About David

Inspired by success; driven by radical innovation

David joined Northern Light in July of 1996, as employee number 18. He describes that phase as a time when “there were 17 engineers and me in a basement.” Several years later, it was David who led an employee group in purchasing Northern Light from its corporate parent in 2003.

Under David’s leadership, Northern Light has been called “a professional researchers dream” by Forbes magazine, and has won many industry awards for outstanding products including: “Top 100 Companies That Matter in Knowledge Management” – KMWorld magazine and “Web Business Award for Online Excellence” – CIO magazine

David is the inventor of Northern Light’s technology for the automated extraction of meaning from research documents, for which Northern Light received a patent in January 2011, and author of “Teaching Search Engines to Interpret Meaning,” published in the Proceedings of the IEEE in April 2011.

David after hours

David is an internationally-competitive saber fencer. He won the U.S. National Championship in his fencing age category for both 2011 and 2013, and he won the World Championship (earning the Gold Medal) in 2013.

When not busy “hitting people with swords” (his words), David is a professional-level race car driver with 25 years of car racing experience. In 2013, David won the Global GT division championship of the Trans Am sports car racing series in his Porsche GT3 race car.

David is also a passionate amateur musician. One of his compositions is, naturally, “Northern Light”, inspired by our namesake, the clipper ship Northern Light, and by our company. As he says, “I tried to write a piece that suggests both the high technology of a clipper ship and the lovely elegance of a search engine.” You can listen to it here.

When absolutely forced to sit still, David has been known to write haiku about cheese. Consider this selection from his work:

An aggressive grin / the cheese just sits there smirking / knowing I will crack.

It is never, ever boring in the halls Northern Light.

David before Northern Light
  • Cofounder and CEO of Spinnaker Software, which he led from inception to NASDAQ-listed public company (He prefers to enumerate his three years as the CEO of a public company as “12 quarters.”)
  • Consultant and manager for the Boston Consulting Group, running teams working with global companies on issues of corporate strategy
  • Cofounder and Principal Vannevar Management, which provided merger and acquisition consulting and financing assistance to high technology ventures
  • Engineer for Olin Corporation in the chemical industry

David has an industrial engineering degree from Georgia Tech (from which he received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2002) and an MBA with High Distinction from the Harvard Business School.

Speaking engagements

David is an accomplished speaker on the topics of market intelligence, strategic research portals, business research content and search technology as well as managing and extracting maximum value from licensed market research across an enterprise. Email Sheri Larsen to book David for your next meeting or event.