iDE Board of Directors

> IDE Staff

iDE Board of Directors

Robert Hill, Board Chair

 Bob Hill Mr. Hill is co-founder of the law firm of Hill & Robbins, P.C. and specializes in commercial and class action litigation. Since starting Hill & Robbins, his work has been responsible for many of the largest civil-damage recoveries in the State of Colorado returning hundreds of millions of dollars to class members. America's Leading Business Lawyers referred to him as a "first-rate lawyer" who is "not only 'extraordinary' in the courtroom, but also able to diffuse a dispute before it goes to trial." Mr. Hill is also very active in non-profit organizations. Most recently Mr. Hill founded the Nurse-Family Partnership to replicate a nationally recognized, evidence based nurse home visitation program for at-risk families.

Ted Paetkau, Vice Chair

Ted Paetkau Ted is the founder and the current CEO of Concord Projects, a Western Canadian Construction and Development Company with its headquarters in Winnipeg, Canada. He grew up on a farm in southern Manitoba and is an engineering graduate from the University of Manitoba. He is a current member of the Association of Professional Engineers of the Province of Manitoba.

Ted has been involved in numerous boards and committees including Non Profit organizations such as MCC, Meda, YFC, etc.He has also served on Board and Committee positions for a Publically Traded Biotech Company.

Ted has been involved with iDE for approx. 12 years and is currently the Chair of iDE Canada.

Norman Fiske, Finance Committee Chair

Norm Fiske Norm is a retired chartered accountant after more than 45 years as a partner with Sill, Streuber, Fiske & Co. Upon his first retirement, he became President of the Thomas Sill Foundation, and has served as a director in a variety of professional, for- and not-for-profit institutions. In 2002, Norm was presented The Dasch Recognition Award in recognition of his long service and outstanding contributions to creating opportunities for developmentally-challenged adults.

Shoa Asfaha

Dr. Shoa Asfaha is a socio-economist and freelance consultant working with a number of non-governmental organizations, donors and companies on development issues. She is originally from Eritrea and has wide experience in Africa for nearly 20 years, including working for CARE International. Shoa has been Vice Chair of the African Foundation for Development and a member of the Program Committee of CARE International UK, and currently serves as an Advisor for Comic Relief on Women and Girls Program.

Frank DeFehr

Frank DeFehr Frank is a businessman with over 40 years experience in the furniture manufacturing industry. He served as the president of Palliser Furniture Ltd., his family owned company and Canada's largest furniture manufacturer, for close to 30 years. His entrepreneurial ventures now include two manufacturing companies: one a manufacturer of corrugate packaging and the other a manufacturer of polyurethane and wood furniture components. His other interests include several farming operations, a flour mill and a flax production and processing operation. He has an intense interest in sustainable agriculture and "grass roots" farming. This interest, his love of the land and the desire to help those less fortunate, led him to become involved with iDE and its agricultural development programs around the world.

Tom Ebling

Tom Ebling

Tom Ebling has a proven track record of rapid growth and market leadership in emerging software companies. He currently serves as President and CEO of Demandware, the leading on demand eCommerce platform. He previously served as CEO of ProfitLogic, which he led to successful acquisition by Oracle in 2005. Before ProfitLogic, Ebling acted as CEO of Torrent Systems, which was acquired by Ascential Software in 2001. He also helped grow Marcam Solutions from startup to $200 million in revenues and a successful IPO. Ebling holds a Bachelor of Arts degree Magna Cum Laude in Mathematics with Highest Honors from Williams College. He also attended Harvard Law School, and holds a patent for inventions in software related to Process Manufacturing at Marcam Corporation.

William A. Fast

Based in Winnipeg, MB, Bill is founder of a variety of family-owned businesses that operate throughout North America. These businesses include manufacturing, export and import enterprises. Presently Bill is on the Executive Committee of Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary, in Fresno, CA where he serves as Chairman of the Property and Finances Committee. Bill has a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from the University of Manitoba and an MBA from the University of Western Ontario, now called the Richard Ivey School of Business.

Melissa Ho

Melissa Ho Melissa D. Ho, Chair of the Program Committee, is a Specialist in Agricultural Policy at the Congressional Research Service in Washington D.C. She covers issues related to international agricultural development, global food security, agricultural trade, climate adaptation, and agricultural research, education and extension for the U.S. Congress. Before coming to CRS, Melissa was a Program Officer in Agricultural Development at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Previously, she served as the Agricultural Policy Advisor for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. Melissa has a Ph.D. in Plant Physiology from Penn State University, an M.Sc. in Soil Science from the University of California, Davis, and a B.Sc. in Environmental Systems from Cornell University.

Joel Lipsitch

Joel Lipsitch

Joel Lipsitch is Manager of Worldwide Public Affairs at John Deere. In this role he works with governments, non-governmental organizations, industry groups, and the academic community on policy and research issues relevant to the business, focusing on water and other agronomic inputs and their impact on global agricultural productivity. 

Joel is an active participant in the global water policy dialogue.  He frequently represents John Deere at events such as the World Water Forum and the World Bank Water Week.  He holds leadership positions in key industry groups and is also engaged with stakeholders working on issues such as agricultural mechanization and nutrient and pesticide management.

Joel is a graduate of Williams College and holds a Master of Environmental Management and Master of Business Administration from Duke University.


Paul Polak

Paul Polak Dr. Paul Polak is the founder of iDE, and has been recognized by Scientific American as one of the world's leading 50 contributors to science. After handing over iDE to new leadership, Polak started two new organizations. D-Rev: Design for the other 90% is a non-profit development organization with the mission of creating a revolution in design to reach 4 billion poor people bypassed by current design. In addition to bringing radically affordable new technology to the market-ready point, D-Rev supports the Cooper-Hewitt exhibit Design for the Other 90%, as well as the creation of courses on design for the other 90% in Universities around the world. Windhorse International is a for-profit company which combines radically affordable technology with radically decentralized supply chains to earn profits serving bottom billion customers. Polak's book, Out of Poverty: What Works When Traditional Approaches Fail has rapidly become the bible for anyone looking for practical solutions to global poverty.

Mohan Uttarwar

Mohan Uttarwar Mohan Uttarwar has been Chief Strategy Officer of BioImagene, Inc. since October 6, 2008 and serves as its President. Mr. Uttarwar has more than 20 years of experience as a high-tech executive and entrepreneur. He is also the co-founder of Roamware Inc., SoftPlus, and Digital Tools Inc. Before Digital Tools, he held various software development and management positions at Hewlett Packard and Intel. He has participated in several executive management programs at Stanford University and is a Charter Member of TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs). Mr. Uttarwar earned a Master's Degree of Science in Computer Science from the Florida Institute of Technology and a Master's Degree of Science in Electrical Engineering from Bombay University in Mumbai.

Dan Wessner

Dan Wessner is chair of the History & Politics Department at Regis University. Previously, he directed the University of Denver's Master's in Development Practice (MDP) program. Prior to DU, he was a Professor of International and Political Studies at Eastern Mennonite University and Associate Professor of International Studies at Bluffton University. He has taught and worked on development projects for extended periods of time in China and Vietnam. Dr. Wessner teaches international law, peacebuilding, sustainable development, and Vietnamese studies. He is a member of the State Bar of California and an ordained minister of the Mennonite Church.

© 2014 iDE. All Rights Reserved.