CEO & Managing Partner
John P. Keisler is currently the CEO & Managing Partner for Sunstone Management, Inc., a venture capital firm located in Southern California that invests in diverse early-stage technology startups through innovative public-private-partnerships that blend unique expertise across government, education, and private sectors.
Previous to Sunstone Management, Mr. Keisler spent over 20 years in public service, most recently as the Economic Development Director for the City of Long Beach. With approximately 500,000 residents, the City of Long Beach is the 7th largest city in California and a major engine of economic development for the region and the nation through its university, history of aerospace manufacturing, and its international seaport. Under his leadership, the organization created an innovative Blueprint for Economic Development, and helped to facilitate an historic increase of private sector investment in the city. The mission of the award-winning organization, and John’s personal passion, is to increase equitable economic opportunities for workers, investors, and entrepreneurs in Long Beach and throughout California.
John Shen is the founding partner of Sunstone Management Inc., a southern California-based diversified private capital management and investment firm. He received his undergraduate degree with a major in commercial law from Peking University in 1992 and a Master of Science degree in Statistics and Decision Sciences from Duke University in 1996.
Mr. Shen previously served on the City of Long Beach Economic Development Commission, appointed by Mayor Robert Garcia, and currently serves on the City of Irvine Innovation Council, appointed by Mayor Farrah Khan. Mr. Shen’s projects have collectively created approximately 10,000 full-time jobs throughout the U.S. and properly supported over 600 high net worth foreign families in their immigration petitions. He is a recipient of Duke University’s Forever Duke award for outstanding alumni. He was also a Coleman Report’s SBA 504 Lender of the Year for his outstanding leadership and contributions to business lending nationwide.
Mike Stone, CFA
Chief Investment Officer & Partner
Mike Stone is partner and Chief Investment Officer of Sunstone Management, Inc., a private capital investment firm in Irvine, CA, focusing on applying resources of public sector, private enterprises, and universities to help founders succeed at early-stage startups. He leads the firm’s investment and research initiatives for venture capital, private credit, and real estate. Prior to joining SMI in 2022, he was first vice president at Morgan Stanley advising high-net-worth clients on alternative investments including venture capital and impact investments. Prior to that he was vice president at Alliance Bernstein serving institutional and high net worth investors. Prior to joining Bernstein, Stone held account executive and managerial roles from 1996 through 2005, including at Oracle and Siebel, advising Fortune 500, midsize companies, and startups on automation in support of strategic initiatives. He also served on the technology advisory group of US Congressperson Jim Davis. Before that he worked in consulting and engineering roles, including two startups, and published articles on information technology; he began his career as an officer in the Marine Corps working in software development. Mr. Stone has a Master of Science from University of Southern California and is a CFA charterholder.
Stella Zhang is a partner of investment firm Sunstone Management. Ms. Zhang grew up in China and came to the US in 1997. She obtained her MBA degree from the Paul Merage School of Business at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) in 2005.
Ms. Zhang helped guide Sunstone to become an innovative ecosystem builder, startup sponsor, and community supporter. Sunstone formed a strategic partnership with California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), and became the main sponsor of the Sunstone Innovation Challenge. Sunstone also partnered with the City of Long Beach and CSULB Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (IIE) to found the Long Beach Accelerator. Stella led the creation of the Stella Zhang New Venture Competition at her alma mater, UCI. Under her leadership, Sunstone made back-to-back appearances on the Inc. 5000 list of Fastest Growing Private Companies and the Financial Times list of Fastest Growing Companies in the Americas.
Queena Zhao obtained her Masters in Computer Information Systems from Boston University in 2004. She has many years of experience in financials and human resources. She is currently Chief Financial Officer of American Lending Center Holdings.
Director of Economic Development
Eric Romero is an experienced economic developer that has managed a diverse portfolio of programs and projects that support small businesses and startups, revitalize commercial corridors, and advance economic opportunity. He has unique experience in business and community outreach, program design and implementation, public policy, and public-private partnerships.
Eric most recently served as the Business Development Officer for the City of Long Beach Economic Development where he managed a team responsible for helping entrepreneurs start, sustain, and grow businesses. In his time with the City, Eric led the design and oversaw the implementation of economic recovery programs totaling over $25 million, administered the City’s $3 million Revolving Loan Fund, managed a $10 million annual Business Improvement District Program, managed strategic partnerships and contracts with community-based organizations, business associations, and anchor institutions, project managed the development of the City’s 10-year Blueprint for Economic Development, and much more.
Eric has a master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from California State University, Long Beach. Eric recently received Accredited California Economic Developer status from the California Association for Local Economic Development.
Economic Development Associate
Meet Jayro – an experienced community leader with a proven track record of bridging the gap between government and local stakeholders. He has worked with various agencies, businesses, and officials across multiple cities and brings excellent communication, organization, problem-solving, and relationship-building skills. As a civic-minded individual, Jayro holds key positions in multiple organizations such as the City of Long Beach Economic Development Commission, Long Beach Economic Partnership, and the Arts Council for Long Beach. He is also a member of Leadership Long Beach, which emphasizes integrity, vision, personal responsibility, commitment, and community trusteeship. With his valuable experience in entrepreneurship, nonprofits, corporate, local, state, and federal government, Jayro brings a unique perspective to his work in business and economic development.
Research & Management Analyst
Ryan holds a Master of Public Administration with a Certificate of Public Financial Management from the University of Southern California Sol Price School of Public Policy. Ryan joins Sunstone Management as a Research & Management Analyst, where he analyzes federal and state funding opportunities and policies while also optimizing operational processes within the Economic Development Department. Ryan is committed to driving positive change through public-private partnerships and actively seeks to explore the intersectionality of economic development and venture capital.
Founder Community Manager
Zhen is a co-founder of Cheese, a debit card and credit builder fintech startup in the US. Prior to co-founding Cheese, Zhen founded his own SaaS company (Technology Credit) to help start-ups with their R&D tax credit claims. Recently, Zhen joined Sunstone Management to help with the building of the founder-mentor ecosystem.
Prior to the startup journey, Zhen spent 11 years in Ernst &Young’s Federal Tax Consulting in Los Angeles. Zhen became EY China’s R&D tax practice leader during 2014 -2015 after building China’s very first R&D tax consulting practice. During his professional career, Zhen also spent 2 years at Goldman Sachs with the finance division primarily focusing on investment tax compliance and due diligence.
Founder Community Development Analyst
Angie Zuo is a dedicated Founder Community Development Analyst at Sunstone Management, specializing in establishing meaningful connections with startup founders across the company’s expanding portfolio. She is primarily working on tracking business progress and spearheading the growth of a vibrant founder community, Angie contributes significantly to fostering innovation and collaborative success.
Angie earned her Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Quantitative Economics from UC Irvine. Further amplifying her expertise, Angie pursued a Master’s degree in Financial Technology from Duke University.
Luis is an accounting professional with more than 15 years of experience in corporate accounting and financial services. He began his career at a financial services firm in West L.A., servicing high-net-worth individuals. Later, Luis worked at GemCap Lending, a commercial asset-based lender in Malibu, and most recently he worked at TriLinc Global, LLC, an impact investment fund in Manhattan Beach. He is a graduate of California State University, Los Angeles with a B.S. in Business Administration, majoring in Accounting.
A native of Guatemala, Luis is an avid soccer fan and enjoys spending time with his two boys and his wife.
Senior Fund Accountant
Brian Dunne is an accounting professional with over six years of experience in the accounting industry. He began his career in public accounting in auditing and attestation working on privately held, publicly traded, not-for-profit, government, and ERISA clients. Brian most recently worked at KPMG in their asset management department where he worked on private equity, real estate, and alternative investment clients.
Brian received his B.A. in Business Administration with a Concentration in Accounting and his Master of Science in Accountancy from California State University, Fullerton. Brian is a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the state of California.
Brian served as the Treasurer on the Board of The Elite OC, Young Professionals Giving Back, a not-for-profit organization for young professionals and entrepreneurs to come together to share ideas and ultimately build business relationships. In Brian’s free time, he enjoys watching sports and playing the guitar.
Director, Investment Department
Jasmine Jiang is the Director of Investment at Sunstone Management, where she leads the investment activities and serves as a member of the investment committee. With a focus on seed/early-stage venture capital investments, Jasmine specializes in enterprise software, SaaS, and other emerging technologies.
Known for her hands-on approach, Jasmine works closely with founders, providing strategic guidance and support throughout the growth journey of companies from ideation to IPO. Her 10+ years of extensive experience and expertise in the financial services industry have enabled her to drive successful outcomes for portfolio companies.
Beyond her role at Sunstone, Jasmine is passionate about fostering inclusivity in the startup landscape. As a minority in the US, she leverages her unique identity to build bridges between global markets and establish meaningful collaborations.
Jasmine holds a master’s degree from the University of Southern California. She is dedicated to driving economic growth by establishing public-private partnerships and creating opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs.
As Vice President at Sunstone Management, Lloyd Wei is dedicated to delivering comprehensive investment advisory and investment management services centered on alternative investments such as venture capital to both high-net-worth and institutional clients. With over ten years of experience in finance, Lloyd’s exceptional qualities, including his meticulousness, attentive listening skills, and empathy, are highly valued by his clients. He works together with a team of industry experts to provide exceptional customer service and establish enduring relationships with his growing clientele.
Lloyd is a CFA charter holder. He also holds the professional designation of Certified Financial Planner (CFP®). He speaks fluent English and Mandarin.
With more than 9 years of experience in wealth management, Nathan led a team of highly skilled investment advisors providing financial services to high-net-worth individuals as well as institutional clients.
During his tenure at Sunstone Management, he played integral roles in the development and management of successful private equity funds including fixed income fund, equity growth fund, and various venture capital funds. Nathan’s leadership and management were responsible for strong growth in Assets Under Management.
He received his Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of California, Riverside. Utilizing his expert experience in finance and language skills, Nathan is committed to serving our clients and helping them achieve their financial goals. He in fluent in Mandarin and English.
Associate Vice President
Jing Sun is a highly skilled Advisor and Venture Capitalist, specializing in working with high-net-worth individuals. With a strong background in finance, she possess a deep understanding of fund setup and deal diligence processes. Jing has successfully contributed to business development efforts by building strong relationships with notable accelerators, venture capital firms, and industry experts to source new investment opportunities. She also played a key role in deal diligence, conducting in-depth interviews with startup companies to evaluate their teams, business models, marketing strategies, fundraising plans, and exit strategies. With her expertise in financial analysis and due diligence, Jing meticulously evaluates investment opportunities to make informed decisions that align with the interests of high-net-worth individuals.
Wendy previously worked at Ernst & Young’s forensic department and participated in several internal fraud behavior investigation projects. She worked on a core project team, assisted in carrying out transaction testing and data analysis, designed the investigation work plan, conducted information collection reviews, and assisted in writing independent investigation reports.
Wendy attended UCI where she received her master’s degree in Innovation and Entrepreneurship and a bachelor’s degree in Finance, Operations and Decision Technologies.
Associate Research Analyst
Sabrina obtained her master’s degree from the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business. She has experience in venture capital, consulting, and tech. She currently works as an Associate Research Analyst at Sunstone Management.
Clark Hong-Sheng Hsu holds a Master of International Public Policy and Management from the University of Southern California Sol Price School of Public Policy. He is currently working as an Investment Associate at Sunstone Management.
Marketing & Communications Manager
Jennifer obtained her degree from UC Berkeley. She currently oversees marketing and communications at Sunstone Management.
Harry Saltzgaver was born and raised in Colorado. He has been a journalist for more than 40 years starting in Colorado, then moving to California in 1992. He served as executive editor of the Grunion Gazette, the Long Beach weekly newspaper, for 31 years. He won an award or two there, including being named national Journalist of the Year for non-dailies by the Gazette’s parent company, Digital First Media, in 2014. He has published two books — ‘Passionately Positive, The Beverly O’Neill Story’ and ‘20 Pounds of Salt in a 10-Pound Bag,” a compilation of his signature column, A Pinch of Salt.
Saltzgaver has lived a life of community involvement, serving on both public and nonprofit boards. He has served as president of the Public Corporation for the Arts, the Long Beach Recreation Commission and the Long Beach Water Commission, as well as three-year chair of Goodwill of Southern Los Angeles County. He currently is treasurer of the Grand Prix Foundation of Long Beach, president of the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center advisory council, and member for the Rancho Los Alamitos board of trustees and the Long Beach Salvation Army Red Shield.
Jessica Dela Rosa
Assistant to the CEO & Board Secretary
Jessica was formerly the Executive Assistant to the Director of Economic Development for the City of Long Beach. She brings over 25 years of administrative experience to the table and has 7 years with the City of Long Beach. She started with the City in August 2015 as an AppleOne temporary employee and was hired as the Bureau Secretary shortly after. Over a span of 3 years she has supported 4 different Department Directors, along with the dynamic and critical Real Estate Development Bureau. In January of 2020, she took on the role of Acting Executive Assistant to the Director and was appointed to the position in May of 2020. At every step through her career, she has met the challenge with personal and professional development.
Jessica lives in Wilmington with her husband Mitchell and 2 of her youngest of 5 children. She enjoys cooking, singing, listening to music, but most of all spending time with her family.
Strategic Business Analyst
Michael is a creative and innovative MBA professional with a wealth of experience in strategy implementation, campaign management, project management, cross-functional team leadership, negotiation, and complex problem-solving. With a dual citizenship and international work background, he possesses exceptional interpersonal, communication, and organizational skills. His expertise lies in aligning business objectives with marketing strategies, achieving maximum growth and volume. With a Master of Business Administration from the University of California, Irvine, specializing in Innovation and Entrepreneurship as well as Digital Transformation, he brings a unique blend of skills to the table.
Notably, he has played a pivotal role in providing data-driven insights and actionable recommendations to management, optimizing overall organizational performance. His proactive approach to problem-solving and decision-making has consistently delivered outstanding results. Having successfully managed strategic business development projects for multiple business units, he demonstrate an impressive ability to lead cross-functional teams and ensure effective information flow within the organization. This Strategic Business Analyst is dedicated to excellence and proficient in utilizing various tools and platforms. With a track record of success in driving growth and aligning business strategies, he continues to be a driving force behind our company’s success.
Audrey has 7 years experience in the hospitality industry with the last 3 years being in the General Manager position with Hilton. Her favorite part about working in the hotel industry was always going above and beyond for guests and staff to ensure the best possible overall experience. She is very excited to bring her Hospitality knowledge over to Sunstone and go above and beyond for our investors as well as our team!
Business Development Analyst
David is a current MBA candidate at Loyola Marymount University who specializes in marketing, project management, and strategic management. He earned his MA in Bioethics from Loyola Marymount University in 2020, and his BA in Philosophy from Cal State Fullerton in 2017. As a CEO Fellow, David is responsible for overseeing the development and execution of strategic initiatives that focus on the growth and acceleration of start-up ecosystems.
Technical Business Analyst
Mark is an experienced Technical Business Analyst and holds the esteemed Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. With a background in Software Project Management and Agile methodologies, Mark brings a wealth of expertise in process improvement, team performance enhancement, and delivering successful outcomes.
He actively engages with various business units, offering valuable insights, proposing effective solutions, and providing consultancy services to support informed decision-making. Mark diligently oversees requirement gathering and day-to-day support activities for multiple software systems, ensuring smooth operations and optimal performance.
He excels in effective communication and aligning with organizational goals, fostering collaboration and driving project success. With strong project management skills, Mark confidently leads complex initiatives and achieves positive results. As he joins Sunstone Management, Mark’s analytical skills, report automation abilities, and continuous improvement mindset will contribute significantly to the company’s growth and success. He remains committed to ongoing learning and development, actively seeking opportunities to enhance his skills and make valuable contributions to organizational objectives.
Research Analyst Intern
Luvia earned her master’s degree from the University of California, Irvine. She possesses a wealth of experience in venture capital and financing funding. Presently, she holds the position of Research Analyst Intern at Sunstone Management.
Research Analyst Intern
Laura is entering her fourth year at the Ivey Business School as a HBA and Computer Science student. She has experience in fintech, programming, and marketing, with a passion for the tech industry. She currently works as a Research Analyst Intern at Sunstone Management.