Assistant Professor (Lecturer)
During his career Taft has been instrumental in the dramatic growth of a number of successful companies. Currently, Taft is exploring teaching entrepreneurship at the University of Utah through involving students in the actual operations of start-up businesses. Until recently Taft was president of TaskEasy – a dual sided market place for exterior maintenance services. As the co-founder of Oakley Networks – a security software company providing solutions for the government and corporate market, Taft provided the leadership to take Oakley from concept to revenue in less than twelve months. From inception in 2001 to the sale of the company in 2007 to Raytheon, Oakley generated more that $75 million of revenue. Oakley continues to make a significant contribution to our country’s national security. Prior to founding Oakley, Taft was a managing partner of Alta Capital Management, a Registered Investment Advisor, managing assets for institutions and high net-worth investors. During his five-year tenure with Alta Taft revitalized the firm by recruiting a talented team and growing revenue by more than 220%. Earlier in his career, Taft was vice president of Richter &Co. and Cerberus Partners, an investment banking boutique and distressed securities hedge fund.
While with Cerberus, Taft served as a member of the board of Harvest Foods and oversaw a major restructuring and divestiture plan for the company. During graduate school, Taft worked as a managing consultant for a not-for-profit firm that helped minority-owned small businesses in the New York metropolitan area. Taft and his wife Mary Jane are the proud parents of four daughters and are active in numerous civic and philanthropic causes. Taft served for six years on the University of Utah Board of Trustees. Taft earned an MBA from New York University and a BA from Brigham Young University.