Entrepreneurs / Small Business  June 4, 2010

Dobbie joins Catshot Group as vice president

Almost a year after her sudden departure from the Northern Colorado Economic Development Corp., Maury Dobbie has rejoined the private sector with an international consulting group.

Dobbie is the newest member of the Catshot Group, a consulting firm co-founded by former UniverCity Connections director Doug Johnson. Dobbie will serve as vice president at the 10-month-old firm that offices at the Rocky Mountain Airport in Broomfield. Her working relationship with Johnson goes back years, specifically during her three-year tenure as CEO of NCEDC.

Catshot’s founders have diverse backgrounds that bring a wide range of expertise to its client companies. Johnson said that Dobbie’s experience is in entrepreneurship and organizing private-public partnerships.

“It’s very true to the Catshot name,” he said. “We’re a catalyst for getting things done, and Maury has a track record of that.”

Catshot – the firm takes its name from a Navy term for rapidly launching planes from carriers – was founded in August, and while the group has refined its focus, its core business goals remain the same. Co-founder Ethan Martin explained that Catshot gives its clients access to resources they couldn’t otherwise tap.

Martin’s expertise is in private equity, strategic planning and raising capital. At a high level, Catshot works with companies and boards on development of strategic plans, especially to leverage opportunities presented by the current down market.

Three overarching sectors

Martin said Catshot’s focus is now on three overarching sectors: energy, corporate security and transaction services.

“We see companies being increasingly challenged with the world environment they are operating in,” Martin said.

Much of the company’s work falls under the umbrella of homeland security, explained co-founder Rob Ffield. Ffield recently retired as a U.S. Navy Captain, served twice as a Top Gun instructor, and led the Blue Angels flight demonstration squadron. Most recently, he served as executive officer to the commander of NORAD and at the Pentagon on the staff of the Joint Chiefs.

But it isn’t his expertise alone that is propelling the firm into this sector.

“We have the full spectrum of all-hazards experts,” Ffield said, from ballistics to natural disaster and infectious disease to supply chain disruption and recovery. “We’ve had a lot of interest from oil and gas, and also the insurance industry.”

Johnson added that large agricultural producers, which house a variety of chemicals that could be used for drugs or weapons, have needed assistance with conducting risk assessments.

Martin said he couldn’t name any Catshot clients, citing confidentiality agreements, but the company does not typically work with startup companies, instead targeting firms with $10 million-plus in revenue. Catshot recently helped a smart-grid-related firm that wanted access to the Department of Defense. Through that engagement, Catshot ended up working with the company to focus its strategy and develop a growth plan.

“We are not the best firm for everybody,” Martin added.

Part of a plan

For Dobbie, joining Catshot was part of a plan.

“I really just sat down and wrote out where I wanted to go next after NCEDC,” she said.

On that list was a return to the private sector and finding an alliance with like-minded people. Dobbie feels that her experience as a business owner as well as her knowledge about the nature and motivations of people, in general, will serve her well at Catshot especially in finding ways for everybody to win.

She added that the ability to do good work for the community – at the regional, state, national and international level – was a big draw for her. She said that there are a number of projects in the Catshot pipeline that will “put Northern Colorado on the map.”

“When I wrote down what I didn’t want to do, it was to start another company,” she said.

Dobbie has started six ventures in her business career. While working as CEO of NCEDC, she retained her ownership interest in production firm Media Tech Productions. She declined to discuss the status of her current involvement with any of her previous companies, explaining that it is currently in flux. Now, she’s focused on finding ways to leverage the know-how of those associated with Catshot.

“These guys think big, and they have the connections to do so,” she said. “We’re surrounded by the best in these technical fields we’re working in.”

Almost a year after her sudden departure from the Northern Colorado Economic Development Corp., Maury Dobbie has rejoined the private sector with an international consulting group.

Dobbie is the newest member of the Catshot Group, a consulting firm co-founded by former UniverCity Connections director Doug Johnson. Dobbie will serve as vice president at the 10-month-old firm that offices at the Rocky Mountain Airport in Broomfield. Her working relationship with Johnson goes back years, specifically during her three-year tenure as CEO of NCEDC.

Catshot’s founders have diverse backgrounds that bring a wide range of expertise to its client companies. Johnson…

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