One of the rewards of any journey is to see team members strengthen from the inevitable challenges along the way. They succeed or fail, celebrate or learn.
So, I’m proud to announce a couple of members that have shown their grit, values, and value to our small Toyota AI Ventures (TAIV) team. Natalie Fonseca Licciardi has been promoted to Operating Partner, adding to her duties as Vice President of Platform & Marketing. Chris Abshire has been promoted to Associate.
Natalie has that rare combination of operational tenacity, strategic vision, and entrepreneurial experience. She’s played a critical role in supporting our portfolio’s efforts and establishing the TAIV brand. What’s more, she has been the x-factor in helping us attract the best startups and driving the construction of the TAIV operations machine. Going forward, she’ll also be instrumental in finding and screening startups through programs like our Call for Innovation.
Chris is the team’s budding sage investor. He’s intensely curious, a tireless networker, always reliable, and unflappable when deals get tough. It is a joy to watch him grow into his tremendous potential.
Both Natalie and Chris embody our TAIV values of clear thinking, plain speaking, high integrity, and sincere humility. They have strong opinions, aren’t afraid to express and defend them, and always show their work. Please join me in congratulating Natalie and Chris on this career step stone. We are incredibly fortunate to have them both.