About Us

About Us

The Jake Jabs Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado Denver Business School serves as a cross-disciplinary new idea laboratory that educates and empowers graduates to act entrepreneurially.

The Jake Jabs Center is the largest University-related entrepreneurship center in Colorado and one of the largest in the United States in terms of graduate entrepreneurship course offerings. The Center was founded in 1996 at the CU Denver Business School to foster economic development in Denver and the Rocky Mountain region. Richard and Pamela Bard provided startup funding for the Bard Center for Entrepreneurship in 1996, supporting a program that prepared future leaders for success in any business venture. The Center was renamed the Jake Jabs Center for Entrepreneurship in 2013 following a gift of $10 million from Jake Jabs, President and CEO of American Furniture Warehouse and one of Colorado’s greatest entrepreneurs.

Check out the Jake Jabs Center Annual Report for additional information about the Center. 

Our Program

As part of the Business School at the University of Colorado Denver, the Jake Jabs Center for Entrepreneurship fosters and promotes new business opportunities, advancing the teaching, study and practice of entrepreneurship and new venture creation. The Center offers graduate and undergraduate courses taught by experienced Business School faculty and local business professionals working in a wide range of entrepreneurial areas. The Center further provides students with opportunities to create partnerships with the business community through academics, mentoring and programs designed to foster innovation and entrepreneurial development.

Advisory Council

Brian Amann

CEO, TaxOps

Brian leads TaxOps, a rapidly growing specialty tax firm. He is the principal of FirmGrowth.com, an organization providing content, education and consulting that inspires sustainable growth for accounting professionals and firms. Brian also manages TaxOps Investments to meet the complex tax needs of promising early stage companies. He is recognized by Accounting Today's 2013 Managing Partner Elite as a top firm leader in the nation and is the recipient of the Denver Business Journal's PowerBook award as a key influencer in accounting and finance.

At TaxOps, Brian implemented an innovative business model that breaks the traditional firm mold. In 2012, TaxOps was named as one of the Inc. 5000's fastest growing companies in America. In 2013, TaxOps was named the #1 small firm to work for by Accounting Today for the second consecutive year, and was a winner of the Colorado Companies to Watch award, the only accounting firm to receive the award. The combination of these awards is testament to the success of the firm's business model.Brian is dedicated to changing the professional services model to offer the best solutions for clients, employees, and partners. A promoter of entrepreneurship in the accounting industry, Brian has worked, biked, trained, and consulted with some of the top entrepreneurs in North America. He speaks, writes and consults on the business issues accountants face.

With TaxOps and previously with Ernst & Young, Brian has spearheaded recruiting, team development and personal staff development initiatives. He recognizes specialized talents and soft skills that lead to higher levels of success, and has a singular ability to nurture talent and motivate team members.

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Joel Appel

Owner and CEO, Launchpad

Joel has been an entrepreneur and business manager most of his life. After attending Claremont McKenna College and Northwestern's Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Joel worked at the Quaker Oats Company for 8 years. He then founded Orange Glo International, marketers of Orange Glo, OxiClean, and Kaboom, with his parents. Joel created the famous television ads feature the late Billy Mays. In 2006 Joel and his family sold Orange Glo to Church & Dwight/Arm & Hammer.

A year later Joel co-founded Launch Pad LLC, a marketing company that backs and runs several consumer products companies such as FullBar, Brainetics, Tortle, 2 Red Hens, and Gallo en Fuego. Joel also owns the Moda Man store on Larimer Square in Denver. Joel sits on the boards of two non-profits, First Descents and the Hoffman Institute. Joel has two high-school aged kids, loves the outdoors, and has tremendous passion for personal and spiritual growth.

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Betty Arkell

Partner, Holland and Hart

Betty Arkell is a partner at Holland & Hart with over 30 years of experience as a corporate and securities lawyer. Her clients include established and emerging growth companies as well as venture capital and other private equity funds. She specializes in venture capital investments, mergers, acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, acquisition finance, corporate restructurings of publicly held and privately held companies, and general corporate counseling.

Ms. Arkell was selected as one of the nation's best dealmakers and included in the 2007 Lawdragon 500 Leading Dealmakers in America. According to Lawdragon, this recognition is the most elite given for American lawyers, awarded to less than one-half of one percent of America's 1.1 million attorneys. Arkell is one of only nine Colorado lawyers selected. In 2006, The Denver Business Journal named Arkell Denver's Outstanding Woman in Business (Professional), and she is also continuously ranked as a top attorney in her practice area by The Best Lawyers in America, Chambers USA America's Leading Lawyers for Business, and Colorado Super Lawyers. Ms. Arkell received her B.A. in Political Science from Northwestern University, an M.A. in Political Science from the University of Colorado, and her J.D., with honors, from the University of Colorado School of Law. HollandHart.com

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Cynthia Banks

Co-Founder & President, Foundation for Global Scholars

Cynthia Banks is a seasoned entrepreneur and passionate company leader, raising her own global company since age 25 and now helping others with strategy and business development. She credits much of her training and expertise to the University of Colorado Denver Business School, where she earned her Master’s degree and certificate in Entrepreneurship.

From 1990-2014, Banks was the Founder and CEO of GlobaLinks Learning Abroad, a major global education organization which helped more than 30,000 students study or intern abroad at 120 programs worldwide. She sold the company in 2014 and subsequently started her own consulting practice called New World Vistas with a focus on business coaching and raising successful women leaders. She also helped launch a new educational mobile tech company called Unleesh, which is making headway in the education space.

Cynthia is committed to supporting education and serves as co-Founder and President of the Foundation for Global Scholars, a 501C3 non-profit supporting students with education abroad opportunities. Over 1.7 million in scholarships awarded since 2007. She was elected to the NAFSA: Association of International Educators Board of Directors in 2011 and has held four other significant leadership roles with the Association.

Honors include being a consistently in the Top 10 Women Owned Business in Colorado, voted as one of the 2013 Top Three Minority/Women Owned Business in Colorado by the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, and winning the 2009 Small Business of the Year by the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce.

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Kelly Bianucci

Managing Principal, Discover Capital LLC

Kelly Quann Bianucci is the Founder and Managing Principal of Discover Capital LLC, a fund formed to identify, acquire and operate an existing private company through the search fund model. She is an accomplished executive strategist and operator with experience developing and executing marketing, growth, and innovation strategies across industries, with a particular focus on media, technology, health, and public sector organizations.

She brings experience with clients ranging from early-stage startups to Fortune 20 corporations, with respective results ranging from successful product launches and funding rounds to developing a new services roadmap for a global telecommunications provider to achieve $5B in additional revenue within five years. Consulting experience includes customer and marketing strategy, business model transformation, mergers and acquisitions, growth and innovation, cost reduction analysis, business case development, digital strategy, and technology-driven business transformation.

Ms. Bianucci recently served as the founding Executive Director of the Colorado Innovation Network, a public-private partnership created to foster collaboration across the private, public, and academic sectors for innovation-related economic development and currently sits on its Board of Advisors. Additionally, she sits on the Board of Advisors for the University of Colorado's Jake Jabs Center for Entrepreneurship and SeedPaths, which provides youth and adults with software development skills and offers a direct path to employment through its unique recruitment model, as well as holds advisory and investor roles for several startups and non-profit organizations. She holds an MBA concentrated in finance and innovation from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and a bachelor’s degree in economics and marketing from New York University’s Stern School of Business.

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Rutt Bridges

Managing Partner, Quest Capital Partners III

Rutt Bridges is an American geophysicist and politician from Colorado and a member of the Democratic Party. In 1999, Bridges founded the Bighorn Center, to "give Colorado's political middle a credible and legitimate voice in the state's increasingly polarized landscape and more importantly, to get things done." The Bighorn Center closed in 2006, but the very successful bi- partisan Bighorn Leadership Program is still providing leadership training and development at Colorado State University.

In 2004 Bridges ran for the U.S. Senate in Colorado, but stepped aside and supported fellow Democrat and friend Ken Salazar, who went on to win the seat. Looking to the 2006 election, he declared his candidacy for Governor of Colorado. However, he dropped out of the race on 2005-08- 11 telling supporters "My passion has always been public policy, not politics."

Along with Tim Gill, Jared Polis, and Pat Stryker, Bridges has been named as one of the "four millionaires" responsible for donating large sums of money through 527 groups to Democratic Party-related causes in Colorado. They are credited with helping the Democrats to win control of the Colorado General Assembly in 2004. He has a BS in Physics, and an MS in Geophysics from Georgia Tech

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Jeremy Bronson

President/Owner, Occasions Catering

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Toti Cadavid

Founder & CEO, U-Fulfilled

Toti Cadavid is a seasoned multicultural marketing and communications strategist with great expertise in both domestic and international markets. After a near death experience, Toti was moved to reconsider her career in terms of her inner alignment and the impact she was having on the world. She became a bestselling author, speaker, trainer, certified coach, and launched U-Fulfilled, a consulting and leadership development company that helps executives and business leaders align themselves and their organizations with their purpose and true brand. As a result, individuals develop the clarity and balance needed to be more effective leaders, and organizations reach higher levels of effectiveness and success. Toti is a co-author of Pebbles in the Pond: Wave Four which, days after its release, reached bestseller status in nine countries.

Prior to U-Fulfilled, Toti spent the first 10 years of her career in the corporate sector, designing and implementing fully integrated local and global marketing, branding, and communications efforts for companies such as AT&T and The Hallmark Channel. During the second decade of her career, Toti was president and CEO of Xcelente, a cross-cultural marketing and communications agency which under her leadership help over 152 clients launch or re-build their brands in the Hispanic marketplace. Xcelente provided its clients with marketing solutions that incorporated social, ethnic, and cultural nuances into all marketing, branding, public relations, community outreach, public information, and advertising initiatives. In 2014, Toti launched U-Fulfilled, which transformed into Essencialize in 2017 after merging with Xcelente to empower purpose-driven personal and organizational brands.

Toti has been deeply committed to giving back to the community, and thus has held leadership positions in a number of local and national business and civic organizations including the Junior League of Denver, the National Society of Hispanic MBAs, Hispanics in Technology and Telecommunications Association, Mi Casa Resource Center, the Denver Better Business Bureau, Visit Denver’s Multicultural Tourism Task Force, the Minority Advisory Council of the Colorado Commission on Higher Education, the Leadership Council of Escuela de Guadalupe, the Community College of Denver Foundation, the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation, the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce, Denver International Airport’s Management Advisory Council, and the Colorado Forum. In addition, former Mayor Hickenlooper appointed her to his Denver Early Childhood Council and to his Latino Commission.

Toti currently sits on the boards of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, the Colorado Health Foundation, Junior Achievement, El Pomar Foundation’s Denver Council, and the Jake Jabs Center for Entrepreneurship. Toti was recognized in 2005 as one of the nation’s Top Latina Business Entrepreneurs by Hispanic Magazine, as a finalist by the Colorado Rockies for the Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award, and by The Denver Business Journal as one of the “Top Forty Under 40” business leaders in Colorado. In 2006, Toti received the Businesswoman of the Year award by the Denver Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Minority Small Business Champion Award by the SBA, and was named a “Woman of Distinction” by the Girl Scouts in 2007. Toti was recognized in 2016 with the HIP-Giver award by the national Hispanics in Philanthropy Foundation.

Toti holds a bachelor’s degree in International Business, a masters’ degree in Marketing, another master’s degree in Management & Organizational Development, and a Certificate in Entrepreneurship, all from the University of Colorado. Toti is also a graduate of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government Executive Management Program, the 2004 Leadership Program of the Rockies, the 2005 Leadership Denver program, the 2005 National Hispana Leadership Institute, and the 2005 Dartmouth University Tuck Minority Business Executive Program. She holds a QSCA coaching certification, and is a licensed master-level graduate of the Avatar Self-Empowerment Training Program.

Toti, a native of Colombia, lives in Lone Tree, Colorado with her husband Luis Colón and their children.

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Laurence Freeman

Co-Founder and CEO, Oakbay LLC

Laurence Freeman is the co-founder and CEO of Oakbay LLC, which works with entrepreneurial companies as an independent intellectual property broker and business development service provider in healthcare, specializing in the specific areas of digital health, medical devices and biotech. Oakbay LLC works primarily in the United States with strategic tech transfer partners in Europe and Asia.

Born and raised in Leeds, UK, Laurence has been linked with the healthcare industry since 1978 in the optometry and eyeglass industry, initially as a licensed optician in the UK and transitioning into a business partner and ownership of multiple professional offices, retail optical stores and a wholesale/ manufacturing business.

In October 2000, Laurence and his family relocated from Leeds, UK to Carlsbad, Calif., where he created and opened Eyesight Pacific, Inc., a U.S. company similar in operation to the wholesale/manufacturing in the UK. By 2002, Eyesight Pacific, Inc., had 14 optical laboratory customers and was importing eyeglass frames from boutique manufacturers located Germany, Italy and the UK.

In March 2012 Laurence relocated to Denver, Colo., and the following year he established Oakbay LLC. The company was initially a healthcare focused intellectual property broker with the focus on digital healthcare and medical devices. In January 2014, Laurence added various business development services for the Oakbay LLC for startup, small- and medium-size businesses in the same healthcare space. By May 2014 Laurence was appointed to two client company advisory boards and has now established non-executive full board positions on two other client companies.

In June 2015, Laurence is also one of four co-founders that established It4EHR.COM, a SaaS for the healthcare industry with a specific focus on electronic healthcare records. He is also active in the non-profit sector, supporting education and business education through organizations such as TiE Rockies, FBLA, and the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network of Colorado.

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Dawn Gregg

Associate Dean, CU Denver Business School

Dr. Dawn G. Gregg is the Associate Dean of Programs for the Business School at the University of Colorado Denver. As Associate Dean, Dawn is responsible for the overall administration of the both graduate and undergraduate programs. In addition, Dr. Gregg remains an Associate Professor at the University of Colorado at Denver and the founder and Chairman of the Board of Developing Minds Software.

She received her Ph.D. in Computer Information Systems and her M.S. in Information Management from Arizona State University, her M.B.A. from Arizona State University West, and her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Irvine. Prior to her doctoral studies, she was employed for nine years as a research and development engineer. Her current research focuses on how to organize and maintain Web-based content so that it can be used to better meet business and special education needs. Her work has been published in numerous journals such as MIS Quarterly, the International Journal of Electronic Commerce, IEEE Transactions on Systems Man, and Cybernetics, Communications of the ACM, and Decision Support Systems.

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Craig Harrison

Managing Director, Pioneer Ventures

Craig Harrison is managing partner of Pioneer Ventures, a diversified holding company focused on investments in natural resources and service-oriented companies. Prior to forming Pioneer Ventures, Craig was founding partner of US Capital, a private equity investment firm that was sold to Chicago-based Northport Investments in 2008. While at US Capital, he co-founded HouseFront, a mobile real estate information services company that was sold to Denver-based Motellus in 2008. Craig also co-founded Scout Cleaning and Maintenance, a full-service eco-friendly cleaning company.

Craig is a board member for Summer Scholars and is actively involved with University of Denver through the Pioneer Leadership Program and the Young Alumni Endowed Scholarship. Craig received the 2009 Ammi Hyde Award for Recent Graduate Achievement from the University of Denver and the 2008 Colorado Leadership Alliance Outstanding Alumnus award. Craig received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Denver in 2003.

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Matt Jonsen

Associate, Dorsey

Matt Jonsen is an associate in the Dorsey patent group. Mr. Jonsen received a Ph.D. from the University of Utah School of Medicine, and a B.A. in Molecular Cellular and Developmental Biology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. His graduate work was directed toward understanding protein regulation through biophysical studies of DNA:protein interaction. Mr. Jonsen has extensive post-doctoral experience in human genetics and mammalian transcription factor regulation, most recently in the Department of Endocrinology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He received his J.D. from The University of Denver College of Law.

Mr. Jonsen's practice focuses on emerging biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, especially in the West. His practice includes strategic patent counseling and preparation of United States as well as international patent applications.

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James B. Kaufman

Executive Management, Mogul Advisors

Well rounded professional with extensive experience as a business executive, corporate attorney, entrepreneur and business advisor. General management, business development and sales, public and private company General Counsel, complex commercial transactions and global business expertise.

Since 2011, Jim has been engaged in investment banking and business and legal advisory services for mid and small sized companies with both EMA Partners and now with Mogul Advisors. Jim's expertise spans advisory services for mergers & acquisitions, capital raising and IP transactions across multiple industries.

Jim also serves on the Advisory Council at the University of Colorado Denver, Jake Jabs Center for Entrepreneurship and as an advisor to several emerging companies.

Jim was the Co-Founder of Cloud 10 Corp, a customer service outsourcing company utilizing work-at- home customer service representatives across the United States. After financing, launching and rapidly and profitably growing Cloud 10, Jim and his co-founder sold Cloud 10 to Transcom Worldwide, SA in 2010.

Prior to Cloud 10, Jim led the business development and legal functions of Telwares, a roll-up of 5 telecommunications expense management companies sponsored by one of the leading U.S. private equity firms. Previously, Jim was at TeleTech Holdings, Inc., where he reported to the Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of this leading $1.4 billion, NASDAQ traded, business process outsourcing company. Jim held a variety of executive positions, including Executive Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Solutions and General Counsel. During his tenure with TeleTech, revenues grew from $370 million to over $1 billion annually.

Before TeleTech, Jim was VP-Law at Loral Cyberstar (formerly, Orion Network Systems), the first "separate system" global satellite based communications company. Jim was instrumental in the company's initial public, subsequent public, and private debt and equity offerings and the expansion of the company's international operations.

Jim began his career as a corporate lawyer at the national law firm, Proskauer. During his tenure at Proskauer, Jim won the NAACP Legal and Education Fund's Pro Bono attorney of the year award.

Jim earned a J.D. from Boston University School of Law and a B.A. in History from Vassar College and the London School of Economics.

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Dr. Lloyd S. Lewan

Board, Lewan and Associates

In 1984, Dr. Lloyd S. Lewan became Chairman of Lewan & Associates, Inc., a Colorado Company, and helped build one of the region's most successful office technology companies. Today, Lewan is part of Xerox Corporation. Lewan is also Chairman of the Board and Executive Dean, Emeritus for the Institute for Shipboard Education, an organization sponsoring the international program Semester at Sea, previously affiliated with Chapman University, the University of Colorado, the University of Pittsburgh, and now the University of Virginia. For nearly twenty years he served full time as Chief Academic Officer. While with Lewan & Associates, he continued his involvement with the program as a member of the ISE Board of Directors, seven of those years as Chairman of the Board.

Spanning five decades, he also served as Executive Dean for more than twenty voyages, leading thousands of university students, faculty, and staff around the world, introducing them to the peoples and cultures of the world. Lewan has served on the International MBA Advisory Board at the University of Denver and its predecessor boards for over 20 years. He has also served in hi community with women's economic development, international trade, gang prevention, human services, unwed parents, and burned children; and this was his twenty-fifth year a Santa Clause for The Children's Hospital, Denver. The University of Colorado, Bolder, invited him to serve as the inaugural "Leader in Residence" for the President's Leadership Program for the 2007-2008 academic year.

Lewan is the author of To Be a Leader: Leadership Beyond Management (2002) and Women in the Workplace: A Man's Perspective (1988, 1997). He has published articles on gender, leadership, and complex organizations and has been invited to keynote for hundreds of organizations. A former United States Marine Corp officer, Lewan earned his doctorate from Oklahoma State University and was inducted into their Hall of Fame in 2010. In 2003, he received two honorary doctorates: a doctor of humane letters from Chapman University and a doctor of laws from the University of Denver, College of Law.

In 2011, Lewan received the Martin Luther King Business Social Responsibility Award for Colorado and was selected as one of the "Faces of Chapman University" in Orange County, California for their 150th year anniversary.

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Arlen Meyers

President and CEO, Society of Physician Entrepreneurs

Arlen Meyers is President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs, and a professor emeritus of otolaryngology, dentistry, and engineering at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the Colorado School of Public Health. He is also the Director of the Biomedical Entrepreneurship program through the Jake Jabs Center.

Dr. Meyers has founded several medical device companies and conducts extensive research for biomedical and health innovation, and entrepreneurship and life science technology commercialization. His expertise in global bioentrepreneurship, education, and bioscience technology transfer led him to the Fulbright Specialist Roster in 2007. He was also invited to spend time at the NHS Innovation Office in Manchester and the Institute for Medical Devices at Strathclyde. Dr. Meyers has been named by Modern Healthcare as one of the 50 Most Influential Physician Executives of 2011 and nominated for Best Doctors 2013.

Dr. Meyers also holds the titles of associate editor of the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology and Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship and editor-in-chief of Medscape Reference: Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.

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Jung Park

Founder and Principal, Metroboom

Jung has over 15 years of consulting experience in design, branding, marketing, and business development.

Jung has leveraged his experience from his consulting to operate his own business ventures. Jung won the 1st place in 2004 University of Colorado at Denver Business Plan Competition and executed the plan by opening MetroBoom in 2005. MetroBoom is the original Personal Branding Center providing consulting, services and products to create and refine effective personal brands. Jung oversees all facets of the business from branding to operation.

Jung also maintains his business and corporate brand consulting practice for various clients; local/global businesses, start-ups, non-profits, etc.

As a professional speaker, Jung works with companies in various industries to empower their employees to create and refine their own personal brands. Jung has developed key notes and programs on personal branding for professionals. His main key note is titled "Discover Your North Star: Using Identity and Passion to Find Success" which is designed to provide guidance and tools for professionals on their journey to identifying their passion, goals, and brand identity. Jung also shares his message with college students by delivering his key note on campuses across the country.

Jung is an adjunct professor at Johnson and Wales University Denver campus offering his expertise on business, entrepreneurship, marketing, and fashion merchandising to the undergraduate students. At University of Colorado Denver, Jung teaches graduate level program on marketing, entrepreneurship and personal branding for the school of business and entrepreneurship center. Jung also serves as an advisory board member at the Jake Jabs Center for Entrepreneurship at UC Denver.

As fundraiser and counselor, Jung has been working with the Korean Heritage Camp, an organization for Korean adoptees and their families providing education on Korean culture, language, food, and history. Jung works closely with the high school campers on self-identity and cross-cultural issues. Jung also has been serving as a board member and a fundraiser for the Denver Harlequins Wheelchair Rugby team, assisting athletes with spinal cord injuries to find passion through the sport of rugby.

Jung was born in Seoul, South Korea and migrated to New York City when he was 13. He currently lives in Denver, Colorado with his wife and two young children.

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Joanne Posner-Mayer

Founder, Ball Dynamic International, Inc.

Denver native Joanne Posner-Mayer graduated from the Physical Therapy Program at the University of Colorado in 1973. Her first job took her to Switzerland, where she was exposed to exercises using the Swiss Ball and learned from pioneering therapists Mary Quinton, Susanne Klein-Vogelbach, and Maria Kucera in hospital settings. In 1978 in Copenhagen, Denmark, she began lecturing other therapists on using the ball for rehabilitative therapy. She brought her newly developed expertise back to Colorado clinics in 1980 and in 1988 began teaching her expanded exercise techniques in the surrounding mountain states.

Posner-Mayer founded Ball Dynamic International, Inc. in 1991 and Fitball, Inc—intended to transform ball exercises for worldwide fitness use in health clubs, gyms and sports training programs—in 1993. As a result, she soon became an internationally recognized author on therapeutic use of the Swiss Ball, with speaking engagements on three continents. She has produced three instructional videos and authored two books on exercises using the balls, one of which has been modified by Physiotools, a Finnish company, into a computer program and translated into 20 languages. Posner-Mayer continues to lecture and spread awareness of the importance of good posture and core control in spine health, as well as the benefits of integrating the ball into exercise programs for strengthening, stretching, cardiac wellness and relaxation.

A former ballerina with the Colorado Ballet, Posner-Mayer serves on the boards of the Colorado Ballet, the University of Colorado Physical Therapy Program, and the Jimmie Heuga Endowment for Multiple Sclerosis, and is an honorary Board member of World Denver. She helped fund the Posner Center for International Development, which houses 50 Denver-based, international nonprofits. Her parents were foreign immigrants to America, and her mother was a Holocaust survivor. Her entire career has focused on helping and serving people, and she continues that mission today through her charitable work.

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Betsy Mordecai

President and Founder, MorEvents

With a file for everything and a set of lists for every file, Betsy Mordecai is a natural born planner. As president and founder of MorEvents, a successful Denver-based corporate events company with premier global clients and experience creating memorable events worldwide, Betsy puts her mastery of details and innovative management skills to perfect use.

Throughout the past 15 years, Betsy has worked closely with each of MorEvents clients, including: Merrill Lynch, MasterCard International, Shell, Xerox, Fila, Kimberly Clark (Kleenex), the US Government and many more. And, while Betsy excels at long-range planning, budgeting, staffing and client relations, she believes that even the tiniest particulars of an event merit her personal attention.

Over the years, Betsy's penchant for details has meant the difference between delight and disappointment for clients. One time Betsy even spent the day changing sheets at a tiny boutique hotel in Aix Les Bains, France , so that every one of her client Bausch & Lomb's guests at the '92 Olympics in Albertville had a room ready upon arrival.

Betsy, a UCLA graduate and Denver native has honed a specific philosophy for delivering exceptional experiences for clients: Take nothing for granted and make no assumptions. When the unexpected does happen despite her impeccable planning, Betsy is especially thankful for her business partner – Gareth Heyman – whom she calls, "the calm in my storm."

While Gareth takes care of the surprises, Betsy prefers to be prepared. In fact, consistency – in terms of creating executing outstanding events, as well as on a personal level – is one of Betsy's most defining characteristics. When it comes to relationships, Betsy's closest friends remain those from childhood and most MorEvents clients continue to work with her again and again.

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Manuel Serapio

Associate Professor of International Business and Entrepreneurship, CU Denver

Manuel G. Serapio is faculty director of the Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) at the University of Colorado Denver’s Institute for International Business, and Associate Professor of International Business and Entrepreneurship, Business School, University of Colorado Denver.

Professor Serapio specializes in the design and development of global business education programs. He has designed programs and consulted for more than four dozen multinational companies, entrepreneurial ventures, and government agencies in the US and Asia. These companies include Starbucks Coffee International, Western Union/First Data Corporation, Molson Coors International, Cisco Systems, IBM, Global Healthcare Exchange, Arrow Electronics, RE/MAX International, TVI (Singapore), ePLDT Ventus (Philippines), Jinling Petrochemical (PRC), Korea Banking Institute, Nokero International, and others.

In academia, Dr. Serapio led the development of the Faculty Development in International Entrepreneurship (FDIE) program for CU Denver’s CIBER. Working jointly with Drs. Patricia McDougall and Walter Kuemmerle, Dr. Serapio has offered the FDIE program to more than 200 faculty members since 2005 in Denver, Atlanta, Seoul, Istanbul, and Bangalore.

Dr. Serapio has published in Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Management International Review, Organizational Dynamics, Research Technology Management, Academy of Management Executive, IEEE Spectrum, and other publications. His research has been cited by Entrepreneurship.com, Investor’s Business Daily, Financial Times, Rocky Mountain News, and the Los Angeles Times. Together with Drs. Patricia McDougall and Marian Jones, Dr. Serapio co-edited a special issue on International Entrepreneurship for Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice. He is co-author (with Drs. Antonella Zuchella and Birgit Hagen) of a forthcoming book in international entrepreneurship to be published by Edward Elgar Publishing, and an international entrepreneurship courseware for VentureHighway.com.

Professor Serapio received his PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and MBA from the University of Hawaii. He is the recipient of multiple teaching awards and has generated more than $4 million in sponsored grants and research from the U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Naval Research, Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation, Japan-US Friendship Commission, and other organizations.

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Gyan P. Saxena

Founder and Chair, TiE Rockies

Gyan is an Information Technology Executive, Entrepreneur and Angel Investor with over 28 years of global IT experience in the field of enterprise architecture, enterprise transformation, ideation, entrepreneurship, innovation and strategic solutions. After graduating from the engineering program at IIT, and masters from Indian School of Sciences, he worked on many strategic projects in insurance, telecom, healthcare, government agencies and B2C and B2B solutions. Gyan has defined roadmaps, architecture and transformed legacy healthcare systems to enterprise wide integrated healthcare IT solutions.

Gyan is the founder and Chair of the TiE Rockies Angels Group and a member of the TiE Angels Alliance Steering committee. He is also a Charter Member and member of Board of Director of TiE Rockies. Gyan has also invested and mentored startups in the Health and Technology domains.

He serves as a board member of DatamanUSA, an IT Innovative Solution Provider. Gyan has exercised his management abilities by mentoring, strategy development, and, business value analytics of DatamanUSA. DatamanUSA has been recognized with several awards and ranked 212 on Inc. 500’s Company List.

Gyan has served as a member of Small Business Advisory Council of Denver Metro SBDC, President of Lone Tree Chamber of Commerce, Colorado, and a board member of serval non-profit organizations. Gyan and his wife Nidhi started GyaNidhi Foundation for philanthropic activities in India and the USA. He made Denver Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 (2005) list and won the Hind Rattan Award from the NRI Welfare Society of India.

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Chester N. Winter

Co-Founder, New West Capital Partners

Chester Winter is a general partner at NewWest Capital Partners, a private equity firm based in Denver, Colorado that focuses on small market buyouts, growth financings and recapitalizations. Prior to co-founding NewWest in 1998, Mr. Winter was a general partner of Colorado Incubator Fund, L.P., a venture capital fund which invests in early stage high technology enterprises, including software, materials, medical and bio-technology. Winter has more than 30 years experience as a senior executive with small to medium-sized companies, and has diverse financial, operating and venture investing experience in a wide range of industries, including his tenure as vice president and later director of the consulting firm Paradigm Partners, LLC.

He also served as chairman of Highland Energy, Inc., a subsidiary of Eastern Utility Associates. Mr. Winter currently holds an appointed position on the board of the Boulder Urban Renewal Authority. Chet holds a B.A. in Economics and an M.S. in Industrial Relations and Economics from the University of Colorado, and has completed the Owner/President Management Program at Harvard University's Graduate School of Business. Mezzcap.com

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