Partnering our Founder’s aspirations for greatness with the knowledge, experience, and perspective of some of the world’s leading business executives – the Strategic Advisory Board was built with a purpose – to drive meaningful impact along the path to success.
- All Experts
- (Former) CEO | iPipeline
- (Former) CRO | Anaplan
- CEO | Dashlane
- CEO | WW International
- Chief Customer Officer | Blackline
- Chief Marketing Officer | Smartsheets
- Chief People Officer | Zoom
- Chief Product Officer | Grubhub
- Co-Founder & CEO | Wayfair
- Co-Founder & CTO | Chewy
- Founder & CEO | The RealReal
- Founder & Former CEO | Billhighway
- President | Riot Games
- President of Entertainment | Riot Games
- Vice Chairman | Monumental Sports
- VP of Engineering | Shopify
Michael Blake Day is the co-founder and former Chief Technology Officer of Chewy, Inc. He founded the company with Ryan Cohen in 2011 and rapidly grew the business to become a market leader in the pet industry, selling to PetSmart for $3.35 billion in the largest e-commerce acquisition at the time. Today, Blake focuses on his personal investments in both public and private markets. He currently lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Raul Fernandez is currently Vice Chairman and Owner of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, a private partnership which owns some of Washington DC’s major sports franchises including the WNBA’s 2019 Champion Washington Mystics, the NHL’s 2018 Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals, the Washington Wizards, and Wizards District Gaming NBA 2K team.
The partnership also owns and operates DC’s premier sports and entertainment complex, Capital One Arena. As a hands-on and active member of the Monumental Sports & Entertainment leadership, Mr. Fernandez is involved in multiple aspects of the business including global sponsorship and technology innovation. He serves on the NBA Board of Governors as an Alternate Governor.
Concurrently, he is also a Senior Advisor and Limited Partner to General Atlantic Partners, a growth equity firm with more than $50 billion under management. As investor, business executive and philanthropist, Mr. Fernandez’s esteemed career spans a cross-section of industries from technology and retail to sports and entertainment. Investing his expertise and resources in emerging and established B2B and B2C companies, Mr. Fernandez is active in a multitude of sectors that intersect technology with lifestyle industries.
Mr. Fernandez brings more than three decades of executive experience scaling innovative and rapidly growing technology companies. Well-known in the tech industry and the Washington, DC area as the founder of Proxicom (NASDAQ:PXCM), which under his leadership evolved into a prominent global provider of e-commerce solutions for Fortune 500 companies, Mr. Fernandez guided the growth of Proxicom from its launch in 1991 with four employees to going public in 1999. With over 2,000 consultants and $200 million in revenue, he sold the company to Dimension Data (LSE:DDT) in an all cash transaction valued at $450 million. From 2000 to 2002, he served as Chief Executive Officer for Dimension Data North America, an information systems integration company, and as a Director of its parent company, Dimension Data Holdings Plc, in 2001.
His career achievements have also included serving as Chairman and CEO for ObjectVideo, a leading developer of intelligent video surveillance software, which was sold to Alarm.com. In the retail and fashion sector, Mr. Fernandez served on the Board of Directors of Liz Claiborne/Kate Spade & Company from 2001 until 2017. He has also previously served as a member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.
Mr. Fernandez is on the Board of Directors at DXC Technology (NYSE: DXC), the world’s leading end-to-end IT services company. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Broadcom, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVGO), a global technology leader in semiconductor and infrastructure software solutions, GameStop (NYSE: GME), a global, multichannel video game and consumer electronics retailer, URBANEER, an urban innovation company designing and engineering next generation living spaces, InSite, a privately held technology company that provides innovative building performance management solutions, and Perfect Sense, Inc., a full-service product company that capitalizes on its expanded product portfolio to drive innovations in web and mobile development for corporations worldwide.
Mr. Fernandez is an active technology investor in disruptive companies, including Cloud9 eSports, SyncThink, Radius Networks, SUGARFISH, Professional Fighters League (MMA), and RemoteRetail, a SaaS provider that enables associates to engage in a fully remote, personalized, visual conversation with their consumers
Mr. Fernandez, a native Washingtonian, is an active philanthropist, focusing his energy primarily on educational reform in the D.C. region. In 2000, he co-founded Venture Philanthropy Partners (VPP), a philanthropic investment organization based in Washington, DC. Passionate about making college education accessible to DC’s high school students, Mr. Fernandez is also a board member of DC College Access Program (DC-CAP) and the Fernandez Foundation.
Mr. Fernandez has been profiled by The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Forbes, CNBC, The Industry Standard, The Washington Post, and CNN and holds a Bachelor of Economics degree from the University of Maryland, and attended St. John’s College High School in Washington, DC.
Karen is currently Chief Customer Officer for Blackline, where she has led all post-sales customer functions through a successful IPO, multiple acquisitions and significant domestic and international growth. Prior to joining BlackLine, Karen worked in Services and Operations leadership positions at Zuora, a provider or SaaS-based billing software and as General Manager at Aclara Technologies, a provider of SaaS and on-premise solutions to the utility industry.
Before focusing on SaaS growth companies, Karen spent 15 years in Professional Services at SAP, culminating in her role as SVP of Services for North America where she managed 1500 consultants and a $1 billion P&L.
Karen holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brown University.
Anna Griffin is the Chief Marketing Officer at Smartsheet. She brings more than two decades of experience in senior marketing roles and was most recently Chief Marketing Officer at IEX Group, a disruptive trading exchange for U.S. equities. Prior to IEX Group, Anna spent five years at CA Technologies as Senior Vice President of Corporate Marketing, where she led a global rebranding effort. Before CA, she served for five years as Vice President of Global Marketing at Juniper Networks. Anna has also held executive-level positions at advertising and brand integrated marketing programs for brands such as Apple, Bank of America, Royal Caribbean, Sony, Saturn, and Land’s End. She has been awarded two Golden Effies, four Best B2B Campaigns of the Year, the Edgar R. Murrow Award for Digital Media, and was named 2016 Advertising Women of New York’s Game Changer, and Moves Magazine Power Woman 2018. A native of North Carolina, Anna is a graduate of East Carolina University and a fierce UNC Tarheel fan.
Business icon, entrepreneur, mother, fashion enthusiast and self-proclaimed ‘accidental CEO’ are just a few ways to describe Mindy Grossman. One of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business and Fortune’s Business Person of the Year, Mindy is a high-energy, disruptive leader with over 38 years of experience in building and transforming consumer brands.
In July 2017 Mindy joined WW (Formerly Weight Watchers) as President and CEO. Alongside an executive committee, Mindy leads thousands of employees in ten markets to serve the millions of WW members around the world. Upon joining, Mindy led the introduction of the Impact Manifesto, a strategic vision for the company that unveiled a new purpose to inspire healthy habits for real life. In addition to rebranding from Weight Watchers to WW to reflect the new purpose, Mindy has transformed the company through various initiatives including two different food program innovations, – Freestyle and myWW – strategic partnerships like those with Aaptiv and Headspace and expanding the tech and product capabilities to improve the digital app experience. In Mindy’s first year at WW, the company saw an increase of ~1 million members and has since reached a record high member retention rate of over 10 months.
Prior to joining WW, Mindy served as CEO of HSNi and a member of the company’s Board of Directors from 2008 to 2017 where she oversaw a $4 billion direct to consumer retail portfolio. She positioned HSNi as a leader in boundaryless retail, offering customers a seamless shopping experience across multiple channels. From 2006 to 2008, Mindy served as CEO of IAC Retail, the former parent company of HSNi, where she pioneered visionary, industry-changing innovations and positioned the company as a lifestyle network. Mindy successfully took the company public in 2008 and subsequently became CEO of HSNi.
Before joining IAC and focusing on retail, Mindy grew multiple brands in the apparel business. She served as a Global Vice President at Nike, Inc., where she oversaw its $4 billion apparel business, led the development and growth of the global women’s business and served as co-chair of Nike’s Women’s Leadership Council. Earlier in her career, Mindy served as President and CEO of Polo Jeans Company, Vice President of New Business Development at Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation, President of Chaps Ralph Lauren, and Senior Vice President of Menswear for Warnaco, Inc. She also held senior positions at Tommy Hilfiger and Oxford Industries.
Throughout her career Mindy has been widely recognized for her work in health and wellness and in leadership being named to:
- MM&M and PR Week’s Top 50 Health Influencer list (2019)
- TIME Magazine’s 50 Most Influential People in Health Care (2018)
- Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business (2014)
- Fortune’s Business Person of the Year (2014)
- Forbes Magazine’s The 100 Most Powerful Women (2016, 2013, 2012 & 2009)
- Financial Times Top 50 Women in World Business (2010 & 2011)
- Corporate Innovator of the Year at the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year® Florida Awards (2011).
Mindy currently serves as Vice Chairman and member of Board of Directors for UNICEF USA and is a member of the Board of Directors of Fanatics, Inc. She frequently shares her personal stories and business and leadership advice, inspiring diverse groups of audiences around the world.
Sam Hall serves as chief product officer at Grubhub and brings deep experience and leadership to his role executing Grubhub’s platform strategy and expanding its product vision. Prior to joining Grubhub, Sam was chief product and technology officer of ClassPass, leading the company’s engineering, product and design teams. Previously, he spent nearly 10 years at Amazon, serving as vice president of consumable customer experience and vice president of mobile. Sam has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of the Pacific and an MBA from the University of Washington.
Paul Melchiorre is an independent director at R3, an enterprise blockchain technology company, and was previously an independent director at Scout RFP, a sourcing and procurement software company that was acquired by Workday (NASDAQ: WDAY). He also sits on the board of nonprofit Spark.Org.
Previously, Paul served as Global Customer Officer and Chief Revenue Officer at Anaplan, a leading SaaS platform to facilitate financial planning and management, where he contributed to a successful IPO in 2018 and saw the company grow from $80 million to $300+ million in Annual Recurring Revenue and to over a $7 billion market cap. Prior to Anaplan, Paul served as President of iPipeline, which provides insurance and financial services software, he oversaw the company’s global growth and operations. Prior to iPipeline, Paul served as Global Vice President at Ariba where he joined as the first outside executive in 1998 and built the field organization for sales, implementation, service, alliances and channels, ultimately leading to a sale to SAP for approximately $5 billion in 2012.
Earlier in his career, Paul played a key role in SAP’s rise to a global leader in enterprise software. At SAP he joined as employee 200 in the US and ultimately rose to Executive Vice President of Global Accounts where his group was responsible for over 85 percent of revenue in the Americas Division and a field organization of 1,000+ people.
Lynne is a successful global Chief People Officer and business leader with 20 years of progressive experience in strategic HR leadership and key talent acquisition in various industries, driving profitable growth strategies for startups, private and public companies, and international organizations. She is currently Zoom’s Chief People Officer, joining just prior to IPO, and navigating continued business scaling, employee engagement and safeguarding culture through COVID and the racial/social unrest of 2020.
Lynne serves as a key advisor to C-suite executives, identifying transformational necessities and clarifying the leadership profile required for an organization to pivot business strategy and develop change initiatives to achieve sustainable growth. She is an inspirational and successful developer of talent with a passion for instilling leadership that improves organizational culture, company bench strength, business operations, employee morale, internal communication, recruitment strategy, and diversity and inclusion initiatives.
Lynne holds a Juris Doctor from Seton Hall University School of Law and a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance and Business Administration from State University of New York, College at New Paltz.
Cathy Polinsky is a technology executive with over 20 years of industry experience. Currently, Cathy is the VP of Engineering at Shopify. Prior to that, she was the Chief Technology Officer at Stitch Fix, an online personal shopping. She joined in 2016 prior to the Stitch Fix IPO and led the Engineering, Product and IT organizations through rapid growth.
Prior to Stitch Fix, Cathy led a variety of engineering organizations and initiatives at Salesforce for seven years, including the launch of a new, high-distributed, large scale enterprise search infrastructure in her role as SVP of Engineering. She also built robust, large-scale systems and led engineering teams at industry giants like Oracle, Yahoo! and Amazon and she spent time early in her career as an engineer at a tiny 13-person business intelligence start-up.
She is currently an independent board director at Aetion, a healthcare tech company that delivers real-world evidence to determine which treatments work best, for whom and when. Cathy graduated from Swarthmore College with a degree in computer science and is a member of the Swarthmore College Board of Managers.
Niraj Shah co-founded Wayfair with Steve Conine in 2002 and the pair rapidly grew the business to become the largest online retailer of home furnishings, housewares and home improvement goods in the U.S., Wayfair generated $13.0 billion in net revenue for the twelve months ended September 30, 2020. Headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts with operations throughout North America and Europe, the company employs more than 16,700 people.
Before founding Wayfair, Niraj served as CEO and co-founder of Simplify Mobile, an enterprise software company which was sold in 2001. Prior to that, he served as Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Greylock Partners, COO and a member of the Board of iXL, and the CEO and co-founder of Spinners, which was sold to iXL in 1998.
Niraj has been included in Fortune Magazine’s 40 Under 40, and has won the Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year award. He also serves on the board of Massachusetts Competitive Partnership and the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.
Niraj holds a B.S. in engineering from Cornell University, and lives in Boston, Massachusetts with his wife and two children.
JD Sherman is the Chief Executive Officer of Dashlane, where he leads a 300+ global team across New York, Paris, and Lisbon, supporting Dashlane’s continued commitment to building the best password management service for both businesses and consumers. Prior to joining Dashlane in early 2021, JD served as President and Chief Operating Officer of HubSpot, where he worked from 2012 until July of 2020. JD helped to lead the company through its IPO in October of 2014 as well as its post-IPO growth, reaching almost 4,000 employees worldwide and $900 million of revenue.
Prior to HubSpot, JD spent six years as Akamai’s Chief Financial Officer, where he was responsible for finance, strategic planning, and corporate development. During his tenure, Akamai grew from over $200 million to $1.2 billion in revenue, with over 2,000 employees globally, and was added to the S&P500 index. JD also served as the Chief Financial Executive of IBM’s $21 billion Systems and Technology Group. During his 15-year career at IBM, JD held a number of senior executive positions in finance.
JD currently serves on the Board of Directors of Citrix. He served on the Board of Fiserv from 2015 to 2019, as well as the Boards of Cypress Semiconductor from 2010 to 2015; 3Com from 2008 to 2009; and AMI Semiconductor from 2007 to 2008.
He holds a BA in Economics from Emory University and an MBA from the University of Chicago.
Shauna Spenley is the President of Global Entertainment at Riot Games, where she manages music, animation, film, television, 3rd party games, and consumer products. Prior to joining Riot Games, Shauna was the Vice President of Marketing and Publicity at Netflix, where she spent 15 years in various roles. Shauna led North America Marketing strategy and creative development for English language content that launched from 2013-2020. Shauna has also worked at the WB Television Network, CBS Outdoor, Fox Entertainment Group, and Creative Artists Agency.
Tim Wallace is a Strategic Advisor to iPipeline and has over 30 years of experience in the software, service, and consulting industry. In 2008, Tim joined iPipeline as CEO with the mission of scaling the company and solidifying iPipeline as an industry leader and innovator. Under his successful leadership, the company grew to be the largest provider of SaaS to the Life and Annuity industry, and was acquired by Roper Technology in 2019. With this change in ownership, Tim pivoted into a Strategic Advisor role, guiding the company in future mergers and acquisitions to continue expanding iPipeline’s market share and influence on the Insurance and Financial Services industry.
Tim previously served as President and COO of MEDecision Inc., a public software company. Prior to MEDecision, Tim was the CEO and Chairman of FullTilt Solutions, Inc. FullTilt was recognized by Forrester and Gartner Research as the leading enterprise product information management software in the marketplace. Mr. Wallace is a winner of the 2011 Ernst & Young Technology CEO of the Year, the 2013 PACT Enterprise Award for Technology CEO of the Year, and the 2014 Red Herring Top 100 Award.
Prior to joining FullTilt in 2000, Tim served as CEO of systems integrator XeroxConnect, and as the President and CEO for XLConnect Solutions, Inc., where he was also one of the founders of the company. Tim and other members of the management team took the company public in October of 1996. Xerox acquired XLConnect in June of 1998 for approximately $420 million.
Tim was formerly a partner in The Waldec Group, a system integration company that was twice on the Inc. 500 list. He previously spent eleven years with Arthur Andersen & Company, where he was Managing Director of the Business Consulting Practice.
Tim received a Master of Business Administration from Miami University and a Bachelor of Science Degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and has served on the following boards: AccuWeather, BizEquity, FullTilt Solutions, Knova, MEDecision, Migo Software, NitroSecurites, Point.io, Serviceware, Snickelways, and XLConnect.
Vince Thomas is currently the Chairman of Highway Ventures and lead investor of StandUpDetroit, a group of gritty and relentless Detroit based investors who are passionate about business. In 1999 from his college apartment Vince founded Billhighway, an enterprise level cash management, accounting, and payment processing platform for member and donor based organizations. As the CEO of Billhighway Vince grew the business to over 6,000 clients and $18 billion in annual payments transactions across North America. Vince owned the business for over eighteen years before Billhighway was acquired by First Data Corp in 2017.
With his Playbook, Vince has built and invested in more than sixteen companies with three successful exits. Highway Ventures today has investments that span platform technologies, eCommerce, payments, health care, private equity, and personal wellness.
In 2011 Vince was awarded the prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year award by Ernst and Young.
Vince and his team are very involved in giving back to organizations that support children, veterans, and entrepreneurs.
Vince earned his bachelor’s degree in Business from Eastern Michigan University where he played baseball. He is a Detroit native and enthusiast.
Julie Wainwright is an e-commerce pioneer whose latest venture came to her as an epiphany while shopping in a brick-and-mortar consignment store, an industry she felt was ripe for reinvention. She founded The RealReal in June 2011, bringing luxury consignment online and into the modern world with a digital marketplace for authenticated luxury consignment. In that time the company has changed the way people buy and sell high-end luxury across all categories.
In addition, Wainwright raised sizable venture capital funding, took The RealReal public in 2019, built a membership of millions, has sold millions of items to date. The company is pioneering sustainability efforts in the luxury space as well. In addition to sustainability partnerships with Gucci, Burberry and Stella McCartney, it is the first luxury member of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s CE100 USA and the first resale member of the UN Climate Change’s Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action.
Wainwright has been at the helm of leading tech companies for more than 20 years, notably as CEO of Reel.com in 1997 and Pets.com in 1999. She has received several prestigious industry awards and accolades since launching The RealReal including: –
- Entrepreneur’s 50 Most Daring Entrepreneurs
- Fast Company’s Most Creative People
- CNBC’s Disruptor 50
- Inc. Magazine’s 100 Female Founders List
- Retail Innovator of the Year
- Business of Fashion’s BoF 500
Wainwright is a frequent speaker at industry events like the Forbes Women’s Summit, Code Commerce, Osservatorio Altagamma Monitor, Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit, New York Times Luxury Summit, Barron’s Copenhagen Fashion Summit, and Financial Times Business of Luxury Summit, as well as at top universities including Stanford University and Purdue. Purdue, her alma mater, recently recognized Julie with the Burton D. Morgan Entrepreneurship Award. She is an Advisor to Fashion Tech Lab, as well as an Advisor to Krannert School of Management at Purdue. She actively supports dozens of local and national nonprofits focused on women, children and the arts and has launched two scholarship programs, one at Parsons School of Design for students studying sustainable fashion and the other, launching in 2020, at Purdue University for women studying entrepreneurship within STEM fields.