Nanette Noland is President of The Powell Group, a private investment firm with diversified holdings throughout the country. An ardent philanthropist and education advocate, Nanette runs her own foundation that supports philanthropy, voluntarism and other grant-making foundations. She has also served as an adjunct professor in entrepreneurship at Louisiana State University for more than twenty years.
John Davies, Director
John Davies is the president and Chief Executive Officer of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, a community foundation that serves Southern Louisiana. During his tenure, the Foundation has grown from $5 million to nearly $550 million in assets and has collaborated to spark the revitalization of downtown Baton Rouge, raised and granted more than $45 million for rebuilding a stronger South Louisiana after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and worked to revive neglected areas, which includes creating a redevelopment authority for East Baton Rouge.
After the Gulf of Mexico oil leak, the Foundation made grants to deep-water rig workers suffering financial hardship from a $100 million BP gift. John is board chair of the Wilbur Marvin Foundation, which holds the real estate assets of the Foundation. He also serves on the advisory committee of the David Rockefeller Center of Latin American Studies at Harvard University. John grew up in Latin America as the son of a former American diplomat stationed in Lima, Peru.
Michael Kirby, Director
Michael Kirby has over 25 years of venture capital and private equity experience, and is currently an active private investor while also serving as an instructor in the Department of Finance at Louisiana State University. He recently retired from Stonehenge Capital Company, where he was a co-founder and managing director. Earlier in his career he was a managing director of Banc One Capital Markets, and was one of three founding partners and vice president of First Commerce Capital, Inc.
Former industry and portfolio company board memberships include Golfballs.com, Nova Technology Corp, PJ’s Coffee & Tea, Appro Systems, Inc., Gulf Coast Analytical Laboratories, Inc., Rocky Mountain Portable Storage (PODS), Rx Advantage, Louisiana Business & Technology Center-LSU, National Assoc. Small Business Inv. Companies, and Southern Regional Association of SBIC’s.
J. Terrell Brown, Director
J. Terrell Brown has devoted his entire professional career to the financial, mortgage lending, and insurance industries. A native of Baton Rouge, Mr. Brown holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from Louisiana State University. He was formerly CEO and Chairman of United Companies Financial Corporation and has been Chairman of GMFS, LLC since 1999.
Mr. Brown continues to be active with LSU, currently serving on the board of the LSU Foundation. He was named LSU Alumni of the year 1998 and was a Trendsetter on the LSU Foundation President’s Awards for Lifetime Support. Previously, Mr. Brown was Chairman and board member of Pennington Biomedical Research Institute, the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, and the Research Park Corporation.
Mr. Brown was also active on the boards of several additional corporations, including Sizeler Real Estate REIT, Piccadilly Cafeteria, Hibernia Bank, Freeport McMoran-Sulphur, US Agencies Insurance Co., GoAuto Insurance Co., Baton Rouge Credit Bureau and was a member of several trade organizations.
Shawn formed Sparkhound in 1998 with the mission to make a meaningful impact for clients by solving their business problems with technology and leadership. His results-driven approach helped the company quickly earn a solid reputation with mid-market and enterprise clients throughout the United States. Prior to starting Sparkhound, he led a team of senior business consultants who successfully transformed IT systems and management for the parent company of three hospitals, a health insurance company and 25 smaller healthcare-related companies. Shawn earned a bachelor's degree in quantitative business analysis and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree at Louisiana State University.