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.
Michael Zacharia has served as a member of the Board since December 2020. Mr. Zacharia is an executive coach and consultant to top executives in Fortune 150 companies and significant privately held companies as well as leaders of prominent non-profits, institutions of higher education, and families of means. Michael also conducts private mediations and teaches Cross-cultural Negotiations and Dispute Resolution as Adjunct Professor of Law at the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at the Pepperdine University School of Law.
Michael retired in July, 2007 after twelve years as Executive Vice President for Business Development, General Counsel and Secretary of DFS Group Limited, the world’s largest travel retail company. Prior to joining DFS, Michael was a partner for seven years in a large and nationally renowned Washington D.C. law firm. Previously, Michael was a litigation partner in the largest law firm in Sacramento, California. In 1988, Michael was appointed by President Reagan and confirmed by the Senate as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration. In 1981, Michael was selected by a Presidential Commission as one of 14 White House Fellows and served as Special Assistant in the office of the United States Secretary of State.
Michael has served on the Board of Directors of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. (NYSE: MSO). He currently serves on the Advisory Board for the Center for Advanced Coaching. Michael was Co-Director of the Pacis Project on Faith Based Diplomacy, which was a joint venture between Pepperdine University and the International Center for Religion and Diplomacy in Washington, D.C. The Pacis Project was the recipient of the 2011 Peacemaker of the Year Award for its work in the Middle East.
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.