Welcome to the Board!
Jacquee Kurdas

December 19, 2017

We’ve had a busy quarter – from completing our impact report, graduating more than 50 Business Basics participants, and adding a number of new board members. The newest additions to our board each bring a diverse set of skills and experiences, which will help guide Ventures to achieve our goals in the New Year. We are pleased to welcome Erik, Christian, Troy, Jamie and Fitsum to the Ventures’ Board of Directors! 

Growing up in a family of small businesses owners, Erik Winters has a great appreciation for the challenges that entrepreneurs face as they build their business. As an Associate at at Forum Solutions LLC, Erik uses his problem-solving skills and business expertise to help businesses develop solutions to complex problems. He brings experience working with start-ups and expertise in supply chain, business intelligence, and program management. He is excited to be a part of the Ventures team and its mission of empowering clients through their entrepreneurial passion.

Christian Kolmodin grew up in an immigrant family where both parents worked hard to own multiple small businesses to achieve their American Dream. Inspired by their entrepreneurial spirit, Christian followed suit by owning and operating several businesses with her own family. She brings skills in sales, project management, and business consultation. As a small business owner herself, Christian is passionate and excited to give back to the community by supporting the mission and clients of Ventures. 

Troy Hill brings both personal experience and career skills to Ventures’ board. With more than 30 years of experience in marketing sales, Troy is a talented salesperson and mentor. Additionally, he and his husband have owned The Confectional in Pike Place Market for over 10 years, bringing the unique perspective of a small business owner. Troy brings a wealth of knowledge and skills and is excited to utilize his passion to improve the lives of others by serving on the Ventures board. 

Having to start from the bottom and work her way up, Jamie Sherbondy comes to Ventures with great appreciation for the hard work and perseverance that Ventures’ clients demonstrate each day. Jamie brings 14 years of experience in lending, currently working as the Small Business Administration (SBA) Underwriter for Columbia Bank. She brings vast knowledge and connection to the SBA, lending policies and sound credit decisions. Jamie is excited to use her passion, skills and experience to the Ventures board to have a great impact in the Puget Sound. 

As a Ventures client, Fitsum Misgano is inspired to give back to the organization that helped her launch her business, Fitsum-ism. Fitsum is moved by everything that Ventures does for their clients, from valuable courses to supportive staff members and volunteers. She is grateful for the support she has received that allowed her to develop her business. As a board member, Fitsum hopes to provide valuable insight into the programs and improve opportunities for current and upcoming Ventures’ clients.

Ronny Mendieta joined the Ventures Board in August 2017. After coaching several Business Basics courses and being a member of Ventures’ BALC and Finance committees, Ronny greatly identified with Ventures’ mission. He wanted to have a greater impact on Ventures by influencing the organization’s direction and growth through long-term thinking with a focus on current and future client needs. Ronny helps businesses develop innovative ideas through data analysis to produce actionable insights, paired with business intuition, attention to detail, and relentlessly insisting on high standards he has excelled in his field.

To all of our new Board Members, we are delighted by and appreciative of your service on the board. We cannot accomplish this work without the diverse set of skills, knowledge, and experience you each bring. We are excited to have your support in the coming year. Welcome!