Seasoned technology veterans. Experienced manufacturing experts. Education pros. The Make it in Washington team is filled with a diversity of talent, an abundance of achievement, and a passion for putting its expertise to use to help Washington businesses succeed.
Innovate Washington Foundation
Ryan Layton – Make it in Washington Business Consultant
Ryan, a native of Spokane, has over 15 years of operations and marketing experience. Working most recently with AIRCAT® Pneumatic Tools as COO, he developed and implemented a successful marketing/branding strategy while expanding sales into various distribution channels, prior to the successful sale of the company. His expertise extends to strategic planning, brand awareness, international trade and manufacturing efficiency. Ryan enjoys the outdoors and waterskiing on lakes of the Northwest while finding time to volunteer coach youth soccer and run marathons. He holds an International Business degree from the University of Washington, with a minor in Chinese, and a Commercial Real Estate Broker license in Washington State.
Alex’s work with the Innovate Washington Foundation has included various statewide initiatives, such as the Aviation Biofuels Work Group, the i6 Green Challenge Partnership to support growth and innovation in the energy efficiency industry, and the Make it in Washington initiative to help manufacturers in select Washington counties better compete for business going overseas. She holds an M.S. in Public Policy with a focus on Energy and the Environment from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a B.A. in Linguistics with minors in Agriculture and Natural Resource Policy and Ethics, Spanish and Teaching English as a Second Language from the University of Florida.
Bill, a long-time resident of Spokane, has over thirty-five years of successful business experience and community leadership. After rising quickly through the ranks of Garco Building Systems, Bill became CEO. Following many years of work with Garco, Bill transitioned to an active leadership role at Innovate Washington Foundation/Ignite Northwest. Among other community involvement, he has served as a Board Member and various Board Chairs for Greater Spokane Incorporated.
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.
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 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.
Deloit Wolfe – Director of Business Development and Marketing
Deloit has 21 years of managerial experience from first line Supervisor to Regional Vice President. His experience includes full profit and loss accountability and daily management of all functional areas, with specialties and expertise in strategic planning; strategic partnership development; management system design and development; new product development and introduction; supply chain management and efficiency; continuous process improvement; strategic planning; goal and policy deployment, management system design and implementation of consumer goods marketing and warehousing and distribution industries. EDUCATION: M.B.A., Business and B.S., Business Administration and Marketing, University of Montana.
Mike Brennan is the economic development and Make it in Washington Grant specialist for the Washington State Workforce Board. His professional background is wide-ranging, from teaching elementary school; operating a SCUBA/Snorkel dive charter business on St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands; serving as President/CEO of the Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce & Industry; and chairing the Mt. Baker School District Board. He is a graduate of the University of Delaware, and works across the state supporting the coordination of the workforce and economic development systems at the regional level. He has also been inducted into the Washington Festivals and Events Association’s Hall of Fame.
Center of Excellence for Global Trade & Supply Chain Management at Highline College
Dr. Meg Ryan is the Director of the Center of Excellence for Global Trade & Supply Chain Management, hosted at Highline College. Meg’s career spans over thirty years of teaching in community colleges, primarily international marketing, advertising, and human relations. She has worked extensively on international educational partnership projects in South Africa, Namibia, and China in areas related to improving workforce education to promote economic development. She is a member of the Council for the Study of Community Colleges, the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, the World Trade Center Seattle and Tacoma, the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, and the Washington Council for International Trade. Meg is the co-author of an article entitled “Transforming International Education through Institutional Capacity Building” published in New Directions for Community Colleges in spring 2013. She holds a PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies in Higher Education from the University of Washington, Seattle.
Washington State University Engineering & Technology Management Program
Alaina has been with WSU for over 20 years and with the Engineering and Technology Management program since 2004. In addition to her WSU experience, she has successfully managed several businesses. She is highly organized and efficient and uses her creativity and ability to think outside of the box to move our program forward. When she’s not facilitating at WSU she enjoys time with her husband and three young children running their family cattle ranch, and is actively involved in her community and children’s activities.
Kim is the Director of the Engineering and Technology Management graduate program for Washington State University’s Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture. With nearly 30 years of senior executive leadership experience, Kim has held positions as CEO of Innovate Washington Foundation, executive director of Sirti (also known as the Spokane Intercollegiate Research and Technology Institute), CEO of the Spokane Transit Authority, as founding president and COO of Avista Labs (now ReliOn) and manager, gas and electric technical services for Avista Utilities. Additionally, Kim is a consultant to Spokane and other entities pursuing smart city technology applications.
Present and former Board positions include Innovate Washington Foundation (dba Ignite Northwest), Spokane University District Development Association, United Way, Greater Spokane Incorporated, and Mobius Spokane. Kim served on the Governor’s Clean Energy Leadership Council and is a member of the Pivotal Leaders Network, a group of executives identified by their peers as the top clean technology business leaders in the Northwest. Kim holds a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from the University of Idaho and a Masters of Engineering Management from Washington State University.
University of Washington Applied Physics Laboratory
William Bakamis is the economic development and Make It in Washington contact for the University of Washington’s (UW) Applied Physics Laboratory (APL). Bill is President/CEO of B Commercial, a successful investment company, and is Director Emeritus of APL Business and Finance Operations. A nationally recognized expert in establishing and operating U.S. Department of Defense University Affiliated Research Centers, Bill’s wide ranging professional background includes: starting, operating and/or selling several successful Washington businesses; serving as Executive Director, Strategic Planning for the Washington State Department of Trade and Economic Development; and serving as senior professional staff for the Washington State House of Representatives, a member of the U.S. Congress, and the UW Health Sciences schools. Bill is a graduate of Washington State University and Seattle University School of Law (formerly the UPS School of Law).