AVST Board of Directors Biographies
The Board of Directors of Applied Voice & Speech Technologies, Inc. (AVST) has a strong commitment to effective corporate governance.
The Board is responsible for supervising the management of the business of AVST. The Board reviews, discusses and approves various matters related to the strategic direction, business, operations and organizational structure of AVST.
The day-to-day business of AVST is conducted by its employees, including its officers and other members of senior management. The Board expects management to be responsible for the implementation of approved corporate objectives and strategic business plans within the context of authorized budgets, specific delegations of authority for various matters and corporate policies and procedures. Management is expected to report regularly to the Board of Directors in a comprehensive, accurate and timely manner on the business and affairs of the Company. The relationship between management and the Board is to be characterized by integrity, candor and mutual trust and respect, together with an understanding of the different roles and responsibilities of management and the Board of Directors in serving the interests of shareholders.
AVST's Board of Directors includes the following industry leaders and visionaries:
Chairman of the Board
Shawn Bohnert is the Chairman of AVST’s Board of Directors.
Shawn Bohnert was a partner of Ignition Capital from 2008 to 2013. During this time Mr. Bohnert founded and acted as Executive Chairman of Ignition’s energy investment business in Australia. Mr. Bohnert was also actively involved in the broader portfolio of Ignition’s companies, providing them with public market, financial, operational and management expertise.
Mr. Bohnert is the Chairman and one of the founders of Australian Offshore Solutions Limited (AOS), a shipping and maritime services provider to the international oil and gas industry. Mr. Bohnert established AOS in 2011, partnering with local industry executives and Ironbridge Capital, one of Australia’s leading private equity firms.
In 2004 Mr. Bohnert led the management buyout of Northland Services, a Seattle-based shipping company, partnering with Endeavour Capital to complete the acquisition. Northland was sold to Lynden Inc. in 2013, after providing its shareholders with exceptional investment returns for almost 10 years. Prior to Northland, Mr. Bohnert’s experience included roles as a public company CFO, an investment banker and a Schlumberger engineer.
Mr. Bohnert is a dual Australian/U.S. citizen and holds a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington and an M.B.A. from Stanford University.
Founder and Managing Partner of Ignition Capital
Jon Anderson is a founding partner of Ignition Capital and also a founder of Qiming Ventures and Ignition Ventures. Jon represents Ignition Capital on the boards of Wireless Maritime Services (a joint venture with AT&T) and MTN Satellite Communications, a leading provider of global networks at sea, on land and in the air) as well as observing spoken.com. His expertise is in the areas of finance and operations.
Anderson spent nine years at Microsoft Corporation, most recently as Corporate Controller and as General Manager of Worldwide Business Strategy, reporting to Steve Ballmer. He was integral to the development of the internal business systems that Microsoft uses today to monitor its business on a daily basis. He led the creation of the company’s current P&L, measurement and competitive reporting systems and also led the group that designed all of Microsoft enterprise licensing and pricing schemes. He was in charge of a team responsible for development and execution of Microsoft’s volume licensing programs – an $8 billion business. He also led the group that designed all of Microsoft enterprise licensing and pricing schemes.
Prior to joining Microsoft, Anderson was a CPA and Senior Manager with Deloitte & Touche, where he managed the team that served Microsoft from its very early stages through its initial public offering.
Anderson is a CPA, having attended the University of Oregon. He received his degree in business administration from Central Washington University.
Managing Partner and Co-founder of Second Alpha Partners
Richard Brekka is a Managing Partner and co-founder of Second Alpha Partners. Second Alpha makes secondary investments in private companies, purchasing shares from existing shareholders – founders, executives, angels, VCs or corporate investors. Richard is a passionate spokesman for the importance of secondary investing to the overall health of the innovation economy. For more than twenty years, Richard has invested in growth-oriented tech companies – particularly software-as-a-service, mobile content, communication services and Internet opportunities. In addition to AVST, Richard currently serves on the boards of Terago (TSX:TGO), TouchCommerce, Sixth Sense Media, June Media, The Guild and Appia Communications.
Prior to founding Second Alpha, Richard was President, Managing Partner and founder of Dolphin Equity Partners, a New York-based venture firm. Between 1998 and 2010, Dolphin raised two funds and invested in nearly three dozen portfolio companies. At Dolphin, Richard managed investments in Gomez (acquired by Compuware – the acquisition represented one of the top ten largest exits in the venture industry during 2009), Mobile Armor (acquired by Trend Micro), Enpocket(acquired by Nokia) and Overtone (acquired by KANA).
Founding Partner of Ignition Partners, former CEO of AT&T Wireless and Nextlink
Steve Hooper is a founding partner of Ignition Partners. He invests in telecommunications and wireless companies. Mr. Hooper represents Ignition as Director on the Boards of AVST, MobileLime and RadioFrame Networks. He previously served on the Board of Avogadro (acquired by OpenWave) and UIEvolution (acquired by SquareEnix).
Prior to Ignition, Mr. Hooper worked closely with Craig McCaw for 18 years and was CEO of every major McCaw Company except Nextel. Most recently, Mr. Hooper was the Chairman and CEO of Nextlink Communications (now XO Communications), where he was responsible for repositioning the company to a true Integrated Communications Provider offering a full complement of voice and data services.
Prior to Nextlink, Mr. Hooper served as the co-CEO of Teledesic with Craig McCaw. In that capacity, he oversaw the operation of the company and the negotiation of a multi-billion dollar satellite contract with Motorola.
From 1994 to 1997, Mr. Hooper served as CEO of AT&T Wireless. As President and CEO of AT&T Wireless, Mr. Hooper grew the company from $1.8 billion in sales to $4 billion. As CEO, Mr. Hooper bought LIN Broadcasting for $3.5 billion; expanded AT&T's footprint via the PCS auctions; built national GSM networks in India, Hong Kong and Taiwan; worked with Nokia to build the cornerstone of AT&T's "Digital One Rate" offering; deployed the first nationwide packet-based data network; and launched the first nationwide digital air-to-ground network, achieving 40 percent market share.
Prior to becoming CEO of AT&T Wireless, Mr. Hooper was part of the small McCaw team that recognized cellular's promise in the early 1980s. Mr. Hooper financed McCaw's expansion into cellular, raising $200 million in the industry's first high-yield cellular deal and taking the company public in 1987. Mr. Hooper also had extensive operational responsibility at McCaw. Mr. Hooper was the president of McCaw's cable operations and successfully sold that business for $750 million. From there he moved into cellular operations where he was responsible for a large part of the McCaw cellular footprint in the United States.
Mr. Hooper holds an M.B.A. from the Wharton School and a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Seattle University, where he now serves as the Chairman of the Seattle University Board. Mr. Hooper is also the President of the University Prep board of trustees.
President & CEO, AVST
Since 2003, Hardy Myers has served as the President & CEO of AVST, a leading independent provider of highly interoperable best-of-breed unified communications (UC) software solutions. AVST's UC solutions are deployed by thousands of firms globally with particular strength in the higher education, healthcare, government, enterprise and hospitality market segments. Under Mr. Myers leadership, AVST has created a set of premise- and cloud-based UC solutions uniquely architected to support IT initiatives in mobility, business process optimization and voice infrastructure centralization. Prior to AVST, Mr. Myers held senior management positions in the telecommunications, automotive, aerospace and defense market sectors. His experience includes the completion of multiple acquisitions, public and private fundraisings and leveraged buyouts.
Mr. Myers holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Georgetown University with a double major in International Management and Accounting. Mr. Myers is also a Certified Public Accountant.
Founding Partner of Ignition Partners
Jonathan Roberts is a founding partner of Ignition Partners. He invests in business application and services companies and is a director on the boards of AVST, Docusign, HyperQuality, Spoken and Earth Class Mail.
Prior to Ignition, Mr. Roberts spent 13 years at Microsoft, most recently as General Manager of the Windows CE Intelligent Appliance Division, where he was responsible for developing new WinCE products, product marketing, business development and long-term planning for the Windows CE platform as well as the retargeting of the Microsoft's PocketPC effort.
Mr. Roberts led the marketing and business efforts for Windows 3.1, 3.11, Windows NT 3.51, NT 4.0, BackOffice 1.0, Windows 98 and NT 4.0 on the Desktop, and finally all of Windows CE including embedded, Pocket PC, Auto, Phones, Set-top, Games, etc.
Mr. Roberts received his B.A. in History from the University of Washington where he was also Student Body President. In addition to his Ignition boards, Mr. Roberts serves on the board of Epiphany School and the University of Washington Foundation Board.
Co-founder and Managing Partner of Second Alpha Partners
Jim Sanger is Managing Partner and co-founder of Second Alpha Partners. He is an author and frequent speaker on topics related to advanced technologies, business innovation and the evolution of venture capital investing. Sanger has spent more than twenty years as a venture capitalist, secondary investor, corporate advisor and technology executive. He is Chairman, CEO and President of June Media; he also serves as Chairman of the Board of Sixth Sense Media and as a non-executive director of Terago Networks (TSX:TGO).
Prior to Second Alpha, Sanger was a General Partner at ABS Ventures, where he focused on investments that combined elements of traditional venture investing with secondary share purchases in growth companies. At ABS, Sanger’s investments included Everbridge, Qualys (NASD:QLYS), Gomez (acquired by Compuware), Inxight Software (acquired by Business Objects/SAP), AlphaBlox (acquired by IBM), Overtone (acquired by KANA) and Intralinks (acquired in a syndicated buyout led by Rho Partners). Sanger was also a senior member of the ABS team that structured the secondary purchases of several portfolios of venture assets from Deutsche Bank.
Before ABS, Sanger was a Managing Director in Deutsche Bank’s DB Capital Venture Partners and Corporate Investments organizations. He also served as Chief Technology Officer and Director of Technology Investment for Deutsche Bank’s London-based corporate venturing group. Previously, Sanger held IT management positions at Deutsche Bank, Barclays Bank and Bell Atlantic (now Verizon Communications)..
Sanger received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania.