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Board of Directors

Ted Waitt

Founder & Board Chairman

Ted Waitt, co-founder and former chairman and CEO of Gateway, Inc., helped revolutionize how people use technology to live, work, and play through pioneering the direct marketing of personal computers. Labeled a maverick by national business publications, he has since gone on to form multiple enterprises: Avalon Capital Group, Inc., Avalon Pictures, Waitt Foundation, Waitt Institute, and the Waitt Institute for Violence Prevention. Ted oversees all Waitt Foundation and Waitt Institute efforts and is actively engaged in each project from conception to completion.

Dave Rusell

Vice Chairman


Dave is the Executive Chairman and CEO of Puro Sound Labs, a consumer audio company that focuses on Healthy Hearing consumer audio products. Previously, Dave served as Executive Vice President of Avalon Capital Group, Inc., from 2005-2014.  He serves as a board member and vice chairman for the Waitt Foundation & Waitt Institute.  Prior to Avalon Capital Group, Inc., Dave worked at Gateway, Inc. from 1988 until 2005 in a variety of positions, including director of procurement, senior vice president of procurement, senior vice president – supply chain, and general manager of digital television. He joined Gateway’s Board of Directors in February 2007, leaving when the company was sold. Since 2006, Dave has also served on the board of privately-held Amazingmail, a web-based direct marketing company in Scottsdale, Arizona. Additionally, Dave serves on the board of directors of Vizio, Inc., America’s fastest-growing HDTV and consumer electronics company.

Jacob James

Board Member & Managing Director

Jacob A. James is Managing Director of the Waitt Foundation, where he focuses on public-private partnerships to protect the ocean.  He is a public affairs professional with experience in civic engagement, environmental policy, non-profit management, government relations, diplomacy, and crisis management.  On behalf of Waitt, Jacob sits on the boards of The San Diego Foundation, a local charity, and Oceans 5, an international funders’ collaborative.  

Shane Hartnett

Board Member


Joining Avalon Capital Group Inc in 2007, Shane is currently the firm’s President responsible for investment and operational oversight.  Avalon Capital Group Inc is a wholly-owned private investment company owned by Ted Waitt, co-founder and former chairman of Gateway Inc.  Shane also serves on the Waitt Foundation Board of Directors. Prior to joining Avalon Capital Group, Shane was a vice president at Gateway, Inc., holding numerous positions in operations and supply chain management during his 20-year tenure. Notably, he developed, launched and operated Gateway’s manufacturing facilities across Asia and North America.

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