OCTANe Management Team

The OCTANe executive management team brings a wide range of technology industry experience to the day-to-day role of connecting people and ideas with capital and resources in Orange County’s dynamic technology ecosystem.

Photo of Bill CarpouBill Carpou, President & CEO

Bill joins OCTANe after an accomplished career, most recently at Kaplan Performance Solutions; as Executive Vice President and Partner at RGIS, a Blackstone portfolio company; Profit Recovery Partners, a privately held professional services firm; and 18 years in a variety of senior executive positions with IKON Office Solutions. Prior to joining IKON Office Solutions, Mr. Carpou served as Vice President of Investments for Merrill Lynch in Philadelphia.
Bill has a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Villanova University. He has served on the board of the Barclay Theatre, serves on the Dean’s Advisory board at the Villanova School of business and is a member of the Chief Executive Roundtable at the University of California, Irvine.

Paul Symczak photoPaul Symczak, VP Entrepreneurship

Paul joined the OCTANe team in July 2013.  He is a seasoned senior management executive with diverse experience in the telecom, wireless, online, high tech and broadcast media industries. He is most recently the co-founder and operator of Prism Strategic Consulting LLC and has been actively involved with the CONNECT Springboard mentoring program – a sister organization to the LaunchPadTM SBDC.  Previously, Paul held senior business development, strategic alliances and operational positions with Verizon, GTE and Qualcomm, working in subsidiaries focused on leading edge and innovative products and services, and non-profit organizations, including serving as Senior Vice-President, General Counsel and Board Secretary for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in Washington DC authorized by Congress to promote and support the growth of public broadcasting in the US.  Paul’s education includes a J.D. from the George Washington University Law School and a BA in Economics from the University of Pittsburgh.

photo of Janelle BrunetteJanelle Brunette, Vice President, Operations

Janelle joined the OCTANe team in September of 2008 and focuses on signature event management for OCTANe’s Technology & Investor Forum (TIF) and Medical Device & Investor Forum (MDIF), annual membership, organizational finances, and other operational activities for the team. She also runs the OCTANe TalentEngine and assists in writing grants for OCTANe Foundation for Innovation, the company’s charitable arm. Janelle received her Bachelor of Business Administration from Loyola Marymount University (LMU), Los Angeles with a double emphasis in Business Law and Marketing.


photo of Christina AlexopoulosChristina Alexopoulos, Director of New Business Development

Christina joined the OCTANe team in March 2013 as the Director of Business Development and is responsible for OCTANe’s outreach efforts and recruitment of sponsors and new members. Prior to joining OCTANe, Christina worked in development for three and a half years at the Schmid College of Science & Technology at Chapman University where she focused on fundraising, outreach, and program marketing. She is currently Adjunct faculty in the Voice Department in the Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music in the College of Performing Arts at Chapman University. Christina received both her Bachelor of Science and Master of Music degrees in Vocal Performance from Mannes College The New School for Music in New York, NY. Christina taught voice in New York City public high schools through the Metropolitan Opera Guild’s Outreach Program and has performed in many concerts and opera’s in New York, NY, Florence, Italy, Helsinki, Finland, St. Petersburg, Russia, Los Angeles, California, the Baltic States and many more.

photo of Jennifer SyfersJennifer Syfers, Events Manager

Jennifer joined the OCTANe team in early 2012 and is responsible for producing OCTANe’s weekly program series. OCTANe’s weekly programs include Capital Connections, Innovation Series, Strategic Growth Series, Firstys, and select other private events. Prior to OCTANe, Jennifer was the Special Events Coordinator for Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce where she managed large events including the Taste of Newport and the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade. Jennifer received her Bachelor of Arts from Cal State Long Beach with an emphasis in Marketing.


photo of Jennifer SyfersJC Ruffalo, LaunchPad Analyst

JC Ruffalo is the newest member to the OCTANe team joining in June 2014 as the LaunchPad Analyst. JC graduated from Chapman University Argyros School of Business in 2011 with a business administration degree with an emphasis in Entrepreneurship and Economics. Since his graduation he co-founded a small startup (Double Splash Media), which was involved with email marketing. After Double Splash Media, JC worked for LKQ, a large corporation that is the world’s largest supplier of automotive replacement parts, as a buyer and general manager.


Jessica Turner, Executive Administrator

Jessica joined the OCTANe team in July 2012 and is responsible for assisting Matthew and the rest of the team in day to day tasks. Jessica came from Covidien as their R&D’s receptionist/ administrative assistant. She is currently working towards her Paralegal degree and Administration of Justice certificate. 

  • Abbot Medical Optics
  • AcuFocus, Inc.
  • ADVI
  • Allergan
  • Alphaeon
  • Bioquest
  • Canada International
  • Chapman University
  • CORT
  • Covidien
  • Cresa
  • Deloitte
  • DevicePharm
  • Dorsey
  • Edwards
  • EY
  • Fleishman Hillard
  • ICON plc
  • Irvine Chamber
  • JLL
  • K&L Gates
  • Knobbe Martens
  • Latisys
  • Local Corporation
  • London Economic Development Corporation
  • Masimo
  • Merage Institute
  • Microsemi
  • Moss Adams
  • PWC
  • SC Edison
  • Stradling
  • SVB – Sillicon Valley Bank
  • TechSpace
  • Teijin
  • UC Irvine