It’s not just about having access to world-class mentors. It’s about the quality of the time you get to spend with them. Chairlift conversations or hikes forge strong relationships far beyond business. No other network can give you that!
Kevin Allen has a wealth of experience in building and managing technology startups as a result of two successful exits in software – one in bioinformatics and one in whole building retrofit modeling.
Kevin started his career in investment banking, M&A and infrastructure financing before working on large scale energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. He has also been a P&L leader for technology firms of various sizes. His latest venture, ViGOR FiTNESS, is a virtual fitness experience that is designed to provide users a connected studio experience that pairs with the fitness equipment that you already have.
Kevin is currently serving as the COO of material technology company Windpact when he is not actively participating in mentoring programs like TVN. Kevin has an undergraduate degree in Economics from The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania; an MBA in Finance from The Goizueta School of Business at Emory University where he was a Toigo Finance Fellow; and, a JD from The University of Chicago School of Law.
Tom Basile is a company builder, investor, and advisor. Tom co-founded and led an enterprise, InkWorks, to a 14x return on investment with responsibility tied to strategy, P&L, market expansion, product development, and elsewhere.
As an investor, Tom has supported companies and deal processes in private market capital rounds across 50+ investments, seed through growth, including a large focus on post-investment operating support. Through advisory work, Tom has supported companies and management teams across sectors, including EdTech, Fintech, and Food Tech, in strategy, capital raising, and product development. Tom and his wife, Mary Ellen, reside in Washington, DC with their daughter, Evvy.
Jonathan Boatwright is the co-founder, co-owner, and Chief Technology Officer of Realty Austin. Realty Austin is the #1 independent real estate firm in Central Texas with a team of 580 top-producing agents who together achieved $6B in sales in 2021. In 2021, Jonathan co-founded Realty San Antonio, based on the same technology and business principles that propelled Realty Austin to the top.
In 2004, after a successful career as an IT professional with Apple, Motorola, and Microsoft, Jonathan set out to leverage his experience to fill a void he saw in the residential real estate industry. Jonathan envisioned a different kind of real estate company, one that embraces the latest technology in order to provide innovative systems for its clients and all aspects of its agents’ businesses.
While Jonathan remains heavily involved in strategic planning, he now resides in Telluride. In his free time, he enjoys wake surfing, sailing, snowboarding, and mountain biking with his three kids, Alyssa, Ashton, and Olivia.
Mariza Brimhall is a Strategic Solutions Consultant aligned to grow the Strategic Customer base at a Series D funded company, Snapdocs. Previously, she spent over 9 years at Medallia starting when it was a Series B company through IPO. She has worked with clients to design software solutions that tie client strategy to key outcomes.
Her experience includes over 20+ years in software solutioning with strategic clients and over 16 years within Customer Advocacy and Customer Experience. Mariza has a BA in Communication and BS in Management from Purdue University and a Masters of Business Administration from University of Michigan.
Cameron Brooks is the Executive Director of Think Microgrid, a membership coalition that represents the microgrid industry in critical policy, legislative and regulatory discussions taking place in Washington, D.C., and at the state level across the country.
Cameron also serves as the President of E9 Insight, a research firm focused on the US utility industry and the policy landscape surrounding it. E9’s clients include a wide range of technology companies, advocacy coalitions and government agencies, including Department of Energy and Lawrence Berkeley National Labs.
Cameron founded Tolerable Planet Enterprises, an advisory firm that provides regulatory engagement and business development services, including a strong focus of developing coalitions for distributed energy technologies and open markets.
Cameron has served in executive roles with clean energy companies and nonprofits, including Opus One Solutions, Tendril, Renewable Choice Energy and the Clean Energy States Alliance. He studied Ecologic Design at Yale University and holds an MBA from Cornell. E9 and Cameron are based in Boulder, Colorado.
Todd Brown is a dynamic executive experienced in all aspects of Operations and Supply Chain with Sara Lee, Anheuser-Busch, and Coors as well as startups BIOTA Brands and UniquePak. He has formulated and executed strategies aligning mission, operations, products and goals for competitive advantage and improved ROI. He’s turned around under-performing operations enhancing shareholder value and motivated and managed staff to reach shared goals. At ASAP, Todd provides business planning, process improvement, HR assistance, technology adaptation, and other strategic planning for customers.
Todd is very civic-minded and highly involved in the community; he’s served on Town Council, and as a Board Member for Telluride Historical Museum, Telluride Theatre, Telluride Arts, EcoAction Partners, the San Miguel Watershed Coalition, and others.
Christina Casas is an entrepreneur who started her own luxury vacation rental company in Telluride in 2001, she grew the business from 2 condos to 120 luxury homes in Telluride and beyond. Christina expanded her business internationally to Mexico, Europe and the Caribbean and ultimately sold the majority interest in her company Exceptional Stays Inc. Currently Christina is still involved with Exceptional Stays and is an active board member of the newly formed Nocturne Villas, a vacation rental company with plans to grow the luxury vacation rental market of the brand Exceptional Stays, currently with over 500 properties in the Caribbean.
Christina has a lot of experience with small business’, having had 3 other startups before in the culinary world and retail. Christina has an MBA from I.E.S.E., Spain’s most prestigious business school and is fully bilingual in English/Spanish. Christina grew up between the USA and Spain which offers her a unique ability to move in different cultures as her own. Christina currently resides full time in Telluride and spends the “off season” in Barcelona, she is married to Jeff Katz and has 4 sons, the youngest graduated from THS in 2022. Christina loves to ski, hike, cook and spend time with friends.
Leah Chmielewski manages a Tech Innovation Independent Research and Development (IRAD) portfolio for a large aerospace company in addition to operating a private consulting business. Leveraging her decade-long career as a federal employee for the Department of Defense she has helped win over $40M in government contracts. Leah’s experience includes research and development, strategy, and business development. She assists clients mainly through lead generation, competitive analysis, strategy, and proposal development to help them win contracts or SBIR/STTR grants. She also helps startups through Colorado’s Small Business Development Center Tech Source accelerators
Leah has recently relocated to Southwest Colorado just outside of Telluride, CO, and is enjoying the active outdoor lifestyle. She is also a Board Member of Michigan Ross School of Business Alumni Club Denver, fire department volunteer, fluent German speaker, and loves making connections – whether ideas, people, companies, opportunities, or ways forward.
Mariana is the co-founder and CEO of Alluvia, an outdoor company that makes lightweight, packable, inflatable boats for casual paddlers who want to include water sports in their outdoor activities. She has over six years of sales and marketing experience ranging from managing sales funnels and building strong customer relationships to creating digital marketing strategies and content. Born and raised in Lima, Peru, she’s been involved with Latino community since her arrival to the US and was chosen as a Leadership Council Member of the Grand Valley Outdoor Recreation Coalition. She majored in business administration from Universidad del Pacifico, Peru’s most prestigious business school.
Tom is a retired executive with over 35 years of experience in the technology
industry. Tom held senior worldwide roles at SAP, Oracle, i2 Technologies and
Data General. Tom held leadership roles with Proofpoint, JBoss, EXE
Technologies, Talari Networks, Docker, and Hortonworks that led to successful
public offerings and company sales.
Tom started New Horizons of North Texas which provides after school education
for At Risk Children in the Dallas Ft.Worth area. Tom has been a Big Brother
for over the last 20 years and participated in various board roles with Big
Brothers Big Sisters. Tom is currently part of the CASA program for foster
children. Tom has served on various non-profit boards including Rebuild
Together, Camp El Har, and Little Big Shot.
Tom holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with a Minor in
Marketing from Southwest Missouri State University.
Brian is a co-founder and director of Groundfloor and serves as our CEO. He is responsible for setting long term direction and goals for the company, executive management, financing, and strategic partnerships.
Brian’s 20-year career building disruptive technology startups spans stints in Silicon Valley, Boston, London and the North Carolina Triangle region prior to moving Groundfloor to Atlanta in 2014. Previously, he led the launch of Republic Wireless to take on the big four cellphone carriers to international acclaim. As a result, millions more Americans can now afford a smartphone.
Brian has a JD from Harvard Law School, an MBA from Harvard Business School, and a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia.
Peter Dodge is the founder and Chief Performance Officer of Hanover Research. Hanover is a global information services firm providing knowledge support to more than 1,100 for-profit and non-profit organizations. Through our unique, fixed-cost model, we provide customized, timely, and authoritative research and advice that enables our clients to make informed decisions, identify and seize opportunities, and heighten their effectiveness.
Having spent years in San Francisco at Morgan Stanley in wealth management, and advising startup founders on business, marketing, and communications plans, Lisa moved to the Telluride-Ridgway area. Lisa recently launched locally-based Lion’s Eye Wealth, serving innovators, entrepreneurs, and adventurers of all types with financial planning and customized investment portfolios. Prior, she launched Martha Stewart’s nationwide events program in NYC, and ran marketing and events at San Francisco Magazine. Lisa enjoys helping creators make dreams manifest. She holds a B.A. from the University of Colorado at Boulder in Economics, participated in the Semester at Sea study abroad program, a Certificate of Management from Harvard Business School, CIMA (Certified Investment Management Analyst) from Yale School of Management, and FINRA Series 7 and 66.
Matt Ellis is the Founder and CEO of Measurabl, the world’s most widely adopted ESG software for commercial real estate. Over 11 billion square feet valued in excess of USD $2 trillion across more than 80 countries measures, manages and discloses ESG performance using Measurabl, resulting in superior returns for investors and a more sustainable built word for all. Before Measurabl, Matt spent 5 years with CBRE, the world’s largest commercial real estate services company, where he led its Sustainability Practice Group, implemented the company’s industry-first global carbon neutrality program, and served as the first Director of Sustainability Solutions and youngest member of its Global Sustainability Advisory Committee.
Matt has expertise in ESG, Institutional, and corporate real estate, green building, and proptech. He is an Aspen Institute Fellow, New Leaders Council Fellow was named a “Top 50” real estate executive by the Real Estate Forum in 2017 and a “40 under 40” alumni by UC San Diego in 2020.
Tom Fatur was the co-founder and president of Martel Electronics Corporation. Martel was founded in 1987 and over the years grew to become one of the world’s leading providers of portable calibration instrumentation for industrial applications. Martel was recognized as one of the largest private companies in NH with sales and service in over 60 countries. In late 2011 Martel acquired by Fluke (A Danaher Company) and for the next several years Tom remained as president completing the integration of the Martel into Danaher. After a successful exit from Martel Tom became active in both angel and private equity investments.
Tom is an active LP in two private equity firms and also serves as a board member to several companies in the technology space. As an early-stage investor he has helped to fund a number of start-up companies. Tom is part of the Telluride Venture Network where he acts as a mentor to local startup companies. He is open to all investment types but has a particular interest in working with instrumentation, biotech and electronics focused businesses.
Tom holds a BSEE from the University of Pittsburgh and in his spare time enjoys skiing, and for many years raced sports cars, both at the amateur and professional levels. His primary residence is in NH with his wife, Joanne and daughter Ashely, but also spends a good deal of time at their home in Telluride, CO.
Ben Foley is a former Telluride resident currently based in Boston, MA working on bringing new and existing renewable energy technologies to market. Prior to his current role, Ben worked for a seed-stage cleantech start-up based in LA, where he advised the founding team on go-to-market strategy and fundraising/FP&A
In his spare time, Ben co-manages the Telluride Lizard Head youth hockey program.
Ben began his career working on infrastructure and energy finance for the United States International Development Finance Corp. He graduated from UVA with a degree in physics.
Jere Friedman, J.D., M.A., CMMI, is an Employee of the Universe – with full benefits! As an attorney with Weiss Brown, PLLC based in Scottsdale, Arizona, Jere’s practice focuses on business transactions, with particular expertise in private placement equity financings, mergers and acquisitions, start-ups and venture capital transactions, equity-based compensation, and the myriad of other legal and business challenges and opportunities that large, medium, and small businesses encounter on a regular basis.
Jere also holds a Masters’ degree in Spiritual Psychology and uses those skills as a Soul Centered Coach. In addition, Jere is a master player of the gongs and a Certified Meditation and Mindfulness Instructor. At this stage in his journey, Jere’s life work is to contribute to the evolution of consciousness on Planet Earth by supporting others in finding their own way to joy, fulfillment, and inner peace. Jere and his wife live in Grand Junction, Colorado, where they enjoy time with their children and grandchildren, hiking, and exploring the wonders of Western Colorado.
Michael Gibson is co-founder of the 1517 Fund, a venture capital fund investing in teams led by dropouts, the uncredentialed, and renegade scientists. Previously he was vice president for grants at the Thiel Foundation and a principal at Thiel Capital, where he helped launch and run the Thiel Fellowship. He has written on innovation and technology for MIT’s Technology Review, the Atlantic, National Review, and City Journal. His book, Paper Belt on Fire, will be published in October 2022.
Martin Girard co-founded DH Instruments, a test and measurement company at the age of 25. The company became the world leader in high end pressure calibration and was acquired by Fluke (Danaher) in 2007 where Martin stayed on to become General Manager of the $180M Calibration division. Martin’s strengths lie in strategic planning, sales and marketing, international business development, product planning, and talent management. He has led several successful acquisitions and integrations, is a strong adherent of lean principles, and is a trained practitioner of the Danaher Business System (DBS) to drive superior business performance.
Martin is currently an investor and consultant, including working with his daughter in a completely new field, baked goods. He spends most of his time in Telluride aiming to ski at least 100 days per year. You can catch him first chair at Oak most days January through close.
Trey is a growth-oriented equity investor focused on the energy, infrastructure, and environmental sectors, having served in a variety of roles in private equity, investment banking, and private equity-backed start-ups. Trey is currently Vice President at Tailwater Capital, a Dallas-based private equity firm with $3.7 billion in committed capital, where he is responsible for evaluating, executing, and monitoring the firm’s investments. Prior to joining Tailwater, Trey was a Vice President at LM Energy Partners, a private equity-backed start-up company, and an Associate at NGP Energy Capital Management, an energy private equity firm with over $20 billion in committed capital. Trey began his career as an Investment Banking Analyst at J.P. Morgan and graduated from Washington and Lee University with a B.S. in Accounting and Business Administration. Trey enjoys exploring Telluride with his wife and dogs, playing tennis, and spending as little time as possible in Texas during the summer.
Mark is a fourth-generation entrepreneur with a diverse and successful background. Mark started his career in banking and was able to secure over one billion dollars of financing for his commercial clients before leaving to start his first company. His company was based on a radio frequency identification application that he invented and patented. He took his next venture, an internet company, to the third-largest market share within a year.
Mark moved from Chicago to Telluride in 2018 where he has turned his efforts toward more civic-minded endeavors. He is currently working on solutions to the employee housing crisis and has aspirations to run for Town Council in 2023. He has a highly competitive spirit, and passion for snow skiing, water skiing, backpacking, climbing, running, and some team sports too.
Creative, fun, light hearted. Strong interpersonal skills. One on one motivator. Let’s talk ‘big picture’. The glass is half full. Serial Entrepreneur. Founded, built, managed, sold, three profitable businesses in various industries (Internet/Reclaimed Lumber/International Shipping). Bob is a twenty-year resident of Telluride and in search of his next, great adventure.
Simon Jeacock is a seasoned tech executive with extensive international experience. Simon began his career in the UK in software sales and quickly distinguished himself as the go-to person to drive business development. In 1995, he joined supply chain software startup, i2, as the first UK sales employee and built out the sales organization in the UK and Europe. In six years, revenue grew from $9M to $1B. Relocating to the US, Simon worked for SAP before joining a second startup, PeopleAnswers in 2009. The intelligent software solution that helps companies maximize employee performance while minimizing employee turnover was acquired by Info in 2014. Simon now works for Oracle and spends his free time with family and friends, hiking, biking and watching live music in Telluride.
Carol Keough was President & CEO of ESI Ergonomic Solutions for 18 years before a strategic sale at the end of 2017. She and her husband, John Keogh, led their company to high growth as ESI became a leader in ergonomic work tools, enhancing productivity and wellness.
During her time with their company, Carol built and managed a sales channel of 125 representatives that produced record revenues calling on 1,600 dealers in North America. Sales, marketing, and product development were her passionate focus. Carol was previously a Board of Director of the Business Institution Furniture Manufacturer Association (BIFMA) for eight years and served her time with the top leaders in the office furniture industry. She has also devoted time in several other industry related groups and charitable organizations.
Currently, she is on the board of The Telluride Science Research Center (TSRC), while staying involved with her past industry associates through corporate consulting. She is a proud mother of two daughters and splits her time between Telluride and Paradise Valley, AZ.
Tom Kingzett’’s education and post-graduate experience were in biochemistry and biotechnology. He worked in semiconductor electronics, managing research and development, along with facility operations and manufacturing. He has managed international business and supply chain partnerships with firms throughout Asia. He has managed startup companies and has Board of Director experience in the semiconductor sector. He is currently a Partner in a tree farm and rural real estate venture in the Pacific Northwest. Tom and his wife Gloria have been visiting Telluride since 1972 and are part-time residents there.
Lucy Maher has two decades of journalism experience working for publications including Forbers, Ladies’ Home Journal, and People. Lucy has held director roles where she was responsible for directing editorial content, ensuring product strategies alleged with brand objectives and managing teams of editors and freelancers. She also developed social media strategies across multiple platforms. Today, Lucy is self-employed as a branded content and social media strategist. She and her husband Tom split time between New York and Telluride.
Scott Miller is a seasoned financial consultant who has performed a full range of CFO and accounting management duties for over 150 companies ranging in annual revenues from $1 to $500 million. He works directly with business owners and CEOs to strategize and identify business trends. He has performed major financial turnarounds resulting in decreased expenses and increased efficiencies of client operations, and personally managed over $750 million in cash flow. Scott is a hands-on professional that intimately and thoroughly understands how to maximize financial efficiency and control, with demonstrated results.
Scott lives in Telluride and loves to spend time outdoors, is an avid skier, and enjoys his role as husband and father of five children.
Brian Minnehan has over 25 years of experience in finance, including over 17 years investing in the natural resources sector, most recently as a Partner with NGP Energy Capital Management, a private equity fund with $20+ billion of cumulative equity commitments. His breadth of expertise spans investment/capital allocation, board leadership, executive compensation, growth initiatives, and raising capital/capital markets. During his 13-year tenure with NGP, Brian was a member of the investment committee that allocated $11+ billion across 90 portfolio companies and was appointed the lead director for 12 of them, including three public companies. Earlier in his career, Brian worked in debt capital markets at Prudential Capital Group, investment banking at Rothschild in NYC, and corporate restructuring services at Arthur Andersen in Dallas, Bangkok, and Seoul. Brian holds a BBA and an MPA in Accounting from The University of Texas at Austin where he was a Sommerfeld Scholar, and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He and his wife and their three children live full-time in Telluride where they enjoy spending time in the mountains and surfing when they get the chance.
Ben Nelson is the founder and CEO of Otter Waiver, a digital waiver and participant management software designed specifically for the outdoor industry. Ben started his journey as an entrepreneur in 2002 and has founded 5 companies with clients ranging from Fortune 100 companies to being featured in global mass media publications in Europe, Japan, and the USA including GQ & Vogue. His expertise includes leading software product design, competitive market analysis, and go-to-market strategy. Since 2018 it’s been his mission to give back to the environment by creating software to reduce deforestation and plant 1M trees by 2025.
Scott Pearson has a long career in both business and public service. Mr. Pearson is the former Vice President for Corporate Development at AOL, where he was responsible for acquisitions and strategic planning, and a former management consultant at Bain and Company, where he provided strategic and operating consulting services to clients in education, healthcare, media, and aviation.
Mr. Pearson has served in three presidential administrations. For President Clinton and the first President Bush he was a trade negotiator, with a focus on Europe and the Middle East. For President Obama he served in the Department of Education, managing federal charter school programs. He recently led the DC Public Charter School Board, where he oversaw 120 public schools serving 44,000 students.
Mr. Pearson currently serves on several financial, healthcare and non-profit boards.
He earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from Wesleyan University, a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and a Masters in Business Administration from the Harvard Business School.
Mitchell Portnoy has nearly 40 years of experience in a myriad of business ventures and can borrow concepts and theories from diverse disciplines and apply them to new opportunities.
He was most recently a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University and advisor/mentor to several Silicon Valley startups in stealth mode. He has consulted with leading data mining and knowledge creation companies and has served as a patent expert during his time in Northern California.
Mitchell was Co-Founder and President of Symmetry Health Data Systems which created the Episode Treatment Group (ETG) family of healthcare data integration and measurement tools (of which Portnoy was the co-inventor). Symmetry was acquired by United Healthcare. Additionally, Mr. Portnoy was co-founder of the pharmaceutical intelligence company Pharmetrics that created the largest non-payer owned integrated claims database of commercial insurers in the world. Pharmetrics was acquired by IMS Health in 2005.
Mitchell Portnoy earned his Master’s degree in Epidemiology and Health Services Administration from Yale University and his Bachelor degree from the University of Michigan. He is a published author and speaker.
Steven A. (Steve) Raymund founded and spent his entire career at Tech Data, a Fortune 100 distributor of high-tech products from leading suppliers such as HP, Cisco, and Apple, with operations worldwide.
Steve retired as Chairman of the Board in June 2017, after serving the company for 36 years in multiple roles – 26 of those years as Chairman and 20 as CEO. During Steve’s tenure, Tech Data’s revenues grew from $2 million in 1981 to some $21 billion in 2006. Steve is currently a director of Jabil, Inc. (since 1996 and serves as lead independent director) and WESCO International, Inc. (since 2006 and serves as audit committee chair). Additionally, Steve is a member of the board of trustees of The Dali Museum in St Petersburg, Florida and serves as board chair of Gulf Coast Cares, Inc., a 501(c)(3) supporting organization of Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services in Clearwater, Florida. Steve earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Oregon and a master’s degree from the Georgetown University Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. He currently divides his time between St Pete Beach, Florida and Telluride, Colorado.
Julian Scurci is an investment professional with broad experience in investment analysis, acquisition analysis, trading, deal sourcing, asset management, credit analysis, structuring deals, negotiation, business development, and capital raising. He is an experienced leader that has successfully built organizations from the ground up, exceeded objectives and managed growth. He is currently a managing partner and COO of Corona Associates Capital Management in San Francisco. Additionally, he owns and manages a short term vacation rental portfolio in the Caribbean.
Fred Sherman brings more than 20 years of senior management experience in nonprofit management and more than 36 years of business experience. He is the Chief Operating Officer of CLASP, and serves on the board of directors for Advocates for Youth and American Council on Exercise (ACE). Previously he served on the boards of Capital City Public Charter School and Mount Pleasant Main Street. He has held senior leadership positions for several other nonprofit organizations including BoardSource and the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and Leadership Institute. Prior to working in the nonprofit sector, Fred spent more than 15 years with PricewaterhouseCoopers where he last served as director of global tax technology. Fred holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from The University of Texas at Austin and is a CPA/CGMA.
Todd Stockard is a healthcare industry executive with over 35 years of experience. Todd was the co-founder, President and COO of Valence Health. Valence was a tech enabled services company supporting provider based risk organizations across the country. The company grew organically from 1996 to 2012, when they raised $30m in private equity. Another $30m was raised in 2014. Valence was ultimately sold to Evolent Health (EVH) in 2016. Todd oversaw the growth of the company from 150 employees to over 1,500 during this time period. He is currently working on another healthcare tech startup with a number of physician colleagues. Todd and his wife split time between Chicago and Telluride.
Ben Thompson was part of the Y Combinator winter 2016 cohort when he co-founded GitPrime. GitPrime, a remote-first enterprise software company based in Durango, Colorado was acquired by Pluralsight in 2019. Ben now works at Lattice, the leading people management platform that empowers leaders to build high-performing teams and inspire winning cultures.