Tech Moves

Tech Strikes: Leafly hires basic counsel; Skilljar and LevelTen add execs; and extra

From top left, clockwise: Kimberly Boler, Laura Wiler, Niran Kundapur, Dino Rech, Marty Blue, and Maria Gilfoyle.

— Seattle cannabis marketplace Leafly announced New York-based lawyer Kimberly Boler as its new general counsel. She joins the 11-year company just ahead of its deal to go public through a merger with New York-based Merida Merger Corp, a special purpose acquisition company.

Kimberly Boler. (Leafly Photo)

Boler was most recently vice president of corporate law at Patriarch Partners. She was previously assistant general counsel at global insurance company AIG and general counsel Aria Energy.

“I am thrilled to bring my experience to the table as General Counsel so that we can navigate a challenging regulatory environment,” said Boler in a statement.

The cannabis regulatory environment is certainly evolving, including recent Apple App Store changes that allowed Leafly to accept marijuana orders on its iOS app.

Leafly CEO Yoko Miyashita previously served as general counsel for the company. The longtime Getty Images veteran was promoted to the CEO role last year.

Marty Blue. (Recurrent Photo)

— Former CarGurus executive Martha Blue joined the board of directors of Seattle startup Recurrent, which provides independent reports on the condition of used electric car batteries. 

Blue is currently a senior advisor on electric vehicle strategy at Boston Consulting Group and an entrepreneur-in-residence at Harvard Business School. She spent more than eight years at CarGurus, an online automotive marketplace, as SVP of business development.

Recurrent, a Pioneer Square Labs spinout, launched last year and has raised $3.75 million in grants and seed funding to date.

— Bank of America Seattle Market President Kerri Schroeder is the new board chair of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. She has served on the Seattle Chamber’s board since 2018 and will be chair for 2021-2022.

From left: Laura Wiler and Niran Kundapur. (Skilljar Photos)

— Seattle startup Skilljar hired Laura Wiler as vice president of finance and operations. She spent the past seven years at Sage Intacct, a San Jose, Calif.-based financial management software company.

Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Wiler recently relocated to Whidbey Island. She joins Skilljar a year after it closed a $33 million Series B round to grow its customer education software.

The company also added Niran Kundapur as VP of product earlier this year. Kundapur previously worked at talent acquisition startup Eightfold and is based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Maria Gilfoyle. (Madrona Venture Group Photo)

— Madrona Venture Group will add Maria Gilfoyle to its investment team this month. With a background in fashion, Gilfoyle most recently was a venture associate at New York firm K50 Ventures. She previously co-founded and was an investor at venture community 4P Ventures.

“I am truly lucky to be joining a firm with an incredible history and future ahead,” Gilfoyle said in a post on LinkedIn.

Last year, the 25-year old Seattle venture firm raised $345 million for its eighth fund to invest in Pacific Northwest startups as well as $161 million for its second later-stage fund. Recent investments include AI platform Yoodli, social platform Game Jolt and London-based startup Troop.

— LevelTen Energy promoted Christin Camacho to vice president of marketing. Camacho joined the Seattle renewable energy marketplace in 2018 as a senior content marketing manager. She previously worked at Redfin and Edelman.

— Auterion, which makes software for drones, hired Amazon Web Services (AWS) vet Jeff Jones as chief revenue officer. He was most recently head of partner growth at AWS.

Jones previously spent more than two decades at Microsoft in sales and business development. He is based in Seattle.

Dino Rech. (Audere Photo)

— Seattle digital health nonprofit Audere announced Dino Rech as its new CEO. Founder and former CEO Philip Su will move into an advisory role.

Based in Johannesburg, South Africa, Rech was most recently a director at The Aurum Institute, which focuses on the treatment and prevention of HIV and tuberculosis. He was previously a senior program officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and led the HIV and AIDS-focused nongovernmental organization CHAPS.

Founded in 2018, Audere built software for rapid COVID-19 testing last year. Beyond the pandemic, the organization is applying mobile technology, computer vision and machine learning to global health solutions. Projects are funded by grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Justworks’ Spring Forward Fund.

The Church in the Darkness Creator Richard Rouse III joined Austin, Texas-based game studio FarBridge as studio creative director. 

The Church in the Darkness is an indie game from Seattle-based Paranoid Productions that took nearly five years to develop. In an interview with VentureBeat, Rouse said that after working as the only person full-time on an indie game, he was ready to work with a somewhat bigger team again.

— Israeli tax accounting startup Blue dot hired five former employees of Avalara, a Seattle-based tax automation company. The recent hires are:

  • Simon Geach as VP of global sales. He was most recently a senior vice president at KeyBank and previously director of national sales at Avalara.
  • Tim Teeter as VP of Business Development. A former Avalara product marketing director, Teeter was most recently at YayPay.
  • Robin Conner as VP of demand generation. Conner was a marketing director at Avalara and most recently EVP of marketing at Woodinville, Wash.-based Quantivate.
  • Scott Newell as senior sales manager. Newell held various sales roles at Avalara and was an account executive at Amazon.
  • Erich Keller as senior sales manager. Keller spent seven years in sales at Avalara and previously spent more than a decade at Technogym.

Blue dot, formerly known as VATBox, has offices in Israel, the Netherlands and a U.S. office in the Greater Boston area. The company raised $32 million earlier this year and has a partnership with SAP Concur, according to TechCrunch.

In an email to GeekWire, Conner said Blue dot plans to establish a hub in the Seattle area.

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