Be The Entrepreneur Bootcamp™ participants will discover entrepreneurial mindsets, turn ideas into opportunities, and build business models aimed at launch. Join us to learn from industry experts, entrepreneurs, research scientists, academics, business mentors, and coaches at the Palouse Knowledge Corridor’s Be the Entrepreneur Bootcamp, June 12-16 2016 in Moscow, Idaho, and Pullman, Washington, and on the campuses of the University of Idaho and Washington State University. Contact us for more information.
Applications are now open.
Francis Benjamin, Be the Entrepreneur Bootcamp™ Co-chair
Francis is the Washington State University representative, past co-chair of the Palouse Knowledge Corridor, and current co-chair of the Be The Entrepreneur Bootcamp™. He came to the region in 1979 to attend the University of Idaho and now engages his engineering, psychology, theology, and political science degrees to design psychological research experiments which answer relevant complex questions. His Political Interaction research lab works to discovery ways to improve the current political process. Francis has served on Pullman’s City Council since 2003 where he specializes in Economic Development. He is the past president of the Southeast Washington Economic Development Association and current president of the Association of Washington Cities.
Alex Navarro, Be the Entrepreneur Bootcamp™ Co-chair
Alex Navarro is the Vice President and Financial Center Manager for Zions Bank in Moscow ID and is Co-Chair of the Be The Entrepreneur Bootcamp. Alex Navarro’s has been a Banker since 1990, an Entrepreneur and served as the Executive Director for the University of Alaska Anchorage Small Business Development Center. Alex’s primary focus and expertise is on Small Business Lending through the US Small Business Administration 7(a) lending programs. Alex has managed SBA departments for bank’s in North Idaho for 8 years and thoroughly understands the nuances and complexities of the SBA 7(a) programs. As an entrepreneur he is the co-founder of New Sun Adventures, a tourism business in Coeur d’Alene, ID. Alex spends his time between Coeur d’Alene and Moscow operating his business and helping other businesses with banking and lending services throughout North Idaho. Alex received his BSBA in Finance from the University of Denver.
Gene Merrell, Be the Entrepreneur Bootcamp™ Past Co-chair
Gene is Associate Vice President for Economic Development and Chief Technology Transfer Officer at the University of Idaho. Gene oversees the Office of Technology Transfer, which is responsible for the management of the UI’s intellectual property portfolio. He serves on the Clearwater Economic Development Associations Board of Directors, Business Development and Finance Council and its Operations and Finance Council. Gene is the UI representative on the Board of Directors of the American Manufacturers Network and the PKC. Prior to joining the University, he was Vice President for Research of the Process Chemicals and Energy Chemicals subsidiaries of BetzDearborn, Inc. Gene was with the company for 19 years and is listed as inventor on seven U.S. patents. He was also co-founder of Analytical Laboratories, Inc., a small independent service organization providing consultation and testing on environmental issues. Gene received his B.A. in Chemistry and Physics from Houston Baptist University and Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Washington State University.
Tom Lamar, Palouse Knowledge Corridor Co-Chair
Tom Lamar was elected to the Latah County Commission, District 2 in November 2014, and began his term in January 2015. Lamar previously served on the Moscow City Council from June 2007 to January 2015.
Since 1990, Lamar has been the executive director of Palouse-Clearwater Environmental Institute, a broad-based conservation organization and Nature Center based in Moscow. In that role he has worked with many Latah County landowners on stream restoration projects on their properties. He is a founding member of the Latah Trail Foundation, and taught Conservation Leadership for six years at the University of Idaho.
Lamar holds a master’s degree from Washington State University and a bachelor’s from the University of Delaware. He has lived in Latah County since 1985. He helped raise three talented daughters, all of whom graduated from Moscow High School and are alumnae of the University of Idaho.
Nathan Weller, Palouse Knowledge Corridor Co-Chair
Marie Dymkoski, Palouse Knowledge Corridor Past Co-Chair
As the Executive Director of the Pullman Chamber of Commerce, Marie is responsible for a full range of activities, including coordination of the program of work; organizational structure and procedures; motivation of volunteering; income and expenditures; maintenance of membership; employment, training and supervision of staff; interpretation of policy; and long and short range planning. Marie enjoys the work of the chamber and believes that the Palouse is the best place to live, work and do business. Marie is a board member of the Palouse Knowledge Corridor and has lived in the town of Palouse, Washington for 25 years.
Robin Fahle Ohlgren, Palouse Knowledge Corridor Past Co-chair
Robin Ohlgren is an organizational strategist and entrepreneur with a background in community-based economic development. She is the owner of Robin Ohlgren Consulting LLC and and COO of KeyLock Solutions, a dot.com data management system for land-use professionals. Robin currently serves on the board of Backyard Harvest, is a founding member of the Palouse-Clearwater Food Coalition and serves on the Inland Northwest Community Foundation’s Palouse Region/Pullman Community Advisory Committee. Robin has traveled extensively, having served in the Peace Corps (Paraguay); and lived abroad with her two children in Tonga, Nepal, Jamaica and Cambodia. She has been a resident of the Palouse since 1978.
George Tanner, Be the Entrepreneur Bootcamp™ Curriculum Chair
George is Director of Idaho Entrepreneurs and professor of entrepreneurship at the University of Idaho. His expertise, research, and service activities revolve around startups, community development, entrepreneurial readiness, and social entrepreneurship. George Tanner received his academic credentials from West Virginia University and the University of Missouri. He has been actively involved in regional innovation and helping to build the Palouse entrepreneurial ecosystem.
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