Board Members and Advisors
Co-Founder – President & CEO, iCentera Corporation
Craig Nelson is a seasoned professional with more than 20 years of experience in the software industry. For the last 15 years he has dedicated his efforts to enabling companies to more effectively market and sell. Nelson has held a variety of leadership roles and has been instrumental in the growth of several startup companies. As the Senior Director of Worldwide Sales Operations for NetIQ Corporation the company grew license revenues from $8MM pre-IPO to over $320MM to become an industry-leading, publicly traded software company. Prior to his work with NetIQ Corporation, as a Senior Director, Nelson played a major role in the launch of LBMS, which went public on the NASDAQ and was subsequently sold to Platinum Technology. Nelson holds a B.S. in Computer Science and Interdisciplinary Computer Science from Minnesota State University.
Co-Founder – Senior Vice President, Sales & Business Development, iCentera Corporation
Craig Dembeck brings more than 15 years of experience in the software sales industry and more than 10 years of direct experience in building, managing, and leading North American Sales forces. Dembeck has been a key player in the launch of several successful startup companies including Meta Systems, LBMS and Mission Critical Software. Dembeck holds a B.S. in Industrial and Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan.
Board Member - Principal, PrairieGold Venture Partners
Paul Batcheller is a Principal at PrairieGold Venture Partners, a Sioux Falls, SD-based early and growth stage venture capital firm. At PrairieGold, Paul oversees all aspects of the firm’s investment activities, from sourcing, structuring and negotiating investments to serving as a board member for portfolio companies. Prior to joining PrairieGold, Paul served as an economic policy advisor to Senator Tom Daschle. He worked on tax and economic policy legislation and oversaw appropriations, small business, rural development, science and technology issues as part of his legislative portfolio. As Senator Daschle’s senior staff member covering these issues, Paul monitored, researched and developed legislation and legislative strategies in these areas. He received his B.A. in economics from Macalester College.
Board Member – Managing Director, Black River Asset Management
Deepak Malik is a Managing Director of Black River Asset Management based in New Delhi, India. From 2000-2007, Deepak was co-founder & Managing Director of Cargill Ventures, a venture capital firm associated with Cargill Inc. Deepak led the investment strategy around software, business process services and serves on the Boards of Outsource Partners International (OPI), KPIT Cummins (KPIT), OB10 and Microland. In addition, he led the investments in Intalio and Informance and remains on those Boards. Deepak’s past investments include IndX Software (acq.by Siemens), FIMI (acq. by DTN), and Grand Central (acq. by Google). He also led and oversees Cargill Ventures' investments in Sequoia Capital India and GEM Investment Advisors. Prior to starting Cargill Ventures, he worked in Cargill's Strategy and Business Development Group where he managed corporate strategies and mergers & acquisitions within the petroleum, natural gas, electricity, grain & oilseeds trading and meat industries, following a year in international sales for Cargill’s fertilizer division. Earlier in his career, he was an investment associate with Merrill Lynch. Deepak holds a B.A in Economics from Delhi University, a M.A. in Economics from the Delhi School of Economics and an M.B.A. from Cornell University. He is a Charter Member of TiE.
Glenn Winokur is Managing Director of Emerson Street Partners, an advisory services and seed stage investment firm that helps entrepreneurs and VCs incubate new technology companies, as well as accelerate growth of existing ones. Prior to launching Emerson Street Partners, Glenn spent over 20 years in key operating roles of several successful software Companies. As CEO of Scalix, a leading linux email and collaboration software vendor, he led it from a handful of customers upon joining to over 600 customers when Xandros Corp. acquired it 3 years later in 2007. Prior to that, he was Chief Operating Officer of NetIQ, a leading supplier of security and system management and web analytics software, where he was responsible for all revenue, customer and partner related activities. As part of the co-founding team at NetIQ, he played an instrumental role in leading the company through an extended period of rapid growth from initial product launch in 1996 to IPO in 1999 (NTIQ) and ultimately $300 million in annual revenues in 2003. Prior to NetIQ, Winokur has held executive positions in sales and business development at several enterprise software companies, including Frame Technology (now Adobe), Documentum (now EMC) and Ingres. Winokur received a BS in Business Administration and Marketing from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, and is a frequent guest lecturer, mentor and advisor at both the University of Illinois and Stanford University.
Michael S. Bennett
Michael S. Bennett is chief executive officer and president of SolarWinds, a leader in network management software. A 30-year veteran in the network and systems management industry, Michael has successfully led a number of private and public high-tech companies as CEO, including Mission Critical Software until its acquisition by NetIQ Corporation in 2000, Learmonth & Burchett Management Systems and Summagraphics. As a venture partner at Austin Ventures, Michael co-founded AlterPoint in 2001, a leading provider of intelligent network change and configuration management solutions. Most recently, Michael was president and CEO of Permeo Technologies Inc., a leading provider of on-demand information security solutions, from March 2004 until its acquisition by Blue Coat Systems in April 2006.
Rick Pleczko is a co-founder of Idera. Prior to Idera, Mr. Pleczko held senior executive positions in a number of leading software companies including LBMS, Platinum Technology, Mission Critical Software, and most recently NetIQ Corporation, a leading provider of enterprise systems and security management solutions, where he served as senior vice president of worldwide marketing. A 25+ year veteran of the systems and database management software industry, Mr. Pleczko has held positions ranging from software engineer and DBA to CEO.
Ken Holec leverages his experience with information management and Software as a Service in providing advisory and project services to iCentera. In addition to his work with iCentera, Holec is also serving as an Executive Director at HotGigs and as a Senior Advisor to clients of the Investment Banking firm Triple Tree. Holec draws from a distinguished career of leading several high-visibility software and services firms. As President and CEO of Lawson Software, Holec lead the rapid growth and development of the company from $10MM to becoming a leading brand in the ERP industry. Holec then undertook the transformation of ShowCase Corporation, growing revenues from $4MM to $50MM. More recently, Holec served as the Interim CEO of Peopleclick. Holec also serves on the boards of HotGigs, Stellent, SPSS, and SwiftKnowledge.
David is a seasoned executive with over 20 years of experience in building and marketing software and services. David was a co-founder of FaceTime Communications, a leader in instant messaging solutions for large enterprises. He also served as an entrepreneur-in-residence at Institutional Venture Partners (IVP), Vice President of Product Marketing at Sybase and Vice President of Worldwide Marketing and Business Development at LBMS. David is a graduate of Northwestern University.
Steve Odom previously served as CEO, COO and CFO of NEON Systems, Inc. Prior to NEON, Mr. Odom served as COO and CFO at Mission Critical Software where he was responsible for operations and financial reporting for the profitable, fast-growth software company. Prior to Mission Critical Software (MCS), he served as CFO of LBMS where he was strategically involved in the IPO and merger and acquisition activity for MCS and LBMS. Prior to LBMS, Mr. Odom was a partner with Pricewaterhouse Coopers.