Speakers and Moderators

Mason Ailstock, Partner, HR&A Advisors

Mason Ailstock is a recognized leader in innovation districts and anchor-driven developments. With nearly 20 years’ experience working with higher-education institutions, governments and industry, Mason has a track record of converging real estate, academia and business to advance communities of innovation. Involved in the planning and visioning for the Georgia based 2,000 acre Knowledge Community, Rowen, Mason is responsible for project leadership and operations as President of the non-profit Rowen Foundation.

Through the Knowledge Economy Practice at HR&A Advisors, Mason has the privilege of engaging with global partners to advance their mission. Prior to joining HR&A, Mason served as an executive with The University Financing Foundation, a private financing conduit leveraging higher education assets. As a university practitioner, Mason served as the Chief Operating Officer of Research Triangle Park the largest research park in North America.

Mason is the Past President of the Association of University Research Parks (AURP), Co-Chairman of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) University Development & Innovation Council, a member of the ULI Center for Leadership, and the Global Eisenhower Fellowships.

Dr. Joseph Aldinger, PhD, Director, A2i, The Graduate School, NC State University

Dr. Joseph M. M. Aldinger is the Director of Accelerate to IndustryTM (A2i) and a member of NC State Graduate Schools's Professional Development Team. He leads a variety of industry focused workshops such as resume design, business and technical communication, strategies for interviewing, CliftonStrengths training, and career exploration. He also trains academic partners on how to implement NC State's trademarked professional development program on their campuses. Prior to NC State, he taught literature and business communication courses at Georgia Institute of Technology and University of Lynchburg as well as University at Buffalo. Dr. Aldinger also holds certificates in digital pedagogy and technical communication from Georgia Tech and is a certified CliftonStrengths coach and is completing certification through the International Coaching Federation (ICF) to become an Associate Certified Coach.

Jonathon Bates, Executive Director, Real Estate Administration & Research Park, University of Utah Research Park

Jonathon Bates is the Executive Director for Real Estate Administration for the University of Utah with responsibility for the development of strategic initiatives to manage the University's real estate transactions. With responsibility for supporting the academic institution, as well as the University Health system, Jonathon is actively involved in leading real estate transactional work including management of a lease portfolio representing over 1.5 million square feet and close to $35M in annual obligations. Additionally, Jonathon oversees a property management and operations team that currently manages sixteen properties totaling over one million square feet of office, lab and clinical space. Jonathon also acts as director for the University of Utah Research Park and has goals to update the Park's Master Plan, Mobility Plan and Architectural Guide with a focus towards further development, densification and, most importantly, increasing the financial contribution that the Park continues to make for the University of Utah and the State of Utah. The University of Utah Research Park encompasses 320 acres and is currently home to over 51 private companies and 81 University entities totaling over 14,000 employees located in over 4 million square feet of space with another 400,000 square feet under construction or in final design. Jonathon has an Executive MBA from the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah.

Saul Behar, General Counsel & Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, The University City Science Center

Saul Behar joined the Science Center in 2009. In his current role, he provides legal advice and policy guidance across all departments; oversees corporate governance matters; provides leadership and oversight for the Science Center’s STEM Education and Workforce Development initiatives; and leads and maintains key Science Center relationships with a broad range of business and civic leaders in the region.

Saul brings to his position a wealth of experience as an attorney, senior executive and strategic advisor. Prior to joining the Science Center, Saul was a partner at Wolf Block LLP in Philadelphia. Prior to that, he served as Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary at Provident Senior Living Trust, a privately owned real estate investment trust based in Princeton, New Jersey that owned 68 senior housing facilities in 19 states. Before joining Provident, Saul served as Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary at Keystone Property Trust, an NYSE-listed real estate investment trust headquartered in West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania that focused on industrial real estate. Both Provident and Keystone were highly successful firms that were acquired by the leading companies in their industry sectors. Earlier, Saul served as senior counsel at Pep Boys in Philadelphia. He began his career at Dechert Price & Rhoads (now Dechert LLP) in Philadelphia.

Saul received a B.A. in government from Cornell University and a J.D. from The University of Chicago Law School. He serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Reinvestment Fund, a mission-driven financial institution that creates opportunity for underserved people and places through partnerships, marshaling the capital, analytics, and expertise necessary to build strong, healthy, and more equitable communities. Saul also serves on the boards of RF Impact Advisors, PolicyMap, The Village of Arts and Humanities, and the Lower Merion Township Scholarship Fund.

Anita Bell, Director, University of Arizona Center for Innovation

Anita Bell leads the business incubator and helps entrepreneurs transform their ideas into successful companies. Her responsibilities include strategic planning, managing daily operations, client services, developing programs, mentoring companies, fundraising and client recruitment.

Over the course of her professional career, Anita has assisted over 100 early-stage startups, most of them in technology and life sciences. She is actively involved in the entrepreneurial ecosystem and organizes several signature events such as IdeaFunding, Innovative Minds Challenge, and Innovation Day at the UA. Anita follows the motto “it takes a village to raise a company” and cultivates relationships with angel organizations and other entrepreneurial supporters to build a network that benefits the startups she coaches, meeting their needs and advancing them toward commercialization. Anita has been in the incubation and commercialization industry for over 10 years and holds the Incubator Management Certificate from the International National Business Incubation Association. She currently serves as the Secretary for the Arizona Business Incubation

Katy Boren, President & CEO, Oklahoma City Innovation District

As president and CEO of Oklahoma City’s Innovation District, Katy Boren spearheads the creation and development of the emerging district and is focused on creating a vibrant, fully-integrated community where people can live, work and play. Her goal is to develop collaboration between Oklahoma’s diverse sectors – health, energy, aerospace, tech, art and others – to foster new opportunities for entrepreneurship and innovation.

After earning her bachelor’s degree in mass communication from the University of Denver, Boren pursued a law degree at the University of Oklahoma. After graduating, she served a one-year courtship for the Arizona Superior Court before returning to Oklahoma. Boren has practiced oil and gas litigation, served as the vice president of regulatory affairs for Cox Communications for the eastern half of the country, owned her own law firm and spent time as the chief of the Utilities Regulation Unit for the Oklahoma Attorney General’s office.

An Oklahoma native, Boren is passionate about supporting nonprofits in Oklahoma City and has served on several boards. In addition to sitting on the Board of Directors for the Oklahoma City Museum of Art for over a decade, she was a member of the YWCA Board of Directors and the Oklahoma City Community Literacy Centers Board of Directors. Boren currently serves on the Downtown Oklahoma City Partnership Board of Directors and NEOKC Renaissance Board of Directors. She has been recognized as one of Oklahoma’s Ladies in the News, a Rising Star of Oklahoma and one of the Journal Record’s Woman of the Year – Fifty Make a Difference honorees.

Georgie Brophy, Senior Director of Business Development - Aerospace & Defense, Relative Dynamics; President, Maryland Space Business Roundtable

Georgie Brophy serves as the Senior Director of Business Development at Relative Dynamics. She brings over 25 years of aerospace experience and has worked with NASA since 1992. She has a long-time passion for the space industry and experience with numerous NASA, NOAA and DoD space science and technology missions. Georgie is proud to serve as President of the Maryland Space Business Roundtable Board of Directors, co-founder and officer of the Goddard Advocacy Partnership and longtime member and former officer of the Goddard Contractors Association. Georgie spent nine years with General Dynamics Mission Systems as a Business Development Executive, 12 + years with Booz Allen & Hamilton in the capacity of a program manager, engineer, and business analyst with shorter spells at both Noblis and Maxar/SSL as Director of Business Development for both firms.

Ms. Brophy holds a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Notre Dame and an M.B.A from the University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business.

Chris Burke, Executive Director of Community Development, Georgia Institute of Technology

Christopher Burke is an educator, strategists, and public relations professional with more than 18 years of experience in education, urban planning, and community development. Chris began his professional career working as a housing coordinator for The Atlanta Project, a non-profit created by former President Jimmy Carter focused on improving the living conditions in Atlanta’s most impoverished neighborhoods. It was this experienced that spurred Chris’s interest in understanding the correlation of housing policies and quality of life. Chris continued his career joining the research staff at the American Planning Association (APA) where he was a contributing writer for numerous APA Publications including Zoning News, PAS Memo, and Planning Magazine.

While at APA Chris’s research centered on zoning as an economic development tool to improve quality of life indicators such as access to food, transportation, and employment opportunities. In 1999 Chris joined the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association as a Government Affairs Representative and in the fall of 2003 was appointed Vice President of Government Affairs where he stayed until November 2010. Chris has authored and published more than a dozen articles on housing economics and land-use topics for APA publications, The Historic Preservation Journal, The Southern Journal for Public Policy, Builder Magazine, and Atlanta Building News.

In April 2011, Chris joined the Georgia Tech Office of Government and Community Relations as Director of Community Relations. In this role Chris works with local government, educators, religious, business, and civic leaders to assure that Tech plays an integral part enriching the metro-Atlanta region, particularly the communities closest to campus. Chris regularly teaches undergraduate courses in the Georgia Tech Honor’s Program as well as a graduate studio in the School of City and Regional Planning. Chris is an avid music collector and lover of his Fender Jazz Bass guitar. He lives in Snellville with his wife, four children, and energetic Wheaten Terrier.

Leah Burton, President, AURP; Director, Centennial Campus Partnership Office, NC State UniversityLeah D. Burton

Leah Burton is the Director of Centennial Campus Partnerships at NC State University. In this role, she manages the campus-wide strategy for corporate and government interactions with NC State, including the University’s award-winning Centennial Campus.

Prior to joining NC State in 2000, Leah was the Director of Marketing and Communications at the Research Triangle Regional Partnership, a regional economic development organization marketing the 13-county Research Triangle region. Before moving to North Carolina, she was the Public Affairs Manager for telecommunications company US West. Leah has a communications degree from the University of Colorado.

Kevin Byrne, MBA, Past President, AURP; President, The University Financing Foundation, Inc.Kevin T. Byrne

Kevin Byrne spent his early career at Arthur Andersen with a primary focus in the real estate and financial services industries. In 1997, Kevin founded Byrne & Associates, which focused on providing investment-banking services to small and middle market companies. After earning his MBA with honors from the Wharton School of Business in 2001, he joined a real estate development firm as the Chief Financial Officer, managing a balance sheet of over $200 million and leading new transactions of over $150 million in just two years.

In 2003, he joined The University Financing Foundation (TUFF) and has managed all aspects of the firm including the firm’s new investments in education and research projects, which total over $800 million. Kevin oversees the operations of the firm and, through his leadership, the firm has become involved in all aspects of research park creation and ongoing operations including the development of facilities. He has crafted full-scale park business plans, assisted in the strategic and master planning of research parks and has helped several global parks with the creation of innovative investment structures enabling these parks to maximize the efficiency of their limited resources. Kevin is an honors graduate from Furman University and currently serves as a past president of the Association of University Research Parks.

Chris Carlson, 2020 Awards Chair; Senior Vice President, The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company

As Senior Vice President with Whiting-Turner, Chris is primarily responsible for oversight of WT’s Raleigh, Winston-Salem and Charlotte, North Carolina offices, as well as the Atlanta Office which have a combined annual revenue of $400M. Chris has 35 years of experience in the construction industry and is a graduate of the University of Florida, with a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management. Throughout his career, Chris has managed a multitude of construction types; however, his primary focus has been constructing higher education, science, and technology facilities, contributing to the success of university and research projects across southeast United States. He has been directly involved as key leadership managing over $580 million dollars of university projects in the southeast prior to his current executive duties. Chris was the first individual within Whiting-Turner to acquire LEED Accreditation in 2001 and was instrumental in Whiting-Turner’s corporate membership within the United States Green Building Council, whereby he was elected to the LEED Application Guidelines committee to compile a laboratory-specific LEED manual. He has been directly involved in numerous high profile, sustainable building projects such as the Yerkes National Primate Research Center and the Whitehead Biomedical Research Facility both at Emory University, the Paul D. Coverdell Center for Biomedical & Health Sciences at the University of Georgia, as well as over one million SF of space at the Innovation Quarter in Winston Salem, North Carolina.

Merry Hunter Caudle, Associate Director for Economic Development, Georgia Institute for Technology

Merry Hunter Caudle is the Associate Director for Economic Development in the Office of Institute Relations at Georgia Tech. In support of city, state, and regional economic development efforts, Merry Hunter identifies and aligns higher education resources and capabilities to support the recruitment of new companies and overall industry expansion in Metro Atlanta and Georgia. She also supports the continued growth of Georgia Tech’s innovation ecosystem model in Tech Square and surrounding areas, including the development and acceleration of co-located corporate labs.

She previously served as Education Policy Advisor, responsible for early childhood, K-12, and higher education policy, as well as Deputy Director of Communications for former Georgia Governor Nathan Deal. Merry Hunter holds a B.S. in Public Policy from Georgia Tech, a M.A. in Communications with a research emphasis on crisis rhetoric in higher education from Georgia State University, and a M.B.A. from Georgia Tech. She is a member of the LEAD Atlanta Class of 2020, the Zell Miller Leadership Institute Class of 2019, the Alliance Theatre External Advisory Board, and is an active community volunteer with the Junior League of Atlanta. Most recently, Merry Hunter received the Association of University Research Parks (AURP) Rising Star Award in 2020. Merry Hunter and her husband, Dan, reside in Atlanta.

Dwaine Chapel, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director, Research Park at South Dakota State University

Dwaine Chapel has been the CEO/Executive Director of the Research Park at South Dakota State University since March 2012. He currently oversees the business recruitment efforts for the Park and the day-to-day operations of the Brookings Innovation Center. Dwaine enjoyed 6 successful years in Madison, SD as the economic development director of the Lake Area Improvement Corporation. His experience also includes time as a real estate broker, a home builder, and general contractor. He attended SDSU acquiring a degree in Economics in 2004 and a master’s degree in 2005 from the Jerome J. Lohr College of Engineering at SDSU.

Gintas Civinskas, AIA LEED AP, Senior Associate, Ayers Saint Gross

Gintas is an architect and urban planner at Ayers Saint Gross focused on the design of university-related and urban mixed-use innovation communities. In addition to 16 Tech, he has led master planning work for a range of innovation districts around the country, including Discovery Park District at Purdue University, Charlotte Knowledge Community, Converge Miami, and districts adjacent to The Ohio State University and University of Pittsburgh. Gintas is an architect and urban planner at Ayers Saint Gross focused on the design of university-related and urban mixed-use innovation communities. In addition to 16 Tech, he has led master planning work for a range of innovation districts around the country, including Discovery Park District at Purdue University, Charlotte Knowledge Community, Converge Miami, and districts adjacent to The Ohio State University and University of Pittsburgh.

Andrew Copelotti, MBA, Principal, Boylston Properties

Andrew Copelotti is a real estate development and construction professional with over 6,000 units of multi-family development and construction experience in the Greater Boston market. Andrew js a Principal and is managing the development of Boulevard & Bond, the 425 residences at Arsenal Yards and is responsible for sourcing and managing future projects for Boylston Properties.

Paul Corson, Deputy Director, Senior Director of Entrepreneurship, PIVOT Center, The University of Utah

Paul J. Corson, Deputy Director and Sr. Director of Entrepreneurship at PIVOT Center, has led entrepreneurial initiatives in the United States, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia over three decades. Paul’s experience cuts across the public and private sectors, NGOs and higher education. It includes building three startups, developing and implementing public policy for the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and the White House, and spurring commercialization, access to capital, and business creation in higher education. At PIVOT, Paul has helped launch dozens of companies aided by three technology accelerators, a business incubator, and a highly successful in-Residence program.

Stephen Coulston, AIA, Principal, Perkins and Will

Stephen Coulston is a Principal in the Austin office of the award-winning design firm Perkins and Will. With a passion for engaging in the innovation economy, Stephen has spent his 25-year career working at the intersection of the higher education, research, healthcare and government sectors.  As an architect and urban planner with a focus on strategizing, planning and designing the built form, Stephen leads the southwest regional planning practice, contributing to the firm’s national urban design and architecture practice, including research park, academic health, college-town, and innovation district planning, urban design and facility planning.

Bob Coy, President and CEO, 16 Tech Community Corporation

Bob Coy is President and CEO of 16 Tech Community Corporation Inc., the nonprofit overseeing the development of the 16 Tech Innovation District. As President, Coy leads the development of 16 Tech into a hub for scientific research, technology innovation, entrepreneurial activity and talent development, retention and attraction. Coy has held entrepreneurial and economic development leadership positions with public and private institutions over the past 32 years.

Kelvyn Cullimore, President & CEO, BioUtah

Kelvyn H. Cullimore Jr. was named President and CEO of BioUtah, the state trade association for Utah life science companies, in October 2018. In that capacity, he also serves on the board of the World Trade Center Utah and on the advisory board of the Center for Medical Innovation at the University of Utah. From 1992 to 2018 Mr. Cullimore was the President & CEO of Dynatronics Corporation, a leading manufacturer of physical therapy devices and products with an international reach. Dynatronics is a publicly traded company originally founded by Mr. Cullimore and his father in 1979. He served on the Board of Directors for Dynatronics until December 2019.

In addition to his professional career, Mr. Cullimore was elected the first Mayor of Cottonwood Heights in November, 2004 and served in that capacity until January 2018. As Mayor, Mr. Cullimore was a member of the board of the largest fire agency in Utah, the Unified Fire Authority, serving as the chairman of its finance committee. He also served on numerous other County and State committees and was the chair of the Mayor’s committee that formed the Canyons School District, the first new school district in Utah in 100 years. Mayor Cullimore was a recipient of the Best of State Award in 2008 as the Best Elected Official.

Brian Darmody, Chief Executive Officer, AURP 

Brian Darmody was announced AURP CEO in February 2019. In this new role, Brian will lead AURP into new initiatives including expanding membership, international partnerships and funding in order to build out additional member benefits.  Over the course of the year, Brian will be winding down his activities at UMD where he currently serves as Associate Vice President (AVP) of Corporate Engagement at the University of Maryland (UMD). At UMD, Brian is responsible for developing the overall university strategy for corporate relationships, as well as the development of projects and policies to support these initiatives centrally and through the colleges and schools on the UMD campus.

Previously, he was the University’s AVP for Corporate and Foundation Relations in the Division of University Relations, AVP for Research and Economic Development, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Technology Development, Director of State and Federal Relations in the President’s Office and has served in the university’s legal counsel office. He serves on national and state boards, including: Fraunhofer USA, the Maryland Economic Development Association, and the Maryland Tech Council. 

He holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Baltimore and he received his BS from the University of Maryland, College 

Greg Deason, Senior Vice President Entrepreneurship and Place Making, Purdue Research Foundation

Greg Deason, Senior Vice President of Entrepreneurship and Place Making at the Purdue Research Foundation leads the teams that are building a vibrant entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem at Purdue University.   By accelerating startup and tech-based company activities and developing places that provide innovative live, work, play and learning environments Purdue has emerged as a world leader in moving Ideas to Impact, ranking 3rd Nationally in startup creation.  Mr. Deason’s responsibilities include the Purdue Foundry, Purdue Ventures, Discovery Park District, and the Purdue Research Park.  Deason received the AURP Career Achievement Award in 2013.

Laura E. Demarse, PhD, Assistant Dean for Professional Development and External Relations, The Graduate School, NC State University

Dr. Demarse has spent the last 17 years building professional development programming for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. Passionate about career and professional development opportunities for graduate students and postdocs, Laura joined NC State in 2015. Previous service includes working as an Assistant Dean for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars in the Graduate School at the University of Utah; Assistant Dean for Professional and Career Development at North Carolina Central University. Currently, overseeing the Professional Development Program in the Graduate School at NC State, supervising a team of program managers; the program offers a Certificate in Teaching and Communication, Thesis, Dissertation and research scholarship development, the Postdoctoral Affairs program, Accelerate to Industry (A2i) and a many other high impact career development opportunities. Dr. Demarse is a Principal Investigator on a Innovations In Graduate Education (IGE) award from the National Science Foundation that support training for other institutions on the A2i Program.

Keisha Demps, Partnership Developer, Centennial Campus, North Carolina State University

Keisha is part of the partnership development team, brokering relationships with industry and government partners. Her duties include developing and managing outreach and engagement of current and prospective businesses while fostering opportunities for collaboration with faculty and students. Keisha obtained her bachelor's degree from the University of Arizona. Little known fact - she spent two years as a professional athlete and trained as an alternate for the 2000 Olympics.

Mark Deschenes, MBA, Principal, Boylston Properties

Mark Deschenes has a diverse background in all phases of real estate development with more than 25 years of experience in engineering, design, construction, contracts, and financing. Mark oversees all development and project management. Mark has been instrumental in all of Boylston Properties’ construction projects, beginning with the permitting and construction of Cambridgeport Bank’s headquarters in Brighton in 1999 to the recent completion of two Residence Inn by Marriott Hotels and the conversion of a 185,000SF warehouse in Watertown to a Gold LEED certified, state of the art lab building.

Daniel Duncan, President, AURP; Executive Director, Nebraska Innovation CampusDaniel J. Duncan

Dan Duncan began his tenure with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1987 when he accepted the positions of operations manager at the University of Nebraska Panhandle Research and Extension Center in Scottsbluff, NE. Following that position, he served as director of the University of Nebraska Agricultural Research and Development Center; assistant director of the Nebraska Agricultural Experiment Station; and assistant dean and director of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Agricultural Research Division. In 2011, Dan moved into his current position as executive director of the Nebraska Innovation Campus Development Corporation.

Duncan was born on a diversified farm and ranch in Sioux County, Nebraska. He attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and graduated with a MS in Agricultural Economics-Agribusiness, and BS in Animal Science and Agronomy all from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is a LEAD VII Fellow and member of the Nebraska Hall of Ag Achievement and the Agricultural Builders of Nebraska.

Kate Engel, Director of Communication and Culture, Nebraska Innovation Campus

In her current position at Nebraska Innovation Campus (NIC), Kate Engel is responsible for developing and implementing programs for NIC aimed at creating a culture that encourages collaboration and partnerships between NIC, the university and the community. NIC programs are focused on creating opportunities for people with different skill sets to meet and socialize – a critical aspect in developing a culture at NIC that embraces and sparks innovation.

Kate grew up on a farm near Red Oak, IA and is a Nebraska Wesleyan University graduate and earned a MA in Management from Doane University. Kate is currently working on a PhD in human sciences with a specialization in leadership studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Jared Everett, MBA, Managing Director University Partnerships, Greystar

Jared Everett is managing director of university partnerships for Greystar, leading the pursuit and transactions of on-campus development and acquisition opportunities. Jared joined Greystar in 2018 through the company’s acquisition of student housing leader EdR, where he served as vice president of university partnerships since 2016. He joined EdR after nearly 14 years with Boise State University, where he served in several capacities including treasurer and executive director of real estate and business development. In that role, he managed a $500 million combined portfolio of investments, debt, and capital projects. Prior to Boise State, Everett worked at Arizona State University. Everett earned an MBA from Boise State and an undergraduate degree from Arizona State University.

Stephen Fleming, Director, Strategic Partnerships & Innovation, Center for Quantum Networks, University of Arizona

Theresa A. Foxley, President and CEO, Economic Development Corporation of Utah

A Utah native, Theresa is passionate about promoting the Beehive State. She has served as EDCUtah’s President and CEO since 2017 and has helped usher in a new era that is highly focused on internal team culture, driving stakeholder value, and economic development preparedness. A recovering attorney and self-described “deal junkie,” Theresa has enjoyed being part of Team Utah’s efforts to attract dozens of companies on expansion and relocation projects representing various industries throughout the state, including Goldman Sachs, Stadler Rail, and Facebook. Prior to joining EDCUtah Theresa was a senior leader at the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development. Earlier in her career, Theresa represented a diverse set of clients in private legal practice on a multitude of general corporate and financial matters. Theresa lives in Salt Lake City with her husband and son. They love spending time outdoors together with their Bernese mountain dog.

Laura Frerichs, Director, University of Illinois Research Park, University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign Economic Development 

Laura Frerichs is responsible for managing startup company oversight of the University of Illinois Research Park, and supporting the University’s economic development efforts. There are 90 companies located in the Research Park, which is a development including 200 acres on the campus of the University of Illinois. She developed innovative entrepreneur support programs including the Entrepreneur-in- Residence program, I-Start launch program, Student Shared Services, SBIR and Industrial Design assistance. Frerichs led recruitment of new research and innovation centers in the Research Park for large publicly traded firms including: Abbott, Abbvie, John Deere, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Dow Chemical, Grainger, Riverbed, Citrix, ADM, Raytheon, Yahoo, and other publicly traded firms. She has also been instrumental in leading more than 100 event offerings annually for clients including technical training, entrepreneur education, and networking activities. Under her leadership the Research at the University was named AURP Outstanding Research Park of the Year in 2011, by Inc. Magazine as one of the top 3 College Town Incubators in 2013, and by Forbes in 2010 as one of 10 Incubators Changing the World. Champaign-Urbana has emerged as one of the top 20 cities for venture capital per capita, with 3.4 the national average invested for early stage firms.

Bob Geolas, Partner, HR&A Advisors

Bob Geolas is a nationally-recognized leader in the development of innovation districts, university campuses, and research parks. As the Partner in charge of our Raleigh office, Bob brings his vision of placemaking as a public service to HR&A, working with clients to deliver economic growth and real estate strategies that enhance assets and communities.

Prior to joining HR&A, Bob served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Research Triangle Foundation, the steward organization for the Research Triangle Park in North Carolina. As President, he led the master planning effort to reshape Research Triangle Park, ensuring its place at the forefront of technology and applied science, while also serving its historic mission to support the universities and create opportunities for all North Carolinians. Previously, Bob helped to create one of the country’s most successful public-private research and development campuses as Executive Director of the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research.

Bob has received several awards for his work to further the missions of institutions, including the Vision Award from the International Association of University Research Parks, Alumni of the Year Award from North Carolina State University, College of Humanities and Social Science and the Triangle Top 20 CEO of the Year Award from the Triangle Business Journal.

Marcus Gerhardt, Co-Founder & CEO, Blackrock Microsystems

Marcus is CEO of Blackrock Nuerotech. He is on the advisory board of various disruptive technology companies including fin-tech Deposit Solutions (US). Marcus has an MPhil from Oxford University and an MA from St. Andrews. He is an entrepreneur focused on innovative technologies and alternative investment markets. In 1999, Marcus helped set up his first start-up, Mondus, a pioneering e-commerce platform. Subsequently, Marcus founded BBI, which advised technology companies on funding, commercialization, and growth strategies. In 2003, he co-founded one of the leading frontier market asset managers in the Middle East. With Blackrock he is hoping to improve patient impact as it relates to the final frontier of the human body - the brain. He is all too aware of the limits of his own body when it comes to riding and hiking up and down the Wasatch mountains, but that does not stop him from trying to push that frontier too.

Leslee Gilbert, Vice President, Van Scoyoc Associates

Leslee K. Gilbert has an extensive background in higher education, research, technology development, and politics. She has nearly 12 years hands-on experience in the Washington policy-making process, and over 20 years of experience working in and with institutions of higher education. She uses her insider’s understanding of academia and government policy to help her clients navigate the changing world of Washington.

As a Vice President at VSA, Leslee focuses on federal research, development, and competitiveness. In addition to helping clients navigate Congressional policy making, she has developed a research and development consulting practice focused on federal agencies. Through partnerships with former officials from several key agencies, she assembles teams of experts to meet clients’ unique needs. By coordinating and managing these teams, Leslee helps clients identify federal funding trends across multiple agencies and maximize their comparative advantages. 

April Giles, Vice President, Business Development, Fitzsimons Innovation Community

April recently joined the Fitzsimons Innovation Community as their Vice President of Business Development. Prior to this role, April served as the President & CEO of the Colorado Bioscience Association where she led community partnerships, provided strategic guidance growing the industry in Colorado, and led advocacy on behalf of the industry at both the state and federal levels. In her free time April enjoys Soccer and skiing when her and her family are not on the soccer fields. April is happily married to her husband Greg and they have two children Ella & Nathan.

Kimberly Gramm, Associate Vice President of Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Texas Tech University Accelerator

Kimberly Gramm is the Associate Vice President Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Texas Tech University. She is responsible for economic engagement and startup creation, coordinating an effective dynamic and nimble team focused on innovation and knowledge transfer, increased commercialization activities, and developing a University entrepreneurship environment where ideas thrive. Her primary focus is building an innovation and entrepreneurial pipeline and regional capacity to support growth. In addition, recently a new entity was formed Texas Tech Research Park, Inc. a Board of industry experts helps her to advise and lead an integrated approach to support strong industry relations, deepen the support for entrepreneurship education, increase University spinouts, increase sponsored research opportunities, provide regional business support and ensure the appropriate policies and operating processes are effectively supporting students, faculty and the citizens of the West Texas community. She has 13+ years of early-stage technology venture development with over 279 startups created under her management in university environments, launched two accelerators and a “new” $10M seed fund to support ag-tech startups. Her passion is to develop, implement, and find resources to support Innovation and Entrepreneurship programming for students, faculty, and entrepreneurs. She has been awarded $12M+ grant and industry sponsored program funding. Two years ago she was appointed by the Governor to the Texas’ Product Development and Small Business Incubator Fund Board offering asset back loans to product development companies and small business incubators/accelerators in Texas. She is one course away from sitting for her comps as a PhD candidate at Texas Tech University and she is the proud mom of her Brussels named “Boomer.”

Jonathan Gruber, PhD, Author, Ford Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, MIT

Dr. Jonathan Gruber is the Ford Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he has taught since 1992. He is also the former Director of the Health Care Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and the former President of the American Society of Health Economists. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Social Insurance, and the Econometric Society. He has published more than 180 research articles, has edited six research volumes, and is the author of Public Finance and Public Policy, a leading undergraduate text, Health Care Reform, a graphic novel, and Jump-Starting America: How Breakthrough Science Can Revived Economic Growth and the American Dream (with Simon Johnson). In 2006 he received the American Society of Health Economists Inaugural Medal for the best health economist in the nation aged 40 and under.

During the 1997-1998 academic year, Dr. Gruber was on leave as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy at the Treasury Department. From 2003-2006 he was a key architect of Massachusetts’ ambitious health reform effort, and in 2006 became an inaugural member of the Health Connector Board, the main implementing body for that effort. During 2009-2010 he served as a technical consultant to the Obama Administration and worked with both the Administration and Congress to help craft the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. In 2011 he was named “One of the Top 25 Most Innovative and Practical Thinkers of Our Time” by Slate Magazine. In both 2006 and 2012 he was rated as one of the top 100 most powerful people in health care in the United States by Modern Healthcare Magazine. In 2020 he received a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Adrienne B. Haynes, Esq., SEED Collective, LLC

Adrienne B. Haynes is an attorney and businesswoman who specializes in helping entrepreneurs and communities develop sustainable infrastructure and business practices. She is the managing partner of SEED Law, a boutique business law firm, and owner of SEED Collective, an innovation consultancy. Adrienne uses over fifteen years of business and leadership experience to create legal and strategic planning solutions for her clients and to speak and write on topics relating to law, community innovation, and economic development. For more information, visit www.adriennebhaynes.com.

Jerry Hendrix, Director, UAS Programs, University of Alabama, Huntsville

Jerry Hendrix is the Director of UAS Programs at the University of Alabama in Huntsville leading all UAS research and testing supporting commercial, military and governmental customers alike. Prior to coming to UAH he was the Executive Director for the Lone Star UAS Center of Excellence and Innovation where he worked for the Texas A&M University System in Corpus Christi, Texas. He is an aerospace leader having worked for industry including Boeing, L3 Communications and Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) for over 35 years. Jerry has supported FAA, NASA and DOD missions over his career and is a published author in technical journals in systems and software engineering.

John F. Hirschman, JD, President and CEO, Browning Investments

As President and CEO, John oversees the strategic direction of all facets of the company including development, financing, construction, acquisitions, dispositions and asset management. John believes every great project has at its foundation: open and lasting customer relationships; deep and genuine community engagement; a spirit of ambition and exploration; a culture of collaboration and openness; a clear vision; and great attention to detail.

Phil Hockberger, PhD, Associate Vice President for Research, Waymaker Group

Phil Hockberger is an experienced scientist, teacher, speaker and administrator. He has held numerous leadership roles at Northwestern University since joining the faculty in 1987. Currently, Phil is Associate Vice President for Research overseeing the $800M research portfolio of the University. In 2019, he founded the Chicago Biomedical Innovation Alliance to foster communication and coordination among stakeholders interested in building innovation districts in Chicago. In 2020, he was appointed to Mayor Lightfoot’s Healthcare and Life Sciences Working Group charged with contributing to the 10-yr economic development plan for the City of Chicago. Recently, he joined Waymaker Group, an innovation district consulting firm, to advise higher education clients.

Gene Hodge, Vice President & General Manager, Mortenson Construction

In his role as Vice President and General Manager, Gene is a key member of the Denver Office Leadership Team, providing oversight and leadership to Mortenson’s projects. In his role, he ensures project goals are aligned and owners expectations are exceeded. His leadership is based on a long and successful track record in the industry that includes several large, world-class projects. Trust, communication, and commitment to meeting customer expectations are his most important attributes. Gene takes pride in being actively involved in projects from start to finish.

Jamey Jacob, PhD, PE, John Hendrix Chair and Professor of Aerospace Engineering, Director, Unmanned Systems Research Institute, School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Oklahoma State University

Jamey Jacob is the Director of the OSU Unmanned Systems Research Institute John Hendrix Chair and Professor of Aerospace Engineering in the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Oklahoma State University. His current efforts are focused on observation and measurement applications of unmanned aircraft and their enhanced operation in the national airspace for commercial and industrial applications. He is currently lead on a $5 million NASA project to use drones to aid in future weather prediction and reporting for advanced aerial mobility, including drones and urban air taxis. He received his B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Oklahoma in 1990 and his M.S and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley in 1992 and 1995, respectively. He was a National Research Council Summer Faculty Fellow in the Air Force Research Laboratory and received the SAE Ralph Teetor Award, the Lockheed Martin Teaching Award, and the OSU Regents Distinguished Teaching Award, among other teaching and mentoring awards. He is a native Oklahoma and dedicates much of his efforts to K-12 education, STEM workforce development, and increasing diversity in engineering and science.

Brian Jencek, RLA, ASLA, Director of Planning, HOK

Brian Jencek is the Global Director of HOK’s Planning practice, leading over 100 city planners, urban designers, landscape architects and environmental scientists across 14 studios, around the world. His experience spans numerous award-winning projects nationally and abroad, including the 2012 London Olympics, Stanford University’s new School of Medicine campus, 2020 Dubai World Expo, the Hong Kong Central Waterfront, and planning for new ecological cities in Panama, Brazil, China and India.

Educated in Landscape Architecture, Architecture and Planning at Cornell University, Brian is active professionally and academically within the ASLA, ULI, SPUR, and Clinton Climate Initiative, is a Landscape Architecture Foundation Board Member, and teaches graduate-level design studios on topics of climate change resiliency and environmental planning at the UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design. .

Jeff Johnson, MBA, Director, Tech Center Research Park, Virginia TechJeff Johnson

Jeff Johnson is responsible for all aspects of establishing and leading the research and innovation portion of the 100-acre, $450 million, mixed-use Tech Center based on the internationally acclaimed Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center in Blacksburg, Virginia. Jeff identifies, vets, recruits and supports technology-based companies that are focused on commercializing discovery and growing businesses that matter. In 2009, he founded his own consulting company, Averitas, to help small and medium-sized businesses profitably grow. He has worked with several national and international brands. Prior to that, he was founding CEO and Executive Director of an innovative healthcare-based work force training program for adults, and an arts-based education program for high school students in Cleveland, Ohio. He has over 20 years of corporate experience and has held director and senior-level executive leadership positions with profit and loss responsibilities at global industry leading companies in automotive tires and building material finishes. As a certified Six Sigma Champion Trainer, Jeff also holds an Executive MBA from Tulane University and a bachelor in chemistry from Virginia Tech.

Peter Kindel, AIA, RIBA, ASLA, Director of Urban Design and Planning, SOM

Peter J. Kindel is a California-based architect and urbanist focused on the design of cities and their complementary relationship to transportation and environmental systems. He specializes in large-scale design and planning for both public- and private-sector clients, and his interdisciplinary work includes mixed-use master plans, academic planning, new communities, public infrastructure, and open space systems.

Currently the Director of SOM’s City Design Practice for western North America, Kindel is focused on the unique issues facing that region. His projects at SOM include a National Plan for the Kingdom of Bahrain, Chicago’s Millennium Park, and China’s Chongming Island Master Plan among other notable efforts. Originally based in Chicago, Kindel subsequently established SOM’s City Design Practice studio in Hong Kong, undertaking numerous projects throughout China, Australia, and Southeast Asia.

With this global experience, Kindel offers clients an international perspective for their design challenges. His work is best represented by the concept of sustainable urbanism, which blends infrastructure, natural systems, and architectural design into compelling development solutions that address both client needs and issues of global urbanization. Collectively, the projects in which Kindel has played a significant design role have been honored with over 20 major design awards from the American Institute of Architects, the Urban Land Institute, and the Congress for New Urbanism, among other organizations.

Greg King, Associate Vice President for Economic Development, Georgia Institute of Technology

Greg King is the Associate Vice President for Economic Development at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Each day he works with companies to establish successful partnerships and meaningful relationships with campus to support their business and innovation plans. Within Technology Square and other campus innovation areas he works to enhance the alignment and access to research, education programs and technology development important to economic development and growing communities of innovation. In addition to his role at Georgia Tech, he represents the University System of Georgia in support the state’s industry recruitment and expansion efforts by finding alignment across the system around the talent and technology needs of companies that are considering investment in Georgia.

Erin Koshut, Executive Director, Cummings Research Park

Erin Koshut is the Executive Director of Cummings Research Park (CRP) in Huntsville, Alabama. With 300 companies situated over more than 3,800 acres and employing 26,500 employees, CRP is the second largest research park in the U.S. and the fourth largest in the world. Erin is responsible for managing and marketing CRP, and for providing a business environment that is conducive to growing existing industry and recruiting new industry into the Park. In her role as CRP Director, Erin continues to lead the implementation of the 2016 comprehensive master plan that ensures another 50 successful years for CRP. Partnering with stakeholders and community leaders, Erin is working to transform the culture in the Park and create a vibrant environment where employees connect, work, live, learn, and play. Erin is a certified Business Incubation Manager.

Christine M. Kretz, Vice President, Programs and Partnerships, International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory

Christine Kretz' focus is to identify opportunities for leveraging the ISS facilities to enable science and technology research that will benefit life on Earth while maximizing taxpayer investment in the ISS. Christine’s team helps interested organizations determine how to best to approach research on the Station and work through the process to accomplish the desired objectives.

Previously, Christine worked for IBM, starting as a manager in the Research Division where her responsibilities included IT security for eight labs globally. From the Research Division, Christine took a corporate position and was named the Global Operations Manager for IBM Life Sciences, an emerging business area for IBM at that time. Christine has also held the positions of Healthcare Solutions Executive on the IBM Global Healthcare Industry team and Client Executive and Complex Opportunity Manager in Healthcare / Life Sciences. Most recently, she managed the Research Division Healthcare and Life Sciences organization.

Christine holds a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University and an MBA in Operations from Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh where she is a Director at Large of the Alumni Board and a member of the Business School Alumni Board.

Emily Krueger, Chief Operating Officer, 16 Tech Community Corporation

Prior to joining 16 Tech in 2018, Krueger served as Vice President of Administration for Indianapolis-based LDI, Ltd., one of Indiana’s largest private companies. As a member of the executive leadership team, Krueger helped evaluate acquisition opportunities and grow companies in a variety of industries and stages of development. She joined LDI in 2013 as Chief of Staff. Krueger, a native Hoosier, spent her early career working for former U.S. Senator Richard G. Lugar in a variety of Capitol Hill and campaign positions.

An active community leader, Krueger lends her fundraising and communications expertise to a number of local nonprofit organizations focused on health and education. She is past Board Chair of Timmy Global Health, a nonprofit provider of primary care services as well as health and development programs in the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala and Nigeria. She also serves on committees for Christel House International and The Mind Trust. Krueger is a graduate of Valparaiso University and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, where she earned her MBA.

Tina Larson, President & COO, Recursion

Prior to joining Recursion, Tina Marriott Larson served Senior Vice President and Compliance Committee member at Achaogen, a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company that discovered, developed and commercialized treatments for infectious disease. Tina led Achaogen’s technical operations team—accountable for process development, supply chain and diagnostic development. Prior to Achaogen, she was Global Head of Technical Development Business Operations at Roche where she was responsible for business and technology infrastructure.

For 20 years, Tina was at Genentech/Roche in technical operations roles that included Automation Engineer, Associate Director Manufacturing Sciences, Director Process Development Engineering and Senior Director Technical Development Operations & Engineering. She has both deep technical expertise in scale-up of biopharmaceutical production and managing technical and operational organizations.

Tina received a BS in Chemical Engineering from Colorado State University. She was recognized as 2012 Rising Star by the Healthcare Business Women’s Association, 2020 CXO of the Year by Utah Business magazine, 2019 Women Tech Council Awards recipient, and 2019 CSU Distinguished Alumni. She serves on the Colorado State University’s College of Engineering advisory board.

Julie Lenzer, Chief Innovation Officer; Director, UM Ventures, The University of Maryland

As Chief Innnovation Officer, Julie Lenzer is charged with fostering and supporting the development that is currently underway in the UMD Research Park and Greater College Park. She will also promote and facilitate productive, university-wide collaboration to launch startup ventures based upon University intellectual property, as well as maximize synergies between UMD and the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) to leverage strengths of each and encourage technology commercialization. Most recently, Julie was appointed to lead the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE) within the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA). In her capacity as Director of the OIE, she drove programs and policies that support innovative economic development such as innovation-based entrepreneurship and regional innovation clusters.

Scott Levitan, President and CEO, The Research Triangle Foundation of North Carolina

Scott Levitan was hired in August 2017 to lead the Research Triangle Foundation as its CEO & President. He has over 30 years of experience working in mixed-use development, with an emphasis on university-related research parks. Prior to his current role, Scott was the Vice President of Forest City Realty Trust and Development Director for the Science + Technology Park at Johns Hopkins and the New East Baltimore Community. There, he oversaw a $1.5 billion initiative directly adjacent to The Johns Hopkins University medical campus that includes life science research and office space, residential, retail, a new public park and a community school. Prior to that, he was the Executive Director of Real Estate Development for Georgia Institute of Technology, where he oversaw all real estate planning and development activities for the Institute. During his tenure, he oversaw the development of Technology Square, a 1.6 million-square-foot institutionally sponsored but privatized development initiative in Midtown Atlanta. Scott holds a master’s degree in urban design from Harvard University, a master’s in conservation studies from the University of York in York, England, and a bachelor’s in architecture from Louisiana State University. He is active in a number of real estate industry organizations, including the Association of University Research Parks, where he has served on its Board and taught an annual “BioParks 101” seminar.

Daniel Lucenti, Senior Associate, Ayers Saint Gross

Daniel has ten years of experience in a variety of project types, including higher education, commercial, mixed-use, and innovation districts. He is responsible for the production, management, and coordination of technical documents for projects from the design phase through construction. He has recently been implementing buildings on our two recently completed innovation campuses in the Northwest United States.

Ariella Lukach, PhD, Vice President, Strategy & Positioning, Stiletto

Ariella specializes in multi-year strategic planning and execution support for high-impact initiatives, market focusing and positioning, institutional and corporate governance, multi-sector stakeholder relations, business planning, market intelligence, funding applications, and business development. Ariella has a strong scientific background and works in the intersection of science, industry, and government.Working with research & technology parks, businesses, communities, governments, academic institutions, non-profits, industry associations, and economic development in North America and Europe has given her a unique lens into how to create economic and social success for clients. Industry expertise include cleantech, ICT, smart grid, cybersecurity, advanced manufacturing, smart agri-food, and healthcare.

Allison Madden, MBA, Director of Operations and Secretary, University of South Florida Research Foundation

Allison Madden is director of operations for the University of South Florida Research Foundation in Tampa, and also serves in the officer position of secretary of the USF Research Foundation, Inc. The Research Foundation is a non-profit, direct-support organization serving the research mission of the University of South Florida. Allison is responsible for corporate governance, strategic planning, and all areas of USF Research Park operations including planning, construction, vendor and client relations, and compliance. The Research Park is a vital component of USF’s Innovation Enterprise which infuses $582 million yearly into Florida’s economy, sustains more than 4,000 public and private sector jobs, and returns more than $71 million in tax revenue to local, state and federal coffers.

Allison joined USF in 1988 and has also served as chief financial officer and business manager for the USF Research Foundation. She earned a MBA with focus on management and BS with honors in information systems and decision sciences, both from USF. She is a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma and Phi Kappa Phi Honor Societies.

Amon Martin, Regional Vice President, Southeast Penrose Properties

AAmon Martin is responsible for the execution and continued growth of Pennrose’s development pipeline including all aspects of the real estate development process from initial conception through construction, to lease-up and stabilized occupancy or sale within the Southeast area. Amon brings with him over 20-years of progressive experience in market-rate and affordable apartments, small-scale and large; multi-family and senior conventionally financed or with public financing. He is a real estate professional with notable success within the areas of design, development, financing, underwriting, master planning, management-operations, land swaps, infrastructure improvements, demolition, construction, and acquisitions. Previously, Amon was Senior Development Director with Integral Group, LLC where he contributed to growth and new business development and was charged with mixed-income/mixed-use developments in the Southeast.

Amon attended the US Air Force Academy where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Operations Research. He also attended the University of Maryland School of Public Affairs where he earned a Master’s in Public Management with a concentration in Public Sector Financial Management.

Angela Belden Martinez, Regional Director, EDA Denver Office

Angela Belden Martinez is responsible for EDA’s ten-state mountain west region. Previously she served six years as EDA’s Director of External Affairs in Washington, D.C., where she advised the Assistant Secretary on strategic policy issues and managed both the legislative and public affairs work of the agency. As part of her work, Angela has helped shape and launch several multi-agency initiatives, including the Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge, the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership, and EDA’s Regional Innovation Strategies Program, now known as Build to Scale. Angela brings 20 years of experience in both the private and public sectors. Before joining the Department of Commerce, Angela was Vice President of Corporate Communications for the Motion Picture Association of America, where she managed global communications efforts and served as a senior advisor to the CEO and member company officials. Angela earned a bachelor of science from Indiana University with a double major in Journalism and Political Science.

Alexander McDonald, Chief Economist, Office of the Administrator, NASA

Prior to his current position at NASA, Alexander MacDonald was Senior Economic Advisor in the Office of the Administrator and founding program executive of NASA’s Emerging Space Office within the Office of the Chief Technologist. He is the author and editor of a number of NASA reports including Emerging Space: The Evolving Landscape of 21st Century American Spaceflight, Public-Private Partnerships for Space Capability Development, and Economic Development of Low-Earth Orbit. In the past he held of the positions of executive staff specialist on commercial space at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, research faculty member at Carnegie Mellon University, and worked for the Universities Space Research Association while at NASA’s Ames Research Center.

He received his undergraduate degree in economics from Queen’s University in Canada, his master’s in economics from the University of British Columbia, and was a Clarendon Scholar at the University of Oxford where he obtained his doctorate on the long-run economic history of American space exploration. He was also an inaugural TED Senior Fellow and received the AIAA History Manuscript of the Year Award in 2016.

Suzet McKinney, DrPH, MPH, Principal, Director of Life Sciences, Sterling Bay

Dr. Suzet McKinney is a public health expert, medical executive, thought leader, strategic thinker and nationally recognized expert in emergency preparedness and response. Suzet oversees relationships with the scientific, academic, corporate, tech, and governmental sectors involved in the life sciences ecosystem. She also leads the strategy to expand Sterling Bay’s footprint in life sciences nationwide. She previously served as CEO and Executive Director of the Illinois Medical District, where she managed a 24/7/365 environment that included 560 acres of medical research facilities, labs, a biotech business incubator, universities, raw land development areas, four hospitals and more than 40 healthcare-related facilities. Within two years of leadership, Suzet accomplished a financial turnaround of the IMD, successfully retiring more than $40 million in debt.

Suzet serves as an Instructor in the Division of Translational Policy and Leadership Development at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health and as Adjunct Assistant Professor of Health Policy Administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health. She is the co-author of Public Health Emergency Preparedness: Practical Solutions for the Real World (2018) and was named one of Chicago’s 50 Most Powerful Women (2020), and one of Chicago’s Notable Women in Healthcare (2018 & 2019). Suzet holds her Doctorate from the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, with a focus on preparedness planning, leadership and workforce development. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Brandeis University where she was also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Fellow. She received her Master of Public Health degree and certificates in Managed Care and Health Care Administration from Benedictine University..

Chrystal Morgan, Director, State and Local Affairs, United Launch Alliance

Chrystal Morgan is Director, State & Local Affairs for United Launch Alliance. In this role she briefs key stakeholders on ULA current projects, future programs and strategic direction. Prior to joining ULA Ms. Morgan served in management positions at a number of aerospace organizations including RUAG Space USA, Martin Federal NASA and Teledyne Brown Engineering. She also held the position of Director of Research Communications at the University of Alabama Huntsville where she received several awards for her writing and marketing projects. She is currently on the Board of Directors for the National Space Club Huntsville Chapter, the FIRST Regional Robotic, and the Colorado Space and Business Roundtable.

Paul Morris, Deputy Director and General Counsel, Military Installation and Development Authority

Paul is the acting Executive Director and General Counsel of the Military Installation Development Authority (MIDA), and has coordinated multiple projects including the development of seven new facilities along I-15 near Hill Air Force Base. Before working at MIDA, Paul served as the West Valley City attorney for over 20 years and brings considerable experience in municipal bonding and financing to our team.

Kendis Key Muscheid, Esq., Partner, Ballard Spahr LLP

Kendis Key Muscheid is a partner and Team Leader of Ballard Spahr's Exempt Organizations Team. She is a leading nonprofit tax attorney in the Southwest, and focuses her practice on the representation of tax-exempt organizations and donors making charitable gifts. Her clients include a variety of 501(c)(3) and other tax-exempt organizations, including universities, charter schools, research institutions, hospitals, foundations, museums, social welfare organizations, trade associations, and arts groups. Kendis advises organizations about qualification for tax exemption, conversions to and from tax-exempt status, governance, advocacy, unrelated business income tax matters, endowment creation and management, restructuring multi-tier entities, and mergers and acquisitions.

Thomas Osha, Senior Vice President, Innovation and Economic Development, Wexford Science & Technology, LLC

Tom Osha is employed by Wexford Science + Technology as Senior Vice President, Innovation and Economic Development. In this role, he guides Wexford’s implementation of its Knowledge Community strategy across their development stakeholders globally to position Wexford’s research park developments as critical hubs in the regional innovation ecosystem. Tom recently delivered keynotes on creating innovation ecosystems and helping Universities, research institutions, cities, regions, and federal governments, leverage their research and technologies into knowledge-led economic development, at the Associated of University Research Parks, the Austin Chamber of Commerce, the Society for Research Administration, and the NATO Industry Summit.

Dr. Taylor Randall, President, The University of Utah

Prior to being announced as President of the University of Utah earlier this year, Dr. Taylor Randall led the nationally ranked David Eccles School of Business from 2009-2021. Under his innovative and dynamic leadership at the Eccles School, it has grown five-fold, creating significantly greater opportunity for students, faculty, and the community. Significant milestones during his time as Dean include serving as Utah’s economic lead on the Unified Command for the COVID-19 recovery; increasing scholarship funding for students from $800,000 to over $15 million; forming the Ascent Program for first-generation students from underrepresented populations; achieving a top-three ranking among state schools nationally for the percentage of tenured and tenure-track women faculty; and creating five outstanding centers that serve students and the broader community locally, nationally, and globally.

In keeping with the Eccles school’s substantial upward trajectory and Randall’s growth mindset, over the past decade, he has overseen the funding, design, and construction of three major buildings on campus and is executing on the design phase of a fourth building dedicated to student experiences and housing. In addition, under his guidance, the University of Utah Venture Fund became the largest student-run venture fund in the country. He graduated from the University of Utah with honors in accounting and then earned an MBA and PhD in operations and information management from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Randall is a third-generation professor with a long and deep commitment to the University of Utah.

Rodney Richerson, Managing Principal, Sterling Bay West

Rodney is Managing Principal of Sterling Bay | West where he is responsible for sourcing and closing new acquisitions and developments in the Western USA. Prior to joining Sterling Bay | West, Rod oversaw the Western half of the United States on behalf of KBS Realty Advisors and its affiliate KBS Capital Advisors. Rod was responsible for all activity, including acquisitions, asset management and dispositions. During his time at KBS, Rod oversaw the acquisitions and development of approximately $5 billion in acquisition and development deal volume. Rod was also actively involved in capital raising efforts, including the $1.2B IPO of the Prime Office REIT (Singapore listing) roadshows throughout Asia and trips to the middle east. Prior to KBS, Rod worked in the Mexico City office of Koll/Cushman Realty Mexico (KCRM) and was with Koll’s Southern California Development Group. Rod serves on a variety of industry advisory groups and is a board member of the Southern California chapter of NAIOP. He earned a BA in Business, with an emphasis in real estate finance from California State University, Fullerton.

Kirk Ririe, Chief Executive Officer, Idaho Molecular; Founding CEO, BioFire Diagnostics

Together with Dr. Carl Wittwer, Kirk Ririe co-founded Idaho Technology and took a license to Rapid-PCR technology developed in his laboratory at the University of Utah, Dept. of Pathology. Initially, they operated in Kirk’s family’s potato equipment company in Idaho, relocated to Utah in 1999, changed the name to BioFire, and sold the company to bioMerieux S.A. (bMx). After leaving bMx in 2019 as CIO, he relaunched the Idaho brand, as Idaho Molecular Inc., continuing to develop the tools of molecular biology to improve human health.

Beginning in the early days of PCR, he launched a series of instruments of increasing complexity and capability, including: The LightCycler real-time PCR system (licensed to Roche,1997). He developed several military-funded platforms for bio-threat detection, and after renaming the company, he launched the BioFire FilmArray system. FilmArray is a platform for syndromic testing, allowing nested-multiplex PCR analysis of dozens of pathogens grouped by syndrome (such as Influenza-like Illness or diarrhea) and sample type, directly from a patient sample. Nucleic acid extraction is included in a single-use cartridge, allowing analysis of complex samples such as whole blood, sputum, and stool. The FilmArray is now the gold-standard for syndromic testing in hospital laboratories with tens of thousands of instruments worldwide and over a billion dollars of product sales annually.

Over three decades, he has worked with a growing team of scientists and engineers to significantly change the paradigm of IVD testing. Many of the best and brightest from this team have joined them in their new venture. Idaho Molecular represents a fresh start for many of us from the team that developed FilmArray. Their expertise lies at the intersection of chemistry, disposable film-based cartridge development, instrumentation, and software. In this RADx Tech II project “A Home PCR Test to Detect SARS-CoV-2 from Oral Rinse”, using the full breadth of this background to deploy a system for home-testing that is truly easy to use, accurate, and inexpensive.

Mark Romney, Chief Industry Alliance Officer, Aggie Square - University of California, Davis 

Mark Romney, Chief Industry Alliances Officer with UC Davis Health in Sacramento, has been actively engaged in facilities planning for 26 years, including a special concentration on research facilities. He co-authored several NIH CO6 Grant Applications, resulting in grant awards exceeding $6 million.  Romney co-authored the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine’s Shared Lab Facility Grant and the Large Facilities Grant, providing over $25 million in grant funding for the construction of the stem cell program facilities, and he has stewarded the process of planning and implementing an innovation district master plan on the UC Davis Health campus.

Kate Ryan, Real Estate Partnerships Manager, Kansas State University

Wayne Savage, Executive Director, Arrowhead Park, New Mexico State University

Wayne is the Executive Director of the Arrowhead Research Park a 200-acre real estate development at New Mexico State University. Anchor tenants include the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine, General Dynamics, Alliance DNA, Vista Photonics, and the NM Spaceport Authority. Wayne is focused on positively impacting economic metrics for Las Cruces and southern New Mexico in the life science, aerospace, media, energy and ag-tech industry sectors through new business recruitment to the Park, and through facilitating collaborations between private industry and NMSU’s strategic initiatives. Current projects for the Park include a new multi-tenant office building, a film and TV production studio, a 3 MW Solar + Storage Renewable Energy System, and a Net Zero Energy District development plan.

Wayne is a 1980 graduate of New Mexico State University’s Industrial Engineering program, and serves on the University’s Engineering Advisory Council. He has over 35 years of experience across a range of industries, and returned home to New Mexico in 2007 to work on the design and construction of Spaceport America, before joining Arrowhead Center in 2013. Wayne is a founding board member of the New Mexico BioScience Authority, and also Vice President and Board member of the NM BIO industry trade association. In previous years, he has had leadership roles in the Borderplex Alliance Life Sciences Task Force and the Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce Commercial Space Task Force.

Matthew Scassero, Director, University of Maryland, UAS Test Site

Matt Scassero is the Director of the University of Maryland Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Test Site, focusing the resources and efforts of the state of Maryland on working with the FAA to integrate UAS into the national airspace, and enabling public access to these valuable assets to empower a flourishing civil and commercial UAS industry. His focus is to lead the university’s efforts to be a premier force in advancing UAS safely, efficiently and effectively, while delivering products and programs in support of workforce development and higher education goals.

Prior to this, Matt was the Chief Contracts Officer for Melwood, a non-profit dedicated to empowering people with differing disabilities to enrich their own lives through rehabilitative services and employment opportunities. Prior to joining Melwood, Matt completed a 27 year career in the US Navy, retiring at the rank of Captain as the Vice Commander for the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, the Navy’s principal research, development, test, evaluation, engineering and fleet support activity for naval aircraft and systems. He is certified by the federal government in program management, test and evaluation, software acquisition, safety program management and electronic warfare operations. Matt earned a BS in Physics (Oceanography) from the United States Naval Academy in 1982, a Master of Public Administration from the University of Baltimore in 2017, and is a Leadership Maryland 2007 graduate.

Ty Shattuck, Chief Executive Officer, McMaster Innovation Park

Ty is the CEO of McMaster Innovation Park, Canada’s Premier Research Park, where companies come to grow. Prior to joining the MIP team, Ty held various senior leadership positions within the digital media, aerospace, and venture capital industries, including Founder and President of Aethon Technologies, CEO of PV Labs, and Vice President at L3Haris – Wescam.

Ty is well known within the GTHA area for his business acumen and community leadership. In 2010, he was awarded “Engineer of the Year” from The Ontario Society for Professional Engineers. In 2011, as CEO of PV Labs, he led the company toward being named one of “Canada’s Top 200 Fastest Growing Companies” by Profit Magazine, and in 2012 they received an Academy Award under his leadership. Ty has a Bachelor of Engineering from the Royal Military College of Canada, and an MBA from University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Business.

Larry Shaw, Chief Executive Officer, Knowledge Park and Ignite Fredericton

Larry Shaw, Chief Executive Officer of Ignite Fredericton and Knowledge Park, is a globally successful business leader ranging from spirited start-ups to large international organizations. He has expertise in entrepreneurship, sales, marketing, economic development, operations, workforce development, and strategic planning in multiple sectors. Through experiences gained from working internationally in Canada, US, Europe, and Central America Larry has developed a diverse yet common sense approach when leading teams to excellence.

Larry is a member of AURP Board representing Canadian AURP members. Through his participation with AURP, he has worked extensively connecting partners internationally and developing research parks across Canada.

Geeti Silwal, Practice Leader, Principal, Perkins & Will

As the Head of the West Coast Urban Design practice of Perkins&Will, Geeti Silwal brings vision and design leadership that establishes the foundation of transformative changes for livable and sustainable environments in cities. She strongly believes that urban designers hold the responsibility to inspire integrated, multi-purpose design solutions of innovation and beauty that create healthy and inclusive cities. Geeti is deliberate in her design approach to reveal the unrealized potential of Nature and natural processes. This lies at the core of her push to deliver regenerative solutions that address climate change issues of water scarcity, food security and social equity.

Eric Smith, Executive Director, University of Arizona Center of Innovation

Eric Smith is the executive director for the University of Arizona (UA) Center for Innovation. In this role, Smith will be responsible for the daily operations and growth of the UA Center for Innovation, which includes administration, budgeting, financial management, grant submissions & sponsorships, client recruitment, building mentor & advisory networks, community outreach, and staff management.

Eric Smith brings with him almost a decade’s worth of technology commercialization experience and a passion for entrepreneurship. Smith comes to the UA Center for Innovation after serving as the commercialization network manager for Tech Launch Arizona (TLA), the UA’s office responsible for moving UA research and technological innovation into the marketplace.

While at TLA, he focused on building and leveraging a network of domain experts and business leaders who consult on university technologies to help reveal their commercial relevance as they are prepared for the market. He also managed TLA's National Science Foundation Innovation-Corps (I-Corps) Site grant program which teaches inventing teams about lean startup methodology and customer discovery. An entrepreneur in his own right, after Eric started, developed and sold his first company, he embarked on a career in various technology startups. Smith holds a BSBA in business management and entrepreneurship and an MBA from the University of Arizona."

Jeff Smith, Director, University Corporate Research Foundation, Michigan State University

Jeff Smith is an instructor of urban and regional planning in the School of Planning, Design and Construction at Michigan State University. He is also director of the University Corporate Research Park at the MSU Foundation. In his role at the Research Park, Smith manages and directs the real estate and economic development opportunities, to include the Research Park and the Technology Innovation Center business incubator, as well as develops opportunities and resources for companies commercializing University technologies into the marketplace.

Prior to this role, Smith was the director of the New Economy Division of LEAP in Lansing, Michigan. he has been involved in the launch of the East Lansing Technology Innovation Center, The Hatch, Lansing Startup Weekend, Ignite Lansing, The Hatching, Launched, as well as manager of the Lansing Regional Smartzone. Smith also served as an advisory board member for the Entrepreneur Institute of Mid-Michigan, Lansing Regional Chamber, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation Advisory Board for Redevelopment Ready Communities, Prima Civitas Foundation, and the Capitol Collective.

Additionally, Smith has served as an adjunct lecturer at both Baker College and Michigan State University, teaching classes in entrepreneurship at both institutions. He is a proud graduate of Michigan State University, earning both a bachelors in telecommunications and a master’s degree in urban and regional planning.

Ken Stewart, CEO NUAIR, New York

Christopher Stoddard, AIA, Associate Principal, Ennead Architects LLP

Chris Stoddard is an Associate Principal at Ennead Architects Co-Leader of both the Commercial and Laboratory Centers of Excellence at Ennead, he has nearly three decades of experience managing large, complex commercial, hospitality, laboratories and higher education projects in the US and abroad. His meticulous approach to scope, schedule and budget are matched by his broad experience in building systems and construction methods. He brings a collaborative spirit of integrated design to his work by pursuing the common goals of each project’s mission. Throughout his career he has sought to maximize sustainable and wellness features to minimize environmental impact and design healthy, resilient buildings. His project experience includes: The Cove, a nearly 3,000,000 sf science-based mixed-use development in Jersey City, which includes 1,500,000 sf of new build commercial and academic life science; and 3737 Science Center, a 434,000 sf commercial lab development for Wexford Development in Philadelphia for the Penn Center for Specialty Care.

Erin Talkington, Managing Director, Director of Consulting, RCLCO

Erin Talkington is a Managing Director and the Director of Consulting based in RCLCO’s Washington, DC office. Since joining the firm in 2010, Erin has engaged with a wide variety of clients in both the public and private sectors. Her experience includes highest and best use analysis for large mixed-use sites, downtown and corridor revitalization studies, and regional growth analysis. Applicable to projects of all types and scales, Erin’s strength is her ability to quickly synthesize the key market opportunities and strategic positioning for a particular site and communicate that vision to project team members, clients, and community stakeholders.

Erin is also the firm’s Director of Consulting. In this role, she is responsible for the development and implementation of strategic initiatives in team member recruitment and retention of human capital. In addition to client work, Erin has been integral in the continued development of RCLCO’s MetroLogic™ methodology, which forecasts regional competitiveness for growth and development. The MetroLogic™ platform also integrates scenario modeling that measures the impact of proposed transportation investments on both the quantity and value of development in a local area.

Peter Trapa, Dean of College of Science, The University of Utah

Jeffrey Woodbury, Senior Vice President Development and Acquisitions, Woodbury Corporation

Jeffrey K. Woodbury is an officer, director, legal counsel and senior vice president of Development and Acquisitions at Woodbury Corporation. For more than thirty years, Mr. Woodbury has been an integral part of deal sourcing, financing, acquisition, brokering, design, construction, marketing, and management of numerous projects, varying from university research and innovation communities, and office and business parks, to industrial facilities and multi- tenant shopping centers. In his more than three decades of professional experience with the legal and developmental aspects of real estate, he has successfully dealt with publicly traded corporations, individually owned companies, government entities, special interest groups, universities, and recreation groups. In addition to his extensive background in development, Mr. Woodbury brings his great enthusiasm and knowledgeable vision to every project. In recent years Mr. Woodbury has spent a lot of time creating mixed use projects, increasing densities by analyzing and utilizing parking and public amenities. Mr. Woodbury earned a B.A. in History from the University of Utah and a J.D. with honors from Drake University Law School. In 2017, CCIM recognized Mr. Woodbury as the Developer of the Year for his innovative development successes. Mr. Woodbury is particularly proud of the Falcon Hill Aerospace Research Park at Hill Air Force Base in northern Utah. The joint venture agreement between the State of Utah, The United States Air Force and Sunset Ridge Development (a co-venture of Woodbury Corporation and Hunt Companies) has resulted in the creation of thousands of jobs for the state of Utah.

E. Taylor Woodbury, Director, Chief Operating Officer, Woodbury Corporation; Project Manager, Falcon Hill Aerospace Research Park

E. Taylor Woodbury serves as the chief operating officer of Woodbury Corporation and on the company’s board of directors. In addition to his administrative responsibilities he is involved with various departments in the company, including accounting, finance, development and legal. Prior to his current position, he was the corporate treasurer and oversaw all enterprise cash management. Mr. Woodbury is active in the real estate development and investment activities of Woodbury Corporation, and is a principal in the management of Woodbury’s private equity funds. He is the project manager of the Falcon Hill Aerospace Research Park at Hill AFB in Utah. Falcon Hill is the largest enhanced-use lease in the United States Air Force. He led entitlement efforts and a successful campaign against a referendum to approve The Green on Campus Drive, a 1,600 bed student housing project in Orem, UT. He successfully negotiated the settlement and removal of over $3M of liens and eventual acquisition of a partially built Residence Inn in Idaho Falls. He also is a principal in the management of Woodbury’s RE private equity funds. Mr. Woodbury serves on the boards of the Foundation of Utah Valley University and City Academy (a Salt Lake City charter school), served on the development committee for Youth Leadership and Training Center for the Boy Scouts of America, and is currently the Development Coach of the Olympus Aquatics water polo team. He also was an adjunct professor in the MBA program at Westminster College’s Gore School of Business in Corporate Finance. Mr. Woodbury graduated with a B.S. in Economics, J.D., and MBA degrees from The George Washington University and an LL.M. in Taxation from Boston University.

John A. Zurawski, Esq., Partner, Ballard Spahr LLP

John A. Zurawski is a licensed patent attorney with Ballard Spahr. He combines his patent prosecution background with deep experience in corporate and contract matters to help clients maximize the value and success of their businesses. John provides strategic guidance on business and legal issues, with an emphasis on intellectual property procurement and technology development in the life science and biotechnology industries. John works closely with universities, startups and entrepreneurs, supporting emerging businesses with 360-degree guidance throughout commercial lifecycle—including the critical period between formation and early-stage financing. John's clients include higher education institutions, pharmaceutical companies, equipment, and vehicle manufacturers.