Mentors Directory

John Heaton

President

John Heaton is president of Pay Plus Benefits, Inc. which provides HR, benefit and payroll administration on-line to hundreds of companies nationwide.

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Erik Ralston

Chief Architect

Erik Ralston is a Co-founder at Fuse Business & Community Accelerator and the Chief Architect at LiveTiles. Erik wants Tri-Cities, WA, USA to be a world-class place for startups.

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Junus Khan

Founder & Chairman

Born, raised, and educated in New Jersery; learned life lessons of an entrepreneur in Washington; and recently moved to Hong Kong to expand globally. I believe in true product market fit – bringing something to market that is so good it essentially becomes a need.

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Torey Azure

CMO

Torey Azure is the Chief Marketing Officer of Wildland//BrandCraft. Torey has over 20 years in the creative field in design and branding for clients throughout the United States. Torey has been a small business owner for the last 15 years in the professional services industry. In his current role, Torey directs in creative, strategy and execution of integrated marketing campaigns for clients throughout the Pacific Northwest. His greatest strength is identifying opportunity through marketing to help businesses reach specific business goals or initiates.

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Michael Urso

Chief Executive Officer

I am a Senior Executive with over 25 years of experience in the areas of innovation, business development, marketing, operations management and sales with companies ranging from Fortune 100 to early stage startups. I also have extensive experience mentoring startup companies, successfully moving many from concept to commercialization. I received a BSc degree from the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and a MBA degree from Northwood University’s DeVos Graduate School of Management, Midland, Michigan.

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Rocco Luongo

President and Chief Engineer

I focus on technical and management consulting for small and large companies. I provide executive and business coaching to business owners, as well as technical consulting to companies developing new products and services.

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Lynn Carlson

Program Development Liaison

Lynn Carlson is an active community volunteer with Fuse, Junior Achievement, Mid-columbia STEM, Delta high school, and SCORE. Before relocating to the Tri-Cities she was Chief Operating Officer of the startup studio Evus Technologies, LLC. Previously as EVP of IT Operations for Selling Source, LLC, Lynn was responsible for a staff of 50 people across application development, system administration, and the PMO. She has over 23 years experience in the IT industry managing diverse teams as a PMP and Certified Scrum Master. Lynn is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Organizational Psychology and brings a focus on interpersonal skills training and development to the Fuse mentor program.

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Jodi Wilson

CEO/Founder

Jodi Wilson is the owner of Business Psychology Solutions a consulting firm in Southeast Washington. With 20 years of experience tapping into unseen strengths and developing strategies to optimize organizational talent and leadership, Jodi Wilson, PhD, uses behavioral science to transform organizations. Ms. Wilson is a behavioral scientist, instructor, coach, and presenter. She holds a PhD in Business Psychology and specializes in serving individuals and organizations. Her clients range from small family owned businesses to Fortune 500 companies.

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Wes Bratton

President

I have a PH.D. in Civil Engineering and have extensive experience in both strategic and profitable business growth and operations. Key skills include all aspects of the business cycle from pre-RFI marketing and proposal preparation, contract negotiation, technical staff management, customer relations and project close-out. I have been responsible for project and technical management including technical supervision to meet technical objectives and staffing requirements.

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Terry Smith

Engineering Manager

My career has included working on and designing parts for the YF-22 Fighter, B-2 Bomber, F-22 Fighter, Deep Space radioisotope power supplies, concentrating solar renewable energy products, handheld X-ray fluorescent instrumentation and orthopedic implants used in developing countries. These companies include 2 major corporations, 2 start ups and a non-profit organization. In my spare time I raised two boys with my wife, they are now in college.

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Steve Simmons

Secretary/CFO

I am a longtime Tri-Citian and I love this place. I have been self employed for most of my working life and I am a tireless supporter of entrepreneurs and small business.

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Steve Anderson

President

Steve Anderson has been an active Tri Cities community member for more than 30 years, with leadership roles as, CEO of Meier Architecture and Engineering, Board member of the STEM Foundation and currently as President of the Tri Cities Local Business Association (TCLBA). Steve also served as Board Chair of the Community Economic Revitalization Board in Olympia from 2008 to 2016. I enjoy supporting Fuse and it’s exciting mission.

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Gus Sako

Owner

I was born in Richland and, as a teenager, always planned on escaping. The fact that my business is over 40 years old should tell you something about my planning – escape and otherwise.

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Marty Conger

Chief Financial Offcier (CFO), retired

During 42 years at Battelle/PNNL, with successive positions of increased financial management and leadership responsibility culminating as Chief Financial Officer (CFO), I participated in and developed career building and mentoring programs, gaining a reputation as a developer of talent. I believe talent development is a fundamental responsibility of leadership and I take great pride in…

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Jay Freeman

Financial Advisor

I’ve been in business and finance for over 20 years. As a former CFO, I’ve created corporations, managed banking relationships, managed the financial reporting for multiple interrelated companies and oversaw the information reporting and commuter networks.

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Ken Arneson

Team Member

I very much enjoy helping people succeed. I was fortunate enough to be at the right place at the right time in the early part of my career (a lot of success in business is just plain dumb luck), and I take pleasure in helping to create those windows for others.

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Olivia Berg

Owner/Founder

I started my career in the public sector (mental healthcare) before deciding that the entrepreneur life was the life for me! After a year of traveling extensively (literally living on the road!), I settled back in the Tri-Cities and opened BlankSpace, when I was 25 years old. I also own a marketing firm that produces…

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Laura Hsu

Co-Founder/Customer Experience Architect

I am a digital marketing strategy coach with an emphasis on helping entrepreneurs understand and optimize their customer experience and remove any barriers to rapid growth. My husband and I co-founded Communication Hackers. Our mission is to empower small-business owners with the most effective and efficient ways to reach, and sell to, their ideal customers.…

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Eric Hsu

Managing Member

Business-Friendly legal advice for growing companies.

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Kris Lapp

CEO

Having been with FUSE from inception, starting multiple start-ups and growing/scaling a tech company, I am well suited to assist in conceptual ideas around a new technology. I operate best when I am conceptualizing strategy, marketing and sales outputs to your ideal clients.

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Dave McCormack

Principal

I am a project manager with 40 years experience in organizational leadership, business development, contracting and project delivery to Federal clients, encompassing occupational, operational, and environmental safety; radiological and nonradiological risk assessment; policy and regulatory development; and communication of complex issues to a wide range of audiences. My particular areas of expertise include strategic planning…

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John Smoot

CEO

I am the founder and owner of 4D GeoViz LLC, a technical consulting business that specializes in geo-spatial studies in space and time. My specialties are environmental contamination and remediation in soil and groundwater across the nuclear, mining, and oil & gas industries. I bootstrapped my business with a business credit card with a $10K…

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Jeanne Dillner

CEO

As CEO of a humanitarian medical device organization, I lead our managers who are responsible for the design, manufacture, regulatory, educational, fund raising and financial or stewardship aspects of our organization. It is my responsibility to inspire, encourage, and engage the managers and others who report to me to develop visions for their areas of…

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Brett Spooner

Founder - CEO and Managing Attorney

I am a licensed attorney and serial entrepreneur with a strong passion for law, technology and science. I presently wear an assortment of complimentary hats, but at the heart of what I do personally is innovate technology and community.

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