John has over 30 years of experience as a securities lawyer and entrepreneur. John was General Counsel at the Pacific Stock Exchange and Boston Stock Exchange and was the Chief Regulator Officer for the NASDAQ subsidiary regulating options. He also served as General Counsel for two technology startups where he participated in both public and private financings. He has represented and dealt with major securities regulators and governmental entities, including, among others, the SEC, FINRA, state regulators, Congressional banking and finance subcommittees, the CFTC, and emerging/developing country governments as an advisor and consultant in capital market development. He was part of the team that designed and introduced the iShares ETF product to Barclays Bank. Check out John’s blog on Huffington Post. Follow John on Twitter.
Brian is an attorney with over twenty-five years of experience working for nonprofits, start-ups, and publicly-traded companies. He has served as General Counsel for RSF Social Finance, Clean Power Finance, and LendZoan; and before that as Corporate Counsel for Sybase and Catellus Development Corporation. Brian earned his J.D. from the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law and started his legal career with the North Bay law firm of Gaw Van Male. Brian is a member of the California Bar and serves on the board of the Mount Diablo Music Education Foundation.
Kim has 18 years of experience working with start-up enterprises, small- and medium-sized businesses and Fortune 500 companies to solve business, legal and capital raising challenges. She works with for-profit businesses, non-profit entities, and cooperatives to help them identify the best way to design a capital raising strategy that works with clients’ business strategy, marketing plans and long-term goals. Kim is Co-Chair of the East Bay Women In Business Roundtable and sits on the Board of Directors of the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. She is the former Board Chair of the AIDS Legal Referral Panel. Kim lives, works and plays in Oakland, and is committed to helping her community be vibrant, socially responsible, and inclusive. Follow Kim on Twitter.
Sydney Boral, Communications and Operations Manager
Sydney is a big believer in people. She aims to use her skills to create opportunity and empower others to reach their full potential. She has worked for global social enterprises and anti-trafficking non-profits. She is a graduate from UC Santa Barbara where she majored in global studies, played women’s lacrosse, and was a core member for the university’s chapter of United Students Against Sweatshops. Sydney is the lacrosse coach at her alma mater, Las Lomas High School in Walnut Creek.
Christina Burden, Bookkeeper
Christina is a proud native of the San Francisco Bay Area with over 15 years of experience working with nonprofit organizations in a variety of positions — ranging from receptionist to VP of finance. In 2011, she created Essential Admin and Consulting to provide individuals and businesses with financial and administrative services. Raised in Oakland, Christina graduated from Oakland Technical High School and attended Albany State University on a volleyball athletic scholarship. In addition to her work with Cutting Edge Capital, she is a volleyball coach at her alma mater, Oakland Technical High School, and volunteers with a variety of organizations in her free time.
Sarah Kaplan, Attorney
Sarah’s mission as a lawyer is to support local economies that are equitable and ecologically sustainable. Since 2012 she has served numerous cooperatives, including consumer, worker, producer, and platform cooperatives. She has handled formations, equity and debt financing, and contract issues for these cooperatives. Sarah enjoys drafting creative organizational documents that implement cooperatives principles and cooperative tax advantages. Sarah also focuses on services for capital-raising. She has supported both cooperative and privately owned businesses in “family-and-friends,” registered public, and exempt public offerings.
Sarah previously served as an Assistant Illinois Attorney General, handling hundreds of complaints from citizens seeking to hold their governments accountable under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act and Open Meetings Act. Sarah graduated magna cum laude from Chicago-Kent College of Law in 2010.
After living in Chicago for 12 years and the Bay Area for three years, Sarah moved with her spouse and two kids to the St. Louis, Missouri area, where she is renovating a home, growing a garden, and getting involved in local solidarity economy efforts. She is licensed to practice law in Illinois and California.