Josh Coates has built a career the way he builds a business—by reimagining the way things can be done (even if it requires doing some major surgery with an acetylene torch). After his start in distributed systems research at the University of California, Berkeley, and Microsoft’s Bay Area Research Center, he founded Scale Eight, which developed a new approach to scalable storage software and attracted customers like Microsoft, Viacom, and Fujitsu. Upon closing operations and selling Scale Eight’s intellectual property to Intel in 2003, Josh went on to found Berkeley Data Systems (Mozy.com) in 2005, which reshaped the world of data storage with a ubiquitous remote backup solution. Two years later, EMC Corp acquired Mozy for $76 million.
Josh now brings this imagination to the LMS world with Instructure. After seeing the opportunity to disrupt the current landscape, and in doing so, facilitate a better educational experience, he became an early investor before joining the board and becoming CEO in 2010.
A hardcore Deadhead in CFO’s clothing, Steve came to Instructure in 2012 to manage all of the company’s administrative operations, including accounting, finance, legal, IT, and daily Nerf gun wars. Since he began working with startups in 1995, Steve has been instrumental in raising over $200 million in funding and in building infrastructure for multiple successful acquisitions, which is made all the more impressive when you consider he also attended more than 100 Grateful Dead concerts during the same time period.*
Before shifting his expertise toward startups, Steve worked as a CPA for Ernst & Young, the McDonald’s Corporation, and TriZetto. He earned a B.S. in accounting from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an M.B.A. from UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management.
* 150, if you count shows post-Jerry (RIP).
Quite possibly the world’s lone Francophile-slash-born-and-raised Texan, Trey Bean (or “très bien” if you’re French) has been working with computers since he first got his own PC as a teenager in the ‘90s. Before joining Instructure, Trey co-founded a software consultancy to help entrepreneurs and startups build their own products. But he felt the itch to build his own product, so, in 2014, he joined Instructure to combine his foundation in educational technology with his love for building products that make the world a better place.
Trey attended the University of Utah, where he worked at the Technology Assisted Curriculum center, helping faculty find ways to use technology to enhance their courses. That’s where his love for using technology to make the world a better place began. If you’re wondering where this native Texan’s love for all things French (Tour de France, baguettes, boules) started, you’re welcome for now having an excuse to go eat a bona fide pain au chocolat, mesdames et messieurs.
As a father of ten (10!) children and VP Engineering for Instructure, David Burggraaf is an understandably busy guy. Fascinated by computers since his father gave him his first Timex Sinclair in 1980, David started programming at just 13 years old (there seems to be a theme of “staying busy”). Prior to coming to Instructure in 2014, he was the Sr. VP of Product Engineering at FamilySearch. Before that, he spent 12 years at Microsoft, leading the product development team responsible for the Visual C++ suite of tools (the foundation for much of Microsoft's revenue – as well as that of the software industry in general).
Reflecting on what he loves about working for Instructure, David points to Instructure’s incredible blend of purpose and technology. “Here’s an incredible group of technologists invested in one of the world's most meaningful endeavors, that of advancing education—you don’t find that anywhere else.” Are you surprised that a father of ten would be emotionally invested in education?
After spending nearly eight years in the education space with Datamark (and a lifetime immersed in sci-fi books), Misty joined Instructure (and our army of geeks) in 2012. In her role as VP for Marketing, she guides her team toward bringing things like pretty words and pictures together with pesky things like numbers—and getting them to play nice.
Misty’s 20-year career in advertising and marketing has proven what’s possible when the relationship between a company and its customers is nurtured. Her work has driven results for companies like Hyatt Hotels, Disney, Intel, and more. Misty earned a B.S. in anthropology from the University of Utah and may or may not have a certification from The Jedi Academy.
Heather joined Instructure in 2010 as the company’s eighth employee and first to live and swear by Sonic Drive-In soda. Since then, she’s been the engine of the sales team, signing the first major account and sparking rapid adoption of Canvas throughout her sales territory. Heather is driven by her unwavering belief that Canvas is the best learning platform—and by massive, massive quantities of Diet Coke. Really. Our facilities team can barely keep up.
Before coming to Instructure, Heather worked for several successful startups, including one she founded herself. She studied business at Brigham Young University and the University of Utah.
In 2011, foodie and milkshake afficionado Mitch Macfarlane joined Instructure to help build the Client Services team from just three employees to nearly 70 by the end of 2012. He then temporarily filled the role of VP of Product, driving the implementation of Scrum methodology and a design-first product process before triumphantly returning to the newly rebranded Customer Success department. Why was the return so triumphant? Because he gets to work with the greatest customers in the world.
Mitch’s career path includes roles in customer and technical support, engineering, and project management. His love for working with clients to maximize their happiness with Canvas is rivaled only by his insatiable appetite for milkshakes and chocolate chip cookies. Prior to joining Instructure, Mitch worked for companies including GE, Nu Skin, and Mozy.com, while also strengthening his lactose tolerance. He earned a B.S. and an M.B.A. from Brigham Young University.
How fitting is it that our VP of Worldwide Sales is a serious fisherman, always looking for the next big catch? Marc joined Instructure in 2013 to lead the company’s fast-growing sales team. He’s super passionate about spreading the word about Canvas and its awesome ability to change how the world is educated. (Like all good Instructure employees, Marc understands that there’s no way to overuse the word “awesome” here.)
Marc began his career in operations and spent several years in customer support roles before moving into sales. Most recently, he was head of sales for HireRight and played a big part in growing the business from a startup through a successful IPO. Marc earned a B.S in both HR and operations management from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University.
In the spring of 2013, mountain-biking triathlete Jeff Weber became Instructure’s VP of People and Places, doggedly fixated on bringing even more awesome talent to Instructure. Before Instructure, Jeff worked at Ancestry.com—the leading online network for connecting families and the largest provider of family history information with 2.7 million paying subscriptions—as SVP of People and Places. That meant around 1,300 people (employees) at 10 places (offices). Not bad for a business built around dead people.
Jeff brings years of in-house HR and organizational development experience to Instructure, having worked for companies like Shell Oil Company, Amoco Oil, and Novell. Jeff holds an M.B.A. degree with an emphasis in organizational behavior from Brigham Young University. Not surprisingly, Jeff digs living in Utah, where outdoor sports enthusiasts go to get serious.
Before becoming one of Instructure’s founding fathers in 2008, Brian already knew he wanted to build a better learning management system. His first step was a “product validation tour” of 17 colleges and universities to find out what faculty and students really wanted in an LMS. He went like a modern day Paul Revere in a Geo Metro with no air conditioning, shouting, “An open, elegant, easy-to-use solution is coming!” This legendary tour laid the groundwork for the open, elegant, easy-to-use solution we know today as Canvas.
While earning his B.S. and M.S. degrees in computer science at Brigham Young University, Brian did extensive research in technology usability, which has shaped his approach to building Canvas. Before dedicating his creative genius to opening education with technology, young Brian built and sold floppy disk versions of RPG video games by mail.
As Instructure’s VP of Research and Education, admitted nerd and geek (bipartisan, if ever there were such a thing) Jared Stein collaborates with educators and technologists to identify current and future challenges in K-12 and higher education—and to envision ways the Canvas LMS can provide solutions.
Jared began working with educators in the early days of the Web, designing blended and online learning strategies that emphasize real-world learning, openness, learner engagement, and usable design. His new book, Essentials for Blended Learning, A Standards-Based Guide, was published in 2014. He likes it almost as much as his copy of Warp Comics' Elfquest #1 (1979), which is totally understandable.
When Zach joined Instructure in 2010, he was employee number nine. Not only did he bring more than a decade’s experience as a software developer, manager, and consultant, he also brought Instructure’s unofficial mascot (though it’s less unofficial by the minute)—the panda. As Chief Architect, Zach’s vision leads the team of creative geniuses that designs, builds, and runs Canvas. Under his leadership, the vision for a powerful, user-centered learning platform has become a reality.
Before joining Instructure, Zach worked as a software developer for a number of companies, including Mozy and, it would seem, had a bit of a penchant for panda bears that’s still going strong today.