Julie Huls, Founder/CEO
Julie helps smart cities and their business leaders power institutional change fueled by technology and innovation. Ms. Huls has twenty years of experience in management and strategic initiatives and a track record of engaging and strengthening relationships with the business and community stakeholders required to execute on bold visions. Ms. Huls has served as President and CEO of the Austin Technology Council, an association that represented 300 Central Texas technology companies, their executives and $29 billion in annual regional economic impact. While at the Tech Council, Ms. Huls led regional technology CXOs, and startup entrepreneurs through the strategic planning process, conducted the first regional technology economic impact study, negotiated the first tech industry partnership with the city of Austin, and launched the annual CEO Summit, a regional leadership platform event that consistently garnered national media attention. While at ATC, Julie served on the Board of Directors at the Technology Councils of North America (TECNA), an international organization for CEOs leading technology industry advocacy and educational associations. She has also served as CEO of the DoSeum, a STEM education organization and children’s museum in San Antonio.
Joan Siefert Rose, Entrepreneurial Ecosystems
Joan is an experienced builder of technology-based entrepreneurial networks and communities. Joan served as the CEO of the Research Triangle Park, NC-based Council for Entrepreneurial Development (CED) for eight years leading one of the nation’s largest and longest-running support organizations for tech and life science startups. Her work there included creating and running the Tech Venture conference, an annual showcase of North Carolina’s leading startups, which attracts up to 1,200 entrepreneurs, investors, industry representatives, service professionals and academics.
Joan’s other accomplishments at CED included creating a statewide mentoring program, pairing entrepreneurs with a customized team of advisors; implementing an “Entrepreneur Hall of Fame” awards ceremony to honor the region’s leading innovators; and conducting a successful capital campaign that led to sustained financial support for the organization. While at CED, Joan served on the Board of Directors at the Technology Councils of North America (TECNA), an international organization for CEOs leading technology industry advocacy and educational associations.
Since 2016, Joan has run LaunchBio, a nonprofit support network serving life science startups in Durham, NC; San Diego; Cambridge, MA; San Francisco; and New York City. As LaunchBio’s first CEO, she has worked with the Board of Directors to set up the organizational framework, create and implement program strategy, and raise operating funds. In 2018, LaunchBio’s educational programs attracted 200-250 people, on average, to each monthly gathering.
Brandi Harrison, Creative Director
Brandi’s 15-year career in communications spans broadcast journalism, design instruction and today, as creative director and principal of TypeJar Studio, LLC, which serves small to medium-sized clients with branding, design and marketing services.
"Waymaker Group has become a trusted partner to Kenosha industry and civic leaders and helped us quicken the pace on a critical project that will transform our community’s economy. They push our market to position from our strengths, to think bigger about the region’s future and are sensitive to our community’s dynamics."
Sr. Vice President, Jockey International, Inc.
"Every city needs somebody like Julie Huls. Julie has a unique talent to position stakeholders ahead of the curve while managing the fears and resistance typically associated with change. Her energy, vision, professionalism and attention to detail are unmatched."
Cheif Programming Officer, SXSW
"Waymaker Group is an asset for any region trying to grow. Their ability to bring together leaders across entire spectrums was critical in making Austin the tech hub it is today and a testament to their transformational leadership ability."
CEO, Black Box
"The Waymaker Group brings the combined power of insight and collaborative leadership required to take innovation economies forward."
SCEO, SaaS Advisor, Board Director
"If your goal is to position your market for success, Waymaker is your fastest way forward. People value their ability to combine data with soulful insight and organically follow their lead."
"As an investor, there’s no better group to have in my corner than Waymaker. Their ability to grasp long-range technology trends, along with their uncanny ability to read individual talent makes picking market winners that much easier."
Managing Director, Mercury Fund
"Julie Huls is a true transformational leader whose vision and dedication has been instrumental in growing the Austin tech community into what it is today."