Element 8 Expands Staff, Hires Kristi Growdon as Executive Director and Jessica Pak as Event Coordinator
Organization expands in response to strong interest in Element 8’s unique platform for funding early stage clean technology companies
September 19, 2014 (Seattle, WA) – Element 8 announced the expansion of the organization with the appointment of Kristi Growdon as Executive Director and Jessica Pak as Event Coordinator. Growdon succeeds Margo Shiroyama, who navigated the organization through significant growth during her five-year tenure, helping to grow investments from $2.3 million to $18.5 million. Shiroyama, who communicated her plans to depart earlier this year and coordinated the search process, will continue to be involved with Element 8 in an advisory capacity to ensure a smooth transition.
“The addition of Kristi and Jessica is both a reflection of our past success as well as an investment in growth yet to come,” said Bill Lemon, co-chair of Element 8. “We see significant opportunity to not only fund the next generation of clean technologies, but also create impactful investment opportunities for our members in a supportive and fun environment.”
Growdon has more than 20 years of professional experience in government, academia and the private sector, including leadership positions in the field of energy, renewable resources and transportation. Prior to joining Element 8, Growdon founded and ran Growdon Consulting, where she assisted start-ups, small to medium sized companies and non-profits in communicating and advancing organization objectives, helping advance public policy, and creating and maintaining authentic relationships with partners and government officials. Her role will be to direct the overall day-to-day operations of the organization, as well as drive new membership, manage portfolio relationships, and build upon Element 8’s broad partner base.
“My background in energy, agriculture and technology, coupled with my passion for clean technologies, make my new role at Element 8 a perfect fit,” said Growdon. “I look forward to working closely with our existing members as well as continuing the great growth trajectory of the organization through bringing in new members and great investment opportunities.”
Pak specializes in event management and marketing, and has more than five years experience working with a range of companies and organizations in the public and private sector, including Nintendo of America, F5 Networks, Pierre Ford Centers and Verizon Wireless. Pak holds a B.A. in Communications from the University of Washington.
Pak will work closely with Growdon to plan and execute Element 8’s monthly member meetings, its bi-annual Portfolio Showcases and other conferences and special events which are critical to building the sense of camaraderie, learning and networking that lies at the foundation of the Element 8 member experience.
Element 8 is made of up of close to 70 accredited angel investors from across the Pacific Northwest, themselves successful executives and entrepreneurs, who provide investment capital, contacts and strategic advice to help early-stage companies achieve market success. Members, whether seasoned investors or new angels with a desire to learn, gain access to quality deal flow and the tools for successful investing. Cooperative due diligence, a powerful business network, and relevant, timely education allow members to make individual investment decisions, and to build a unique and diverse portfolio that matches their interests and goals
Prior to founding Growdon Consulting, Growdon was the Director of Federal Relations and Executive Director of Federal Engagement at Washington State University (WSU) for 13 years, where she developed, presented and managed federal appropriations and policy agendas for federal funded grants. Growdon also strengthened a working relationship between WSU and USDA Agriculture Research Service.
As the director of the WSU State Energy Program, she provided leadership and management of programs in areas of energy conservation, renewable energy sources, research and development, energy codes, industrial energy management, and conservation and information systems.
During her near decade of service for the State of Washington, Growdon held numerous positions dealing with energy, including the role of Division Manager in the state’s Energy Office and Associate Director, Transportation, Software and Renewable Resources.
Growdon received a B.A. in Public Policy/ Public Affairs from the University of Washington. She earned a certificate in Transportation Demand Management from the University of California, Los Angeles and Executive Management certificate from the University of Washington, Cascade Center.
About Element 8 Founded in 2006 as Northwest Energy Angels and renamed Element 8 in 2014, the organization was the first angel investment group in North America to focus exclusively on cleantech, and continues to be a leading funder of early stage companies across the continent. Element 8’s angel members are committed to a prosperous and sustainable future through clean technologies. Element 8 partners with outstanding entrepreneurs to build successful companies, and leverages its members’ collective expertise to accelerate the transition to a cleaner future and better world. To date, members have invested more than $18.5 million in 50 companies in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maryland, Montana, New York, Oregon, Washington (state), Washington, D.C. and British Columbia, Canada. More information is available at: www.element8angels.com.
John Williams, Scoville Public Relations