Born and raised just outside New Haven, CT, Gerry spent his early entrepreneurial years pestering neighbors with offers to mow their lawns, shovel their driveways and populate their vegetable gardens.
He initially failed as a start-up executive, after securing the exclusive New England distribution rights to personal hovercraft (it was going to be the "next snowmobile.") With that hard lesson, he headed off to Cornell for college, earning a degree in Chemistry with a minor in intramural hockey. Gerry returned to Connecticut for a short stint in the family industrial advertising agency. But then, realizing he was practicing business without a clue, went back to school, got his MBA at Harvard, and "headed west, young man" to Oregon.
Four years at Tektronix earned him his technology credentials. In 1981, he co-founded Mentor Graphics (NASDAQ: MENT) where he served as President. He helped lead Mentor to over $400 million in sales and $1 billion in market capitalization, ranking it as one of the largest and most profitable of all US companies founded in the 1980's. The company remains the fastest growing US public software company to $200 million (in constant dollars) ever. Now, at over $1 billion in revenues, it is second in size only to Microsoft in the Pacific Northwest.
For the last 20 years, Gerry has served as Managing Director with OVP Venture Partners, the most experienced venture capital firm in the Northwest. OVP has raised seven venture funds, with the most recent at $250 million in capital. At $750 million of capital under management, the firm focuses on early-stage companies in clean-tech, digital biology and information technology. Since its founding, OVP has backed over 125 start-ups, and seen 53 liquidity events including 23 IPOs and 30 others acquired by public companies.
His service as a board member covers the range from digital media, clean tech, software, network security, and wireless communications to biotechnology. He is the author of Take the Money and Run! An Insider's Guide to Venture Capital (Smashwords and Lulu Press, 2011), The Vision Trap (Harvard Business Review, March 1992) as well as chapters in Great Patents (Logos Books, 2011) and Venture Capital Best Practices (Aspatore Books, 2005).