Cynthia Cole has had a rare level of legal and business experience. Aside from being a former general counsel to three companies, Cole has also taken a turn in the chief executive’s chair. But she got that latter role through tragedy.

On May 25, 2016, Spectra7 Microsystems Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tony Stelliga, 55, suffered a heart attack and died. One day later, Cole, who had served as Spectra7’s general counsel since December 2015, was named co-interim CEO along with Chief Financial Officer Dave Mier. She served in that role for four months, and during her short tenure, she delivered financial results presentations, went to investor conferences, fielded difficult questions and steered the company into a year of exceptional growth. On March 9, 2017, Spectra7 announced its fiscal results for 2016. The microchip developer posted revenue of $8.6 million, a 104 percent increase from the year prior.

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