Seed Fund Advisory Board
Seed Fund Advisory Board of Directors
The Seed Fund Investment Committee evaluates potential investment deals. They meet approximately 10 times a year to evaluate multiple prospective entrepreneurs at a time.
Two critical factors for the success of the Seed Fund are (1) a thorough pre-screening process and (2) fund credibility. Our Investment Committee members are an integral part of the fund’s credibility as they have established strategic partnerships and relationships with already existing and respected angel funds, experienced law firms and other business-related entities. This credibility further attracts new investors to fund our selected entrepreneurs’ initiatives.
President, Brookewood Management Advisors
Ken Ferris is a serial entrepreneur with more than 30 years of experience which has included being on the founding team of three technology start-up companies, each of which was sold to a large, publicly traded company. The product technologies involved included fiber optic and DSL communications, wireless sensors and medical devices. He is currently President of Brookewood Management Advisors, assisting technology companies with strategic business planning and operations. He serves on the board of three start-ups in the Roanoke-Blacksburg region of Virginia and is active in the regional angel network, 460 Angels.
Ken, an engineering graduate of Virginia Tech, began his career with the Department of Defense in Dahlgren, Virginia. While working for DOD, he spent two years on a temporary assignment to the Pentagon and the Naval Electronic Systems Command in Arlington, Virginia.
Ken is past President and currently on the Board of the Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council (RBTC). He has also served on the Board of the Science Museum of Western Virginia. In 2009 and 2010, he was a member of the Steering Committee for Botetourt County’s Comprehensive Plan Update.
Ken has had leadership roles in starting and growing a number of faith-based community service organizations and churches. He is involved in strategy coordination with the Center for Global Strategies of Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Martin J. “Marty” Kaszubowski
Executive Director, Center for Enterprise Innovation, Old Dominion University
Marty Kaszubowski has over 30 years of experience with a broad spectrum of public- and private-sector organizations promoting new venture formation, early-stage investment, technology commercialization, and innovation-led economic development. Marty recently joined Old Dominion University as Executive Director of the new Center for Enterprise Innovation, which offers a collection of integrated services for existing and new businesses. Until taking the new position at ODU, Marty was President of General Ideas, a technology venture consultancy working with US and European start-ups and early-stage companies seeking to establish viable business models and prepare for initial investment. He is a member of several startup company Boards and is currently a member of the Board of Advisors of the Launch Place Seed Fund and Chairman of the Board of the Norfolk State University Research and Innovation Foundation.
Marty holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan, and a Master’s Degree in Technology Management from the George Washington University.
Senior Vice President, Virginia Community Capital, Inc.
Dawn DeHart is a Senior Vice President with Virginia Community Capital, Inc. (VCC), a community development financial institution (CDFI) with offices in Christiansburg and Richmond, Virginia. Dawn has been a senior lending officer with this organization since November, 2006.
VCC’s mission is to offer innovative, flexible financial products designed to support economic development and housing needs across the state and to encourage sustainable communities. VCC seeks lending opportunities in underserved geographies and markets throughout Virginia. Dawn has led the organization’s efforts to lend under the U. S. Department of Treasury’s New Markets Tax Credits program which VCC has utilized for critical healthcare expansion in rural areas.
Dawn has been in the banking field for 30 years and has held positions in retail branch banking, sales and risk management. Her experience also includes several years as a technical assistance consultant with the Small Business Development Center network in Virginia where she worked closely with entrepreneurs establishing and expanding businesses. Before joining VCC, Dawn spent nearly nine years as a lender representing the SBA 504 program, an economic development program through the Small Business Administration.
Dawn is a graduate of Virginia Tech.
Senior Vice President of Operations, Center for Innovative Technology
Bob Stolle is Senior Vice President of Operations at the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) in Herndon, Virginia, where he is responsible for program development and the execution of support programs and services. Previously he served as Vice President of CIT Regional Growth where he managed programs designed to maximize the growth of Virginia’s regional technology industries. Bob came to CIT after four years as Executive Vice President and COO of Richmond-based Core Consulting and 10 years as Executive Director of the Greater Richmond Technology Council.
Prior to that, he served in several key positions for the Commonwealth of Virginia during the Governor George Allen administration, including Secretary of Commerce and Trade where he was responsible for 15 state agencies and promoting economic and community development in the Commonwealth.
Bob’s private sector experience includes service as engineering director and executive management for the global leader in military and space simulation and training systems. He has served on the Commission on Information Technology and the Virginia Research and Technology Advisory Commission where he chaired the Intellectual Property Committee.
A graduate of the U. S. Naval Academy, Bob served on active duty and in the Reserves as a Navy pilot and retired with the rank of Commander.
Jan L. Davis
Retired CEO, ShopperTrak RCT Corporation
Investor, Triangle Angel Partners
Jan Davis is a retired CEO and active board member for companies in drowning prevention, software, analytics, database and digital marketing and information. These enterprises sell products and services to a broad range of industries, including retail, real estate, financial services and insurance as well as on-line to consumers. She presently serves on the boards of directors of ShowingTime.com, SEAL Innovation and GSP Marketing Technologies and on the boards of advisors of multiple companies, including Megalytics, Market Vue Partners, Spring Metrics and Three Ships Digital. She is President of Triangle Angel Partners, an Executive in Residence for the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network, and on the Investment Committee for the non-profit Launch Place Seed Fund.
Davis served as CEO of ShopperTrak RCT Corporation, the global leader in pedestrian traffic counting, from 2004 to 2008. Before joining ShopperTrak, she was an executive vice president and business unit president at TransUnion LLC, the international credit reporting giant. Previously, Davis was a marketing consultant in Boston, MA and in Warsaw, Poland, working with a US database marketing agency, multi-nationals and a Polish enterprise. She co-founded SmartNames, a venture-backed database marketing information, analysis and services company.
Davis holds a BA and an MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, Danville Regional Foundation
Gary joined DRF in January 2013 as Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, bringing with him over three decades of diversified experience. A resident of Danville since 1990, Gary has held senior financial positions with Dan River Inc., Alpha Natural Resources, and Pike Electric Corporation. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration from Kent State University and is a Certified Public Accountant.