Getting to know Chris Kay

Merging with Kalypso, playing the blues and the power of core values

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What most excites you about the Integware and Kalypso merger?

There are a number of things: culture alignment, success of the firm, breadth of industries served, breadth of offerings (innovation management vs. just Product Lifecycle Management), and of course, a great team. Everyone we’ve met has been very welcoming - it made the decision on who to merge with quite simple. The tactical reason I’m excited about the merger is that there are large opportunities coming up in the life sciences industry. The combination of Integware and Kalypso’s strong presence in life sciences and the breadth of offerings we provide together creates a strong differentiator that will allow us to compete and win against larger firms.

How do your business views align with Kalypso’s culture and values?

As a CEO of Integware, my role was not only to lead the business, but also to be the Chief Culture Officer.  At Integware, our core values were: Integrity, Courage, and Leadership.  We also had a fourth value we called UPR, or Unconditional Positive Respect.  We spent a lot of time selecting our values, defining what they meant, putting together an aligned code of conduct and integrating measures against the values in our hiring, conflict resolution, and evaluation processes.  I believe Kalypso’s values and culture line up very well with what we came up with at Integware.  A firm’s values and its commitment to them is the very foundation it’s built upon. 

What has been your favorite role throughout your career and why?

CEO of Integware. We had a great team, a compelling mission and vision, a core values culture, and we competed well in the marketplace. I also enjoyed having P&L responsibility; even when business was tough, there was always something to learn and the opportunity to create our own future.

How would your colleagues describe you?

  • Loves God, loves Marcie (wife of 28 years), his two children (Chloe and Colin), his two dogs (Bernie and Comet), and his friends.
  • Cares deeply about his colleagues and his community.
  • Loves the Cowboys (but not really Jerry Jones), the Colorado State University Rams and football in general.
  • Enjoys playing music.
  • Strives to build transformational companies with high core values, high value products, and sustainable wealth creation.
  • Encourages and mentors others.
  • Innovative. Willing to try new things, learn new tools and processes, build (and merge) businesses, take risks, own results and not fear failure.

What is your hidden talent?

Playing music. I play electric and upright (or double) bass. While in college, I had partial scholarships in jazz and classical music, performed a double bass concerto (the Dragonetti) with my university orchestra, and was the principal bassist with a semi-professional symphony. I also had the opportunity to go on the road with a band, but realized I didn’t want the lifestyle of a musician. Realistically, I also didn’t think I had enough talent. I still play regularly with a blues band called, The Blues DoGS (DoGS stands for “Disciples of God’s Son”), in Fort Collins. My wife and I are recently empty nesters and one of my dreams would be to practice and audition for the Fort Collins Symphony. But I won’t really be able to do that until I’m not required to travel for work. So for the present, I’ll just keep playing the blues - seems fitting, doesn’t it?

What is your most treasured possession?

A beautiful late 1800s railroad regulator wall clock that has been in my family for decades.  My maternal grandfather was a Vice President with the Burlington Railroad and the clock was originally located in a train station in west Texas. Conductors would set their pocket watches by this clock so trains stayed on schedule. It still keeps great time.

What is your most marked characteristic?

Drive. I’ve always been able to work hard for long periods of time. Sometimes it’s a blessing - other times, not so much.

What is your motto?

Honor God with all that you do. By grace alone, I am saved through the blood of Jesus so I fear not for my life or what goes on in the world.


Click here to learn more about the Integware and Kalypso merger.

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About the Authors

Chris Kay

Chris Kay

Chris brings 30 years of experience in R&D, product data management (PDM) and product lifecycle management (PLM) to Kalypso's clients.
More Viewpoints by Chris Kay

Reagan Pugh

Reagan Pugh

Reagan likes to watch, read and tell stories. He often wishes he was Batman - you know, grappling hooks.
More Viewpoints by Reagan Pugh

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