Juan Barraza is the founder of a digital health startup, lead organizer of Portland startup Weekend Latino, and founder of Latino Founders, a professional organization empowering the next generation of Latino entrepreneurs. He believes that entrepreneurship is a great equalizer in society and any individual with an idea or concept and strong work ethic can create a great venture with direct economic impact to family and community. Barraza leads programming efforts and communications at Portland State University’s Center for Entrepreneurship Student Innovation.
Theresa Buell is a senior project manager in Bayer Pharmaceuticals’ product supply commercial operations division, where she facilitates new product development and manages the execution of commercial product launches. Buell has more than 20 years of experience in leadership roles at companies including Johnson & Johnson, Avon Products, and Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, and U.S. Nonwovens, and also formerly served as a Wall Street analyst specializing in macroeconomic strategy for emerging markets.
As chief operating officer of Lone Rock Resources, Greg Byrne has helped diversify the company through the development of its timber investment partnerships and investments in commercial real estate and natural gas. The company’s core business continues to be the ownership and management of more than 150,000 acres (60,000 hectares) of Douglas fir timberlands in Southwestern Oregon.
Peter Cobb is the cofounder of eBags.com and 6pm.com, is a member of the Designer Brands (DSW) board of directors, and serves on the advisory boards of PayPal, Ranger Ready, and PREEM. Cobb was an early stage investor in Alibaba, Zoom, Uber, Spotify, Ant, and Asana. Previously, Cobb served on the board of directors of the National Retail Federation (NRF) and is the former chairman of NRF’s Shop.org, the leading online retail trade association. He also has served as chairman of the Travel Goods Association.
Karlin Conklin is the principal and executive vice president of Investors Management Group, Inc., a real estate acquisition and asset management company. She has sourced, capitalized, and helped in the repositioning of more than 10,000 multifamily units, raising $450 million in equity from institutional partners, Tenant-In-Common (TIC) investors, and high-net-worth individuals.
Caroline Cummings is the CEO and founder of Varo Ventures, a consulting firm that helps organizations and communities catalyze entrepreneurship and innovation. She also serves as the CEO of RAIN, a global nonprofit based in Oregon that helps communities launch and grow entrepreneurial ecosystems and innovation economies. She has helped startups raise millions in capital and has catalyzed angel investor networks and seed stage funds. As an angel investor, Cummings has invested in 20 startups, most of which are led by women and minorities.
Mitch Daugherty is the cofounder of Arizona Outback Adventures, Morange Design, and Built Oregon, a nonprofit focused on accelerating, connecting, and amplifying the consumer product ecosystem in Oregon. Through events such as the Built Up Festival and programs like Bridges and the Built Consumer product accelerator, Daugherty is working to make Oregon known as the hub of consumer product innovation and entrepreneurship.
As the system director of research operations for the Providence Health System, Kimberly Fox leads research operations across seven western states, enabling cutting edge research, collaborating with early stage biotechnology companies, and advising spin out biotechnology companies. Prior to joining Providence, Fox worked in private equity with a focus on healthcare. She brings expertise in regulatory, intellectual property protection and licensing, as well as compliance and operations support.
Serial entrepreneur Angel Gambino has more than 20 years of experience as a highly successful executive servant leader in large media and entertainment companies. She has been named a Top 100 Leader by WIRED, and has advised and mentored more than 100 startups and corporate senior leaders as an innovation agency and venture studio CEO, partner, and Techstars mentor.
As senior vice president and general counsel for Access One, KaLynn Gates negotiates strategic partnerships as well as oversees consumer lending and data privacy compliance, risk management, drafting, commercial agreements negotiations, and mergers and acquisitions. She is a strategic executive and corporate attorney with experience in healthcare, finance, consumer credit, and financial technology products and services. Gates also serves as a board member for the Coast to Crest Fund and the Washington-Alaska Healthcare Financial Management Association.
Kate Harmon is the program manager and director of cross-campus engagement for the Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Oregon, where she brings a practitioner's background of creating experiential and collaborative experiences in order to promote entrepreneurial development and business creation. She has mentored more than 1,000 entrepreneurs who have gone on to create businesses and nonprofits that have won regional business competitions as well as join nationally-ranked business incubators and accelerators.
Joe Hawes is the chairman of several companies known as Hawes Group, which he founded in 2000. Hawes Group is a national provider of credit and collections services, and a provider of call center software solutions and IT consultancy. Hawes also serves on the board of advisors for the University of Oregon’s Lundquist College of Business.
As COO and CFO of Daniel House, Caleb Iorg helped launch Daniel House Club, an ecommerce home furnishings marketplace created specifically for interior designers. Prior to that, he served as CFO and COO for Revant Optics from its founding in 2010 until 2019. He also co-owned Society43, a licensed sports sunglasses company that went through the University of Oreogn’s new venture planning track in 2010-2011 and sold to private investors in 2015.
W. Paul Jones
W. Paul Jones currently serves as board director for Tuesday Morning Corp., a leading home store retailer. He has more than 25 years of experience in leadership and management roles, as well as operating expertise in the value retail segment. He served as CEO of Payless ShoeSource until his retirement in 2017. Prior to joining Payless, Jones served as president, chairman, and CEO of Shopko Stores, and before that, served in senior leadership and merchandising roles at both Kohl’s and May department stores.
As president and founder of Gemini Consulting, John Kochis focuses on achieving the financial goals of privately owned wineries. He currently consults on multiple winery projects throughout the West Coast that range from startups to those with decades of history. Kochis is also the CEO of Aspira Corporation, a wine company focused on developing and marketing California wines in Asia.
Brian Lake is the CEO of StackPulse, a reliability platform for developers, and is an enterprise software veteran with 20 years of experience in various leadership positions. Prior to StackPulse, Lake served as the chief revenue officer of Twistlock, and before that spent a number of years at Microsoft, Puppet, Oracle, and Tripwire.
Joe Maruschak is the managing director of the Coast to Crest Fund, a venture fund focusing on investing in early stage, high growth companies. An investor and serial entrepreneur, he founded and worked with several startups in the video game and software sectors, founded a bio-tech incubator, was the executive director of a nonprofit focused on innovation, and was the managing director of an award-winning accelerator.
Jeff Matthews is a specialist leader in Deloitte Consulting LLP’s government and public sector space industry practice, where he provides subject matter expertise on commercial space technology trends, industry strategies, and launch systems economics. He has more than 20 years of private and public sector experience focused on finance, enterprise architecture transformation, technology commercialization, and market strategy.
Devon Nevius is the CEO of Upward Technology, an IT company focused on helping businesses get the maximum return from their technology investment. After working in the private sector for nearly 10 years, Nevius acquired a significant stake in a Managed Technology Services business and redeveloped it into what is now Upward. The company became the first certified B corporation in the industry in the Pacific Northwest in 2017, was awarded the title of one of the 100 Best Places to Work in 2021, and has become a recognized leader in managed IT services.
Robert Pease is managing director of Cascade Seed Fund, a regional seed stage fund which invests in technology and consumer products companies. He has more than 20 years of experience as an investor, founder, operational executive, and consultant, including early-stage company formation, growth to scaling and exit, and seed stage investing. Previously, Pease served as CEO of LoopFuse, vice president of marketing at Gist, and has held a variety of senior marketing and product roles in four other venture-backed technology startups.