Thanks to ACA Chair David Verrill – and Welcome Christopher Mirabile


ACA started its new membership year on July 1, and along with that came a changing of the guard in chairmanship.  Our association has been blessed with great leadership from our Board of Directors, especially from our Chairs.

These men and women have put in more hours than our members know to make sure ACA is strong and delivering value to our member angels, and with no financial reward.  David Verrill has been one of the best Chairs.  He goes to emeritus status with ACA in great shape, and hands the reins to Christopher Mirabile – who is already showing his excellent leadership abilities.

I want to thank David for all of his work.  He been fun to work with, with great intellect and experience, and always one with the right questions for the board and staff.  These are some of the highlights of David’s leadership over the last three years:

  • ACA growth – Since July, 2012 ACA’s membership has grown from 187 organizations to 240.  We now have more than 13,000 angel investors in the association, the largest anywhere in the world.

  • Expanded footprint – David correctly saw the evolution of early-stage financing and that ACA members would benefit most by co-investing and sharing ideas with accredited investors not just from angel groups, but also independent angels, leaders of online accredited platforms, and family offices.  ACA membership currently includes all four member types.

  • Resources to better serve members – Some of this growth has also allowed ACA to build its staffing and resources to expand our work for members and angels in general.  The ACA team now includes APCO Worldwide, which supports us in Washington, DC, and Isen & Company, helping ACA develop a larger public presence and more communication with and to our members. ACA’s voice is growing.

  • New services and benefits – David never wavered on the need to deliver more and better value to ACA members.  He brought innovations to events, including one focused on investing in companies led by military veterans, and also helped us create our active webinar programming and the Established Angel Group certification program, allowing angels to invest in generally solicited offerings without having to show financial documentation.

  • Public policy leadership – David probably didn’t expect to be so involved in our policy advocacy work, but “Chairman Verrill” made many trips to Capitol Hill and the SEC with me.  Perhaps the highlight was in September, 2012 testifying at a joint hearing of the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means Committees on tax policy.  Such an invitation only comes to those experts and organizations with credibility!

David Verrill at Congressional hearing

David will remain involved with ACA’s Board, including continuing on ACA’s Executive Committee as past Chair.  I for one look forward to that connection.

Please also join me in welcoming new Chair Christopher Mirabile, who has been a joy to work with over the last year as ACA Vice Chair.  ACA members will have a chance to hear what he is thinking about for ACA in a special webinar on July 15.  (Members can register here for the 30 minute program.)

Christopher is a full-time angel investor and co-managing director of Launchpad Venture Group (Boston) and co-founder of Seraf, a portfolio management tool for investors in early stage companies. With more than 60 investments in startup companies, Christopher was named one of the "Top Angel Investors in New England" by Xconomy, and is an adjunct lecturer in the MBA program at Babson's Olin School of Business, a regular advisor and mentor to start-ups, an Inc. magazine columnist and a frequent panelist and speaker. He is a member of the Board of Directors or Board of Advisors of numerous start-up companies as well as several non-profits and he is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Babson. Christopher has served as a public company CFO with IONA Technologies PLC, a corporate and securities lawyer with Testa Hurwitz & Thibeault and as a management consultant with Price Waterhouse's Strategic Consulting Group.

Welcome also to:

  • Linda Lorraine Smith – new ACA Vice Chair, leader of ACA’s grass roots public policy committee and member of Sierra Angels
  • Faz Bashi – new Director, chair of ACA’s life sciences sector group, and member of Life Science Angels
  • Marcia Dawood – new Director and member of Golden Seeds (New York City) and BlueTree Allied Angels (Pittsburgh)
  • Tony Shipley – new Director and founder of Queen City Angels (Cincinnati)

More details about all of these leaders are in ACA's recent press release.

The coming fiscal year is going to be great, with the combination of new leadership and great recent advances. Thanks to all of you for your good work – both in the past and in the future.

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