Justin Williams, Chairman
CEO, Startup Tucson
As founder and President of Startup Tucson, Justin has worked to grow a vibrant startup community in Tucson, AZ by organizing entrepreneurs and technologists alike through events, education and mentorship. Experiential education events like Startup Drinks, Startup Tucson Hackathon, Co-Founder Speed Dating, Startup Weekend, Startup Job Crawl and Lean Launchpad help connect entrepreneurs to the skills, partners, investors and mentors that can help them take ideas and see how far they can go. He is also a doctoral student in MIS in the UA Eller College of Management where he is developing a course to help teach students in technology how find a successful business model for their new product/service idea or invention.
Justin also serves as Executive Emeritus with the Arizona Technology Council. He joined the Council and established the Tucson office as part of its 2008 merger with AMIT – Tucson’s Aerospace, Manufacturing and Information Technology Cluster, where he served as founder and Executive Director since 2005. During this time he served on the industry advisory board for both the UA College of Engineering.
Prior to his tenure with the Council, Justin worked for over 10 years with high-tech firms in Southern Arizona including Electronic Data Systems, Intuit, and Ventana Medical Systems. He also helped launch numerous startup companies helping to commercialize university research including Ridgetop Group, Ardext Technologies and Selectioneering.
Justin has a B.S. in Systems Engineering, an M.B.A. in Marketing and Finance and is an alumnus of the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship. In 2011, Justin was named as one of Tucson’s “40-Under-40” by the Arizona Daily Star. He’s been married to his wife Dawn for 15 years and is a father to his 6 year old son J.J.
Harry George, Founder and Board Member
Managing General Partner, Solstice Capital
Harry has more than 35 years experience in founding, operating and investing in successful rapid growth technology-related companies. He co-founded Solstice Capital. Previously, from 1981 to 1989, Mr. George was co-founder, Director, and Vice-President of Finance for Interleaf Inc. During this time, Interleaf, a pioneer in electronic publishing, grew to be a publicly traded company with $100 million in annual revenue. In January 2000, Interleaf was acquired by Broadvision in a stock merger that valued Interleaf at approximately $1 billion. Prior to this, Harry was a co-founder, Director and Vice President of Finance of Kurzweil Computer Products, subsequently purchased by Xerox Imaging Systems. Harry has been a Director of a number of private and public companies and is currently a Director of Lumidigm, High Throughput Genomics, Medipacs and Syncardia.
He was active with the Arizona Venture Capital Conference, where he was on the conference screening panel from 2000-2006. Harry is a member of the Southern Arizona Leadership Council and BIO5. Harry was a member of the advisory committee of the MBA program at the Eller School of Business of the University of Arizona and serves as an advisor to the Arizona Center for Innovation. He is also a member of the Pima County Bond Advisory Committee. From 1996 to 2003, he was a Trustee of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, and he currently serves as its Vice Chair of Treasure the Desert Capital Campaign. He is also a Trustee of the Tucson Museum of Art and serves as secretary-treasurer for the museum. He received an AB from Bowdoin College.
Curtis Gunn, Founder and Board Member
Chairman, Desert Angels
Curtis is Chairman of the Desert Angels, a very active angel investment group of accredited investors in Tucson, Az that review presentations from early stage startup companies looking for potential funding. Prior to this role, Curtis traveled the world competing as a professional cyclist riding for both US and Australian-based Professional Cycling teams. Previous to his life as a professional athlete, he was an entrepreneur founding and operating companies based in retail, Internet, healthcare and real estate. As an angel investor, Curtis has invested in over 40 different companies across a broad spectrum of industries, technologies, and geographies. Curtis also was formerly on the board of the Angel Capital Association.
Fletcher McCusker, Board Member
CEO, Sinfonia HealthCare Corp.
Fletcher is the current CEO and founder of Sinfonia HealthCare Corp. a new integrated healthcare and pharmacy company. Sinfonía is based out of an old warehouse in downtown Tucson, Arizona.
A native Tucsonan and a graduate of the University of Arizona he attended graduate school at Arizona State University after being turned down by the UofA. He has returned much to the community; serving on the boards of the Eller School and the Social and Behavioral Sciences College, the YMCA, St. Gregory School, The Metro Chamber, Sun Corridor and participates in numerous charitable causes. Fletcher has been very active in downtown revitalization. He resigned these boards to serve as the Chairman of the Rio Nuevo board after being appointed by state legislature in 2012. The Rio Nuevo renaissance has produced professional hockey, Caterpillar’s new headquarters, The AC Marriot Hotel, The Mercado Annex, a new Greyhound terminal with more to come.
He is co-founder of 2ND Saturdays Downtown which has just celebrated six years running this last May 2016. An entrepreneur and a contrarian Fletcher has a knack for being in the right place at the right time, which he attributes to creating opportunities for luck to happen and surrounding himself with smart people. A pilot, a Harley rider, an avid skier, a father, husband and a great friend of Tucson.
David Smallhouse, Board Member
Managing Director, Miramar Ventures
David is the Managing Partner in Miramar Ventures, LLC, a firm involved in real estate, private equity, and venture capital investments. Miramar Ventures is also an active investor in angel and early stage ventures – many with close ties to the University of Arizona and/or the Desert Angels of Southern Arizona.
He began his career as an agribusiness lender with Bank of America in Brawley, California and then served as Assistant Vice President with Valley National Bank and was Vice President of Commercial Loans at Citibank in Tucson. Smallhouse was a member of the CFO’s direct staff at Burr-Brown Corporation and was one of the founders of Comercial del Mayo in Navojoa, Sonora, Mexico, a business partnership active in the import of construction materials and export of agricultural commodities to the United States and Asia.
In addition to serving as a board member of TREO, David is also on the boards of BBVA Compass Bank, The National Law Center for Inter-American Free Trade, and the Tucson Medical Center Foundation and he is an Executive Board Member of the Desert Angels. David is also a trustee of both the Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum and Salpointe Catholic High School and is a member of the Tucson Airport Authority, the Tucson Conquistadores, and the DM50.
A fifth generation Tucsonan, David graduated from the University of California at Davis with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agricultural Economics and from the University of Arizona with a Master of Science Degree in Agricultural Economics.