Tech Moves

Tech Strikes: DreamBox Studying appoints 5 execs; UW names new vice provost of analysis; extra

Clockwise from top left: Lakshmi Nidamarthi, Michael Savitz, Tracy Kleine, Ronit Peled, and Jason Sinquefield. (DreamBox Learning Photos)

— Education platform DreamBox Learning appointed five new executives:

  • Lakshmi Nidamarthi as chief product officer. Nidamarthi was most recently director of product and technology for Alexa Experiences at Amazon.
  • Ronit Peled as chief people officer. Peled spent more than 10 years at OpenMarket, a mobile messaging platform, most recently as global head of people and culture.
  • Jason Sinquefield as SVP of sales and partnerships. Sinquefield has a doctorate in educational leadership and most recently was head of sales for LEGO education. He is based in North Carolina.
  • Michael Savitz as SVP of operations. Based in South Carolina, Savitz joins from Blackbaud where he was VP and general manager of education services.
  • Tracy Kleine as vice president of marketing. Kleine previously worked at DreamBox for one year and has been a marketing executive at Teaching Channel, BrightBytes, and BetterLesson. She is based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Based in Bellevue, Wash., DreamBox Learning’s K-8 digital math program is personalized for each student using adaptive technology. The company reports nearly 5 million students using its platform across North America.

— University of Washington Professor Mari Ostendorf has been named vice provost for research effective Sept. 1. She has been an associate vice provost for research since 2017.

Ostendorf will succeed Mary Lidstrom, who held the post for 15 years and is stepping down to focus on her research.

In this role, Ostendorf will lead UW’s Office of Research which supports the university’s research community through administration, funding and partnerships.

Ostendorf researches speech and language technology. She holds an endowed professorship in the College of Engineering and is an adjunct professor of linguistics and computer science.

— Seattle independent PR firm Barokas Communications has been acquired by New York-based Finn Partners. As part of the acquisition, Howie Barokas and Karli Barokas are joining Finn Partners as managing partners and members of its Global Tech Practice leadership team. Read the story.

Alka Badshah. (Renewal Fuels, Inc. Photo)

— Renewal Fuels, Inc. appointed Alka Badshah as CEO. Badshah is a former Microsoft manager and was most recently vice president at Catalytic Innovators Group, a social impact consulting practice.

Renewal Fuels is a holding company targeting health and wellness investments, including the use of psilocybin, CBD, and cannabis for mental health.

The company is publicly traded on the OTC (over-the-counter) Pink Market, an alternative exchange that includes many penny stocks. RNWF’s stock shot up Monday more than 100% following the news of Badshah’s hiring.

— Seattle 3D laser printing startup Glowforge hired Megan Lutes as general counsel. 

Lutes was most recently on the legal team at trucking startup Convoy and previously corporate counsel at Moss Adams. She currently serves on the board of Providence Hospice of Seattle.

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