Leondray D. Gholston
President and Co-Founder
Leondray D. Gholston is the President of ARES Innovations, LLC. a process improvement and solutions firm based in Denver, Colorado. He is responsible for the vision, direction, and overall strategic approach of ARES Innovations. Together with his partners Lena Kemnitz and Stacey Robinson, he designs, develops, and delivers Advanced Responsive Ethical Solutions and Innovations for our customers.
Mr. Gholston’s twenty six years of experience as a strategist, problem solver, and innovator in the National Defense Industry as well as various echelons of politics have prepared him for this challenging role.
Leondray is a veteran of the US Navy, having served with distinction in Naval Cryptology for nearly a decade. During his tenure, he began to analyze and implement timely fixes to broken and disjointed processes most notably in supply and operational readiness. For example, while stationed in San Diego, California he streamlined Direct Support supply operations for teams embarked with battle group commanders. His revamp of the supply process allowed operational teams to be fully equipped two years ahead of deployment. Later while stationed in Norfolk, Virginia, he took charge of operational training and instituted time and money saving measures. These measures standardized training, reduced overall training time, and improved the quality and consistency of the Atlantic Direct Support mission.
As a defense contractor, he has worked with, and for, some of the largest firms in the industry. He is known as a subject matter expert and a proven innovator. He has worked every phase of projects, from proposal to capture to program implementation. Most notably, he developed a plan to integrate six distinct operations into one cohesive production team. His plan resulted in an overall reduction in production time of nearly eighty percent, without an increase in budget or loss of productivity. He further reduced training and certification time for three operational positions from nineteen months to under ten months, with no loss of output or quality of product.
In addition to the military and defense industry, Leondray has been a leader in the realm of politics. He has helped candidates and campaigns craft and deliver messages that resonate and inspire. He has served on campaigns from city council to presidential elections. Alongside his campaign experience, he served a term as the Colorado Republican Committee Vice Chairman.
Leondray and his partners look forward to putting our experience and proven abilities to work for you, our customer.
Vice President, ARES Innovations
Lena Kemnitz is the Vice President of ARES Innovations, LLC. a process improvement and solutions firm based in Denver, Colorado. Lena is responsible for marketing, technology, and administration; as well as assisting with new business acquisition and providing expert solutions to our clients.
Lena’s career had humble beginnings in the retail industry. While living in Anchorage, Alaska, Lena began working for the Petrie Stores Corporation. In her time there, she quickly became the youngest store manager in that region for the chain. She oversaw sales targets, merchandising, loss prevention, training, and employee relations. It was here that Lena began to recognize her strength as a leader.
After moving to Denver, Colorado Lena worked for the Auto Services Division of a major U.S. banking institution. She quickly moved through the ranks to become a team manager. She led her team to achieve and exceed company targets. She was also instrumental in the formation of a specialized loss recovery department, which she also helped manage.
Later, Lena worked for a large mortgage company owned by a nationwide new-home builder. She assisted in a major corporate process change, resulting in her promotion to Operations Production Manager. Her role as OPM included liaising between nationwide field sales offices, and the loan officers and loan processors who worked for her. Reporting on performance and nuances of all loans in the pipeline. As the home sales professionals and managers were virtually blind to the loan process, this function was of extreme importance in the ultimate goal of getting buyers into their homes on time and satisfied. Lena also managed the operations for the loan officers and loan processors. She was instrumental in many other corporate changes and improvements, as she was a key member of the advisory team assisting the program manager. Giving input from the operations level for changes that would be best for the company, as well as her team.
Most recently, Lena worked for a small firm which specializes in overseeing the construction lending process for projects as small as home improvements, and full home remodeling – and larger projects including new home building, luxury estate building, and multi-million dollar corporate building projects. As well as project review and inspection services. It was here that Lena learned just how detrimental outdated and inefficient processes can be. Sometimes small companies lack the resources to usher in large changes to improve their business model. However, Lena’s strength is seeing the small issues, seeking out the leaks, and applying the most efficient fix – which is often easier, and more inexpensive than companies think. In fact, sometimes all it takes is a willingness to consider broader ideas on the part of the management and decision makers within a company.
One of the greatest dangers posed to any business is the thinking that things should be done a certain way – simply because that’s the way they have always been done. Lena brings her real world financial, operational, and management experience to ARES Innovations and to you, our customers.
Stacey M. Robinson
Vice President of Operations
Stacey M. Robinson is Vice President of Operations for ARES Innovations, LLC., a process improvement and business development consulting firm located in Denver, Colorado. Stacey leads the operations team in finding creative business solutions in a quickly changing market.
Mr. Robinson’s unique experience in diverse operations and his experience fixing struggling operations make him perfect for this role.
First, as an Asset Protection Manager for Wal-Mart he learned how to reduce the cost of doing business as it related to work place safety, internal theft, as well as anti-litigation measures in a corporate setting. He then moved into Operations with Wal-Mart as a Store Manager gaining valuable experience on how to improve processes in a dynamic setting.
After his tenure at Wal-Mart, he moved to Alice Springs Australia where he became the Group Merchandising Manager for LAE Supermarkets. As the Group Merchandising Manager, Mr. Robinson was responsible for six retail units. It was in this role that he learned how to operate in a small business environment lacking corporate structure. Stacey led his team to develop policies, and procedures that were consistent across all units, implemented a modern ordering system reducing man hours, improving in-stock, and increased sales throughout the group to erase budgeting shortfalls and improve operating capital to manageable levels.
After relocating to Denver, Colorado, Mr. Robinson set out to demonstrate his business expertise on his own, with the purchase of his first business. He purchased Europa Wine and Liquor where he applied his skills for outstanding results. He optimized sales by reformatting the store for an improved customer experience, developed a highly motivated staff who were trained to focus on their customers, and went to work reducing expenses and cutting profit loss. In just two years, he doubled the sales performance of the store. Realizing that he had outgrown the store and needed to find a bigger location he sold Europa Wine and Liquor for three times what he had paid for it.
It was this experience combined with his unique perspective as well as his desire to help others succeed that make Stacey perfect for his role with ARES Innovations.