XXcelerator // COHORT 1

Welcome to our first XXcelerator cohort! We are so excited to see these women and their companies grow over the course of the next 12 months. Meet all of our program participants and learn about their companies below. 

Amanda is a food adventurist, self-proclaimed anthropologist, humanitarian activist, bodybuilder, founder and inventor of VOXA POD™, with a background in sales and entrepreneurship. VOXA POD™ is a thoughtfully innovated menstrual cup for active women. Menstrual cups are a healthier, more eco-responsible alternative to tampons that offer longer leak-free protection and ultimate comfort. With the profits from sales in the United States, VOXA POD™ will fuel its social initiative to help girls in developing countries stay in school after they start their period. We are the purveyors of period management that fits your lifestyle and changes the world in the process. 

Amanda is a food adventurist, self-proclaimed anthropologist, humanitarian activist, bodybuilder, founder and inventor of VOXA POD™, with a background in sales and entrepreneurship.

VOXA POD™ is a thoughtfully innovated menstrual cup for active women. Menstrual cups are a healthier, more eco-responsible alternative to tampons that offer longer leak-free protection and ultimate comfort. With the profits from sales in the United States, VOXA POD™ will fuel its social initiative to help girls in developing countries stay in school after they start their period. We are the purveyors of period management that fits your lifestyle and changes the world in the process. 

Amanda Wilson // VOXA POD™ 

Barbara Fisher is the CEO of Fisher Business Management. Fisher works to create a partnership with some of the fastest growing restaurants, law firms, and service business entrepreneurs in Portland.  Fisher clients’ annual sales range from $250K to $20M.  As a trusted partner, Fisher helps clients grow their businesses by maintaining their financial integrity, thus freeing both management and staff to focus on serving their patrons and clients, developing new products and services.  Her current business challenges are centered around her global delivery model and developing her digital strategies. Barb hails from Portland, Oregon as a native. She was born on Mt. Tabor, and graduated from the University of Oregon. She completed her MBA in 2003, and had her first son shortly thereafter. She currently enjoys living in the city, raising 2 middle school aged sons, reading, power lifting and volunteering as a Rotarian.  

Barbara Fisher is the CEO of Fisher Business Management. Fisher works to create a partnership with some of the fastest growing restaurants, law firms, and service business entrepreneurs in Portland.  Fisher clients’ annual sales range from $250K to $20M.  As a trusted partner, Fisher helps clients grow their businesses by maintaining their financial integrity, thus freeing both management and staff to focus on serving their patrons and clients, developing new products and services.  Her current business challenges are centered around her global delivery model and developing her digital strategies. Barb hails from Portland, Oregon as a native. She was born on Mt. Tabor, and graduated from the University of Oregon. She completed her MBA in 2003, and had her first son shortly thereafter. She currently enjoys living in the city, raising 2 middle school aged sons, reading, power lifting and volunteering as a Rotarian.

 

Barbara Fisher // Fisher Business Management

Chaunci King founded Royalty Spirits in 2013 with the motivation of filling the gap in the market for flavored vodka tailored to women. This led to the debut of her first product, Miru 80 Proof Pear Vodka, in 2014.  Royalty Spirits recently launched Miru Classic Vodka and Rex Whiskey. Their spirits are made deep within the mountains of Oregon and purified in one of the finest distilleries in the Pacific Northwest. 

Chaunci King founded Royalty Spirits in 2013 with the motivation of filling the gap in the market for flavored vodka tailored to women. This led to the debut of her first product, Miru 80 Proof Pear Vodka, in 2014. 

Royalty Spirits recently launched Miru Classic Vodka and Rex Whiskey. Their spirits are made deep within the mountains of Oregon and purified in one of the finest distilleries in the Pacific Northwest. 

Chaunci King // Royalty Spirits

Ground Up is a for-profit business intent on training disadvantaged women in the Greater Portland area in marketable skills through the production and sales of delicious & nutritious nut butters! We take a holistic approach to empowerment, offering personal development services and mentoring during the workday. Our goal is for women to engage in creative self-expression with the hope of gaining confidence and realizing their full potential. Women will work with us for 6-9 months and then transition into full-time employment at Portland-area businesses. Carolyn has been making and selling nut butters for years to friends and family, and has been perfecting her unique recipe. After developing a passion for nutrition and wellness through dealing with her own health issues, she began to notice a gap in the marketplace for nut butters made with simple ingredients, original flavorings, and without the addition of sugar, peanuts and other additives. Carolyn has a business degree from Babson. Her favorite Ground Up flavor is Lavender Honey—it's delicious swirled into oatmeal or added to morning smoothies!

Ground Up is a for-profit business intent on training disadvantaged women in the Greater Portland area in marketable skills through the production and sales of delicious & nutritious nut butters! We take a holistic approach to empowerment, offering personal development services and mentoring during the workday. Our goal is for women to engage in creative self-expression with the hope of gaining confidence and realizing their full potential. Women will work with us for 6-9 months and then transition into full-time employment at Portland-area businesses.

Carolyn has been making and selling nut butters for years to friends and family, and has been perfecting her unique recipe. After developing a passion for nutrition and wellness through dealing with her own health issues, she began to notice a gap in the marketplace for nut butters made with simple ingredients, original flavorings, and without the addition of sugar, peanuts and other additives. Carolyn has a business degree from Babson. Her favorite Ground Up flavor is Lavender Honey—it's delicious swirled into oatmeal or added to morning smoothies!

Carolyn Cesario // Ground Up 

In December 2010, Chi Nguyen-Ventura set out to create a paradigm shift in an antiquated, carbon-heavy industry of automotive maintenance. AutoMedic, Inc. has been a labor of love for Chi. She has been at the helm over the last 8 years of this MWBE/ESB/DBE certified business striving to creating living wage jobs, bringing respect back to the front line, and seeking to empower the frontline staff with the principle of "lifting as we rise." Chi was a first-generation American who immigrated from Vietnam as a political refugee. She is a self-proclaimed "proud product of Portland Public Schools" and thankful for a Presidential Scholarship went on to receive her Honors Bachelor of Science from Oregon State University before her MBA with Honors from Willamette University-Atkinson Graduate School of Management. Aside from founding her startup, she also serves as a Contributing Assistant Professor at Willamette University.

In December 2010, Chi Nguyen-Ventura set out to create a paradigm shift in an antiquated, carbon-heavy industry of automotive maintenance. AutoMedic, Inc. has been a labor of love for Chi. She has been at the helm over the last 8 years of this MWBE/ESB/DBE certified business striving to creating living wage jobs, bringing respect back to the front line, and seeking to empower the frontline staff with the principle of "lifting as we rise." Chi was a first-generation American who immigrated from Vietnam as a political refugee. She is a self-proclaimed "proud product of Portland Public Schools" and thankful for a Presidential Scholarship went on to receive her Honors Bachelor of Science from Oregon State University before her MBA with Honors from Willamette University-Atkinson Graduate School of Management. Aside from founding her startup, she also serves as a Contributing Assistant Professor at Willamette University.

Chi Nguyen-Ventura // AutoMedic

Christa King is the CEO & Founder of Fitlandia. She’s also a recovered dieter. After reaching her highest weight of 192, she hit a wall and was determined to crack her own code for a making a healthier lifestyle change. Leaving a successful, 23-yr career in hospitality behind, she became a certified hypnotherapist, life coach, and nutritional therapist. By putting these pieces together, she saw what was truly missing in the diet and fitness industry: a holistic approach that starts with strengthening the mind. Her signature Mind Zoning® process helps people create new neural pathways in the brain to enable them to make a permanent, lifestyle change.

Christa King is the CEO & Founder of Fitlandia. She’s also a recovered dieter. After reaching her highest weight of 192, she hit a wall and was determined to crack her own code for a making a healthier lifestyle change. Leaving a successful, 23-yr career in hospitality behind, she became a certified hypnotherapist, life coach, and nutritional therapist. By putting these pieces together, she saw what was truly missing in the diet and fitness industry: a holistic approach that starts with strengthening the mind. Her signature Mind Zoning® process helps people create new neural pathways in the brain to enable them to make a permanent, lifestyle change.

Christa King // Fitlandia

They say I'm a dreamer, but I know I'm not the only one. I'm on a mission to inspire women all over the world to understand the value of building long term business relationships based on MOXIE values. I'm a life enthusiast, spending my days serving as a trusted advisor & Realtor in Portland, OR. Looking for real estate advice? Even if you're not in Portland (wink wink) I have a HUGE global network of kickass Realtors. Reach out, I'll give you a quality introduction in your area. I'm a connector & magic genie wish granter. I like to be in the spotlight but I shine it around on everyone who comes in my sandbox to play. Friend me on Facebook, let's find how we can inspire & help other.

They say I'm a dreamer, but I know I'm not the only one. I'm on a mission to inspire women all over the world to understand the value of building long term business relationships based on MOXIE values.

I'm a life enthusiast, spending my days serving as a trusted advisor & Realtor in Portland, OR. Looking for real estate advice? Even if you're not in Portland (wink wink) I have a HUGE global network of kickass Realtors. Reach out, I'll give you a quality introduction in your area.

I'm a connector & magic genie wish granter. I like to be in the spotlight but I shine it around on everyone who comes in my sandbox to play. Friend me on Facebook, let's find how we can inspire & help other.

Dill Ward // Women with Moxie

n 2015, Farah made the decision to leave a traditional career in consulting to wander off to Portland, OR to learn about coffee. In a land of meticulously curated coffee, she quickly found a lack of high quality chai to match. A little while later, she co-founded One Stripe Chai Co, a small-batch chai concentrate brewed and bottled in Southeast Portland. One Stripe is bold and spicy, using freshly ground organic spices, and the spice is perfectly balanced with local honey and palm sugar. Wholesale operations have been in place for two year and the company is growing into the retail space currently. One Stripe strives to provide a bold and spicy chai at home or on the go!

n 2015, Farah made the decision to leave a traditional career in consulting to wander off to Portland, OR to learn about coffee. In a land of meticulously curated coffee, she quickly found a lack of high quality chai to match. A little while later, she co-founded One Stripe Chai Co, a small-batch chai concentrate brewed and bottled in Southeast Portland. One Stripe is bold and spicy, using freshly ground organic spices, and the spice is perfectly balanced with local honey and palm sugar. Wholesale operations have been in place for two year and the company is growing into the retail space currently. One Stripe strives to provide a bold and spicy chai at home or on the go!

Farah Jesani // One Stripe Chai Co.

My name is Jennifer and I'm an SF native who now calls Portland home. I'm a daughter of immigrants - proud of my roots and celebrate two cultures. I'm equal parts right brain and left brain. With a background in interior design and retail operations and management this came in handy. I'm the curator and founder of Vía Raíz - a place where Mexican craftsmanship meets modern design. I work with highly skilled makers and innovative designers who are reinterpreting traditional Mexican craft - bridging the divide between ancestral craft and contemporary design. As a lifestyle brand, Vía Raíz offers the customer the ability to explore this new burgeoning culture and movement that is happening in Mexico. We offer something that many customers are looking for - thoughtful design, authenticity and transparency. We carefully curate a selection of home accessories, kitchenware, tabletop, books, jewelry, and so much more.

My name is Jennifer and I'm an SF native who now calls Portland home. I'm a daughter of immigrants - proud of my roots and celebrate two cultures. I'm equal parts right brain and left brain. With a background in interior design and retail operations and management this came in handy. I'm the curator and founder of Vía Raíz - a place where Mexican craftsmanship meets modern design. I work with highly skilled makers and innovative designers who are reinterpreting traditional Mexican craft - bridging the divide between ancestral craft and contemporary design. As a lifestyle brand, Vía Raíz offers the customer the ability to explore this new burgeoning culture and movement that is happening in Mexico. We offer something that many customers are looking for - thoughtful design, authenticity and transparency. We carefully curate a selection of home accessories, kitchenware, tabletop, books, jewelry, and so much more.

Jennifer Bolanos // Vía Raíz

I founded Roger That to solve problems I experienced sitting on the client side of the creative table many times over the years: quality of deliverables and delivery of service was inconsistent and it took way too long to get a creative project to completion. The Roger That Brand Sprint consistently delights our clients by solving problems of quality, service, and velocity. We deliver branded websites that give our clients instant credibility and attract the right customer. And, we deliver it in 3-6 weeks. With a career that spans two decades, four continents and multiple industries I bring an unusual depth and breadth of experience to my work. I got started working for Fortune 50 and 500 companies in healthcare. Since then, I've gained hands-on experience in technology, food, corporate philanthropy and social responsibility, media and journalism, nonprofit, international development, and more. I currently serve as an advisory board member with Oregon MESA and served as a board member for Friends of the Oregon Commission for Women.

I founded Roger That to solve problems I experienced sitting on the client side of the creative table many times over the years: quality of deliverables and delivery of service was inconsistent and it took way too long to get a creative project to completion. The Roger That Brand Sprint consistently delights our clients by solving problems of quality, service, and velocity. We deliver branded websites that give our clients instant credibility and attract the right customer. And, we deliver it in 3-6 weeks.

With a career that spans two decades, four continents and multiple industries I bring an unusual depth and breadth of experience to my work. I got started working for Fortune 50 and 500 companies in healthcare. Since then, I've gained hands-on experience in technology, food, corporate philanthropy and social responsibility, media and journalism, nonprofit, international development, and more. I currently serve as an advisory board member with Oregon MESA and served as a board member for Friends of the Oregon Commission for Women.

Jennifer Ruwart // Roger That

Freeland Spirits is Portland’s new craft distillery. Freeland is named after my Meemaw (that’s what we call grandmas in Texas) Freeland, who never touched a drop of booze in her life but taught me that all good things come from scratch. And that women can be anything they want. Freeland Spirits celebrates the women of the craft. From the gals who grow the grain, to those who run the still, we’re creating superior spirits that celebrate all the Northwest has to offer. Freeland Spirits is one of very few women owned and run distilleries in history. In December 2017, we are launching Freeland Spirits Gin, crafted by hand in small batches. A traditional copper pot still brings juniper and 13 other botanicals to life. Meanwhile, a state of the art vacuum still cajoles quieter flavors including fresh cucumber, honey, rosemary, mint and thyme. Yes, delicious in cocktails. But we suggest sipping it with just a cube of ice. Whiskey is coming. We can’t say when – that’s up to the whiskey.

Freeland Spirits is Portland’s new craft distillery. Freeland is named after my Meemaw (that’s what we call grandmas in Texas) Freeland, who never touched a drop of booze in her life but taught me that all good things come from scratch. And that women can be anything they want.

Freeland Spirits celebrates the women of the craft. From the gals who grow the grain, to those who run the still, we’re creating superior spirits that celebrate all the Northwest has to offer. Freeland Spirits is one of very few women owned and run distilleries in history.

In December 2017, we are launching Freeland Spirits Gin, crafted by hand in small batches. A traditional copper pot still brings juniper and 13 other botanicals to life. Meanwhile, a state of the art vacuum still cajoles quieter flavors including fresh cucumber, honey, rosemary, mint and thyme. Yes, delicious in cocktails. But we suggest sipping it with just a cube of ice. Whiskey is coming. We can’t say when – that’s up to the whiskey.

Jill Kuehler // Freeland Spirits

Kateigh Williams is a cofounder and the CEO of Heritage Laboratories, an ingestible skincare brand providing holistic skin nutrition in the form of nutritional supplements. For over a decade, Williams has been building and launching premium and luxury brands in the fashion and lifestyle space in Los Angeles, New York and across Europe.

Heritage Laboratories is a skincare supplement company, initially targeting affluent Asian American women.  We're inspired by the time-honored tradition of eating with health and beauty in mind, that's been customary for thousands of years in Asia.  In celebration of this daily ritual, Heritage Laboratories is modernizing the tradition through a new form of ingestible skincare - created to give brighter, firmer and more hydrated skin - naturally, from the inside out. Having grown up between the US and Hong Kong, Williams is intimately familiar with the wants, needs and consumer behaviors of this target market. Understanding the psychology of her cultural preferences, media exposure and product usage, Heritage Laboratories is poised to scale into a global brand that commands both customer loyalty and future brand acquisition.

Kateigh Williams // Heritage Laboratories

What started as a creative outlet while earning her mechanical engineering degree is a now full-time venture for Portland native Kayin Talton Davis. Her business, Soapbox Theory, sells cards, tote bags, pillows, T-shirts, and much more, all adorned with Talton Davis' illustrations of Black community—art that she first started drawing in the margins of her class notes. Talton Davis recalls that as she was growing up there were not a lot of people who looked like her in the books she read in school, and images in the media. So she began creating her own representations. That same passion to represent the under-represented started Talton Davis on the path to engineering. On a field trip in middle school Talton Davis met a woman who was a mechanical engineer designing children's prosthetics. She was immediately inspired. "I knew I wanted to create something that was positive, helpful and accessible to all." Standing among her colorful creations she looks proud, accomplished, and at home. "It is incredibly fun seeing kids react to my artwork," she says. "The moment they say, 'he/she looks like me!' is when it is reaffirmed that I am doing the right thing." Kayin is a 2017 winner of PitchBlack.

What started as a creative outlet while earning her mechanical engineering degree is a now full-time venture for Portland native Kayin Talton Davis. Her business, Soapbox Theory, sells cards, tote bags, pillows, T-shirts, and much more, all adorned with Talton Davis' illustrations of Black community—art that she first started drawing in the margins of her class notes.

Talton Davis recalls that as she was growing up there were not a lot of people who looked like her in the books she read in school, and images in the media. So she began creating her own representations. That same passion to represent the under-represented started Talton Davis on the path to engineering. On a field trip in middle school Talton Davis met a woman who was a mechanical engineer designing children's prosthetics. She was immediately inspired. "I knew I wanted to create something that was positive, helpful and accessible to all."

Standing among her colorful creations she looks proud, accomplished, and at home. "It is incredibly fun seeing kids react to my artwork," she says. "The moment they say, 'he/she looks like me!' is when it is reaffirmed that I am doing the right thing."

Kayin is a 2017 winner of PitchBlack.

Kayin Talton Davis // Soapbox Theory

Spela Cosmetics is a Portland, Oregon based company committed to creating high quality cosmetics in formulas that are vegan, cruelty free, and non-toxic.  Spela launched in October 2016 with a line of matte liquid lipsticks, and has enjoyed widespread distribution in its first year of operations including partnerships with Anthropologie, J.Crew, and Free People.  Spela is actively researching new products to expand their range while staying committed to the core principles that guide our company.  Maryam Behrouzi, Spela's Founder and CEO, first fell in love with cosmetics while in High School as part of the Makeup Crew that provided all makeup for drama and fashion productions.  It was then that she first thought of creating a cosmetics line, but put it aside to pursue other goals.  After several years working as an Attorney, Maryam decided to pursue her dream of starting a beauty label, but now with the guiding values she's developed of creating a high quality product that you can feel great about using. 

Spela Cosmetics is a Portland, Oregon based company committed to creating high quality cosmetics in formulas that are vegan, cruelty free, and non-toxic.  Spela launched in October 2016 with a line of matte liquid lipsticks, and has enjoyed widespread distribution in its first year of operations including partnerships with Anthropologie, J.Crew, and Free People.  Spela is actively researching new products to expand their range while staying committed to the core principles that guide our company. 

Maryam Behrouzi, Spela's Founder and CEO, first fell in love with cosmetics while in High School as part of the Makeup Crew that provided all makeup for drama and fashion productions.  It was then that she first thought of creating a cosmetics line, but put it aside to pursue other goals.  After several years working as an Attorney, Maryam decided to pursue her dream of starting a beauty label, but now with the guiding values she's developed of creating a high quality product that you can feel great about using. 

Maryam Behrouzi // Spela Cosmetics

I have a varied and interesting past. I was born, raised and educated in the deep south, between Houston, New Orleans and Austin. I have degrees in engineering and architecture and had a career in product design. Ultimately I landed my dream job as a snowboard designer for K2. In 2005 I suffered a paralyzing injury. After some soul searching I decided to pursue another dream: having my own business. In late 2013 I started Lola’s. In the Fall of 2015 I quit my job and dedicated myself full time to the business. It is now Fall of 2017, and Lola’s is ready to scale! 

I have a varied and interesting past. I was born, raised and educated in the deep south, between Houston, New Orleans and Austin. I have degrees in engineering and architecture and had a career in product design. Ultimately I landed my dream job as a snowboard designer for K2. In 2005 I suffered a paralyzing injury. After some soul searching I decided to pursue another dream: having my own business. In late 2013 I started Lola’s. In the Fall of 2015 I quit my job and dedicated myself full time to the business. It is now Fall of 2017, and Lola’s is ready to scale! 

Molly Rogers // Lola's Fruit Shrubs

Monica Borrell // Cardsmith Monica Borrell has founded and led a variety of companies from gourmet foods to data warehousing software.  She is currently the CEO of Cardsmith. Sticky-notes have been used by teams for years for visual collaboration, communication and productivity. Cardsmith brings the Flexibility and Simplicity of Sticky-notes and whiteboards to Agile teams working in a remote capacity.

Monica Borrell // Cardsmith

Monica Borrell has founded and led a variety of companies from gourmet foods to data warehousing software. 

She is currently the CEO of Cardsmith. Sticky-notes have been used by teams for years for visual collaboration, communication and productivity. Cardsmith brings the Flexibility and Simplicity of Sticky-notes and whiteboards to Agile teams working in a remote capacity.

Monica Borrell // Cardsmith

Paola is a proven technology executive with more than 20 years of experience in leading organizations both at startups and established companies. She’s run everything from product teams at Intel developing first generation wireless and cloud solutions to startup dev teams in the wireless space. The seeds of the idea for Nouvola were planted when she was director of Software for Intel’s Data Center Group, where she worked on solving scalability issues for companies like Facebook.

Nouvola is leading innovation in web/mobile/API performance testing, offering a native cloud-based turnkey solution. Nouvola's flagship product, DiveCloud, readily scales to meet the needs of Fortune 1000 enterprises, and it's not hard to see why. To your customers, your site (or app) is the real-time embodiment of your brand. And in today's increasingly fast-paced, mobile world, speed is "Feature #1".

Paola Moretto // Nouvola

Happy Birthwear is founded and designed by Sarah Livingstone. Sarah married her skills as a professional fashion designer and doula to create apparel that provides functionality, support, comfort and style during labor and birth. While assisting in births as a doula, Sarah witnessed her clients were not getting their needs met with the traditional hospital gown, which was poorly designed for labor and birth. She believed women deserved better on this important day of their lives and created a new category of apparel, birthwear, to solve this problem. After many prototypes and testing, Happy Birthwear came to life and has prospered.

Happy Birthwear is founded and designed by Sarah Livingstone. Sarah married her skills as a professional fashion designer and doula to create apparel that provides functionality, support, comfort and style during labor and birth. While assisting in births as a doula, Sarah witnessed her clients were not getting their needs met with the traditional hospital gown, which was poorly designed for labor and birth. She believed women deserved better on this important day of their lives and created a new category of apparel, birthwear, to solve this problem. After many prototypes and testing, Happy Birthwear came to life and has prospered.

Sarah Livingstone // Happy Birthwear

Shannon is one of the Co-Founders of Red Duck Foods, Inc. and manages operations, supply chain, and R&D.  She and two classmates started the company while earning their MBAs at the University of Oregon and have grown the company from 3 stores and 3 products in May 2013 to over 2400 stores nationally and 11 products in Oct 2017.  Shannon also holds Bachelors Degrees in both Biology and Psychology from UC San Diego and enjoys running 100 mile trail races.  

Shannon is one of the Co-Founders of Red Duck Foods, Inc. and manages operations, supply chain, and R&D.  She and two classmates started the company while earning their MBAs at the University of Oregon and have grown the company from 3 stores and 3 products in May 2013 to over 2400 stores nationally and 11 products in Oct 2017.  Shannon also holds Bachelors Degrees in both Biology and Psychology from UC San Diego and enjoys running 100 mile trail races.  

Shannon Oliver // Red Duck Foods

WOMBneuro.science inspires women to cultivate their talents and abilities for everyday creativity, every phase of their cycle. Founder Shara Raqs, a leading expert on creativity and menstrual cycles, designs WOMB's cognitive training programs in collaboration with a team of curious cycle trackers, neuroscience researchers and women's health specialists. Ms. Raqs has extensive experience in fine arts, performing arts, creative IT, product/brand management, research and technology start-up. Before founding WOMB, she mastered the art of mindfulness through body awareness as a professional dancer. And before dance, she led technology projects at startups and ad agencies for clients including AT&T and Adobe. Her insatiable research interests include patterns in nature, neurobiological origins of the Muse and peak performance phenomena like flow. 

WOMBneuro.science inspires women to cultivate their talents and abilities for everyday creativity, every phase of their cycle. Founder Shara Raqs, a leading expert on creativity and menstrual cycles, designs WOMB's cognitive training programs in collaboration with a team of curious cycle trackers, neuroscience researchers and women's health specialists. Ms. Raqs has extensive experience in fine arts, performing arts, creative IT, product/brand management, research and technology start-up. Before founding WOMB, she mastered the art of mindfulness through body awareness as a professional dancer. And before dance, she led technology projects at startups and ad agencies for clients including AT&T and Adobe. Her insatiable research interests include patterns in nature, neurobiological origins of the Muse and peak performance phenomena like flow. 

Shara Raqs // WOMB

Tech Talent Link was founded in 2014 by Susan Robinson from her passion for successfully connecting companies with excellent technology focused professionals.  With a Bachelor of Engineering in Information Systems Management and an MBA, Susan started her career as a software developer working her way up to a Project Manager.  Almost 20 years ago she entered the staffing world where she has enjoyed working ever since.  Tech Talent Link’s utilizes Persistent Recruiting to identify qualified candidates and an 11 step Talent Acquisition process to ensure the process goes smoothly for both clients and candidates. 

Tech Talent Link was founded in 2014 by Susan Robinson from her passion for successfully connecting companies with excellent technology focused professionals.  With a Bachelor of Engineering in Information Systems Management and an MBA, Susan started her career as a software developer working her way up to a Project Manager.  Almost 20 years ago she entered the staffing world where she has enjoyed working ever since.  Tech Talent Link’s utilizes Persistent Recruiting to identify qualified candidates and an 11 step Talent Acquisition process to ensure the process goes smoothly for both clients and candidates. 

Susan Robinson // Tech Talent Link

Talena has been working with non-profit organizations on fundraising strategy and events for 15 years, having raised millions of dollars for charities and their world-changing missions.  She is passionate about philanthropy and designing tools to make it easier for businesses give meaningfully and strategically and to lessen the barriers to success and mutual communication across the giving lifecycle for charities and donors alike. Mission Limelight provides a suite of solutions that help non-profits raise more money for their cause, and businesses drive greater success by dovetailing their philanthropic and marketing goals and telling the true story of how their giving has social impact. Mission Limelight recently launched their first solution online, the Mission Limelight Exchange, which helps non-profits raise more money by exchanging locally-sourced auction packages that fail to excite their local audiences, with other non-profits across the country.  This powerful tool revamps fundraising auction lineups to build exponentially greater auction attendance, enthusiasm and fundraising capability. The Mission Limelight team recently presented at the Bend Venture Conference as a finalist in the Early Stage category, and successfully completed an entrepreneurship program through TiE Oregon.

Talena has been working with non-profit organizations on fundraising strategy and events for 15 years, having raised millions of dollars for charities and their world-changing missions.  She is passionate about philanthropy and designing tools to make it easier for businesses give meaningfully and strategically and to lessen the barriers to success and mutual communication across the giving lifecycle for charities and donors alike.

Mission Limelight provides a suite of solutions that help non-profits raise more money for their cause, and businesses drive greater success by dovetailing their philanthropic and marketing goals and telling the true story of how their giving has social impact. Mission Limelight recently launched their first solution online, the Mission Limelight Exchange, which helps non-profits raise more money by exchanging locally-sourced auction packages that fail to excite their local audiences, with other non-profits across the country.  This powerful tool revamps fundraising auction lineups to build exponentially greater auction attendance, enthusiasm and fundraising capability. The Mission Limelight team recently presented at the Bend Venture Conference as a finalist in the Early Stage category, and successfully completed an entrepreneurship program through TiE Oregon.

Talena Barker // Mission Limelight