Michael (@mjsikorsky) co-founded Robots & Pencils in 2009 with the then-contrarian view that mobile would be more transformative than the Internet. Since then, the firm has become a trusted strategic partner to some of the world’s best brands, helping its clients harness the power of mobile, web and frontier technologies to transform their businesses.
With a growth rate of 4,971% in the first five years, Robots & Pencils was named the 34th fastest growing technology company in North America by Deloitte. Michael credits Robots & Pencils’ success to talent obsession.
Michael is also a sought-after speaker on the topics of innovation, business strategy, and mobile and frontier technologies, having guest lectured at Harvard Business School, Stanford, MIT and Columbia University. He is an EY Entrepreneur of the Year award winner (2013). His insights, products and ideas have been featured in Wired, CNNMoney, Profit Magazine, ZDNet, and 9to5 Mac.
I think of art, at its most significant, as a DEW line, a Distant Early Warning system that can always be relied on to tell the old culture what is beginning to happen to it.
Tracey brings 18 years of expertise in marketing, technology and process improvement to her role at Robots & Pencils.
Since joining the company in 2015, Tracey has proven to be an expert at finding ways to grow the business while improving operations for the benefit of the company’s talent and clients. Her areas of expertise include cross-functional team leadership, project management, content strategy, business and process analysis, user experience and customer advocacy.
Tracey began her career as a software developer, analyst and consultant for multinational companies across the financial and medical sectors, including Bank of America and Siemens Healthcare.
Innovation by itself turns out not to be the trump card we expected; more important is the ability to scale innovation, to blend creativity with discipline.
Dave brings more than 15 years of experience to his role of VP, Finance at Robots & Pencils, where he is responsible for finance, accounting, tax and treasury functions.
Prior to Robots & Pencils, Dave was an integral member of a number of oil and gas companies. He was Corporate Controller of Pure Energy Services Ltd. from 2009 until its sale to FMC Technologies in 2012 for $282 million, representing a 500% growth in the company’s market capitalization during his tenure.
Dave holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Calgary as well as his Chartered Accountant designation.
The difference between winning and losing is most often not quitting.
Jason Tate is a passionate and forward-thinking executive with more than 25 years of strategic consulting experience. A self-described technophile, Jason has broad experience designing, implementing and maintaining IT environments. He has a deep understanding of data center architecture, software development, mobile solutions and service design.
Jason joins Robots & Pencils following a five-year stint leading Apple’s enterprise customers in Western Canada and 10 years developing award-winning managed services solutions at Long View Systems.
You can’t solve complex business and people problems by asking 'how can we innovate?' You must start by asking 'why?'
Widely recognized as a successful entrepreneur and proven, high-growth business leader, Len brings his expertise and nearly 30 years of experience to his role of Chairman at Robots & Pencils.
Previously, Len was the Chairman, CEO and founder of Brulant, Inc, an interactive agency that uniquely fused the creative design and internet marketing capabilities of an agency with deep technology expertise and “Big 5” management consulting firm knowledge and approach. By 2008, Brulant was the third largest, privately held interactive agency in the US, a three-time Inc. 500 winner, an eight-time Weatherhead 100 winner, and a five-time NorthCoast 99 winner for best places to work.
In 2008, Len successfully negotiated a merger with Rosetta and was appointed Vice Chairman of the agency with the responsibility for strategic growth and expansion, as well as mergers and acquisitions. By 2011, Rosetta was the largest independent interactive agency with revenue exceeding $250 million and was acquired by Publicis for almost $600 million.
In addition to his role at Robot and Pencils, Len is the Chairman and CEO of Next Sparc; serves as an Operating Advisor and General Partner to Resilience Capital Partners; and sits on the boards of Flight Options, COMS Interactive, Streamlink and Hoodmart. He is also actively involved in real estate market investing in both office and residential properties with strategic partners largely within Ohio.
Len is an active executive committee member and past Chapter Chair for the Cleveland Chapter of Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO). He has received various awards and earned significant recognition as a foremost entrepreneur and high-growth business leader. Len was named the 2007 Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young and to the Crain’s Cleveland Business annual “Who’s Who in Technology” and “40 under 40” lists.
Test fast, fail fast, adjust fast.
With experience in entrepreneurial, start up, turnaround and corporate environments, Miles leads Robots & Pencils finance team as CFO.
Previously, Miles was VP of Finance at Hilite International, a global Tier 1 automotive supplier based in Marktheidenfeld, Germany. Miles spent the most formative years of his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in the Transaction Services group, where he ultimately achieved the level of Director, providing both buy-side and sell-side diligence and consulting services to corporate and private equity clients in the US, South America, Europe and Asia. Miles has also worked at a regional turnaround consulting firm and a federal bank in West Palm Beach.
Miles holds a BS in Accounting and an MBA in Finance from Case Western Reserve University. He is a Certified Public Accountant (Ohio - inactive), Certified Insolvency and Restructuring Advisor, and Certified Turnaround Professional.
I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.
Rita Gunther McGrath is a globally recognized expert on strategy, innovation, and growth. In addition to teaching and speaking, she is an advisor to CEOs and senior teams and is regarded as unique in her ability to help them design and execute strategies in rapidly changing and volatile environments. Rita is valued for her rare ability to connect research to practical business problems.
Recognized consistently as one of the top 10 management thinkers by global management award Thinkers50, Rita also received the award for outstanding achievement in Strategy. She is a sought-after speaker and is often cited in the press, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, Financial Times, and NPR’s Marketplace.
Rita has recently founded Valize, LLC, a company focused on helping organizations get beyond innovation theater by unlocking the power of the Discovery Driven growth approach.
Rita joined Columbia Business School in 1993. Prior to that, she was an IT director, worked in the political arena, and founded two startups. She received her Ph.D. from Wharton and has degrees with honors from Barnard College and the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs.
You can’t talk about strategy today without talking about innovation. And increasingly, you can’t talk about innovation without talking about digital!