Meet Our Team
President & Executive Director
Cara Turano leads with a ton of energy and enthusiasm for innovative ideas. She is passionate about entrepreneurship as a wealth-building avenue for individuals and a driver for community-building. Formerly COO at the Technology Association of Oregon (TAO), she has spent over 20 years in technology and technology-adjacent companies, including a couple of startups. Cara chairs the Portland Public Schools Bond Accountability Committee and is a sustaining member of the Junior League of Portland. She was recognized as an Atlanta Business Chronicle 40 Under 40 and is a graduate of the University of Georgia. In her spare time, Cara is an avid runner, skier, camper, reader, and vegetarian chef with a soft spot for her 6 ½ lb chihuahua, Toby, and her amazing family.
Alex Gamboa Grand
Alex’s mission is to use business as a force for good to address the issues closest to her heart: protecting the environment in the fight against the climate crisis and building wealth in communities of color and others who are disproportionately disadvantaged. No surprise considering she’s rooted in a family of Costa Rican-American immigrants and Black entrepreneurs. She has worked for Chinook Book, helping to grow a more sustainable economy by promoting local, sustainable businesses, and at PSU where her work has focused on ways to increase opportunities and provide support for entrepreneurs and students of color. Alex is also an entrepreneur herself — the Co-Founder of Good Intent, a low waste shop offering education and sustainable alternatives to everyday essentials. Alex holds an MBA and Certificate in Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship from PSU and a BA in Screenwriting from Loyola Marymount University.
For the past 30 years Rylee O’Brien has honed her event planning skills at Northwest non-profit organizations and associations in both Seattle and Portland. By working closely with vendors to devise creative solutions within a budget, her goal is to execute exceptional events that meet objectives and exceed sponsor and attendee expectations – all with seeming ease and efficiency. The passion she shows in her work also translates into monthly dinner parties her family throws in their home, and reflects an authentic desire to make guests feel comfortable, appreciated and welcomed.
2023 Board of Directors
Claire Brown, Tonkon Torp
Ryan Comingdeer, InnovāDev LLC
Corey Frazier, Intel Corporation
Michael Goetz, Newmark
Dave Hansen, Umpqua Bank
Mary Hull, Stoel Rives (Chair)
Anne Lipsitz, Lipsitz Consulting
Deepthi Madhava, Oregon Venture Fund
Beth Nguyen, Geffen Mesher
Sce Pike, Entrepreneur & Investor
Scott Sandler, Investor
Deepa Seshan, Kindle Consulting
Mike White, Mid-Valley Angel Fund
John Williams, Entrepreneur/Investor (Chair)