Dr. Robert R. Maxfield
Robert R. Maxfield received his B.A. (magna cum laude, 1963) and B.S. (1964) in electrical engineering from Rice University. He worked for IBM as a computer systems engineer from 1964 to 1966, after which he received his M.S. and Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1966 and 1969, respectively. In 1969, he co-founded ROLM with three other Rice graduates (Gene Richeson ‘62, Ken Oshman ‘62, and Walter Loewenstern ‘59), and served as Executive Vice-President and Director. The company was purchased by IBM in 1984.
Through the 1980s and 1990s, Mr. Maxfield served as Director to Software Publishing Corporation (1980-1994), Saratoga National Bank (1982-1986), Vadis Corporation (1989-1991), Knowledge Revolution (1992-1998), and Fogdog Sports (1996-2000). He was also a venture partner with Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield, and Byers (1989-1992). He has been a consulting Professor in the Department of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University since 1989. Currently, Robert Maxfield serves on the Board of Directors of Echelon Corporation (since 1989), on the Board of Trustees of the Sante Fe Institute (since 1992), and as President of the Maxfield Foundation (since 1985) — which supports scientific research.
At Rice, he serves on the Computational Engineering Campaign Leadership Committee (since 1998), the Technology Transfer Committee (since 1998), and the External Board of the Rice Alliance for Technology & Entrepreneurship (since 1999), as well as on the Board of Governors for the University. He is a lifetime member — and served as an Advisory Council Member (1990-1999) — of the Rice Engineering Alumni Association, as well as being a member of the Rice Associates (since 1988). His many awards include being named Entrepreneur of the Year by Harvard Business School (1980) and Outstanding Engineering Alumnus by Rice University (1999). He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Tau Beta Pi, Sigma Tau, and IEEE, and has authored or co-authored numerous articles in his field.
Mr. Maxfield resides in California with his wife, Kathie.
Dr. Steve Sheafor
Principal of FLS Associates
Sheafor is a Principal of FLS Associates, who advise start-up companies in a variety of business areas. He was the founder, CTO and Director of Cornerstone Imaging, a PC graphics accelerator company (IPO 1993); and Sitera, a Network Processor semiconductor company. Sheafor was a 2000 Boulder County, Colorado Entrepreneur of the Year, and the 2004 Outstanding Engineering Alumni of Rice. He received a BA and MEE from Rice, a PhD from Illinois, and an MBA from Santa Clara. He is Adjunct Professor of ECE at Rice, Chairman of the ECE Department Advisory Board and an External Advisory Board member to the Rice Alliance
William N. Sick
Chairman and CEO, Business Resources International
Former trustee of Rice University, graduate from Rice in Electrical Engineering and External Advisory Board member of the Rice Alliance since its inception, Sick has been both a leader of two large companies and a successful serial entrepreneur. Presently, he is chairman and CEO of Business Resources International, a private business services firm in Winnetka, Illinois, specializing in early-stage growth companies.
Since 1989, he has been a founder, chairman or active director of 13 early-stage companies including VIRxSYS (genetically-engineered treatment and vaccine for HIV/AIDS), Aware (DSL intellectual property and imaging and biometrics software), Power Trends (integrated chip-like power supplies), MetaSolv Software (software for service fulfillment for telecommunications service providers) and Signature Capital (venture capital). In addition to these business investments, he provided the initial outside funding for the Rice Alliance.
In the 1980’s Sick was CEO of American National Can, the world’s largest packaging company. Prior to that time, he was executive vice president and director of Texas Instruments, where he was president of the Semiconductor Business. Sick was a trustee of Rice University, where he received B.A. and B.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering awarded with distinction, the 2003 Outstanding Engineering Alumnus Award and a 2006 Distinguished Alumnus Award. He was previously a member of the Association of Rice Alumni and the Engineering Advisory Council and has served on the External Advisory Board of the Rice Alliance since its inception. He is a trustee of the Santa Fe Institute, a trustee and former chairman of the Shedd Aquarium of Chicago and a co-founder and a director of Millennium Park Inc.
He was born in Houston and currently lives in Winnetka with his wife Stephanie.
Prinicipal, Katzenbach Partners, LLC
Dr. Burton J. McMurtry
General Partner Co-Founder, Technology Venture Investors