THE BOARD

The Biz Assembly Board of Directors was chosen for their exceptional experience and dedication to advising, mentoring and educating entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial businesses. Collectively they have founded over 30 startup businesses.

Some have started and are teaching entrepreneurial education programs at universities, college and community levels. They organize and support business plan competitions and participate in organizations and activities to support Entrepreneurial Ecosystems locally and globally.

Matt Westfield

Chairman of the Board

Matt started his first entrepreneurial endeavor at age 10, starting a TV Guide route, garnering 150 customers in the first year of operations. At 21 he founded the New Year Ultimate Fest, a Frisbee tournament in Tempe, AZ, now in it’s 33rd year. The directors donate tourney proceeds to aid abused/neglected children every year.

His next successful venture was a design/build firm, started after dropping out of college at age 21 because he thought he knew everything. At 30, realizing that he did not know anything, he sold the successful company and went back to school, earning undergrads in computer science and international business, then pursued a Masters in marketing from City University in Seattle WA.

In 1994 Matt accepted the COO position for Dine-Rite software, an early internet restaurant play. Then in 1997, as a Microsoft Business Partner, he helped build the world’s first desktop anti-fraud software, developing the markets, channel strategies, & strategic alliances with the FBI, CIA, DOJ, DOD, State Farm Insurance.

He moved to Reno in 1999 to help launch an investor relations dotcom. In 2004 he acquired the US rights to a European design collection of executive gifts. The in 2005 he and a partner invented the first custom paperclip brand, which remains the leader in the space — www.LOGOpaperCLIPs.com.

Matt’s on 3 boards, founded and leads the vision for the Entrepreneurs Assembly (an entrepreneurial 501c3 non-profit he founded in 2009 — (www.EA-NV.org). He helped develop and instructs the Entrepreneurial Minor @ the University of Nevada, Reno, while creating business strategies, business plan mentoring and advising the UNR Entrepreneurs Club. He’s been a business plan writer since 1992, and a business plan judge since 2003.

Matt has tirelessly given back to charity and the community, recently being awarded the distinction as one of the Top 10 Community leaders for Reno-Tahoe, the 2014 Governor’s Cup Mentor of the Year, and the 2014 SBA Entrepreneurial Spirit Award for his work with the EA.

Dave Croasdell

Secretary

Dr. David T. Croasdell is the Charles and Ruth Hopping Professor of Entrepreneurship, an Associate Professor of Information Systems and the current the Faculty Athletics Representative at the University of Nevada, Reno. He is the founding director of the Sontag Entrepreneurship competition, former co-chair of the Nevada Governor’s cup entrepreneurship competition and former Academic Director for the Mandela Washington Fellows Initiative for Young African Leaders.

Dr. Croasdell and his colleagues at the University of Nevada, Reno work hard to foster relationships with the broader community. Dave is founding member of Entrepreneurship Nevada – a local portal for developing business networks and identifying entrepreneurial resources. He also sits on the board of Entrepreneurs Assembly working to support local startups and help develop business strategies. He is a founding mentor of Summit VMS – a local service that matches high value mentors to local ventures in a team mentoring approach to developing those organizations.

 

Additionally, Dave is actively involved in a number of on-going activities including One Million Cups, House of Genius, Startup weekend and Lean Start-Weekend. Dave has mentored numerous students and teams since first becoming involved in entrepreneurship. He has also pursued three of his own startup ventures. He has also served on the organizing committee for TedX University of Nevada since its inception in 2012.

As director of Global Initiatives EA, Dr. Croasdell promotes building entrepreneurial ecosystems built upon what Thomas Friedman has called a “Flat World”. Simply put, technology has shrunk the world. As such, our ability to understand and work with different cultures and economies is more critical now than ever before as citizens in this global community. Entrepreneurs looking to develop and grow business across international boundaries must have the skills and knowledge to think an act globally if they are to be successful.

Dave teaches courses on data communications, current technologies, project management, global technology management and IS survey at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Dr. Croasdell’s research focuses on distributed knowledge systems, knowledge equity, and inquiring organizations. He is involved with number Prior to academia, Dr. Croasdell worked as a technical staff member at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Rod Jorgensen

Board Member

Rod Jorgensen is the Director of Counseling for the Nevada Small Business Development Center (NSBDC), an outreach department for the College of Business at the University of Nevada, Reno. With well over 9,000 clients from Washoe County during the past 20 years, Rod has individually become one of the most valued resources for small business start-ups and expansions in our State.

Rod provides one-on-one counseling to NSBDC clients which is the necessary assistance they need in operating their new or existing business in the most profitable manner possible. Rod is a certified NxLeveL for Entrepreneurs instructor and has taught this and other entrepreneurship courses for more than a decade in Nevada and California.

He has provided endless presentations captivating audiences with his knowledge and expertise in small business development. He sits on multiple boards, including several business plan review boards.

Dijana Mitrovic

Board Member

As the International Business Development Coordinator for the Nevada Office of Economic Development, Ms. Mitrovic works to help Nevada businesses and entrepreneurs grow and expand their organizations in the international market. She joined Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development in January of 2019. Ms. Mitrovic supports connection between Nevada businesses and international partners, helping Nevada in creating jobs through international economic opportunities. In the role of the U.S. Small Business Administration Nevada State Trade Expansion Program Director, she provides valuable resource opportunities for businesses including grant assistance to qualified candidates and successfully serves in advancing the needs of Nevada businesses.

 

With over 17 years of professional experience in government departments and international organizations, Ms. Mitrovic worked in the Republic of Slovenia as a Program Manager and Consultant with the Center of Excellence in Finance from Ljubljana, leading Tax Policy & Administration, and Leadership for Managing Reforms programs. She was building coalitions with over 40 governments, universities, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and other international organizations, supporting stronger public sector governance, capacity development in public financial management, and contributing to the economic growth programs in respective countries. She also worked for the federal government in the Republic of Serbia – finance ministry and customs agency, overseeing bilateral, multilateral, and European Union funded projects, cooperating with the World Customs Administration, World Trade Organization and other international partners, engaging in strategic planning, contracting, financing, and quality control of European Commission operational programs on regional and economic development, institution building, and strengthening human capital. Dijana Mitrovic holds a bachelor’s degree in Japanese, and also speaks Serbian /Croatian, Slovenian, and French.

 

Mark Pingle

Board Member

Mark Pingle is the E.L. Cord Endowed Professor of Entrepreneurship and Professor of Economics at the University of Nevada, Reno.   He received his B.S. degree in economics from Southern Oregon State College in 1983.  He received his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in economics from the University of Southern California, in 1984 and 1988 respectively.   Professor Pingle has scores of publications in macroeconomics, behavioral economics, and experimental economics.  He has served as Chair of the UNR Department of Economics and President of the International Society for the Advancement of Behavioral Economics.  Desiring to more personally facilitate economic development in Northern Nevada, he has shifted a large portion of his efforts toward the development of entrepreneurial talent.  He spearheaded the creation of the entrepreneurship program at UNR, and subsequently spearheaded the creation of the community Entrepreneurship Nevada effort.  He is continuing to work on developing systems of support for faculty and students at UNR who are working on startups, including the Biz Assembly.

Jeff Sheldon

Board Member

Jeffrey Sheldon has been litigating patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets and prosecuting patent applications, trademarks, and copyrights since 1975. He has been adjunct professor in intellectual property law and patent law at Southwestern University Law School and advanced patent law at Loyola University, both in Los Angeles, and  is a member of the American Intellectual Property Law Association.

 

Mr. Sheldon was chairman of the Los Angeles Intellectual Property Law Association.  Also, he was chairman of the Intellectual Property Law section of the State Bar of California.

Mr. Sheldon is a frequent author, including the treatise “How to Write a Patent Application” and the “Manager’s Guide to Intellectual Property” (both available at Amazon.com).  He was identified by California Lawyer magazine as one of the top patent lawyers in the state of California. Mr. Sheldon has been responsible for the training of many patent practitioners and has been requested by many in-house patent counsel to prepare and prosecute their more challenging patent applications.

He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the Carnegie Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland. His studies in Scotland resulted from receiving the Marshall Scholarship from the United Kingdom government.  He received his JD in 1975.

Eileen Webb

Board Member

Eileen Webb founded Accreditation Preparation in 2012, helping universities prepare for ABET
Accreditation. Her clients include over 60 universities in Colombia, Mexico, Chile, Vietnam, Portugal,
France, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Qatar, Egypt, and the United States.
She has spoken at the ABET Symposium, WEEF, LACCEI, and ACOFI. She volunteers on the AIChE
Education and Accreditation Committee and ABET Board of Delegates.
She also founded Streamline Consulting, providing industrial engineering and quality consulting to
manufacturers, casinos, and government. Prior to consulting, her employers included Procter &
Gamble, Weyerhaeuser, Texas Instruments, Nortel and others.
Her Bachelor of Chemical Engineering is from Georgia Tech.

Rob Webster

Board Member

Combine Integrity, humanity, and spirit, and you have Rob Webster, AWMA®. He has led an impressive career as a Financial Advisor and Portfolio Manager in his 15 years working in the Financial industry. In 2015-present, he is named field leader by Avantax Wealth Management for his work as a Chapter Director of Northern Nevada and Mentor to Financial Professionals across the nation.

Serving as the founder of Defining Your Wealth Financial Group, Rob plays a major role in Financial Planning, Portfolio Management, and Tax strategies. Through his commitment to this role, he has helped improve family, businesses, and trusts.

Rob is a retired combat veteran with valor and served as a Chaplain Assistant with United States Air Force / Air National, where he helped to enrich Spiritual Health, Integrity, and a visible Reminder of the Holy.

He was raised in Minden NV and currently lives in Carson City, NV.

In Memory of

John Moran

(1943-2017)

John Moran PhD came to what was then Startup Growth Strategies Inc at a time when the Entrepreneurs Assembly division had just begun realizing its value to startups and founders in particular. The growing organization needed an Executive Director.

When we met John in July 2011, he brought talent, skillsets and an incredibly calm demeanor to a wily management team of Rod Hosilyk and Matt Westfield. He instantly won us over as “The Guy”. We could not believe he was actually willing to help us. He didn’t just help, he built the 1st decade of EA, bonded the Board and the partners. EA (now Biz Assembly) will always owe its success to our dear friend John. His cool calm demeanor in charged situations was memorable. He led EA as Executive Director and then as Chairman of the Board until his passing on November 18, 2017.

He is still dearly missed to this minute, of this day, and every day, but his imprint is indelible, and with EA forever. He was also a mentor for EA founder, Matt Westfield.

Dr. John Moran, was the founder and President of Global Gateways, Inc. a learning facilitation company that provided executive training and consulting services in the areas of leadership development, business process redesign and systems project management. Blending more than 35 years’ experience in industry as an executive, product developer and project manager and in academia as a course developer/instructor, John achieved recognition as a bridge between the academic communities and industry. John’s expertise was developed through the organization and management of marketing and sales support functions for MIPS Computer Systems and Optical Storage International; as a team leader developing computer systems products and international markets for Sperry Univac, Control Data and Unisys; and as a student and teacher in systems thinking.

In all his work, John advocated the importance of learning and systems thinking. He implemented these concepts through Communities of Practice – groups of people who were brought together by a desire to learn more about a common class of problems/opportunities. John’s educational background included a B.A. in Computer Science from UC Berkeley, an M.B.A. from Golden Gate University and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with an emphasis on Information Technology in Education from the University of Nevada, Reno.

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