Key Personnel

Glenn Prestwich


Glenn D. Prestwich is currently the President’s Distinguished Professor at Washington State University, based at the WSU Health Sciences Spokane campus, and founding director of WSU’s Entrepreneurial Faculty Ambassador program. He is also Presidential Professor of Medicinal Chemistry (Emeritus) and Presidential Special Assistant for Faculty Entrepreneurism (Emeritus) at the University of Utah, where he created and led the Entrepreneurial Faculty Scholars program. In 2016, he and led the External Review of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at WSU, and is now implementing the recommendations of that review. He also serves as the Chief Science Officer of the preclinical company GlycoMira Therapeutics. His research includes phospholipids in cell signaling, synthetic matrices for regenerative medicine, and anti-inflammatory glycosaminoglycans. He co-founded nine companies, including Echelon Biosciences, Glycosan BioSystems, Sentrx Animal Care, GlycoMira Therapeutics, and Deuteria Biomaterials. He is a 2018 Fellow of the AAAS, a 2013 Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, recipient of the 2006 Utah Governor’s Medal for Science and Technology, the 2008 Volwiler Research Award of the AACP, the 2010 University of Utah Distinguished Scholarly and Creative Research Award, and the 2014 U of Utah Distinguished Innovation and Impact Award. During 42 years as a faculty member, he has over 650 publications (H-index 94) and over 40 issued patents and has trained over 125 postgraduate scientists. He is a pilot and an advocate for chamber music.

Michaele Armstrong


As a PhD in human genetics with an MBA emphasizing strategy and operations, Michaele currently works to cultivate growth in the bioscience industry across Oregon, Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho. Michaele is a seasoned researcher and project manager with a proven track record of finding solutions for world-class bioscience companies (including Biotronik, McKesson, and Philips), startups, and leading research institutions. She has broad and deep experience in delivering data driven decision making from the perspectives of academic medicine and industry. She enjoys establishing and developing relationships with industry and academia with the end goal of enabling technologies to improve health outcomes.
• Skilled program and project manager
• Easily work in teams or independently to optimize outcomes
• Technology transfer experience including technology evaluation, market analysis and marketing of technologies
• Bioscience consulting experience
• 15 years of experience in bench and clinical oncology research
• 30+ peer reviewed publications

Brian Kraft


Brian Kraft is the Assistant Vice President for Innovation and Research Engagement (IREO) within the Office of Research at Washington State University (WSU). In this role, he is focused on building research partnerships with public and private sector interests that serve to translate innovative research at WSU into meaningful societal impacts. Brian has a long track record of building successful collaborations in areas, ranging from research focused on research translation, ranging from the development of student training programs to the implementation of organizational change initiatives. Specific WSU initiatives Kraft is currently leading include: Implementation of the recommendations of the External Review of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, an effort to support and incentivize students and faculty to embrace a culture focused on impacts and outreach; The Entrepreneurial Faculty Ambassadors (EFA) Program, a faculty networking group to disseminate best practices and connect experienced and aspirational faculty focused on public engagement; The WSU I-Corps site, an NSF-funded training focused on helping scientists and engineers evaluate product-market fit; The Small Business Development Center, which represents a statewide network of 30 small business advisors funded by the SBA; The Innovation and Entrepreneurship initiative to better integrate technology focused economic development with undergraduate training in entrepreneurship. He holds undergraduate degrees in Biology and Chemistry, a PhD in Chemistry and has served WSU in roles ranging from technology evaluation to programmatic development over the last sixteen years.

Katrina Rogers


Katrina Rogers is a leadership expert with over 25 years of experience in the discovery, development, and manufacture of medicines and related technology. An expert in laboratory and technical operations, she is also an ASQ certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence and Pharmaceutical GMP Professional. Her professional services firm specializes in dramatically decreasing the cost and time of bringing new therapies to market. Katrina can be reached at or online at

Mark Pond


Since 2006, Mark Pond has been the Business Research Librarian with the Spokane Public Library. From 1998 – 2006, Mark worked in a similar capacity for the Seattle Public Library as well as the University of Washington Libraries.

In the course of his work at the Spokane Public Library, Mark has built a world-class collection of freely available business research tools. Ranging from competitive analysis to sales lead development to retail site selection to demographics research to on-demand workforce education, the Spokane Public Library has amassed a set of business research resources that is unmatched in the public library world. In recognition of this work, Mark was the 2021 recipient of the American Library Association’s BRASS Excellence in Business Librarianship award.

A lot of people are saying that public libraries are destined to save the world. Mark agrees with them.

Mark Pond, MLIS
Business Research Librarian
Spokane Public Library

External Advisory Board

Charles Buck

Charles Buck serves as the chief administrator for the University of Idaho in north Idaho. His efforts focus on community and economic development including directing operations of the University’s Jacklin Science and Technology incubator facility in Post Falls. In addition to serving as CSO for a diagnostic/therapeutic start up, Dr. Buck has advised numerous startups and is experienced with federal and foundation grants for tech startups.

Gary Ballew

Gary has been an economic developer since 1996, both private and public. He is a Certified Economic Developer through the International Economic Development Council and is currently the Chair Elect of the Washington Economic Development Association.

He is the Vice President of Economic Development for Greater Spokane Incorporated where he leads the economic development team at GSI and works with economic development partners throughout the region to grow and diversify the Spokane regional economy.

His immediate past position was the Director of Economic Development and Marketing for the Port of Pasco. His projects included real estate development of the Port’s mixed use and industrial properties, carrying out the region’s economic development vision, Somos Pasco, promoting economic development legislation and marketing the Tri-Cities Airport.

He served as the Executive Director to the Wine Science Center Development Authority, which was instrumental in building the Ste. Michelle Wine Estates WSU Wine Science Center and previously he was the Economic Development Manager for the City of Richland where his work included special projects, such as creating the Revitalization Area for Industry, Science and Education and Broadband Initiative, as well as managing economic development and redevelopment programs within the City.

Gary received a Master of Science in Environmental Engineering, a Bachelor of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering and a Bachelor of Arts in Hotel and Restaurant Administration, all from Washington State University. He is a former Governor’s Executive Fellow for the Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development and a Research Assistant for Battelle Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Washington State Universities Laboratory for Atmospheric Research.

Gary and his wife Karen (Wine Business WSU 2018) have a daughter Emma (Psychology WSU 2020), a son Sean (soon to be a Coug), and the three dogs Shadow, Cooper and Moose.
• Skilled program and project manager
• Easily work in teams or independently to optimize outcomes
• Technology transfer experience including technology evaluation, market analysis and marketing of technologies
• Bioscience consulting experience
• 15 years of experience in bench and clinical oncology research
• 30+ peer reviewed publications

Kris Aalto

Kris Aalto is a biotech startup CEO, consultant and subject matter expert with over 25 years of experience across several industry sectors. She currently serves as CEO of Orlance, Inc., a Seattle-based company dedicated to delivering rapid response vaccines via the proprietary MACH-1 needle-free, dose sparing and shelf stable vaccine formulation and delivery system. Kris is a biomedical engineer by training and held various product, business and regulatory development roles at CR Bard, Pfizer/Howmedica and Stryker before transitioning to early stage technology and company growth. She has held technology development, EIR and leadership positions at Inion Oy, the University of Michigan, Henry Ford Health System, Accord Biosciences, Aursos, Premier Clinical Research, and several consultancies including UW, WSU and other clients. Kris has been active in Inland Northwest life sciences sector development since 2017 and looks forward to assisting FIRE and its clients with entrepreneurial, funding and operational goals.

Anson Fatland

Anson Fatland is the Associate Vice Provost for Innovation Strategy and Venture at CoMotion. Prior to joining CoMotion he was the chief of staff for Jeff and Tricia Raikes. Anson joined the Raikes’ team in 2017 from Washington State University where he was the Associate Vice President for Economic Development and External Affairs. In that role he managed the university’s technology transfer programs, development functions including corporate and foundation relations, Small Business Development Centers, and external affairs. He has worked in philanthropy for Paul Allen, life-science venture capital in San Francisco, and in biotech. He earned his MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, his PhD in chemistry from Washington State University, and a BSc in chemistry from the University of Washington. He lives in Seattle with his wife, their two children, a dog and a cat, and enjoys ultra-running on our regional trails.

Stacia Rasmussen

Scott Wittenburg

Will Little

Dennis Feeney

Allison Glasunow

Brigitta Miranda Freer

Paul Gladen

Ryan Arnold

Scott Maloney

Shane Needham

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