Philanthropology is grateful to our Advisors for their good counsel and cheerleading as we expand our business offerings to our clients. Below please find short biographies of our very talented friends.
Founder & CEOFirst Beverage Group
Bill’s passion for beverages started at an early age. During his high school and college years, his summers were spent working in the warehouse and driving a delivery truck for his family’s beer distributorships. He soon learned to love the beverage industry for many reasons—its dynamic culture, its well-branded and innovative products, and most of all for its entrepreneurial and committed people. It was this love of the industry that led him in 2005 to found First Beverage Group, a financial services firm, which advises and invests in innovative and transformational beverage brands.
Prior to founding First Beverage, Bill was Executive Vice President of Topa Equities, Ltd., a diversified holding company and Top 15 beer distributor group based in Los Angeles. He is also the former President of Topa Properties, Ltd. Prior to joining Topa, he was an attorney with O’Melveny & Myers in Los Angeles.
He received his JD from the UCLA School of Law and his BA from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. Bill is a member of the California and Washington, DC bar associations. He has two sons, Max and Spencer, and lives in Los Angeles. He is an avid traveler and his interests include golf, yoga, hiking, cycling and politics.
Startup Executive, Coach, Advisor, & Board MemberMichael Barton Consulting, LLC
Michael works with venture capitalists, startup founders and senior executives to develop leadership skills, achieve significant growth in their business, and to recognize and move through major transitions as their business life cycle.
He helps founders clarify competitive and marketing strategies, builds and recruits senior management teams, moves founders and executives toward their strengths, and raises funding from investors. He brings 18 years of experience running and investing in startups. Michael earned his MBA from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and his BA from Baylor University.
Personal interests include photography, international travel, the intersection of Shamanic practices and Eastern religions, and cooking and eating great food and, of course, the wines that pair with it.
Associate DeanUSC Dornslife
Wayne Combs is the Associate Dean, Advancement Operations and Constituent Programs for USC Dornslife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. Most recently, he served as Director, Advancement Services & Information Management at Occidental College. Prior to that Wayne served as Manager, Gift, Data & Record Services at University of California, San Diego. As Campaign Operations Manager, he oversaw a 3-Year Strategic Plan for Advancement Services in support of University of Washington's $2.5 Billion campaign. Wayne began his career in higher education at University of California, Los Angeles training advancement staff in the use of software and fundraising technology to prepare for a $3 Billion campaign.
He is currently completing his doctorate in higher education at USC Rossier School of Education. Wayne received his MBA in Innovation and his Masters of Management in Technology from the University of Washington. He received his BA in Economics and Public Policy from Pomona College. He is actively involved in the Association of Advancement Services Professionals and CASE.
Wayne enjoys swimming, hiking and international travel. He is currently working on a dissertation focused on academic coaching practices that support students with learning disabilities as they transition through higher education.
Senior Vice President & Co-FounderScaleFunder
Michael Greenberg is the Senior Executive Vice President of RuffaloCODY. Michael was the CEO and Founder of ScaleFunder until its acquisition by RuffaloCODY in 2014. An official UCLA technology spinout company, revolutionizing online giving and data analysis in higher education, the ScaleFunder technology platform has grown to become the leading custom crowdfunding solution for institutions of higher education in the United States.
Prior to launching ScaleFunder, Michael was the Director of Innovation & Strategic Initiatives at the University of California, Los Angeles. In this role, Michael helped to foster interdisciplinary research initiatives and establish novel funding streams. During his tenure he helped create Startup UCLA, UCLA's first student technology accelerator. Additionally, Michael assisted in the establishment of a new X-Prize to be hosted by UCLA. He has also served as Director of Global Business Development at UCLA, where he managed and designed a portfolio of major corporate partnerships. Michael received his B.S. in Physics with honors from Loyola University in New Orleans. Michael also serves as a member of the Leadership Council of the Fulfillment Fund. His mother is not too fond of his penchant for jumping out of planes and shark diving.
ChairBlack Hills IP
Leon chairs Black Hills IP’s Board of Directors. He has an extensive background in the legal support industry. He was the CEO of Intellevate, one of the world’s largest legal process outsource organizations. Leon served as CEO of FoundationIP, a work process and management system for intellectual property firms and legal departments. He was also a member of CPA Global’s senior management team. Leon was the founder and former CEO of Meritas, the world’s second largest affiliation of law firms. He is a former partner at the Maslon law firm in Minneapolis.
He was a contributing author to the American Bar Association’s Lawyers Handbook and a frequent lecturer to the University Of Michigan Institute Of Law Firm Management. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from William Mitchell College of Law. Leon is happily married with five children and enjoys skiing, tennis, chess and sailing.