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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 and CEO, Launchpad
Joel has been an entrepreneur and business manager most of his life. After attending Claremont McKenna College and Northwestern's Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Joel worked at the Quaker Oats Company for 8 years. He then founded Orange Glo International, marketers of Orange Glo, OxiClean, and Kaboom, with his parents. Joel created the famous television ads feature the late Billy Mays. In 2006 Joel and his family sold Orange Glo to Church & Dwight/Arm & Hammer. A year later Joel co-founded Launch Pad LLC, a marketing company that backs and runs several consumer products companies such as FullBar, Brainetics, Tortle, 2 Red Hens, and Gallo en Fuego. Joel also owns the Moda Man store on Larimer Square in Denver. Joel sits on the boards of two non-profits, First Descents and the Hoffman Institute. Joel has two high-school aged kids, loves the outdoors, and has tremendous passion for personal and spiritual growth.
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.
Managing Partner, Quest Capital Partners III
Rutt Bridges is an American geophysicist and politician from Colorado and a member of the Democratic Party. In 1999, Bridges founded the Bighorn Center, to "give Colorado's political middle a credible and legitimate voice in the state's increasingly polarized landscape and more importantly, to get things done." The Bighorn Center closed in 2006, but the very successful bi-partisan Bighorn Leadership Program is still providing leadership training and development at Colorado State University. In 2004 Bridges ran for the U.S. Senate in Colorado, but stepped aside and supported fellow Democrat and friend Ken Salazar, who went on to win the seat. Looking to the 2006 election, he declared his candidacy for Governor of Colorado. However, he dropped out of the race on 2005-08-11 telling supporters "My passion has always been public policy, not politics."
Along with Tim Gill, Jared Polis, and Pat Stryker, Bridges has been named as one of the "four millionaires" responsible for donating large sums of money through 527 groups to Democratic Party-related causes in Colorado. They are credited with helping the Democrats to win control of the Colorado General Assembly in 2004.
He has a BS in Physics, and an MS in Geophysics from Georgia Tech
Founder and President, UrgentRx
UrgentRx produces a line of fast-acting, portable OTC medications that provide right now relief for today's busy, on-the-go consumer. UrgentRx® Fast Powders™ come in an innovative, fast-acting flavored powder format available in convenient, single-dose, credit card-sized packets for easier portability and accessibility. The flavored powders can be taken without water, providing immediate relief whenever and wherever needed.
The company is a rapidly growing Denver-based consumer packaged goods business. UrgentRx has raised over $10mm in funding and is expanding nationally into all major retailers. Current investors include billionaires Sam Zell (Chicago financier), David Bonderman (founder of private equity giant Texas Pacific Group), Herb Simon (real estate magnate), Academy Award-winning actress Hilary Swank, and leading talent agency WME.
Prior to founding UrgentRx, Jordan launched The Buddy Network, a consumer-based web and mobile app company with over 100,000 users worldwide. In 2006, Jordan invented the CollarCard and BottleCard, which were acquired by a Los-Angeles, based family office. Jordan has also invented and successfully licensed a medical device to a major manufacturer. Previously, Jordan worked with serial entrepreneur Maurice Kanbar, the Founder of Skyy Vodka, the Inventor of D-Fuzz-It, and holder of more than 35 patents. While working with Maurice, Jordan was instrumental in the production, launch, and strategy implementation of several consumer product businesses. Jordan has experience in manufacturing and production, sales and marketing, public relations, and strategic planning, with an affinity for high growth companies. He began his professional career working for an investment bank.
Jordan was a Dean's List Scholar at Vanderbilt University, where he graduated with a double major in Computer Science Engineering and Mathematics.
Managing Director, Access Venture Partners
David Gold earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering with Special Honors from the University of Colorado and was a National Science Foundation Fellow while earning Masters Degrees in both Aerospace Engineering and Technology Policy from M.I.T.
After working as an engineer with NASA, David spent a short time working on Capitol Hill and served in the Executive Office of the President of the United States where he was responsible for budget and policy oversight of the U.S. Land Remote Sensing and Weather Satellite programs as well as the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Subsequently he worked for several years as a manager growing a network of manufacturing consulting centers that assisted smaller manufacturers implement improved quality and efficiency. As part of his role, David launched an initiative focused on green manufacturing through waste reduction.
Prior to joining Access Venture Partners, David was founder and CEO of ProSavvy, an eProcurement and online marketplace company which grew to profitability and a merger. After ProSavvy, David spent a number of years working with early stage companies as an advisor, board member and part time executive before joining the Access team.
Associate Dean, CU Denver Business School
Dr. Dawn G. Gregg is the Associate Dean of Programs for the Business School at the University of Colorado Denver. As Associate Dean, Dawn is responsible for the overall administration of the both graduate and undergraduate programs. In addition, Dr. Gregg remains an Associate Professor at the University of Colorado at Denver and the founder and Chairman of the Board of Developing Minds Software. She received her Ph.D. in Computer Information Systems and her M.S. in Information Management from Arizona State University, her M.B.A. from Arizona State University West, and her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Irvine. Prior to her doctoral studies, she was employed for nine years as a research and development engineer. Her current research focuses on how to organize and maintain Web-based content so that it can be used to better meet business and special education needs. Her work has been published in numerous journals such as MIS Quarterly, the International Journal of Electronic Commerce, IEEE Transactions on Systems Man, and Cybernetics, Communications of the ACM, and Decision Support Systems.
Managing Director, Pioneer Ventures
Craig Harrison is managing partner of Pioneer Ventures, a diversified holding company focused on investments in natural resources and service-oriented companies. Prior to forming Pioneer Ventures, Craig was founding partner of US Capital, a private equity investment firm that was sold to Chicago-based Northport Investments in 2008. While at US Capital, he co-founded HouseFront, a mobile real estate information services company that was sold to Denver-based Motellus in 2008. Craig also co-founded Scout Cleaning and Maintenance, a full-service eco-friendly cleaning company. Craig is a board member for Summer Scholars and is actively involved with University of Denver through the Pioneer Leadership Program and the Young Alumni Endowed Scholarship. Craig received the 2009 Ammi Hyde Award for Recent Graduate Achievement from the University of Denver and the 2008 Colorado Leadership Alliance Outstanding Alumnus award. Craig received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Denver in 2003.
Matt Jonsen is an associate in the Dorsey patent group. Mr. Jonsen received a Ph.D. from the University of Utah School of Medicine, and a B.A. in Molecular Cellular and Developmental Biology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. His graduate work was directed toward understanding protein regulation through biophysical studies of DNA:protein interaction. Mr. Jonsen has extensive post-doctoral experience in human genetics and mammalian transcription factor regulation, most recently in the Department of Endocrinology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He received his J.D. from The University of Denver College of Law.
Mr. Jonsen's practice focuses on emerging biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, especially in the West. His practice includes strategic patent counseling and preparation of United States as well as international patent applications.
James B. Kaufman
Executive Management, Mogul Advisors
Well rounded professional with extensive experience as a business executive, corporate attorney, entrepreneuer and business advisor. General management, business development and sales, public and private company General Counsel, complex commercial transactions and global business expertise.
Since 2011, Jim has been engaged in investment banking and business and legal advisory services for mid and small sized companies with both EMA Partners and now with Mogul Advisors. Jim's expertise spans advisory services for mergers & acquisitions, capital raising and IP transactions across multiple industries.
Jim also serves on the Advisory Council at the University of Colorado Denver, Jake Jabs Center for Entrepreneurship and as an advisor to several emerging companies.
Jim was the Co-Founder of Cloud 10 Corp, a customer service outsourcing company utilizing work-at-home customer service representatives across the United States. After financing, launching and rapidly and profitably growing Cloud 10, Jim and his co-founder sold Cloud 10 to Transcom Worldwide, SA in 2010.
Prior to Cloud 10, Jim led the business development and legal functions of Telwares, a roll-up of 5 telecommunications expense management companies sponsored by one of the leading U.S. private equity firms.
Previously, Jim was at TeleTech Holdings, Inc., where he reported to the Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of this leading $1.4 billion, NASDAQ traded, business process outsourcing company. Jim held a variety of executive positions, including Executive Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Solutions and General Counsel. During his tenure with TeleTech, revenues grew from $370 million to over $1 billion annually.
Before TeleTech, Jim was VP-Law at Loral Cyberstar (formerly, Orion Network Systems), the first "separate system" global satellite based communications company. Jim was instrumental in the company's initial public, subsequent public, and private debt and equity offerings and the expansion of the company's international operations.
Jim began his career as a corporate lawyer at the national law firm, Proskauer. During his tenure at Proskauer, Jim won the NAACP Legal and Education Fund's Pro Bono attorney of the year award.
Jim earned a J.D. from Boston University School of Law and a B.A. in History from Vassar College and the London School of Economics.
Dr. Lloyd S. Lewan
Board, Lewan and Associates
In 1984, Dr. Lloyd S. Lewan became Chairman of Lewan & Associates, Inc., a Colorado Company, and helped build one of the region's most successful office technology companies. Today, Lewan is part of Xerox Corporation.
Lewan is also Chairman of the Board and Executive Dean, Emeritus for the Institute for Shipboard Education, an organization sponsoring the international program Semester at Sea, previously affiliated with Chapman University, the University of Colorado, the University of Pittsburgh, and now the University of Virginia. For nearly twenty years he served full time as Chief Academic Officer. While with Lewan & Associates, he continued his involvement with the program as a member of the ISE Board of Directors, seven of those years as Chairman of the Board. Spanning five decades, he also served as Executive Dean for more than twenty voyages, leading thousands of university students, faculty, and staff around the world, introducing them to the peoples and cultures of the world.
Lewan has served on the International MBA Advisory Board at the University of Denver and its predecessor boards for over 20 years. He has also served in hi community with women's economic development, international trade, gang prevention, human services, unwed parents, and burned children; and this was his twenty-fifth year a Santa Clause for The Children's Hospital, Denver. The University of Colorado, Bolder, invited him to serve as the inaugural "Leader in Residence" for the President's Leadership Program for the 2007-2008 academic year.
Lewan is the author of To Be a Leader: Leadership Beyond Management (2002) and Women in the Workplace: A Man's Perspective (1988, 1997). He has published articles on gender, leadership, and complex organizations and has been invited to keynote for hundreds of organizations. A former United States Marine Corp officer, Lewan earned his doctorate from Oklahoma State University and was inducted into their Hall of Fame in 2010. In 2003, he received two honorary doctorates: a doctor of humane letters from Chapman University and a doctor of laws from the University of Denver, College of Law.
In 2011, Lewan received the Martin Luther King Business Social Responsibility Award for Colorado and was selected as one of the "Faces of Chapman University" in Orange County, California for their 150th year anniversary.
Stephanie Smeltzer McCoy
Managing Director, Columbine Capital Advisors
Stephanie Smeltzer McCoy has more than 20 years of venture capital, strategy, international finance, investment banking and accounting experience. Currently, she is a consultant providing strategy advisory to large corporations, non-profit entities and educational institutions and capital formation and business plan advisory services to entrepreneurs. 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.
McCoy earned an MBA from Harvard Business School with high distinction as a George F. Baker Scholar and a BS in accounting from Texas Christian University. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and serves on the Board of Advisors at the University of Colorado Denver Business School and the University of Colorado Denver JP Morgan Center for Commodities. Additionally, McCoy is the President of the Harvard Business School Alumni Club of Colorado.
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.
Vice President and Co-Founder, Next Great Place, Inc.
Mr. Mitisek has 12 years of startup experience in online software, luxury, and real estate companies. Mr. Mitisek was a pioneer in the online music industry supporting the founders of XACT Radio in building a world-class personalized music software company (like Pandora) and was integral in the sale of the firm to PureTracks, a Canadian online music company. Following the sale of the Company, Mr. Mitisek was recruited by the founders of Exclusive Resorts and led the definition, strategy, and procurement of firm-wide business development relationships.
Following his tenure with Exclusive Resorts, Mr. Mitisek launched Luxury Brand Partners a luxury product and services consulting firm focused on luxury real estate, private aviation and destination clubs. In early 2009, Mr. Mitisek was recruited to be the CEO of the online software company Claremont Information Systems, where he led the company from inception, through its venture capital financing and, ultimately, to launching the commercial version of the product in the marketplace.
Mr. Mitisek started his career as a consultant at KPMG LLC in the structured finance department and B2B Finance Group and graduated with a BSBA in finance & marketing from the University of Denver.
Founder & Principal, Metroboom
Jung has over 15 years of consulting experience in design, branding, marketing, and business development.
Jung has leveraged his experience from his consulting to operate his own business ventures. Jung won the 1st place in 2004 University of Colorado at Denver Business Plan Competition and executed the plan by opening MetroBoom in 2005. MetroBoom is the original Personal Branding Center providing consulting, services and products to create and refine effective personal brands. Jung oversees all facets of the business from branding to operation.
Jung also maintains his business and corporate brand consulting practice for various clients; local/global businesses, start-ups, non-profits, etc...
As a professional speaker, Jung works with companies in various industries to empower their employees to create and refine their own personal brands. Jung has developed key notes and programs on personal branding for professionals. His main key note is titled "Discover Your North Star: Using Identity and Passion to Find Success" which is designed to provide guidance and tools for professionals on their journey to identifying their passion, goals, and brand identity. Jung also shares his message with college students by delivering his key note on campuses across the country.
Jung is an adjunct professor at Johnson and Wales University Denver campus offering his expertise on business, entrepreneurship, marketing, and fashion merchandising to the undergraduate students. At University of Colorado Denver, Jung teaches graduate level program on marketing, entrepreneurship and personal branding for the school of business and entrepreneurship center. Jung also serves as an advisory board member at the Jake Jabs Center for Entrepreneurship at UC Denver.
As fundraiser and counselor, Jung has been working with the Korean Heritage Camp, an organization for Korean adoptees and their families providing education on Korean culture, language, food, and history. Jung works closely with the high school campers on self-identity and cross-cultural issues. Jung also has been serving as a board member and a fundraiser for the Denver Harlequins Wheelchair Rugby team, assisting athletes with spinal cord injuries to find passion through the sport of rugby.
Jung was born in Seoul, South Korea and migrated to New York City when he was 13. He currently lives in Denver, Colorado with his wife and two young children.
Founder, Ball Dynamic International, Inc.
Denver native Joanne Posner-Mayer graduated from the Physical Therapy Program at the University of Colorado in 1973. Her first job took her to Switzerland, where she was exposed to exercises using the Swiss Ball and learned from pioneering therapists Mary Quinton, Susanne Klein-Vogelbach, and Maria Kucera in hospital settings. In 1978 in Copenhagen, Denmark, she began lecturing other therapists on using the ball for rehabilitative therapy. She brought her newly developed expertise back to Colorado clinics in 1980 and in 1988 began teaching her expanded exercise techniques in the surrounding mountain states.
Posner-Mayer founded Ball Dynamic International, Inc. in 1991 and Fitball, Inc—intended to transform ball exercises for worldwide fitness use in health clubs, gyms and sports training programs—in 1993. As a result, she soon became an internationally recognized author on therapeutic use of the Swiss Ball, with speaking engagements on three continents. She has produced three instructional videos and authored two books on exercises using the balls, one of which has been modified by Physiotools, a Finnish company, into a computer program and translated into 20 languages.
Posner-Mayer continues to lecture and spread awareness of the importance of good posture and core control in spine health, as well as the benefits of integrating the ball into exercise programs for strengthening, stretching, cardiac wellness and relaxation.
A former ballerina with the Colorado Ballet, Posner-Mayer serves on the boards of the Colorado Ballet, the University of Colorado Physical Therapy Program, and the Jimmie Heuga Endowment for Multiple Sclerosis, and is an honorary Board member of World Denver. She helped fund the Posner Center for International Development, which houses 50 Denver-based, international nonprofits. Her parents were foreign immigrants to America, and her mother was a Holocaust survivor. Her entire career has focused on helping and serving people, and she continues that mission today through her charitable work.
President and Founder, MorEvents
With a file for everything and a set of lists for every file, Betsy Mordecai is a natural born planner. As president and founder of MorEvents, a successful Denver-based corporate events company with premier global clients and experience creating memorable events worldwide, Betsy puts her mastery of details and innovative management skills to perfect use.
Throughout the past 15 years, Betsy has worked closely with each of MorEvents clients, including: Merrill Lynch, MasterCard International, Shell, Xerox, Fila, Kimberly Clark (Kleenex), the US Government and many more. And, while Betsy excels at long-range planning, budgeting, staffing and client relations, she believes that even the tiniest particulars of an event merit her personal attention.
Over the years, Betsy's penchant for details has meant the difference between delight and disappointment for clients. One time Betsy even spent the day changing sheets at a tiny boutique hotel in Aix Les Bains, France , so that every one of her client Bausch & Lomb's guests at the '92 Olympics in Albertville had a room ready upon arrival.
Betsy, a UCLA graduate and Denver native has honed a specific philosophy for delivering exceptional experiences for clients: Take nothing for granted and make no assumptions. When the unexpected does happen despite her impeccable planning, Betsy is especially thankful for her business partner – Gareth Heyman – whom she calls, "the calm in my storm."
While Gareth takes care of the surprises, Betsy prefers to be prepared. In fact, consistency – in terms of creating executing outstanding events, as well as on a personal level – is one of Betsy's most defining characteristics. When it comes to relationships, Betsy's closest friends remain those from childhood and most MorEvents clients continue to work with her again and again.
Chester N. Winter
Co-Founder, New West Capital Partners
Chester Winter is a general partner at NewWest Capital Partners, a private equity firm based in Denver, Colorado that focuses on small market buyouts, growth financings and recapitalizations. Prior to co-founding NewWest in 1998, Mr. Winter was a general partner of Colorado Incubator Fund, L.P., a venture capital fund which invests in early stage high technology enterprises, including software, materials, medical and bio-technology. Winter has more than 30 years experience as a senior executive with small to medium-sized companies, and has diverse financial, operating and venture investing experience in a wide range of industries, including his tenure as vice president and later director of the consulting firm Paradigm Partners, LLC. He also served as chairman of Highland Energy, Inc., a subsidiary of Eastern Utility Associates. Mr. Winter currently holds an appointed position on the board of the Boulder Urban Renewal Authority. Chet holds a B.A. in Economics and an M.S. in Industrial Relations and Economics from the University of Colorado, and has completed the Owner/President Management Program at Harvard University's Graduate School of Business.