2021 BVC Speakers


Pre-Conference Seminar

Begin With the End in Mind: Making the Right Tax Decisions for a Startup Business | Sponsored by Jones & Roth

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Jordan Dawley, CPA

Manager | Jones & Roth

Jordan Dawley works at Jones & Roth as a Manager. His expertise includes business and individual income tax, ERISA audits, accounting system implementation, payroll filings, pension plan administration, and tax research. Jordan specializes in providing tax planning and preparation for individuals and businesses, working closely with our dental practice niche. He enjoys connecting with others in the local business community and providing solutions that have an impact on local companies and their owners. He currently serves as the Audit Chair of the local chapter of Risk Management Association.


Pre-Conference Seminar

Sales 101 for Entrepreneurs and Founders | Sponsored by Perkins Coie

Todd Laurence

Principal | Thimble Peak Advisors

Todd Laurence is an accomplished sales leader, strategic advisor to start-ups, adjunct professor, and philanthropist. In his current role as Managing Director of Thimble Peak Advisors, Todd helps early stage entrepreneurs in all aspects of Sales and Go-to-Market planning and execution. As an adjunct professor at the Cascades campus of Oregon State University, Todd teaches various classes in Business and Entrepreneurship, while also coaching the OSU Sales team in undergraduate collegiate sales competitions. In addition, Todd manages a small family foundation dedicated to “venture philanthropy”, whose mission is to provide seed grants and mentoring to promising early stage non-profit organizations.

Throughout his career as a sales leader in the technology industry, Todd sold complex enterprise solutions and built sales teams globally for two decades. His expertise spans open-source software, large scale analytics, robotics, artificial intelligence and machine learning, supply chain/manufacturing, and even fresh produce/”ag tech”. Todd held leadership roles at both global technology giants and hardware/software startups, two of which achieved successful IPOs. He has deep expertise in Latin America, where he has formed business partnerships and delivered keynotes in fluent Spanish throughout the region.


Pre-Conference Seminar

The Changing Landscape of Recruitment in Central Oregon and Beyond | Sponsored by U.S. Bank

Chris Harris

Professional Recruiter | Express Employment Professionals

Oregon native Chris moved to Central Oregon to finish his degree in Business Administration and Operation Management from OSU’s campus in Bend. Prior to that, Chris completed the Master Mechanic program at the Barnett Bicycle Institute and went on to manage bicycle repair and ski shops throughout Oregon. In his free time, Chris enjoys fly fishing, skiing, mountain biking, and backpacking with his dog. Chris specializes in professional roles.

Karen Turner

Managing Director and Professional Recruiter | Express Employment Professionals

Karen was born and raised in Canby, Oregon. She attended George Fox University where she gained a BA in Human Resources & Organizational Development. She started her Career at Express in 1997 and has 24 years in the staffing industry. Karen is passionate about building long-term relationships with our clients & candidates. She loves the impact that we make every day in people’s lives and the businesses throughout the Central Oregon region. In her spare time, she enjoys snowmobiling, paddle boarding, cooking, and spending time with family.


BVC Brief: How Angels Get Their Wings

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Angela Jackson, Moderator

Managing Director | Portland Seed Fund

Angela Jackson is co-founder and GP of the Portland Seed Fund, a high-performing seed fund with 4 funds/$24 Million under management and numerous successful exits, including Auth0 (acquired by Okta). She has been named an Inc. Magazine Person to Know in the Portland startup scene, the Tech Champion of the Year by Technology Association of Oregon, and a Woman of Influence/Entrepreneur of the Year by Portland Business Journal. She is very proud to have played a role in creating 3,000+ high wage jobs and $1 Billion+ of economic impact in Oregon from small seed investments over 10 years. As an advisor to Portland State University’s leadership, she helps connect the highly diverse, heavily first-gen college student base with the future innovation and workforce demands of Oregon. She serves as the Portland Chair for Tiger 21 and serves on the Board of Lumen Learning and Angel Capital Association. Early in her career, Jackson was an ocean sailor on traditionally-rigged sailing ships. There she met her husband, crew on a different ship, on a dock in Baltimore. She grew up in a serial entrepreneur household where the dinner table conversation was the best education. She is an avid traveler, foodie and flamenco dancer.

Cyndi DeSoto

Founder | Pursuit Global Foundation

As an entrepreneur, speaker, consultant and coach, Cyndi has mentored and inspired hundreds of small business owners and their teams over the last two decades. Her non-profit connects high school sophomores with the local business community via a unique career conference hosted annually. Her latest venture is bringing the leading skin care brand from Australia to the United States as an exclusive distributor on the west coast.

Doug Layman

Partner | River Bend Capital

Doug Layman is currently a partner with River Bend Capital and an active angel investor in Oregon. He a serial entrepreneur with multiple exits. He has founded two companies and grown them from one employee to over 300 with successful exits. Prior to his entrepreneurial ventures he held corporate executive positions in management consulting at Accenture and technology at Verizon.

Mr. Layman graduated from Oregon State University with a B.S. in industrial engineering and is the inventor of seven US Patents. Mr. Layman also holds an M.B.A. from Georgetown University. He is an avid skier, climber, and mountain biker.

Jon Maroney

General Partner | Oregon Venture Fund

Jon Maroney is a General Partner at the Oregon Venture Fund, Oregon’s largest early stage venture capital firm, where he leads outreach and serves as first touch with entrepreneurs looking for investment. Prior to coming to Portland, Jon ran marketing, international sales and business development for enterprise software companies in the Bay Area. In Portland, Jon was founder and CEO of two companies that were pioneers in the mobile app space: StoryCode (sold to TigerLogic) and FreeRange (sold to Handmark). Jon currents serves on the board OneApp, Honey Mama’s and Oregon Entrepreneurs Network (OEN). He is a graduate of Boston University.


BVC Brief

Which Way to the Exit?

Affton Coffelt, Moderator

Founder & CEO | Broken Top Brands

Affton has spent the last five years managing a rapidly growing startup, with her main focus being on sales, marketing, and product development/packaging designs. Such efforts have earned her the 2019 Bend Chamber of Commerce, Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and the company was named 2nd Fastest Growing Company in Central Oregon by CBN in 2019. She also pitched at the Bend Venture Conference twice in the last four years, presenting in the early stage and growth stage competitions. Since 2015 the company has continued to grow right here in Bend, expanding last November into their over 10,000 square foot manufacturing facility and employing over 25 people here in Central Oregon. Affton’s constant excitement for business and industry knowledge has landed the brand into over 2,500 specialty store as well as national retailers such as Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Anthropology, Crate and Barrel, and Whole Foods.

Jesse Thomas

CEO & Co-Founder | Picky Bars

Picky Bars was founded in 2010 by professional endurance athletes Lauren Fleshman and Jesse Thomas (husband and wife) and their friend Stephanie Bruce. The company creates athletically balanced real food products primarily sold direct to consumer through an online subscription service. Jesse led the company as it’s CEO since 2011 through its acquisition by Laird Superfood in May 2021. During that time Jesse also competed as a professional triathlete, winning multiple Ironman and Half Ironman races. He lives (and was born and raised) in Bend with his wife and two kids, Jude and Zadie.

Justin Johnson

Senior Advisor at Revalize (a TA Associates company) | LeadMethod

For more than 20 years Justin Johnson has been building software products for both large organizations and startups. His recent success was founding and growing Bend, OR based LeadMethod, a software company focused on channel partner engagement and sales enablement. LeadMethod was the BVC growth stage winner in 2017 and was acquired by Revalize (a TA Associates backed company) in August 2021.

Jared Peterson,

Senior Director Commerce, Outside

Prior to Cairn, Jared spent 10 years at Apple, most recently helping launch the Apple Watch. Outside of Cairn, Jared loves to spend time running, camping, skiing, and hiking with his wife Rebecca, and their daughters, Chloe and Hazel, and Nora.


BVC Growth Moderator

Jon Maroney

General Partner | Oregon Venture Fund

Jon Maroney is a General Partner at the Oregon Venture Fund, Oregon’s largest early stage venture capital firm, where he leads outreach and serves as first touch with entrepreneurs looking for investment. Prior to coming to Portland, Jon ran marketing, international sales and business development for enterprise software companies in the Bay Area. In Portland, Jon was founder and CEO of two companies that were pioneers in the mobile app space: StoryCode (sold to TigerLogic) and FreeRange (sold to Handmark). Jon currents serves on the board OneApp, Honey Mama’s and Oregon Entrepreneurs Network (OEN). He is a graduate of Boston University.


BVC Early Stage Moderator

Jenn Lynch

Managing Partner | Portland Seed Fund

Jenn Lynch is a managing partner at Portland Seed Fund, an early stage venture capital fund that invests in capital efficient, high-growth companies in Oregon and and around the Pacific Northwest. Since 2010, Jenn has managed venture funds that have invested in more than 100 companies across a variety of sectors, including software, consumer products, cannabis, clean energy technology, biotechnology, biomedical devices and more.
After finishing her MBA at Columbia Business School, Jenn and her husband relocated to Oregon where she worked at a number of software startups before helping to raise the first fund from which she invested, Upstart Labs. Jenn serves on a number of nonprofit boards, including Oregon Public Broadcasting, the Oregon Alliance for Gun Safety, and she is vice-chair of the Summit West Neighborhood Association. Jenn is a limited partner in the BVC 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 growth funds; and an investor in multiple Cascade Angel Funds. Jenn lives in Bend with her three children, husband, dog and cat, and, when she’s not working, can usually be found in the woods on her gravel bike or logging laps at Juniper or lifting at Boss Sports Performance.


BVC Impact Moderator

Rachel Jagoda Brunette

Program Officer | The Lemelson Foundation

Rachel Jagoda Brunette is a program officer at The Lemelson Foundation, a private family foundation working to improve lives through invention. She manages the Foundation’s efforts to cultivate and enhance a regional invention ecosystem that enables the next generation of inventors and their companies to thrive. Her grant portfolio includes programs working in K12, higher education, and innovation and entrepreneurship in Oregon. She also serves on the leadership committee of the Entrepreneurship Funders Network and the steering committee for the Oregon Capital Scan and Oregon Small Business Stabilization Fund and was on the advisory committee for the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities Commission on Innovation and Community Economic Prosperity.


Curious of who previously spoke at the conference? Click here!