Jim Harrer

STARTUPS, TURNAROUNDS, APPDEV, AGILE & LIFE...

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  • Startup CEO, COO, Coach in Seattle Washington

    Jim Harrer
    6601 Cascade Ave ♦ Gig Harbor, WA, 98335
    Ph: 541.588.0523 ♦ email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Senior Technology Executive

    FULLY QUALIFIED FOR SENIOR POSITIONS NEEDING CLEAR LEADERSHIP

    Founder of two startups and three corporate turnarounds.

    President/CEO of two previous NASDAQ listed companies.

    “Jim is a Swiss army knife with many talents, able to handle difficult tasks. He’s hands-on, the type of guy people want to work with. A proven technology executive and great leader. Email me to learn more.”

    Scott Hunter, Principle Lead at Microsoft This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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    Accomplished executive leader with effective mix of product development, financial management and strategic business planning skills that work together to produce bottom line results in profitability and productivity for startup, traditional and turnaround organizations. Diverse skill set encompasses all functions of sales, marketing, software engineering, finance, legal governance, customer service and professional services including proven ability to merge efforts of all toward common goal. Experienced building operations from the ground up and restructuring existing operations to ensure sustainable results in financial control and related support functions. Astute at mentoring executive-level managers and subsequent skill-level based on real world experience; comfortable turning over reigns once expected performance is established. Exceptionally well-traveled with wide network of valuable business and investment contacts.

    Impressive business track record including Mustang Software which he founded, bootstrapped, took public and later sold. Three corporate turnaround projects (Starbase, Web Associates & Alchemy Solutions) where he was recruited by the BODs to eliminate burn rate while developing a new business plan to profitability. Startup Accelerator experience and two years driving innovation in a large multi-billion dollar enterprise. Excellent executive coach to direct reports and able to mentor people on his team. Understands people’s resistance to change and has successfully implemented successful turnarounds.

    Hands on leader and quick study with a strong work ethic. Enjoys working with emerging technologies and learning new products. A certified Agile Scrum Master and past programmer, he has authored several Enterprise Software and Software as a Service (Saas) Applications. He is a skilled product demonstrator with over 20 years of briefings to prospects, press, analysts, and conferences. Has often traveled with his Professional Services teams on engagements to better understand the company’s value proposition and to ensure the company is truly delivering on its sales promises.

    Battle scars from lessons learned, he understands the methodology of The Lean Startup and continuous development. He succeeds by intensely focusing on customer development. He stays sharp by mentoring young startup entrepreneurs by participating in various Start-up Weekends. With two startups to his credit, he has proven his ability to remain persistent and pivot until the business finds its tipping point.

    Exceptional Sales and Marketing experience with a proven track record of managing and delivering results each quarter. Teaches solution selling and managing complex (committee) sales processes. Proven track record building both inside and outside teams direct sales teams, value added reseller and retail channels. Able to close complex 7-figure enterprise sales with multi-year maintenance agreements, and teach and mentor sales teams to do the same.

    Specialized Areas of Expertise: Blanchard Training and Development including Situational Leadership II, One Minute Manager and Raving Fans® customer loyalty programs. Proficiency in balance sheet, income and expense review; Board of Directors Management and Reporting; Successful in balancing demands of sales-driven events with daily management of the process necessary to create and market world-class software products.

    Executive Summary & Achievements

    TRUEBLUE, INC (NYSE: TBI)

    (2.1bn Public Company - is a leading staffing, recruiting and workforce management company.)

    VICE PRESIDENT, APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT (February 2013 – May 2015)

    Member of the IT Leadership team responsible for driving the tech innovation strategy across many of the various service lines. Led a 40 person team that manages all internally development applications.)

    TEAM'S KEY ACHIEVEMENTS

    • Repaired relationships between key business stakeholders and Application Development opening the door to how our business partners view IT in general.
    • Move from Waterfall to Lean Agile Software Development resulting in delivering Work Alert SMS texting tool to all 600+ Labor Ready branch users in less than 90 days from taking over the team.
    • Removed inefficient off-shore development team, resulting in annualized savings of 20% and annual contractor savings north of $1.8 million in 2013 & 2014.
    • Emphasis on Test Drive Development methodologies, with continuous integration and automated deployment. This resulted in smoother production deployments and eliminating production firefighting.
    • Created their first mobile application strategy, including design (UX), development and deployment.
    • Modernized the Ellis OS and Database stack from 2005 to 2012 with a smooth production rollout.
    • Built the strategy to modernize these legacy applications into a SOA framework.
    • Modernized the Work Alert SaaS code-line, UX/UI and deployed to all service lines resulting in a more scalable application that is easier to maintain by development and operations.
    • Partnered with Microsoft to deliver a monthly training program to educate our software developers enabling us to upgrade from frameworks, patterns and tools created in 2005 to technologies created in 2013. This enabled the development team to move from client/server methodologies to responsive web application development embracing HTML5, cloud and mobile devices.
    • Enabling innovation within the IT team by building credibility with our business stakeholders by repeatedly demonstrating our ability to deliver answers and solutions to complex business challenges.
    • Providing thought leadership regarding Product Management for both internally developed applications as well as SaaS applications used by the enterprise.
    • Successfully held the first on-campus 20-hour Hack-A-Thon where 5 teams went from idea to delivery of a cloud based mobile application using Lean Startup principles to deliver MVPs to business judges.
    • Introduced Bimodal IT to the Application Development team, teaching Mode 1 and Mode 2 systems.

    FOUNDERSPAD (VENTUREBOX, LLC.) – Bend, OR

    (Startup Accelerator with an educational launch program and mentorship)

    CORE MENTOR TEAM (Jan 2012 – Feb 2013)

    Coach entrepreneurs in the start-up, early concept stage with a focus on Customer Development, Product Development and Business Strategy.

    Team's Key Achievements

    • Provided technology and business strategy mentorship to high tech founders in Central Oregon.
    • Participated on the selection panel for the first Venture Launch class participants.
    • Mentored seven unique startup entrepreneurs to assist them with lean startup principles, including customer development, product development and strategy.
    • Help entrepreneurs define an accelerated growth strategy and business model which translated into a tactical sales and marketing plan.
    • Work with entrepreneurs to define their product and establish their minimal viable product (MVP) to get them to market quickly to test against prospects in order to focus on customer driven product development.
    • Help entrepreneurs with UX/UI prototyping, understand the advantages of the cloud and utilizing outsource IT services to control costs and accelerate time to market efficiently.
    • Helped founders create their Powerpoint decks to communicate to potential investors their business, model, plan and unique value proposition by utilizing customer development methodologies, business model canvas and lean startup principles.
    • Provided coaching for two Startup Weekends advising on all aspects of IT, including web technologies, social media integration, cloud services, email and service desk integration.

    ALCHEMY SOLUTIONS, INC. – Bend, OR

    (IT Modernization Company focused on helping companies move IBM Mainframe workload (Online CICS and Batch) to Windows .NET)

    PRESIDENT (Jan 2011 - Oct 2011)

    A Florida based family owned business generating approximately $6 million in annual sales. Recruited to restructure the company’s sales, marketing, support and engineering departments to implement a hyper-growth strategy to $10m in revenue. Internal family politics drove a decision to consolidate businesses in Atlanta resulting in my exit.

    Team's Key Achievements

    • Created a new management team consisting of a VP Marketing, VP Engineering, VP Sales & VP Professional Services.
    • Added a Professional Services Division consisting of Subject Manner Experts to assist our partners and customers with their mainframe migration projects. The division went from zero to 11% of sales in the first nine months.
    • Changed Alchemy’s product selling strategy to a “Solution Selling” business model providing end-to-end solutions to our prospects. Simplified the selling process.
    • Changed the corporate culture by getting teams to work together by sharing the vision and direction for the company and empowering teammates to take ownership of key corporate initiatives.
    • Rebranded the company by changing the logo, tag-line, color palette and web presence. Developed a new Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) strategy.
    • Acquired by-in of the new brand launch by industry analyst Gartner and key business partner Microsoft.
    • Drove Alchemy’s move into the cloud and the release of the first Windows Azure based product, NeoKicks Azure.
    • Streamlined operations resulting in improved year-over-year results and cash flow positive result for September 2011.
    • Secured a $360,000 grant from Microsoft to help off-set our costs to create a version of our product for their Azure platform.
    • By focusing on our customers, improving our products by adding features and reducing defect lists, we were able to turn customers like GNC, North America Van Lines and Cato Women’s Fashions into RAVING FANS.
    • Rebuilt our international reseller program, initiated a 3-year pre-pay software license and maintenance contract which resulted in generating an additional $1.5m in Q4 revenue.

    EVENTMINGLE – Bend, OR

    (Oversee technical innovation and drive business growth for company specializing in development of EventMingle, an event-based, Web-driven social networking application for the Tradeshow industry.)

    CO-FOUNDER AND CHIEF PRODUCT MANAGER (Jun 2003 - Oct 2010)

    Authored vision document and built site mockup for EventMingle.com, world’s first SaaS social networking application enabling conference and trade show attendees to connect with event principals. Capitalized on keen understanding of social media concepts to improve usefulness of online community platforms and provide customers with high-value business networking capabilities. Sold technology in 2010.

    Team's Key Achievements

    • As the Agile Scrum Master, he played an integral role in creating and managing rapid, go-to-market development and product teams that completed needs assessment, proof-of-concept, design, programming / engineering, test, and deployment in less than one year.
    • As the Agile Product Owner, he developed the vision document and strategy for their EventMingle Community Platform, a 24x365 industry based social networking community for clients who run two or more tradeshows in a single industry focus; led, managed, and motivated development team through launch.
    • Created the entire User Interface for the EventMingle Community Platform. Worked with focus groups to fine tune the user experience, created the Balsamiq mockups for over 200 web pages, managed the CSS designers, MS SQL and ASP .NET programmers from concept to launch.
    • Worked with early adopters like RFID Journal with the launch of http://RFIDconnect.com.

    STARBASE CORPORATION – Santa Ana, CA

    ($50M Developer of Software Configuration and Change Management Applications; 240 employees, five locations including one in London – NASDAQ: SBAS)

    President & CEO (Dec 2001 – Mar 2003)

    High profile executive management position holding full bottom-line accountability for all operations including customer service professional services, marketing, engineering and sales team performance. Charged with turning around full realm of operations, profitability, cash management, employee morale and related corporate governance issues. Led the sale to Borland Corporation in 2003.

    Team's Key Achievements

    • Skilled in Forensic Accounting, single handedly audited the past three years of financials, contracts, and bank statements in order to give the Board of Directors an accurate financial picture to the Board of Directors.
    • Developed skills in fraud detection to figure out how the company was truly spending money, regardless of how it was accounted for. After 90 days reported over a dozen accounting errors to the BOD. Created new financial and reporting processes to reduce any future reporting problems to the company’s audit committee.
    • Realized significant turnaround results within first 90 days; reversed cash burn from $3.5M to $600K in first quarter and successfully maintained neutral cash flow during tenure by managing expenses, improving gross margins and accelerating collections of cash past-due receivables.
    • Reversed downward spiral of employee morale by instituting new management team members to reenergize team and create synergy between management/staff in support of new company mission.
    • Delivered first-ever profitability for the Professional Services division by establishing it as separate profit center and retooling division operations in support of greater earnings.
    • Boosted overall sales and strengthened relationships between marketing and sales divisions by spearheading new marketing program to re-launch brand; gained buy-in from sales force and encouraged/realized joint efforts from divisions.
    • Piloted efforts related to improving customer service; established focused customer loyalty plan and ramped up R&D activities to identify customer needs.
    • Instrumental in positioning company for sale while delivering 250% return to current investors; worked closely with investment bankers on sale activities, served as lead negotiator and finalized deal with Borland Software Corporation.

    WEB ASSOCIATES, INC. – San Luis Obispo, CA

    (Privately held professional services company focused on building high impact sites for Fortune 1000 companies)

    President & CEO (Jan 2001 – Dec 2001)

    Recruited by Board of Directors to implement restructuring and financial turnaround; essentially assume duties of Chief Executive Officer. Performed comprehensive review / assessment of entire operation before implementing aggressive strategic and financial initiatives corporate-wide in order to steer company back to profitability.

    Team's Key Achievements

    • Skilled in Forensic Accounting, single handedly audited the past two years of financials, contracts, and bank statements in order to give the Board of Directors a clear financial picture to the Board of Directors.
    • Stabilized relationship/account with creditor (bank) and averted Chapter 11 by working closely with payout department on creation of pay-down program to cover $500K line of credit.
    • Reversed $200K loss, created positive cash operation and delivered profitability in three months directly resulting from 75% sales increase and expense reduction of 22%.
    • Slashed payroll by trimming staff by 20% and orchestrated extensive restructuring in order to refocus staff efforts on generation of billable time; identified personnel weaknesses and recruited key leadership positions.
    • Reclaimed sales and delivered 75% of monthly fixed costs by positioning the company as a Professional Services firm and by fostering new relationships with HP and Apple by securing contracts for web design services.
    • Successful in turning around operations and profitability; put the new leadership team in place and departed company on good terms/path to success. The company is still in business today, is profitable and debt free.

    MUSTANG SOFTWARE – Bakersfield, CA

    (Leading provider of enterprise class eService solutions for inbound e-mail management software with more than 300 clients and run-rate of 50 new clients per quarter. – NASDAQ MSTG)

    Founder / CEO / CHIEF PRODUCT OFFICER (Sept 1986 - Aug 2000)

    Launched this software organization with initial personal investment of $5K, with a focus on providing online communications solutions to the small business market. Personally authored/developed all software, administered budget, managed finances, developed marketing programs, oversaw production and coordinated all hiring activities during company growth. Bootstrapped the company and then took the company public in 1995. Company sold in 2000.

    Key's Achievements

    • Bootstrapped from the ground up into profitability and an April 1995 IPO, valued at $25M; driving force behind success of company through combination of sound business practices, leadership and expertise related to growing company from profits vs. venture capital funding.
    • Wrote revolutionary, first commercially available computer bulletin board system (BBS) that, at its peak, sold over 53,000 servers, 4 million seats in over twenty countries worldwide.
    • Acquired two private companies and successfully integrated their people and products into the Mustang culture. Has a keen understanding of trademark laws and employment agreements.
    • Launched Mustang Message Center, 1997 to counteract impact of the introduction of WWW in 1996; re-branded corporate identify and managed efforts involved in selling new product, managing cash and rebuilding relationship with disenchanted investors during turnaround phase.
    • Spearheaded activities related to turnaround strategy and new product line development; successful in transitioning from leading supplier of computer bulletin board software to enterprise email response management and services; later credited by IDC for creating what would be subsequently be known as ERM (Email Response Management).
    • Successfully sold off the BBS and Communication Suite of products in order to allow the company to focus all of its development and support efforts to the company’s new line of web applications.
    • Championed marketing and development of new product line; led design, testing and creation of tools to effectively manage inbound email messages destined for generic e-mail addresses including sales@, etc.
    • Mobilized team in rapid program development activities; identified, designed and developed full suite of products from idea to final commercial release in just nine months.
    • Created a professional services division. Developed all of the internal and external processes allowing the division to secure contracts with Dow Jones, US Mint, Carnival Cruise Lines, Dow Jones and over 60 other corporations to assist them in building their ERM solutions. Handpicked and trained all of the company’s Road Warriors and Onsite Trainers. Exceptionally capable of working onsite with clients to meet and exceed their expectations.
    • Successful in rebuilding Mustang Software without incurring additional debt and maintaining listing on NASDAQ by sustaining close communications regarding reorganization plan; stock rebounded from all-time low of $.50 to surpass previous high of $12.00.
    • Appeared on CNBC and Bloomberg TV, spoke at numerous financial and trade conferences. Successfully carried out the corporate turnaround and branding efforts in both the commercial and financial sectors. Mustang Software was reinvented from a BBS company to a provider of eService solutions lead by Mustang Message Center.
    • Excellent at one-on-one briefings. Spent 3 weeks each quarter making the rounds to press editors, financial editors, hedge fund managers, financial analysts and retirement fund managers in New York, Boston, Chicago, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco and Log Angeles.
    • Served as Chairman of the Board, Director & CEO. Skilled in taking a company public, financial road shows, and Investor Relations Programs. Capable of running board meetings, recruiting and managing board members.
    • Deep understanding of Securities Law, the SEC and the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Act. Has worked with two SEC attorneys on issues, including class action lawsuits.

    EDUCATION

    OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY, OSU CASCADES, BEND, OREGON 1976 - PRESENT

    147 Credit Hours in Business Administration

    Concentration in Accounting, Economics, Marketing and Organizational Development

    SELF-TAUGHT

    Object Orientated Programming, ASP .Net, C#, C++, Java, Html, CSS, MS SQL, Balsamiq, Photoshop, SEO, SEM, Office 365, Salesforce.Com, & Microsoft Project

    CERTIFICATIONS

    • CERTIFIED SCRUM MASTER
    • SITUATIONAL LEADERSHIP II INSTRUCTOR
    • RAVING FAN CUSTOMER LOYALTY INSTRUCTOR
    • MICROSOFT OFFICE SPECIALIST
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