Agassi Ventures

Advisory Board

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Andre Agassi

Founder of Andre Agassi Foundation for Education

After turning pro at the age of 16, tennis prodigy Andre Agassi rose to international fame, earning 60 men’s singles titles, including eight Grand Slam singles championships, over a 20-year career.  A former World No. 1 player, Agassi is the only male player ever to win all four Grand Slam titles and an Olympic gold medal.  He was also a member of three winning Davis Cup teams (1990, 1992 and 1995).

While his tennis career took him all over the world, Agassi always stayed connected to his hometown of Las Vegas, Nevada.  In 1994, at the age of 24, he created the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education.  Early activities included building a shelter in Las Vegas for abused and neglected children, creating the Andre Agassi Boys and Girls Club, and developing Team Agassi, a tennis program that nurtures professional players and puts college within reach.
 
Over 17 years, the Foundation has honed its mission to focus on transforming public education.  In 2001, in partnership with the Clark County School District, the Foundation opened the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy (Agassi Prep) in historical West Las Vegas.  Recognized as a model charter school, Agassi Prep graduated its first senior class in June 2009 with a 100 percent college acceptance rate, as were the graduates in the class of 2010 and 2011.

Each year the Foundation’s primary fundraising vehicle, the Grand Slam for Children, brings together international stars to raise awareness and money.  Since the inception of the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education in 1994, $177 million dollars has been raised to benefit the mission of the Foundation including $118 million from the Grand Slam for Children fundraising event.

Since retiring in 2006, Andre Agassi has increased his focus on his Foundation and on promoting education reform.  He is also building a lifestyle business through endorsement relationships, joint venture investments and real estate development.  In November 2009, he released his autobiography Open, which reached #1 on the New York Times bestseller list.

In June 2011, as part of an effort to expand his impact on education, Andre partnered with Canyon Capital Realty Advisors on an innovative new real estate fund – the Canyon-Agassi Charter School Facilities Fund – to promote the success and growth of best-in-class charter schools in urban communities across the United States. 

On July 9, 2011, Andre was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame for the Class of 2011. 

Earlier this year, Andre launched BILT by Agassi & Reyes to provide the public with the actual fitness machines hand-developed by him and his strength and conditioning trainer, Gil Reyes.  Andre won eight Grand Slam titles and dominated the world of tennis throughout his long career by recognizing the importance of strength, conditioning and safety through the use of these innovative machines.

He is married to tennis superstar, philanthropist and businesswoman Stefanie Graf.  The couple resides in Las Vegas with their children, Jaden Gil and Jaz Elle.

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Stefanie Graf

Founder of Children for Tomorrow

Tennis champion Stefanie Graf, winner of 22 Grand Slam singles titles, remains the only player to win Wimbledon, the French Open, the US Open and the Australian Open at least four times.

In a career spanning 17 years, Graf won 107 singles titles and is the first—and still only—woman player to achieve the "Golden Slam" by winning all four Grand Slam singles titles and the Olympic gold medal in the same year.

Graf was ranked No. 1 for a WTA-record 377 weeks, the longest of any player, male or female, since rankings began.
With the same purposeful strength she brought to professional tennis, Stefanie turned her attention to aiding suffering children.  In 1998, she founded Children for Tomorrow, a charity focused on supporting children and families who are victims of war, violence, abuse, exile or loss of the family. She established the organization in conjunction with Outpatient Clinic for Refugee Children and their Families at the University Clinics of Hamburg-Eppendorf.
 
The special outpatient unit for children's psychiatry and psychotherapy treats refugee children from all over the world and their families. The majority of patients are from Afghanistan, southern Europe and West-African countries. Since its inception, approximately over 6,000 children have received treatment at the at different projects. Some of the active projects are in Kosovo, Eritrea, Mozambique and South Africa.

In 1999, Graf retired from the women's professional tennis tour with a World No. 3 ranking.  As a mother, wife, philanthropist and entrepreneur, she now works on building lifestyle businesses through endorsement relationships, joint venture investments and real estate development. 

She is married to former tennis superstar Andre Agassi.  The couple resides in Las Vegas with their children, Jaden Gil and Jaz Elle.

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Ron Boreta

President, All American Sport Park, Inc.

Ronald S. Boreta has served as President of All American Sport Park, Inc., the parent company of All-American Golf Center, Inc. dba Callaway Golf Center, since 1992, and has been Chief Executive Officer since August 1994; and Director of the Board since its inception in 1984.

Mr. Boreta was the creative force behind Callaway Golf Center and All-American Sport Park, Inc. and has been the President and CEO since its inception.

From 1983 to 1995 Ron served as Chief Executive Officer of Sporting Life Inc., where he was the owner and operator of 75 golf shops that operated under the name of Las Vegas Discount Golf & Tennis.

Mr. Boreta and his brother John currently own four retail golf stores in the greater Las Vegas Valley.

Ron attended UNLV where he played as a member of the UNLV golf team.

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Steve Miller

Chief Executive Officer, Agassi Graf Holdings

Steve Miller is the Chief Executive Officer of Agassi Graf Holdings.  He is responsible for the leadership and operation of three for-profit entities (Agassi Graf Holdings, Agassi Ventures LLC, and Stefanie Graf Ventures LLC) plus one non-profit foundation (Andre Agassi Foundation for Education).  Miller oversees the staff and manages the financial portfolios of all four properties.  He is responsible for the coordination of business ventures, strategies, and personnel evaluations, as well as managing and representing the Agassi Graf Lifestyle brand.

As CEO of the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education, Miller is responsible for the leadership and operation of the Foundation enterprise, and managing the financial portfolio.

He is a visionary, a passionate and progressive leader with the broad institutional experience and the intellect necessary to motivate and lead a diverse team of professionals.  He participates personally and sets the example for dynamic, aggressive fundraising, managing foundation assets and effectively partnering with the board of directors.

Miller brings a wealth of experience to these positions.  Most recently, he was the CEO of Power Plate International, and the Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors.  He has served as a senior analyst and adjunct professor at the University of Oregon’s Warsaw Sports Marketing Center.  Acting as a key industry specialist, he worked with the Warsaw Center on a variety of initiatives, including industry outreach and research.

From 2000-2005, Miller was President & CEO of the Professional Bowlers Association in Seattle.  In his five years at the PBA, he was responsible for revamping the organization, bringing membership to an all-time high, negotiating two exclusive television deals with ESPN, and increasing sponsorship from
2 sponsors in 2000 to 17 for the 2004-05 PBA Tour season. 

Miller is also well known in the world of sports marketing, having served as Director of Global Sports Marketing during his 10 years at Nike.  While at Nike, Miller served in numerous positions, including Director of Athletics, Director of U.S. Sports Marketing, Director of Sports Marketing for the Asia Pacific Region and Director of NCAA Sports Marketing.  He also oversaw Nike’s $100 million investment in the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.

Miller has been named NCAA ‘Coach of the Year’ five times and is a member of four Halls of Fame. He is a member of the Board of Directors of USA Track & Field, and the Tegla Loroupe Peace Foundation.  Miller is a highly sought-after lecturer on topics ranging from motivation to executive leadership.  He has a B.S. in English literature and physical education from Bradley University, and an M.S. in physical education and biomechanical analysis from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

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Tracy Palandjian

Managing Director, The Parthenon Group

Tracy directs the nonprofit practice and chairs the Charitable Contributions Committee.  Her broad range of consulting experiences includes clients in both the private and nonprofit sectors.  More recently, she had worked with client in the nonprofit, foundation and public sectors, including organizing in education, advocacy, the arts, community development and social services.

Tracy’s previous work experience includes McKinsey & Company and Wellington Management, where Tracy managed mutual fund account relationships and advised clients in product development and portfolio strategies.

She is chair of the New England board of Facing History and Ourselves.  She also serves on the boards of Milton Academy, Harvard Business School Alumni, the Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum, the Robert F. Kennedy Center, the YK Pao School, and is a director of the Hong Kong Association of Massachusetts.

A native of Hong Kong, Tracy is fluent in Cantonese and Mandarin.  She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College, with a B.A. in economic, and received an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School with high distinction, where she was a Baker Scholar.

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Maureen Schafer

Chief Corporate Development Officer, LifeNexus, Inc.

Maureen Schafer has spent the last 20 years developing deep experience in the public, private and non-profit sectors. She is currently the Chief Corporate Development Officer for LifeNexus, Inc., a health care technology firm specializing in mobile personal health information. Prior to joining LifeNexus in 2012, Ms. Schafer led the Cleveland Clinic Nevada in the institution’s expansion to the western U.S. market after the 2009 acquisition of the Las Vegas-based non-profit organization she operated as CEO, Keep Memory Alive.  Ms. Schafer previously founded and sold Peckman Outdoor Media, a private outdoor advertising company based in the Las Vegas market. She has also served in senior leadership positions on U.S. House campaigns and as a senior aide to a state senator. Ms. Schafer also served in senior management roles in the commercial, retail and entertainment real estate sector for prominent developers located in the Vancouver, B.C. and Dallas, Texas market. She began her career with the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts in Washington D.C.

She received an MBA and B.S. from the George Washington University.

She also currently serves on the Boards of Directors for the Nevada Community Foundation, (Chair) Agassi Preparatory School Board, Volunteers in Medicine, Stanford Center for Longevity, Conservation International Chairman’s Council (Chair) and the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System.

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Julie Pippenger

Chief Operating Officer, Andre Agassi Foundation for Education

Julie Pippenger is the Chief Operating Officer of the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education, she joined the Foundation in 1997.  For two years, she also served as Chief Operating Officer for the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy, a Clark County independent public charter school. In these capacities, she was involved on a daily basis with myriad activities pertaining to both the Foundation and Agassi Prep, including overseeing design and construction of the school and subsequent expansions (a $40 million project), managing fiscal affairs, strategic planning, coordinating fund-raising efforts such as the annual Grand Slam For Children (which over the past 14 years has raised more than $70 million), and submitting grant applications to various funding sources.

Prior to her current position, Julie served as a special events supervisor for the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino’s Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and wrked on the Grand Slam for Children event, which eventually led her to join the Foundation in 1997.

Julie received her BS in Travel and Tourism from Niagara University in New York, and has served on numerous boards in the Las Vegas area, such as, the Boys & Girls Club of Las Vegas for which the Foundation funded and built the Andre Agassi Boys & Girls Club that opened in 1998.  Her contributions to the community have garnered several awards including the “Woman & Youth” award in 2000 as well as a “Hometown Heroes” award in 2006.

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Gunlek Ruder

Canyon-Agassi Charter School Facilities Fund

Gunlek Ruder is the Regional Director for the West/Southwest region. He was most recently the President of Agassi Graf Holdings which provides business management services for Andre Agassi and Stefanie Graf. In that role, he was responsible for direct investments, real estate development and financial management for the overall business including oversight of the Andre Agassi College Prep Academy as the Andre Agassi Foundation Finance Committee Chair. Prior to AGH, Gun worked for MBNA as a senior member of its internal strategy group developing financial products for consumers and small businesses. Before joining MBNA, Gun was a strategy consultant for McKinsey & Company in the financial services and private equity industries in New York City and worked in Tokyo, Japan for Nippon Steel managing large infrastructure development projects globally. Gun holds an MBA from Stanford University, and is a cum laude graduate of Georgetown University.

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Peter Rukeyser

Managing Director, UBS Private Wealth Management

Peter Rukeyser is a managing director at UBS Private Wealth Management in New York, where he advises a select group of ultra-high net worth families and foundations on asset allocation and comprehsive wealth management.  Prior to joining UBS, Peter was manging director in Morgan Stanley’s Private Wealth Management group for 14 years.  Before attending business school, Rukeyser worked for Prudential Investment Corp in their Leveraged Buyout Group.  He received an M.B.A. in finance from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School in 1995 and an A.B. in economics from Harvard College in 1990.

Rukeyser has been named to Barron’s Top 100 financial advisers in America for the last three years.  Worth Magazine names Peter to their 2009 Top Advisers List.  Research Magazine has recognized him among the top 10 advisor teams in America for the last four years running, and on On Wall Street Magazine has named Peter on its Top Advisers Under 40 List.

Peter is a supporter of Paul Newman’s Hole-in-the-Wall Gang Camps and resides in Rye, New York with his wife and two children.

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Billy Vassiliadis

CEO, R&R Partners

Billy Vassiliadis is CEO of R&R Partners, Nevada's largest advertising and public relations agency. Ranked as one of the fastest growing independent agencies in the U.S. by Adweek magazine.

Under the guidance of Vassiliadis, R&R Partners has redefined the practice of travel and tourism marketing. R&R created and developed the "What happens here, stays here" campaign for Las Vegas and received the coveted Brandweek "Grand Marketer of the Year" award.

R&R Partners has also provided the Andre Agassi Foundation with substantial pro bono public relations and marketing services for many years.

He has guided a number of successful political campaigns, including two terms for former Gov. Bob Miller (D-NV) and the first senate race for former U.S. Sen. Richard Bryan (D-NV).