The Team

Steve Poizner

Gene Sykes, Chairman

Gene Sykes is LA 2028 Chief Executive Officer and supervises all aspects of the organizing committee’s business, operations and activities. Prior to joining LA28, Sykes was co-head of global mergers and acquisitions at Goldman Sachs as well as Co-Chairman of the global technology, media and telecom group. While at Goldman he was also a member of the management committee and the firm-wide client and business standards committee. A native Angeleno, Sykes is a trustee of the California chapter of The Nature Conservancy, a board member of Common Sense Media, a member of the Advisory Council of the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and a member of the Stanford board of trustees. Sykes joined the Advisory Council for the Alliance for Southern California Innovation in 2017.

Sykes received a bachelor’s degree in government from Harvard University and an M.B.A. from Stanford Graduate School of Business. He remains an employee of Goldman Sachs but has stepped down from his leadership positions. While at LA 2028, he does not participate in Goldman Sachs’s day-to-day operations and serves the firm in a limited capacity as a Managing Director. His work with LA 2028 is unpaid.

Steve Poizner

Steve Poizner

Steve Poizner, Founder & Board Member

Steve Poizner has launched, grown, and sold three tech companies in Silicon Valley; managed a portfolio of a dozen start-ups as an SVP for Qualcomm; worked at the highest levels in state and federal government; and volunteered for a year as a public high school teacher.

A few of his key accomplishments include transforming the mobile phone market by inventing a way to integrate GPS into handsets thereby saving tens of thousands of lives and enabling a new multi-billion-dollar location-based services sector. While working as a White House Fellow, he helped develop a post-9/11 Homeland Security plan for the National Security Council. As the elected CA Insurance Commissioner, he modernized California’s Department of Insurance, resulting in multi-billion dollars in cost savings for consumers. Mr. Poizner was inducted into the Silicon Valley Engineering Hall of Fame in 2014.

Andy Wilson

Andy Wilson

Andy Wilson, Executive Director

Andy is a leader in the Southern Californian innovation ecosystem and has started, led or invested in more than two dozen tech start-ups. In addition to leading the Alliance as Executive Director, he serves on the City Council for the City of Pasadena and he is a founder of Innovate Pasadena (www.innovatepasadena.org), which is dedicated to advancing the Eastside of Los Angeles as a vibrant innovation center for deep tech.

Previously, as founder of Momentum Ventures, an early stage tech accelerator and venture fund, he personally led more than a half dozen SoCal tech start-ups and invested in almost a dozen others. He previously held senior executive roles (President, SVP Product, CIO, COO) at Overture Services/Yahoo!, RiverOne, Bowne & Co and RR Donnelley & Sons. He has extensive board experience in not-for-profit and community organizations such as Pacific Oaks College, Pasadena Heritage and STEAMCODERS. He is a regular speaker at entrepreneurs’ events and business schools and was named one of the 50 Most Innovative Men in the San Gabriel Valley. Andy holds an engineering degree with honors from Dartmouth College and received his MBA with a concentration in operations and technology management from Harvard Business School.

Steve Gilison

Steve Gilison

Steve Gilison, Head of Programs and Operations

Steve Gilison has over 20 years of hands on experience building, growing and managing tech and media businesses. Steve has held leadership positions in several startups as well as large corporations, most recently at Internet Brands, Inc. where he was the General Manager for a portfolio of web-based Health and Careers businesses targeting the SMB sector. Steve began his career in online advertising and then transitioned to market research and consulting for Jupiter Research (acquired by Forrester Research) and then at Deloitte’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications practice. Steve holds a B.A. from the University of Maryland and received his MBA with a concentration in entrepreneurship and technology management from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.