David Abell

Bookmark and Share

David Abell ’89 -- The Long and Winding Road

This industrious alumnus is on a wild ride as his exciting startup, which boasts multiple lasers on a single chip, is poised to take the market by storm.

By Donna Parker


David Abell"This is a really exciting opportunity for me!" says David Abell '89, referring to his role as COO and chief legal officer for TriLumina Corporation, a company dedicated to revolutionizing the optical free space wireless networking and communications markets.

David's arrival at TriLumina evolved from a diverse career path. "Relationships build and grow over time, and you never know where they will lead you," he explains. His journey began post graduation. Armed with degrees in business administration and biochemistry and newly married to a fellow Trinity student, David moved to Albuquerque and worked in municipal finance. When the dot.com boom beckoned, he was heavily recruited by Dallas companies. After accepting a prime offer, he soon found himself in a Haliburton boardroom across the table from Dick Cheney. His office mate was Harriet Meyer, who became general counsel for President George W. Bush. Other stints included representing an online gaming company and, as a post-grad student, earning his J.D. in law from SMU.

"These were great experiences, but by then, my wife had moved back to New Mexico with our son, so I flew back and forth every other weekend for six years to see my child. It was tough and tiresome, and I wanted to be much more involved in his life including coaching his ball teams," says David.

After several years in Dallas, David returned to Albuquerque and picked up where he'd left off years earlier with the same attorneys he worked with nearly 20 years ago. "It's kind of fun," he says. With his network of relationships firmly in place, David ultimately found himself at TriLumina, a startup that recently attracted enough venture capital to launch in the open market.

"You have to be passionate about what you do in the entrepreneurial business,'" says David. "The hours are long, but really this particular job is not only my work but also my fun," he laughs, "even though I used to go mountaineering in Peru!"

Now remarried with a young daughter, David remains close to his son. He just visited the U.S. Naval Academy, which his grown son will attend in the fall.

Reflecting on his own college experience, David says Trinity offered him the chance to explore many areas that prepared him for the twists and turns his life has taken.

"The leadership on campus was so inspiring. I spent a lot of time with Reverend Raymond Judd, former University chaplain, who had a really strong impact on my life. He was a great, caring person to many of us on campus. Also, former University President Ron Calgaard and Dean Coleen Grissom, department of English, created a great environment for learning and growing."

Thanks to the technical background as well as the extensive business knowledge he gained at Trinity, he says, I feel highly confident and competent and that is extremely valuable."

You may reach David at david@trilumina.com.

Story posted: May 2013