Steve Brown is the founder and managing partner of Trinity Capital Investment, a leading provider of venture loans and equipment leases to emerging growth companies. A trusted industry veteran, Brown founded Trinity on the premise that it’s not how you act on your best day but how you react on your worst day that defines a relationship or partnership. This philosophy is deeply embedded in the firm’s approach, and leverages Trinity’s financial, technical, and operational expertise.
Brown’s 30 years of experience in venture equity and venture debt is apparent in his ability to adeptly manage sales and strategic business operations working with early-stage companies. He served as general partner at Point Financial Capital Partners, a venture leasing fund and held a prior role as the president and CFO of InvestLinc Financial Services, an early-stage private equity fund and consulting firm. He has also worked as a partner at Cornerstone Equity Partners, a private equity fund.
Brown has a B.S. in business administration and marketing from McNeese State University and is a current Small Business Investor Alliance – Western Regional Committee member. Growing up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana left a lasting impression on Brown. He is an avid LSU fan and loves a good bowl of spicy gumbo on a cold day.
Alex Erhart serves as the managing partner at Trinity Capital Investment. With more than 30 years of high-tech experience, he has over 50 patents and has been the founder and CEO of two successful venture-backed startups. Erhart is an exceptionally experienced leader and coach who offers Trinity’s portfolio companies hard-won technical and organizational insights. He specializes in guiding companies that are navigating through strategic growth opportunities.
At Trinity, Erhart manages the firm’s portfolio and business operations. He is renowned for his diligence, knowledge of developing scientific systems and processes and ability to foresee potential challenges for the portfolio companies. He works closely with the entire Trinity team and customers to ensure the portfolio is positioned for growth.
Prior to joining Trinity, he served as executive vice president of engineering and operations at Sand9, a MEMS timing manufacturer. He was a founder and early CEO of biometric fingerprint sensor manufacturer, Validity, which sold for $265 million to Synaptics in 2013. He also was the founder and CEO of Vivid Semiconductor, an LCD display technology startup that was purchased by National Semiconductor in 2000.
Erhart has an electrical engineering degree from Arizona State University and has authored ten technical presentations. He has served on the board of directors for three corporations and has been active in local charitable organizations. He is an astute wine collector and enjoys spending time with his family.
Hal Hayden is constantly inspired by the crossroads of technology and finance. He is a Trinity Capital Investment partner and the founding CEO and managing partner of Agility Ventures. During his 30-year career of lending and leasing to emerging growth technology companies, Hayden has gained invaluable experience working with companies across all stages in a wide variety of industries. Along with partners Steve Brown and Alex Erhart, they designed Trinity to understand the obstacles facing early-stage companies and help clients navigate through them to achieve their plans.
A natural entrepreneur, Hayden built his industry knowledge while serving as the vice president of the software finance division at First Sierra Financial. He founded Heritage Software Finance, which was purchased by First Sierra Financial in 1997. Prior to starting Heritage, he founded Priority Leasing Corporation, a technology leasing company which was purchased by private investors in 1995. Hayden began his career as a regional account manager for IBM’s General Systems Division.
Hayden holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Arizona and is a current board member of Lighthawk, a non-profit organization. He has also served on the board of directors for the United Association of Equipment Leasing. With a passion for the great outdoors, travel and aviation, he is a commercial instrument-rated pilot and enjoys flying for both business and personal travel.
David Erhart is a partner at Trinity Capital Investment. Erhart manages the firm’s strategic marketing, marketing communications, and marketing research activities and is responsible for positioning the firm’s growth strategy and generating demand for Trinity’s products and services. Erhart brings a wealth of experience in strategic marketing, sales, product management, brand management, and marketing communications to his role. Previously at Trinity, Erhart served as the company’s director of marketing and business development.
For more than six years Erhart wore many hats at First Solar while managing global marketing and communications. He was responsible for supporting the expansion into existing and emerging solar markets and repositioning First Solar as an energy company. His early roles with the company included marketing communications manager of products and services and communications specialist. Erhart also worked as an account coordinator for RIESTER, one of the largest independent advertising and PR firms in the Western United States.
Erhart serves on the board of directors for a non-profit organization in Chandler, Arizona and holds a B.S. in marketing from Arizona State University’s W. P. Carey School of Business. He has delivered presentations at international trade shows and conferences and chaired numerous conference sessions. An accomplished runner and proud ASU graduate, Erhart participates in Pat’s Run and has placed in the top 20.
Kyle Brown is a Trinity Capital Investment partner and is responsible for managing sales activities for Trinity Capital Investment in order to achieve the firm’s deployment goals. Brown manages relationships with potential customers as well as with strategic partners including venture capital firms and technology bank lenders. Under his leadership, Trinity continues to expand the firm’s portfolio and strategic relationships, a testament to his extensive experience in sales, startups and fund management.
Brown has been an entrepreneur since he was 19, running small businesses and startup companies. He joined Trinity in 2015, following the sale of Brown Equity, an Arizona-based real estate financial investment firm he founded and operated. Before starting his own firm, he co-founded and managed Sharp Equity Homes, a full-service, web-based multiple listing service for trustee sale auctions in Arizona and California. Kyle has founded or co-founded three additional startups over the course of his career and enjoys the process of building high performing teams and enabling them to deliver exceptional results.
Brown serves as an advisory board member for both the One Institute and the Camelback Society, a non-profit organization working to improve the community. Although he currently resides in Phoenix, Brown can often be found surfing Manhattan Beach, California.
Tim Vatuone is a managing director at Trinity Capital Investment with responsibility in portfolio management and financial accounting. Vatuone is a technology industry veteran with more than three decades of technology and financial experience. He has raised over $180 million of equity and debt financing and is very familiar with the challenges facing emerging growth companies.
Prior to joining Trinity, he founded Vertex Consulting where he supported a wide variety of high-tech clients in the biotech, software and renewable energy sectors. Throughout his career, Vatuone has served as CFO for companies including Advent Solar, Validity Sensors, Inc., Syntellect Inc., Vivid Semiconductor, and Capetronic International Holdings, Ltd.
Vatuone holds a B.S. degree in economics and an MBA degree from the University of Santa Clara and has taught finance, entrepreneurship and business courses at Central New Mexico Community College. Vatuone played college baseball and is still a big fan of what he calls “the world’s greatest game.”
Kelli Fontaine serves as a director for Trinity Capital Investment and is responsible for spearheading business development activities in the Bay Area. Fontaine is a seasoned executive with extensive experience in sales, marketing, finance, and business consulting.
Prior to joining Trinity, Fontaine founded a business consulting firm that provided strategic analysis on investment opportunities and risks for multiple venture capital firms in the Bay Area. Having lived the life of an entrepreneur, she previously co-founded a startup focused on B2C customer loyalty in the hospitality industry. Throughout her career, Fontaine has led business development and marketing activities for multiple companies including RPX Corporation, Credit Suisse AG, and Capital Guardian Trust Company.
Fontaine holds a B.A. in broadcasting and B.S. in marketing from the University of Colorado at Boulder Leeds School of Business. She was an accomplished figure skater and trained at the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Facility prior to college. She and her family are incredibly active and enjoy the sports and outdoor activities available in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Vibhor Garg is a director at Trinity Capital Investment, where he is responsible for evaluating new opportunities, managing the due diligence process, and supporting a wide variety of marketing and finance activities. His work is critical to the Trinity team and leverages his expertise in data modeling, research, and statistics.
Prior to joining Trinity, Garg co-founded Bharat Health Organization, a web-based technology platform that connects patients and corporate clients to an exclusive network of healthcare organizations, solutions and services in India. Previously, Garg served as programmer and analyst for Cognizant Technology Solutions.
Garg holds an MBA in Global Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management and a B.S. in electronics engineering from VIT University. While enrolled at VIT, he published a technical paper in the International Journal of Computer Applications. He recently discovered the joy of cooking and enjoys experimenting in the kitchen.
Gerry Harder is the managing director of Trinity Capital Investment’s portfolio and is responsible for analyzing investment opportunities and collaborating on the firm’s investment strategy, objectives, asset allocation and balancing risk against performance.
Harder is an accomplished technology professional with a proven ability to manage organizations and product development at early-stage companies. As the executive vice president of engineering and operations for Sand9, Harder worked to design, develop and produce groundbreaking piezoelectric MEMs based timing devices for mobile, IoT, and communications infrastructure markets. He has served in many technology leadership roles including director of operations for Cirrus Logic, vice president of engineering for White Electronic Designs, and technical leadership roles with ON Semiconductor, National Semiconductor, Vivid Semiconductor, Medtronic and Motorola. His experience with a broad range of technologies and end-user applications is incredibly valuable to companies in the Trinity portfolio.
Harder holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Arizona State University.
Richard Nelson manages the due diligence process for Trinity Capital Investment. In this role, he is instrumental in screening, analyzing and executing investment activities, providing modelling and analysis for a wide variety of investment decisions, and making recommendations on investment opportunities. Nelson has extensive experience working with startup companies in project management, process engineering and quality engineering. He leverages this expertise to evaluate investment opportunities including the underlying technologies and go-to-market strategies of our potential customers.
Prior to joining Trinity, Nelson served as the MEMs oscillators and resonators principal product engineer at Sand9 where he was responsible for establishing production manufacturing for MEMs product lines and developing process control structures for MEMs technology. Prior to Sand9, Nelson was the biometrics principal product engineer with Validity Sensors with responsibility for architectural definition of new products in biometric products. Nelson has an established track record of bringing semiconductor products to market, working with National Semiconductor, Vivid Semiconductor and Medtronic.
Nelson holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. He holds issued and published applications of 13 patents and enjoys hunting and fishing in his spare time.
Jason Hamlin is the senior controller for Trinity Capital Investment and is responsible for the firm’s financial management, controls and financial reporting. He serves on the investment committee at Trinity and manages accounting activities. Hamlin brings over 17+ years of experience in investment fund management, back office, finance and accounting and is responsible for day-to-day financial operations at Trinity. He frequently works with client financial teams to review investments and identify potential risks.
During his career, Hamlin has served as vice president of capital markets at Cavan Commercial. Before Cavan Commercial, Hamlin was the senior vice president of finance for Majestic Capital, a hedge fund management company where he was responsible for managing investor relations, accounting and tax for numerous corporate entities. Hamlin served as chief financial officer for Life Rebuilders and Lakeside Capital Management prior to joining Majestic Capital.
Hamlin has a B.S. from Arizona State University and an MBA degree from the Thunderbird School of Global Management with an emphasis on capital markets. In addition to being actively involved with the Young Life organization, he is a gifted woodworker and knows his way around a ski slope.
Jay Taylor is the vice president of finance for Trinity Capital Investments, with responsibility for external financial and management reporting, corporate accounting, corporate internal controls, risk management, and support of the corporate financial planning and analysis functions. In his role, Taylor demonstrates his more than 12 years of experience working in the financial industry. Jay previously served as Trinity’s director of finance.
Before Trinity, Jay served as senior consultant in the FTI Consulting Corporate Finance/Restructuring practice. His previous roles also include working as a financial consultant for Veriti Consulting where he engaged in a variety of valuation and forensic analysis projects. From 2001 to 2009, he served in a variety of financial analyst and managerial roles at companies such as Triple Point Capital, Deloitte & Touche, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Ernst & Young.
Taylor is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and holds a Master of Accounting degree from the University of Southern California, and a B.A. from Brigham Young University. In his free time, he enjoys mountain biking in the great outdoors.
Jonathan Cheung serves as director of due diligence for Trinity Capital Investment and is responsible for analyzing incoming investment opportunities and providing recommendations to the Investment Committee.
Cheung began his career in the Apple Finance Development Program, where he rotated through several Apple business units to provide regional and global support to Apple’s finance teams. During his tenure at Apple, Cheung worked in Japan, Australia, and the US on a variety of international projects encompassing financial analysis, modeling, market growth strategy, business process re-engineering, and enterprise reporting. While pursuing his MBA, Cheung performed in-depth due diligence for Grayhawk Capital.
Cheung has a B.A. in Economics and a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of California, Berkeley. After working for Apple, Cheung received his MBA in strategic marketing and a M.S. in Business Analytics from Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business. Cheung is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and is an avid baseball fan.
Rena Curtis manages the documentation and closing process at Trinity Capital Investment . Curtis manages customer service for clients in the Trinity portfolio and brings her extensive experience in lending and leasing management, documentation and processing. Curtis demonstrates her extensive experience working with tech startups through her incredible attention to detail and exceptional ability to maintain order in a rapidly changing environment.
Prior to joining Trinity, she served as the lease manager for Agility Ventures, a venture leasing firm. She has almost two decades of experience in the automotive industry and held various positions at American Honda Motor Corp.
Curtis is the epitome of a Comic-Con fan, she enjoys the camaraderie of the Comic-Con community and possesses a special reverence for all things Star Wars.
Crystal Voss manages the portfolio for Trinity Capital Investment. In her role, she performs financial analysis and manages a complex client portfolio for Trinity. Voss is responsible for portfolio maintenance activities and reports on the health of the fund’s current investments. Voss builds strong relationships with Trinity’s clients and monitors and analyzes the progress of companies in the firm’s portfolio, identifying challenges and opportunities for success.
Voss has over 20 years of experience in the financial and banking industry. She served as the lead business analyst at American Express. Her experience also includes a long history of service at Wells Fargo bank with progressively more responsibility in each role. Over the course of two decades, her roles included operations manager, business system consultant and technology manager, with responsibility for posting over $300 million in daily customer transactions. Voss’ performance track record provided her with the opportunity to attend the Wells Fargo Leadership Development Program in 2004 and 2005.
Voss holds a B.S. in Psychology from Arizona State University. Since childhood she has always had a flare for numbers, and enjoys solving problems by analyzing how things work.
Trin Coleman joined Trinity Capital Investment in 2014 and serves as the company’s associate, Finance & Investor Relations, where she delivers support for finance, accounts payable, accounts receivable, marketing and investor relations.
Prior to joining Trinity, she held a contracts administrative clerk position with IMC Sales & Marketing where she processed new home contracts and supported the documentation process. For more than 19 years, she has provided administrative assistance for companies in a wide range of industries including financial services, education, healthcare services and retail. Coleman has extensive experience in finance, accounting, purchasing, and contract management.
Coleman holds an associate’s degree from Estrella Mountain Community College and is currently pursuing her Accounting Assistant Certification. She is an outdoor enthusiast and spends her downtime enjoying camping, hiking and fishing with her family.
Jackie Elsworth works in the finance department at Trinity Capital Investment’s Prescott office where she manages office operations and coordinates accounts payable and receivable. Elsworth brings tremendous enthusiasm and experience in office management to her role. Prior to joining Trinity, Elsworth was an office manager in the disposal and recycling industry where she helped manage operations for a rapidly growing enterprise.
Elsworth has a fondness for the great outdoors and enjoys the mountain lifestyle in Prescott. She is an active advocate for animal foster and rescue and has adopted six pets since her family relocated to Arizona.