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Microsoft names lead independent director; startup vet Rebecca Lovell joins Greater Seattle Partners

Rebecca Lovell. (Greater Seattle Partners Photo)

— Rebecca Lovell was named chief operating officer of Greater Seattle Partners, a public-private sector initiative that seeks to attract investment, companies and quality jobs in the Seattle area.

Lovell was previously CEO of Denali Founder Consulting and executive director of Create33, a resource center and membership organization for technology startups. She also spent nearly five years at the City of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development, and was executive director of the Northwest Entrepreneur Network and GeekWire’s chief business officer.

Lovell starts the job March 20.

“Her proven ability in guiding and implementing organizational strategies across business, government and civic sectors will further advance our region’s economic development efforts to build a more resilient and inclusive economy,” Greater Seattle Partners CEO Brian Surratt said in a statement.

— Microsoft appointed Sandra (Sandi) Peterson, operating partner at investment firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, as lead independent director. Peterson succeeds John Thompson, who has served as lead independent director or board chair since 2012.

Peterson has served on the Microsoft board of directors since 2015. She was previously was group worldwide chair at Johnson & Johnson and chairman and CEO of Bayer Crop Science.

The Microsoft board also reelected CEO Satya Nadella as chairman.

— Mike Rea will step down as executive director of E8 Angels, which invests in clean tech companies.

Rea will become chief operating officer of a new Seattle-based venture launching soon called Daylight Advisors, a professional development platform for wealth advisors and others who support the philanthropy and social impact of their clients.

Rea served E8 for four years and was previously a program officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and president and CEO of Tourism Cares, a non-profit that supports sustainable tourism and volunteer programs. E8, which invested almost $9 million in 2022 in early-stage startups, is seeking a new executive director. Rea steps down at the end of April.

— Karn Manhas stepped down as CEO of Terramera, a Vancouver, B.C.-based agriculture company that he founded in 2010. Nate Kelly is now CEO of Terramera and its soil health subsidiary Miraterra.

Kelly was previously general manager at Seattle-based computer and electronics manufacturing company Glowforge and was CEO of Adero, a startup in the same sector. He is also a veteran of Facebook, Sonos, Tesla Motors, HP, Sony Ericsson and Microsoft.

Currently ranked No. 72 on the GeekWire 200, our list of top Pacific Northwest startups, Terramera markets alternatives to synthetic pesticides. Manhas remains with the company as executive chair.

— Jimmie Lee, a Seattle-based technology vet who previously led security teams at Microsoft and Meta, joined San Francisco go-to-market startup as chief technology officer. The company raised a $10 million pre-seed round in December led by Lightspeed Venture Partners. Lee also previously worked at Boeing.

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