KCnext: The Technology Council of Greater Kansas City

Board of Directors

Todd Applegate, General Manager
1102 Grand

Todd R. Applegate, General Manager, has been with 1102 GRAND since 2006. He is responsible for managing all day-to-day business functions, as well as ongoing construction and infrastructure upgrade projects in the facility. Prior to joining 1102 GRAND, Todd spent seven years as a Sale Engineer for Birch Telecom.

Mark Williams, President and Chief Operating Officer
Fishnet Security

Since joining Fishnet Security in 2009, Mark has led the company through a period of substantial growth, averaging more than $100 million of organic revenue growth each year. Mark oversees all sales, financial and operational activities for Fishnet. In 2011 Mark secured a substantial incentive package from the State of Kansas, which enabled the company to build its state of the art world headquarters in Overland Park. In 2012, Mark led the sale of Fishnet to InvestCorp, a large private equity firm with more than $12 billion of assets under management.

Prior to joining Fishnet, Mark spent six years with Mediware Information Systems Inc., a publicly traded healthcare technology company, where he served as its CFO. During his tenure, he successfully led an operational turnaround, completed 5 acquisitions and produced 13 consecutive quarters of revenue and EPS growth prior to his departure. Mark also spent more than 10 years in public accounting where he gained significant experience with mergers, acquisitions and the capital markets.

Mark earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Wichita State University and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Financial Executives International. In 2012 the Kansas City Business Journal named Mark its CFO of the Year.

Nancy Russell, Executive Director and Dean
Metropolitan Community College

Nancy Russell is Executive Director and Dean for MCC – Institute for Workforce Innovation (IWI).    She leads MCC’s efforts to provide rapid response, high quality employee training and consulting services to business, industry and non-profits in the Kansas City metropolitan area. In addition, her team assists employers with their applications to obtain state training fund dollars in both Missouri and Kansas. IWI also offers courses in allied health, CDL, logistics, IT, and OSHA courses to meet regional demand. Russell joined MCC in June 2012 as Dean of Instructional Services at its Longview campus.

Russell’s background in higher education includes 11 years at Pima Community College in Tucson, where she served in several senior leadership roles. She previously successfully led a private Episcopal school through a major turn-around and has served in management positions in the construction and telecommunications industries.

Regan Carrizales, CEO
Silicon Prairie News

Regan Carrizales works to support and grow the regional entrepreneurial ecosystem as the CEO for the digital media site Silicon Prairie News. With a background in the nonprofit and local government sectors, Regan now is a leader in the regional startup community. A startup itself, Silicon Prairie News works to highlight and support entrepreneurs throughout the Kansas City region

Matt Denney, Owner
StarRecruit, LLC

Matt Denney is the owner of StarRecruit, LLC. He is also the former Director of HR for BATS Trading and Tradebot Systems. While at BATS, Matt was one of the early members of the team that helped grow the Exchange by finding and recruiting  great employees. During his time there, he saw the trading volume grow.  First doubling, then tripling, and then eventually hitting one billion shares traded a day.

After his stint at BATS, he followed the founder of BATS back to Tradebot, resulting in tripling the number of employees at the firm, and helping the company reach several record-breaking profitable years.  After partnering with these firms to find star employees, Matt is back to helping other companies reach new heights.

Bill Graff, Senior Vice President

Bill Graff, senior vice president of Cerner Technology Services at Cerner Corporation, is responsible for Cerner corporate and CernerWorksSM managed services technical infrastructure and data centers worldwide. Graff oversees Cerner’s data center facility operations, computing infrastructure, enterprise security and corporate applications portfolio. Additionally, he is responsible for the deployment and operation of Cerner’s cloud infrastructure.

Graff’s team supports data center operations in seven countries, providing technology services and critical infrastructure technology for more than 350 managed services clients and more than 12,000 Cerner associates. Graff joined Cerner in 2005 as a senior manager of Technology Infrastructure. Prior to joining Cerner, he had 17 years of experience in various IT roles, spanning retail, nuclear and fossil power generation and petrochemical industries. 

Lirel Holt, President/CEO
U, Incorporated

Lirel Holt is CEO of U, Inc. an Overland Park, Kansas based information technology company comprised of an e-learning division and an augmentation division located in Chennai, India. Early in his career, Mr. Holt helped architect and market business operations and financial software for the 3M Company. Mr. Holt is a former Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year who was recognized for founding and building the largest collision repair business in the world, CARSTAR. He is a graduate of UMKC.

Greg Kratofil, Attorney/Shareholder
Polsinelli Shughart PC

Mr. Kratofil provides legal counsel on a wide variety of matters for today’s technology companies, including startup formation, venture capital financing, and intellectual property based joint ventures. He also handles copyright and trademark protection, software development and licensing, as well as drafting and reviewing various hosting, consulting, procurement, network and systems development contracts.

Mr. Kratofil’s experience includes complex technology and commercial contracting transactions, technology and software-based mergers and acquisitions, as well as compliance with GLB, HIPAA, state privacy breach notification laws and other privacy directives.

Ed Link, Senior Vice President, Information Technology

Ed Link joined the Garmin team in 2006 as the director of information technology and was promoted to vice president in July 2007. As VP of IT, Link is responsible for the seamless integration of Garmin’s worldwide information systems. Link came to Garmin after 15 years at Butler Manufacturing where he was responsible for delivery of Butler’s information systems.

Link earned his bachelor’s in information systems from Park University and his master’s in business administration from the Bloch School of Business at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Kyle Mallot, Vice President
DST Systems

Kyle Mallot has been in the technology industry for two decades. At DST Systems, he is responsible for identifying and establishing new businesses with DST’s US Investment Record Keeping Division. He has led the development of multiple products, which have become standards in the financial services industry.

Bob Marcusse, President and CEO
Kansas City Area Development Council

Bob has over 30 years of economic development experience. He has an extensive background in domestic and international corporate attraction, business growth and retention, and regional marketing. He has spearheaded major growth initiatives in the region such as the Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute and the KC Animal Health Corridor.

He also created a focus on transportation and logistics – founding KC SmartPort – and a focus on IT companies through KCnext. Bob has a Master of Science degree from Purdue University. He leads a team of 20 at KCADC, which was just named the #2 regional development agency in the United States by its North American clients. He joined KCADC in 1991.

Scott Choquette, Managing Director – Communications, Media and Technology industry group

Scott Choquette is a managing director in Accenture’s communications, media and technology industry group. He has 16 years of experience working with companies in those industries.

Choquette has worked with global wireless and wireline carriers, wireless startups, retailers and software companies. His experiences include solution architect, PMO, requirements definition, vendor assessments, OSS/BSS implementations, business startups, wireless, retail, care, enterprise integration and software design.

Choquette received a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental engineering from the University of Nebraska. 

Kevin McGinnis, Vice President of Development and Operations
Pinsight Media

Kevin McGinnis is vice president of Development and Operations for Pinsight Media, a division of Sprint. In his role, he manages all aspects of development, technology planning and operations for the emerging market focus of Pinsight Media. In the 2-plus years prior to his current role, Kevin led the Product Platforms and Services organization at Sprint and throughout his career at Sprint performed in a multitude of functions and various stages of new and emerging businesses – long distance, Internet, wireless and wireline. This range of experience has established Kevin as a thought leader in the wireless industry. During the past year, Kevin has been the driving force behind much of the corporate involvement in the entrepreneurial community in Kansas City and the region. Most recently, Sprint announced the Sprint Mobile Health Accelerator, powered by Techstars. The three-month intensive mentorship program for startups will begin in March 2014. Kevin has been instrumental in orchestrating collaboration between corporations in Kansas City in support of the local startup community. Under Kevin’s leadership, Sprint partnered with UMKC to secure the i6 Grant to launch Digital Sandbox KC, launched the Sprint Mentor Network and is an ongoing supporter of the Kauffman Foundation’s 1 Million Cups, Pipeline Entrepreneurs, Silicon Prairie News, Startup Weekend and other initiatives.

Kevin graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communication. He currently serves on the KU Center for Entrepreneurship Board of Advisors and the Digital Sandbox KC Board of Advisors. Follow him on Twitter @mcginnis_k for topics ranging from mobile, product and entrepreneurship to KU sports, sociology and being the father of teenage daughters.

Keith Molzer, General Partner

Keith has been an entrepreneur for more than 25 years and started a variety of companies in the KAnsas City region. For the past nine years, Keith served as founder and CEO of Balance Innovations, the leading developer of cash office management software solutions for the retail industry. Keith founded the company in 2004 and led it through its growth from a staff of five and several hundred installations to a multi-product company with more than 80 team members and 8,500 contracted installations in North America.

Prior to starting Balance Innovations, Keith founded a consulting practice, Entrepreneurial Consulting Corporation, that advised startups, economic development agencies, nonprofits and the federal government. His clients included the State of Kansas (KTEC), the Kauffman Foundation, the State of Maine, and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST).

Keith is active with many local startups. He is an angel investor and currently has eight active investments. Keith was recognized as Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2010 and has received the Kansas City Business Journal‘s Champions of Business award three times. Keith sits on the board of Balance Innovations and KCnext and serves as the Network and Communications chair for the Kansas City chapter of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO). Keith was active in Kansas Pipeline and served as a mentor in 2010 and 2011. Keith attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and earned his bachelor’s degree from Baker University and his M.B.A. from Rockhurst University.

George Hansen, President and CEO
Enterprise Center of Johnson County

George Hansen is the CEO of the Enterprise Center of Johnson County and the Executive Director of Mid-America Angels LLC. Most recently, George was CEO of Zave Network, an online commerce company where he led the company through an acquisition by Google. He has also worked as a director of TGP Investments, and held CEO-level leadership roles at Midwest-based Corporate Lodging and CARSTAR. George has also held senior positions at Thorn EMI, PLC, Denny’s Inc. and Wendy’s International

Mr. Hansen has more than 30 years of experience managing businesses in multiple industries in both North America and Europe. In addition to managing for exceptional growth he has also been principally involved in a variety of transaction types including acquisitions, de-mergers, and exits in both the public and private markets.

A graduate of the University of Maine, George also holds a certificate in Management from Columbia University.

Tim Johnson, Professor of Practice – Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
The University of Kansas Edwards Campus

Tim Johnson has more than 20 years of industry and university experience providing executive and technical leadership focused on business strategies, the development of software and information technologies (IT) and education. Tim is a professor of practice in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Kansas and is passionate about IT. His industry experiences include helping to establish several new tech-based companies, as well as working for small and large corporations. He is past vice president of innovation and technology for The IDEA Center, Inc. Additionally, he served as the executive director for the Information and Telecommunication Center (ITTC) at the University of Kansas, working with industry and leading the technology commercialization efforts of the Center. Tim’s executive leadership includes many executive- and board-level positions in higher education, hi-tech companies and IT-focused professional organizations. Tim completed an MS degree in electrical engineering from Kansas State University.

Jeromee Johnson, Vice President, Head of BATS Options
BATS Global Markets

Jeromee Johnson joined BATS Global Markets in March 2009 as vice president of market development. He leads BATS Options, the company’s U.S. equity options exchange.

Previously, Jeromee was president of 3D Markets, a nationally recognized provider of software and technology for institutional equity options trading. He was instrumental in designing and launching Archangel, the first “dark pool” trading network in U.S. equity options. Prior to 3D Markets, Jeromee was a senior analyst and consultant with TABB Group, the financial markets research and advisory firm. Before TABB, Jeromee was director of product development and professional services for UNX, an agency brokerage and provider of electronic trading tools for institutional investors. 

Jeromee is the author of a number of seminal industry titles, including “Locating the Invisible: Aggregating Dark Book Liquidity,” and “Trading at Light Speed: Analyzing Low Latency Market Data Infrastructure.” He holds Series 4, 7, 24, 63 and 65 licenses.

Brian Anderson, Chief Technology Officer
Perceptive Software

Brian Anderson is chief technology officer for Perceptive Software. He is responsible for global research and development of all Perceptive Software products and solutions.

Previously, Anderson served as vice president of product management, leading Perceptive Software product strategy.

Anderson joined Perceptive as a software engineer in 2004 and became principal architect and development manager during his five years with the company. He rejoined Perceptive in 2012.

Before joining Perceptive, Anderson worked in software development across a range of industries, including telecommunications (Sprint), health care (Cerner), and financial services (Tradebot Systems). 

Anderson received a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Kansas.


David Robinson, Chief Information Officer, Senior Vice President

As the chief information officer and senior vice president at Lockton, David Robinson has defined and executed the strategies for the electronic foundation on which Lockton Companies has aggressively built and expanded as the largest privately held broker in the world.

Robinson has more than 25 years experience in information technology, including the past 18 years managing corporate technology and telecommunication organizations. He has had an active role in the explosive growth and use of technology in many diverse industries, including manufacturing, government and financial services.

Prior to joining Lockton, Robinson was an assistant vice president for Employers Reinsurance Corporation, a General Electric company. Before that, he worked for 14 years in a variety of IT management and staff positions for Honeywell Aerospace, formerly AlliedSignal and the Bendix Corporation, as part of a prime contract under the Department of Energy.