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John Keisler

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

John Shen

Founding Partner

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

Mike Stone

Chief Investment Officer & Partner

Mike Stone is Sunstone Management’s Chief Investment Officer. Mr. Stone has 15 years of experience in the information technology industry and another 16 years in finance. He began his career in the Marine Corps leading software development and consulting senior officers including generals on deploying technology. He has experience working in capital raising for startups, systems consulting, and managerial roles at firms like Oracle and Siebel where he advised startups, mid-size, and fortune 100 companies.

Following his career in technology, Mr. Stone was recruited by Alliance Bernstein, where he advised institutional and private clients and obtained his Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. Next, he was recruited by Morgan Stanley, where he advised clients on alternative investments including venture capital. Mr. Stone looks forward to helping Sunstone shape the founder ecosystem with an integrated and cohesive blend of public sector, private sector, non-profit, and university engagement, removing barriers, democratizing access to capital and expertise, and opening new pathways for founders to gain equitable access to capital and critical guidance.

Stella Zhang

Stella Zhang


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

Queena Zhao


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.

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Eric Romero

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.

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Zhen Wang

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.

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Luis Cifuentes


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.


Jasmine Jiang

Director, Investment Department

With over six years of experience in the financial services industry, Jasmine has extensive experience in private funds management including raising fund, sourcing, and executing venture capital equity investments. As an investment advisor, Jasmine works closely with high-net-worth clients to tailor practical solutions that meet the complex needs of affluent individuals and families.

Jasmine earned her masters degree from the University of Southern California. She speaks fluent Mandarin and English.


Jennifer Huang

Marketing & Communications Manager

Jennifer obtained her degree from UC Berkeley. She currently oversees marketing and communications at Sunstone Management.

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Jessica Dela Rosa

Assistant to the CEO

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.


Wendy Zhou

Client Manager

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.

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Sabrina Li

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. 

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Michael Jacoub

Administrative Assistant

Michael is currently enrolled in the Master of Business Administration program at the University of California, Irvine. He has more than 6 years of marketing experience in various industries such as freight forwarding, luxurious goods, automotive, and banking. He moved to California in 2019 and worked since then in the healthcare sector.


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Chanwattey He

Economic Development Intern

Chanwattey is in her second year at Cal State Fullerton as a Finance major. She will be joining Sunstone Management as an intern for the Economic Development department where she will be conducting secondary research, providing administrative support, and supporting any related marketing activities.  

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Katie Zhan 

Research Analyst Intern

Katie is a research analyst intern at Sunstone Management.

Sunstone Fellows

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Ryan Phong 

Economic Development Fellow

Ryan is currently in his second and final year at the University of Southern California as a graduate student. He is pursuing his Master of Public Administration degree with a Certificate in Public Financial Management. He joins Sunstone Management as an Economic Development Fellow where he researches government funding opportunities, serves as the staff lead for grants issued by the Sunstone Community Fund, and supports business development activities.

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David Urtecho 

CEO Fellow

David is a CEO Fellow at Sunstone Management and 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.

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Mark Jacoub 

CEO Fellow

Mark is an experienced Business System Analyst. He comes from a Software project management background with experience in Agile methodologies. His track record includes improving processes and team performance, while delivering results. Mark is an expert in identifying areas that require improvements and proposing solutions. Using three pillars; problem solving, data and communication. Mark is joining Sunstone Management where he will use his skills and expertise to help the company reach its objectives. He will be analyzing the company’s systems and exploring opportunities to improve them. While working on automating reports generation and dashboard creation. In addition to that, Mark will be identifying any opportunity for training and improvement.