Colorado CEOs you don't know (but should): John Gobron, Aventura

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Published on Dec. 12, 2013
Colorado CEOs you don't know (but should): John Gobron, Aventura


Healthcare software company Aventura’s CEO Gobron said he doesn’t know if there’s a “right” path to becoming a CEO - but his extensive healthcare experience has certainly been helpful. He was the General Manager of European Operations at Sentillion, which provided technology for hospital caregivers; shortly after Sentillion was acquired by Microsoft in 2009, Gobron headed up national healthcare sales at Symantec. All these experiences have helped him to develop the ability to have “a near-maniacal focus on the few important priorities over the many distracting ways to expend time and energy.” Built In Colorado caught up with Gobron to see exactly how he is spending his energy at Aventura these days:

What’s the toughest part of your job?

Having the discipline to constantly ask ourselves if we have the right people in the right roles to execute on the right plan - and, of course, balancing our growth with our cash needs.

What is Aventura’s company culture like?

 We just completed a video short with the Denver Harlequins Rugby Team.  Aventura is a software development shop that practices agile software development methodologies, where every morning starts with the famous "dev scrum.” The premise of the video is to show our team taking our Agile Scrum to the next level by scrumming with actual Denver rugby players.  We had some fun with this, nobody got hurt - and the whole thing was funded with beer and pizza!  We'll be doing more of these in 2014 with theme of bringing well-known Denverites and Coloradans into our Aventura offices to participate in the day-to-day life of running a healthcare software company.

How is Aventura’s culture reflective of the Colorado tech community’s?

I think our values statement says a lot, not just about our company, but also the Colorado tech community in which we live; I suppose that is not too surprising, really. For us, values are a snapshot of who we are now and they are also a filter for us in decision-making. Our values were actually crafted by our employees, not cast down from on high, and we have learned that Aventura's success and responsibilities to the community are increasingly intertwined. We say that our customers become part of our family – and I suppose that’s how the Colorado tech community is, too. 

One thing Aventura has been focusing on is giving back to the community that has provided so much for us via our roots at Denver Health. Through our volunteer program, we’ve supported newborns in need through the Denver Health Foundation, cooked and served meals at the Denver Ronald McDonald House for families in need, raised money for breast cancer research and screenings in the Denver area, and supported needy families through adopt-a-family programs.

What are you working on right now at Aventura?

"Instant on.” We are working to shave microseconds off the time it takes for doctors and nurses to get to the right information on their computers and other devices.  In Walter Iassocson's awesome biography of Steve Jobs, there's a section where Bill Gates was downplaying Apple's various innovations, with the notable exception of admitting that the Mac's ability to be instantly ready, instead of having to go through a lengthy boot-up process, was in fact an amazing feat of technology.

I see Aventura in a similar position, where our "speed-to-workflow" is viscerally faster than anything else, primarily because we are doing things much differently than the status quo.  Billions of dollars are being spent on healthcare IT right now, where the government is seeding the use of electronic medical records (EMRs) with cash payments.  However, how those new EMRs function in the greater workflow ecosystem known as "clinical computing" has been largely ignored: Aventura helps to remedy this.  It really is an exciting place to be when you've got patented technology and valuable use cases that are completely better and faster than any other alternative.

If you weren't a CEO, what would you be doing  - in another life perhaps?

Perhaps working in theater; starting a wicked fun, cause-based movement; or exploring alongside Steve Zissou in The Life Aquatic.

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