I am a husband to my amazing wife Clare O'Dower, father to my amazing daughter and dog Bear. I live in Chicago.
I'm a leader that loves to build and lead teams to break new ground in the changing technology landscape.
I am currently the CEO of Carlease.com. We're a venture backed startup changing the way people get the car of their dreams.
I was previously Chief Product Officer at Curiosity, which I helped start from scratch inside an R&D team inside Discovery Communications. In 2013, Curiosity was a few slides in a powerpoint deck. Now it reaches 75M people a month around the world. I led all product research, development and operations from the beginning, through a $6M series A with Chicago's best investors, $2.5 series A1 and building the team from 2 to 25 amazing people.
In addition to leading company product strategy, I led a team of amazing engineers and designers executing on our vision for Curiosity, including all front-end web apps, iOS, Android. Curiosity.com is a recently funded startup spun out of Discovery Communications. Read all about that here.
Before starting Curiosity, I was the Director of Product Management for cars.com's mobile apps (iPhone, iPad, Android) and mobile web where I led a team of product management groups to innovate constantly while supporting a $400M revenue stream. Before that I was the Group Product Manager of the cars.com website, where I lead a very large team of people supporting 25M monthly car shoppers, thousands of car dealers and millions of car listings.
Before Cars.com, I founded, then moved my startup Beyond Credentials from Chicago from Denver in 2011 to join one of the hardest/best/craziest web startup accelerators in the country, Excelerate Labs (now Techstars Chicago). As of Feb 2012: Beyond Credentials Inc., including beyondcredentials.com and introfly.com have been sold and are now owned by NorthBridge Staffing Inc. It was a fun ride building the company, joining TechStars' Network accelerator Excelerate Labs in Chicago and building an incredible network of friends and mentors. I learned more than I ever thought possible.
I co-founded Beyond Credentials in 2008 to give young professionals a tool to sell themselves to companies they are passionate about.
I co-founded IntroFly during Excelerate Labs (now Techstars) in the summer of 2011. The premise: if you want to do work you love, and meet the right people to help you make that happen. We helped you leverage your entire social graph in a directed way to get you 'off the computer and into the coffee shops' where connections happen.
Before founding two companies, I worked at Crispin Porter +Bogusky, the infamous advertising and creative factory in Boulder, CO in 2008. Awarded 2008's National Ad Agency of the Year by Adweek. It churned out the best creative in the industry, while propelling it's clients to new levels in a ridiculously tough economy. I loved the challenge developing content for GAP Inc. brands and I hope to sit on the other side of the table as a CP+B client some day.
Before CP+B, I created and led marketing strategies with great success as the Director of Marketing for XIKAR Inc through 2008. I continued to consult with the company through their latest marketing and branding initiatives, including the launch of the 92 Cigar Aficionado rated HC Series line. From its Kansas City, MO headquarters, XIKAR is the world’s leading designer of cigar cutters, along with a full line of premium cigars, cigar accessories, lighters, humidification devices and humidors. XIKAR products are sold through more than 3,000 dealers worldwide.
Degrees aside, I am lifelong learner and am constantly reading new books, articles and taking online classes to improve my skills. More importantly, I do these things because I'm passionate about constantly become a more effective person.
I earned my MBA from Rockhurst University; an AACSB accredited, business-school-with-a-conscience in 2006. And I received the first half of my real life MBA over a 5 year, trial-by-fire experience directing marketing and communications strategy under President Kurt Van Keppel at XIKAR Inc.