Meet Our Team

Cara Turano

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

Relationship Specialist

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.

Rylee O'Brien

Engagement Specialist

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 BrownTonkon Torp

Ryan Comingdeer, InnovāDev LLC

Corey Frazier, Intel Corporation

Michael Goetz, Newmark

Dave HansenUmpqua Bank

Mary HullStoel Rives (Chair)

Anne Lipsitz, Lipsitz Consulting

Deepthi Madhava, Oregon Venture Fund

Beth NguyenGeffen Mesher

Sce Pike, Entrepreneur & Investor

Scott Sandler, Investor

Deepa SeshanKindle Consulting

Mike White, Mid-Valley Angel Fund

John Williams, Entrepreneur/Investor (Chair)

Support OEN Programs and Services

As the state’s fastest-growing entrepreneurial network, we rely on your support to create high-quality programs, services, and networking events that foster community, create jobs, and drive innovation.

Give an OEN Scholarship

By giving a budding entrepreneur an OEN scholarship, you can open the door to the resources, know-how, and networks he or she needs to move from vision to action.

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