Kyle Lefkoff – Chairman
Founder and General Partner of Boulder Ventures Ltd., a Boulder, Colorado-based venture capital fund with over $350 million in committed capital in six separate partnerships. In his twenty-eight year career as a venture capitalist, Mr. Lefkoff has invested in 56 Colorado companies, resulting in twelve IPOs and sixteen trade sales.
Mr. Lefkoff’s representative life science investments include Hauser Chemical Research (NASDAQ: HAUS); NeXstar Pharmaceuticals (sold to Gilead Sciences), Array BioPharma (NASDAQ: ARRY), Dharmacon (sold to Fisher Scientific), Genomica (sold to Exelixis), ARCA Biopharma (NASDAQ: ABIO), BiOptix and Miragen Therapeutics.
Representative information technology investments include McData (sold to EMC); Atlantes Corp. (sold to Metromail); Compatible Systems Corp. (sold to Cisco Systems); Wall Street on Demand (sold to Goldman Sachs), Lefthand Networks (sold to HP), LineRate Systems (sold to F5), and MarketForce Information.
Representative natural foods retailing investments include Horizon Organic Dairy (sold to Dean Foods); Alfalfa’s Markets (sold to Wild Oats); and Fresh & Wild PLC (sold to Whole Foods).
Mr. Lefkoff is the Chairman of the Board of Array BioPharma (NASDAQ: ARRY) and of BaroFold. He is a Director of Miragen Therapeutics, BiOptix, MarketForce, and Trust Company of America. He is the past Chairman of the Venture Capital Association of Colorado, a Director of University License Equity Holding Inc. (ULEHI) at CU, and is an Adjunct Professor of Finance at the University of Colorado Leeds School of Business.
Mr. Lefkoff received his B.A. in Economics from Vassar College (summa cum laude) in 1981. In 1980, Mr. Lefkoff completed a Fellowship in Economic History at the London School of Economics. In 1985, he completed his MBA in Finance at the University of Chicago.
Mr. Lefkoff is an experienced alpinist and mountain guide, with difficult ascents to his credit in the French Alps, Peruvian Andes, and the major ranges of North America. He was a member of the 1986 American Expedition to the North Face of K2. Mr. Lefkoff is a Lifetime Member and former Director of the American Mountain Guides Association, and has also served as a Director and Treasurer of The Access Fund, a national climbing advocacy organization. Mr. Lefkoff is a Director of the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE), the avalanche education standard among mountain guides and snow professionals in the USA.
Dirk Tyler – Executive Vice Chair, Secretary
Dirk has a background in Private Equity, Venture Capital and Mergers & Acquisitions. He is currently Managing Director of Vulano Group, a leading technology and intellectual property development company. Prior to Vulano he founded M2P Capital, LLC, a Denver based private equity firm, where he is still a partner. Prior to forming M2P Capital, Dirk was a partner in Taleria Ventures, a venture firm engaged in early stage investing and start-up management. In 1988, he founded BACE Industries; a company that executed buy and build strategies in the manufacturing, distribution, business services, and technology industries. His involvement with M2P, Taleria and BACE led to the acquisition, financing or startup of over 60 companies. Dirk served as the initial President of RentX Industries, Inc. (national equipment rental) and BASX Systems, Inc. (water filtration systems). In addition to handling the sale of various portfolio companies, he led three of them through the IPO process. Dirk serves as a director and adviser to numerous private companies and is on the board of The Access Fund, Colorado Outward Bound and The Hundred Club. Dirk graduated from Colorado College and has been climbing and backcountry skiing for 40 years.
King Grant – Treasurer
King Grant is a backcountry skier, climber and mountaineer. Mr. Grant is the past President and Director of The Access Fund, the national advocacy organization for climbing and is a current Director of the American Mountain Guides Association. He completed his AIARE Level 2 course in 2014.
Mr. Grant and his partners founded Felix Energy, LLC in 2013 where he is Chief Financial Officer. Felix is a Denver-based oil & gas company focussing its operations in Oklahoma and Texas. Previously, Mr. Grant was President, Chief Executive Officer and Director of Gasco Energy, Inc. For 13 years ending in 1999 Mr. Grant was an energy investment banker, principally with predecessor firms to J.P. Morgan.
Mr. Grant graduated from Princeton University in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering in Chemical Engineering and received an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1992. He lives with his wife and partner, Tracy, in Denver, Colorado.
Members at Large
Fiona is currently the Executive Director for the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. Previously, Mrs. Arnold served as the Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Vail Resorts where she was advisor to the CEO and the board of directors, providing leadership and oversight of the company’s acquisitions and transactions. Most recently Fiona served as Owner and President of River North Investment Company LLC, a real estate development company focused on commercial and residential urban redevelopment projects.
David Barry is President and Chief Executive Officer of Trust Company of America, one of the nations’s largest independent custodians serving Registered Investment Advisors. David served on the Board of TCA as an independent Director prior to becoming CEO in 2011, the firm currently has over $14B of assets under custody. Previously, David was the CEO of the Alpine/CMH group of companies which included Alpine Helicopters, Kachina Aviation and Aerotech in addition to Canadian Mountain Holidays, the largest helicopter skiing company in the world. During David’s tenure at CMH the company employed more fully certified Mountain Guides than any other mountain adventure company and was recognized by National Geographic Explorer as one of the world’s Top 10 travel experiences. Until 2007, David also served as Chief Operating Officer of Intrawest USA, a division of Intrawest Corporation, at the time one of the largest publicly traded mountain resort companies in the world. David had full P/L responsibility for 6 Mountain Resorts and successfully led a division of 14,000 team members with a significant focus on mountain safety, mountain operations on public lands and the creation and nurturing of a unique, entrepreneurial service culture.
Two-time World Champion skier Chris Davenport is widely regarded as one of the premier big mountain skiers in the world today. Among his many ski mountaineering achievements, in 2007 Chris became the first person to ski all fifty-four of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks in less than one year. He has numerous first descents of peaks around the globe under his belt, and recently guided and skied on Mt. Everest. Chris has been featured in more than thirty ski films by Warren Miller and Matchstick Productions. He is also a TV commentator for ESPN, ABC sports, and Outside Television, and is an Olympic and World Cup announcer for ski racing events. Chris is a professional speaker who often lectures on risk management as it relates to business and mountain sports. Chris is the author of two beautiful coffee-table books that celebrate North America’s mountains, Ski The 14ers and Fifty Classic Ski Descents of North America. He was recently named one of ESPN’s “10 Greatest American Freeskiers of all Time” and was also chosen as a 2014 honored member of the USA Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame. Chris serves as a Director of non-profits Protect Our Winters and the Aspen Valley Ski and snowboard Club. When not traveling the globe Chris resides in Aspen, Colorado with his wife and three boys.
Since 2009, Hollis has been president of Hope Strategies, Inc., a consultancy that helps philanthropic, nonprofit and entrepreneurial clients identify and implement solutions that drive lasting impact on their organizations. Hollis has established herself as a valued strategic partner to national and local organizations through her keen listening and synthesizing skills and ability to work collaboratively to advance her clients’ goals. Prior to founding Hope Strategies, Hollis served as managing director of SeaWeb, and held leadership positions at the Colorado Health Institute, AcademyHealth and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. With a passion for writing and editing, Hollis has published numerous articles and online content over the course of her career. She has also served as a college trustee and is an active volunteer for organizations about which she cares deeply. Hollis holds an MPA from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a BA from Cornell University. She lives in Boulder, Colorado with her husband, where she enjoys skiing, cycling, hiking, gardening, cooking and reading a good book.
Brian Lazar is the Deputy Director of Colorado Avalanche Information Center, and has been involved with AIARE since 1999. He began backcountry skiing in Colorado as a college student, and later as a mountain guide; and as an avalanche educator, curriculum developer, and former Executive Director with AIARE, and member of the American Avalanche Association Education Committee. After a decade or so of guiding in a variety of snow climates on both sides of the equator, Brian returned to graduate school where he earned a MS in Engineering, studying snow and ice mechanics in Alaska’s Chugach, and conducting research at the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research.
Mr. Lazar also works as a consultant specializing in the characterization and mechanics of integrated and multi-phase hydrologic systems. His work is concentrated in the areas of hydrology, snowpack modeling, glaciology, and contaminant fate and transport. He has consulted the ski area industry using applied snowpack and hydrologic models for use in assessing potential impacts of climate change at sites in Colorado, Utah, Vermont, and Oregon. He loves to ski and bike around after his wife Michelle, and chasing his two young kids just about anywhere.
Growing up in Lake Tahoe, Duncan has been using the backcountry nearly his whole life. From professional big mountain snowboarding, to trekking around the globe, Duncan is always out on adventure. Snowmobiling became an everyday passion in 2002, and Duncan became a snowmobile industry pro with multiple film segments each year. In 2008 Duncan co-founded Alpine Assassins, a pro riders collective producing leading snowmobile films each year. Duncan’s riding, route finding, and safety skills are top-notch and he is devoted to giving clients the ride of a lifetime. Duncan has been instructing Snowmobile specific avalanche awareness classes and is working on becoming an AIARE 1 ProviderAlong with being a backcountry athlete Duncan also produces a monthly web based video series called The Lets Ride Adventures Video Series which catalogs Duncan’s season of riding, where he is, who he is riding with, and the products that they use. So if you want to catch up with what Duncan is up to, then check out letsridetahoe.com.
Matt Lipscomb is a founder of OPX Biotechnologies and currently serves as a Project Leader. The company’s critical functional groups were established through his leadership, providing a launch pad for the many successes that followed. His technical leadership and collaboration resulted in multiple successful fund raises totaling more than $60M. He has been a leader in the development of engineered biocatalysts for the production of 3-Hydroxypropionic Acid (3HP) and subsequent conversion to BioAcrylic Acid (BioAA). He successfully collaborated and provided project leadership on a Department of Energy (DoE) ARPA-e Electrofuels proposal ($8M) for the production of biodiesel from H2 and CO2. Matt has been an invited speaker and a session organizer at international scientific conferences including The Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology and the American Chemical Society.
A Certified AMGA Ski Guide, Matt is a Mountain Guide with Colorado’s Premier guiding service, The Colorado Mountain School. He works primarily in the CMS ski and ski mountaineering programs and, as a qualified AIARE 1 instructor, in the avalanche education program as well.
Matt earned a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Colorado, Boulder and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Clemson University.
To recharge and maintain balance, Matt enjoys skiing, cycling, climbing, and the broad diversity of outdoor adventure opportunities that enrich life in Colorado. When there is snow on the ground, Matt will typically be found chasing powder in Colorado, Utah, Alaska, Canada, or remote venues abroad. He has had the exceptional fortune of sharing these adventures – and so many more – with his wife and partner, Tanya. They are both excited by the opportunity to inspire a passion for the mountains in their toddler son, Buerkle.
Tom Murphy has been involved with AIARE since 1999. Teaching avalanche courses for 10 years with Jean Pavillard, the two, together with Karl Klassen, former president and executive director of the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides, began to hatch the idea for AIARE. Prior to working with Jean in Crested Butte, Tom worked in the avalanche industry in Alaska. He was a daily weather observer for the Alaska Avalanche Forecast Center, did avalanche control work for the Coronado Mine and worked with Jill Fredston and Doug Fesler, two well known avalanche educators, at the Alaska Mountain Safety Center. Tom was the general manager of Hatcher Pass Lodge in Alaska for 10 years where he was responsible for the many aspects of running a business as well as keeping guests safe in a mountain environment. He is a professional member of the American Avalanche Association, a AAA Certified Avalanche Instructor, a fully certified ski instructor and has guided skiing trips in Alaska, Colorado and Europe. Tom was instrumental in the development of AIARE course materials and is the former Executive Director of AIARE. He is also the recipient of the American Avalanche Association’s Bernie Kingery Award for dedicated professional practice in the field of avalanche education.
Todd has built his career by following his passion for motorsports. Leveraging his experience as a professional offroad racer, Todd has established a successful record starting companies supporting the motor sports industry. Currently, Todd is the Founder and Director for Finish Line Marketing, a content company providing branding and sales strategies to iconic brands. He has also partnered to found a marketing, engineering, and design firm, Speed RMG Partners focused on delivering unique sales and activation strategies to race, marketing, and business partners in the powersports and motorsports communities. Todd has previously founded DragonFire Racing and served as the Managing Director of Hawk Performance.
Margaret Wheeler learned to ski and climb at an early age in New England, and became interested in ski mountaineering while living in Europe for several seasons. As a transplant to the Northwest, she guides ski mountaineering, alpine, and rock objectives. In 2006, Margaret became the second woman in the US to complete her full UIAGM guide certification. An active member of the guiding community, she is an instructor of guide training for the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) and serves on its board of directors and is a former president of the organization. She is involved in avalanche education through her work as an AIARE (American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education) instructor and trainer.