FORMER SECRETARY OF COMMERCE, STATE OF IDAHO
Mr. Sayer recently completed a four-year Governor appointment as the Secretary of Commerce for the state of Idaho. During his tenure he was instrumental in revitalizing the department from an organization described as non-existent or irrelevant to Idaho businesses to one that was engaged and widely recognized as a key influence for the state’s economic growth. Mr. Sayer was instrumental in passing key business attraction legislation that created nationally recognized incentives, one of which was responsible for attracting over $1.3 billion in new payroll to the state in its first year.
Prior, Mr. Sayer was the President and Chief Financial Officer of Mountain View Hospital in Idaho Falls where he played a key role in a turnaround of the facility. Begun as a small 20 bed, private hospital, Mr. Sayer helped lead the facility from near bankruptcy to the 6th largest healthcare system in the state of Idaho. The facility was successfully sold to a strategic buyer in 2010 after recording over 20% EBITDA margins on revenues in excess of $80 million.
Mr. Sayer began his career with Ernst & Young in Silicon Valley where he specialized in advising venture-capital funded technology companies through all stages of growth. Prior to his recent service as Secretary of Commerce for the State of Idaho, Mr. Sayer provided financial and executive leadership for companies ranging from start-ups over $500 million in sales. His experience includes turnarounds, public offerings, mergers & acquisitions, and extensive involvement in corporate strategy and leadership.
Mr. Sayer is a CPA and graduated from Brigham Young University.
FORMER VICE PRESIDENT & GENERAL MANAGER, HEWLETT PACKARD
Mr. Seymour recently completed a 33 year career with Hewlett Packard as the Vice President and General Manager of the LaserJet Hardware division where he was responsible for over $4.5 billion in revenue and 1,200 employees. While leading that division he successfully combined two LaserJet product divisions, improved gross margins by over 5 points, grew market share and introduced a complete lineup of new multifunction devices.
During his career Mr. Seymour was responsible and led multiple printer related divisions. With revenues ranging from $2 billion to over $7 billion, responsibilities for up to 8,000 people and factories in Singapore, Puerto Rico, Ireland and the United States Mr. Seymour was responsible for multiple successes. Results included achieving and maintaining number one market share positions in domestic and emerging markets, 5x improvements in quality results, redesigned multi-factory manufacturing businesses with reduced exposure to vertical liabilities, reduction of inventory days outstanding from 67 to 40 and consistent revenue growth and profits of his divisions.
Mr. Seymour has a BS in electrical engineering from University of Illinois.
JESSICA COOPER WHITING
FORMER PRESIDENT, IDAHO VIRTUAL REALITY COUNCIL
Jessica Whiting’s background includes years of startup experience in autonomous systems, virtual and augmented reality, mobile telecommunications, e-commerce, and medical device solutions. Her passion and vast experience began at the age of 14 while working in downtown San Francisco at Dominion Ventures, a venture capital firm.
In 2014, Mrs. Whiting was named Director of Startup Grind where she helped raise over $18M for local startups and spent three years mentoring and consulting entrepreneurs throughout the state. Prior to Startup Grind, Mrs. Whiting worked in an e-commerce startup, with a major mobile telecommunications company, launching texting in cell phones.
Mrs. Whiting was made President of the Idaho Virtual Reality Council, a state-wide organization she launched in 2016, growing it to thousands of members. Their goal was to bring cutting edge technology to local businesses. While President, Mrs. Whiting was also a Vice President of BlackBox VR, the first immersive fitness experience. Mrs. Whiting continues her consulting for the Idaho National Lab and CAES in launching the Autonomous Systems Center of Excellence, which specializes in integrating autonomous vehicles with UAVs and analyzing and testing risk management.
Jessica has a BA in Marketing and Advertising and an MBA from BYU.
FORMER MANAGING PARTNER, KPMG BOISE, IDAHO
John recently retired from KPMG LLP after 29 years consulting to US and foreign banks on risk management, operations, credit risk, capital adequacy, regulatory matters, and Bank M&A. John led KPMG’s National Credit Risk Management Practice for 19 years, focusing on all aspects of lending operations and credit portfolio management.
John began with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). John left the OCC to build a successful bank consultancy in Southern California focusing on administrative orders and outsourced credit review, and along the way designed a loss forecasting and reserving software still in use by various community banks. In 1995 he sold that consultancy to KPMG and joined their Regulatory Advisory Practice working from the San Francisco office.
In 2000, John accepted the role as Partner in Charge for KPMG’s Advisory Services in Latin America where he managed consultancies in 17 countries advising all industries but maintaining a focus on banks.
Upon returning to the US, John joined Providian Financial, a troubled monoline credit card issuer operating under a cease and desist order. As the Chief Risk Officer, John was responsible for enterprise risk management, Board reporting, credit review, model validation, internal audit, consumer compliance, Sarbanes-Oxley, and risk reporting. John chaired the Enterprise Risk Management Committee, served on the Disclosure Committee, and served as Interim General Auditor and Interim Chief Compliance Officer.
John rejoined KPMG in 2004 as the Office Managing Partner for the Boise, ID office, where he was responsible for enhancing KPMG’s brand and expanding revenues. Concurrently, John resumed leadership of KPMG’s national commercial credit risk practice leading major projects in multinational and regional banks. During that time John led the M&A due diligence on over 40 banks.
John’s prior clients include Fannie Mae, Ford Financhial Group, DeutscheBank, Goldman Sachs, Bank of the Cascades, Banner Bank, AmericanWest, Idaho Banking Company, Panhandle State Bank, Syringa Bank, Sterling Bancorp, Washington Mutual, , Stifel Financial, Los Alamos National Bank, CapGen Financial Group, Square 1 Bank, Bank of Hawaii, Pacific Capital Corporation, California State Banking Department, the International Monetary Fund, Regions, BBVA Compass, and Spain’s central bank (the National Bank of Spain).
John received a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Idaho. He is an avid mountain biker, rafter, and struggling guitar student. John is a full time Dad who tries really hard to keep up with his teenagers and stay relevant.
Mick Wiskerchen brings more than 25 years of broad industry and technical expertise through his executive positions he has held in business transformation, international sales and marketing, business development / strategy, global business and finance operations, supply chain, and a worldwide solutions integrator. With an incredible track record of driving profitability and success in scaling Companies, New Verticals / Business Units, Products, and SaaS platforms across global markets.
In August 2016, Mr. Wiskerchen joined Keynetics Inc. and Click Sales, Inc. – ClickBank as the Chief Operating Officer. He was accountable for all Worldwide Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, and Risk & Compliance. In March 2007, Mr. Wiskerchen joined Micron Technology, Inc. as a global leader and consultant and helped net the company a $151M ROI through re-engineering a worldwide supply chain and CRM (salesforce.com) business transformation initiative, and launched a best-in-class B2B and B2C dot.com digital strategy and IBM WebSphere and B2B Integrator platforms. Mr. Wiskerchen also served as a Sales Executive and Business Operations Director at Who’s Calling and ClickPath – Vista Capital, a startup technology and service company. He was instrumental in expanding new client accounts, growing revenues, and improving client retention by 65%. He also implemented best-in-class technical cloud-based SaaS solutions and processes for CRM with Salesforce.com ecosystems.
Mr. Wiskerchen was also a Senior Consultant at AT&T Wireless. His business development, channel and service / acquisition strategies, and excellent communication and negotiation skills led to 150% revenue growth and 60% improvement in client retention. Before joining AT&T Wireless, Mick was selected to be in a prestigious two-year International GE Model Leadership Program after Jack Welch at The Boeing Company. Mick eventually worked directly for the company’s COO as Senior Finance Manager of the Internal Audit Leadership Program. He also sat on the IBM Customer Advisory Board. Locally, Mick co-founded the Treasure Valley CFO Forum and currently holds positions as a member of the Board of AgriTech; Entrepreneur Mentor of B-Launch; Ex-Chairperson of the Technology Board TAC, College of Western Idaho; and Chairman and member of the Board of Directors of Boise Valley Economic Partnership and Executive Board Member – Boise Chamber of Commerce and on the Governors Economic Advisory Council.
Mick has a BA in Industrial Technology from Washington State University. He also received his MBA from City University in Seattle, Washington.
JEFF EVANSON | Former Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, Superior Farms
Mr. Evanson recently completed a 28-year career at Superior Farms. Superior Farms is the largest fully integrated domestic manufacturer of lamb in the United States with revenues of $250 million. Mr. Evanson is a senior financial professional with expertise in the protein, manufacturing, consumer products and supply chain industries. Mr. Evanson served as Chief Financial officer since 2002. He identified, participated in and completed multiple opportunities involving mergers, acquisitions and strategic alliances. In addition, he led the charge to divest non-performing assets and built the strongest company in the lamb industry.
Superior Farms has been an employee owned company for 25 years. Mr. Evanson served as the Chairman of the ESOP Administration committee. Superior Farms paid out more than $20 million dollars to employee owners during his tenure as CFO.
In addition to numerous roles in finance over the years, Mr. Evanson spent four years as General Manager and Vice President of Specialty Products. Profits improved nearly $2.5 million from a loss of $500,000 the year prior to his involvement to a profit of $1.8 million in 2001. Sales grew by 225% during this period. Mr. Evanson also assumed the responsibility of Vice President of Sales for one year and has served as Executive Vice President since 2009.
Mr. Evanson served on the corporate board of directors as well as each the companies partnerships. He currently serves as an outside director for Panorama Meats, an organic grass-fed beef company.
Mr. Evanson has a business degree from Boise State University. In addition, Mr. Evanson completed courses an Executive program for growing companies at Stanford and Strategic Alliances: Creating growth opportunities at Wharton School of Business.
JAY GROVE | Former Vice President, Business Development, Northrop Grumman Communication Division
Jay Grove is recognized for the successful, spirited growth of aerospace and defense electronics organizations. Mr. Grove is a subject matter expert in developing and fielding defense electronic systems, including sensors and communications. He has consistently delivered exceptional top line growth and bottom line results. An outstanding communicator, Jay is adept at leading organizations to profitable growth during seasons of rapid change such as start-ups, turnarounds, restructurings, and post- acquisitions.
As Vice President for Business Development for Northrop Grumman’s Communication Systems Division, Jay’s teamincreased annual bookings by over $250M and was instrumental in defining strategic plans, strategic technology investments, and initiating development of international markets.
Previously, Jay led Northrop Grumman business units (>$500M). His team reset an advanced avionics manufacturing facility and international supply chain for the F-35 Tactical Fighter program. Jay’s unit spearheaded the development of electronic warfare systems resulting in the only program of record for Counter IED systems. Jay led numerous quick reaction program teams providing aircraft integration, deployment, and support of sophisticated avionics aboard high altitude business jets & unmanned aerial vehicles, as well as large transport/mission aircraft.
Prior to joining Northrop Grumman, Jay served as Group Vice President for Argon ST, Inc. (now Boeing Defense Systems) Network Systems Group, Division Vice President for EMS Technologies, Inc. (now Honeywell, Inc.) Defense & Space Systems Division, and held engineering, P&L management positions of increasing responsibility at ViaSat, Lockheed Sanders, and TRW.
Jay earned an MS in Engineering from the University of Dayton, and a BS in Electrical Systems Engineering from Wright State University.
JEFF NEISWANGER | Founder, CEO Channel Blend
Jeff Neiswanger began his entrepreneurial career at the age of 12 with the formation of a lawn service and one employee. Since then Jeff has founded several companies and has a proven track record of starting and growing successful businesses.
Channel Blend facilitates and develops consumer communication and outreach strategies for large clients who utilize digital media advertising platforms. Jeff established Channel Blend in October of 2003 and now employs over 200 employees Idaho Falls, Idaho.
Prior to Channel Blend, Jeff founded and operated TSI (Tele-Servicing Innovations) which was awarded Inc. 500 status in 2001. TSI employed approximately 650 people in five Idaho communities and averaged an annual revenue growth rate of 112%.
In addition, Mr. Neiswanger co-founded Spectrum Tele-Services, a virtual call center company headquartered in Denver, was President of CPSI, a call center company headquartered in Denver that employed approximately 1,300 people conducting inbound and outbound call center services for the cable industry, and has been awarded a US patent for a distributed workforce telephony product.
Jeff has dual degrees in finance and insurance from the University of Northern Colorado.