“The Washington Technology Industry Association has seen incredible growth over the past two years with the introduction of a new DEI Office and the development of an Anti-Racism in Tech Pact among other milestones,” shared CEO Michael Schutzler, the CEO of WTIA. “Now, with Dave and Kristen at the helm, we are well-positioned to progress these initiatives forward and build a thriving tech sector in our State.”
Schutzler was referring to Dave Cotter who will assume a leadership role as the new chair of its board of directors, and Kristen Forecki who was elected vice chair for the next two years.
Cotter is currently chief product officer at Leafly. A serial entrepreneur and veteran of companies including zulily, Amazon and Microsoft, he joined the WTIA board four years ago and has become an advocate for systemic change to dismantle racism in business and tech.
“The Washington State tech sector plays a vital role in job creation, economic growth and the advancement of critical workplace priorities including diversity, equity and inclusion,” Cotter said.
Dave provides a wide array of experience should prove invaluable in helping to steer the state’s largest technology association. Besides being a Director of Engineering at zulily, and a General Manager at Amazon in AWS and World Wide Marketing, he was an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Ignition Partners, and held a number of product and program management positions at BEA, RealNetworks, NetManage, and Microsoft.
Cotter provides a deep understanding of the talent acquisition and retention challenges facing the industry from his experience across both large enterprises and startups. His active voice in the discussion of social equity and diversity issues in the Seattle tech community will provide a point of view into how business leaders can take active steps towards dismantling racism.
A 2020 Puget Sound Business Journal “40 Under 40” member, Kristen Forecki has emerged as a dynamic leader in Seattle’s tech industry.
Forecki is VP of Supply at Convoy and has served on the WTIA Board for two years. Prior to joining Convoy, she quickly rose through the ranks of major companies including General Mills, Amazon and Rover where she developed and led core organizational teams.
“As a member of the WTIA Board of Directors, I’ve seen firsthand the organization’s ability to tackle the challenges that truly matter to our member companies—everything from benefits for small startups to a central voice on equity in the workplace for companies of all sizes,” said Forecki. “I’m ready to help steer WTIA through its next chapter as we continue to support the growth of our communities and advocate for policies that will create a strong and growing tech sector.”
Investor Heather Redman served as the WTIA board chair since 2019 and will now be an emeritus board member for a year. [24×7]