Entrepreneurship Symposium

Entrepreneurship and a Whitman Education

Inaugural Symposium held on Friday, February 15th

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.


Ashifi Gogo

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

Students are cordially invited to attend both of the afternoon sessions if they do not conflict with any Friday afternoon class obligations.

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

Lisa TaylorLisa Taylor '08

Lisa Taylor 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

Scott Alderman '90

Scott Alderman 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.

Moira Gresham

Professor Moira Gresham, Physics, Whitman College

Professor 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. Read more on her homepage.

Katrina RobertsProfessor Katrina Roberts, English, Whitman College

Professor 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.


Moderator: David McGaughey '13

David McGaughey 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?

Geoff ArcherProfessor Geoff Archer, Royal Roads University, Victoria BC

Dr. 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 MasferrerKatie Masferrer '03

Katie Masferrer majored in Psychology and minored in Art and Geology at Whitman. Following a Peace Corps deployment to Cajamarca, Peru she founded MEJOR Communities in 2007. MEJORC is a nonprofit organization aimed at inspiring leadership among youth in rural Peruvian communities. She has since served as the Executive Director, a project manager, and treasurer of the organization.

Justin Hayashi '09

Justin Hayashi 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 CronkModerator: Sarah Cronk '15

Sarah Cronk 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

Professor Lee Sanning (Economics) has degrees from Hanover College (BA Chemistry); University of Wyoming (M.S.); and Indiana University (M.B., Ph.D. Finance). His research interests include Executive Compensation, Corporate Malfeasance, Trading Strategies, and Wine Investments. His research has been featured in Money Magazine, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, among others. Before coming to Whitman he worked as a consultant in several industries and was a small-business owner.

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