Team Profiles

Tim Hoerr, CEO and Managing Partner

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Tim Hoerr is a seasoned business executive with over 30 years of experience in a variety of industries.  He serves as the CEO and President of Serra Ventures, a consultancy offering professional services to emerging technology enterprises, and Principal of Serra Capital, a firm providing seed, emerging and growth capital to high technology companies.  Tim has worked in the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (“UIUC”) technology community since 2001 and is a charter member of the University’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence program at EnterpriseWorks business incubator in the Research Park.  He was co-founder and former CEO of iCyt Mission Technology, Inc., a highly successful bio-instrument company that has won numerous awards for technology and business excellence and which was acquired by Sony Corporation in late 2009.  Tim was awarded the Entrepreneurial Excellence in Management Award at the Innovation Celebration, 2009.

Since 1983 he has assisted over 500 organizations to achieve high performance by providing strategic, operational and leadership consulting.  Tim spent nearly all of the first 15 years of his professional career with RSM McGladrey in Illinois and San Diego, leading teams of consultants focused on serving middle market clients.   In his capacity as Consulting Partner with McGladrey, Tim provided leadership on a regional and national level.  He also served on two national committees for the American Society of Certified Public Accountants (Business Valuation and Emerging Services). Also a professional author and speaker, he has given over 300 speaking and workshop presentations in his professional career to such diverse groups as Nabisco, Buck Knives, SaabCars USA, and Nationalease.

Professional Credentials: Tim holds the Certified Public Accountant (CPA, 1983) and Certified Management Accountant (CMA, 1984) designations.  He received national honors on both the CPA and CMA examinations.  He formerly held the Accredited Senior Appraiser of Business Valuation credential (American Society of Appraisers) while actively practicing business valuation as a partner in RSM McGladrey.

Education: B.S. in Accounting, B.S. in Business Admin., Illinois State University, summa cum laude, 1983.  Tim received numerous honors at ISU, including Bone Scholar, the highest undergraduate designation awarded and the Raymond Esworthy Award for outstanding accounting student.  He was initiated into the Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society.

Board Memberships: Baylor University Technology Entrepreneurship Initiative (2009 to present); Urbana-Champaign Angel Network (Chairman, 2010 to present); Vineyard Church Pastoral Advisory Council (2012 to present); Champaign County Economic Development Corporation (2004 to 2012).

Dennis Beard, Managing Partner

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Dennis has built a successful 30-plus year career in financial services, healthcare services, and technology.  Dennis is a Partner with Serra Ventures, offering a wide variety of professional services to emerging technology enterprises, and a Managing Partner of Serra Capital. Dennis has worked with the University of Illinois technology community and is a charter member of the University’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence program at EnterpriseWorks business incubator in the Research Park. He was formerly CEO of the Home Recovery Group of Companies, providers of home health services with over 400 employees; that entity was successfully sold in 2008.

Dennis, a CPA, has been involved throughout his career with businesses of all sizes as a Manager for PricewaterhouseCoopers, Controller for SLM Aminco, CFO for Segno Communications, CFO and CEO for the Home Recovery Group of Companies, and Partner with Blakeman and Beard, LLC, CPA’s.  Dennis has served a wide range of clients including Caterpillar, Shell Oil Company, George Soros’ Quantum Fund, and Continental Illinois National Bank.  As a healthcare industry CEO, he has served as President of a statewide industry trade association. Dennis has served as a speaker at various professional and educational conferences and forums.  He is a regular lecturer for the China Executive Leadership Program at the University of Illinois. He also serves as an Adjunct Lecturer for the University of Illinois College of Business Department of Finance and for the Millikin University MBA Program.

Professional Credentials: Dennis holds the Certified Public Accountant designation (CPA, 1983).  He also attended the National Venture Capital Association’s Venture Capital Institute, completing the intensive workshop in 2002.

Education: Dennis holds a B.S. in Accounting from Millikin University and an M.B.A. from the University of Illinois Executive MBA Program where he was recognized with the Academic Excellence Award.

Board Memberships:; Home Recovery Group of Companies (Chairman, 1989 to 2008); Tomotherapy Incorporated(2001 -2006); Innovative Security Systems, Inc. (2006-2011); iCyt Mission Technologies, Inc. (2008 – 2009); Personify, Inc. (observer, 2010 to present);, Inc. (2012- present); Intelliwheels, Inc. (2012 – present); KC Biomedix, Inc. (2012 to Present); mpressInteractive, LLC (2011 to present); Printeco, Inc. (2012 to Present), InDecatur Ventures, LLC (2009 to Present); Blue Mound Bancshares, Inc. (2013); Virginia Association of Personal Care Providers (Treasurer, President, Past President, 2004 – 2008); Millikin University Center for Entrepreneurship (2008 to present); Bump, Inc. (formerly Illini Prosthetics, 2012 to present); Faith United Methodist Church Council and Finance Committee Chair (2011 – present); East Central Illinois Youth For Christ (2010 to present); Champaign County Economic Development Council Technology Committee and UCAN Committee (2011 – to present).

Rob Schultz, Managing Partner

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Rob is a seasoned business executive with over 25 years of experience as a consultant, entrepreneur and venture capitalist. Rob is a Managing Partner with Serra Ventures and Serra Capital. Prior to joining Serra Ventures, Rob was a Managing Director at Illinois Ventures, and is a founding member of the Illinois Emerging Technology Funds. At Illinois Ventures, Rob helped start and fund companies that commercialized technology invented at the University of Illinois. He was the founding investor of ShareThis, the largest social network in the world. While at IllinoisVentures, he helped grow the firm from start-up to $70 million under management. Earlier in his career, Rob was the founder and CEO of DigitalWork, Inc., a SaaS based marketing automation company. As CEO, Rob led the company in building an award-winning service, raising substantial funding from top-tier venture firms, leading the Company through an IPO process, hiring over 140 talented employees, acquiring over 10,000 customers and developing partnerships with such leading companies as AOL, Dell, Office Depot, and Wells Fargo. Rob’s first entrepreneurial venture was when he founded Nequity, as a subsidiary of Signet Bank that was acquired in 1997. Rob began his career as a consultant with McKinsey and Company and then Deloitte and Touche. In 2000, Rob was a Year 2000 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist. He was named as one of the “100 most important executives, decision-makers, financiers and idea people in the Chicago Internet community” by Crain’s Chicago Business and one of the “top 100 people who put the ‘new’ in Chicago’s new economy” by i-Street Reporter. Rob has been a frequent guest lecturer at the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business since 1994, the University of Illinois since 2003 and is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago.

Education: Rob holds a B.A. in Economics from Northwestern University and an M.B.A. in Finance and Statistics from the University of Chicago.

Board Memberships/Observer: Champaign County Economic Development Corporation (2004 to 2012); University of Illinois Technology Entrepreneurship Center (2004 to present); Urbana Champaign Angel Network (2011 to present); DigitalWork Inc. (Chairman, 1998-2002); iCyt Mission Technologies, Inc. (sold to Sony, 2006-2008); ShareThis, Inc. (2004-2014); RiverGlass, Inc. (sold to ASG, 2005-2012); Tekion, Inc. (2004 – 2012); Mobitrac (2004-2007); Fluensee, Inc. (2006-2013); Personify, Inc (2010-present); Diagnostic Photonics, Inc. (2011-2013); Caterva, Inc. (sold to InfoChimps, 2010-2013); Adrenaline Mobility, Inc.(sold to Twitter, 2012-2014); Ringr (2014-present); Spinlight Studios (sold to Codagami, 2014-2015); Label Insight (2015-present); (2013-present); 640Labs (sold to Monsanto, 2014-2015)

C. David Hodge, Principal, Serra Capital II, L.P.

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David is a Managing Partner in Serra Capital, joining the team in August, 2013. David also serves as Owner, President, and CEO for Litania Sports Group, which consists of Gill Athletics, Inc. (“Gill”), Porter Athletic, Inc (“Porter”), and PowerMax. Gill is the nation’s leading manufacturer of track and field and athletic training equipment, while Porter is the nation’s leading manufacturer of basketball, volleyball, and other athletic facility equipment.

David has over 30 years of extensive business, operational and financial experience. He has exceptional strategic and operational experience in the manufacturing and service sectors, in particular. Upon graduating from Baylor University, where David was a three-time All American in track and field, he has held positions as Finance Director for Excel Sports Science, Inc., Controller for both Nisus, Inc. and Gill.  In addition, he is an investor or owner in other sectors including real estate, retail, and food service. David has also had several speaking engagements throughout his professional career including being the keynote speaker at the Champaign-Urbana Economic Development Corporation annual meeting in 2008.

Education: David holds a B.B.A. in Finance and an M.B.A. from Baylor University.

Board Memberships: Campion, Barrow and Associates (member 2007-present); Champaign County Fellowship of Christian Athletes (2013-present); Vineyard Church Pastoral Advisory Council (1994-present)

 Alyssa Kolb,  Marketing and Communications Director, Serra Ventures

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Alyssa is the Marketing and Communications Director for Serra Ventures. A graduate from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, she has extensive training and background in the field of Industrial Organizational Psychology, essentially how human factors influence people’s behavior and interactions within organizations.

Alyssa has performed a variety of functions for Serra Ventures since joining the firm in 2009. In addition to working on client projects, she prepares and distributes the Serra Capital Quarterly Newsletter, maintains and updates the Serra Ventures websites, and prepares all workshop and speaking presentation materials for Serra Ventures. She has also authored numerous white papers covering topics in entrepreneurship and start-up ventures. 

Education: Alyssa holds a Master of Arts Degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, and a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Illinois in Psychology.

Eric Wilson, Consultant/Research Analyst, Serra Ventures

Eric Wilson 02Eric is a consultant and research analyst for Serra Ventures. He is a recent graduate from Baylor University, with training in organizational communication/human resources, operations management, and business plan development.  At Serra, Eric provides client project assistance, investor management support, portfolio company support and research assistance.

Before joining Serra Ventures in July, 2013, Eric helped launch a small franchise business in Texas, which is managed by Serra Ventures, LLC. He served as the General Manager of each new store within the company, focusing on hiring and training personnel, inventory management and cash handling procedures.  Eric assists in strategic planning, training and development, and research analysis.

Education: Eric holds a B.A. from Baylor University.