Kenn’s background includes 35 years experience with the Metropolitan Council Environmental Services, a division of the Metropolitan Council. Kenn managed a maintenance group of up to 45 Pipefitters responsible for the maintenance of various piping systems, the control network for these systems and the HVAC systems for the infrastructure of the wastewater treatment plants. Kenn has also served as General Partner of Judge/Rouse Properties responsible for updates and remodels to historic buildings in downtown Hastings, MN. Most recently, Kenn was investor/owner in a compaction company where he was an active partner in developing compactor models along with managing corporate relationships and key customer accounts such as Mall of America and McDonald’s stores in the Minneapolis, Chicago and Brainerd, MN area. Kenn has served on several volunteer boards and advisory groups including President of his church Spiritual Life Commission, Treasurer of an investment club and the advisory board of Mobility for Independence.
Jeff’s career includes experience in industrial, consumer, and start-up businesses. Prior to joining CTI, Jeff was President and Chief Operating Officer of Inside Edge Commercial Interior Services. While there, Inside Edge grew from a start-up to $22 million in sales and ended 2008 with over $30 million in sales. Jeff oversaw Operations, Finance, IT, and Legal. Prior to that, Jeff managed a $40 million business unit for Ecolab’s Food and Beverage Division. His team managed Quadexx®, a chemical dispensing and billing system installed in 700 locations across North America. Faced with declining sales and customer confidence, Jeff led a major renovation of Quadexx®, including diagnosis, trouble-shooting, maintenance, and customer service restoring sales growth. While Director of Marketing at Lifetouch, he was responsible for all products and services in U.S. Secondary Schools (grades 6-12). His team designed, built, tested, and launched I-Depot™, an instant ID card production system used in the field. Today, Lifetouch utilizes I-Depot™ in approximately 3,900 High Schools and Middle Schools across the U.S. and Canada to improve student security and increase operational efficiency. As a Brand Manager with The Pillsbury Company and Kraft Foods, Jeff drove new product development, sales and profits for such widely-known consumer brands as Old El Paso Mexican Food, Tombstone Pizza, and Kraft Barbeque Sauce. Jeff began his career with Monsanto in agricultural chemical sales and management. Jeff’s marketing team designed and launched bulk herbicide handling systems to 500 locations in 17 western states replacing tens of thousands of chemical containers. Jeff earned a BS in Agricultural Economics from Oregon State University in 1985, and an MBA in marketing from Washington University in St. Louis, MO in 1991.
Mary Pat Blake serves as a board director and consultant to CEOs on strategy, sales, marketing, brand development, new products, and new ventures. She has 30+ years of experience in consumer products, Internet services, and cable TV industries and is a 3-time entrepreneur. Blake was Chief Marketing Officer for Charter Communications, a Top 4 broadband company. When Charter was sold in 1998 for $4.5B to Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, she helped mastermind and manage the dramatic growth of Charter including 13 acquisitions and the second largest IPO in U.S. history at the time. Prior to Charter, Blake worked with General Mills and PepsiCo in marketing and finance. She earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BS in Business from Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota, Summa cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa. Blake serves on the Board of Overseers at the Carlson School.
Merrill’s background includes CFO roles in public, private, and start-up companies. His experience raising capital, finance, mergers & acquisitions, and business operations are very valuable to the company. Merrill has extensive experience in Manufacturing, Financial Services and Food/Food-related industries, and currently serves as a Director and Consulting CFO at Terras Irradient, Inc., a privately held holding company in St. Paul, MN for early state investments in the non-invasive medical device field. He is also Vice Chairman and Trustee of Financial Executives Research Foundation (FERF), Morristown, NJ, FERF is the non-profit research affiliate of Financial Executives International, a 15,000 member professional association for senior-level finance executives. Merrill earned a BA degree from Pomona College and an MBA degree from University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.