Nicholas Wood


Nicholas is currently Senior Managing Director at Kidron Corporate Advisors LLC (, an investment banking boutique specializing in Corporate M&A and advisory work. He is one of four general partners of the Kidron Opportunity Fund, a private equity fund targeting emerging growth companies. He is currently Chairman for Sesame Communications,  a Seattle based SaaS provider of patient communication and practice management systems for orthodontists and dentists and GooodJob Ltd,, a provider of H.R recruiting technology. As Chairman of Crystal IS from 2008-2011, a semiconductor materials company, he changed company strategy and drove positive shareholder returns through an acquisition by Asahi Kasai. From 2006-2011 he served as Chairman of Aveso Inc, a display materials company, who was acquired by Gemalto. He has done numerous board advisory roles, recently with SmartSynch, a Mississippi based smart grid technology provider where he advised on a technology and operation strategy that led to a ~$100m sale to Itron. He advised the board of Amberwave in the successful sale of its Assets. He was the CEO and founder of Emosyn LLC, a fabless semiconductor company in the smart card, RFID and security markets. Emosyn designed and outsourced the manufacture of complex mixed signal devices. In April 2005 he sold the company to Silicon Storage Technology after growing the business to a $90m run rate with 16 patents issued. From 1995-1999 he served as V.P of Marketing at ATMI helping define technology strategy. Nicholas also spent 10 years with Intel Corporation in Europe. He has a BSc (Honours) in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology.


Diana Friedman MA, MBA

Chief Executive Officer

As CEO of Sesame Communications, Diana defines the company’s strategic direction and its ongoing transformation into a high growth, cloud based SaaS enterprise. She is also a member of the Sesame Communications Board of Directors.

Diana brings a 20 year track record of success leading the launch of innovative technologies and fortifying brand positioning for companies in the dental professional and consumer markets. Prior to joining Sesame, Diana held senior management roles at Novalar Pharmaceuticals, Philips Sonicare and Levin Group. She also served as a senior market development consultant to top tier companies within the dental sector.

Diana holds an MBA in Management and Marketing and an MA in Sociology from Arizona State University. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Dental Trade Alliance Foundation as well as the Seattle Symphony.


Jerome Baruffi

Dr. Jerome Baruffi has over 50 years of experience in both the dental and software industries. One of his earliest software ventures was bought out by Microsoft in 1985 and is now known as Microsoft Project Manager. He has been on the board of several local dental associations: He was re-elected to his position on the Washington Dental Service Board for 24 consecutive years, served as the Secretary of John Bastyr College of Naturopathic Medicine for two years, as a Member of their board for four, and was on the WSDA Board for three years. From 1970-1984 Dr. Baruffi worked with Comprehensive Development Company developing real corporate and residential real estate properties in the greater Puget Sound area. Dr. Baruffi graduated from Gonzaga University with a BS in basic Medical Science, a BA in Political Science, and received his Doctorate in Dental Surgery from the University of Washington in 1965. He has been a member of The South Center Dental Team since 1973.


Brian Povolny

Dr. Brian Povolny first conceptualized the idea that gave rise to Sesame Communications in 1999 and has been at the cutting edge of technology utilization in the dental office ever since. He has been instrumental in the design of many of Sesame Communications’ core technologies throughout the company’s history.

Brian has maintained a private practice in orthodontics for 20 years. Over the last 11 years he has focused on using online communications to boost the quality of the doctor’s relationships with both his patients and his colleagues.

Dr. Povolny graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Washington in 1973. He earned his DDS from the University of Washington in 1982 and later received a PhD in Oral Biology from the UW. He has lectured and published on scientific and clinical topics over the past several decades. Dr. Povolny is a member of the American Association of Orthodontists, American Dental Association, Pacific Coast Society of Orthodontists, as well as several other professional organizations.


Gary Gigot

Gary is a PlaceFull investor and current Director on the PlaceFull board. Previously, he was an investor and Chief Marketing Officer of Visio Corporation, where he played a central role in positioning Visio as the leader in business drawing software. During his Visio years, the market capitalization rose from $25 million to $1.3 billion, after which the company was sold to Microsoft. His technology experience also includes four years serving as Vice President of Marketing at Microsoft, where he managed advertising, PR, research, channel, events, and direct marketing disciplines for Microsoft. Gary is also a 16-year advertising veteran, principally with Ogilvy & Mather. He remains an active philanthropist, having founded the Gigot Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at Notre Dame and the United Way of King County’s “Out of the Rain” initiative to end homelessness and is the President of Hugo House, the Northwest’s leading writing Center. Most recently, Gigot co-founded Vennli Software in South Bend, Indiana. Vennli is a start up SaaS platform for guiding and executing growth strategy based on intellectual property developed in the Mendoza College of Business.

News & Press Releases

Sesame Communications Ranked Number 453 Fastest Growing Company in North America on Deloitte’s 2013 Technology Fast 500™

Sesame ranked 453 on Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500™, a ranking of the 500 fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and clean technology companies in North America. Sesame Communications grew 158 percent during this period.

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