Leadership

Skip Vaccarello – Chairman of the Board

Skip is a Partner with 1Flourish Capital, a venture firm investing in technology-based start-up companies led by entrepreneurs of character who understand that corporate culture is vital to success. He is the author of the book Finding God in Silicon Valley:  Spiritual Journeys in a High-Tech World and the blog www.FindingGodInSiliconValley.com

In addition, Skip chairs Connect Silicon Valley, a non-profit organization that offers events featuring high profile individuals to encourage conversations about faith and life, and sits on other corporate and non-profit boards, and speaks at various organizations on the topics of leadership and faith.

Skip has over 40 years of experience in leadership positions for Silicon Valley technology companies, including VisiCorp, the provider of the industry’s first spreadsheet, VisiCalc. Most recently, he served as President and CEO of Applied Weather Technology, a global company providing software and services to the maritime industry. His other experience includes CEO of Communications Solutions, Inc., division general manager of 3Com, and co-founder and CEO of The Saratoga Group. He earned an A.B. in economics from Harvard College and an MBA from Boston University.  Skip has been married for over 40 years, has two daughters and six grandchildren

Dave Chae – Executive Director 

Dave is the Executive Director at Connect Silicon Valley and Chief Executive Advisor at Ai-Blockchain, a global tech company in Hoboken, NJ. A former Lead Pastor (18 years) of several churches and CEO of his own non-profit, Dave is passionate and committed to expanding God’s Kingdom in the Bay Area and beyond.

God used Dave to grow his first church, GrX (2001-2011), from 13 people in his living room in Sunnyvale to 750 people in three years. In addition, God used him to plant five churches in a span of 10 years, raise over 5 million dollars for building projects, build a road in Thailand, and establish an orphanage in Kenya.

Convinced that the gospel changes everything, Dave dreams of the day when the entire Bay Area is transformed for Christ’s sake.

Dave received his master’s in Divinity from Talbot Seminary and did his undergraduate work in American History at Cornell University. He also has a master’s degree in Education from Loyola College in Maryland.  Dave has been married to Helen for the past 27 years. They have 3 kids – Daniel, 26, Maddie, 23, and Elizabeth 18.

Dave loves to workout, hang out with friends, read books on catalytic leadership, and eat steak and seafood, especially clams and oysters on the half shell. Lately, he has been playing a lot of bocce ball.

board of directors

Tom Tognoli

  • Tom is a Partner with 1Flourish Capital, a venture firm investing in technology-based start-up companies led by entrepreneurs of character who understand that corporate culture is vital to success. 
  • Cofounded & sold the largest real estate firm in Silicon Valley (top 10 in U.S.) to Berkshire Hathaway
  • Tom is a dedicated man of faith with a no-nonsense attitude and authentic approach to both business and life. 
  • A graduate of CSU Chico, Tom resides in his hometown of Sunnyvale, California with his wife of nearly 30 years, Lynn. They are proud parents of two young men, Tommy & Nick.

Dustin Keele

  • Silicon Valley Fintech and Renewable Energy Entrepreneur
  • Specialties:  Strategic Partnerships, Full Stack Development, Financial Modeling, Growth Hacking, Award Winning Sales and Marketing Automation
  • B.B.A. Magna Cum Laude, Cox School of Business

Nancy Ortberg

  • CEO of TBC (Transforming Bay Area with Christ)
  • 20+ years in leadership experience in sales, service and the healthcare industry. 
  • Public speaker, both domestically and internationally on leadership and the development of corporate culture
  • Change agent, executive coach, keynote speaker, catalyst, entrepreneur & author.

Allen McClinton

  • Co-founder of Silicon Valley charter school, early-stage startup expertise, leading growth initiatives for the Tesla Home Charging program
  • Empathetic sales and strategic business development leader
  • United States Marine Corps, Georgia Tech, B.S.; UT-Austin, Master’s; Wharton School, MBA

Reid Rutherford

  • Silicon Valley CEO; 4X Silicon Valley Entrepreneur
  • Business Finance, Software Development, Angel Investor
  • Adjunct Bus. Professor, Pepperdine, BA; Stanford, MBA

Tom Rees

  • Silicon Valley commercial real estate guru overseeing the transaction of many large premier commercial properties
  • Partner at Rees Properties Inc., a real estate investment & management company that believes in incorporating biblical principals into its business operations

steering committee

Phil Ahlfeldt

Phil Ahlfeldt is a lifelong Christian, who has served on the Connect SV leadership team for the last 16 years.During a successful career as a head of sales for a number of high technology companies, he served in several church leadership positions, including three terms as a Presbyterian Elder, and is currently serving as a Stephen Ministry Leader at Menlo Church.

megan anderson

Megan Anderson is a newcomer to Connect SV, joining the Steering Commitee in 2021. Megan works part time in Marketing at StarNet Communications and also consults. She has been married for 12 years and has a 3 year old daughter.

Abigail bach

Abigail Bach is VP of Program Strategy at Edify, a non-profit helping expand Christian education in Africa, Latin America and India.
Abigail is an avid skier, hiker and mountaineer. She resides in Menlo Park and is an active member of Menlo Church.

pedro david espinoza

Pedro Espinoza is an Internet entrepreneur, angel investor, board member, TED speaker and author. Pedro is the Founder & CEO of Alpaca Pan Peru, a social venture empowering rural women to become entrepreneurs. Pedro published Differences That Make a Difference: How organizations Succeed by Focusing on Innovation through Inclusion in 2019, winning the Latino International Book Award #1 Best Business Book in 2020.

priscilla farsai

Priscilla Farsai is the Marketing and Media arm to faith driven visionaries, including Connect Silicon Valley and 1 Flourish Capital, a Christian based venture capital firm Bending the Arc of Culture. As a motivational growth and strategic marketing communicator her long-standing involvement has been in real estate as the Marketing Manager of Intero, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate. Priscilla is also an active parent volunteer of Valley Christian Schools of San Jose. Priscilla was a leader in the Cathedral of Faith’s Children’s Ministries of Milpitas, and is passionate about safety and support for youth in her community in Silicon Valley.

ana gonzales

Ana Gonzalez is the Founder and CEO of Alturas Technology Services, a technology Consulting and Recruiting firm in the Bay Area. Before starting her company in 2018, Ana was VP, Strategic Accounts at cPrime, where she received numerous awards for Top Performance and built top performing teams for some of the best brands in technology.

mike griego

Michael is the President/Founder of MXL Partners, a Silicon Valley based sales training and consulting firm. He is an author (42 Rules to Increase Sales Effectiveness), speaker, sales trainer and sales management coach and consultant. He serves on the Connect Silicon Valley Executive Committee and has hosted CSV’s Engage gatherings for several years, Michael also writes a popular weekly Christian blog called Biblical Viewpoint. He has a BA degree from Occidental College and an MBA from Stanford University. Michael and his wife Debbie have been married for 41 years. They have 3 grown married children and 10 grandchildren.

tom gutshall

Tom Gutshall has had an active career in the Chemical industry, founding Cepheid Corp in 1996. He had remained a part of his alma mater, the University of Delaware, by serving as a member of the Chemical Engineering Advisory Committee. . He has been an active member of City Team in San Jose, CA, and Tom serves on the Board of Trustees for The Media Research Center, a non-profit dedicated to maintaining integrity across all forms of media. Tom and his wife, Kipp, are active members in Union Presbyterian Church of Los Alots, where he is an ordained Elder.

nelly khayat

Nelly Khayat serves as a Patient Services Manager with Realoptions Obria Medical, a Well Women’s reproductive health care clinic. After retirement from AT&T, Nelly attained a B.S. degree in psychology/theology from William Jessup University. She has served on the San Jose Senior Commission, BBT (Biblical Bible Training), Family Community Church, New Pentecostal Catholic Ministries and leads the prayer team for Connect Silicon Valley.

tim leets

Tim has years of experience as a business leader and currently heads the San Jose – Silicon Valley practice of BBSI, a national business consulting firm. Tim and his wife enjoy spending time with their two daughters and being actively involved in the faith community. Tim is a big sports fan and also spends time running, hiking and playing basketball. He currently serves on the boards of the Silicon Valley Capital Club and the SVO and enjoys attending Venture Church.

neil mammen

Neil Mammen is an Engineer during the day and teaches the historic and scientific defense of the truth of Christianity at night. His ministry is called No Blind Faith. He is an ordained Evangelical Pastor. In 2020, Neil along with Kevin McGary, founded Every Black Life Matters (www.EveryBLM.com), a non-Marxist Christian alternative to Black Lives Matter. Neil has co-founded five startup companies in Silicon Valley. Neil has about 16 issued and pending patents.Neil was most recently at Dolby Laboratories and is the designer of all of Dolby’s “Dolby Vision®” monitors. Neil is one of the recipients of the Hollywood Lumiere Award for 2019.

brandon picone

Brandon is a Wealth Management Advisor at Merrill Lynch where he and his team manage approximately $400,000,000 in assets. He is also the Sales Manager for Merrill Lynch’s Silicon Valley market.
Brandon is a San Jose native and former division one water polo player. He is a board member of the Salvation Army Silicon Valley; and a member of the Santa Clara County Estate Planning Council and Silicon Valley Bar Association. In his free time he enjoys weight lifting, golfing, hiking, skiing, spending time with his wife and three young boys.

duc quach

Duc is a founder at Thaddeus Construction Technologies and Liquid Equity Partners, a financial firm focused on real estate lending. He is an accomplished real estate investor, managing complex projects related to real estate development, site planning, building, landscape and urban design. He is actively involved in his community through several non-profit organizations.

tim tseng

Rev. Dr. Tim Tseng is the Pacific Area Director for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship’s Graduate and Faculty Ministries (GFM). His has served as a seminary professor, scholar, founder of a non-profit organization, and pastor. Tim is all about helping Jesus followers flourish wherever faith and life intersect. Over the years, he has worked to strengthen Asian American Christians through research, teaching, and supporting ministry leaders. He has lectured, led workshops, and published in the areas of Chinese American Christianity, Asian American studies, evangelicalism, the social gospel, the history of Christianity, and race in American history.