Tech Moves: Boeing exec lands at Blue Origin; UW names innovation lead; InkHouse opens Seattle hub

Linda Mills. (Blue Origin Photo)

Former Boeing exec Linda Mills is Blue Origin’s first vice president of communications. Mills held the same title at Boeing for two years before departing late last year, one of several leadership departures in the fallout from Boeing’s 737 MAX crisis. She previously held executive roles at Starbucks and Waggener Edstrom.

Mills, a former exec at Starbucks and Waggener Edstrom (WE), called the new gig a “dream come true.”

“I will have the honor and privilege of telling the amazing story of Jeff Bezos’ multi-generational vision of millions of people living and working in space,” she wrote in a LinkedIn post. “AND, I get to work with a brilliant and gifted team – astronauts, rocket scientists, and passionate communicators. It’s a dream come true for someone who has worked with start-ups, new and established consumer brands, high profile CEOs, aerospace leaders and dreamers everywhere.”

University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce joined the board of directors for the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence. Read more about how the Seattle-based research institution is attracting leadership to build on founder Paul Allen’s legacy.

François Baneyx. (UW Photo)

University of Washington CoMotion Director François Baneyx has been named vice provost for innovation after serving as the interim vice provost since July 2019.

A professor of chemical engineering and bioengineering, Baneyx will be responsible for the long-term strategy and vision for the university’s innovation activities. He became the leader of the UW’s CoMotion innovation hub this past summer.

“François will lead the critical work of expanding the economic and social impact of our University’s innovators, and I am deeply grateful to him for bringing his creativity, expertise and commitment to this endeavor,” said Mark Richards, UW provost.

Oak View Group, the firm leading the new Seattle Center Arena project, has expanded the team for the new arena with three executive hires:

Eric Bresler, most recently executive director of the Chase Center, home of the Golden State Warriors, is SVP of programming.
Tom Conroy joins as VP of operations from the Canadian Tire Centre, home of the NHL’s Ottawa Senators.
Rosemary “Rosie” Selle will return to Seattle from the Target Center in Minnesota as VP of marketing. Selle previously held marketing roles at the Seattle Sports Commission.

The venue is scheduled to open in 2021 and will be home for the new Seattle NHL franchise and the WNBA’s Seattle Storm.

Kate Riley.

— Kate Riley is heading up a new Seattle office for InkHouse, a public relations, social media, and content agency. Riley was previously a senior VP at Edelman, where she worked for nearly 13 years on projects with Adobe, Microsoft Xbox, and others. Riley also worked at Outcast Agency, helping clients including Facebook and VMWare. She’ll be executive vice president and general manager for Waltham, Mass.-based InkHouse.

“A thriving entrepreneur and startup community with many of its roots in companies like Amazon, Boeing, Microsoft, Nordstrom and Starbucks, has helped Seattle join San Francisco, New York and Boston as an epicenter of innovation,” Jason Morris, president of InkHouse, said in a statement. “Kate brings tremendous experience leading integrated PR campaigns for market leaders and innovators and, more importantly, shares our belief that a great workplace and culture is the key to outstanding client service.”

Seattle-based Frazier Healthcare Partners promoted Kent Berkley and Ryan Lucero to principal on the Growth Buyout team; Jennifer Martin to VP of finance, and Carol Eckert to VP of investor relations.

Frazier Healthcare Partners provides growth and venture capital to healthcare companies and has offices in Seattle and Silicon Valley. Last month, the firm announced the closure of a $617 million life sciences fund and has raised nearly $4.8 billion in total capital.

Nicodemo Esposito. (Cascadia Capital Photo)

Cascadia Capital, a Seattle-based investment bank with offices in Los Angeles, Minneapolis and New York, hired Nicodemo Esposito as managing director. Esposito will be based in the New York office and focus on MA and corporate finance advisory.

“As we continue to grow and strengthen Cascadia’s business services and broader technology practice areas, Nico’s diverse skill set, extensive industry knowledge, and vast network of relationships will enhance and expand the level of service we provide to our clients,” said Michael Butler, CEO of Cascadia Capital.

George Champlin-Scharff. (ZenHub Photo)

Vancouver, BC-based ZenHub, a project management tool integrated into GitHub, hired George Champlin-Scharff as VP of customer success. Champlin-Scharff spent 23 years at IBM, most recently as a senior technical staff member at IBM Watson. He will be based in Boston, Mass.

“Having been a longtime daily user of ZenHub and a witness to the way that it makes teams happier and more productive, I am excited to play a role in ensuring the success of others.” said Champlin-Scharff.

— San Francisco-based cloud company HashiCorp named former VMware exec Brandon Sweeney as its first chief revenue officer. HashiCorp started in 2012 and was founded by two University of Washington computer science grads.  

Bellevue, Wash.-based IT cost analysis software company Apptio announced the appointment of technology leader Kim Hammonds to its board of directors today. Hammond also currently serves on the boards of Zoom, Box, Tenable and previously served on the board of RedHet and Cloudera.

“As a former Apptio customer, I have championed the company’s solutions and mission of evolving the IT operating model,” said Hammonds. “I know firsthand how important it is for IT organizations to demonstrate the value of their investments to the business, which is a huge challenge that Apptio helped my teams solve. I’m thrilled to be joining the board and look forward to applying my experience to help drive the company forward.”

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