Entrepreneurs

Trustee Gary E. Biszantz
Trustee Gary E. Biszantz

President, Cobra Farms
'56 P '08

Trustee Gary E. Biszantz

Mr. Biszantz is the president and owner of Cobra Farms. He was the former chairman of Cobra Golf, Inc., a manufacturer of graphite-shafted golf clubs with factories and offices in Carlsbad. As chairman of the board of Cobra, he provided strategic planning and general management to the company, which grew into the country's second largest manufacturer of premium oversized golf clubs. After selling his company to American Brands in 1996, Mr. Biszantz turned his time and talent to one of his lifelong passions: thoroughbred racing.

Professional
  • Cobra Farms, President and Owner
  • Cobra Golf, Inc., Chairman
  • El Rancho Ford of Poway, Owner
Leadership
  • Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, Executive Committee and Graded Stakes Committee
  • Breeders' Cup, Board Member
Service
  • Claremont McKenna College Board of Trustees
  • George C.S. Benson Distinguished Achievement Award Recipient
Education
  • Claremont McKenna College, B.A., Business Administration



Trustee Akshata Murty
Trustee Akshata Murty

Director, Catamaran Ventures UK
'02

Trustee Akshata Murty

Mrs. Murty is the director of Catamaran Ventures UK. She was the founder and CEO of Akshata Designs Inc., which produces contemporary women's clothing inspired by fine craft traditions from India. The company seeks to preserve these ancient crafts and provide a source of income for artisans, while also creating truly unique and beautiful modern clothes that tell a story. Prior to starting Akshata Designs, Mrs. Murty worked in brand consulting and as an investor in the clean technology space.

Professional
  • Catamaran Ventures UK, Director
  • Akshata Designs, Inc., Founder and Chief Executive Officer
  • Tendris/Siderian Ventures, Associate
  • Lexicon Branding, Associate
  • Deloitte & Touche, Associate
Service
  • Claremont McKenna College Board of Trustees
  • Claremont McKenna College Berger Institute for Work, Family, and Children, Board Member
Education
  • Stanford University, M.B.A.
  • Claremont McKenna College, B.A., Economics and French



Ashwin Navin
Ashwin Navin

Co-Founder and CEO,
Flingo
'99

Ashwin Navin

Mr. Navin is the Chairman and CEO of Flingo, a software company in San Francisco, California. Flingo develops applications for Smart TVs like those made by Samsung, LG, Sony, Vizio and others. He is also the co-founder of I/O Ventures, an investor and accelerator for early-stage technology companies.

Professional
  • Flingo, Chairman, CEO, Co-Founder
  • I/O Ventures, Co-Founder & Partner
  • BitTorrent, Co-Founder & Former President
  • OpenDNS, Board of Advisors
  • Crunchyroll, Board of Directors
  • Yahoo!, Corporate Development
  • Goldman Sachs, Investment Banker
  • Merrill Lynch, Equity Research Analyst
Education
  • Claremont McKenna College, B.A., Government and Economics



Augustine Nieto
Augustine Nieto

Chairman, Octane Fitness
'80

Augustine Nieto

Mr. Nieto began his career as a freshman at CMC when he developed the idea for Life Fitness. As co-founder and former president of Life Fitness, Nieto led his company to became the largest commercial manufacturer of fitness equipment in the world. Nieto is currently the Chairman of Octane Fitness, the world's largest manufacturer of ellipticals. In 2005, Nieto was diagnosed with the fatal disease of ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. Since his diagnosis, Mr. Nieto has founded Augie's Quest, a non-profit organization raising money for the research of ALS. Under Nieto's leadership, Augie's Quest has raised over $30 million for his cause. Nieto is the Chairman of ALS TDI, the world's largest institute focused on ALS research. Nieto has written two books, Augie's Quest: One Man's Journey from Success to Significance, and Reciprocity Incorporated.

Professional
  • Octane Fitness, Chairman
  • Life Fitness, Founder and President
Leadership
  • ALS TDI, Chairman
  • Muscular Dystrophy Association ALS Division, Chairman
Service
  • Augie's Quest, Founder
Education
  • Claremont McKenna College, B.A.



Peter Thum
Peter Thum

CEO and Co-Founder, Fonderie 47
'90

Peter Thum

Mr. Thum is CEO and Co-Founder of Fonderie 47, a company transforming perspectives and saving lives in Africa by disarming conflict zones and remaking AK47s it destroys into jewelry, watches, and accessories. To date, Fonderie 47 has destroyed over 8,000 guns in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. As the founder and President of Ethos Water, he turned his idea to get clean water to children into a successful social venture that changed an industry, generated millions of dollars, and improved hundreds of thousands of lives around the world. Ethos was acquired by Starbucks in 2005. He then led Ethos as an executive at Starbucks and a Director of the Starbucks Foundation.

Professional
  • Fonderie 47, CEO and Co-Founder
  • Ethos Water, Founder and President
  • Starbucks Corporation, Vice-President
  • McKinsey & Company, Consultant
  • E&J Gallo Winery, Manager
  • Siemens A.G., English Teacher
Leadership
  • Claremont McKenna Center for Human Rights Leadership Board
Service
  • USA for United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Board
  • Fund For Global Human Rights Board
  • New York University Wagner Graduate School of Public Service Board
  • FEED Projects Board
  • Impossible to Possible Ultra Athletic Adventures Board
Service
  • Northwestern University, M.B.A.
  • Claremont McKenna College, B.A., Government