Our Team

The founding members of Cimarron have worked together for over 20 years. They have chosen to team up with individuals with shared interests and with whom they have tackled formative projects. The members of the group for the most part stepped into funds of funds investing from pursuits intended to support entrepreneurs.

Robert G. Heard

Robert is a Cimarron Managing Director and Founder. Over the past 20 years, he has founded 3 funds of funds and one direct fund. Robert is a pioneer in regional fund of funds and coauthored the National Governors’ Association study, “The Experience of States with Seed and Venture Capital.” He has served on the Advisory Committees of numerous private equity and venture capital funds and as a member of the National Advisory Council of the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer. Robert has an MBA from Northwestern University and a BA from the University of Oklahoma.

Michael A. Tharp

Mike is a Cimarron Managing Director and Founder. His career has focused on creating and managing investment programs for institutional investors. Prior to Cimarron, Mike was a Vice President and Private Equity Specialist for Prudential. Mike is a Chartered Financial Analyst and a member of the CFA Institute. He has served as the Program Chairman for the Institutional Limited Partners’ Association and as Board Member and Treasurer of the Council of Development Finance Agencies. Mike has an MBA from the University of Wisconsin and a BA from Southern Illinois University.

Mark Huston

Mark joined in 2004 as a Managing Director of Cimarron’s $38 million development fund in Oklahoma. He moved to the fund of funds team as the Iowa Portfolio Manager in 2008. In 2013 he took responsibility for accounts in Wyoming and North Dakota for Cimarron’s development affiliate. Mark is a former Director and President of the Council of Development Finance Agencies. His Masters of Public Administration is from Arizona State University and his BA from the University of Idaho.

Philip B. Heard

Phil joined Cimarron in 2008 as a Portfolio Manager to support fund investments and the firm’s cleantech research. He currently leads due diligence and deal sourcing. Phil’s earlier career focused on environmental science and health, including serving as the Health Advisor for the Maryland Department of the Environment. Phil holds an MD from the University of Oklahoma and took his residency at Johns Hopkins University. He holds a PhD from the University of Notre Dame.

Christina Kappaz

Christina has been a consultant with Cimarron since 2002. She focuses on due diligence and the Latin American market. Christina was the founding President of the Latin American Venture Capital Association. She coordinated Cimarron’s advisory work with the governments of Mexico and Colombia on the development of their fund of funds programs. Christina holds an MBA and a Masters of International Affairs from Columbia University and a BA from Dartmouth College.