Board of Directors
We've assembled a team of Internet veterans who have helped create some of the most globally successful scalable platforms, technology products, services and brands.
- John Connors – Partner, Ignition Partners
- Russell Hagen – Senior Vice President, Business Development, Plum Creek Timber Company
- Colleen B. Brown – President and Chief Executive Officer, Fisher Communications
- Gerry Langeler – Partner, OVP Venture Partners
- Howard Smith - Managing Director of First Analysis
- Satbir Khanuja – President and Chief Executive Officer, DataSphere
- Tim O'Neil – Chief Financial Officer
John Connors – Partner, Ignition Partners
John Connors is a partner at Ignition Partners, LLC, the premier venture capital firm in the Pacific Northwest. He invests principally in business software and services.
Prior to joining Ignition, John served for five years as chief financial officer of Microsoft Corporation, capping a 16-year career at the company. Previously, Connors held a number of senior positions, including vice president of the Worldwide Enterprise Group, vice president and chief information officer (CIO), corporate controller, general manager of worldwide financial operations, director of business operations of Microsoft’s European headquarters in Paris, and director of business operations of the Worldwide Sales and Support Strategy Group.
John is a member of the Board of Directors of Nike and a number of private companies.
John received his BA in Accounting from the University of Montana. He also received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Montana.
Russell S. Hagen – Senior Vice President, Business Development, Plum Creek Timber Company
Russell Hagen is vice president of energy and renewable resources at Plum Creek. He oversees the company’s business development activities, including acquisitions and dispositions, while continuing to manage the Energy and Natural Resource business.
Hagen began his career in 1988 with PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he was a certified public accountant and led the audits of public clients in the technology, banking and natural resource industries. He joined Plum Creek in 1993 as manager of internal audit and has since held positions of increasing responsibility at the company, including director-level positions in accounting, financial operations and information technology. Prior to taking his current role, he was vice president of real estate. This role included oversight of the company’s real estate activities as well as natural resources, and was responsible for the development of the company’s oil and gas, construction materials, and water resources assets.
Hagen received a Bachelor of Science in Business and Accounting from Seattle University.
He serves on the Board of Advisors of the Seattle University business school where he has also been an adjunct lecturer.
Colleen B. Brown – President and Chief Executive Officer, Fisher Communications
Colleen B. Brown was elected President and CEO of Fisher Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: FSCI) in October 2005 and to their Board of Directors in 2006. She is responsible for all aspects of Fisher Communications, including the operation of Fisher’s 20 television stations and eight radio stations, and Fisher Interactive Network, which includes 125 hyperlocal sites.
Brown currently serves as founder and chair of the Mobile500 Alliance and on the board of the Open Mobile Video Coalition, DataSphere, Inc., Port Blakely Companies, Washington Roundtable, University of Washington Foster School of Business, Seattle University Albers School of Business, and the United Way of King County.
Brown began her career in 1980 at Gannett, an international news and information company. She rose through the ranks of KUSA-TV in Denver, Colorado to become vice president and station manager. In 1991 she was named president and general manager of Gannett’s WFMY-TV in Greensboro, North Carolina. She moved to Phoenix in 1995 as President and General Manager of Gannett’s television operations in Arizona. She also spearheaded strategic planning for Gannett’s Television Group. After Gannett, she served as president of the Lee Broadcast Group, owned by Lee Enterprises, Inc., a multimedia company based in Davenport, Iowa. Brown was then appointed senior vice president at Dallas based Belo Corporation, one of the nation’s largest media companies. While there she was responsible for Belo Interactive, all Spanish-language initiatives, Business Development and their Texas Broadcast and Cable properties.
Brown graduated summa cum laude with a double major in political science and business administration from the University of Dubuque as a Presidential Scholar. She is a national winner of General Motors marketing competition and holds an MBA from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Gerry Langeler – Partner, OVP Venture Partners
Gerry Langeler joined OVP Venture Partners in 1992 and focuses on investments in the digital energy, software, imaging and digital biology sectors. His investments include Captivate Network, Carbonflow, Elekom, EnerG2, Foundstone, Max-Viz, Now Software, Portland Software, Preview Systems, Surplus Software, TView, Unify, Vascular Solutions, Viral Logic Systems Technology (VLST), and Webridge. In addition to DataSphere, he currently serves on the Board of Directors of Collaborative Software Initiative, CradlePoint, EnerG2 and Max-Viz and is a Board Observer to Serus, Tigo Energy and Viral Logic Systems Technology (VLST).
Prior to joining OVP, Gerry was co-founder of Mentor Graphics Corporation (NASDAQ: MENT) in Portland, OR in 1981. There he served as President, and over eleven years helped lead Mentor through its IPO to over $400M in worldwide sales and over $1B in market capitalization. He began his technology career at Tektronix.
Gerry received his AB in Chemistry from Cornell University and his MBA from Harvard University.
Howard Smith – Managing Director, First Analysis
Howard Smith is a managing director coordinating investment and research in broadband enabled businesses. He specializes in business models based on information technology. At First Analysis, he’s built several information technology research franchises, including computer telephony, call center products, computer security, and Internet infrastructure. His work has been cited for excellence by the Wall Street Journal and other publications. He’s provided strategic advice to numerous technology companies in capital raising and buy- and sell-side M&A transactions, and as a board member. Prior to joining First Analysis in 1994, he was a senior tax consultant with Arthur Andersen & Co. He earned an MBA from the University of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is a certified public accountant.
Tim O'Neil – Chief Financial Officer
Tim leads the finance and administration organization at DataSphere and brings extensive experience to the role, having previously served as CFO of two public companies. Prior to joining DataSphere, Tim served as chief financial officer of Loud Technologies (NASDAQ: LTEC), a world-recognized loudspeaker and audio equipment company with over $200M in revenues (brands include Alvarez, Ampeg, Crate and others). At Loud, Tim managed all finance and administration functions, was a leader in several M&A transactions and helped usher in a new level of profitability for the company.
Prior to Loud, Tim was chief financial officer of Trendwest Resorts (NASDAQ:TWRI) which marketed, sold, and financed timeshare vacation ownership interests and developed the Suncadia all-season resort community in the Southern Cascade Mountains of Washington. At Trendwest, Tim served as a member of the executive team which grew the company to $600 million in revenues, 4000 employees, and an $800 million consumer loan portfolio with over 100,000 customers under management. Trendwest was acquired by Cendant Corporation in 2002, creating over a billion dollars in shareholder value. Tim began his finance career in corporate banking, spending 10 years with Bank One Corporation as a vice president and corporate relationship manager. He holds a BA in Business Administration from John Carroll University and an MBA from the University of Detroit.
Satbir Khanuja – President and Chief Executive Officer, DataSphere
Satbir Khanuja is responsible for leading the overall growth and managing day-to-day operations of DataSphere Technologies. He previously served as SecondSpace’s senior vice president of marketing and business development, responsible for the company’s partnership, traffic-building and revenue-generating initiatives. He also spent seven years at Amazon.com as a member of the executive team and was vice president of Amazon.com's Worldwide Traffic organization, responsible for driving billions of dollars in sales through free and paid traffic to all Amazon.com websites worldwide. Previously, he was vice president and general manager of Amazon.com’s IMDb.com and In-Theater businesses, where he created all business functions and built the division into one of the 50 most-trafficked websites in the world. Prior to Amazon.com, Satbir spent several years as an engagement manager at McKinsey & Company, where he led projects in several industries, including electronics and banking. He holds a Ph.D. in Ceramics Engineering from MIT and a B.Tech. degree from IIT in Bombay, India.