Futures Commission

The Futures Commission is convened by Business Oregon and is responsible for reviewing Oregon’s existing innovation ecosystem, engaging with innovation stakeholders, and providing recommendations on a comprehensive set of policy measures to elevate innovation as an economic development priority and a key to economic recovery and resiliency.


There are approximately 30 members representing industry, academia, philanthropy, and government bringing diverse expertise applicable to the creation, support, and resiliency of innovation economies. Members will serve as both creators of, and ambassadors for, a 10-Year Innovation Plan and possess spheres of influence that can support systems-level change for Oregon’s innovation economy.

Kanth GopalpurKanth Gopalpur, Futures Commission Co-chair

Principal, Kestrel Advisors

Kanth Gopalpur is an entrepreneur and angel investor who helped found Powell's original online bookstore in 1995, then launched a career in e-commerce. As founder and CEO of software company Monsoon Works, Kanth led the company through rapid, profitable growth. The company's more than 1,000 customers used its software to process more than $1 billion in online sales. Monsoon Works appeared on the Inc. 500 list for three straight years and was a winner of the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network's Working Capital Company of the Year before it was sold to a private equity group in 2010. Kanth is now principal of Kestrel Advisors and serves as an advisor and angel investor to tech startups. He has served on the boards of the Oregon Growth Account, TiE Oregon, and several private companies. Kanth also previously served as Business Oregon's first entrepreneur in residence.

Jenn LynchJenn Lynch, Futures Commission Co-chair

Managing Director, Portland Seed Fund

Jenn Lynch is Managing Director at Portland Seed Fund, a pre-seed venture capital fund, where, alongside her two partners, champions traded sector startups based in the Pacific Northwest with a combination of investment capital, governance, and mentorship. Since 2011, Portland Seed Fund has invested in more than 100 high-growth businesses in industries including software, clean energy technology, medical devices, food & beverage, apparel, and more. Prior to Portland Seed Fund, Jenn spent a decade in software as a service as a product designer, product manager, and product marketer. She serves on a number of community boards including Oregon Public Broadcasting, Schoolhouse Supplies, and Business for a Better Portland. Jenn holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from the Medil School at Northwestern University.

Matt AbramsMatt Abrams

Principal, The Abrams Group

Matt is an experienced operator, investor, advisor, board member, and coach. He has spent more than 25 years in the software industry serving as a General Partner and Venture Partner across various Venture Funds as well as an Operator leading product management, engineering, customer success, and industry standards teams from companies ranging in size from 200 to more than 100,000 employees. Matt also serves as a Strategic Innovation & Technology Advisor to Healthcare and other Enterprise organizations. He currently serves on the board of Northwestern's Master's of Science in Analytics (MSiA) program as well as the World Sustainability Foundation, whose mission is to identify, prioritize, and lead the development and deployment of technologies aimed at mitigating the direct and indirect impacts of climate change. Matt has served as a guest lecturer at Northwestern's McCormick Engineering school and Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management and holds a BS in Computer Engineering degree from Northwestern University. He is passionate about "leaving it better" than he's found it. When he's not immersed in reading, working with entrepreneurs, or juggling two kids, you can find him in the backcountry mountains of Oregon.

Marcelino AlvarezMarcelino Alvarez

Chief Product Officer, Fresh Consulting

Marcelino is the Chief Product Officer at Fresh Consulting, where he leads strategic initiatives that sit at the intersection of public policy, corporate innovation, and startup ecosystems. Marcelino joined Fresh via acquisition of Uncorked Studios, a product design firm that he co-founded in 2010 and served as CEO. Prior to Uncorked, he served as Executive Interactive Producer at Wieden + Kennedy. He produced the Nike Chalkbot, a robot that printed messages of hope and inspiration on the Tour de France in 2009 and 2010. He’s a co-founder of Safecast, an open data initiative to help residents of Japan report and understand the levels of radiation following the Fukushima earthquake and nuclear disaster, and Incúbate, one of the first design-thinking workshops in Havana, Cuba. He is also a co-founder of PIE Shop, a connected device incubator that is part of the Portland Incubator Experiment and is hosted at Autodesk's Oregon headquarters. He sits on the boards of the Freshwater Trust and PSU's Center for Retail Leadership. He and his wife Margaret have a son Caleb, daughter Lucia, a dog named Luke, and a cat named Calvin.

Larry BekkedahlLarry Bekkedahl

Vice President, Grid Architecture, Integration & Systems Operations, Portland General Electric

Larry Bekkedahl is responsible for advancing PGE’s strategy to build the grid of the future—one that is resilient, smart, and delivers a clean energy future. He oversees PGE’s strategic system architecture and system upgrades that will serve as the foundation for the smart grid of the future. In addition, he is responsible for Customer Product development. Bekkedahl joined PGE in 2014 as vice president of Transmission & Distribution. He has more than three decades of leadership experience in the energy industry. Before joining PGE, he was senior vice president for transmission services at the Bonneville Power Administration, Director of Engineering at Clark Public Utilities, and held various leadership roles at PacifiCorp and Montana Power Company. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Montana State University and serves on the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) Research Advisory Committee, the Stanford University Bits and Watts Advisory Council, the University of Akron Energy Advisory Committee, and the All Hands Raised board for Portland Public Schools Foundation. Larry has extensive utility experience both domestically and internationally, including completing a 6-month exchange program in Japan.

Ann BunnenbergAnn Bunnenberg

President, Synergic Medical Technologies Inc.; CtyoImage

Ann Bunnenberg has twenty-five years of experience in founding, leading, and exiting medical device, healthcare, and bioscience companies. Currently, she leads two companies in the biodmedical device space: Synergic Medical Technologies Inc. and CytoImage Inc. Synergic Medical Technologies Inc. provides non-invasive neuromodulation therapy for Parkinson's disease and Cytolmage Inc. focuses on single cell functional imaging for drug development and personalized medicine applications in cancer. Previously, Ann co-founded, made public, and successfully exited Electrical Geodesics Inc. (now Phillips Neuro), the company that pioneered the use of high resolution EEG systems in medical research applications. Ann serves as a board member for a variety of private and non-profit companies including WellRythms, InVivo Biosciences, and Accel. Ann is also a trained lawyer with a background in corporate, transactional, and commercial litigation.

Sophorn CheangSophorn Cheang

Business Oregon

Sophorn Cheang (so-POHRN j-ay-ng) took the reigns as Director of Business Oregon in March 2021. Sophorn leads the agency in its work to help businesses and communities prosper in Oregon and see that economic opportunity is reaching each corner of the state. Prior to joining the agency, Sophorn served as the Director of the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Governor Kate Brown since 2018. In this role she oversaw the development of state business policies to eliminate bias and barriers, and provided economic opportunities for all Oregon businesses through equity practices in state procurement and community economic development. Prior to her work with the Governor's Office, she served as Senior Community Development Manager and Director of the Asian Family Center for the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization. Sophorn has an MBA from Willamette University and a bachelor's degree in finance from Portland State University.

Bob CowenBob Cowen

Director, Hatfield Marine Science Center

Bob Cowen is Director of the Hatfield Marine Science Center, Oregon State University and Professor in the College of Earth, Oceans and Atmosphere Science. The Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center (HMSC) is a leading marine laboratory located in Newport, Oregon. With a combined budget of more than $45M, HMSC is an important economic driver on the Oregon Coast, and a major partner in the OSU Marine Studies Initiative. Prior to coming to OSU, Bob was the Robert C. Maytag Professor of Ichthyology at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science where he also served as Chair of the Division of Marine Biology and Fisheries, and as Associate Dean for Research. He has authored or co-authored more than 140 publications on topics ranging from coastal fish ecology and early life history, to fishery oceanography, larval transport, population connectivity, and ocean acidification. He has also worked on development of new innovative technologies for plankton sampling and image processing. Locally, he is on the boards of the Oregon Coast Aquarium, Yaquina Bay Economic Foundation, and the Economic Development Alliance of Lincoln County.

Piper CrowellPiper Crowell

Global Director of Digital and Innovation Policy, Nike

At Nike Inc., Piper is the Global Director of Digital and Innovation Policy as part of the Government and Public Affairs department. At the state, federal, and global level, Piper engages in the quickly evolving environment of online privacy, e-commerce, intellectual property, advanced manufacturing, and cybersecurity regulations. Prior to joining Nike Inc., Piper worked at Pandora Media leading outreach to Congress and federal agencies on issues relating to streaming media platforms and online advertising and sales. Before Pandora, Piper was Campaign Manager for Congressman Jared Huffman’s 2012 campaign and subsequently, Piper served as the Congressman’s Legislative Director. She sits on the Board of Directors for an American solar energy start-up. She is a council member of the Oregon Innovation Council and currently lives in Portland, OR.

Carol DahlCarol Dahl

Executive Director, The Lemelson Foundation

Dr. Carol Dahl is the Executive Director of The Lemelson Foundation and leads the Foundation’s work to use the power of invention to improve lives. Prior to joining the Foundation, Carol was founding Director of the Global Health Discovery Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and led development of the Grand Challenges in Global Health and Grand Challenges Explorations programs. Previously, Carol worked at the U.S. National Institutes of Health at the National Cancer Institute and National Center for Human Genome Research, at a start-up diagnostics company, and on the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh. She had advised and supported programs across government agencies including the Department of Commerce (Advanced Technology Program), DARPA, NASA, and Department of Energy. She received a bachelor's degree from the University of Iowa and master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Wisconsin. Carol currently is chair of the Nomination Evaluation Committee for the US National Medal of Technology and Innovation and a commissioner on the National Commission on Innovation & Competitiveness Frontiers of the Council on Competitiveness.

Bruce DaucsavageBruce Daucsavage

General Partner, Ochoco Lumber

Bruce Daucsavage is the General Partner of Ochoco Lumber Company, formed in the 1920’s. He was first hired as a CPA-Controller by the Shelk’s 33 years ago. Today, Ochoco Lumber Company employs about 105 people, and owns a sawmill, bio-mass facility, timber lands, land development projects, and trading companies. The company also has years of experience operating in Lithuania and the Russian Far East. Bruce is currently a member of the Federal Forest Working Group (formed to advance collaboratively active restoration of federal forest lands); Oregon Forest and Industries Council, Wood Products Association (an economic and grading services organization); Oregon Business Council (statewide organization of CEO’s); a state community board member of Regence Blue Cross; and a former member of Economic Development of Central Oregon. For the past few years, he has been working on collaboration in the Blue Mt. Region to advance bio-mass projects utilizing forest restoration products. He has been asked to help, through collaboration with the U.S. Endowment of Forestry in the construction of a torrefaction plant and has had the opportunity to publically speak about our unhealthy forest plight in front of the Administration, Senate and Congressional committees in Washington, D.C.

Su EmbreeSu Embree

Chairperson & Senior Counsel, DHM Research

Su Embree is the CEO of DHM Research, a well-respected research firm based in Portland with offices in Seattle and Washington, D.C. She has spent more than 20 years studying the values and priorities of everyday people in communities across the country to shape public policy and communication strategies. She believes strongly in developing young leaders of color to build more personal and family prosperity. She is dedicated to increasing diversity and equity in corporate leadership. Su is a Co-founder of Emerging Leaders, a nonprofit that supports a leadership pathway for college students of color in Oregon. She currently serves as a Trustee of the Oregon Community Foundation, a board member of IWF Oregon, and advisor to several female entrepreneurs. She is a past President of the Entrepreneur’s Organization—a peer group of more than 160 founders in Portland, and a past Trustee of OMSI–one of the most innovative science museums in the country. Su is also the founder of Saute Kitchen, and an investor in multiple restaurants in Portland. Su is an immigrant and the first in her family to graduate from college. She spent most of her school years in Tennessee and graduated from the University of Tennessee. She is proud to say that all of the men in her immediate family are military veterans. She calls Oregon home and lives in Portland with her husband and daughters.

Scott GoeringScott Goering

Vice President, Battery Ventures

Scott joined Battery in 2015 and leads the firm business development practice. Scott collaborates with a broad range of corporate executives and technologists to navigate the innovation ecosystem and coaching early stage start-ups on finding product-market fit and go-to-market strategy. Scott previously performed a similar role at Intel Capital, the investment arm of chip giant Intel Corporation. He held a number of other roles at Intel Corp., including, most recently, as a director in the company’s “visual cloud” group. Previously, Scott worked at Mentor Graphics. Scott holds an MS degree in electrical and computer engineering from the University of California at Davis and a BS in computer engineering from Iowa State University.

Representative David GombergRepresentative David Gomberg

Small Business owner David Gomberg represents House District 10 on the central coast, ranging from Tillamook to Yachats and inland to Sheridan. Representative Gomberg serves on Ways and Means and the Legislative Emergency Board. He is a member of the Governor's Commission on Senior Services, the Oregon Innovation Council, the Governor's Small Business Cabinet, and the Ocean Science Trust. Mr. Gomberg describes himself as a professional kite flier. His company designs and wholesales kites, produces large show kites, and operates two retail web pages. He has performed for Walt Disney, the Super Bowl, the London Millennium Celebration, and in 40 different countries. In 2005, he was inducted into the Kite Hall of Fame. David is a graduate of Oregon State where he earned a Bachelors Degree in Political Science, served as student body president, and earned a Masters in Political Science, Economics, and History. He then earned his MBA at Willamette University. Among his "awards and accomplishments," he lists 35 years of marriage to Susan Gomberg.

Commissioner Jessica GomezJessica Gomez

Founder & CEO, Rogue Valley Microdevices

As founder and CEO of Rogue Valley Microdevices, Jessica Gomez has created a world-class precision MEMS foundry in the heart of Southern Oregon. Integral to her role as CEO, Ms. Gomez practices a business philosophy of offering best-in-class process technology and R&D expertise to customers, to help them achieve the highest quality and reliability in their products. Prior to founding Rogue Valley Microdevices in 2003, Ms. Gomez honed her experience in semiconductor processing and production management through positions at Standard Microsystems Corporation, Integrated Micromachines, and Xponent Photonics. Ms. Gomez plays an active leadership role within and beyond the technology industry. She is a board member of the prestigious SEMI Board of Industry Leaders, and she is the first executive selected for Spotlight on SEMI Women, which honors accomplished women in the global microelectronics industry. Ms. Gomez is also engaged in STEM and workforce development within the state of Oregon. She is chairman of the Oregon Institute of Technology Board of Trustees, is a board member of Oregon Business Development Commission, and is a board member of Center for Women’s Leadership.

Rita HansenRita Hansen

CEO & Co-Founder, Onboard Dynamics

Rita Hansen is the CEO and co-founder of Onboard Dynamics, a company that is reducing emissions and saving energy costs for its customers. Rita has more than 30 years of executive management, engineering and operations management, and project management experience in a diverse range of industries. Since 2006, she has specialized in early phase environments that focus on global opportunities in the energy and environmental sectors. Rita holds a BS of Industrial Engineering degree from the University of Washington and over the years has continued her education in the fields of management, mathematics, and education. In 2017 and 2019, Rita was selected by the U.S. State Department to represent the United States at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (India and The Netherlands). Rita is a member of the STEM Investment Council for the state of Oregon Chief Education office and is an Advisory Board member for the OSU Advantage Accelerator and for the National Forest Foundation. Rita is also a mentor and advisor to local high schools, and a volunteer for regional economic development activities in Central Oregon. Before re-settling in Central Oregon in 2011, Rita and her husband traveled for 8+ years through 26 countries focusing on exploration, mountaineering, sailing, and diving.

Julie HarrelsonJulie Harrelson

Managing Director & Founder, Cascade Seed Fund

Julie Harrelson is an entrepreneur and investor. She has held multiple executive roles in design, technology, and venture funding and founded Cascade Angels Fund in 2013 and Cascade Seed Fund in 2019. Cascade has invested $7M in 39 investments in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest that employ more than 200 people and generate more than $44 million in revenue. Known for her sense of humor, ability to manage a crowd and knowledge of global trends, Harrelson speaks, emcees, and moderates at international and regional events. A member of the International Women’s Forum (IWF), a 2019 League of Minority Voters Liberty Awardee, The Center for Women’s Leadership 2018 Bolstering Community Awardee, the Bend Chamber of Commerce 2017 Woman of the Year, and a 2014 Woman of Influence Award winner, her board service includes the Oregon State University Advantage Accelerator, the Board of Advisory Directors of the Central & Eastern Oregon Region of U.S. Bank, and the honorary council of the Center for Women’s Leadership at Portland State University.

Commissioner Paula HayesPaula Hayes

Founder & CEO, Hue Noir

Paula Hayes is an entrepreneur and chemist who founded HUE NOIR, LLC, an internationally recognized cosmetic manufacturer and beauty brand. Prior to HUE NOIR, Paula served as a research and development chemist in Los Angeles where she specialized in new product development for blue chip companies in the food, beverage, and cosmetics industries. Paula worked her way into senior management holding various roles from sales and marketing to finance and human resources. Paula holds an MBA from the University of Phoenix and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Lewis & Clark College. She is vice-chair of the Board of Trustees at Lewis and Clark College. She serves as a trustee for World Oregon and she was appointed in 2016 by Oregon Governor Kate Brown as a Business Commissioner for the Oregon Business Development Commission.

Don HendricksonDon Hendrickson

Board Chair, OMIC R&D Technology Board

Don Hendrickson recently retired from The Boeing Company after 34 years of service. Don spent more than 30 years of his career at the Boeing Portland manufacturing facility in leadership roles in Finance, Business Operations, and the Lean organization. Don also had the opportunity to open Boeing’s first manufacturing plant in Europe in Sheffield, United Kingdom. Don is currently the Chair of the Board of Governors of the Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center (OMIC) and was involved in the founding of the organization. Don has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a MBA through the Oregon Executive MBA Program. Don is married and has three children ages 23, 19, and 15.

David HowittDavid M. Howitt

Founder & CEO, Meriwether Group

David M. Howitt, founder & CEO of Meriwether Group and author of Heed Your Call is an inspiring thought leader and accomplished entrepreneur. David has more than twenty years of experience providing financial, strategic, and brand counseling to early stage, and Fortune 100 companies. He has the unique ability to integrate vision and growth strategies with mission and purpose, and has provided guidance to Stumptown Coffee, Dave's Killer Bread, Pendleton, adidas, Voodoo Doughnut, Salomon, Airstream, Klim, Bloch, ABC Carpet & Home, Little Big Burger, and many others. He has achieved success by following the principles outlined in his book, Heed Your Call. He affirms that by embracing the Power of And, where we unite artistry And analytics, and integrate intuition with intellect, that we positively affect the way we live and the world around us.

Dr Danny JacobsDr. Danny Jacobs, MD, MPH, FACS

President, Oregon Health & Science University

Dr. Danny Jacobs is the fifth president of Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) whose mission is to improve the health and well-being of all Oregonians and advance research and education innovation in service to the state and the nation. Serving as a member of the Association of American Medical Colleges’ Board of Directors, the Oregon Business Council Board of Directors, as well as the OHSU, OHSU Foundation, and Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Foundation Boards of Directors, Dr. Jacobs actively pursues health care, research, and education solutions for communities across Oregon.

Dr. Jacobs engages in a wide range of national and regional healthcare, research, and education initiatives while serving as a member of the Association of Academic Health Center’s President’s Council on Cybersecurity, the Oregon Council of Presidents, and the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine, Science and Technology Experts Group. A prolific author and editor with research interests in the metabolic effects of malnutrition, stress, infection and injury, among other interests, Dr. Jacobs has more than 125 peer reviewed publications, as well as three books and 82 reviews, chapters, editorials, and other educationally relevant publications.

Senator Betsy JohnsonSenator Betsy Johnson

Sen. Betsy Johnson is serving her third term in the Oregon Senate. She has followed her own unique educational and career path. She received her undergraduate degree in History from Carleton College in Minnesota. With few job prospects related to history, Sen. Johnson attended night classes at Lewis & Clark College’s Northwestern School of Law. During the day, she worked as the recognizance officer for the Multnomah County Circuit Court.

She obtained her law degree but has never practiced law. Instead, she was a helicopter pilot and also flew fixed-wing aircraft. She and her husband, John Helm, own Transwestern Aviation Inc. in Scappoose. Every school lesson, every job that Sen. Johnson has had, continues to inform her work as a state legislator. On a personal note, Sen. Johnson’s parents, the late Samuel S. Johnson and Becky Johnson were veterans of World War II. Her mother, who served in the Navy, at one time was stationed at Tongue Point.

Paul KingPaul King

Founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer, Ampere Scientific

Dr. Paul E. King is the founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ampere Scientific. Prior to forming Ampere Scientific, he was the President and CTO of ECOKAP Technologies where he developed a novel microwave enhanced carbon conversion technology for climate mitigation. He was the Director of Strategic Partnerships, Outreach and Education for the Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) until 2014 where he led all activities related to partnerships for the lab, including intellectual property management, technology transfer, business development, education, and international relations. He earned his PhD and MSc from OSU and is a graduate of the Oregon State University Advantage Accelerator (Entrepreneur of the Year 2014). Since leaving the Department of Energy, he has raised nearly $40M in dilutive and non-dilutive capital for Ampere Scientific and ECOKA Technologies respectively. As the CEO of Ampere Scientific, he has successfully transitioned a Department of Energy technology from concept, through National Lab development and into an industrial product, winning numerous awards along the way.

Juanita KurtinDr. Juanita Kurtin

Director of Materials Research, OSRAM Opto Semiconductors

Juanita Kurtin is Director of Materials Research for OSRAM Opto Semiconductors. Prior to 2018, Dr. Kurtin was the CTO and co-founder of Pacific Light Technologies (PLT), an Oregon start-up company delivering high quality nanomaterials to the solid-state lighting and display markets in order to increase LED efficiency and brightness. She has a background in the research of nanomaterials for various device applications, including transistors, solar cells, and light emitting diodes. Prior to founding PLT, Dr. Kurtin was the VP of R&D at SpectraWatt, a solar cell manufacturing company, and also spent six years developing new device architectures at Intel. Dr. Kurtin obtained her BS degree in Chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and her PhD in Physical Chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley, studying with quantum dot pioneer Dr. Paul Alivisatos.

Dr. Nagi NaganathanDr. Nagi Naganathan

President, Oregon Tech

Dr. Naganathan is the President of Oregon Tech. During his time there, Dr. Naganathan has focused to extend the reach, recognition, and influence of the state's only polytechnic university. His leadership helped Oregon Tech secure a new engineering and technology facility for Oregon Tech. Several new partnerships and efforts have begun or expanded, including new corporate and higher education collaborations in Oregon and across regional borders. Prior to joining Oregon Tech, Dr. Naganathan served as the dean of the College of Engineering at The University of Toledo (UT) for more than 15 years and was the founding chairperson of the Mechanical, Industrial, and Mechanical Engineering department. He also spearheaded industry partnership work that led to a mandatory co-op program for students to work within the private sector while earning their engineering degrees.

Skip NewberrySkip Newberry

President and CEO

Skip is a frequent speaker on technology trends and topics, economic development, public-private partnerships, and civic innovation. Before joining the TAO, Skip served as an economic development policy advisor to Portland Mayor Sam Adams, where he helped create Portland’s first comprehensive economic development strategy in 16 years, recognizing software as a key industry cluster. While at the city of Portland, Skip’s projects included the adoption of the nation’s first open source software procurement policy at the municipal level, an award-winning regional open data initiative and the development of resources to support entrepreneurship, like the Portland Seed Fund.

Previously, Skip was a corporate and IP attorney and entrepreneur. Skip is Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Directors of TECNA, Technology Councils of North America, which is a global network of technology and entrepreneurship associations, and he serves on the community advisory board for Wells Fargo and several community-based organizations in the Portland area. Skip is also a 2012 recipient of the Portland Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 award. When he's not working on behalf of the region's tech industry, Skip enjoys exploring the Pacific Northwest with his family.

Nitin RaiNitin Rai

Founder and Managing Partner, Elevate Capital

Nitin is a highly successful entrepreneur turned Venture Capitalist and is the Founder and Managing Partner of Elevate Capital, an Oregon-based inclusive venture fund that includes the Capital Fund I and II, Innovation GAP Fund, and an Inclusive Fund, a pre-seed and seed-stage fund that invests in diverse and underserved entrepreneurs. Nearly 60% of Elevate Capital investments are in women, and 40% in African American and LatinX founder/CEOs led startups. He has invested in more than 100 startups since 2011. Elevate also co-invests with TiE Angels where he served as the Chairman of the TiE Global Board of Trustees in 2019. He is also Chair of TiE Global Angels and serves as President of TiE Oregon. Since 1994, Nitin is the Founder, President, and CEO of First Insight Corporation, an electronic health records (EHR) and practice management software, and revenue cycle management company for eye care professionals that is based in Hillsboro, Oregon, and Pune, India.

Sam TannahillSam Tannahill

Founder, A to Z Wineworks/REX HILL

Sam Tannahill graduated with honors from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, VA, and received a post graduate degree from University de Dijon. In 2001 Sam and his wife, Cheryl Francis, founded Francis Tannahill Wine Company and in 2002 they founded A to Z Wineworks with their partners Bill and Deb Hatcher. A to Z Wineworks quickly became the fastest growing winery in Oregon’s history, acquired REX HILL in 2007 and by 2012 was the largest winery in Oregon with distribution in 50 states and 8 international markets. A to Z has also lead sustainability in the wine industry by becoming one of the few LIVE certified wineries in the world, being a founding member of the Governor’s Climate Challenge and becoming in 2014 the world’s only B Corp certified winery. He currently serves on the Oregon Business Council, the Board and Executive Committee of the Oregon Business and Industry, Oregon State’s Food Science and Technology Advisory Committee, and co-chair/co-founder of the Oregon Food and Beverage Leadership Council.

Irem TumerIrem Tumer

Interim Vice President for Research, Oregon State University

Dr. Irem Y. Tumer is the interim vice president for research at Oregon State University. Dr. Tumer brings leadership to a research environment that promotes creativity, entrepreneurship and collaboration; provides support for university-wide research efforts; and maximizes the benefits of research for the economic and social advancement of Oregon, the nation and the world. As an accomplished researcher, a former associate dean for research in OSU’s College of Engineering and a former program manager at NASA, Dr. Tumer experience covers all aspects of the research enterprise. In her role, she is responsible for developing strategy and advocating for research while leading and managing the core functions of the research enterprise. This includes OSU-affiliated centers and institutes; the Office of Commercialization and Corporate development; the Office of Research Integrity; and the Office of Sponsored Research and Award Administration. Dr. Tumer is a professor in the OSU College of Engineering’s School of Mechanical, Industrial, and Manufacturing Engineering and a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Pia Wilson-BodyPia Wilson-Body

President, Intel Foundation

Pia Wilson-Body is the President of the Intel Foundation and Director of Global Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Impact. She oversees the Foundation’s approach for achieving impact in alignment with realizing and achieving Intel’s mission and goals. The Intel Foundation is active worldwide, awarding more than $40 million in grants and focused on supporting philanthropic efforts, disaster relief, and STEM education in underserved communities. A 15-year Intel veteran, Ms. Wilson-Body has held various leadership positions in corporate affairs, human resources, and employee communications. Before her work with Intel, Ms. Wilson-Body held multiple positions in human resources and business operations with the Chrysler Corporation.

Ms. Wilson-Body holds a bachelor’s in Economics from historic Spelman College. She currently serves on numerous non-profit boards, including YWCA USA Board of Directors, Council of Foundations Advisory Board, and Chair, Portland State University’s Center for Women’s Leadership Board. She is a graduate of the Class of 2020 Emerge Oregon. Ms. Wilson-Body is from Dayton, Ohio, and calls Portland, Oregon, home. She is married, and together with her spouse, they have raised two amazing adult sons.

Duncan WyseDuncan Wyse

President, Oregon Business Council

Duncan Wyse has been president of the Oregon Business Council (OBC) since 1995. OBC is a private, non- profit, non-partisan organization whose members are principally chief executives at some of Oregon’s largest enterprises. OBC focuses the knowledge and resources of its members on key, long-range public policy issues facing Oregon, such as economic development, education, health care, transportation, and public finance. OBC has launched many statewide initiatives, including the Oregon Business Plan and Oregon Learns. Duncan also serves as the Executive Director of the Oregon Business Council Charitable Institute. Prior to OBC, Duncan was executive director of the Oregon Progress Board, a state agency where he developed Oregon Shines, Oregon’s long-range strategy for economic growth, and Oregon Benchmarks, indicators measuring how Oregon is doing as a people, place, and economy. Previously, he spent eight years at the California Public Utilities Commission, serving as advisor to the President and Director for Policy and Planning. Wyse earned a B.A. degree from Pomona College and an M.A. in Business Administration from Stanford University. He grew up in Portland and is married with three children.