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Tech Moves: WTIA elects new board leadership; Adriane Brown joins American Airlines board – GeekWire


From left to right: Dave Cotter and Kristen Forecki (Dave Cotter and Convoy Photos)

— The Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA) elected Dave Cotter as the new chair of its board of directors and Kristen Forecki as vice chair for the next two years.

Cotter is currently chief product officer at cannabis website and marketplace Leafly. He joined the WTIA board four years ago. A serial entrepreneur and veteran of companies including Zulily, Amazon and Microsoft, he has become an advocate for systemic change to dismantle racism in business and tech.

“The Washington State tech sector plays a vital role in job creation, economic growth and the advancement of critical workplace priorities including diversity, equity and inclusion,” Cotter said.

Forecki has been on the WTIA board for two years and is currently vice president of supply at digital freight startup Convoy. She was previously director of operations at pet marketplace Rover and a senior product manager at Amazon.

GeekWire caught up with Forecki last year about the combinations of lucky breaks and relentless hard work that have shaped her career in this Working Geek feature.

Investor Heather Redman served as the WTIA board chair since 2019 and will now be an emeritus board member for a year.

Adriane Brown. (Axon Photo)

— Seattle venture capitalist Adriane Brown is joining the board of American Airlines Group, one of the largest airlines in the world.

A leader and well-known former executive in Seattle’s technology and business community, Brown is currently a managing partner at Seattle VC firm Flying Fish Partners.

Brown also currently serves on the boards of eBay, Washington Research Foundation/WRF Capital and, since last year, law enforcement technology maker Axon. Former president and COO of Intellectual Ventures, Brown has held past executive roles at companies including Corning and Honeywell.

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— Zillow Group named Susan Daimler as president and Jeremy Wacksman as chief operating officer. The two longtime leaders were promoted as part of an “organizational realignment” to reflect the company’s new focus on the end-to-end home-buying and selling experience. Read the story.

Pieter Krynauw. (ThruWave Photo)

— University of Washington spinout ThruWave announced Pieter Krynauw as its chief executive officer. Krynauw was most recently president of Intelligrated, a subsidiary of Honeywell that provides automated material handling solutions.

Krynauw succeeds UW Associate Professor Matt Reynolds, one of ThruWave’s founders, who has led the company as CEO since its founding in 2017. Reynolds is now chief scientist, developing the startup’s millimeter-wave sensing and imaging technologies.

ThruWave’s technology allows users to measure cube utilization, count items, and detect missing or damaged items without opening packaging. The Seattle startup raised $6.4 million in funding last year to continue commercialization of its technology. A featured “Inventions We Love” at the 2020 GeekWire Summit, watch how ThruWave works.

— Indian logistics startup FarEye announced Amazon and Microsoft veteran Suvrat Joshi as its chief product officer.

“Suvrat is a product-visionary and has an impressive background with some of the biggest product organizations across the globe,” said Kushal Nahata, FarEye CEO and co-founder.

Based in the Seattle area, Joshi most recently was a product leader at Dropbox. He’s also held product roles at Facebook and Yahoo.

Lauren Kelly. (Thoughtexchange Photo)

— BC startup ThoughtExchange hired former Dell executive Lauren Kelly as chief marketing officer. Kelly was most recently SVP and chief marketing officer at Irvine Company Office Properties in California where she is based.

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At Dell, she was global executive director of strategy and corporate development. Kelly also held marketing leadership roles at PepsiCo.

Founded in 2009, ThoughtExchange is based in the small town of Rossland, B.C. and offers a platform to help leaders better communicate with employees. Last year, use of the company’s software surged and it raised $30 million in funding.

— Digital rewards startup Tango Card added Monica Williams as chief financial officer. Williams was most recently CFO at Pro.com, another Seattle startup.

She was vice president of finance at Zillow Group, AllRecipes, and also served as CFO for legal marketplace Avvo through its 2018 acquisition.

— Seattle cloud startup Pulumi, which offers software development tools for programming underlying cloud infrastructure, expanded its marketing team with four new hires:

  • Startup veteran Jay Wampold as chief marketing officer. Wampold has been a marketing executive at CommerceIQ, Cloudability, Qumulo and Chef.
  • Aaron Kao as VP of marketing. Kao previously led product marketing for the Modern Applications solution at AWS.
  • Wendy Smith as senior director of field marketing. Smith was most recently at Apptio, following its acquisition of Cloudability, and also led field and event marketing at Chef.
  • George Huang as director of product marketing. He was most recently a senior product marketing manager at AWS.

Pulumi closed a $37.5 million round in October bringing the total funding raised to $57.5 million.

Other recent Tech Moves from across the Pacific Northwest:

  • Former Boeing Chairman and CEO Phil Condit joined the board of Colorado-based Boom Supersonic, which is developing a supersonic airliner.
  • Microsoft-owned GitHub appointed former Cisco executive Mike Hanley as its first chief security officer.
  • The Ballmer Group, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s executive office and philanthropy, announced Janelle Chan as its new national director of housing.
  • Based out of Seattle, former Zillow Group and Uber director Will St. Clair joined Boston startup Notarize as VP of strategy and development.
  • Seattle law firm Focal PLLC hired Kim Gunning, a former Washington State assistant attorney general in the consumer protection division, as an attorney in its practice.
  • Game designer Constance Griffith joined Wizards of the Coast and announced in a post on Twitter that she is working on a new studio with fellow game industry veterans Leah Hoyer and Elaine Chase.
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