Lori A. Petrone brings over twenty years experience in marketing, business development and the design, implementation and support enterprise business solutions. Prior to founding PPX, Ms. Petrone served as the Director of Technology & Business Solutions for InterSource Enterprises LTD, a direct global sourcing agent, working with companies around the globe to successfully develop, manufacture, manage and distribute consumer goods from greater China, the Indian subcontinent and other emerging markets.
Ms. Petrone also served as the Chief Operations Officer of the Smith Companies responsible for day-to-day operations and business development activities for several Internet-based companies. During her tenure at Pavilion Technologies, Inc., she served as the Vice President of Marketing & Strategic Initiatives where she led the development of a new enterprise product & marketing strategy and venture funding activities to successfully raise $29.7M. She managed domestic and offshore research & development teams to support an international client base. Ms. Petrone also served in management positions at CSC, Affiliated Computer Systems and Bluebonnet Savings Bank.
Lori is actively involved in fundraising for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to help create a world without cancer. She is the Founder & former Event Chair for the People4People Games to raise funds for the working poor and uninsured, which was awarded the KPMG Community Service Award in its inaugural year.
Linda Jefferson brings over 15 years experience in marketing, business operations, account management and 5 years experience in global sourcing and supply chain. Prior to co-founding PPX, Ms. Jefferson served as the Director of Field Services for The Smith Companies responsible for strategic accounts, marketing and national events for several Internet-based companies. During her tenure at Pavilion Technologies, Inc., she served as the marketing manager responsible for strategic alignment of marketing activities and brand compliance to strengthen and grow product sales through premier user’s group conferences, industry conferences, trade shows, company-wide meetings and media publications
Linda is actively involved in the Austin Community. She is a co-founder & former Event Co-chair for the People4People Games to raise funds for the working poor and uninsured, which was awarded the KPMG Community Service Award in its inaugural year.
Will Swetnam brings over 25 years of computer systems experience to the table as Chief Technologist of Purchase Power Exchange, LLC. For the past seventeen years he has been bringing intuitive, efficient, and profitable websites and applications to market while working as the CTO of Synectics International in Dallas, TX. Previous projects have included the creation of a global food specifications system for PepsiCo Restaurants International (now YUM! Brands, Inc); a marketing materials production and fulfillment system for a Dallas based imaging company, increasing their revenue from $7MM to $27MM in just over 2 years; and the development of an online debt management initiative for HSBC.
As a 22 year cancer survivor, Will is heavily involved in the cancer community, specifically with the LIVESTRONG Foundation, and the support group Cyclists Combating Cancer. His involvement with the LIVESTRONG began in 1999 and has included fundraising and providing advice and information to newly diagnosed cancer patients. Currently a LIVESTRONG Senior Leader - over the years he has also been selected as a delegate to the LIVESTRONG Global Cancer Summit in Dublin, Ireland, August 2009; selected to lobby Capitol Hill in Washington DC on behalf of cancer survivors as a part of the LIVESTRONG Day in both 2006 and 2007; he’s served as a mentor for fundraising and training advice for the LIVESTRONG Challenge events; and has been in several LIVESTRONG videos, and has provided materials for training manuals and guides for cancer advocacy activities.
Ellen Carnahan is an experienced advisor, board member and angel investor, with over twenty years of venture capital and growth equity investment experience. She is the founder and a Principal of Machrie Enterprises LLC. Prior to founding Machrie, Ms. Carnahan led the technology investment team at William Blair Capital Partners (WBCP) after successfully managing investment portfolios at four of seven WBCP prior funds. During her tenure, she was recognized as “one of the 100 most influential women in Chicago” by Crain’s Chicago Business.
Ms. Carnahan has served on the boards of directors of over 25 growth companies, and currently serves as a director of Vericept Corporation and Integrys Energy (NYSE: TEG). Prior to her venture capital career, she was Vice President of Marketing & Planning at SPSS, a then-$30 million applications software company (now public), and Manager of Financial Planning & Analysis at Trailer Train Company, the largest operator of railroad flatcars.
Ms. Carnahan is a CPA and holds a BBA from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA from the University of Chicago. She is active in many non-profit organizations including The Chicago Network (FY ‘07 Chair), Communities in Schools Chicago (Nominating Co-Chair), TiE Midwest (Nominating Co-Chair), and the Illinois Venture Capital Association (’10 Chair).
Mr. Petrone is a co-founder and CEO of Synectics International Inc., a Dallas, Texas-based Information Systems and Technology solutions provider for customers in the financial services, manufacturing, human resource, advertising and nonprofit industries. He brings over 25 years experience in technology and communications-based systems and solutions. Prior to founding Synectics, Mr. Petrone served as the Information Technology Director for the Young Presidents' Organization, where he spearheaded the implementation of a cost-effective, worldwide communications and applications infrastructure and marketed technology and communications solutions to the member constituency.
Stephen W. Gurasich
Steve Gurasich is co-founder and Vice-Chairman, of GSD&M|Idea City, one of America’s most successful advertising agencies. From its’ founding in 1971 until 2007, Steve served as Chairman and CEO of GSD&M. During Steve’s tenure, GSD&M grew from a startup to over $1.2 billion in billings and was nationally recognized for its award winning strategic & creative work for some of America’s most recognized brands.
Mr. Gurasich is also a successful entrepreneur with several large real-estate development properties developed and managed under his leadership, including GSD&M’s 145,000 –square foot headquarters in downtown Austin, Lake Pointe – a 448-acre master-planned community on Lake Austin and Falconhead at Spillman Ranch – a 500 acre master-planned community. He is an active angel investor in several local startup ventures.
Steve holds a B.A. in journalism from the University of Texas Austin.
Steve Martin is an experienced advertising & marketing executive with more than 25 years of experience building powerful brands and driving marketing communications. He is the former CEO and a co-founder of SicolaMartin. Steve is passionate about bringing leadership and strategic direction to every creative marketing challenge. As CEO and co-founder of SicolaMartin he helps shape marketing successes for companies like Dell, AMD, Sybase, Novell, Motorola, IBM, 3M, Hitachi, Samsung, HP, Blu-ray, VMware and McLane.
In 2001, Mr. Martin was named Austin Entrepreneur of the Year and today continues to bring his unique entrepreneurial energy to both clients and agency teams. His dedication to creating an inspiring agency culture has earned SicolaMartin a place on the top-20 in Texas Monthly's Best Places to Work in Texas since 2004.
Today, Steve provides support to the Breast Cancer Resource Centers of Texas (BCRC) and serves on their Board of Directors. His personal and pro bono commitments have also included Austin's Children Shelter, Special Olympics of Texas, The American Cancer Society, Communities in Schools, Wonders and Worries, and the state's Go Texan Program.
William (Bill) Fields
Bill Fields brings over thirty years of retail, sourcing and manufacturing expertise and long-standing relationships to InterSource. He is the founder and chairman of InterSouce Enterprises LLC. In his twenty-five year career at Wal-Mart, Mr. Fields held executive positions, which included Assistant to Sam Walton [Founder of Wal-Mart], Senior Vice President of Distribution & Transportation, Executive Vice President of Wal-Mart, Inc. and President & CEO of the $68 billion Wal-Mart Stores Division. Bill was responsible for the strategic planning, execution and oversight for operations, merchandising, marketing and logistics for over 2,000 stores and 600,000 employees.
After his departure from Wal-Mart, he served as the Chairman & CEO of Blockbuster Entertainment Group and the President & CEO of Hudson’s Bay Company. Mr. Fields currently holds board positions with The University of Texas Pan American Foundation, Lexmark International, Inc. and China Horizons and formerly served on the boards of United Way of America, Graphic Packaging and the National Retail Foundation.