Leadership

Team Members

CEO Brooke Gillis
Abby Guerin Russell
Chief Development Officer Abby Guerin Russell
Director of Marketing & Operations Ritchie Kruunenberg

Brooke Gillis

CEO

Brooke is a veteran leader in the tech startup space and is dedicated to advancing the growth of Birmingham's startup community. She previously served as the Program Manager at Techstars, where she worked to launch the company's first-ever Alabama EnergyTech accelerator program. No stranger to Innovation Depot, Brooke spent multiple stints there in different capacities—most notably an 8+ year run with Instagift, a Birmingham startup with roots in The Depot. She also was instrumental in helping design and develop the Velocity Accelerator that ran in the building for 6 years. Brooke's passion for entrepreneurship and community culture inspires her to strengthen an already vibrant ecosystem in Birmingham. She holds a bachelor's degree in communications from the University of Alabama. She and her husband have resided in Birmingham for 17 years, and they have two teenage sons and an adorable Cavalier named Annie.

Events & Operations Specialist Maggie Wiginton
Experience Manager Shaun Pollard
Receptionist Tayun Harrison

Maggie Wiginton

Events & Operations Specialist

Maggie is bringing a fresh wave of excitement and a touch of innovation as our Events & Operations Specialist. A proud UAB graduate in Public Relations, Maggie brings a wealth of experience from renowned organizations like Coca Cola, Yelp, and Pihakis Restaurant Group. Hailing from Birmingham, she is not just a professional powerhouse but a passionate advocate for the city's growth. A true local gem, Maggie thrives on outdoor adventures, be it hiking or enjoying live music. As the designated planner and host among her friends and family, Maggie is the go-to person for creating experiences. A self-proclaimed dog person who unexpectedly found love with a cat. Maggie is dedicated to enriching the Depot and Birmingham community through unforgettable moments.

Shaun Pollard

Experience Manager

Shaun has served as the Experience Manager at Innovation Depot for 17 years. Her job consists of many responsibilities: from customer service to billing. She is also an entrepreneur who launched her own cleaning business (Pollard’s Janitorial Service) in 2014 and now serves several small businesses in the area. Shaun has two pet parakeets named Charlie and Parker.

Intern MarKaylee Talton
Intern Lamont Morehead

MarKaylee Talton

Intern

MarKaylee Talton is excited to bring superior ideas and an open mind Innovation Depot Team! MarKaylee is a freshman at Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, majoring in Kinesiology and pursuing a career in physical therapy. She has had experience in event planning and has orchestrated events in her former high school community. Her passion for sports and dedication to creating a positive environment for future generations drive MarKaylee's commitment to excellence. Alongside her interests in music and family, she finds joy in meeting new people, fostering connections, and making wonderful discoveries. In her role as a first-time intern, MarKaylee is eager and prepared to embrace new experiences and seize opportunities at Innovation Depot.

Lamont Morehead

Intern

Lamont Morehead, from Nashville, Tennessee, is a business administration major set to graduate from Miles College in May 2024 with a remarkable 3.74 GPA. Throughout his college journey, Lamont has held prominent roles in various organizations, including the UNCF Pre-Alumni Council and Phi Beta Lambda Business Fraternity. Notably, he served as the Student Government Association Secretary of Community Engagement and as a No Kid Hungry Ambassador, showcasing his commitment to social impact. Passionate about outreach, Lamont recently initiated a successful community garden project, highlighting his dedication to healthy living and community service. His achievements led to an invitation to speak at the Rural Hunger Summit, representing HBCUs and addressing food insecurities with innovative solutions. Beyond his academic and leadership pursuits, Lamont enjoys bowling and actively explores business and writing, embodying a well-rounded and forward-thinking approach to personal and professional growth.

CEO Brooke Gillis
Abby Guerin Russell
Chief Development Officer Abby Guerin Russell

Brooke Gillis

CEO

Brooke is a veteran leader in the tech startup space and is dedicated to advancing the growth of Birmingham's startup community. She previously served as the Program Manager at Techstars, where she worked to launch the company's first-ever Alabama EnergyTech accelerator program. No stranger to Innovation Depot, Brooke spent multiple stints there in different capacities—most notably an 8+ year run with Instagift, a Birmingham startup with roots in The Depot. She also was instrumental in helping design and develop the Velocity Accelerator that ran in the building for 6 years. Brooke's passion for entrepreneurship and community culture inspires her to strengthen an already vibrant ecosystem in Birmingham. She holds a bachelor's degree in communications from the University of Alabama. She and her husband have resided in Birmingham for 17 years, and they have two teenage sons and an adorable Cavalier named Annie.

Director of Marketing & Operations Ritchie Kruunenberg
Events & Operations Specialist Maggie Wiginton

Maggie Wiginton

Events & Operations Specialist

Maggie is bringing a fresh wave of excitement and a touch of innovation as our Events & Operations Specialist. A proud UAB graduate in Public Relations, Maggie brings a wealth of experience from renowned organizations like Coca Cola, Yelp, and Pihakis Restaurant Group. Hailing from Birmingham, she is not just a professional powerhouse but a passionate advocate for the city's growth. A true local gem, Maggie thrives on outdoor adventures, be it hiking or enjoying live music. As the designated planner and host among her friends and family, Maggie is the go-to person for creating experiences. A self-proclaimed dog person who unexpectedly found love with a cat. Maggie is dedicated to enriching the Depot and Birmingham community through unforgettable moments.

Experience Manager Shaun Pollard
Receptionist Tayun Harrison

Shaun Pollard

Experience Manager

Shaun has served as the Experience Manager at Innovation Depot for 17 years. Her job consists of many responsibilities: from customer service to billing. She is also an entrepreneur who launched her own cleaning business (Pollard’s Janitorial Service) in 2014 and now serves several small businesses in the area. Shaun has two pet parakeets named Charlie and Parker.

Intern MarKaylee Talton
Intern Lamont Morehead

MarKaylee Talton

Intern

MarKaylee Talton is excited to bring superior ideas and an open mind Innovation Depot Team! MarKaylee is a freshman at Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, majoring in Kinesiology and pursuing a career in physical therapy. She has had experience in event planning and has orchestrated events in her former high school community. Her passion for sports and dedication to creating a positive environment for future generations drive MarKaylee's commitment to excellence. Alongside her interests in music and family, she finds joy in meeting new people, fostering connections, and making wonderful discoveries. In her role as a first-time intern, MarKaylee is eager and prepared to embrace new experiences and seize opportunities at Innovation Depot.

Lamont Morehead

Intern

Lamont Morehead, from Nashville, Tennessee, is a business administration major set to graduate from Miles College in May 2024 with a remarkable 3.74 GPA. Throughout his college journey, Lamont has held prominent roles in various organizations, including the UNCF Pre-Alumni Council and Phi Beta Lambda Business Fraternity. Notably, he served as the Student Government Association Secretary of Community Engagement and as a No Kid Hungry Ambassador, showcasing his commitment to social impact. Passionate about outreach, Lamont recently initiated a successful community garden project, highlighting his dedication to healthy living and community service. His achievements led to an invitation to speak at the Rural Hunger Summit, representing HBCUs and addressing food insecurities with innovative solutions. Beyond his academic and leadership pursuits, Lamont enjoys bowling and actively explores business and writing, embodying a well-rounded and forward-thinking approach to personal and professional growth.

The Depot is fortunate to have a board made up of many local Birmingham leaders. Together, they help guide Innovation Depot toward growing its impact.

Board Members