consultant to the financial services industry; software engineer; advertising sales manager for the popular Let's Go travel guide series; general manager of an advertising and graphic design agency; and engineering intern at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center.
Akira was a regular guest speaker on the topics of business planning, financial forecasting, and capital formation at the Phoenix chapter of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation's FastTrac entrepreneur training program and at various programs affiliated with Arizona State University (ASU). He mentored companies preparing to present before the Arizona Angels and the Arizona Venture Capital Conference (AVCC). Akira has also served on the Board of Directors for ITASA (Information Technology Association of Southern Arizona). He was named Entrepreneur of the Week in October 2000 by vCapital.com.
Akira earned his BA in Engineering Sciences from Harvard University.
Please note that as Cayenne's CEO, Akira is no longer able to personally take on any new clients.
Roger Anderson, Ph.D. - Principal Consultant
Orange County, CA
Roger brings over 20 years of experience in research, sales, marketing, product development, programming, and management to his consultant role. His training as a scientist increased his analytical skills and ability to break a problem down to the fundamental elements for analysis and presentation. His industry expertise includes Internet/e-commerce, database development, logistics, supply chain, immunology, medical device, In Vitro Diagnostics, pharmaceuticals, and detection systems. He has been an executive in and fund-raiser for several startup companies. Roger has worked with over 50 established and startup businesses to develop business and revenue models, prepare business plans and investment memorandums, conduct valuations, discover new products, create strategic alliances, carry out due diligence, and raise private equity financing.
Roger has conducted negotiations and business deals across the US as well as in Europe, Japan, and China. He has dealt with the largest pharmaceutical companies, high valued pre-IPO technology companies, and the smallest of startups. His pioneering work to create the first online purchasing system for lab supplies created connections he continues to use to discover new products and business opportunities. He has received standing ovations and awards for his presentations on entrepreneurship and is the author of "Maps for Modern Magellans: Charts for Captains of Commerce," the first in a series aimed at technical entrepreneurs from the sciences and engineering.
Roger earned his BA in Biochemistry and Cell Biology from UC San Diego and his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the California Institute of Technology. He is fluent in SQL and Italian.
View Roger's client testimonials.
John Beeby - Principal Consultant
John has over 30 years developing and executing strategies for new and growing businesses. With an engineering degree and early experience in manufacturing operations, he has a sound grounding in the production side of business. Later assignments in strategic marketing with Clorox and DHL supplied insights into how businesses need to focus on customer needs. General management positions with Clorox and Sealy demanded attention across all aspects of business. Since early in his career, John has focused on developing and executing business strategies that create sustainable, profitable growth. He had key roles in building the Kingsford Charcoal business for Clorox, the US air express business for DHL and the international mattress business for Sealy. He established and ran Clorox’s Canadian Business.
John’s senior management positions included President of Clorox Canada, Vice President of Marketing and Sales for DHL Worldwide Express, Vice President Marketing for Emery Worldwide and Vice President Marketing for American Network.
He has worked with companies in such diverse fields as laundry products, air express, telecommunications, oral health, agricultural nutrients, pediatric urgent care, aircraft maintenance, drinking water treatment, rare earth minerals, air freight, voice messaging, mattresses, pet products, digital music, furniture, detergents, plastic bottles, nutraceuticals, oven cleaners and pool chemicals, among others.
John has a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering degree from Cornell University.
Devin Berger, MBA - Principal Consultant
Devin has over 18 years of experience in marketing and management of startups, emerging growth companies, and mature firms spanning high tech, biotech, Internet, social networking, footwear, apparel, media & entertainment, consumer products and services, and telecommunications.
Earlier, she was the President of Apollo Eye Gear (performance sunglasses endorsed by Ken Griffey Jr.), CEO of Le Coq Sportif in Paris, France (athletic footwear and apparel), and President of a startup apparel company. She was also the VP of Marketing and Sales for a telecommunications company that provided wireless phone services for low-income families in Tanzania, Africa. Previously, she was the Director of International Marketing for Converse, where she managed the $200 million basketball category and doubled the sales and profits of the worldwide business. Earlier, Devin was the Director of Marketing and Communications for a billion-dollar commercial real estate development project and a Senior Tax Policy Consultant for Price Waterhouse.
Devin earned her MBA from Harvard University and her BA in Economics from George Washington University.
Brian Bohr, MBA - Principal Consultant
Los Angeles, CA
Brian possesses over twenty years of experience in investment banking, corporate development, corporate finance, merger and acquisition advisory, financial planning and analysis, and venture investing. Brian has evaluated and written numerous business plans and financial models for both clients and internal stakeholders, with a particular emphasis on media companies. He is passionate about working with business owners and entrepreneurs to assist them in achieving their goals, growing their business and pursuing liquidity events.
Brian also consults with Genoa Partners, LLC a boutique investment bank, specializing in sell-side advisory and capital raising for small and mid-sized companies. Brian was previously a Managing Director with the investment bank of William & Henry Associates and a Vice President of Transpac Media, a boutique financial advisory firm with an international client base of middle-market media and entertainment companies. During his career in investment banking, Mr. Bohr has advised clients in numerous industries including consumer products, business services, technology, media and manufacturing on mergers and acquisitions, capital raising and optimal capital structuring.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Bohr worked in News Corporation’s corporate finance and development group where he participated in numerous corporate financings, acquisitions, and divestitures including the initial public offering of the Fox Entertainment Group, the acquisition of DIRECTV and the sale of TV Guide. Mr. Bohr also worked for News Digital Ventures, a News Corporation subsidiary that made strategic venture investments in new media companies.
Brian began his career with Public Financial Management, the country's leading consulting firm to municipal debt issuers, where he structured over $3 billion of new bond issues and refinancing for clients such as the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, the Piedmont Municipal Power Agency and the Turlock Irrigation District.
Brian holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. from the UCLA Anderson School of Management. Brian is a passionate supporter of Philadelphia sports teams and the study of fine wines and has passed the Introductory Sommelier Course administered by the Guild of Master Sommeliers.
View Brian's client testimonials.
DeForrest Borders III - Principal Consultant
New York, NY
DeForrest has over 20 years’ experience building businesses and driving strategic innovation in Consumer Product, Financial Services, Healthcare, Higher Education, Media, and Software industries. His focus is on strategic innovation, business and operating model improvement, investor management and governance, strategic partnerships to drive scale, ERP, and financial forecasts/modeling.
Growing businesses and improving operational efficiency have been hallmarks throughout DeForrest’s career. First, during 12 years at JPMorgan Chase, he founded Global Markets VentureLab, a strategic incubator of disruptive ideas for a $3 billion revenue division of the firm. After VentureLab, DeForrest led the commercialization efforts of LabMorgan, the firm-wide new venture incubation and technology accelerator.
Since then, DeForrest has been a C-level executive at start-ups and turn-around situations. He understands the challenges of creating competitive advantage and driving new streams of value within a broader environment of rapidly changing technologies and greater customer sophistication. DeForrest believes that advice and services for clients should not be “off-the-shelf” because value creation is unique to each company – based upon its culture, ecosystem of constituents, and capacity.
DeForrest has also provided his strategic thinking to the non-profit sector. He was a four-year board member of Teach for America New York, an organization widely recognized for its innovation in creating a national teaching corps of recent college graduates. In addition, DeForrest currently serves as Board Chair for Harvard Alumni Entreprenuers New York.
DeForrest earned his A.B. in Government at Harvard University.
Ryan Chester - Principal Consultant
Ryan joined Cayenne Consulting in 2005. He has over 17 years of strategic, financial, and growth management experience in a wide variety of industries and has crafted numerous financial models and plans for key stakeholders and clients.
His career began in the emerging broadband technology market. As part of the Synaptix Impulse telecommunications consulting team, he spent several years developing and launching new channels into tariffed and non-tariffed markets for various digital subscriber line (DSL) divisions of U.S. West Communications.
As an independent consultant, he has lead business and strategic planning initiatives for companies in a diverse array of industries. Most recently, he worked with a team engaged in a recycling turnaround operation.
Ryan's hands-on approach quickly and efficiently builds trust and fosters collaboration. He believes the consulting process should be a focused and engaging experience regardless of the client's size, objective, or timeline.
Ryan's experience spans a diverse range of industries. Clients have included green tech (recycling, municipal waste, mining); media and entertainment (publishing, digital advertising, content development); technology (software, Internet, eCommerce platforms); athletics (equipment, facilities, production, management); transportation (freight brokerage, delivery services); franchises (fast food, salons, convenience stores); trade schools (medical, business, music engineering); food services (restaurants, fast food, cafés, lounges); and hair and nail (salons, beauty products, medical spas).
View Ryan's client testimonials.
Nancy Clauss - Principal Consultant
Orange County, CA
With more than 25 years of management, marketing, sales, and operational experience, Nancy Clauss has developed a sharp eye for how businesses can become bloated with inefficiencies, lack of direction, and miscommunication – and how they can be retooled to a sleeker, smoother, more strategically focused organization. As an entrepreneur who quickly built her own successful consulting business, Nancy also empathetically helps other business owners develop winning business models, create business and marketing plans, and attract the funding they need for growth.
Before joining Cayenne Consulting, Nancy had extensive experience working with dozens of entrepreneurs and as a serial business owner. She has consulted with and written business plans for distributor organizations, construction, service businesses, and retail, as well as manufacturers. Nancy loves startups and entrepreneurial ventures, helping owners generate revenue, profitability, and sustain job and employee satisfaction. She has seen and experienced firsthand what works and what doesn’t. This unique perspective has given her the insight needed to assist owners and their teams to create business and financial models that drive growth and revenue.
In today’s marketplace, a company’s growth depends on working smarter, faster, and more competitively. This happens consistently when the four main pillars of business success are working together: Leadership based on a solid business plan, robust financial modeling, operations and systems for a smooth infrastructure, and sales and marketing generating and converting quality leads. Nancy believes it’s all about the proper application of tools, the effective use of resources, and nurturing the critical human element.
Nancy also leads Cayenne's SBA Certification consulting practice.
Nancy earned a BS in Liberal Studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara and holds a California Real Estate license.
Tom Dykstra, MBA, CFPIM - Principal Consultant
Tom has over thirty years of experience in business planning, finance, strategy development, software design, engineering management, sales, marketing, channel creation, consulting, business modeling, decision analysis, capital acquisition, and new venture creation.
He is the co-founder of two ERP software companies: Effective Management Systems (ERP for discrete manufacturers) and EMS Solutions (ERP for automatic merchandising companies). Effective Management Systems appeared on the Inc 500 twice (28 and 37), acquired venture funding, and was taken public.
Before founding Effective Management Systems, he was with the Data Systems Division of AO Smith Corporation, a Fortune 500 diversified manufacturer. He was responsible for all financial and HR systems used by the corporation and the service bureau customers. He also founded the firm's small business computer line of business and the IT consulting practice.
He currently serves on the board of directors of Synergex International, a software firm.
As an adjunct faculty member at Grand Canyon University and Arizona State University, he has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in strategy, supply chain / operations management, project management, information systems, statistics, business modeling, and decision analysis.
Tom has an MBA from the University of Chicago and a BA in Mathematics from Hope College. He is also a Certified Fellow of the American Production and Inventory Control Society.
Paul Fiorello - Principal Consultant
San Francisco, CA
Paul is a serial entrepreneur with 30 years experience in new venture creation. He was Founder or Co-Founder of three companies that successfully raised a cumulative $33 million in venture financing. He knows what it takes, from the entrepreneur’s perspective, to get from the idea stage to a funded and operating endeavor. His proven ability to form and execute business ideas makes him uniquely qualified to advise others in start-up strategy and approach.
Paul was Co-Founder and served as EVP of Hotelevision (The Hotel Networks). There, as part of a two-person team, he raised $32 million in venture and private equity financing for a national free-to-guest advertising media network. Hotelevision marketed and sold advertising time to advertisers of premium products and services across its ten ad-supported cable networks. Using its private satellite distribution system, Hotelevision integrated commercials targeted at hotel guests in over 300,000 four- and five-star hotel rooms across the country. The company was sold to Liberty Media Corporation.
Paul Co-Founded and served as President of Pinpoint Golf Advertising. This innovative place-based advertising business built a national network of golf facilities that offered premium advertisers access to the highly desirable golfer demographic. Over $350K of angel investment was raised to successfully launch the business.
Currently, Paul is Founder and President of Paul Fiorello, LLC where he has raised nearly $1 million in private and SBA financing for the purchase of electronickits.com. This on-line e-commerce business retails electronic and robotic products to the educational and hobby markets. He manages all aspects of the business and has generated over $10 million in online product sales.
Paul’s past consulting projects include a cell phone spectrum licensing strategy, a document image processing software start-up, the technical roll-out of an image-enabled healthcare claims processing system, a business-case assessment for Galaxy Latin America (DirecTV), and an advertising sales strategy for an online classifieds business.
Paul earned a B.S. in Management from Babson College where he majored in Entrepreneurial Studies & Finance with a minor in Communications.
Aaron Gillum, MBA - Principal Consultant
Aaron brings over 12 years of experience in management and turnaround consulting, venture capital, entrepreneurship, and financial advisory. He has worked extensively with companies at all stages from startups to middle-market to the Fortune 500. In 2012, Aaron was named one of the “Top 40 under 40” by M&A Advisor. He was also honored with the Turnaround Management Association's “Turnaround of the Year - Small Company” award for Analytics, Inc. in 2011.
Aaron has evaluated and written numerous business plans and financial models for both clients and internal stakeholders, with a particular emphasis on technology-enabled startups. As an entrepreneur and tech enthusiast, he is very involved in the local tech startup community. Aaron enjoys advising startups and entrepreneurial ventures, helping owners generate revenue, obtain new customers, and grow their teams. Aaron has firsthand experience after working with several startup companies in the past and can provide lessons learned on what strategies work best. This unique perspective has given him a solid foundation to help businesses and entrepreneurs create business and financial models that drive growth and revenue.
During Aaron’s consulting career, he earned substantial industry experience in manufacturing, business services, telecommunications, retail, government, healthcare, and automotive. He assisted companies with turnarounds, organizational change, financial management, private equity investment, sales, and marketing strategy.
Aaron earned his BA in Economics and Political Science from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and his MBA from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago. He is semi-conversant in Spanish.
View Aaron's client testimonials.
Jenifer Grant, MBA - Principal Consultant
New York, NY
Jenifer has been involved in finance, strategy, and marketing in a wide variety of roles and industries for over 15 years. In addition to third-party clients, she developed plans and implemented strategies for internal new businesses within IT and investment banking during the corporate phase of her career. Jenifer's clients range from startup through high middle market companies in fields including IT, software, green tech/renewable energy, telecom services, wireless, financial services, Internet/e-commerce, media/entertainment, healthcare products and wellness, consumer and industrial products, retail, mining, commodities, energy, and tourism.
Prior to working as an independent consultant, Jenifer structured and managed transactions in global merchant banking and derivatives, and held strategic planning and management positions within investment banking and IT functions at Bankers Trust Company. Earlier, she worked in credit corporate finance at Manufacturers Hanover and portfolio strategy, equity and fixed income research at Kidder Peabody.
Jenifer has an MBA in Finance from Wharton and a BA in Economics from Columbia.
View Jen's client testimonials.
Richard Hasenpflug, MBA - Principal Consultant
Richard has been bringing Fortune 100 expertise to startups and small to mid-sized businesses since 1985. He is both a consultant and serial entrepreneur and has participated in several startup teams either as CEO or CFO. After an extensive career in Silicon Valley, he relocated to Arizona in 2008.
Richard has worked with clients spanning a variety of industries, both domestically and overseas, including healthcare, high-tech market research, international trade, multinational operations & marketing, offshoring, publishing, semiconductor equipment, supply-chain management, and telecommunications.
Richard's focus internationally has been on building strong multi-national teams and bringing the lessons learned in Silicon Valley to other industries and countries. He was active in Russia during the 1990s, working with privatized state-owned companies and supporting local startups and multinational joint ventures. He also led the creation of a worldwide trading network focused primarily in Europe.
Prior to 1985, Richard held a variety of management, development, finance and marketing positions in international and high-tech companies. Based in Singapore, he was Director of Finance and Corporate Credit for Monsanto Corporation's Asian operations for several years, establishing corporate risk levels throughout the region and actively working with and supporting customers. Richard has served as an officer and/or director of several industry associations and non-profit organizations. He was named Los Altan of the Year in 2002 for his many years of work in support of local education, worldwide AIDS education, and international understanding.
Richard earned an MBA in International Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management, a BA in History from The Ohio State University, and graduated from the Marketing Management Executive Program at Columbia University's Graduate School of Business.
Shyam Jha, MBA - Principal Consultant
Shyam’s consulting practice focuses on iOS and Android mobile apps, e-commerce, Internet hardware and software, SaaS, consumer electronics, medical devices, and other high tech ventures. He is certified as a Business Model Design Coach by Alex Osterwalder’s Strategyzer Institute. He leverages three decades of international corporate, entrepreneurial, and executive education experience to help entrepreneurs and enterprise clients develop compelling business models and plans.
Shyam gained international business experience at Fortune 100 companies such as Schlumberger, Hewlett-Packard, and Nortel. Starting as Field Sales Engineer at Schlumberger, he rose progressively in marketing and business development area to become Vice President of business development and strategic planning at Nortel's $5 billion Carrier Packet Solutions Business Unit. Later, he was the first Vice President of Marketing at Corvis, an optical networking startup funded by Kleiner-Perkins, New Enterprise Associates, and Cisco, where he played a key role in its $1.1 billion IPO.
Shyam gained his first experience in "intrapreneurship" at HP, where he led the development of a ruggedized version of HP Vectra PCs for use in offshore drilling platforms. He led the product management team at HP to develop the world's first Palmtop PC - the HP 95 LX - that combined Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet with personal organizer functions. Later, as director of product management at Bay Networks (acquired by Nortel), he led the development of industry's first high-capacity edge routers sold to ISPs such as AOL and EarthLink.
Shyam has worked as a Venture Partner at Mercator Capital, an early stage fund based in Virginia. He is also a limited partner in a technology-focused venture fund in Silicon Valley. He has mentored many entrepreneurs as an angel investor and board member over the past decade.
Shyam has taught executive MBA courses on innovation and corporate strategy, as well as undergraduate courses in operations and engineering management at the University of Arizona's Eller College of Management and College of Engineering. He has won three "Professor of the Year" awards for teaching excellence. He was an Entrepreneurship Scholar at the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Arizona, where he mentored student entrepreneurs.
Shyam is a frequent speaker on innovation and strategy. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post and has made television appearances in France. He has written an online text on operations management for McGraw-Hill Connect Series and has published an Amazon Kindle book on Strategic Planning.
Shyam is passionate about aviation. He is a commercial pilot, aircraft owner, and a flight instructor (airplane, instrument).
Shyam earned his MBA from Oregon State University and holds a Bachelor of Technology degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi.
David Kaplan, JD - Principal Consultant
David has written investment grade business plans, consulted in strategic planning and facilitated crucial strategy decisions for operating companies since 1994. He has advised scores of scientists, doctors, researchers, inventors and business innovators in turning nascent ideas into concrete, executable business plans. Client engagements have included medical devices, biotechnology and early-stage drug development, elder care, and healthcare and consumer products and services, software, Internet, high tech, fish farming, automotive products and services, publishing and others.
Earlier, David founded several successful startups. At DSK Cars in Marblehead Mass, his team manufactured custom sports/racing cars of David's design by hand from raw materials. He later founded PoleStar LLC, a consultancy to entrepreneurs; Your Auto Expert, an alternative Internet-based car retailer and; Purgatory Cove Press, that published fishing guidebooks that he wrote about Middlesex County Massachusetts. David served seven years as an affiliate of Boston University's Healthcare Entrepreneurship Program and taught Entrepreneurial Management at BU's School of Management.
Earlier, David consulted to the worldwide auto industry at Temple, Barker & Sloan; served as General Counsel and Director of Marketing at Callaway Engineering; and litigated on behalf of Native Americans in state and federal courts.
David earned a Phi Beta Kappa and BA Magna cum Laude at Amherst College and a JD with honors from Harvard Law School.
Charlie Kickham, MBA - Principal Consultant
New York, NY
Charlie brings 17 years of experience in finance, strategic partnership development, organizational restructuring, real estate development, and business development to Cayenne Consulting. Charlie's experience extends from Wall Street to startups, delivering large-company fiscal and operational discipline to emerging companies whose structures are most fragile in their early years. Operating both in the trenches as an entrepreneur and on the outside as an investor/advisor, Charlie understands the needs and demands of both. Such experience lends well to startups, not only in their quest for capital but also in their need for sound judgment in getting their business off the ground. This includes organizational management, operational strategies, process and technology roadmaps, revenue and cash flow projections, financial models and forecasts, legal and capital structures, advisory board and ramp-up strategies, technology development, and team building.
Charlie's core financial strength blends operational efficiency with a mandate to always improve existing structures and best practices. Such strengths were evident at TD Waterhouse where Charlie helped develop the firm's global treasury operations and then rose to provide leadership for one of its most profitable and critical business units, directing strategic/operational planning, financial forecasting, budgeting, securities lending, firm funding, cash management, and risk management initiatives, with ultimate responsibility over the firm's cash maximization. Charlie employs such tactics in the startup environment where the early years of launching are some of the most critical.
Charlie has been, and continues to be, a founding member of multiple Internet startups in all fields, and operates as managing partner at Avos Holdings focusing on opportunistic investments in real estate and corporate finance.
His business planning experience spans Internet & mobile, social media, SaaS, sports, restaurants, bars, hospitality, retail, real estate & construction, gyms, spas, manufacturing, education, financial services, media & entertainment, apparel & accessories, consumer products, and much more.
Charlie holds MBA degrees from both New York University's Stern School of Business and the London School of Economics. He is a mentor both at NYU's Berkley School of Entrepreneurial Studies and with entrepreneurial programs involving inner-city New York City high school students.
View Charlie's client testimonials.
Jan Knight, MA - Market Research Specialist
Jan delivers both marketing and advertising experience to her role as our market research specialist. Her focus is on providing customized business intelligence and secondary market research and her work helps to shape business plans, marketing strategies, and new business development for a diverse set of clients. She has research experience in fields such as medical devices, software, IT, healthcare, cleantech, publishing, beverages, and many others. Jan has access to professional subscriber-only databases that provide authoritative data, nationally and internationally, and help her to go far beyond what the Internet alone can offer.
Previously, Jan has spent over 15 years working as a client liaison for two successful Advertising/Marketing Agencies and as a Purchasing/Manufacturing Manager for an international educational publisher. She regularly speaks to business groups on the topic of advanced online search strategies and market research related topics. Most recently Jan has begun working with a number of startup companies researching both government grant funding as well as research for the companies' SBIR/STTR proposals.
She is also a reviewer of information and research products for Freepint Online Magazine and regularly reviews global databases and services.
Currently Jan is an active member of the Association of Independent Information Professionals and has been active in both committees and conferences since 2001. She has previously served as a Board Member for a local Chapter of National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), on committees for the American Marketing Association and is currently involved as a partner or mentor at a number of Arizona-based business incubators.
Jan earned her M.A. in Information Resources & Library Science from the University of Arizona, and her B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley.
Jimmy Lewin - Principal Consultant
Phoenix, AZ | Deer Valley, UT
Jimmy's background includes over 40 years in international, commercial, and investment banking, and nearly a decade as the principal shareholder and CEO of a rapidly growing manufacturing and distribution business in California. Today, Jimmy spends his time advising and consulting with entrepreneurs on matters related to business planning, as well as capital markets and funding strategies. In addition, he serves in an advisory role to the National Science Foundation where he provides recommendations on the funding of SBIR/STTR grant proposals.
He has worked with clients in real estate, construction, restaurants, bars, lounges, retail, spas, salons, financial services, franchises, consumer products, hospitality, entertainment, education, recreation, manufacturing, healthcare, B2B services, software, import/export, transportation, and logistics. In addition, Jimmy has worked with clients worldwide as the leader of Cayenne's Immigration & Investor Visa business planning practice.
Jimmy serves on a number of Advisory Boards for emerging companies that have recently raised capital or are about to raise capital. In all of his work, he expresses a strong belief in the importance of customer acquisition, customer retention, and understanding the financial consequences of each and every business activity.
During his 20 years at Security Pacific Bank, Jimmy served in a number of senior management positions in the U.S. and internationally. Applicable assignments included responsibility for the funding of all of the institution's subsidiaries and affiliates domiciled outside of the U.S., general management of two overseas affiliates and general management of the bank's California staff departments.
For two years, he served as President, Director, and CEO of Guardian Bancorporation, Los Angeles, California. Jimmy has extensive senior management and Board of Director experience. He is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati where he earned a B.A. in Political Science.
Randy Lewis, CFA, CVA - Principal Consultant
Los Angeles, CA
Randy has been a private consultant for over 15 years – with deep experience in valuation and appraisal, business plan development, and capital market consulting, as well as strategic planning, CFO services, and corporate finance. As a generalist, Randy has extensive experience working with Internet and tech companies, including SaaS and mobile app businesses, and professional service companies including health care practices, physicians, and attorneys. He has also worked with magazine publishers, light manufacturing, beverage distributors, medical device distributors, retail, and restaurants. Valuation and business plan clients have ranged in size from startups to public companies with sales in excess of $100 million. Randy has been a Certified Valuation Analyst since 2010 and a Chartered Financial Analyst since 1999. He has prepared valuations for estate planning, tax matters, mergers, and business and marital dissolutions.
He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Finance with honors from California State University, Fullerton, an MBA from the Anderson School of Management at UCLA, and earned the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 1999 and the Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA) designation in 2010. Randy has had several articles published, most recently, “DLOM for Fractional Interests in Real Estate Partnerships: A Common Sense Approach”, published in the May/June 2014 issue of The Value Examiner. He has also served as interim and acting CFO of several companies, both public and private.
Joan Morgen, MBA - Principal Consultant
Joan is committed to the belief that challenges can be turned into opportunities when companies recognize they should seek expert advice before they are at that pivotal juncture facing critical decisions. Be proactive, not reactive.
Before moving to Arizona, Joan spent over two decades working on Wall Street. Her career includes forming and leading marketing and strategic/business planning departments for Merrill Lynch Futures. Subsequently, she worked for boutique firms as a portfolio manager and then as an SVP, investment banker for Jesup & Lamont. She focuses on diverse industries and sectors within, including technology, life sciences/medical devices, consumer electronics, communications, professional services and special situations. As an investment banker, she successfully raised capital for multiple companies, preparing business plans and pitch decks, coaching CEOs and CFOs on how best to position themselves and present a compelling story and investment thesis to potential funding sources.
Joan has a hands-on, strategic and creative management style that produces collaboration between disciplines and functions, yielding better outcomes, to advance corporate growth and goals of startups/emerging businesses, small and mid-sized companies. She has been advising C-level management in the identification and pursuit of business building opportunities through a sound, disciplined business planning process and comprehensive strategic approach, resource optimization, and fostering team consensus and buy-in for effective implementation and execution. She also advises business owners on exit planning and positioning their companies for future sale. Joan's reputation for being client-centric can be seen in her long-term client relationships.
Since moving to the Valley, Joan, having been an entrepreneur herself, has been committed to advancing and supporting entrepreneurship and innovation in Arizona. She has recently been recruited to advise student-led venture teams as part of Entrepreneurship and Innovation programs at Arizona State University. Joan has worked on various industry association committees (AZ Tech Counsel, AeA, Connect AZ), as well as serving on the Dean's Corporate Advisory Board (ASU's Fulton School of Engineering).
Joan has an MBA (marketing/finance) and a BA (sociology/psychology) from Hofstra University and advanced finance courses from NY Institute of Finance.
Lee Muhl, JD - Principal Consultant
Portland, OR & Los Angeles, CA
Lee Muhl’s consulting practice spans a number of industries and sectors. Lee works constantly in real estate, entertainment content and Internet platforms, but his practice over the past decade has also included new technology, mobile solutions, healthcare, consumer products, energy and resource opportunities, insurance solutions and other investment opportunities.
Lee is an experienced attorney, a former partner in two prominent Los Angeles transactional law firms, a former NASD securities licensee (Series 7 and 63), a former California Real Estate Broker, a three-time CEO and a two-time COO.
Lee is often consulted on technology concepts and has worked on digital solutions, fintech, SaaS/PaaS, artificial currency, encryption, mobile solutions, digital entertainment (a $1 billion project in tandem with JP Morgan and Blackstone Equity), digital content delivery (e.g., film/TV/video delivered over OTT VOD platforms), VFX, 3D, VR, production management, virtual performance, and digital entertainment venues. He has recently advised on several large-scale themed real estate/retail/entertainment-amenity concepts with planned funding of nearly $1 billion.
Lee works in these fields as a Principal Consultant with Cayenne Consulting, LLC – for clients ranging from early-stage to mid-cap companies -- creating investment plans, market opportunity and feasibility studies, financial forecasts and “safe harbor” investment documentation for C-suite executives, entrepreneurs, vendors, distributors, and funders.
Lee holds a B.A. in History from the University of California at Los Angeles and a J.D. from the UCLA School of Law where he served as a member and Senior Editor of the UCLA Law Review.
Tim O'Connor, MBA - Principal Consultant
Tim O'Connor is a tremendous asset to our Consumer Products practice area and brings the innovation and passion of a proven entrepreneur plus the enormous volume of results from his classic brand marketing experiences on some of the world's best-known brands including Betty Crocker, Tropicana Juice, Coors, Star Wars, and many more.
With more than twenty years of experience in traditional consumer marketing, Tim is a hands-on leader in product development, strategic planning, sales management and operations issues. As an executive leader, Tim has built a reputation as a marketing & sales driven executive in corporate turnarounds and brings a level of analysis and urgency to strategic decisions facing large and small organizations. Tim has developed countless strategic plans and presentations in such areas as marketing strategy, business model innovation, consumer research, channel management, new product development, brand renewal and product launches to name a few.
Tim is also the Founder of Brightspot Brands, the company he created to focus on the emerging functional candy segment. His company created the world's first healthy candy brand known as gimme. The brand featured great tasting, premium chocolate candy packed with nutrition like real dairy calcium, Omega3 from flaxseed and probiotics. The business was sold to a strategic investor in 2010.
Tim earned his undergraduate degree in Economics at the University of Minnesota and earned his MBA from the JL Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University with an emphasis in Finance and Marketing.
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Rick O'Hara, MBA - Principal Consultant
With over twenty years of experience in senior management, management consulting, strategic and business planning, financial modeling and analysis, and launching new ventures, Rick has the broad-based experience to quickly comprehend the nuances of your business and create winning solutions that get results. Rick has served clients across many industries including food service, shooting ranges, clean tech, aerospace, manufacturing, Internet and software, mobile applications, media & entertainment, hospitality, oil & gas, paints & coatings, recycling, publishing, and transportation.
Rick served as CFO for startups in multiple industries, including Inland Environmental & Remediation (where he recently spearheaded a $15M mezzanine raise), Carter Aviation Technologies, Paramount Digital Entertainment (a division of Paramount Television), and CallSpace. While Director of Business Planning at The Becker Group of Companies, he oversaw development of business plans and financial models for four technology startups and participated in the merger and IPO of a software firm and hardware manufacturer. As Marketing Manager at Teledyne Analytical Instruments, he managed the launch of four new product lines.
As a management consultant, he has developed business plans, financial models, engineering models, proposals, and white papers used to successfully raise millions of dollars. While still a student at the University of Southern California's MBA program, he founded a software firm that developed and published the first business graphics software for microcomputers. Rick received his undergraduate degree from Cornell University.
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George Papaioannou, CFA, MBA - Principal Consultant
George Papaioannou has two decades of experience in developing, analyzing, evaluating and executing upon business models, from an investment as well as an operational perspective. He is one of Cayenne's resident experts on business and startup valuation.
George has spent the bulk of his career on Wall Street, valuing equity securities and positioning investment opportunities with institutional investors. As a research analyst for Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, he covered the media & entertainment sector. George played a central role in executing public offerings and M&A transactions while at DLJ. As product manager for Thomas Weisel Partners, George oversaw all aspects of the equity research department's daily output. He collaborated with the firm's research analysts to develop thematic investment ideas and position them with appropriate investors. George was a member of TWP's Research Review Committee, which reviewed and approved stock rating changes. As a management consultant for IBM Global Services, George specialized in the development and execution of Internet strategies for Global 2000 media & entertainment companies. At online music retailer CDNOW, he formulated a strategy and business model for selling digital downloads.
George holds a BA in History from Cornell University and an MBA in Finance and Media Management from Columbia Business School. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. George is a member of the New York Society of Securities Analysts (NYSSA) and the CFA Institute.
George is an Adjunct Professor in the MBA program at Rider University. George serves as an Advisor for Tigerlabs Ventures, a Princeton, NJ-based venture capital fund and accelerator program. He is a member of the Entrepreneurial Sounding Board of the Eugene Lang Entrepreneurship Center at Columbia University.
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Dennis Pape, Ph.D. - Principal Consultant
Dennis brings over twenty-nine years of experience with high technology companies, from research scientist to manager to startup founder to entrepreneur, corporate, and investor advisor. His primary expertise is in advising and directing new venture business, technology, and product development. He has strong technical, communication, organizational, and business skills with technical expertise in optics, photonics, optical networks, acoustics, electronics, communications, and medical devices.
Dennis has authored or co-authored business plans and investor presentations that have resulted in over $200M in institutional venture capital funding. He has hands-on experience as both a CEO and CTO during a new venture's formative stage. He was a key player in a number of corporate technology spin-outs while he was at Milcom Technologies, a venture capital backed corporate spin-out firm.
Prior to joining Milcom, Dennis founded and was President of Photonic Systems Incorporated (PSI) in Melbourne, Florida. His firm specialized in the development of optical information processing technology products for both government and commercial customers. He secured seed venture capital funding for the firm and was responsible for the firm's technical leadership position in its field, which resulted in the award of over $7 Million of government R&D contracts, which he managed. Before founding PSI, Dennis worked as a Group Leader at Harris Corporation and as a Member of the Technical Staff at Texas Instruments. Dennis is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the University of Central Florida Technology Incubator. He is a member of AUTM, IEEE, SPIE, and OSA. He is the co-editor of a book, the author of 3 book chapters and some 50 publications, and was the organizer of numerous national and international conferences in the field of optical information processing.
Dennis earned an AB in Physics from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in Physics from Duke University.
Eric Pickens, MBA - Principal Consultant
New York, NY
With over 20 years of experience as a COO, CFO and board member, Eric has implemented, strengthened and lead the financial and operational functions for companies engaged in investment management, real estate, business services, consumer products, food production and hospitality. He possesses a comprehensive knowledge across all corporate finance, accounting, audit, tax and financial reporting functions. He also has extensive experience in structuring and closing equity, debt, merger, acquisition and lease transactions.
In the role of entrepreneur, Eric has successfully launched several startups including TechSpace; The Core Club; and Workhouse NYC. He is very experienced at developing business plans and financial models; raising capital from both angels and institutions; recruiting and managing teams as large as 240; and implementing robust financial & accounting systems.
As a consultant, Eric has worked with companies operating in a wide range of industries. He is extremely adept at identifying the key drivers behind a venture’s success as well as the potential issues which management must prepare to tackle in order to accomplish its goals.
Eric received an MBA in finance from the Columbia University Graduate School of Business and a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from The College of William & Mary.
Michael Robbins - Principal Consultant
Michael Robbins has over 25 years of experience in financial services and he has contributed to the capitalization of 500 companies that raised hundreds of millions of dollars. As an investor relations account executive on Wall Street, Michael introduced dozens of public company CEOs to hundreds of brokers, analysts, and fund managers. He helped his clients refine their presentations while gaining insights into the scrutiny applied by some of the nation's leading financial analysts.
Michael launched and managed a hedge fund before departing New York for Sydney, Australia, where he traded the fund and started a new investor relations agency. He has worked in an array of verticals with a specialty in technology, real estate, and socially responsible investing. While Down Under, he initiated analyst earnings call webcasts for some of Australia's largest companies, supported by his colleagues in the States who started the industry that ultimately led to Regulation FD.
He programmed some of the world's first investor relations websites in 1995 and taught Wall Street's budding Internet analysts about some of the finer points of cookies and encryption. Thus it was inevitable that Michael would start his own Internet business, ZeroKlix, which eventually would stream about half the online radio in Australia. Returning to his strengths in critical analysis, he began writing strategic business plans, valuation reports, and PPMs full time in 2002. He has since added management consulting, cinematic investor presentations, and SEC filings to his repertoire.
Michael holds a BS in Economics from the University of Colorado, with substantial coursework in Journalism, complemented with accounting from New York University.
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Adam T - Principal Consultant
San Francisco, CA | São Paulo, Brazil
Adam has broad experience in new ventures and investor relations. His experience includes the positions of President/CFO at W2 Energy Development Corporation, CFO at Santa Cruz Guitar Company, and Senior Manager at The Charles Schwab Corporation, where he was responsible for project planning in the Schwab Technology Group. In addition to investor relations, Adam has developed expertise in joint ventures and licensing arrangements, both domestic and international.
Since 1999 Adam has worked as a business planning consultant, accepting assignments such as business plans, market studies, corporate strategy development, and others. Adam has prepared successful business plans for a long list of clients in industries such as renewable energy, real estate development, technology, and infrastructure. Over time he has developed a regional expertise in Latin America.
Adam graduated from Stanford University with degrees in English and Economics and later received an MBA from U.C. Berkeley. He is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.
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Rick Tifone, MBA, CExP - Principal Consultant
Rick brings over 25 years of executive management, marketing, sales, consulting, and exit planning experience to Cayenne. He has hands-on experience running startups and working with CEOs on strategic planning, performance improvement, and process improvement. In addition to working on business plans, Rick works with the owners of B2B companies to help them increase the value of their business and plan for the single most important financial event of their lives -- the transition out of their business. He has been working with companies involved with software development, IT services, real estate brokerage, commercial and residential real estate, executive recruiting, medical equipment, construction, manufacturing, and government sourcing.
As founder and CEO of Danet, Inc., a consulting and systems integration company providing solutions for the telecommunications industry, Rick managed the profitable growth of the company from one employee to over one hundred. He was recognized by the Pittsburgh Technology Council as the CEO of the fastest growing company in the $10M to $25M range. During his nine years at Danet, Rick guided the company through dramatic telecommunications market changes and a transition from a software company to a systems integration and consulting company. Rick conducted business throughout the U.S. and Canada, South America, Europe, and the Middle East.
Rick's previous public company experience includes positions at General Dynamics, Alcoa, Wang Laboratories, and Tandem Computers. Rick has also operated a residential real estate investment company. He brings a unique perspective from being both a professionally trained business coach and an experienced business leader who has started and grown successful businesses.
Rick's formal education includes a Bachelors Degree in Computer Science from the State University of New York at Potsdam and an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh's Katz School of Business. Rick also holds a BEI Certified Exit Planner Designation.
Wayne Trattles, BCom CA - Principal Consultant
Wayne joined Deloitte Consulting in Sydney after graduating from Bond University. His specialties include business development, sales pitch development, business case modelling, capital raising, M&A transaction support, and business planning throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
His early career focus was revenue assurance for telecom service providers, in the then newly deregulated Australian market. As part of the Deloitte Telecommunications & Media Team, he spent many long nights with service providers mapping out internal revenue assurance processes. During his time with Deloitte he completed his CA accreditation and earned a diploma in Mandarin at Beijing University.
Wayne's experience with startups began in the corporate arena at SingTel Optus. Most of his time was invested in business case development for over 10 corporate New Technology Introduction (NTI) projects, the largest of which was the introduction of Virgin Mobile to the Australian market. Following SingTel Optus, Wayne joined his first non-corporate startup project, ReelTime. ReelTime's seed funding was via an IPO, so he had to learn the hard way how to deal with public relations, investment community, and operational deliverables in "real-time." As COO, Wayne built the organisation from ground up, and delivered the world's first download-to-burn IPTV service. After successfully completing the startup, ReelTime was sold to competitor, EzyDVD. His experience spans CFO/COO roles in a variety of publicly listed microcaps where he has completed 4 capital raisings, 3 M&A acquisitions and 1 M&A divestment. His experience extends outside the commercial function. Wayne has hands-on sales business development, working as a Strategic Account Manager for Cisco Systems where he is one of the few qualified accountants to earn Cisco Sales Champion (top 10% of global sales people).
Wayne is an active angel investor, focusing on early stage in the IT&T and renewable energy sectors. He is a foundation investor in Sunfunder, AESquared, and Graficly.
Cheree Warrick, MBA - Principal Consultant
Cheree Warrick writes business plans and creates financial forecasts for companies seeking funding from banks and angel investors. During her 5-year tenure at a national government contracting firm, Ms. Warrick was influential in helping the company grow from $50 million in annual revenues to $200 million. She set up the company’s pricing models for all RFP (Request for Proposal) responses, prepared the company’s annual budget and summarized all budget-to-actual results on a monthly basis.
In 2009, the entrepreneurial bug bit her and she decided to leave the corporate world to join her family’s bookkeeping business. During her tenure there, she assisted the company in serving over 35 clients in 22 industries. Her responsibilities included preparing monthly financial statements, producing annual budgets, and corresponding with CPAs in the preparation of corporate and personal taxes. As the company grew, management decided to seek bank financing for business expansion. The President of the Bank said Cheree’s business plan was one of the best he’d ever read. After receiving that compliment, Cheree decided to learn as much as she could about how companies position themselves to receive business financing.
Cheree’s goal is to help over one thousand companies receive over $1Billion in financing. She authored a book to help business owners understand exactly what investors want to know before making a commitment. The book and her strategies are praised by numerous angel investors and commercial bankers including Barbara Corcoran of the hit TV show Shark Tank and Valerie Gaydos – founder of the Angel Venture Forum of D.C.
Cheree holds a Bachelors degree in International Business from American University and a Masters degree in Finance from George Washington University.