Meet Our Board of Directors


  Conrad Ball 
Enterprise Engineering, The Boeing Company 

Conrad Ball is the leader of Boeing’s recently formed corporate-wide program management office that is responsible for the training, development, and engagement of a global engineering and product support workforce of nearly 50,000 employees. He brings 30 years of engineering, program management, technology development, and leadership development experience to this role at Washington FIRST. 

  Erica Beckstrom
Board Member

Erica Beckstrom is a seasoned and  strategic Executive Sales Leader who is delivering deep experience and broad background into small and medium business.  Erica is recognized for trailblazing and rational risk taking  that has accelerated innovative solution offerings that provide stronger business alignment internally and externally. Her unyielding advocacy for customers and partners speaks to her believe that relationships drive every form of success. 

  Geoff Deane 
Executive, Entrepreneur,  Technology Leader

As the former vice-president and general manager of Intellectual Ventures, Geoff  Deane was charged w/ directing the business operations and scientific activities of the company’s translational research division.   He was formerly chief technical officer and executive vice president of engineering for Inogen, Inc., a Santa Barbara, California based medical device manufacturer of novel respiratory care solutions.  Earlier in his career, he was vice president at LaunchPoint Technologies, an early stage incubation and design consulting firm. Prior to LaunchPoint, he was chief technology officer and director of Project Engineering of Dehlsen Associates, a Santa Barbara technology incubator. While at Dehlsen Associates, he participated in the formation of over a dozen companies, including entrainment of institutional investors and establishment of government programs and funding streams.


  Joe Fain
Board Member

State Senator, 47th Legislative District

In 2010 Joe Fain was elected to the state Senate, where he serves on the Transportation, Early Learning and K-12 Education, Financial Institutions, Housing and Insurance and Rules committees. He also serves as chair of the Legislative Evaluation and Accountability Program Committee. After only three years in office he has been widely recognized for his efforts on a variety of issues, including as an “Emerging Leader on Developmental Disabilities” by the ARC of King County’s Parent Coalition, as a “Guardian of Small Business” by the National Federation of Independent Businesses, with the “Spirit of Community Award” from the Kent Parent Teacher Association, as “2012 Government Employee of the Year” by the Kent Chamber of Commerce, by the Children’s Alliance as a 2013 Legislative Champion, and by the Aerospace Futures Alliance as 2013 Legislator of the Year.

Brad Gile
Board Member
Logistics Center Manager, Caterpillar, Inc.


Brad joined Caterpillar in 2000 and has held a variety of positions in Information Systems, International Trade, Program Management, Logistics Engineering and Operations.  In 2011, he relocated to Spokane from Shanghai, China where he was the Logistics Engineering Manager for Caterpillar Asia Pacific.  Currently, he manages Caterpillar's Spokane Distribution Center.  He also serves on the Dean’s Advisory Board for EWU’s College of Business and is a member of the Board of Trustees for Greater Spokane Inc.  Brad holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Illinois State University and is a Certified Supply Chain Professional.  


  Mark Hofer
Board Member
Independent Educational Consultant, Your College Matters

Mark Hofer is the founder of Your College Matters, an educational and college consulting firm helping teens develop personal and social skills for success in academics and life. In addition, he teaches leadership, develops curriculum and provides college counseling for the Bezos Scholars Program. He received his doctorate in Educational Leadership and Organizational Development and a master’s degree in Teaching from Seattle University. With other degrees in the sciences, Mark has worked in psychology, physiology, biology, chemistry, physics, and aerospace engineering and rocket research labs and taught high school science and psychology for eight years


Kristine Lytton

Board Member

State Representative, 40th Legislative District

Now in her third term in the Washington State Legislature, Kristine Lytton serves as the Majority Floor Leader, as vice-chair of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, and sits on the Education, Appropriations and Rules committees. She was also recently selected by her caucus to chair the state House Finance Committee.   After having served two terms on the Anacortes School Board, education is the issue that motivated her to come to Olympia and work to expand opportunities for students, support quality teachers, and fully fund education. Kristine's in-depth knowledge and focus on finding the best solutions for the children of our state have earned her a reputation as a leader on education in Olympia.


  Janis Machala
Board Member

Managing Partner, Paladin Partners           

Janis Machala is an experienced corporate director, CEO, and senior business executive. With over 30 years of diverse experience, she brings the best strategic thinking from myriad industries to infuse systems thinking and innovation across all levels of a company.

As a committed board member, industry and community leader, and innovator, Janis is a market visionary within the technology, higher education, and B2B software and services sectors. She brings strategic insight, a track record of success, collaboration, creativity, and people-connectedness to every role.

In 1996, Ms. Machala launched Paladin Partners to provide strategic business consulting, executive coaching, capitalization advice, interim executive services, and executive team development to start-up and growth companies.

Since then Janis has served as Interim CEO on numerous occasions, each time with the goal of replacing herself with the right long-term executive. Other interim roles have been as VP of Professional Services, VP of Marketing, and VP of Business Development.

Chris Massot

Board Member
Partner at Claro Partners

Chris is a business leader and strategist, with a long history of guiding companies through the reinvention and evolution of their business. With more than 20 years in technology, product development, design, and manufacturing, Chris has helped create disruptive products and experiences such as Microsoft Xbox, the Nike FuelBand, the Disney MagicBand and the NFL’s Connected Stadium. He has also worked with Apple, Google, Starbucks, Intel, Samsung, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and a host of start-ups on innovative products that have enhanced user experiences. Chris is a recognized IoT, mobility and data thought leader and industry event guest speaker.


Kelly Parriott
Board Member

Owner, Flight and Flute

Kelly Parriott has a  firm belief that it is no longer relevant to build a brand for the sake of brand.  With years of retail marketing and merchandising experience, Kelly understands the marketing and merchant behavior required to drive sales and relevance for a brand.  Experience on both the agency and brand side has given her the perspective needed when working with some of the world’s leading brands.  In addition to brand and marketing experience with Nordstrom, Target, Frito-Lay and others,  





Dan Rosenstein
Board Member

Principal Technical Manager, Microsoft

Dan Rosentein is a Principal Technical Manager at Microsoft. Dan has been at MS since 1999, and currently is on the Internet of Things team.  He has worked on many fun projects in his career (Xbox, Xbox Live, Windows Media Center, Netflix, Zune, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows 2000, Windows Vista, Windows ME) as well as backend engineering systems.  Dan also is part of the leadership team for the grassroots movement of FIRST volunteers at MS.  He has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Washington University in St. Louis and a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering concentrating in robotics and Controls from the University of Washington.  Dan has been an FRC mentor for four year with IRS 1318 (Issaquah High School). He also volunteers as a Robot Inspector and Control System Advisor at FRC competitions.


Kevin Ross
Board Member

Founding Chairman, FIRST Washington, FIRST Executive Advisory Board

Kevin Ross is changing the lives of K-12 students across our state. While working as a senior design engineer at Microsoft, Kevin became concerned that enthusiasm seemed to be declining among entry-level engineers that are fresh out of college. While book-smart, they lacked passion. Around the same time, he began volunteering as a mentor for a high school robotics team as part of the nationwide FIRST program. In 2002 he founded FIRST Washington, which focuses on inspiring K-12 students to become science and technology leaders. 
Click here for an extended biography.

  Bruce Shafer
Board Member
Executive Director, ORTOP

Bruce Schafer is the Board Chair of Oregon Robotics Tournament & Outreach Program (ORTOP) which he co-founded as a university program 2001.  He led ORTOP’s spin-out as an independent nonprofit corporation in 2014.  Bruce has served as Executive Director of the Engineering & Technology Industry Council for the Oregon University system.  Before retirement, Bruce founded a software company which licensed software to many of the top personal computer manufacturers.  Bruce holds an MSEE with a computer science emphasis from the University of California, Santa Barbara. 




Stuart Stark

Board Member

Stuart Stark is passionate about assisting young adults to reach for their goals and to support businesses with creative solutions & ideas. He is the principal for STARKCONTRAST, advertising, marketing for aviation, aerospace and advocating for STEM education.  Stuart became involved with the building of a new STEM school in Seattle, The Raisbeck Aviation High School. He was exposed to the inner workings of how and what a STEM educational facility is and specific educational programs such as The Skunk Works FIRST Robotics Team. Acting as a mentor and advocate, Stuart combined three succinct passions, marketing, aviation/aerospace and assisting young adults to develop careers in aviation/aerospace.  He currently serves on the following boards and committees: Inland Northwest Aerospace Consortium, Greater Spokane Incorporated, Pacific Northwest Business Aviation Association, National Air Transportation Association, National Business Aviation Association. 

  Alexander Tokman
Board Member
President and Chief Executive Officer, MicroVision

Alexander has served as President, Chief Executive Officer and a director of MicroVision since January 2006 and was President and Chief Operating Officer from July 2005 to January 2006.  As a  former GE executive, he joined MicroVision after a 10-year tenure at GE Healthcare, where he led several global businesses, from 2003 to 2005. Prior to that, between 1995 and 2003, Alexander served in various cross-functional and cross-business leadership roles at GE where he led the definition and commercialization of several medical modalities product segments. As a certified Six Sigma and Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) Black Belt and Master Black Belt and as one of GE's Six Sigma pioneers, he drove the quality culture change across GE Healthcare in the late 1990s. From November 1989 to March 1995 he served as new technologies programs lead and a head of I&RD office at Tracor Applied Sciences a subsidiary of then Tracor, Inc. Alexander has both an M.S. and B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth.


Michael Westfall
Board Member

Special Assistant to the President, Eastern Washington University

Serving Eastern Washington University since 2006, most recently as Vice President for Advancement and Executive Director of the EWU Foundation, Michael has been instrumental in bringing FIRST programs to the eastern part of Washington over the past ten years. Recognized as FIRST's State of Washington Outstanding Volunteer Award 2011, Michael has been an invaluable resource in connecting FIRST to higher education and K-12 throughout the region.



Christoph Wimmer
Board Member

Global Business Development Manager, Microscan

Christoph Wimmer is a Global Business Development manager at Microscan, where his expertise is in traceability and machine vision. He graduated from the Technical University in Graz, Austria in 1997 with a MS in electrical engineering. For 10 years, Christoph served as a sales manager for National Instruments in Austria and Germany.  In 2008, he transferred to Seattle with National Instruments to assume the position of Business Development manager for embedded products.  He joined National Instruments’ Big Physics group in 2011 with the goal of developing advanced technologies in conjunction with National Labs.  He has been involved in FIRST since 2008 in various roles, including judge advisor for FRC and FLL.

Brad Gile

Board Member
Logistics Center Manager, Catepillar, Inc.

Brad Gile

Board Member
Logistics Center Manager, Catepillar, Inc.