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C-Level Perspective: HR for Emerging Tech Companies

August 28, 2013

The HR SIG Presents…

How do start-ups achieve success through people? Over time, the drivers of competitive differentiation and competitive success are transitioning from tools, equipment, materials, and supplies to people and knowledge assets.  Recruiting hard to find skills, creating competitive compensation strategies, building employee morale and engagement, building an HRM infrastructure that is aligned with business priorities are some of the challenges founders and executives face in the start-up environment.

Our keynote speaker and C- level panel will share “pearls of wisdom,” valuable lessons and initiatives to undertake to ensure you are putting people first.


Mark Bowles
CMO and Founder,
Mark Bowles grew up in Southeast Texas but moved to California in 1987 and now lives in San Diego with his wife and 3 boys (Katie, Miles, Marshal, and Kasey). Mark has more than 23 years in the semiconductor and wireless industries. He has been involved in the formation and funding of six technology start-ups and has successfully raised 15 rounds of Venture Capital financing totaling more than $150 million; he has been part of some successful financial exits for these investors. Prior to ecoATM, he was with Vativ (sold to Entropic) as Vice President, Marketing and Business Development. Before Vativ, Mr. Bowles co-founded Staccato in 2002 and was Vice President, Marketing and Business Development where he helped build the ultrawideband (UWB) industry from scratch. Prior to Staccato he was co-founder, President, COO and director of BOPS, Inc. (sold to Altera), a broadband DSP cores and tools company. Prior to BOPS, he was instrumental in forming and/or funding a number of successful start-ups including Power Computing (sold to Apple in 1996); Panorama Designs (sold to Motorola in 1996); and BlueSteel Networks (sold to Broadcom in 2000). Mr. Bowles also spent six years at Motorola Semiconductor where he held various distribution management, sales and market development positions; he left in 1996 as Vice President MSPI, and PowerPC market development. Mr. Bowles has been an active IEEE member in 802.15.3a, 802.15.4a, 802.11n, and a founding member of MBOA (marketing chair), Board member of WiMedia Alliance (Liaison to China Chapter), and key contributor to Certified Wireless USB. He also has three patents granted and 20 patents pending in kiosk technology, and three pending in UWB technology. Mr. Bowles has been an invited speaker, keynote, or panelists in dozens of industry conferences on DSPs, wireless, UWB, and social networking. He has also been a guest lecturer on entrepreneurism and innovation at Duke, Stanford, UCSD, USD, Pepperdine, and Harvard. He has also authored more than a dozen published articles in the past decade. Mr. Bowles holds an undergraduate degree in Industrial Distribution from Texas A&M University, and a Master of Science in Technology Management (eMBA) from Pepperdine University. Mark is also a member of the Pepperdine Board of Visitors and an Advisory Board member for the University of San Diego’s Center for Peace and Commerce.

Stephen Smith
Steve has over 25 years of financial leadership and business development experience and is responsible for human resources at  MicroPower Technologies.Steve has held executive management positions with a number of high-tech companies including Northern Telecom, ST Microelectronics, and Applied Micro Circuits Corporation. Over the past five years he has run La Bourse Tech Ventures, a consulting and venture investment firm, which held investments in XiTRON Technologies, ImpediMed Ltd. and Stay Classy.  He sits on the Board of Trustees of Saint Vincent de Paul and California International Business University, and is on the Board of Advisors for Stay Classy.Steve holds a BS from Arizona State University and a Doctorate of Business Administration from CIBU.Mark Drucker
IO Semiconductor Incorporated
Mr. Mark R. Drucker is Founder of IO Semiconductor Incorporated and serves as its Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Drucker served as Vice President of Test and Measurement Products at Semtech Corp. since January 2002. Mr. Drucker joined Semtech Corp. as a result of the October 1997 acquisition of Edge Semiconductor, where he was Director of Operations. Mr. Drucker was previously employed by Brooktree, Analog Devices, and Westinghouse Electric.MODERATOR:

Jean Center
Center Group

Jean is CEO and Principal Consultant with the Center Group which she founded in 1998.  The Center Group is a trusted leader in human capital management and Jean works with organizations to ensure maximum return on their human capital investment.  She is a recognized expert and speaker on a wide range of topics, from retention strategies to recruiting a global workforce to performance-based recognition and reward systems. The Center Group’s clients represent diverse industries that include emerging technology start-ups to established Fortune 500 companies.

SIG Co-Chairs:
Madonna Bentz, VP, Human Resources, Solekai Systems
Jean Center, CEO, Center Group Consulting, Fmr HR Director, Brooktree Corporation
Shannon Conway, Business Consultant, TriNet
D. Loc Epsten, Director, Corporate Education, UCSD
Reid Marquand, Account Executive, Barney & Barney
Brandon Willenberg, Associate, Mintz Levin

DATE:  Wednesday, August 28th 2013

7:30AM Registration/Networking/Refreshments
8:00AM Program Begins
9:30AM Program Ends


101 West Broadway, 8th Floor
San Diego, CA 92101

**Irvine Company is located at 101 W. Broadway (on the South side of Broadway) between Front St. and 1st Avenue in downtown San Diego. This event will be located on the 8th Floor.**

From I-5 North (i.e., traveling south)
Take I-5 south.  Exit on Front Street  (Exit 17 Toward Civic Center).  Follow Front Street just past Broadway.  After passing Broadway take immediate left into underground parking garage. Take the parking garage elevator to the main lobby of the building. Take lobby elevator to the 8th floor.

Parking will be validated upstairs.

Pre-Registration: (Please pre-register by noon on 8/27/13)
$10.00 – CommNexus Sponsor
$20.00 – Non-Sponsor
FREE –  Mentor Sponsor

At the Door:
$20.00 – CommNexus Sponsor
$30.00 – Non-Sponsor
FREE –  Mentor Sponsor

Students, Military & Press: FREE




Questions? Contact Brittany Bjerke at


August 28, 2013
Event Category: