Our Team

We develop innovative products for team learning and decision support. We’re located in downtown Portland, Oregon with standard business hours of 8:30am - 4:30pm, Monday - Friday.

jeff-square copy.jpg

Jeff Heil, CEO

Jeff leads the Breakthrough Learning team, overseeing sales, operations, development and customer success. He has a particular emphasis on supporting clients in all industries to customize the learning experience to address the varied needs and challenges these organizations face. 

Jeff received bachelor’s degrees in Product Design and Psychology at the University of Oregon, and brings years of product innovation and user experience design to Breakthrough Learning. He was largely responsible for the 2013 redesign of the product, working closely with founder Bette Gardner to modernize the game, enhancing both its visual elements and functionality. The new version received the 2017 Small Business Innovation Award from the Portland Business Journal.

Jeff is active in his community in Portland. He serves as board president for the Friends of Columbia Park. The nonprofit maintains and operates a historic community building located in one of North Portland’s largest parks.

Connect with Jeff »


Laura Baughman, Marketing & Customer Success Manager


Sam Goldenberg, Operations Manager


Bette Gardner, Founder & Senior Educator

Bette Gardner founded Breakthrough Learning in 1994, providing leadership coaching, management consulting and business development services to clients.

A special interest in systems thinking led her to create innovative tools and methods for managing within complex systems, among them, the Friday Night at the ER team-learning simulation. The development and successful use of learning programs became a focus of Bette’s work.

Bette has served as faculty for learning consortia and conferences and she has partnered with others in academic and business leadership organizations to advance the integration of systems thinking in routine work and in communities.

Bette continues to support clients and projects of the firm as senior educator.

Connect with Bette »