Bill Schlough – CIO SF Giants

Bill Schlough SF Giants CIO

When I talk to people about getting their MBAs, most of their focus is around gaining new technical skills like financial modeling or something similar. I strongly believe that connecting with classmates and creating new memories with those friends is more important than learning how to be an excel jockey. Bill Schlough is a perfect example of this as we never took a class together, but share fun memories from our days playing volleyball at Wharton – hours spent on the courts and traveling up and down the New England corridor for tourneys. Bill’s held the role of Chief Information Officer for the San Francisco Giants since our graduation 25 years ago. It’s no surprise that we chat a lot about the importance sports plays in the lives of our children and communities across the US. 

I incorrectly assumed that Bill, a former collegiate two-sport athlete and Olympics employee, seeks athletes in his hiring, so he fills me in on what he seeks in candidates. His hilarious story about the real life challenges Covid presented as he simultaneously navigated keeping his kindergartener on task during Zoom classes while dialing into his executive staff meetings amidst flying Nerf darts are sure to make you laugh.



I’ve had a hunch about the long-term effects of innovation with remote work. The US boasts some of the most innovative companies in the world, but my experience is that ideas occur in serendipitous moments in the break room during your afternoon chocolate break. Bill says that being back at work breathes lives back into his work day, and he supports my thesis that being in-person is critically important to keeping the flywheel of innovation spinning.

Bill’s an incredible mentor and reveals that he loves giving back and particularly expressing his gratitude with the mentors in his life. With 600+ mentees over his career, Bill demonstrates a servant’s heart and desire to help and guide others. This episode is truly inspirational as Bill is a down-to-earth executive with such rich and deep insights to share with anyone looking to break into the C-Suite. Thanks for tuning in! 

About Bill Schlough

Since Bill Schlough’s arrival in 1999, the Giants have been recognized as one of the most innovative teams in sports, playing a pioneering role in the world of mobile connectivity, video, ticketing and payment systems. The Giants were the first team to provide free Wi-Fi to all fans beginning in 2004, and Oracle Park is currently the home of the third largest and first 4K-capable video boardin MLB. Schlough’s IT team has also supported the baseball operation in implementing an array of proprietary analytictools that helped the team secure three World Series titles in recent years.

In addition to his technologyleadershipresponsibilities in San Francisco, Schloughserved asInterim President and subsequently Chairman ofthe Giants’ Class-A San Jose affiliate, ultimately overseeing the team’s recent sale after a decade at the helm.

An Olympic enthusiast, Schlough assisted in crafting the technology vision and operations plans for San Francisco’s bids to host the 2012, 2016 and 2024 Olympic Games. His event experience includes assignments at the 1994 World Cup along with Olympics in Atlanta, Salt Lake, Torino, PyeongChang, and Beijing.

Previously, he worked as a consultant with Booz-Allen & Hamilton and EDS. Schlough serveson the boardof Junior Achievement of Northern California and isan avid supporter of Junior Giants, raising over $150,000 through speaking appearances and other fundraisers. Schlough was inducted into’s CIO Hall of Fame in 2017, was named Trace3’s 2016 CIO Outlier of the Year, InformationWeek’s 2012 IT Chief of the Year, and is a Sports Business Journal“Forty Under 40” honoree.

A San Francisco native and Ironman triathlete, Schlough holds a Mechanical Engineering degree from Duke University and an MBA from the Wharton School. He resides inLos Altos with his wife, Erin, and sons, Xavier and Quinlan.

Dave Liu – Tech Investment Banker, CEO Advisor

Dave Liu Wall St. tech veteran

David Liu is a retired tech investment banker who now advises CEOs and makes strategic investments to support Asian content creators. A mutual friend introduced us and I was surprised to have met someone else with so many shared interests and passions, while never crossing paths!

His personal journey includes moving from China to the US and having to pay for everything on his own, including a college degree from an Ivy League university.

After seeing the long list of job openings for investment banks, he applied and made it through the rigorous hiring process to land his first Wall St. internship.

Dave learned a LOT about cultural differences and became an astute observer of people, learning what nuanced behaviors made for great success in high-powered environments.

And he continued to study and learn… 

At the pinnacle of his career as the youngest person to have made Managing Director, Dave made a seemingly crazy decision; he left after 25 years and decided to write his observations and notes as a way to share his learnings with his sons. Anyone interested in working on Wall Street will find tremendous value reading The Way of the Wall Street Warrior

About Dave Liu

Dave Liu started his investment banking career working for Goldman Sachs and then joined the fledgling investment bank, Jefferies, when it had fewer than 200 employees and an equity market capitalization of under $200 million. Jefferies was a scrappy, entrepreneurial California-based bank that was started by an ex-cattle rancher in a phone booth and dared to challenge the incumbent giants of Wall Street. Today, Jefferies is a multi-billion dollar diversified public company (NYSE:JEF).

Over almost 25 years at Jefferies, Dave progressed from the proverbial janitorial suite to Managing Director co-running all Digital Media and Internet investment banking activities. He’s  worked with hundreds of companies, including IBM, Google, Microsoft, Sony, Yahoo!, and Yelp. He’s managed all aspects of capital markets, venture capital and advisory for high growth Internet and technology companies and completed over 100 transactions for a broad range of companies in the USA, Asia and Europe. Dave’s worked on almost every conceivable type of corporate finance transaction including IPOs, follow-on offerings, convertibles, securitizations, and private company sales. Dave has seen it all.

Group 67

After retiring from investment banking, Dave entered the world of start-ups and co-founded several companies in asset management, technology, media, and entertainment. His current and past activities include:

  • CEO of Liucrative Endeavors, a merchant banking firm
  • President of La Mesa Capital, an investment firm
  • Vice Chairman of MobilityWare, one of the largest mobile, casual gaming companies in the world
  • Chairman of Reel8, a NFT marketplace
  • Board Member of Francesca’s, a leading boutique retailer
  • Board Member of TEG Live, a GRAMMY and Tony Awards winning live production company 
  • CEO Advisor to Capacity, an artificial intelligence platform
  • CEO Advisor to, a leading cloud-native data catalog platform
  • CEO Advisor to Internet Brands/WebMD, a multi-billion dollar technology company
  • CEO Advisor to ProSiebenSat.1 Media, a multi-billion dollar company and one of the largest media companies in Europe
  • CEO Advisor to Vobile, a multi-billion dollar video software company
  • Investor in FIGS, a multi-billion dollar medical apparel retailer
  • Investor in Philz Coffee, an iconic coffee retailer based in Silicon Valley
  • Investor in Stampede, a movie and TV production company

Dave is also a perspiring artist and writer who is learning how to draw and write funny. He studied creative writing at the University of Pennsylvania, Sundance Institute, and The Second City. He publishes a career advice column called “Breaking Bamboo,” and a cartoon series called “The ABC Life.”

Dave is active in philanthropy and non-profit organizations. Net proceeds from his books will go towards charities helping children born with clefts, Asian Americans, and other underrepresented groups.


Jane Mosbacher Morris – Founder & CEO To the Market

Jane Mosbacher Morris - 2022 To the Market

Growing up, I was a tomboy through and through and spent more time with guys than girls. It wasn’t until college that I truly appreciated the importance of having a support group of women. Cut to 25 years later when I finally felt comfortable attending an all-women’s conference, where I met Jane Mosbacher Morris, author of Buy the Change You Want to See. Her story painted a picture of a young girl destined to be an entrepreneur.

Though the entrepreneurship seeds were sown, through elementary and middle school, Jane really aspired to be a professional actress.  Her story as an entrepreneur continues after 9/11 during Jane’s high school years, stirring a strong passion to help others. It led her to study at Georgetown, landing an internship at the U.S. State Dept and turning that into a full time gig during her senior year. Working in Counterterrorism eventually led to Jane to find her true passion of empowering women around the world to have dignified work.

She’s since started To the Market, a digital supply chain management tool for ethically and sustainably sourced goods, matching retailers with makers around the world.   

Jane is an inspirational young leader and you’re going to love our conversation on MENTOR dna. 

Jane Mosbacher Morris - To the Market CEO
To the Market Supply Chain Management Ethical and Sustainable
To the Market Supply Chain Management Ethical and Sustainable

About Jane Mosbacher Morris

Jane Mosbacher Morris is Founder and CEO of TO THE MARKET, a company that connects businesses and consumers to ethically made products from around the world. Clients include Bloomingdale’s, Dillards, and Target; and investors include Techstars and Farfetch.

Jane previously served as the Director of Humanitarian Action for the McCain Institute for International Leadership and currently serves on the Institute’s Human Trafficking Advisory Council. Prior to joining the Institute, she worked in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Counterterrorism and in the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues. Jane is a member of VF Corporation’s Advisory Council on Responsible Sourcing (owner of Van’s, Timberland, Wrangler, The North Face, and others). She is also a term member at the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the CARE Board of Directors.

She is the author of Penguin Random House/Tarcher Perigee book, Buy the Change You Want to See: Use Your Purchasing Power to Make the World a Better Place (January 29, 2019). The book has been featured on platforms ranging from CNN, Bloomberg, and Forbes to Marie Claire. The book was a Target Non-Fiction Best-Seller, a #1 Consumer Guide on Amazon, and a #1 New Business Ethics Release on Amazon.

In 2020, Fortune Magazine named Jane one of the 25 World’s Greatest Leaders because of her response to COVID-19. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and an MBA from Columbia Business School. She is married to fellow entrepreneur Nate Morris of Kentucky.

Meesh Pierce – advisor, board member, podcaster

meesh pierce MENTOR dna podcast host

Welp, here it is. An episode where I get interviewed on my own show. Weird. Uncomfortable. Awkward. Yes, all of those things!

BUT, I was able to convince Wharton Professor Pete Fader to interview me! We chat about how I landed my first internship in the music industry, my transition into tech, and the crazy and bold things I’ve said to colleagues and bosses.

Leadership podcasts allow seasoned execs to share their stories and I hope you enjoy my journey. 

About Meesh Pierce

Meesh Pierce is a former tech executive who started her career in entertainment during the heyday of grunge rock. Her early days at Disney and Sony Music introduced her to the corporate world and importance of connectedness.

She worked long hours answering phones, faxing Winnie the Pooh and Lion King toy concepts to China, and sneaking into hole-in-the-wall concerts until the wee hours. During the early internet days, Meesh bet that tech was going to materially change the entertainment world, so she headed back to Philly for her 2nd stint at Wharton.

As a freshly-minted business school grad, she stepped into product management gigs for the likes of NBC, Sony Digital Entertainment, and Ticketmaster.

A risk taker, Meesh started an early dot com custom merch company, snacki, in the late 90s. A few years later, she took an opportunity to learn commercial and residential real estate development from a seasoned investor.

She spent 15 years as a hired gun consultant  stepping into difficult 1-2 year projects; those that needed someone adept at strategy, product and marketing, and comfortable navigating across divisions and up to the c-suite and board. As an independent consultant, she’s worked with Epson, Mercedes (AutoGravity), Fandango (NBC), and Amor Boutique Hotel amongst others.

Meesh now serves on boards, as advisor to several organizations, and mentor to many. She loves using her experience to make connections between people and ideas.

Meesh is equally left and right-brained. She drives an F-150 to support her furniture painting habits as there’s rarely an abandoned roadside furniture piece she doesn’t stop to investigate. She started documenting her furniture painting techniques at and learned a great deal about SEO through her personal journey as a blogger.

She’s also an avid gardener and has built her own hydroponics greenhouse with a fully-functioning set-up for tomato and lettuce farming.

Meesh loves people and mentoring. She has many mentees stretching across all walks of life; from Broadway stars, to growth-minded entrepreneurs, to people in career or life transitions.   

Pete Fader – Wharton Marketing Professor

wharton professor pete fader

I’ve always had a proclivity for marketing and curiosity for patterns. When I met marketing Professor Pete Fader, I didn’t realize what a big impact he would have on my career. At 26, he was one of the youngest professors at the Wharton School, and 10 years later had become one of the school’s favorites – teaching undergrad, MBA, and pHd students. 

His research first focused on consumer products, but then shifted into the music and entertainment industry where he served as an expert testifying on behalf of Napster in the late 90s. 

As a professor, he engages his students to really think about customers in a way that most people don’t – NOT every customer is the same. Some are far more profitable than others. So how do you lead your organization to truly understand and focus on customer centricity? Pete collaborated with some of his pHd students to help companies do just that.

With two successful data-driven businesses under his belt and 35 years at the finest business school in the world, we have much to learn from this humble leader who likely will never forget your phone number.

If you find numbers interesting, I highly recommend checking out Pete’s super duper old school site:


Apteryx from BC Comics

About Professor Pete Fader

Peter S. Fader’s expertise centers around the analysis of behavioral data to understand and forecast customer shopping/purchasing activities.

He works with firms from a wide range of industries, such as telecommunications, financial services, gaming/entertainment, retailing, and pharmaceuticals. Managerial applications focus on topics such as customer relationship management, lifetime value of the customer, and sales forecasting for new products. Much of his research highlights the consistent (but often surprising) behavioral patterns that exist across these industries and other seemingly different domains.

In addition to his various roles and responsibilities at Wharton, Professor Fader co-founded a predictive analytics firm (Zodiac) in 2015, which was sold to Nike in 2018.  He then co-founded (and continues to run) Theta Equity Partners to commercialize his more recent work on “customer-based corporate valuation.”

Fader is the author of Customer Centricity: Focus on the Right Customers for Strategic Advantage and coauthor with Sarah E. Toms of the book The Customer Centricity Playbook. He has been quoted or featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, The Washington Post, and on NPR, among other media. In 2017, Professor Fader was named by Advertising Age as one of its inaugural “25 Marketing Technology Trailblazers,” and was the only academic on the list.

Susan Natland, Sr. Partner Knobbe Martens

Susan Natland, Sr. Partner, Knobbe Martens

Susan and I met each other through our husbands. We played a round of golf way back when and have since connected around social settings and discussions about our businesses and careers. 

What’s interesting to me is that I didn’t realize what a powerhouse she was in the world of IP law until about 10 years ago. She’s confident and humble, but it was her husband who told me about the roles she had landed as “side hustles.” You know…teaching at UCLA Law School, serving our country on the USPTO Trademark Trademark Public Advisory Committee as Vice Chair. NOT small potatoes kind of gigs! 

Another common thread that I’ve gleaned from my leadership podcast guests is that many of them include a solid workout in their daily routines. I often see Susan at yoga and pilates and she’s energized and ready to start her day!

On this episode of MENTOR dna, we discuss the importance of being true to yourself and advocating for what you feel you deserve. She also tells a story about her first Chinese factory raid to shut down illegal hand bag manufacturing. Fascinating!

About Susan Natland

Susan Natland is a senior partner in the Orange County office of Knobbe Martens and has been practicing IP law for over 20 years.  As Co-Chair of the firm’s Brand Protection Group and Chair of the firm’s Data Privacy and Security Group, Susan had led a career advising start-ups to Fortune 100 companies on all aspects of domestic and international brand protection, advertising law, copyright law, and data privacy and security matters. Her passion is mentoring others and building strong teams who share her business approach to the law in providing clear, concise and practical advice and success in achieving results for her clients. Her clients view her as a true trusted business partner and have honoured her for many years with the “Client Choice” award.  Susan has also taught advanced Trademark Law at her alma mater UCLA Law, and was seconded as trademark counsel for one of the biggest technology and e-commerce companies in the world for several years, helping guide business decisions and policy. Susan has served on her firm’s Executive Committee and Diversity Committee and was recently appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to serve as Vice-Chair of the USPTO Trademark Public Advisory Committee (TPAC).

Coco Brown, CEO & Founder, Athena Alliance

Coco Brown Athena Alliance

This episode is in partnership with the University of Pennsylvania’s Momentum Conference, an all-women’s event Oct. 1-3, 2021.

As I’ve entered what I consider the prime years of my career, I’ve been connecting with my girlfriends and colleagues about their aspirations. I spent 25 years in the corporate world and 21 of those had a parallel track spent serving on non-profit boards.

While I eased off the corporate track 3 years ago, I still find that I have much experience and energy to offer. Some of my friends suggested connecting with Coco Brown, CEO & Founder of the Athena Alliance. Coco, too, is a Penn alumna, and she’s built an incredible network of women seeking latter career moves. Many are interested in board service, while others want to start their own companies, and still others are very passionate about venture, private equity or angel investing. 

Athena is a fantastic way for women to continue to learn about these various avenues and connect with one another and companies seeking their expertise. 

About Coco Brown

Coco is a CEO and board member, actively leading Silicon Valley based professional services and tech companies since 1997. From 2002 to 2012 Coco was President and COO of Taos, a Gartner top 20 global IT professional and managed services company servicing hundreds of F1000 and top tier private growth companies nationally. She was also on the board of Taos for 12 years, leading the company through massive economic cycles and business model evolution and growth. Coco led the company to $54m in revenue, and the company has subsequently been sold to IBM. 

In 2016 Coco founded Athena Alliance, a digital platform for learning and agency for top business women striving for the c-suite and the boardroom. Athena has seen 2.8x growth in membership in the last 12 months since launching as a true subscription model and hosts over 1,000 women leaders today. Coco is a well-published expert and speaker on The Modern Boardroom. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. Coco serves on the commercial boards of Athena Alliance, Inc and Archerpoint (an ESOP), as well as the non-profit board of Athena Rising Foundation.

Braxton Woodham, Founder & President, Unfinished Labs

Braxton Woodham, Founder & President Unfinished Labs

Braxton and I started our tech careers together at USWeb/CKS, a web agency that serviced big entertainment brands like NBC, Sony Music, and so many more. In those days, teams were hand-coding websites. There weren’t any content management tools; just brute force.

Those were the early internet days and after I successfully migrated my entire team from NYC back to LA, I left to start my own consumer products company, snacki. Braxton and my paths have crossed several times since, working on projects at Sony Music Digital Ventures, Warner Home Video and Fandango.

Braxton has always  impressed me with his intellectual curiosity; always pushing the boundaries of what’s possible and why things are the way they are. He’s a naturally-gifted leader, effortlessly sitting at the center of a Venn diagram of business, tech, and philosophy. 

His passion for learning and trying new things without fear of failure is inspiring. He knows that one must fail to get to the next better idea. He’s had several successful and less-than-successful outings. And the work he’s now leading at Unfinished Labs is so clearly the culmination of all of his past work. It’s his life calling to build an open source platform so that people can control their own networks and their own data. How about that!? He believes that a global town hall shouldn’t be owned by any one person, company, platform or government. 

This is one of the most important ideas in this particular state of our world’s affairs and his work has massive geo-political implications. I encourage you to tune in to this fantastic episode as he shares his story of how he’s gotten to this point, and where he plans to go.

To learn more about Unfinished’s work, I encourage you to drop into their 2-day conference Sept 23-24, 2021 at The Shed in NYC.

Unfinished Labs’ Conference 2021 Details >>

About Braxton Woodham

Braxton Woodham, President of Unfinished Labs, formerly served as the Chief Technology and Product Officer at Fandango and was co-founder, President, and Chief Technology Officer at Sun Basket, where he continues to serve as a board member. Braxton also was co-founder and Executive Chairman at, a software company providing a platform and applications for systematic digital asset trading and co-founded Tap11, a real-time media analytics platform which was acquired by AVOS Systems in 2011.

Earlier, he was the CTO of InfoSpace’s mobile division where he was responsible for the infrastructure that serviced approximately three quarters of all mobile web traffic in North America. Braxton joined InfoSpace through the acquisition of Moviso, where he led the development of the V4 Digital Media Platform, which scaled by more than 100 times to generate over $1.5 billion in revenue across US, European and Australian mobile carriers.  Prior to joining Moviso / InfoSpace, Braxton served as Executive Director of Technology at Sony Music Digital Media Ventures, where he focused on new Internet initiatives including Keyhole, which was acquired by Google and relaunched as Google Earth.

Notably, Braxton served as Lead Propulsion Engineer for two Atlas missions and was a Captain in the United States Air Force. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Vanderbilt University.

Casey Courneen, CEO Blackstone Technology Group

Casey Courneen - CEO, President and Founder Blackstone Technology Group

Casey and I met during our days at Penn. We were both Wharton undergrads hailing from California beach towns and we lived on the same street in W. Philly. There was comfort in the hometown familiarity of our Quicksilver t-shirts and flip flops.

Casey was President of his fraternity and head of the Inter Fraternity Council, bringing culturally diverse groups together through music and dancing on the edge of Penn’s campus. His house threw the most incredible dance parties, mixing with diverse greek houses across campus and always serving up the stickiest and most competitive beer pong one could find on campus! 

Casey is one of the most loyal friends who’s committed to staying connected with his friends despite location or time. He’s a devoted husband and father, which isn’t surprising as Casey’s parents wholeheartedly supported of all of his endeavors and were the biggest influencers for him.

He and his business partners at Blackstone Technology Group had a very clear vision about what type of consulting business they wanted to start and run for the long-run. They wanted to build a company that provided a runway and they steered clear of the very enticing trend of quickly building a tech start-up and selling. They’ve held close to that early mission and 23 years later, still a privately-funded and held company, command a very strong position to look ahead to the future of tech consulting and the opportunities that lie ahead.    

About Casey Courneen

Casey Courneen is the CEO, President and a co-founder of Blackstone Technology Group. Casey’s rich history in leading teams and servicing Fortune 100 customers helps him address our customers’ unique hiring challenges, and ensures profitability and productivity for all parties. Casey began his career at PriceWaterhouse in the Management Consulting Services division, helping Fortune 100 telecom, energy, and financial services companies gain advantage over their competition with superior information systems. From there he moved to a start-up IT services firm where he concentrated on leading several client-server, object-oriented and distributed technology projects across a number of different vertical marketplaces. At Blackstone, he continues to focus his efforts on driving innovation and developing creative internal strategies used to hire and retain the best talent in the industry. Casey holds a B.S.E. in Finance and Legal Studies from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

Jason Hodell, CEO Skullcandy

Jason Hodell, CEO Skullcandy

Jason was one of the few married business school friends I had in Philly. I admired how he and his wife worked together through all the moves and changes a young Army family experiences. Jason and I shared a love for beach volleyball and found ourselves playing on an indoor team stacked with former collegiate players. Other teams would show up to tourneys wearing Goldman Sachs-sponsored unis while we’d roll in on an RV, sleep in the parking lot, and show up to the games squeezed into our high school and college jerseys. Life’s too short to take yourself too seriously…and we never did. But we always won which was never as important as having fun.

Jason’s leadership on and off the court has always left an impression on me. After business school, he worked on Wall St. and demonstrated a work ethic I’d never seen…ever. He was a beast putting in the hours to prove that he could make the transition as an Army Ranger into the corporate world. And he did. 

We have too many stories to share in this episode, but I know you’ll gain some important insights from our chat!

Jason Hodell is the CEO of Skullcandy, the original youth audio lifestyle brand based in
Park City, Utah. In 2020, Skullcandy was #2 to Apple in total headphones/earphones
sold in North America, and the leader in units and total dollars sold at < $100 MSRPs.
Skullcandy is globally distributed in over ninety countries with offices in Park City,
Vancouver, Shenzhen, and London. Prior to this role, he was the CFO/COO of
Skullcandy and helped lead the company through its public company life (Nasdaq:
SKUL) and the subsequent 2016 “take-private” transaction with Mill Road Capital.

Prior to joining Skullcandy, Jason was the CFO of Shopzilla/Bizrate, the largest family of
comparison shopping engines (CSEs) in global Internet retailing, the CFO / COO of
Move Networks, an IPTV technology pioneer acquired by EchoStar Corporation in 2010
to create SlingTV, and, earlier in his career, Jason was the Senior Director of Business
Operations at Digex (Nasdaq: DIGX), a cloud-computing and data center pioneer
acquired by MCI (now Verizon Business) in 2003 for ~$230m in firm value.
Prior to Digex, Jason was in the Technology Investment Banking group of JPMorgan,
focused on communications technology mergers and acquisitions and initial public
offerings. He later served as portfolio manager at Plainview Capital for five years,
ranked multiple times by BNY Mellon among the top 10 performing domestic small-cap-
value equity funds.
Jason received his B.S. in Economics (Mathematical) from the United States Military
Academy at West Point and then served for five years as an Infantry Officer in the U.S.
Army. Jason earned his MBA in Finance from the Wharton School, University of