Aaron Beach

Aaron, Co-Founder and COO of isplack, Inc., brings his passion, experience, and expertise in human resources and operations. Aaron’s strengths include creating native work cultures specifically centered on the people who lead to its success, as well as fostering inspiring and empowering work environments for business growth. His operational foundation provides high level problem solving skills that solve opportunities both in the immediate and for the future.  Aaron served for over 20 years in the hospitality and restaurant industry where he ran multimillion-dollar restaurant locations, served as a mentor, and oversaw a staff of 200 and 14 executives.

Aaron has received multiple awards for his excellence in staff care and customer service. Aaron’s ability to continually deliver a profitable business while simultaneously growing the work culture to deliver a productive and efficient staff, have led him to become a trusted resource for work culture development. Aaron specializes in enabling employees to become integral members of a team while fostering their individual passions and talents.

Outside of work Aaron has been involved in the lacrosse community for over 25 years and was a D1 goalie for St. Bonaventure University. Aaron continues to play competitive lacrosse in venues such as the Vail Shootout, Colorado Men’s Lacrosse Association. He is an organizer and promoter for numerous teams, including his own in the 2014 Lacrosse World Games. In addition, Aaron has strong convictions for youth athletic development that began in 2006 with his own three sons. His focus is to grow youth athletes with a holistic approach centered on character development, sportsmanship, strength and conditioning, and skill.


Alex Bates

Alex, Managing Director of Neocortex Ventures, brings a unique perspective at the intersection of machine learning, big data, and the IoT. As an undergraduate, he authored 5 peer-reviewed publications (current citation count of 117), performed DARPA-funded research in neural networks, as well as research in memory and computational diagnostics. Next he jumped into the private sector, applying analytics on some of the world’s largest data warehouses at Teradata, the pioneer in big data.

In 2006 Alex co-founded Mtelligence (Mtell) to harness the deluge of sensor data in the industrial IoT, with a mission of creating a world that doesn’t break down. Mtell’s machine learning platform is used to monitor global fleets of offshore drilling rigs, railroad engines, and process equipment, in effect creating a distributed immune system to protect equipment and personnel. Alex is lead inventor on 3 patents in the area of sensor networks and machine learning. Mtell was acquired in 2016 by AspenTech (NASDAQ: AZPN), the global leader in process optimization software. In the two years following the acquisition of Mtell,

AspenTech more than doubled its market cap, adding $4 billion of shareholder value. In June 2018, Barron’s highlighted AspenTech as one of the top three AI investments outside of FAANG (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google). Alex received degrees in Mathematics and Computer Science with a concentration in neuroscience. His new book Augmented Mind (print release coming May 2019) explores how the combination of AI with human intelligence - called Intelligence Augmentation - has revolutionary potential.


Fred Krawchuk

Fred is an energetic, combat-seasoned thought leader on innovation labs and managing complex organizations. He is widely admired for cutting-edge strategic planning and peacemaking initiatives around the world, including peacekeeping in the Balkans, security cooperation in Latin America and Southeast Asia, counterinsurgency in Iraq and Afghanistan, and global counterterrorism programs. Today, Fred draws on his government, business, and academic experience in times of complexity and risk and provides lessons that are highly relevant to improving strategic thinking, strengthening results through collaboration and developing resilient colleagues who will thrive in today’s fast-paced global environment.

The experience and insights gained in his career are about far more than war, terrorism, and striving for peace. Learning how to unite people to achieve common goals under the most adverse circumstances and instill in them a shared vision of a better future is key to many endeavors, civilian as well as military. Fred consults, writes, and coaches families and senior executives on how to build consensus between stakeholders from all walks of life, align innovative action, and generate pragmatic solutions to complex challenges. He works with a variety of clients around the world to empower them to become more adaptive in highly demanding situations - whether in families, business, government, communities, or conflict zones - by integrating leadership development, peak performance, and systemic innovation.

In addition to his extensive background in managing complex challenges, twenty years of mindfulness training and other resiliency courses have also deepened Fred’s capacity to transform intractable issues and scale training programs. Part of this experience Fred gained as a former intercollegiate varsity athlete and military endurance event winner. Additionally, besides graduating from demanding military courses such as Ranger School, Survival School, Jungle School, and Special Forces Qualification Course, he learned Aikido-based forms of somatic movement, trained in mindfulness based stress reduction, and certified as a corporate athlete facilitator. He is also a certified executive coach in managing change and transitions in dynamic environments. 25 years of operational experience training and deploying high-performing Special Operations teams around the globe taught Fred had to scale programs so that large organizations could thrive under extreme circumstances. He also designed and taught programs in peak performance at IESE Business School (#1 business exec ed program globally according to Financial Times) to business executives and MBA students. Finally, knowing firsthand the suffering that occurs in war-torn areas, Fred also serves on the Board of Advisors of Peace through Commerce, the Advisory Committee for the Coming Home Project, and co-founded a public benefit corporation to bridge the gap between business and government in tackling cross-sector social impact issues.


Gunther Weil, Ph.D.

Gunther is the Co-Founder & CEO of Value Mentors - an internationally recognized consultant, executive coach, and educator who advises leaders and their organizations on values based leadership, innovation, team building, strategic planning, and executive wellness. His clients have included numerous public and private sectors institutions in such as MIT Media Lab, CAA, Chase Manhattan Bank, Credit Suisse, AT&T, McCann Erickson, the FAA, the Peace Corps and many others.

Gunther previously served as the senior VP of Intermedia Systems Corporation; a publicly held media production and consulting firm. He received his doctorate from Harvard University in 1965, was a Fulbright Scholar in Europe and was recruited by Abraham Maslow to teach at Brandeis University. He is a 50-year practitioner of Tai Chi and a recognized master teacher of Qigong - the oriental art of internal energy cultivation. Gunther lives in the mountain community of Sugarloaf in Boulder, CO.


Jean-Paul O’Brien

JP, CEO and Managing Director, is a serial entrepreneur, building strong teams and executing in rapidly growing and changing markets. JP focuses on strategic planning, business analysis, innovation, fundraising, mentoring, driving change, leading organizations, and connecting the dots between people and opportunity.

Before launching Black Lab Sports, JP was the Co-Founder and CEO of isplack, Inc., a human performance skincare company;  Managing Director of Integrated People Solutions, an executive search and HR consulting firm; CEO and Chairman of SageFire, Inc., a provider of cloud-based, enterprise management software for multi-unit businesses including eBay, H&R Block, and Home Depot; Founding Member and CIO of Headwaters MB, a private equity and M&A investment banking firm; and Co-Founder and CTO of Learning Productions, LLC, an EduTech company that developed the first online training simulations, acquired by SkillSoft. JP is also a Lead Mentor with Techstars.

JP earned his B.S. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Cornell University, where he played D1 lacrosse and football. He is now a guest lecturer at University of Colorado at Boulder and Colorado School of Mines.  JP has been the President of Boulder Valley Lacrosse, a nonprofit youth sports organization, a lacrosse and football coach, and on the weekends, he can be found playing lacrosse, skiing, and trail-running the foothills of Colorado.


Justin Bannan

Justin, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer of isplack, Inc., is a leader on and off the field, following a successful 12-year professional career as defensive tackle in the NFL. Justin brings a combination of professional athletics, product performance experience, and entrepreneurship. Justin is also a co-founder of Black Lab Sports.

Justin studied Communications and Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado, and received a certificate from Stanford University School of Business, Business Management and Entrepreneurship Program.  Throughout his career, Justin has set the highest expectations of himself and his teams, striving to make a difference on the field and in business. Retiring from the NFL in 2014, Justin played for 5 National Football League franchises and impacted each team by emerging as a trusted leader and mentor.


Kate Pate, Ph.D.

Kate, Research Partner, is a neurophysiologist, downhill mountain bike junkie, entrepreneur, and yogi. Her research career began over 13 years ago, borne out of a fascination with the brain, but specifically the brain-body-breath connection. Kate never does anything half-heartedly, so an initial fascination ultimately led to her pursuing a PhD in Physiology, studying the neural control of breathing. Following the completion of her graduate studies, Kate eagerly traded in the swampy flatlands of Florida for the rocky peaks of Colorado and embarked upon a whirlwind research career, investigating everything from neurotrauma to arthritis to cancer and radiation biology. This is the part of her story where she also fell in love with mountain biking. Because Kate is passionate about teaching, it was no surprise that she eventually wound up being called “Professor” at a school of medicine, sharing her love of all things medical with some our nation’s future doctors. A few years later, Kate was recruited by an aerospace startup to help with a military medical project, which eventually led to her becoming the Director of Combat Casualty Care, tasked with creating innovative solutions to address the critical gaps in military medicine. For the past four years Kate has been working in this field, studying everything from trauma medicine to human performance to mental health.

One of her favorite current projects involves identifying technologies that can be used to effectively track and optimize the health and performance of our service members. As things always seem to come full circle, she now finds herself going back to her (research) roots and revisiting her fascination with the brain-body-breath connection, applying what she’s learned from both the scientific literature and her personal experience to the field of human performance. When not geeking out over research, you can find Kate on the trails, on her yoga mat, or on her meditation cushion with her dog, Miles. He meditates, too.


Mark J. Williams

Mark Williams, Director, has more than 24 years of operations and intelligence experience with the U.S. Air Force and other U.S. government agencies. His operational experience includes more than 200 combat hours in the F-15C as a veteran of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. His intelligence experience ranged from the tactical to the strategic level, including as expert advisor to several law enforcement agencies within the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security. Mark also served as the Operations Officer of the Pacific Air Intelligence Squadron, supporting and reporting directly to the Commander in Chief, Pacific Air Forces.

Mark is currently heading up Black Lab Sports' Cognitive Performance Institute. Previously, he was CEO at Dynamic Human Solutions (DHS), where his team combined mindfulness-based skills with operational military experience to provide tools for developing and maintaining resilience, situational awareness and peak performance. DHS trained fighter pilots, special operators, helicopter pilots, Olympic and other world-class athletes, and elite fire fighting and law enforcement units. Mark’s long-time experience in the martial arts led him to mental fitness and mindfulness training, which he has been practicing for almost 25 years now. Mark has an M.A. from Naropa University in Religious Studies; he is also co-adaptor of the critically acclaimed Off-Broadway productions, The Man Himself (2006) and Conviction (2010).


Mike Weeks

Mike, CEO of Frontline Minds, is a coach, trainer and speaker, specializing in resilience and peak performance for high-pressure operators, such as Special Forces and extreme athletes. He was formerly a professional free climber who bridged the gap between elite sports performance, coaching and media. Mike has lead, coached, trained and consulted globally for thousands of individuals and teams. He is a published author with Random House/Penguin in the fields of neuropsychology and is recognized by US immigration as an extraordinary talent in human behavior and lifestyle expertise. Significant Projects:

  • Provided resilience training in the worlds poorest and most devastated regions: Haitian Slums, Port au Prince hospital (HIV and TB wards), IDP camps and Ormoc city (days after Typhoon Haiyan)

  • Provided recovery coaching for formerly tortured Libyan prisoners of Col.Ghaddafi’s regime

  • Worked as the primary provider for mental health solutions at JPHRO (Sean Penn – Haiti), working alongside medical teams to ensure staff and patient resilience to PTSD

  • Produced and co-presented the most successful transformation TV series of all time, which has been viewed in 152 countries for more than ten years

  • Delivered resilience training to multiple individuals from the British SAS, SBS and US Marine Reconnaissance

  • Delivered resilience training programs for fire fighters in Snowhomish county, Washington StateTrained resilience to hundreds of social workers and school-teachers in the devastated Ormoc region after the Filipino, Typhoon Haiyan

  • Developed the ‘Mind-Set’ training programs for California’s number 1 business start up academy