Stories From the Frontlines: Investors Share Their Winding Paths to Success
- Peter Hudson, Alta Partners
- Ryan Heckman, EVP EyeCare
- Lindel Eakman, FG Next
- Jim Kelley, Colorado Impact Fund
Peter Hudson, MD
Dr. Peter Hudson is a Managing Director at Alta, and a physician and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience founding, growing, and investing in both healthcare technology and services and digital health. Pete’s focus has been on creating efficiencies within the healthcare delivery system and empowering healthcare consumers with novel technology. Previously he has been a serial entrepreneur with multiple exits (to both public and private companies), a healthcare investment banker with both sell-side and buy-side experience in information technology and healthcare services, and has worked in senior executive roles in both large payer and provider organizations, most recently as Head of Consumer Technologies at Aetna. Pete’s companies included nuMedica (acquired by CSLR), Ascend Billing (acquired by Intermedix), iTriage (acquired by AET), and EMP (recapitalized with Welsh Carson). He currently serves as Chairman of the Board of U.S. Acute Care Solutions, one of the nation's largest acute care companies and a Welsh Carson portfolio company, and is on the board of directors for private-equity backed Maestro Health, mobile acute care provider DispatchHealth, and serves as senior advisor to venture-backed Augmedix. Dr. Hudson was the Colorado Technology Association’s Entrepreneur of the Year in 2013 and a guest of the First Lady at the State of the Union in 2013, representing digital health as a national policy objective. He holds a B.A. from Colorado College and an M.D. from the University of Colorado School of Medicine.
Mr. Ryan Heckman grew up in rural Colorado and his childhood near a ski area led him to become the youngest member of the 1992 U.S. Olympic Team. After a successful athletic career that included two Olympic Teams and four world championships, he graduated with honors from the University of Colorado.
Ryan had a successful 17-year career as a private equity investor, culminating in co-founding Excellere Partners in 2006, investing approximately $700 mm into emerging companies from a variety of industries, including a focus in healthcare. Excellere is renowned for its entrepreneur service model and industry-leading investment returns.
After his career as an investor, Ryan became President and ultimately the CEO of EVP EyeCare, a Denver-based healthcare company. With his leadership, the company grew 20-fold while building best-in-class facilities, medical team and culture through a multi-state expansion strategy. Today, EVP EyeCare is one of the largest providers of surgical eye care in the United States.
Active in his community, Ryan also co-founded the Colorado Impact Fund, a Denver-based venture capital fund dedicated to supporting emerging Colorado companies, served on the investment committee for the Colorado Health Foundation and currently serves as chairman of Quarterly Forum, a community leadership development organization and director for the University of Denver’s Barton Institute for Philanthropy and Social Enterprise. Ryan is also a member of Colorado Concern, a bipartisan alliance of approximately 100 CEO’s who are active in strengthening public policy decisions in Colorado.
Ryan and his wife, Katie, live in Denver, Colorado with two young children.
Jim Kelley is the founder and Managing Partner of the Colorado Impact Fund (CIF). CIF is an early stage growth equity/venture fund based in Denver. CIF invests in Colorado based companies meeting the dual criteria of achievable market rates of return and positive community impact. Since 2015, CIF has invested in 10 Colorado based companies in industries ranging from technology and clean energy to natural foods. Jim is also co-founder and Managing Director of Vestar Capital Partners, a New York based private equity fund. Vestar was founded in 1988 and has been a leading middle market PE fund for 30 years. Vestar has completed investments with an aggregate value of approximately $50billion in its 30 year history. Jim has also been involved in a number of community-oriented activities from his home base in Denver, including serving on the boards of The Denver Foundation, Clayton Foundation, Great Outdoors Colorado, The Nature Conservancy, The Piton Foundation, The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and others. Kelley received his law degree from the University of Notre Dame, an MBA at Yale University and his undergraduate degree at the University of Northern Colorado. Jim and his wife, Amie Knox, have been married since 1983 and have three adult children.
Lindel Eakman, Partner, FG Next
For over a decade, Lindel managed the private investment program for one of the largest endowment funds in the industry.
Lindel has been fortunate to sponsor investments in many of the leading venture capital firms established in the past decade, and looks forward to investing in the next generation of emerging venture fund managers.
Lindel is a nationally recognized leader in the limited partner community having successfully managed the private investment program for the combined $35 billion pool of capital managed by the University of Texas Investment Management Company (UTIMCO), where he worked from 2002 – 2015. There he was responsible for overseeing a portfolio of private equity fund managers which represented approximately 25 percent of endowment assets spread across multiple mandates including venture, growth, buyout and credit investments in developed and emerging markets.
Prior to UTIMCO, Lindel worked for KPMG in the mergers & acquisitions tax practice where he worked with many fund managers across due diligence processes and private investment partnership activities. Lindel also served as a summer corporate Finance Associate at Stephens, Inc.
Lindel received his Masters of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business and his Bachelors of Business Administration in Accounting and Finance at Texas Christian University. He is a Certified Public Accountant and a CFA charter holder. Lindel previously served as Vice Chair of the Institutional Limited Partner Association and currently sits on the St. David’s Foundation Investment Committee.