Charles Hilliard

Founder & CEO

Charles founded Hilliard Advisors in 2012 and has worked with founder-driven companies for over 30 years. He began his career as a CPA with Arthur Andersen, executed over $30BN of transactions as an investment banker with Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley and served as President & CFO for NetZero/United Online and Demand Media, successfully leading both through $1BN+ IPOs.

As President & CFO of Demand Media, a leading digital media company, Charles managed over 100 people and all aspects of accounting, finance, investor relations, legal and information technology (IT) operations. During Charles five-year tenure, the company tripled revenue to over $350MM, returned 5.6x to common shareholders and, in 2011, became the first US Internet IPO to achieve a market capitalization over $1BN since Google.

During Charles’ eight-year tenure as President & CFO of NetZero/United Online, a leading consumer Internet company, revenue grew 100-fold to over $500MM and returns to common shareholders were 16.8x. The company was named by the Wall Street Journal the #1 performer on the NASDAQ in 2002 and became a member of the S&P 600 in 2006.

Charles earned his BS in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting from the University of Southern California (USC) and his MBA with distinction from the University of Michigan.

Mark Looi

Technology Partner

Mark is an Information Technology advisor helping founder-led organizations innovate and optimize their businesses. He focuses on helping clients obtain exponential improvements from their technology investments. Mark’s expertise specialty includes the design of enterprise-level software solutions such as application development, data management, machine learning and enterprise software.

In particular, Mark assists clients in addressing the accelerating change in technology while avoiding costly pitfalls. He leads teams whose mandate is modernize the platforms and operations of organizations in the midst of reinventing themselves. He can bring skilled resources to bear in the areas of product management, development, engineering, and QA to solve complex, domain-specific business problems that result in breakthrough effects.

Mark has held General Manager and Partner roles at Microsoft, where he ran businesses that had over $220MM in revenue. He has also served as an Engineering Manager with Adobe Systems.

Mark has MS degrees in Computer Science and Operations Research from Stanford University; he also has a PgDip from the University of Oxford with distinction and a B.Sc. (Honors First Class) from the University of British Columbia.

Trish Burr


For over 20 years, Trish has helped numerous founder-led startups scale from inception to exit including two $1BN+ IPOs: Blackline Systems and United Online.

Trish is a self-made professional who began her career as a bookkeeper at Vault Corporation (software security) before advancing into Ops/HR at Bankers Trust. As GM she turned around and scaled financial institution Western Financial through a successful acquisition and played the same role at subrogation firm, Law Offices of Locke & Lambert, successfully growing it to $10MM in revenue with 85 employees. Next, she co-founded Impact Software, an application development firm for enterprise clients including AT&T, AirTouch Cellular So Cal Gas. The Impact team later founded NetZero and scaled it through a successful IPO.

Trish later joined “founder-bootstrapped” BlackLine as VP Ops/HR and helped it scale from 25 employees to a global, multi-billion dollar leader in cloud software.

Trish believes there is an “art to the science” of people ops and is passionate about creating cultures of success that meet business objectives while fostering employee growth and development. Recognized through numerous “Best Places to Work” awards and outstanding employee performance metrics, she has a demonstrated track record of delivering highly aligned and enabled organizations.

Makinzie Provost


With over 15 years of experience as a full-charge bookkeeper, Makinzie specializes in assisting founder-led businesses. With mastery of QuickBooks and NetSuite accounting systems, she can manage all aspects of accounting and bookkeeping, including payroll, sales taxes and bank account management.

Makinzie earned an AA from Santa Monica Community College and a BS in Business Administration from
the University of Redlands.