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Northern Colorado Start-Up Summit Is Next Week; Registration deadline is Friday, March 26th

(PRWEB) March 25, 2004

The Northern Startup Summit, presented by the Northern Colorado Idea Lab (NCIL) and Colorado State University Entrepreneurship Center, is next week. The deadline for registration is this Friday, March 26. Spots are filling up fast. More than 120 participants have already registered, including entrepreneurs from Colorado Springs, Parker, Denver, Windsor, Wellington, Fort Collins, Erie, Longmont, Boulder, Loveland and Greeley. Registrants have indicated they are involved in the medical, public relations, human resources and software industries. More than 20 businesses have signed up for display space.

Bios for Keynote Speakers & Panel Participants:

Debra Benton, president, Benton Management Resources, Inc. (

Debra Benton is a successful expert in her field and committed to developing executives to raise performance: both their own and that of their organization. She founded Benton Management Resources in 1976.

From thousands of in-depth interviews with high-profile leaders, Benton has written seven books and numerous articles in several business publications, including The Wall Street Journal and Harvard Business Review. She is the award-winning, best-selling author of: Secrets of a CEO Coach, Lions Don’t Need to Roar, $ 100,000 Club, From Biotech to Hollywood, and How To Act Like a CEO.

Her expertise has afforded her front-page coverage in both The Wall Street Journal and USA Today. She has been repeatedly written about in Time, BusinessWeek, Fortune, The New York Times, and has been featured on the “Today Show,” “Good Morning America,” CNN, National Public Radio, and interviewed by Diane Sawyer for CBS “This Morning.” Debra has been on the Editorial Advisory Board for the Rocky Mountain News and a Career Expert for CBS affiliate KMGH-TV.

As an internationally recognized communications and interpersonal relations expert, she is a popular keynote speaker. She has spoken to hundreds of organizations and Fortune 500 companies such as Kraft, Comcast, Hewlett-Packard, NASA in 18 countries before audiences as large as 5,000 on such topics as: how to think and act like the best CEOs; how to create other leaders; how to shed career-derailing behavior; and how to build followership both inside and outside of the organization. As a speaker, Benton has consistently achieved a rating in the top two percent of all presenters

She is responsible for developing the Executive Charisma program and has coached corporate executives, politicians, and business leaders on their organizational impact in every industry imaginable.

Prior to starting Benton Management Resources, she was the president of an outplacement consulting firm and executive director of a national trade association. She holds a BS in Economics and Finance from Colorado State University and is a recipient of the school’s Distinguished Alumni Award. She lives with her husband, a retired cowboy and ranch manager, Rodney Sweeney, in Colorado.

Julian Gallow, an angel investor

Julian Gallow is the founder of two technology companies, both of which he lead quickly to success and profitability. Applied Software Technology was founded in 1993 and was acquired by a major corporation in 1998, although Julian continued to run the company for a further two years. Sky Blue Microsystems, founded in the year 2000, is now in the hands of management mentored by Julian to continue the growth and profitability he established. His almost two decades of experience in technology businesses includes serving customers such as Reuters, Compaq, Bristol-Myers Squibb, DaimlerChrysler and Tyco, as well as NATO and various local and national government bodies. Julian has an MS degree from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University.

John Greff, Managing Partner and CFO, Sequel Partners (

John began his business career at Ideal Basic Industries, Inc. in Denver, a Fortune 500 manufacturing company, where he had responsibility for various corporate developments, treasury and accounting functions. In 1987 he joined Somatogen, Inc., a Boulder-based venture-backed start-up biopharmaceutical company. During John’s tenure as Corporate Controller and Treasurer, Somatogen raised over $ 200 million in capital in numerous venture capital financings, public offerings and strategic corporate partnerships.

In 1994, John joined Allos Therapeutics, Inc. a venture-backed bio-pharmaceutical start-up as Chief Financial Officer. During his tenure at Allos the Company raised $ 40 million in venture capital funding.

In 1996, John co-founded Sequel Partners along with four partners. John currently serves on the board of directors of GenoPlex and Evolutionary Genomics. John received his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Colorado State University in 1978 and his Master of Business Administration from the University of Denver in 1987.

Sequel Partners is a Boulder-based venture capital firm specializing in early-stage funding for emerging technology firms located primarily in the Rocky Mountain region. The firm manages more than $ 410 million in capital with investments focusing on information technology, telecommunication, biotechnology and life sciences.

Kim Jordan, CEO and president of New Belgium Brewing Co. (

Kim Jordan is CEO and president of New Belgium Brewing Company, Inc. of Fort Collins, Colorado, USA. New Belgium has grown to 150 people and is the fifth largest craft brewery in the United States. As important, New Belgium has begun to make a name for itself as a leader in best business practices, especially as they relate to environmental sustainability and organizational development. The brewery combines open-book management, employee ownership and participative management. These tools have been powerful in developing a highly engaged staff of dedicated folks. Environmental stewardship is one of New Belgium’s core values. They achieve this in part by being 100% wind powered, by investing in energy effective technologies and through extensive recycling and waste stream management.

Kim and her husband, Jeff Lebesch, started the company in the basement of their house in 1991. Prior to becoming entrepreneurs, Kim was a social worker and Jeff was an electrical engineer. The combination of those skill sets has been invaluable in their adventure of growing a business. Kim has done everything from bottling and delivering beer to the designing of marketing materials to bank president schmoozing. Now, 11 years later, with a fabulous group of dedicated co-workers, Kim is able to pass on many of the day-to-day responsibilities of making world-class beer and can concentrate on big picture oversight and the long-term vision of the company.

New Belgium Brewing Co. finished 2001 as the sixth largest domestic craft brewer, while posting the largest growth of any regional specialty brewery at 39 percent.

Todd Kerr, president and CEO of Managed Business Solutions (

Todd Kerr is president and chief executive officer for MBS, overseeing the operations of all business units as well as the strategic development of new ventures, mergers, and acquisitions. Prior to joining MBS, Todd spent 13 years as a marketing manager, I.T. manager and Internet strategist with Hewlett Packard, Andersen Consulting, and Internet Marketing LLC. While at HP, Todd developed and implemented one of HP’s first retail e-commerce sites. As an I.T. manager, he was responsible for delivering development, support, and infrastructure services for businesses located in the U.S., Europe, Mexico, and Singapore. Todd also founded and successfully managed Internet Marketing LLC, which developed many portal sites for the outdoor and entertainment industries.

Todd is a graduate of Colorado State University with a B.S. in Computer Information Systems and The University of Denver with a MBA in International Business.

Laura Love, founder and president of Groundfloor Media (

As the founder of GroundFloor Media, Laura Love determines the company’s vision and direction. She is deeply involved in ensuring that each client’s messages are clearly communicated and that their objectives are met.

Laura launched GroundFloor Media in April 2001 after serving as director of marketing for Ereo, a rich media search service firm in Colorado. At Ereo she managed all strategic marketing and public relations efforts, including developing Ereo’s corporate identity, effectively positioning and building awareness of the Ereo brand, creating the company Web site, and designing and implementing company advertising campaigns. She also led all media and industry relations activities as well as all community-focused endeavors for Ereo.

Prior to Ereo, Laura was at Springbok Technologies, Inc., a high-tech media relations firm in Dallas, TX. While at Springbok, she was instrumental in helping both publicly traded and Internet start-up companies develop brand awareness via integrated public relations campaigns. Laura directed strategic account planning, developed and executed client campaigns, and coordinated and managed media and analyst communications for her clients.

Before joining Springbok Technologies, Laura directed the strategic marketing department of Hayes, Domenici and Associates, a Washington, DC-based marketing and communications firm. She worked on behalf of both corporations and nonprofit organizations to develop, manage and implement relationship marketing campaigns and strategic alliances. Laura developed public relations and public affairs campaigns and events for corporate, government and nonprofit organizations including the Department of Commerce, National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, National Children’s Alliance and Discovery Communications, Inc.

She also possesses an extensive journalism background, having worked for several years as a writer, producer and reporter for both print and broadcast media outlets in Vermont, Illinois and Washington, DC.

Outside of GroundFloor Media, Laura is involved in a number of community and professional organizations. She serves on the board of directors and advisors of the Washington Psychiatric Foundation and is an active member of the Vanderbilt University Alumni Committee. In addition, she competed in the Mayor’s Midnight Sun Marathon in Anchorage, Alaska.

Laura holds a bachelor’s of science degree from Vanderbilt University and a master’s of science degree in journalism from Northwestern University. Laura, her husband and young daughter reside in Boulder, Colorado.

Mike McCurdie, CEO of Colorado Inspection Agency (

Mike McCurdie, is the CEO of Colorado Inspection Agency (CIA). Mike purchased CIA in 1999. Since that time, CIA has grown from four employees to over twenty, and revenues have increased fourfold. CIA is now the state’s largest provider of building department services to municipalities.

Prior to CIA, Mike graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering. He also has experience as a process engineer and marketing manager for National Semiconductor and NCR for 13 years.

Art Rancis, CEO of Amidex (

Art has more than 25 years of executive management experience in technology products and services. He has held CEO, president, general manager, and other significant management positions at Racom Systems, Sony Electronics, Ball Aerospace, Samsung Electronics, Tektronix, and multiple start-up organizations. Known for his ability to recruit world-class management teams, Mr. Rancis has extensive management experience in sales, marketing, strategic planning, engineering and manufacturing. In parallel to his functional positions, Mr. Rancis has strong skills in international business, start-up operations, acquisitions, joint ventures and licensing. Mr. Rancis was Chief Executive Officer of Racom Systems until 1999, at which point he became Vice President and General Manager at Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp.

Bob Vinton, President and founder of VO2MAXconsulting (

Bob Vinton has more than 24 years of management experience in business in general management, finance, marketing, manufacturing, and quality assurance. He learned world class leadership and management techniques in large firms such as Fairchild Semiconductor and National Semiconductor, and later applied that knowledge while leading small and mid-size companies ranging from supply chain planning software start-up RockySoft Corp. to venture-backed growth companies such as Comlinear Corp. Bob has held titles such as CEO and President, COO and Executive VP, VP of Operations, VP of Manufacturing and VP of Quality Assurance for the companies he has worked for in the high tech industry in the enterprise software and semiconductor fields.

Since starting his consulting practice in 2002, he has completed assignments such as being the Interim President and CEO of the Fort Collins Area of Commerce, doing strategy analysis and planning retreats, and consulting on merger, acquisition and divestiture activities for clients. Developing strategy, operational systems and the organization, and aligning the three to accomplish the business vision, are Bob’s focus now for management teams and boards of small to mid-market companies. Bob holds a BSEE degree from Lehigh University and has done his MBA studies at Colorado State University.

Bill Ward, CEO, Front Range Internet, Inc. (

Bill Ward is the President and founder of Front Range Internet, Inc., an Internet Service Provider located in Fort Collins, CO. Front Range Internet began operations in August 1995, going online in late October, 1995. FRII has experienced rapid revenue growth since beginning operations. FRII has become the largest privately held ISP located in northern Colorado providing a full range of Internet services throughout the state of Colorado region.

Bill graduated from Purdue University with a BS in industrial economics. Upon graduation Bill went to work with Martin Marietta as a computer programmer. Taking leave from Martin, Bill enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and became an F-106 pilot and Operations Staff officer in support of NORAD air defense activities. During his tenure in the Air Force, Bill attained the rank of Major and served as a flight commander, detachment commander and division branch chief. Bill returned to Martin Marietta in 1980 as a senior systems engineer. Until 1995, Bill managed numerous activities for the development of major information systems for the Defense Department. Bill has been influential in the development and implementation of communications and information system designs for NORAD and Space Command operations in Colorado Springs. Bill managed the software engineering activity and engineering integration groups at the National Test Bed (NTB), Falcon AFB, directing the overall activities of more than 500 software and systems engineers. The NTB is the national simulation and communications hub for the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (AKA Star Wars).

Bill founded Front Range Internet in 1995 with his son Brad to serve Colorado’s Front Range with dialup and dedicated Internet services.

Event Sponsors

Northern Colorado Startup Summit title sponsors are Vista Ventures and Faegre & Benson. The media sponsor is the Northern Colorado Business Report and W3W3 radio. Publicity sponsor is Shannon Marketing Communications. In-kind sponsors include the Fort Collins Virtual Business Incubator, the Larimer and Weld County Small Business Development Centers, the Northern Colorado Economic Development Corporation, the Weld/Larimer Revolving Loan Fund, the Loveland Center for Business Development, Larimer County Workforce Center, Fort Collins Women?s Network, and the Fort Collins, Loveland and Berthoud Chambers of Commerce. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available.

About Northern Colorado Idea Lab

NCIL is a non-profit organization that works with start ups and new businesses to help them accelerate their success by matching its clients with specific business experts, funding providers, and highly-skilled employees. NCIL works with businesses that have an abstract, a business plan or a marketing plan, and performs a panel assessment that creates a ?success roadmap,? which is a list of high-priority recommendations that can quickly take a business to the next level. For more information, call (970) 613-8555, email, or visit

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