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September 23, 2016- Speaker Casey Cowell

Casey Cowell was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan.  He graduated from the University of Chicago receiving an A.B. degree in Economics.  In 1976, at the age of 23, he co-founded U.S. Robotics, Inc.  He served as Chairman and CEO throughout the company’s history culminating in its merger into 3COM Corporation in 1997, the second largest merger ever in High Tech at that time.  Initially a $200 post-college start-up, U.S. Robotics, Inc. became the world’s largest manufacturer of modems and related products that connected computers to the global telephone network.  USR was the leading player in every major form factor globally.  Its technologies and products included desktop modems, internal PC cards, OEM products for PC manufacturers and massive rack-mount systems connecting  online providers including America Online, Prodigy and IBM Global Networks.  In addition to a broad array of other products and technologies, USR also brought to market the Palm Pilot, the first highly successful handheld organizer.

Cowell has received numerous industry honors including being named one of the 25 Top Managers in the world by Business Week in 1995 and Executive of the Year in 1996 by Crain’s Chicago Business.

Today Cowell is an active investor, advisor and board member in a broad range of companies with an emphasis on start-ups and early stage companies in the areas of technology, the internet, social media and healthcare.

Cowell has long-standing family ties to the Traverse City area.  In 1991 his family moved from the Chicago area to Elk Rapids (near Traverse City) to raise their pre-school age children in a smaller-community environment.  He is a long-time supporter of the Interlochen Center for the Arts.  He serves on the Board of Trustees of Traverse City based Munson Healthcare Network.  He is active in many civic and philanthropic organizations and activities.