J. Jeffrey Auxier
Since 1998, Jeff Auxier has been the President and Chief Executive Officer of Auxier Asset Management and the Auxier Focus Fund. After graduating in 1981 with honors from the University of Oregon with a degree in Finance and an emphasis on accounting, Jeff began his professional career in 1982 at Foster Marshall-American Express (now Smith Barney) in Portland, Oregon. In the late 1980’s Jeff helped Smith Barney create the Portfolio Management Advisory Board. He also served as a member of the Chairman’s Council from 1990 to 1996 and Senior Vice President of Investments and Senior Portfolio Management Director. In 1993, Jeff was awarded the Consulting Group Bob Dwyer Award, which honors the Portfolio Manager whose “integrity, knowledge and commitment to the discipline of investment management exemplifies the highest standards.” In a national competition pitting some of the nation’s top performers against each other, Money magazine named Jeff their “All-Star Broker” two years in a row (1997/1998).
In 1998, Jeff realized his professional dream. He left Smith Barney to start his own investment advisory, Auxier Asset Management and, in 1999, the Auxier Focus Fund. From the start, Jeff wanted a fund where the manager is held highly accountable, so he committed to remaining one of the Auxier Focus Fund’s largest shareholders. He instituted company policy that he will not sell a single share while still manager. Jeff, as well as everyone on his staff, is focused on aggressive, fundamental research. “Everyone here is focused on performance,” says Jeff. “We’ve all got our own money on the line.”
Since 2008 Jeff has served on the Board of Directors for Colorado based eBags, whom he has helped guide to being the #1 bag retailer in the United States.
Jon Nordmark, CEO, of Iterate.ai, co-founded the organization in 2013 to help multinationals discover, curate, recommend, and orchestrate emerging technologies with speed. He also
serves as Chairman of eBags, where he was the founding 10-year CEO of eBags.com. While CEO, eBags grew annual gross sales to more than $100 million. eBags pioneered A/B split testing in 2000, drop-shipping in the U.S. and Europe from 600 3rd party warehouses, and soliciting product reviews from consumers in 1999. Today, eBags serves more than
40 million shoppers per year. It’s sold more than $1.3 billion worth of bags.
Prior to eBags Inc., he spent eleven years at Samsonite and worked on several projects. During most of his time at Samsonite, he directed the research, design, development, marketing and lifecycles of products introduced into over 20 different distribution channels – from warehouse clubs to department stores to mass merchants and even military accounts.
In 1999, with a law firm and the Denver Mayor’s Office, he co-founded Startup Basecamp. As a believer in the startup ecosystem, Jon serves as an Advisor/Investor at young companies, such as Nuzzel.com, Runa.com, Turnto.com, Clearhead.me, RedTricycle.com, EgoBoom.com, PressPay.com, Houserie.com and RentalRoost.com, BazaarVoice, BlogMutt.com, uGift.com.us, advicewallet.com, YourSize.co, and uMix.tv.
Jon also serves as a Member of the Board of Directors of the Happy Farm; Colorado Software; and Internet Association. He sits on the advisory board for the Deming Center of Entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado. He serves as Member of Advisory Board at Hilltop Venture Partners. Jon serves as a Director of Founder Institute, Incorporated. He continues to help organize his day-long educational summit which draws about 500 attendees each year. Jon was selected as Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for the Rocky Mountain Region in 2003. He graduated, magna cum laude, with a BS degree from Business School at the University of Colorado in Boulder in 1985.
Mitch Pierce has been in the car business as a salesperson, sales manager, general manager and owner for over 25 years. He successfully built a major auto group in Tempe, AZ which was consolidated into AutoNation in 1997, where he took over leadership for the company’s Arizona and Nevada markets. When given the opportunity to own his own store again, he built a Southern California Toyota dealership into one of the five largest Toyota stores in the entire country. “At the end of the day, I just missed having my own company and taking the risk and building the team and the relationships,” said Pierce. “We’re in the people business and the relationship business.”
Pierce is now a partner in six major auto dealerships, including John Elway Chevrolet on Colorado Boulevard and Gee Automotive. Pierce is a board member of the Southern California Toyota Dealers. He served on the National Dealer Council for Toyota Dealers in 1996 to 1997. Pierce served for a year as Director on the Board for Vroom, Inc, (previously AutoAmerica, Inc.)
and is past Chairman of the Arizona Automobile Dealer Association. He is board member of Valley Christian High School in Chandler, Arizona, voted the #1 Christian High School in Arizona. Pierce is also a board member of Barrow Neurological Institute Foundation and a member of the Phoenix Country Club and the Paradise Valley Country Club. He is a financial supporter of charities, such as: Athletes in Action, Young Life, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver, and In Touch Mission International.
Ken Wilcox currently serves as the Chairman Emeritus of Silicon Valley Bank.
Silicon Valley Bank is the bank of account for well over half of all the venture capital-backed technology companies in the U.S. as well as over half of all the venture capital firms in the U.S.
During his tenure as CEO (2001-2011), Mr. Wilcox:
- Transformed the bank’s portfolio from one-third technology companies and venture capital firms to 99% technology companies and venture capital firms
- Expanded the Bank’s product set from one that addressed only startups to one that addressed all technology companies regardless of size
- Extended the Bank’s reach from purely domestic to global, to include China, India, Israel, and the UK
- Served seven years on the Board of the San Francisco branch of the Federal Reserve.
In 2011 Mr. Wilcox passed the baton to his successor Greg Becker, became Chairman of the Board and moved to China to co-found a 50/50 joint-venture bank with the Chinese government in Shanghai devoted exclusively to working with technology companies in China.
Mr. Wilcox is a member of the Board of the Asia Society of Northern California, the Asian Art Museum, the Equilibrium Capital Group, and Columbia Lake Venture Debt Fund. He is also an adjunct professor and member of International Advisory Board at Fudan University in Shanghai and an advisor to a number of startups.
In 2008, Mr. Wilcox was named “Banker of the Year” by American Banker. He earned the distinction of “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Ernst & Young in 2009 and in 2010. In 2013, the Shanghai Municipal Government presented Mr. Wilcox with the “Magnolia Silver Award”, a municipal honor given to expatriates for their outstanding contribution to the city’s economic, social or cultural development.
Mr. Wilcox earned a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard Business School, as well as a PhD in German studies Ohio State University.