MICHAEL

RIPPS

MANAGING DIRECTOR

Mike@vuwise.com

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Michael has over 25 years of experience as an operating and finance executive with private and public companies, both in the U.S. and internationally. Over the course of this timeframe, he has served in a wide range of roles – from senior executive to entrepreneur. His experience as an operator has created a unique skill set across many disciplines, including leadership, business development, financial management, marketing and strategic planning. These attributes have given Michael an insightful perspective as a business owner and entrepreneur’s advocate. ​

Most recently, Michael has served as President of Jittery Joe’s Coffee, a privately held coffee company based in Athens, Georgia, with both retail and wholesale operations. Since joining Jittery Joe’s in mid 2007, Michael oversaw significant expansion, growing from four to 20 cafes, significantly increasing its wholesale foot print, and establishing the Company as a regional and national presence for its specialty coffee.

As part of executing on its growth strategy, Michael was responsible for initiating and growing relationships with retail partners such as Whole Foods and The Fresh Market, initiating strategic collaborations with local companies such as Terrapin Beer and High Road Craft Ice Cream and increasing brand awareness through features in publications and on CNN.​

Prior to joining Jittery Joe’s, Michael was Chief Executive Officer of Lycos Asia, a leading Internet portal based in Singapore, with a presence in nine Asian countries, including China and India, where he was responsible for the Company’s expansion in Asia through acquisitions as well as strategic partnerships with companies such as Bertelsmann and Manchester United.​

Prior to working with Lycos Asia, Michael was Director of Finance for Lycos, Inc., an Internet portal based in Boston, during which time the Company grew from a start-up to a global, publicly traded company, attracting millions of visitors a day. Prior to his tenure with Lycos, Michael spent a decade in corporate banking with Wachovia and Sumitomo Bank of Japan. ​

Michael holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Vanderbilt University. He currently serves on the Boards of Directors for High Road Craft Ice Cream, Athensmade, Willson Center for Humanities and Arts, and Interfaith Hospitality Network. He resides in Athens with his wife Kim and three children. ​