Mr. Beard is a member of Serra Ventures, LLC, a consulting and investment firm located in Champaign, IL specializing in assisting early stage technology companies from research university communities. He is also a Partner of Open Prairie Ventures, a Central Illinois-based venture capital management firm. He has served as a director for several of Open Prairie’s portfolio companies. In addition to his role with Millikin, Mr. Beard is an adjunct lecturer for the College of Business at the University of Illinois – teaching a course on Financing Emerging Businesses. His operational experience includes serving as Controller for SLM Instruments, Inc., a manufacturer of research instrumentation, and as the Chief Financial Officer for Segno Communications, Inc., a provider of wireless communications products and services. He was an Audit Manager for PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he performed auditing, financial reporting, public stock and debt offerings, acquisitions, government compliance and SEC reporting for a range of clients including several Fortune 100 companies. Mr. Beard was also CEO/CFO of the Home Recovery Companies, a leading provider of home healthcare services in the Mid-Atlantic which grew more than ten-fold under his leadership.
Mr. Beard is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a Masters of Business Administration degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree from Millikin University. He has completed the National Venture Capital Association’s Venture Capital Institute program and many workshops and courses on investment and financial reporting.