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Spring 2010

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BY KEVIN MOE

By any measure, Barbara Mowry has had a long and successful career. She’s led established companies, steered international expansions, raised capital, bought and sold businesses, and helped build firms as an entrepreneur.

        One of her most recent successes was developing Colorado-based Silver Creek Systems. In the last decade, the company evolved from an upstart provider of software-based product data solutions into an industry leader that was recently purchased by the Oracle Corp. Mowry was initially recruited by Silver Creek’s board of directors to become CEO and take the technology to market. “At that time we had 11 employees, no customers, and a great idea with some early forms of our technology,” she says. “We needed to raise venture capital, build the management team, and develop our go-to-market plan and execute on it.”

        Today, Silver Creek Systems has significant customers in many industries, including retail, healthcare, distribution, manufacturing, and others, including many Fortune 500 companies. “We have become the leading technology solution for managing product data for large complex organizations,” Mowry says. “We have also been recognized by Gartner and other leading technology analysts as the best in our industry.”

        Originally from the Chicago area, Mowry lived in New York City for several years before enrolling at the Carlson School for her MBA. “I wanted to come back to the Midwest to get a great MBA education,” she says. “The current offerings of the Carlson School, including the Enterprise programs, opportunities for international study, the quality of the faculty, and access to the many companies located in the Twin Cities area, make this school a terrific place to learn.”

        Besides her role at Silver Creek Systems, Mowry serves on several corporate boards, is chair of the board of directors of the Denver Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank, and is a member of the Committee of 200, an invitation-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful women entrepreneurs and corporate leaders. She’s also a member of the Carlson School’s Board of Overseers. “A great business education exposes you to new ideas, helps you learn how to problem-solve to focus on the things that are important, and helps you understand the areas of business you enjoy and where you can excel—things that are important personally and for any business,” she says.

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