Meet Softec’s Board of Directors

This page includes the backgrounds and connections to our Board Members. These volunteers make it possible for Softec to do what Softec does.  Without their time contributions, Softec simply would not exist.

Bob Dumouchel, President

Bob has been involved with Softec since 1996 and is serving for the 3rd time as President. He has been an active board member for over twenty years with a few years taken off to start new businesses. Bob is a serial entrepreneur with seven tech startups on his resume. As he puts it “four were successful and three I learned from.” Bob believes that the strength of our business community is directly related to the connections between people and has personally experienced several Softec Moments that have made seemingly impossible things happen.

Bob’s current business isWhat’s Next? a marketing agency that specializes in the marketing of tech innovations. He selected that niche not because it is easy, but because it is hard. It was the difficulty of the grand challenge that attracted him to this business. Bob has been a Program Administrator for the regional CEO Roundtables since 2005. He currently provides admin services to two tables in Santa Maria and for the first 15 years of the program, he served three additional tables in San Luis Obispo. Bob currently serves as the Vice President of Public Relations for the Nina Toastmasters group in Santa Maria. His goal in this is to improve his public speaking skills. You can email bob at

Steven Burgess, Vice President

Steve Burgess is the president of Burgess Consulting and Computer Forensics and a serial entrepreneur. He is a tech writer & speaker, startup mentor, Life and Business Coach, and an internationally recognized computer forensics consultant, as well as nanotechnology activist, recently President of the nonprofit, The Foresight Institute, in San Francisco. He has hosted numerous Tech Brews in Santa Maria and acted as a coach, judge, and participant in various Startup Weekends up and down the Central Coast.

A founder of the data recovery industry in 1984 and a pioneer of today’s burgeoning computer forensics and electronic discovery industry, Burgess is active as a digital forensic specialist and testifies widely as an expert witness in the field. Steve has reported on Japan’s space programs, contributed various Nanotech Glossaries, is the author of “The (Needed) New Economics of Abundance,” contributor to the text, “Scientific Evidence in Civil and Criminal Cases,” and regularly writes on cyberissues, tech tips, and CSI stories found at his website.

Jeff Buckingham, Board Secretary

Brian Schwarz, VP of Tech Brew

Since 2018, Brian Schwartz has been the ‘Brewmaster’ for our popular TechBrew networking event. He’s responsible for coordinating our guest speakers, setting up the events, and hosting the virtual TechBrew on Zoom. Brian graduated from Cal Poly in 1994 with a degree in Industrial Technology and worked for a variety of technology companies (including IBM) before launching his publishing consulting & author services firm in 2009. As a technologist, he has created two SAAS products ( and As an advocate for local authors, he writes a monthly column for SLO Life Magazine. Prior to returning to the central coast in 2013, Brian was living in Fort Collins, Colorado, where he wrote and published 50 Interviews: Entrepreneurs Thriving in Uncertain Times. You can reach Brian through his website at

Maria Salas, Treasurer

Maria is a CPA at Caliber Accounting a Softec IMPACT award-winning CPA Firm.

Tom Ross, Board Member

Judy Mahan, Board Member

Steven Larsen, Board Member

Jose Huitron, Board Candidate, Historian

A champion of innovation and entrepreneurship helping founders and startup communities thrive. Huitron is a Lecturer in the Orfalea College of Business where he teaches Entrepreneurship. As the Director of Student Innovation Programs for the Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, he oversees program delivery and mentorship to student-led ventures. He is a longtime pillar of entrepreneurial capacity building on the Central Coast having launched several companies spanning content creation, digital marketing, and activating access to capital for underrepresented founders. Huitron was recognized as one of the 40 Under 40 in the Pacific Coast Business Times in 2020.

Previously served as the President of the Latino Startup Alliance, a Silicon Valley based organization helping to accelerate Latino-led tech ventures. Founder at Santa Maria Valley Tech, an online community platform highlighting all things tech and entrepreneurship in northern Santa Barbara County. Previously founded Hub 81, an award-winning digital marketing consultancy and venture design studio partnering with startups and existing clients to help launch and scale innovative ideas since 2010. Co-founded Crowdismo, a pioneering crowdfunding platform fueling innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship within the Latino community earning recognition as a Top 10 Startup Finalist – PUSHTech2020 Summit Pitch Competition (2015) and featured in Mashable, Forbes Online, Hispanicize, and New Latina.

Jeremy LaDuque, Board Member, Secretary

Interested in serving on our board?

Attend our events, get to understand our culture, mission, and goals. If these are community issues that you want to advocate for reach out to any board member to learn more. The Softec Board is a great place to extend your professional network of friends but it is also a serious commitment. It is an opportunity to serve the community and be part of something bigger than yourself.