John Morris head shotJohn serves as senior strategist and facilitator at Optimize. He brings more than four decades of experience in venture capital, executive coaching, angel investing, investment banking, financial management and public accounting to his role at Optimize, including:

  • Eight years as a Vistage master chair where he led three CEO advisory boards, coached senior executives on how to improve business strategies and outcomes, facilitated peer group issue processing, and provided one-on-one counsel.
  • 16 years as a venture capitalist, working first as partner and managing director of an early-stage fund and then as cofounder and managing director of a growth-stage fund, including leading numerous investments, sitting on many boards and advising portfolio companies on go-to-market, growth, scaling and exit strategies.
  • 10 years as an investment banker at leading regional and national investment banks, including Wedbush, Sutro, Paine Webber and Gerard Klauer, where he served as lead banker for a variety of successful private equity and initial public offering financings.
  • 10 years in public accounting and corporate finance, including serving as CFO of a turnaround consumer electronics company that culminated in a successful public offering.
  • 12 years as faculty advisor at UCLA Anderson School of Management where he worked with FEMBA teams to help international companies develop strategies and plans for entering the U.S. or EU market.
  • More than 20 years as an active angel investor, including Chairman Emeritus of Tech Coast Angels (TCA), the largest angel investor organization in the country, and cofounder, past President and long-time board member of the Los Angeles TCA network.
  • Active member of the Los Angeles business community, including serving as director of Los Angeles Venture Association (LAVA) and cofounding several well-known networking groups including VC Alliance, Southern California Technology Network and Launchpad LA.

John and his wife Teddi relocated from Los Angeles to North San Diego County in 2019. When not working, they enjoy adventure travel including scuba diving. John’s other hobbies include golf and digital photography. He is the proud father of an adult son and daughter, and an active grandfather to his three grandchildren.