Bruce wakes up every day motivated by the opportunity to leverage his profession in service of the global community. After working for six years at the international law firm of Hogan Lovells, he founded Blue Dot Advocates in February 2003 to focus on the representation of start-up companies. In early 2009, Bruce committed himself to developing more effective ways for legal professionals around the world to support social ventures, and he has not looked back since.
A specialist in corporate finance and intellectual property transactions, Bruce brings his extensive experience to bear on his work at the forefront of impact investing and market-based solutions. He has advised corporate clients on transactions worth billions of dollars in the aggregate, ranging from angel financings for start-ups to public offerings for multi-national companies. As for intellectual property work, Bruce has negotiated numerous deals with Fortune 100 companies, including some of the world’s most prominent technology firms. Bruce has completed corporate and IP transactions all over the world, including in Africa, Asia and South America.
He is a member of a legislative drafting committee in Colorado that is considering proposed legislation for a corporate form tailored to companies with social missions. Bruce advises several organizations that are advancing the development of social enterprises, including the Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise program at Colorado State University, Dasra Social-Impact in India, and the Unreasonable Institute.
After leaving big law firms and nearly abandoning the practice of law twice in search of a more personally meaningful and sustainable career, Jochem joined Blue Dot in 2010, excited about the opportunity to merge his extensive background in finance with his longtime interest in entrepreneurship and international development. With more than six years of experience as a corporate attorney at large international law firms, Jochem has worked with companies of all sizes on a variety of commercial matters. Currently, he is most passionate about supporting impact driven start-ups in reaching their financing goals.
Jochem began his practice at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in New York City where he worked on a number of cross-border finance and corporate transactions. After three years, he joined Holme Roberts & Owen in Denver and focused his practice on finance transactions. He has significant experience advising startup companies on formation and financing issues, representing borrowers and lenders in commercial loan transactions, advising on private placements of debt and equity, and representing private equity investors in leveraged buyouts. Additionally, Jochem has advised non-profits and commercial co-venturers on charitable fundraising regulations.
Jochem graduated from Harvard Law School in 2002, where he was a member of the Harvard International Law Journal. He received his undergraduate degree in history and political science from Tulane University, where he graduated summa cum laude. Jochem is licensed to practice in New York and Colorado. When not behind his computer, Jochem can often be found breaking his mountain bikes on local trails. During the winter he prefers to be covered in snow.
For as long as she can remember, Cindy has always believed in the power of business as a vehicle for influence and transformation. When Cindy joined Blue Dot in July of 2012, she was thrilled to leverage her broad-based corporate transactional practice to advise and support entrepreneurs, particularly those focused on social change.
Cindy began her corporate practice at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, where she represented public-company, private-company, and individual clientele in a variety of corporate transactions. She also represented her firm as a seconded lawyer to Credit Suisse’s Asset Management Division. Cindy fluently speaks Mandarin, Chinese and is a motivated and enthusiastic advocate who thrives in environments requiring innovation, collaboration, and tremendous attention to detail and organization.
Cindy graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. For her undergraduate degree, she attended the University of Colorado at Boulder as a Boettcher Scholar and graduated summa cum laude. Outside of practicing law, Cindy loves exercising her own entrepreneurial spirit and co-founded Women in the Mix, a venture dedicated to helping women thrive in their mix of work and life. Cindy’s own work-life mix is enriched by her husband and two young sons and embracing all of life’s adventures (indoors and outdoors).
Deeply committed to social impact and having lived and worked in Greater China for six years, Auria weaves over a decade of cross-border transactional experience with her passion for helping others make the world a better place.
Prior to starting her own solo practice focused on sustainable businesses in 2010, Auria was an associate at Morrison & Foerster and Paul Weiss, where she advised several prominent private equity and venture capital funds on structuring over $750 million in investments in the Internent, media, healthcare, real estate, and education sectors, successfully negotiated many joint ventures and established wholly foreign-owned enterprises in China. She has advised several Fortune 500 companies on FCPA compliance issues and assisted them in conducting internal investigations related to FCPA concerns in China and advised multiple clients on Chinese anti-bribery and anti-money laundering laws. She has also represented several multinational corporations in onshore and offshore mergers and acquisitions and counseled clients on a wide range of operational issues such as employment, distribution, licensing and other regulatory issues.
Auria received her JD from the University of Washington and has a Masters of International Studies from The Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies. She is a former Vice-Chair of the Legal Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce in China and is a member of the New York and Washington, DC Bar Associations. A fluent Mandarin speaker and reader, Auria is also fluent in French. When not practicing law, Auria spends her time cooking, hiking with her dog, Pecan, skiing and watching movies.
Helping bring market-based solutions to social and environmental problems is Seth’s reason for being a lawyer. He began his career with seven years at Denver-based Davis, Graham & Stubbs, working on acquisitions, financings, licensing and services transactions in various industries including telecoms and healthcare. He started his own practice in 1993, providing across-the-board counsel to start-ups and emerging ventures, mostly in the tech space.
In 2007, he left the law to help his wife Rhonda Hess launch an online training provider for solo professionals. But he couldn’t resist the allure of putting his legal skills to work for mission-driven businesses. He was deeply involved in negotiating and drafting the legislation that brought the benefit corporation form to Colorado in 2013, and he joined Blue Dot the same year.
Seth is a Colorado native whose favorite place to be is outside, especially getting lost on the side of a mountain.
Jon has been representing and advising nonprofit tax-exempt organizations, social enterprises, and small businesses for over 20 years. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School (J.D.). Jon began his legal career as an attorney with the Washington, DC-area law firm Gammon & Grange, P.C. working in their nonprofit practice.
Jon provides legal counsel for nonprofits, social enterprise ventures, and entrepreneurs across the United States and in other countries. He is also owner of Gray Buffalo Ventures, LLC, seeking to build community resources, foster enterprise, and enable sustaining opportunities in rural communities. Jon grew up in Colorado and rural central Nebraska and is grateful for the opportunities he has had to carry on business in a variety of settings across a wide social and geographic spectrum. Jon is excited to be a part of the Blue Dot team, looking forward each day toward working with attorneys and entrepreneurial clients that share a common vision of legal strategies in service of the common good.
Luke developed a passion for facilitating social change through business as a non-profit social entrepreneur in India more than ten years ago. He trained in cross-cultural leadership at the East West Center in Honolulu and cut his teeth on cross border M&A transactions at the international law firms of Latham & Watkins and Allen & Overy. In early 2009, Luke left big-law to pursue his passion for sustainable development more directly, advising Innovation Africa as it launched its non-profit sustainable energy business in Uganda.
In addition to broad expertise in corporate M&A, venture financing and securities law, Luke also has in-depth experience in NGO registration, non-profit law, and film and media. He has advised corporate clients on transactions with values ranging from less than one million dollars to many billions of dollars. Luke has spent many months as an attorney in places such as Turkey and east Africa, and has completed transactions in the Philippines, Europe, Central Asia and India.
In addition to his legal expertise and experience, Luke brings a practical business perspective to clients problems, and is currently pursuing an Masters in Business Administration at the University of Colorado, Boulder, with a concentration in sustainable business practices and social enterprise. Luke graduated from the University of Virginia Law School in 2005 and is a member of the California, New York and Colorado bars. When Luke isn’t working, he’s most likely to be running trails in the beautiful Rocky Mountains.
Steven Winter joined the Blue Dot team in January of 2012, energized by the opportunity to put his entrepreneurial grit to work growing the firm while exploring his interest in law and business as levers for constructive social change. Contrary to popular belief, Steven is not in fact a lawyer. Rather, he serves as the team’s Chief Get Shit Done Officer, doing whatever needs doing, from technical infrastructure and website administration to paralegal support and liaising with potential and existing clients.
Steve comes to Boulder and Blue Dot Advocates from the start up world of New York’s Silicon Alley. There he co-founded Amicus, a Y Combinator-backed start up that seeks to help nonprofits transform civil society through the social network connections of supporters and activists. As the Chief Operating Officer, Steve assisted with systems building, fundraising, hiring, and with shaping many other business fundamentals, including drafting the business model that won the 2011 Yale Venture Challenge. Steve has since helped a number of businesses, both impact-oriented ventures and others, by drafting and advising on business models.
Steve graduated magna cum laude from Yale University in 2011 with a degree in philosophy. He enjoys soccer, woodworking, snowboarding and hacking together ideas for new business and projects when he’s not working to make Blue Dot lawyers and clients happy.
We are pleased to enter 2014 with a new Coordinator in Chief, Julie Kronenberger. Julie has worked in progressively bigger law firms her entire professional career, but also found a strong calling from the non-profit world that matches very nicely with Blue Dot Advocates’ ongoing needs. Julie was born and raised in Colorado, attending high school in Steamboat Springs and earning a BA in fine art from Colorado College in Colorado Springs. She currently lives in Denver and works at our Boulder office, and is excited to convey her administrative, paralegal, non-profit and political experience into one cohesive career to make the world a better place.