Our Speakers from 2013 represented the best Colorado had to offer with the CEOs of top companies that exited through IPO or Mergers and Acquisitions. Take a look at their backgrounds!
Jared Polis is an independent leader who uses his private and public sector experience to find pragmatic solutions to the challenges facing Colorado and the nation. First elected to represent Colorado’s Second Congressional District in 2008, Polis serves on the powerful Committee on Rules, the Committee on Education and Workforce, and the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee.
Polis believes that education is the single most meaningful investment America can make in its economic future and in i
ts people. His efforts in this area focus on getting accountability right at all levels, expanding educational models that work, and improving persistently failing schools with data-driven models to reduce achievement gaps.
Polis also works with Democrats and Republicans to reform our nation’s broken immigration policies, to advance the cause of civil rights and equality for all, and to protect Colorado and the world’s natural beauty and environment. While still attending Princeton University, Polis cofounded his first company, American Information Systems, a success he followed with the launching of bluemountain.com and Proflowers.com. He has been named an “Entrepreneur of
the Year” by Ernst and Young.
KEVIN REDDY – CHAIRMAN & CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Noodles & Co.
Kevin Reddy began his impressive 25+ year restaurant career as a cook at McDonald’s as a young teen and now runs one of the most successful fast casual concepts in the country. He joined Noodles & Company as president in April 2005, was named CEO in May 2006 and chairman in May 2008. He provides leadership for more than 339 company and franchise owned restaurants in 25 states. In addition, he serves and has served on various nonprofit and for-profit boards of directors.
Prior to joining Noodles & Company, Kevin was Chipotle Mexican Grill’s chief operating officer, chief operations officer and restaurant support officer. He was the company’s first hire when it had just 13 locations in one major market after McDonald’s purchased a majority stake in 1998. Kevin was instrumental i n designing and building the infrastructure and culture to propel Chipotle to 420 units in 22 states in just seven years.
Kevin began his professional career with McDonald’s in 1983 where he began as regional controller and moved into positions of escalating responsibility, including domestic field management, international staff management and home office operations positions. While at McDonald’s, he gained significant experience in company and franchise operations, and other critical disciplines including real estate, marketing and finance. All of which aided his successful leadership role as senior regional manager responsible for more than 310 restaurants representing more than $420 million in sales.
Ryan Martens is the founder and Chief Technology Officer of Rally Software. Ryan started Rally to change the technology industry by moving it from a slow, wasteful product model to a fast, sustainable service model. He is an expert in helping companies adopt Agile and Lean practices, loosely defined as methods for delivering small batches in quick cycles to speed learning and innovation. Ryan heads the Office of the CTO team, which manages Rally’s strategic steering process as well as professional services innovation.
John Spiers, CEO and Founder of NexGen Storage
John has been pioneering break-through storage system innovations for over 25 years, including his role as founder and CTO at LeftHand Networks. LeftHand was sold to HP in 2008. Prior to founding LeftHand, John was director of software engineering at Maxtor Corporation’s Network Systems Group.
John holds three storage patents and was named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award finalist in 2005 and 2006. He was selected by the Boulder Chamber of Commerce for the Esprit Entrepreneur of Distinction award in 2006.
John Spiers story of entrepreneurial lightning striking twice, first with his sale of LeftHand Networks to HP and this year’s sale of Nexgen to Fusion-io this year for $119 million.
As a startup CEO over the past 12 years, Steve has led the development of innovative companies whose products have become widely adopted and created hundreds of millions of dollars in revenues.
Prior companies include ProStor Systems and Network Photonics, where Steve was the founding CEO, and Exabyte where Steve was a member of the founding team. Steve has worked extensively with leading VCs in California and Colorado, including a role as entrepreneur-in-residence at Boulder Ventures.
Joseph R. Zell joined Grotech as a General Partner in 2002. At Grotech Ventures, Joe focuses on investment opportunities in communications and IT infrastructure, cloud services, mobile, networking, and internet and digital media sectors. Joe currently serves or has served on several portfolio company boards including Aztek Networks (acquired by GenBand) BroadSoft (BSFT), buySAFE, Collective Intellect, Fieldglass, Hatteras Networks (acquired by Overture Networks), HiveLive (acquired by Rightnow Technologies/Oracle), Lagrange Systems, LogRhythm, SkyeTek, SpotRight, Rebit, USinternetworking and Ziptronix.
Prior to joining Grotech, Joe built an extensive, 20-year operating background in communications and data networking, including nine years with US West Communications (which is now CenturyLink), where he was instrumental in building US West’s Data Networking Division from startup to $2.5 billion in revenue and was the president of the division for four years. While at US West, Joe was also responsible for managing a $30 million strategic investment fund. It was in this capacity that he began his relationship with Grotech as a result of US West’s investment and his board seat at a Grotech portfolio company, USinternetworking. Most recently, he served as chief executive officer of Convergent Communications. Prior to US West, he held a variety of management positions at WilTel, LDXNet, United Technologies Communications, MCI Communications and Xerox Corporation.
Morgan Rogers McMillan
Morgan Rogers McMillan joined the foundation staff in early 2002 after receiving her BS in Business Administration and Marketing from Georgetown University. She spent three years serving first as Programs Associate and later as Director of Programs. Morgan left Boulder in August of 2004 to pursue her Masters in Public Health from San Diego State University, researching community environmental health and obesity prevention with Latino families along the San Diego/Mexico border. She also worked for the Institute of Public Health, an organization specializing in policy evaluation. While in graduate school Morgan spent two summers in Oaxaca, Mexico learning Spanish and working with indigenous populations on behavioral health risks. Morgan returned to Boulder and The Community Foundation in the spring of 2006 to serve as Director of the Boulder County Civic Forum. In 2012 she joined the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Colorado (EFCO) as Executive Director.
Tim Woods is a Managing Director at the Denver office of CBIZ MHM, LLC. He has worked in public accounting and consulting for the past 15 years, focusing on financial statement audits for both publicly-traded and privately-held companies. He has extensive experience in financial and reporting issues regarding derivatives and hedging activities as well as the valuation thereof. He also has extensive experience in accounting for business combinations and variable interest entities as well as with issues in revenue recognition. Tim is a member of Mayer Hoffman McCann P.C.’s Professional Standards Group (PSG) as well as the MHM Derivative Assistance Group (DAG).
Pat Linden’s practice is focused on corporate, securities and transactional law for clients ranging from start-ups and emerging growth clients to Fortune 500 companies. He has extensive experience with public and private mergers and acquisitions and routinely represents clients in their equity and debt financing activities. Pat also represents private equity and venture capital funds in their investment and M&A transactions.
Pat is an executive committee member of the firm’s emerging companies and venture capital practice group, where he represents early stage technology, media, Internet, life sciences and medical device companies in their equity financing, corporate governance and contracting activities.
Pat has further developed a niche sports and entertainment law practice. He represents sports and entertainment organizations on matters of governance and in their sponsorship, television and financing transactions. Pat frequently speaks to legal and business associations on M&A, venture capital and private equity financings.
Stephen is the Senior Director of Entrepreneurship for the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver. Miller coordinates activities across DU and Daniels to build key partnerships and relationships in the entrepreneurial community, and works with faculty and staff to enhance the overall entrepreneurial curriculum, design and launch new entrepreneurship activities, and expand co-curricular programming.
Prior to joining Daniels, he spent 9 years fostering entrepreneurs and their ideas in two premier incubators: as President/CEO of CleanLaunch, an incubator at the Center for Renewable Energy Economic Development at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory; and as Executive Director of Denver Ventures at Stapleton (CTEK Stapleton). He is also a co-founder of the Clean Tech Open (Rocky Mountain), the nation’s most innovative renewable energy business plan competition.
Mr. Husney represents individuals and businesses in a broad variety of general corporate matters from entity formation to exit events. His experience within large law firms, as General Counsel for three different companies and as a management team member give him the experience and expertise to act as more than just the “lawyer.” Mr. Husney uses a business-minded approach to advising his clients.
His experience includes representation of clients with respect to entity formation, mergers and acquisitions, debt and equity financing transactions, contract drafting, negotiation and review, corporate governance, joint ventures, and other general corporate legal matters.