Johnson Business Roundtable
Engagement with Entrepreneurs of the Year, a moderated discussion featuring John Alexander (CEY 2012), Kevin McGovern (CEY 2007), Jeff Parker (CEY 2001), Robert Felton (CEY 1998), and Harvey Kinzelberg (CEY 1992).
John Alexander '74, MBA '76, Founder, The CBORD Group, Inc.
John Alexander is founder of The CBORD Group Inc., a systems integration firm based in Ithaca, which he sold in 2004. Previous to this position, he was Vice President in the Money Market Division of Bankers Trust Company (now Deutsche Bank). Elected to Cornell's Board of Trustees by the alumni body to a four-year term beginning July 1, 2000, Alexander and his wife Elaine (Hotel '77) served as co-chairs for the Tower Club and the President's Circle, which is Cornell's recognition society for leadership-level supporters of the University, as well as serving on the Major Gifts Committee. Alexander has served on the Alumni Affairs and Development, Buildings and Properties, Land Grant and Statutory College Affairs, and Trustee-Community Communications Committees of the Board of Trustees. Since his election, he has also served as a member on the Audit Committee and chaired that committee, leading the University through the new discipline imposed by Sarbanes-Oxley. Alexander has served on several trustee task forces, including the Downtown Ithaca Office Building Advisory Committee, the Land Grant Technology Transfer Panel, the Life Sciences Technology Task Force, the Capital Project Cost Team, as well as the Alumni Affairs Steering Committee. He also serves on the board of CCTEC, Cornell's technology transfer organization, and the Cornell Research Foundation. Alexander's other service to Cornell has included membership on the Cornell University Council (1995-present). For the Council, he has served on it's administrative board (including Vice Chair 1999-00), Membership Committee (1997-98), and Career Advising and Placement Committee (1997-99); he was also co-chair of the Annual Meeting Planning Committee from 1998-2000. Other Cornell activities have included Class of 1974 Vice President and Treasurer, member of the Entrepreneurship & Personal Enterprise Program's Advisory Council, of which he is now an emeritus member. He is also an emeritus member of the Johnson School’s Advisory Council. Alexander is former Co-President of the Cornell Club of the Ithaca Area, and was the 1987-88 Dorothy M. Proud Lecturer in Nutritional Sciences. He serves on the Johnson Art Museum's Community Advisory Board and the Public Service Center's Civic Leadership Fellows Program Selection Committee. Locally, Alexander has been involved in numerous activities. These include: the Food Bank of the Southern Tier, where he serves on the board and is heading up it's first-ever capital campaign, the Sciencenter's Community Advisory Board, the Cayuga Venture Fund and the Tompkins Financial Corporation’s (TMP) Board of Directors, where he currently chairs the Audit Committee and serves on the boards of both the bank and of the holding company. Alexander and his wife co-chaired the Hangar Theatre’s first capital campaign in 2009-2010. Alexander serves as an emeritus member of the board of The United Way of Tompkins County, and chaired it's annual campaign for the 2002-2003 year. He was selected as the Upstate New York Entrepreneur of the Year in the Technology sector in 2002 by Ernst and Young. Alexander and his wife live in the mountains of Malinalco, Mexico from September till May, and return to New York for the summer.
Robert Felton '61, Chairman, President and CEO, DevonWay, Inc.
Bob Felton is founder, venture capitalist, chairman, president and CEO of DevonWay, Inc. The software and services firm provides innovative solutions designed to improve engineering, operations and maintenance processes in the nuclear power industry. Prior to DevonWay, Felton was the founder, venture capitalist, chairman and CEO of INDUS International, Inc. (now ABB/Ventyx). The software they developed became the industry standard enterprise asset management solution used extensively around the world. Felton began his nuclear career in the US Navy serving under Admiral Rickover’s command following his completion of his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at Cornell University. He was commissioned as a regular officer in the US Navy and distinguished himself by qualifying in record time for submarines and as a nuclear engineer. After leaving the Navy he obtained his masters degree in nuclear engineering at University of Washington.
He began his entrepreneurial pursuits first in a nuclear consulting practice he co-founded as TERA Corporation, Berkeley, California. Felton has over 50 years of professional service associated with nuclear power and has been credited with much of the standardization of enterprise asset management in the nuclear power industry today.
Harvey Kinzelberg '67, President and CEO, Sequel Capital LLC
Founder and President of Sequel Capital LLC & Corporation since 1992, Mr. Kinzelberg continues a successful tradition in capital equipment leasing and financial services. Sequel specialized in strategic bridge and mezzanine lending, private equity investing as well as lease financing for companies who seek cash flow and accounting advantages for their capital asset investments. Sequel, through it’s 7-year partner Resource Finance Company, provided working capital loans to independent sales organizations (ISO’s) who sell credit-card processing services to merchants nations-wide. Sequel has also recently expanded to provide financing directly to such merchants in the merchant-processing cash advance space, with a close affiliation with Rapid Capital Funding.
In 1979 Kinzelberg founded Meridian Leasing Corporation. Under his twelve year leadership, Kinzelberg grew Meridian in more than $650 million in annual sales and a lease portfolio approaching $4 billion. Meridian grew to become the second largest independent computer equipment lessor in the United States. Prior to starting Meridian, Kinzelberg was a top salesman form IBM and was the top lease finance salesman for Itel Leasing Corporation before founding Meridian. In 1992, after selling Meridian he established Sequel Capital Corporation.
Kinzelberg has been recognized nationally as “Entrepreneur of the Year”, by such prestigious organizations as Ernst & Young, Inc. Magazine, Cornell University, and The University of Illinois-Chicago & Arthur Anderson. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Operations Research/Industrial Engineering from Cornell University, and a master’s degree in Economic Planning from Stanford University.
For eight years, Kinzelberg was an active member of the Board of Trustees of Cornell University, serving on its investment committee, buildings and properties committee and student affairs and campus life committee. He was then elected Trustee Emeritus, for life by the Cornell Board. He was also a member of the executive committee of the Advisory Board to the Cornell University Entrepreneurship and Personal Enterprise Program, and was a member of the Advisory Board to the Cornell Center for the Environment. He endowed the ME program “Entrepreneurship for Engineers” and its Directorship, as well as “Kinzelberg Hall” which houses the Cornell Department of Nutrition. He served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Highland Park Hospital for 10 years, holding positions on their investment and finance committees.
Kevin McGovern '70, Chairman and CEO, McGovern Capital, LLC
Mr. McGovern is the Chairman and CEO of McGovern Capital, LLC, which originates, structures and implements capital formation, joint ventures and business alliances. McGovern is also the principal of McGovern & Associates, a corporate law firm based in Greenwich, Connecticut. He is the Chairman of Greenwich Alliances, Ltd., which specializes in the formulation and negotiation of strategic alliances and serves on the Board of Directors of The Sports Authority. He is a founder/key shareholder in over twenty companies, six of which are the worldwide leaders in their respective industry's product categories such as SoBe (nutriceutical beverages); NeoStrata (AHA skin care); KX Industries (water and air filters); Op40 (internet middleware); VLIW Technologies (microprocessor design) and Trakus (digital sports information). He is the Chairman of Angstrom Partners which is the first exclusive merchant bank in the nanotech industry (see www.kevinmcgovern.com for additional information). Angstrom has just formally announced a joint publication with Forbes to produce a monthly newsletter on Nanotechnology for worldwide distribution. He is a Fellow at the Foresight Institute, a leading think-tank organization relating to emerging technologies in Nanoscience. McGovern is a member of Cornell's Board of Trustees and he is a Founder, Cornell Club NYC; he is also a member of the Cornell Advisory Council, Entrepreneurship@Cornell (EPE), the Arts and Sciences School Council, and the Athletic Council. McGovern has a law degree from St. John's University School of Law and studied at the London School of Economics and Political Science; he is a member of the Connecticut, New York and Pennsylvania Bars and is a member of the Executive Committee of the Connecticut Bar Association Section on Corporations.
Jeff Parker '65, MEN '66, MBA '70, Managing Partner, Parker Family Limited Partnership
Jeff Parker is managing director of the Parker Family Limited Partnership and a Partner at GrandBanks Capital (Boston), a venture capital firm focused on Internet based information, financial services and mobile technology. He is also the co-founder and retired CEO of CCBN, a web-based information services company, a founder of FirstCall Corporation, and a past CEO of Thomson Financial, In 1980, Parker founded Technical Data Corporation. In 1982, he became Chairman and CEO of Business Research Corporation, and in 1983 founded FirstCall Corporation. All three companies were sold to Thomson Financial in 1986 where Parker was Chairman and CEO from 1988 to 1991. Under his leadership, Thomson Financial (now part of Thomson Reuters) laid the foundation to become a major provider of proprietary financial information to the investment and corporate communities. In 2010, Parker received recognition as one of the 50 most important Pioneers of the Financial Services Industry over the past 25 years by Inside Market Data. Prior to starting Technical Data, Parker served as a Vice President and Senior Fixed Income Portfolio Manager at Fidelity Investments. He has also held management positions at Smith, Barney, Loeb Rhoads, and A.G. Becker. In addition to being an active investor and advisor to many early stage financial services companies, he also holds board positions at: MainstreamData (Salt Lake City), Firmex, Inc. (Toronto), and KnowledgeVision (Boston).
Parker is a graduate of Cornell University from which he received a Bachelor of Engineering degree in 1965, a Master of Engineering in 1966, and an MBA in 1970. An active supporter of The Johnson School and The Parker Center, Jeff was an early participant and a past co-chair of Cornell's Entrepreneurship and Personal Enterprise Program (now Entrepreneurship@Cornell), Chair of the Johnson School's Annual Fund from 1990 to 1996, and a Johnson School Advisory Council member since 1987 of which he is the past Chair. In 1995, Parker was appointed to the University's Board of Trustees and in 2001 was named Cornell's Entrepreneur of the Year and inducted in The Johnson School’s Hall of Honor. Parker has been recognized as a Major Benefactor of Cornell and is currently a Trustee Emeritus and a Presidential Counselor of the University.