Meet the Builders

To build a great company you need more than a smile and a slap on the back. The Builders are experienced leaders who will stand next you and help push!

Lanham Napier

BUILDER, CO-FOUNDER & CEO

Lanham is our “CEO Whisperer.” He knows what life is like in the CEO seat, and how important it is to build the core leadership team that takes a company on the long journey to greatness. Lanham is BuildGroup’s visionary and has made it his life’s mission to create a better way to build companies.

Lanham led Rackspace from $1.5 million to $1.5 billion in revenue over a 13 year period, helping to create the cloud service leader and one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For. He has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Rice University.

Lanham’s first Build was a team of go-cart equipped delivery boys that he recruited to serve the local newspaper route.

Lanham Napier

BUILDER, CO-FOUNDER & CEO

Lanham is our “CEO Whisperer.” He knows what life is like in the CEO seat, and how important it is to build the core leadership team that takes a company on the long journey to greatness. Lanham is BuildGroup’s visionary and has made it his life’s mission to create a better way to build companies.

Lanham led Rackspace from $1.5 million to $1.5 billion in revenue over a 13 year period, helping to create the cloud service leader and one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For. He has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Rice University.

Lanham’s first Build was a team of go-cart equipped delivery boys that he recruited to serve the local newspaper route.

Jim Curry

BUILDER & CO-FOUNDER

Jim is our product and strategy guy.  He loves evaluating big technology trends and finding opportunities within them to build great products and services that customers love.  Jim works with our companies to take early product successes and scale them to bigger market outcomes.

Jim was the strategy and business development leader at Rackspace, and is known as the “Godfather of OpenStack,” the world’s #1 open-source cloud technology.  He is a graduate of the Harvard Business School, with an undergraduate degree from the University of Texas.

Jim’s first Build was running the delivery service for the two rival papers in his hometown, at the same time.

Jim Curry

BUILDER & CO-FOUNDER

Jim is our product and strategy guy.  He loves evaluating big technology trends and finding opportunities within them to build great products and services that customers love.  Jim works with our companies to take early product successes and scale them to bigger market outcomes.

Jim was the strategy and business development leader at Rackspace, and is known as the “Godfather of OpenStack,” the world’s #1 open-source cloud technology.  He is a graduate of the Harvard Business School, with an undergraduate degree from the University of Texas.

Jim’s first Build was running the delivery service for the two rival papers in his hometown, at the same time.

Klee Kleber

BUILDER & CO-FOUNDER

Klee is our go-to-market Builder. He wakes up every day thinking about how to drive revenue growth (true statement). Klee works day in and day out alongside leadership teams, helping them build the sales and marketing machine, position products against competitors and hire great customers.

Klee has spent more than 20 years running marketing and sales teams at companies like Rackspace, Dell and WP Engine. He has an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and a BA from Rice University.

Klee’s first Build was a bike assembly operation he ran from his parents’ garage. Ask him about the PK Ripper he built in the 1980s and how many Tuf-Necks he broke.

Klee Kleber

BUILDER & CO-FOUNDER

Klee is our go-to-market Builder. He wakes up every day thinking about how to drive revenue growth (true statement). Klee works day in and day out alongside leadership teams, helping them build the sales and marketing machine, position products against competitors and hire great customers.

Klee has spent more than 20 years running marketing and sales teams at companies like Rackspace, Dell and WP Engine. He has an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and a BA from Rice University.

Klee’s first Build was a bike assembly operation he ran from his parents’ garage. Ask him about the PK Ripper he built in the 1980s and how many Tuf-Necks he broke.

Gray Hall

BUILDER

Gray has a track record of servant leadership and building great teams. He has been a two-time CEO, leading innovative technology companies to redefine customer expectations in their industries. Gray is focused on building capabilities and sharing best practices among our companies.

Gray most recently spent nine years as Chairman and CEO of Alert Logic, growing it from less than $10 million to more than $120 million in annual revenue. Before that, he was co-founder and CEO of VeriCenter, which grew to $80 million in annual revenue before being acquired by SunGard. He is a graduate of the University of Texas Graduate School of Business, and Southern Methodist University.

Gray’s first Build was an amazing portfolio of football and baseball trading cards that he sold way too soon (in 1978). He still has seller’s remorse!

Gray Hall

BUILDER

Gray has a track record of servant leadership and building great teams. He has been a two-time CEO, leading innovative technology companies to redefine customer expectations in their industries. Gray is focused on building capabilities and sharing best practices among our companies.

Gray most recently spent nine years as Chairman and CEO of Alert Logic, growing it from less than $10 million to more than $120 million in annual revenue. Before that, he was co-founder and CEO of VeriCenter, which grew to $80 million in annual revenue before being acquired by SunGard. He is a graduate of the University of Texas Graduate School of Business, and Southern Methodist University.

Gray’s first Build was an amazing portfolio of football and baseball trading cards that he sold way too soon (in 1978). He still has seller’s remorse!

Kenny Herz

BUILDER & GENERAL COUNSEL

Kenny is BuildGroup’s General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer. All those capitalized words mean that Kenny is central to ensuring a culture of professionalism and stewardship. He also works with Project 23, Lanham Napier’s family office.

Kenny was previously a partner at Haynes and Boone in Houston. He graduated from Rice University and Columbia Law School.

Kenny is almost famous for his role as noted Builder Thomas Edison in Parker Elementary’s production of “The Electric Sunshine Man.”

Kenny Herz

BUILDER & GENERAL COUNSEL

Kenny is BuildGroup’s General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer. All those capitalized words mean that Kenny is central to ensuring a culture of professionalism and stewardship. He also works with Project 23, Lanham Napier’s family office.

Kenny was previously a partner at Haynes and Boone in Houston. He graduated from Rice University and Columbia Law School.

Kenny is almost famous for his role as noted Builder Thomas Edison in Parker Elementary’s production of “The Electric Sunshine Man.”

Tanner Cerand

BUILDER & VP OF INVESTMENT RESEARCH

Tanner is our research and deal sourcing expert. He loves being on the front lines of what is happening in the market and building meaningful relationships with executives and investors alike. He prides himself on being a “super-connector,” matching people with opportunities across his network.

Tanner’s background is in investing, financial services, and team building. Most recently, he was responsible for building and managing research & business development strategies at Vista Equity Partners. Prior to Vista, Tanner worked at Gerson Lehrman Group (GLG), UBS Investment Bank, and Ferris, Baker Watts, Inc. Tanner has a B.S. in Industrial & Labor Relations from Cornell University.

Tanner’s first Build was a lemonade stand when he was six years old. His first PR win came when his near-unicorn business was covered as a feature story in a local magazine.

Tanner Cerand

BUILDER & VP OF INVESTMENT RESEARCH

Tanner is our research and deal sourcing expert. He loves being on the front lines of what is happening in the market and building meaningful relationships with executives and investors alike. He prides himself on being a “super-connector,” matching people with opportunities across his network.

Tanner’s background is in investing, financial services, and team building. Most recently, he was responsible for building and managing research & business development strategies at Vista Equity Partners. Prior to Vista, Tanner worked at Gerson Lehrman Group (GLG), UBS Investment Bank, and Ferris, Baker Watts, Inc. Tanner has a B.S. in Industrial & Labor Relations from Cornell University.

Tanner’s first Build was a lemonade stand when he was six years old. His first PR win came when his near-unicorn business was covered as a feature story in a local magazine.

Flavia de la Fuente

BUILDER & SENIOR ASSOCIATE

Flavia is our diligence detective. She enjoys foraging through financials, combing through contracts, and picking through product and technology to understand what makes a company tick.

Flavia has a unique background. She started her career as a community organizer at the Sierra Club, where she worked on the organization’s flagship Beyond Coal campaign, before getting an MBA at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas. After business school, she worked for four years at the Employees Retirement System of Texas, flying back and forth to Asia to invest in technology stocks and lead an initiative on improving Japanese corporate governance policy.

Flavia’s first build was scaling a babysitting service at thirteen. Why babysit one kid per night when you can babysit eight at once? Her sales efficiency peaked New Year’s Eve, 2001.

Flavia de la Fuente

BUILDER & SENIOR ASSOCIATE

Flavia is our diligence detective. She enjoys foraging through financials, combing through contracts, and picking through product and technology to understand what makes a company tick.

Flavia has a unique background. She started her career as a community organizer at the Sierra Club, where she worked on the organization’s flagship Beyond Coal campaign, before getting an MBA at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas. After business school, she worked for four years at the Employees Retirement System of Texas, flying back and forth to Asia to invest in technology stocks and lead an initiative on improving Japanese corporate governance policy.

Flavia’s first build was scaling a babysitting service at thirteen. Why babysit one kid per night when you can babysit eight at once? Her sales efficiency peaked New Year’s Eve, 2001.

Daisuke Takeda

BUILDER & SENIOR ASSOCIATE

Daisuke is our modeling maniac. He lives and breathes deal structures, cohort analyses and forecast scenarios. He helps leadership teams understand how to build businesses that deliver healthy economic outcomes.

Daisuke has a background in financial transactions. He started his career in investment banking at JP Morgan, and most recently, he was a software growth equity investor at Delta-v Capital. He has a BBA from the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University.

Daisuke’s first build was selling candy out of his locker in middle school. When his startup was ultimately shut down by the school, he developed a healthy appreciation for regulatory risk.

Daisuke Takeda

BUILDER & SENIOR ASSOCIATE

Daisuke is our modeling maniac. He lives and breathes deal structures, cohort analyses and forecast scenarios. He helps leadership teams understand how to build businesses that deliver healthy economic outcomes.

Daisuke has a background in financial transactions. He started his career in investment banking at JP Morgan, and most recently, he was a software growth equity investor at Delta-v Capital. He has a BBA from the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University.

Daisuke’s first build was selling candy out of his locker in middle school. When his startup was ultimately shut down by the school, he developed a healthy appreciation for regulatory risk.

The BuildGroup Executive Program

The BuildGroup Executive (BGX) program aligns natural-born Builders in our network with companies in our portfolio — all in the name of building for the long haul.

Pete Freeland

BUILDER

Pete, a professional dealmaker, is part of BuildGroup’s sourcing machine. He leverages decades of investing experience and deep relationships with founders, business leaders, and industry peers to find software companies for BuildGroup to back.

Pete previously worked with General Catalyst, TA, Great Hill, and JP Morgan, and has an MBA from Columbia Business School and a BA from Middlebury College.

For Pete’s first Build, he bought and sold used video cameras and stereos in his hometown.  He has been using the word “arbitrage” since the third grade.

Pete Freeland

BUILDER

Pete, a professional dealmaker, is part of BuildGroup’s sourcing machine. He leverages decades of investing experience and deep relationships with founders, business leaders, and industry peers to find software companies for BuildGroup to back.

Pete previously worked with General Catalyst, TA, Great Hill, and JP Morgan, and has an MBA from Columbia Business School and a BA from Middlebury College.

For Pete’s first Build, he bought and sold used video cameras and stereos in his hometown.  He has been using the word “arbitrage” since the third grade.