Leadership

Meet our founders who are ready to put their thought leadership to work for you.

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Robert Epner

Founder and CEO

Bob Epner is founder and CEO of Chiefofstaff.com. He has over 20 years of related senior management experience, having held multiple leadership positions at ING Global including Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff for ING Investment Management. From 2002 to 2008 he was based at ING’s Asia/Pacific headquarters in Hong Kong, where he held the positions of Chief of Staff and Regional Chief Operating Officer overseeing 24 businesses across twelve countries with over 10,000 employees. Bob’s tenure with ING began in 1999 when he joined the Americas regional office in strategic marketing. He played a key leadership role during the $7.7 billion Aetna Financial acquisition, which included assets in the United States, Asia, and Latin America. He subsequently led the successful Integration Team with ING’s new joint venture partner Sul America, the largest insurance company in Brazil. Before joining ING, Bob held senior positions at MetLife in both their New York and Hong Kong offices; marketing positions at GE Major Appliance; and a strategy consultant role for the Michael Allen Company. He holds an MBA in finance from New York University and a BS in finance from the University of Pennsylvania, The Wharton School.

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Dr. Lawrence Sullivan

Chairman and President, NRAH Vertical

Larry Sullivan is Chairman of the Board of Advisors of Chiefofstaff.com and the David Arthur Foundation, and is President of Chiefofstaff.com’s Nonprofit, Religious, Academic, and Healthcare (NRAH) Organizations line of business. Through decades of service in excellent institutions, Larry has honed his capacities for strategic vision and implementation leadership in complex organizations. Larry was Director of the Harvard University Center for the Study of World Religions, an international multidisciplinary research institute, and Professor of World Religions at Harvard Divinity School from 1990 to 2004. He is Lifetime Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Senior Fellow and immediate past President and CEO of the Fetzer Institute, a $450 million operating foundation. He is Professor Emeritus of Theology at the University of Notre Dame, where he served from 2004 to 2012 as Professor of both World Religions and Anthropology. Larry earned his PhD in the comparative history of world religions from the University of Chicago, where he later taught. He served as President of the American Academy of Religions and Fulbright Senior Research Scholar to Japan, received lifetime induction as Martin Luther King Jr Collegium Scholar at Morehouse College, Dr. King’s alma mater, and was granted the rank of Commander in the Romanian Order of Merit by the President of Romania.

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Richard McGeary

Co-Founder and Chief Business Development Officer

Rich McGeary is Co-Founder and Chief Business Development Officer of Chiefofstaff.com. Previously Rich was President and CEO of the Hartford Area Habitat for Humanity, the area’s largest home builder in support of low income families. Prior to that he was Executive Vice President of Delphi Health Systems where he led business development for this diabetes disease management technology developer. Before Delphi, he was Co-Founder and Executive Vice President and COO of Axiom8, Inc., a venture-backed, communication technology company. His leadership fostered the development of their flagship product, Ossia™, a dynamic collaborative communications environment that allows users to communicate and interact seamlessly bridging telephony (PSTN) and Internet (IP) networks. Prior to Axiom8, he served as President of McGeary Electronic Publishing, a software development firm specializing in the creation of intelligent search engines for large volumes of unstructured information. From 1985 to 1990 he was CFO for Connecticut Mutual’s Information Systems business unit, a $100 million organization responsible for all technology related development and support services. Rich is a CPA and received his BBA in accounting from St. Bonaventure University.

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Dr. Dean Jorgensen

Cofounder, Product and Operations Consultant

Dean Jorgensen is a Cofounder of Chiefofstaff.com and heads Product Development, leading our Integrated Product Team, which includes our technology partner Qison Software. With a career spent in the aerospace, defense, aviation, maritime, and energy sectors, Dean brings more than 30 years of operations and product development leadership experience to Chiefofstaff.com. As a principal systems engineer and program manager with Textron Systems and Vice President of Capture Management at Zodiac Aerospace’s Parachute and Protection Division, he has led the development of numerous high-tech systems including the US Air Force’s Mobile Microwave Landing System and NASA’s Genesis Sample Return parachute recovery system. He is a serial entrepreneur, leading the growth of successful small businesses in the field of aerospace, composites, and measurement instruments. Having authored and implemented corporate strategic plans at businesses ranging from small, privately held tech startups to large, publicly traded multinational aerospace corporations, Dean brings invaluable experience to our senior advisory support network. Dean is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, where he has served as chairman of their standing committee on aerodynamic decelerator systems technology. He holds a PhD in aeronautical engineering from the University of Leicester, England, and an ScB in civil engineering from Brown University.

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Edward Olsen

Head of Partner Channel

Ed Olsen is Head of Partner Channel for Chiefofstaff.com. In this role, Ed works closely with our global partners to provide sales and implementation training as well as ongoing support in assisting them to achieve success in onboarding the chiefofstaff.com. system to their key applicable clients. Ed started his career at Aetna Life & Casualty where he served in a variety of positions, including President of Aetna Information Services. Ed left Aetna as part of a joint venture which resulted in the formation of CISGEM Technologies and assumed a role as Vice President of Insurance Systems Services. CISGEM was subsequently acquired by AMS Services, Inc., where Ed assumed the position of Senior Vice President of Customer Service, Training, Education and Documentation for all AMS products which served some 12,000 insurance agencies. Within this role, Ed was responsible for the implementation, training and ongoing support of management systems for several National Agencies and Brokers and over half of the largest 100 Brokers within the United States. Ed was subsequently promoted to General Manager of AMS Rating. In 2004, Ed became a Partner in Pinnacle Network LLC as Chief Operating Officer with responsibility for Operations, Carrier Relationships and Account management. In 2006, Ed joined Hire Aspirations as a Managing Partner and Career Coach and in 2007 Ed opened the Hire Aspirations office in Longmeadow Massachusetts to better service clients in northern CT and western MA. In 2012, Ed became affiliated with Executive Talent Services in West Hartford, CT as a Senior Career Coach.

Board of Advisors

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Boudewijn Bertsch

Bou Bertsch is a trusted advisor and faculty member, designing and delivering executive education for ING Bank Academy and the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University since the 1990’s. In addition to providing leadership courses for companies around the world, he coaches executives and teams and supports leadership teams on organizational change and improvement. He co-authored the award winning article “How Multinational CEOs Make Change Programs Stick.” As an expert in Lean Six Sigma, Bou advises leadership teams on the limits and potential of this improvement approach. He earned a Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in Business Economics from Erasmus University Rotterdam and a Japanese Language and Culture Certificate from Osaka Foreign Language University.

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Pallavi Chopra

Pallavi Chopra, co-founder and former Head of Product and Digital for Chiefofstaff.com, is the Senior Brand Director and Head of Marketing for redBus.in, India’s largest online bus ticketing web site. Pallavi has worked for ING, Samsung and Nike in digital strategy, online marketing, ecommerce, and product management. Earlier she headed digital marketing strategy at Starcom MediaVest. Pallavi spent five years at the ING Group in Hong Kong and India where she spearheaded the E-business and interactive marketing activities for twelve countries in the region. Pallavi is a Mathematics graduate from St. Stephens College, Delhi, and a postgraduate MBA in Marketing Communications from MICA, Ahmedabad. She is currently finishing the Executive Program in General Management at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management.

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Thomas Harvey

Tom Harvey is the Director of Nonprofit Professional Development at Mendoza College of Business, University of Notre Dame. Over his 40-year career, Tom has led local and national organizations confronting the challenges of poverty, discrimination, and access to health care and human services. In 2003 the Council on Social Work Education chose him as one of the 50 pioneers in the field of social work during the past 50 years. From 1998 to 2005, Tom served as Senior Vice President of the Alliance for Children & Families. Earlier in his career, he served as President & CEO of Catholic Charities USA. In 2009, Tom co-authored the book, Nonprofit Governance. He earned the MS degree from the Columbia University School of Social Work; a master’s degree and BA in Theology from the Gregorian University in Rome, Italy; and a BA in Philosophy from St. Charles Borromeo College in Philadelphia.

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Gary Bennett

Gary Bennett, who has served New York Life in numerous executive leadership capacities abroad, including CEO of company operations in Asia, has recently returned to the company as CEO of its wholly-owned life insurance company in Mexico, Seguros Monterrey New York Life, Mexico’s second largest life insurer. An insurance veteran with more than 30 years in the insurance industry, including two decades in Asia, Gary has held leadership roles of increasing responsibility with a number of companies in Australia and across Asia Pacific, including Prudential Corporation Asia and CMG Asia. He joined New York Life in 2005 as President and CEO of its Hong Kong life insurance operation and for the past decade has held company positions as CEO for India and CEO for Greater China. Recently he has run his own consulting business.

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Christopher Stevens

Chris Stevens currently serves on the faculty of the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame. He was one of the four people to develop and launch the Keurig Premium Coffee Systems in 1998. Chris has taught Business Problem Solving and the Interterm Intensive course for the Notre Dame MBA. His expertise includes sales, marketing, entrepreneurship, corporate relations and general management. In addition to Keurig, Chris has worked for notable companies such as Procter & Gamble and Anheuser-Busch during his 38-year professional career, and has contributed to seven startups as an angel investor. He serves on the boards of the ND Monogram Club, the Chicago Chamber of Commerce and ALS. He earned a BA in economics from Notre Dame and completed the Executive Education program at Columbia University.

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Steve Schmidt

Steve Schmidt is the former President, International Office Depot ($3.5B — 58 countries) and former CEO of AC Nielsen ($2.5B — 114 countries).  Earlier experience includes senior roles in Sales, Brand Marketing, and General Management at Pillsbury, Pepsi, and P&G.  Steve brings over 35 years of experience in consumer packaged goods, market research, international, retail, marketing, ecommerce and success in both business-to-business and business-to-consumer companies.  Additionally, Steve has board experience with publicly traded companies and nonprofits.

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Amy Edwards Anderson

Amy Edwards Anderson has worked as a consultant and project manager in London, focusing on communications projects for multinational companies, identifying learning needs for different regions and functions and developing communications materials and workshops. Amy has been based in Brussels for sixteen years, where she has become increasingly involved in education, teaching at both Belgian and international schools. Amy serves on the Board of Trustees for the International School of Brussels and has served for many years as a board member for the Brussels Sports Association, which she served for several years as Executive Director. Amy earned her undergraduate degree in International Business Administration from Villanova University and her Master’s degree in Economics from the University of London (SSEES).

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Carlos M. Aquino

Carlos M. Aquino is Managing Director of CMA Pacific Partners, a management consultancy based in Hong Kong, which he founded in 2002 but suspended from 2006-2013 while fully committed at TPG Capital. He remains a Senior Advisor to TPG and was, until recently, a Director in TPG’s Operations Group in HK. His focus at TPG has been assisting portfolio companies in both industrial and consumer products and services sectors on long-term transformation and operational improvement programs.

Mr. Aquino remains on the Boards of HCP Packaging (the world’s #3 primary-package supplier to the cosmetics / skin care industry, with HQ in China) and TPG Wholesale Private Ltd. (franchisor for Vishal MegaMart, the #2 hypermarket chain in India). He is also advising e.l.f. (a fast-growing
US cosmetics brand) on upgrading their China sourcing / supply chain operation. In earlier years, he served as Board Chairman & Director at Avon Japan (a top cosmetics / skin care direct selling brand), Board Director at NIS Japan (a non-bank financial services Co serving the property
sector), Senior Advisor to the Board at TakaraTomy (#2 toymaker in Japan), and Senior Advisor to the Board at Hanaro Telecom (#2 fixed-line telco in Korea).

Prior to joining TPG, Mr. Aquino founded & built CMA Pacific Partners, serving portfolio companies of private equity, fast-growth family-owned SMEs, and regional MNCs in Asia-Pacific.

He also held previous positions as Vice President responsible for customer relationship management, customer service, and eBusiness at 3COM’s international operations. Prior to that, he held several leadership roles at GE, including most recently at GE Medical Systems, where he led the company’s Sourcing and eBusiness operations for Asia-Pacific from headquarters in Japan. He has lived & worked in the Asia-Pacific region continuously since 1998.

In addition, Mr. Aquino has spent many years as a strategy / operations consultant, including at Booz & Co. (formerly Booz-Allen & Hamilton) in New York. Early in his career, he worked in and around the transatlantic aerospace industry as a marketing executive and consultant. Mr. Aquino received his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and has a Masters of Public Affairs (International Relations) from Princeton University. He is a GE-certified Six Sigma expert.

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William M. Gruzynski, CAIA

Bill Gruzynski is the alternative investment specialist for The Emerald Group of Companies, formed in 1998. This group specializes in the alternative investment sector, specifically in Managed Futures programs, Foreign Exchange Managers, Commodities and Macro Hedge Funds for high net worth individuals and institutional investors. Bill is also a senior partner with Hillcrest Partners, a commodity futures and options consulting firm founded in 1980, which consults with clients, including Asian and European banking interests, trading managers and brokerage houses regarding their entry into the commodity futures and options markets. Additionally, Hillcrest advises, designs, implements and oversees commodity futures, options and securities markets’ technical trading systems and is currently trading these methods for a Chicago proprietary trading firm.

Mr. Gruzynski has been actively involved in the futures industry since 1974. He began his futures industry career with Bache, Halsey and Stewart at the Chicago Board of Trade. Mr. Gruzynski was registered as a floor broker from 1980 until 1991. From 1980 until 1983, he held a membership on the International Monetary Market, a division of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME). From 1983 to 1991, he held a membership on the Index and Options Market (IOM). During this period, Mr. Gruzynski executed trades on behalf of some of the largest hedge funds, commodity trading advisors, and investment institutions in the world. Mr. Gruzynski served on numerous exchange committees; including arbitration, business conduct, floor practices, IOM new products, commodity trade reconstruction, and pit oversight, as well as on various pit committees, including as Vice-Chairman of the S&P 500 pit committee and IOM Divisional Vice-Chairman. From 1985 until 1991, Mr. Gruzynski served as a director of the Commodity Futures Political Fund, providing leadership and oversight on behalf of this important exchange committee. Mr. Gruzynski served as Special Liaison to the Director of the Cabinet under the Reagan Administration.

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Saleh Daher

Saleh Daher, CFA is an angel investor based in Boston. He is a member of Walnut Venture Associates (WalnutVentures.com). Sal is also the host of the Angel Invest Boston podcast in which he interviews Boston’s most interesting angel investors and founders of startups (AngelInvestBoston.com). He invests in about a dozen startups per year. His portfolio includes Chiefofstaff.com, Pixability, SQZ Biotech, ViralGains, Mavrck, Gelesis, Akili Interactive, Videolicious, PanTher Therapeuitcs, Testive and dozens of other promising companies.

Sal was a lender, trader and investor in emerging markets for more than three decades. He was Managing Director of the Turan Corporation, focusing on proprietary investments and trading in distressed sovereign debt from 1988 to 2014, including a period as Managing Director of Singapore-based Turan Asia Pte. Ltd. Prior to joining Turan, Sal headed the domestic asset trading desk at the Bank of Boston. Prior to that, he worked for Citibank in New York City and Buenos Aires in lending, derivatives and trading of distressed sovereign debt.

He holds engineering degrees from MIT and Stanford University.