Meet A Minnesota Tech CTO: Peter Kirwin, UR Turn

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Thank you Tarmac for underwriting our Meet a Minnesota Tech CTO series, where we get up close and personal with Minnesota’s chief techies!

Peter Kirwin is the CTO of edutech startup UR Turn — the developers of software designed to help students stay on track.

How long have you been working in tech for and what is your background?

I’ve always really enjoyed programming. I began seriously working with code in school for numerical simulation in physics and economics. I got into web application development in my first startup about 10 years ago. I was the industry person, not a programmer, but the programmers let me get involved with some of the math-intensive backend stuff, and got hooked.

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Meet A Minnesota Tech CTO: Steve Brain, Drip

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Thank you Tarmac for underwriting our Meet a Minnesota CTO series, where we get up close and personal with Minnesota’s chief techies!

Steve Brain is the newly named CTO at Drip, which is now a separate company from Leadpages.

How long have you been working in tech for and what is your technical background?

I’m now at 28 years working in tech—23 years of it in technical leadership. However, I started programming at 11 years old and published three books on programming in high school, so “working” in tech is longer than that. I used the high school time to fund skiing
despite growing up in South Wales.

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Meet A Minnesota Tech CTO: Ron Lancaster, Pearson VUE

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Thank you Tarmac for underwriting our Meet a Minnesota CTO series, where we get up close and personal with Minnesota’s chief techies!

Ron Lancaster is CTO at Pearson VUE, a business subsidiary of parent learning company Pearson (NYSE: PSO; LSE: PSON) based in Bloomington. The company specializes in computer-based testing for high-stakes certification and licensure exams in the healthcare, finance, information technology, academic, and admissions markets; serving over 450 clients via a network of highly secure test centers in 180 countries.

How long have you been working in tech for and what is your technical background?

I had the good fortune to start with VUE when it was a startup back in ’97 – and it’s been a rocketship ever since. I was hired into the call center, but we mutually realized I was a much better fit in technology. Since then, I’ve filled a variety of tech roles within the organization; moving in and out of management earlier in my career. Along the way, I earned a Masters in Software Engineering from the University of Minnesota.

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Drip + LeadPages Recruits Former Amazon Exec Steve Brain As CTO + Plots Salt Lake City Office

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Via News Release

“Minneapolis – When you’re on a mission to develop the world’s first and only ECRM—an ecommerce-specific CRM that connects your order management system with your marketing system at the customer level—it’s critical to have the best technologists with ecommerce experience on board. Today, Drip announced that Steve Brain has joined the executive leadership team as Chief Technology Officer (CTO).”

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Meet A Minnesota Tech CTO: Mike Thyken, CaringBridge

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Thank you Tarmac for underwriting our Meet a Minnesota CTO series, where we get up close and personal with Minnesota’s chief techies!

Mike Thyken is new CTO at CaringBridge, the Minnesota-based nonprofit social network dedicated to helping people stay connected with their loved ones during a health journey.

How long have you been working in tech and what is your technical background?

I have been in technology since the early 1980s and have held a wide variety of roles in many different industries. I started as a developer/analyst, went into technical sales, made a move into management consulting, and then into management and leadership including two CIO roles. I have worked for companies in industries ranging from startups to Fortune 100 companies. I think this variety is a real advantage as an IT leader since I have seen many different models and situations and have a broad playbook of what works.

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CaringBridge Hires Mike Thyken As CTO

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Via News Release

“Eagan, Minn. (March 1, 2018) – CaringBridge, the Minnesota-based nonprofit social network dedicated to helping people stay connected with their loved ones during a health journey, hires Mike Thyken as Chief Technology Officer. Thyken will oversee all technological aspects of CaringBridge to work towards the fulfillment of the organization’s mission to amplify the love, hope and compassion in the world, making each health journey easier.”

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Meet A Minnesota Tech CTO: Chris Nelson, ClickSWITCH

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Thank you Tarmac for underwriting our Meet a Minnesota CTO series, where we get up close and personal with Minnesota’s chief techies!

Chris Nelson is the CTO of ClickSWITCH, a fintech startup in Minneapolis’ North Loop focused on helping account holders switch their accounts from one financial institution to another.

How long have you been working in techn for and what is your technical background?

I have been working in technology my entire career, which spans more than 30 years of corporate experience. I went to school for Electrical Engineering and have done nearly every job in IT since I left school.

What are you focused on right now?

As a bootstrapped startup with a strong sales focus, ClickSWITCH now has an awesome problem, scaling the business. I’m focused on enabling technologies that allow exponential transactional growth coupled with our ability to effectively fulfill those transactions.

What are the some of the technologies within your company and IT environment?

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Meet A Minnesota Tech CTO: Kyle Gunderson, Revel

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Thank you Tarmac for underwriting our Meet a Minnesota CTO series, where we get up close and personal with Minnesota’s chief techies!

Kyle Gunderson joined VC-backed Revel earlier this month, after two decades in Minnesota tech; previously, Gunderson has been CTO with Spok and also with Quantum Retail Technology.

How long have you been working in techn for and what is your technical background?

I have spent all of my 20+ year career working in software and technology-related businesses. Most of my time has been spent working in small, medium, and large companies, but always in an Independent Software Vendor (ISV) model with a focus on delivering packaged software solutions to the market. My formal education was in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science and I spent my early years doing software engineering and architecture. I have now been fortunate to apply fundamental principles of software strategy, development, and delivery to create products for ERP, MRP, GRC, Retail, and Healthcare.

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