CEO & Board Member
Brian Valentine is responsible for successfully launching some of the most prevalent technologies available today. He spent 19 years at Microsoft, leading the launches of Exchange 4.0, 5.0, and 5.5 before moving onto the Windows team to launch Windows 2000, XP, XP2 and Vista. In 2006, Jeff Bezos invited Brian to join Amazon to help the company evolve it’s software systems into a world class ecommerce system. After building and leading that eCommerce team for 8 years and succeeding in the mission he and Jeff had planned, Brian decided to dedicate his energy towards WISErg full-time, and help the company scale nationwide.
Jose Lugo is a software engineer at heart with deep expertise in quality assurance, process innovation and operations. He spent 18 years at Microsoft where was a primary contributor for Microsoft Exchange. He also played a key role in Microsoft’s major worldwide recruiting efforts, company acquisitions, building domestic and international software development organizations and training. In 2005, he relocated to Mexico and co-founded AguaYVida, S.A, a company focused on reforestation, clean water and waste to energy solutions. In 2008, Jose returned to the Pacific Northwest determined to apply some ot these technologies in urban areas. He co-founded WISErg to develop innovative and highly efficient systems for managing compostable waste in an urban environment.
Jose was raised in Venezuela and came to the United States for his college education. He has a BS in Computer Science from Eastern Michigan University. He and his wife have three children. Jose loves to fly fish, and enjoys discovering new restaurants and food.
Pete Higgins is a founding partner of Second Avenue Partners, one of Seattle’s most experienced teams providing management, strategy and capital to early-stage companies. Prior to founding Second Avenue Partners, Mr. Higgins spent 16 years at Microsoft Corporation. Mr. Higgins was a member of the Office of the President, reporting to CEO Bill Gates. He was group vice president of the Interactive Media Group at Microsoft from 1996 to 1998. As head of the Interactive Media Group, he was responsible for Microsoft’s online, consumer software, and hardware businesses.
Mr. Higgins is the chairman of SEEQ Corporation and a director of WISErg Corp. He is the former chairman of Market Leader (OTC: LEDR), Insitu Corporation, Modumetal, and director of ADIC Corp (OTC: ADIC). Mr. Higgins serves on the board of trustees for The Brookings Institute and the advisory boards for the Woods Institute for the Environment, and Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford University, and the Stanford Athletics Board. He is a former Trustee of Stanford University. Mr. Higgins holds an MBA and undergraduate degrees in economics and history from Stanford University.
Brian McGuigan joined Laird Norton Company in 2012 and manages the company’s direct investment initiatives. With more than a decade of operational, entrepreneurial and private equity experience, Brian is responsible for corporate development activities including origination, evaluation and execution of lower middle market acquisitions.
Previously, Brian led the Stonnington Group in venture investments, direct investments and investments in private equity funds. He also worked as a technology consultant in the UK and Europe leading high-profile information systems projects for major companies and institutions. Brian received a BSc in chemical engineering from the University of Cape Town and an MBA from the USC Marshall School of Business. He is a CAIA Charter Holder.
Jim grew up in the community of Moweaqua, Illinois where the family was involved in a row crop farming operation. He graduated from the University of Illinois in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science in Agronomy and returned to Moweaqua to take over the family farm.
In 1987, Jim co-founded Moweaqua Seed Company, a company focused on Hybrid corn and soybean production and sales. In 2007, MSC joined the ASI family of Monsanto brands, and Jim continued to run the business. In 2008, Jim joined the ASI team in St Louis as the ASI Corn Business Lead and in 2009 transitioned to the role of President of Corn States, Monsanto’s Trait and Germplasm Licensing arm.
In 2012, Jim joined Monsanto’s U.S. Commercial Row Crops business as Vice President of Row Crops for the Eastern and Coastal Regions of the US, where he had commercial responsibility for branded seed comprising of Asgrow and DEKALB; Channel; Stone Seed; Specialty Seed; Stewart Seed; Hubner Seed and Delta Pine.
In December of 2013, Jim left Monsanto to join 360 Yield Center, a company founded by Gregg Sauder, former owner of Precision Planting. The vision of the company is to capture the potential of yield on every acre….not the goal. The company focuses on agronomic solutions that symbiotically combine sensing technology, agronomic decision making tools, and most importantly the ability to give farmers the control to apply the solution to of every acre to capture the potential.
In January of 2017, Jim Left 360 Yield Center to join the WISErg company as an Advisor to the Board.
Jim continues to live in Moweaqua with his wife Loretta and sons Jack and Mitch, and continues to operate the family’s 3000 acre corn and soybean farm.