Meet the Oregon RAIN Team

Meet the Oregon RAIN Team

Caroline Cummings

Executive Director

Caroline Cummings is the Executive Director Oregon RAIN. She provides strategic leadership for the organization’s personnel, development, stakeholder relations, and community partnerships.

In her dual role as the Venture Catalyst Manager, Cummings oversees the execution of RAIN’s Rural Venture Catalyst programs. She provide outreach and support to small and rural communities; she coaches and mentors regional entrepreneurs, builds strategic local partnerships, and leads educational workshops.

Prior to joining Oregon RAIN, Cummings served on the executive team at Palo Alto Software – the world’s leader in business planning and financial management software for start-ups and small businesses. She has contributed to the founding and growth of various entrepreneurial programs in Oregon. She’s invited regularly to guest lecture and serve as a judge for various business, marketing, and entrepreneurship classes and events at the University of Oregon, Oregon State University, and her alma mater, Drexel University in Philadelphia.

Cummings additionally co-founded and served as the CEO of two technology startups. She’s raised close to one million dollars for her own startup ventures, has raised close to four million dollars for non-profit organizations she’s passionate about. She’s personally invested in eight Oregon-based startup companies (most of which are women-led).

Cummings serves on the Oregon Economic Development Association (OEDA) board of directors, and represents the voice for entrepreneurs and innovators from around the state. She was a recipient of a 20 Under 40 Award in 2008 in Eugene, Oregon. Her biggest passion is mentoring women and young girls, and helping people see the magic in stepping outside of their comfort zones.   

Caroline Cummings

Executive Director

Caroline Cummings is the Executive Director Oregon RAIN. She provides strategic leadership for the organization’s personnel, development, stakeholder relations, and community partnerships.

In her dual role as the Venture Catalyst Manager, Cummings oversees the execution of RAIN’s Rural Venture Catalyst programs. She provide outreach and support to small and rural communities; she coaches and mentors regional entrepreneurs, builds strategic local partnerships, and leads educational workshops.

Prior to joining Oregon RAIN, Cummings served on the executive team at Palo Alto Software. She has contributed to the founding and growth of various entrepreneurial programs in Oregon, including  Smart-ups, the Willamette Angels Conference, and the Southern Oregon Angel Investor Conference. She’s invited regularly to guest lecture and serve as a judge for various business, marketing, and entrepreneurship classes and events at the University of Oregon, Oregon State University, and her alma mater, Drexel University in Philadelphia.

Cummings additionally co-founded and served as the CEO of two technology startups. She’s raised close to one million dollars for her own startup ventures, has raised two million dollars for non-profit organizations she’s passionate about, and has personally invested in eight Oregon-based startup companies.

Cummings serves on the Oregon Economic Development Association (OEDA) board of directors, and represents the voice for entrepreneurs and innovators from around the state. She was a recipient of a 20 Under 40 Award in 2008.  

Jennifer Damiani

Director of Development & Operations

Jennifer Damiani is the Director of Development and Operations for Oregon RAIN. She leads RAIN’s grant writing efforts, monitors active grants, writes funder progress reports, researches and tracks funding opportunities, supports the organization’s stewardship efforts, drafts contracts between RAIN and its partners, and works closely with the Executive Director to ensure that the organization’s day-to-day operations run smoothly and efficiently.

With a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a law degree, Damiani brings a unique skill set to the job. As the founder of Scout Consultants, she has secured more than $10 million in grant funding over the past decade for her clients. Damiani has helped RAIN raise $540,000 in grant funding over the past 1 ½ years.

Jennifer Damiani

Director of Development & Operations

Jennifer Damiani is the Director of Development and Operations for Oregon RAIN. She leads RAIN’s grant writing efforts, monitors active grants, writes funder progress reports, researches and tracks funding opportunities, supports the organization’s stewardship efforts, drafts contracts between RAIN and its partners, and works closely with the Executive Director to ensure that the organization’s day-to-day operations run smoothly and efficiently.

With a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a law degree, Damiani brings a unique skill set to the job. As the founder of Scout Consultants, she has secured more than $10 million in grant funding over the past decade for her clients. Damiani has helped RAIN raise $540,000 in grant funding over the past 1 ½ years.

Corey Wright

Linn Benton Venture Catalyst

Corey Wright is the dedicated Venture Catalyst for Linn and Benton counties. He supports regional entrepreneurs by connecting them to strategic resources for launching and scaling high-growth business ventures, including making mentor connections, hosting various educational programs, and helping regional startups get ready to raise capital. He promotes broad community participation and support for the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, and provides asset mapping for community startup resources.

Wright is an inventor and entrepreneur with strong local roots. He graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in chemistry. He is the founder and CEO of Massif Games, a game publishing startup making innovative 3D products and accessories for customers around the globe. Wright successfully raised money for Massif Games through multiple crowdfunding campaigns, and is currently known as having the most successful Kickstarter funded in the Corvallis area ($145,148 / 1,686 backers).

Corey Wright

Linn Benton Venture Catalyst

Corey Wright is the dedicated Venture Catalyst for Linn and Benton counties. He supports regional entrepreneurs by connecting them to strategic resources for launching and scaling high-growth business ventures, including mentor connections, educational and training programs, and access to capital. He promotes broads community participation and support for the the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, and provides asset mapping for community startup resources.

Wright is an inventor and entrepreneur with strong local roots. He graduated from Oregon State with a degree in chemistry. And he is the founder and CEO of Massif Games, a game publishing startup making innovative 3D products and accessories for customers around the globe. Wright successfully raised money for Massif Games through multiple crowdfunding campaigns, and is currently known as having the most successful Kickstarter funded in the Corvallis area ($145,148 / 1,686 backers).

Raj Vable

Rural Venture Catalyst

Raj Vable is the dedicated Venture Catalyst for Rural Lane County (currently Oakridge, Lowell, and Veneta). He supports regional entrepreneurs by connecting them to strategic resources for launching and scaling high-growth business ventures, including mentor connections, educational and training programs, and access to capital. He promotes broads community participation and support for the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Raj hails from a small town in Michigan, and since his early years, he’s been convinced that rural towns have enormous untapped potential. He started his company Young Mountain Tea to explore that potential, and it all began with a promise – if remote  Himalayan communities would grow tea, Raj would set up a company in the US to sell it. At the time, he was in N. India on a Fulbright Fellowship, working to create sustainable rural livelihoods. Prior to that, he worked on a variety of entrepreneurial projects to introduce renewable energy to rural Indian communities.

Raj also serves on the board of Wild Gift, a non-profit dedicated to supporting early-stage social entrepreneurs. He holds an MS in Environmental Studies from the U. Oregon and a BS in Electrical Engineering from U. Michigan.

Raj Vable

Rural Venture Catalyst

Raj Vable is the dedicated Venture Catalyst for Rural Lane County (currently Oakridge, Lowell, and Veneta). He supports regional entrepreneurs by connecting them to strategic resources for launching and scaling high-growth business ventures, including mentor connections, educational and training programs, and access to capital. He promotes broads community participation and support for the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Raj hails from a small town in Michigan, and since his early years, he’s been convinced that rural towns have enormous untapped potential. He started his company Young Mountain Tea to explore that potential, and it all began with a promise – if remote  Himalayan communities would grow tea, Raj would set up a company in the US to sell it. At the time, he was in N. India on a Fulbright Fellowship, working to create sustainable rural livelihoods. Prior to that, he worked on a variety of entrepreneurial projects to introduce renewable energy to rural Indian communities.

Raj also serves on the board of Wild Gift, a non-profit dedicated to supporting early-stage social entrepreneurs. He holds an MS in Environmental Studies from the U. Oregon and a BS in Electrical Engineering from U. Michigan.

Ariel Ruben

Oregon Coast Venture Catalyst

Ariel Ruben is the dedicated Venture Catalyst for the Oregon Mid-Coast Region (Florence up through Lincoln City). She supports regional entrepreneurs by connecting them to strategic resources for launching and scaling growth-focused business ventures; including making mentor connections, hosting various educational programs, and helping startups get fund-ready. She promotes broad community participation and support for the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Ariel used to help run the San Diego Venture Group, an organization similar to Oregon RAIN and has a background with food startups. Ariel understands what it takes to build a successful company that is both scrappy and scalable. She is a passionate supporter of entrepreneurship and innovation, and has served as a mentor and instructor for the RAIN Eugene accelerator and Oregon RAIN since returning to the community two years ago.

Ariel Ruben

Oregon Coast Venture Catalyst

Ariel Ruben is the dedicated Venture Catalyst for the Oregon Mid-Coast Region (Florence to Lincoln City). She supports regional entrepreneurs by connecting them to strategic resources for launching and scaling high-growth business ventures, including mentor connections, educational and training programs, and access to capital. She promotes broad community participation and support for the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Ariel used to help run the San Diego Venture Group, an organization similar to Oregon RAIN and has a background with food startups. Ariel understands what it takes to build a successful company that is both scrappy and scalable. She is a passionate supporter of entrepreneurship and innovation, and has served as a mentor and instructor for RAIN Eugene and Oregon RAIN since returning to the community two years ago.

Stephanie LeQuieu

Rural Venture Catalyst

Stephanie LeQuieu is the dedicated Rural Venture Catalyst for Grant County, including the cities of John Day, Canyon City, and Prairie City. She supports regional entrepreneurs by connecting them to strategic resources for launching and scaling growth-focused business ventures, including making mentor connections, providing educational and training programs, and access to capital. She promotes broad community participation and support for the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Stephanie was born and raised in south eastern Oregon. While attending Oregon State University she was signed to a recording contract and moved to Los Angeles, California. It was during that time she reconnected with her long time friend Marc LeQuieu where they married and moved to Africa. After starting a family, they returned to Oregon and have lived in Grant County since 2009.

Stephanie is an entrepreneur and business owner who understands the obstacles and challenges one faces in rural businesses ownership. Her consulting and marketing company works with many businesses from all over the world including Glock, Kel Tec, and American Zealot Productions. Stephanie’s love of mentoring led her to work with Grant County Economic Development as the Farmers Market Manager and Agri-tourism advisor.

Stephanie also serves on the board of Painted Sky Center for the Arts, and volunteers with Youth in the Arts Program.

Stephanie Headshot
Stephanie Headshot

Stephanie LeQuieu

Rural Venture Catalyst

Stephanie LeQuieu is the dedicated Rural Venture Catalyst for Grant County, including the cities of John Day, Canyon City, and Prairie City. She supports regional entrepreneurs by connecting them to strategic resources for launching and scaling growth-focused business ventures, including making mentor connections, providing educational and training programs, and access to capital. She promotes broad community participation and support for the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Stephanie was born and raised in south eastern Oregon. While attending Oregon State University she was signed to a recording contract and moved to Los Angeles, California. It was during that time she reconnected with her long time friend Marc LeQuieu where they married and moved to Africa. After starting a family, they returned to Oregon and have lived in Grant County since 2009.

Stephanie is an entrepreneur and business owner who understands the obstacles and challenges one faces in rural businesses ownership. Her consulting and marketing company works with many businesses from all over the world including Glock, Kel Tec, and American Zealot Productions. Stephanie’s love of mentoring led her to work with Grant County Economic Development as the Farmers Market Manager and Agri-tourism advisor.

Stephanie also serves on the board of Painted Sky Center for the Arts, and volunteers with Youth in the Arts Program.

Dr. Rod Ray

Entrepreneur in Residence, Grant County

Dr. Ray is the former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Bend Research, Inc., where he began working in 1983. During his time at Bend Research, Dr. Ray (a Chemical Engineer) held numerous positions specializing in the development and commercialization of a wide range of technology-based products. He was instrumental in leading large-scale programs to develop technology for pharmaceutical products, and the application of these technologies to advance numerous new drugs to market. Dr. Ray and his team developed many long-standing relationships with client pharmaceutical companies—catalyzing significant growth at Bend Research. And, in addition to pharmaceuticals, Dr. Ray has extensive experience developing and commercializing technologies for diverse products in the electronics, energy, medical agricultural, and space industries.

Dr. Ray owns a ranch in the region and has always been committed to serving Central Oregon. He has Chaired the County Mental Health Advisory Board, was a long-time Board Member and past Chair of Volunteers in Medicine, and is currently a Board Member and the Treasurer of Mosaic Medical—these organizations provide high-quality medical care to the underserved in Central Oregon. Dr. Ray teaches courses in Thermodynamics and Leadership at Oregon State University’s Cascades campus in Bend, and in 2017 was selected to receive the OSU Cascades Distinguished Service Award. Also in 2017, he was selected by the Bend Chamber of Commerce as Bend’s Citizen of the Year for significant contributions to the Bend Community. Dr. Ray holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Oregon State University, and a Master’s degree and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Colorado. Dr. Ray is a Registered Professional Engineer in Colorado and Oregon, and he holds 23 U.S. Patents and has over 40 scientific publications.

Dr. Rod Ray

Entrepreneur in Residence, Grant County

Dr. Ray is the former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Bend Research, Inc., where he began working in 1983. During his time at Bend Research, Dr. Ray (a Chemical Engineer) held numerous positions specializing in the development and commercialization of a wide range of technology-based products. He was instrumental in leading large-scale programs to develop technology for pharmaceutical products, and the application of these technologies to advance numerous new drugs to market. Dr. Ray and his team developed many long-standing relationships with client pharmaceutical companies—catalyzing significant growth at Bend Research. And, in addition to pharmaceuticals, Dr. Ray has extensive experience developing and commercializing technologies for diverse products in the electronics, energy, medical agricultural, and space industries.

Dr. Ray owns a ranch in the region and has always been committed to serving Central Oregon. He has Chaired the County Mental Health Advisory Board, was a long-time Board Member and past Chair of Volunteers in Medicine, and is currently a Board Member and the Treasurer of Mosaic Medical—these organizations provide high-quality medical care to the underserved in Central Oregon. Dr. Ray teaches courses in Thermodynamics and Leadership at Oregon State University’s Cascades campus in Bend, and in 2017 was selected to receive the OSU Cascades Distinguished Service Award. Also in 2017, he was selected by the Bend Chamber of Commerce as Bend’s Citizen of the Year for significant contributions to the Bend Community. Dr. Ray holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Oregon State University, and a Master’s degree and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Colorado. Dr. Ray is a Registered Professional Engineer in Colorado and Oregon, and he holds 23 U.S. Patents and has over 40 scientific publications.

Join the RAIN Team