Darkstrand Appoints New Additions to Board of Directors and Names Chief Financial Officer
High-Speed Connectivity Industry Leader Continues to Gain Business Leadership, Corporate Finance, and Legal Expertise
CHICAGO, IL December 10, 2009 – Today Darkstrand, a pioneer in corporate high-speed connectivity bridging research and commercialization, announced the addition of Glenn W. Sturm, Gene Shrader and Thomas G. Pierce to the leadership team. Sturm and Shrader are joining Darkstrand’s Board of Directors, and Pierce joins as the company’s Chief Financial Officer. The new members bring unique insight and expertise as Darkstrand continues its aggressive growth trajectory.
“The combination of this new team brings a wealth of business leadership, corporate finance and legal expertise to our team,” said Michael Stein, CEO of Darkstrand. “Sturm, Shrader and Pierce each bring a tremendous amount of advisory experience and their executive leadership skills sets will prove invaluable to our company’s next phase in operating and capital markets.”
Glenn W. Sturm
Sturm joins Darkstrand’s Board of Directors while also leading as a partner of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP, where he practices in corporate and technology law. Additionally, Sturm practices in securities law and focuses on the representation of investment banks, technology, private equity funds, emerging growth companies, and mergers and acquisitions.
Sturm has also served on the corporate board of directors for Goldleaf Financial Solutions, Inc., InterCept, Inc. and WebMD, Inc. Sturm’s career history includes Netzee, Inc., an Internet banking enabling company that he took public in 1999, and served as its Chief Executive Officer.
“Darkstrand has established itself as a leader and disruptor,” said Sturm. “There is a strong market demand for the high-speed bandwidth and computing power that Darkstrand can provide Corporate America with, and I look forward to helping Darkstrand reach its next level of success.”
Shrader is an early investor in Darkstrand. He joins the Board of Directors after a 20-year career serving as Executive Vice President and Owner of Calkins and Company. The company was a leading US food broker representing many nationally recognized food products and specialty beverages, who was later acquired by Crossmark. Under his leadership, he introduced Gatorade to the mass market and other household names such as Sargento Shredded Cheese and Planters Nuts. Shrader has also served on advisory boards for companies including Levers Foods, La Choy Foods, and Vlasic prior to their acquisition by Campbell Foods. Shrader also currently serves on the Board of Directors at Morton Community Bank of Illinois.
“Darkstrand is uniquely positioned to shift the way corporate America goes about innovating products and services,” said Shrader. “I invested early on in Darkstrand because from the very beginning of our relationship, I recognized that large companies need advanced connectivity and high performance computing to secure a competitive advantage. These are the necessary tools for companies to expand their creative thinking to reach toward the advances that only these technologies can support.”
Thomas G. Pierce
Pierce joins Darkstrand as the Chief Financial Officer from EarthLink, Inc. (NASDAQ: ELNK), the largest U.S. independent internet service provider. At EarthLink, he provided board and executive-level corporate development and finance leadership across the corporation’s business interests, including the CLEC business unit. During the span of his career, Pierce has negotiated, structured and executed acquisitions, venture investments, leveraged finance, and public bond offering transactions with a market value in excess of $3 billion. He has also advised the boards of public and private corporations on matters of capital management, strategic development, market entry and business economics.
His prior corporate leadership experience includes media conglomerate Primedia (NYSE: PRM) and the strategic investing arm of communications technology provider Premiere Global Services (NYSE: PGI). Earlier work in his career included investment banking at Salomon Smith Barney/Robinson-Humphrey and the merchant banking group at Bank Austria Creditanstalt (now Unicredit Group). Pierce earned his MBA at the Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University and his BS in Management at Tulane University. He currently is a director on the board of interactive web media corporation Tangelo, LLC.
Darkstrand, Inc. leverages enterprise-level network bandwidth to close the collaboration gap between corporations and research communities. Darkstrand is a pivotal corporate partner for solving real workflow, development and collaborative challenges, linking teams, facilities and suppliers into one ecosystem in a high-speed, networked grid environment via the National LambdaRail (NLR), a coast to coast 12,000-route mile optical network spread across 32 U.S. cities. Darkstrand shortens time to insight and expands productivity for companies wanting a competitive edge. Based in Chicago, Illinois, Darkstrand was established in 2005. For more information, visit https://darkstrand.com.
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