Our Team


Wendi Burkhardt


Wendi has more than 25 years of technology experience working with venture start-ups, emerging technology offerings, rapid-growth tech firms and Fortune 500 corporations. Her history also includes a year spent working with Home Instead, a $1B in-home, senior care corporation as a key client. She is a seasoned entrepreneur as well as a mentor and coach to social ventures. Wendi holds a degree in International Trade & Finance from Louisiana State University, and has completed an executive education program at Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management.


Mike Emerson


Mike has more than 20 years of operations, sales, marketing, corporate development, and partner relations experience in start-ups, venture capital-backed, private equity-backed, and public companies. He most recently founded his third company, Qtera, serving Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer. Prior to Qtera, he served as the Vice President, Live Video for publicly-traded Zayo Group where he led all corporate functions of a startup media business segment. Before joining Zayo, Mike served as General Manager of Licensing for Wazee Digital, growing the company through several rounds of venture capital investment and private equity exit. He holds an MBA from Wharton and a BBA from the University of Wisconsin.


Kelly Hickey


Kelly has more than 20 years of finance and accounting experience spanning from venture start-ups to large public companies. As the recent VP of Accounting for Datalogix, a venture backed data company, she managed the successful acquisition of the company by Oracle. Prior to Datalogix, she served as the VP Finance and Corporate Controller for RE/MAX, managing all private equity and debt transactions, acquisitions, financial and strategic planning, and an initial public offering. Her past experience also includes being the VP of Finance and Accounting for Oxlo Systems Inc., a venture backed start-up software company, senior accounting and finance roles for Spectralink Corporation, and 7 years with Arthur Andersen, LLP. She holds a degree from the University of Colorado with a BA in Accounting and Marketing.


Chase Terwilliger

VP of Product and Business Development

Chase joined Silvernest following a successful career path in the Healthcare industry. Having held previous management positions within Fortune 100 companies and venture backed start-ups, Chase brings a wealth of experience in product enhancement, consumer engagement, sales and marketing to the team. His last venture, in which he was a co-owner, was successfully acquired by Johnson & Johnson in February of 2015. Chase holds a bachelor’s degree in Integrative Physiology from the University of Colorado- Boulder and graduated cum laude with an MBA from W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

Margaret ann

Margaret-Ann Burness

VP of Marketing

Margaret-Ann Burness can be best summed up as seasoned, passionate marketer who loves a strategic challenge. She’s led marketing initiatives covering wide variety of consumer packaged goods, retail and service brands over the last 20ish years. including Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers, Horizon Organic, Barbie, Disney Entertainment, Nickelodeon brands, Home Instead Senior Care, Smokey Bear Forest Fire Prevention Campaign (Ad Council), and ProCure Proton Therapy Centers. Margaret-Ann holds a BS in Economics from Colgate University and a MFA in Motion Picture Production from the University of Miami.