Meet the Experts

Below is a list of our expert mentors (in alphabetical order). You can engage with these people through our programs including Hours with Experts, Workshops and Company Launch. You may also make a special request to meet one of the expert below by using this meeting request form. If you want to become a mentor, please complete this interest form.


Matthew Bury

Michael Best

Matt assists clients in preparing and prosecuting patent applications. His practice is built on a background in mechanical engineering, with firsthand experience with the complexities of project design and building. He also assists with matters regarding clearance, patentability, and validity options.

Gordon Foote II

Shareholder, Kirton McConkie

Gordon Foote is the co-chair of Kirton McConkie’s International and Corporate sections. His practice focuses on mergers, acquisitions, partnerships, entity formation and structure issues, contracts, licenses, and private security offerings. He works extensively with private equity firms and national and local radio and television broadcasters, as well as provides general counsel and board advisory services to clients in a variety of industries.

Areas of expertise: corporate, international, tax and estate planning

Chad Grange

Shareholder, Kirton McConkie

Chad Grange represents the entire spectrum of domestic and international organizations, from pre-revenue startups, to multibillion-dollar a year entities. He also acts as outside general counsel for several clients with a particular expertise in contract negotiations, drafting, and management across the entire organization. As an adjunct professor of law at the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law, Mr. Grange teaches the very popular “Contracts in the Modern Economy” course.

Areas of expertise: business formation, structure and exit strategies, contracts, corporate, cybersecurity, and data privacy

Dustin Howell

Intellectual Property Law, Workman Nydegger

Dustin Howell’s experience runs deep in the subjects of physics, optics, mechanics and mechanical engineering. He uses his background to help clients in the preparation and prosecution of the U.S and international patent and trademark applications as well as licensing and confidentiality agreements and other IP issues.

Rachel Naegeli

Associate, Kirton McConkie

Rachel Naegeli is a member of Kirton McConkie’s International, Cybersecurity and Data Privacy, and Southern Utah Legal Services sections. Her practice focuses on assisting U.S.-based companies operating and expanding abroad with the myriad and complex legal issues that arise in the areas of manufacturing and product supply, direct sales, consumer rights, data privacy, and employment.

Areas of expertise: contracts, cybersecurity, data privacy, general counsel services

Plymouth D. Nelson

Partner, Michael Best, Intellectual Property

Plymouth’s practice includes the preparation of invalidity, non-infringement, and clearance opinions, as well as patentability analysis, and the drafting of license, confidentiality, and other agreements. In addition, he counsels clients on the acquisition and enforcement of patent rights and the avoidance of competitor patents. Plymouth worked as an attorney at an Intellectual Property firm in Washington, D.C., after serving in the Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps of the U.S Army.

Timothy D. Nichols

Intellectual Property Law, Workman Nydegger

Timothy D. Nichols is a former engineer and federal law clerk who today represents companies of all sizes in patent, trademark and copyright matters. He regularly counsels clients regarding the procurement and licensing of their intellectual property, and guides them through the intricate nuances of online marketplaces to better manage, protect, and extract revenue from their intellectual property portfolio.

Judson Stelter

Michael Best

Jud has experience representing clients before administrative agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Department of Labor and the National Labor Relations Board. His background also includes three years as an adjunct professor at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State University, where his course focused on the drafting of transactional documents such as employment contracts and settlement agreements.


Paul Burnett

Audit Manager and CPA, Tanner LLC

Paul Burnett is an audit manager and CPA with Tanner LLC who has almost seven years of public accounting experience serving a variety of industries, including not-for-profit, SaaS and technology, manufacturing, trucking, healthcare, and others. He enjoys being a team member of Tanner which allows him to work on mostly non-public companies with revenues ranging from $100,000 to $1 billion. He joined Tanner after graduating with his master of accountancy from Southern Utah University. He is a board member and treasurer of the Utah Nonprofits Association. Paul loves spending time with his family (wife and three kids), playing board games, watching movies, playing sports, and more.

Kyle Hepworth

Tax Manager, Tanner LLC

Kyle is a tax nanager at Tanner LLC. He received his master’s of accountancy from Utah State University and joined Tanner after completing his degree. He has five years of experience in public accounting and has experience in various industries and sizes of clients. Kyle enjoys helping Tanner with training new employees as well as the firm’s recruiting efforts. Kyle is excited to help Lassonde’s businesses with any tax or accounting questions they have. Kyle enjoys basketball, golf, spending time with his two young kids and wife, and helping his dad on the family farm in Idaho.

Areas of expertise: tax, accounting

Jodie Hewitson

Tax Partner, Tanner LLC

Jodie has 21 years of public accounting experience. Prior to joining Tanner, Jodie spent 10 years with a Big 4 firm. She has extensive experience in all phases of tax compliance and consulting, consolidated and multi-state filing issues, international tax, partnerships, S corporation, individual and expatriate tax. Jodie graduated from the University of Utah with a master of professional accountancy and a bachelor of science in accounting.

Sitori Holbrook

Senior Manager, Accounting Services, Tanner LLC

Sitori is a CPA specializing in non-profit and small business accounting. She is currently a Senior Manager at Tanner running the Accounting Services Department which she co-founded in 2019. Sitori has almost 20 years of accounting experience as a controller, volunteer, auditor, and outsourced accountant. She obtained her master’s degree in accounting from Westminster University.


Tony Passey

Founder and CEO, Firetoss

Tony Passey is founder and CEO of Firetoss, a marketing and web development firm in Salt Lake City, Utah. He is also an Assistant Professor, Lecturer in the Marketing Department of the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah. Firetoss provides SEO, marketing and creative services to firms across the nation. Firetoss’ integrated approach to strategy, creative development and marketing execution provide a unique advantage over other agencies. Tony created a new digital marketing curriculum for undergraduate and graduate students that applies marketing strategy to project-based assignments. Students learn through a mixture of lectures and hands-on group work for local non-profits and small businesses. Tony has engaged in various start-ups ranging from tech companies to retail to manufacturing, including the creation of an elite brand of energy efficient products, Thermaglass Windows, and the west coast’s first fully custom fiberglass door manufacturing company, SureFit Door Co. Tony Passey received a B.A. in Economics and an M.S. in Finance from the University of Utah. He has received several business awards including being named to the Utah v100, top CEOs in technology.

Josh Webber

Big Red Jelly

“Only entropy comes easy” – Anton Chekhov. In short, I feel a deep sense of satisfaction from building something long-lasting and valuable with people I love. Big Red Jelly represents a team, product, and bundle of world-class services that we built together, and I enjoy seeing it grow and provide value to fellow business owners.


Stephanie Geisler

CEO Coach, Vistage Worldwide
Stephanie Geisler is an executive coach for CEOs and other business leaders in Salt Lake City. She has experience as a company founder, growing a startup to $25M annual revenue in the third year. She has owned four different companies, served as chief operations and customer officer at a local tech company, and led the full-time MBA program at the Eccles School for five years. She has expertise in culture-building, executive coaching, strategic planning, employee retention, change management, and product management across many industries including technology, medical, higher education, direct sales, manufacturing, and marketing.

Areas of expertise: start up phase, risks and risk tolerances, understanding your market, the power of integrity in business, dealing with uncertainties, mentoring and coaching, employee engagement, reaching your potential

David Kale

Creative Director for Theatre, Versatile Image

David Kale is active in Salt Lake’s production scene, with roles in writing, directing, acting, and behind-the-scenes work in TV and theatre. He applies these skills as an entrepreneur, running two startups, and serves as a project manager and creative director for a creative agency based in SLC.

Areas of expertise: public speaking, storytelling, script writing, pitch presentations, acting, directing

Mark Leone

Principal Engineer, NVIDIA

Mark Leone is a software engineer with 25 years of experience in computer graphics. He began at Pixar, building computer graphics software for films like Ratatouille. A decade later Mark moved to New Zealand to work on The Hobbit and other blockbusters like Avatar 2. His work was twice nominated for a Sci-Tech Oscar award. Mark currently works at NVIDIA, focusing on technical obstacles to the adoption of graphics chips by the visual effects industry.

Areas of expertise: Software engineering, project management, computer graphics, programming languages and compilers, GPU programming, multithreading and high performance computing (HPC)

Marina Narvaez

Entrepreneur Librarian, Marriot Library

Marina was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas and is the daughter of two entrepreneurs. She has a total of 17 years of library experience but has spent most of her career as a solo business librarian providing support for all programs in the College of Business. She’s been with the University of Utah since June of 2023. Her education includes an undergraduate degree in human resources, master’s in English and library science, and 21 hours toward a Doctorate of Business Administration.

Areas of expertise: marketing, entrepreneurship, supply chain, and financial literacy.

Chuck Sharp

CEO Coach, Sharp Analytics
I’ve founded and sold three businesses and currently starting my forth. As Dynata Managing director, I lead a large, global team of market research professionals. As Sharpr founder/CEO, I led the inception to purchase. As Sharp Analytics founder/CEO, I led the inception to purchase. As ValueMags cofounder, I led the inception to exit. I have three crazy/fun kids, an amazing wife, and a love of backcountry skiing and trail running.

Areas of expertise: software, product development, fund raising, marketing, innovation