Silicon Flatirons and the University of Colorado Law School present Larissa Herda as our featured entrepreneur with moderators Brad Feld and Phil Weiser.
Entrepreneurs Unplugged is a meeting place where faculty, students, and community members learn about and get involved in entrepreneurship. In particular, the program offers students, faculty and the Front Range startup community an opportunity to learn how a successful startup is created as well as an opportunity to network. Each Entrepreneurs Unplugged meeting features food, drink and – most importantly – an experienced entrepreneur to discuss his/her start-up experiences.
Larissa Herda, Former Chief Executive Officer and President, tw telecom inc.
Ms. Larissa Herda took the helm of tw telecom inc., formerly Time Warner Telecom Inc., as CEO and President, on June 19, 1998. She was elected Chairman of the tw telecom inc. Board of Directors effective June 7, 2001, and held the title of Chairman and CEO until November 2014. Ms. Herda served as the company’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing from March 1, 1997 until her appointment as chief executive.
Under Ms. Herda’s direction, tw telecom grew from $26 million in revenue in 1996 to nearly $1.6 Billion in 2013; expanded its broadband network footprint from 17 U.S. markets to 80; built a national IP backbone recognized as one of the top 10 most connected IP networks in the world; introduced comprehensive data, voice, Internet and national Ethernet products and made three acquisitions totaling over $1.2B — a regional Internet service provider and two competitive local metro carriers. Since becoming Chairman and CEO, Ms. Herda raised more than $8.5 billion in the public and private debt markets, including a $290 million IPO. Ms. Herda completed the sale of tw telecom to Level 3 for $7.6 Billion in November 2014.
Ms. Herda served as a member of the President’s National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (NSTAC), and chair of the FCC’s Communications, Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council (CSRIC). She was also chairman of the board of the Denver Branch of the Federal Reserve of Kansas City. Larissa served as a member of the Colorado Innovation Network advisory board, appointed by Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper. The board’s mission was to promote collaboration among Colorado’s private, public and academic organizations and to stimulate growth, help create jobs and attract new businesses.
Recognized for her business efforts and leadership in the community, Ms. Herda was named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for the Rocky Mountain Region and the Denver Business Journal’s CEO of the Year and Outstanding Woman in Business. In addition, she was named Telecom Executive of the Year by the Denver Telecom Professionals. She also received the “Swede” Johnson Hope Award presented by the Colorado Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the Women of Distinction Award from the Girl Scouts of America.
Ms. Herda served as a member of the board of directors at the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado for eight years and as a member of the school’s advisory board for the Center for Education in Social Responsibility (CESR). She is a member of The Committee of 200 and a member of the community advisory board of SungateKids, a local children’s advocacy center helping abused children and their families.
Ms. Herda is a graduate of the University of Colorado, Boulder.