CAV Angels was founded by a group of individuals who have been successful as private investors, entrepreneurs, and executives.
Richard Crawford, JD/MBA
Chairman of the Board
Richard Crawford is the Chairman of the Crawford Group, Inc., a multi-unit investment business with activities in agriculture, real estate, and advanced technology. He is an experienced entrepreneur having started three companies and an experienced angel investor having made several personal angel investments and run the Virginia Active Angel Network. He has been a member of the Darden Faculty since 1988 and is currently a Visiting Executive Lecturer at Darden where he works closely with Professor William Sihler on the Finance of Small Business course. Richard has has been a member of the Law School Faculty since 2008 where he teaches a course in Finance of Small Enterprises. He holds B.A., MBA and JD degrees from the University of Virginia and is the author/co-author of five books.
Jim Cheng, JD/MBA
Jim Cheng, JD/MBA, is a successful entrepreneur and venture capitalist. He founded, led, and successfully exited an IT services firm that he grew from 5 people to 550 people in 9 years, and has started and led additional ventures since. He served as the Secretary of Commerce and Trade for the Commonwealth of Virginia for 4 years, contributing significantly to economic development, job creation, tourism, film, industry regulation and safety, housing, and a number of other commerce-related fields. He is currently of counsel at the law firm of Lee and Hayes and is working with several private equity and angel investment firms. He also teaches at the University of Virginia School of Engineering.
Rich Diemer, CPA
Treasurer, Board Member
Rich is a respected chemicals industry senior finance executive with a proven track record of working within leadership teams that have created significant shareholder value. He has served as the CFO at three public (Albemarle, PolyOne Corporation, and Trinseo, LLC) global materials companies. During his tenure, Rich has played a key role in creating over $7bn of shareholder value. After 17 years in public accounting at KPMG, Rich joined Allied-Signal Inc. He was VP-Corporate Controller during the merger with Honeywell, then became CFO of Honeywell's Specialty Materials segment. In addition, Rich spent four years at Honeywell Capital Management, overseeing equity managers and managing a $500MM+ equity portfolio. Rich currently serves as a Senior Director at Seale & Associates, a Northern Virginia-based global boutique investment banking and consultancy firm. Rich graduated from the McIntire School of Commerce at The University of Virginia and is on the McIntire Advisory Board .
Sam Bemiss, JD/MBA
From 1996 through the summer of 2015, he was Managing Director of Ewing Bemiss & Co., a Richmond, Virginia-based investment banking firm that was a national leader in the renewable energy sector, and is now part of the Energy Investment Banking Group of KPMG Corporate Finance. In 2015, Mr. Bemiss formed Bemiss & Co., which provides financial advisory and strategic consulting services to inflection-stage and middle market companies whose business models are focused on sustainability and the efficient use of resources. Prior to joining Ewing Bemiss & Co., Mr. Bemiss was Vice President of the international strategy consulting firm, William Kent International, which developed globalization strategies for large multi-national corporations. Mr. Bemiss began his investment banking career in the Corporate Finance Department of Goldman Sachs & Co., and subsequently headed the New England investment banking practice of Lehman Brothers. Mr. Bemiss holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Yale University, a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the Colgate Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia, and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law.
Jesse Ellington, MBA
Jess has over 30 years of investment and business experience managing alternative assets and individual portfolios. Through his experience as a portfolio manager, equity analyst, hedge fund manager and investment management consultant, Jess has been able to generate superior investment results with particular focus on risk management and portfolio diversification. Prior to joining Union, Jess worked for Solaris Capital LLC, FDSI (Wilshire Associates), and Wells Fargo Investment Advisors. Jess is a graduate of The University of Virginia and has an MBA from The Darden School of Business at UVA.
Dr. Jim Ayler, Ph.D.
Dr. James Aylor served for 11 years as the dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Virginia, having previously served as associate dean of academic programs and chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering. He is currently Louis T. Rader Professor and Dean Emeritus. His research has focused over the years on computer system design, including computer-based assistive devices. His accomplishments include participating in the development of the VHSIC Hardware Description Language (VHDL), the development of a new "mixed-level" modeling technology to support the early phases of the computer systems design process, and the development and implementation of automatic test pattern generation techniques. Dr. Aylor has also been extremely active in professional activities both in technical and administrative capacities. He served as the president of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) Computer Society and served as a division director (and a board of directors member) of IEEE. He is a past Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Computer, received by the more than 100,000 IEEE Computer Society members. He served as president of the Electrical & Computer Engineering Department Heads Association. He is a fellow of IEEE and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is a member of the Virginia Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine. Dr. Aylor received the B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Virginia.
Paul Nolde has over a decade of experience in the banking and finance industries serving in multiple sales and management roles for large and small institutions. As a director at NRV, an early stage venture capital firm in Richmond, VA, Paul co-leads their overall business development strategies and their discernment process around new investment opportunities, as well as supporting several portfolio companies. Prior to arriving at NRV, he served as the Small Business Capital Strategist for Virginia Community Capital, Virginia’s largest community development financial institution. In this capacity Paul was responsible for building the firm’s venture debt portfolio focusing on growth companies, social enterprises, and healthy foods. Before coming to VCC he was Managing Director of a family office in Richmond, VA, preceded by positions at Wells Fargo, Union First Market Bank, Bank of America, and Wachovia. He is an active participant in, and advocate for, Central Virginia’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, serving on the boards of several local organizations and various departments at Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Virginia. Paul graduated from UVA in 2001 with a B.A. in Foreign Affairs, complimented by post-grad business studies through the McIntire School of Commerce Business Institute. He lives in Richmond, VA, with his wife, two young boys, and Alaskan Husky.
John May, MPA
John May, MPA, is a successful venture capitalist that specializes in angel group formation. He has been actively involved in the venture capital space for north of 25 years, has co-authored and co-edited multiple books on the subject of angel investing, and has received numerous honors and awards validating his high degree of knowledge and success in the venture-investing arena. He is currently the Investment Director and General Partner at a UK venture capital firm; a guest lecturer at the Darden School of Business; and the owner of an organization that innovatively organizes early stage private equity for entrepreneurial ventures.
Randy Castleman, MBA
Randy Castleman has been operating and investing in hardware, software and services companies built on technology-driven innovations for nearly three decades and across several industries, including communications, media and information technology. He has held founding and senior operating positions in small and large companies and was the co-founder of Court Square Ventures (Automated Insights, CSTV, Yandex), a private equity firm managing over $200 million for institutional investors. At Court Square Ventures, Randy was involved in all aspects of the firm's operations, including fund conception and fundraising, deal sourcing and selection, portfolio management and company development, investment liquidity, and relationships with limited partners. He earned his BA from Princeton University and his MBA from the Darden School at the University of Virginia.
During his 30-year commercial banking career, John’s positions at banks in five states ranged from Chief Lending Officer to Chief Credit Officer to CEO. After retiring from banking in 2000 he commenced his business angel activities, and has now provided capital to 60+ Ohio entrepreneurs. John has served on the Ohio Venture Capital Authority and the Ohio Third Frontier Advisory Board, having been appointed by Governors of both political parties. He is a Founding Director of VentureOhio, the trade association providing the unified voice for Ohio’s innovation community. When John launched the first Ohio TechAngel Fund (OTAF) in 2004 with 50 investors, the group became a founding member of the Angel Capital Association (ACA). Now with five funds and 300+ members, OTAF is one of the world’s largest angel groups. John is also a member of the North Coast Angel Funds (Cleveland), and the East Central Ohio TechAngel Funds (Athens). He is a founding member of Columbus-based X-Squared Angels, a group that invests nationwide in start-up ventures with diverse management teams. Internationally, John is well known as the past Chairman of both the ACA and the Angel Resource Institute (ARI) and as the recipient of the Hans Severiens Award for angel leadership. Upon graduating with a BA in economics from UVA (Class of 1967) John received his US Navy commission. While stationed in Georgia and flying planes for the navy he received an MBA from Georgia Southern University. He and his wife reside in Columbus, Ohio and have children and grandchildren in Cleveland and San Francisco.
David Sade, MBA, CFA
David Sade, CFA, is an entrepreneur with experience in the finance and IT sectors. After working as a portfolio manager for an investments firm with $750M under management, he transitioned into technology as an IT consultant at Freddie Mac and SNL Financial. David is currently the Managing Partner at Ivy Technical Partners and works with small businesses on their financial reporting needs. He graduated from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia and is a CFA-charterholder.
Jefferson Level Affiliate