- BA, University of Pennsylvania
- MBA, Columbia University
A lifelong entrepreneur, Rick Winfield began his career in the early days of the “dot-com boom,” gaining experience working for small entrepreneurial ventures, large companies (including Microsoft and AT&T), and venture funded startups.
Rick escaped to Mexico as the dot-com bubble burst and came back inspired to start his own venture. In 2001, he founded ComputerTrainingSchools.com, a pioneer in the .edu lead generation space. He bootstrapped the company and grew it until successful acquisition. Rick also co-founded Veskritec, Inc., an early venture accelerator.
Inspired by working with young entrepreneurs and a long-time advocate of what has become known as the “lean startup” methodology, Rick returned to school in 2012 to earn his MBA (studying with the grandfather of lean startup, Steve Blank).
Rick began teaching as an Adjunct Professor at Sierra Nevada College and the University of Nevada-Reno in 2014. He joined SNC full-time in the Fall of 2015. While Rick’s primary focus is entrepreneurship, he also teaches classes in marketing and finance.
In addition to teaching, Rick is an active angel investor and startup mentor who has lived in the Reno/Tahoe area for over ten years. An accomplished adventure skier, he has skied deep powder, steep couloirs, and big volcanoes on all seven of the world’s continents.
Roger Wittenberg’s background as a scientist, entrepreneur, and inventor has led him to found several companies that focus on recycling materials into reusable products. His most successful venture, the Trex Company, has turned billions of pounds of recycled and reclaimed plastic, including 1.3 billion grocery retail bags and waste wood each year, into alternative wood products. After retiring from Trex, Wittenberg founded International Supply Consortium LLC, which takes on projects that use innovative building technologies and real estate projects that utilize these same sustainable materials.
Wittenberg’s passions for recycling, green technology, and innovation are now being applied to projects in his own backyard, North Lake Tahoe. As a Foundation board member of Sierra Nevada College, Wittenberg helped move the campus’s Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences to a Platinum LEED status through the use of Trex products and other innovative green strategies. And, his passion for sustainability now drives the mission of a local Crystal Bay project: Boulder Bay Resort, through which he aims to create a new model for the resort/community experience that embraces innovative green technologies and provides a sense of place for visitors and locals. Roger lives with his wife Beatrice in Incline Village, with his extended family nearby.
- BS, University of California, Davis (Major: Economics; Minor: Communication)
- MBA, Arizona State
Kendra Wong began her professional career with PricewaterCoopers, LLP in their audit practice. Her experience at PwC exposed her to numerous industries, including venture capital and life science. Since leaving PwC, Kendra has worked in the ski resort, medical device, and power industries. Kendra maintains an active CPA license in California.
Although her educational foundation is in economics, Kendra’s professional concentration since 2001 has been in accounting and finance. She has extensive experience in general ledger accounting, SEC reporting, and SOX audits.
Kendra joined the Sierra Nevada College faculty as an adjunct in fall 2007, but has since expanded her role. She teaches accounting, finance, and general management courses and serves as a student academic advisor. Kendra was promoted to Business Department Chair in Fall 2013. Kendra has mentored business plan teams in the Jâlé and Warren Trepp Business Plan Competition at SNC and the statewide Governor’s Cup for the past three years. In 2013, Kendra was recognized as the Faculty Advisor of the Year by Nevada’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology.
Outside of the classroom, Kendra enjoys the outdoors just as much as her students do. Kendra is an avid skier during the winter and enjoys running, hiking, and biking during the summer. Kendra and her husband, Ethan, own the Wild Alaskan Restaurant and Bar in Incline Village.
- MFA, Fiction, University of Michigan
Steve Woodward is an associate editor at Graywolf Press. Prior to joining Graywolf, he taught composition and creative writing at the University of Michigan. He is editor and co-founder of Menagerie, an online magazine that focuses on hybrid forms. His own writing has been recognized with a Minnesota State Arts Board grant and with Hopwood Awards in both fiction and nonfiction. He has spoken about publishing and independent presses at AWP, the Loft Literary Center, the Flathead River Writers’ Conference, Writers at Work, and often visits MFA programs as an editor. He lives in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota.
- MFA, City University of New York
Sunil Yapa’s first novel Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist, set during the Seattle World Trade Organization protests of November 1999, is this year’s Common Read and a 2016 Time Magazine Best Books of the Year, an Amazon 2016 Best Books of the year, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Pick, and an Indies Next Pick.
“Yapa’s melding of fact and fiction, human frailty and geopolitics, is a genuine tour-de-force.”
– The Seattle Times
The winner of the 2010 Asian American short story award, Yapa’s work has appeared in Guernica, American Short Fiction, The Margins, Hyphen Magazine, The Tottenville Review, Pindeldyboz: Stories that Defy Classification, and others. The biracial son of a father from Sri Lanka and a mother from Montana, Yapa has lived in The Netherlands, Thailand, Greece, Guatemala, Argentina, Chile, China, and India, as well as London, Montreal, and New York City.