Who we Are.

Why we are Here.

We are all about bringing entreprenuers and mentors together to build thriving startups to our wonderful Snoqualmie Valley.

Innovation Design Template

About Rob Wotton - President.

As a business banker, I've made it my passion to bring people together to build better businesses and a stronger community. Over five years ago, I created the Umpqua Community Room with the support of Umpqua Bank. No other bank has done anything like this.


We created a monthly program, The Business Workshop, to bring people together to share ideas. And then we created the Sno-Valley Innovation Center, a nonprofit to continue helping business start-ups and those that need to change in order to grow. There is no question that COVID-19 is forcing vast changes on businesses today.


Sno-Valley Innovation Center recognizes that we can help businesses navigate those changes, and I am very excited about the work we are doing through the BizCast Forum program. We will be able to reach communities with similar needs and providing the technical resources regardless of their location.

About Walt Nelson Vice-President.

I am a software programmer with online marketing experience using Facebook Ads, SEO & so much more. If you need help with your online presence for your business, I can help.


I love helping businesses get started or improving their processes. My business is focusing on the raw data that businesses generate & making sense of all of it. I live statistics and optimizing business workflows. Our beautiful valley is full of bright people ready to give back to the community. Come join us.

About Tad Haas.

A passionate technology evangelist, experienced change agent and business builder, Tad gets to work with some of the best companies every day. Supporting innovators in key industries such as health and life sciences, manufacturing, and professional services. Taking great ideas to even better outcomes. A long tenure at Microsoft helped him see what it means to transform and deliver at scale.


He often speaks on topics ranging from “Art of the Possible…”, “Uncovering Your Innovators” or broad topics like Employee Engagement and IT Demand Management. As a 20+ year member of Project Management Institute (PMI) he always strives towards the full picture of Strategy > Innovation > Justification > Delivery and Outcomes.


I am passionate about business innovation and get to work in this space around the world most days. Being on the SnoValley Innovation Center Board allows me to have an impact locally - in the community I live, work and play in. 

About Joan Vaughn - Secretary.

I joined to help steer this new startup organization in support of entrepreneurs and innovators get a start in getting their products to market by supporting their mission by pairing them with a mentors to guide them through the process of marketing, sales, business formation and many other opportunities.

About Kevin Mayo.

I am a strategic developer, relationship builder, and collaborative leader with over 30 years of Financial and Operational experience in public accounting, food and beverages, consumer products, heavy equipment and consulting.


Presently I bring executive leadership, strategic vision, controlling and reducing costs, increasing efficiency, and stimulating bottom line growth for future benefits to organizations of all sizes. I have a proven record leading financial restructurings and reorganizations in challenging settings. I coordinate effectively with senior management and cross functional teams for the attainment of company goals and building future leaders. I have served clients as a management Consultant and Interim CFO.


I have a passion for working with startups to mid-sized companies to help them run more efficiently and become more successful. I have also always wanted give back to the community that I live in.

About Joe Ritchie.

Joe Ritchie is the managing partner at Red Pill Advisors, a digital health consulting firm, which works with startups from early idea stage to revenue producing companies looking to scale. Joe is an experienced operator at multiple healthcare companies from startups to Fortune 100 with a balanced track record of executing top performance.


In his 20+ years in healthcare, Joe has led sales and strategy teams through numerous product launches, built go to market plans into white space and crowded markets and successfully introduced and scaled new platforms throughout the largest health systems in the US.


I joined the Board as a way to give back to the community where I am raising my family.  Additionally, as an entrepreneur myself, I know how hard it is to put all the pieces of a successful business together and I wanted to be able to share the successes and failures I’ve experienced in hopes that it will help others find a faster path to fulfilling their entrepreneurial dreams.

About Maggie Johnescu - Treasurer.

I Joined the Innovation Board to help support local entrepreneurs with transforming their ideas into best quality products-to-market. I have 30+ years in medical and consumer electronics operations.

I love taking production from small startups to world class manufacturing. My passion is getting the best quality products to customers.

Come join the board to promote and support small businesses in the Snoqualmie Valley!

About Mark Mulder - Honorary.

An award-winning educator, researcher and innovator, Dr. Mark Mulder serves as the Dean of the School of Business at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA. Professor Mulder teaches in the MBA, Master of Science in Marketing Analytics, undergraduate business and innovation studies programs.


Professor Mulder has been recognized as Professor of the year and a recipient of multiple teaching and research awards. He serves as a business and marketing consultant with local and global nonprofits and business organizations. Authoring over 30 journal and conference publications, 


Dr. Mulder is an active scholar and researcher, contributing in the areas of marketing strategy and consumer behavior. Professor Mulder has served as a president of a local chamber of commerce, as an executive board member for the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber, on the board of various nonprofits, and presently serves on the board of the nation’s oldest utility cooperative.

Organizations We Partner With

City of Snoqualmie Logo
North Bend WA Logo
Snoqualmie Valley School District Logo
The Trail Youth Coffee Home Logo
Snoqualmie Valley Chamber of Commerce Logo

Our Methodology To Foster Business Startups

Here's how to get started:

Get Your Friday Meetup Link

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Friday Meetups

The Innovation Center invites entrepreneurs to Innovation Friday Meetups from noon to 1PM, where they can meet with a panel of volunteers to present their ideas or products.

Volunteer Experts

The volunteer experts will ask clarifying questions to better understand the concept, how far into the process they are, sticking points, and conduct a SWOT analysis.

Scalable Ideas

If the idea or product is scalable, the mentors will provide some guidance and expectations for the entrepreneur to work on prior to a follow-up meeting.

Innovation Design

The entrepreneur will be expected to complete the Innovation Design Template within the first 30 to 45 days as determined by the Executive Director in consultation with SVIC mentors.

Innovation Design Template

Fostering Innovation through Educational Programs

Here's how to get started:

White Label Program

Our long-range strategy is to offer programming as a White Label program for rural Chambers of Commerce based on their membership census on an annual basis.

Production Studio

Our Community Room would become our production studio. We know there are 30 million small business owners.

Partner With Others

By going directly to Chambers, we can reach our potential market faster and offer the most remote locations a turn-key program that will help sustain membership, necessary funds to operate and reasons for new members to join with minimal effort.

Big Plans

We will also broaden the available expertise through this new medium.

Discover our great news feed

Stay up to date with the latest tips & tools for business innovators.

September 8, 2021

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February 26, 2021

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September 22, 2020

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