CM First Bio Headshots John Rhodes

John Rhodes
Managing Director and Chief Technologist

As a founder and chief technologist, John is focused on delivering best-in-class technologies and services to ensure successful outcomes for customers’ application modernization projects. With decades of hands-on experience in software development, he provides technology leadership and oversees the company’s engineering projects. John is a recognized expert in the automated discovery and migration of software components to modernize IBM i/z Series applications using a variety of technologies across mainframe, desktop, cloud and mobile platforms. Prior to founding CM First, John had significant experience with CA Technologies both as a business partner and as an advanced practices manager.

Before starting CM First, John spent several years as a principal architect and consulting manager for CA Technologies (and prior with Synon and Sterling Software). He was responsible for the design and implementation of enterprise-scale software projects across a variety of industries. Earlier in his career, he was an architect and project manager at Kraft Foods and Philip Morris.

John holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Texas A&M and a master’s degree in Management from New York University. He lives in Austin with his wife and three children, and is an avid water and snow skier.

CM First Bio Headshots Ben Mendoza

Benjamin Mendoza
North American Operations

Overseeing operations for the company’s North American business, Ben is focused on continual operational improvement to facilitate growth. He brings to CM First many years of experience as a financial officer, controller, consultant and entrepreneur, working at companies large and small, including his own startup. Prior to joining CM First, Ben was with ADC Austin, a software development firm, and Mi Tierra Title Company.

Ben earned a degree in Economics from the University of Texas at Austin. At the weekend, you will likely find him enjoying the Austin area greenbelts with his family or on the golf course.

CM First Bio Headshots Mark Obrien

Mark O’Brien
Distributed Software Sales

As head of distributed software sales, Mark is responsible for driving worldwide revenue, helping customers transform their legacy software assets into modern applications that exploit the latest technologies. He also drives the company’s strategic partnerships with IBM, CA Technologies, PTC, and others. Prior to joining CM First, Mark spent several years as a marketing and sales executive selling software tools and modernization services worldwide for MicroFocus, Borland, TogetherSoft and Semantic Designs. Previously Mark was Corporate Vice President of Marketing for Xerox Corporation, and held leadership roles at IBM, Okidata and Radius Corporations.

Mark holds an MBA from the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. Away from the office, he is a competitive multi-hull sailboat racer, hiker and tennis player.

Joe Zozzaro shot photo

Joe Zozzaro
Mainframe Software Sales

Joe is responsible for CM First’s mainframe software sales and brings over 35 years of experience in sales and business development for mainframe hardware, software and services. Prior to joining the company, he was an executive at GlassHouse Systems where he was responsible for North American sales and operations, across multiple industries including, financial services, manufacturing, insurance, government and technology. Before that, Joe was the Principal at Paradigm Concepts, which was acquired by GlassHouse Systems. He spent his early career at IBM in systems engineering and management before leaving to start Paradigm Concepts.

Joe holds a bachelor of science degree from the University of Illinois.

CM First Bio Headshots Bruno Leconte

Bruno Leconte
European Operations

Bruno Leconte heads the company’s operations and business development activities in Europe, focusing on sales and services management. He has more than 30 years of experience in international business development, product management, marketing and sales in the high-tech industry. Early in his career, he was with Arrow Group and Western Digital Corporation in product management, marketing and OEM sales roles before forming his own company, Digitronix S.A., specializing in industrial computing software. He sold the company prior to joining Wave Systems where he was head of EMEA marketing and sales.

Bruno holds a degree in Electronics and Computing Engineering from the University of Angers in France. He is also involved in entrepreneurial initiatives and is a member of a regional Business Angels association.

CM First Bio Headshots John Rhodes

John Rhodes
Chairman

As a founder and chief technologist, John is focused on delivering best-in-class technologies and services to ensure successful outcomes for customers’ application modernization projects. With decades of hands-on experience in software development, he provides technology leadership and oversees the company’s engineering projects. John is a recognized expert in the automated discovery and migration of software components to modernize IBM i/z Series applications using a variety of technologies across mainframe, desktop, cloud and mobile platforms.

Before starting CM First, John spent several years as a principal architect and consulting manager for CA Technologies (and prior with Synon and Sterling Software). He was responsible for the design and implementation of enterprise-scale software projects across a variety of industries. Earlier in his career, he was an architect and project manager at Kraft Foods and Philip Morris.

John holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Texas A&M and a master’s degree in Management from New York University. He lives in Austin with his wife and three children, and is an avid water and snow skier.

CM First Bio Headshots Christoph Heinrich

Christoph Heinrich
Co-founder

Christoph has spent more than 25 years in the IT industry in the areas of software development, project management and application lifecycle management. During this period, he has held positions as senior consultant and development manager for several companies in Switzerland and the United States. As a company founder, Christoph has led CM First, focusing on the development of application lifecycle management software and bringing it to market. Christoph’s vision and leadership continue to guide CM First in creating best-in-class application modernization solutions for customers worldwide.

Christoph holds degrees in Information Technology and Business Administration from the Swiss State Secretariat of Education and the GSBA, respectively, in Zurich, Switzerland. He lives with his wife and three sons in Salt Lake City, Utah and loves to snow ski and race mountain bikes.

CM First Bio Headshots Joe Trammel

Joel Trammell

Joel is a successful CEO and entrepreneur with more than 25 years of experience in IT-related software companies. He is currently CEO of Khorus, which provides a business management system for CEOs and other leaders. Joel started his first technology company in 1990 and is Chair Emeritus of the Austin Technology Council and Co-founder and Managing Partner of private equity firm Lone Rock Technology Group. In addition, he serves on the boards of several public, private and non-profit companies. Joel’s leadership as founder and CEO resulted in two successful nine-figure acquisitions by Fortune 500 companies: NetQoS (CA Technologies) and Cache IQ (NetApp). In addition to The American CEO blog, he writes regular columns for Inc. and Entrepreneur. His book, The CEO Tightrope, describes a systematic approach to the critical chief executive role.

Joel holds a degree in electrical engineering from Louisiana Tech University and is a former instructor at the Naval Nuclear Power School. He lives in Austin, Texas with his wife Cathy and three children.

CM First Bio Headshots Clint Whitaker

Clint Whitaker

Clint Whitaker is a strategic growth and M&A consultant, start-up company mentor and angel investor. He has over 30 years of experience in leadership roles in the software and high-tech industries as a software developer, consultant, CTO, CIO and General Manager with P&L responsibility. Clint has worked for startups and for some of the world’s largest public corporations, including Johnson & Johnson and Microsoft. He has first-hand experience leading companies through software modernization efforts both as a consultant and as a corporate executive. As an advisor, Clint helps company executives balance short-term operational factors with longer-term considerations which can greatly impact the ultimate value and success of the company. He has participated in over 35 M&A transactions with deal sizes ranging from $1M to $30B in valuation.

Clint has a degree in Computer Science from Washington & Lee University. He has served as a volunteer, mentor, and board member for numerous non-profit organizations and currently serves as the B2B Software Sector leader for the Central Texas Angel Network (CTAN).