Josh Knauer

Josh has been a social entrepreneur for the past 20 years, creating and leading successful organizations in both the non-profit and for-profit sectors. His ability to spot emerging trends in technology and how they can be used for the betterment of society and the environment have caused him to be considered a leading expert in the field. In Spring of 2010, Josh was appointed by the Obama Administration to a working group of President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. He’s been featured in TimeFortuneNewsweek and Wired, and was even named a New Media Hero by the Utne Reader.

Prior to Rhiza Labs, Josh led MAYA Design’s Information Commons project. Before that, he founded and served as CEO of Green Marketplace, a clearing-house for socially and environmentally responsible products, services and information, which he sold to Gaiam in 2002. In 1991, Josh founded and served as Executive Director of the EnviroLink Network, a nonprofit foundation dedicated to helping organizations adopt emerging technologies, and was one of the first .orgs on the Internet.

Involvement in the community is very important to Josh. He enjoys speaking with students about being an entrepreneur and has mentored many up-and-coming entrepreneurs who are creating socially and environmentally responsible businesses. Beyond supporting many community organizations with time and donations, he currently serves on the following Boards of Directors:

Josh has, in the past, served on the following Boards:

Josh lives in Pittsburgh, PA with his wife, children and dogs. When not starting up a new business, he can be found in his garden tending organic and heirloom vegetables or out hiking in the woods.

You can follow Josh on Twitter and Facebook.

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Mike Higgins

Mike oversees Rhiza’s technology research and product development. He combines his experience in product design and development with his research background to make sure the most cutting-edge technology is available in Rhiza Analytics. The best way to do this is to lead by example, so Mike spends much of his time programming, adding new features and improving existing ones in Rhiza’s portfolio.

Before starting Rhiza, Mike worked for MAYA Design. He has published papers in pervasive computing, distributed systems, information visualization, and user experience design. He has contributed to the design and development of numerous products.

When not hacking or pondering the future of information technology, Mike likes to travel to offbeat places. He also enjoys feeling guilty about not keeping up with his writing and sketching projects. He loves his wife, cats, and public transit, and maintains a website devoted to the latter.

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Maryl Curran Widdows

Maryl is a Co-Founder of Rhiza and manages the company’s Finance and G&A activities from the West Coast Office. Maryl brings more than a decade of experience helping mission-driven organizations expand their operations and grow their customer base.

Prior to joining Rhiza, Maryl worked as a Senior Program Manager at MAYA developing new opportunities to grow the Information Commons. Maryl encountered MAYA through her work in the social finance sector, where she held senior positions with the Opportunity Fund and RSF Social Finance advising and funding social ventures, foundations and start-ups around the world. She’s helped organizations from the industrial centers of Mexico to the heart of Silicon Valley find ways to grow and improve financial performance without sacrificing their mission. Maryl holds an MBA in International Business from Thunderbird. She speaks Spanish and hopes to be as fluent in Portuguese one day.

When she’s not at Rhiza, Maryl can be found hosting jam sessions for local musicians and playing with her daughters, husband and dog in the park.

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Shiri Friedman

Shiri Friedman is the Chief Revenue Officer for Rhiza, leading the marketing, sales and customer success organizations. She is responsible for the full customer lifecycle: finding prospects, turning those leads into customers and keeping those customers delighted and engaged.

Before joining Rhiza, Shiri was the Director of Marketing for Brightcove, responsible for go-to-market, sales enablement and co-marketing with an ecosystem of technology partners. Before Brightcove she was a member of CHT Media, the local team that attempted to buy the Boston Globe in 2009. Shiri began her career in sales at Getty Images where her clients included Gannett, Dow Jones and The New York Times. There she managed a team that generated over $8mm in annual revenue.

Shiri holds a Bachelors in Intellectual History from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Yale. She lives in Pittsburgh, PA with her husband and their three children. She loves Sunday Styles, shavasana and turning off her cell phone one day each week.

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Mike Stubler

Mike is a Managing Director and co-founder of Draper Triangle Ventures, a member of the DFJ Global Network. Mike has nearly 30 years of experience with start-up technology companies both as a co-founder and early stage investor. Prior to Draper Triangle Mike spent the majority of his career serving as CFO and COO of several successful technology companies, where he directed the financial and business operations, acquisitions, mergers and capital raising functions.

Mike serves on the boards of Unitask, TOA Technologies, ClearCount Medical Solutions, OnShift and Aethon. Mike previously directed the Fund’s investments in ClubCom (acquired by Amer Sports), Active Media (acquired by Precor), Renal Solutions (acquired by Fresenius, NYSE: FMS) and New Media (acquired by Zoom Media). Mike is a Director and Past President of the Pittsburgh Venture Capital Association and a Director of the Ohio Venture Association. He is also a Director and Executive Committee member at Innovation Works, the Ben Franklin Technology Partner of Southwest PA.

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Peter Lucas

Dr. Peter Lucas is a recognized pioneer in the fields of human-and information-centric computing, product design and research and is an Adjunct Professor at the Carnegie Mellon University Human Computer Interaction Institute. As a principal of Rhiza Labs, Peter provides high-level management, strategy, design and engineering guidance to the company.

Peter is also a founder and principal at MAYA, which he established in 1989 to remove disciplinary boundaries that cause technology to be poorly suited to the needs of individuals and society. Peter received his Ph.D. degree from Cornell University, where he studied educational and cognitive psychology and psycholinguistics. His research interests lie at the intersection of advanced technology and human capabilities. He is currently developing a distributed device architecture that is designed to scale to nearly unlimited size, depending primarily on market forces to maintain tractability and global coherence. Peter holds 15 patents and has co-authored a book on letter and word perception.

Peter is committed to supporting the development of civic leaders and serves on the board of the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management and Coro and is also working to create the Civium Foundation, which will be dedicated to promoting and preserving universal access to public information.

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