Innovation is about pushing the limits of knowledge.

Who better than those with a track record of success
and thought leadership to push those limits?"

Opus Faveo Fellows

As part of its mission to attract new ideas and successful people to the pursuit of commercially successful innovation, the Opus Faveo established its Fellows program, through which a select number of Fellowships are awarded to highly successful individuals.

The Fellowships are structured to give Fellows exposure to the Opus Faveo venture development process, specific startup ventures, and leaders in public and private sector entities engaged in innovation policy. Pursuant to the mission of Opus Faveo, Fellows are also encouraged to learn and think originally about innovation, how to create more commercially successful innovation, and the ways in which policy makers in multinational companies, research institutions and governments can better encourage such innovation.

Opus Faveo believes that the best interactions arise from real, tangible, project work and the development of original research. As such, Fellows generally contribute to specific projects that allow them to work as part of a team, leverage their expertise while learning new skills, and have concrete accomplishments in the field of innovation.

Brenda Boehm
Brenda Boehm Fellow

Brenda Boehm

Brenda is a senior executive that can lead the business and technical strategy by leveraging her comprehensive experience across telecommunications and information technology bringing expertise that delivers cutting edge technology solutions that directly impact the corporate bottom line. She has the ability to provide a market vision that recognizes industry disruption, an ability to harness change for innovation, and create the most successful operational best practices. She knows how to build global alliances to create new incremental joint markets and highest growth.
Brenda has an undergraduate in Computer Information Systems, a Masters from SMU’s School of Engineering in Telecommunications. She has also attended Stanford’s prestigious Graduate School of Business Executive Program and recently completed their Advanced Computer Security Certification.


Tammy Cancela
Tammy Cancela Fellow

Tammy Cancela

Tammy is a senior marketing leader with proven ability to achieve results within both F100 and mid-sized companies.

Strong sales orientation. Excels in both B:B and consumer marketing. Dynamic speaker and recognized technology industry representative. Named to Hispanic Business Magazine’s list of Top 50 Hispanic Women in Business 2001. Strong interest in using Marketing to do good in the world while achieving profit objectives and growing companies.

Board Member at Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

Tammy is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis with an
AB, Political Science, Business,
Alan D. Gant Ph.D
Alan D. Gant Ph.D Fellow

Alan D. Gant Ph.D

Dr. Gant is an experienced product engineering executive with demonstrated success in leading software and hardware development teams. Exceptionally skilled in team development and motivation, connecting technology to customers and markets, and delivering business goals on schedule and budget. Experience in Fortune 100, midsize, and entrepreneurial startup companies; industries include embedded electronics systems, computing systems, wireless devices, consumer products, HD video, enterprise software and medical electronics. Previous employers include Hewlett Packard and Convex Computers

Dr. Gant sees the “big picture” and uses that perspective to collaborate with others in the engineering team to solve the most complex problems. He is a student of project management and best practices, and is constantly infusing the organization with new ideas to improve its effectiveness.

Dr. Gant’s Ph.D is from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in computer Architecture, EE. Dr. Gant’s M.S. is in EE from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His B.S. is in EE from the University of Texas at Austin.
Rick Jones
Rick Jones Fellow

Rick Jones

Rick Jones has extensive experience in retail, holding leadership positions in operations, merchandising, enterprise marketing, organizational planning, start-ups, strategy, on-line retailing and omni-channel development. It is his broad combination of skills that bring Rick to the Idea Institute.
Rick is founder and CEO of Soulful Creations, President and Chairman of Stronger than Espresso Inc., Board Member of Barnabas DFW, and Director of Restoration Ministries for Genesis Church in McKinney Texas.
Prior to coming to the Idea Institute, Rick was VP in multiple areas with JCPenney Company, Inc where he led the Digital Ventures, Omni-channel and held leadership positions in Merchandise, Marketing, Store Operations, .com, the PMO office and leadership positions in Stores, District and Regional Offices around the country.
Rick won multiple awards at JCPenney including the first ever Innovation Award, and Chairman’s awards for several years.
Rick studied at the Ohio State University graduating from Ohio Northern. He extended studies at the executive program at Booth School of Business , University of Chicago. He graduated from The Masters Program in Dallas in 2011.

Bart Kohnhorst
Bart Kohnhorst Fellow

Bart Kohnhorst

Bart Kohnhorst has held leadership roles with Fortune 500 and venture backed companies globally with Enterprise Information Technology providers. He leverages his global mindset, strategic thinking and broad IT and telecom experience to recognize and help lead business development and technology driven transformations globally.
Over the course of a career spanning Japan, Europe and North America, Bart has accumulated a broad range of strategic sales and marketing experience launching new products and developing revenue in new markets or with new products, with emphasis on real time communications as well as Enterprise software applications. Bart was responsible for launching a new sales region for Vidyo, Inc. to address healthcare and the higher education online learning sector, where he worked with institutions such as University of Texas Austin, MD Anderson, Memorial Hermann, University of Colorado Health and Texas Health Resources. In a prior role, Bart was Interim General Manager and VP Sales & Marketing North America for the Enterprise division at Samsung. He has held leadership positions at Citrix Systems managing a sales region and top OEM partnerships. While at Nortel he led market entry into Japan and Northern Europe for flagship infrastructure products and subsequently led sales in North America for customer contact software and analytics applications.
Bart has undergraduate dual honors in Law and in Psychology from Keele University in the UK as well as an MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management. He lives in Plano, Texas with his wife and 2 boys. He is an avid cyclist, enjoys cooking and travel.


Ron Montgomery
Ron Montgomery Fellow

Ron Montgomery

Ron is an experienced leader in the publishing, printing, software and telecom industries. Ron has worked for Amdocs, GTE and Verizon.

He is a strategic, problem-solving, general management executive with acute sales and operations expertise. He has a track record of leading companies in both start-up and turn-around situations on a path to profitable growth. His management style is characterized as “results-oriented, team player, responsive, energetic, adaptable and engaging with strong work ethics”.

Ron’s BA is from the University of San Francisco in Organizational Behavior.
Vinit Nijhawan
Vinit Nijhawan Fellow

Vinit Nijhawan

Vinit Nijhawan was previously Managing Director at UnitedLex. Prior to that Vinit was Managing Director, Office of Technology Development at Boston University where he launched 8 venture-backed spinoffs and successfully executed a patent monetization program. Vinit teaches MBA courses on Entrepreneurship at the Boston University Questrom School of Business, where over 450 students have taken his courses. Vinit has over 30 years experience building five startups: he was CEO of three, and five were acquired. Vinit was Venture Partner at Key Venture Partners where one of his investments was acquired for $430M. Vinit is an advisor and board member to several technology startups and was a Mass High Tech All-Star in 2005. Vinit has participated in over 240 panel discussions and paper presentations, and was a Board Member of Mass Ventures, an early stage, quasi-public Massachusetts venture capital firm, a co-founder of EdTech Accelerator/Incubator LearnLaunch, ex-President of Massachusetts Association of Technology Transfer Offices and co-founder of Waterloo Alumni Angels. Vinit is also serving or has served on the non-profit boards of VentureCafe Foundation, National Academy of Inventors, and TiE Global. Vinit earned a B.A.Sc in electrical engineering from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada.
James Savage
James Savage Fellow

James Savage

James Savage is the SVP General Manager of Pierpont Communications in Dallas, Texas, where he leads a growing team dedicated to the communications needs of local, regional and global clients. He joined Pierpont after successfully leading the corporate practice of Edelman, where he contributed to the brand and reputation success of national and global clients such as Symantec, British Telecom, BNY Mellon, Forest Park Medical Center, Entrust, International Association of Events and Exhibitions and the Wi-Fi Alliance.

Throughout his career, James has filled various senior leadership roles at Western Financial Group Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland and Philips Electronics. James founded RainCoast Group, a Dallas-based global tech sector communications and marketing consultancy, and led groups with GTE Corporation (now Verizon), the Pacific Telecommunications Council, and the Canadian Federal Department of Communications (Industry Canada).

James has an M.Sc. from the London School of Economics (LSE) and a BA from the University of British Columbia, Canada. A leader in the communications community, he serves as a Commissioner with the Institute for Public Relations and has been a member of the Board of the Canadian PR Society (Toronto) and the Convergence Council of the S. I. Newhouse School of Communications (Syracuse University).
Bronson Stocker
Bronson Stocker Fellow

Bronson Stocker

Bronson Stocker has used his accounting and analytic training in providing financing solutions and risk management for a variety of global companies. He worked for Bank of America in their London office and with US based energy companies developing their offshore oil and gas reserves in the North Sea. When he returned to Dallas he worked with the bank’s expansion in Mexico and headed the Southwest Trade Banking Group helping importers and exporters manage their commercial and international risk exposures. At Bell Helicopter Textron, he arranged export financing for the sale of aircraft in Europe, Asia, and South America often in coordination with the Export Development Corporation (EDC) of Canada. Bronson was a financial and operating partner of chain of cinemas in Mexico. .Most recently Bronson worked with Standard & Poor’s providing large and midcap companies credit ratings and related products.
Bronson was born in Dallas and has been involved in a number of volunteer efforts in the DFW Metroplex.
Hank Torbert
Hank Torbert Fellow

Hank Torbert

Hank Torbert is President at Alta Max, LLC and Founder of The Frontier Conference. He has extensive experience in private equity, advisory, and investment banking as well as in financing, developing, and operating small and middle market businesses in the media and telecommunications, technology, and transportation sectors.
Previously he was Managing Partner and Founder of Avondale Ventures, LLC, a private equity firm he founded in 2006. From 2004 to 2006, Hank served as an Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Broadcast Capital. He was responsible for the company’s investment strategy, portfolio management, and operations. From 1999 to 2004, he was an Investment Banker at JPMorgan Chase, serving as a Vice President of the Financial Sponsor Group in middle market banking, and also covering media and telecommunications clients in the Equity Capital Markets Group. Hank also held positions at AIG Capital Partners, where he focused on analyzing global private equity investments and on raising capital for its Global Emerging Markets Fund and New Africa Advisers.
As a founding investor and Board Member, Hank played an integral role in the launch, development, and IPO of Mood Media. In addition, he has played a vital role in the formation and growth of several other middle market-sized companies including HorrorNet and MixcastTV. Hank also served as a Strategic Advisor at Seven Echo.
Hank has served as a Director at Midas Medici Group Holdings, Inc., dLs Group, Consonus Technologies, Inc., Celeritas Management, Inc, Strive DC and Medstar Research Institute. He is a Trustee, Director, and Alumnus of The Taft School. He speaks regularly at media industry seminars on venture capital and other investment-related topics and is a recipient of the Network Journal’s Top 40 Under 40 Award. Hank holds a Masters degree in International Finance, an M.B.A., and a B.A., all from Columbia University.
Gordon Walker, PhD
Gordon Walker, PhD Fellow

Gordon Walker, PhD

Gordon Walker is David B. Miller Professor of Business and Chair of the Strategy and Entrepreneurship Group at the Cox School of Business at SMU. He received his BA from Yale University and an MBA and PhD from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He has previously taught at the Sloan School, MIT; the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania; and Yale University. Dr. Walker’s publications have appeared in numerous academic journals. The fourth edition of his book, Modern Competitive Strategy, co-authored with Tammy Madsen will be published in January 2015. He has been on a number of editorial boards, including Administrative Science Quarterly, Organization Science and and Strategic Organization. He served in the Marine Corps as an infantry lieutenant from 1967 to 1970 and earned the Bronze Star with Combat V. He was a member of the Board of Directors of Alico, Inc. (NASDAQ) from 2005 to 2013, where he chaired the Nominating and Governance Committee.
Dr. Walker has consulted and performed contract research for many organizations including Southwest Airlines, Chaparral Steel, Sprint, Xerox, General Motors, Johnson and Johnson, Carlson Restaurants, EDS, Texas Instruments, The Associates, Novartis and United HealthCare. His executive training programs include senior management seminars at SMU, the Wharton School, Yale University and INSEAD. He was named among the best Business Policy teachers in the U.S. in 1994 and 1998 by Business Week magazine and received the President’s University Teaching Award in 1999 at SMU.

Opus Faveo.  Thinking.  Doing.  Leading.