Meet CEO to CEO
Founder & Principal
Meet Robert Sher
Robert Sher is founding principal of CEO to CEO, a consulting firm of former chief executives that improves the leadership infrastructure of midsized companies seeking to accelerate their performance. He was chief executive of Bentley Publishing Group from 1984 to 2006 and steered the firm to become a leading player in its industry (decorative art publishing).
Robert speaks frequently, and has published extensively on the successful leadership traits and skills of CEOs of midsized companies. He is a regular columnist on Forbes.com, has numerous posts on Harvard Business Review online, Entrepreneur.com and CFO.com. He authored two books, the first book, The Feel of the Deal; How I Built a Company through Acquisitions (1toPonder, 2007) and his newest book, Mighty Midsized Companies; How Leaders Overcome 7 Silent Growth Killers, (Boston: Bibliomotion, Sep. 2014). He also publishes his own newsletter, The CEO Insomnia Factor.
From 1984 to 2006, Robert was CEO and co-founder of Bentley Publishing Group, a privately held firm based in Walnut Creek, Calif. Early in the business, he and his partners identified a gap in the fast-growing market for framed artwork: high-quality yet affordable prints perfect for the decorative market. Sher and his partners bootstrapped the business, but key successes breathed new life and cash flow into the business. He led the acquisitions of four competitors between 1999 and 2004 and left Bentley two years later. The firm merged with Global Arts in 2011 to form Bentley Global Art Group.
Robert received a B.S. degree in business administration from Hayward State University in 1986 (during which he ran a small business), and an MBA degree from St. Mary’s College in 1988, where he was the recipient of the Jack Saloma Award for student citizenship. From 1995 to 2000, he taught MBA and executive MBA courses at St. Mary’s on growing entrepreneurial businesses.
Robert and his wife Renee have two children, Ben and Jessie, and live in Northern California. They love sailing and travel.
Meet Greg Davis
Greg Davis serves as a principal of CEO to CEO and brings 30 years of executive management experience in both for-profit and not-for-profit industry sectors. His background includes leading successful teams in customer facing initiatives and strategies as well as in inward facing operations management and oversight.
Greg served as CEO of Source One Technologies where he was brought in to help revive their struggling operations and find additional funding for the company. Source One is a high quality Design Solutions Manufacturer of medical devices with a core competency in wire and cable harnesses and sub-assemblies. They feature FDA approved and ISO 9001 & 13485 certified manufacturing facilities in the U.S., Mexico and China.
While at Source One Greg assisted in the retention and/or expansion of major customer contracts, and stabilized relations with all major vendors. He introduced accurate cost accounting practices for quoting and reporting, and dramatically reduced operational costs. Real communication improvement between business units and departments was an important objective that made headway under his leadership. He was also able to successfully close a failing Manufacturing facility in Costa Rica and open up new low-cost operations in Mexico dramatically reducing manufacturing cost by 70%. Multiple investor groups and individuals were recruited with the end result of paving the way for additional funding into the company. A new ownership/management team is now in place to bring the company to new levels of success.
Prior to Source One Technologies, Greg was a founder and CEO at Deals for Good – an online ‘daily deal’ company similar to Groupon dedicated to funding schools and non-profit organizations through for-profit co-marketing campaigns from 2011 – 2013. Ecommerce start-ups pose unique challenges that Greg can speak to from first-hand experience. He also has served as Vice President and General Manager at Ball Screws & Actuators Co. (BSA) in San Jose, CA a top producer of electromechanical actuators and linear screw drive systems. At BSA Greg had direct reports from Sales & Marketing, Manufacturing, Purchasing, Finance & Accounting, HR, and IT. He managed the selection and installation of the company’s first ERP system and founded the software provider’s first on-line user group. The company is now owned by Danaher Corporation and operates under the Thompson Linear Motion banner.
In the Not-for-profit sector Greg served as a Regional Director for Opportunity International, a world leading micro finance organization providing ‘micro-loans’, insurance, and financial services to 4 million people in over 20 countries trying to work their way out of poverty. While at Opportunity he developed and executed fundraising strategies to reach high capacity donors in the greater Bay Area and built relationships with major C-level donors and business partners (e.g. from Juniper Networks, Oracle, Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sacs, others) resulting in significant new philanthropy. Greg also served as a Board member for Advent Group Ministries which operated Group Homes for at-risk youth throughout the south Bay Area.
Greg holds an MBA from San Jose State University and lives with his wife and three children in San Jose, CA. He enjoys great books, great food, and mountain biking whenever possible.
Meet Michael Stoyanovich
Michael Stoyanovich is an IT and business executive; a solutions architect, product manager and inbound marketer. Professionally he has filled various roles from CIO to CTO to COO. He has been a part of multiple IT centric startups (ISP, learning management, professional services), midsized private companies (data processing, third party benefits administration) and large public multi-billion dollar enterprises (pharmacy benefit management and health IT).
Highlights of Mr. Stoyanovich’s product experience include architecting, producing, launching and growing an innovative benefits administration system delivered as a SaaS product. His growth experience includes leading the due diligence and negotiation for multiple acquisitions in multiple industries (as part of ‘roll up’ strategies) as well as playing key roles on teams raising tens of millions of dollars from Angel and professional investors. He has scaled teams, their process and technology and underlying infrastructure to support the rapid growth companies he has been a part of. Mr. Stoyanovich’s operational experience includes traditional IT roles and responsibilities (security, risk and compliance, telephony, storage, networking, etc.) as well as leading organizational change efforts (new process, procedures, tools, techniques, technologies, responsibilities and organizations, performance metrics, etc. ).
He has played this role as the designated IT leader, outside consultant or operations executive. He particularly focuses on how IT can make organizations more high performing service delivery operations: focusing on increasing productivity; quality and satisfaction; cost cutting; generating new revenue or exposing data and information to line managers in real time, useful, actionable methods (as if you can’t/don’t measure it, you can’t/don’t manage it).
He is a resident of the San Francisco Bay area with his wife and children and enjoys the abundance of outdoor, cultural and (of course) IT events and activities afforded its residents. He’s grateful for the opportunity to help and assist others and his personal health.
Meet Megan Patton
Megan Patton is a business strategist who has been a management consultant, trainer and executive coach for most of her career. She spends her time working with individuals, companies and non-profits to help define and implement strategies that enable peak performance and growth. She looks at the way something is done (process); who is doing the work (people); and whether something should be done at all (strategy). Megan approaches client situations from a perspective of what is working well, measured against company goals, and works hand in hand with her clients to develop workable and positive solutions to improving performance.
Megan worked in a “Big Four” consulting firm for many years and focused on business process reengineering, change management and learning system development. Her clients ranged from large multinational companies to internal constituents.
Prior to her career in management consulting, Megan was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nepal. Megan received a Bachelor of Arts from Kenyon College, and an MBA in Strategy from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. She is a strong believer in lifelong learning, and continues to take classes on a variety of subjects.
Meet Rich Zane
Rich has joined CEO to CEO, Inc. as a Principal specializing in sales support, business development, marketing and IT services. He is the founder and managing partner of RBZane Advisory Group firm since 2001. This consulting firm has successfully completed dozens of engagements which have included assessments, strategy development, and implementation of sales, business development and business continuity strategies and plans .RBZane has worked with many midsize enterprises in many industries including IT services, financial, manufacturing, healthcare, professional services and the Public Sector.
Prior to RBZane Advisors, Rich accumulated an outstanding record of achievement as a senior corporate executive in various business environments. As a former Executive VP and President/COO of Comdisco subsidiaries, he helped to grow revenue from $11M to over $350M and 450 employees. With his leadership, Comdisco was recognized as the leading N. American IT services provider.
Before his tenure at Comdisco, Rich was a Major Account Manager, Branch Manager, New York Metro Regional Manager, Product Marketing Director, and VP of Sales and Operations with several IBM divisions. He consistently surpassed all sales, revenue and profit objectives.
Rich has extensive “hands on” experience and expertise in sales, marketing, business development, personnel, operations and IT services. He has also been involved in facilitating several acquisitions and mergers. A collaborative management style, expertise and interpersonal acumen have consistently ensured optimum results in developing and executing business action plans. Strong leadership, business acumen and management skills have resulted in building successful sales and marketing organizations, while reducing costs and streamlining processes. Having excellent interpersonal communication and coaching skills has resulted in outstanding client/customer relationships and business alliances.
Rich is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School, where he earned a BS in Economics, majoring in finance and marketing. He completed graduate courses at Northwestern, Harvard; and Wharton. He has served on multiple corporate and advisory boards. He is on the NJ Supreme Court District Fee Arbitration Committee. Non business activities include serving nonprofit organizations, fund raising, tennis, skiing, politics and spending quality time with family and 5 grandchildren.
Meet Bruce Calvin
Bruce Calvin works with CEO’s, CFO’s and Executives who need support with HR Integration and HR Intervention matters. On HR integration, he helps existing teams refocus on their goals and end results whether supporting an M&A initiative or helping support teams to refocus on getting their leadership initiatives implemented or executed. On HR intervention, he works confidentially with the executive level of organizations when sensitive HR issues require senior management mentoring/coaching, conflict resolution, outside third party internal investigations, executive transition and other neutral work.
Bruce brings over thirty years of global HR expertise across a wide range of industries including semiconductor, healthcare, financial, aerospace, nonprofit, chemical and transportation. He has worked at both the executive level and as a consultant supporting various sized organizations from Fortune 500 elite to startups, (such as NEC Electronics, ESS Technology, Inc. etc.). He has a clear understanding of how global HR issues, affected by California legal requirements, can affect a company’s bottom line and the importance of helping organizations resolve sensitive employee relations issues quickly with little disruption to the organization.
During Bruce’s last fifteen years in industry, his corporate experience has included roles as Senior VP Corporate Services, VP Human Resources and Administration, Compliance Officer to two Boards (two organizations) and for the last seven years an additional role of officer to his previous corporation.
He earned a B.S. from Troy University, a J.D. from John F Kennedy University and is licensed by the California Bureau of Security and Investigative Services (PI #21406).
Community Engagement Manager
Meet Preety Adams
Preety Adams has served as the Community Engagement Manager at CEO to CEO since June of 2015, with responsibility for marketing programs, social media engagement, thought leadership and event planning. Prior to joining CEO to CEO, she worked as the Marketing Manager for DataSafe, Inc. for 7 years.
Preety’s greatest strengths are her creativity, drive and organization. She thrives on challenges, particularly those that expand the company’s reach and allows her to engage the community.
Preety holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Mills College and an MBA from University of Phoenix. She lives in the Bay Area with her husband and daughter. When asked what she does in her free time, she responds with a laugh, “What free time?” She happily keeps busy with family, work, and enjoying a good book whenever she can.
Jan Dare Brown
Meet Jan Dare Brown
Jan has enjoyed a work history as an executive assistant in many diverse industries, ranging from the electrical industry, to biotech, to retail, to integrated marketing. She’s been happily ensconced with CEO to CEO since 2012. In her career, Jan has supported CEOs leading Nasdaq listed companies with hundreds of people, to the leader of a 20 person non-profit and nearly everything in between.
In all her positions, Jan has flourished by getting to know the people she serves, both in her own company and with their clients as well. She is proactive and is still aspiring to read executives’ minds, providing answers even before the requests are made. Making CEOs’ lives easier has been a focus of her career! In her own tongue-in-cheek way, she says that it was her BA in elementary education that gave her the patience and perseverance it sometimes requires.
Years ago, the spouse of her boss at that time pleaded with her to “create order out of chaos” and she has enjoyed the challenge over the decades. She is a thinker and sometimes gets creative in accomplishing what is set before her.
Jan is married to a Presbyterian pastor and with her sunny personality, makes the preacher’s wife position look enviable! She loves music, her flower garden, a good novel at the beach and Valentine’s Day!