Ascend Consulting

Who We Are - Executive Compensation CEO C-level Board

Innovative power meets practical perspective.


David Lough


David Lough provides executive and board compensation consulting services for small and medium-sized companies throughout the Pacific Northwest.  After more than two decades with nationwide accountabilities at Towers Perrin and The Hay Group, he returned to Seattle in 1999 to found Ascend Consulting.  His practice spans cash and stock-based awards, short-term and long-term incentives, private and publicly-held companies, most business sectors, and all stages of corporate growth.  For board compensation, he assists in setting fees, retainers and equity participation for directors. Beyond executive and board compensation, Mr. Lough has a wealth of experience helping develop salary and incentive programs for staff in sales, marketing, management, R&D, production and at-large. 

Mr. Lough holds an M.B.A. from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. in Social Psychology from Cornell University.



Jack Byrne


As a trusted peer and confidant, CEO’s and Boards find it a pleasure to work with Jack on pivotal top-level pay issues and related matters.  From his leadership as CEO of two Northwest aerospace manufacturing firms, Jack knows the difference between what sounds good and works well when it comes to executive compensation. As a COO in several other companies in the Northwest and beyond, he gained a clear view from above and below on making executive pay plans work. Clients value Jack's critical insights from his 25 years of prior C-level experience in highly successful organizations - including a startup.

Mr. Byrne holds a BS in Materials Engineering from Drexel University in Philadelphia and an MBA from the University of Oregon. He was appointed Professor of Operations Strategy at the University of Oregon Executive MBA Program in 1995. He has been Honored with the Oregon Governor's Award for Emerging Business, and is a frequent speaker on executive compensation and leadership issues.

*P.S.: As an aside, Jack also plays from aces when it comes to Lean & Supply Chain strategy.