The Venture Jobs Foundation Management and Board provide leadership, direction and support for the work of the Foundation.
Dennis M. DeLeo, President and Director
In 1997, Mr. DeLeo co-founded Trillium Group, LLC. Trillium is a Rochester-based venture capital and private equity firm. At Trillium, he is the fund executive of the Monroe Fund, LLC, an early stage venture capital fund now in its exit phase. The Monroe Fund targeted A Round investments in regional technology-oriented businesses in their startup and early growth phases.
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Rachel Baker August, Director
Through Baker August Consulting, Rachel supports nonprofit leadership staff and volunteers in a variety of ways that help organizations effectively achieve their goals and maximize their budgets. Rachel offers a range of supports, from one-on-one discussions with a senior staff person trying to work through a specific issue, to small team projects, to developing and implementing a full-scale fundraising campaign. Whatever the challenges, Rachel will employ her professional expertise, community knowledge and flexibility to move the nonprofit to a stronger position of financial health and community influence.
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Megan Bell, Director
Megan Bell is the Executive Director of the Wilson Foundation – a non-profit organization based in Rochester, NY that is dedicated to improving the quality of life by initiating and supporting projects that measurably demonstrate a means of creating a sense of belonging within the family and the community. Since joining the Foundation, Ms. Bell has worked with nonprofits in diverse areas, such as housing, education, poverty and healthcare.
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Lawrence N. Chessin M.D. FACP, Director
Larry Chessin received his BA, Cum Laude, from the University of Rochester and his MD degree, with Honors, from New York University. Early in his career, he served as a Research Associate at the Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Disease at the National Institutes of Health.
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Christine Woodcock Dettor, Director and Legal Advisor
Christine practices in the areas of tax exempt organizations, trusts and estates and elder law. Christine represents not-for-profit organizations with regard to formation, federal and state tax matters and compliance, liability concerns, governance and the structuring of charitable gift planning to include the drafting of endowment funds, donor advised funds, and other charitable planned giving vehicles.
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Steven R. Gersz, Director
From mergers and acquisitions to emerging technology companies, Steve has immersed himself in business and corporate law his entire legal career. Steve is a partner and immediate past chair of the firm's Corporate & Business Practice Group, and has extensive experience in the organization and development of business and professional entities.
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Warren Hern, Director
Mr. Hern is President and CEO of EastBay Ventures where he provides early phase companies with start up capital and advisory services. Prior to creating EastBay Mr. Hern was Co-CEO of Rochester Regional Health and CEO of Unity Health System, a major provider of Healthcare and Senior Housing based in Rochester, NY with locations in Europe and Asia.
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Mike Ingham, Director
Mike is tremendously active in Rochester's civic life being both founder of the Rochester KIVA initiative and President of GRAAF (Greater Rochester Amateur Athletic Foundation), a nonprofit supporting local Rochester Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls. Mike is a graduate of Cornell Electrical Engineering, and a successful high tech entrepreneur.
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Howard R. Jacobson, Director
Howie is a Principal in Red Rock 1886, providing ‘value-added thinking’ for small and emerging businesses. A 3rd generation Rochesterian and a graduate of Cornell University, Howie has spent a career in sales, marketing and distribution. He has received recognition in many national and regional publications.
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Michael R. Parrinello, CPA CVA, Director
Michael is a Principal in the Commercial Division of The Bonadio Group and a member of the Firm’s Private Equity Team. As a member of the Firm’s Private Equity team, he provides support and advisory services to the Firm’s clients in accessing capital and M&A activities, as well as accounting and consulting services to capital providers and their portfolio companies.
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Brad Rye, Director
Brad is a Senior Vice President at Eric Mower + Associates, a full-service marketing communications agency. He joined in 1997 and currently serves as Director of Public Relations and Public Affairs as well as managing the Rochester office.
He is a graduate of Northwood University in Midland, Michigan and began his communications career as an on-air radio personality, including serving as a news announcer, copywriter and voice over talent while working for three stations in Michigan.
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Truman Tolefree, Director
Truman Tolefree is Director of Acquisitions for Morgan Management LLC, a leading national developer, owner, and operator of institutional quality multifamily apartment communities, headquartered in Pittsford, NY. Truman has over 12 years of experience in real estate finance, acquisitions and development. His industry experience and expertise includes the development, acquisition and disposition of real estate assets and the procurement of project financing implemented through various mechanisms including, but not limited to, senior and subordinated debt, mezzanine financing, various federal and state tax credits and hybrid debt/equity instruments.
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Jeffrey M. Valentine, Director
Jeff Valentine is a serial entrepreneur and advocate for Greater Rochester. He is President of Valentinium, an investment and management consulting firm specializing in early stage investments and private equity opportunities, and an Entrepreneur-In-Residence at Excell Partners, a New York State-supported venture capital seed fund.
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