Tech Qualled Leadership



Todd Brown joined the Tech Qualled team from Cima Solutions Group where he was the VP of Sales and Marketing as well as the Co-Founder and CEO of Cowork Suites. He has over 25 years of experience in technology sales, marketing, and strategy including positions at IBM in various sales roles including IBM Business Unit Executive for Midmarket West and Global Midmarket Strategy Leader. Todd currently holds a Smarter Cities and SLED position at Cisco Systems as the Integrated Community Leader for Denton and Tarrant Counties. He has a degree in Sociology from Michigan State University.

Todd originally joined the Tech Qualled team as a business advisor and training coordinator for the Launchpad Academy. Today, Todd works with candidate acceptance into the Tech Qualled program.

Todd also serves as a Tech Qualled Board Member.



Lex Brown is a US Air Force and Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran with 9 years of honorable service, 7 years on active duty. Lex and FortiPhi brings proven leadership and success in telecommunications and information technology, primarily in operational leadership, project management, and continuous process improvement roles to Tech Qualled. Lex himself is a Tech Qualled graduate, who naturally found synergy with our team and mission. Lex has an MBA from Colorado Technical University and is a Certified Six Sigma Green Belt. Through FortiPhi, Lex is able to connect our Tech Qualled Graduates together with his vast network of partnerships, helping match our graduates with their ideal career opportunity.


Lex currently lives in Tampa/St. Petersburg, FL with his family. In his free time, he can be found writing, hanging out with his kids at the bookstore, at the beach with the family, or enjoying home-cooked meals and board games.

Tech Qualled Founders


Karen brings a background in high tech sales at Hewlett Packard as well as teaching at the college level at Hong Kong Polytechnic. Karen also sits on several nonprofit boards in the Austin area. Karen and Jim have two children in their 20’s both working in the high tech area.

Karen currently lives in Austin, Texas where she enjoys water skiing, biking, and yoga.



Nick has 17 years of active duty military leadership experience where he flew and instructed in the MH-60S Knighthawk helicopter and the C-40A Clipper transport jet. His passion for helping transitioning veterans maximize their professional potential led him to found Tech Qualled. As a military veteran himself, he is an excellent conduit for men and women transitioning from the armed service into new careers in high tech that reward them for their military skill sets. Nick is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy and received a Master in Public Administration degree from the Harvard Kennedy School.

Nick lives in Fort Worth, Texas, where he enjoys his family, his faith, and soccer.



Jim has over 35 years of experience in the high tech industry including executive and sales leadership roles at Hewlett-Packard and Cisco Systems. Jim founded Tech Qualled because of his passion for helping veterans transition into rewarding careers in high technology. He has deep relationships with most of our clients dating back over ten years. Jim is also Co-Founder of Career Dash, providing virtual career training and placement services in recruiting and business development.


Jim lives in Austin, Texas where he enjoys tennis, water skiing, and spending time with his family.



Chris Hurst has over 35 years of sales and sales leadership experience in the technology market. He has worked for companies including Sun Microsystems, Juniper Networks, and Cisco Systems. Over his career he developed a track record of building high performing sales teams that consistently exceeded goals. 

Chris lives with his family in Austin, TX where he spends a lot of time on the lake and in the Hill Country riding his Harley.

Tech Qualled Board Members



Katie Bush is a co-founder and Principal at Cedar Ridge Advisors, Inc., a consulting and advisory firm that provides tailored solutions for lower middle market businesses. She spent nearly a decade in private equity, investing in middle-market business services, communications, consumer products, and retail, industrial and healthcare companies and partnering with their founders and executives on behalf of Berkshire Partners, a Boston-based firm with over $18 billion in assets under management.


She also managed relationships as Vice President at J.P. Morgan, working with successful families and their respective operating companies, advising them on a range of financial services needs, including mergers/acquisitions, capital markets, investment management, and capital advisory.

Katie has an MBA from Georgetown University and ESADE Business School. Her undergraduate degree is from the University of Chicago.



Ed has 11 years of active duty military leadership experience where he served as an infantry officer (Airborne Ranger) and as an adjunct professor of Electrical Engineering at the United States Military Academy. His passion for helping transitioning veterans maximize their professional potential led to his desire to become a part of the Tech Qualled team.

With over 30 years of experience in the tech community as the CEO of RF Code, Acertus Technology and Cubic Wafer as well as being part of the team that founded Silicon Labs, an Austin, TX-based semiconductor company – he was instrumental in Silicon Lab’s Initial Public Offering in March of 2000. Ed is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. He received an MSEE from Georgia Institute of Technology, an MBA from Santa Clara University, and an MBM from Stanford University.

Ed lives in Austin, TX with his wife Mary. They enjoy life in Austin as well as lots of time in their Colorado home in Telluride. Ed is an avid golfer, skier, and fitness geek. He seems to be a perpetual student of anything as well!



Amer Atrash is a semiconductor technology entrepreneur. He was a founder of Triune Systems, a fabless semiconductor company specializing in mixed-signal integrated circuits, and led all product development until acquisition by Semtech Corp in 2015. He spearheaded innovation and technology development inside the company, creating a portfolio of best-in-class products for ultra-low power, wireless charging, and wearable technologies. Dr. Atrash led a collaborative partnership with the silicon foundry, resulting in fabrication process improvements and a jointly-owned IP family.

Earlier in his career, Dr. Atrash received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, focusing on high-performance system interfaces. He has held technical staff positions at Texas Instruments and was responsible for bringing innovative packaging technology to the digital power organization, creating a new product line of power switching devices.


Dr. Atrash is credited with more than 15 patents granted to date and recently completed a Global Executive MBA at Georgetown University.