Brianna McDonald, Regional President, Keiretsu Forum Northwest, “Creating Solutions Through Entrepreneurship for our Regional Challenges”
Brianna currently leads as President the Northwest Region of the Keiretsu Forum angel investment community, the largest and most active venture investor globally, comprising over 50 chapters, with over 2,500 active members investing over $75 million annually into over 180 companies. Brianna is also an active advisor to Keiretsu Capital in supporting due diligence, co-investments, and syndications for each of their Co‑Investments Funds.
Brianna has been an active leader and angel investor with Keiretsu Forum since its launch in Seattle in 2005 and supporting its growth to become the largest and most active group globally.
As a principal in the Clark Nuber’s tax practice, Amber uses her extensive experience to manage and solve a wide range of tax compliance and consulting issues for privately owned mid-market clients, focused on the healthcare, senior living, real estate, and hospitality industries. Prior to joining Clark Nuber, Amber spent time at a Big Four accounting firm, a large regional firm, and most recently was with Clothier & Head in Seattle.
Arena Sports CEO Don Crowe is more than just an accomplished businessman with a vision and high expectations. He is a family guy with a great sense of humor and a passion for soccer, golf, and overall fun. He lives by the motto: “Work hard, but play harder.” He is the type to dole out the compliments when deserved or straighten your path when you’re off course. You always know where you stand with Don, and he’s always there to help you develop professionally.
Steve Marshall, Transportation Technology Partnership Manager, City of Bellevue, “The Future of Transportation in Bellevue: Automated, Connected, Electric & Shared”
Steve Marshall is the Transportation Technology Partnership Manager for the City of Bellevue, a new position created by the Bellevue City Council. Before that he was executive director of the Center for Advanced Transportation and Energy Solutions. He has more than 30 years of experience working on energy and transportation issues, including serving as chief outside legal counsel to Puget Sound Power & Light as a partner at the law firm of Perkins Coie. At Perkins Coie his first work was defending Boeing in aircraft crash cases.
Dave is a proud member of Clover Park (Lakewood) Rotary Club, a Paul Harris Fellow, and served as the club’s Public Relations Director. He has been a ShelterBox Ambassador since April 2017, having gone through the ShelterBox Response Team selection process in Canada (2017) and also additional field training in 2018.
A retired local law enforcement officer, Dave’s career included 4 years with the Town of Steilacoom, 16 years with Pierce County Sheriff’s office, and his final position as Assistant Chief, City of Lakewood PD.
Polyverse Corporation is the world’s leading cybersecurity vendor of moving target defense technologies for Linux. Before founding Polyverse Corporation, Alex Gounares led Concurix Corporation, a maker of Node.js profiling tools. These tools were acquired by Strongloop, Inc., and integrated into the Strongloop Arc platform.
Prior to Concurix, Alex served as AOL’s Chief Technology Officer. In this role, he led all aspects of AOL’s technology strategy, platform development, and external technology partnerships. He was responsible for all of AOL’s global engineering, IT, and operations functions. In addition, he served as a member of the company’s Global Executive Operating Committee.
Slade Gorton began his political career in 1958 as a Washington State representative; he went on to serve as state House majority leader. In 1968, he was elected state Attorney General. He served three terms, during which he argued 14 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. He focused on consumer protection, closing down shady car dealers, exposing pyramid schemes, reducing vehicle pollution and preserving public access to ocean beaches. On his watch, the office tripled the number of citizen complaints it resolved. He was active in organizations to improve the training of law officers, creating a base of support from law enforcement that lasted through his Senate
Slade’s strategic skills were highly valued during the three terms he served in the Senate. When complicated legislation came to the Senate floor with members squabbling over elements of a bill, they regularly turned to Slade, who calmly worked with competing viewpoints and found solutions that allowed needed legislation to pass. His intellect and ability to create compromise earned him a spot as formal counsel to Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, and he was a key strategist in passing major welfare reform and the Balanced Budget Act of 1997.
Dennis Moran, President/Chief Counsel, Fishermen’s Finest, Inc., “Largest Private Shipbuilding Project in Washington State in 15 Years — What Could Go Wrong?”
Dennis Moran began his career in the Alaska commercial fishing industry as a processor during the 1984 Bristol Bay salmon season. He earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Washington in 1987 and a Juris Doctorate in 1990.
Mr. Moran spent the next 23 years working as a maritime attorney and advisor to fishing companies in Washington, Alaska, Hawaii, the UK, the Russian Federation, South Korea, Mexico, and French Polynesia.
Mar Brettmann, Executive Director, Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking (BEST), “Ending Sex Trafficking”
Mar Smith Brettmann, PhD, founded Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking (BEST). For ten years, Mar worked as a professor at universities in the United States, Malaysia, and the West Indies, where she taught courses in philosophy, ethics, and religion and published articles on human rights topics. In her research, she found herself increasingly concerned about the brutal exploitation of children, women, and impoverished laborers that takes place through human trafficking.
In 2011, Mar participated in a conversation of experts on human trafficking who were seeking to identify effective interventions to proactively prevent this victimization. The group recognized that businesses were absolutely key to prevention yet they were largely missing from the national response.
Shiv Batra has been a Bellevue Rotarian since 2000 and a resident of Washington State since 1979. Prior to coming to Washington, he and his wife attended the University of Nebraska. They have 2 children and 4 grandchildren, and they all live in the Seattle area.
In 1983 Shiv co‑founded an Engineering Company called INCA Engineers. Since the 1990’s, the Company has been heavily engaged in the planning and design of several locks and dams on the Columbia, Ohio, and Mississippi River systems, and also on the Panama Canal.
Phil Talmadge is a graduate of West Seattle High School, as a National Merit scholar. He has a B.A. (magna cum laude) from Yale and a J.D. from the University of Washington, where he was on the Law Review.
Phil served in the Washington State Senate from 1979 to 1995. He chaired the Judiciary and Health Care Committees in the Senate, where he was a leader in court reform, alternate dispute resolution, crime victims’ rights, domestic violence prevention, public health, mental health, and health care reform. He served on the Washington Supreme Court from 1995 to 2001. He promoted the judicial information system, privacy of court records, and court reform.
Patti Skelton-McGougan, Chief Executive Officer, Youth Eastside Services, “Supporting Young People in Turbulent Times”
Patti Skelton-McGougan has been the Chief Executive Officer of Youth Eastside Services since 1997. She holds a degree in Social Work/Sociology from Washington State University, and is a graduate of the University of Washington’s Cascade Public Executive Program and Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business’ Executive Program.
Officer Brad Knudtsen is a 20-year veteran with the Bellevue Police Department. He is the senior member of the K9 Unit and a SWAT Team Leader. Officer Knudtsen worked Police K9 Roc for 7 years, before retiring him and training his new partner.
Police K9 Tyr, a 3‑year‑old Belgian Malinois from Holland, has been with the Department since November 2016.
President of John Curley Auctions (J.C.A.), John Curley has singlehandedly raised $85,000,000 for charities — and he is on track to raise $100,000,000 for non‑profits within six years.
John is an Emmy® and Edward R. Murrow® Award-winning broadcaster, with a television and radio career spanning 30 years, with work in major markets on both the East and West Coasts. He has hosted KING TV’s Evening Magazine in Seattle for a record 16 years, and he is known as the most recognized local celebrity in the Emerald City.
Tony Softli, Owner/Managing Member, Softli Sports Consulting LLC & Cattleya Media LLC; NFL Analyst, I‑HeartMedia/Sports Radio 950 KJR, “NFL Draft Process is a True Projection”
Softli Sports Consulting LLC serves Student-Athletes and Parents in the Recruiting Process, Collegiate Football Players in Human Performance Mentoring, offers Leadership Consulting, Life Skills, NFL Combine Prep, and guides retired NFL Players in life after professional sports, in continued academic and career development. Other clients include Professional Sports Organizations, Sports Equipment Manufacture, Football Analytical Corporations, NFLP,A and NFLPI.
Softli previously worked in St. Louis, MO, for 101 ESPN flagship station for Rams Radio Network, where he served as the sideline reporter covering St. Louis Rams 2011-2014.
Donald P. Nielsen, Senior Fellow of Discovery Institute & Chair of the Institute’s American Center for Transforming Education, “Transforming Public Education”
Donald P. Nielsen chairs the Discovery Institute’s American Center for Transforming Education. He also serves as Chairman of Lumenal Lighting, LLC, a business he purchased in 2004. Lumenal Lighting is in the commercial lighting business and serves companies, schools, government facilities, and non-profit organizations in the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii.
Since 1992, Mr. Nielsen has concentrated his activities in the field of public education. He traveled the country for two years studying America’s public education system and subsequently was elected to the Board of the Seattle Public Schools. He served on the board for eight years and was President of the Board in 2000‑01. During his tenure, Mr. Nielsen and his colleagues oversaw major reforms to the Seattle Public School System that greatly enhanced the educational experience — and heightened achievement — for students, administrators, teachers, and parents.
Born and raised in King County, Mitzi Johanknecht has served her community for 33 years and is an experienced, progressive law enforcement leader. She began her law enforcement career when she joined the King County Sheriff’s Office on January 8th, 1985. Through her history of dedication and hard work, along with a strong sense of honor and respect, she worked her way up through the ranks and was elected to the position of Sheriff on November 7, 2017.