Mergers and Acquisitions
Jeff Jacobsen is a recognized strategic and operational finance leader with extensive experience in both private and public companies. Jeff’s core competency is value creation through full cycle corporate development including acquisitions, mergers, integrations, organic growth and divestitures.
Key accomplishments include: the roll-up of a $400 million travel distribution and technology company and subsequent divestiture to a private equity consortium including SoftBank (The Leisure Company); providing finance and administration leadership for a travel technology venture from start-up through growth to $50 million in annual transactions, and subsequent sale (Neat Group, now part of Orbitz); $3 billion merger of the two largest global natural gas compression companies (Universal and Hanover); and various strategic acquisitions of private companies and divestitures of non-core business units to private equity buyers (Newpark Resources).
Jeff was also a top-ranked global airline and travel technology strategy consultant as a founding Principal in American Airlines’ third-party consulting practice. Prior to his business career, he was a nuclear plant engineer in the US Naval Reactors Program.
Jeff holds a BS in chemical engineering from the University of Colorado and an MBA in finance from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He is happily married, has three sons, and enjoys golf, skiing and wake-surfing.
Chris Esguerra, MD, MBA
Healthcare Systems and Technology
An experienced healthcare leader, Chris Esguerra, MD, MBA, FAPA, CHCQM continues to lead systems transformation, program evolution, and public/private partnerships leading to outcomes focused on equity, delivery transformation, integration, and novel payment models. He serves as Chief Medical Officer for Health Plan of San Mateo, a public plan covering Medicaid and dually eligible Medicaid and Medicare beneficiaries. He also advises a number of nonprofit organizations and healthcare startups making a difference for underserved populations.
His experience encompasses health care provider and systems leadership, managed care operations, novel payment models, public-private partnerships, and health care transformation. He has led significant efforts around integration of care and services for a variety of populations, holistically addressing social determinants of health in healthcare delivery, and helping people remain and age in the community with appropriate long term services and supports. He served on a National Academy of Science, Engineering, and Medicine committee that published Integrating Social Needs Care into the Delivery of Health Care to Improve the Nation's Health. He supports and advises startups in the areas of strategy, product, markets, regulatory/compliance, and business development.
Dr. Esguerra is board certified in both Psychiatry and Health Care and Quality Management, and is a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and the American Board of Quality Assurance and Utilization Review Physicians. He received his BS in Chemistry and Medical Degree from the University of Southern California. He completed his residency training in Psychiatry at San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services Psychiatry Residency Training Program. He also received his MBA in business management from the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Ori Kitov is an attorney in one of Israel’s top leading law firms Corporate Department, providing general counsel to public and private companies, with an emphasis on capital markets, structured finance and derivatives, commercial transactions, corporate law, M&A, and restructuring. Ori further provides ongoing corporate and securities law advice to Israeli companies and institutional investors.
In recent years, Ori has taken part in significantly large transactions in the Israeli economy in the fields of insurance, Healthcare and REIT corporations.
Ori was member of the editorial board of the Bar-Ilan University Law Review and served as a teaching assistant in taxation courses in the Bar-Ilan University. Ori has a Master of Business Administration (Honors), and Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Laws (Honors) and was Awarded Dean’s and Rector’s List for achievements in each one of the degrees above mentioned, with total averages placing him in top 2.8 percentile of class.
Artificial Intelligence - Healthcare Technology
Simon is a seasoned data science executive who is focused on healthcare data analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence. He has worked with Chenmed, New York Life, and CUNA Mutual Group responsible for data analytics initiatives on patient care outcome prediction and optimization, database marketing analytics, and customer health risk underwriting. He has been the head of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence at Chenmed; a Corporate VP, Chief Analytics Officer at New York Life DTC, where he helped develop and drive the creation of enterprise data science roadmaps. Corinium Intelligence recognized Simon as one of the Top 50 Data & Analytics Professionals in USA & Canada.
At AI Safety Holdings, Simon is focused on determining the strategic value of our investments as it relates to leveraging AI for Healthcare Technology and Data Analytics.
Simon holds a PhD in Applied & Resource Economics from University of Florida, Gainesville and a Bachelor of Science from Northwestern A&S University in China.
Jesse Speltz, Director of Tax Credit Investments, at Cabretta Capital is responsible for business development and expanding Cabretta’s national footprint with institutional and high net worth investors to mitigate their state tax liabilities.
Jesse is an accomplished finance and business development professional with 30+ years of leadership experience working with middle market and growth-oriented companies. Prior to joining Cabretta, Jesse led business development for DHG’s private equity and transaction advisory teams, assisting buyers and sellers with their M&A and financial accounting requirements around a transaction.
Jesse is heavily involved within the financial community, currently serving as a board member for the Atlanta Association of Corporate Growth (ACG), attending 25-30 ACG events across the country on an annual basis. Jesse and his wife live on the north side of Atlanta in Roswell, GA. When Jesse is not in the office you can find him on the golf course, traveling, enjoying a glass of wine, and/or cooking. If you are ever in the area, reach out, and let’s tee it up!
Richard Vazquez, MD FACS
Dr. Vazquez practiced general surgery for 38 years at Northwestern Memorial Hospital (Emeritus 2017) in Chicago, Illinois and is a faculty member (Assistant Clinical Professor of Surgery) at the Feinberg School of Medicine of Northwestern University. He attended medical school at the University of Illinois from 1965 to 1969 and completed his general surgical residency in 1974 at Rush Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois. Concurrently he attended the University of Illinois graduate school in bioengineering and physiology while he attended medical school and his residency program. He has been continuously board certified by American Board of Surgery since April 1975 and a fellow of the American College of Surgeons since 1976. He has served on committees of SAGES (Society of Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons) such as the Patient Safety, Quality, and Outcomes, and the Safe Cholecystectomy task force (current).
Among his professional achievements, Dr. Vazquez served as Chief Medical Officer of the Illinois State Police from 1988 to June 2002 acting as the professional medical and medical and surgical advocate for all state troopers, code personnel, and their families for all serious injuries and illnesses referred to his unit.
Dr. Vazquez has been CEO/CMO of SafeStart Medical, Inc. since 2017. The SafeStart platform provides a simple digital framework toward zero harm and high reliability. SafeStart SAAS is designed to eliminate handoff and communication errors, to prevent harm to patients, to reduce delays, cancellations, and no shows for preoperative patients in any clinical setting. Patients and families are actively involved in the review of their image enhanced safety record from (home when possible). SafeStart promotes a culture of safety while providing a high reliability auditable process that produces a patient specific image rich surgical safety timeout checklist in lock step with the safety checklist Universal Protocol of numerous professional medical and nursing societies.
Julie Castro Abrams
Julie Castro Abrams is the founder and Managing Partner of How Women Invest, an early stage venture firm focussed on high growth, tech enabled women-founded enterprises. The firm is a
culmination of her lifetime of work propelling women founders to launch and find success with training, capital and networks. Julie brings her extensive experience identifying and supporting early stage entrepreneurs and twenty years as a CEO and board director. She is bringing her extensive networks, leadership and entrepreneurship experience to disruption of the venture landscape.
An active investor and advisor to start-ups, and as the leader of the nation's largest micro-enterprise
and micro-finance organization for 11 years, Julie has helped launch over 6,000 women into
successful businesses. In her role as CEO of Women’s Initiative for Self Employment, an SBA Certified
Development Financial Institution, Julie drove innovation in the US micro-enterprise and finance
space. Investing in extensive research about the indicators of long term success for women
entrepreneurs, Julie brings deep intellectual prowess, extensive networks and experience to this
transformative venture firm.
Today she is advising the SBA, White House and Congress on national legislative initiatives to
address economic opportunities for women. She serves on the California First Partners Project as an
advisor regarding corporate board diversity. In her role as Founder and CEO of How Women Lead,
she has been a driver of legislative initiatives and transformation in the US and California. Julie
serves as an Advisor to financial services firms including the fin-tech start-up LENDonate and Nia
Capital. She previously served as an advisor to Beneficial Bank and as the Governance Chair for the
Association for Enterprise Opportunity and the Women’s Funding Network.
As the CEO of How Women Lead, she is at the center of the movement to disrupt antiquated,
unequal systems by propelling women into even greater leadership roles and increasing
opportunities for all women. Julie has been an essential driver of the ecosystem for women on
corporate boards in California. Julie has been a national leader in the movement and drove the
successful passage of the groundbreaking Senate Bill 826, requiring public companies to have
women on their boards.
The recipient of many accolades, she has been awarded the More Jobs Genius Award, the Morgan
Stanley Innovation Award, Cisco’s Innovation in Technology Award, the League of Women Voters’
Women Who Could Be President Award, the Stevie Award for Best Non-Profit Executive, and the
Commission on the Status of Women’s Human Rights Award. She has also been featured in six
books, including “Scrappy Women in Business,” “Women of Courage,” and “The Missing Mentor,” and
she has been featured in Fast Company’s video series “30 Second MBA.”
Investment and Legal Advisor
Mitchell VerVoort is an accomplished attorney with a career spanning over three decades, during which he has been a prominent figure in various facets of law and business. With a diverse range of expertise, he has made substantial contributions to the fields of Start-Ups, Software, Computer, Internet, Digital Media, and Information Technology.
Mitchell's extensive experience in technology contracts and licensing has been pivotal in guiding businesses through the complex legal landscape of the tech industry since 1993. His profound knowledge and insight into the intricacies of these contracts have enabled countless companies to navigate legal agreements and licensing arrangements with confidence.
Mitchell's dedication to the world of tech start-ups is evident in his invaluable support for new ventures. His expertise extends to the formation and financing of tech start-ups, where he has played a pivotal role in helping entrepreneurs turn their innovative ideas into thriving businesses. His guidance has been instrumental in securing funding, establishing legal frameworks, and ensuring the legal compliance of these budding enterprises.
Throughout his career, Mitchell VerVoort has consistently demonstrated a commitment to excellence and a passion for ensuring that the legal aspects of business operations are handled with precision and care. His vast experience and diverse skill set have made him a sought-after legal professional in the tech sector, and his impact on countless businesses and entrepreneurs is a testament to his expertise and dedication. Mitchell continues to be a driving force in the legal and business world, providing invaluable counsel to clients and contributing to the success of a wide array of ventures.
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