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Posts Tagged ‘board of advisors’

Have You Overstayed Your Board Seat Welcome…?

February 26th, 2013 Comments off

For those that know me, I am a fiercely competitive individual and that competitiveness extends to not only my cycling, but to a different degree, the office. Depending on the environment and who I am dealing with, my competitiveness will be adjusted accordingly. The satisfaction I have gotten from my career has been the derivative of the environments I have hired into and being able to let that competitiveness play out in the form of driving improved financial results at all levels, thus improving the financial health of the company. Over the last few years the scope of my involvement broadened as pursued my first Board seats, both of which were with non-profits. Both were equally enjoyable and had satisfying missions.

One of those Boards, the Orange County Marathon Foundation, was dedicated to the organization and execution of the OC Kid’s Run, which is a peripheral event to the Orange County Marathon. The Board already had a strong line-up, but I was asked to participate on the Board and very quickly was asked to be the Treasurer, a nomination I gladly accepted. I decided to participate since there was a strong initiative to increase participation, address sponsorships, and a few other key items. Seemed like a perfect strategic fit for what I had essentially done at a corporate level in the past. I spent my first few Board meetings getting to know the broader team, as well as the past challenges they had to deal with in the past. Very quickly I found that it was a very capable crew. Yes, there were a few contributions I made, but I also came to realize that it really wasn’t the standard “restructuring” I was used to, nor was there really a need for any intensive financial planning. The expenses that the team was dealing with were almost entirely variable with the runner count for the event.

Now let’s rewind to that whole “Performance” thing that drives me in my personal life. Essentially the Board really only needed an accountant or bookkeeper to count the debits and credits. I also really started to question my contribution to the Board and whether I was adding value to the seat I was occupying at each Board meeting. It took a bit of time to admit, but I arrived at the decision to discontinue my involvement with the Board because I knew there was somebody else out there that would deliver much more value than I was, which ultimately, would benefit the kids that much more. With such a capable team behind the Foundation, I didn’t want to hold onto my seat strictly for the sake of having a placeholder on the resume.

Whether non-profit or your standard corporation, it’s the duty of Board members to ensure that they are delivering value and helping the team drive a higher level of performance that might not be there in their absence. If that is not the case then perhaps they should be rethinking their position on the Board. I received some feedback that suggested I should hold my seat until I found another Board, but that certainly wouldn’t have been appropriate, or fair, to the Foundation Board. I know that as I continue my networking efforts I will find that next Board opportunity that will allow me to leverage my experience and deliver the value I expect to.  Have you overstayed your Board seat welcome…?

Thanks for reading…

Jeffrey Ishmael

Cylance, Inc. Launches & Comes Out of Stealth Mode…!

February 13th, 2013 Comments off

Cylance, Inc. today formally announced $15 million in funding from Khosla Ventures and Fairhaven Capital, along with the Board of Directors and Advisors that have been put in place to help guide the company for the years ahead. While this day is merely the culmination of months of hard work by a team I have come to admire over the last 7-months, it still feels fantastic to take a day and celebrate the accomplishments of the team and what we have to look forward to. The full details of the press release can be found on our website at www.cylance.com .

A bigger affirmation for the mission and future of this company are the backers and advisors that have come on board. Khosla Ventures was founded by Vinod Khosla in 2004 where he was formerly a General Partner at Kleiner Perkins, as well as a co-founder of Sun Microsystems. Fairhaven Capital is a venture capital firm focused on themes in the enterprise, physical technologies, media infrastructure, and security markets. Both are neither strangers to technology, nor are they a stranger to the talent and abilities of Stuart McClure, the founder of Cylance.

In addition to the funding, Stuart has been able to assemble an incredibly high caliber Board of Directors and Advisors with additions that include Patrick Heim, former Kaiser Permanente CSO and now Chief Trust Officer at Salesforce.com, Admiral William J. Fallon, U.S. Navy (Retired) former Commander, U.S. Central and U.S. Pacific Commands, and Alex Doll, former co-founder and COO of PGP who sold to Symantec in 2010, who will guide the Company to achieve its goals. With this Board pedigree, Cylance has a deep and diverse team to help guide the Company. An equally talented Board of Advisors brings together a diverse group of experts to solve the complex security problems that the industry currently faces. Advisors include: Paul Forney (Invensys), David Willson (Army/NSA), Shane Shook (KPMG/PwC), Robert Bigman (CIA), Stewart Baker (Steptoe/NSA), Alex Nazaruk (GetCo), Michael Rauchman (GetCo), Eric Culp (formerly of ESRI), and Joseph Gabbert (formerly of McAfee and EMC).

The team here at Cylance has an incredible opportunity, and a fantastic level of support to carry out the mission at hand. As I’ve written in previous posts, it’s all about delivering on what you promise and driving high levels of performance. With the team and backing that has been assembled, this is merely the first step. There’s more to come, but it feels great to formally step out from behind the curtain and share more detail about what has been assembled for the future.

Thanks for reading…

Jeffrey Ishmael