SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Earthquakes today introduced the club’s Innovation Advisory Board. The board will advise team executives on new and emerging technology trends that can improve the fan experience, increase brand awareness, improve player performance and deliver potential corporate partnerships to the club.
“The Innovation Advisory Board is a collection of some of the brightest minds in Silicon Valley,” said Earthquakes Chief Operating Officer Jared Shawlee. “I’m excited to work with the group and see the contributions each individual will make to further enhance the organization.”
The Innovation Board is a collection of eight Silicon Valley residents with diverse backgrounds and significant experience in the technology industry. All board members possess a passion for the sport of soccer and the San Jose Earthquakes, and can provide perspective on their individual area of expertise.
“To be a part of this board is an unique opportunity that I’m looking forward to,” said Austin Noronha, Vice President of Growth Ventures & Innovation at Sony Corporation of America. “I am excited to help the Earthquakes make strides both on and off the field.”
Board members include Jared Shawlee, Austin Noronha (Chair), Ira Ehrenpreis, Jeff Ota, Rachel Quon, Nick Bartle, Tracy Isacke and Ian Anderson. Brief bios for each of the eight members are below:
Jared Shawlee is currently the Earthquakes’ Chief Operating Officer where he oversees the business side of the club. He was among the first few employees hired by the organization upon returning to the league in 2008 and has played a crucial role in the team’s rapid rise in ticket and sponsorship sales ever since. He was honored as Major League Soccer’s Corporate Partnerships Executive of the Year at the end of the 2015 season, in large part for securing Avaya as the team’s stadium naming rights partner. Shawlee earned an MBA from the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business after receiving a bachelor’s degree from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
Austin Noronha heads up the Growth Ventures & Innovation group at Sony Corporation of America. In this role, he is responsible for identifying potential growth areas and new business opportunities for Sony. Specifically, his team works closely with Sony's global headquarters in Tokyo and various business groups to identify innovative start-ups and to pursue strategic partnerships, venture investments and acquisition opportunities. Austin joined Sony in 2001. Prior to joining Sony, Austin was founder and CEO of TrueScope Technologies, an immersive video product and services start-up. Having spent more than 25 years in Silicon Valley, he has been associated with large multinational companies and start-ups and is a passionate soccer fan.
Ira Ehrenpreis is Founder and Managing Partner of DBL Partners, a leading impact investing venture capital firm, currently investing out of a $400M fund. He currently serves as the President of the Western Association of Venture Capitalists (WAVC) and as the Co-Chairman of the VCNetwork, the largest and most active California venture capital organization. In 2007, Ira was named one of the “Top 50 Most Influential Men Under 45, and in 2014 was inducted into the International Green Industry Hall of Fame. Ira has invested in a wide range of companies, including SpaceX, and serves on the board of Tesla Motors and numerous other companies. He received his JD/MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business and Stanford Law School and a B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles, graduating Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude.
Jeff Ota is a Senior Principal Engineer at the Intel Corporation and leads research and development teams in sports technology, augmented reality, and autonomous driving. His expertise is in wearable technology, computer vision and video as inputs into sports, autonomous control, and analysis systems. Jeff is a San Jose native and lifelong fan of the Earthquakes, and some of his strongest memories as a child are going to see the Earthquakes with his father, Terry, at Spartan Stadium and cheering along with Krazy George.
Rachel Quon is currently a Marketing Associate at Costanoa Ventures. She is a former professional soccer player for the Chicago Red Stars of the National Women’s Soccer League from 2013-16 after a standout collegiate career at Stanford University, where she led the Cardinal to their first-ever NCAA National Title in 2011. Rachel also represented the Canada National Team from 2013-16.
Nick Bartle is Pandora's Chief Marketing Officer and is responsible for leading all marketing and communications programs. He was previously the Vice President of Member Marketing and Communications at LinkedIn, where he drove marketing communications to the professional networking site’s 450 million members. Prior to joining LinkedIn, Nick was Senior Director of Marketing Communications for Apple for more than four years, where he played key roles in the marketing and advertising of multiple successful product launches, including the iPhones from 4s to 6 Plus, iPad Air and the Apple Watch. He is a third generation Arsenal fan and a first generation Quakes fan.
Tracy Isacke leads Silicon Valley Bank’s Corporate Relationship Management Team. Tracy is responsible for SVB’s relationships with corporate venture funds, corporate development teams and innovation groups at some of the world’s largest companies and emerging technology and life science startups. She was previously the Executive Vice President of New Business Ventures at Telefónica Digital where she identified investment opportunities in Silicon Valley, Israel and Europe with potential to accelerate Telefónica’s business. She also drove an international Global Partner team to deliver unique partnerships and Direct-to-Bill opportunities for Telefónica across 25 operating businesses in Europe and Latin America.
Ian Anderson is currently a student at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. Prior to attending Stanford, Ian was an Earthquakes executive where he served in multiple capacities, most recently Special Assistant to the President. He is a former collegiate soccer player, competing for Claremont McKenna College in southern California.