Board of Directors
B.J. Cassin, Chairman
Mr. Cassin has been a venture capitalist for nearly 30 years. He was a financial founder in a number of public companies: Advanced Fibre Communications, Cadence Design Systems, Centex Telemanagement, Cerus Corporation, Endosonics Corporation, Equatorial Communications, Laserscope, Maxtor, Quantum Corporation, Quantum Health Resources, Racotek/Zamba, Scientific Microsystems, Stratacom, and Symphonix Devices. Financial founder in companies sold as private companies: CardioRhythm (Medtronic), Extricity (Peregrine Systems), Metricon (Johnson & Johnson), and Mountain Computer (Nakamichi).
Before becoming a venture capitalist, Mr. Cassin co-founded Xidex Corporation in 1969, which achieved Fortune 500 status in 1987 with sales of $752 million and employing 7,000 worldwide.
Mr. Cassin is Founder and Chairman of the Cassin Educational Initiative Foundation, launched in 2000, to establish private, college preparatory middle and high schools in economically-challenged communities throughout the country. He was a member of the Board of Trustees of Saint Mary's College of California, serving as Chairman from 1995–1999. He also served for three years on the Advisory Board of the Business School of Santa Clara University and was a Director of the Daper Investment Fund at Stanford University.
He currently serves on the Board of Cerus Corporation and several private companies.
Mr. Cassin is Chairman of the Foundation for Nativity and Miguel Schools, a board member of the Cristo Rey Network and FADICA, and is a member of the California Jesuit Province Investment Committee.
Mr. Cassin graduated from Holy Cross and is married, the father of five children, and resides in Los Altos Hills, California.
Mr. Zaccaria has been an entrepreneur, CEO, and valued-added board member in the Information Technology arena for more than 25 years.
He was a founder and CEO of Xidex Magnetics. One year after a successful IPO, Xidex Corporation, a Fortune 500 company, purchased Magnetics. He then went on to serve as COO and CEO of the combined companies until they were sold to Anacomp.
Anticipating the growth in optical storage technology, Mr. Zaccaria founded Triptych CD Corporation and served as its Chairman and CEO, The Company was acquired by AmericDisc.
Mr. Zaccaria served on the Board of Directors of Quinta Corporation, which was sold to Seagate. He was Chairman of Das Devices, which was sold to Applied Magnetics.
Mr. Zaccaria's accomplishments have been recognized by several organizations, including the Harvard Business School Alumni Association, which honored him with an Entrepreneur of the Year Award (shared); and Rochester Institute of Technology, who elected him Alumnus of the Year. He was also awarded personal and unit citations while serving off the coast of Vietnam as a Naval Officer.
Chris Lucas founded Black Diamond Ventures in 1998 to provide the individual investor the opportunity to invest alongside first-tier venture capital firms and institutional investors in privately-held companies. For over 17 years, Chris has raised capital, held board positions and managed several of the portfolio companies through successful IPO's or acquisitions, including DexCom, Inc. (DXCM), DivX Networks, Inc. (DivX), Overture, Inc. acquired by Yahoo (YHOO) and Preview Systems, Inc. (PRVW). Chris currently serves on the board of several private companies and foundations, including Capella Photonics, Inc., Mogreet, Inc., NEI Treatment Systems, LLC, The Lucas Brothers Foundation and Notre Dame High School.
Prior to Black Diamond Ventures, Chris held executive positions for over 18 years, in several venture-backed or privately held companies, including Global One Distribution and Merchandising, Inc. and Peripheral Systems, Inc. Through his venture and family relationships, Chris was previously an investor in Advanced Fibre Communications, Inc., (AFC); Cadence Design Systems (CDNS); Cerus Corporation (CERS), Coulter Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (CLTR), Infinera Corporation (INFN), Macromedia, Inc. acquired by Adobe, (ADBE), Quantum Health, Inc. (QNTM) and Vixel Corporation (VIXL).
Chris received his MBA in Finance from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude, in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California Los Angeles.
Mr. Morissette is President and CEO of DMH Holdings and has built a successful home building, land development and private investment business in Portland and central Oregon. Mr. Morissette has been active in the building industry for over 35 years, serving as president of the Portland Home Builders Association and being elected to the Home Builders Association Hall of Fame. Mr. Morissette was elected to public office, serving four years as a Metro Councilor (a Portland area regional governmental agency) and has worked with community leaders to find solutions for economic development and to bridge gaps in the housing market. As an investor, Mr. Morissette focuses his investments in public and private companies with leading edge technologies
Current investments include: Baynote, Capella, and Bubble Motion.
Larry Schwerin - Capella, President and CEO
Larry brings more than 20 years of firsthand experience in telecommunications, technology, and venture capital to his role as President and CEO.
Most recently, Larry was General Partner at Vanguard Ventures where he sat on the Board of Directors at Capella. Larry was President and CEO of CenCom V, a venture/corporate sponsored business accelerator focused on the telecommunications market. Prior to CenCom V, Larry was founder and General Manager of Lucent Technologies' Wireless Broadband Networks Division, responsible for developing a market leadership position for wireless broadband services around the world. Larry spent twelve years at Bell Laboratories where he was Director of AT&T's Global Fiber Access Systems.
Larry graduated with highest honors with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Drexel University, and achieved highest honors with a Master in Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University.
Steve Reale joined LVP in October 2000 and is focused on enterprise/service provider infrastructure and Cleantech technologies. He joined LVP from ZuluSports.com, an Internet-based adventure sports portal, where he was an early employee and Director of Finance. Prior to ZuluSports, Steve held a variety of equity research positions at Robertson Stephens, Van Kasper & Company and JP Morgan, covering a broad range of industries including outsourced financial processors, business services, environmental technologies and services, and retailing.
Steve currently serves as a board member at Capella and and Consolidated IP Holdings (CIPH). He is also a board observer at Akros Silicon, BroadLogic and Ubicom and was the LVP board member at BigFix, who was acquired by IBM in July 2010. Steve is a graduate of Middlebury College, where he received a BA in International Politics/Economics and Japanese. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst and is a member of the Kauffman Fellows Program Class 14.
Dr. Niel Ransom is President & CEO of Ransomshire Associates, an advisory firm he founded in 2005. Niel brings over 35 years of experience in the telecommunications industry in leadership positions in both operational and strategic roles. As worldwide CTO of Alcatel and member of its Executive Committee, he directed Alcatel research, corporate strategy, intellectual property, and R&D investment. M&A activities included the acquisition of TiMetra, Spatial Communications, eDial, PacketVideo, Thirdspace, iMagicTV, Right Vision, Telera, Aravox, WaterCove, and Native Networks. He previously directed Alcatel’s access and metro optical business in North America. Earlier in his career, he directed the Advanced Technology Systems Center at BellSouth, an organization responsible for expanding BellSouth’s offerings into PCS wireless, IP services, video, and advanced intelligent networks. He started his career at Bell Laboratories where he headed various development and applied research organizations in advanced services and in voice and data switching.
Niel currently serves on the boards of directors of DesignArt Networks, Cyan Optics, MultiPhy, RadiSys (NASDAQ:RSYS), and Polatis. He is a member of the advisory board of Carmel Ventures (Israel) and is on the advisory boards of a number of technology startups.
He previously served on the boards of directors of AMCC, CoreOptic (acquired by Cisco Systems), ECI Telecom (acquired by the Swarth Group), Ellacoya Networks (acquired by Arbor Networks), Overture Networks (merged by Ceteris Networks), Teknovus (acquired by Broadcom), and Turin Networks (merged with Force10).
Niel holds a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Notre Dame, BSEE and MSEE degrees from Old Dominion University, and an MBA from the University of Chicago.
Emeritus Board Member
Joseph E. Davis - Co-founder
The 30-year career of Joe Davis is one of combining imaginative technical innovation with sound business practices to set new industry standards. His areas of specialization have included wavelength selective switches, tunable lasers, magnetic and optical disk drives, as well as such related technologies as optical switches, micro-optics, and micro-machining.
Prior to his retirement, Joe served as the company's CEO from 2000-2004, and subsequently as the Chairman. He co-founded Capella in 2000. Preceding that, he was co-founder and interim COO of Iolon, a Seagate spinoff that focused on tunable lasers for telecommunications. In 1996, he co-founded Quinta Corporation and served as its CTO, where he co-invented a multi-disk data-storage architecture that combined the best features of magnetic and optical technologies. Quinta was sold to Seagate in 1997. Joe has also held senior executive positions with several successful public companies including Maxtor, Seagate, and SyQuest.
Joe received his MS and Ph.D. degrees in aeronautics, with a Ph.D. minor in business economics, from the California Institute of Technology. He holds 26 patents in the fields of optical subsystems, MEMS devices, and magneto-optical data storage and is the author of publications in several fields.