Michele Blay, JD - CEO & Founder
Michele earned her JD from the University of Chicago Law School and held attorney positions in private practice with large global law firms and as in-house counsel before transitioning to a business role. She has pursued a career in legal recruiting and founded JDCLE to expand her legal placement work into more broad-based attorney professional development. Prior to law school, she worked in the acquisitions department of a film studio division and brings that background to JDCLE's program development approach. She continues to work with candidates and clients in legal placement and is developing that experience into an upcoming addition to the JDCLE site.
Michele is admitted in Colorado and Illnois. She is a member of the Legal Marketing Association, the Executive Women's Council, ACLEA, and the Allegheny County Bar Association. She has lived and worked in Colorado, California, and internationally. She splits her time between the U.S. and Canada, and when in Colorado she hikes and snowshoes as much as she can.
Samuel Pai, Co-Founder
A veteran of multiple high-tech startups, Sam Pai has spent over 25 years in a variety of roles from individual contributor to executive management; developing management, engineering, and marketing skills that encompass the broad range associated with the management and development of successful products and businesses. These products and businesses range from telecommunication devices and Internet based real-estate services, to drug infusion devices and digital magazine publishing services.
Currently at Rogers Communications, Sam manages the business side of the Smart Home Monitoring business. Sam's career includes positions at IDEO, Plantronics, Telebit, Kaleida Labs, Baynet World, Bridge Medical, Zinio Systems, and ADT Security Services. Consulting clients (as part of IDEO and independently) include Microsoft, DataCard, eGreetings, iGo, Audible, and 3com.
Sam has an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, a M.S. in Electrical Engineering, Computer Systems from Stanford University, and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering with honors from Stanford University.
Craig Meis is a senior executive with 30 years experience in operational and financial management in numerous industries. Currently he is the Director - Recruiting & Operations for the Executive MBA Program at the University of Colorado. He is also the Co-Founder of GeoPoint Partners providers of geo-spatial software technology for the fleet management industry.
Craig excels in leadership and financial management and has successfully led the start-up and turnaround of various business ventures. Craig is a 23-year veteran of The Anschutz Corporation and maintained a stellar record in a variety of management positions including VP & Chief Operating Officer of Ansco Investment Company, President of Tempo Enterprises. He's also been credited for reinventing (and saving) the Rio Grande Ski Train, an accomplishment that earned him an Award of Honor by the Downtown Denver Partnership.
Craig also served as Director of Film Projects for Southern Pacific Railroad and The Anschutz Corporation. As Director of Film Projects, Craig was responsible for all aspects of this business including marketing, deal negotiation and operations. He successfully established strategic relationships with all State Film Commissions in the Western US and participated as Railroad Consultant and Technical Expert on numerous productions including script review, site identification and equipment sourcing. His film experience includes working on dozens of feature films, TV commercials and television productions.
Craig has 20 years experience in various aspects of the film industry, including the past 4 years as Chairman of the Board for the Colorado Film Commission. The Colorado Film Commission is a statewide organization that is responsible for marketing Colorado to the film industry and serves as liaison with 85 community Chambers of Commerce and economic development groups. Craig is also active in film industry legislative affairs and works with numerous industry trade groups to promote film industry initiatives.
Craig is a CPA and received his BS in Accounting from Oklahoma State University. He earned his MBA from the University of Colorado.
Gregory J. Smith, JD, Co-Founder
Greg has over 15 years of experience in legal publishing, including positions as an acquisitions editor for Shepard's/McGraw-Hill, Inc., as Director of Publications for Colorado Bar Association CLE, as Editorial Director for Bradford Publishing Company, and most recently as Senior Director & Editor-in-Chief for NITA Publications at the National Institute for Trial Advocacy.
In other lives, he also managed a saloon, operated a desktop publishing business, practiced law in commercial litigation, and served as Administrative Counsel to the Chief Judge of the Colorado Court of Appeals.
He has assisted JDCLE with its content creation and written materials development.
He holds a BA in English from Colorado State University and a JD from the University of Denver College of Law, where he was a Research & Technical Editor for Denver University Law Review. Greg has been an active member of the Association for Continuing Legal Education (ACLEA) since 1997, including a year as President of the organization (2007-08). He lives near Denver in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, with his wife, two teenage sons, and two beagles.
Brian Hughes has 30 years senior business development sales and management experience. Throughout a long and successful career at Xerox, Brian held a wide variety of senior sales and sales management roles in which he received national recognition for his performance. During his last seven years at Xerox he helped start Xerox's Carolina's Managed Services Business unit where he transformed a new start up business unit into a highly profitable 180 million dollar operation.
After Xerox he was recruited by StorageTek as the Global Director of StorageTek's new enterprise storage consulting practice. Brian then transitioned to another industry to join Clarity Visual Systems / Planar Systems, Inc. as the Channel Manager for their new Digital Signage Business unit in North America. After securing the largest software order in the industry, Brian moved on to become the VP or Business Development for Creative Realities, an innovative Experiential Branding and Marketing Firm that helps industries, companies and institutions create a compelling "BRAND THEATER" experience specifically designed to enhance client brands and the respective brand shopper experience.