STAFF

Mason Burley

Chief Executive Officer

Mason Burley, PhD brings over two decades of experience in the public, philanthropic, corporate and university sectors to his role as chief executive officer of Urbanova. He joined the team in 2022 and oversees every aspect of the organization’s mission, strategy, and portfolio of projects. Previously, Mason served as director of research and community impact at Innovia Foundation and in senior research roles at both Premier, Inc. and the Washington State Institute for Public Policy. He currently holds an appointment as a quarterly faculty member in the Eastern Washington University College of Professional Programs. Mason earned a doctoral degree from Washington State University (2017) and a certificate in advanced evaluation practices from The Evaluators Institute at Claremont Graduate University (2021). He is a member of several national groups that focus on social innovation and impact including Charity Navigator’s Consultative Council of Nonprofit Leaders and the LEAP of Reason Ambassador’s Community.

Kim Zentz

Principal Consultant/Co-founder

Kim Zentz, P.E., is co-founder of Urbanova, and now oversees a portfolio of projects primarily focused on energy equity and environmental justice.  Her career spans executive, entrepreneurial, and project leadership across utilities, transportation, tech-based economic development, higher education, and clean-tech startup companies. Kim’s leadership positions include CEO of Innovate Washington, CEO of the Spokane Transit Authority, founding president and COO of Avista Labs (now ReliOn/Plug Power) and several executive positions for Avista Utilities. She is also director of urban innovation for Washington State University (WSU) and previously served as director of the engineering and technology management online graduate program for WSU’s College of Engineering and Architecture. Kim has provided leadership in the community on the boards of the University District Development Association, Spokane County United Way, Mobius Science Center, and Greater Spokane Incorporated, among others. She holds a BSCE from the University of Idaho and a Master of Engineering Management from WSU.

Justin Whicker

Software Engineer / Project Manager

Justin is a software engineer supporting Urbanova’s technology initiatives. As project manager and lead developer of Urbanova Cloud, he’s working with Urbanova’s partners to support innovative, cross-sector data collaborations to help understand issues our communities are facing – and using data and technology to enable equitable solutions for all residents. Justin graduated from WSU’s Voiland College of Engineering in 2019 with a B.S. in computer science and brings a breadth of expertise in mobile and web application development. His previous work experience consisted in the developing and testing of industrial computer firmware along with web, backend, and mobile phone application solutions.