Board of Directors

Brandon Tanner, Board Chair

Brandon Tanner is a successful entrepreneur with a technology background that spans software, hardware and service solutions for financial institutions and other regulated industries. He is the senior manager for Rentsys Recovery Services, where he is the key, driving force behind the company’s business continuity and disaster recovery products and services, including the next generation of cloud and recovery products, BlackCloud and BlackVault Managed Recovery Platform. The combination of Brandon’s technology and regulatory expertise has led to several innovative cloud strategies that have helped customers maintain compliance more cost effectively. Brandon has also served as the Board Chairman for Associated Industries, an employers’ association specializing in human resources, employment law, training, health insurance, and workplace safety issues.


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Jon E. Eliassen
Jon E Eliassen is the former President and CEO of Red Lion Hotels Corporation and former president and CEO of the Spokane Area Economic Development Council (EDC).  Prior to that he held many high ranking positions at Avista Corporation and was active in development of a number of successful subsidiary company operations including technology related startups Itron, Avista Labs, and Avista Advantage.  On the venture side, Eliassen has participated in venture capital initiatives in the region and nationally and is Managing Director of Terrapin Capital Group, LLC.

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John Kupice
John Kupice is currently the CEO of H-Source and serves on its Board of Directors.  Before being named CEO in June 2014, John helped the founder Murray Walden with H-Source, LLC prepare a business plan, raise capital, and develop a new business model. H-Source went public in Canada TSXV:HSI and has raised 7M CAD to date. Prior to joining H-Source, John was Vice President of Development for TruCare Solutions, the CEO for an entertainment technology company, and spent 10+ years with Ernst & Young as national director. He also participated in various technology transfer and venture capital initiatives.  John earned an B.A. in accounting from the University of West Florida.

  Connect with John on LinkedIn

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Lisa G Shaffer
Lisa Shaffer is founder and CEO of Genetic Veterinary Sciences, Inc. (DBA Paw Print Genetics), located in Spokane.  Previously, Dr. Shaffer was President and CEO of Signature Genomic Laboratories, a company that she founded focused on novel technologies for the genetic diagnosis of children with developmental disabilities. She is on the Advisory Board for Gonzaga University’s New Venture Labs and served on the Chancellor’s Advisory Council for WSU Spokane and the Board of Trustees of Greater Spokane Inc. Her accolades include the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year- Pacific Northwest Region in Health and Life Sciences, ranked #8 in INC Magazine among women CEOs in the fastest growing private companies in the US, Innovator of the Year award from Greater Spokane Inc, YWCA Women of Achievement Award for Science & Technology (2016), and the Women in Business Leadership Award. She received her PhD in Human Genetics from the Medical College of Virginia.

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Ignite Northwest Team


Geralyn Garberg

Geralyn assists Innovate Washington Foundation/Ignite Northwest’s leadership team and staff with regular and efficient communication with clients, and presents Innovate Washington Foundation/Ignite Northwest’s success and value to business stakeholders and the public. She coordinates organization functions, provides support to the Foundation Board of Directors and staff members, ensures the smooth day-to-day running of the office, and helps coordinate the leadership team’s involvement with the entrepreneurial community. Prior to joining the Innovate Washington Foundation/Ignite Northwest, Geralyn served in a similar capacity at Spokane Transit Authority and has extensive experience in the banking industry.


John Overby
John’s passion has always been to help the Greater Spokane region develop its technology based companies to create job opportunities and economic growth in the area. John has valuable expertise from creating successful back to back INC 500 companies and Directing Client Services at Sirti. John also founded or co-founded three companies, all of which were among the fastest growing companies in America under his leadership and were successfully sold. John received a BSEE degree from the University of Idaho.

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Jeff White, Executive Director/CFO

Jeff has over 30 years of experience in finance and business management. Beginning his career in public accounting, Jeff transitioned to the private sector, serving as either the CFO or CEO at various manufacturing companies. A native of Eastern Washington, Jeff is a certified public accountant and earned his BS in Business from the University of Idaho.

Connect with Jeff on LinkedIn