Welcome Aleshia, Pat, and Bill to the FORGE Family!

Aug. 10, 2021

With the fall semester right around the corner, we are excited to introduce three new members to our team!

Join us in welcoming Aleshia Howell, Patrick (Pat) Hager, and William (Bill) Waynick to the FORGE Family, and keep reading to find out how you too can get involved with FORGE this fall.

Aleshia Howell, Program Coordinator FORGE at Roy Place

Aleshia joins the FORGE team as a seasoned adult education administrator and community builder. After an 8-year career in higher education admissions, she moved into the startup world, where she served as Director of Admissions at Mobile Makers Academy in Chicago, then went on to co-found Codebase, an education startup in the technology space in Savannah, Ga., which offered a 9-week course for adults in native iOS development and paid apprenticeship opportunities to top performers. She also served as Executive Chair of Savannah's tech and innovation conference, GRIT, from 2017 to 2019.

Aleshia grew up in southwest Michigan and has since lived in seven U.S. states and abroad. She holds an undergraduate degree in journalism and secondary education from Ball State University and a master's degree in higher education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where her studies focused on higher education innovation, alternative models of education and credentialing, the future of work, and accreditation reform. 

In her role as a Program Coordinator for FORGE at Roy Place, she will be working with Startup Tucson to create and run community-facing programs which support entrepreneurship in Tucson. She will also manage the Roy Place building which houses FORGE and Startup Tucson. Aleshia describes that she is coming to the table at FORGE with experience in system and event operations, adult education program development, and uniting passionate people working on cool things.

"I look forward to connecting with my new community and creating a fun, thriving space where people can discover, explore, connect, learn and grow together."

Patrick (Pat) Hager, Executive in Residence

Pat joins the FORGE team as an XiR after a 30-year career at the 3M Co. in St Paul MN, known for innovative technologies and products.  Pat served chiefly as a product & process development scientist in 4 different verticals (retail, industrial, automotive and healthcare) to create new products and markets and generate new dollar sales in excess of $4.5 billion.


Pat co-founded an internal new opportunity team based on direct engagement with customers, helping drive the creation of new-to-the-world businesses and markets, and which exemplified ‘intrapreneurship’ within the corporate structure.  Pat held numerous technical leadership roles in 3M and retired as a Corporate Scientist in 2017, subsequently moving to Tucson in 2019.


Pat earned a BS in Chemistry and PhD in Polymer Science from the Institute of Polymer Science & Engineering in Akron, Ohio and since retirement has kept active by volunteering with FORGE in their AEP programs, as an NSF ICORPS mentor, as well as with Archaeology Southwest on Hohokam era artifact identification and reconstruction.  Pat also enjoys biking, hiking, traveling and continued learning.


As an Executive in Residence, Pat will work to provide mentoring, input, and guidance to Founders within the FORGE ecosystem.  He seeks to leverage his industrial experience to help Founders anticipate and navigate their companies toward successful exits, and to help nurture and develop early-stage startups as they develop their business vision.

William (Bill) Waynick, Executive in Residence

Bill Waynick retired as a Colonel from the US Air Force in September of 2021 after 30-years of passionate and dedicated service. He received his commission in 1991, graduating from the University of Arizona’s ROTC program with a bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems.


Bill started his military career as a computer programmer and worked his way through a myriad of experiences to include over ten combat deployments, mostly supporting special operations, and finishing as the Director of Air Force CyberWorx, the service’s innovation hub for all things cyber. He is an industry-recognized CIO, Senior IT, Innovation and Technology Director with experience providing large-scale enterprise-wide communication and collaboration services for the DoD. And he is known as a sleeves-up leader of large IT organizations with a unique ability to discover hidden opportunities to provide max value for internal and customer-facing operations.

Bill has proven success driving digital transformation across the US Air and Space Forces, leading hundreds of highly-trained IT experts in designing, developing, and delivering multiple transformational efforts serving hundreds of thousands of customers. He gained recognition for excellence and trust from senior DoD officials to lead and innovate in the most complex environments. Additionally, he is an exceptional communicator, serving as keynote speaker and panelist at numerous national industry and cyber forums. Along the way, Bill picked up three more master’s degrees in Computer Information Systems, Military Operational Art & Science, and Strategic Studies.

Bill is now serving as an Executive in Residence for FORGE as well as serving as a board member for the non-profit Arizona Cyber Initiative program which is focused on educating and motivating Arizona’s high school students to seek opportunities in the cyber ecosystem. 

In his role with FORGE, he will work with entrepreneurs to develop business plans, go-to-market and financing strategies, and other key business development materials.


We are excited to offer a wide array of student positions this fall. Learn more below, and click the links to apply today!

FORGE Ambassador
Volunteer Position, 3h/week
Application Deadline August 24th
Apply today!

The primary mission of FORGE Ambassadors will be to cultivate entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial thinking at the University of Arizona. Ambassadors will achieve this mission by sharing personal entrepreneurial knowledge and experiences and generating visibility of FORGE through meeting with students, presenting to student groups and organizations, staffing tabling events, posting on social media, and representing FORGE at other outreach events as needed. 

Student Venture Pathways Assistant
$12.15/h, 10h/week
Application Deadline August 31st
Apply today!

The Student Venture Pathways Assistants will be responsible for assisting the Program Manager in implementation of programs such as Sponsored Challenges, Venturing 101 mini-courses, Advanced Entrepreneur Program, FORGE Ambassadors, and other programs as they are developed. There are multiple positions available and students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible before the deadlines.  Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

FORGE at Roy Place Assistant
$12.15/h, 10h/week
Application Deadline August 31st
Apply today!

The FORGE at Roy Place Assistant will be responsible for assisting the Program Coordinator in ensuring smooth operations of the Roy Place building and its activities.
This position will be based at the Roy Place building, located at 44 N. Stone Avenue in downtown Tucson.