Entrepreneurship and a Whitman Education: A Symposium

Date: February 15, 2013 Time: 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Location: Reid Ballroom

SEC Entrepreneurship and a Whitman Education

The first of its kind, Whitman brings you "Entrepreneurship and a Whitman Education," a symposium designed to bring together successful alumni from around the country to discuss how their Whitman education served as an important foundation for building their organizations.


Noon - Keynote: Ashifi Gogo '05

Ashifi Gogo holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering from the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College and a BA in Mathematics and Physics from Whitman College. He is Dartmouth's first-ever PhD Innovation Fellow. Ashifi serves as CEO of Sproxil and is an expert in end-consumer authentication technologies. He is Six Sigma Black Belt certified in Good Manufacturing Practice and Continuous Process Improvement. Ashifi previously co-founded VSOL, a VoIP company that provides telephone services to the administration of a 24,000-student university in Ghana. The Clinton Foundation, USAID, GSVC Berkeley, Princeton Entrepreneurs' Network, NCIIA Venture Well and Nokia have all acknowledged his work through a variety of prizes and fellowships.

1:00 - 1:15: Break

1:15 - 2:30 Panel 1: Liberal arts and Innovation


Lisa Taylor '08 graduated from Whitman with a major in musical performance (piano). She now works as the Marketing Manager at Redfin, "a company of real estate agents and software engineers working together to reinvent real estate in your favor." Learn more about Redfin on their website.

Scott Alderman '90 is the President of Trilogy Equity Partners. Previously, Mr. Alderman spent eleven years at Western Wireless, where he was instrumental in securing spectrum assets that enabled the growth of Voicestream Wireless, which was spun out of Western in 1999 and later became T-Mobile. He has a BA degree from Whitman and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Professor Moira Gresham is a theoretical particle physicist and cosmologist. Her research centers on the fundamental - in the sense of irreducible - constituents of matter and their interactions, and on the primordial universe.

Professor Katrina Roberts, a graduate of Harvard University and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, is the Mina Schwabacher Professor of English and the Humanities at Whitman, where she directs the Visiting Writers Reading Series. She and her husband, Jeremy Barker, an artist and distiller native to Walla Walla, are the proprietors of and winemakers for Tytonidae Cellars, which they started in 2003, as well as founders of the Walla Walla Distilling Company.


David McGaughey '13 is a senior at Whitman, majoring in Gender Studies. He is in the process of developing his own business, "Amaku Cultures", selling kombucha (read more in this Pio article). He is also working with the Washington Small Business Development Center in Walla Walla as a Whitman Community Fellow this year.

2:30 - 2:45 Break

2:45 - 4:00 Panel 2: For-profit? Non-profit? Does it matter?


Professor Geoff Archer is an Associate Professor with the Faculty of Management, the Director of the Eric C. Douglass Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies, and the Faculty Advisor for Royal Roads' Chapter of Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE). Geoff has about fifteen years of entrepreneurial work experience as both a principal and an adviser. Immediately prior to entering academia, he worked as an intrapreneur, starting businesses inside of ExxonMobil, Hewlett-Packard and Yahoo!, Inc.

Katie Masferrer '03 founded Managing, Executing and Joining Opportunities for Rural Communities (MEJORC) February 5, 2007, following a Peace Corps deployment to Cajamarca, Peru. Specific projects in Cajamarca included school health classes, community health fairs, growing community gardens, constructing improved wood stoves and organizing a group of 30 women artesans. In 2006, upon returning from Peru, she founded MEJOR Communities.

Justin Hayashi '09 is the Marketing Business Manager at zulily, which is regarded as one of Seattle's fastest growing startups. Prior to joining zulily, he spent two years in Boeing's business leadership development program, where his experiences included re-designing the 787's supply chain, developing the sales strategy for the Asia Pacific region, and presenting fleet recommendations to various airlines.


Sarah Cronk '15 is a sophomore at Whitman, where she is a Senior Resident in Anderson Hall. While in high school, Sarah founded "The Sparkle Effect", a student-run program that empowers teens nationwide to include students with disabilities in school-based cheerleading and dance programs. In August 2011, Sarah garnered the $100,000 grand prize at the 2011 Do Something Awards.

4:00 - 4:10 Closing Comments and Wrap-up with Professor Lee Sanning

4:15 - 5:00 Reception and Networking Event. Open to all participants, attendees and community.

Sponsored by the Student Engagement Center and the Provost & Dean of Faculty's Office.