Board of Directors
Steven L. Brown, our founder, has served as Chairman of the Board and as our Chief Executive Officer since August 2019. Mr. Brown is also a member of the Investment Committee. Mr. Brown is the Founder of, and a Managing Partner at, Trinity, a leading provider of venture loans and equipment lease financing to growth stage companies. Mr. Brown founded Trinity in January 2008.
Mr. Brown has 25 years of experience in venture equity and venture debt and working with growth stage companies. Prior to founding Trinity, Mr. Brown served as general partner at Point Financial Capital Partners, a venture leasing fund, from 2003 to 2008 and was the President and Chief Financial Officer of InvestLinc Financial Services, an early-stage private equity fund and consulting firm, from 1998 to 2002. He was also part of the founding group of Cornerstone Equity Partners, a private equity fund, and served as a partner from 1996 to 1998.
Kyle Brown has served as a member of the Board and as our President and Chief Investment Officer since August 2019. Mr. Brown is also a member of the Investment Committee. Mr. Brown has been a Managing Partner at Trinity and a member of its investment committees since 2015. In such capacity, Mr. Brown has been responsible for managing investment activities at Trinity in order to achieve the firm’s deployment goals and has managed relationships with potential customers as well as with strategic partners, including venture capital firms and technology bank lenders. Prior to joining Trinity, Mr. Brown was the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Brown Equity, LLC, a real estate financial investment firm, from 2006 to 2015. He also co-founded and managed Sharp Equity Homes, LLC, a full-service, web-based multiple listing service for trustee sale auctions in Arizona and California, from 2007 to 2012. Prior to that, Mr. Brown founded or co-founded three additional startups over the course of his career.
Ronald E. Estes has served as a member of the Board since September 2019. Mr. Estes has served as the Chief Financial Officer of LifeStream Complete Senior Living, Inc., a nonprofit provider of senior living communities, since January 2013 and as its President and Chief Executive Officer since 2016. In such capacities, Mr. Estes is responsible for all matters related to the mission, organization and financial oversight of LifeStream Complete Senior Living, Inc. Prior to that, Mr. Estes served as a tax director at McGladrey LLP (now RSM US LLP), an audit, tax and consulting services firm, from 2011 to 2012. Mr. Estes also previously served as the Chief Financial Officer of The Ryerson Company, a developer and operator of senior living communities, from 2003 to 2010. Mr. Estes is a certified public accountant with 15 years of public accounting experience.
Richard R. Ward has served as a member of the Board since September 2019. Previously, Mr. Ward was Senior Vice President of Avnet Inc. — President of Avnet Computer Products (“Avnet”), a Fortune 200 company and distributor of electronic components, from 1992 until his retirement in 2000. After his retirement, Mr. Ward returned to Avnet for two years at the request of the chairman to mentor and create leadership development programs for Avnet’s top and most promising executives. Mr. Ward’s prior responsibilities, spread over 20 years with Avnet, include Director of North American Field Operations, area and regional sales, marketing and operational duties. In addition, Mr. Ward has served as an advisor to several privately held commercial enterprises in various industries.
Edmund G. Zito has served as a member of the Board since September 2019. Prior to joining the Board, Mr. Zito served as the President of Alliance Bank of Arizona (a division of Western Alliance Bank) from 2014 to 2018 and was a member of its Asset and Liability Management and Investment Committee, as well as its Risk Management Committee. Mr. Zito has over 30 years of commercial and investment banking and public finance experience. He served as Regional President and as a member of the board of directors for Imperial Bank Arizona from 1997 to 2000. Prior to that, Mr. Zito served in senior executive positions with First Interstate Bank, including President of First Interstate Equity Corporation (an SBIC), from 1993 to 1996. Mr. Zito has served on the board of advisors to Adopt Technologies, a cloud computing and information technology service provider, since 2016, and Redirect Health, a healthcare company, since 2018. He has served on the board of directors of Board Developer, a strategic management consulting firm, since 2018 and became chairman of its board of directors in 2019.
Mr. Zito has worked extensively on economic development and capital formation in Arizona, having chaired the Economic Development Committee of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce (the “ACC”) from 2016 to 2018. Mr. Zito also has served on the board of directors of the ACC since 2013 and has served on the executive committee of the ACC from 2016 to 2018. In addition, Mr. Zito served as initial Vice Chairman of the Arizona Economic Resource Organization, a Governor-mandated, public-private partnership formed to lead Arizona’s economic development initiatives, from 2008 to 2010.
From 2013 to 2018, Mr. Zito served on the board of directors of Downtown Phoenix Inc. and was a member of its executive committee and served as its treasurer from 2014 to 2018. He served on the Flinn Foundation Bioscience Steering Committee from 2005 to 2018 and as a member of the Canada Arizona Business Council from 2012 to 2018.