Category Archives: ZINO Society

For Your Eyes Only . . .

Judd Wallenbrock, Humanitas Wines Founder with Kit Paquin Gilbert, Jessup's Director of Hospitality & Membership.
Judd Wallenbrock, Humanitas Wines Founder with Kit Paquin Gilbert, Jessup’s Director of Hospitality & Membership.

Last night Ken and I had the opportunity to attend a gathering of the 20/20 Club which is a winery membership club which supports sight-health organizations and meet Founder & Owner of Humanitas WinesJudd Wallenbrock, who created Humanitas Wines to help give back to the community charitably  He said that “One day the light bulb clicked on, and inspired by companies such as Paul Newman’s Own, . . . a vision was born to make wines ‘so good’ they could change the world – both in the quality of the wine & the quality of life the sale of the wines could create for those less fortunate.

The 20/20 Club is the vision of Dr. Vance Thompson, ophthalmologist and co-owner of The Good Life Wine Collective.which specializes in small-lot, handcrafted wines sourced from the Napa Valley’s finest vineyards including.Jessup Cellars, Handwritten Wines and Humanitas Wines.  As part of the 20/20 Club membership launch, and mission to support sight-health, people are encouraged to join the wine club and receive 40 bottles of wine throughout the year, of which 20% of the cost of each shipment will be donated to SightLife.

SightLife CEO, Monty Montoya with Kara Petry, SightLife Donor Development Manager.
SightLife CEO, Monty Montoya with Kara Petry, SightLife Donor Development Manager.

SightLife CEO, Monty Montoya along with his wife, Tiffany, were there to greet guests and join in the wine tasting. In case you didn’t know, SightLife is our amazing local corneal eye bank and is the only non-profit global health organization solely focused on eliminating corneal blindness in the U.S. and around the world.  SightLife works in partnership with surgeons and health organizations in more than 29 countries. Along with their global eye bank partners they provided nearly 17,000 corneas for transplant in 2013; over 17,000 lives changed for the better!

Some of the ZINO Society guests joining us at the wine tasting were Tina & Peter Weiss, Ina & Ira Dauberman, Katherine Kitzmiller, Ann Rogers, Ken Battie and Ram Dutt.

Sightlife at tableJoining the 20/20 Wine Club and listing SightLife as the beneficiary helps change more lives because there are over 10 million people with corneal blindness still waiting to have their sight restored. With our help, we can help them see the world through new eyes.  For anyone interested in becoming a member, email and let them know that you are joining to support SightLife.

What a (ZINO) Life!

Panelists Dr. Marnix Bosch, Brad Harlow, Karen Hedine, May McCarthy
Panelists Dr. Marnix Bosch, Brad Harlow, Karen Hedine, May McCarthy

What a great event ZINO Society hosted yesterday at Bellevue City Hall!  It was the 6th annual  ZINO Life & Wellness Investment Forum.  Emma Landis, ZINO Dealflow Manager, did a superlative job of sourcing 15 great companies that are in just the right place for angel investing and the Coach/Mentor members successfully helped them each be the best they could be.  Every single ZINOpreneur Select presenting member was spot on with his or her presentation.  And Claire Dillow, Events & Marketing Manager and our crackerjack intern, Jillian Tyack, handled the myriad details that are required to produce such an event from registration to name tags, to programs, to ballots to food to featured libations to . . . and we even ended on time as promised.

Panelists & Judges Karen Hedine, Stewart Parker, Roger Sahm
Panelists & Judges Karen Hedine, Stewart Parker, Roger Sahm

The list of Panelists and Judges was impressive.  Karl Klassen of Perkins Coie facilitated the panel and put into perspective some of the challenges currently facing life sciences companies.  My husband, Ken, said that he loved the panel and it was the best panel we have ever had.  (However, to put this in context, he tells me this after every big investment forum, so I like to believe that every panel just gets slightly better than the last since every time they are the “best ever”!).  The list of Panelists and Judges included Monty Montoya of SightLifeMarnix Bosch of NW Biotherpeutics, Brad Harlow of Cardiac Insight, Karen Hedine of Micronics, May McCarthy of Bizzultz,  Stewart Parker of IDRI, Angel Investor Ky Calder, Caitlin Cameron of OtoMetrix Medical Technologies, Tom Clement of Aqueduct Neurosciences, Brian Glaister of Cadence Biomedical, Michael Heijer of GranCorp, Karl Klassen of Perkins Coie, Hans Lundin of Point B Capital, Rhonda Rhyne of Prevencio, Chuck Roxin of ZBDS and Life Sciences business consultant, Roger Sahm.

Judges Caitlin Cameron, Tom Clement, Brian Glaister
Judges Caitlin Cameron, Tom Clement, Brian Glaister

One of my favorite parts of the program which brought tears to his eyes along with others in the audience was when Monty Montoya, CEO of SightLife, talked about how emotionally challenging it was for him when he visited China for the first time and was holding an 18 month old boy in his arms who needed corneal transplants and realized that he would not be one of the recipients of the 8 corneas they had available for transplant for the over 150 people who were waiting in line in the hopes of receiving the gift of sight.  That was really one of the turning points for him in putting SightLife on an entrepreneurial path to increase the availability of corneas available for transplant.

Judges Ky Calder, Hans Lundin, Caitlin Cameron, Tom Clement, Brian Glaister, Michael Heijer, Rhonda Rhynes
Judges Ky Calder, Hans Lundin, Caitlin Cameron, Tom Clement, Brian Glaister, Michael Heijer, Rhonda Rhynes

In addition to the impressive pitches by every one of the ZINOpreneurs, I loved it when I asked several of our Judges to stand up with white boards at the end of the program and simultaneously reveal which company that had presented that they would choose to invest in if they could invest in ONLY one company.  Two of the Judges selected KitoTech Medical but the rest all chose different companies including MELT, Precision Image Analysis, DesignMedix, Impel Neuropharma and Liquidity Nanotech.

The winner of the ZINO Zenith Award was emLandmarks with runners-up 3D Product Imaging and Nutristyle and the winner of the Judges’ Award was Impel Neuropharma with runners-up MELT and Precision Image Analysis.  Selected as potential fund finalists for an allocation from the 2014 ZINO Annual Angel Investment Fund were KitoTech Medical, Impel Neuropharma, DesignMedix and StratoScientific.  You can really tell the quality of the companies that presented by the broad recognition that so many companies received as award winners and honorable mention.

Judges Brian Glaister, Michael Heijer, Rhonda Rhyne
Judges Brian Glaister, Michael Heijer, Rhonda Rhyne

What a (ZINO) Life!

What a Night for Men and Women at ZINO Woman

l-r: Renee Behnke of Sur La Table, Fran Bigelow of Fran's Chocolates, Caitlin Cameron of Otometrix, Inc., Colette Courtion of JeNu Bioscience and Bill McAleer of Voyager Capital
l-r: Renee Behnke of Sur La Table, Fran Bigelow of Fran’s Chocolates, Caitlin Cameron of Otometrix, Inc., Colette Courtion of JeNu Bioscience and Bill McAleer of Voyager Capital

ZINO Woman Intentional Investment Forum this past week at the Columbia Tower Club was a big success with 200 angel investors, entrepreneurs and business professionals attending including 24 Judges, 13 Elevator Pitchers, 8 Volunteers, 7 Business PItchers, 6 Panelists, 5 ZINO Team Members, 4 Winemakers, 2 Event Sponsors, 2 Dealflow Flight Facilitators, 1 ZINO Annual Angel Fund $100,000 check presented and 1 Traction Updater.  Surprisingly however, there was not a partridge in a pear tree.

The big “Triple Crown” winner of the evening was Lori Salow Marshall of BYNDL with a brilliant business that provides a mobile transaction services platform, enabling companies to extend their own software or machines to transact with any mobile device.  For example, it enables mobile payment and customer data collection at unmanned vending machines.  She received the Judges’ Award for best investment opportunity, the ZINO Zenith Award for best investment opportunity and was also one of the 3 potential fund finalists selected for further consideration for an investment from the ZINO Annual Angel Investment Fund-2014.  Runners up for both awards and also potential fund finalists were Justine Smith of Kids Go Co. and Mhairi Voelsgen of broVo Spirits.

Lori Salow Marshall of BYNDL
Lori Salow Marshall of BYNDL

The Judges’ Award for best presentation of the 13 Elevator Pitches went to Jamie-Rose Edwards of  Young Women Empowered with runners up Corey Fagan of Owl Outcomes and Deborah Semer of Joyboxx.

Zoe Mesnick-Greene of StartMark
Zoe Mesnick-Greene of StartMark

One of the very early-stage ZINOpreneur members that pitched was 21 year old UW student, Zoe Mesnick-Greene of StartMark. Passion and enthusiasm for her lip care product which also supports cleft palate surgery for children in developing countries, was so abundant that we didn’t have a chance to hear enough of the business side of the business in the limited time she had available to pitch.  She is definitely someone to watch.  I personally look forward to watching her continue to grow her business and become more polished at sharing her message more succinctly.

Congratulations to all the entrepreneurs who pitched at ZINO Woman!

Libations on Location (LOL!) at Local 360

Lucas Schenck, Brian Gawthrop, Cathi Hatch, Ed Brennan, Supida Sanders,
Michael Roupp and Kate Holmes

Last night, a group of ZINO Society members and guests got together at Marcus Charles’ Local 360 Cafe and Bar on First Avenue in Seattle for a ZINO Society Libations on Location! networking event.  It was my first visit to Local 360 and when I walked in, I realized that it is located in the old Flying Fish restaurant location.

Dr. Ben Conmy, Bernie Dochnahl,
Christine Gilbert
Cathi Hatch with Tim Narby,
:Note Bene Cellars

Karen Ducey, Mary Holmes,
Lucas Schenck
David Palmer, Carla Sanders,
Jeremy Ruby, Ricky Holm

ZINO Society plans several networking events such as this LOL! during the space of a year in addition to the eleven investment meetings and forums that occur every month except August.  These events give our investor members, our entrepreneur members (ZINOpreneurs), our sponsor/corporate members and our social members a chance to interact and connect.  It is always fun to see old friends and meet new ones at each of these events.

Ken Hatch, Randy Squires
Denny Dochnahl, Eric Blackstone

Local 360 provided delicious hors d’oeuvres including Bocorones and Soft Boiled Egg, Goat Cheese and Tapenade Crostinis, Rosti Potato with Smoked Salmon and Salmon Roe and my personal favorite, Pork Belly Rillette with Pickled Shallot.  The featured ZINO Society Wine Professional Member was Tim Narby of :Note Bene Cellars and he poured a selection of four of his wines which included his 2007 Syrah, and three Bordeaux blends; 2007 Abbinare, 2007 Miscella and 2008 Cheval du Ciel Vineyard.  Though I liked each of the wines, my two favorites were the Syrah and the Cheval du Ciel Vineyard blend which included a major component of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.

It was a great party once again!  Thank you Marcus and Tim!

Trademarks, Copyrights & Patents: Oh My!

Eric Lent, Mike Reynvaan, Ben Straughn

Yesterday, our ZINO Business Insights education event for ZINO Society members and guests was sponsored by the Intellectual Property and Winery & Vineyard Practices at the law offices of our annual sponsor, Perkins Coie.  Leading the seminar were Perkins Coie attorneys Susan Betcher, Of Counsel, and Julianne Henley, Associate, who talked about the ins and outs of protecting your brand, copyrights, patents and rights of publicity. The over 40 people in attendance enjoyed lunch and then were totally riveted to the presentations and had many questions to ask both during the presentation and afterwards, mobbing the speakers and panelists with their questions.

Julianne Henley answering trademark

Susan Betcher answering IP questions

In addition to discussing intellectual property and anti-counterfeiting considerations that are applicable across all industries, the unique interplay of these rights and risks in specific industries – including the wine industry – was highlighted in a panel discussion featuring Eric Lent, Associate General Counsel of Chateau Ste. Michelle Wine EstatesMike Reynvaan of Reynvaan Family Vineyards and Partner at Perkins Coie and Ben Straughn, Partner at Perkins Coie.

ZINOpreneur Select Members, Dave Owens and Gary Schare
talk with ZINO Society member, Gary Ritner 

A couple of our ZINOpreneur Select members, Dave Owens of FindProz Inc. and Gary Schare, President of Browsium commented on how valuable this session was as a benefit of their membership.  I also heard several other long-time members say that this was the best ZINO Business Insights session they have attended.

Thank you to our friends and experts at Perkins Coie!

Great Geekwire Gala

Ken Myer and Cathi Hatch Last night Mary Holmes and I, representing ZINO Society, attended the Geekwire Gala and it was quite a party!  We were greeted by Star Wars alien characters and entered into the beautiful Great Hall at Union Station that was thunderous with noise and energy with 500 people in attendance. I ran… Continue Reading

Cool Yule, Cool Jazz, and a Baby Reindeer Too!

Patty Barrier and Cathi Hatch at Cool Yule On Thursday, ZINO Society’s annual Cool Yule Holiday Party was a memorable evening.  The theme this year was:  Unleash Your Inner Vixen (and Blitzen)!  First, we were in the “coolest” of showrooms at the new Barrier Mercedes of Bellevue.  Shiny red and black Mercedes automobiles were the backdrop… Continue Reading

Pass the Reindeer Antlers Please!

Mary Holmes working on the Guest Gifts Today, everyone at ZINO Society was busy scurrying around to get ready for our “Cool Yule”, annual holiday party tomorrow evening.  It will be held at the beautiful new Barrier Motors Mercedes of Bellevue showroom and we expect to have around 175 members and guests in attendance. ZINO… Continue Reading

A Delightful Master of Wine Tuesday at Ray’s Boathouse

ZINO Society members Sandra Fowler, Brad Vancourand Randa Mirkovich Last evening ZINO Society members and guests joined Ken and me along with Wine Gurus, Greg Lill of DeLille Cellars and Stacy Lill of O Wines at Ray’s Boathouse for a beautiful Master of Wine food and wine tasting event.  Ray’s Senior Catering Manager, Amy Stevens worked… Continue Reading

ZINO Business Insights with Wendy Goffe & Kathryn Garrison

Wendy Goffe & Kathryn Garrison Earlier this week, I attended a fascinating ZINO Business Insights luncheon at ZINO Society sponsor member, Graham & Dunn’s boardroom featuring Wendy Goffe, Attorney at Graham & Dunn and another ZINO Society sponsor, CFA Kathryn Garrison of Moss Adams Wealth Advisors.  It was a beautiful sunny day to sit in the corner boardroom at… Continue Reading