Ursus, Inc. is a privately held leader in providing business and technology staffing and consulting services. Our professionals bring bold, fresh thinking combined with technology, business, and industry expertise to help fuel transformation and growth for our clients and their customers. We place the highest priority on understanding unique client needs first, ensuring mutual, best-fit success and integration of people, service, and solutions.
Jon Beck – Founder and CEO
A twenty-three-year technology industry veteran, Jon brings a wealth of executive-level experience—both domestic and international—that has enabled him to transform and bring profitability to both startups and large company business units alike. He has managed zero to multimillion-dollar growth; built and led teams in sales, marketing, product, systems engineering, support and operations, has directed and supported product launches and go-to-market strategies for field operations and market expansions across the globe.
Prior to founding Ursus in 2015, Jon was Senior Vice President of Field Operations for Embrane Inc., where he led the venture-backed startup field operations effort until the company was acquired by Cisco in May 2015. Before Embrane, Jon managed global sales and field operations for the Cloud Business Unit at Dimension Data, the world’s largest Cisco reseller. He joined Dimension Data, by way of OpSource, a leading provider of cloud and managed hosting services catering to SaaS providers.
Jon joined OpSource by way of Panterra Networks, an early entrant VoIP and messaging company where he held the position of Chief Operating Officer, responsible for all day to day operations including data center operations, marketing, sales, and field support in the US and Europe.
Jon earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from the University of California, Berkeley, where he was recognized as a three-time rugby All-American and part of two National Collegiate Rugby Champion teams. He currently serves as an assistant coach of the defending High School National Champion Danville Oaks.
Cheryle Peikert – Chief Financial Officer
Cheryle Peikert is responsible for financial reporting and analysis, controllership, internal audit and controls, financial processes, tax, and treasury. She brings more than 25 years of global financial management experience to Ursus. Before joining Ursus in 2015, she served as Controller at Bear Data Solutions, a leading I.T. services company, where she had responsibility for all facets of the organization’s financial strategy, planning, management, operations, and accounting.
Prior to Bear Data, Cheryle started as the first accountant and soon after was promoted to corporate controller at Robbins Scientific, a global manufacturer of biotech supplies and instruments, and helped build the Finance, Human Resources and IT functions within the company. Apogent Technologies acquired Robbins Scientific where she spent four years as a Division Controller post-acquisition.
Cheryle holds a Bachelor of Science degree from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo.
Lori Kwan – Vice President of Recruiting and Delivery
Lori joined Ursus as a Senior Technical Recruiter in 2016 and was promoted to Director, Recruiting in January 2018 and promoted yet again to Vice President of Recruiting and Delivery in January 2020 where she oversees the company’s recruiting and delivery teams while still providing day to day recruiting cycles. Lori brings over 20 years of extensive background in sourcing and placement for contract and direct hire opportunities for Fortune 500 and startup companies nationwide and Canada.
Lori Kwan started her recruiting career in 1995 as the sole Technical Recruiter for Setka, Inc. in San Ramon, CA. At that time, Setka was a $3 million company and within three years grew to $30 million. Lori was instrumental in the growth of Setka working on both direct-hire and contract opportunities. And, in 1997, Lori was promoted to Recruiting Manager responsible for training and managing six staffing specialists.
In 2000, Lori was recruited to Elan International which was a staffing company headquartered in London. Elan wanted to grow their presence in the United States, and brought Lori on as the General Manager in charge of Recruiting and Operations. In the year that Lori managed the US, she was able to grow revenues from $5 million to $15 million. Lori’s role was focused on recruiting executive-level candidates for clients in the Bay Area.
Elan International was then acquired by Manpower in 2001 and Lori took the initiative and purchased the company and renamed it to Trinitē, Inc. For eight years, Lori ran the company as well as continued recruiting for key hire positions and established relationships with such companies as Hewlett-Packard, Intel Corporation and Yahoo.
Lori sold the company in 2009 to Cornerstone Staffing, Inc. and stayed on for several years as the Director, Technical Staffing. In this role, Lori was tasked to establish the technical staffing division and was successful in growing this area from $1 million to $10 million in 2 years.
Previous to the recruiting industry, Lori worked within the technical field including roles such as Programmer, Systems Analyst, Datacenter Manager and Programming/Operations Manager. Lori holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Information Systems from San Francisco State University.
Aaron Putnam – Vice President – Sales & Sales Operation
Aaron has more than 15 years in sales and leadership experience, including 8+ years in the staffing industry with both domestic and internationally based firms. Since joining Ursus in 2017, Aaron has been a top contributor - leading sales effort in both SMB and enterprise markets – and earning multiple promotions along the way. An expert at developing new business, building customer loyalty and forging strong relationships with clients and business partners alike, Aaron brings a unique sense of ownership and an entrepreneurial attitude to the organization
Prior to joining Ursus, Aaron held multiple positions with both publicly held and start-up organizations focused on delivering staffing, IT consulting, infrastructure services and custom software development solutions.
Most recently he served as a key executive in the start-up of an internationally based staffing firm where he built and managed all aspects of the business including sales, recruiting / delivery and operations, as well as, teams in the US and abroad.
Before joining the staffing industry, Aaron enjoyed a successful career in the mortgage and finance business where he excelled in production, sales leadership, hiring and training new employees and was continually recognized and rewarded as a top producer.
A veteran of the United States Marine Corps, Aaron credits his “integrity first” and “lead from the front” philosophies to his upbringing in rural Texas and his experience leading Marines.
During his off hours, Aaron can usually be found outdoors with his wife, 2 kids and Austin (the English Cream Golden Retriever) who all enjoy any type of outdoor activity.
Ian Swoboda – Director of Permanent Placement
With a background in business development and over 5 years in the technical recruiting and staffing space, Ian leads the direct hire placement practice at Ursus. He brings expertise in permanent placement recruiting, sales and account management.
Before joining Ursus, Ian was an Executive Technical Recruiter with a boutique staffing firm helping them grow their permanent placement business by over 200% CAGR over a five-year period. Prior to this, he was a Business Development Representative with an international shipping and logistics organization bringing in over $2 million in revenue in just under 6 months.
Ian earned his Master’s Degree in Kinesiology from Boise State University and a Bachelor’s of Business from Ohio University.
LATEST BLOG POSTS
Most people probably have said to themselves and others, at various points in their lives: “I want to be great!”, at being or doing something. Expressing that desire is good, but not great; put differently, wanting to be great is a necessary but insufficient step towards greatness. What steps are sufficient to achieve greatness? And…Read More
Wait, what? You just closed your Series A round for $13M (the average dollar amount raised in a 2019 Series A round)? That’s fantastic! Congratulations! And with all due respect, such a fundraising achievement is well worth celebrating, because it IS a big deal. So, after the press release hits the newswires and social media,…Read More
Is it here already? Coming next quarter? Next year? I’m talking about the inevitable and –so say the economic pundits and talking heads–impending recession, market correction, or economic slowdown (pick your favorite moniker). The laws of economics and the historical business cycles, plus market indicators, say some sort of downturn is coming. First, a caveat: …Read More
It was one of the, if not most, iconic lines in the 80’s movie classic, ‘Top Gun’. It happened while Tom Cruise, as Maverick, and his co-pilot “Goose” were prepping for flight. “I feel the need, the need for speed” applies not only to flying multi-million jet fighters, but to many other disciplines. Two that…Read More
As of this year, the Millennial generation represents the largest percentage of the workforce. With each new generation, those of us who came before them are quick to define, judge, and even dismiss those who follow them into the workplace. As a twenty something entering the workforce in the early nineties, I certainly remember reading…Read More
(San Francisco) – Compliments of our partners at Silver-Peak, I attended the first West Coast edition of the Open Networking User Group (ONUG), held at Intuit HQ in Mountain View. Well done @nicklippis and his team for putting together yet another quality event. After two days of panel discussions, case study showcases, and speaking to…Read More
(San Francisco) – The last few years were all about the Unicorns; startup technology companies that had a reached a billion dollar or more “valuation.” Yes, I’m using quotation marks as I know I’m one of many who question the generally accepted “valuation” system. A system that values a company at $1B or more one…Read More
(San Francisco) – NBA Playoff Basketball. It’s that time of year and the Golden State Warriors, darlings of the Bay Area, are favored to repeat as world champions. It’s no surprise that, regardless of who you talk to, the die-hard basketball aficionado the or the casual fan who likes to follow a winner, the talk…Read More
Timing. It’s one of the most important variables when matching a talented IT candidate to the best job opening. When the proverbial planets align, and the right candidate and right job opening are both available, how do you ensure having the right tools to reach them and for them to reach us?” URSUS leverages several…Read More