ACG Cup Northwest Committee
Hosting/Supporting Organization Leaders
Jim Barnyak, Regional VP
ACG Seattle Exec. Director
FEI – Portland Chapter
FEI – Washington State Chapter
Sponsors – Primary Contacts
University Program Coordinators
Donna L. Paul, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Finance
Carson College of Business
Washington State University
ACG Cup Northwest University Campus Liaisons
LIAISON COORDINATOR, OREGON & WASHINGTON
Chartwell Financial Advisory, Inc.
ACG Cup Northwest 2020 Judges
DOUGLAS K. ADLER
Kate Johnson is CEO of Act-On Software, a marketing automation software provider focused on helping companies in the mid-market reach the right buyers, convert more leads and grow revenue. Kate oversees all functions within the company, with a heavy focus on building a world class team, growing profitably and defining the strategic direction. Prior to becoming the CEO, Kate served as the CFO of Act-On for 3 years and has over 20 years of progressive experience in executive and financial leadership roles in both large public and smaller private technology companies.
Adam is a Managing Director at pHpartners, focused on providing M&A and capital raising services for middle market clients. Adam also leads pH Capital Partners, pHp’s merchant banking division. Adam is based in Portland, Oregon. Adam has over 15 years of experience advising companies of various stages of growth. He has deep experience in the technology, financial technology, consumer and retail and business services sectors. In addition, he has worked with many closely-held, family-owned businesses in transition.
Prior to pHpartners, Adam covered the Pacific Northwest region for Wells Fargo Securities’ Middle Market Investment Bank. Previously, Adam worked at Financial Technology Partners where he was an execution banker for one of the nation’s leading verticalized boutique M&A firms. Adam began his investment banking career in the Technology Group at Banc of America Securities. Prior to his investment banking career, Adam worked at Silicon Valley Bank, executing venture debt transactions for leading emerging technology and life sciences companies.
Benjamin Ertischek is an executive with more than 20 years of responsibility for Leadership, Strategy, Finance, Accounting, IT Systems & Applications, Product and Business Development, Ben thrives on building businesses by nurturing ideas and people working in collaborative teams. His passion and commitment to evolve ideas, develop people and build successful businesses is second only to his ability to think outside the box, challenge the status quo and cast a vision for what can be. In addition to operating roles leading companies, Ben has deep experience in raising equity funding and completing both buy side and sell side M&A. He has had significant M&A roles from Director of M&A at Xerox to leading many of the many activities at Viewpoint and MediaShift Technologies as CFO. Ben has also run a boutique consulting firm providing M&A advisory services to companies and private equity firms.
Brendan Gutierrez McDonnell is an equity partner at global law firm K&L Gates LLP. Brendan served as the Portland office managing partner for eight years, and also served on the firm’s Management Committee for seven years. He is a current member of the firm’s IDEA Group, an internal committee that assists in advancing the firm’s strategic priority of embracing innovation to drive value, and serves as the Portland office recruiting partner. He is a forward, visionary thinker, solving legal and business issues affecting public and private growth companies. Brendan is on the leading edge of ushering disruption into the traditional practice of law by leveraging technology, including artificial intelligence, to more efficiently serve his clients.
Brendan regularly counsels corporate clients on mergers and acquisitions and public and private financings, including private equity and venture capital transactions. He also advises companies on a variety of everyday business issues, including advice on securities laws, corporate laws (including director and officer duties), executive compensation plans and general corporate contracts. He has worked with clients at every stage of development, from initial formation to Fortune 100 status. Brendan’s accounting background affords him an advantage in understanding his clients’ business and financial objectives. He works directly with his clients to implement tailored solutions to their complex business problems. Brendan received his J.D. from University of California, Davis School of Law, and his B.S. from Loyola Marymount University.
Tom is an executive leader with extensive experience in sales, marketing, data and analytics. He has led operations and sales at both product and services companies, public and private. He has repeatedly reset businesses, and consistently delivered new and sustained growth by building high-performing teams while creating an environment for collaboration and challenge. He offers unique expertise in executive leadership, organizational design, financial planning, product strategy and vision, sales and operations. His acute understanding of organizational enablement for transformation and growth has consistently delivered an outstanding return to investors and his teams.
Tom works with a number of private equity and venture funds as a consultant, operating partner, and investor. He has been an active member of the community through his work with SMART (Start Making a Reader Today), the Tech Association of Oregon, Lincoln High School, the Multnomah Club, and as a past Trustee at the Oregon College of Art and Craft. He and his wife Tori have lived in Portland for over 25 years and is the father to three active young adults.
Education includes a BS in Finance from West Virginia University and an Innovation Certification, Executive Education at MIT Sloan School of Management.
Patrick Ringland is a principal owner of Meridian Capital and a Managing Director leading the firm’s Technology industry group and overseeing the Business Services and Telecom practices.
Over the course of his career as an investment banker and economic and financial consultant, he has advised clients across an assortment of industry segments, including technology, biotech, pharmaceutical, media, and telecommunications. He has successfully advised Fortune 50 companies and privately held businesses and entrepreneurs on a variety of sell-side and buy-side, recapitalization, growth equity, and strategic advisory assignments.
Prior to joining Meridian Capital, Patrick worked as a TMT investment banker with HSBC in London, was a financial and economic consultant with The Brattle Group in Cambridge, Massachusetts and at LECG in Chicago, Illinois,Patrick earned his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and attend the University of Washington in Seattle earning a BS in Economics and a BA in Classical Studies.
Cari Thomas has more than 20 years of financial and management experience, with a key focus on aligning organizations and managing risk in high-growth sectors. She is currently CFO at Quatris Healthco, where she oversees HR and the finance functions. There she prioritizes growing the people needed to thrive in a tumultuous healthcare environment, leveraging the most suitable technology to operate in a fast-paced and ever-changing market, and maintaining a fiscally sound firm. Within her first year, she co-led a NetSuite migration that has positioned the firm for continual growth and set up financial reporting systems to help the company optimize resources. Previously, as the CFO of Jibe Consulting, Cari played a key role in establishing an Indian subsidiary that allowed for local- and offshore-market growth. She also implemented an Oracle ERP system that transformed finance from a back-office player to a strategic front-office partner for our workforce. In her CFO capacity at Jibe, she won the 2013 CFO of the Year award, given by Portland Business Journal. Outside of work, Cari supports her senior finance peers as a board member and the past President of Financial Executive International Organization in Portland.
Stephen is the Managing Director of Endeavour, a Northwest-based private equity group. Stephen serves on the boards of USNR, Pacific Market International, OFD Foods, Pacific Star Communications, and Entek. Before joining Endeavour in 2002, Stephen was the Chairman of Stoel Rives, one of the largest law firms in the Pacific Northwest. Stephen also serves on the board of Columbia Sportswear Company and Pendleton Woolen Mills and is a former board member of Roseburg Forest Products. Stephen has a B.A. from Stanford University, a J.D. from Stanford Law School and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Torran (Tory) Nixon serves as President for Umpqua Bank, a position he has held since May 2020. As President, he oversees all customer-facing banking divisions and focuses on creating a seamless, human digital customer experience across the company’s retail, home lending, wholesale, and wealth management business lines. He previously served as Umpqua Bank’s Chief Banking Officer from April 2018 to May 2020, Executive Vice President and Head of Commercial & Wealth from October 2016 to April 2018, and Executive Vice President/Commercial Banking from November 2015 to October 2016.
Before joining Umpqua Bank in November 2015, Tory served as Division President for the San Diego and Northern California Divisions of California Bank & Trust from April 2007 where he oversaw 50 commercial and community banking offices focused on middle-market banking, commercial real estate, private banking, and community banking. Prior to his banking career, Tory was a professional football player for the San Francisco 49ers and a member of the 1988 Super Bowl XXIII championship team. Nixon received his MBA from the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business and his B.S. degree in Business Administration (Finance) from San Diego State University. He is also a graduate of Pacific Coast Banking School.
DOUGLAS K. ADLER
Doug is a strategic financial and operational leader with a keen ability to drive value. He currently runs Tusten Advisors, a consulting and financial advisory services firm for high-growth businesses. Recently, as CFO of Atmosera, a leading Microsoft Azure Cloud Hosting and Architecture company, he was responsible for finance, accounting, capital raising, M&A and procurement of the company. Doug joined Atmosera with more than 20 years of experience as a key strategic and financial advisor to a variety of high growth technology and telecom companies. Doug spent 14 years as a Managing Director of Investment Banking at TD Securities in New York where he co-founded and co-lead their mergers and acquisitions practice in the telecom, media and technology sectors and their Equity Capital Markets business. Doug has structured and raised over $27 billion in debt and equity capital and advised on $8 billion in acquisitions over the course of his career. Doug is the President of the Financial Executives International (FEI) Portland Chapter and is on the ACG Cup NW Committee.
Kate is the CEO of Ruby Receptionists. She has been in the technology sector for over 25 years having been a three-time CEO as well as a technology investment banker. Kate joined 15-year old Ruby this past September as the first CEO to take over leadership of the company from its founder, Jill Nelson. Prior to joining Ruby, Kate lead two high-growth, venture backed businesses to successful exits and also served as a senior technology investment banker at both Houlihan Lokey and Piper Jaffray where she helped over 75 companies build and capture over $4Bn in enterprise value. Kate holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Michigan. Kate also holds FINRA Series 7, 63 and 79 licenses and started her career as a CPA.
When not at work, you can find Kate in a co-ed soccer game, climbing a 17,000-foot peak, wrapping up a 550-mile bike ride or adding another passport stamp to her collection that includes 60 countries.