As a highly capable strategic thinker with extensive experience in financial management, marketing and corporate strategy across multiple industries, Mike Ballard has been instrumental in building strong corporate governance, effective communications systems and successful business cultures at several highly successful western U.S. companies. Mike brings more than 25 years of experience in finance, professional services, technology, telecommunications, real estate and construction.
Mike is a Gazelles Certified Executive Coach, one of less than 200 in the world. Through “Mastering the Rockefeller Habits™,” he helps executives adopt the entrepreneurial best practices to enjoy revenue growth of 20%+ annually and better than industry average , which is the Gazelle category of the economy.
Mike has served as CEO, COO and CFO of angel- and venture-funded companies. He has also served on the boards of several start-up companies, a bank and many community groups.
A native of Las Vegas, Mike is also a very active member of his community. He maintains a strong network through out Nevada and the western U.S. He has a strong motivation and commitment to grow and diversify southern Nevada. In 2010, Mike was named one of the “Top 20 Visionaries” in Nevada by Nevada Business magazine.
In 2011, Mike developed the business plan, raised the capital and launched Cobalt Data Centers. Cobalt is considered one of the most energy efficient, customer friendly and attractive data centers in the west. The launch of Cobalt Data Centers is considered one of the best facility introductions in the industry. The company acquired clients from across the country.
In 2006, Mike and four other technologists founded telecommunications company, 1Velocity. In his five years as chairman and CEO, built the first Ethernet-based local exchange network in the country using the “millimeter-wave” radio spectrum.
In late 2008, the company was recognized as one of the top 50 emerging companies in America, and in 2009 the company was recognized as Nevada’s Start Up Company of the Year. In May of 2011, Mike sold the company to Towerstream, the nation’s largest commercial wireless company. Las Vegas immediately became the company’s fifth largest of Towerstream’s 13 markets. At the time of its sale, 1Velocity was the largest wireless company in Nevada.
Prior to joining 1Velocity, Mike was CFO and managing member of Switch Communications Group, a leading colocation company. As managing member, Mike raised the majority of its early capital and lead the company to significant growth.
Prior to Switch, Mike was chief operating officer of Systems Research & Development (SRD), a pioneer and leader in real-time data warehousing, collusion detection and enterprise-wide connectivity. The company was initially funded by the CIA’s venture capital firm, In-Q-Tel. The company sold to IBM in January of 2005.
In 1992, he founded Ballard Communications, one of the most successful and award- winning Public Relations firms in Nevada and the West. For the better part of a decade, it was the largest and most award-winning independent PR firm in Nevada. At its peak, the firm was the 126th largest and 27th fastest growing PR firm in the U.S. The firm was organized around six industry groups which included Professional Services, Financial Services, Real Estate, Health Care, Technology, and Consumer Products. He sold the company to Vanguard Media Group of Salt Lake City.
In 2001, he was selected as one of the 40 leading PR Executives in the Nation by O’Dwyers PR Services Report, the oldest and leading trade publication to the industry. He was also recognized by Investors Business Daily as one of the most ethical people in the communications business.
Mike was one of the first Accredited PR Professionals (APR) in Nevada and is a past president of PRSA/Las Vegas and served on the editorial advisory board for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the state’s largest daily paper.
Mike is the founder and was twice the chairman of the Vegas Valley Angels. He was also president of the Technology Business Alliance of Nevada, southern Nevada’s leading technology trade association.