Involta Leadership & Board of Directors

A strong company starts with strong leadership.

Involta Leadership Team

Bruce Lehrman

Founder, Chief Executive Officer

Bruce Lehrman, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, is best known for his entrepreneurial spirit and ability to build world-class technology organizations. He has been involved in three greenfield business start-ups and has also worked with large, nationally recognized brands. In 2007 Bruce founded Involta LLC, a privately held Hybrid IT services company headquartered in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Involta was named the second fastest growing IT Company in the country in 2010, according to Inc. Magazine 500 Fastest Growing Companies (#40 overall) and has remained on the Inc. 500/5000 list since. In 2016, Involta was selected Technology Company of the Year by the Technology Association of Iowa, and Bruce was named CEO of the Year at the same event. He has also been recognized as the Entrepreneur of the Year by the Cedar Rapids Chamber of Commerce and as a finalist for the Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young.

Bruce sits on the Board of the Entrepreneurial Development Center, Technology Association of Iowa (as 2013 Chairman), Iowa Seed Fund, Geacom, Higher Learning Technology and Van Meter Industrial. Prior to Involta, he was CIO of RuffaloCODY and CEO of LIVEware5.

James Buie

President

James (Jim) Buie, President, oversees all day to day operations has been a driving force in accelerating Involta’s growth trajectory throughout the country. Jim has built a cohesive operations, sales, and marketing culture that models his motivation and enthusiasm for the business. Initially joining Involta in 2016 as Chief Financial Officer, Jim has steadily taken on more responsibility, helping the company grow profitably while expanding nationally.

Prior to joining Involta, Jim held executive roles at ViaWest, Comcast and AT&T.   During his tenure, ViaWest became one of the largest privately held data center infrastructure, cloud and managed IT providers in North America.  At both Comcast and AT&T, Jim has been praised for his role in the successful launch and similar growth of new services.

Jim serves on the board of Sun Corridor, the economic development leader in Southern Arizona, helping drive business investment and job creation in the region.  He also stays active in numerous other industry and regional technology organizations focused on developing the technology workforce, deepening tech community relationships, and driving public policy to protect innovation. 

Jim is a graduate of the Florida State University and earned a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Colorado.

Michelle Bates

Chief Innovation Officer

Michelle Bates, Chief Innovation Officer, is passionate about enabling technology solutions to position her clients for success. An innovative problem-solver and strategic thinker, Michelle embraces a holistic approach to IT transformation to drive business outcomes.

Michelle joined Involta in 2018 with more than 20 years of experience in Fortune 500 and start-up companies. Previously, she served as owner and CEO of the IT cloud consulting firm, BluPrairie Technologies. She also held the position of Director of IT Architecture Services for a leading Aerospace and Defense company. Throughout her career, Michelle has had extensive experience working with cloud service providers, such as Google and Amazon Web Services™.

Michelle has a strong commitment to her community. She is engaged in philanthropic work with the LGBTQ Clinic at the University of Iowa hospitals, supporting Shelterhouse, sponsors students at the University of Iowa’s John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center and regularly mentors women in technology.

Michelle is Procsci certified and is a day-to-day leader of change management. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Houston-Clear Lake.

Michele Busse

Chief Legal Officer

Michele Busse, Chief Legal Officer, brings an analytical approach to complex business matters and transactions. She focuses on partnership and relationships to enable solutions that help achieve company priorities while also protecting the company.

Prior to joining Involta in 2020, Michele served as Corporate Counsel for 14 years at a multi-national Fortune 500 company. She has been practicing transactional and corporate law for over 28 years.

Michele received a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Iowa State University and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Iowa College of Law.

Inge Corlis

Vice President of Finance

Inge Corlis, Vice President of Finance, brings an analytical and disciplined approach to financial management to Involta. Results-oriented and resourceful, Inge confidently assesses, manages and analyzes trends important to the growth of the company.

Inge joined Involta in 2007, bringing experience in both public accounting and private company work in technology, telecom, real estate and hospitality. She has held many finance leadership roles, including financial planning and analysis and business development. Inge has been instrumental in numerous mergers and acquisitions.

Inge holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Luther College.

Annalea Ilg

Chief Information Security Officer

Annalea Ilg, Chief Information Security Officer, is passionate about solving for risk, promoting culture change and developing and executing strategy to deliver leading-edge technical solutions. Her influential and innovative approach helps streamline and implement security processes efficiently to ensure Involta and its clients have a strong security posture.

Bringing more than 15 years of information security and compliance experience to Involta, Annalea currently oversees the Quality, Security and Compliance department. She manages holistic risk and provides valuable solutions to protect the security, integrity and continuity of critical organizational functions. Prior to joining Involta in 2018, Annalea served as Vice President of Security and Compliance and as the Chief Information Security Officer at Flexential.

Annalea serves on the board of directors at Rule4 and is Past President of ISC2 Omaha Chapter.

Carl Gordulic

Vice President of Financial Planning and Analysis

Carl Gordulic, Vice President of Integrations and Continuous Improvement, is a collaborative driver, focused on integrating and streamlining business practices. His keen ability to optimize operational and financial performance has been paramount to setting a foundation for growth in the healthcare, manufacturing and financial services sectors.

Carl brings more than 20 years of IT experience to Involta. He served as President and Chief Operations Officer of Data Recovery Services – the company was acquired by Involta in 2015.

Carl is an active community member in the Youngstown, Ohio area. He is an avid local sports enthusiast and supporter.

Ken Kremer

Chief Technical Officer - Data Center Strategy

Ken Kremer, Founder and Chief Technical Officer, uses a methodical and measured approach to his work that has been instrumental in the growth of Involta’s national data center footprint. As one of Involta’s co-founders, Ken’s consistent leadership in technical services and operations has enabled the company to expand its data center and managed services portfolio. 

Prior to Involta, Ken held leadership positions in high-tech companies focusing on operational efficiencies, innovative solution engineering and regulatory compliance issues. Ken’s career has been focused on data center operations and managed services since 1997.

Ken seamlessly integrates people, processes and services to help Involta deliver on its promise of ‘People Who Deliver.”

Michael Meloy

Senior Vice President Corporate Development

Michael (Mike) Meloy, Senior Vice President Corporate Development, has a proven ability to build partner and client relationships critical to the expansion of Involta’s national presence. He has also been instrumental in the company’s M&A strategy, leveraging his IT expertise across multiple verticals, including manufacturing and healthcare.

Prior to joining Involta, Mike founded NSI Group, which transitioned to Data Recovery Services (DRS). As CEO of DRS, he led the company’s growth in Ohio and Pennsylvania and spearheaded a strategic partnership to build the nation’s first municipal data center. DRS was later acquired by Involta in 2015. He has severed on several advisory boards, including Cisco, EMC, Microsoft, South Range Merchant Board, South Range Foundation (President), Ingram’s VTN Council and DRUND.com.

Mike is a community steward and champion of Eastern Ohio. He has been honored as an Ohio Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneur of the Year, Ohio Commodore appointed by Governor Kasich and an inductee of MSPMentor 250 Global Hall of Fame.

Lucas Mistelske

Vice President of Client Experience

Lucas Mistelske, Vice President of Client Experience, is a charismatic driver with a unique ability to manage and develop teams. His collaborative and compassionate approach to management aligns with his technical expertise to deliver a superior experience for Involta clients.

Lucas has operational responsibility for key strategic partners and clients at Involta. He oversees all aspects of governance, performance, executive engagement, financial performance and compliance for service delivery.  Since 2012, Lucas has held several roles at Involta – Manager of Operational Activity for the company’s two Minnesota data centers, Director of Data Center Operations for the company’s entire fleet of data centers and led the deployment of Involta’s Managed Services offering, specifically the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) development team and product platform.

Lucas is passionate about community engagement and relations. He currently serves as the board chair of Starbase Duluth STEM Education Program, and in curriculum advisory board positions for multiple programs within the University of Minnesota Duluth, Lake Superior College, and Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College.

Randy Rings

Chief Administrative Officer

Randy Rings, Founder and Chief Administrative Officer, specializes in developing effective solutions to complicated business issues and transactions. He ensures best practices corporate governance matters and helps navigate merger and acquisition activity as Involta continues to expand the national footprint.

Prior to Involta, Randy served as General Counsel for public and private high-growth technology, telecommunications, insurance and financial services, publishing and telemarketing companies, and as Corporate Counsel for electric and telephone cooperatives. Randy has managed, structured and directed numerous complex telecommunications and technology transactions, financing and capitalization activities and other business and legal arrangements.

Randy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and Juris Doctorate, both from the University of Iowa.

Susan Sedrel

Vice President of Human Resources

Susan (Sue) Sedrel, Vice President of Human Resources, is a champion for developing and enhancing the Involta culture. Her efforts have been integral to Involta’s local and national recognition as a leading cloud and IT services company.

Sue has been instrumental in developing the Involta culture since the company’s inception in 2007. She has a passion for cultivating “People Who Deliver” through organizational effectiveness and education initiatives, including mentorship, advanced certifications and interpersonal training. Sue continues to expand and nurture Involta’s world-class team through talent acquisition, recognition and development leveraging her deep experience with color training and personality inventory.

Sue holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Iowa.

Jeff Szymanski

Executive Vice President of Business Development

Jeff Szymanski, Executive Vice President of Business Development, aligns his passion for technical and business acumen to drive results for Involta and its clients. He’s been a visionary in the development of strategic, industry-focused initiatives and advisory boards for Involta. 

Jeff joined Involta in 2014 as the Vice President of Strategic Markets. Prior to joining the company, he was the Vice President of Enterprise Technology Services at UPMC. Bringing more than 35 years of experience in information technology, strategy and business development, Jeff developed and implemented a healthcare vertical strategy to expand the company’s market presence. In 2015 he established the Involta Healthcare Advisory Board, comprised of top healthcare executive leaders from across the United States, and has since significantly expanded Involta’s overall healthcare business. He currently champions similar initiatives in the manufacturing and financial services industries. These three verticals represent Involta’s overall core business strategy as the organization continues to win, retain and grow key clients as a premier IT service provider across the country.

Jeff holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Science in Business Administration and Management from Robert Morris University.

Thomas Wilcox

Senior Vice President Strategic Accounts

Thomas (Tom) Wilcox, Senior Vice President Strategic Accounts, has been instrumental in driving technical innovation and leadership for the company. His ability to align technology solutions and support with business objectives provides Involta’s strategic clients with specialized services for advanced partnering relationships.

Tom brings more than 25 years of experience delivering a superior client experience and in leading technical operations teams. He leverages his experience in operations management, sales, sales engineering, product development and technical security to build high-performing teams. Tom specializes in assisting companies with regulatory compliance, ITIL implementation, achieving operational excellence and managing outsourced resources – specifically in the financial services, manufacturing, healthcare and telecommunications industries.

Tom is passionate about his community and mentoring the next generation of leaders. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and Management from the University of Iowa.

Involta Board of Directors

Involta is a privately held company that operates its dynamic and innovative information technology services from enterprise-class company-owned data center facilities. Involta's board of directors provides insight from their various backgrounds and expertise of electrical power, healthcare, telecommunications, technology, finance and corporate governance to help guide the management team regarding company direction. Also serving on the board of directors is Bruce Lehrman, Involta CEO.

Stephen Gray, Chairman

Stephen Gray

Chairman

Stephen Gray is the Founder of Gray Venture Partners, LLC. He is also a Senior Advisor to The Carlyle Group, one of the world’s premiere and most successful private equity firms. Gray previously served as President of McLeodUSA Inc., VP of Business Services at MCI and Senior VP of National Accounts and Carrier Services for TelecomUSA as well as a variety of other management positions. Mr. Gray earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee.

Jeffrey Benjamin,

Jeffrey Benjamin

Jeffrey Benjamin has nearly 25 years of experience in the investment industry and has extensive experience serving on the boards of directors of other public and private companies, including Mandalay Resort Group. He has been senior advisor to Cyrus Capital Partners since June 2008 and serves as a consultant to Apollo Global Management, LLC with respect to investments in the gaming industry. He was senior advisor to Apollo Global Management, LLC from 2002 to 2008. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Tufts University and a master’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management.

Gillis Cashman,

Gillis Cashman

Gillis Cashman is a managing partner of M/C Partners and is focused on the wireline broadband infrastructure and services portion of the firm's portfolio. Cashman joined M/C Partners after a career with Salomon Smith Barney in the Global Telecommunications Corporate Finance Group where he concentrated on mergers and acquisitions in the wireline and wireless segments of the telecommunications industry.

Ed Vilandrie,

Ed Vilandrie

Ed Vilandrie is a founder of Altman Vilandrie and Company where he assists clients with industry topics while advising CEO’s and boards in complex strategic situations. He has previously served as principal and management team member at CSMG and as an analyst at Cambridge Economics, Inc., a M.I.T.-based economic consulting firm specializing in patent infringement and anti-trust litigation. He holds a Sc.B. in Applied Mathematics & Economics from Brown University.

James Wade,

James Wade

James Wade is currently a managing partner of M/C Partners. He is responsible for developing the firm’s involvement in the telecom service sectors, including mobile wireless, broadband wireless, CLEC, fiber and residential broadband providers. Wade also leads the investment process for M/C Partners, including determining sector focus, seeking out management teams, founding new companies and working with financial sources that provide debt and equity capital. He currently serves on the boards of directors of Open Mobile and Melita Cable. Wade graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a bachelor’s degree in finance and received a master’s of business administration from Harvard Business School.

Jeffrey Benjamin,

Jeffrey Benjamin

Jeffrey Benjamin has nearly 25 years of experience in the investment industry and has extensive experience serving on the boards of directors of other public and private companies, including Mandalay Resort Group. He has been senior advisor to Cyrus Capital Partners since June 2008 and serves as a consultant to Apollo Global Management, LLC with respect to investments in the gaming industry. He was senior advisor to Apollo Global Management, LLC from 2002 to 2008. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Tufts University and a master’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management.

Ed Vilandrie,

Ed Vilandrie

Ed Vilandrie is a founder of Altman Vilandrie and Company where he assists clients with industry topics while advising CEO’s and boards in complex strategic situations. He has previously served as principal and management team member at CSMG and as an analyst at Cambridge Economics, Inc., a M.I.T.-based economic consulting firm specializing in patent infringement and anti-trust litigation. He holds a Sc.B. in Applied Mathematics & Economics from Brown University.

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