2017 Selection Committee

A “Selection Committee” comprised of influencers from the Sacramento region’s civic business, technology and academic communities — all with experience pertaining to one of the program’s categories — carefully review the nominations during a six-week evaluation process.

During this process, each Selection Committee member also reviews nominations in a subcommittee pertaining to their area of expertise. In the event that conflicts exist between Selection Committee members and nominations, members will provide full disclosure to the rest of the committee, and then abstain from voting in the category in which the nomination is being judged. Following the subcommittee evaluation process, each Selection Committee member will vote on ALL nominations submitted in EACH category (except on categories in which a nomination is being judged to which they have a direct tie). As many as three finalists (one being the winner) will be announced per category.

Selection Committee votes are tabulated using an online voting system developed through Qualtrics by Moss Adams LLP. While Stoel Rives attorneys organize the program, no one from the law firm votes.

Members of our 2017 Selection Committee casting votes via mobile devices during the final meeting on September 20, 2017:



  • Steve Mills, Partner, DCA Capital Partners
  • Tracy Saville, Co-Founder & Director, FourthWave; CIO, The Disruptive Factory
  • Gino DiCaro, VP of Communications, California Manufacturing & Technology Association (CMTA)
  • Tony Lopez, Vice President of Operations, Pride Industries
  • Louis Stewart, Chief Innovation Officer, MOFIE, City of Sacramento
  • Mark Haney, Chief Dreaming Officer, HaneyBiz
  • John Krueger, Executive VP, Greater Sacramento Economic Council
  • Jordan Darling, CEO, Free Form Factory [2016 WINNER]
  • Tom Henry, Stoel Rives LLP [non-voting liaison]
  • Carissa Beecham, Stoel Rives LLP [non-voting liaison]


  • Joe Schmidt, Senior VP Business Development & Strategy, BioConsortia, Inc.
  • Julie Morris, Director of Technology Innovation, World Food Center at UC Davis
  • Trish Kelley, Senior Vice President, Valley Vision
  • Helen Singmaster, General Counsel, Raley’s
  • Ryan Sharp, Associate Director, Venture Catalyst, UC Davis
  • Ashish Malik, CEO, Bee Vectoring Technologies International, Inc.
  • Parastoo Yaghmaee, Ph.D., VP of Process Solutions & Validations, Ziel Process Solutions, LLC
  • Melissa Jones, Office Managing Partner, Stoel Rives LLP [non-voting liaison]
  • Matt Struhar, Stoel Rives LLP [non-voting liaison]


  • Harry Laswell, CEO, Powerhouse Science Center
  • Amit Gattani, Senior Director of Segment Marketing, Embedded Solutions Group, Micron Technology, Inc.
  • Norman White, Senior Attorney, Intel
  • Robb Moore, CEO, ioSafe
  • Tim Keller, Founder, Inventopia
  • Philip Wang, Stoel Rives LLP [non-voting liaison]
  • Traci Keith, Stoel Rives LLP [non-voting liaison]


  • Robert Groth, VP Program Development, Social Interest Solutions
  • John Mesic, M.D., Physician Executive, Sutter Health Valley Area
  • Cary Adams, JD, CEO, MedForce Accelerator / Almond Tree Capital
  • Warren Smith, Ph.D., Professor, Electrical & Electronic Engineering Department, California State University, Sacramento
  • Simon Cherry, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Biological Engineering, University of California, Davis
  • Chris Wood, Senior Director, Mercy Neurological Institute , Dignity Health
  • Chris Gresens, M.D., Senior Medical Director and Vice President of Global Medicine , BloodSource
  • Dushyant Pathak, Assoc. Vice Chancellor, Office of Research, ED Venture Catalyst, UC Davis
  • Matt Phillips, Director, MedStart, Social Interest Solutions
  • Meg Arnold, Principal, GSD Consulting
  • Tracy Shafizadeh, Ph.D., Director of Scientific Communications, Evolve BioSystems [2016 WINNER]
  • Matt Bethards, Stoel Rives LLP [non-voting liaison]
  • Jon Miles, Stoel Rives LLP [non-voting liaison]


  • Roger Akers, Managing Partner, Akers Capital LLC
  • Laura Good, Cofounder, StartupSac
  • Vaibhav Nadgauda, Partner, Moneta Ventures
  • Corley Phillips, Director, Sacramento Entrepreneurship Academy
  • Kim Box, President & CEO, Gatekeeper Innovation Inc.
  • John Peters, Angel Investor
  • Justin Boatman, VP of Marketing & Communications, Riskalyze [2016 WINNER]
  • Sylvia Arostegui, Stoel Rives LLP [non-voting liaison]
  • Eric Skanchy, Stoel Rives LLP [non-voting liaison]


  • Todd Lindstrom, CEO, Enable Energy
  • Gary Simon, Chairman, CleanStart, Inc.
  • Nicole England, Teichert Construction
  • Bill Boyce, SMUD
  • Dave Sanders, Managing Partners, WoodBridge Partners
  • Rob White, Chief Strategist, Sierra Energy [2016 WINNER]
  • Chris Russell, Program Co-Chair, Stoel Rives LLP [non-voting liaison]
  • Shannon Morrissey, Stoel Rives LLP [non-voting liaison]