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Justin Vanning
Justin Vanning

—Porch has picked up two new high-profile employees: Justin Vanning has left his role as Director of Growth Marketing at Tune (formerly HasOffers) to become the Senior Manager of Marketing and Growth, and ValueAppeal CEO Charlie Walsh has taken on a role as the Senior Director of Data Products.

Vanning said in an email to GeekWire that he will be charged with growing the Porch Professional business under Joanna Lord, and was drawn to the company because of its leadership team as well as how much room the company has to grow.

“They’re building out beautiful sites and products in a space (the home improvement and really all things home space) that has been pretty stale and stagnant for so long,” he said. “I also love how they are so data driven and rely on data and their killer in-house analytics team to help in their growth focused marketing efforts. Being a data driven and visual/creative marketer, it was just too good of an opportunity to pass up.”

Walsh joins Porch following the acquisition of his company earlier this week. At the time, it wasn’t disclosed that he would be making the move along with the ValueAppeal team, but it’s now clear that he’ll be joining the home improvement company, according to Walsh’s LinkedIn profile. Earlier on GeekWire: Porch launches new features, discloses $33M in total funding, with Lowe’s as major investor

Susan Preston
Susan Preston

—Seattle Angel Fund announced a new fund focused on providing investments for launch stage startups in the Pacific Northwest, managed by Susan Preston.

Preston is a General Partner for the CalCEF Clean Energy Angel Fund, the Buerk Endowed Fellow for Entrepreneurship at the University of Washington, and a Trustee for the Angel Resource Institute. The fund will typically invest in five to seven companies a year, and investments will be selected based on due diligence done by the investors in the fund themselves.

“I am thrilled being chosen as manager for the Seattle Angel Fund. I have spent the last 15 years being heavily engaged in advancing angel investing and entrepreneurship,” Preston said in a press release. “The opportunity is enormous to help support growth of angel investing and entrepreneurship in the Pacific Northwest.”

—Rackspace, which competes with Microsoft, Amazon and Google in cloud hosting services, said that it plans to remain independent under the direction of new CEO Taylor Rhodes. Rhodes had served as president of the company. He replaces Chairman Graham Weston who filled the CEO role after Lanham Napier stepped down in February.

Barry Allen
Barry Allen

—Barry Allen has joined Jama Software as its Chief Financial Officer. Most recently, Allen served as the President and Chief Operating Officer of Corbis, where he previously worked as the company’s CFO. He has also served as the CFO for Market Leader, Move.com, Marketwave and Cascade Design Automation.

“The use of new collaboration technologies within software and product development is exploding, and Jama is a leader in this new technology wave,” Allen said in a press release. “I’m excited to join an innovative company and look forward to working with Jama’s impressive leaders.”

—Matt Gerber has been named the President and CEO of Digital Fortress, a Seattle-based retail services colocation provider. He brings with him 25 years of experience growing technology companies, most recently as the Executive Vice President of Sales at 2nd Watch. Prior to that, he also served as the CEO of IT-Lifeline and SprayCool. In addition to his new role, Gerber also serves as a board member for the Blue Box Group and Rohinne.

“We are excited to have Matt in the leadership role at Digital Fortress,” Digital Fortress Chairman Mark Hughes said in a press release.  “He possesses a clear understanding of what customers want from an infrastructure provider and the first hand experience in building successful infrastructure and cloud companies.

Ed O'Keefe
Ed O’Keefe

—Ed O’Keefe has joined Evo Media Group as the company’s new Chief Executive Officer. Prior to his new role, O’Keefe held a number of leadership roles at companies including CIAmedia, Telmetrics and European Directories Group.

Evo Co-Founder and President Mark Michael told GeekWire in an email that he wanted to bring on a chief executive with deep industry knowledge to lead the company, which runs DevHub, a free website builder for small businesses. At the moment, the company has 33 channel partners around the world, and is hosting more than 1 million small business sites.

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