M. Preston Clarke

Name: M. Preston Clarke

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Age: 38

Title: Managing Partner at Arizona Venture Consulting 

Married/Single: single

Kids: hopefully one day.

City you live in: Scottsdale, AZ

A typical day in my life includes…

I love that every day is different, but my days typically include meetings with clients, financial modeling, industry research, outlining business strategy for a client, working on charity events, tennis at the Village and dinner with friends.

I was born…

In Santa Rosa, CA. I went to boarding school at Webb School of California in Claremont (Go Gauls!) and spent most of my holidays and summers in Arizona.

My favorite thing about Arizona…

if it was just one thing it would be the weather, but I love all things Arizona! I was fortunate to live all over the US and around the world and Arizona is hands down my favorite place.  We have everything here, great people, outdoor activities, restaurants, nightlife, shopping, all the major sports and major events (Phoenix Open, Fiesta Bowl, Spring Training to name a few)…we have it all. We also have a thriving business and startup community thanks to Governor Ducey, the Arizona Commerce Authority, Greater Phoenix Economic Council, ASU, GCU, UofA and founders who are re-investing in Arizona.

I’m listening to…

in the car mostly podcasts: Freakonomics Radio, Business Wars, Household Name, and Comeback Szn. In terms of music, everything: Marshmello, Zedd, Nora En Pure, Jake Owen, Dierks Bentley, Florida Georgia Line, Maluma, Luis Fonsi, J Balvin, Imagine Dragons, Twenty One Pilots, Post Malone, Travis Scott…

My family…

2019 marks our family’s 110th anniversary in Arizona; three years before it became the 48th state. A state where my Great-Grandfather, with a 6th grade education, became the Chief Clerk of the Phelps Dodge Company in Morenci (the largest copper producer in the state), a four-term senator (two as the President of the Arizona State Senate), and Welfare Commissioner just before the great depression where he helped establish Arizona’s first Food Stamp program. This state has given our family so much and I love seeing it grow and diversify in so many ways.

If I could have dinner with anyone, it would be…

Mark Cuban. He is obviously a brilliant businessman, but he still knows how to have fun.

One thing I cannot live without…

Dropbox or Excel, it’s a tossup. #Nerd

When I was younger, I wanted to be…

I wanted to captain a sailboat and sail around the world. I even went to sailing school and got my skippers license.

I’m inspired by…

people who act selflessly and strive to better the world around them, be it in business or society.

The one person who motivates me is…

I have two, my mother and father. My father showed me how you can be successful in business while maintaining your integrity.  He always placed the needs of his business partners and clients ahead of his own. My mom showed me the importance of giving back. Even in retirement she works as a full-time volunteer leading the Alternatives to Violence Project in Arizona, which provides free conflict resolution workshops to inmates.

If I could change anything in the world, it would be…

I would eliminate hate and intolerance. Most conflict stems from peoples lack of understanding of people, culture, etc. The world just needs more love. That’s my hippie moment for the day.

The perfect day would be…

tennis, closing a deal and dinner with friends.

My first job was…

residential construction carpenter, helping the guys who knew what they were doing.

My favorite escape…

sailing in the Caribbean.

My life…

I’m very fortunate to be surrounded by great family, friends, and colleagues. A day doesn’t go by without a reminder about how fortunate I am. It’s one of the main reasons I devote so much time to charity work. 

I’m currently working on…

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society 2019 Man & Woman of the Year Campaign. I am the co-chair of this year’s event along with Wes Gullet. Last year we raised just over $1.25MM and this year we hope to raise $1.5-2MM. My hope is this is the year we really cement the Grand Finale Gala as one of the valleys marquee charity events. I’ve been on the board of the LLS for two years now and love the organization.  In 2015, Brint Morrow and myself started a legacy team, Coast to Coast Cures, to support candidates each year.  To date we have raised over $500K for the LLS. I truly feel like we are making an impact working with the LLS and the stats back it up. Over 60% of blood cancer therapies were funded by the LLS and in the last 19 years 40% of ALL CANCER treatments were first approved for blood cancers.

Always…

smile.

Never…

take yourself too seriously, life should be fun.

Favorite Quote…

“Business is business, but friendship is everything.” – Principes Non Homines

Biggest Dream…

starting a Venture Capital fund focusing on early stage investments in Arizona.

My Pet Peeve(s)…

negative people.

More about Preston…

Preston has a wide breadth of experience in operational leadership, strategic planning, financial management, and business development as a principal in multiple enterprises. In addition to his work in private equity and investment banking, Preston was the COO/ CFO for Matador Network, a successful travel media and education company where he designed and led a restructure of the company that positioned it for increased growth and success. Prior to Matador, he was the Vice President of Sports Entertainment & Live Events at Global Vision Entertainment where he developed live audience, television, and new business markets.

Preston is actively involved in Arizona’s local and regional entrepreneurial ecosystem and is passionate about helping early-stage and growth companies succeed. Preston is a Venture Mentor at ASU’s Entrepreneurship & Innovation department and is on the Board of Trustees for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Arizona where he is the Treasurer and co-chair of the Man & Woman of the Year Campaign. Preston received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Wheaton College (Massachusetts) and his Master of Business Administration from the Eller College of Business at the University of Arizona.



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