Our Team | OTAVA®

Our Team

Our passionate team has decades of experience managing, leading, and supporting numerous successful businesses of all sizes. Meet the brilliant people that set us apart.

Tom Wilten

President & General Manager

Meet Tom Wilten

Tom Wilten

President & General Manager

Tom is President and General Manager of OTAVA. Previously serving as OTAVA’s CFO, he 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

Senior Vice President of Product, Marketing and Business Strategy

Meet Cyndi Lyon

Cyndi Lyon

Senior Vice President of Product, Marketing and Business Strategy

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 Senior Vice President of Product, Marketing and Business Strategy, 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. 

 

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.

TJ Houske

Senior Vice President of Technology, Operations and Engineering

Meet TJ Houske

TJ Houske

Senior Vice President of Technology, Operations and 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. TJ holds a bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Studies and Business from Arizona State University, and is currently pursuing an MBA with emphasis in Marketing & Strategic Leadership as well as a Masters of Finance from the University of Cincinnati. 

Peter Bell

Senior Vice President of Sales

Meet Peter Bell

Peter Bell

Senior Vice President of Sales

Pete Bell knows what it takes to be a leader. In his more than 25 years of sales leadership experience, Pete has built, recruited, managed, and grown global sales operations for top organizations on 3 different continents. A proud alumnus of Emerson College, his previous roles include SVP titles at many innovative cloud technology firms, where he oversaw and contributed to record growth. Pete’s wide range of experiences in the Cloud Technology space compliments OTAVA’s reputation for industry expertise. 

 

Pete’s natural abilities as a leader have proven themselves invaluable as OTAVA continues to evolve. Blending business and technology to create effectives sales strategies, he brings his own unique formula for success to the table. As the Senior Vice President of Sales, Pete uses this and his industry insights to steer our sales efforts towards growth and expansion. 

  

No stranger to the outdoors, Pete’s favorite things to do in his free time include hiking, skiing, and taking advantage of everything his home-state of Colorado has to offer. Outside the borders of CO, he prefers long days on the beach at his favorite vacation spot, Anna Maria Island, Florida. Pete lives in Denver with his wife and 2 of his children, where you can often find him walking his two dogs, Colby and Pirate. 

Austin Cook

Vice President of Finance and Controller

Meet Austin Cook

Austin Cook

Vice President of Finance and Controller

Austin is OTAVA’s VP of Finance and 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.

Melissa Lock

Chief of Culture and Talent Development

Meet Melissa Lock

Melissa Lock

Chief of Culture and Talent Development

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.

Sydney Diedrich

Director of Marketing

Meet Sydney Diedrich

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.

Ben Taghechihan

Director of Sales

Meet Ben Taghechihan

Ben Taghechihan

Director of Sales

Ben isn’t new to the technology game. Since 1996 he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of the industry: Sales, Support, Engineering, Consulting. You name it, and Ben’s probably done it. But his real passion for growing businesses stemmed from starting and selling one of his own, and has inspired him to lead other organizations to their revenue objectives. His track-record in tech includes building sales teams, channel programs, doubling and tripling revenue streams using effective strategies, and creating a culture of success.

 

As Director of Enterprise Sales at OTAVA, Ben uses this wealth of experience to insightfully navigate our sales strategy toward its goals. Leading by example, Ben puts in the work and walks-the-walk every day, never missing an opportunity to share his knowledge with his colleagues. A coach, mentor, and all-around team player, Ben is the engine behind OTAVA’s accelerating growth and an invaluable asset to the team.  

 

While scarce, in his free time Ben enjoys restoring old boats, cars, and trucks in his garage. His most recent project is restoring his Hummer H1. If he’s not tinkering around, Ben can likely be found on Austin’s Lake Travis fishing, waterskiing, or otherwise enjoying the water with his family. Ben lives in Austin, TX with his wife, two sons, and two dogs, Archie and Brownie.

Michael Kroon

Director of Colocation Sales

Meet Michael Kroon

Michael Kroon

Director of Colocation Sales

Michael is a sales and marketing leader with 30 years of experience under his belt. As OTAVA’s Director of Colocation Sales, 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.

Pawel Branski

Senior Director of Product Technology

Meet Pawel Branski

Pawel Branski

Senior Director of Product Technology

Bio Coming Soon!

Jason Pohlman

Senior Director of Product and Sales Enablement

Meet Jason Pohlman

Jason Pohlman

Senior Director of Product and Sales Enablement

Jason Pohlman is our presales architecture director at OTAVA specializing in architecting end to end cloud solutions to address unique business challenges. With over 25 years of IT experience ranging from operations to sales, tailoring comprehensive solutions providing visibility, flexibility, transparency, and improving time to value for our customers has been the staple of his efforts and success. He has been with OTAVA for over five years and holds a CPT degree from Purdue University.

Jason Keller

Director of Product Innovation

Meet Jason Keller

Jason Keller

Director of Product Innovation

Jason brings 14 years of experience in IT to OTAVA, and he has worn many different hats throughout his extensive career in tech. Beginning as an overnight help-desk admin, he quickly progressed as an industry expert to other roles including cloud migrations, alpha/beta testing, and development. He knows every nook and cranny of the cloud industry and is equipped to tackle any unique challenge that is thrown at him.  

 

Now serving OTAVA as Director of Product Innovation, Jason’s current role has him focused on product roadmaps, go-to-market strategies, and of course, innovation. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to every discussion, and is a driving force behind OTAVA’s cutting-edge solutions. 

 

When Jason isn’t working magic behind a keyboard, you can find him outdoors. A passionate hiker and camper, he doesn’t miss a chance to spend time in the mountains with his dogs Suki and Paisley. As with everything he does, Jason approaches his outdoor adventures with a determined ferocity – he even summited a 14,000-foot peak in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, an impressive feat!  

Larry Ludlow

Director of IT

Meet Larry Ludlow

Larry Ludlow

Director of IT

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.

Justin Keller

Senior Director of Engineering

Meet Justin Keller

Justin Keller

Senior Director of Engineering

Bio Coming Soon!

Steve Parlee

Director of NOC Operations

Meet Steve Parlee

Steve Parlee

Director of NOC Operations

Bio Coming Soon!

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