Business innovator in California
Rod is a marketing professional and entrepreneur in the technology, food, and wine sectors. He has held senior marketing positions at Microsoft, Adobe, Autodesk, and several startups. He also has consulted to numerous companies and organizations, including Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Stanford University, the University of California, and the White House.
Rod specializes in creating solid product and marketing strategies, and helping early stage companies hone their branding, messaging, and industry relations. He knows how to help startups gain market traction and effectively pitch their companies to investors, customers, and influencers.
Rod grew up in the food and wine businesses. Subsequently, he has been a partner, investor, or advisor to restaurants, artisan food companies, organic farms, winemakers, brewers, and food+tech ventures. Rod and his wife owned the Lazy Susan Ranch in the Napa Valley, which was named by world-renowned chef Alain Ducasse in his book, Harvesting Excellence, as one of America's top artisan food producers. Rod is adjunct faculty at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in the Napa Valley.
Rod speaks Italian, with good skills in French and German. He writes and blogs on topics including technology, food, startup culture, innovation, and politics. Rod is a Fellow with the citizen advocacy organization, Common Cause, based in Washington, D.C., working on issues concerning the Internet, media, and democracy.