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Who we are

The Aware Services story begins with a group of caring and skilled individuals that set out to help non-profit organizations by solving real problems by bringing their entrepreneurial expertise, financing abilities and management skills to work on new ideas heretofore undeveloped. The goal is to not only help non-profits, but to create solutions that address their concerns.

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Making a difference

In the first meeting with the Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM), it was evident that collectively, a solution could be created that could make a difference by bridging the communication gap that exists within the community.

All too often, we hear news stories of when police encounters with vulnerable individuals do not turn out well and created further tension and distrust within the community. By working closely with AuSM and law enforcement leaders, we have created a new product (VITALS) that helps solve this tragic problem.

VITALS provides early notice of vulnerability to the police officer via a beacon/smartphone app. This information is provided by the caregiver and can be updated as often as desired and is stored in a secure cloud environment.

As the police chief of a large metropolitan area near Minneapolis said, “This is fantastic! Count me in!”

Aware Services Key People

Jim Dolan

Rare is the venture capitalist/investment banker who has actually built a company. And then you find somebody like Jim Dolan. Now with Cherry Tree, Jim is on the investment banking side of the street after twenty plus years in company trenches.

Most entrepreneurs can remember their first venture experience. For Jim, it was as a 9-year-old, when he turned his arts-and-craft project into a little business, with his younger, cuter sisters as a sales force and his friends as low cost producers. “We sold to everyone in our 40-some house neighborhood, but the business folded because my little sisters couldn’t cross the busy streets that surrounded our subdivision,” he says today. “We saturated our market.”

From there, Jim went to University of Oklahoma and leveraged his journalism degree into an executive role with Rupert Murdoch’s burgeoning media company. He was soon buying companies and happened to meet Tony Christianson, a venture capitalist in Minneapolis, who met his match in Dolan. The result: the Dolan Company, a business-to-business media company that soon grew to over $300 million in revenue and an NYSE listing.

GL Hoffman

A brainstorming group for non-profits? G.L. wanted to find a way to leverage the many talented people he’s met over the years while leading various organizations and wrangle their skills and experience to help the non-profit community.

“I simply started asking my personal contacts to get involved to help a wide range of non-profits. I know they have time constraints, so I asked for only two hours of their time. I assumed goodwill, that they wanted to help. And they do.”

G.L. is a serial entrepreneur and venture investor/operator/mentor. He successfully led two businesses from founding to public offering. Now he’s taking his restless energy to non-profits.

Steve Mase

Before “big data” made the news Steve Mase was using it to create company after company. His last company, Dexma, Inc. was sold in 2010. It developed and operated the largest digital interchange in the mortgage industry and was instrumental in growing one company from $600 billion in loan originations to well over $2.4 trillion. 

Now, he is hard at work as managing principal at Sa Colobra LLC, where he and his team hope to bring new solutions to the health care world. “So many opportunities,” he says. “Information and data will drive incredible advancements.”

Steve relaxes by riding his bike all over the world. A common destination? “Anywhere with hills and mountains, like the Seychelles.” When he was younger, he played competitive rugby. “You know what they say,” he laughs. ‘It takes leather balls to play rugby,’ but I would never say it that way.”

Jonah Weinberg

As the Executive Director of the Autism Society of Minnesota, Jonah has been a driving force in making VITALS a reality.

With nearly two decades of leadership experience with nonprofit and public sector organizations across the US, and internationally, his experience working across a range of issues and sectors is invaluable and his passion to help others is unmatched.

Officer Rob Zink

Rob has been a St. Paul police officer since 1988 and has always gone out of his way to make a difference and help people. Having two kids with autism, Rob has a passion and commitment to help individuals and families that live every day with the challenges of having a disability.

Rob has been training St. Paul offices about interactions with people who have autism and works with families to improve contacts with police. With the help and support of the command staff, Rob created the CARE unit where he and other officers follow up with the family of a young person with autism after they have a call with police. Because of his hard work and passion to help others, Rob was awarded the Officer of the Year award in 2016.

Rob has been instrumental in the creation and deployment of VITALS with his leadership, insights and drive.

Want to Learn more?

Contact us if you’re interested in using Vitals or learning more about our life-saving technology.

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