Our 2016-2017 Austin Steering Committee is a group of renowned local professionals, dedicated to delivering top quality programs and networking opportunities. For further details on who's who, take a look at some of their bios listed below:
Andy Cox, Vice President, Robert Half Management Resources
As Vice President for Robert Half Management Resources, Andy consults and provides project and interim staffing resources for companies seeking senior-level finance, accounting, and business systems professionals. Since 2011, he has been responsible for building and growing the Austin team to an all-time high by establishing its reputation as an experienced, trustworthy, and leading provider of professional services, dedicated to helping clients to solve their business challenges. Andy's previous roles include financial analyst for Sabre Holdings and FP&A Manager in the O&G industry. He began his career at Axley & Rode, a CPA firm.
Andy holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Stephen F. Austin State University. He is also a member of the executive committee for the LLS Austin Light The Night Walk, which raises awareness and funds for blood cancers.
Sonia Desai, Director, HSSK
With more than twelve years of experience providing legal and corporate clients with insight into forensic, valuation, and accounting related matters, Sonia serves as Director in the Valuation practice of HSSK. In addition to advising clients on the value of assets and business interest for estate and gift tax planning, mergers and acquisitions, financial reporting, and litigation, she has significant knowledge of dispute advisory and forensic services. Sonia previously held a director level position in the Disputes and Investigations practice of an international publicly-traded consulting firm. In addition, she has served as a panelist and presenter for several legal associations and has written a variety of articles for publications, including CPA Insider.
Sonia is a Certified Public Accountant, an Accredited Senior Appraiser, a Chartered Professional Accountant, and a Chartered Business Valuator with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Toronto.
Mark Dennon, Partner, PwC
Mark is currently a partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he has focused on delivering professional services to multinational, telecommunications, and technology industry companies. He is also a board member for Susan G. Komen's Austin chapter.
Mark received his Bachelor of Science degree from King's College and is a licensed CPA in Texas, California, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.
Diana Holford, Senior VP, Jones Lang Lasalle
As part of the Jones Lang LaSalle tenant representation team, Ms. Holford is responsible for representing clients in facility, site acquisitions and surplus space dispositions. Her responsibilities include marketing, strategy implementation, coordination and review of market research with a special emphasis on financial analysis, leading lease review and negotiations. Her well-developed technical knowledge of the real estate process gives her a broad understanding of the important principles that must be incorporated into a transaction.
Wes Jones, Partner, Vinson & Elkins, LLP
Wes is a partner in Vinson & Elkins' Austin office. He focuses primarily on the representation of publicly traded and privately held companies, with particular emphasis on private equity, venture capital transactions, and mergers and acquisitions. He has extensive experience representing venture capital firms and their portfolio companies in the technology, energy, and life sciences industries. Wes has practiced law for two decades and has served as general counsel for both a privately held and a publicly traded software company.
Amanda Nevins, CFO, CSID
Amanda has more than 20 years of experience in a variety of executive leadership positions. As CFO of CSID, she ensures not only the best financial and strategic alignment, but also effective use of capital. Her prior roles include Chief Financial Officer in the U.S. group of Rackspace and Chief Accounting Officer at Zappos.com, as well as a variety of senior leadership positions at GSI Commerce, Inc. In addition to serving as a mentor with SKU (formerly Incubation Station) and an investor and advisor for several Austin based companies, Amanda sits on the board of Raven and Lily. She is also on the board, executive committee, and finance committee of Lifeworks. Amanda's professional recognitions include: recipient of the Austin Business Journal's Best CFO-Medium Private Company Award, 2009 Treasury and Risks 100 Most Influential People in Finance, and the Alexander Hamilton gold award for middle market treasury.
Amanda holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Southern California.
Mark Ferguson, CFO, Premier Research Labs
Mark's bio is available upon request.
Chris Friedrichs, CFO, Camelot Education
Prior to becoming the CFO of Camelot Education, Chris was the Vice President of Finance for AMN Healthcare, Inc., a $1 billion healthcare staffing company. He has experience in private equity and public company settings, multi-state operations, cost management initiatives, due diligence, acquisition integration, strategic planning, risk management, treasury operations, and financial reporting.
Chris earned his bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Texas at San Antonio and is a CPA. He also served as an officer in the U.S. Army Reserves for 10 years.
Jay Powers, CFO, Active Power
A certified public accountant, Jay is an accomplished finance leader with broad experience at both domestic and international organizations in a variety of industries including manufacturing, power quality, and energy storage. He brings more than 30 years of finance, accounting, and operations experience to Active Power, with a proven record of protecting assets, implementing new processes, and succeeding in fast paced, change driven environments. Jay's previous positions include Vice President of Finance for U.S. Windows and Doors' division of PlyGem Industries, Vice President and Global Controller of Xerium Technologies, and Vice President of Internal Audit at Invensys PLC. He also spent more than 11 years in various senior finance and accounting roles and began his career as a senior auditor at Ernst and Young LLP.
Jay holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the State of University of New York at Albany.
Patti Soch, CFO, Datical
Patti is currently the CFO of Datical, a high growth organization that creates products for enterprises to make dramatic improvements in their database change management processes. Prior to Datical, she was the CFO at Gazzang, acquired by Cloudera in 2014, as well as the CFO of Phurnace Software, acquired by BMC Software in 2009. Patti is actively involved in the Austin tech community and serves on the board of directors of Women@Austin.
Dax Williamson, Managing Director, Silicon Valley Bank
As Managing Director of Silicon Valley Bank, Dax helps to increase the probability of success for entrepreneurs by providing guidance, debt capital, and banking services to emerging growth companies in the innovation economy. He began his career with Wells Fargo’s US Corporate Banking Group, supporting Fortune-1000 companies in the southeast. Striving to bring focus to the southwest region as a technology hub, he spends his time actively supporting such organizations and activities as the Invest SW conference, GPEC’s Innovation Council, and the ACA’s Innovation Challenge.
Dax holds a BBA in Finance from Texas Christian University and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).