Contact Information

Mount Vernon, WA 98273
contact@sbventuregroup.com

360.399.6263

 
 
 

Why Spinach bus ventures?

Life lessons from the land.

Growing up, when the summer sun rose over “The Valley,” there was no sleeping in for the founders of Spinach Bus Ventures. They were up and at ’em, out in the fields, helping farmers harvest and sometimes sell their bounty.

Often times this included boarding an actual “Spinach Bus” to be transported to various farms around the area to work in the fields.

These seminal experiences instilled a sense of purpose and accomplishment that helped shape them as individuals. Now, having built successful careers in their own right, it only makes sense to return to where they started to create Spinach Bus Ventures to help promote, preserve and create economic development in the place that helped define who they are today.

 
 
 
 

who we are

A team of skagitonians that know the value of our roots

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managing partner

rachael ward sparwasser

Rachael grew up on Beaver Marsh Road, in the heart of Skagit County’s rich agricultural land where she attended Washington Elementary and LaVenture Middle School. Upon graduation from Mount Vernon High School, Rachael received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Puget Sound before earning a law degree (J.D.) from the University of Washington School of Law.

Rachael is a founding partner of the Dethelfs Sparwasser Reich Dickerson law firm in Edmonds, Washington. She also started Valley Equity Group, a commercial real estate investment firm in Denver, Colorado focusing on strategic investment opportunities around the country. Additionally, Rachael owns several closely-held companies outside of her law practice and investment firm. Her entrepreneurial spirit combined with her background in business law and real estate investment, make her uniquely positioned to help identify and capitalize on unique investment opportunities in Skagit Valley. 

A third generation Skagitonian, much of Rachael’s extended family lives in the Valley. Her parents, Ernie and Patti Ward, started Valley Electric Company of Mount Vernon in 1982, and Mount Vernon served as the business’ headquarters for many years.

Rachael is proud to be a mother of three amazing children. Together they’ve travelled the world, lived abroad and enjoyed learning about different cultures and perspectives. Getting to know other parts of the world has instilled a fundamental appreciation of the Pacific Northwest, which they will always consider “home.”

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President & coo

Angela Speer

Born and raised in the Skagit Valley, Angela attended Jefferson elementary, LaVenture middle school and graduated Mount Vernon High School. After graduation, she headed 60 miles south to study at the University of Washington where she earned a BA in Sociology. 

Angela is a seasoned team leader and problem solver with experience working in cross-functional product management, program management and operational roles. 

Angela specializes in leading cross-discipline project teams through complex project and digital product executions. Her extensive experience with B2B e-commerce web development, loyalty platforms, mobile apps and other digital marketing solutions helps her effectively improve existing standards, optimize performance and deliver results on real world business problems.

Angela’s excited to bring her analytical problem solving skills and operational excellence to the Spinach bus mission. You will see her wearing many hats, which is where she thrives and means she’s having a lot of fun.

Angela makes good use of any free time by satisfying her wanderlust with extensive travel. In fact, she’s been to 5 of the 7 continents. She loves music, dance, art and strongly values time with her friends and family. She’s also known to be seen out on the links displaying her less-than-average golf skills.


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CEO

Andrew Miller

A Skagit Valley native and Mount Vernon High School grad, Andrew left to earn a Juris Doctorate from the Seattle University School of Law, an MBA from Pacific Lutheran University, a Masters in Strategic Studies from the Naval Postgraduate School, a Masters in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University and is a graduate of the Air Command and Staff College and the National Defense University Joint Staff College.

After a career in the Air Force as an intelligence officer, followed by high-profile management stints at Expedia, Weyerhaeuser, and Amazon, Andrew knew it was time to return to his roots and get back to the Valley and raise his family. 

Andrew’s background and experience in law, business and strategy made him a natural fit for the reconfigured Economic Development Association of Skagit County as the Director of Business Retention and Expansion. There he championed the Economic Industry Cluster program in partnership with local chambers of commerce, governments, schools, businesses, and non-profits to shape strategies and spark synergies across 14 industry clusters.

A committed community member, Andrew serves on the Viva Farms Board as Treasurer and Vice Present-elect, the Skagit District committee of the Boy Scouts of America, the Downtown Mount Vernon Association economic development board, the Anacortes economic development committee, and has done strategy and team building work for the Port of Skagit, the Skagit Home Trust, the Sedro-Woolley Downtown Association and the Helping Hands Food Bank.

When he’s not chasing his six kids around the Valley with his beautiful wife Holly, at various sporting, music, arts or whatever else happens to be on the family calendar, you’re most likely to run into Andrew hiking, camping, climbing, and boating around the North Cascades and San Juan Islands.

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CFO

Randy Howard

Randy is a fifth generation Skagitonian.  He started working in the fields of Skagit Valley at the age of 12 and developed a work ethic that still serves him to this day.

After graduating from Mount Vernon High School, he attended Western Washington University where he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Accounting.  Subsequently he earned his Master of Science in Taxation from Golden Gate University. 

Randy is a certified public accountant and has been in the industry for over 20 years.  He is a shareholder at Rekdal Hopkins Howard, PS in Bellevue, WA. Randy’s practice focuses on working with entrepreneurs, closely held businesses, high net worth individuals and executives.  He has a wide variety of industry experience including professional services, retail dealer services, real estate, and manufacturing.  His practice encompasses federal and state tax planning and compliance, buy-sell structuring, strategic planning, succession planning, estate planning, tax controversy, and tax audit representation.

Randy has volunteered on numerous boards on the Eastside of King County.  He is currently the Treasurer for the Bellevue Club Swim Team Boosters.

Randy and his wife, Leslie, live in Bellevue with their two children. When not crunching numbers, Randy enjoys spending time with his family, watching his kids competitively swim, reading, and being outdoors.

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chief development officer

donnie keltz

Donnie is a fourth generation Skagit Valley native who was raised by a deeply rooted family in the farming and fishing industries in the valley. He grew up working in the fields with a variety of crops including berries and cucumbers.

Donnie attended school at Lincoln Elementary, La Venture Middle School, and graduated from Mount Vernon High School where he was a standout athlete on the two time state championship basketball team.  After graduating high school, Donnie attended Clark College where he again helped lead his team to an NWACC tournament championship. Donnie took his leadership and hard work from the basketball court to the business world when he returned to Skagit Valley and started his Allstate insurance agency in 1999. Donnie sold his Allstate agency in 2008 and became a partner at Wycoff Insurance where he continues to provide solutions for businesses as a Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC).

Donnie has served many organizations within the valley including past board member of the Mount Vernon Chamber of Commerce, Mount Vernon Planning Commission, Skagit Valley College Foundation, Deer Run Condominium, Friendship House and Big Brothers Big Sisters. He currently serves as the membership chair and board member for the Mount Vernon Rotary Club where he has been a member for over a decade.  Donnie also can be found spreading cheer for children across the valley each year on Christmas Eve as “Santa” with the Forgotten Children’s Fund.

During his “off” time Donnie can be found on back on the basketball court as the assistant coach for the Mount Vernon Christian School girls basketball team.

Donnie lives in Mount Vernon with his wife Kristen and their two puppies Gracie and Bella. Donnie and Kristen are proud parents of Kylie and Melyssa.

Questions?