REF San Diego


When you join a Forum Group, you are connected into an exclusive group of 12 to 15 Business Leaders from non-competing industries who meet one morning a month, skillfully guided by a Forum Leader who meticulously follows REF's exclusive methodology. Each meeting is a journey from which you will emerge changed for the better.
Members have a clear objective: to harness the group's Collective Intelligence so they can make better strategic decisions, reach their next business, professional, and personal goals, and receive the support of their peers in an environment of absolute confidentiality.
REF serves as a hub for Business Leaders. The Community extends beyond the Forum Group, connecting you to over 2,500+ CEOs, C-level Executives, Entrepreneurs, and Global Speakers with whom you can share best practices, connect, and access opportunities in other markets.


Our Team in REF San Diego

We believe evolved and connected leaders are a positive force in the world. Forum Leaders are like alchemists, combining different profiles and experiences that, in the right proportions, produce Collective Intelligence and extraordinary results. The Forum Leader is responsible for creating a culture of openness, commitment, and confidentiality. They will catalyze the production of Collective Intelligence, foster meaningful relationships among members, and establish an environment of trust and confidentiality.

Mark Neilson - Partner & Forum Leader

Leads Key Executives

I tend to introduce myself as a "recovering CFO" which typically triggers a question or odd look. I learned a lot about people and business in 25 years of full-time "CFO-ing". I have leveraged all those years of various experiences to now serve on several for-profit and nonprofit boards as well as working with a select list of companies as a "working board member." I am also a Speaker and Thought Leader.

Susan Kuruvilla - Partner & Forum Leader

Leads Top Executives

I’m a dynamic business strategist with more than 20 years of hands-on experience in both small and mid-market privately held and large public companies, in either the CEO/President and/or CFO role. I bring a unique blend of financial, sales, and operational skills to my passion of helping executives grow as people and as leaders, which in turn will lead to growth of the companies they lead. In addition to being a Partner in REF in San Diego, I’m a Board Member, Executive Coach, and Business Consultant.

Jim Tenuto - Partner & Forum Leader

Leads Top Executives

We bring people together. I’m a mentor, accountability partner, connector, and facilitator as a Partner of REF. In our CEO advisory groups we help entrepreneurs and business leaders simplify business and help them become the best person they can possibly be. Better leader, better friend, better partner. We do this through the power of Collective Intelligence.

Our Memberships

Aware that there is always a next level, we accompany leaders based on their professional path and life cycle, offering them a proven methodology to achieve their goals and lead an extraordinary life.


Top Executives

Our Top Executive program is exclusively for CEOs, Presidents, Founders, Business Owners, and General Managers. A membership for those who champion their companies and change their industries.


  • CEO or senior executive experience.
  • A benchmark track record of success, respect, and influence within their leadership community. Reputable and trustworthy.
  • A champion for their own success and that of their peers.
  • Eagerness to face life’s challenges more empowered, supported, and open to fresh perspectives.
  • A representative of highly diverse industries.

Qualifying Company Criteria:

  • SMB: 5 - 30M US$ in revenue
  • Corporate: 30 - 300M US$ in revenue
  • Large Corporations: >300M US$ in revenue

Key Executives

This program is for Key Executives in their companies who are strong leaders but want to become more empowered in their roles, challenge the boundaries of their industry, and constantly enrich the team to which they belong.


  • Individuals who report directly to the CEO and play a key role in the executive team.
  • A benchmark of business in their community based on 15 or more years of business leadership experience.
  • Eagerness to push back the frontier of what’s possible in their industry and grow as a leader while helping others.

Qualifying Company Criteria:

  • Corporate: 30 - 300M US$ in revenue
  • Large Corporations: >300M US$ in revenue


A membership program for managing founders or owners of businesses who disrupt industries, set trends, and have a sharp eye for recognizing and seizing opportunities. As optimists and innovators with a double-digit growth vision, you will continue to thrive at your place among other top-tier entrepreneurs.


  • Someone who has built up at least one successful venture and whose life experiences have taken them on extraordinary projects.
  • A visionary willing to recognize value in opportunities and seize them.
  • One who sees the value in a support network with other innovators who push and encourage you.

Qualifying Company Criteria:

  • Sales $1M+ or $1M+ in privately raised funds
  • >5 employees

Member Testimonials

Ready To reach the next level?

Let’s have a conversation at REF San Diego


What is REF?

Renaissance Executive Forums is a global organization, founded in the USA 30 years ago. Its members are company CEOs and Presidents, by invitation only, who are assigned to Groups of 12 from non-competing businesses.

The Organization is in the process of expansion and we are looking for Partners, Forum Leaders, Members, Ambassadors and Global Speakers. Each of these roles involves different profiles, time commitments, compensation packages and benefits.

What is a Forum Group?

An exclusive group of 12 to 15 Business Leaders from non-competing industries that meet one morning a month, skillfully guided by a Forum Leader. Members of a Group meet confidentially, once a month to help each other make better decisions to reach their business and personal goals.

Basically, Group members present their most pressing challenges in an environment of full transparency, and the others tell them what they would do if they were in their shoes. The Group not only becomes a high-caliber advisory board, but also a Circle of Trust, where you share your professional and personal best practices, forge deep relationships, and feel comfortable showing who you are.

What to expect from your Forum Group?

Meetings are tailored to each group’s composition and needs. The Forum’s structure is divided into 3 segments.

  • In the first segment, called the Educational Component, a guest expert discusses a relevant topic of interest to the group.
  • In the second segment called the Round Table, we open up a space for reflection and planning.
  • Finally, in the third segment, called the Case, one or two members present their major challenges so the other group members can advise them on what they would do in their situation (shoes/place).

What is REF Value Proposition - KEY Differentiation

REF provides a unique space where members gain clarity to make their most important and challenging business, professional and personal decisions.

  • Selective trust-based Forum Groups made up of top-tier business leaders (by invitation only)
  • Forum Groups led by Forum leaders with business experience.
  • Case method.
  • Holistic approach: Personal, professional, and business growth.
  • Continuous education through leading professionals.
  • Introspection, reflection, and planning.

What does evolution mean?

At REF we define evolution as "awareness and alignment". Awareness of the knowledge and major trends that every Business Leader must be conscious of in order to align their vision, strategy, and execution.

Our purpose is to accelerate the personal, professional, and business evolution of Business Leaders to become a positive force in the world.

Is it a networking group?

REF is not just another networking event that barely scratches the surface. Our Value Proposition creates robust structures that dig deep and form trust-based meaningful relationships.

By being part of a Forum Group, members can bring their biggest challenges and dilemmas to address with their Group's Collective Intelligence. This Collective Intelligence is composed of diverse experiences and backgrounds of other proven Leaders, who will grant each other their undivided attention. They do not have any conflict of interest, and have only their peers' best interest in mind.