Theresa Buell serves as a consulting council member for the Gerson Lehrman Group in their healthcare and consumer goods practice area. Buell is a Fortune 100 general management executive widely recognized across a broad range of industries as an innovative, globally focused executive who delivers exceptional financial operational and strategic outcomes.
Sara Conte is a principal at SGC Ventures. Her focus is strategic planning, marketing, and business development work in digital companies and niche industries. Conte has spent 15 years building successful companies. Her previous startup, Brand Genie (PrestoBox), introduced branding to the masses as the first automated branding agency. Conte is an active local early-stage investor through various angel groups.
Mitch started his entrepreneurial journey when he cofounded Arizona Outback Adventures after graduating from Arizona State University. Upon leaving AOA, he cofounded Morange Design and then Built Oregon, a 501c3 nonprofit focused on accelerating, connecting, and amplifying the consumer product ecosystem in Oregon. For the past 15 years, he has focused on brand, digital, and website strategy for clients ranging from startups to Fortune 100 companies.
Scott Davidson has over two decades of experience in working with entrepreneurs and management teams of startup and later-stage ventures across a broad spectrum of Pacific Northwest industry groups—including consumer brands, apparel, footwear, entertainment, and technology. Davidson leads White Summers’s consumer brands practice group and frequently works with clients on key strategic issues including angel, venture, and private equity financings, debt financings, and strategic partnerships.
KaLynn Gates is an entrepreneurial lawyer and healthcare evangelist with a mission to make healthcare affordable for all. As president and corporate counsel of HealthFirst Financial, Gates’s expertise and leadership have doubled the company’s national footprint while helping hundreds of thousands of patients manage more than $400 million in medical bills.
Kathy Long Holland
Kathy Long Holland is a specialist in the development and launching of new products, strategies, and business models. She is an expert in entrepreneurship and her work focuses on helping owners, executives, and managers develop strategies for dealing with transitions.
Jim McCreight is director of strategic partnerships for the Oregon Technology Business Center incubator, president and chairman emeritus of the Museum Trustee Association, and has been involved in the museum community as a trustee, patron, and volunteer for more than 20 years. McCreight has been involved in the entrepreneurial community since 1966, dealing with the securities, real estate, software, and publishing industries. He currently assists startup companies through the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network and Oregon Technology Business Center.
Stephen McKeon is an associate professor of finance at the University of Oregon. His research focuses on cryptoassets, mergers and acquisitions, and security issuance. His work has been published in top finance journals and popular press outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, and New York Times. His professional experience includes six years as a chief financial officer in the wine industry, involvement with several venture-backed startup firms, and token projects as a cofounder, advisor, and board director.
Devon Nevius is a self-starter with a successful track record of business growth. He started working in technology immediately following his graduation from the University of Oregon with a BS in business administration. Nevius quickly climbed the ranks at one of the largest office technology companies in the Northwest before following his entrepreneurial ambitions and seeking a company with an innovative culture and exceptional potential for growth. Nevius joined Upward in 2014 as a co-owner.
Eric Pozzo is semi-retired and continues to manage the finances of ChipLab.com and a real estate partnership. From 2008-2011 he was fund manager of the early stage investment fund Oregon Angel Fund. Pozzo managed the finances of a portfolio company, Pacific Light Technologies, from 2012 through 2014. Since leaving Intel in 1982 to start Microcosm, Inc., a pioneering PC-based instrumentation company, Pozzo has pursued a career in entrepreneurship and has helped found and manage a number of various successful startups.
Adam Stoll is a partner at Rogue Venture Partners, a Portland-based private equity firm. Previously, Stoll was the CFO and lead IT architect of Smart Choice MRI, a growth-focused, privately held healthcare services company based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Prior to Smart Choice, Stoll was a global program manager for Exit Games, a German-based, venture-capital-backed technology company. Stoll graduated with a BA in international comparative policy studies and political science from Reed College in Portland, Oregon.
Jon Summers is an attorney and CPA who represents technology and emerging growth companies with respect to formation, financing, governance, and transactional matters. He counsels clients on venture capital and angel financings, mergers and acquisitions, strategic alliances and joint ventures, technology licensing, commercial agreements, and general business matters.
Peter Cobb cofounded eBags.com, the largest online retailer of travel goods, handbags, backpacks, and accessories. Peter also cofounded 6pm.com, a footwear online retailer acquired by Zappos in 2007. He is on the board of directors of DSW, Inc. and serves on the technology, nomination, and governance committees.
Scott Grout is an active angel investor and mentor involved in a number of entrepreneurial organizations aimed at driving economic growth in Oregon. Grout was president and CEO of Cedexis, a venture-backed cloud optimization company sold to Citrix systems in early 2018. Prior to that, he was president and CEO of RadiSys, a publicly traded global telecom solutions provider that underwent significant revenue growth—up to $500 million—and strategic transformation during his tenure.
Anika Hedstrom is a financial planner for Vista Capital Partners and leads the firm’s wealth management division, where she is responsible for developing and advancing advice and financial planning initiatives. She sets internal guidelines, develops best practices, and drives the firm’s wealth management communications. Prior to financial planning, Hedstrom was a financial analyst for Chevron, where she marketed and traded a billion-dollar commercial paper program to institutional investors and managed internal derivative policies for Chevron’s commodity trading.
While pursuing joint JD/MBA degrees at the University of Oregon, Jessica Hilbert cofounded Red Duck Foods, an artisanal, organic condiment and sauce company. Hilbert led sales and marketing growth from six initial stores in Eugene, Oregon in May of 2013 to distribution in over 2,300 stores internationally.
Blake Lyman is a technical product lead at the Jaguar Land Rover Technology Incubator in Portland, Oregon. An experienced product manager, Lyman leads efforts to define and execute integrations of new technologies into the Jaguar Land Rover vehicle ecosystem in partnership with companies participating in the Incubators early stage and automotive accelerator tracks. He also lends his experience to coach these partner companies on product development, product-market fit, and business development.
Jaren May obtained his MBA from the University of Oregon in 2012 before spending the following six years in Asia with TE Connectivity. During his time with TE, he has led product strategies in the data center, consumer electronics, and semiconductor markets. When May is not working, his passion is traveling to a new country each year and diving in the waters of Southeast Asia.
Bruce Melzer is a strategic advisor to Oregon Small Business Development Center Network’s capital access team. He specializes in helping small business owners with business planning, finance strategy development, and accessing debt and equity funding. Melzer holds an MBA and an MS in journalism, both from Columbia University, as well as a BS from University of California, Davis.
Natalie Miller is the strategic operations and technology manager for North America brand marketing at Nike. A passionate problem solver, Miller has spent her career developing technology solutions that help people work more efficiently and effectively. Outside of Nike, Miller is an eclectic entrepreneur, the CEO of apply101.com, and the owner of the Cannon Beach Escape Room.
Kate Niedermeyer is an entrepreneur-in-residence for Nike’s Innovation Accelerator, where she leads new venture opportunities and follows lean startup methodologies on the hunt for disruptive growth. Prior to Nike, Niedermeyer worked for Intel, most recently as a venture lead for Intel’s new business initiatives. In that role, she helped launch businesses and products in wearables, security, payments, and cloud services.
Shannon Oliver is one of the cofounders of Red Duck Foods, Inc. and manages operations, supply chain, and research and development. She and two classmates started the company while earning their MBAs at the University of Oregon and have grown the company from three stores and three products in May 2013 to over 2,500 stores—including exporting internationally—and 11 products as of March 2018.
Eric Ringer is a cofounder and product director at Skyward, a Verizon company. Ringer had a dream of bringing commercial drone operators the tools they need to access the sky, and founded Skyward with fellow University of Oregon alumni while earning his MBA. Now, after four years, $8 million in venture funding, and customers in more than 40 countries, Skyward drives innovation and adoption for telematics fleet management services in high-growth markets.
Dara Westling, principal of Do Well Consulting, is committed to working on impact capital projects in the Pacific Northwest that offer a return for investors and communities. Westling is also owner of Vancouver, Washington-based Bishops, and is focused on expanding to southwest Washington. She previously focused on the intersection of technology and impact as a vice president at the international enterprise TechSoup. TechSoup has matched changemakers with over $5.5 billion in tech donations and services in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.