Our Core People

Curtis_03.jpgCurtis Chan - Founder and Managing Partner

Curtis Chan is President and CEO/Founder and Managing Partner of two high technology Brand Marketing and Public Relations companies, CHAN & ASSOCIATES and COGNITIVE IMPACT, whose clients range from the Global Fortune 500 to venture capital funded startups.

His agencies’ services, for over a quarter century, have helped garner early stage and growth companies significant brand exposure, resulting in either acquisition or IPO, with a total valuation of over $2.0 Billion.

Mr. Chan is a serial entrepreneur, philanthropist, author and angel investor. He played key executive roles early on in helping to pioneer and usher in both professional digital audio and digital video technologies for the recording, broadcast, cinematic and post production industries. He also played key executive roles in helping to develop and market data storage technologies. His expansive background spans four decades in ever increasing executive roles in operations, business development, engineering and sales/marketing in the information technology, media & entertainment, storage and networking, and other related high technology industries. 

He is an active mentor and senior advisor to many established and start-up companies, a market/technology analyst, and has three decades of experience in brand development, management consulting, company turnarounds, creative advertising and public relations.

A graduate of California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly), San Luis Obispo; Mr. Chan is celebrating his 14th year as Vice President for the Fullerton College Foundation and recipient of the 2017 President’s Award for Outstanding Service in Business; 19th year as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence and mentor for the Small Business Institute at California State University Fullerton and incubators. Additionally, he is a volunteer member of DECA (Delta Epsilon Chi and Distributive Education Clubs of America); an advisor to the College of Engineering's Global Waste Research Institute, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and a member of the President’s Green and Gold Society. Passionate about hospice care, he was the past Board President for the Healing Hearts Association; and is a regularly featured speaker at many MBA and Doctorate level lectures around the country. He has presented and published over 30 papers worldwide, is a book co-author, an Editorial Board Member for the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, past Senior Editor for Broadcast Beat and AV Beat Magazines, past Senior Editor for Computer Technology Review, and is a regularly featured Contributing Editor to many US and international trade publications for over 30 years.

 Buzz WalkerBuzz Walker - Managing Partner

Buzz is a Managing Partner of COGNITIVE IMPACT and has more than 30 years of experience in systems, software and technology ventures. At ProStor Systems, Walker was Vice President of Marketing and Channels leading all outbound marketing, developing and executing the channel strategy, and targeting growth market segments. He was also the vice president of marketing and business development for Arkivio, Inc., a file system archiving solution provider, leading all marketing, product management, Marcom, brand awareness and strategic alliance activities.

Before that, he spent 19 years at Hewlett-Packard where he lead teams in sales, business to business marketing, strategic alliances, M&A, and strategies in Data Storage, OpenView software and Office Automation businesses. His career began in products research for P&G. 

Walker is also a Contributing Editor, on the Advisory Board for Symbios Technologies an energy and water start up, and an  advisor and mentor to new technology ventures through the Center for Entrepreneurship at the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics at California State University, Fullerton and the SAGE program at the Rocky Mountain Innosphere. He holds a BS from Notre Dame and an MBA from Wharton at the University of Pennsylvania.   View Buzz Walker's profile on LinkedIn


FRED_01.jpgFred Krickel - Creative Director
Fred's been in the advertising design business since graduating from Art Center College of Design. What motivates him to get out of bed every day is the chance to come up with something new and fresh for his clients. He's a "Big idea" guy and has the portfolio to prove it. He also has the experience. Although trained as an art director Fred is also a brilliant writer. Fred began his career at Cochrane Chase, Livingston and Company, orange county's biggest ad agency and then later worked at Saatchi and Saatchi crafting messages and designing marketing materials for some of the biggest brands in the world, including: Toshiba, Pirelli Tire Company, KIA Motors, 3M, Johnson and Johnson, and St. Jude Medical, just to name a few.

Admittedly a workaholic, Fred simply loves what he does and always keeps a cool head, even during the most pressurized of deadlines. In order to come up with a breakthrough idea you have to break your back coming up with literally dozens of visual and verbal concepts and executions before they're ever seen by the client.

That way success is inevitable because every conceivable angle has been explored.  When not wrapped around some deadline Fred wraps himself around his family on the beach in Carlsbad.

Virginia LawrenceVirginia Lawrence, Ph.D - Website Developer
Virginia has been developing websites and online shopping cart sites since 1995. Before moving her focus to the Internet, she reviewed and tested statistical software, created complete Help systems, and edited and published eight statistical software books with the University of California Press. She has a passion for presenting information in the best way possible.

Virginia has experience with HTML, XML, PHP, CMS and JavaScript. She has built and maintained large corporate websites and small business websites, advising clients on the best options for attaining their website goals.

 Early in her web development career, it became obvious to her that all websites require online marketing, so she studied with the gurus of online marketing. She continues to study the vagaries of SEO and online marketing, determined to develop sites that load quickly and are totally accessible to the search engines. Now that the Mobile web era has arrived, it’s also vital to ensure that websites and their information are available for full viewing on all smartphones and tablets.

Kuo_01.jpgKuo Yang - Graphics Designer
Kuo is the COGNITIVE IMPACT graphic artist extraordinaire, ex-leatherneck, and general all-around artistic guy. Born in Taipei, Taiwan, Kuo moved to the United States when he was six and grew up in Seattle, WA. Kuo showed an early interest in art (and business), drawing pictures as a young boy (the art) and selling them to family members (the business). As Kuo grew, so did his interests and abilities in art and design. After serving a four-year stint in the Marine Corp, he went on to receive his AA from the Art Institute of Seattle, where he graduated at the top of his class.

Kuo's artistic and graphic design services lean heavily towards the commercial sectors. His first big project occurred in 1994, when he illustrated a book, titled Smash Caps, that went on to publish 70,000 copies. This led to a three-year retention, from 1995 to 1998, by Seattle-based Hansen's Fresh Juice Company, where Kuo designed labels, point-of-purchase displays and similar marketing materials. He also did freelance work, including work for Ecology Farms that won him 1st Place at the National Packaging & Printing Awards in 1998.

Kuo has worked for COGNITIVE IMPACT since 1995, conceiving and producing a wide variety of collateral and advertising materials for an array of clients. His talent and years of experience make Kuo an integral part of the COGNITIVE IMPACT team and offer a further resource to the agency's clients.

Robert Yamashita - Strategic Partner (Managing Director, Cogentic Advisors) 
 Prior to co-founding Cogentic, Mr. Yamashita held executive roles in the converged New Media ecosystem for over 15 years (Sony, THX, C-Cube Microsystems) and has  ten years of management consulting in corporate and technology strategy, including experience as a Principal Consultant in digital media strategy at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

His recent projects have included digital asset technology and strategy for major Hollywood studios, CE companies and various technology startups. While with Sony Electronics, Mr. Yamashita was a co-founder and director of the Pro-MPEG Forum.

Mr. Yamashita has extensive industry experience in strategic planning, strategic alliances management, business development and marketing at consumer electronics, semiconductor and communications companies (Sony, C-Cube Microsystems, Rockwell, TRW LSI Products) and holds a B.S. with Honors from the California Institute of Technology.

Glen Anderson - Strategic Partner (Managing Director, Cogentic Advisors)
Glen was most recently in investment banking with Oppenheimer & Co. in New York and prior with Jefferies & Co. in San Francisco, focused on telecommunications, networking and media. Prior to his career in investment banking, Glen worked in the commodity trading business in New York, the venture capital industry in Europe and the hedge fund industry in Chicago.

Glen has been close to technology his entire career beginning as an engineer in Motorola's mobile devices business, supporting the design of revolutionary products such as the Motorola StarTAC and the Multiple Application Phone - the world's first "smart-phone". He has been a technology consultant to Lehman Brothers, the New York Stock Exchange and Midway Games, and consultant to Sprint Wireless and Comcast, among others in technology and organizational strategy.  

Glen holds a B.S. Magna Cum Laude in Engineering, and an MBA with Honors from The University of Chicago. Glen holds series 7, 24, 63, 79, 86 and 87 securities licenses.