Wolves not Unicorns
Innovation Collective is a team made up of individuals who believe their purpose is to make a radical difference.
We are a passionate group who are relentlessly helping humans all over the world unlock their potential to transform economies and cities.
Founder & CEO
Nicholas Chabrán-Acevedo Smoot
Nick is a globally respected community and economic strategist. He is a 4x entrepreneur (3 exits), venture capital investor, real estate developer, and ecosystem builder.
His work in startup ecosystems has been recognized by organizations like Google, Brookings, Milken Institute, and Bloomberg. He has been interviewed for Bloomberg West, BBC, Entrepreneurship Magazine, and Fast Company.
Nick has developed national job strategies, award winning education/workforce training programs, and youth leadership development programs. He is a Milken Institute Young Leader and has spent time in over 200 cities in the last decade working with government, education, industry, and community members of all types as he focuses in on the reproducible art of community lead ecosystem development.
Nick loves hiking deep in the woods of Idaho and can often be seen playing tennis with his two sons.
Chief Operating Officer
Steve Rogers has spent nearly 30 years in his career working to help businesses and the people within those businesses develop and succeed. With a BA in Business Administration, he has worked at constant growth and evolution whether it was a small startup or a large multi-national corporation.
Over that time, Steve has been involved in industries spanning from Hospitality both in Restaurants and Wine, Data Rental and Extraction, Human Resources and Staffing, Digital Marketing, Criminal Law and Alcohol Monitoring, to mention a few. All with the emphasis of providing a foundation of steadfast leadership and objective analysis of processes while hyper-focused on keeping balance within the organization to create a healthy environment of growth and consistency within the team.
Chief Commercial Officer
Garen is a global business development executive and 3X entrepreneur with more than 20 years of professional experience within revenue management, sales & marketing and product development. Prior to joining Innovation Collective, he was Director of Strategic Partnering with automaker BMW Group’s Designworks global consultancy where he led strategic product development engagements for the world’s most recognizable transportation companies, airlines, aircraft OEMs, governments and startups. Prior to joining BMW Group Designworks in 2013, Garen was Commercial Director and Co-Founder at CuldeSac, Spain. In his time at CuldeSac he helped construct a leading creative consultancy who delivered retail activation and product launch strategies for renown luxury brands such as Aston Martin, LVMH and Tiffany’s.
Vice President of Community
Originally hailing from Seattle, Chris lives in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. He is the Vice President of Communities for the Innovation Collective, a role he has served in since 2015. As the VP of Communities, Chris’s current focus is on developing the community transformation arm of Innovation Collective. He oversees all Innovation Collective programming, the Innovation Collective Leadership Network, and overall community engagement as well as launching new communities.
Chris started his professional life in the non-profit sector focused on leadership development with junior high and high school students. His career has included time as an on-air radio talent, developing leadership programs for schools, and starting a new media consultancy in the very early days of podcasting. Most recently Chris lead teams of consultants as an executive in the world of full stack IT consulting and has a history in network administration, network architecture, and as a virtual CIO for hundreds of companies throughout the Northwest and Alaska.
Director of Events
Heidi Cochran is the Innovation Collective’s Director of Events. For 6 years Heidi has been instrumental in systematizing, planning and executing both large multi-day festivals and shorter events. With a background in business process development and implementation Heidi came to Innovation Collective with over a decade of experience leading various companies in multiple industries towards systems based processes and efficient logistics.
Heidi’s background in the retail, finance, manufacturing, and the non-profit spaces, has given her a well-rounded view of how to strategically and leanly create efficient processes. She has project managed, lead and executed large events including national conventions for the paper crafting industry as well as Innovation Collective’s various Think Big Festivals. Heidi is based in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
Community Lead - Brooksville, FL
Raised a few minutes east of the Appalachian Trail - getting your mind out in the wild is something I constantly seek. I believe activity, serenity, and challenges are what build us. I've been around education most my life - but I'm after what traditional education can't quite touch. It's taken me from PA to Texas and Florida. I'm inspired by others - and their courage drives my curiosity. If we ever have an opportunity to chat - I know we'll both come away with a new idea that improves some snippet of humanity. That's what I'm here for.
Community Lead - Utica, NY
Taylor has spent most of his career up and down the east coast in different corners of the educational and healthcare sectors. He cares deeply about enhancing the lives of those in underserved communities. He served as an elected official in a small town in rural central New York. Prior to IC, Taylor served as a regional administrator under the US Department of Agriculture, Census Bureau. Taylor has immersed himself in the startup culture though his own personal startups and through assisting those trying to get their ideas off the ground in the Mohawk Valley. In his free time, he can be seen either on a bicycle, or with a bass guitar in hand.
Community Lead - Coeur d'Alene, ID
Hi my name is Morgan Dixon,
I started my first business when I was 15 years old. I raised $27,000 to develop an app for students with Autism and Dyslexia. While I was on my traveling around the Northwest to school districts to sell my app to I saw that there was a need for affordable tech. In 2019 I started my first 501c3 that collects used mobile devices and redistributes them to low-income families in and around the Inland Northwest.
Director of Growth
Trevor has spent the last fifteen years as a growth leader in a variety of verticals. Having spent several years working in banking, Trevor made the leap to leave his 9-5 job to become entrepreneur. During that time he found his niche helping SaaS based FinTech companies grow and scale.
When he is not working with communities throughout the country, you'll find him with his wife and two kids, and enjoying time with close friends.
Background in the media business and corporate training and development focusing on leadership, communication, strategic planning, sales and team dynamics. Loves being part of this wonderful tribe of of incredibly smart and creative minds that will leave the world better than we found it.