MechSE alum Caruso is Engineering convocation speaker
Dan Caruso, the chairman and CEO of Zayo Group Holdings, Inc., will deliver the keynote address at Engineering Graduation Convocation on Saturday. Caruso earned a BS in mechanical engineering in 1986 from Illinois and an MBA from the University of Chicago. He grew up in Glenwood, Illinois, and graduated from Homewood Flossmoor High School.
Zayo is a global provider of communications infrastructure that provides mission-critical bandwidth to the world’s most impactful companies, fueling the innovations that are transforming our society. As founder of the business in 2007, Caruso has led the company from startup to IPO to a company with a multi-billion-dollar equity value.
In addition to Zayo, Caruso has been part of two other fiber startups that have eclipsed valuations of $10 billion. He first joined MFS Communications, a pioneering company competing with the Bell system during the initial commercialization of the Internet. He then became a founding executive at Level 3 Communications and served in a variety of strategic and technical leadership roles during his tenure, including oversight of engineering, construction, operations, and marketing.
He began his career at Illinois Bell/Ameritech and prior to launching Zayo, Caruso was the President and CEO of ICG Communications, where he led the take-private buyout in 2004. In 2006, ICG was sold, which yielded a return of approximately 25x the $8.7M investment.
He is an investor in several high-impact Colorado companies including Galvanize and Secure Set. He helped launch Envysion, a software, video surveillance, and analytics provider, where he served as the company’s chairman from 2006 to 2013. Previously, Caruso invested in the Colorado companies Datavail and New Global Telecom as well as the European telecom providers euNetworks and GTS Central Europe.
He is an avid supporter of Colorado’s and Chicago’s entrepreneurial communities and is particularly interested in the intersection between for-profit impact investing in inclusion and entrepreneurship. He serves on the board of University of Chicago’s Polsky Center, Chancellor’s Strategic Advisory Council at CU Boulder and the University of Denver’s Board of Trustees.
Caruso was the original steering committee chairman for the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network and supported Startup Colorado from its inception. He supports Endeavor Global, CU’s New Venture Challenge, Greenhouse Scholars and the University of Chicago’s New Venture Challenge. In 2015, he and his wife Cindy established the Caruso Family Foundation to inspire and support entrepreneurship, advance knowledge, and empower healthier lives.
Caruso has received the Chicago Booth Distinguished Alumni Award for Entrepreneurship (2016), Bob Newman Lifetime Achievement Award (2013), Colorado Governor’s Corporate Citizenship Medal for his leadership at Zayo (2015), Boulder Chamber of Commerce Industry Leadership Award (2015), Gold Stevie Winner for Executive of the Year in the Telecommunications (2015), Boulder Chamber of Commerce Esprit Award (2010), and the Communications Technology Professionals Communications Executive of the Year (2009). He was also an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2009 regional winner and 2011 national finalist.
In 2015, he was a recipient of the MechSE Distinguished Alumni Award.