The Jake Jabs Center’s advisory council includes some of Denver’s – and Colorado’s – most recognized entrepreneurs, innovators, business leaders and attorneys.
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.
Owner & CEO, Launchpad Ventures
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.
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.
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. 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 voted as one of the 2013 Top Three Minority/Women Owned Business in Colorado by the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, consistently ranking in the Top 10 Women Owned Business in Colorado, and winning the 2009 Small Business of the Year by the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce.
President, SAF Tehnika North America
Jānis Bergs is one of the best-known technology entrepreneurs in Latvia with more than 20 years of experience in the IT industry. From 2000 until 2006, he served as board member and later as CEO of the Baltic’s largest IT company, Microlink. Microlink has started successful companies including Delfi newsportals, SAF Tehnika and Doclogix. In 2006 Microlink was sold to TeliaSonera group for over €40 million Euros.After leaving Microlink, he (with other partners) started FMS – a company that became a leader in the Latvian ERP market with its proprietary ERP software package “Horizon.” FMS provides accounting, payroll and HRM software to the largest public and private sector organizations.
In 2014 FMS was sold to the largest ERP software company in Nordic VISMA. After the acquisition, FMS was renamed to Visma Enterprise where Jānis worked as Managing Director until January 2015.In March 2016, Jānis served as Member of Board and Vice President of Sales and Marketing at SAF Tehnika, a publicly traded technology company based in Riga, Latvia. SAF Tehnika is among other world leaders in design and manufacturing of radio communication equipment, which is sold in 130 countries. In August 2016, Jānis moved to Denver, Colorado, where he serves as President of SAF North America, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SAF Tehnika.
He also continues to invest and advise privately held companies including Mobilly, BKA and several other technology and Internet-related startups that operate in the USA and Baltic markets.
Jānis has been teaching entrepreneurship at the Riga Business School and actively supports the startup movement by mentoring young entrepreneurs.
Jānis Bergs was born in 1970, graduated from Riga Technical University as radio engineer and holds an MBA degree from Riga Business School. He is married and has two daughters and a son.
Kelly Quann 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.
President & CEO, Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce
Kristen Blessman has over 20 years of leadership experience, including strategic marketing, business development and executive management; working with both non-profit, for-profit as well as small business ownership experience. Kristen is a change-agent leader with a focus on revenue development through the areas of innovation, strategic planning, start-up social enterprise, rebranding, and award-winning marketing and advertising campaigns.
Currently, Blessman serves as the President and CEO of the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce (CWCC). As CEO of the CWCC, Blessman is responsible for executing the organization’s mission of advancing women in business. Blessman was hired in 2017 to bring value to membership through innovation, brand awareness and long-term vision. Through the creation of a new leadership program, mentoring program and unique peer group programming, Blessman has overhauled programming and curriculum at the CWCC and brought a new value proposition to CWCC members and the community. Additionally, Blessman is recreating the CWCC brand through new educational and inspiring events, enhanced digital and traditional media as well as extensive community outreach programs to create awareness and advocacy for women in the workplace. To date, Blessman’s efforts have created a unique space for the CWCC in the community as well as increased interest and membership in the organization.Prior to the CWCC, Blessman was the Chief Marketing Officer for Goodwill Industries of Denver. Having been drawn to the organization’s triple-bottom line business approach of people, profit and planet, she was responsible for the rebranding of Goodwill’s image in 2009 and started Goodwill’s first customer loyalty program, Club Blue in 2012. Blessman was appointed as innovation and business development officer in 2013, launching several new social enterprise businesses as well as doubling the organization’s fundraising revenues. Under her leadership, Goodwill opened more than 40 new retail locations and grew from $30 million in revenues to over $70 million.
Blessman has received several awards for her marketing, advertising and public relations campaigns, including the 2009 Public Relations Society of America’s Gold Pick Award. Kristen has served on multiple committees and boards of directors, including The American Marketing Association, The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, The Denver Press Club, The Women’s Leadership Foundation, and Arapahoe House. She also volunteers for Goodwill Industries of Denver’s youth career programs in several metro Denver high schools and has been a guest lecturer at Metro State, Argosy and Regis University.
Blessman holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from The University of Colorado at Boulder and a Master of Business Administration Degree in Marketing from Regis University. She enjoys the outdoor lifestyle that Colorado provides by snowboarding, running, biking and hiking. She currently lives in Denver with her 14-year old son.
Crestone Capital LLC – RetiredDoug has more than 38 years of experience in global financial and business management. He recently retired as the Chief Financial Officer (“CFO”) and Chief Operating Officer of Crestone Capital LLC (“Crestone”), a Boulder-based independent wealth management firm with over $2.2 billion in client capital under management. Doug was a founding partner of Crestone in 2001 and continues to serve on the Advisory Board for Crestone.
President, Standard Alcohol
Philippe D. Brunet is a seasoned global CEO with CFO, Entrepreneur and Board Director backgrounds. He has multi-sector international experience acquired at leading Forbes Global 300 organizations (The Linde Group, Saint-Gobain Group). His latest two positions for the Linde Group were Chairman & CEO of Linde South America ($1B, 2500 employees), and CFO of Linde Americas ($3B).
Philippe is a business development, innovation and organizational design specialist, passionate about leading teams driving innovation and hyper growth opportunities. He has all-around CEO/CFO experience at large international organizations, with focus on boosting profitability, M&A execution, and liquidity events. He has deep strategic and operational experience in the sectors of Energy, Specialty Chemicals, Chemical Engineering and Packaging.Philippe is an entrepreneur in Colorado. He is President of Standard Alcohol, a Clean Tech enterprise commercializing unique Hyper Low Carbon Technology® for advanced fuel additives and specialty chemicals in the global energy markets. He leads Standard Alcohol’s growth platform in the U.S., with emphasis on project commercialization and execution, debt and equity private placements, and strategic partnerships with international technology stakeholders. He is actively involved with Colorado leading entrepreneurs and angel investing organizations. He launched and chaired the TiE Rockies accelerator program (28 startups) and chaired the Rockies Venture Club Investor Relations board. He has founded Aspen Growth Ventures, and he serves as its CEO.
Philippe is a global executive. He has a dual citizenship (French and American), and worked in Latin America, Asia, and Europe. He is a graduate from ESSEC Business School (Grande Ecole diploma, MSc Management, France), and from Harvard Business School (PGL).
Partner & Senior Client Advisor, Crestone
As a Senior Client Advisor, Jeff is an integral part of Crestone, working with both existing and prospective clients.
As a trusted advisor, Jeff provides clients with personalized and integrated wealth management solutions, including holistic balance sheet advisement, investment strategy and implementation, concentrated position management, and wealth preservation and transfer planning.
Jeff brings a great deal of relevant wealth management experience from his ten years with JPMorgan in its Private Bank.
Prior to his Executive Director position with JPMorgan in the Denver / Rocky Mountain region, Jeff resided in New York City where he worked directly with the Private Bank’s Chief Investment Officer to develop the firm’s investment strategy and oversee portfolio construction for $600 billion in client assets globally.Jeff received his Bachelor of Business Administration in finance and business economics from Ohio University in 2006 and is a FINRA Registered Representative holding Series 7, 63, and 66 licenses.
Jeff is happily married to his wife Sarah and a proud father to his son, Hunter Donald. Jeff’s community involvement includes: volunteering at Lutheran Medical Center with his Bernese Mountain Dog (Leffe) in the Pet Therapy program, serving on the Executive Board for the Boy Scouts of America’s Denver Area Council, and serving on the Professional Advisor’s Council of The Denver Foundation. He is also a member of Lakewood Country Club.
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.
Co-Managing Partner, Michael Best
Sarah Ehrhardt is a Co-Managing Partner for the Denver office of Michael Best. She works with clients in the Denver, Salt Lake City and Milwaukee offices from varied family and financial backgrounds on estate planning, business succession, and trust and estate administration matters. Her wealth management practice includes the preparation and implementation of wills, trusts and powers of attorney, business succession planning, asset protection planning, marital property agreements and charitable planning.
Sarah has been recognized for her work by professional organizations, including the Financial Planning Association of Southern Wisconsin, which presented her with its Leadership Excellence Award, and inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America in Trusts and Estates. Sarah received her B.A. in psychology and sociology, cum laude, from Hanover College, and her J.D., cum laude, from the University of Wisconsin.
Sarah is a huge Green Bay Packers and Nashville Predators fan (if she wasn’t an attorney, she would have attempted to be a hockey player)
Co-Founder and CEO, Oakbay LLC
Laurence A. Freeman is a senior C-level executive (CEO), with broad international experience both in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.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 is currently the CEO of Oakbay LLC (2014- Present). Oakbay is a Healthcare Intellectual Property Commercialization and Business Development Company, whose mission is to commercialize the innovation and development of new healthcare products with specific focus on the following verticals: medical devices, professional and commercial application digital healthcare products and new innovative nano-tech products for the pharmaceutical markets in the United States, Canada and all other Global Regions. As CEO of Oakbay LLC, he has established multiple strategic relationships with industry related Fortune 100 to Fortune 500 companies with the particular focus on client project commercialization and execution.
Since 2015, he has been a member of the Blackstone Entrepreneur Network – Denver and Boulder, Colorado, which focuses on mentoring and advice to companies with revenues from $10MM. Between 2015 and 2016 he co – chaired the TiE Rockies startups accelerator program (30+ ventures).
Corporate Attorney, Cooley, LLP
Kassendra Galindo is a corporate and securities attorney at Cooley. Her practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions, public and private securities offerings, securities law compliance, and venture capital. Ms. Galindo utilizes her transactional experience to guide companies from formation through their first financing and eventual exit. Her clients include public companies, emerging growth companies, venture capital firms, and investment banks across a variety of industries, including technology, healthcare, life sciences, and consumer packaged goods.
Matt Jonsen is an associate in the Dorsey patent group. He 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. Matt 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.
Chief Operating Officer, Wazee Street Capital Management
Stephanie Smeltzer McCoy has more than 20 years of venture capital, strategy, international finance, investment banking and accounting experience. Currently, she serves as the Chief Operating Officer of Wazee Street Capital Management. Previously, she spent nine years at Meritage Funds, a Denver-based venture capital firm with more than $600 million under management, where she was a Managing Director. In this capacity, McCoy served on the boards of directors of numerous portfolio companies and also facilitated strategic planning across the entire portfolio. Prior to joining Meritage, she co-founded the corporate finance practice of Arthur Andersen in Moscow, Russia. In this capacity, McCoy raised over $1 billion in capital for companies in the former Soviet Union including restructuring the 3rd largest steel company in Russia out of bankruptcy.
McCoy also specialized in M&A work for technology companies with The Wallach Company, a boutique investment banking firm in Denver.Stephanie holds a BS in accounting from Texas Christian University and an MBA from Harvard Business School with high distinction as a George F. Baker Scholar. Stephanie serves on the board of advisors for the University of Colorado at Denver’s Business School where she is also an adjunct professor teaching venture capital investing.
Stephanie is married to her HBS section mate, Dan McCoy, with whom she has two young boys. Stephanie enjoys international travel, cooking, tennis, and pilates.
Founder, Strativity Partners, Co.
Jung has over 20 years of consulting experience in design, branding, marketing, user experience, strategy, and business development. He also has over 15 years of experience as a start-up entrepreneur in all facets of entrepreneurship from funding to operations.
Leveraging his experience from consulting and his passion for strategy and entrepreneurship, Jung has built a unique platform of services. He provides a full suite of consulting and advisory services in entrepreneurship, strategy, culture, communication, leadership, marketing, and branding to corporate, start-up and non-profit clients. Jung also delivers key notes, seminars and facilitates workshops on the subjects of corporate/personal branding, professional/personal development, leadership, Life ROI, entrepreneurship, value, culture, diversity, and Asian-American empowerment.
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.
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 the 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.
Chief Financial Officer, University of Colorado Foundation
Mike Pritchard is a Chief Financial Officer for the University of Colorado Foundation. In this role, Mike is responsible for all financial aspects of the Foundation’s operations. He is a graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder, where he majored in accounting and received a degree in business administration. Mike is a certified public accountant and began his career as an auditor at Deloitte & Touche, LLP.Mike has a distinguished career in Colorado’s nonprofit sector, serving in various finance and development positions within Goodwill Industries of Denver, Mile High United Way, Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver, Rocky Mountain Multiple Sclerosis Center and Family Tree.
He has also volunteered for a number of charitable organizations, building houses worldwide for Habitat for Humanity and recruiting and coordinating volunteers for World Vision.Mike was named the Denver Business Journal’s CFO of the Year in 2015. He is also a 2014 graduate of Goodwill Industries International’s Executive Development program and a 2012 graduate of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Denver program. Mike and his wife, Marcia, have adopted two daughters from Ethiopia. They are speakers and counselors for adoption groups, and they lead support groups for families that have adopted from Ethiopia.
Associate Professor & MS International Business Director, 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 Ph.D. 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.
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 biotechnology. 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.