Tasktop Technologies has assembled a leadership team that combines excellence in technical leadership and technology company management experience.
Mik Kersten, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder
Dr. Mik Kersten is the CEO of Tasktop Technologies, creator and lead of the Eclipse Mylyn open source project, and the inventor of the task-focused interface. His goal is to create the collaborative infrastructure needed to connect knowledge workers in the new world of software delivery. At Tasktop, Mik drives the strategic direction of the company, Tasktop's key partnerships, and the culture of customer-focused innovation. Prior to Tasktop, Mik launched a series of open source tools that changed the way that software developers collaborate. As a research scientist at Xerox PARC, he created the first aspect-oriented development tools for AspectJ. He then created the task-focused interface during his PhD thesis and validated it with the release of Mylyn, now downloaded 2 million times per month. Building on the success of Mylyn, Mik has since created the Tasktop Dev and Sync product lines.
Mik's ideas on Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) and focus on the needs of the individual knowledge worker make him a popular keynote speaker, and he has been recognized with awards such as the JavaOne Rock Star and the IBM developerWorks Java top 10 writers of the decade. Mik's entrepreneurial contributions have been acknowledged by the 2012 Business in Vancouver 40 under 40, and as a World Technology Awards finalist in the IT Software category. His software community involvement builds on his contributions as one of the most prolific committers to Eclipse, as well as serving on the Eclipse Foundation's Board of Directors and web service standards bodies. Follow @mik_kersten on Twitter.
Neelan Choksi, President and Chief Operating Officer
Neelan Choksi is Tasktop's President & COO overseeing sales, solutions, marketing, finance, and business development, helping Tasktop get its innovations into the hands of those who need it the most. Choksi is also a mentor at Capital Factory, an Austin-based incubator. Choksi also serves as a trustee at TechGirlz, a non-profit working to get adolescent girls excited about technology. Neelan has extensive technology management experience and recently served as the Chief Operating Officer of Lexcycle, the company behind Stanza, which became the most popular ebook reader for the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch. Lexcycle was acquired by Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) in 2009. Prior to Lexcycle, Neelan served as the COO of SpringSource, the venture backed open source infrastructure software company behind the Spring Framework. SpringSource was acquired by VMware (NYSE: VMW) in 2009. Before joining SpringSource, Neelan served as co-founder and President of SolarMetric, a leading object relational mapping provider, which was acquired by BEA Systems (NASDAQ: BEAS) in 2005. At BEA, Neelan was instrumental in the open sourcing of the acclaimed object/relational mapping tool Kodo as OpenJPA. Prior to SolarMetric, Neelan worked for Andersen Consulting Strategic Services (NYSE: ACN) and Exxon Research & Engineering (NYSE: XOM). Neelan is a graduate of MIT (and was part of the often-publicized MIT Blackjack team) and holds graduate degrees from Stevens Institute of Technology and the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. Follow @neelan on Twitter.
Dave West, Chief Product Officer
Dave West is the Chief Product Officer at Tasktop. In this capacity, he engages with customers and partners to drive Tasktop's product roadmap and market positioning. As a member of the company's executive management team, he also is instrumental in building Tasktop into a transformative business that is driving major improvements in the software industry. As one of the foremost industry experts on software development and deployment, West has helped advance many modern software development processes, including Agile and Lean methodologies, process improvement, and project and requirements management. He is a frequent keynote at major industry conferences and is a widely published author of articles and research reports, along with his acclaimed book: Head First Object-Oriented Analysis and Design, that helped define new software modeling and application development processes. West's experience includes traditional and object-oriented development for enterprise applications and executive consulting, where he implemented new development processes and tools for IT organizations in Europe and North America. He led the development of the Rational Unified Process (RUP) for IBM/Rational, later adding componentization, SPEMM and support for Agile development. He also managed the development of IBM solutions to support efficiencies in the financial services, product development and government industry sectors. After IBM/Rational, West returned to consulting and managed Ivar Jacobson Consulting for North America. During the past four years he served as vice president, research director at Forrester Research, where he worked with leading IT organizations and solutions providers to define, drive and advance major Agile-based methodology breakthroughs in the enterprise. West holds a B.A. in computing and business from Huddersfield University in the UK and a M.Sc. in computer science from Southbank University (UK). Follow @DavidJWest on Twitter.
Gail Murphy, Chief Scientist and Co-Founder
Dr. Gail Murphy is a leading researcher on software evolution and tools. She brings to Tasktop her years of experience as a software developer and as the principal investigator of a large research group. In recognition of her research, Gail has been a keynote speaker at several software engineering conferences and has also received both national awards, such as the NSERC Steacie fellowship, and international awards, such as the AITO Dahl-Nygaard Junior Prize, a University of Washington College of Engineering Diamond Award and an ACM Distinguished Scientist award. She holds an appointment as a Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of British Columbia where she works on human-oriented software development tools to make software developers more efficient and effective. She is also currently serving as an Associate Dean (Research & Graduate Studies) in the Faculty of Science at the University of British Columbia. Follow @gail_murphy on Twitter.
Betty Zakheim, Vice President, Marketing
Betty Zakheim serves as Tasktop's Vice President of Marketing, responsible for all aspects of Tasktop's strategic marketing and lead generation activities. She brings to this role an extensive background in software integration technologies, and software development tools. Betty has served as Vice President of Marketing for CopperEye (a UK-based, VC-backed software company), Vice President of Marketing at InConcert (a Xerox New Enterprise Company), Vice President of Product Strategy at SmartBear, Director of Marketing and/or Product Management at: Progress Software, IBM/Rational Software, IONA Technologies and Lightbridge. Betty also founded and ran her own consulting firm, Outside In Solutions, where she counseled software companies on go-to-market strategies. She spent the first 10 years of her career in very technical roles as an engineer, UX developer, engineering manager, and in technical consulting positions. In addition to her professional experience, Betty has an eclectic formal education. She holds undergraduate degrees in Psychology, Advertising (from the S.I. Newhouse College of Public Communications) and is a Tau Beta Pi scholar in Computer Engineering. She also received a Master of Computer Science degree from Boston University. Follow @bettyzakheim on Twitter.
Jason Baldy, Vice President, Sales
Jason Baldy serves as Tasktop's VP of Sales, leading our sales team in direct sales activities and supporting Tasktop's channel partners to help customers overcome the challenges inherent with a disconnected software delivery organization. To this role, Jason brings 13 years of sales and sales leadership experience, with perennial recognition for top global and regional results. Before joining Tasktop, Jason was a Director of Sales at CA Technologies where he led one of the company's highest-performing teams. Prior to CA, Jason was with startup Wily Technology, where he helped build the Public Sector sales team and grew that sector's revenue thirty-fold. Following the acquisition of Wily Technology by CA, he helped drive the successful integration of the Wily Team into the CA operating structure. Jason has also served in various sales roles at Unisys Corporation, WebMethods and TechTrader. Jason graduated from James Madison University with a BBA in Computer Information Systems.
David Green, Vice President, Architecture
David Green is Vice President of Architecture at Tasktop Technologies. Prior to Tasktop, David was a founding member of MAKE Technologies where he held the positions of CTO, Vice President of Technology and Principal Tools Architect. At MAKE David pioneered a model-driven approach to legacy modernization on the Eclipse platform, integrating business requirements, semantic code generation and data transformation. David is an Eclipse committer, and creator of Mylyn WikiText, a framework and tools for integrating wiki formatting into the Eclipse platform. David is well known for his widely read blog Green's Opinion, apps for iPhone and Android, and speaking engagements at conferences such as JavaOne and EclipseCon.
Nicole Bryan, Vice President, Product Management
Nicole Bryan is the Vice President of Product Management at Tasktop Technologies. She has more than 17 years of experience in software and product development, focused primarily on bringing data visualization and human factors considerations to the forefront of Application Lifecycle Management. Most recently, she served as director of product management at Borland Software/Micro Focus, where she was responsible for creating a new Agile development management tool. Prior to Borland, she was a Director at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Regulatory Division, where she managed some of the first Agile project teams at the NYSE and VP of Engineering at OneHarbor (purchased by National City Investments). Nicole holds a Master of Science in Computer Science from DePaul University. Bryan is passionate about improving how software is created and delivered – making the experience enjoyable, fun and yes, even delightful.
Lance Knight, Vice President, Solutions
Lance Knight is the VP of Solutions at Tasktop. In this capacity, he engages with customers and partners while leading Tasktop's technical sales engineering, customer training and customer support teams. Prior to his role at Tasktop, Lance was Senior Director of Global Solutions Consulting at Accept Corporation. He has also held senior solutions and sales engineering roles at Epicor and Calico. Lance also founded Knivis, an internet marketing solutions provider. Lance is a certified ScrumMaster, Certified Scrum Professional and Certified Spin Selling Coach. In his spare time, Lance serves on the district executive committee of the Boy Scouts of America, where he concentrates on adult leadership training. You can follow Lance on Twitter at @lancedknight.
Board of Directors
John Thornton, Board Member
John Thornton joined Austin Ventures in 1991 and serves as General Partner. His investment focus is in the early-stage software sector. Previously, John was with McKinsey & Co., where he served clients in the U.S. and Europe.
John received his MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and his BA summa cum laude from Trinity University, where he graduated first in his class. He previously served on the Boards of Directors for Ballet Austin, the Austin Museum of Art, and the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas. He is a founding board member of the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Central Texas and a former trustee of Trinity University. In 2009, John founded the Texas Tribune, the nation's first statewide nonprofit and nonpartisan online news organization.
Mike Satterfield, Board Member
Mike brings over 25 years of entrepreneurial and senior operating experience in the software industry to the Yaletown team. Mike manages Yaletown's investment in GrowLab, ePACT, Tutela, Elastic Path, Tasktop and PHEMI and was formerly a Director of Partnerpedia and Indicee. Mike has built product development and management teams in Canada and the US, devised and executed business plans, established strategic partnerships, raised venture capital from US and Canadian investors, and participated in the sale of two companies he founded. Prior to co-founding Yaletown, Mike was CEO of Simba Technologies (acquired by Pivotal). Prior to that he co-founded Paradigm Development, a Vancouver-based contract software development firm whose client roster included Microsoft, Adobe and Symantec. Mike has a B.Sc. degree from the University of British Columbia.
Lee Nackman, Advisor
Dr. Lee R. Nackman is a veteran software executive who combines technical depth with executive and board management experience. Most recently, he served as vice president and general manager at HP, where he led several product units focused on software development and IT operations excellence. Prior to HP, Lee served as Corporate Vice President of Microsoft's Identity and Security Division.
Most of his career was spent at IBM, where he held a variety of roles, including vice president and CTO for IBM Rational, and vice president for WebSphere Application Development Tools. He initiated the Eclipse open source tool platform, IBM's WebSphere Studio tool products, and IBM's Jazz initiative. He was a founding member of the Board of Stewards for eclipse.org and served on the board of Morphormics, a medical image processing startup.
Earlier in his career, Lee was elected to the IBM Academy of Technology, coauthored "Scientific and Engineering C++: An Introduction with Advanced Techniques and Examples," and was a regular columnist for C++ Report. In addition to his book, Lee has published fifty papers and three patents. Lee holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Rod Johnson, Advisor
Dr. Rod Johnson is currently a Senior Vice President at VMware. Rod is the creator of the influential Spring Framework and co-founder of SpringSource, where he served as CEO until its acquisition by VMware in 2009. Rod has over 15 years technology, management and business experience. Rod is one of the world's leading authorities on Java development. His "Expert One-on-One J2EE Design and Development" (2002) was one of the most influential books ever published on enterprise Java and the sequel, "J2EE without EJB" (2004, with Juergen Hoeller) completed laying out the vision for modern enterprise Java. Rod is a thought leader on open source development and business models, and a popular speaker at conferences around the world. Rod holds a BA with Honors in Computer Science, Mathematics and Musicology as well as a PhD from the University of Sydney.
Brian Barry, Advisor
Dr. Brian Barry is currently CEO of Bedarra Research Labs (www.bedarra.com) and CTO of Open Health Tools (www.openhealthtools.org). From 1991-2002 he served variously as Chief Scientist, CEO, President and CTO at Object Technology International, Inc. Under his leadership OTI developed the Eclipse Platform, the IBM VisualAge family of products and the virtual machine technology underlying IBM Websphere. He was a cofounder of both the Eclipse Foundation and Open Health Tools.
Dr. Barry has over 25 years of experience in the design and implementation of component-based and object-oriented systems. He has published a number of research papers and articles on a wide variety of technical subjects, including simulation, OO applications, systems integration, embedded systems and software engineering, and is a frequent speaker on software technology. He has served on the Program Committees for software conferences such as OOPSLA, ECOOP, AOSD, Software Composition, and Agile Development, was a co-author of the ANSI Smalltalk standard, and actively participates in a research review boards and committees. He holds a Ph.D. from Queen's University.