Starting in January 2018, Chicago-based private equity firm Sterling Partners hired Alyssa J. Rapp to be the CEO of Surgical Solutions, a healthcare services portfolio company based in Deerfield, Illinois. In less than six months in healthcare, Alyssa was named one of Crain’s Chicago’s “2018 Most Notable Women in Healthcare,” and was featured in Becker’s Hospital Review and Thrive Global for her thought leadership in the category.
Alyssa also serves as the Managing Partner of AJR Ventures, a strategic advisory firm serving primarily family offices and private equity firms on their portfolio companies with $100MM+ revenue in need of guidance on their e-commerce, digital media, content and innovation strategies. Through AJR Ventures Alyssa also makes select angel investments in start-ups or emerging venture funds pursuing consumer, consumer technologies, and artificial intelligence strategies.
Starting in April 2014, Alyssa joined the ranks as a lecturer-in-management at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.
From 2005-2015, Alyssa served as the founder & CEO of Bottlenotes, Inc., the leading interactive media company in the U.S. wine, craft beer, and artisanal spirit industries. Alyssa’s work at Bottlenotes included conceiving of, fundraising for, and building a team to first pursue a “Netflix for Wine” e-commerce strategy (2006-2008). Later, due to a major regulatory shift by the California Alcohol Bureau of Control re: Third Party Marketing Firms, Alyssa pivoted the company to become one of the leading new media companies in the U.S. beverage industry (2009-present). As such, she recruited and chaired a world-class board of directors, became a published author, Bottlenotes Guide to Wine: Around the World in 80 Sips® (Adam’s Media, October 2008), and frequently served as an expert on wine/entrepreneurship on national television and in national digital publications, including: The TODAY Show, The Rachael Ray Show, Fox Business Network, and more.
Alyssa was named in Inc. Magazine’s “30 Under 30” coolest entrepreneurs in America (September 2008)” and one of the wine industry’s top 25 of 100 most influential people by Intowine.com, from 2012 to present. Bottlenotes also received the “Best Advertising and Marketing Company” and the “People’s Choice Award” at the Empact 100 in September 2013 at the United Nations, honoring the top 100 companies with founders under 35.
Alyssa earned a B.A. in Political Science and the History of Art from Yale University in 2000 and an M.B.A. from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business in 2005. At Yale, she earned the Frank M. Patterson prize for the best essay on the American political system for her senior thesis on public housing reform in Chicago.
Alyssa served on the national Board of Trustees for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, the country’s preeminent contemporary dance company, for over a decade (2007-2018); currently Alyssa serves on the national board of directors for Spark, a nonprofit organization that provides transformative apprenticeships for middle school students in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Philadelphia. She is honored to have been appointed by Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner and confirmed by the Illinois Senate to serve on the board of the Illinois Housing Development Authority.
When not immersed in entrepreneurial and civic life, Alyssa loves to ride her Peloton, run track, do yoga, ski fast, and try as hard as possible to decipher a slider from a curve ball from her husband, fellow Stanford GSB alum and 1990 MLB World Series champion, Hal Morris. Alyssa and Hal are the proud parents of Audrey Margaret Morris (born: September 12, 2012) and Henriette Daniella Morris (born: March 16, 2015).