Page 10 - ACOSE 2017 Program
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Faith Knutsen                                             Joe Marraffino
          Associate Director of Operations, TechGROWTH Ohio         Co-Director--Cooperative Conversions Program, Democracy at Work
          Faith Knutsen, venture development executive staff and instructor at Ohio
          University’s Voinovich School of Leadership & Public Affairs, has worked   Joe Marraffino is the co-director of the Cooperative Conversions program
          for nine years in new startup venture development services, regional pitch   at the Democracy at Work Institute. Joe was the Finance Manager for
          competition implementation and grant administration. Her skills include   the 12,000 member GreenStar Cooperative Market in Ithaca, New York.
          grantwriting and startup modeling. Faith’s previous employments included a   Previously he was a worker-owner of Arizmendi Bakery in San Francisco
          decade with her family’s high-tech startup, and early career years in interna-  and worked as a business developer for the Arizmendi Association of
          tional development (starting with a three-year Peace Corps stint beekeeping   Cooperatives to help launch two new worker-owned bakeries. Joe was
          in Central Africa). Faith is a member of several non-profit and entrepreneur-  a founding member of the of the New York Cooperative Network and
          ship-oriented advisory committees in her hometown of Athens, OH. She has   the Democracy at Work Network. He has a MA from the New College of
          daughters in high school and college and is passionate about storytelling   California in Culture, Ecology, and Sustainable Community.
          as an art form (both in the context of pitching new ideas and, as a hobby, in
          historical fiction-writing).                              Andrea McCardle
                                                                    Director, WVU Women’s Business Center
          Valerie Lefler                                  
          President & CEO, Liberty Mobility Now                     Andrea McCardle is the Director of the WVU Women’s Business Center.
                               As Director, she provides programming and counseling which empowers
          Ms. Valerie Lefler is President & CEO of Liberty Mobility Now, Inc. Valerie has   prospective business owners to take their idea to the next level. Prior to
          a degree in business administration from the University of Nebraska-Lin-  the establishment of the center, Andrea served as the Assistant Manager
          coln and a Master’s degree in public administration from the University of   of the WVU student entrepreneurship center known as the LaunchLab.
          Nebraska at Omaha. Ms. Lefler spent almost 12 years managing university   She also has experience in teaching, having served as an adjunct faculty
          transportation research and then transitioned to specializing in rural public   member with the WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resourc-
          transportation regulation and public outreach. Based upon that experience,   es, and Design. There she taught courses in environmental regulation,
          Valerie started her own business and submitted a Small Business Innovative   agribusiness law, and entrepreneurship. Prior to joining the academic
          Research (SBIR) proposal to US DOT-FTA project to use advanced technol-  world, Andrea practiced law at a large, West Virginia-based law firm.
          ogy to design customer-focused mobility options–called Liberty. The project   Her legal work focused primarily on property rights related to extractive
          has now evolved into a formal company, dedicated to providing responsive   industries.  Andrea earned both her undergraduate degree in Agribusiness
          customer-centered care across the United States. Ms. Lefler currently lives in   Management and Rural Development and her Masters in Agriculture at the
          Lincoln, Nebraska with her husband, Joe, and two kids – Fionna and LJ.  WVU Davis College, and went on to earn a Juris Doctorate from the WVU
                                                                    College of Law. Andrea pursued this diverse blend of education in part
          Autumn Long                                               because of her early life growing up on a small farm. Now, in addition to
          WV SUN Solar Co-op Coordinator, Community Power Network   her education and career experience, she and her husband also manage
                                          their own small agribusiness.
          Autumn Long serves as Solar Co-op Coordinator for WV SUN, a nonprofit
          organization that expands access to solar by educating West Virginians   Carling McManus
          about the benefits of distributed solar energy, helping them organize group   CEO, 84 Agency
          solar installations, and strengthening West Virginia’s solar policies and its
          community of solar supporters. Autumn works with West Virginia residents   Carling McManus specializes in bringing high quality media and commu-
          and communities to develop and manage solar co-ops across the state.   nications strategies and creative solutions to every client engagement.
          She also co-owns a small landscaping company, Goldenseal Garden Care.   She received her Masters in Fine Art from the San Francisco Art Institute
          Autumn has been an entrepreneur, community organizer, advocate, writer,   and a Bachelors of Arts from McGill University in Montréal, Canada. Her
          editor, researcher, and homesteader. She holds a B.Phil. in Anthropology from   commitment to compelling storytelling informs every project from social
          the University of Pittsburgh and an M.A. in Geography from West Virginia   media memes to viral videos. Carling has extensive experience bringing
          University. Born and raised in West Virginia, Autumn lives in rural Harrison   her artistic background to creating viral content, developing campaigns,
          County with her husband, dog, horse, donkey, chickens, and net-metered   managing social media presences, producing video and design materials,
          solar PV system.                                          and offering communications and public relations consulting to a variety of
                                                                    clients locally and internationally.
          Savanna Lyons
          Program Director, Refresh Appalachia                      Jeremy McQueen
                              Chief Executive Officer, Mountain Tech Media
          Savanna Lyons directs food hub operations and entrepreneurship training for
          Refresh Appalachia, an agricultural workforce and economic development   Jeremy is a co-founder and the Chief Executive Officer for Mountain Tech
          enterprise of Coalfield Development Corporation.  Previously Savanna was   Media, which pretty much just means he’s always busy juggling multiple
          Operations Manager for FarmTable Delivery, a food hub in Iowa, and worked   projects. He has spent all of his adult years traveling the world, meeting
          at the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, conducting research   new people, and following new opportunities. This open spirit encour-
          and extension on food hub financial management.  Savanna was founding   aged him to take a chance on a startup tech and design company in
          Director of the West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition, a statewide nonprofit that   Appalachia. Jeremy is from southeastern Kentucky, and has always been
          continues to strengthen food systems through network-building and policy   most interested in people. This interest earned him a Bachelor’s of Arts
          change. She received her B.A. from Harvard University and a double M.S. in   in Sociology from Berea College and a Master’s of Science from Eastern
          Economics and Sustainable Agriculture from Iowa State University.  Kentucky University. Now he spends most of his days focused on creating
                                                                    jobs in the digital economy for his home region.
          Geoff Marietta
          Co-Founder/Lead Investor, Mountain Tech Media             Kenneth Oehlers
                                     Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity of Southeast Ohio
          Geoff Marietta’s formal professional role is Executive Director of Pine Moun-
          tain Settlement School, an 800-acre National Historic Landmark community   Kenneth Oehlers is in his 7th year as Executive Director of Habitat for
          nonprofit that has miles of trails and an operating organic farm. Geoff is also   Humanity of Southeast Ohio.  While at HFHSEO, Kenneth has increased
          the co-founder and lead investor of Mountain Tech Media, a diversified front-  the organization’s impact on the community by 400%, opened two social
          end digital media company based in Eastern Kentucky, and Trillium Ventures,   enterprise locations (known as ReStores), created a new Critical Home
          a community development real estate company that invests and restores   Repair program, and expanded its service area to serve roughly 8% of the
          historic main street buildings in the region. Mountain Tech is organized as a   geographic area of Ohio.  Kenneth has an 11 year background in growing
          cooperative and co-owned by Appalshop, a place-based media, arts and   nonprofit organizations through partnerships within communities.  Before
          education nonprofit in Eastern Kentucky. Born in Hibbing, Minnesota, on the   coming to Habitat for Humanity, Kenneth worked in marketing/sales and
          Mesabi Iron Range, Geoff went to the University of Montana where he stud-  helped clients gain market share through creative advertising and collabo-
          ied forestry. He then lived on the Navajo Nation in rural New Mexico, advanc-  ration.  Kenneth is just as excited about working with Habitat for Humanity
          ing in leadership from teacher and department head, to assistant principal, to   as the day he started and looks forward to continuing to grow Habitat’s
          district-level coordinator. He went on to earn his MBA from Harvard Business   important mission in Southeast Ohio and across the world.  Kenneth lives
          School and a doctorate from Harvard Graduate School of Education. During   in Athens, Ohio where he loves cheering for the Ohio University Bobcats
          his time in Cambridge, Geoff co-founded and served as CEO of Giant Otter   along with his wife and their four crazy dogs!
          Technologies, which makes AI-enhanced 3D virtual simulations. Geoff has
          coauthored two books—Improving Education Together and Achieving
          Coherence in District Improvement—and more than 20 case studies, articles,
          and reports on educational policies and practices. He currently lives at Pine
          Mountain Settlement School in Harlan County with his wife, Sky, and their
          sons, Harlan and Perry.

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