Headshot of Catherine Kunst

Catherine Kunst, Acting Executive Director & Chief Operating Officer

Catherine Kunst joined the SIPA team in July of 2013, where she serves as the Acting Executive Director & Chief Operating Officer. Catherine’s responsibilities include the daily operation of SIPA, its projects, financial and budgetary controls, vendor partnerships, audit processes, and assisting the executive director in other aspects including, but not limited to, customer services, business development, financial analysis and new service development. Catherine is a PMP certified scientist and conducted research on Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis for more than a decade before going to business school. Catherine received her BS from Case Western Reserve University, her PhD from Emory University and her MBA from the University of Colorado Denver. Before joining the SIPA team, Catherine diverse experiences included running a basic biomedical research institute, an academic entrepreneurship center, and a research and development authority. 

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Jerrod J. (JR) Roth, Chief Technology Officer

Jerrod (JR) Roth joined the SIPA team in September 2019, where he serves as the Chief Technology Officer.  JR’s responsibilities include the management of the SIPA technology portfolio, strategic planning for new technology offerings, customer relationship management, compliance with technology standards and assisting the executive director with other business operations tasks.  JR is certified PMP and received his BASc in Project Management from Northwest Florida State College and his MBA from Colorado State University. Before joining the SIPA team, JR spent 20 years in IT project management in the United States Air Force. After retirement, he joined General Dynamics Information Technology as a Program Manager for a managed identity service offering.  JR has held roles at the state of Colorado, first as the Director of the Project Management Office at the Colorado Department of Revenue, then as the Director of Enterprise Portfolio and Project Governance at the Governor’s Office of Information Technology.

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Kara Finch, Contract Manager & Legislative Liaison

Kara Finch joined SIPA in August of 2019.  As the Contract Manager and Legislative Liaison, she represents SIPA in legislative matters, tracks legislation that impacts the mission of SIPA and the customers it serves, and negotiates and manages software and services contracts. An Indiana native, Kara received her bachelor's degree from Purdue University, majoring in Spanish before eventually pursuing a law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School.  After being sworn into the Indiana State Bar Association, Kara practiced law for a short period of time before beginning a career in procurement.  Prior to joining SIPA, she worked in public and higher education procurement with experience in the areas of purchasing, strategic procurement, supplier relationship management, contract negotiations, travel and expense management, and procurement software.

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Beth Justice, Sales & Marketing Director

Beth Justice joined SIPA in June 2015 as the Sales and Marketing Director that directs and develops SIPA's marketing and sales activities and objectives tied to culture, values, business initiatives and revenue generation. Beth oversees market research and designs marketing plans for products and services. Her goal is to provide SIPA customers user-friendly and cost-effective technology products and services to enhance communication between constituents and state and local government communities. With a background in marketing, communications, business development and global sales, Beth was vital in creating rapid growth and awareness for the Bard Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado Denver. She also played an integral role in launching a Bard Center student startup, Nokero, whose mission is to help provide light to the 1.4 billion people around the world with no access to electricity. Beth has a bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University in business administration.

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Dianne Edwards, Office Manager & Bookkeeper

Dianne Edwards is an alumna of U.C.L.A. with a degree in english and she studied business and accounting at U.S.C.  She has worked in international transportation at APL Limited within the finance, customer service, office administration and human resource departments.  As controller for one of the largest marine terminals at the Port of Los Angeles she worked with budgets, contracting, accounts payable and accounts receivable.  As office manager for APL’s U.S. customer service office she had the oversight of facilities and purchasing functions.  Recently, she worked extensively in collections for U.S. government receivables incurred during the war in Afghanistan.  She joined the SIPA team in July of 2015.  At SIPA, Dianne is responsible for accounts receivable, accounts payable, assisting with customer service, administrative duties and creating board meeting minutes and agendas.  

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Mike Thorp, Operations Assistant

Mike Thorp joined SIPA in November 2019 and serves as its Operations Assistant. He is responsible for assisting executive management, supporting internal operations, Salesforce management, event support, generating reports, and preparing service quotes. Mike’s prior roles include working as an Operations Director for a wide variety of organizations across the country and has an extensive background in HR, IT, vendor relations, supply logistics, process iteration, event management, and facilities support.