The 2016 Roster
Shankar Achanta – Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories Inc.
Shankar V Achanta received his M.S in electrical engineering from Arizona State University in 2002. He joined Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc in 2002 as hardware engineer developing electronics for communication devices applied to critical infrastructure. Currently, he holds the position of Research and Development Manager, in R&D division where he leads product development for multiple product lines serving the power utility sector. Shankar is an experienced engineering and business professional. He enjoys creating balanced portfolios with the right mix of strategic and tactical programs to bring solid ROI for SEL. Shankar currently holds three patents and he is an inventor on several patents that are pending in engineering technology.
Scott Adams – Pullman Regional Laboratories
Scott Adams, CEO of Pullman Regional Hospital, has provided oversight of this award-winning hospital for more than 20 years. Adams has been widely recognized for his progressive leadership and responsiveness to the healthcare needs of the region. He is the recipient of the 2014 Joe Hopkins Memorial Award for Outstanding Leadership by the Washington State Hospital Association and was named Outstanding Healthcare Executive by the Seattle Business magazine in 2009. Highlights of his tenure include leading the construction of a new, state-of-the-art critical access hospital, securing primary and specialty physician practices that provide a vital, vibrant continuum of high-quality health care providers to serve the community, and developing Community Health 2020, a long-term strategy to sustain the hospital in the future.
Ashley Alred – Remax
Francis Benjamin – Washington State University
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 discover ways to improve the current political process. Francis previously served 13 years on Pullman’s City Council where he specialized in Economic Development. He is the past president of the Southeast Washington Economic Development Association and past president of the Association of Washington Cities.
Shelley Bennett – Palouse Commercial
Courtney Bird – Moscow Chamber of Commerce
I was raised in Spokane, WA in a family of five by parents who are rooted in the community. After attending Washington State University and graduating from Eastern Washington University, I found that I loved interacting with people and helping them, which eventually led me into my career with Washington Trust Bank.
In November of 2015 at the request of my employer, Washington Trust Bank, I accepted the opportunity to manage the financial center in Moscow. My husband and I relocated at that time. I am Moscow Chamber of Commerce’s new board representative for the Palouse Knowledge Corridor. I have a passion for helping businesses grow and getting them to the next level. In the year preceding my move, I served as lead co-organizer for Startup Weekend Spokane and Bowl & Pitcher, a bi-monthly networking event for entrepreneurs and mentors. From these experiences, I seek to assist building a strong business community on the Palouse.
Chrissy Bowers – Idaho Commerce
Samuel Byrd – Co Optical
Howard Davis – Washington State University
Amit Dhingra – Phytelligence
Associate Scientist/Associate Professor (WSU faculty member since 2006).
- Primary area of interest is Plant Genomics and Biotechnology
More about Amit Dhingra
Zane Duke – Co Optical
Marie Dymkoski – Pullman Chamber of Commerce
As the Executive Director of the Pullman Chamber of Commerce, Marie Dymkoski is responsible for a full range of activities 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 has served on the PKC board for two years and has lived in the town of Palouse, Washington for 25 years.
Anson Fatland – Washington State University
Anson Fatland’s background is as diverse as the office he leads as the Associate Vice President for Economic Development at Washington State University. For more than a decade, Anson developed a set of skills that make him uniquely suited for this position – from earning a Ph.D. in chemistry (WSU) and an MBA (University of California, Haas School of Business), to helping start life sciences and alternative energy companies, to supporting non-profits with grants and guidance.
With his varied expertise and Washington roots, Anson aims to maximize the economic impact of WSU in our region, state, and world. The office he oversees includes Foundation Relations, the Office of Commercialization and the Small Business Development Centers. Anson also serves on eight boards, including the CleanTech Alliance of Washington and the Composite Recycling and Technology Center based in Port Angeles, WA, and serves as treasurer for the Washington Global Health Alliance.
Mary Gilles – Washington State University
Mary Gilles is the Business and Economics Librarian at Washington State University. She has a Master of Library Science from the University of Washington and has worked with the faculty and students in the Carson College of Business and the School of Economic Sciences for several years. She provides general and specialized reference service, teaches library research skills to classes, and recommends appropriate resources to individuals and small groups doing research projects. Mary also works with students in other colleges who are investigating the business possibilities of their innovations, inventions, and new product ideas.
Lisa Heithe – Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories Inc.
Ambry Henderson –
Tamsin Jolley – Decagon Devices
Paul Judge is the Managing Director of the Vandal Venture Fund. Mr. Judge’s career includes more than 25 years of venture development experience including leadership roles in two public offerings. Significant career achievements include serving as a co-founder of a national retailer of liquefied natural gas, leading the restructuring of a captive Private Equity firm, and founding a Sprint PCS branded mobile phone operator where as CFO he participated in raising over $600 million. Mr. Judge has served as an active board member with 10+ early stage companies. Mr. Judge received a BS in Business Administration from Pepperdine University and an MBA from George Washington University. Mr. Judge resides in Boise, Idaho.
Josh King – Tinderbox Consulting
Josh has an exciting and diverse background that has led him to natural expertise in the emerging media space. Working in the fast-paced radio and television news environment, as a news producer and on-air reporter, Josh built a foundation for quick emerging media evolution. Moving into corporate marketing leadership, Josh has both pioneered multi-media branding strategies and led business development initiatives. Josh’s expertise and passion for emerging media have led him to become one of the up and coming voices in the new media sphere. Currently, Josh runs his own business, Tinderbox Consulting, and is an active volunteer with SCORE.
Judith Kolde – Crimson Commerce Club (C3)
Judy is a visionary leader and entrepreneur with 25+ years experience in technology and consulting. As CEO of Kolde Properties she develops and restores historic buildings into multi-use centers for communities. Judy and her husband Velle founded C3 to provide affordable, shared office space, collaboration opportunities and consulting for new businesses. Judy is a veteran of the high-tech industry who came to the Palouse region after 20+ years at Microsoft Prior to Microsoft Judy was a Manager in Seattle with Deloitte & Touche, where she spent most of her time with their largest client, the Boeing Company.
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Velle Kolde – Washington State University
Velle has more than 30 years of experience in the technology industry where he has practiced in all areas of business. His career began in Silicon Valley in the emerging semiconductor industry. Later, he went on to work at Xerox, IBM, Asymetrix, Vulcan, Layered, Oracle, and Microsoft. As the treasurer of Oracle USA, he was a pioneer in leasing software use rights. He transitioned from finance to oversee sales and operations of Oracle education services. In 1991 he joined Microsoft and was responsible for sales and operations for the education services group. He moved on to the channel policy and strategy group where he helped develop a new volume selling business model, and personally designed the advanced company-wide pricing model.
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Brian Kraft – Washington State University
Thong Li – Accelerator Corporation
Tom Lamar – Latah County Commission
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.
Brian Larsen – Stoel Rives
Brian Larsen is a partner with Stoel Rives and provides business transactional legal services with an emphasis on corporate law matters, mergers and acquisitions, securities law and corporate governance. Brian acts as outside legal counsel for corporations ranging from established public and private businesses to emerging-growth businesses and entrepreneurs. Brian works with business owners, boards of directors, managers, employees, investors, customers and vendors to respond to their day-to-day business needs and legal issues.
Brian is a graduate of the Leadership Boise program and is a founding member of Boise Young Professionals. In addition, he is a guest lecturer for Boise State University’s Executive MBA program. Brian holds J.D. and MBA degrees from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
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Aziz Makhani – Small Business Development Center
Tony Mangini – Northwest River Supplies (NRS)
Tony is a board member for Northwest River Supply (NRS) and has been working at NRS for 22 years as the Chief Financial Officer and Human Resource Manager. Tony graduated from the University of Idaho in 1993 with a B.S. in Accounting. He serves on several boards in Latah County which include the Moscow Chamber of Commerce for 5 years and the Palouse Ice Rink for the past 18 months in the capacity of Vice President. Tony is married with two daughters and he stays active umpiring youth baseball, playing ice hockey and taking his family stand-up paddle boarding.
Marie Mayes – Washington State University
Marie Mayes serves as Director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies and a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Carson College of Business at Washington State University.
She teaches Business Plan classes in the Carson College of Business and collaboratively with Dr. Howard Davis in the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture. In her current role, Marie oversees the WSU Business Plan Competition and mentors and coaches student entrepreneurs on all phases of business development with the goal of increasing entrepreneurial activities and encouraging student-led start-ups. She assists with the Frank Scholars, Boeing Scholars, E-Connection and accompanies students on industry site visits to Silicon Valley.
More about Marie Mayes
Dr. Gene Merrell – University of Idaho
Dr. Gene Merrell 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 UIs 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.
Jennifer Meyer – Venture Capital
Dale Miller – Morgan Stanley
Dale T. Miller is Senior Vice President and Corporate Client Group Director for Morgan Stanley and serves as the managing partner of the firm’s Pacific Wealth Management Group. He is a graduate of Moscow High School, and subsequently earned a B.A. in Business Economics and English from Willamette University. He has attended graduate level courses at the Wharton School and recently received the CPM (Certified Portfolio Manager) designation from Columbia University. Prior to joining Morgan Stanley in 2008, he founded and managed the first and largest private wealth team in the Pacific Northwest for UBS. He began his career more than two decades ago as an institutional bond trader, returning to the Northwest after working in Washington, DC in the early 1990s. Dale has been named among the top 400 US financial advisors by the Financial Times of London (2013 and 2014), top 20 advisors in the Northwest by the Puget Sound Business Journal (2008-2009), and in the top 250 advisors in the United States by Worth Magazine (2008).
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Mitchell – Stoel Rives
Claire Mitchell is a Seattle-based business transactional and regulatory compliance attorney for the food and beverage industry. As a business advisor, Claire counsels food and beverage businesses on mergers, acquisitions, financings, and other strategic corporate transactions as well as during various commercial contract negotiations.
In addition to her transactional work, Claire regularly advises companies at all levels of the supply chain, including international, national, and regional producers, processors, and retailers, on a variety of regulatory compliance, risk management, and licensing issues. Specifically, she offers guidance to clients on product labeling, marketing, advertising, and packaging to ensure compliance with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Act, the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA), and the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA). Claire works with companies on food safety compliance strategies which includes assisting with standard operating procedures, current good manufacturing practices, HACCP compliance, letters of guarantee, protocols for handling a government inspection, responses to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Warning Letters, product recall strategy, and compliance with the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) and Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Claire also assists food and beverage companies in seeking liquor and other licenses at the local, state and federal level.
Additionally, Claire assists clients in developing and implementing intellectual property strategies suitable to their business, including the registration, maintenance, protection, and licensing of trademarks and copyrights. Prior to joining Stoel Rives, Claire was an Associate with Marler Clark LLP in Seattle, WA where she represented victims of foodborne illnesses such as E. coli, Salmonella, and Listeria, assisted in the investigation of foodborne illness outbreaks, and regularly communicated with officials at federal, state and local regulatory agencies.
More About Claire Mitchell
Carmel Minogue – Carmel Minogue CPA & Associates
Carmel Minogue started her own business almost twenty years ago. With a CPA license, a modest savings account, and an earnest vision to help small businesses grow and prosper, Carmel embarked on a life-long dream to start her own business.
Today, Carmel Minogue CPA & Associates employs seven talented individuals from the area, delivering exceptional tax and accounting services. The firm is uniquely qualified to assist small business start-ups, providing the following services; business formation assistance, entity selection analysis, accounting systems design, implementation and training, software and accounting system support, contract accounting and payroll services, contract controllership services, employee benefit planning and implementation, financial statement preparation and analysis, projection and forecast modeling, audit and review services, and federal and state tax compliance.
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Max Mohan – SCORE
Alex Navarro – Zions Bank
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.
Shane Needham – Alturas Analytics Inc.
Dr. Shane Needham received his B.S. degree in chemistry from Washington State University and his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Rhode Island. Dr. Needham is Co-Founder and Laboratory Director of Alturas Analytics, Inc. Dr. Needham manages all scientific aspects of the HPLC/MS/MS bioanalytical contract laboratory at Alturas Analytics, Inc. Currently, Dr. Needham’s work is focused on the development and validation of assays for the determination of therapeutic agents and biomarkers from biological matrices. His laboratory has been a leader in the area of dried blood spot (DBS) analysis and microflow HPLC-MS/MS to support DMPK research.
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Kris Ormseth – Stole Rives
Kris Ormseth’s practice emphasizes general business advice, acquisitions, debt and equity financings, and corporate governance. Kris has extensive experience on a wide range of legal and business issues, including structuring joint ventures and strategic alliances, negotiating and documenting commercial transactions, developing equity compensation plans, advising boards of directors and assisting distressed companies in workout and restructuring transactions.
In addition to representing significant public and private businesses in manufacturing, agribusiness, energy, technology, healthcare, financial services, real estate development, and other industries, Kris also devotes a portion of his practice to representing promising emerging businesses. Interviewees in a Chambers USA survey describe Kris as “highly professional and a superb adviser on both business and legal issues.” He has been listed for a number of years in Chambers USA and The Best Lawyers in America, and as a “Mountain States Super Lawyer” by Law & Politics magazine.
Kris is the immediate past-chair of the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce and served as the office managing partner for the firm’s Boise office from 2003-2009 and from 2012-2015.
Prior to joining Stoel Rives, Kris was vice president, Landata, Inc. of Idaho (1992); general manager, Henry’s Fork Lodge (1991); associate director, Stanford Sierra Camp (1985-1988); and software engineer, Candela Electronics (1984-1985).
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Tony Poston – College Hill Custom Threads
Since the moment he graduated from Washington State University in 2007, Tony Poston has had the entrepreneurial bug, and bad! First managing and touring with bands across the country to designing and printing their merchandise, Tony found he had a knack for helping people put on stellar events with custom apparel and products. He soon started a custom apparel company that would be his precursor to College Hill Custom Threads, the company that now provides apparel to thousands of collegiate groups across the United States. Not stopping there, Tony created an offshoot of the College Hill brand, Genius Ghost, to give the same great service to businesses and philanthropic organizations alike. Tony has since been involved in business ventures like Sorority Flowers, who partnered with FTD to help sorority women raise money for their Chapter Houses through the sale of floral arrangements and gift baskets. Tony also serves on the Pullman Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and is currently campaigning for a seat on the Pullman City Council. With all of these endeavors, one might think he has no down time, but Tony always finds opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors of North Idaho where he was raised, and of course time to spend with his very soon to be wife Emily.
Marshall Piatt – BioCement Technologies Inc.
Marshall Piatt holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Human Resources from the University of Idaho. While attending the University of Idaho, Marshall was an executive board member for the student government (ASUI), a leader in the Entrepreneurship program at UI (VIEW), and a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. Marshall is the co-founder and Vice President of Operations of BioCement Technologies Inc., a soil engineering company founded at the University of Idaho. Marshall’s areas of interest and education include employee management, supply chain management, and operations management. Marshall seeks to further the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Palouse and Northwest.
Ed Robertson – Badger Braces
Ed’s experience with ankle sprains as a Physical Therapist, teacher, athlete, and coach led him to the discovery of a truly revolutionary approach to protecting ankles from the single most common injury in sports, resulting in over 600,000 Emergency Department visits each year. Using that insight Ed founded Badger Braces.
Ed Robertson began working at Pullman Regional Hospital in 1996. He was the Director of Summit Therapy for 12 years before stepping down to pursue his Master’s in Organizational Leadership at Gonzaga University as well as devote time and resources toward his ankle brace project. Ed continues to work full-time as a clinician and serves as Assistant Director of Summit Therapy and Health Services.
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Peter Sutherland – Sutherland & Associates LLC
Mr. Sutherland is a principal of Peter G. Sutherland & Associates, LLC, a firm that provides services in mergers and acquisitions (M&A), corporate development, financing, and business valuations, strategic alliances and technology licensing, market research and due diligence, and business planning. His firm specializes in telecommunications, information/internet and military/aerospace clients from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. Mr. Sutherland was co-founder and President of Inland TechStart Fund, LLC, a new seed capital fund in the Eastern Washington-North Idaho region focused on high technology start ups and early stage companies.
More about Peter G Sutherland
George Tanner – University of Idaho
George Tanner is the Director of Idaho Entrepreneurs and a member of the entrepreneurship faculty in the College of Business and Economics at the University of Idaho. The vision of Idaho Entrepreneurs is a strong and supportive culture of innovation for entrepreneurs, students, and faculty at the University. George has been has been executing that vision in colleges and universities across the country for a number of years. His expertise, research, and service activities revolve around innovation and business startups, entrepreneurial readiness, community development, social enterprise, and youth entrepreneurship. Mr. Tanner has initiated and developed many entrepreneurial and outreach programs across the U.S. and abroad. George Tanner has BSBA and MBA degrees from West Virginia University and doctoral studies at the University of Missouri.
Dr. Coco Umiker
Dr. Umiker earned degrees in Microbiology, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from the University of Idaho. She earned her doctorate in Food Science from Washington State University. Her work at WSU focused on enology and viticulture and required collaborations with wineries across Washington and wine research laboratories across the United States and Chile. She has shared her expertise domestically and internationally with associations such as the American Society of Enology and Viticulture, Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers, and at the International Cool Climate Wine Symposium. As a faculty member in the Division of Natural Sciences at Lewis-Clark State College, she taught Introduction to Microbiology and Food Microbiology.
Coco and her husband Karl have owned and operated Clearwater Canyon Cellars and their estate Umiker Vineyard since 2003 in Lewiston. Their wines have won many prestigious awards over the years and have made the Seattle Times top 50 and Great Northwest Wines’ top 100 for the last three years running. Clearwater Canyon Cellars was named the 2015 Idaho Winery of the Year by Wine Press Northwest.
Through her work at Clearwater Canyon Cellars, Dr. Umiker has been leading the effort in re-establishing the Lewis-Clark Valley wine region by serving as a consultant to new growers and promoting wines grown in this area. She was a key player in establishing the Lewis-Clark Valley American Viticultural Area and is currently president of the Lewis-Clark Valley Wine Alliance.
Nathan Weller – Pullman City Council
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 will be graduating from the University of Idaho in May 2012 with a Masters degree in Bioregional Planning and Community Design. He built a small business at 25 years old in 2007 and was elected to serve Pullman City Council the following year. Through his travels, work and school activities he has gained a wide base of knowledge and friends in many areas, and is focused on helping the region that has raised him.
Christopher Wood – Ten X Strategies LLC
Christopher is currently the managing director of Ten X Strategies, LLC a private equity and consulting services firm. Christopher over 30 years’ experience in working in agriculture, forestry, food processing, automotive, aerospace, high-tech, ag & construction equipment manufacturing, electronics, renewable energy, and oil & gas industries. Over the last ten years, he has worked with private equity and start-up companies. He is a partner in a large eastern Washington wheat, cattle & forestry company and has served on several boards. With his background in engineering and manufacturing, he has provided consulting services to executives in a wide range of industries for the past 15 years based on the Toyota Production System model. Past clients include Alcoa, Boeing, BF Goodrich, Biosense-Webster (medical device mfg.), Washington Trust Bank, Purcell Systems, Ecolite, Mackay Manufacturing, Cyrus O’Leary Pies and Iomega.
Donna Woolston – Appearances Marketing & Promotion
An appearance isn’t everything, but making that right first impression can bring a client in. At Appearances, we can help make the best first impression, and keep them coming back. Appearances is a boutique marketing and public relations firm specializing in entrepreneur-based business. We focus on serving growing Inland Northwest companies, as well as nonprofit organizations. We also know how to have fun: Appearances is also widely known for designing and implementing extraordinary events.
More about Donna Woolston
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