Executive Committee Chairs

NATE MORTENSEN

CHAIR ELECT

NATE MORTENSEN

Returning to Arizona to boost its entrepreneurial ecosystem, Nathan Mortensen joined Tallwave Capital with a strong venture capital network and background in deal sourcing, due diligence and fund strategy. As Principal of the fund, he oversees sourcing, diligence, governance and day-to-day operations of its $13.15 million Tallwave Commercialization Fund I. Closed in October 2014, the fund is concentrating on early-stage B2B software and technology companies across a variety of verticals and platforms with over 12 investments across the Mountain West, Southwest and West Coast.

Mr. Mortensen developed a passion for business while growing up in a small family business here in Arizona. After earning his undergraduate degree in Finance from Arizona State University, he explored corporate America by working at ON Semiconductor, The Boeing Company, First Solar and Celanese, primarily in finance, strategy and commercial roles. He then decided to pivot his career by returning to school and completing an MBA in Finance & Entrepreneurship from Brigham Young University (BYU). While attending BYU, he tasted the exciting world of startups and venture capital. He served as a director at Cougar Capital, a $2.5M student-run venture capital fund, and also worked at Peterson Partners in Salt Lake City improving investment selection for the early stage venture and search fund groups.

KAREN KATZORKE

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

KAREN KATZORKE

Karen Katzorke has served as Executive Director of the Invest Southwest since the spring of 2011. Prior to serving as Executive Director, she worked for the ASU Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development for more than six years as Program Specialist and was responsible for the planning and execution of programs and events. Ms. Katzorke previously worked as Program Manager of Entrepreneurial Services at the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, where she coordinated entrepreneurial programs and provided organization and promotion for the Arizona Venture Capital Conference. She is experienced with early to mid-stage life science and technology entrepreneurs, assisting companies with access to capital and other expansion and growth needs. Ms. Katzorke has more than 10 years of economic development experience, which includes the Greater Phoenix Chamber and the Greater Phoenix Economic Council.

PAT STONER

ALUMNI & MENTORING

PAT STONER

As VP of Sale, Pat is responsible for generating continued growth for the Indecomm Technology Services Group. He is a seasoned technology executive who brings a unique blend of 25 years’ experience of sales, financial and operations management within the software industry. Pat’s accomplishments have contributed to he or his company receiving the following awards from the Arizona Technology Council: “Startup Company of the Year” (Flypaper 2008), “Leader of the Year” (Learning-Edge 2001), and “Company of the Year” (Omega Legal Systems 1999).

Pat has been an active participant in the Arizona technology community for many years. He is an emeritus board member of the Arizona Technology Council and former charter and board member of TiE Arizona. He was also appointed to and served on the Governor’s Council on Innovation and Technology (2003-2007) and the Phoenix Commission on the Economy (2003-2008).

SUSAN MARIE

MARKETING

SUSAN MARIE

Susan Marie is an experienced communications professional well-versed in both digital and traditional advertising, public relations, social media, and business development. In her current role, she serves as the Marketing & Communications Manager for the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA). Prior to joining the ACA, she held public relations and account management positions in Phoenix advertising agencies. In 2013, Ms. Marie helped guide the re-brand of Invest Southwest and launch of the inaugural Venture Madness event. In 2015, she joined the Invest Southwest Executive Committee and is currently serving as Marketing Chair. Ms. Marie holds a BS in Political Science from Arizona State University.

JAMES GOULKA

NETWORKING/WORKSHOP EVENTS-INVESTORS

JAMES GOULKA

Mr. Goulka is the Managing Director of Arizona Tech Investors, a group over 80 men and women who invest their own capital in early stage technology companies in the Southwest. Since May 2007, members have invested just over $12.25 million in 43 companies, making it the most active early stage technology investor in Phoenix.

In addition to his role at ATI, Mr. Goulka serves as CEO and President of Lone Mountain Associates, LLC, a boutique consulting firm.

He previously served as CEO of software companies JumpStart Solutions LLC, an early stage business intelligence software company, NetSelector Inc (sold to Apple, Inc), and bid4real.com; the National Technology Transfer Center; the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and Taliesin Preservation, Inc. He was also COO and CFO of Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc and its worldwide subsidiaries, where he led its transformation into digital publishing. He began his career in corporate finance, focused on financing private equity transactions and global finance at units of JPMorgan Chase and Citibank.

CHRISTIE KERNER

NETWORKING/WORKSHOP EVENTS-ENTREPRENEURS

CHRISTIE KERNER

Part efficiency nut, part branding fanatic, part dance devotee and definite business addict; Christie Kerner loves everything entrepreneriffic. Through her varied experiences building her own businesses, working for Fortune 100 companies and coaching passionate business owners, Ms. Kerner developed a knack for helping business owners create more success. She loves helping savvy entrepreneurs take things to the next level as the Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship in the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, as a very active connector in the #yesphx Phoenix business community, and as the Phoenix City Director with Startup Grind (powered by Google for Entrepreneurs). She also does lots more cool things you can learn about at ChristieKerner.com.

RANDY GUSTAFSON

PROGRAM CHAIR

RANDY GUSTAFSON

Since 2012, Randy Gustafson has been the Vice President of Innovation at the Arizona Commerce Authority, a position in which he’s facilitated the growth of promising science/technology early-stage and start-up companies via strategic, technical and financial resources that help define the entrepreneurial system. Previously, he was a Marketing Executive at Lykes Brothers, Inc., where he lead a record-setting launch of premium Sunkist Orange Juice products into the U.S. and Canadian markets and managed a P&L of more than $100M.

Mr. Gustafson earned his BSEE from the U.S. Naval Academy and served as an Officer in the Nuclear Submarine Force on the U.S.S. Albuquerque before obtaining his MBA from the University of Michigan. Mr. Gustafson’s breadth and depth of professional and life experiences, broad network of connections across multiple industries, deep Arizona roots, and passion for entrepreneurship have allowed him to assist more than 1,000 start-up companies.

KEITH STONEBACK

SELECTION & SOURCING

KEITH STONEBACK

Keith Stoneback is a proven Life Sciences’ industry executive with a record and reputation for achieving results and adding significant value to the businesses he has led. During his 30-year executive management career, he has built and led teams that succeeded within large corporate structures, start-up environments and private equity financed turnaround situations. The majority of his industry experience has been within the medical device and healthcare equipment markets.

Most recently, Mr. Stoneback has been active as an interim CEO, angel investor, mentor and advisor; having created Lanesborough, LLC as a corporate vehicle to provide these services to life sciences companies both in the US and abroad.

NOAH BARRASSO

SPONSORSHIP

NOAH BARRASSO

A well respected tenant advisor, Noah Barrasso leads the Emerging Technology Practice Group at Keyser (www.keyserco.com) and focuses on helping entrepreneurs find creative office space.  He joined the Executive Team of Invest Southwest in 2014 and is currently serving as Sponsorship Chair.  His goal is to grow the event and ensure it remains the most premier event in the Southwest for entrepreneurs & investors alike.  Noah has become a staple of the tech community by being known as someone everybody knows and trusts.  His passion for helping others is evident and he continuously finds unique ways to be of service to others.

PRESTON CLARKE

SPONSORSHIP

PRESTON CLARKE

Preston Clarke is the Managing Partner of Arizona Venture Consulting where his focus is helping early-stage and growth companies make data driven decisions and organize for efficient growth. In addition to his work in private equity and investment banking, Mr. Clarke was the COO/CFO for Matador Network, a successful online travel and education company where he designed and implemented a complete restructuring of the company that positioned it for increased growth and success. Prior to Matador, he was the Vice President of Sports Entertainment and Live Events at Global Vision Entertainment where he developed live events and television projects.

Mr. Clarke is actively involved in the local and regional entrepreneurial ecosystem and is passionate about helping early-stage and growth companies succeed. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Wheaton College (Massachusetts) and his Master of Business Administration from the Eller College of Business at the University of Arizona. He resides in Scottsdale, Arizona.