C-Level Advisors is a team of senior level experts and analysts with diverse experience which includes developing business strategy, acquiring and integrating companies, creating alliances, creating go-to-market strategies, and designing product portfolios.
Depending on client needs, we can quickly assemble a 1-3 person team to help you meet your objectives.
Kirk Otis, Corporate Development, Investments and M&A
Kirk Otis is a senior corporate development and strategy executive having more than 25 years experience with large companies and startups across technology and industrial industries. He has held executive positions in industry as well as providing innovation leadership and strategic advisory service as a consultant. He has diversified management experience in M&A, strategy, strategic partnership formation, business development, treasury, and controllership. His specialties include developing strategic relationships, mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, spinouts, restructuring, joint ventures, venture investing, board membership and advisory, negotiations, market and technical due diligence, integration planning and execution.Throughout his career, Kirk has been a doer, focused on action, whether it be driving double digit growth, entering new markets, establishing new channels, restructuring and divesting business units, or achieving dramatic savings through operational excellence.
Previously he directed Corporate Development activities at Nortel Networks and Alcatel/DSC Communications for 18 years. He has a foundation in Finance and held several financial executive positions at LTV after beginning his career at PriceWaterhouseCoopers. He has a proven track record of facilitating sound decisions and responsible for executing over 50 strategic transactions with a total deal value exceeding $10.5 billion.
Kirk earned an MBA from SMU’s Cox School of Business and a Bachelor's in Finance and MIS from Bowling Green State University. Kirk is a CPA.
Allen Adams, Entrepreneur, Business Leader, Advisor
Allen Adams is a long-time technology executive, business leader and entrepreneur with a career in technology and business development that spans over 35 years. During his career he has co-founded three technology start-ups including Carrius Technologies, DSC Communications Corporation, and IPCell Technologies. Adams has used his knowledge of the technology industry and business savvy to grow his companies from early stage start-ups to becoming successful acquisitions and IPOs.
In addition to founding three companies, Adams has held key executive positions at several North Texas companies including: Senior vice president and general manager of DSC Communications Corporation, chief executive officer of IPCell Technologies, chief executive officer of Carrius Technologies, and general manager of the Broadband VoIP business unit of Cisco Systems (Dallas). His career also includes senior management positions in Corporate Business Development, Strategic Planning and M&A.
Adams actively participates in multiple board positions for both public and private technology companies in the communication industry. He has served on the Board of Directors of over 12 companies in a number of different capacities including both Executive and non-Executive Chairman, Director, and as an Advisory Board member as well.
Jose Briones, Marketing, Product Innovation, Product Management and
Dr. Jose A. Briones has 20 years of commercial and technical experience in the manufacturing and technology industries, holding positions in the areas of marketing, innovation, sales, engineering and R&D with Fortune 300 companies, custom manufacturing operations and software companies.
Dr. Briones areas of expertise include: Innovation Management, Product Development and Ideation, Business Model Assessments, Strategic Planning, Product Portfolio Value Analysis, Probabilistic Forecasting and Practical Uses of Social Media.
Dr. Briones was a pioneer in the use of technology and social media to achieve social change on a large scale. He has been the leader in the launch and commercialization of over 40 new products in the fields of chemicals, materials, smartphone apps and cloud software. His experience includes product introductions in the U.S., Europe and Latin America and has been named as inventor in 7 different product and process patents. Dr. Briones is a recognized speaker and writer in the field of innovation and product management, and publishes a newsletter and blog that documents developments in innovation, design and technology. He is currently spearheading the introduction of a new approach in the field of innovation management to define and manage disruptive innovation projects. Dr. Briones has a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Clemson University and an Executive MBA from Wharton Business School.
Victoria Fong Goldberg, Business Development,
Alliances and Product Marketing Specialist
Victoria Goldberg has over 15 years of product marketing and business development experience in consumer products, PCs, software and Internet industries. Experienced in combining relationship building, strategic planning and tactical execution to successfully drive new products and partnerships. Specialties including business development; alliances and joint marketing; licensing and distribution deals; product planning and strategy; and product launch and pricing through retail channels.
Prior to C-Level, Vicky held management positions in business development, alliance management, and product marketing/management at Hewlett Packard, Compaq Computer and Siebel and also worked at IBM as a senior engineer. She has an MBA from The Anderson School at UCLA and a BS in Electrical Engineering from UCLA.
Scot Harris, Marketing and Strategy
Scot Harris is a skilled marketing and strategy executive with over 20 years experience helping companies grow their business. He specializes in turn-around and new growth situations and can quickly analyze the market and identify potential opportunities to improve revenue growth and profitability. Scot has extensive experience conducting strategy and implementing programs to drive growth in the technology, communications and retail spaces and he has held management positions in marketing, M&A, general management, distribution and sales. His experience spans all size businesses from Fortune 20 to small businesses.
Scot most recently led solutions marketing for Convergys. He also led product marketing for Intervoice's mobile applications and network solutions, led marketing strategy for Verizon Communications’ international wireless business and has held numerous marketing positions at GTE and Contel Cellular (now Verizon). In addition, he has successfully managed his own small business. Scot earned an MBA and a BSBA in Business from the University of Florida.
Lisa Kolczun, Marketing Strategist
Lisa Kolczun is an executive with nearly 20 years of experience working with technology companies to both identify and capitalize on growth opportunities. Ms. Kolczun has a unique ability to integrate customer insights with business objectives to build more profitable product and service portfolios. She has worked with large companies such as Oracle, Eastman Kodak and Xerox but has specialized in working with small and mid-size companies that need to scale their early business models into new capabilities, geographies or channels.
Most recently, Ms. Kolczun was President of a wireless start-up that sold both network optimization software and services to wireless carriers. She developed a go-to-market strategy, expanded the company’s footprint into Europe and negotiated an $8M software and services contract with AT&T. As Vice President of Marketing and Product Management at Airband Communications, Lisa launched a new Voice over IP offering that quickly represented more than half of the company's revenues. She also helped firms such as Visa, Compaq and Sprint PCS as part of Accenture’s strategy practice.
Lisa holds a M.B.A. in Marketing Strategy from The Anderson School at UCLA and a B.A. in American Studies from Stanford University.
Paul Peck, Operations, Supply-Chain, C-Level Executive
Paul Peck is a hands-on technology executive with in-depth experience in product lifecycle management, product cost management, supply chain development, manufacturing, offshoring/outsourcing and corporate business systems. Previous positions include several vice president of operations positions as well as chief procurement officer, chief quality officer, chief financial officer and chief executive officer, with organizations ranging in size from pre-revenue startups to publically traded companies.
Paul has extensive M&A experience including target identification, due diligence and acquisition integration, having worked for Global Supply Chain Solutions (acquired by Provident), Covaro Networks and Movaz Networks (both acquired by ADVA Optical Networking AG), Navini Networks and Monterey Networks (both acquired by Cisco Systems), DSC Communications (acquired by Alcatel), TBS International (acquired by Davox), and DanRay (acquired by Northern Telecom). In all the above M&A events, Paul was retained as an executive with the acquiring company. Early in his career, Paul held various management positions at Intellicall, Xerox Computer Services, General Dynamics and Texas Instruments.
Paul is currently vice chair/treasurer for the Metroplex Technology Business Council, member of the Richardson Mayor’s International Economic Development Board, member of the Richardson Tax Increment Financing Board, and board member of UT-Dallas’ Center for Intelligent Supply Networks and their Center for Info Tech Management. Paul has a bachelors and a MBA from Texas Tech University, and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Lilia Shirman, Growth and Market Development Strategist
Lilia Shirman is a technology industry executive, author, and advisor. With more than 20 years of work experience in strategic planning, marketing, business development, and alliance management, Ms. Shirman has consistently delivered measurable results in helping businesses address complex challenges in growth and profitability. Her focus is on helping technology innovators identify and pursue new revenue streams and growth opportunities, and become more relevant to customers. Lilia has advised many technology leaders including BEA Systems/Oracle, CA, Convergys, EMC, Symantec and VMware, and rapidly growing new ventures.
Previously, Lilia held several leadership roles in marketing and business development at BEA Systems (now Oracle). As head of Business Development for the Portal/eCommerce Division, Lilia was instrumental in launching BEA's Commerce, Personalization, and Portal Server products and developing relationships with dozens of technology vendors. As Director of Strategic Alliance and Solutions Marketing, Lilia managed marketing relationships with Accenture and EDS. Working with these large systems integrators, she launched several joint solutions and raised partner investment in BEA by 30% in a single year. Prior to BEA Systems, Lilia advised clients including Cisco and HP, on corporate operations, M&A integration and planning as part of Accenture’s strategy practice.
Ms. Shirman is the author of 42 Rules of Growing Enterprise Revenue and is a coach in Stanford University’s Global Entrepreneurial Marketing program. She currently serves on the Advisory Board for 1World (a Crowdsourced Market Intelligence Platform). Lilia holds a B.S. in Engineering from UC Berkeley, and an M.S. in Technology Management from Stanford University.
Andy Smolenski, Business Development, Alliances and Product Management
Andy Smolenski is a product management and business development executive with a 25 year track record of success in organizations from startups to global fortune 500 companies. In the area of product management, Andy’s specialties include: Product planning; business case development; competitive analysis; product positioning; requirements development; release planning; P&L management and lifecycle planning. Andy also brings strong skills in business development including: Partnership development; contract negotiation; joint sales strategy; and relationship management. Throughout Andy’s career he has focused on growing revenue while supporting customers and partners.
Prior to joining C Level Andy spent 9 years at Convergys (acquired Intervoice). In that time Andy held multiple executive level positions in product management and business development. Prior to Convergys Andy has held consulting and full time positions at Verizon, where he served as a product manager, General Magic, where he lead the business development team and Xerago, where he built a consulting practice from 6 employees to 40. Andy also served as a contract CTO at RX.com. Andy holds a BS in Computer Science from Clarkson University.
Ben Wagner, Sales, Marketing and Entrepreneurship/Startups
Ben Wagner is a highly accomplished performance-driven business executive with over 30 years of global experience in sales, marketing, business development, and entrepreneurial operations. Ben has been successful in delivering impressive results for start-up to large corporations addressing data security, telecommunications, semiconductor, and consumer electronics sectors. Highly skilled in operations, formulating long-term strategic directions and driving technological initiatives that have supported organizational growth and increased return to investors. Ben solves problems with demonstrated ability to build and coach teams, and drive new business opportunities in fast-paced and complex environments. Linguistic skills include English, French and German.
Ben currently serves as Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing for Sonavation, Inc., a developer and supplier of biometric data security solutions. Ben joined Sonavation from Texas Instruments where he was Director of Service Provider Strategic Marketing. As worldwide Marketing Director of TI’s DSP Systems Broadband Solutions, he developed worldwide relationships with key OEMs and Service Providers and transformed the business unit into a worldwide market leader. Prior to joining TI, Mr. Wagner held executive positions at DSC/Alcatel, Siemens and Nortel in addition to two telecommunication startups, where he was responsible for marketing, strategic planning, business development and product development.
Ben holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. He has served on the Home Gateway Initiative Business and Marketing working group, was Chairman of the Metroplex Technology Business Council Business Development Team in Richardson, Texas, and served as a member of the International Engineering Consortium (IEC) Executive Overseers.
Ken Goldberg is a senior strategy and corporate development executive with over 20 years of experience in strategy, alliances, business development, marketing and operations. Ken is laser focused on helping companies accelerate growth and profitability, and has worked with many Fortune 500 companies and over a dozen start-ups. Ken's experience spans multiple technology sectors including software, hardware, SaaS, cloud, ecommerce, technical services and communications equipment.
Ken is currently VP, Business Planning and COO for the Travel and Transportation business of HP Enterprise Services. Previously, he was VP, Strategy and Planning for HP Enterprise Services. Prior to HP, Ken held leadership positions in strategy, marketing and corporate/business development at Convergys, Intervoice (now Convergys) and BEA Systems, and performed strategy and investment work for Cisco, Fujitsu, HP, Intel, Microsoft, Oracle, Qualcomm, and several cloud/SaaS startups while at C-Level Advisors and Accenture.
While at BEA, as VP, Market Strategy and Business Development, Ken led the portal product leadership council, which drove growth in revenue from $5M to $100M in 3 years. Ken was instrumental in driving a shift in product strategy, developing a partner ecosystem and creating alliances with Accenture, Deloitte and other systems integrators. At Intervoice/Convergys, Ken led a shift in portfolio strategy and leveraged alliances and M&A to go after emerging market opportunities in Cloud/SaaS.
Ken serves on the Board of Directors for Elastic Path Software and on the Executive Advisory Council for the UT Dallas Naveen Jindal School of Management. Ken earned an MBA from MIT's Sloan School of Management and a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Delaware.
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