Otava’s team has decades of experience managing, leading and supporting successful high-tech businesses, from startups to Fortune 500 global providers. Meet the x factors – the legendary people that set us apart—not just executive leadership, but also our dedicated team of engineers. Bonus? We’re all nice, too!

Brad Cheedle

Chief Executive Officer

Brad joins Otava as a grizzled veteran technology executive and entrepreneur with more than 20 years of experience. His professional expertise includes corporate finance, sales and business development, engineering, technical operations, marketing, product development and mergers and acquisitions. He has helped launch companies and organizations at WOW!Business, Zayo Group, Qwest Communications, Onfiber Communications, Level 3 Communications and MCI Communications.

 

Brad is an active alumnus at the University of Northern Colorado, Monfort College of Business. He currently sits on the Board of Directors there and supports the organization’s entrepreneurial programs. He’s a sucker for a good bourbon and enjoys jamming out on his guitar more than anything except possibly being with his family.

Tom Wilten

Chief Financial Officer

Tom is Chief Financial Officer of Otava, who has built his career around corporate finance and strategy. His previous experience includes Qwest Communications, where he was responsible for mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, and strategic business review. Tom capped his career at Qwest by leading the process for the $22 billion merger with CenturyLink–no small feat!

 

Tom holds an MBA in finance and accounting from the University of Chicago and a B.A. in economics from Cornell University. When he’s not guiding Otava financially, you can find him hanging out with his family of three children, serving on the Board of Trustees for the Colorado/Wyoming Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the Good Shepherd Foundation board, or kicking around a ball as a volunteer recreational soccer coach.

Cyndi Lyon

Chief Customer Experience Officer & Chief of Staff

Cyndi never met a process she couldn’t improve. She is a customer experience, service delivery and operations trailblazer with a laser-focus on process improvement and organizational development. In her 25 years of experience, she’s had an impact on everything from high-tech client outcomes and deployments to city planning.   

 

As Otava’s Chief Customer Experience Officer, she is the champion of our clients’ end-to-end journeys. She manages marketing and communications, product management, platform development and customer success metrics with one goal in mind: to create exceptional customer experiences. She lives by that same objective as Chief of Staff to the CEO, coordinating efforts across Otava’s business units.  

 

Prior to joining Otava, Cyndi was the Director of Professional Services at ForeSee where she set the onboarding strategy for customers and developed the professional services Architect’s Consultants team and product offerings. Earlier, she was a City Planning Director in Romulus, Michigan, where she established the city’s first Planning Department and was integral in creating the Detroit Region Aerotropolis, a four-community, two-county public-private economic development consortium. Cyndi has been certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and holds VMware and Veeam sales professional certifications. When she’s ready for a little “relaxation”, Cyndi trains for half-marathons and travels with her family.

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TJ Houske

VP Operations & Solutions Engineering

TJ is a coach and professional mentor who loves entrepreneurship almost as much as he loves technology. Over the past 29 years he’s held senior and executive leadership roles in engineering, architecture and strategic business development. He’s been an IT director, consultant, entrepreneur and the head of one of the industry’s most dedicated technical support teams as Otava’s Director of Support Operations. 

 

Now TJ leads the development of Otava’s hybrid and multi-cloud solutions as Vice President of Operations and Solutions Engineering. He oversees Otava’s Operations, Solutions Architecture, Deployment, Service and Support, Security, Internal IT and Product Engineering teams. A visionary with a down-to-earth approach, TJ is on a mission to make service providers, enterprises and public sector organizations successful in cloud. 

 

Grateful husband and “girl-dad”, TJ’s personal goal is to make a positive difference every day – both at work and in his personal life. When he’s not in the office or on the playground, this John C. Maxwell certified educator is helping others achieve their goals through his coaching, mentoring and speaking engagements. 

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Austin Cook

Controller

 

Austin is Otava’s Controller, responsible for the company’s financial reporting, annual budget, and strategic financial planning process. He is an experienced finance leader that brings more than a decade of experience with technology, cloud, and software organizations to this critical role. He is passionate about helping the company grow and achieve its mission of making cloud easy through the strategic financial planning process, including M&A analysis and support and process/team development. His previous experience includes Controller at ForeSee, where he oversaw all aspects accounting and finance. He has also held other accounting roles and was an adjunct professor at Concordia University in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Austin is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Certified Management Associate (CMA). He holds a B.B.A. in Accounting from Concordia University and an MBA in Accounting from Liberty University. Austin is a husband and father of two and enjoys basketball and golf.

Michael Kroon

Director of Enterprise Sales

Michael is a sales and marketing leader with 30 years of experience under his belt. As Otava’s Enterprise Sales Director, he has successfully executed digital, direct and social media strategies that have been integral in Otava’s market growth. Not only is he a wiz at aligning strategy between the Sales, Product and Marketing teams, he’s a passionate storyteller who enjoys sharing the possibilities of cloud and automation with potential clients.  

 

Michael shares his expertise at technology industry conferences, including Healthcare Information Management Systems Society conference (HIMSS), Veeam Velocity, SecureWorld Detroit, mHealth Summit, Healthcare Compliance Association’s Compliance. He has also planned and promoted several Otava-sponsored events. After hours he jams out to any type of music (yes, any) and will happily share a Diet Mountain Dew with you.

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John Bourjaily

National Public Sector Sales Director

Specializing in the public sector for over 20 years, John is no stranger to the complexities of legacy infrastructure, regulatory demands and spiky usage patterns these organizations face. He leads Otava’s Public Sector Team with a passion for helping people in state and local government, higher education, K-12 and non-profits achieve their goals in cloud despite the challengesJohn has a passion for helping people reach their goals outside of work too. He’s involved in many local community groups that improve the lives of kids with disabilities, and if you ask him, he’ll tell you his three favorite ways to spend free time are family, golf and charitable activities.  

Shelly Bodine

Global Partner Sales Director

Prior to joining Otava, Shelly served as the North American Chief of Staff for SoftwareONE.  As Chief of Staff, she was responsible for the organization of the leadership team, driving sales enablement initiatives and managing special projects – most recent of which was serving as the integration lead on a strategic acquisition.  During her time at SoftwareONE she also managed sales teams and partner relationships, as well as served on SoftwareONE’s “Women in Technology” Board.

 

Shelly is an IT industry veteran with over 25 years of business experience within both the distribution and reseller space.  A versatile leader, she has held executive positions in procurement, marketing, sales, channel alliances, operations and M&A.  Before joining SoftwareONE, Shelly worked for organizations such as Avent, where she headed up the Western Region Enterprise Channel team, and Insight, where she was the VP of Client Operations.

 

Shelly resides in Arizona and is the proud mother of 3 children.  In her free time she loves to travel, exercise and create new memories.

Melissa Lock

Director of People and Culture

Melissa is a twenty-plus year human resources professional.  She graduated from Bethel University with a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership.  She holds multiple professional certifications:  SHRM-SCP, PHR, CCP.  She currently serves as a director on the Schurz Foundation Board.

 

Melissa served both television and broadband companies for Schurz before joining the Otava leadership team.  Today she directs the implementation of people and culture strategies, initiatives, policies, and programs to ensure we attract, manage, develop, and retain the technical skills needed to achieve current and future business objectives.

 

She is also a fun-loving mom, a joy chooser, and an interior designer wannabe.

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Taylor Donald

Manager of Physical Infrastructure

Taylor is a U.S. Air Force Veteran with 22 years of training and hands-on experience in the mechanical and electrical fields. He has worked his way up in the ranks at Otava from data center administrator to data center manager to Physical Infrastructure Manager. Taylor now leads teams at four Midwest data centers, managing critical facility systems, security, assets, energy, capacity management and on-site customer service. He guards the backbone of our data center migrations, overseeing data center consolidations and critical equipment upgrades. Taylor was also a key player in the M&A assessments for our Neverfail and NewCloud Networks acquisitions. Early in his career, Taylor served as an F-15C Crew Chief and was awarded an Airframe and Powerplant License for civil aviation. He then cross-trained in commercial and industrial HVAC and went on to spend 10 years with Precision Controls where he worked extensively with building controls, automations systems and HVAC. Prior to joining Otava, he was training future HVAC specialists as an instructor with the Local 440 Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee.

Sydney Diedrich

Director of Marketing

Sydney is passionate about the creative and driven by data. She is a graduate of California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration where she concentrated in Marketing. Upon graduating, Sydney launched her career in High Tech at Oracle, and has since built a brand for herself as a technical Marketing Professional. Prior to joining Otava, she spent 5 years at NewCloud Networks developing the marketing and sales operations strategy from the ground up. Today, she leads the Otava Marketing team in a people-focused strategy to bring excellence to all areas of the customer experience.

Larry Ludlow

Manager of Business and Technology Solutions

An expert in solution architecture, design and implementation, Larry brings 25 years of IT experience and big-picture thinking to his role at Otava. Prior to joining Otava, he led a multi-disciplinary team responsible for Windows, VMware, Active Directory, AIX, Linux, and VMware at The Auto Club Group (AAA). His background in managing large high-performance teams across Healthcare, Insurance, and Finance industries makes him a great fit for the Otava customer base, as does his dedication to win:win successes. Larry is a backyard chef and amateur AI enthusiast who loves to explore uniquely random places around the world. A self-proclaimed “urban spelunker”, he traveled to Europe for the French tour of atrocities. Lately he’s been exploring Kentucky.

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