“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” ― Antoine de Saint Exupery

Personally, opposite of my Southern roots, Rebecca hails from the North, from a small town called Morristown, New Jersey – also known as “the military capital of the American Revolution” because of its role in our independence from Great Britain. She lived there for most of her youth until her family picked up and moved West to Southern California.

Finding herself attracted to the California lifestyle, Rebecca decided to stay West and attend UC Berkeley, majoring in Political Economy. There, she met her husband, Chris, who she married in 2016. Professionally, Rebecca and I have traveled a similar journey, having cut our teeth in the investment banking training grounds and then from Associate to Principal here at Founders Circle. As of late, Rebecca and Chris have added four more little feet to the household in the form of a tail wagging dachshund.  

Rebecca has such a colorful background filled with avid travels, alpine backpacking trips, sailing, and becoming an oenophile. She’s very comfortable at the helm with an innate ability to maintain calm in turbulent waters. Such was the case when she was skippering a sailboat in Sardinia that hit a submerged boulder, which then caused a grease fire. You can imagine how equally impressed and intimidated when we first met her. 

As worldly as she is, Rebecca still manages to make time for a day job. Upon graduating from UC Berkeley, she began working at De La Rosa & Co. (since acquired by Stifel Nicolaus) as an investment banking analyst. After a few years there, she realized her full potential and branched out to the much bigger Goldman Sachs, first in New York City, close to her hometown, and then back in San Francisco.

Living in San Francisco, it was difficult for Rebecca not to get pulled into the tech excitement, so she decided to jump from banking to startups. She landed positions at SaaS startup Kite Solutions as a Startup Analyst and then at Rakuten in the Incubation Office. Meanwhile, Rebecca was trying her hand at angel investing and ultimately decided that investing in fast-growing technology companies was something she wanted to focus on full-time.

Fortunately for us, Rebecca joined our collective journey about three years ago. It was a perfect fit at first sight. In short order, she’s helped drive nearly a dozen investments and owns a number of firm-wide initiatives. When a new team member comes in as an Investor, the assumption is that there’s much to teach them. With Rebecca, we’ve equally found ourselves her students. Now as a Partner, we’re all signing up for her next set of classes.

by Charles Shannon