RAIN Eugene, including The Eugene Accelerator, is organized and overseen by the Local Board comprising two representatives of the Eugene Chamber of Commerce, two from the University of Oregon, one from the City of Eugene and a representative of the local entrepreneurial community.
Co-Chair Brittany Quick-Warner — President, Eugene Chamber of Commerce
Co-Chair Sarah Cheeseman — Development Director of Ophelia’s Place
Andrew Nelson — Executive Director, RAIN at the University of Oregon
Dana Siebert — Executive Vice President, Green Energy Corporation
Kate Harmon — Instructor of Management and the Undergraduate Program Manager for the University of Oregon
Dekek Schloss — and Co-Founder of Cowbucker
Sid Leiken — Lane County Commissioner, County Board of Commissioners
Courtney Griesel — Economic Development Manager for the City of Springfield
Sarah Cheesman is currently the development director for Ophelia’s Place, a non-profit agency based in Eugene that empowers girls to reach their potential. Sarah has a doctorate in biology from the University of Oregon, and a BS in biology from UC Davis. Between undergraduate and graduate school Sarah worked for a biotech company in the San Francisco Bay Area supporting small molecule drug discovery. Her interests in biology have ranged from the genetics of nervous system development to microbial-host interactions. As a post-doc at the University of Oregon, Sarah often assisted the fundraising office in translating the world of research for non-scientists. These experiences fueled her interest in how private support contributes to the advancement of science, and led her to the world of philanthropy at the University of Oregon and beyond. Before joining the staff at Ophelia’s Place Sarah worked for the Office of Advancement in the College of Arts and Sciences, and in Foundation Relations.
Andrew Nelson is the Executive Director of UO RAIN and an associate professor of management in the University of Oregon’s Lundquist College of Business. He is the academic director of the Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship and is the UO’s Bramsen Faculty Fellow in innovation, entrepreneurship, and sustainability. He received his doctorate in management science and engineering from Stanford University, where he subsequently served as a lecturer. Nelson also holds a master’s degree in economic and social history from Oxford University and a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University.
Anne Fifield works with the City of Eugene’s private and public partners to implement strategic initiatives to expand economic opportunity in Eugene and the southern Willamette Valley. Specific activities include the construction of an open-access fiber network in downtown Eugene, implementing a brownfield assessment program, and supporting RAIN Eugene
Dana Siebert is an executive with 30+ years of experience in high technology, life sciences, and entertainment markets within a wide range of companies; venture-backed start-ups, family-owned mid-size, and global public enterprises.
Mr. Siebert has general management responsibilities at Chambers Communications that included overall strategy for the TV broadcast and film production companies, with a focus on new business models. Bringing 20+ years of experience from the information technology into the media business leverages many common skills applied with a fresh perspective.
Mr. Siebert continued his long-standing commitment to economic development in the region with active leadership: “RAIN”, Governing Board member, Chairperson Capital Committee; and Fund Manager for the Willamette Angel Conference. Managing Director, Oregon Life Sciences, an early stage Life Sciences and Information Technology VC.
Dana Siebert was Executive Vice President for worldwide sales, marketing, and services at Symantec Corporation. Mr. Siebert had global revenue responsible for the company. He played an active role in Symantec’s growth thru acquisitions for over twenty years.
Previously held executive positions in high technology companies including THINK Technologies, Wang Laboratories, Computerland Corporation, and Burroughs Corporation.
Kate Harmon is an Instructor of Management and the Undergraduate Program Manager for the University of Oregon’s Lundquist Center of Entrepreneurship. Kate brings over five years of experience working with early-stage student, faculty and alumni entrepreneurs.
Prior to joining UO, Harmon was the Associate Director for Kent State University’s Blackstone Launchpad, an international business accelerator on 20 campuses, where she founded an all-female entrepreneurship program, initiated the development of a cross-campus maker space and co-founded several strategic campus initiatives (including the first fashion tech hackathon and one of the first university-based mini makerfaires). An active community member with extensive nonprofit management experience, Harmon has co-founded several nonprofits including Northeast Ohio’s Hudson Farmers Market and Junior Leadership Hudson program. When she is not planning the next hackathon or competition, Kate can be found hiking around Eugene with her puggle, Bella.
Commissioner Sid Leiken was elected to the Lane County Board of Commissioners in November 2010, and was sworn into office January 3, 2011. He was reelected to his second term in 2014. His previous civic duties have included serving on the Springfield Budget Committee, Springfield City Council from 1998-2000, and as Springfield Mayor from 2000-2010. Before being elected to the Board of Commissioners, Sid was a small business owner, economic development practitioner, and commercial lender for a community bank. In 2006 he was the only Mayor to be included in then-Governor Ted Kulongoski’s Trade Mission to Korea and Japan to discuss economic investments in Oregon and Lane County.
Sid has served on several boards and commissions, including the Governor’s Transportation Vision Committee, as Chair of the League of Oregon Cities Transportation Committee, and in 2007 was honored by his colleagues around the state with the Oregon Mayor’s Association Mayor’s Leadership Award, the top award given by the association. He has served as chair of the board of commissioners twice. He is also co-chair of the Associated Oregon Counties Transportation and Community Development Committee, serves on the AOC legislative committee, and both the statewide Bike/Ped Planning Committee and the Road User Fee Task Force. Sid and Debbie were chairs of the 2013 Lane Community College Foundation Harvest Dinner, the foundations top fundraising dinner and auction that directly benefits student scholarships and programs.
Sid attended college at Northwest Christian University. He later served on the board of trustees at Northwest Christian University.
Sid Leiken was born in Roseburg, Oregon, where his family owned and operated timber and building development companies. His family eventually moved to Eugene where he graduated from South Eugene High School.
University of Oregon Distinguished Recent Alumna award recipient, Courtney Griesel is the Economic Development Manager for the City of Springfield, OR. She has a Masters of Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University and Bachelor of Science in Planning, Public Policy & Management from the University of Oregon. Courtney manages two urban renewal areas, the community enterprise zone, transient room tax program, and citywide economic development.
Her economic lens spans across the region and globe as she works as a global facilitator and trainer with the EPIC-Network and in partnership with the United Nations and EPA in European and South African communities. In March of 2017, Griesel was the keynote speaker at the Oregon Governor’s Mass Timber Summit, speaking to innovative use of secondary and mass timber products and the integration of these efforts and products into current development opportunities.
Derek Schloss is the CEO and Co-Founder of Cowbucker, a Eugene-based headwear startup company. He is also a University of Oregon Instructor of Entrepreneurship/Marketing, as well as a licensed attorney in the state of Oregon. Derek has his BA in Creative Writing (University of Arizona ‘08), his Masters in Business Administration (University of Oregon ‘14), and his Juris Doctor (University of Oregon ‘14).