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Scott Barchus

Principal & President

Scott has been working with individuals and corporate retirement plans since 1998 when he founded AKT Wealth Advisors LP, and AKT Retirement Plan Services LP. He assists individuals with their investment management and financial planning needs with a focus on wealth accumulation and preservation strategies. He also specializes in plan design and investment management for corporate retirement plans.…

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Shannon Chisom


Over 25 years experience in the Pacific Northwest as a fund raising consultant and event manager-specializing in non-profit management. I have lived and worked in the Portland Metro area for over 15 years, most of that time as an East County resident working closely with local funders, government agencies, and Chambers of Commerce.

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Ben Edtl

Serial Entrepreneur

I’ve failed and I’ve learned. I’ve won and I’ve earned. I’ve been isolated. I’ve been connected. I can’t even count the times I’ve been rejected. But there’s no stopping now, too late. I’m addicted.

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Sarah Garrison

Safety Specialist

I have a a diverse background in customer service, client relations, marketing, sales, education and staffing. I have years of experience helping startups and small businesses succeed. My desire to understand and support a strong company culture helps me relate to employees and management alike.

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Sarah Goodnough


Contemporary Northwest artist, Sarah Goodnough, creates expressive art that reflects the beauty and mystery of life. Inspired by nature and the human spirit, Goodnough combines an intuitive style of painting with techniques using texture, layers of color and strong composition. Her paintings are distinctive visual experiences with sensitivity to mood and emotion.

Born and raised in Massillon Ohio, Goodnough moved to Portland in 1997.…

Michelle Kosta

Executive Director

I’m dedicated to building relationships that help communities find their voice. I’m a firm believer that a truly equitable society starts with personal transformation that motivates a community to action. I also believe that for real and lasting change, we must work simultaneously at the grassroots and policy levels. My professional and volunteer work has given me a strong connection to the non-profit community in the Portland Metro area and has reached as far as Cordoba, Argentina and Cusco, Peru.…

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Haley Lewis

Design Director

I make you look good! Creating a strong visual presence for your business is my passion… From traditional branding, marketing and advertising design to broadcast and digital media. I listen, conceptualize and make your ideas look and work better than you ever thought possible.

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Sam Lider


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Rashika Nath

Category Analyst

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Kedma Ough

Director SBDC

Kedma is a proven champion for small businesses. She is an inventor, author, speaker and a fifth-generation entrepreneur. Ough provides honest, straightforward education to innovators on feasibility, funding and free resources.

Kory Price

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Tracy Puhl


Tracy Puhl is the owner of GladRags, and is passionate about period positivity, women in business, and local manufacturing. She is an active volunteer in the Portland community and holds a BA in Social Science from Portland State University.

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Tobin Shields


I am currently a high school English and Computer Science teacher at the wonderful charter school “The Center For Advanced Learning” in Gresham, OR. There I have the privilege to work with highly motivated students in teaching college-level cyber security, programming, and networking courses.

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Bess Wills

General Manager

Bess R. Wills has over 25 years of experience in administration and management of businesses. Currently she is General Manager/Co-Owner of Gresham Ford. Her past responsibilities include fiscal and corporate administration of multi-franchise dealership locations. She has a solid and extensive background in all matters relating to dealership organization and operations. Prior to Gresham Ford she managed a group of Auto Dealerships in Southern California which held franchises that included Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Nissan, and Kia.…

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Chad Withrow

Vice President

Chad received his formal training in the United States Marine Corps as team leader for an anti-terrorism security team during the Gulf War in 1990-91. Since then he has worked for and managed many security contracts. Most notably, Chad managed the US General Services Administration contract for security of Oregon and Southwest Washington federal buildings prior to, during and after the September 11th terrorist attacks.…