Small Business Development Day:
March 29, 2023 | 9am-3pm
Embassy Suites Anaheim South
11767 Harbor Blvd
Garden Grove, CA 92840
- 8:30 am — Registration/Open Networking/Coffee
- 9:00 am — National Anthem
- 9:05 am — Opening Remarks
- 9:10 am — Welcome Remarks
- 9:15 am — Keynote Speaker
- 9:50 am — Break & Raffle
- 10:05 am — Banking Panel: “Supporting Small Business Needs”
- 10:50 am — Banking Panel Q&A
- 11:00 am — Break
- 11:10 am — Investor Panel: “Working with Alternative Funding Sources”
- 11:55 pm — Investor Panel Q&A
- 12:10 pm — Lunch Served
- 12:40 pm-1:00 pm — Lunch Program/ABAOC in 2023
- 1:00 pm-3:00 pm — Exhibitor Hall/Networking
Speakers & Panelists
Chairman, President & CEO, Commercial Bank of California
Ash Patel has over 30 years of experience in the banking industry, and serves as Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of CBC. Ash has evolved from a banker with an entrepreneurial drive to a seasoned CEO, focused on inspiring his team and clients to achieve their dreams. Ash leads by example and invests in building relationships and cutting-edge technology to enhance the client experience.
Ash focuses on human capital investments and inspires staff and clients to join his mission of increasing Life Wealth for all bank stakeholders. The initiative has yielded the formation of a top- notch banking team, a streamlined client experience and an overall successful turnaround of the bank, which became a privately held billion-dollar bank in 2020 when Ash and team achieved their “PJ2B” initiative (Purposeful Journal to a Billion Dollar Bank).
Under Ash’s leadership, CBC has shown significant growth from approximately $200 million in assets in 2013, to nearly $2.0 billion as of December 31, 2021. This growth was accomplished through the acquisition of National Bank of California, VeriCheck and ACHWorks, by operating in line with CBC’s life wealth values to organically grow its client base, and by scaling its lending business to support the increased need for small business loans amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ash and the team at CBC aspire to build a bank that does not yet exist. A bank that focuses on offering customers a high-touch experience combined with transformative financial technology. Ash has been at the forefront of the critical industry conversations surrounding FinTech, and has been an advocate of evolving traditional banking organizations by embracing new technology.
In line with Ash’s personal mission to empower people to achieve their dreams, he is the founder of the Siksha Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to rebuilding schools for underprivileged children in India and Africa, and providing students with the tools to succeed and achieve their dreams.
EVP, Chief Risk Officer, Commercial Bank of California
Neel Pinge has over 20 years of experience as a chief risk officer in the banking and finance industry. He is vital in his role at CBC because he oversees key functional departments including enterprise risk management (ERM), compliance & CRA department, Information Security department, Bank Secrecy Act / Anti-Money Laundering / Office of Foreign Assets Control department, and payments risk department. In his work with these departments, Neel is responsible for all credit risk, operational risks, strategic risks, reputation risks, interest rate risk, liquidity risk, price risk, legal and compliance risks.
Neel has been integral in shaping and maintaining the strength and stability that CBC has today. He believes keeping the bank and its clients’ businesses safe is the top priority, along with protecting the hundreds of thousands of jobs in the community that CBC supports. Under Neel’s leadership, CBC has not had to sacrifice safety of assets for profitability.
Outside of CBC, Neel is an Advisor Board Member for the Third Party Payment Processors Association (TPPPA), a national not-for-profit industry association. TPPPA was formed in 2013 to represent and promote the interests of payment processors, their financial institutions and their merchants. TPPPA members are payment processors, banks, merchants and other vendors.
Prior to joining CBC, Neel spent over a decade as the EVP and Chief Risk Officer at Far East National Bank in Los Angeles where he oversaw multiple departments and was responsible for managing all bank risk.
Business Banking Relationship Manager, US Bank
VP, Small Business Relationship Manager, Comerica Bank
Tony Tran currently serves Orange County as Vice President, Small Business Relationship Manager, at Comerica Bank. As a Small Business Banking Specialist, Tony’s focus is bringing fresh ideas about managing cash and managing growth to owner-operated businesses from Orange County to the Inland Empire. His niche is helping businesses with annual revenues up to $5 million, especially with commercial real estate transactions. Tony uses a truly consultative process to understand clients’ strategic objectives and financial goals. With 24-plus years’ experience helping business owners, Tony has extensive experience across multiple industries.
Tony’s career in financial services began in 1996, working for several large financial institutions across the area and developing his consultative expertise. He joined Comerica Bank in 2012 as a Banking Center Manager and not only proved himself as a top performer but developed many of his colleagues for promotional opportunities and career enhancement. Tony has been recognized by Comerica as Top Overall Loan Producer in 2015, 2017 and 2018 and National MVP for Community Banking in 2017.
Tony has a finance background and is fluent in Vietnamese. Tony currently lives in Tustin, CA, with his wife and two children.
Senior Vice President, Commercial Loan Officer
CEO and Founder, OC Startup Council
After years of corporate, startup, community, and non-profit leadership roles in New York, Silicon Valley, London, and Los Angeles, OCSC founder Scott Fox saw a need for a friendly, inclusive resource dedicated to helping first-time founders and diverse early stage startups succeed in Orange County.
Scott has advocated for diversity and inclusion since long before its recent embrace by major corporations. Growing up as a minority in the failing inner city of Detroit, he witnessed first-hand the impact of failed innovation strategies and limited economic opportunities, often the legacy of discrimination. After success in an early career as a Wall Street investment banker, Scott created and funded a college scholarship program for underprivileged Detroit public high school students that he ran for 20+ years.
After graduating from Stanford Law School, Scott found success as a pioneering serial Internet entrepreneur, and later as a 3x best-selling author of entrepreneurship books. He wrote his first book, Internet Riches, in 2004 specifically to introduce more diverse entrepreneurs to the business opportunities of the Internet revolution that was making Silicon Valley rich. He followed that with two more best-sellers (2009 and 2012) also helping to demystify entrepreneurship for people worldwide who deserve easier on-ramps to the startup economy. (Popular all over the world, Scott’s books are available in many different formats and languages including Russian, Vietnamese, Polish, Japanese, Turkish, etc. Profits are donated to charity to fund college scholarships in Detroit.)
Today Scott Fox is an advisor to startup founders worldwide, a popular conference speaker and media guest, and an active angel investor, including through Tech Coast Angels and as Chairman of Stanford Angels & Entrepreneurs Orange County. On behalf of the Startup Council he also hosts the MasterMinds Startup Founders Coaching Forum, the popular MasterMinds OC Startup Accelerator Workshops, and regular free “Startup Office Hours” on YouTube and LinkedIn. The OC Startup Council was founded thanks to the many relationships Scott developed through these several careers.
And, the important work of including and connecting diverse and minority founders and first-time entrepreneurs continues: The Startup Council’s programs, services, and events are consistently noted for their welcoming, inclusive environment and diverse attendees.
Operating Partner, CERRACAP Ventures
As a Corporate Leader turned Tech Entrepreneur, and now Venture Capitalist, Abhi is passionate about nurturing, mentoring, advising and ushering the next wave of innovation by “Expediting the Inevitable with Investments in Healthcare, Cyber Security and Planet Tech that are Industrializing Purposeful Innovation and Sustainable Value Creation!”
Abhi is on a mission to foster transformational ideas and back founders passionate about a better future. Abhi firmly believes that purposeful innovation and sustainable value creation are the keys to a profitable business that improves lives. As Operating Partner at CerraCap Ventures, he finds himself at the intersection of due diligence, business transformation and enterprise action that helps early-stage entrepreneurs accelerate growth.
Abhi holds advisory roles with the Forbes Business Council, Harvard Business Review Advisory Council, and UC Irvine’s DCE Board for Customer Experience Program. He represents CerraCap Ventures in the VC Advisory Council of Alliance for Southern California Innovation. His work with the City of Irvine was instrumental in the foundation of the Irvine Innovation Council. Abhi also served as the Executive Underwriter representing CerraCap Ventures to launch and manage InspireCIO’s Southern California chapter. Abhi has recently been invited to join the prestigious New Mexico LEEP’s Strategic Leadership Council as their Advisor to drive collaboration between Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratory.
In his 25 years in senior executive and technology leadership roles, Abhi has orchestrated over $1.2 billion in sales of Enterprise Software and Digital Strategy engagements with Fortune 500 and G2K behemoths. In 2021, Abhi sold his AI startup, Nirveda Cognition, a B2B Enterprise AI company, for an all-stock deal. This multi-pronged experience makes Abhi a natural mentor and advisor to founders seeking go-to-market partnerships with market leaders and investments from the VC ecosystem for expanding their footprint through disruptive industry offerings and innovative digital solutions.
Abhi holds a Bachelor of Technology degree from the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (BHU), India and has completed his Executive Education at the MIT Sloan School of Management. His sphere of influence ranges from enterprise businesses to startups and carries a distinct global footprint across five continents. Abhi has been a featured speaker at several industry events and conferences.
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