BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The board of directors is composed of carefully selected individuals who can best assist in accomplishing the University Venture Fund II's educational purposes, including educators, professional investment advisors, professionals in the impact investing space and others.
James Lee Sorenson is a nationally recognized business leader and entrepreneur who helped develop several new industry categories in today's business world. Under his leadership, Sorenson Medical developed a line of portable, microchip-controlled infusion pumps that deliver drugs safely while allowing patients mobility and lifestyle flexibility during chemotherapy or pain treatment. As CEO of Sorenson Media, Sorenson developed the world's leading digital compression-decompression software and the first high-quality, low-cost videophone. He also created a nationwide video relay service for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, which was acquired by GTCR in 2005 in the most lucrative private equity deal in Utah history. Sorenson's other leadership responsibilities include The Sorenson Group, which owns and is developing over 60,000 acres of industrial, commercial, residential and retail real estate, and Sorenson Capital, which has raised approximately $650 million to invest in small- to mid-size U.S. companies. He also serves on the boards of a number of charities and community organizations.
Taylor Randall is the dean of the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah. He is also a visiting professor at the Wharton School of Business and INSEAD. Dean Randall’s current research and consulting projects examine the interactions between strategy, technology, products and value chain structure with particular emphasis on how these interactions affect financial performance in organizations. Dean Randall’s industrial experience includes positions as a senior consultant at Arthur Andersen & Co. and as an assistant production manager at Lone Peak Designs along with numerous consulting engagements at companies like General Motors Corporation, Dupont, MPM/Speedline Technologies, O.C. Tanner Company, Vista Staffing Solutions and American Investment Bank. Dean Randall is the faculty advisor for the University Venture Fund. He received a B.A. in Accounting from the University of Utah, as well as an M.B.A., a Masters Degree in Managerial Economics and a Ph.D. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Jeramy has over 12 years in early-stage investing. Previous/current impact investments include:
Niman Ranch—Sustainable agriculture (Acquired by Purdue)
EcoScraps—Environmentally friendly produce and compost (Acquired by Scotts/MiracleGro)
Scintalla—Super resolution microscopy (Acquired by Bruker)
PhotoPharmics—Light Therapy technology for Parkinson's
Fuze Networks—Financial Inclusion, payments for the non-banked (Acquired by Ingo Money)
Also investor in i4 Commerce (Bill me Later), Think Big Analytics and over 20 other early-stage companies.
Jeramy currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Park City Angel Network and is on the Investment Committee of Kickstart Seed Funds I & II. Jeramy has served as a mentor for DESB’s Board Fellows and Smart Start programs and served on UUBAA for eight years. Jeramy is also actively involved in the non-profit arena. He is the Board Chair of the Community Foundation of Utah, Treasurer of the Lund Foundation on the Board of Envision Utah and PandoLabs and on the Advisory Committee for Utah Clean Energy. Jeramy graduated from the University of Utah, Magna Cum Laude, with a BS in Accounting and received his MBA from Harvard Business School
Mr. Baird is the CEO of Village Capital, an Impact Investing Incubator and related Fund. Mr. Baird developed the Village Capital concept in 2009, and has led the development of programs supporting over 500 entrepreneurs worldwide. Mr. Baird co-founded VilCap Investments, which launched in 2014, and is believed to be the world's largest peer-selected venture fund in the impact investing space. Before launching Village Capital, he worked with First Light Ventures, a seed fund focused on impact investments, and four education-related startup companies. He also serves on the board of Impact Business Leaders and Shortlist, two firms focused on human capital for startup companies, and is a lecturer at the University of Virginia. He has a MPhil from the University of Oxford, where he was a Marshall Scholar, and a BA from the University of Virginia, where he was a Truman Scholar and a Jefferson Scholar.
Mr. Pignanelli is a founding partner of Foxley & Pignanelli, government relations, public affairs, strategic planning, communications and political research firm. One of the youngest Utahns elected to a state office, Mr. Pignanelli served in the Utah State Legislature for ten (10) years (including serving six (6) years as the Minority Leader of the Utah House of Representatives. Also a practicing attorney, Mr. Pignanelli was active in general litigation until 1993 when he was appointed Vice President and General Counsel of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Utah. Mr. Pignanelli also serves as an adjunct professor and teaches an upper division course in campaign management for the University of Utah Hinckley Institute of Politics.