The "Separate But Together" Leadership Team

Karla Nelson, Co-Founder, Sac-CESS

Karla is a power connector, entrepreneur, inspirational speaker and managing partner of Swiss Avenue Partners Group, a national mid-market business training company. She has inspired tens of thousands of individuals, clients and audiences who have lost hope to believe again and those who believe to discover their unique gift and ability...and to live it out. She has founded, co-founded, owned and served as an executive for multiple industries: Business Training, Business Finance, Commercial Finance, Online Education, Commercial Development, Real Estate, Information Technology, Solar Development, and Business Consulting.

Allen Fahden, Co-Founder, Sac-CESS

Speaker, trainer, advertising consultant. Allen Fahden worked as cutting edge Creative Director for a Minneapolis ad agency and was approached to develop an innovation profile by a leading assessment publisher. This transformed his work into teaching Fortune 500 companies how to use their teams more productively with greater results. He has worked with clients like Paul McCartney, Jeff Bezos’s executive team at, Coca-Cola, GE, Disney and many more Fortune 500 companies.

Dan Rietz, Regional Sales, TriNet

Dan started his career working with Polycom, Inc. when the company was a startup. Over the course of 9 years the company grew to 1,300 employees and $500m in annual revenues and a 90% marketshare in its space. Since leaving he has started 6 successful companies in the past 11 years, he has a stellar record in sales, designing and launching first product introductions for startups. Dan has designed strategies that resulted in a $7M multi-investor agreement, and negotiated an agreement with AT&T for a pilot project utilizing his company’s technology in their data centers. He currently leverages technology to automate processes and workflow for helping business owners to manage their employees.

Kevin Nothstine, H3 Consulting

Kevin is currently developing an online tool allowing professionals to connect profitably through referral relationships within the Real Estate community. The platform provides a best-of-class vetting system to screen professionals before adding them to your referral network. Kevin also develops training programs, manages data integrity and use and manages product development. Major Kevin “H3” Nothstine served in the United States Air Force for over 20 years as a pilot performing tactical airlift as well as reconnaissance missions. He has performed over 100 combat missions in Afghanistan and has trained hundreds of student pilots who have served in combat.

Sara Woo, Founder, Sara Woo Media LLC

Sara is on the Board of Directors for the Sacramento Chapter National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) as the Programs Committee Co-Chair. She is also the Media Specialist at Ascenergy. Her team leads the digital presence and social media outreach. She is experienced in digital presence, technology research, community outreach, public policy, renewable energy, and sustainable development. She co-founded Davis Websites, held roles in professional map-making communities using Geographic Information Systems, and worked as a regional strategic planner in the transportation industry.

Melanie Fisher, Founder & President,

Melanie is a multi-disciplinary entrepreneur who produces and executes digital media campaigns. She has been developing creative digital advertising strategy for 13 years. Her skills in web design, e-commerce, SEO, graphic design, social media, and videography allow her to offer a well-rounded strategic digital marketing approach. In her free time, she can be found with her two kids, watching documentaries or reading books about the latest digital advancements. Melanie maintains a friendly and positive approach to life which makes collaboration and business endeavors enjoyable for all involved.

Anna Straus, Vice President, Greater Sacramento Area Economic Council

Anna Straus is a certified Leadership Coach with over 12 years of professional business development experience. She specializes in strategic planning to help companies increase profitability, streamline processes, and foster team development. Her notable achievements include establishing an Energy Division for a global recruitment firm in Northern California that resulted in 1,000+ new jobs and over $25,000/week in gross profit. As the current VP of Development & Community Relations at SACTO she reached record high financial support to help create more jobs and investment in the Sacramento Region.

Eric Butow, Owner, Butow Communications Group

Eric Butow is the owner of Butow Communications Group (BCG) in Jackson, California, which provides services for improving clients' online marketing ROI. His past clients include Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Cisco Systems, F5 Networks, Adobe, Sybase, and Microsoft. Eric has written 25 books, most recently Blogging to Drive Business, Second Edition, My Samsung Galaxy Tab 4, and Google Glass for Dummies. He also developed and taught networking, computing, and usability courses for Ed2Go, Virtual Training Company, California State University, Sacramento, and Udemy.