BOSS | Business Owners Strategic Symposium

09.12.19 Thank you to everyone who made BOSS possible.

MB Law is proud to present: BOSS | A Business Owners Strategic Symposium | In association with J.P. Morgan.

About BOSS:

BOSS | Business Owners Strategic Symposium is the can’t-miss symposium for business owners whose companies are in the Growth, Expansion or Maturity phase of the business life cycle.  Learn how to optimize your business’s potential in each stage and maximize its value for your ultimate exit strategy.

BOSS Session Titles and Speakers

Session Title



Ned Minor
Lisa D’Ambrosia

How JP Morgan Works with
Business Owners.

John Hanley

Leading from Within.

Walt Rakowich

Myths and Misconceptions in Selling
Your Business.

Ned Minor

Colorado Impact Fund (CIF):
Hyperlocal Investing for Impact.

Ryan Kirkpatrick

What Does the Equal Pay Act Mean
for You?

Kim Ritter

RINO: Why Live, Work & Play
Communities are Thriving. Navigating
the Bureaucracy.

Sean Campbell

Rewarding Key Employees Who
Think Like Owners.

Barb Wells

There Ain’t No Sanity Clause:
3rd Parties in Three-Part Disharmony.

Jim Thomas

Fundraising Pillars: Philosophy, Process, Planning…and People.

Dr. Matt Norkunas

Current Trends Driving the Private
Sector Mergers & Acquisitions Market.

Lisa D’Ambrosia

The Entrepreneurial Evolution.

Lara Merriken

BOSS Speaker Bios:

Ned Minor – Co-Founder/Director/Shareholder of MB Law

Ned Minor is a nationally recognized transaction attorney with 40-plus years of experience helping privately-held businesses with the opportunities, complexities, and challenges of mergers and acquisitions. Ned has authored what has become one of the most widely read and respected guides in the field, Deciding to Sell Your Business –The Key to Wealth and Freedom.  

In his practice and his book, Ned guides business owners through the emotional, legal and financial issues involved in the sale, enabling them to reap top dollar at the closing table. The total purchase/sales consideration the firm has generated for its clients is reaching four billion dollars. Ned describes his approach as different from the harried pace of today's business lawyers. "I am an empathetic listener, counselor, and planner. I spend the time necessary with business owners to put them at ease so that together we can define, design and implement their best exit strategy. Connecting personally while focusing on the end-game is essential.”

Ned counsels business owners locally, nationally and across all business sectors and industries. When starting to think about selling their business, owners struggle with "what will I do after I have sold my business?” Until they can envision life after the sale, not much will happen. Once they embrace the "entrepreneurs don't retire – they refocus" frame of mind is when the sales process starts moving forward. “Taking these owners from confusion to clarity and from inaction to action is what drives me every day! Helping my clients achieve their definition of wealth and financial independence puts a smile on their faces – as well as mine.”

Barb Wells – Director/Shareholder of MB Law

Barb Wells is an experienced business lawyer and advisor to local, national and international companies, but she considers herself a teacher at heart.  "I teach every day," she says.  "One on one, whether counseling a client on some aspect of their business or mentoring a younger lawyer. I love the challenge of helping someone simply and clearly understand a complex idea or way of doing something."  Clients seek Barb's help overcoming barriers and taking advantage of opportunities for business growth.

Jim Thomas – Director/Shareholder of MB Law

Jim Thomas is a business lawyer with years of corporate and M&A experience in Greater Denver.  Most of Jim's clients are privately-held companies and individuals who look to him as a long-term, trusted advisor, helping with business issues and purchase and sales transactions all over the US.

Lisa D’Ambrosia – Director/Shareholder of MB Law

Lisa A. D'Ambrosia is an experienced business transactional attorney who puts a client's decision-making process ­ whether selling or buying a business, buying, building or leasing real estate or coming to terms with a private equity investor, private lender or institutional lender ­ into the context of the client's business and personal life. 

"My clients know me.  They know that I will challenge them to think about their options and the various outcomes and the impact of their decisions on both the business and them personally," Lisa said, "we are not just an order taker, we ask our clients the whys and the goals they are trying to accomplish. The results are better when we look at and analyze business decisions with a holistic perspective and the greater impact their decisions have on not only their business but also their personal life."  For years, Lisa has helped hundreds of business owners work their way through tough business questions, issues, and decisions that are at the heart of virtually every business, 

Kim Ritter – Director/Shareholder of MB Law

Kim Ritter is an experienced litigator with a knack for seeing things from a business perspective.  "Wherever possible, my role is to exhaust all non-litigation avenues before initiating litigation.  If litigation is necessary, however, I'm prepared to and will aggressively try the case."  Kim helps clients find ways to align their interests and to design solutions that are practical, legal and enforceable.  Kim is also on the Board of Directors at the Better Business Bureau of Denver/Boulder.

Most of Kim's cases involve commercial disputes, business break-ups, and contract-related issues as well as an overlap of the numerous laws affecting employment, including Shareholder disputes, Wrongful discharge, Discrimination Defense, Trade secrets/non-compete agreements/confidentiality agreements, and Wage and hour claims

About MB Law:

MB Law is a Colorado-based law firm representing and providing legal services to privately-owned businesses in every industry, profession, and their respective entrepreneurial owners.  MB Law offers you and your business the advantage of over 40 years of successfully helping entrepreneurs build, expand, protect and position your company for success.  For us, representation is personal: we encourage owners to shift the weight of challenging circumstances from their shoulders to ours.  MB Law Means Business.

Lara Merriken – Founder of LÄRABAR

Lara Merriken is the embodiment of the expression: “Anything is possible.” As the founder of LÄRABAR, Lara emerged from a junk-food-junkie past and set out to create—of all things—a health food made only of fruits, nuts, and spices. Her motto: Simple. Pure. Delicious.

Early on in the development of LÄRABAR, naysayers didn't think she had a chance, citing a saturated grocery market, daunting startup costs, lack of expertise, and so on. Lara, undeterred, never lost sight of her vision. She set up shop in a small Denver duplex, her manufacturing equipment limited to a rolling pin and a Cuisinart. Five years later, LÄRABAR was a top-selling energy bar and sold to General Mills, where Lara serves today as Creative Director.

A 1990 graduate of the University of Southern California, Lara has embraced the fact that you never know where life is going to take you. A psychology degree led to a profession in social work, helping disadvantaged children. Next up was preparation for a new career in natural medicine, only to be redirected by employment for a national grocery chain, where hands-on experience helped shape yet another life-changing event: the creation of LÄRABAR.

It's been an adventure, to say the least. Lara's messages of good health, good living, and good business have been seen in more than 100 publications, including Fortune, Entrepreneur, The New York Times, People and Oprah. Outside magazine called Lara one of the Top Visionaries in the United States. She has made numerous television appearances and delivered the 102nd Commencement address at Sweet Briar College. Lara is also featured on the NPR podcast series How I Built This.

Lara is passionate about mentoring. She particularly enjoys sharing her story with students and up-and-coming entrepreneurs, promoting personal achievement through self-confidence, visualization, and hard work. Fueled by a strong network of family and friends, Lara deeply appreciates the opportunity she has had to live out her own dream. She is the mother of a young son, not to mention a brood of hens and a yellow labrador. Her wide culinary interests continue to this day. Lara is also an avid tennis player, hiker, traveler and loves to garden.

Walter C. Rakowich – Board of Directors for Host Hotels & Resorts, Iron Mountain Inc., and Ventas Inc.

Walter C. Rakowich is the former CEO of Prologis an NYSE company and a member of the S&P 500.  Prologis is a leading provider of distribution facilities and services with over $50 billion in assets and operations in the Americas, Europe, and Asia.  Mr. Rakowich was Co-CEO of Prologis and member of the Board of Directors from June 2011 through December 2012.  He was CEO of Prologis from November 2008 through June 2011.  He was a member of the Prologis Board of Trustees from January 2005 through June 2011.   

Prior to becoming CEO, Mr. Rakowich was the President and Chief Operating Officer of Prologis from January 2005 through November 2008.  He joined Prologis in 1994.  From December 1998 to January 2005, he served as Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer for Prologis.  Prior to this position, Mr. Rakowich was the Senior Vice President/Director of the company’s Mid-Atlantic region where he was responsible for expanding the reach of Prologis to the leading logistics markets in the Midwest and Atlantic states. 

Prior to joining Prologis, Mr. Rakowich spent nine years as a partner and principal with real estate provider Trammell Crow Company in Los Angeles. Before that, he was a senior audit and tax consultant for Price Waterhouse in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Mr. Rakowich received his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and his B.S., with distinction, in Accounting from The Pennsylvania State University. 

Mr. Rakowich currently serves on the Board of Directors of Host Hotels & Resorts, where he is the company's Audit Committee Chair and Member of the Governance Committee, Iron Mountain Inc, where he is Chairman of the Audit Committee and Ventas Inc.  All three are companies listed in the S&P 500.  He has served as a member of the executive committee and the board of governors for the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT), the primary industry group for REITs in the United States.

Mr. Rakowich was appointed to the Board of Trustees at The Pennsylvania State University in 2014 and serves as Chairman of the University Board's Audit and Risk Committee. In 2010, the Penn State Alumni Association named Mr. Rakowich a Penn State Alumni Fellow, a lifetime designation and the highest award given by the association, recognizing outstanding professional achievement.  He also has served on the real estate advisory boards of the Smeal College of Business at Penn State, The Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University and The Kellogg Graduate school of Management.  In addition, he served on the Global Leadership Council at Colorado State University.

Mr. Rakowich currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Colorado UpLift and is a member of the Board of the Alliance for School Choice in Education (ACE), two non-profits focused on educating at-risk children in the inner city.  He also served on the board of the CEO Forum.

Mr. Rakowich has made several appearances on CNBC, CNN, Fox, Bloomberg, and National Public Radio and has been quoted in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Institutional Investor and Forbes magazine, on behalf of the real estate industry and Prologis.

Sean Campbell – CEO/Principal of FORMATIV

Sean Campbell is a passionate entrepreneur, real estate developer, community builder and former Wall Street executive with a strong background in finance, real estate, media, and business development. Campbell spent twelve years in New York’s financial community before following his passion to create, develop, and fund new business ventures.

Campbell is one of the co-founders and co-developers of INDUSTRY, Denver’s premier shared workplace for the technology, creative, and digital business communities. INDUSTRY won the 2014 Historic Denver Award for Preservation, the Greenway Foundation’s Award for Best New Development 2014, the 2015 Mayor’s Design Award, and the 2017 ULI Impact Award for Innovation.

His vision for founding FORMATIV was to create a boutique firm centered around transformative, urban projects and catalytic business ventures. Currently, FORMATIV is developing the new World Trade Center Denver complex as well as an adaptive-reuse development and a for-sale condominium project in Denver’s River North (RiNo) neighborhood.

A graduate from the University of Maryland, Campbell is on the Board of Governors of The Denver Zoo and the Board of Directors of the Denver Athletic Club, 10.10.10., The Other Side Academy, House of Genius, and the Advisory Board of Blackstone Entrepreneurial Network. Campbell lives in Denver’s RiNo neighborhood with his wife, Kimberly.

About Formativ:

FORMATIV is a dynamic firm with a distinguished track record for creating transformative, mixed-use projects that grow communities and businesses. At its core, FORMATIV believes that great people do great things when their community is better connected. With a combined 50+ years of experience, the visionary team focuses on building ecosystems that connect neighborhoods and people through real estate development and innovative new business ventures and in Colorado and beyond.

Currently, the team has four projects in-construction or planning all located in the RiNo neighborhood: LOT Twenty Eight, World Trade Center Denver, a yet-to-be-named boutique condominium project, and large, mixed-use development at Denargo Market.  

John J. Hanley – Managing Director J.P. Morgan

Dr. Matt Norkunas – CFO of SomaLogic

Dr. Matt Norkunas, M.D., joined SomaLogic as Chief Financial Officer in 2016. Prior to joining SomaLogic, Dr. Norkunas spent nearly four years as a Senior Research Analyst at Marsico Capital Management in Denver, Colorado, where he focused on biotech, pharma, life sciences, and diagnostics companies. While at Marsico, Dr. Norkunas evaluated companies at both the private and public level, spearheading firm participation in a number of capital market transactions for companies in the space, including secondary equity, IPO, crossover, and debt financings.

In addition to his eight years of experience in the venture capital industry, Matt is also a board-certified anesthesiologist. During his medical career, Dr. Norkunas spent three years as the Vice President of New Business Development AABP, a private physician group in New York City. He was voted “teaching attending of the year” by Maimonides (New York) Hospital residents in 2010, and was renowned for his cadaver-lab “teach-ins.” He also actively participated in various clinical trials, published in peer-reviewed journals and developed two patents (pending) for medical devices.

Dr. Norkunas received his anesthesia training at Mount Sinai in New York and earned his M.D. from the University of Maryland Medical School, his M.B.A. from Columbia University, and his B.A. in Biology from St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

Ryan Kirkpatrick – Partner of Colorado Impact Fund

Ryan has 15 years of experience investing in and advising growth-oriented companies in both the private and public markets. Prior to joining Colorado Impact Fund, Ryan was a Principal at Ferrer Freeman & Company, a leading healthcare private equity firm focused on growth capital investing. Ryan began his career as a healthcare analyst at Melleos Capital Management, an asset management firm, where he covered the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device industries.  He currently is a Director of several CIF partner companies including Bhakti, CirrusMD, KM Labs, SchoolRunner, and SecureSet.

A Colorado native, Ryan holds a B.A. in molecular biology from Princeton University and an M.B.A. from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Along with his wife, Elizabeth, and two daughters, Lila and Caroline he spends his free time hiking, fishing, and skiing in the Rocky Mountains.

About Colorado Impact Fund (CIF):

The Colorado Impact Fund (CIF), a Denver-based venture capital firm, invests in Colorado companies with high-growth, scalable business models and a commitment to make their community better in areas such as healthcare, education, and the environment. As an investor, CIF provides strategic and operational support, talent recruitment and development, industry knowledge and networking and mission and impact alignment for their portfolio companies. CIF typically invests in Series A, Series B or growth stage rounds and looks for opportunities where the company is beyond proof of concept and generally $1 million or more of annualized sales.

A special thanks to:

Lara Merriken, Walter C. Rakowich, Sean Campbell, Dr. Matt Norkunas, Ryan Kirkpatrick, John J. Hanley of J.P. Morgan, and Infinity Park Event Center.