Twila is the Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer, and President of True Investments, LLC, which she co-founded with her husband, Alan True. Twila is responsible for the firm’s overall strategy, finances, operations, and culture, with a focus on growing assets under management and scaling processes. Twila has experience as a successful operator of an opportunistic business that scaled quickly and achieved a successful exit. Specifically, together with her husband, Twila managed True Innovations, a multinational consumer products licensing and manufacturing business based in Asia that employed more than 4,000 people. Started by Alan to manufacture innovative and affordable home and office furniture, True Innovations became a market leader in designing, manufacturing and selling office and home seating to big box retailers in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Its customers include Costco, Sam’s, Walmart, Target, Office Max, Office Depot, and Staples. True Innovations distributes its products throughout North America, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and Asia. In 2011, True Innovations was acquired by Li & Fung, a publicly traded company in Hong Kong. Prior to scaling the True Innovations business, Twila was Chief Executive Officer of Synthane Taylor, a circuit board manufacturer with 300 employees. Due to her status as a female and an American Indian, the businesses that Twila owns, including the General Partner, can benefit from privileges such as advantageous investment opportunities by virtue of this status or financing by institutions with mandates to facilitate business by minority-owned enterprises. For the past 15 years, Twila has assembled an extensive private portfolio of real estate in multiple asset classes throughout Asia and North America. She has managed construction of residential developments in Thailand, China, and the United States. She specializes in distressed residential real estate investments. True Investment Partners, LP was the first venture that Twila led that deployed an outside investor’s capital. This real estate private equity fund is executing its business plan and is investing in single family residential rentals in Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas. The buying period for this portfolio spanned February 2013 through January 2014. In addition to being a disciplined corporate leader, Twila is a dedicated philanthropist. Together with Alan, Twila co-founded True Children’s Home in 2006. This charity’s mission is to save orphaned children’s lives, fund corrective surgery, provide post-surgical care, place children with foster families, and facilitate adoption. True Children’s Home merged with Love Without Boundaries in 2011. Twila also founded the True Sioux Hope Foundation, which provides resources to the members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe on the Pine Ridge Indian reservation, which is the poorest reservation in the United States, and the reservation Twila is a member of.
Alan True is Founder and CEO of True Family Enterprises, a privately-held family office founded in 2012. True Family Enterprises develops, operates and manages wholly-owned businesses in the food and beverage, health and beauty, real estate, and financial service sectors. True Family Enterprises also invests private capital in early stage, fast-growing companies through its subsidiary, True Venture Capital. The company’s family office is located in Newport Beach, CA.
A core area of focus for Alan is the food and beverage sector, in which he is growing two portfolio companies, True Fresh HPP and True Food Innovations. True Fresh HPP provides manufacturers of food and beverages with high-pressure processing (HPP) services, allowing them to bring to market truly fresh, “clean label” packaged foods that are visually appealing, preservative free and long lasting.
HPP has several key advantages, including food safety (because it inactivates pathogens such as Listeria, E.coli and Salmonella), added shelf life (which increases distribution range on fresh food), and decreased costs (by minimizing spoilage). True Fresh HPP is capitalizing on the increased consumer demand for fresh, refrigerated (not frozen or shelf stable) food assortments. HPP is approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Through the True Fresh HPP business, Alan is building out a national footprint of large-scale HPP processing facilities to enable both food manufacturers and large national retailers to accelerate and scale their efforts to convert traditionally processed foods to preservative free, healthy, refrigerated, fresh product assortments.
True Food Innovations is a sister company that provides expert guidance and services to consumer packaged goods manufacturers (CPG) and retailers seeking to bring HPP products to the market. The company also serves the beverage industry as an advisor, co-packer and private label supplier of healthy, premium quality, cold-pressed juices.
A Legacy of Innovation and Entrepreneurial Success
After graduating from the University of Colorado, Alan worked on the Mercantile Exchange in Chicago and with Drexel Burnham Lambert in London. He determined that China would offer the greatest opportunity during his lifetime and moved to Taiwan in 1986. In Taiwan, he worked for Chinese trading companies developing new products for customers such as Brookstone and Sharper Image. After a few years, Alan established a quality control inspection company that helped buyers of Chinese products ensure that they were getting the quality they expected before shipments left factories in Taiwan. Alan subsequently started True Innovations to manufacture innovative and affordable home and office furniture.
In the early 1990’s, well before China was a production destination, Alan moved the True Innovations production facility to southern China and established market leadership in designing, manufacturing and selling office and home seating to big-box retailers in the United States, Canada and Mexico. True Innovations products are sold under the licensed brand names of Lazyboy, Broyhill, Thomasville, Lane and Serta. With shipping volumes approaching 1,000 containers per month from three dedicated manufacturing plants and a China-based Design Center, the company became the largest supplier of branded home and private-label home and office furnishings from China. Customers included Costco, Sam’s Club, Office Depot, Office Max, Staples, Walmart, Target, and many others. In 2011, Li & Fung, a publically traded company in Hong Kong, acquired True Innovations.
Alan and his wife, Twila, have continued their legacy of entrepreneurship. For example, in 2012, they established True Investments, a real estate private equity firm that buys, renovates, manages and leases single-family residential properties in select markets nationwide. The principals have collectively deployed over $1 billion in real estate assets and bring a disciplined approach and expertise in sourcing, underwriting and management. True Investments is also building cash-flowing portfolios that deliver compelling returns to investors and act as a hedge against inflation.
In the health and beauty sector, True Family Enterprises develops, launches and operates high-end prestige beauty brands and retail locations. Featuring premium products and services in an attainable, yet elegant environment, Polished Perfect by Twila True aims to elevate the nail industry through its expertise in nail art, nail technique, studio design, service delivery, sanitation, stylist training and business innovation. And under True Venture Capital, Alan acts as board member, cornerstone investor, and COO of Capacitor Sciences. Capacitor Sciences has developed a solid-state capacitive energy storage technology that can be used to create ultra-high density devices that can surpass the performance of lithium ion batteries by at least 10X in every metric. This energy storage technology is applicable for high power capacitor components, electric vehicles, residential, commercial, industrial and utility-scale storage systems.
As active philanthropists, Alan and Twila founded True Children’s Home (“TCH”) in China in 2006. The
charity’s mission is to save the lives of orphaned children, fund corrective surgery, provide post-surgical care, place children with foster families, and facilitate adoption. TCH merged with Love Without Boundaries in 2011.
In addition, they founded the nonprofit True Sioux Hope Foundation, which is inspiring unprecedented,
permanent, positive change for the Sioux Tribe in South Dakota by providing much-needed funding for
education and infrastructure. True Sioux Hope Foundation is a fundraising vehicle to provide grants and
funding to highly vetted organizations that are already in place and well equipped to deliver the life-saving resources needed for the Sioux nation to survive and thrive.
Alan is fluent in Mandarin Chinese. He and Twila live in Newport Beach with their four children.
SVP Family Office
Chris is responsible for financial planning, investment analysis, and research and underwriting of private equity, venture capital and liquid market investments and operating activities. Chris has 23 years of experiences in finance, corporate and investment banking, and valuation. Prior to joining True Family Enterprises, Chris was a Vice President at MUFG Union Bank, where he managed a portfolio of middle market commercial banking relationships. Previously, Chris provided M&A and capital raising advisory services to owners, shareholders and managers of privately owned mid-sized businesses and mid-cap public companies as a Vice President at D.A. Davidson & Co. Chris also provided corporate and investment banking services to companies operating in multiple industries as a Vice President in Bank of America’s Global Corporate & Investment Banking group. Chris began his career as an Analyst in the Valuation Advisory Group of Ernst & Young. Chris received a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a finance emphasis from the University of Southern California.
SVP Business Structure,
Corporate Governance & Human Resources
Gwendolyn Wilson is the SVP Business Structure, Corporate Governance & Human Resources for True Family Enterprises. She has over 15 years of experience in the areas of business structure, human resources, and acquisition activities. Gwendolyn received her BA from the University of California, San Diego.