As the saying goes, where you stand depends on where you sit. Sitting on the board of a company is always a new experience, no matter how many boards you have sat on. Each company has its unique set of challenges, opportunities, and issues. There are some commonalities, however, that can be discerned based on who ownership is.
Join the NYC Metro-Area Chapter of the Private Directors Association for Breakfast on November 13 for a 75 minute conversation about some of the fundamental differences between sitting on the board of company owned by Venture Capital v. Private Equity v. Public Shareholders.
Inventiv Capital Management LLC
Laura Brightsen is the managing director of Inventiv Capital Management LLC. Laura has a unique set of credentials and skills that enable her to relate to the various constituencies and conduct powerful interviews and provide strategic insights. Specifically, Laura has worked inside of VC/PE funds, is an LP in both early stage and middle market funds, sits on Boards, ran marketing for large telecom company and grew a divisional P&L from $50M to $180M. Laura Brightsen is the Founder of PEMA, a boutique consulting practice that specializes in the private equity and venture capital industry. Laura is also a Managing Director at Golden Seeds, an investment fund that invests in early stage companies founded or run by women, and serves as a Director at RuMe, a lifestyle brand that markets stylish and customized consumer products.
Her earlier career includes nearly ten years in private equity running marketing for Apax Partners and American Securities in New York. Previously, she spent over twelve years in various senior level marketing, P&L operating, strategic and business development roles at public companies, including; MCI, ADP, and Winstar Communications.
Laura is an investor in several venture capital and private equity funds including Initialized Capital, which is run by two YCombinator partners. In 2012, she was selected to serve as a Delegate for the U.S. State Department's Global Entrepreneurship Program, which is designed to leverage US business expertise to foster relationships between the US and emerging markets.
Laura has a Masters of Finance from Johns Hopkins University, a Bachelors Degree from James Madison University in Marketing and Economics, and completed the Private Equity Program at the Said Business School at the University of Oxford.
Avalon Securities, Ltd.
Lynda Davey's finance career spans 30 years of advising, financing and investing in public and private companies. She serves as Co-Chief Executive Officer of Avalon Net Worth. Ms. Davey brings broad expertise to her clients, having assisted them strategically position their companies for success by focusing on balanced capitalization, developing and implementing strategic growth plans and optimally structuring transactions. Ms. Davey is the Chairman and Founder of Avalon Securities Ltd, one of the few woman-owned FINRA and SEC registered broker dealers. Since 1992, Avalon has provided bulge bracket investment banking assistance to mid-market clients. The firm cultivates long term relationships with high caliber business owners and senior executives by assisting them with both short-term and long-term needs including financing for business expansions, balance sheet recapitalizations, acquisitions and liquidity events. Prior to founding Avalon, Ms. Davey worked at Salomon Brothers on public offerings, divestitures, acquisitions and private placements for clients in a variety of industries. She was also President of Tribeca Corp, a merchant bank with large equity investments in public consumer companies and private buyouts. Before commencing her finance career Ms. Davey practiced as a registered architect. From October 2012 to September 2014, Ms. Davey served as Chairman of the Board of Wet Seal, Inc. (Nasdaq: WTSLA) a 554 unit specialty retailer of fashionable and contemporary apparel and accessory items. She served for ten years on the Advisory Council of Wells Fargo's Capital Finance Group and its predecessor entity, the Paragon Capital Retail Group. She was previously a Board member for ICTS International NV (OTC BB:ICTSF) a pioneering aviation security company headquartered in Amsterdam, Tuffy Associates Corp., a private auto service franchiser, Jane Cosmetics, and Textus, a private textile company. In addition, Ms. Davey was a founding member of the Advisory Board of the Fashion Institute of Technology's Center for Design Innovation. Ms. Davey has been a featured speaker at finance conferences including the 2nd Annual International Textile and Apparel Conference held in Beijing, the New York Entrepreneurship Summit on The Changing Landscape of Finance in New York, and Touched by An Angel. She is recognized as a valuation expert before the New York State and various bankruptcy courts. She was a finalist for the New York City Ernst & Young 1998 Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Her television appearances include The Woman's Connection and Fox News Channel with Neil Cavuto. Ms. Davey earned a B.S. in Architecture from the University of Virginia, a Masters in Architecture from the University of Michigan and a MBA from the Harvard Business School. She holds Series 24, 27, 79 and 63 FINRA licenses and is recognized as a Governance Fellow by the NACD.
Chairman/Chief Investment Officer
Pacific Gate Management LLC
Joyce Johnson-Miller serves as Chairman / Chief Investment Officer of Pacific Gate Capital Management, LLC (PGC). Joyce supervises PGC's overall investment activities including evaluating and communicating with PGC's Sub-manager candidates, participating in the development of PGC's investment products, communicating with our strategic partners and investors and support the firm’s business development. Joyce is also a member of the Board of Director and U.S. Investment Committee.
Prior to joining the firm, she formerly served as the Senior Managing Director and Co-Head at Relativity Capital. Prior to that, she served as the Managing Director of Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. from 1993 to 2002, where her primary responsibilities included transaction sourcing, investment analysis and general management. She was also responsible for distressed investing in both private equity and trading platforms. In 1995, she founded JJM, LLC. She held senior investment responsibility for more than 60 investments over the course of her nine-year tenure.
Joyce's additional responsibilities included underwriting senior and mezzanine loans for middle market companies that had limited access to traditional financing sources. Previously, she served as a Vice-President in ING Bank’s corporate restructuring group and an Associate in Citigroup’s Leveraged Capital finance division. She serves as Chairperson of Marana Aerospace Solutions, Inc. She serves as an Executive Director at EMC Holdco, Inc. She served on the Board of Directors of 13 companies and four privately held companies.
She is a 2007 Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute. Joyce holds a B.A. in Finance from the University of Denver in 1987.
Jonathan P. Friedland
Sugar Felsenthal Grais & Helsinger
Jonathan Friedland, a partner with Sugar Felsenthal Grais & Helsinger LLP, provides legal counsel to privately owned businesses and to their boards of directors and owners. He has represented clients in hundreds of M&A deals and other specific transactions, though what he relishes most is the continuing and holistic relationships he has with clients in advising on their day-to-day operations and lives. Jonathan also has extensive experience in guiding companies and their constituents through a variety of challenging situations, including in bankruptcy, and is principal author of two leading treatises on the subject. Jonathan is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School and the State University of New York (where he graduated with honors after three years). After law school and before joining SFGH, Jonathan clerked for a federal judge, was a partner with Kirkland & Ellis, and taught in the MBA program as an adjunct professor of strategic management at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. In addition to practicing law, Jonathan is the founder and chairman of DailyDAC, LLC, d/b/a Financial Poise,™ an online provider of continuing education and business intelligence for business owners and high net worth individuals.