Casey Cowell was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. He graduated from the University of
Chicago receiving an A.B. degree in Economics. In 1976, at the age of 23, he co-founded U.S.
Robotics, Inc. He served as Chairman and CEO throughout the company’s history culminating in
its merger into 3COM Corporation in 1997, the second largest merger ever in High Tech at that
time. Initially a $200 post-college start-up, U.S. Robotics, Inc. became the world’s largest
manufacturer of modems and related products that connected computers to the global telephone
network. USR was the leading player in every major form factor globally. Its technologies and
products included desktop modems, internal PC cards, OEM products for PC manufacturers and
massive rack-mount systems connecting online providers including America Online, Prodigy and
IBM Global Networks. In addition to a broad array of other products and technologies, USR also
brought to market the Palm Pilot, the first highly successful handheld organizer. Cowell has received numerous industry honors including being named one of the 25 Top Managers
in the world by Business Week in 1995 and Executive of the Year in 1996 by Crain’s Chicago Business. Today Cowell is an active investor, advisor and board member in a broad range of companies with
an emphasis on start-ups and early stage companies in the areas of technology, the internet, social
media and healthcare. Cowell has long-standing family ties to the Traverse City area. In 1991 his family moved from the
Chicago area to Elk Rapids (near Traverse City) to raise their pre-school age children in a smaller-
community environment. He is a long-time supporter of the Interlochen Center for the Arts. He
serves on the Board of Trustees of Traverse City based Munson Healthcare Network, Interlochen
Center for the Arts, Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities and is active in many civic and
philanthropic organizations and activities.
Lowell “Jep” Gruman
Jep creates optimal strategies for the BC portfolio of start-ups to drive value and success. His collaborative leadership style, cross-cultural IQ, extensive background in finance, and accreditation in governance allows him to quickly assess industry markets, talent and opportunities. Using market research as a starting point, he helps position companies with spot-on strategy and well-governed transaction integrity. He brings 30 years of senior executive management in investment banking. His efforts led to the explosive growth of businesses in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Korea, Philippines and Singapore for Citibank, H.J. Heinz Company, and Oaktree Capital Management. He has served as director for numerous companies and organizations including those in the Boomerang Catapult portfolio. With a passion for the arts and entrepreneurs, Jep is a member of the Board of Trustees of Interlochen Center for the Arts and actively engages in The International Affairs Forum, The National Writers Series, and TCNewTech. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College. In his spare time, Jep and his wife Mary enjoy golf, hosting friends for dinner, and time visiting their grown children spread out across the country. With a yearning to bring young professionals (including his own kids) back to the Traverse City area, Jep is our mission evangelist.
Chief Financial Officer
The Flint water crisis, Benton Harbor budget deficit, and Grand Traverse County’s $60 million pension debt —these are the type of challenges where Jody has stepped up—the toughest ones. As a leader with vision towards wholesale transformation, she has helped stabilize financially distressed municipal governments, creating protective protocols and financial plans necessary to propel them towards future prosperity. In addition, Jody is an experienced finance and business professional with a proven track record in private corporate and non-profit organizations. She serves as a founding board member and President-Elect of Impact 100 TC and Treasurer of Goodwill Industries of Northern Michigan. Jody holds a BS in Agribusiness and a Post Baccalaureate Certificate in Accounting from Arizona State University. Helping Boomerang Catapult’s portfolio companies launch with sound financial strategies is her sweet spot. And doing this work in Traverse City is icing on the cake. She considers this town and region a running and hiking paradise.
Chief of Staff
Emily brings extensive experience in research and higher education to Boomerang Catapult. Raised in Suttons Bay, she is a graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy. She holds a BA in Classical Archaeology from the University of Michigan, a Master of Philosophy degree in Classics from the University of Cambridge, and a PhD in Mediterranean Archaeology from the University of Pennsylvania where her research focused on communities — their histories and identities — in pre-Roman Sicily and Sardinia. Having worked for years (mostly abroad) as an academic and field archaeologist, Emily’s “boomerang” status is a point of pride: she counts herself very lucky to have returned to northern Michigan and to be a part of Boomerang’s initiatives in this community. Emily lives in Traverse City with her family — they spend a lot of time at the neighborhood park these days.