The Jake Jabs Center’s distinguished faculty includes many talented professors from the CU Denver Business School, as well as experienced industry leaders and entrepreneurs from the Denver business community. Click on the names of our faculty members below to read their bios.


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.


Caleb is the Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer for Vita Inclinata Technologies, a Denver-based aerospace and industrial company. Caleb started his career as a volunteer search and rescue tech for Multnomah (Oregon) County Search and Rescue. A mentor and fellow volunteer suffered cardiac arrest while on a night-training mission, to which became the genesis of Vita Inclinata. Caleb graduated from the University of Colorado at Denver with a Bachelor’s of Science in Neuroscience, and a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy. He also enrolled in the Mitchell Hamline School of Law and graduated with a Juris Doctor focused on corporate law and civil litigation. Currently, Caleb is completing final course work for his Masters in Business Administration from Penn State University.

Caleb continues to serve as a volunteer firefighter, search and rescue tech, and as an Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado. His work at Vita Inclinata Technologies has won recognition like Forbes 30 under 30 for the Manufacturing and Industry category, Titan 100 CEO winner, Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for the Desert Mountain Region, and has rung the NASDAQ opening bell, among others. Caleb has been published in Forbes, CNN, CNBC, Fast Company, NBC News, and many other outlets for his work.


Dr. Elizabeth Cooperman is a professor in the Business School at the University of Colorado Denver and currently serves as the Professional MBA Program Director. Dr. Cooperman teaches Financial Institutions Management, Entrepreneurial Finance, Financial Institutions and Markets, and Short-term Financial Management. Her research and teaching interests are in financial institution management, corporate finance, and entrepreneurial finance.

Dr. Cooperman is the coauthor of the latest revised edition of Financial Institutions Management: An Asset/Liability Approach. Her research articles have appeared in The Journal of Finance, Financial Management, The Journal of Real Estate Economics, The Review of Economics and Statistics, Financial Review, The Journal of Financial Research, The Journal of Financial Services Research, The Journal of Business Research, and other finance and economics journals. She previously served as the Program Director for the MS in Finance program, and was given the Dean’s Outstanding Service Award by for the Business School in 2002. At the University of Baltimore, where she taught previously, she won the Dean’s Faculty Service Award in 1995, the Baker Research Chair in 1993-1996, and the Outstanding Advisor of the Year Award in 1992.

Dr. Cooperman has a PhD in Finance and an MBA from the University of Georgia. She was the economist member for the Maryland State Bank Board in 1994-1996. She is a past president of the Midwest Finance Association and has served as track chair in Financial Institutions and Markets for both the Southern Finance Association and the Midwest Finance Association.


Garth is the owner of The Law Office of R. Garth Ferrell, P.C. They provide a wide range of legal services to small and medium-sized businesses, including business litigation, trade mark registration and litigation, and business transaction services. Garth has been teaching as an adjunct instructor in business law at CU Denver since 2004. 

Laurence 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).


Chris recently returned to the U.S. after several decades abroad working as a business manager, financial markets practitioner, researcher, and occasional teacher with more than 20 years experience in Asian financial markets. Having started in quantitative finance, he has expanded that skill set into behavioral finance and decision making. Along the way, he has run businesses of $30+ million in revenue and teams of 100+ colleagues. When time permits, Chris enjoys teaching at some of the world’s top business schools on topics ranging from risk and decision making to entrepreneurship.

Instructor Jim LoPresti has worked in both corporate and academic worlds, utilizing practice and theory for over thirty-five years. He brings proven expertise to his clients in executive coaching, negotiation skills/conflict resolution, leadership through storytelling, team building, senior management alignment, introducing and leveraging change, and cultural transformation. With a strong foundation in emotional and social intelligence and the neuroscience of leadership, Jim incorporates methodologies business environments to help inspire a “big picture” perspective. Jim has worked at all levels in corporations, from C-suite executives to senior and middle managers to front line workers. Jim has also worked with executive MBA, doctoral, and undergraduate students. Jim coaches in the United States, Europe, and Asia, working with executive clients in France, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, Italy and Singapore. Jim consults and facilitates programs in large multinational and medium size corporations, working in a wide range of industries including private equity firms, higher education, information technology, construction, pharmaceuticals, and government.In 2013, Jim began developing a leadership institute for the American University of Rome in collaboration with a recently retired admiral from the United States Navy. In the corporate arena, Jim has held various management and leadership roles. As the Senior Services Manager for Sun Microsystem he managed a global team. At Lucent Technologies, Jim was a Distance Learning Manager and Senior Performance Analyst in education and training. Prior to Lucent, Jim served as the Aviation Administrator for The Port Authority of New York/New Jersey, and the Newark City Manager for People Express Airlines.Jim completed his coaching development through the Teleos Leadership Institute and is a certified professional coach (PCC) through the International Coaching Federation. Currently, he is also an adjunct senior instructor of management at the School of Business at the University of Colorado, Denver, and adjunct senior instructor at the Colorado State University School of Business. Jim holds a doctorate in literature from the University of Denver.
President & CEO at Kaspo, Inc.

Matt is the president and CEO at Kaspo, Inc., a full-scale marketing agency that started in Denver in 2003. 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 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.


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.

Professor & Executive Director of the Jake Jabs Center for Entrepreneurship

Dr. Madhavan Parthasarathy is a Professor of Marketing and Entrepreneurship, and the Academic and Executive Director of the Jake Jabs Center for Entrepreneurship. He co-teaches the entrepreneurship capstone classes (Business Plan and Model Development, as well as Digital Strategy for Entrepreneurs) with Joel Appel, one of Colorado’s great entrepreneurs. Professor Parthasarathy’s primary research area is the diffusion (and discontinuance) of disruptive innovations, and he has published extensively in journals such as Information Systems Research, Small Business Economics, and Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, among others.

Professor Parthasarathy fosters close friendships with some of Colorado’s greatest entrepreneurs and business leaders, and he was instrumental in securing a large private gift to the Center from Mr. Jake Jabs. He is an advocate of combining both academic and experiential elements to provide a balanced education to students of the Center, thereby empowering them to succeed in Colorado’s dynamic entrepreneurial eco-system. As a result of his leadership, the Jabs Center offers novel mentorship programs, hosts several cutting-edge events, and maintains close relationships with the Business community.


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.


David Ruderman has been an instructor in the Business School since 2009, and teaches a variety of courses, including Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship, Strategic Management, Leading Individuals and Teams, and Leveraging Cultural Diversity and Inclusion in Business. His focus is on creating practical and engaging courses which students can apply in their professional lives. In the entrepreneurial context, this involves imparting the practical skills necessary to aid aspiring entrepreneurs in the venture creation and business startup process. When not teaching, Mr. Ruderman serves as the faculty advisor for the Business Student Ambassador Committee (BSAC), a club supporting the Business School.

Mr. Ruderman holds an MBA with an emphasis in Entrepreneurship Studies from the University of Colorado Denver, and a BA in Broadcasting and Cable from the Pennsylvania State University. He is also a graduate of the Dale Carnegie Leadership Training for Managers Program, and is a Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Certified Practitioner.In 2012, Mr. Ruderman was awarded the Outstanding Instructor Award at the Business School, and in 2013, was awarded the University of Colorado Denver Faculty Assembly Award for Outstanding Service.

Mr. Ruderman has 18 years of business experience in the fields of broadcast sales management, academic fundraising and entrepreneurship. He has worked for the United States Small Business Administration and consulted with a number of entrepreneurial upstarts in the Denver area. From 2010-2011, Mr. Ruderman served on the board of directors for PHAMALY – The Physically Handicapped Actors and Musical Artists League – where he headed their Strategic Development Committee.


Jennifer’s hard work comes from the strength and perseverance from her immigrant parents. Because of them, she has been able to excel in academics, business ownership, and have been awarded at many companies and leadership organizations, such as the Leadership Denver 2020 of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, a prestigious executive and leadership program.

Jennifer has 16 years experience in entrepreneurship and integrated marketing — especially digital marketing — as well as eight years in progressive roles in strategic planning, relationship building, project management and operations. She has worked with Fortune 500 companies and small businesses. Through her consulting business, Jennifer provides workshops, digital marketing plans, and consulting for startups.

She has worked in various industries: hospitality, retail, IT, automotive, telecommunications, and fitness/health/beauty. Including working with clients: Nordstrom, McDonald’s, Capital Grille, 9News, 9News Health Fair, Avaya, Estee Lauder Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Dior, Denver Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau.

She enjoys working with Asian, Black, and Filipino communities, mentoring youth programs, along with directing cultural and contemporary dance. Jennifer describes herself as a professional, thought leader, and creative individual.

Associate Professor & Director of MS in International Business Dr. Manuel Serapio, Jr., is an associate professor of management and international business and the program director of the MS in International Business. He also serves as the faculty director of the Center for International Business Education and Research at UCD. Professor Serapio’s research and teaching interests focus on international business, cross-border research and development, the globalization of services, and international entrepreneurship. He recently designed and developed the first faculty development program in international entrepreneurship (to be offered by the CIBERs at CU Denver and Indiana University). In 2001, Professor Serapio first developed and offered the international entrepreneurship course, with the objective of teaching international business from an entrepreneurial and deal-making perspective.Dr. Serapio is the author/editor of three books, four technical reports for the US Department of Commerce and over a dozen articles. His publications have appeared in leading journals, such as Management International Review, Organizational Dynamics, Research Policy, Academy of Management Executive, Asian Business Management, IEEE Spectrum, and Research Technology Management. His work has been cited or published in The Financial Times, Entrepreneur Magazine, Investors Business Daily, The Rocky Mountain News, The Denver Business Journal, Nikkei Weekly (Japan), and The Los Angeles Times. In addition to his teaching and research, Dr. Serapio has lectured for or consulted for international organizations and multinational companies in the US and Asia. These include IBM Corporation, Lockheed Martin, First Data, StorageTek, Molson Coors Brewing Company and others. He has also coauthored several grant applications that have received over $4 million in funding for UCD. Dr. Serapio received a PhD in International Business from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, an MBA from the University of Hawaii and an undergraduate degree from Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines. He received
Founder of Shoot Indoors Franchising

Bryan “B.A.” Stear is the founder of Shoot Indoors Franchising, a popular indoor shooting range franchise headquartered in Denver, Colorado. Each of its five locations provides the opportunity for anyone to learn firearms safety, become comfortable with firearms, and practice target shooting in a safe, friendly, and clean indoor environment.

B.A. graduated from Lehigh University with degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Astrophysics. While working as a design engineer for Ball Aerospace, he obtained a Master’s in Engineering Management from CU Boulder. He has previously served as a startup mentor at Lehigh University’s Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship, CU Boulder’s New Venture Challenge, and Boomtown Accelerators.
Associate Professor

Dr. Zook’s research is focused on domestic and international perspectives of nonprofit governance, civil society development, and linkages between nonprofit financial management and organizational strategy. She earned her MPA from the University of Kansas and PhD from the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University. Professionally, she has worked in state and local government, as well as the nonprofit sector. Her teaching focuses on public and nonprofit management, including courses such as social entrepreneurship, organizational management and behavior, strategic management, and nonprofit governance and executive leadership. In her free time, she enjoys hiking and outdoor activities, and she is a passionate sports fan, particularly soccer, football, basketball, and baseball.