We believe the best ideas come from (and around) doers + thinkers. In the sports industry, that’s players and coaches.
JP O'Brien, CEO and Managing Director
JP 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 game-day sporting goods 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, Pro Network Director
Leader on and off the field, former NFL defensive tackle, Justin Bannan, co-founded Black Lab Sports following a successful 12-year professional athletic career. Justin brings a combination of professional athletics, product performance experience, and entrepreneurship.
Justin’s involvement in Black Lab Sports promises to make a profound impact on the physical and psychological performance of the Black Lab Sports products. He leads the recruiting and growth of Black Lab Sports Pro Partner Group and will extend the company’s ability to leverage professional athletes to evaluate, test, and improve on product innovation.
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.
Aaron Beach, COO
Aaron Beach co-founded isplack, Inc. and 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. Prior to joining Black Lab Sports, Aaron served 22 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.
Chris Kuper, Pro Network Director
With proven proficiency in the sports industry, Chris Kuper is a co-founder of Black Lab Sports, underscoring his professional and personal dedication to the building world class athletics. Chris will use his experience in athletics to grow Black Lab Sports and expand its reach to other like-minded individuals. Product development and pro player recruitment are among some of the areas that Chris will manage. Chris is also head of Investor Relations for isplack, Inc.
With a lifetime of experience in athletics, Chris knows what works and what needs to be improved on. Chris is an integral part in Black Lab Sports' field testing, providing users early access to Black Lab Sports' cutting edge technology, and helping to make athletics and athletes better. Through working with the best athletes and greatest business minds within our network, Chris helps test, break, and prove our products by getting them in the hands of the people that use them; world class athletes, doctors and trainers.
Chris has a history in leadership as a 3 time offensive captain for the Denver Broncos within an 8 year NFL career. Following his professional football career he has been an active entrepreneur. He is a co-owner in the new D1 Sports Training facility in Highlands Ranch, CO. Other business ventures include Ship Sticks LLC, a white glove golf club shipping company. He serves as board member of a youth non-profit that encourages responsibility, commitment and character development in young athletes and is the offensive line coach for Columbine High School in Littleton, CO.
Peter Zana, VP of Sales
Peter, an experienced entrepreneur, brings 21 years of success at all levels of sales, consulting, project management and operations. Peter spent 9 years in IT Consulting, both with a “Big 5” Consulting firm, as well as with a small regional player, helping the latter grow from roughly 60 employees to over 300. During his tenure, he focused on leveraging and building his strong interpersonal skills into sales and business development roles. In 2001 Peter left consulting to start his own Subcontracting and later General Contracting business – Sage Builders and Design. They focused on the residential marketplace – both renovations and new construction in Summit and Boulder County’s. Peter worked in every facet of the business as it grew – to include multiple projects/teams, across multiple disciplines.
Peter brings a creative and innovative approach in building long-term new business and key executive relationships. He approaches interactions with a strong sense of honesty, integrity, and humility. He finds meaning and value in fostering new relationships and is constantly searching for ways to build connections between business partners. He has a passion for and a history of turning prospects into customers, customers into business partners, and most everyone into friends.