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 in Moscow, Idaho, and Pullman, Washington, and on the campuses of the University of Idaho and Washington State University. Contact us for more information.
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.
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
Nathan Weller is the Pullman City Council representative on the PKC board. He is interested in the unique possibilities of cooperation between businesses, government, and various organizations in a region with cross border universities, a regional airport, and supportive cities and counties. Born in Pullman, Washington, Nathan has had the opportunity to travel and work in a variety of industries including technology, construction, agriculture and research in locations ranging from Europe, Australia, and Mexico, and now brings that experience and knowledge back to his community and region. Nathan attended Washington State University and earned a B.S. in Psychology and graduated from the University of Idaho with a Masters degree in Bioregional Planning and Community Design. He built a small business in 2007 at the age of 25 and was elected to serve Pullman City Council the following year. Through his travels, work, and school he has gained a wide base of knowledge and friends in many areas and is focused on helping the region that has raised him.
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.
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 start-ups, 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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