Advisory Board

Michael J . Tuteur, Boston, MA (Board Chair)

Michael Tuteur is Chair of the Litigation Department and a Partner at Foley & Lardner LLP, resident in its Boston office. In addition to overseeing the work of approximately 300 litigation attorneys, Mr. Tuteur’s practice includes complex civil litigation, False Claims Act defense, securities enforcement, and white collar criminal defense. Mr. Tuteur is a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America and Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, and is listed in The Best Lawyers in America®, Chambers USA's America's Leading Lawyers for Business, Top 100 New England Super Lawyers®, and Benchmark Litigation. Mr. Tuteur speaks and teaches regularly, including serving as an advisor in Harvard Law School’s Trial Advocacy Workshop and its Ames Moot Court competition. In 2007, Mr. Tuteur was recognized by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court's Standing Committee on Pro Bono Services; he also spearheaded Foley's partnership with the Citizen Schools/Discovering Justice program and is currently general counsel to FUEL Education, an award-winning non-profit that assists low-income families with saving for college. Previously, Mr. Tuteur served as a criminal Assistant U.S. Attorney in Boston and as Special Assistant Attorney General representing Massachusetts Governors William Weld and Paul Cellucci. Mr. Tuteur received his A.B. from Harvard College, where he studied the History of Science, and his J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is married and has four children.

Elizabeth Clark-Polner, Wilmington, MA

Dr. Elizabeth Clark-Polner is a neuroscientist, and currently serves as Vice President of Research & Development at Symbotic, an industrial robotics company focused on automating core components of Fortune 500 companies’ supply chains. At Symbotic, she’s focused on the development of real time distributed data analysis, core system algorithms for robotic planning and scheduling, and novel simulation techniques, including machine learning, for optimizing software development. Dr. Clark-Polner was previously a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Yale Law School, and before that at the University of Chicago, Center for Decision Research (focusing on emotion, perception, decision making, using functional neuroimaging). Dr. Clark-Polner also serves as an Intelligence Officer in the United States Navy Reserves. She graduated with a B.S. in Cognitive Science from Yale University in 2009; she earned her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Geneva in 2013. Dr. Clark-Polner was selected to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in 2017.

Thomas M. Clay, Boulder, CO

Thomas Clay is the Managing Member of Epacria Capital Partners, a single family office managing public and private investments for the Clay family. He has served as a director of companies engaged in drug development and commercialization, gold and silver mining, oil and natural gas production, architecture and engineering for transportation and water infrastructure, farming, and materials sciences. He currently serves as Chairman of Oxurion, NV, a public company developing therapies for diseases of the retina. Thomas serves as Chairman of the Clay Mathematics Institute, which supports research in pure mathematics and the dissemination of mathematical knowledge. He received an AB in Classics from Harvard College, an MSt in Greek and Latin Languages and Literatures from Oxford University, and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He lives in Boulder, Colorado with his wife Yvona Trnka-Amrhein.

David Cowan, Atherton, CA

David Cowan is a Silicon Valley venture capitalist and science philanthropist. David founded three cyber-security companies, including VeriSign. Over 24 of his early-stage venture investments on behalf of his firm Bessemer Venture Partners have gone on to IPO, including Ciena, Lifelock, LinkedIn, Twilio and Qualys. He now specializes in aerospace, having funded Skybox Imaging (acquired by Google), Rocket Lab, Spire Global, and Iris Automation. He has appeared on the Forbes Midas List 14 times, ranking as high as #6. David earned his CS/Math and MBA degrees from Harvard. He serves as a Trustee of Center For Inquiry, and co-writes the Silicon Valley mockumentary series Bubbleproof.

Chris Dickerson, Kildeer, IL

Chris Dickerson is a partner in the corporate department at Paul Hastings and is based in the firm’s Chicago office. His practice includes the representation of a variety of clients in complex business reorganizations, debt restructurings and insolvency matters, including purchasers of and investors in distressed companies and lenders to and creditors of such companies. Following graduation from the United States Naval Academy, Chris was a naval flight officer in the US Navy for 11 years, assigned to Fighter Squadrons 101, 142 and 124. He obtained a Masters of Arts in National Security Studies from Georgetown University and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Wisconsin.

Jim E. Erbs, Gilberts, IL (Board Vice Chair)

Mr. Erbs is currently President and CEO of Safety Socket LLC, a manufacturer of specialty, high-strength fasteners for demanding applications in a variety of industries including aerospace, military and oil and gas. Users of Safety Socket's products include NASA, Boeing, Airbus, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Disney and Harley Davidson. Prior to Safety Socket, Mr. Erbs founded a medical device company and turned around a number of businesses on behalf of various private equity groups. Mr. Erbs is currently non-executive director of Vicus Therapeutics, a start-up pharmaceutical concern. His not-for-profit work includes many years as trustee and Chairman for Quest Academy in Palatine, Illinois. Mr. Erbs has a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas, and a MBA from the Harvard Business School in Boston.

Alex Gersznowicz, San Francisco, CA

Mr. Alex Gersznowicz is chairman of Alex Gersznowicz Ventures, a venture capital firm specializing in management consulting for software and training organizations in multinational environments. He has over 40 years of experience working with software development and management consulting organizations, in both the public and private sectors, as well as holding senior level positions at Oracle, Knowledgeware, Yourdon Inc. (sold to Kodak), and ODK. Mr. Gersznowicz began his career as an IBM systems programmer, and spent many years as a management consultant assisting various financial and manufacturing organizations such as Bank of America, Citibank, J.P. Morgan, Chase, Johnson and Johnson, Boeing, the US Marine Corps, NASA, FBI, ATT, and many others. Mr. Gersznowicz was born in Kiev, Russia, immigrated to the US in 1960, and studied astrophysics and computer science at City University of New York. He is trustee of the Jewish Home in San Francisco and has served on the Board of Directors of the American Red Cross. He is married to Eve Bernstein, and currently resides in San Francisco and Hawaii. They are annual donors to the Smithsonian through the James Smithson Society.

Myra M. Hart, Belmont, MA

Myra Hart is a member of the senior faculty of Harvard Business School where she has taught MBA, executive, and alumni courses in entrepreneurship and leadership. She led the HBS Models of Success program, directed two major case writing initiatives, and served as co-chair of the Entrepreneurship Faculty. She received the Greenhill Award for faculty leadership and the Apgar Award for innovative teaching and course development. She and her research colleagues received the 2007 FSF-NUTEK International Award for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Research. She has been a visiting scholar at Stanford University and Babson College. Prior to joining Harvard in 1995, Hart was on the founding team of Staples the Office Superstore, serving as VP of Growth and Development from launch through IPO. She has served as a director of five public companies and more than a dozen private companies (many former student start ups). Hart is a trustee emeritus of Cornell University and a Cornell Presidential Councilor as well as a former trustee of Babson College. She has served on the national board of the Smithsonian Institution and is currently active on the advisory boards of the Smithsonian Astrophysics Observatory and SITES:SA (Smithsonian Institutions Traveling Exhibition Services and Smithsonian Affiliates.) Hart is a graduate of Cornell University (BA) and Harvard University (MBA, DBA).

Andy Heyward, Beverly Hills, CA

Andy Heyward is the CEO of the Genius Brands International. Heyward is a multi-Emmy Award-winning producer of children’s entertainment who has made more episodes of kid’s television than any other producer. As former Chairman and CEO of DIC Entertainment (DIC), and Co-President and CEO of A Squared Entertainment, he has produced over 5,000 episodes of award-winning children’s programs, most of which shows and brands are household names, including The Real Ghostbusters, Inspector Gadget, Alvin and the Chipmunks, G.I. Joe, Hello Kitty, Sonic the Hedgehog, Super Mario Bros, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Strawberry Shortcake, Care Bears, Captain Planet, Teddy Ruxpin, Sailor Moon, Madeline, Carmen Sandiego, Liberty's Kids, and dozens more. Today under Genius Brands, Heyward is producing and licensing brands ranging from Stan Lee Comics, to Baby Genius, to Warren Buffett's Secret Millionaires Club, and the upcoming Thomas Edison's Secret Lab. He has also been the largest producer of FCC-mandated educational informational programming for children, and has produced hundreds of PSAs promoting child safety, health, exercise, and nutrition. In collaboration with Warren Buffett, he produced the short film which opens the annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting, and he co-authored a book with Warren Buffett this year promoting financial literacy for kids. Heyward is a member of the Producers Guild of America, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Heyward earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from UCLA.

Todd Krasnow, Newton, MA

As a member of Staples' founding management team, Todd Krasnow was instrumental in opening the world's first office superstore and help grow it into a $7 billion business over 12 years. In addition, as executive vice president of sales and marketing, Todd started and ran Staples’ catalog business. He is responsible for the company's naming of the Los Angeles Staples Center, and he won a gold Clio award for best U.S. retail advertising. Currently, Todd is with Highland Capital Partners' consumer fund, where he focuses on investments in consumer businesses. He serves on the boards of companies including C&S Wholesale Grocers, TileShop, Carbonite and KidsII. He was Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Harvard Business School for the 2006-2007 academic year. Todd is membership chair of the Cornell University Arts and Sciences Advisory Council and a member of Cornell's Alumni Council and the Harvard Business School's Entrepreneurship Center Advisory Board.

Colin R. Masson, Lexington, MA

Mr. Masson holds a PhD in Astrophysics from Cambridge University and was a postdoctoral fellow at CalTech. His background is in astronomical instrumentation for radio astronomy. He was a Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) staff member with the Submillimeter Array (SMA), an 8-element radio interferometer located atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii. During the 1980s and 1990s, he published several scientific papers. In 1995, Dr. Masson left SAO to work for Renaissance Technologies, Inc., a hedge fund manager on Long Island, NY, where he was co-Head of Research. He left Renaissance and moved back to Massachusetts in 2009. Dr. Masson frequently attends conferences and seminars at SAO. He is married with two children.

Murthy Nukala, San Mateo, CA

Murthy Nukala has been an Internet entrepreneur for the past 15 years across four companies (two of which Nukala founded) that have had cumulative exits of over a billion dollars. Nukala was most recently Founder and CEO of Adchemy, Inc. Adchemy, Inc was the only independent startup attacking the problem of creating entity graphs and connecting them to commerce and advertising. Adchemy was acquired by Walmart Global eCommerce in May 2014. Nukala raised $119M for the company in 5 rounds of funding from Microsoft, Accenture, August Capital, Mayfield Fund and other. Nukala started a company called Digital Jones in 1999, which was acquired by went public in October 2004 and was the best performing IPO of 2004, returning between 6x and 8x to investors in Digital Jones. Nukala was an SVP at, which was acquired by eBay for $620M. Nukala was also VP of Marketing for Composite Software, which was acquired by Cisco in September '13 for $180M. Educational background: MBA, Harvard Business School, ’99. SM in Mechanical Engineering, MIT, '95. B.Tech, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras, '93.

Dr. Deepak Raghavan, Atlanta, GA

Deepak Raghavan co-founded Manhattan Associates, Inc., a global leader in supply chain solutions, where he conceptualized, designed, and developed the industry's first distribution management software for the consumer supply chain. Following a successful IPO of the company’s shares in 1998, Deepak became a fulltime student in 2002 to pursue his passion for astronomy. His research was focused on a better understanding of the habitats of Sun-like stars, culminating in a comprehensive multiplicity survey of solar-type stars. He earned his Ph.D. in astronomy at Georgia State University, where he serves as an adjunct professor. Deepak guides his family's philanthropic initiatives as president of their family foundation. He serves on the boards of Manhattan Associates, Woodward Academy, and Georgia State University Foundation. Past board memberships include Zoo Atlanta, TiE-Atlanta, and the Atlanta CEO High Tech Council. Deepak resides in Atlanta with his wife and has two adult children in college. Educational background: Ph.D. Astronomy, GSU 2009; MBA, GSU 1998; B. Tech Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), New Delhi 1987.

John C. Ryan, Minneapolis, MN

John Ryan is the founder, chairman and owner of John Ryan Companies, a global media technology-marketing firm. Founded in 1980, John Ryan Companies have sold more than $1.5 billion of products and services to the largest banks in the financial services industry in more than 50 countries. Prior to this, John founded start-ups in education and publishing. John and his wife, Anne, are active in the non-profit community and having served as board members for WHITE WAVE/Young Soon Kim Dance Company, the Keck Observatory Advancement Advisory Council, Minnesota Humane Society, and the Ohana Foundation. In addition to SAO and SERC, John and Anne also support more than 100 animal and human welfare organizations. John studied Economics and Psychology at the University of Minnesota, and Finance, Management and Marketing at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Anne studied at Ohio State (Go Buckeyes) and received an MBA from the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. John and Anne share a home with Bella, a rescued Catahoula Leopard/German Shorthaired Pointer when in Hawaii and a short, but adorable, rescue mixture of a miniature Schnauzer/whatever, Mr. Bean, when in Minneapolis.

Randall (Randy) C. Shepard, Austin, TX

Randy Shepard is currently the Senior Director of Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin. Randy served as the Chief Executive Officer of Eye Health Services, Inc. for 20 years before moving back to Texas. Randy ran one of New England's largest ophthalmology practices covering the South Shore and Cape Cod, Massachusetts. His prior experience spans from oncology research in the development of the use of MRI technology to medical school administration across the country. Over several decades, Randy has served as Chairman of national boards, on the Governor's Advisory Board in Massachusetts, Chairman of multiple Chamber of Commerce boards throughout Massachusetts and as a Board of Director for the Cape Cod Baseball League. Mr. Shepard is active on various boards throughout the country. In addition, Randy is an active member of the External Advisory Board for the Dean of the College of Science at Texas A & M University and the External Advisory Board for the Dean of the College of Medicine at Texas A & M University. He has a degree in science from Texas A & M University, and has participated as instructor within the College of Science.

Howard Stevenson, Cambridge, MA

Howard H. Stevenson is Sarofim-Rock Baker Foundation Professor Emeritus, Former Senior Associate Dean, Director of Publishing, and Chair of the Harvard Business Publishing Company board. He has been chairperson of the Owner/President Manager Program in Executive Education and of the Publications Review Board for the Harvard Business School Press of Harvard Business School Publishing Company. He served as the Vice Provost for Harvard University Resources and Planning and as Senior Associate Provost from 2005 to 2007. As Senior Associate Dean and Director of External Relations at Harvard Business School from 2001 to 2005 he led the successful capital campaign. He was a founder and first president of the Baupost Group, Inc. which manages partnerships investing in liquid securities for wealthy families; he is now co-chairman of the Advisory Board of Baupost LLC, a registered investment company. Prior to 1978, he held various academic appointments at Harvard University, specializing in Real Property Asset Management and General Management. He received his B.S. from Stanford and his M.B.A. and D.B.A. degrees from Harvard University. He has authored, edited or co-authored eleven books and forty-two articles that have appeared in The Harvard Business Review and other scholarly journals and has also authored, co-authored or supervised over one-hundred fifty cases at Harvard Business School. He is currently a director of Camp Dresser & McKee and Greycastle Holdings, as well as a trustee of Mount Auburn Hospital, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and the Boston Museum of Science.

Phil Young, Portola Valley, CA

Mr. Philip M. Young (Phil) is a Senior Advisor at U.S. Venture Partners. He joined USVP in April 1990 and was a Managing General Partner of the firm for more than 10 years. Prior to USVP, Mr. Young served as a Managing Director of Dillon Read & Co. and Concord Partners from 1986 to 1990, and as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Oximetrix, Inc. from 1977 to 1985. His experience, prior to Oximetrix, includes six years at New Court Securities in venture capital and corporate finance, and two years at McKinsey & Co. as a management consultant. From 1963 to 1969, he was a nuclear engineer at the Atomic Energy Commission. Mr. Young represented USVP on the boards of directors of Aerogen, CardioThoracic Systems, CardioVascular Imaging Systems, CoCensys, Compugen, FemRx, Penederm, 3Dfx Interactive, Vical and Xoma — all ten of which became public companies — and on the boards of directors of Aptus Endosystems, Dotomi RelayHealth, Synarc, and St. Francis Medical Technologies, all of which were profitably acquired. He also served on the boards of directors of various other publicly-traded companies including Zoran, a leading publicly-traded provider of digital processors in the digital entertainment and imaging markets, La Jolla Pharmaceuticals, and Immune Response Corporation. Currently he sits on the boards of privately held Apnicure, HeartFlow, and SentreHeart. He is currently a trustee of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, the board chair of eCornell, the university's for-profit online distance learning subsidiary, and a trustee emeritus of Cornell University. He received a B.M.E. in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University, an M.S. in Engineering Physics from George Washington University, and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.