The Nine

Lead Angels for the Rising Tide Program-United States



Victoria Barnard, Missouri

Victoria Barnard has over 20 years of consumer goods executive experience, operational leadership and direct profit and loss accountability. She has led businesses of varying size, ranging from a $750 million business within a $4 billion corporation to a small family business. In addition, she has 10 years of corporate strategy, internal governance and M&A experience. Highly skilled in marketing and financial management, she brings a deep perspective on driving profitable growth through innovation and/or acquisitions. At the enterprise level, she is a seasoned veteran of navigating structural business change and refocusing corporate resources among a diverse portfolio of business models in mature and growth industries. With a polished, professional and collegial style, she is a sought after and trusted advisor.

She had an extensive career at Hallmark Cards where she worked with the wholesale, retail, digital, international and entertainment businesses and served as VP of Strategic Planning, VP of Acquisitions Strategy and Integration and General Manager of Season Cards. She served on the Humana, Inc. Innovation Advisory Board from 2010 to 2013. Humana is a $39 billion publicly traded company offering a wide range of insurance products, health and wellness services. Comprised of executives from Coca Cola, Proctor and Gamble, Kraft, Electronic Arts and Dell, among others, the board provided guidance and insight to the CEO and Chief Marketing/ Innovation Officer regarding effective innovation development, implementation and alignment to corporate strategy. She is active in the Kansas City community, serving on a number of boards and is cofounder and former board chair of the Women’s Capital Connection, an investing group with over $1.75 million invested.


Barbara Clarke, Massachusetts

Barbara Clarke is an economist and active angel investor with over ten years of management consulting experience and ten years of nonprofit experience. She is a founding member of Astia Angels.  She recently served as the Chair of the Board of Trustees for Schools for Children, a network of independent schools. Previously, Barbara served as the President of Tufts University’s Alumni Association, the National Director for the National Alliance for Grieving Children, CFO for Cradles to Crayons.  As a Senior Manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers and KPMG she specialized in intellectual property valuations. She holds a BA in Quantitative Economics from Tufts University and an MA in International Economics and Finance from Brandeis University’s Lemberg-International Business School. She is based in Boston and invests in companies across the United States.


Juliana Garaizar, Texas

Juliana Garaizar is the Managing Director Houston Angel Network  (Most active angel network in the US in 2014) and a Kauffman Fellow. Juliana was the Manager of the Sophia Business Angels network in the French Riviera (EBAN’s Best European Angel Network in 2010) and of Antipolis Innovation Campus, the Business Innovation Centre in Sophia Antipolis (EBN Euroleaders Award for Fast Track Access To Early Stage Finance in 2008), as well as Project Manager of several International Projects funded by the European Commission.  Previously, Juliana worked for 5 years in Singapore: first as an International Trade Consultant for the Trade Commission of Spain in a broad range of industry sectors and then as a Project Manager for the Asia Technology Office of Citigroup, leading projects at international level.

Juliana obtained an MBA at the London Business School, specializing in Entrepreneurship.. She is President of one of Sophia Business Angels sidecar funds SBA ISF Holding and Expert Committee Member of Success Europe (EBAN’s Best European Early Stage Fund 2010), a member of the UT Horizons Fund External Advisory Committee as well as an International Founding Member of Istanbul’s Galata Business Angels. Juliana has been recently honored with the Strathmore’s Who is Who Professional of the Year 2015 award in Financial Consulting and Investments.


Bethann Kassman, Florida

Bethann Kassman  is CEO of Go Beyond Network, Go Beyond’s strategic alliance partner, in the United States and has been a member of the Go Beyond Management Team since 2009. Bethann has been a cross-border business angel for many years, investing in companies in both Europe and the US.  She serves on a number of committees in the angel community and works with start-up companies in areas of strategic positioning, management and marketing.

Until recently, Bethann lived in Switzerland where she ran a successful consulting company, was a professor of Entrepreneurship and Marketing at Webster University’s Geneva campus and of Strategy at the Open University’s Executive MBA program. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of eBella Magazine and the Collier Senior Resources Center, the AngelPool Advisory Board, Investors’ Circle Consumer Products Selection Committee and the Global Health Advisory Board.  Bethann has a B.S. in Psychology from Iowa State University, a Master’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Doctorate in Business from Business School Lausanne. She is based in Florida.


Catherine Mott, Pennsylvania

Catherine Mott is the founder and CEO of BlueTree Capital Group and BlueTree Allied Angels located in Wexford, PA (suburb of Pittsburgh, PA) with a satellite office in Erie, PA. BlueTree Allied Angels is one of 400+ professionally managed private (angel) investor networks in US and Canada. As of December 2014, BlueTree Allied Angels has invested ~ $30+ million in 46 start-up companies. Ms. Mott is the past Chairman of the Angel Capital Education Foundation (aka, Angel Resource Institute), an organization that researches angel capital, tracks angel capital, and provides education to bring professionalism and ethics to the industry.   From 2010 – 2012 she served as Chairman of the Board of the Angel Capital Association, the professional trade association for Angel Networks and Angel Funds in the U.S. In September 2011, Ms Mott was one of 21 individuals selected for the SEC Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies.

Catherine recently joined forces with David Motley, Roger Byford, and Jon Pastor to create the BlueTree Venture Fund I, focused on investing in Series B rounds of angel funded companies in the Mid-Atlantic and Mid-Western regions of the United States. BlueTree Allied Angels was listed in INC magazine in 2009 as one of the Top 50 angel investors networks in the US; and in 2014, CB Insights culled out BlueTree Allied Angels as one of the top 20 angel groups in the US.   Previously, Catherine had founded Synergetics Sales Performance Group, (formerly Strategic Sales Solutions), and Indigo Capital Development, LLC. In 2002, she was recognized as one of Pennsylvania’s 50 Best Women in Business.

Prior to forming her own businesses, Catherine worked 17 years in corporate banking management where she served in senior management roles for investment sales/wealth management, commercial lending, business development, and retail expansion. Today, Ms. Mott uses these experiences and her education to bring together capital and prime investment opportunities. Catherine holds an MBA in Finance, a BS in Education and a Masters Degree in Education. She is based in Pennsylvania.


Manthi Nguyen, California

Manthi Nguyen is an active angel investor and mentor based in Menlo Park, California.  Manthi is a member of Band of Angels, Sand Hill Angels, and Sierra Angels.  Manthi has thirty years of diverse experience in all functions of managing and growing businesses with capital efficiency and operational effectiveness in a wide range of industries:  factory automation, real-time control systems, telecommunications and networking, Internet services, publishing, wellness, and manufacturing.

In the early part of her career, Manthi was part of General Motors Advanced Manufacturing Research group working on developing technologies for office and factory automation. She participated in developing international standards for Open System Interconnect with National Institute of Standard and Technology (NIST) and International Organization for Standardization (ISO).   Manthi worked on modeling of business process, information flow, and supply chain management for the General Motors enterprise.  Manthi’s experience at General Motors was invaluable in helping her build the foundation of understanding for how technologies are applied to solve real life problems.

Manthi was involved in a series of early startup developing routing, and networking technologies that were later acquired by NEC, Cabletron, Tut Systems, and Cisco.In the last 15 years, Manthi has brought her executive experience to focus on small businesses, mentoring entrepreneurs and angel investing.  Manthi received her Bachelor of Science from University of Washington, and her Master of Business Administration from University of Michigan.


Alicia Robb, Colorado

Dr. Alicia Robb is a Senior Fellow with the Kauffman Foundation. She is the Founder and past Executive Director and Board Chair of the Foundation for Sustainable Development. ( Dr. Robb received her Ph.D. in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has previously worked with the the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and the Office of Economic Research in the SBA. She is a prolific author on the topic of entrepreneurship. In addition to numerous journal articles and book chapters, she is the co-author of Race and Entrepreneurial Success published by MIT Press and A Rising Tide: Financing Strategies for Women-Owned Businesses and The Next Wave: Financing Strategies for Growth-Oriented Women Entrepreneurs by Stanford University Press.  She is a guest contributor to outlets such as Forbes and Huffington Post. An active angel investor, she mentors many firms around the world. She relocated to Durango, Colorado after living in Boulder for 2 years, Marin County, CA  for 12 years, and Washington, D.C. for 5 years. She is the Founder and CEO of Next Wave Ventures and a Managing Partner of the Rising Tide US Fund.


Rachel Sheinbein, California

Rachel Sheinbein is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Makeda Capital, investing in public companies with female CEOs. She is, also, an active angel investor in companies such as Goldieblox, Social Imprints, Aspiration, Thrive Natural Care, Other Machine Company, Scan (acquired) and PV Evolution Labs (acquired). Before she launched Makeda, she was a Partner at CMEA Capital, a venture capital firm with more than $1.2 billion under management, investing in Clean Technology. She was formerly a board member for Arcadia Biosciences and Solaria. Before CMEA, Rachel was a consultant for start-ups in the areas of bio-plastics, solar and water. For nine years prior, Ms. Sheinbein worked at Intel, in wastewater systems, environmental health & safety, and supply chain IT. Rachel is the President of the board of Expanding Your Horizons Network, a non-profit that encourages girls in math, science, engineering and technology. In addition, Rachel is on the board of the Hadassah Foundation. She holds a Chemical Engineering degree with a concentration in Environmental Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. Rachel was also a sponsored fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where she received an MBA and a Masters in Civil and Environmental Engineering, with a focus on operations and supply chain.


Wendee Wolfson, Washington, D.C.

Wendee Wolfson is a Leadership Coach and Consultant to entrepreneurs, corporate executives, non-profit directors, and family business leaders. She has been investing in early stage, high growth companies since 1997. As a co-founder and part of the management team of both, a professionally managed fund of active women angel investors, and Women’s Growth Capital Fund, a venture capital fund that invested exclusively in women entrepreneurs, Wendee has worked closely with entrepreneurs of high-growth, startup companies, advising them on business models, financing, and a variety of management challenges. She served on the board or as board advisor to several portfolio companies.

She remains actively involved with organized angel investing groups, currently as a member of New Dominion Angels, in northern Virginia, and as co-chair of the International Exchange, an annual gathering hosted by the Angel Capital Association to strengthen the network and share effective practices among group leaders and investors in developed and emerging countries.

At Wealthbridge Partners, she consulted to families in business together, creating and facilitating programs for family members and wealth managers on family dynamics, communications, leadership development, and leadership transitions between generations. In an independent practice, she has worked with non-profit boards to develop strategic initiatives and implement leadership transitions as a consultant and as a board member.

Wendee began her career and spent several years in the financial services industry. She has an MBA from the Yale School of Management and a Certificate in Leadership Coaching from Georgetown University. She is based in Washington, D.C.