MANCHESTER, NH – Six New Hampshire entrepreneurs representing four companies are finalists for the New Hampshire High Tech Council Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
“This year there was a really strong field of diverse and talented entrepreneurs,” said Matt Benson, chair of the Council’s EOY committee and an attorney with Cook, Little, Rosenblatt & Manson. “The judges had a challenging job in front of them, and have made a choice through the recognition of the four finalists. All applicants should feel strong about their contributions to New Hampshire’s high tech sector.”
The Entrepreneur of the Year award event will be held May 8 at the Radisson Hotel, 700 Elm St., in Manchester. It is the premiere evening for startup founders, established business professionals, students and members of the high tech community complete with great company, networking, and a celebration of New Hampshire’s technology landscape. The winner(s) will also celebrate with this year’s keynote speaker Carly Fiorina, an innovator, Chairman of the Unlocking Potential Project, and the first woman CEO of a Fortune 50 business.
Tickets to the event, which includes a special “Happiest Hour” networking event, and dinner, are $80 for Council members, $100 for not-yet-members and $60 for students. Group table rates are also available. To register for the event, please visit nhhtc.org.
Marjorie and Stephen Thorpe the president and vice president of finance, respectively, of Adaptive Communications LLC of Stratham,
About Adaptive Communications:
Adaptive Communications is a premier reseller, designer and installer of enterprise networking, information security and data storage solutions on the East Coast. The company, which was founded in 1997 and has 53 employees, earned the Raymond J. Bourque Hall of Fame Award and was named one of Business New Hampshire Magazine’s Top 100 Private Companies, among many other accolades. Marjorie Thorpe, who manages the company’s operations, named as New Hampshire Business Review’s 2014 Financial Executive of the Year, has served on the advisory board for Securematics, and supports many community organizations. She holds a degree in early childhood education from Springfield College and has managed Adaptive’s human resources, purchasing, and operations as well as its finances.
Stephen Thorpe, who started the company together with his wife Marjorie, launched his first entrepreneurial effort at age 12. His past roles include serving as one of the first 35 employees at Cabletron Systems, helping grow Peripheral Innovations into one of the region’s largest technology resellers, and Bay Networks.
Robert Goldstein, CEO, Jody Holt, CFO, and Stephen Singlar, President, of Single Digits, Inc. of Bedford.
About Single Digits:
Single Digits is a company that enables property owners to monetize their IP infrastructure with managed services and business access portal software, specifically for the hospitality industry, malls, transportation companies and small box retail. From its inception, with one local hotel to now supporting more 2,500 properties including seven of the country’s 20 largest hotels and authenticating over 160,000 users daily, Single Digits is one of the greatest decade-long “overnight successes” in the state.
It was founded in 2003 and now employs about 150 people. It won the Council’s Product of the Year award in 2013, was a finalist for Stay Work Play’s Rising Stars Award’s Coolest Company for Young Professionals in 2014 and a Gaming & Leisure Platinum Award in 2013.
Singlar, who is responsible for the company’s goals and strategic partnerships, has more than a decade of experience in technology sales, marketing, support and management. Prior roles include global sales positions for Entrasys, Cisco, Arrowpoint Communications, and Cabletron. Goldstein holds a BA in political science from the University of New Hampshire and an MBA in finance from Plymouth State University. He is a co-founder of the company and has 15 years of industry leadership and entrepreneurial experience, and also built and managed RGS Communications Inc., another successful startup.
Holt, who was voted New Hampshire Business Review’s Financial Executive of the Year in 2013, has extensive experience in the financial management of the company and holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting.
Paul LeBlanc, President and CEO of Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester.
About Southern NH University:
Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit accredited institution with more than 60,000 students across its three main programs, making it one of the fastest growing universities in the United States. The university has become a national leader in developing innovative and affordable pathways to a degree. Founded in 1932, SNHU employs 6,086 people and is on target to become the country’s largest online nonprofit college by 2017. LeBlanc, who immigrated to the US as a child, was the first in his family to attend college. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Framingham State College, an MA from Boston College and a PhD from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He implemented new systems and ways of thinking about learning relationship software to SNHU to optimize student outcomes while using data analytics technology to predict student trends. His accolades include being named a Classroom Revolutionary by Forbes Magazine, an “Innovator” by Bloomberg TV, and one of Fast Company’s 1,000 Most Creative People, among numerous other academic, technology and innovation awards.
Travis Warren, CEO of WhippleHill of Bedford.
About Whipple Hill:
WhippleHill, founded in 1998, is a Software as a Service (SaaS) company that provides solutions to private K-12 schools in North America. After being acquired by Blackbaud (NASDAQ: BLKB), a nonprofit industry software provider, in June of 2014, WhippleHill helps connect students, parents, staff, faculty and alumni through one proprietary system by combining its cloud-based, front-office solutions with Blackbaud’s back-office solutions and award-winning support. After successfully building the company from the ground-up, Warren, a programmer and entrepreneur inspired by his father’s entrepreneurial spirit, led its sale to Blackbaud and is now the vice president and general manager of the company’s K-12 private schools’ group where he and his team of 107 employees continue to focus on the business sector. WhippleHill earned an honorable mention as a “best place to work in New Hampshire” in 2009.
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