Chris has been a career entrepreneur who can bring an idea from the whiteboard to full production and release. He has collaboratively developed and executed the business plans and product strategies for each of the companies he has co-founded, which have given him experience with both success and failure in the Web and Software industries. He has a very strong and creative talent at specifying and integrating new systems, hardware and software to create new products. Additionally, he is very adept at managing product strategies and proving a product´s market potential. Chris was most recently the Director of Product at Panopto where he drove both the Product and Marketing teams. Prior to Panopto, he was a Lead PM at Microsoft’s Health Solutions Group where he successfully launched 2 major V1.0 products. Chris served as CTO for HomeSavvi and was a Board Member of an arts non-profit, Stronghold Productions. His contributions have included initializing a project for Red Llama, a surgical simulation company he co-founded, which became the company’s main focus. Additionally, over the course of his career, he co-founded and served as CTO of Static Factory Media LLC, managed a wide variety of projects for the University of Washington Human Interface Technology Lab and played a key role in the success of multiple collaborative art installations.
His work throughout the years has resulted in several publications.In the early years, Chris received a BS in Biomedical Engineering from Marquette University. He then worked at the University of Washington Human Interface Technology Lab from 1996 – 2001 as a Research Engineer, where he developed and managed projects involving wearable computers, driving simulators, surgery simulators, interactive home networks, and 8 channel audio systems. He has exhibited some of his multi-modal interactive art installations in the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York City, NY), the Bellevue Arts Museum (Bellevue, WA), Burningman (NV), Cornish College of the Arts (Seattle, WA), and the U of WA. His largest creative project to date was The Machine 2005, which spawned Stronghold Productions.
Business plan and proforma development and strategies
Product roadmap development and strategies
Competitive analysis for both business and technical decision making
Product vision, and go to market strategy development and execution
Director of Product, 2011
Lead & Sr PM, Health Solutions Group – 2008 – 2010
- Conceptualized and launched V1.0 of Mayo Clinic Health Manager
- Conceptualized and launched V1.0 of Microsoft HealthVault Community Connect
Director of Product, 2008
CTO, 2007 – 2008
- Co-created the product development plan and product roadmaps.
- Co-conceptualized and modeled the core architecture of the company’s consumer facing social media website.
- Hired and managed multiple concurrent development teams located in Seattle, France, and India
- Worked with the agencies to conceptualize and specify the website’s user experience and design.
- Conceptualized and created numerous Functional Requirements Documents for the development of new features.
- Company sold in 2012.
Red Llama, Inc.
CTO / Co-Founder, 2003 – 2007
- During Red Llama´s beginning stages, initialized a project (SimPraxis™, an interactive surgical simulation platform) that became the main focus for the company.
- Integral in developing the vision of the simulation software engine and translating that vision into the release of SimPraxis v1.0
- Co-developed the master Business Plan and Proforma
- Researched and implemented competitive solutions and systems
- Helped establish and hire Advisory Board, CEO, and business and technical strategists
- Co-developed product development plan and Product Road Maps
- Presented the Red Llama story to Northwest and West Coast Investor Forums and demonstrated SimPraxis to numerous academic and business leaders
- Managed network and technology infrastructure
- Worked with law firms to create C Corp business documents, private placement memorandums, employment agreements, trademark, and patent application
Stronghold Productions, Non-profit
Board Member / Secretary / Co-Founder, 2005 – 2008
- Integral in conceptualizing primary mission
- Co-developed master Business Plan and Proforma
- Integral in developing and executing the premier project, The Machine
- Developed cross-functional and interdisciplinary teams for projects
- Interviewed by press and presented at forums, such as Dorkbot Seattle
Static Factory Media, LLC
CTO / Co-Founder, 2002 – 2005
- Integral in developing the business plan and securing Angel funding for the company
- Constructed the company’s network and technology infrastructure from the ground up, which managed 120 client’s websites
- Performed CIO and COO duties in the early stages, and co-managed company finances
- Additionally, performed CIO and COO duties in the early stages
- Specified, Researched, developed, and released internal and external software
- Hired and managed Development, System Admins, Sales, Marketing, and PR teams
- Helped hire Development, System Admin, Sales, Marketing, and PR teams
- Created profitable hosting and web development divisions for the company within 3 years
- Co-founded and spun off successful record label Wax Orchard
- Worked with the CEO to close down the company, sell assets, and reconcile all debts
Human Interface Technology Lab (HITLab)
Research Engineer, 1996 – 2001
- Key member of the team in attaining second round funding on the Madigan Endoscopic Sinus Surgery Simulator. Collaborated in development of phase two and three simulation content and testing protocols. Validated voice recognition system, which was used for system control and interactive student aide during training. Published multiple papers on the objective measure of performance on the simulator vs. performance in the operating room
- HITLab/UW Opthalmology Department’s refractive surgery pilot studies; lead to submission of a grant proposal to the NIH for further studies and development of another testing system
- Kodak, Immersive Experiences Project; Lead Engineer/Developer for the content and audio technology subgroups on this project. Conducted research in noise cancellation hardware and software, and voice recognition software, Developed soundscape synthesis and interaction software for incorporation into a smart home system. Successfully coordinated 3 multidisciplinary teams with an average of 4 people per team to gain Phase C funding for an additional 14 months of development. As Lead Audio Engineer, concentrated on development of a multi-user, spatialized, eight channel audio environment using Max/MSP
- Managed the HITLab’s virtual reality audio lab and RealDrive driving simulator. Designed, specified, and built hardware devices for the lab’s human interface and human factors studies; Specified and purchased interface, wearable computing, audio and simulation hardware, and motion tracking equipment. Developed hardware for HITLab’s wireless wearable computing system. Incorporated realtime video tracking and object recognition into the wireless wearable hardware prototype system
- Collaborated and helped develop the Augmented Groove and exhibits at SIGGRAPH 2000
Red Llama’s Youth Services projects presented at the IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference in San Diego by Peter Gruenbaum 10/2006. The paper is entitled “Technological Creativity in Low-Income Neighborhoods”, and it describes various creative technology classes taught at the Yesler Terrace Neighborhood in Seattle.
Poupyrev, I., Airola, C., Billinghurst, M., Kato, H. Augmented Groove: Collaborative Jamming in Augmented Reality, ACM SIGGRAPH 2000, July 23rd-28th, New Orleans, USA.
Charles Edmond, M.D., David Heskamp, Major Glen Mesaros, M.D., Suzanne Weghorst, Christopher Airola, Don Stredney, Dennis J. Sessanna, Roger Crawfis, Naeem Shareef, Gregory J. Wiet and Jeffrey Miller (1998). ENT SURGICAL SIMULATOR (Final Report – Cooperative Agreement No. DAMD17-95-2-5023 – HITL Technical Report R-99-14). Fort Detrick, MD 21702-5012: U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command.
Weghorst, S., Airola, C., Oppenheimer, P., Edmond, C.V., Patience, T., Heskamp, D., Miller, J. (1998). Validation of the Madigan ESS Simulator. In Proceedings of Medicine Meets Virtual Reality. Art, Science, Technology: Healthcare (R)evolution, pp. 399-405.
Weghorst, S., Airola, C. and Oppenheimer, P. (1997). Formal Evaluation of the Madigan Endoscopic Sinus Surgery Simulator (September R-97-34). Seattle: University of Washington, Human Interface Technology Laboratory.