I first met Chris Onan 12 years ago at a meeting in downtown Denver. He was a young VC investor at a Colorado-based firm at the time and my tech start-up was in the process of raising our Series A round. Chris has a steel trap memory so could recall more details of that meeting than me. I do know we streamed, as part of a product demo, a White Castle visit found in the classic flick Harold and Kumar for him as part of an effort to raise money for our digital media business.
Chris has established himself as a financial and operational leader in the Colorado tech start-up scene over the past decade, having most recently served as a Co-Founder and the CFO of Galvanize. I’ve helped run a series of start-ups and held larger enterprise positions during that period. At every post, Chris has been someone I’ve turned to for business perspective and mentorship, including the decision to join Spex in 2014. He’s savvy, direct, thoughtful, entrepreneur-friendly and well-networked. His wisdom is as valuable as any I receive in making my businesses and teams better.
Having recently left Galvanize, Chris and I spoke in late 2016 about the possibility of him joining the Spex Board of Directors. We talked about what Spex has accomplished the past couple years, where we’re headed and key growth objectives in front of us for 2017. We’re pleased to announce this week the addition of Chris to our Board.
I always look to hire team members smarter and more capable than me, at all levels of the business, to make us better and drive us forward. Chris has a reputation as a top tier, early stage investor and executive. He brings immediate value and experience to our Board of Directors, a key element to our team as we head into 2017. He helped grow Galvanize to seven campuses and over 300 employees in four years and he’s served on Boards and in leadership roles at many other successful start-ups including Tendril, ActiveJunky and DataLogix. He’s succeeded as an early stage investor and an early stage operator, a rare combination of experiences and skills. He knows what plays an early-stage business should run.
Chris is equally excited about the next steps for Spex. We established a strong product-market fit, grew our customer base significantly and serviced large catastrophe events including Hurricane Matthew in 2016. “Insurtech” became a market over the past year as well and Spex is poised to lead the pack by providing easy-to-use, valuable solutions to insurance and restoration industry customers. We’re “disruptive” to the industry while providing a practical and effective platform at the same time.
Great Board Members challenge Management teams to think differently and execute better. Chris will certainly make us a better business. Our team is grateful to bring his experience to the Company.
CEO of Spex