Meet Our People
Robert Ryan is the founder, past chairman and CEO of Ascend Communications, and currently serves as Chairman of Hero Partners, a joint venture between his Entrepreneur America Company and the HydeNorton Group. Hero Partners is a Salt Lake City, Utah based business acceleration firm that works with entrepreneurs and small businesses, helping them maximize their core competencies and accelerate their business plans to build transformative American companies.
Ryan earned national attention when he grew his 1989 start-up company, Ascend Communications, Inc., to more than $2 billion in sales. Lucent Technologies acquired Ascend in 1999 for approximately $24 billion in what was termed at the time, “the largest technology merger ever.”
Effectively, Ascend helped create the modern Internet by building all of the infrastructure equipment that powered the Internet worldwide. At the end of 1995, Rob won the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for Northern California (including Silicon Valley). Rob also was selected as the Cornell University Entrepreneur of the Year for 2002.
Rob earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1969 from Cornell University and post-graduate studies at University of Madison, Wisconsin in mathematics and physics. He has been married for 44 years to his Cornell classmate and attorney wife, Terry Ryan, who co-founded Ascend and currently serves as President of Entrepreneur America.
Chief Relations Officer/Principal
A founding partner of The Hyde-Norton Group, and serves as Vice President of Sales for Hero Partners. Cody started his career alongside his brother and business partner Justin. Together they built a successful service based cleaning company in Wyoming, Utah, and Idaho. Under Cody's direction the company acquired hundreds of clients leading it to become the largest of its kind in the three states region. While running the company Cody attended Brigham Young University Idaho where he graduated in Business Management and received the prestigious Newell K. Whitney award which is given to the business programs top achievers.
Cody also co-founded the Rocky Mountain Economic Summit & Retreat hosted in Jackson Hole Wyoming. Every year held in late July the event features some of the worlds foremost expert on U.S. and Global economies. Cody is a partner in a number of the firms holdings, including resort properties, ranch properties, as well as bio and mobile technologies.
Cody is married to his beautiful wife Melissa, and has three children. He is active in his church and community. He devotes much of his time to non-for profit fundraising for charities within the community as well as enjoys being a leader in the boy scouts.
Chief Executive Officer/Managing Principal
Justin Hyde is Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Hero Partners, and Co-Founder and Chairman of The Bronze Buffalo Club and The Bronze Buffalo Foundation.
Prior to leading Hero Partners, The Bronze Buffalo Club and The Bronze Buffalo Foundation, Justin was the CEO and Managing Principal of The Hyde Norton Group, an award winning management consulting firm with a global footprint. There he managed and oversaw the firm’s holdings of ranch, hotel and resort properties, and partnership interests in multiple business enterprises, including a professional sports franchise.
In 2012, Justin spearheaded the merger of The Hyde Norton Group and Entrepreneur America to form Hero Partners, a business investment and accelerator firm. Entrepreneur America was led by Ascend Communications founder, Rob Ryan. Ryan earned national attention when his 1989 star-up company, Ascend Communications, was acquired by Lucent Technologies in 1999 for $24 billion in what is termed the “largest technology merger ever.”
Justin began his business career alongside his brother, Cody Hyde. Growing up together on their family buffalo ranch, they learned the value of hard work and ingenuity. As college students, Justin and Cody built a cleaning company in Idaho, Wyoming and Utah. Together, they parlayed the cleaning company into a multimillion dollar enterprise with holdings in real estate, auto dealerships, health clubs and a successful risk management and business consulting firm. Their companies, Hyde Financial & Consulting Group and Hyde Holding Company were rolled into The Hyde Norton Group with the formation of the Hyde’s new partnership with Tyler Norton and Scott Carlisle. The risk management division of their company was subsequently sold.
Along with partners, Cody Hyde and Scott Carlisle, Justin founded The Bronze Buffalo Club, an exclusive members’ only club created for top business and world leaders. All membership is by private invitation only. The Bronze Buffalo Club is headquartered at the world-famous Star Valley Tour Ranch Resort in Star Valley, Wyoming.
In conjunction with The Bronze Buffalo Club, Justin and Cody Hyde founded the Annual Rocky Mountain Economic Summit. The event is hosted every year in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and features many of the world’s foremost experts on world and U.S. economies. The event is covered live by Bloomberg TV, CNBC, Forbes, and Reuters. Because of the continued growth and popularity of the Rocky Mountain Economic Summit, the Rocky Mountain Summit Series has been launched. Along with the Economic Summit, the Rocky Mountain Summit Series includes a Leadership Summit and an Energy Summit that are also held annually.
Justin is active in charity, civic and church organizations. He co-founded The Bronze Buffalo Foundation. As Chairman, he gives direction as the Foundation provides financial support to charitable organizations globally, focusing on the issues that face children and young people. Justin also sits on the board of the Global Interdependence Center.
Justin served on Mitt Romney’s National Finance Team as the Wyoming State Finance Chair for the 2012 presidential election.
Justin is the recipient of multiple “40 under 40” awards and has received several other recognitions for his entrepreneurial successes.
Justin’s most significant partnership is his marriage to his beautiful wife, the former Stefanie Waldron. They are the parents of one son. Justin and his family reside in Holladay, Utah.
Chief Revenue Officer/Principal
Randy Garn is the Chief Revenue Officer / Principal at Hero Partners. Randy is a New York Times Best selling author and a passionate entrepreneur. He loves growing companies through proven strategic methods and enjoys the process of understanding a companies core strengths.
Randy is a serial entrepreneur. He was one of the founding partners of Prosper Inc. and has worked closely with some of the world's most renowned educators, speakers, and thought leaders. In addition to Prosper, he has founded several other companies that have become industry leaders in marketing, online acquisition and product development. One of these companies, Adcafe.com, has more than 2 million subscribers and is growing.
He was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst and Young, was a Top 40 under 40 Entrepreneur, and has received various awards in social and charitable involvement. Randy is an alumnus of Brigham Young University, a graduate of the Owner President Management Program at Harvard University, and is an alumnus of the Harvard Business School.
Randy lives in Utah with his wife Charlotte and their four beautiful daughters and two sons. He has a passion for the outdoors and is an avid fly fisherman.
Susan's diverse background is a huge benefit to Hero Partners. She has held several different roles in real estate development, consulting and high-end event production.
She is married and is raising four kids. She spends much of her time going to kids' ball games, riding bikes and reading.
Chief Operations Officer/Principal
Doug has over 30 years of experience in the computer and technology industry, including 15 years in Internet related businesses. Doug has served as the CEO of two Internet start-up companies, served 7 years as the Executive VP of eCommerce and Technology at FranklinCovey and 12 years as Director of Strategy and Product Management at Sequent Computer Systems (now an IBM Company).
Doug is the President & Co-Founder of StrategicLink, the proprietary planning and management consulting process that is exclusively offered through Hero Partners.
Doug received an MBA and an Engineering degree from Brigham Young University. Doug currently lives in Bountiful, Utah. He has a beautiful wife, 5 children and 3 grandchildren and loves helping others with family history.
Chief Executive Officer/Managing Principal
Tyler has 17 years of experience in the risk management and financial services industry including 9 years of executive leadership with Beneficial Financial Group where he served as a Vice-President, Senior Vice President and Chief Distribution Officer. He also served as a Senior Vice President for Insphere Insurance Solutions, a private equity portfolio company of The Blackstone Group and Goldman Sachs, where he reported to the CEO.
Tyler is the CEO & Founder of StrategicLink, the proprietary planning and management consulting process that is exclusively offered through The Hyde-Norton Group. Tyler has over 10 years of strategic consulting experience with the StrategicLink process, having worked with a broad range of companies across multiple industries nationwide.
Tyler has a degree in Economics from the University of Utah. Raised largely on the East coast, Tyler lives now in Highland, Utah with his wife Allison and their six children.
Elisse began her entrepreneurial pursuits after working in management for Hyatt Hotels in Vancouver, B.C., Tokyo, Japan and San Francisco, spending 5 years with the company. She then created the largest, most prestigious corporate concierge business located in 23 major cities across the U.S and Europe. Her concierge company was responsible for creating an entirely new industry. Clients included the Who’s Who of Fortune 500 companies, such as American Express, GM-OnStar, Goldman Sachs, Fidelity Investments, Microsoft, MasterCard, and Charles Schwab. After 12 years of growing the concierge company to millions in annual sales, it was sold to a national company.
After her exit, Elisse began a consulting career focused on entrepreneurial companies in high growth industries such as healthcare, senior care, finance and mobile technology. She specializes in business development, strategic partnerships and marketing. She assists entrepreneurs in raising money and has great relationships with angel investors, private equity firms and venture capitalists.
Entrepreneurship is in her blood. She is the past President of the Entrepreneurs' Organization, where she has been a member for 21 years and has served on the Board of the Arizona chapter. Through the Accelerator Program of the Entrepreneurs' Organization she has mentored many companies and she was honored with Mentor of the Year.
Elisse has a business degree from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver BC Canada with a major in marketing and a minor in economics. She currently resides in Scottsdale, AZ and is an avid golfer and snow skier. She has passion for playing sports, watching professional sports, exotic travel, and discovering interesting new restaurants. Elisse is on the fundraising committee for Autism Speaks and the Walk. Last year’s committee raised $1.5 million for Autism. The joy of her life is her wonderful 13 year old daughter Alexa.
Marie Schwab is the Executive Assistant for Justin and Cody Hyde. Marie’s organizational skills, people skills, and “get it done attitude” have played a key role in the success of the Hyde’s multiple organizations. Since their inception, Marie has been actively involved in the day-to-day operations of The Hyde Norton Group, Hero Partners, The Bronze Buffalo Club, The Rocky Mountain Summit Series, and the Corral Lodges.
Marie is married to Dain Schwab and is the mother of three beautiful children. She resides in Afton, Wyoming.
Terry Ryan is Rob Ryan's wife of 45 years. They were classmates at Cornell. Terry put Rob through graduate school and he returned the favor by putting her through Boston College Law School where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. Terry worked in the litigation department of a large San Francisco Law Firm before going in house with a Silicon Valley Company. Terry served on the Board of Directors of SoftCom, the first company Rob founded. After the sale of SoftCom Terry took two years off to learn how to manage the couple's investment portfolio.
Terry had no plans to join Ascend, which Rob founded in 1989. However, when Kleiner Perkins handed Rob a check for $4,000,000, the new company had no bank account to deposit it into. In fact, the new company had not yet been incorporated. Terry filed the papers, then went out and interviewed business banks. Next Terry realized if she wanted to get back her kitchen where the founders had set up camp, she had to go out and find Ascend an office facility. From there it was an easy step to interviewing and hiring admin people to run the office. The engineers also asked Terry to order all the parts they needed for their prototypes. Rob expected her to negotiate and draft all the legal agreements and together they worked out a timeline for investing the venture funds into commercial paper laddered to mature at the time the funds would be needed, placing her de facto in charge of finance. A couple years later Rob decided he preferred having his wife at home, so he hired six people to replace her. The Board of Directors were not thrilled with his decision, pointing out the increased expenditure of paying all those replacements, instead of just one person. Only then did it come out that Rob was not paying Terry anything at all. (Still true today.)
After Rob's retirement they moved to Montana. Terry is very involved in the community in Montana and on the Big Island of Hawaii where they live part of the year. Terry founded and ran the Treasure State Art Show in Montana for many years which raised over $500,000 for the Ravalli County Museum. Terry has served on the C. M. Russell Museum Board the YMCA Board and Hamilton Players Board. Rob and Terry sponsor the local GED Program, including a math lab. They updated all the science labs and provide smart boards and new computers for Hamilton High School out of a Dream Classroom initiative by their private foundation. They sponsor science labs and health care certification programs at the new local community college. Terry wasvery involved in the campaign to establish the new college.
Rob and Terry Ryan both serve on the Advisory Council for Keck Observatory, which houses the two largest telescopes in the world on top of Mauna Kea Mountain in Hawaii. For nine years they have been the sole sponsors of an astronomy lecture series which has raised over $7 million for adaptive optics equipment on the telescopes. The lectures are pod cast for all to see. The Rob and Terry Ryan Foundation also set up and sponsored science classes at the elementary school closest to their Hawaii residence. The kids in Hawaii call her Tutu Terry. Tutu is Hawaiian for Grandmother.
Terry is an alto in the Montana A Cappella Society which toured Ireland last year when it was selected as one of 22 choirs from all over the world to perform at the Cork, Ireland International Choral Festival, the oldest and most prestigious of the international choir festivals.
Terry's role at Hero Partners is the job she has always coveted. Her title is simply "Counselor." After the Hero Retreat in Hawaii, her Hero partners also started calling her Tutu.