Tech Moves: DreamBox Learning Appoints 5 Executives; UW Appoints New Deputy Head of Research; More


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

– The education platform DreamBox Learning has 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 the global leader for people and culture.
  • Jason Sinquefield as SVP for sales and partnerships. Sinquefield holds a PhD in educational leadership and was most recently sales director for LEGO Education. It is based in North Carolina.
  • Michael Savitz as SVP of the company. Savitz comes from Blackbaud, South Carolina, where he was VP and General Manager of Education Services.
  • Tracy little one as Vice President for Marketing. Kleine previously worked at DreamBox for a year and was Marketing Executive at Teaching Channel, BrightBytes and BetterLesson. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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

– Professor Mari Ostendorf of the University of Washington has been appointed Vice Province for Research with effect from September 1st. She has been deputy provost for research since 2017.

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

In this role, Ostendorf will head the UW’s research office, which supports the university’s research community through administration, funding and partnerships.

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

– The Seattle-based independent PR firm Barokas Communications has been acquired by Finn Partners based in New York. As part of the acquisition, Howie Barokas and Karli Barokas will join Finn Partners as managing partners and members of the management team of Global Tech Practice. Read the story.

Alka Badshah. (Photo by Renewal Fuels, Inc.)

– Renewal Fuels, Inc. has named Alka Badshah as CEO. Badshah is a former Microsoft executive, most recently the vice president of Catalytic Innovators Group, a social impact consultancy.

Renewal Fuels is a holding company that aims to invest in health and wellness, 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 rose more than 100% on Monday after news of Badshah’s retirement broke.

– Seattle 3D laser printing startup Glowforge hired Megan Lutes as General Counsel.

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

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