Chair and Co-Founder
Rory Brown serves as chair of Sparrow, which he co-founded. Rory is also a managing partner of Nicklaus Brown & Co., an investment management firm that is focused on the growth and development of their portfolio of companies.
It was the unique intersection of medicine and technology that initially drew Rory to support the Sparrow mission. Changing the patient outcomes through the use of technology is what convinced him to become a key stakeholder.
Both investment management and technology are visible threads in Rory’s career, including a role as chair and founder of one of the very first internet banks. Additionally, Rory has served as the chair of a $65 billion institutional investment management platform and the chair of a multi billion dollar SEC-registered investment advisor.
In 2002, Ernst & Young honored Rory with their designation as Financial Services Entrepreneur of the Year. He has launched several finance and technology companies that have made the Inc. 500 list of fastest growing companies.
Rory earned a Bachelor of Science from Cal Poly Humboldt and also received a Master of Business Administration from the University of Charleston. Rory is also a Certified Public Accountant.
Rory resides in Charleston, South Carolina, where he and his wife Judy spend their free time on the water, either boating, wakeboarding, or riding an e-foil.
CEO and Co-Founder
Gabriel Apodaca serves as CEO of Sparrow, which he co-founded. Gabriel also serves as CEO for Nearshore Technology, an international custom software development company with offices throughout the United States and Latin America which he co-founded in 2011.
Nearshore’s healthcare clients were what initially spurred Gabriel’s awareness of the singular business hurdles that the industry faced. The traditional software development life cycle being used in healthcare was stifling innovation and crippling maintenance budgets. Gabriel recognized that it was the perfect time for a product like Sparrow to revolutionize how work gets done.
Gabriel has a track record of helping develop and run everything from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. At Oracle Corporation, he oversaw three development and implementation practices and later managed Oracle’s Southwest and Pacific Rim Regions. He served as senior manager of KPMG’s Information, Communication and Entertainment (ICE) practice and was the executive vice president of a technology company with operations in US and Mexico.
Gabriel received a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from National University.
Today, Gabriel enjoys biking, golf, running, and fly-fishing with his wife Sheri and his son Gabriel around his home in Atlanta, Georgia. In his spare time, you might find him shopping for headwear to add to his expanding hat collection.
President and Co-Founder
Paul Robke serves as President of Sparrow, which he co-founded with insights from over 25 years in both software and product development, specifically his unique perspectives on navigating the unique challenges faced by healthcare IT and the medical device field, Paul is the visionary behind the development of the Sparrow Software Automation Studio.
Prior to Sparrow, Paul ran a 500 person team of technology professionals at Becton Dickinson. Being responsible for the creation, deployment, and evolution of products used in hospitals and healthcare systems worldwide gave him a unique perspective on the challenges of innovation, delivery and maintenance related to medical device installations globally.
Paul’s passion for innovation also inspires him to serve on the boards of several healthcare startups and provide mentorship for professional clinicians and subject experts who are interested in better understanding product development and activation strategy.
Paul attended Southern Illinois University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. His dedication to ongoing education has led him to complete several professional programs focused on innovation at University of California, Berkeley.
Paul currently lives in Austin, Texas with his wife Kelly, who is on Sparrow’s board. Both are active in causes that support mental health awareness and those touched by autism.
Keith’s perspective on building scalable technology platforms that solve client problems is invaluable to Sparrow. His deep experience with the executives of some of the world’s leading companies helped Sparrow launch a scalable software automation studio that solves real world problems.
Keith joined Accenture in 1986 and was promoted to partner in 1996, where he remained, ushering them through their IPO. During his 35-year tenure with the firm, he held a progression of leadership roles around the world, working in 28 countries. He retired from Accenture in 2020.
In late 2020, Keith founded Abbotts Drive Advisory, a firm committed to helping those on boards or in C-level roles capture opportunities enabled by the digital revolution.
Keith has 30 years of experience in the technology industry and has a passion for innovation. His long-standing trust-based relationships with many of the world’s most respected organizations stem from a recognized track record for collaboration and his ability to deliver measurable, sustainable business results. In fact, he directly contributed to establishing and sustaining seven of Accenture’s Diamond Clients (clients valued at $100M or more).
Keith’s philanthropic work includes involvement with The First Tee of Charleston, Atlanta’s High Museum of Art, the Network of Executive Women, and Consult Your Community at Georgia Tech, where he was the founding sponsor. He also was the founding sponsor of the Last Mile Partnership, an innovative venture with the goal to more effectively distribute medical supplies in Africa and which involves The Coca-Cola Company, the Gates Foundation, Yale University, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and Accenture.
Keith attended University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree.
Keith and Julie live in Atlanta, Georgia. Keith loves music and enjoys any sporting event that he can win against any of his three grown children.
David Hewitt serves on the board of Sparrow, where he provides invaluable expertise as a strategist and business advisor identifying emerging technology trends to ensure Sparrow is focused on solving the innovation and maintenance problems encountered by its customers. He is also the chief strategy officer for Goods & Services, an award-winning brand identity and experience strategy agency.
David has 20 years of combined experience in defining business goals and evolving underlying business models in order to reach them. His deep knowledge of the insurance industry is extremely helpful to Sparrow, however he brings expertise from his work guiding some of the world’s best known insurance companies.
David launched a successful global mobility practice at Publicis Sapient, the digital transformation agency. As their group vice president of strategy and executive creative director, he managed global accounts across numerous industries, such as financial services, retail, consumer packaged goods, and technology. He is a Cannes Lion award recipient and a frequent conference speaker at industry events.
David has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Northern Illinois University.
David lives in Atlanta, Georgia with his wife, Sujaree and his children. His family runs several of Atlanta’s best loved Thai restaurants.
Gary Nicklaus is a managing partner of Nicklaus Brown & Co. and holds board positions with several of the firm’s investment companies. Gary is also vice chairman of Camden Capital, a multibillion dollar SEC Registered Investment Advisor (RIA).
His participation in securing Sparrow’s success is one part of Gary’s larger efforts to impact healthcare and make it more accessible to children. He actively participates in the family’s passion project, The Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, which is one of the largest children's hospitals in the United States. Gary is co-chairman of Children’s Healthcare Charity, Inc., main beneficiary of the Honda Classic PGA Tour event, which raised a record-setting $6.45 million in 2022.
Gary is also a commissioner of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. He is a former vice chair of the Nicklaus Companies, where he oversaw principal investments and designed many highly regarded golf courses throughout the US, Spain, and UK.
Gary attended The Ohio State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and was an All American in Golf.
Gary and Joy live in Tequesta, Florida. They enjoy spending time with their children, fishing, playing pickleball and golf, or diving in the Bahamas.
Kelly Robke’s invaluable subject matter expertise helps guide ongoing product development and associated client services provides the Sparrow board with a clinical perspective. Her understanding of communities of clinical practice, strategy, policies, and medical device and system regulation have been key to helping Sparrow intensely focus on developing products that improve patient outcomes.
Kelly’s focus has long been the intersection of healthcare and technology. She holds two patents for medication management devices and possesses years of leadership experience in clinical research, medtech, and strategic clinical practice initiatives. She has been a change agent for myriad organizations, including MD Anderson Cancer Center, Pfizer, and Becton Dickinson.
Currently, Kelly is associate vice president and system chief nursing informatics officer at Ascension Healthcare, one of the largest ministry-based healthcare organizations in the US. Earlier in her career, she was a patient care provider for high risk obstetric and oncology patients at Atlanta’s Piedmont Hospital and Memorial Hermann/University of Texas Health System-Houston.
She holds an MBA from the University of Houston and received a Master of Science degree from University of Southern California School of Pharmacy (summa cum laude) in drug and device regulatory science. Kelly received a Doctorate in Nursing Practice degree from Vanderbilt University with a focus on executive leadership (cum laude and honors). She is a member of the Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honor Society and the HIMSS Global Nursing Informatics Committee.
Kelly and her husband Paul live in Austin, Texas. She enjoys golf, tennis and boating in her free time and is passionate about mentoring through education. She also is an established thought leader and speaker for events such as the HIMSS Global Conference, the American Organization of Nurse Leaders, and JP Morgan Healthcare Conference.