Celebrated inventors and award-winning business strategists.

Anser Innovation is a technology company developing internet-based software and hardware to enhance remote interaction. Anser’s vision is to enable being there from anywhere, focusing on market segments where remote connection is currently difficult or impossible. Its first target is the retail pet market with PetChatz®. Future markets include the aging adult and dependent child markets.


Lisa M. Lavin
Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer, and Director

Lisa Lavin has over 20 years of experience building new business within the healthcare, animal care, and consumer product sectors. Prior to Anser Innovation, Lisa led business growth and operations within start-up and Fortune 100 companies such as 3M Company, Coherent Healthcare Consulting, Spinal Designs International, Philips Medical Systems and the University of Minnesota. Prior to her emphasis in business, Lisa taught veterinary radiography at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine and the Medical Institute of Minnesota. As an expert in this field, Lisa authored the textbook Radiography in Veterinary Technology, (2007, 2003, 1999, 1994), Elsevier Publishing.  Lisa has been recognized by Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal as one of 25 Woman to Watch, Minnesota Business’ Real Power 50 and has been featured in Entrepreneur Magazine and the New York Times.

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Braden Kroll
Co-Founder and Director

Mr. Kroll serves as president of KrollStar LLLP, a Minneapolis-based private investment fund. KrollStar actively invests in early stage, hi-tech companies with Minnesota ties. KrollStar’s diverse holdings include companies that treat enlarged prostates, improve broadband connectivity, and help improve prescription drug design. Braden also serves as president of a charitable foundation, is a graduate school expert panel member, and is involved with downtown Minneapolis real estate development. He has multiple issued and pending patents.

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Joe Meyers
Director of Marketing and Customer Experience

Joe Meyers is brand and digital marketing leader with experience from Target, Coca-Cola, Starkey Hearing Technologies and Periscope. He has led digital initiatives and created unique social campaigns. He is an award-winning speaker with the ability to capture an audience.


Shawn Gensch

Mr. Gensch is Chief Marketing Officer of Sprouts Farmers Market, a leading organization in the natural and organic grocery industry, based in Phoenix, Arizona.  Shawn is responsible for all brand and category marketing, digital and social media initiatives, customer engagement, advertising and production teams, creative content and design, public relations and communications and customer relations functions for the Company.  Prior to joining Sprouts Farmers Market, Shawn was SVP, Marketing at Target Corporation, leading paid, owned, and earned media for the enterprise, including media strategy, public relations, events and lifestyle marketing, strategic partnerships, and all traditional, digital, social and direct-to-guest channels. In previous marketing roles, he led Target’s Brand marketing, Storewide and Seasonal campaigns, Agency management, and Marketing finance, production and technology. Shawn joined Target as Director, New Business Development in 2003 and was promoted to VP, Product Design & Development at Target Financial Services. He led the de novo start up of Target Bank, serving as the first President for that enterprise. He also led the development and launch of Target’s debit card product. Prior to Target, Shawn worked in various roles within finance, banking and consulting industries, beginning his career with KPMG after earning his bachelor’s degree in accounting from University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Shawn serves on the Boards of GWG Holdings Inc. and Avenues for Homeless Youth, both based in Minneapolis, MN.

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Richard C. “Rick” Nordvold

Mr. Nordvold is a Co-Founder and Partner at Go Intellectual Capital, a growth consulting firm serving clients across North America. Previously, Mr. Nordvold served as Chief Financial Officer of Minneapolis, MN-based Griffin International Companies; and as Chief Financial Officer of Eden Prairie, MN-based Golf Galaxy where he oversaw the Company’s Initial Public Offering and subsequent merger with Dick’s Sporting Goods. Mr. Nordvold also spent six years in various leadership roles in Corporate Finance, Strategic Planning and Corporate Development at Best Buy. He began his career in Arthur Andersen’s Minneapolis office where he spent six years, most recently as a Manager in the firm’s Audit and Business Advisory practice. Mr. Nordvold received his Bachelor of Arts Degree Magna Cum Laude from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN, and has served on the boards of several entrepreneurial companies.


Jackie Schneider

Jackie Schneider is Chief Revenue Officer at Field Nation, the leading marketplace platform for contingent and on-demand workforce management, where she is responsible for sales, marketing and customer service.  Prior to joining Field Nation Jackie was the Global Vice President of Sales at Proto Labs, an online and technology-enabled quick-turn manufacturer of custom prototype and low-volume parts.  In her nine years at Proto Labs she grew revenues from $26M to over $300M and helped bring the company public.  Jackie’s career of over 27 years in sales and marketing has included leadership positions at Comm-Works, Concur, Landscape Structures and Hallmark Business Connections. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree from St. Cloud State University and serves on boards for two privately held companies.

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John Staab

John A. Staab, based in suburban Chicago, is a co-founder of Cypress Holdings Group.  John was formerly a Senior Vice President with Morgan Stanley’s Private Wealth Management division in Chicago, Illinois.  Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, he was a Vice President with both the Private Banking and Investment Group at Merrill Lynch and the Citi Family Office that became Morgan Stanley Smith Barney.  For 13 years, John served as a comprehensive wealth manager and senior advisor for multiple families located throughout the United States. Prior to his investment advisory career, John was an independent floor trader at the Chicago Board of Trade where he focused on interest rate futures and options while trading for his own account. With over 24 years of combined experience in investment advisory and capital markets activities, John has substantial experience with asset allocation, portfolio construction, risk mitigation (from both an overall balance sheet perspective and an individual concentrated equity position) and intergenerational values based wealth transition strategies. John has also assisted clients with the evaluation of numerous private equity and hedge fund investments as well as evaluating direct investments in private companies and real estate. John is actively involved with multiple charities including the Infant Welfare Society of Clarendon Hills.  He received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics from the University of Illinois in Champaign Urbana, Illinois.

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Kevin L. Nieuwsma

Mr. Nieuwsma has over twenty years of executive experience with technology and manufacturing businesses including Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), Global Positioning System (GPS) and Geo Visual Analytics (GIS).  Kevin is a proven leader with a successful track record of developing and implementing new growth strategies, securing debt and equity capital, streamlining operations, increasing profitability and maximizing value for shareholders in start-up, growth and turnaround situations for multi-national public, private and private-equity backed companies. Kevin has been involved in bringing one of the best innovations to the pet care industry. Kevin and his team brought to market the highly successful global solution for finding your pet when lost. The implantable RFID “micro-chip”, is recommended by veterinarians and humane societies resulting in millions of lost pets being re-united with their owners around the world. Kevin is currently the President of Safe Retrieve an early stage GPS company in the process of bringing to market proprietary systems for animal training, tracking and containment. Mr. Nieuwsma is also an executive adviser and board member for several companies including Copa Animal Health, GuideK12, Platinum Group, Rhino Inc. (Innovative Outdoor Solutions) and Sojos. Kevin enjoys golfing, hunting, skiing, jogging, biking and spending time with his active family.

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Mark Kroll
Co-Founder and Inventor

Dr. Kroll, the inventor of PetChatz®, holds more than 350 issued or pending patents and is the most prolific inventor of medical devices worldwide. He is co-author of 4 books: Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator Therapy, Cardiac Bioelectric Therapy, Conducted Electrical Weapons, and Electrical Injuries as well as numerous papers. Dr. Kroll, has been named a Fellow of both the American College of Cardiology and the Heart Rhythm Society, and holds the positions of Adjunct Full Professor of Biomedical Engineering at California Polytechnic University-San Luis Obispo, California, and Adjunct Full Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Kroll currently serves on the Board of Directors of several companies both public and private.