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Apex Awards - 2011 Judges
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2011 Company Award Judges

Matthew Cavarra, Of Counsel, Holland & Hart
David Cohen, Founder & CEO, TechStars
Alison Dunnebecke, Tax Partner, Hein & Associates
Mary Cay Kosten, VP Global Customer Support, EMC
Robert Reich, Founder, OpenRiot & Boulder Denver New Tech Meetup
Bill Soards, President - Colorado, AT&T

2011 Individual Award Judges

Christian Dwyer, SVP & General Manager, MapQuest
Carl Fitch, CEO, Statera
Stacey Fornstrom, Denver Public Schools and 2010 Top Tech Teacher award recipient
Linda Gonzalez, Executive Director IT Development, Starz Entertainment
Seth Levine, Managing Director, Foundry Group
Diane Sharrock, IT Director, CH2M HILL, Inc

Special Top Tech Teacher Judges from Colorado Technology Association Education Committee
Evan Call, Manager of Business Development, iBeta Quality Assurance
Lisa Gardner, Client Services Executive, Hewlett Packard
Kevin Keelan, CIBER
Steven Nichols, Director of Business Development, Mission Critical Systems
Audrey Thompson, NS - Public Sector, Hewlett Packard

Bios of Judges

Matthew N. Cavarra, Of Counsel, Holland & Hart
Mr. Cavarra concentrates his practice on advising technology, communications and Internet companies with respect to the licensing, acquisition, outsourcing, development, monetization, and protection of intellectual property. He has extensive experience, both locally and globally, negotiating technology contracts and acquisitions. Mr. Cavarra has managed multiple large intellectual property acquisitions, including the acquisition and integration of $250 million in intellectual property assets from a leading telecommunications hardware and software vendor. His experience in the telecommunications, Internet and cable industries also includes negotiating licensing and outsourcing agreements in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, India, Malaysia, Mexico, and the United Kingdom.

Prior to joining Holland & Hart, Mr. Cavarra served as Vice President, General Counsel & Corporate Development of IQNavigator, a market-leading software-as-a-service company. Mr. Cavarra also served as Vice President and Chief Counsel for CSG Systems, a provider of outsourced billing, customer care, and print & mail solutions. While in these roles, Mr. Cavarra directed virtually all aspects of his client's global legal requirements and worked extensively with the company's executives to develop and execute upon domestic and international corporate growth strategies.

David Cohen, Founder and CEO, TechStars
David Cohen is the founder and CEO of TechStars, a mentorship-driven seed stage investment program for Internet startups.  Previously, David was a founder of several software and web technology companies. He was the founder and CTO of Pinpoint Technologies which was acquired by ZOLL Medical Corporation (NASDAQ: ZOLL) in 1999. You can read about it in No Vision, All Drive [Amazon]. David was also the founder and CEO of, a music service which was sold to in 2006. He also had what he likes to think of as a "graceful failure" in between.

David is a active startup advocate, advisor, board member, and technology advisor who comments on these topics on his blog at He is also very active at the University of Colorado, serving as a member of the Board of Advisors of the Computer Science Department, the Entrepreneurial Advisory Board at Silicon Flatirons, and the Board of Advisors of the Deming Center Venture Fund. David is also a member of the selection committee for Venture Capital in the Rockies, and runs the Colorado chapter of the Open Angel Forum.

David’s hobbies are technology, software/web startups, business history, and tennis. He is married to the coolest girl he's ever met and has three amazing kids who always seem to be teaching him something new.

Alison Dunnebecke, CPA, Tax Partner, Denver, Hein & Associates
Alison has 25 years of professional experience providing public and private companies with a wide range of tax compliance and tax planning services, including federal and multi-state tax matters. She works closely with her clients during periods of significant change in their businesses, providing support for entity planning, transaction structuring, buy/sell agreements, and other important strategic matters. She regularly consults with clients in highly specialized areas such as revenue recognition, FASB 109, Section 382 issues (Net Operating Losses), and Section 280G issues (Golden Parachutes).  Alison serves as the National Director for HEIN & ASSOCIATES LLP’s Technology Practice Area. In addition to high technology, she has significant experience in the manufacturing and distribution and real estate industries.  Prior to joining HEIN & ASSOCIATES LLP in 1989, Alison was a Tax Supervisor for Laventhol & Horwath in their Denver office. She is currently a member of the Colorado Technology Association, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), past Chair and Vice Chair of the Colorado Society of Certified Public Accountants (CSCPA) State Taxation Committee, and serves on as the Finance Committee Chair of the YMCA.  Alison obtained her Bachelor of Science in Accounting and her Masters in Professional Accountancy from the University of Utah.

Christian Dwyer, SVP & GM, MapQuest
As General Manager of MapQuest, Christian Dwyer is a key participant in determining the business strategy and vision. He is responsible for business operations and for leading the three major business groups of, wireless and licensing/developer solutions. Prior to moving into GM role, Christian served as the VP of the Platform Services business unit, where he was instrumental in driving revenue and distribution of the geospatial web-service platform. In addition, Christian served as the VP of Operations, focusing on developing and managing strategic vendor partnerships as well as program management, including the implementation of Agile/Scrum product development practices. Prior to joining MapQuest, he was a founding member of, an online auto buying service, where he served as the VP of Business Operations through the acquisition by Microsoft CarPoint in 2000. Christian also worked for 7 years in various roles for Navidec, Inc, a software development organization, where he was also a founding member. Christian also co-founded ACI Components, Inc., a technology import and distribution firm. Christian holds a MS degree in Finance from the University of Colorado, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Carl Fitch, CEO, Statera
Carl has over 20 years of experience as a leader in the IT consulting industry.  He joined Statera as CEO in 2002, reuniting the successful management team that founded and grew Raymond James Consulting from a start-up in 1992 to a company earning over $70 million in revenue with 400 employees in a six-state region by 2000. Prior to joining Statera, Carl was a partner with Zurich, Switzerland-based Executive Wealth Management, Ltd. (EWM). Before EWM, Carl was the CEO/President of Immedient Corporation (formerly Raymond James Consulting). In addition, Carl demonstrated his leadership skills early in his career with Arthur Andersen & Co.’s Management Information Consulting Division, now known as Accenture. He also served as the Corporate Director of Database Consulting of Cap Gemini America.  An honors graduate from the University of Denver with a B.S. in Chemistry in 1982 and a M.B.A. in Finance in 1983, Carl is a published author on relational database technology and has been quoted in Computer World, Software Magazine, and Enterprise Systems Journal.  Carl’s ability to manage cash flow, monitor expenses and grow organically in turbulent times has ensured Statera’s success from start-up to approaching $50 million in revenue currently. Carl also heads up the delivery side of Statera’s business and is responsible for over 100+ successful client engagements on average a year.  Carl is on the Board of Colorado Technology Association and Executive Board for the Denver Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America.  He also serves on the Board of the Country Club at Castle Pines and has served on the Board of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Denver.  He is the past Chairman of the Foundation Board for Littleton Hospital.

Stacey Fornstrom, Denver Public Schools and 2010 Recipient Top Tech Teacher of the Year Award
Stacey Fornstrom started teaching high school at TJ when the Computer Magnet Program opened here in 2000. Prior to that he was a consultant, helping businesses install new computer systems and customize them to fit their needs.

Linda Gonzalez, Executive Director - IT Support, Starz Entertainment
Linda is the Executive Director of IT Support for Starz Entertainment with responsibility spanning over the Database, Business Intelligence and Software Support Organization.  Linda has over 20 years of experience in IT.  Fourteen of which was spent in DOD within the Computer Operations, COBOL programming, Project Management and Client Server development.  After moving to Starz in 1996 as a Software Developer/DBA, she expanded her career through opportunities within Starz including the management of all Software Development efforts including Web Design, Network Operations and Administration, Software Development, DBA, Software Support and BI.  During this time, she established IT software standards, policies and procedures which include the implementation of SOX for Starz Entertainment and Liberty Media.  Linda has experienced many opportunities and successes, which have progressed into growth in many aspects within IT and business areas.  Her technical background, operations experience, and years of IT experience allow for an increased ability to determine IT business challenges, analysis and budgets, purchasing, analytical reporting, personnel procurement and interpretation of legal documents as well as project management & management of highly technical teams.

Mary Cay Kosten , Vice President Global Customer Support, EMC
Mary Cay Kosten is responsible for creating and driving field service strategy and programs, logistics, and escalation management for EMC’s 3,000-person global team supporting EMC’s customer base.

Mary Cay has over 25 years of experience in service and supplier management, with a proven track record in building outstanding service delivery organizations. Prior to joining EMC, she was Vice President of Global Customer Services Delivery for Oracle/Sun Microsystems, responsible for delivering all elements of Sun's support services. At Sun Microsystems, she also served as Vice President of Customer Services for the Americas Region and Vice President for the Americas Customer Care Center.

Under her leadership, Sun achieved the prestigious J.D. Power and Associates Certified Technology Service and Support (CTSS) award for "An Outstanding Customer Service Experience," the Service & Support Professionals Association (SSPA) award for Excellence in Service Operations, and was inducted into the SSPA Hall of Fame.   Mary Cay is a 2008 recipient of the Denver Business Journal's Outstanding Women in Business (High Tech and Telecommunications) award and a 2006 recipient of the Silicon Valley YWCA Tribute to Women and Industry (TWIN) award. She holds an MS degree in Systems Management from the University of Southern California and a BS in Marketing from the University of West Florida.

Seth Le
vine, Managing Director, Foundry Group
career spans venture capital investing as well as operational, transactional and advisory roles at both public and private companies. Prior to co-founding Foundry Group, Seth began his venture capital career at Mobius Venture Capital.

He currently serves on the boards of AdMeld, Integrate, Lijit, Mandelbrot Project, Medialets, StockTwits, Trada and Triggit for Foundry Group. 

Prior to Mobius Venture Capital, Seth joined a restart of the data communications company, FirstWorld Communications. He was the third employee of a new management team with a goal to transition what had been a traditional competitive local exchange carrier ("CLEC”) into the data and Internet world. Seth was the corporate finance half of the CFO position where he started and led the finance, mergers and acquisitions and investor relations groups. Seth then led the IPO process for FirstWorld’s IPO in 2000 and negotiated simultaneous equity investments from Microsoft, SAIC and Lucent Technologies, eventually raising over $260 million from the IPO and these side-by-side equity transactions. When the company decided to focus on its data center and hosting business, Seth assumed operational control of the remainder of the business and led the Internet service provider, telephony and network integration portions of the company, representing in total approximately $40 million in revenue. He managed the sale of these lines of business in 2001.

Prior to joining FirstWorld, Seth joined the business development group of ICG Communications, a Colorado-based CLEC where he led their mergers and acquisitions practice and worked on strategic partnerships. Previously, he was an investment banker in Morgan Stanley’s telecommunications corporate finance practice, where Seth completed numerous equity, debt, restructurings, mergers and acquisitions assignments.

Previous investment successes in which Seth has been involved include Dante Group (acq. by WEBM), FeedBurner (acq. by GOOG), Feld Group (acq. by EDS) and ServiceMagic (acq. by IAC).

Seth is a summa cum laude graduate of Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. He is active throughout the entrepreneurial community in Colorado. Seth is a member of the board of CU Denver’s Bard Center for Entrepreneurship, Chair of the 2009 Boulder Chamber of Commerce ESPRIT Awards, and a member of the advisory board of High Country Ventures. Seth was previously a member of the board of the Denver chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth.

Seth is an avid outdoorsman and enjoys spending his free time cycling, snowboarding and mountaineering, as well as spending time with his family. He writes a blog on technology, investing and living in Colorado at

Robert Reich, Founder, OneRiot & Founder of Boulder Denver New Tech Meetup
Robert Reich is a founder and creator of OneRiot’s patent pending algorithm, which is the technology that makes OneRiot unique in the Real Time Space. He founded Add-On-Con, a conference focused on the development and marketing of Add-ons, Started and hosts the monthly Boulder Denver New Technology. He actively speaks at different technology conference and currently sits on the entrepreneurial advisory board for CU, Boulder Digital Works and is a OneRiot board member. Prior to founding OneRiot, Robert was the founder and CEO of Ecosystems, a software company focused on selling collaboration technologies to the global 2000.

Diane Sharrock, IT Director, CH2M HILL, Inc.
Diane is currently an IT Director for a large, engineering company based in Denver, Colorado – CH2M HILL.  She is truly a "global” professional.  After graduating from the University of Washington with a BA in Economics she ventured overseas, biking across Australia.  She began her professional career working and living in the outback, providing accounting and IT services at an abattoirs and casino for 3 years.  Upon returning to the US after extensive travel through Southeast Asia she began working with CH2M HILL in 1989.  In her 20 years with the company she had helped build a world class IT shop across their global business by building strategic plans, managing large IT project rollouts (Oracle HRMS, BackOffice, MS Exchange, Technical Help Desk, Disaster Recovery data center, etc.) and eventually helping to manage their global IT infrastructure and people.

Bill Soards, President - Colorado, AT&T
Appointed in April of 2009, Soards is responsible for all external affairs for AT&T in the state which includes state and local government relations, community affairs, regulatory and legislative activities, and initiatives before the Colorado General Assembly and Colorado’s Public Utilities Commission.  Prior to becoming state president, Soards was Assistant Vice President of Public Affairs for AT&T’s Midwest region working in Chicago, IL. Coordinating public policy campaigns, managing research, message development, third parties, and foundation activities in five Midwestern states were among his chief responsibilities.  Soards began his career in public policy in 1994 as a partner at Livengood Soards & Associates in Indianapolis, IN.  In 2000, he joined AT&T (then Ameritech) as Director of Government Relations.  In 2006, Soards helped lead the state effort to deregulate the telecom industry and establish a statewide system for cable franchising and video competition.  That legislation, The Indiana Telecom Reform Act, was signed into law in March of 2006 by Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels and continues to attract jobs and investment across the state.

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