CIQ Leadership, Advisors, and Investors

CIQ’s leadership team has an unparalleled degree of experience building and running Linux-based infrastructure at scale for some of the most demanding applications.

From the base operating system, through cloud, VMs, containers, all the way to the top of a unified application stack, the CIQ team uniquely understands the point of view of customers across a diversity of industries.

Gregory M. Kurtzer

Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Robert Adolph at CIQ

Robert Adolph

Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer
John Frey at CIQ

John Frey

Chief Technology Officer
Marlin Prager at CIQ

Marlin Prager

Chief Finance Officer

Rob Dufalo

Senior Vice President of Operations
Zane Hamilton at CIQ

Zane Hamilton

Senior Vice President of Sales Engineering
Stephen Moody at CIQ

Stephen Moody

Senior Vice President of Support and Technology

Arthur Tyde

Senior Vice President of Business Development

Kelly Wall

Vice President of Accounting and Finance
Patricia Tantow VP of Marketing at CIQ

Patricia Tantow

Vice President of Marketing

April Mead

Vice President of Product
Colin VanderSmith Vice President of Product Management & Technology Partnerships at CIQ

Colin VanderSmith

Vice President of Product Management & Technology Partnerships
Tony Sheridan at CIQ

Tony Sheridan

Vice President of Security and Compliance

Gregory M. Kurtzer

Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Kurtzer is a 20+ year veteran in Linux, open source, and HPC. He is well known in the HPC space for designing scalable and easy-to-manage secure architectures for innovative performance-intensive computing while working for the U.S. Department of Energy and holding a joint appointment to UC Berkeley. Kurtzer founded and led several large open source projects such as CentOS Linux, the Warewulf and Perceus cluster toolkits, the container system Singularity (now Apptainer), and most recently, the successor to CentOS, Rocky Linux.

Bjorn Hovland

Chief Operations Officer

Hovland is an accomplished operator and product manager with deep knowledge of how to build products and lead product teams that understand what customers need and want across both consumer and enterprise segments.

Robert Adolph

Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer

Adolph has introduced disruptive innovations in technology and business strategy for the past 25 years. He has integrated engineering and research and development experience with large partners and customers specialized in engineering, computing, digital, and project management. Adolph has been an advisory board member and angel investor in many start-ups and is a premium partner for customers on innovative project development.

John Frey

Chief Technology Innovation Officer

Frey has spent the last 20 years of his career creating partnerships, mergers and acquisitions, and operating cost efficiency. His primary focus is using his research and engineering experience to apply machine learning with data-driven insights to solve HPC and cloud computing solutions to CIQ’s current product stack.

Marlin Prager

Chief Finance Officer

Prager has over 26 years of experience in the media and entertainment industries, where he has been directly involved in equity, debt, and merger and acquisitions deals totaling more than $10 billion. He formerly was with Legendary Entertainment, which was acquired by Wanda in 2016. He then worked on several start-up projects, including OpenDrives and Illuscio, before joining CIQ. Prager was formerly a partner at W2 Films and also founded Digital Cinema Ventures, supporting the rollout of digital projectors in theaters. Prager began his career with Price Waterhouse, where he earned his CPA.

Rob Dufalo

Chief Technology Officer

Dufalo has worked on both ends of the computing spectrum, delivering solutions for the second- largest search engine in the world and working on IoT and embedded computing solutions for over 20 years. He has extensive experience in development, quality management, and operating cloud-native solutions.

Zane Hamilton

Senior Vice President of Sales Engineering

Hamilton was previously with Red Hat as a cloud sales specialist and Verizon as director of cloud strategy and integration. He brings strong customer insights from diverse roles, spanning developer, middleware, and server administrator functions. Additionally, he brings project management expertise in leading a large global consulting business.

Stephen Moody

Vice President of IT

Moody is a technology executive, formerly at MIW for over 15 years, where he has developed patented products that focus on utilizing green technologies. His experience with IBM, Boeing, Microsoft, Rackable Systems, and ZT Systems has given him the opportunity to leverage his ability to build high-performing technology teams and solutions.

Art Tyde

Senior Vice President of Business Development

Tyde is a 30-year veteran of open source with significant technology sales and engineering experience in both start-ups and the enterprise. Tyde is credited as the founder of the enterprise Linux services and support industry, having founded the San Francisco (and Silicon Valley) Bay Area Linux Users Group in 1994 and co-founder of Linuxcare.

Kelly Wall

Vice President of Accounting and Finance

Wall is an accounting and finance executive with deep expertise in streamlining and strengthening operations at companies such as Spyglass Media Group, Solstice Studios, and Legendary Pictures. In her role as VP of Accounting and Finance for CIQ, Wall is responsible for keeping enterprise-wide goals in focus, while creating operational and administrative efficiencies. 

April Mead

Vice President of Product

Mead is an accomplished tech professional with 20+ years of experience delivering user-centric, empathy-driven solutions across various industries. This background, along with her vast skillset and experience in both start-up and consulting environments, allows her to view technology from many perspectives and turn complex ideas into products that are delightful and easy to use.

Colin VanderSmith

Vice President of Product Management & Technology Partnerships

VanderSmith brings over 20 years of industry experience as a cloud computing and technology executive at Google, Oracle, and Microsoft. As Head of our Cloud Business, VanderSmith is accelerating CIQ’s growth strategy by building scalable cloud solutions, forming strategic technology partnerships, and simplifying customer deployments through cloud marketplaces.

CIQ Advisory Board

CIQ’s advisory board is composed of veteran leaders with deep expertise in IT infrastructure, High Performance Computing (HPC), open source software, and business strategy. Its members will help guide CIQ as it builds the next generation of software infrastructure for enterprises running data-intensive workloads atop the Rocky Linux enterprise Linux distribution. These experts not only understand the challenges facing the industry but also know what it takes to bring innovation and worthy visions to fruition.

Rosio Alvarez

CIO, Chan Zuckerberg Biohub Network

Drawn to CIQ because of its innovative and boundary-pushing approach to HPC, Alvarez joins the advisory board after having worked with CIQ founder and CEO, Gregory Kurtzer, at the Lawrence Berkeley Lab. Alvarez has over 25 years of experience managing technology organizations in research and higher education. Alvarez was CIO at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory for 14 years, including serving as CIO advisor to then-secretary of energy Stephen Chu under President Obama. Recently, Alvarez has moved to the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub to help build a national network of bioscience research centers charged with curing or managing all disease by the end of the century. Alvarez was also a member of the faculty at the business schools of the University of Washington and the University of Massachusetts.

Bob Banasik

CTO, Resurgent Capital Services

Banasik’s career in IT infrastructure and IT security spans over 30 years, beginning as a highly certified trainer and engineer for Novell and Microsoft followed by consulting roles with Procter & Gamble, GE Aircraft Engines, GE Capital, and other financial services firms. He has held CTO and CSO roles, and helped one organization grow from a small business to a multinational organization. He now also enjoys providing advisory services for a number of technology-anchored startups.

David Buss

Buss is a retired vice admiral from the U.S. Navy, having served on active duty for more than 36 years. Prior to joining OpenDrives, Buss was president of Cubic Global Defense, Inc., where he led all aspects of Cubic's nearly $1 billion military training business. Previously, he oversaw an aerospace defense company, spanning 38 countries and employing more than 4,000 teammates. In addition to his current executive responsibilities, Buss serves on the board of GelSight and recently completed board service with TechFlow and West Pak. He is also a senior advisor with Anzu Partners, a capital investment firm focused on breakthrough technologies in material science, engineering, and medical/bio sciences. Additionally, he is a trustee on the US Naval Academy Foundation Board and is chairman of the board for the National Aviation Museum Foundation in Pensacola, Florida.

Brent Gorda

Senior Director for HPC Business, Arm Holdings

Gorda’s career includes roles as a technologist and business leader, driving positive change for HPC. He is currently helping Arm architecture become a viable option for HPC. Past roles include early parallel computing systems work with the U.S. Department of Energy in the transition from vector to parallel computing. Gorda was founder and CEO at Whamcloud, responsible for bringing Lustre back into the community. After selling the company to Intel, he led Intel’s global HPC storage activities.

Travis Grizzel

Principal Advisor to the CTO, Amazon Web Services

Grizzel has spent his 20-year technical career furthering the advancement of new technologies such as virtualization, cloud, AI, and voice technologies. As an entrepreneur and small business advocate, he has a focus on helping companies put into place solid operational models. Beyond his role as principal advisor, he also runs the office of the CTO at Amazon.com. He brings to CIQ both technical and operational experience that will support its rapid growth.

Dirk Hohndel

Head of the Open Source Program Office, Verizon

Hohndel has spent more than 30 years in developer and leadership roles building business models around open source projects. After open source leadership roles at Intel and VMware, he has recently joined Verizon in order to build and lead their Open Source Program Office. He continues to be an active open source developer and is an advisor to several open source-related startups.

Bjorn Hovland

Partner and COO, private investment firm

Hovland is an accomplished operator and product manager with deep knowledge of how to build products and lead product teams that understand what customers need and want across both consumer and enterprise segments.

Greg Kroah-Hartman

Fellow, Linux Foundation

Kroah-Hartman joined the CIQ advisory board because he believes CIQ and Rocky Linux meet the need for an enterprise-focused Linux distribution that can provide properly updated and secure kernel releases for their users. Kroah-Hartman is a fellow at the Linux Foundation, where he is the maintainer of the stable kernel releases and a number of different kernel subsystems.

CIQ Investors

CIQ enjoys the backing of leading technology investors, including Two Bear Capital and IAG Capital Partners.

Two Bear Capital

Two Bear Capital operates everywhere entrepreneurship thrives. We are a venture capital firm with offices in San Francisco, San Diego, Boston, and a home base in Whitefish, Montana, where the opportunities are bright and the thinking is clear. We invest in brilliant entrepreneurs who have breakthrough ideas. Together, we build enduring companies.

IAG Capital Partners

We endeavor to resolve a business’ capital needs in order to free management to execute on their business strategy. IAG has the resources and agility to help businesses navigate complex capital challenges. From early stage funding to recapitalizations or restructures, IAG can be a sole source of financing, lead investment rounds, or collaborate with other debt and equity investors.

OpenDrives

OpenDrives is a company forged by necessity and a desire to solve hard technical problems.

Our founders couldn’t find enterprise storage that got the job done–so they designed their own solution to their technical challenges. Providing customers with innovative solutions to meet their operational needs is still hard-coded into our DNA.