Joe Eazor Executive in Residence
The Engineering and Technology Management Program’s Executive-in-Residence Series allows executives from industry to pass on insight and knowledge to graduate students preparing for challenges that the seasoned executive understands well. This ETM Program initiative facilitates active involvement by industry executives, through teaching, student advising activities and more.
2019 Executive in Residence: Michael Oakley
After successful careers in the USAF (21 years) and private industry (22 years, including 17 with Jacobs Engineering), Michael has launched a third phase of his professional life, under the banner of Oakley Entreprises. His objective is to leverage over 44 years of success in leading people and managing resources and programs, associated with the planning, design, construction, maintenance and operation of facilities and other systems. His current mission is to promote the teaching of leadership skills to engineering students. He brings the ability to operate in a variety of settings with people of different cultures and backgrounds, having lived and worked overseas, from France, Morocco, the United Kingdom to the Republic of Korea. He is fluent in French, and has also studied Spanish, Russian and Korean.
Michael holds a Master’s in Construction Management and a Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He is also a graduate of the:
- Jacobs Business Leadership Course
- Jacobs Management Leadership Course
- Jacobs Project Manager’s Course
- Air War College
- Air Command and Staff College
- Squadron Officer School
Although he has been “grossly under-employed” since early 2016 (meaning: no salary, but not retired), he has been very busy with volunteering as a reading tutor, mentor, grant evaluator, etc. with the Mile High United Way and Goodwill Industries of Denver. Those experiences have been most enriching, as he worked with young people from 2nd grade through high school, and even a couple of young professionals. They have kept him feeling young…most days.
In addition, he has been striving to share his ability to practice and teach leadership skills with the Colorado School of Mines and the University of Denver School of Engineering & Computer Science. He feels engineers should learn to be great leaders and help guide effective and successful work teams, for whatever organization they join. This has been a quite challenging endeavor, but one that has created new opportunities along the way, such as judging student ethics competitions and capstone project presentations at Mines, and getting involved with the Mines Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
He claims not to know if he will ever grow up and figure out what he wants to be. Maybe, maybe not…but his journey to discovering that has been a lot of fun.
He has held Professional Engineer licenses in the states of Pennsylvania and Texas, and is a Life Member of the Society of American Military Engineers and the Air Force Association
January 22, 2019
Your Life Probably Won’t Turn Out
the Way You Think It Will
Speaker: Stuart Bennett, Christopher Herndon
Location: MZ 126
February 5, 2019
Leadership Challenges in
Speakers: Mike Coyle, Karen Wiemelt
Location: MZ 126
February 26, 2019
Leadership Challenges of the
Speakers: Karen Buelter, Jason Kania,
Location: MZ 126
March 5, 2019
The Strength of Personal, Team
and Corporate Visions
Speakers: Michael McAtee, Hugh Rice
Location: MZ 126
March 19, 2019
Leadership Challenges in the
Speaker: Vernon Irvin, Howard Janzen
Location: MZ 126
April 2, 2018
Leadership Challenges of Non-Profit
and Government Organizations
Speaker: Christine Benero, Jesus Salazar
Location: MZ 126
April 16, 2018
What Type of Leader Will You Become?
Speaker: Michael Oakley, Joe Eazor
Location: MZ 126
Stuart Bennett, retired dentist
Stu was born in Longmont, Colorado, graduated from College High School in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, earned his Professional Degree in Chemical and Petroleum Refining Engineering from Mines in 1966, MS in Chemical Engineering from Oklahoma State University in 1968, and attended the University of Oklahoma Dental School obtaining his Doctor of Dental Surgery in 1977.
At Mines Stu earned a letter in soccer and lettered three years in football receiving Academic All-Conference honors two years, nominated as an Academic All-American in 1964 and was named an NCAA Scholar – Athlete after the 1965 season, held class offices and is a member of Beta Theta Pi, Sigma Gamma Epsilon, Tau Beta Pi, and Mines Press Club.
Stu has three children and six grandchildren who also live in the Denver area; so, activities and interests include family time and following activities of grandkids. His activities and interests include golf, skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, travel, leatherwork, painting, history, rehabilitating a 1972 Datsun 240Z and obtaining online liberal arts exposure he did not obtain during his career and education.
His career has been varied and broad. His early career was in various engineering positions. Initially he was employed in the petrochemical and plastics industry in applications research for polyethylene end use products (Chemplex). While with Crest Engineering in Tulsa, a consulting engineering company, his tasks involved project and design engineering of midstream oil and gas projects for overseas major oil and gas producers. He experienced one year as an Instructor in the Chemical and Petroleum Refining department at Mines. During his time as a student at the University of Oklahoma Dental School worked part time performing design engineering for a manufacturer of oil and gas heaters (Smalling Engineering).
Upon completion of his Doctor of Dental Surgery Degree, he purchased a small dental practice in Arvada, which grew to serve a large patient base in the area. Stu practiced as a general dentist from 1977 through 2015, having the special pleasure of practicing with his son for twenty years. He was a perennial member of 5280 Magazine’s list of Denver’s Best Dentists. During that period Stu also participated in the development, construction, and management of two commercial office buildings. After the loss of his wife in 2009, Stu created and was the Founder and President of the Kathleen Bennett Foundation of Hope for Ovarian Cancer, a successful 501c3 not-for-profit corporation that was combined with the Colorado Ovarian Cancer Coalition.
He is a long-time member of the President’s Council, supporter of Mines athletics, and currently serves as a Director on the Board of the Alumni Association. His activities on the Board have been to serve as Assistant Treasurer, representative to the editorial committee of the Mines Magazine, and is Chair of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Interest Group. He also participates on the Oredigger Club leadership committee. Stu has been a vocal cheerleader for Mines since his first visit as a five-year old with his father, Ed Bennett, Professional Engineer Metallurgy, ’42, whose brother, Robert, also graduated from Mines.
Christopher Herndon, Councilman, City of Denver
Chris Herndon was elected to represent District 11 on the Denver City Council in May of 2011 and reelected to represent District 8 in 2015. His district includes Park Hill, Stapleton and portions of Montbello and East Colfax. He is committed to a thoughtful approach to development, as District 8 continues to grow, balancing the needs of mature communities and growing neighborhoods.
Chris graduated from The United States Military Academy at West Point in 1999, with Bachelor of Science in Systems Engineering, and served nearly seven years in the U.S. Army, including deployments to Kosovo and Iraq. He was honorably discharged in 2005 with the rank of Captain. After transitioning to civilian life, he worked in management roles at large corporations, including a stint with United Airlines at Denver International Airport, before running for office to serve the people of Northeast Denver.
Chris describes himself as a lifelong learner; and his continued education includes a Master’s in Management from Webster University, a certification in Lean/Six Sigma, a fellowship at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and most recently a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Colorado Denver. He was recognized as one the Denver Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 and was named Rookie of the Year by 5280 Magazine. After his election in 2011, Chris founded Northeast Denver Leadership Week: A free, week-long leadership program for students in Northeast Denver. He believes it is vital for young people to see leaders in action. Northeast Denver Leadership Week gives students the chance to interact with those professionals who are driving change and finding success in our communities.
Chris’ commitment to service doesn’t end with his day job. Since moving to Denver, he has continued to find ways to give back. He served on several community boards, tutored Montbello High School students, and helped bring financial literacy courses to the district.
He and his wife Genia live in Stapleton with their daughter and son.
Mike Coyle, former Senior and Group Vice President, Jacobs Engineering
Mike is a former senior executive for Jacobs Engineering, who most recently served as Senior Vice President of Global Sales. In this role, he worked closely with Jacobs regional sales and operations teams to grow the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) market share. Mike has a strong background in general contracting, large program management delivery and extensive global experience. Prior to this role, he served as Group Vice President for several Jacobs regions, including:
- Western: Responsible for the growth and development of all Canadian operations including engineering, procurement, construction, modular fabrication, direct hire construction and maintenance services.
- Middle East: Made up of a mix of business lines, including oil and gas, chemicals, energy, fertilizer, modular fabrication, and buildings and infrastructure. Included Jacobs ZATE operations in Saudi Arabia.
- Eastern: US operations, serving a mix of global process-oriented industries, including consumer products, pulp and paper, semiconductor, fertilizer, chemicals, and energy.
Since joining Jacobs in 1994 through an acquisition, Mike also served in various senior and executive positions with the Company. Prior major roles include:
- Responsibility for all construction and field work outside North America, including Europe, UK, Ireland, Asia, India and the Middle East.
- Operational responsibility for Jacobs Global Building business.
- Global responsibility for Jacobs HSE program.
- Operational responsibility and board member for an outsourcing business that Jacobs and PricewaterhouseCoopers developed and owned. Major clients included healthcare and telecommunications.
- Leadership of numerous alliances, programs and projects.
Mike traveled extensively and lived in Europe, Central America, Canada and the Middle East, as well as several locations in the United States. He excels at building high-performance teams from diverse cultures, believing that respect for culture and beliefs of others is key to successful team dynamic. He is inspired by coaching and mentoring employees to reach their fullest potential. He considers them to be the life blood of the business because they are the ones who delight clients, execute brilliant work and position companies for repeat work from clients. Throughout his career he actively involved employees to raise their business acumen and increase their knowledge of the business and our clients’ business.
Mike is a graduate of New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM, from which he received a BS in Civil Engineering and an MBA.
Fast Personal Facts
He is married to Charlotte and has two daughters. Their older daughter, Jeanna, is a video game designer and new mom; and the younger, Stacy, is an attorney, who lives with her husband in Washington, DC. In addition to enjoying time with family, Mike likes exercise / fitness, kayaking, house renovation projects, outdoor activities, travel, silversmithing, woodworking, and volunteer work with organizations, like Habitat for Humanity, that help those in need.
Karen Wiemelt, Senior VP, GM, North American Nuclear, CH2M/Jacobs Engineering
With more than 30 years of experience in the nuclear industry, Karen Wiemelt is a recognized leader with expertise in the areas of program management, environmental remediation, nuclear operations, project controls, and strategic planning. Her expertise in program management and project controls has identified potential savings in excess of $100 million and led to consistent delivery of complex programs ahead of schedule. She has been appointed the Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Jacobs Engineering North American Nuclear Business Unit. Additionally, she currently serves as the Board Chair for both CH2M HILL Plateau Remediation Company at the Hanford Site and Four Rivers Nuclear Partnership, LLC. at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant.
Most recently, Karen served as Operations Director of Global Major Accounts and Project Services for CH2M’s Private Client Sector, responsible for P&L of Major Accounts and providing the standards, processes and tools to improve project delivery from planning and estimating through execution.
Karen has held several senior management positions in the nuclear industry including Vice President of the Soil and Groundwater Remediation Project for CH2M HILL Plateau Remediation Company at the Hanford Site and Senior Vice President of Global Business Development for CH2M’s Nuclear Business Group. As Vice President of the Soil and Groundwater Remediation Project, she was responsible for managing a $300 million annual budget to remediate of approximately 80 square miles of groundwater contamination across the Hanford site.
Karen has held key roles on other major programs, including:
- Decontamination and Decommissioning (D&D) Project Controls Director for CH2M HILL Plateau Remediation Company
- Project Manager on the DNFSB 94-1 Plutonium Solution Stabilization Program and D&D projects
- All environmental remediation projects at the Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site in the final two years of site closure
- Environmental remediation and project management for the U.S. EPA and other environmental industries
Education and Professional Affiliations
- B.S., Chemical Engineering and Petroleum Refining, Colorado School of Mines
- Certified Project Management Professional, Project Management Institute
- Professional Engineer, Colorado
Karen Buelter, Senior Project Manager, Ascent360
Karen Buelter, along with her husband Scott Buelter, runs Ascent360, Inc., a venture-backed software-as-a-service (SaaS) leader in the Customer Data Platform space. They founded the company in 2013, which was recently voted one of the top 50 places to work by Outside Magazine and has amazing customers like Alterra Mountain Company, Telluride Ski Resort, SmartWool and Christy Sports. Ascent360 has raised $6 million in venture capital to build and grow its business, and is actively recruiting candidates for intern and permanent positions.
After a stint at IBM, Karen has spent most of her career founding, and/or helping grow, small businesses in the tech industry. Entrepreneurship runs in her blood: Her mother successfully founded and ran Liberty Office Products for over 10 years; and her father founded, grew and sold Health Savings Administrators, and continues to manage Trident National, which he has successfully run for 28 years. Karen’s childhood was often spent helping at her parents’ various businesses, which instilled a deep respect for the entrepreneurial lifestyle. Ascent360 is the fourth business Karen and Scott have founded and led, gaining invaluable experience along the way.
Karen and Scott have grown Ascent360 to 40+ employees and have significantly increased year over year revenue, allowing both a Seed and Series A round of VC funding. While committed to leading Operations, Talent Acquisition & Retention and Special Projects at work, Karen also enjoys reading historical fiction, playing tennis (took third place in the nation with her team in 2018), skiing and enjoying life with her husband, two children and yellow lab, Ziggy.
Karen financed 100% of her education, including an undergraduate degree in International Business and German at the Terry College of Business of the University of Georgia and an MBA in IT at the University of California, Irvine, where she met Scott.
Jason Kania, General Partner, K Squared Fund
Jason Kania serves as a General Partner; and prior to founding, K2, he led Phoenix Management Consulting, a consultancy that delivered product, operations and technical improvements for Fortune 500 multi-nationals. Jason is commonly characterized as a collaborative leader with boardroom polish, who knows how to get things done in complicated environments, and with limited resources. Jason has launched $500+ million products, saved clients over $6 billion in operating expense.
Jason received an MBA from the University of Chicago and a B.S. Economics from Virginia Tech. Jason is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Denver, Daniels College of Business, a Board Member of the University of Chicago Alumni Association; in addition to serving as a Mentor to Techstars, the Prime Health Challenge, Rockies Venture Fund, University of Chicago Booth New Venture Challenge.
The K Squared Fund (“K2”) is a private equity firm designed for the business owner who would like to take some ‘chips off the table’ and participate in the future growth of the company. K2 places majority and change of control investments in private, low to mid-market companies. We are centrally located in Denver, Colorado and invest in companies across North America.
K2 was created after Jason Kania exited from a company he founded. During his exit, Jason did not have advisors who could help navigate the personal and professional dynamics of a sale. K2 was designed to help other entrepreneurs in a similar situation and help fellow entrepreneurs transition their company to operators who have built successful businesses.
We have placed investments in 150+ businesses ranging between $2 million and $8.5 Billion in revenue. Our investors are privately held financial services companies, family offices and high net worth individuals with 300+ years of management experience and longer hold periods. In addition to capital, we offer expertise in Corporate Development, Marketing, Sales, Operations, Finance, Information Technology, and Strategy. In support of our investments, we take an active role and partner with the existing management team through a sensible transition. For all of our investments, we aim to preserve the company’s culture, develop the staff and pursue sustainable growth through product, technology and operational improvements.
Chic Naumer, CEO, CiviCore
As an entrepreneur, software executive and researcher, Charles has been a founder of three successful software companies. He is particularly passionate about the potential of technology to build capacity within the social sector.
Currently, Chic is CEO of CiviCore, a software-as-a-service company, serving the nonprofit and public sectors. CiviCore provides clients with giving platforms, client case management systems and other technology that allows them to achieve their missions. CiviCore currently supports over 25,000 nonprofits worldwide and has helped them raise over $1 billion dollars.
Dr. Naumer’s research interests include cognitive computing, augmented intelligence, sensemaking, and knowledge management. He is particularly interested in the use of technology to help people understand complex problems, or “wicked problems”. These types of problems may be framed in multiple ways with many potential solution scenarios in communication technologies, the digital divide, information behavior and sense-making.
In addition to his interest in technology, he is also committed to public service. He has served as an executive director of a mentoring organization as well as on the boards of several nonprofit organizations. He is currently a trustee for the Jefferson County Public Library and serves on the accountability board for the Bergen Schools. Additionally, he was appointed by the Governor’s office to serve on the Colorado Disability Funding Committee which accepts and reviews proposals and funds projects or programs that study or pilot new and innovative ideas that will lead to an improved quality of life or increased independence for persons with disabilities.
Dr. Naumer holds a Ph.D. in Information Science from the iSchool at the University of Washington, a Masters degree in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a Bachelor’s degree in economics from Pomona College.
He lives in Evergreen Colorado with his wife and two daughters. He enjoys hiking, biking and skiing in beautiful Colorado.
Michael McAtee, retired VP, Strategic Projects North America, BASF Corporation
Mike McAtee, a native of Colorado, earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Colorado, Boulder.
• 1984: Joined BASF Corporation, Freeport, Texas Site. Held various positions in Operations and Engineering in Acrylates, Acetates, Syngas, Oxo Alcohols and Diols until 1992
• 1992: Delegate, BASF Group, Ludwigshafen, Germany. Responsible for Operations and Technology Licensing in Industrial Chemicals and Base Chemicals
• 1994: Operations Director, North America Oxo Alcohols and Diols, Freeport, TX, Site. Technical Integration Lead for BASF-Petronas Joint Venture in Kuantan, Malaysia
• 1999: Director of Operations, Superabsorbent Polymers in North America and Site Manager of the Portsmouth, VA, Site
• 2001: Director of Operations, Fine Chemicals in North America and Site Manager of the Wilmington, NC, Site
• 2003: VP and General Manager, Petrochemicals Operations in North America and Site Manager of the Port Arthur, TX, Site. Responsible for Operations of BASF-Fina Limited Partnership Olefins Operations and Sabina C-4 Complex Tri-Venture with Total Petrochemicals and Shell Chemicals.
• 2007: Senior VP of Engineering & Maintenance for North America; Houston, TX
• 2016: Senior VP of Strategic Projects for North America; Houston, TX
• 2018: Retired
Hugh Rice, Senior Chairman, FMI Capital Advisors
Hugh joined FMI in 1972 and opened the Denver office in 1979. He created the firm’s Mergers & Acquisitions Group, now FMI Capital Advisors, Inc., which has completed more than 700 construction-industry acquisitions since inception. He served as chairman of the firm until 2011. Hugh’s major areas of expertise include ownership transition planning, merger/acquisition advice, and strategy development.
Hugh’s roles at FMI have included consultant, lecturer, manager and mentor. He is a trusted advisor and board member of several major construction industry firms.
Hugh holds a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a master of business administration degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has been active in many organizations over the years, including the Institute of Management Consultants, Construction Financial Management Association, Associated General Contractors of America, The Moles (past Trustee) and The Beavers (past Director). He was awarded the Golden Beaver Award for Service and Supply in 2005 and elected to The National Academy of Construction in 2007 and is currently the president. In 2013 Hugh was given the James M. Maloney Service & Supply Lifetime Achievement Award from the Associated General Contractors of America. He is a past member of the Executive Advisory Board for the Daniels School of Business at The University of Denver and recently retired from the Board of Directors of Craig Hospital. Hugh is on the Board of the Seabee Memorial Scholarship Association, a trustee of the National Western Stock Show Association, and an advisor to Bridges to Prosperity.
Vernon Irvin, EVP, President, Government, Education, Small Business, CenturyLink
Vernon Irvin is president, government, education, medium and small business and a member of the executive leadership team at CenturyLink reporting to CEO Jeff Storey.
In this role, Irvin is responsible for leading a $3.5 billion business operation with more than 2,000 national employees in 50 markets who are charged with growing profitable revenue through a deep portfolio of communication solutions, security, hosting, cloud computing, managed services and IT services.
Over the course of his career, Irvin has gained a keen understanding of how small to medium sized businesses, as well as state and local government and education institutions can utilize technology to work more efficiently and achieve their business objectives.
Irvin is also personally committed to promoting diversity and women in technology, and serves as a member of CenturyLink’s diversity steering committee.
Before CenturyLink, Irvin led the sales and marketing teams at Charter. Prior to Charter, he oversaw SiriusXM Satellite Radio’s marketing efforts and overall strategic direction as executive vice president and chief marketing officer. Irvin also served as executive vice president and general manager for VeriSign’s communications services group, as well as worked abroad for British Telecommunications where he led the company’s applications infrastructure management business as president, content hosting and media services.
Howard Janzen, Chairman, Cool Planet
Howard Janzen has served as CEO and Chairman for several communications and energy companies. He is currently the Chairman of Cool Planet, a technology driven startup which CNBC ranked as a “Top 25 Disruptor of 2014” along with SpaceX and Uber.
Janzen has served as CEO of One Communications, then the country’s largest privately held supplier of integrated telecommunications solutions to businesses, from March 2007 until its sale to Earthlink in April 2011. From January 2004 to September 2005 he served as President of Sprint Business Solutions, the business unit serving Sprint’s global business customer base with 10,000 employees and $12 billion in annual revenue. From May 2003 to January 2004, he was President of Sprint’s Global Markets Group, responsible for Sprint’s $8 billion long distance business for both consumer and business customers. From December 1994 until October 2002, Janzen served as President and Chief Executive Officer, and Chairman from 2001, of Williams Communications Group. He led the company in completing its $7 billion next generation fiber optics network and the largest IPO in the telecom industry, at that time, with peak market capitalization of $30 billion. Beginning in 1979, Janzen served in a number of leadership roles in Williams’ energy and natural gas pipeline businesses.
Janzen currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of GTT, Vocera Communications, Cool Planet and Bye Aerospace. He also serves as a board member for the Colorado School of Mines Foundation, the Denver Area Boy Scouts of America and HeritX where he also serves as Chairman. He is Chairman Emeritus for GIIC, the Global Information Infrastructure Commission.
Janzen earned Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in metallurgical engineering from the Colorado School of Mines and is a licensed Professional Engineer. He completed the Harvard Business School Program for Management Development. Janzen was named a Colorado School of Mines Distinguished Achievement Medalist and was inducted into the University of Tulsa, College of Engineering and Natural Sciences Hall of Fame. He received the IEEE Chairman’s award for industry contributions.
Janzen is an active instrument rated pilot with over 7,000 hours of flying time and serves on the board and as past Chairman of the TBM Owners and Pilots Association. He has flown his airplanes to 65 countries and recently completed an around the world flight.
Christine Benero, President, CEO, Mile High United Way
Christine Benero is President and Chief Executive Officer of Mile High United Way, the first United Way in the country. For nearly 130 years, Mile High United Way has worked to advance the common good and believes all children, individuals and families should have the opportunity for success. Last year, Mile High United Way proudly invested over $30 million in the Denver metro area.
Christine is the former Chief Executive Officer of the American Red Cross Mile High Chapter, in Denver, Colorado. Prior to joining the American Red Cross, Christine was the Director of the Office of Public Liaison for the Corporation for National and Community Service in Washington, DC. She served in two Presidential administrations working for both Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Christine has served as Vice President of the National Civic League, and as a Community Affairs Corporate Program Officer for Target Stores in Minneapolis, MN.
Christine serves on the Boards of HealthONE, National Domestic Violence Hotline, Community Wealth Partners, Denver Public Schools Foundation and EPIC. In 2015, Christine was asked to serve as co-chair on the Denver Public Schools Community Planning Advisory Committee by Superintendent Tom Boasberg. She was appointed by Denver Mayor Michael Hancock to the Denver Education Compact Board and currently sits on the National Professional Council for United Way Worldwide. Christine was named the 9News Leader of the Year in 2007 and in 2009 received the Community Leader Award by Goodwill Industries and was named by both the Rocky Mountain News and the Denver Post as one of “Nine to Watch in 2009.” In 2010 she was named a “Woman of Distinction” by the Girl Scouts of Colorado and in 2011 received the “Las Madrinas” award from Centro San Juan Diego. In 2012, Christine was honored nationally by Girl Scouts of America as one of “One Hundred Distinguished Alumni” in honor of Girl Scouts 100th birthday. In 2013, she was named one of the 25 Most Powerful Women in Denver by the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce and presented with the Urban League’s “McKinley Harris Distinguished Warrior” award and in 2014 she was a finalist for CEO of the Year by ColoradoBiz magazine. In 2016 Christine was named one of the Denver Business Journal’s Outstanding Women in Business and in 2017 received the Colorado Governor’s Citizenship Medal for Public and Community Service by Governor John Hickenlooper. The Colorado Governor’s Citizenship Medal is one of the highest honors bestowed upon citizens and organizations of Colorado for their meritorious contributions to the strength and vitality of the state. Most recently, Christine received the 2018 Community Champion Award from Colorado Youth for a Change.
Christine is a past President of the Association of Junior Leagues International, a past chairman of the Women’s Foundation of Colorado, Coalition for America’s Children and the Kiwanis International’s Young Children: Priority One Advisory Board. She was a delegate both to the Presidents’ Summit for America’s Future in 1997 and to the NGO Forum at the UN Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995.
Christine holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Special Education from Boston University, a Masters in Education from Harvard University, Graduate School of Education and was selected as a 2007 Gates Fellow for the Senior Executive Program at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.
Jesus Salazar, President and CEO, Prosono
Jesus Salazar is a Colorado native and entrepreneur who loves bringing exceptional people together to do exceptional things. He is the co-founder, President and CEO of Prosono, a business strategy and social impact company. The company works to accelerate progress toward the World’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals by helping organizations become more agile while also exploring business opportunities within the social impact sector. Throughout his professional career, Jesus has developed, architected, managed and serviced various large projects for over 275 of the largest companies in North America. In addition to his professional career, Jesus Salazar is heavily involved in education reform and economic development within Colorado. In 2009, at the request of Lt. Governor Barbara O’Brien, he co-chaired the “Turning Around Struggling Schools” sub-committee for Colorado’s Race to the Top application, in hopes of being awarded 300-500 million dollars to apply toward innovative education reform. Jesus holds two Governor appointments, one for the Business Experiential Learning Commission by Governor Hickenlooper and the other for the Colorado School of Mines Board of Trustees. Jesus also sits on the board of the Rocky Mountain Public Broadcasting System, whose mission is to strengthen the civic fabric of Colorado through public media. Jesus is also the co-chair of Colorado Succeeds, a membership organization of business leaders focused on improving public education. Jesus has a BS in Math and Computer Science and a MS in Engineering and Technology Management from the Colorado School of Mines.
Joe Eazor, CEO, Rackspace
As Rackspace’s chief executive officer, Joe Eazor is responsible for the company’s global strategy and operations – spanning the U.S. and the three other continents where Rackspace maintains offices and data centers.
Joe is one of the most seasoned and effective CEOs in the technology industry, having spent more than 25 years as a technology executive with deep experience running everything from startups to huge divisions of global enterprises. His roles gave him leadership experience across strategy, customer support, product development, global sales and marketing, and mergers and acquisitions. He also knows international operations from his work in China and Singapore. He is an inspiring leader with a strong track record of delivering value to customers, employees and investors.
Prior to joining Rackspace in the summer of 2017, Joe served as CEO of EarthLink, a pioneer of dial-up internet service that he led into profitable new areas of cloud networking. While at EarthLink, Joe transformed its strategy, investing in profitable new products and exceptional customer service. He doubled free cash flow, sharply lifted employee culture scores and achieved a 79 percent CEO approval rating on Glassdoor. In 2016, Forbes named EarthLink one of the 100 Most Trustworthy Companies in America. Joe led the sale of the company to Windstream for $1.1 billion. With that transaction, he delivered significant returns to shareholders during his three years as CEO.
Before leading EarthLink, Joe served as a top executive at EMC, HP and EDS. After HP’s acquisition of EDS, Joe was responsible for integrating that $22 billion business into its new parent. Prior to the acquisition by HP, he led EDS’s Asia Pacific business and offshoring operations while living in Shanghai, China.
Earlier in his career, Joe served as director and senior partner at McKinsey & Company and vice president / partner and board member at A.T. Kearney. He gained experience working with private equity investors as CEO of an Internet portal services startup called Springbow Solutions. He also currently serves on the board of Discover Financial Services.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering from the Colorado School of Mines and an MBA at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.