Finance and Investing is pleased to announce The Top 25 CFOs of San Diego for 2023. While the city is renowned for its idyllic climate, 70 miles of pristine beaches, and dazzling array of world-class attractions, it’s also recognized as a leading high-tech hub in the Pacific Coast. San Diego’s economy is propelled by a variety of industries in life sciences, communications, and software, with a collaborative culture and sophisticated support system that serves as an integral asset to the city. Many of our awardees play a pivotal role in the city’s diverse sectors, holding leading positions at companies such as Riot Games, Calendly, and Baker Electric.
Among this year’s awardees is Sally Baldridge, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer at Jazzercise. A portrayal of hard work and perseverance, she progressed her way from a temporary role in the company's mailroom to becoming a C-level executive over the span of 40 years. Chief Financial Officer David Forster's ten-year tenure at ChefWorks is also another illustration of dedication and success, as he helped to oversee the company's revenue increase from $28 million to an astonishing $105 million. Also awarded is Erik Sallee, Chief Financial Officer of Intuitive Machines, who recently led the company’s triumphant public offering on Nasdaq.
Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of The Top 25 CFOs of San Diego for 2023.
1. Joydeep Goswami
Chief Financial Officer & Chief Strategy and Corporate Development Officer, Illumina
Joydeep Goswami is Illumina's Chief Financial Officer and Strategy and Corporate Development Officer. He is responsible for Illumina’s financial planning and analysis, accounting, investor relations, internal audit, tax, and treasury functions. He also leads the company’s corporate development and strategic planning function. Goswami initially joined the company in 2019 as Chief Strategy and Corporate Development Officer.
Before joining Illumina, Goswami was president of Thermo Fisher Scientific’s Clinical Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) and Oncology business unit. He has also served at companies such as Life Technologies and Invitrogen. Additionally, he spent five years at McKinsey, where he specialized in strategy for pharmaceutical, medical technology, and technology companies. Goswami has an MS, a Ph.D. in chemical engineering, and an MBA from MIT. He received a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology.
2. Leslie Levinson
Chief Financial Officer, San Diego State University Research Foundation
Leslie Levinson is the Chief Financial Officer of the SDSU Research Foundation. Levinson is responsible for the financial management of SDSURF, including finance, accounting, debt management, budgeting, purchasing, payroll, accounts payable, and accounts receivable. Additionally, she oversees all real estate and facilities functions, including 35 properties and over 700,000 square feet of commercial space.
Levinson has served as a CFO for over 20 years at large and complex organizations. Before her role at SDSURF, she served as the CFO of The Campanile Foundation and The San Diego Foundation. Prior to this, she was a Founding Partner and Executive Vice President at Pierce Education Properties, running all day-to-day operations of the company. In the six years since the formation of Pierce, she oversaw the company's growth from 4 to 165 employees and from zero assets to $250,000,000. Levinson currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Walden Family Services. She previously served as the President of California Ballet as well as on the Board of the Child Abuse Prevention Foundation. In 2014, Levinson was named CFO of the year by the San Diego Business Journal. Levinson is a Certified Public Accountant and earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting at San Diego State University.
3. Mark Sottosanti
Chief Financial Officer, Riot Games
As Chief Financial Officer of Riot Games, Mark Sottosanti oversees finance and accounting, strategic planning and forecasting, business and corporate development, analytics, research, and revenue strategies across Riot’s full games and esports portfolio and entertainment products. Sottosanti joined Riot in 2012 as Director of Ecommerce. Later, he was promoted to Vice President of Revenue and Insights and then Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Development. In that role, Sottosanti led Riot’s acquisition of the Northern Ireland game studio Hypixel Studios and the expansion of its investment portfolio, including Riot’s Underrepresented Founders Program.
Before joining Riot, he spent nine years at ProFlowers, holding several executive roles. After that, he was the Founder and President of Grunion Capital, an equity hedge fund management company. Sottosanti graduated from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s degree in economics and currently serves on the board of Hypixel Studios.
4. Bryan Eleazar
Chief Financial Officer, American Eye Associates
Bryan Eleazar is the Chief Financial Officer of American Eye Associates. He first joined the company in 2020. Previously, Eleazar was the VP of Accounting at Healthy Living Network. Before that, he was the VP of Finance and Corporate Controller at Pathology Inc. Earlier in his career, he worked with PricewaterhouseCoopers in audit and business advisory services. Eleazar earned an MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management and an undergraduate degree in business administration from Georgetown University.
5. Brandon Zelones
Vice President of Finance, Vistage Worldwide
Brandon Zelones is the Vice President of Finance at Vistage Worldwide. He’s a versatile and personable corporate finance leader. Zelones has a demonstrated record of improving the profitability of national and global public and private enterprises by re-architecting and streamlining functions, operations, financial structures, and systems. With success in building top-performing infrastructures and teams, Zelones helps to drive aggressive growth and exceeds challenging financial goals.
Previously, Zelones was the Enterprise CFO at LPL Financial, the CFO at Xtreme Care Ambulance, and the VP of Investments at J.P. Morgan. He currently serves on the CFA Society San Diego Board as Treasurer and is an Executive Member of Financial Executives International. Zelones graduated with an MBA from USC Marshall School of Business and a bachelor's degree in business administration from San Diego University.
6. David Forster
Chief Financial Officer, ChefWorks
David Forster is the Chief Financial Officer of ChefWorks. He’s credited as one of the driving forces behind the success of Chef Works Inc., whose primary business is uniforms for hospitality workers. Forster provides strategic direction for all financial and accounting activities, which contribute greatly to Chef Works’ overall achievements. During Forster’s 10-year tenure, the company’s revenue increased from $28 million to $105 million. In 2020, the San Diego Business Journal named Forster CFO of the Year.
Previously, Forster was a Partner at Tatum LLC, General Manager and CFO at Professional's Choice Sports Medicine Products, Inc, and the CFO of Fitness Age. He has also held positions at Football USA, Vistage, and Steres, Alpert & Carne. Forster graduated from Virginia Tech with a bachelor's degree in accounting.
7. Sally Baldridge
Chief Operating and Financial Officer, Jazzercise
Sally Baldridge is the Chief Operating and Financial Officer of Jazzercise. She started in the mailroom at Jazzercise over 40 years ago. She began with typing orders and labels and learning everything she could about the company from the ground up. After four months, Baldridge moved into a data input position for the company's new accounting system. Then she started working for the CFO, moved into accounting, and was well on her way to her current leadership role. Baldridge graduated from Cal State Long Beach in December with a degree in business.
8. Alex Mirnezam
CFO, American Council on Exercise
Alex Mirnezam is the Chief Financial Officer of the American Council on Exercise (ACE). He has been with the company for over 24 years. Mirnezam plays a key role in strategic development by creating financial, administrative, and operational strategies based on financial forecasts. As the CFO of a 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization, Mirnezam ensures financial responsibility and transparency through the preparation of the annual financial reports, the appropriate use of funds in an operational manner, compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, and financial and tax strategies. Additionally, Mirnezam manages long-term financial investments and capital to protect the fiscal stability of ACE. He also oversees human resources management for ACE and ensures standard operating procedures are in place in order to protect the organization and employees. Mirnezam has a master's degree in business from National University in San Diego, California.
9. Doug Wright
Chief Financial Officer, Mission Federal Credit Union
Doug Wright is the Chief Financial Officer for Mission Fed. He oversees all financial functions for the organization, including accounting, treasury, business lending, collections, and loss mitigation. He also leads human resources and strategic guidance and analysis. Doug is an accomplished financial executive with 25 years of experience in commercial and community banking, including both functional and project leadership expertise.
Prior to joining Mission Fed, Wright served as CFO for Silvergate Bank in San Diego and Intermountain Community Bancorp in Spokane, Washington. He also served as Senior Vice President and Production Manager with Sterling Savings Bank and in various branch and credit administration positions with West One Bank. Wright holds an MBA from Gonzaga University and undergraduate degrees in finance and accounting from the University of California, Berkeley, and Boise State University, respectively. He is also a Pacific Coast Banking School graduate, earning top honors in his class in this executive banking program.
10. Randy Steward
Randy Steward is the Chief Financial Officer of Quidel. He first joined the company in 2011.Steward has more than 30 years of experience in executive management and finance. Prior to joining Quidel, Steward served as the CFO of Navilyst Medical, Inc, a medical device company based in Massachusetts. Before this, he was the Chief Operating Officer for SeQual Technologies, Inc. He played a significant role in working with the Board of Directors to successfully complete a sale of the business to a strategic partner. Prior to SeQual Technologies, he spent 11 years with Spectrum Brands as Executive Vice President and CFO. During those 11 years, Spectrum Brands grew into a $2 billion publicly traded consumer products company. Steward has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Southern Methodist University. He is also a Certified Public Accountant and a member of AICPA.
11. Wayne Talleur
Chief Financial Officer, FFF Enterprises
Wayne Talleur is the Chief Financial Officer of FFF Enterprises. Talleaur has broad and deep executive leadership and financial management experience. He has a proven ability to foster critical relationships and partnerships, identify and act on key mergers and acquisitions that strengthen a company's standing and growth potential, and bring financial discipline through best practices and financial controls.
With a professional career spanning over 35 years, Talleur has confidently led organizations through positive and negative business cycles, built and maintained trusted relationships, and set road maps for success. He has served as CFO and CEO for middle-market growth companies, large organizations, and early-stage businesses, including Madison Avenue Securities, Asset Marketing Systems Insurance Services, LLC, Tatum Partners, and Classic Party Rentals. Talleur has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Hofstra University. He is a CPA (inactive) and holds a number of additional professional licenses.
12. Johnny Randel
CFO, StepStone Group
Johnny Randel is the Chief Financial Officer of StepStone Group. He is also involved in various monitoring, management, and administrative activities. Prior to joining StepStone in 2010, Randel was CFO and COO at Citi Private Equity, a $10 billion equity co-investment, mezzanine, and fund of private equity funds business. Before that, he was Assistant Treasurer within Citigroup Treasury. Randel has also worked as Vice President of corporate analysis at Associates First Capital, which Citigroup acquired. Before this, he was a Budget and Forecast Coordinator at Bank One. Randel received an MBA from the University of Southern California and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas.
13. Tobin Sloane
CFO & Executive Vice President, Ware Malcomb
Tobin Sloane is the Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Ware Malcomb. He’s also a member of the firm’s Board of Directors. Sloane joined Ware Malcomb in 2004 as CFO and, in 2020, was promoted to the additional role of Executive Vice President. His leadership has helped ensure the firm's financial health while facilitating strong growth. Sloane is a critical executive team member, leads the firm's financial functions, and guides the accounting, administration, contracts, legal, and human resources operations.
Sloane is an accomplished financial professional and business-savvy leader, bringing over 25 years of experience in financial analytics, accounting, management, and operational leadership. He is well known for his strategic and innovative approach to the company’s financial management and growth. In 2020, he was part of the Orange County Business Journal’s CFO of The Year Awards. Sloane has an MBA with an emphasis in finance and accounting and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of California, Riverside.
14. Beth Hougen
CFO, Ionis Pharmaceuticals
Beth Hougen is the Chief Financial Officer of Ionis Pharmaceuticals. As a member of the executive leadership team, Hougen contributes to the execution of the company’s strategy, including ensuring it is well-positioned to be a global, multi-product, sustainably profitable company. Hougen joined Ionis in 2000 as the Vice President of Finance. She later became the Chief Accounting Officer in 2007 and Chief Financial Officer in 2013.
Hougen has an extensive finance and business background, having held positions of increasing responsibility in numerous public companies, primarily in the life sciences industry, over her more than 25-year career. Prior to joining Ionis, Hougen was the CFO of Molecular Biosystems, Inc., a public biotechnology company. In 2018, Hougen was named CFO of the Year by the San Diego Business Journal. Hougen received her MBA from the University of San Diego and her bachelor’s degree from Franklin and Marshall College.
15. Kristin Caltrider
Chief Financial Officer, Inogen
Kristin Caltrider is the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Inogen, a California-based medical technology company. Caltrider has over 30 years of progressive finance experience in roles of increasing scope and responsibilities.
Prior to her current role, she worked at Quidel Corporation, a leading manufacturer of diagnostic solutions. Caltrider served as Quidel’s Vice President of Finance, where she oversaw global finance and accounting functions. Before this, she spent almost four years at Life Technologies (now Thermo Fisher Scientific), where she held a number of positions. Earlier in her career, she was the North America Controller for Pulse Electronics. Caltrider has an MBA from the University of San Diego and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from California Lutheran University.
16. Neil Thomas
Chief Financial Officer, Millennium Health
Neil Thomas is the Chief Financial Officer of Millennium Health. In this role, Thomas is an integral executive leadership team member. In addition to overseeing the finance, accounting, and billing departments, he manages the supply chain and logistics teams to enhance and streamline operations. Thomas also works closely with the sales organization to help ensure continued profitability and growth.
Thomas most recently spent over three years as the CFO at Novasyte Health, leading the finance, accounting, treasury, and payroll functions before ultimately leading the sale of the organization to a Fortune 300 company. Prior to that, he spent 12 years at AMN® Healthcare. Thomas held various finance and operational roles at the organization culminating as Sr. Director, Investor Relations and Corporate Strategy. Thomas received his bachelor’s degree in accounting from James Madison University.
17. Doug Lindroth
Doug Lindroth is the Chief Financial Officer of Tealium. He brings 30 years of experience as a senior global financial executive in the technology industry.
Lindroth previously served as a Senior Vice President and CFO at Limelight Networks, where he completed several M&A transactions and raised capital in the public markets. Prior to that, he was the Senior Vice President, CFO, and Board Member at BakBone Software, which Quest Software acquired. Earlier in his career, he held several financial roles, including as the CFO at Memec Group, which was sold to Avnet, Inc. Lindroth currently serves on the Board of Directors of Stardog and Defenstorm. Doug is a CPA and received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from San Diego State University.
18. John McCauley
Chief Financial Officer, Calendly
John McCauley is the Chief Financial Officer of Calendly. As Calendly’s CFO, McCauley leads the company’s financial and business operations, guiding Calendly through hypergrowth as more and more organizations recognize the value of meeting lifecycle automation.
McCauley has nearly two decades of experience and a track record of leading financial strategy for international businesses during rapid expansion. Prior to Calendly, McCauley was the CFO of Seismic, a fast-growing, global sales enablement company. Before this, he was the VP of Finance at Agentology Inc., CEO of Flexline Fitness, and VP of Finance and Operations at Interpreta. McCauley graduated from San Diego State University with a master's degree in accountancy and a bachelor's degree in accountancy from the University of San Diego.
19. Brian Miliate
CFO, Baker Electric
Brian Miliate is the Chief Financial Officer of Baker Electric. He manages the financial and operational vision as CFO of both Baker Electric and Baker Electric Home Energy. Miliate provides financial forecasting and reporting, participates in strategic planning, and develops and oversees corporate budgets ensuring growth and profitability. With over 30 years of experience, he monitors and coordinates Baker’s accounting, finance, and human resources departments and daily personnel operations.
Miliate first got his start in 2000 as a Controller at Bioceutics, Inc. From there, he went on to Tasty Food Products Inc. before eventually rising to General Manager at Baker Electric Solar. Miliate graduated from San Diego State University with an undergraduate degree in business administration.
20. Briana Elvaiah
Chief Financial Officer, Cortica
Briana Elvaiah is the Chief Financial Officer of Cortica. In her role, she is responsible for Cortica’s finance, revenue cycle management, and human resources functions. Elvaiah joined Cortica with over 12 years of financial leadership experience, specifically in multi-site healthcare services and healthcare technology environments. Prior to joining Cortica, she served as the CFO of Correctional Medical Group Companies, Inc. (CMGC), a national provider of medical, mental health, and dental services to inmates in county jails. She was previously the Executive Vice President of Finance and Revenue Cycle at Vericare Management, Inc., a leading provider of mental health services for seniors. Elvaiah earned her bachelor’s degree in accountancy from the University of San Diego.
21. Dino Quarante
Chief Financial Officer, CHE Behavioral Health Services
Dino Quarante leads CHE’s financial operations, including accounting, financial reporting and analysis, revenue cycle management, and other key administrative services. As a senior leader, Quarante partners with the executive team and contributes to the company’s key strategies and growth initiatives. Quarante is also a key participant in merger and acquisition activity from pre-acquisition due diligence to post-acquisition integration.
Quarante has several years of operational finance leadership with solid early accounting and auditing experience with a big five public accounting firm. He has over 25 years of healthcare industry experience and knowledge, primarily in the behavioral healthcare space, including inpatient and outpatient services. Known as an influential leader, he has successfully built, led, and reorganized teams to improve efficiency across financial, administrative, and clinical operations. Prior to joining CHE, Quarante was a Group CFO at Acadia Healthcare. Other roles include Division and Hospital CFO roles at Acadia Healthcare and CFO, Corporate Controller, and VP of Finance positions at other nationally recognized behavioral healthcare companies. Quarante received his bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance from the University of California, Berkeley.
22. Erik Sallee
Chief Financial Officer, Intuitive Machines
Erik Sallee is the Chief Financial Officer of Intuitive Machines, a leading aerospace company returning the U.S. to the moon for the first time in 50 years. Sallee recently led their successful public offering on the Nasdaq.
Before this, Sallee was the Corporate Controller for Blue Origin, LLC, where he oversaw treasury, tax, accounting, audit compliance, financial systems, and pricing. From 2015 to 2018, Sallee was a division Chief Financial Officer for L3 Technologies, a software and aerospace company. From 2011 to 2015, Sallee worked at Raytheon in positions of increasing responsibility, including as the Chief Financial Officer of Raytheon Solipsys, an international software company. Before moving to the aerospace industry, Sallee worked at Deloitte and was an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, receiving several awards, including a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device in 2005. Sallee received an MBA and master's degree in business and finance from the University of Maryland College Park, Smith School of Business, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Vanderbilt University. Sallee is a licensed Certified Public Accountant.
23. Pras Murthy
Co-Founder and CFO, Doctor Multimedia
Pras Murthy is the Co-Founder and Chief Financial Officer of Doctor Multimedia, an online marketing company for doctors. Pras helps thousands of doctors, across many specialties, manage their online marketing. From websites to social media to search engine optimization, Doctor Multimedia is a one stop shop to manage your online presence. In 2016, Pras moved to San Diego, CA to open Doctor Multimedia’s newest office in Del Mar.
Prior to founding Doctor Multimedia, Pras worked at a Mathnasium franchise in Scottsdale, Arizona. Roughly a year later he bought the business for $8000. Over the next 6 years he built and ran the business, selling in 2012 for $120,000 to move to Las Vegas and join his business partners in what would become Doctor Multimedia. Murthy graduated from Pomona College with an undergraduate degree in mathematics and psychology.
24. Tom Compogiannis
Chief Financial Officer, Road Runner Sports
Tom Compogiannis is the Chief Financial Officer of Road Runner Sports. He first joined the company in 2020. Road Runner Sports is a store and eCommerce platform that offers a large selection of running and walking gear.
Previously, Compogiannis was a CFO at WIS International. Before that, he was the CFO at Claritas, Inc. Earlier in his career, he worked with KPMG as a Senior Manager. Compogiannis graduated from San Diego State University.
25. Rebecca Chambers
EVP and Chief Financial Officer, Veracyte
Rebecca Chambers is the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Veracyte. Chambers also leads Veracyte’s CLIA operations team, helping to drive execution and consistency across the company’s three CLIA sites in the U.S.
She previously served as Chief Financial Officer for Outset Medical, a publicly traded medical technology company focused on reducing dialysis cost and complexity. Prior to joining Outset, Chambers served in several financial roles at Illumina, including Vice President of Financial Planning and Analysis, Vice President of Investor Relations and Treasury, and Senior Director of Investor Relations. She has also served as head of Investor Relations and Corporate Communications at Myriad Genetics. Earlier in her career, Chambers held various roles in investor relations at Life Technologies (now part of Thermo Fisher Scientific). Chambers serves on the board of Inari Medical, a medical device company focused on venous diseases. Chambers has an MBA from the S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University and a bachelor’s degree in biology from John Carroll University.