REF San Diego

Leaders Powered by Collective Intelligence

REF is a Global organization of Peer Advisory Boards for Top-Tier Business Leaders.

Members access the Collective Intelligence of their Peers in an environment of trust and confidentiality, locally and globally.
We propel Collective Intelligence through a personal, professional, and business development approach.

  • REF, formerly "Renaissance Executive Forums" is a global organization that brings together peer advisory boards for top-tier business executives.

  • Forum Groups are the core of the different REFs memberships.

  • Members access the Collective Intelligence of their Peers in an environment of Trust and Confidentiality.

  • Founded in the USA 30 years ago.

  • Peer advisory board comprised of 12 to 15 CEOs, Presidents, Owners (depending on membership type) 

  • Non-competing industries

  • Meet one morning a month

  • Facilitated by a certified REF Forum Leader

  • Safe space for discussion and debate

  • Culture of transparency, trust and confidentiality

In their Forum Groups, Members present their biggest challenges and exchange constructive, actionable advice from a diversity of perspectives. This gives them the clarity they need to find transcendent solutions and achieve their personal, professional and business goals. 

Regular monthly Forum meeting structure:

  • Educational Component: Update doses with Experts on topics of interest for Business Leaders. 

  • Round Table: Exchange dynamics of personal and business best practices.

  • Case: A member presents their biggest challenge, and other members of the group share what they would do in their shoes.

Special annual Forums:

  • Escape: One-day group retreat focused on personal development.

  • Offsite: Group trip featuring workshop on strategies for personal and professional success.

  • All Members Meeting: Annual meeting with other local or regional Groups.

  • Access to REF's app: Network & Digital Community

  • Expert Insights: Webinars with Experts about major shifts and trends.

  • Industry & Interest Networks: International Forum Groups, exchange of best practices and opportunities.

  • Events: Global, Regional & Local Network.

  • Unique Experiences: Curated trips, leisure & retreats.

  • Improved decision-making

  • Accelerated personal, professional and business growth

  • Global network of Business Leaders

  • Meaningful relationships

At REF, Members tap into the wisdom that emerges from the Collective Intelligence of leaders with exceptional backgrounds.

  • REF provides a unique space where members gain clarity to make their most important and challenging business, professional and personal decisions.

  • Selective trust-based Forum Groups made up of top-tier business leaders (by invitation only).

  • Forum Groups led by Forum leaders with business experience.

  • Case method.

  • Holistic approach: Personal, professional, and business growth.

  • Continuous education through leading professionals.

  • Introspection, reflection, and planning.

REF San Diego Events

See what the latest local and digital events that are happening near you and stay connected with liked minded leaders.
Events

We believe evolved and connected leaders are a positive force in the world.

Meet our Team in REF San Diego

Mark Neilson
Partner & Forum Leader
About
Partner & Forum Leader
Mark Neilson
San Diego, California
LinkedIn icon
About

I tend to introduce myself as a "recovering CFO" which typically triggers a question or odd look. I learned a lot about people and business in 25 years of full-time "CFO-ing". I have leveraged all those years of various experiences to now serve on several for-profit and nonprofit boards as well as working with a select list of companies as a "working board member." I am also a Speaker and Thought Leader.

Susan Kuruvilla
Partner & Forum Leader
About
Partner & Forum Leader
Susan Kuruvilla
San Diego, California
LinkedIn icon
About

I’m a dynamic business strategist with more than 20 years of hands-on experience in both small and mid-market privately held and large public companies, in either the CEO/President and/or CFO role. I bring a unique blend of financial, sales, and operational skills to my passion of helping executives grow as people and as leaders, which in turn will lead to growth of the companies they lead. In addition to being a Partner in REF in San Diego, I’m a Board Member, Executive Coach, and Business Consultant.

Mike Richardson
Partner & Forum Leader
About
Partner & Forum Leader
Mike Richardson
San Diego, California
LinkedIn icon
About

I have been a coach, facilitator, thought-leading author, and keynote speaker in the field of peer forums, Collective Intelligence, and agility for more than 20 years since beginning my portfolio career. In my corporate career before that, I ran high-technology aerospace hardware, software, and systems integration businesses, ultimately heading the aerospace division of a British public company. I am originally English, now American, and have been in Southern California for 25 years. I love coaching and facilitating agility in the C-suite.

Brad Lee
Partner & Forum Leader
About
Partner & Forum Leader
Brad Lee
San Diego, California
LinkedIn icon
Brandon Stanford
Forum Leader
About
Forum Leader
Brandon Stanford
San Diego, California
LinkedIn icon
About

An experienced finance executive with a focus on strategic development and shareholder value.

John Mendez
Forum Leader
About
Forum Leader
John Mendez
San Diego, California
LinkedIn icon
About

I am a strategic communications professional and entrepreneur with 25+ years of experience in:
* Government Relations and Public Affairs
* Advocacy and Outreach Campaigns
* Issue and Crisis Management
* Coalition Building and Stakeholder Engagement
* Public-Private-Non Profit Partnerships and Community Investment
* Press and News Media Relations
* Corporate and Employee Communications
* Strategic Planning and Project Management
* Public Relations with a focus on reputation management and business development

CORE INDUSTRIES
• Energy, Water Architecture & Engineering
• Land Use/Real Estate Development, Urban Infill,
• Leadership and CEO/Executive Coaching
• Non-profit Management
• Wireless and Telecommunications

Specialties: commercial development and land-use entitlements, master-planned communities and homebuilding, cell towers, and wireless infrastructure; hi-tech, government, and regulatory approvals for controversial projects and issues; assist business and non-profits in connecting at a deeper and more sustaining level for mutual benefit; municipal and state infrastructure development.

Scott Krawitz
Forum Leader - CTO
About
Forum Leader - CTO
Scott Krawitz
San Diego, California
LinkedIn icon
About

An innovative and seasoned business technologist, executive coach and entrepreneur, Scott’s 20+ year career includes engagements coaching, consulting and connecting executives and leading teams through all project phases from strategic planning, analysis, design and development to implementation, iterative improvement and ongoing support. Industries served include Financial Services, Healthcare, Software, Retail, Business Services, Legal, Education Technology, Manufacturing, Non-Profit.

Our Purpose

Is to accelerate the personal, professional, and business evolution of our Members, because we believe evolved and connected leaders are a positive force in the world.

The value of every forum meeting lies in the enriching effect of members diversity of perspectives in giving and receiving feedback of their peers.
Requirements:

CEO, Owner, President, or equivalent.

Qualifying company criteria:
  • SMB: $5M-$30M in revenue.

  • Corporate: $30M-$300M in revenue.

  • Large Corporations: More than $300M in revenue.

The value of every forum meeting lies in the enriching effect of members diversity of perspectives in giving and receiving feedback of their peers.
Requirements:

C-Suite and upper management.

Qualifying company criteria:
  • Corporate: $30M-$300M in revenue.

  • Large Corporations: More than $300M in revenue.

REF San Diego Articles

Ready to reach the next level?

Start a conversation with REF San Diego