November is National Entrepreneur Month, and what better way to celebrate than to honor one of Junior Achievement’s volunteers who has excelled in their entrepreneurial career?
Meet Jeff Finn, a successful Denver entrepreneur who has more than 25 years of experience in the high-tech, telecom and software industries. Jeff earned a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He started his career with IBM. Previously, Jeff was Senior Vice President of Evolving Systems, co-founded Prairie Systems (which was acquired by FDR), and has also held senior positions at Applied Communications (the pioneer in EFT banking systems).
Currently, Jeff is the CEO of zvelo, a cybersecurity company headquartered in the Denver area that specializes in providing categorization of websites, web traffic and connected devices to make the Internet safer and more secure. zvelo’s customers represent over 500 million end users, creating trillions of transactions a month where zvelo’s services help to protect against dangerous or objectionable content and activities on the web. For nearly 20 years, Jeff has overseen the direction of zvelo and built an effective leadership team of industry leaders, scientists and experts that comprise the zvelo team.
The education and guidance that helped launch Jeff on his career path inspired him to start volunteering for Junior Achievement in 2007.
“It was my effort at trying to find a way to say thanks for a mentor who came into my life in the 8th grade and helped provide guidance at a time when it was really needed,” said Jeff. “That’s why I particularly like working with middle school classes, as it is such a pivotal time in a young person’s life. The satisfaction from receiving the thank you notes at the end of a session is hard to put into words.”
During the past ten years, Jeff has been involved with a number of different volunteer activities at Junior Achievement. In particular, he has taught many JA Global Marketplace courses designed to provide middle school students with practical information about the global economy. Jeff enjoys teaching this program because it offers a hands-on approach and is relevant to his work and today’s global economy.
“We have users in over 200 countries and have a long history of doing business in these various markets around the world,” said Jeff. “Due to the nature of our business, it’s essential that we have an in-depth understanding of the language, the culture and customs [of these countries] as well, making for ideal real-world experiences and stories I can bring into the classroom.”
Jeff is proud to share his passion for volunteering for Junior Achievement with other staff members at his company.
“At zvelo, we are fortunate to have a leadership team that shares the passion to be a socially responsible member of the community. We have company-wide volunteer days throughout the year and we strongly encourage our employees to find activities where they can get involved and make a difference,” said Jeff.