The Digital NEST is pleased to welcome four new Directors to the board for 2016, Jason Book, Val Cole, Antonia Franco, and Dane Scurich. Each of these new members bring with them a wealth of experience, knowledge, and wisdom. We thank them for their commitment to the Digital NEST mission, and look forward to working with them in the coming year!
Jason Book is a transactional attorney with 19 years experience in working with startup companies and entrepreneurs, both in tech as well as healthy living/active lifestyle/sustainability. As a founding partner of a boutique practice in Santa Cruz, California, he has focused his practice in corporate finance, corporate governance and structuring, nonpublic securities work, equity compensation for startups, and M & A. He also routinely handle intellectual property matters, including licensing/royalty agreements, joint venture agreements, and trademark application and prosecution.
Val Cole is a recently retired sales and marketing executive (and sometimes consultant). For the past fourteen years Val worked at Apple as Senior Director of Sales and Business Development for iTunes. Prior to joining Apple, he held leadership positions at Hewlett-Packard and several Silicon Valley start-ups. Val has lived in Santa Cruz for over 25 years and plans to stay here forever with his wife Freny and their two children. In addition to the DigitalNEST, Val also serves as Vice Chair of the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County and has served on a number of boards in the county. Val earned his MBA from the University of Chicago and his bachelors degree from Kalamazoo College.
Dr. Antonia O. Franco serves as the Executive Director of SACNAS; a national nonprofit organization devoted to increasing diversity in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. She leads a community of 20,000 students, scientists, and educators including 115 chapters nationwide in the movement to build a critical mass of diverse scientists with advanced degrees and in positions of leadership in STEM. Dr. Franco’s career has spanned nearly two decades in higher education and philanthropy working on issues of educational access, equity, and retention in underrepresented communities. She also has extensive experience in developing educational and community based partnerships. Dr. Franco earned her Doctorate in Educational Administration and Supervision from the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College of Education at ASU.
Dane Scurich is the President, Scurich Berry Farms, Inc. Scurich Berry Farms is a contract strawberry and blackberry grower for Driscoll’s operating in Watsonville and Salinas. Dane holds a degree in Agribusiness from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and studied Audio Engineering in Auckland, New Zealand after college. He has been a Music Producer for more than 10 years.