Debi Coleman, Managing Partner of SmartForest Ventures, is one of the most recognized female executives in technology management. Debi stepped down as Chairman of the Board of Merix Corp. (NASDAQ: MERX) in September 2001, having served as Chair since October 1999, and serving as both CEO/Chair since its spin-out from Tektronix, Inc. in March 1994 (IPO: May, 1994). Prior to that she was Vice President Materials/Operations for Tektronix. She is perhaps best known for her career achievements with Apple Computer, Inc. where she held the positions of Vice President of Operations, Chief Financial Officer, and Vice President Information Systems and Technology.
Coleman serves as an advisor to three venture funds: PacRim Partners (CA); Utah Ventures; and Alexander Hutton Ventures (Seattle). She has been an active angel investor since 1995 and is a founding member of the Portland Angel Network.
Coleman graduated from Brown University with a BA in English Literature in 1974 and received her MBA from Stanford University in 1978. She also received an honorary Ph.D in Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1987. Coleman was named a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute in 1997.
Coleman devotes time and energy to several organizations including the Oregon Arts Commission; Oregon Ballet Theatre; Anita Borg Institute for Women in Technology; Brown University and International Womenâ€™s Forum. She currently serves on the boards of Applied Materials Inc.; Synopsys, Inc.; Kryptiq; Neopad; Teseda; Concero; Phoseon and Reply!.