Advisory Council


Advisory Council

The Jake Jabs Center’s advisory council includes some of Denver’s — and Colorado’s — most recognized entrepreneurs, innovators, business leaders, attorneys, and other industry experts. Click on the names of our Advisory Council Members below to read their bios.

Brian leads TaxOps, a rapidly growing specialty tax firm. He is the principal of, 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.

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 helped 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 supports several consumer products companies such as Tortle, Base Education, Zaidy’s Deli & Bakery, and several other ventures. In addition to the Jake Jabs Center’s Advisory Council, Joel sits on the boards of First Descents and the Hoffman Institute. Joel has two grown kids, a 4.5-year-old, and they all love the outdoors.  Joel has tremendous passion for personal and spiritual growth.  Joel is married to Tiffany Appel.

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.
Janis 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 Janis worked as Managing Director until January 2015. In March 2016, Janis 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, Janis 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.
Janis has been teaching entrepreneurship at the Riga Business School and actively supports the startup movement by mentoring young entrepreneurs. He 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.
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.

Doug 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.

Prior to joining Crestone, Doug was Vice President of Finance at Rental Service Corporation, an $800 million annual revenue NYSE-listed equipment rental and sales company. He led merger and acquisition valuation and accounting for over 35 transactions valued individually at up to $100 million and was also responsible for various investor relations activities, secondary stock offerings, and debt financing transactions.

Prior to his tenure at Rental Service Corporation, Doug was CFO for Center Rental and Sales, a $48 million annual revenue privately held construction equipment rental and sales company headquartered in Denver, and CFO at Guerdon Industries, a $120 million annual revenue privately held manufacturing company. He started his professional career at Ernst & Ernst in Denver in 1979.

Doug is a member of the American Institute of CPAs and the Colorado Society of CPAs. He is also a member of the board of directors of Colorado UpLift, and serves as a student mentor through the Greenhouse Scholars program. Doug is also a member of the Advisory Board for Banner Signs and Decals, a small Denver-based privately held company.

Doug received his BS degree in Accounting from Miami University. He held a FINRA Series 27 license as the Financial Operations Principal for Crestone. Doug is a CPA licensed (inactive) in the State of Colorado.

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).

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.

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).
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).

Robin is an accomplished therapist with over 18 years experience in working with at-risk teens. Robin’s history includes roles as a School-Based Therapy Specialist for at-risk teens, private practice therapist for adolescents and their families, Treatment Coordinator for intensive in/outpatient teen programs, and Research Specialist in clinical trials for adolescents with addictions.

While serving in her various roles, Robin served on panels and boards for various teen organizations. She has and continues to train law enforcement, school administrators and faculty, medical professionals, and members of the community through various speaking engagements and seminars on issues pertaining to at-risk youth. Robin earned her MA in Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology from the University of Colorado, Denver. She is a licensed professional counselor, certified school counselor, and a master addiction counselor.

In her free time, Robin spends time with her littles hiking, skiing, and doing anything outdoors. Her coping skill is humor and friends.

In her early 30s, Karen survived both melanoma and thyroid cancers, leading to a treatment regimen that included a gluten-free diet. Karen struggled to find a great tasting, 100% gluten-free beer, and correctly thought that other gluten-free individuals had the same trouble as well. With an MBA specializing in Entrepreneurship from the University of Colorado at Denver and 15 years of beer industry experience under her belt, Hertz researched gluten-free ingredients, taste-testing alternatives, and the brewing process in order to create a better solution. Thus, the idea for Holidaily Brewing Company was born.

Since opening the brewery in 2016, Holidaily has grown over 850%. After years of exponential growth in Colorado, Holidaily Brewing opened the doors to a new production brewery in May 2019, making them the largest dedicated gluten-free brewery in the U.S. The expansion increased their brewing capacity, allowing them to meet the demand in Colorado and expand distribution to Arizona, Wyoming, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas. Holidaily’s success has garnered recognition from Bon Appetit Magazine, Gluten-free Living Magazine, Food & Wine Magazine, Today, and more. Most recently, the brewery won the Silver Medal in the gluten-free category at the Great American Beer Festival in 2022.

Outside of her role as Chief Brewista, Karen enjoys living in Golden, Colorado, with her husband and twin daughters and taking advantage of all that the Colorado outdoors have to offer.

Matt Jonsen is a partner in Dorsey & Whitney LLP’s chem/bio practice. 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.

Matt’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.

Lloyd frequently speaks on leadership, organizations, gender, diversity, ethics, and global issues. For many years, he served as chairman of the board of Lewan & Associates, Inc., one of the largest office-technology companies serving Colorado and Wyoming and now owned by Xerox Corporation.

Lloyd Lewan is active with many national and local organizations. He was appointed by Colorado’s governor to four terms on the Women’s Economic Development Council and has served on the Governor’s International Trade Office. He has served with Special Olympics Colorado and Human Services, Inc. and is involved at The Children’s Hospital in Denver.

He chaired the board of directors for the Zach Foundation, a foundation dedicated to preventing burns and assisting children who have been burned, and is chairman emeritus for Open Door Youth Gang Alternatives, an inner city program focused on providing at- risk youth alternatives to gang recruitment and gang involvement.

James is an accomplished U.S. and international healthcare business executive with over 25 years of experience. He has held leadership positions in several medical device and technology startups as well as global companies, such as Johnson & Johnson®, Cordis®, Guidant Corporation®, Edwards Lifesciences® and Sorin Group®. With a strong background in executive roles such as sales, global training, corporate accounts and healthcare economics, he created his first consulting company in 2008 and has built several others since. In addition to his consulting engagements, James also sits on several boards of medical and digital health companies as an advisor.

Matt is the president and CEO at Kaspo, Inc., a full-scale marketing agency that started in 2003 in Denver, CO. Building brand loyalty for amazing companies that are making a difference in the world is why Kaspo exists. Matt’s team creatively connects people to the why behind a brand using event, social media, and cause marketing to build loyal customers for our clients.

Matt’s goal in life is to empower as many people as possible. If he is not working on Kaspo, he can be found volunteering or hanging out with friends and family. Youth empowerment, education, entrepreneurship, and the environment are some of his passions.

Arlen is 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 president and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs. He helps people get their biomedical ideas to patients by teaching, working with entrepreneurs, and leading a global nonprofit network for biomedical and clinical innovation.

Arlen’s primary research centers around biomedical and health innovation, entrepreneurship, and life science technology commercialization. He teaches at the University of Colorado-Denver, consults, and speaks to companies, governments, colleges, and universities around the world that need his expertise and contacts in the areas of bio entrepreneurship, bioscience, healthcare, healthcare IT, medical tourism — nationally and internationally, new product development, product design, and financing new ventures.

Arlen is a former Harvard-Macy fellow and in 2010, he completed a Fulbright Fellowship at Kings Business, the commercialization office of technology transfer at Kings College in London. Publications include “Building the Case for Biotechnology,” “Optical Detection of Cancer,” “The Life Science Innovation Roadmap,” and “Digital Health Entrepreneurship.” He is the Editor-in-Chief of Medscape Reference: Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and is a faculty member at the University of Colorado Denver Graduate School, School of Medicine, and Business School.

Olivia Omega is a branding strategist and seasoned entrepreneur with over 20 years of brand positioning, digital marketing, communications, and advertising experience across startup, nonprofit, public and private sectors. She is currently the Senior Director of Marketing and Communications at the Denver Scholarship Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity whose mission is to inspire and empower Denver Public Schools’ students to achieve their college goals through college access, promise-based scholarships, and college success.

Olivia serves as Advisory Council member and Entrepreneur in Residence at the Jake Jabs Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado Denver Business School. She is also Founder Track Chair for Denver Startup Week and co-founder of Wallace Marketing Group.

As a TEDx speaker, diversity and inclusion advocate, and author, Olivia has studied the importance of authenticity for both brands and individuals, and what it means to show up in a genuine way. Half of her career was spent at an advertising agency and the other 10 years as an entrepreneur and small business owner. Personal brand identity and authentic expression of one’s unique individuality played a large role in both career paths as described in her book Beautifully Branded: The Girl’s Guide to Understanding the Anatomy of Brand You.

Olivia graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder Leeds School of Business and CU Presidents Leadership Class in 2001. Since then, Olivia has volunteered her time mentoring students and lecturing on personal branding and marketing. She has a deep passion for encouraging and inspiring high school and college students in the areas of leadership and business, as well as championing nonprofit projects and missions that elevate under-represented communities.

Olivia lives just outside of Denver, CO and is a wife and mom of a first-year college student and two Denver Public School high school students.

Jung currently serves as the Chief Strategy Officer at the Cherry Creek School District, as an adjunct professor at CU Denver, and as an advisory council member for the Jake Jabs Center for Entrepreneurship. He has over 25 years of consulting experience in design, branding, marketing, user experience, organization development, strategy, and business development. He has over 15 years of experience as a startup entrepreneur. Jung also delivers keynotes, seminars, and workshops on the subjects of corporate/personal branding, professional/personal development, equity, inclusion, diversity, leadership, Life ROI, value, culture, and Asian-American empowerment.

Alli Phillips is currently Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer for PAIRIN, a social enterprise software company whose mission is to make education relevant and hiring equitable. Alli is an experienced startup executive and business consultant with deep expertise in and passion for organization and culture design, leadership development, change management, and customer experience. Alli served as COO and CFO of Learning Objects, a Washington, D.C.-based education technology startup, where she led it to a successful exit in 2015. In 2017, she helped launch Sema, a Baltimore-based startup that uses machine learning technology to optimize software. Alli’s work experience also includes over four years with McKinsey & Company’s Washington, D.C. office, where she specialized in organization/culture design, leadership development, change leadership, performance management, and technology and operations management. She has been a successful serial startup executive, serving as General Manager of the Washington D.C. market and the Restaurants division of LivingSocial, a D.C.-based social commerce company, and of Shift, a San Francisco-based automotive startup.

Alli holds a Bachelor of Science in finance from the University of Florida and an MBA from Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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.

Sam sold NewCloud Networks, a global cloud computing company, to Otava in August 2021. He carved out a IT security business from Newcloud and started a new company called Cyber Sainik which specializes in: 

  • Security information and event management
  • Vulnerability assessment and remediation
  • Endpoint detection and remediation
  • Managed detection and remediation
  • Firewall monitoring and management
  • Email security
  • Dual factor authentication
  • Security training
  • 24x7x365 security operation center
  • Managed services for security

Cyber Sainik are narrowly focused on midsized business to midsized enterprises with revenues ranging from $10 million to $2 billion. They are developing original intellectual property based on artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data analytics to protect their customers. They are also developing security solutions for vertical markets like healthcare, financial services, and retail business.

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, 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

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 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.

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.