Team

Jim Wilkinson

Chairman & Chief Executive Officer

Prior to founding TrailRunner, Jim served as SVP, Head of International Corporate Affairs for Alibaba Group, the world's largest online and mobile marketplace. At Alibaba Group, Jim played a key leadership role in the company's historic IPO in 2014. He also designed and led Alibaba's international communications strategy, and he built the company's international corporate communications and government relations teams.

Prior to joining Alibaba Group, Jim served as Executive Vice President, Communications for PepsiCo, a global food and beverage leader with net revenues of more than $65 billion. Jim joined PepsiCo from Brunswick Group, where he served in San Francisco as Managing Partner for International Business and Financial Strategy, providing strategic counsel on global corporate mandates spanning international operations, corporate and financial communications, corporate reputation, investor relations, crisis management, and litigation. Jim also worked for Brunswick Group in Texas, where he established and built the firm’s Dallas/Fort Worth office.

Prior to Brunswick Group, Jim served as Chief of Staff for U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Henry M. Paulson, serving as Paulson's senior strategist and counselor, and working on matters of financial policy and crisis management. Prior to his work for Treasury, Jim served as Senior Advisor to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and worked with Rice in the White House as Deputy National Security Advisor for Communications. From 2002-2003, Jim was Director of Strategic Communications for General Tommy R. Franks at U.S. Central Command, and from 2000-2001 served in the White House as Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Communications. Prior to working in the White House, Jim spent several years working in the U.S. Congress for House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX) and the National Republican Congressional Committee. Jim served as an officer in the U.S. Navy Reserves, and also taught international communications at The Johns Hopkins University. Jim holds degrees from the University of Texas at Arlington (BBA, Finance) and The Johns Hopkins University (MA).

He is an endurance sports enthusiast (including 26 marathons) and enjoys trail running, playing chess, skiing, snowboarding, and playing acoustic guitar.

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Lulu works with clients on international strategy and expanding their global presence, corporate reputation, and financial communications. Her background spans financial analysis, strategic consulting, and technological innovation.

Prior to joining TrailRunner, Lulu served as Senior Advisor to the Chairman at McLarty Associates, a global strategic advisory firm headquartered in Washington, D.C. In this role, she has designed initiatives for strategy, business development, and operations. She has also advised on growth strategy and business development for a private equity investment platform and an international automotive retail firm. Across these diverse ventures, she advanced efforts on strategic direction, market entry, and partnership building, as well as serving clients around the world.

Prior to joining the McLarty organization, Lulu was a member of the MIT Lincoln Laboratory Cyber Policy Working Group in Boston, where she researched and crafted recommendations for international norms in cyberspace. She previously served as a consultant to the World Bank’s Information and Communication Technologies unit, conducting outreach with the tech community and building relationships with partners and stakeholders.

Before working at the World Bank, Lulu was a writer and team member at The Muse, a career site for Millennials, in its formative years as a startup. During the financial crisis, she was a financial analyst at J.P. Morgan in its headquarters at New York, NY, focusing on portfolio management and client development.

Lulu holds degrees from Yale University (BA, Political Science) and the Fletcher School at Tufts University (Masters, International Affairs). She was born in Xi'an and speaks Mandarin, French, Norwegian, and some German.

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Jim draws on more than 20 years of experience in journalism and corporate communications to advise clients on financial communications, corporate positioning, crisis communications, and special situations such as M&A transactions, IPOs, and executive leadership changes. He has developed and implemented winning communications plans for public policy matters, regulatory actions and investigations, cyberattacks and data breaches, class action lawsuits, and labor and employment issues.

Before joining TrailRunner, Jim served as SVP and Head of Media Relations for Citizens Financial Group, a U.S. bank holding company that completed its initial public offering in September 2014. Jim also previously worked for Comcast and for CVS Health in roles focused on corporate communications, crisis communications, public policy communications, reputation management, and consumer and B2B PR. A former political, legal affairs and breaking news reporter for The Denver Post, Jim was a member of the reporting team that won the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news in 2000 and covered the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq as an embedded reporter.

Jim has been awarded degrees from Union College (BA, English) and from the University of Colorado (MA, Journalism). He completed additional graduate coursework in literature at Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English. Jim, his wife, and their two children are all lifelong skiers.

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Pat Shortridge draws on more than 25 years of communications experience to advise clients on matters of reputation management, including crisis management, public affairs, financial communications, and corporate positioning. Pat also has extensive experience in designing and implementing successful advocacy and grassroots campaigns.

Prior to joining TrailRunner, Pat spent 10 years as President of PCS Consulting, based in Minnesota, where he worked with a diverse range of clients on reputational strategy. Before PCS, Pat served as chief of staff for U.S. Representative Mark Kennedy of Minnesota, and also spent more than a decade working for U.S. House Majority Leader Dick Armey in a variety of senior roles. Pat has also served as a close advisor to U.S. Senator Marco Rubio and U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, and was Chairman of the Republican Party of Minnesota.

Pat graduated from Macalester College (BA, History and Philosophy) and enjoys spending time with his wife, Christianna, and their three children.

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Kurt Schliemann is a Managing Director of TrailRunner International. Kurt brings more than twenty years of experience in financial markets and technology to TrailRunner, where he advises clients on financial communications and special situations across all sectors.

Prior to joining TrailRunner, Kurt served as a Managing Director at JPMorgan, leading JPMorgan's sales and trading in the western region. His clients included some of the largest asset managers, pension funds, and hedge funds in the world. Previously, Kurt spent twelve years at ITG Inc., first as a trader in New York, then running their western region team in California for eight years.

Before ITG, Kurt spent two years at American Express in their strategic planning group, where he provided strategic counsel to various internal business lines engaged in M&A transactions, the launch of new financial products, and the pursuit of new customer channels. In that role, he advised on the launch of the first American Express online marketplace, assisted with the potential acquisition of an online brokerage portal, and analyzed various strategic marketing and merchant partnership opportunities. Prior to American Express, Kurt managed a marketing technology team at The MONY Group (now a division of AXA Financial), where he helped to build and develop the company's first automated CRM system as well as the company's first national college recruiting campaign for advisors.

Kurt holds a degree from Harvard University (BA, Literature), where he played football as a freshman and baseball all four years. He is an avid sports enthusiast who enjoys playing basketball and golf, hiking, skiing, and strumming guitar. Kurt is also deeply engaged in the community, and for the past three years he has actively served as a member of the board of directors of the On Your Feet Foundation, an organization dedicated to supporting and empowering birth parents who have placed a child for adoption.

Kurt lives in northern California with his wife Kat and their two young children, Josie and Theo.

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Brian Edelman

Creative Lead, Chief Executive Officer of RAIN

Brian is the Chief Executive Officer of RAIN, an award-winning creative and technology agency with offices in New York City, Utah and Nicaragua. RAIN provides software-based and interactive content solutions that include social, video and mobile applications. The company has created and produced for a variety of brands and marketers, including Walmart, Alibaba, Adobe, Campbell’s, National Flood Services, Related, Miami Dolphins, Under Armour, and the U.S. Department of State.

Edelman has produced numerous documentaries, including “Unfiltered,” about Olympic legend Michael Phelps, as well as “Secrets of the Code,” “Si Se Puede” and “18 in ’08.” He serves on the Jackie Robinson Foundation selection committee and the board of directors for Run for America, Lono LLC and TicTocStop.org.

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Nick Godfrey

Creative Lead, Chief Operating Officer of RAIN

Nick is the Chief Operating Officer of RAIN, an award-winning creative and technology agency with offices in New York City, Utah and Nicaragua. RAIN provides software-based and interactive content solutions that include social, video and mobile applications. The company has created and produced for a variety of brands and marketers, including Walmart, Alibaba, Adobe, Campbell’s, National Flood Services, Related, Miami Dolphins, Under Armour, and the U.S. Department of State.

Prior to joining RAIN, Nick worked as a producer for ESPN on a variety of programs including Cold Pizza, Sportscenter, and the Stephen A. Smith Show. In 2002 he was part of the original team that launched Viacom’s mtvU college network, the largest and most comprehensive media network exclusively for college students.

Nick graduated from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in 2002 with a degree in broadcast journalism. He currently supports his alma mater by sitting on the Newhouse Advisory Board and the Newhouse Professional Development Council. Nick is also committed to the Center to Prevent Youth Violence, and serves on their Board of Trustees, as well as their Young Executive Board.

Nick’s specialties include digital content, content creation, video production, social media, new media, interactive, and digital marketing.

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Andrew Howlett

Creative Lead, Chief Digital Officer of RAIN

Andrew is the Chief Digital Officer at RAIN, an award-winning creative and technology agency with offices in New York City, Utah and Nicaragua. RAIN provides software-based and interactive content solutions that include social, video and mobile applications. The company has created and produced for a variety of brands and marketers, including Walmart, Alibaba, Adobe, Campbell’s, National Flood Services, Related, Miami Dolphins, Under Armour, and the U.S. Department of State.

Leading RAIN since 2003, Andrew has mixed his finance and business background with his digital knowledge to lead company and client strategy from early concept ideation to go-to-market rollouts. Product development is what he really loves to talk about and has helped create one of the world’s largest cloud-based fitness platforms, the most used digital platform for digital sheet music, the largest digital scrapbook application ever created and a leading smart sprinkler controller, as well as many other digital and physical products.

Andrew started his career with American Express Equipment Finance and has since started several companies, including RAIN.

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Zack is a Director at TrailRunner, where he serves a broad range of clients on financial communications, crisis and issues management, strategic positioning, and international strategy. Prior to joining TrailRunner, Zack worked in the New York office of Burson-Marsteller, a leading global public affairs and communications firm. Zack worked with a broad set of Fortune 50 clients on corporate and financial communications, crisis and issues management, litigation communications, strategic positioning, public affairs, and brand building. While at Burson his teams won several industry awards for their work in crisis response and issues management. Prior to joining Burson, Zack worked for the Boston Red Sox on several key initiatives, and he earned special recognition by the Red Sox front office for his exceptional service. Previously, Zack worked in Washington, D.C. for U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and also interned in Washington for the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA). Zack graduated magna cum laude from the Boston College School of Arts & Sciences Honors Program (BA, International Studies). Zack is an outdoor sports enthusiast and an Accredited Interscholastic Coach. He enjoys cheering for his Minnesota teams, and he has a passion for volunteerism and serving others. Zack founded the “Time Well Spent Gang,” a philanthropic group that serves low-income individuals in the greater Minneapolis area, Boston, Pittsburgh, and New York.

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Lexi is an Associate at TrailRunner, where she works with a diverse group of clients on corporate communications and reputation, financial communications, crisis management, and international strategy. Prior to joining TrailRunner, Lexi worked in New York as senior analyst for media relations for PepsiCo, a global food and beverage leader with a diverse product portfolio that includes iconic brands such as Pepsi-Cola, Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Tropicana and Quaker. Prior to joining PepsiCo, Lexi interned at the company on the executive communications team. Lexi attended the University of Iowa where she studied communications and journalism, and received her BA in English. Lexi speaks Spanish, and her hobbies and interests include creative writing, reading, being active outdoors, and volunteering.

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Eric is an Associate at TrailRunner, where he serves clients globally on matters of financial communications, corporate reputation, and public affairs. Before joining TrailRunner, Eric worked in the financial services industry, specializing in banking, financial services, analytics, and client relations. Prior to his financial services work, Eric spent twelve years teaching mathematics. Previously Eric also coached a variety of sports, including four years as a varsity football head coach. Eric began his career with Principal Financial Group as an actuarial assistant. Eric was a collegiate athlete at Coe College where he played on the offensive line for the school’s nationally ranked football team. Eric holds degrees from Coe College (BA, Mathematics) and Drake University (Masters, Educational Leadership). He enjoys spending time with his wife, Marne, and four kids, Cade, Ellie, Mason, and Hadley.

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Andy is a recognized legal expert and international leader with strong relationships in key markets around the world, in Washington, D.C., and at state and local levels throughout the United States.

Andy has extensive legal advisory experience, including serving as counsel for several domestic and international companies. As a senior partner with a leading Texas-based law firm, he has also handled a wide array of domestic and international business litigation matters, including complex financial transactions, mergers and acquisitions, oil and gas transactions, and real estate matters. Andy also has extensive experience in government relations, regulatory and public law issues, and labor/employment disputes.

During his career Mr. Wambsganss has also worked in the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government in Washington, D.C. and in Texas. He has served as Mayor of Southlake, Texas, and as a judge and in other elected and appointed positions over the past two decades. Mr. Wambsganss worked in Washington, D.C. in the 1980's for U.S. Congressman Dick Armey (R-TX) prior to joining the Second Court of Appeals of Texas in 1991 as a briefing attorney. Following completion of his judicial clerkship with the Court, Mr. Wambsganss joined Brown & Thompson, PC.

EDUCATION

  • University of Texas--Arlington (B.A.)
  • University of Texas--Austin (J.D.)

PROFESSIONAL ADMISSIONS

  • Member, State Bar of Texas
  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Court of International Trade
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas
  • United States District Court, Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas
  • Pro Bono College of the State Bar of Texas

ACTIVITIES

  • Member, Tarrant County Bar Foundation
  • Member, Northeast Leadership Forum
  • Chairman, Metroport Cities Fellowship
  • Chairman, AIR Ministries

EXPERIENCE

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation, Legal Counsel Division
  • Mayor, Southlake, Texas
  • Mayor Pro Tem, Southlake, Texas
  • City Council, Southlake, Texas
  • Judge, Southlake, Texas
  • President, Southlake Crime Control & Prevention District
  • Ripon Scholar, Washington D.C.
  • Second Court of Appeals, Texas
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Chad Schuchert

Chief Financial Officer

Chad Schuchert serves as Chief Financial Officer of TrailRunner International. Prior to joining TrailRunner, Chad spent more than 20 years in Iowa as a business operations leader and entrepreneur. Chad attended both the University of Iowa and the Worsham College of Mortuary Science in Chicago. Chad’s true passion is the time he spends with his wife Jennifer and their children Lexi, Grant, and Payton. He is an outdoorsman who enjoys spending his free time fishing, hunting and hiking.

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Lisa Moore

Deputy Chief Financial Officer

Lisa Moore serves as Deputy Chief Financial Officer of TrailRunner International and TrailRunner Ventures. She is a Certified Public Accountant and brings over fifteen years of financial and accounting experience to TrailRunner, including experience with public and privately held companies.

Prior to joining TrailRunner, Lisa served corporate and high net worth clients at Sitkoff O’Neil Accountancy Corporation. Before joining Sitkoff O’Neil, Lisa worked for Excelsis Accounting Group where she performed audit and other financial services for both public and privately held companies. She also has extensive knowledge regarding compliance with regulatory agencies such as the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), the Department of Labor and the Secretary of State for a multitude of states.

Lisa graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno (B.S. in Business Administration with a major in Accounting). She is a Certified Public Accountant and a member of the California Society of Certified Public Accountants as well as the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

Lisa enjoys spending time with her husband Dan and their two sons. Outdoor enthusiasts, the family loves to camp, ski and snowboard, hike, run, and paddleboard.

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Brittany works on research and communications projects on behalf of TrailRunner’s clients, and also serves as Executive Assistant to TrailRunner Chairman and CEO Jim Wilkinson. Prior to joining TrailRunner, Brittany served as Event Manager and Manager of EZAIR Indoor Trampoline Park and Laser Tag arena in Reno, Nevada. In this role, Brittany organized facility operations, maintained strong client relationships, and managed all birthday parties, fundraisers, and corporate events. Prior to working at EZAIR, Brittany was an office coordinator for membership at Arrow Creek Country Club and Golf Course, where she organized correspondence for events throughout the membership database. Brittany is active in competitive sports -- including soccer, running, and snowboarding – and she played for the U.S. Olympic Development Program in soccer. Brittany holds a degree from The University of Nevada, Reno (BA, Photography & Journalism). She is an avid outdoor enthusiast and can be found mountain biking, camping, or snowboarding all around Lake Tahoe.

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John serves as Office Manager at TrailRunner International.

Prior to joining TrailRunner, John served as a data analyst for a consumer brand where he helped develop analytics, data storage and strategic marketing solutions.

John attended the University of Nevada, Reno and received a BS in Finance with minors in both Information Systems and Economics. He is an avid sports fan who enjoys watching his Nevada Wolf Pack and his Bay Area sports teams thrive.

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Ryan Williams

Entrepreneur in Residence

Ryan serves as an Entrepreneur in Residence at TrailRunner International, where he is helping to incubate an exciting new adventure sports technology platform.

Ryan has deep roots in the action sports industry. As a former professional snowboarder for Burton Snowboards and Volcom, and an X Games Medalist, Ryan was featured in Warren Miller and Standard Films movies and dozens of International Publications from Transworld Snowboarding to Sports Illustrated.

Ryan has two decades of experience as a Strategic Marketing & Sales Leader with a proven track record of building relationships and increasing revenue. Most recently, he was at Northwestern Mutual where he spent several years building the company’s efforts in Northern California & Nevada. He was responsible for building the regional team, marketing communications, business growth and recognized as a Forum Member (industry award given to the top 5% sales leaders in the country) and recipient of the 2015 Community Award by High Fives Non-Profit Foundation.

Prior to Northwestern Mutual, Ryan helped launch and open the Ritz-Carlton brand’s first Lake Tahoe property at Northstar, responsible for the company's regional Marketing and Sales. In 2002 Ryan helped revamp the Sessions brand as their Marketing Director, growing the company globally as a premier provider of actions sports apparel.

Ryan graduated from the University of Nevada (BA, International Business). He serves on the High Fives Non-Profit Foundation Board of Directors and the Tahoe Forest Hospital Sports Medicine/Orthopedic Advisory Council, and was previously a judge for Startup Tahoe Weekend with Google.

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Robert Suarez

Entrepreneur in Residence

Robert serves as an Entrepreneur in Residence at TrailRunner International, where he is helping to incubate an exciting new adventure sports technology platform.

Robert has two decades of experience building consumer experience products and services from conception through scale.

As a veteran of IDEO, the global design company, Robert designed, managed, and directed the development of consumer and enterprise products for Fortune 100 companies, start-ups and serial entrepreneurs. He directed the design of new-to-the-world mobile experiences in financial services, gaming, consumer hardware and new emerging technologies. He has delivered new products and services for companies ranging from Visa and Microsoft, to Electronic Arts, Zynga and more. He left IDEO in 2012 to join the founding team of Level Money, a Kleiner Perkins backed, award winning financial app dedicated to helping the next generation spend with confidence, save more and achieve financial balance. Level Money was acquired in 2015 by Capital One.

Robert teaches design and innovation at Singularity University, a Benefit Corporation, where he educates, inspires and empowers leaders to apply exponential technologies to address humanity's grand challenges. He helps start-up, corporate and non-profit teams ideate and innovate solutions to their—and the world’s—most daunting problems.

Robert graduated from Carnegie-Mellon University (BFA, Industrial Design) and Arizona State University (MS, Biomimicry). He is an active voice in the design and sustainability communities, an advisor to select Silicon Valley start-ups and a Board Member of the Truckee Roundhouse, a non-profit makerspace in Truckee, CA.

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Dave Sick

Entrepreneur in Residence

Dave serves as an Entrepreneur in Residence at TrailRunner International, where he is helping to incubate an exciting new adventure sports technology platform.

Dave Sick has 20+ years of experience as an innovative technologist with strong communication and design skills. He is a master of balancing the selection and implementation of appropriate technology to solve critical business issues, while collaborating across diverse groups.

Dave’s career has spanned many roles from software developer to product manager to founder. Previously, he founded and ran a technology and marketing consulting business, Brand Breadcrumbs, serving both large and small businesses helping them to develop, launch and iterate their products and service. In his spare time, he launched Trail See, a turn-by-turn directions app for trails.

Prior to founding his current companies, Dave was a technical product manager for Clear Capital, a leading housing valuations company. At Clear Capital Dave led the development of 4 new valuation product lines resulting in $30 million in new business. Dave also led internet marketing at Booth Creek, a ski resort holding company that managed six resorts across the west and east coasts. He delivered an award-winning marketing campaign and site redesign, and helped increase eCommerce sales by over 300%.

Previously, Dave was a lead project manager at Zefer/NEC where he managed large client website redesigns including WellsFargo.com and Sun.com. Prior to that Dave was an associate at Platinum Venture Partners where he was the lead for due diligence on all deals (over 3,000). Dave started his career as software and database application developer for Shipnet systems, a shipping logistics firm, and Morey Associates, a market research firm.

Dave graduated from Vanderbilt University (BS, Computer Science) and the University of British Columbia (MBA, specializing in marketing). Dave lives in Truckee with his family and is an active volunteer in the community, serving on the Orthopedic Advisory Council at Tahoe Forest Hospital, the board of the Truckee Chamber of Commerce, and the board of Truckee AYSO. He is an active member of Silicon Mountain, a local technology and start-up community.

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Katie Shaffer

Entrepreneur in Residence

Katie is the CEO and Founder of East River Public Relations. Katie founded East River PR in 2012, bringing more than 25 years of experience in publishing, marketing, writing, and public relations to a diverse range of clients. Her work has been recognized nationally, winning two Silver Spike Awards from the Public Relations Society of America, Reno chapter.

She was previously a columnist and freelance writer for the Sierra Sun in Truckee, Director of Marketing for the University of Nevada Press, and Director at Switchback PR + Marketing, Inc. She honed her expertise in community relations and public relations campaigns by spearheading luxury lifestyle, real estate and development, travel and tourism and government agency accounts.

Katie currently serves on the advisory board for the Truckee Public Arts Commission and on the marketing committee for the Contractors Association of Truckee Tahoe. She founded Sierraville.org, a grassroots organization that works with county officials to execute humanitarian and economic development solutions.

Katie graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University (B.A., English). She also completed graduate coursework from the University of Denver’s School of Information Sciences in book publishing. An interior design hobbyist, she is currently renovating an 1881 farmhouse and over the course of 20 years she has built eight homes with her tireless husband. She enjoys birding while hiking with her dog or kayaking on Donner Lake. She is a dedicated San Francisco Giants fan.

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