Jessica M. Bailey, Ph.D.
Fort Valley State University
Dr. Jessica Bailey, a native of Baltimore MD, serves as Fort Valley State University’s Interim President. She is a former provost, professor, researcher and university business school dean, who earned her MEd from Coppin State University and her MBA and PhD from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Her lengthy career includes receiving academic awards for teaching and service excellence, developing and implementing cutting-edge community outreach programs, and spearheading new online programs within higher education.
University of Alaska Anchorage Business Enterprise Institute
Ms. Christi Bell is the Executive Director of the University Alaska Anchorage Business Enterprise Institute. She leads the University’s economic development suite of programs, plans the engagement of BEI, and manages the center’s personnel, and budgets. Ms. Bell has over the years provided leadership to technical assistance activities throughout Alaska including: Business Retention and Expansion, Cluster Development, Local Grown, as well as Tourism Planning and Marketing initiatives for communities that are predominantly small remote, rural and strong in indigenous leadership. Bell holds a CEcD (Certificate in Economic Development) from the International Economic Development Council as well as a Master of Business degree and a Master of Science degree in Resource Management, both from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Dr. Juliette B. Bell
University of Maryland Eastern Shore
Dr. Juliette B. Bell is president of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES), a historically black, land-grant institution founded in 1886. Widely known as a role model and mentor to students pursuing careers in science, Bell’s career as a researcher and educator spans more than two decades. She held leadership positions at Fayetteville State (NC), Winston-Salem State (NC) and Central State (OH) universities before joining UMES. Bell earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and valedictorian honors from Talladega College in her Alabama hometown. After completing her Ph.D. in chemistry at Atlanta University, she conducted postdoctoral studies at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
Ömer S. Benli
Associate Dean, College of Business Administration
Long Beach State University
Ömer Benli is Associate Dean of the College of Business Administration and Professor in the Department of Information Systems at California State University, Long Beach. He is also CSU 5 Guide for CSULB. He received a BS in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University, MS in Engineering from The University of Michigan, and Ph.D. in Operations Research from Syracuse University. He has served previously in the faculties of Bilkent University, METU, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, University of Missouri-Rolla, and Syracuse University. His areas of research interest are logic-based methods in optimization and analysis & design of supply chain and logistics systems. He has extensive applied research experience in both industry and governmental organizations. His recent work includes projects for Strategic Mobility-21, California Transportation and Logistics Institute, Northrop Grumman Corporation, and Institute for High Performance Planning.
Associate Provost, Outreach and Engagement
University of Southern Indiana
Mark Bernhard is the Associate Provost for Outreach and Engagement at the University of Southern Indiana. Outreach and Engagement includes units such as the USI-Crane Partnership, the Center for Applied Research, USI @ Innovation Pointe, and Continuing and Professional Education. Dr. Bernhard is co-lead on a $3 million Lilly Endowment grant that funds such initiatives as the Technology Commercialization Academy and the Eagle Innovation Accelerator. Mark serves as chair of the I-69 Innovation Corridor Executive Committee, a team of regional leaders from Evansville to Crane, Indiana and beyond focused on creating transformational economic development for the region.
Anchorage Economic Development Corporation
As Vice President, Jon manages day-to-day operations for AEDC and leads strategic plans to grow the regional economy through new business growth and attraction, supporting existing businesses and community development. Jon also develops new projects and initiatives to drive the organization forward. Jon recently re-joined AEDC after working as Deputy Commissioner for the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development (DCCED). Prior to DCCED, Jon worked at AEDC as the Director of Business and Economic Development and was promoted to Vice President. Jon has served on the Boards of the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority, the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, the Anchorage Library Advisory Board and Anchorage Community Works.
Associate Vice President and Chief of Staff, Office of the Vice President for Engagement, Indiana University
Rebecca Carl is the Associate Vice President and Chief of Staff for the Office of the Vice President for Engagement at Indiana University. Carl has extensive experience in strategic planning and communications, marketing, branding, market research, business development, and management. A graduate of Indiana State University, Carl also holds an MBA degree from Butler University and has been an award recipient on numerous occasions for outstanding marketing campaigns and products. In addition to her engagement activities, Carl holds an associate faculty position in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis.
Dr. Rena Cotsones
Associate Vice President, Engagement and Innovation Partnerships
Northern Illinois University
Rena Cotsones, Ph.D. is Associate Vice President of Engagement and Innovation Partnerships for Northern Illinois University. In this role, she works with NIU and regional leaders to create and implement collaborative approaches to advancing economic development and innovation initiatives in Illinois. As head of NIU’s Office of Innovation, Dr. Cotsones oversees the Northern Illinois Innovation Network and EIGERlab, a business innovation and product development center. In 2014, Dr. Cotsones represented NIU and regional partners in accepting UEDA’s Award of Excellence for Talent Development for JiET-A, a collaborative internship/mentorship program supporting the Rockford, Illinois aerospace cluster. Dr. Cotsones is an executive committee member of APLU’s Council for Engagement and Outreach and liaison to the Commission on Innovation, Competitiveness and Economic Prosperity.
Associate Dean for Corporate Engagement and CIRAS Director
Iowa State University
Ron Cox is Associate Dean for Corporate Engagement in the College of Engineering and Director of the Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS). He is responsible for enhancing corporate engagement with the college and helping grow Iowa industry. Ron received his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees from ISU in aerospace engineering. Prior to joining ISU, Ron was a faculty member in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Oklahoma, where he specialized in the development of computational fluid dynamics algorithms and the design of hypersonic cruise vehicles. His industrial experience included work in aircraft wing design and cooling tower design.
Director of Business Development
The Rochester Group, Inc.
Felix DiCamillo is the Director of Business Development at The Rochester Group. In this role, he has the opportunity to work with economic development organizations across the northeast and mid-Atlantic states. The Rochester Group’s work with community colleges and public and private universities provides a unique insight into the different ways that university economic developers function and the metrics they use to manage, measure – and improve – their operations.
Maura Donovan, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Office of University Economic Development
University of Minnesota
Maura Donovan is executive director of the University of Minnesota’s Office of University Economic Development. She is responsible for providing strategic direction and leadership for university-wide economic development activities, including promoting public-private partnerships and external engagement and working with statewide and regional economic development partners. Donovan spent more than 20 years at Medtronic Inc. and has extensive leadership experience in the medical device and biotechnology industries. She holds a Ph.D. in pharmacology from the University of Washington and a B.A. in chemistry and Russian from Macalester College.
Dr. David Dowell
Interim Provost, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
California State University, Long Beach
Dr. David Dowell is the Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at California State University, Long Beach. He has been a champion for student success, leading the campus to the highest retention and graduation rates in campus history, while reducing achievement gaps. Under his leadership, the university has been recognized for innovation, partnerships and its commitment to students. In 2014, CSULB won the inaugural award for Innovation and Excellence for Student Success and Completion from the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. Dr. Dowell has published and lectured on student success, strategic planning, and enrollment planning in higher education.
University Innovation Fellow Alumnus, Southern Illinois University and
Epicenter University Innovation Fellows program
Katie Dzugan is a University Innovation Fellow (UIF) alum. She helped develop Saluki Ventures, a student incubator at SIU Carbondale, located in and supported by SIU’s Office of Economic and Regional Development Center. Katie now works for Epicenter’s UIF program, and helps train students to be change-agents on campus by encouraging students to take ownership over their learning and their peers future education. She is an advocate for the entrepreneurial mindset and continues to pursue this passion by expanding the national movement through the UIF program. Katie earned her B.S. in Management, Marketing and Entrepreneurship, and a dual MBA/MA focused on the nonprofit sector and strategic communication.
Executive-in-Residence, College of Business
University of North Alabama
Janyce Fadden is Executive-in-Residence for the College of Business at the University of North Alabama. Janyce is guiding a leadership team that is implementing pathfinder projects that advance the region’s digital technology competitiveness using Strategic Doing, an asset based collaborative process. Her role includes leading Strategic Doing and implementing an innovation pipeline strategy to economically enhance the three state region served by the university. Fadden earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering and Management from Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York, and her Master of Business Administration degree from Northern Illinois University.
University Innovation Fellow,
Georgia Institute of Technology
Rachel Ford will speak about founding the Georgia Institute of Technology’s (GT) Innovation and Design Collaborative, called the “Design Bloc”. Design Bloc teaches an interdisciplinary approach to innovation and invention, utilizing design methodologies to learn by “doing” and “building”, and to apply these skills to disrupt markets and to drive innovation. Rachel will also discuss the entrepreneurial landscape of Georgia Tech, where she has co-founded two startups and now serves as an instructor within GT Venture Lab, which is rapidly evolving to output more student-created businesses to spur economic development at an undergraduate level.
Assistant Vice President for Economic Development
As assistant vice president for economic development, David Gard leads implementation of Indiana University’s statewide economic development strategy across the university’s eight campuses. In this role, he created and manages the IU Council for Regional Engagement and Economic Development, leveraging the university’s resources and expertise for regional economic benefit through strategic partnerships. Prior to IU, Gard served as the Indiana Economic Development Corporation’s deputy state director for small business and entrepreneurship, managing Indiana’s 21st Century Research and Technology Fund. His previous private sector experience includes various roles at Duke Energy and Fifth Third Bank after beginning his career as a US Navy Supply Corps officer. Gard earned his BS in business economics and public policy and his MBA from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business.
Vice President, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
Todd Greene is vice president in the research department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Greene’s responsibilities include providing strategic direction for the community and economic development department. The group works to promote community and economic development and sustainable growth for all sectors of the economy. Greene earned a bachelor’s degree in English and American literature from Harvard University, a Master of Arts degree in human resources management from Washington University, and a master’s degree in public administration from Georgia State University. He has completed executive education programs at Universidad ESAN (Lima, Peru) and Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Program Manager, Institute for Decision Making
University of Northern Iowa
As a Program Manager with IDM, James provides consultation to rural/urban community and economic development organizations undertaking strategic planning. He develops and facilitates community planning sessions for short and long-term needs, vision, resources, and programming related to entrepreneurship, business retention, industry recruitment, community-wide strategic planning, marketing, tourism, and organizational structure. James has also contributed to a variety primary and secondary research related to community and economic development including Laborshed labor supply/availability, underemployment, layoffs, community economic trends, membership interests, and economic impact analyses.
The architect of Inclusive Competitiveness – interdisciplinary policies, strategies, practices and metrics to improve the performance of underrepresented Americans within the Innovation Economy – Johnathan M. Holifield is co-founder of ScaleUp Partners LLC, a nationally networked, regionally focused consultancy advancing Inclusive Competitiveness. He is State Director of Inclusive Competitiveness, Believe in Ohio, leading efforts to create the first statewide Urban STEM Mentor Network to support education, innovation and entrepreneurship and senior consultant with Insight Center for Community Economic Development, a leading national research, consulting and legal organization building economic health and opportunity in vulnerable communities, and a blogger with The Huffington Post. He is founding Vice President of Inclusive Competitiveness at NorTech, the regional innovation development organization serving the Cleveland, Ohio region and is founding executive director of CincyTech – Cincinnati’s Voice of Technology and Innovation. Mr. Holifield has held executive leadership positions with Cincinnati USA Chamber of Commerce, Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy and Cleveland Urban League and was a member of the Cincinnati Bengals of the NFL. Mr. Holifield holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from West Virginia University, where he was elected football team captain, a master’s degree in Educational Foundations and law degree from University of Cincinnati, and is a graduate of The University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute.
Assistant Professor – Business
Alaska Pacific University
H. “Ky” Holland is an Assistant Professor of Business Administration at Alaska Pacific University with a focus on innovation and entrepreneurship. Mr. Holland received a BS in Mechanical Engineering, an MBA in Technology Management and is a licensed Professional Engineer. He has worked for 30 years in industrial product development, engineering, marketing and manufacturing, and general management. An adjunct for 15 years, he joined the APU faculty full time two years ago. Currently he is active in the Alaskan startup community, a founding partner of the Alaska Accelerator seed fund, an angel investor and on the board and advising startup organizations. He resides in Anchorage with his wife Sharon and has two home grown startups that are in the launch phases of their young adult lives.
Director of Special Initiatives, Office of the President
Arizona State University
Janet Holston has over ten years with the university in research administration, development and public-private partnerships. Holston holds a BA in urban planning, Virginia Tech and MBA from ASU. Prior to ASU, she owned a consultancy focused on strategic planning, grants and project management services for entrepreneurs. She began her career as an urban planner and city housing director in South Bend, Indiana. Holston is a board member of Charter 100 Arizona and awards committee member for the University Economic Development Association annual awards program.
Genna M. Hurd
Associate Researcher, Institute for Policy & Social Research (IPSR)
The University of Kansas
Genna Hurd is an Associate Researcher for the Institute for Policy & Social Research (IPSR) at the University of Kansas and Co-Investigator for the KU University Center, KU Entrepreneurship Works for Kansas. The EDA-funded University Center is a partnership effort between IPSR and the KU Center for Entrepreneurship in the School of Business. The KU UC focuses on unique and pragmatic programs in entrepreneurship, the biosciences, and technology. Hurd is part of the IPSR team that assesses and evaluates the Kansas NSF EPSCoR Program, which promotes scientific progress at KU, Kansas State University, and Wichita State University. She is Editor of the Kansas Statistical Abstract, an online data compendium for the State of Kansas. The IPSR Abstract team received KU’s first Team Award in 2008. Hurd is associated with the Center for Science, Technology and Economic Policy at IPSR and helps to plan and organize its annual Kansas Economic Policy Conference. Genna served as President of the University Economic Development Association from 2007-2008 and was on the UEDA Board from 2004- 2009 and 2012-2013. She was elected Treasurer/Secretary of UEDA in 2013. Genna graduated with Distinction from KU in 1979 with a Bachelors of Science in Business and Biology and a Masters of Urban Planning in 1983.
Scott’s teaching, research, and university engagement work focuses on economic development strategy and innovation policy. He has worked with local and regional communities across the U.S. and internationally helping civic leaders develop and implement strategies to grow their economy. Prior to his work in economic development he held leadership positions with American Airlines and United Way. He currently helps lead Purdue University’s local and regional economic efforts. Scott has an undergraduate degree in communication, a master’s in public administration, and a Ph.D. in public policy.
Adjunct Associate Professor, Sol Price School of Public Policy
USC Center for Economic Development
Dion Jackson is an Associate at the University of Southern California Center for Economic Development, Sol Price School of Public Policy. CED is a clinical forum and outreach arm for the school, engaging the energy, enthusiasm, and talent of students, faculty, and staff to provide a wide range of services to public, private, and nonprofit entities in the 12 counties of Central and Southern California. Specializing in community outreach and economic development strategic planning, Dion is responsible for grant writing, grants management, report writing, and oversight of graduate students on economic development projects for local communities. One of her most recent projects has been on the federal initiative, investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership which is aimed at doing nothing less than reinventing how economic development is done in manufacturing.
Katherine Jernstrom is the CEO and cofounder of The Boardroom, a coworking space and entrepreneur hub with locations in Anchorage and Juneau. She is also the managing partner at Alyeska Venture Management, a firm focused on building, funding, and supporting local startups that is managing Alaska’s first seed capital fund, the Alaska Accelerator Fund. Katherine has a BA from the University of Washington, an MPA from the University of Alaska Anchorage and is a graduate of Leadership Anchorage. She serves on the board of directors for the United Way of Anchorage, Spirit of Youth and is a founding board member of Launch: Alaska, the state’s first compressed, mentor focused accelerator program.
University of Alaska
Dr. Jim Johnsen was appointed to serve as the 14th president of the University of Alaska on July 28, 2015. His most recent experience includes service as an executive with Alaska Communications and previously with Doyon, Limited. President Johnsen also served the University of Alaska between 1996-2008, in several executive roles including vice president of administration and chief of staff.
President Johnsen is passionate about higher education and economic opportunity, having served as chair of the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education, vice chair of the Alaska Student Loan Corporation, vice chair of the University of Alaska Foundation, commissioner on the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education, member of the Alaska State Committee on Research, and member of the Board of Directors of the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce. As president, he serves as a commissioner on the Denali Commission, and is a member of the Alaska Aerospace Corporation board and the UA Foundation Board of Trustees. His education includes a B.A. in politics from the University of California, Santa Cruz, a master’s in political science from the University of Chicago, and a doctorate in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Johnsen and his wife, Mary, who is retired, have two grown children, both born and raised in Alaska.
University Innovation Fellow, University of Georgia
Shalin’s enthusiasm for university-based economic development originated while an intern with the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) where he currently serves as the first student advisory board member for APLU’s Commission on Innovation, Competitiveness & Economic Prosperity. He also serves on several committees for UEDA to help ignite a dialogue around student engagement with university economic development. On his own campus, Shalin has partnered with fellow students, faculty and senior administration to progress a myriad of innovation, entrepreneurship and economic development initiatives.
Dr. Simon Kim
Associate Vice President, Research and Sponsored Programs,
California State University, Long Beach
Dr. Simon Kim serves as Associate Vice President of Research and Sponsored Programs at CSULB. In addition to being a faculty member, Kim assumed administrative roles at CSULB, serving as associate dean, department chair, senior director for advising and retention, and associate vice president for student services. He has served on the Leadership Council of the Long Beach Education Partnership; was chair of the California K–16 Partnerships and Student Success Conference for educators and policymakers; developed and implemented many student success initiatives at CSULB; and served on the steering committee of the CSU Asian American & Pacific Islander Initiative.
Director, Center for Business Growth and Innovation
University of Northern Iowa
Paul Kinghorn is the Director of the Center for Business Growth & Innovation at the University of Northern. Paul has held a number of management positions within public and private organizations and has been involved in a number of startups and early stage small business ventures. Additionally, Paul has experienced the intricacies and complexities inherent in developing ideas and in bringing improvement into an organization and has over twenty year’s consulting with businesses in all aspects of their operations with a special emphasis on ideation, startup, strategy and process efficiency necessary for each client to achieve their desired objectives.
Janice L. Kleinwort
Executive Director of Economic Affairs
Arizona State University
As Executive Director of Economic Affairs at Arizona State University (ASU), Janice connects companies and economic development organizations into the ASU innovation ecosystem. She actively recruits companies to join SkySong the ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center and leads a variety of special projects to continually expand the innovation economy of Arizona. Previously Janice was Director of Employer Relations at Thunderbird School of Global Management, she taught and advised students at the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences and was Division Manager for Gima mbH, an international trade show organizer. Janice has a BA in international studies, a Masters in nonprofit studies and speaks fluent German. She is a University Economic Development Association board member.
President and CEO
Lyon Park Associates
Maureen Klovers is President and CEO of Lyon Park Associates, an economic development consulting firm specializing in regional innovation ecosystems, university-led economic development, and performance management. Prior to founding Lyon Park Associates, Maureen advised senior officials at the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA). She managed the agency’s $850MM Revolving Loan Fund portfolio, revamped the evaluation criteria for its University Center program, and served on the team that developed EDA’s Balanced Scorecard, which included rigorous performance metrics to shift the agency towards outcome-based program management. Maureen represented EDA on the Obama Administration’s Interagency Task Force on Regional Innovation Clusters, which included representatives from the Departments of Energy, Education, and Labor. Her peers on the task force selected her as the primary drafter for the task force’s pilot project—a $129.6MM Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) designed to promote the development of a green building cluster through coordinated federal investments in research and development, workforce development, and infrastructure. This pilot project served as the prototype for subsequent multi-agency grants, including the i6 Challenge and the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership. At both EDA and later at the U.S. Department of Treasury, Maureen developed IT systems to provide outcome-based monitoring and management of federal economic development grant programs. A certified Project Management Professional (PMP), she received a Master’s of Business Administration and a Master’s of Public Policy from Georgetown University. She currently serves on UEDA’s Board of Directors.
Co-Principal Investigator, VESTA Campus Director
Highland Community College
Mr. Kohl’s directs the Viticulture and Enology program at HCC including managing the 8-acre vineyard and accompanying winery. In addition Mr. Kohl oversees educational and extension activities delivered by the program to train and consults for the Kansas grape and wine industry. Mr. Kohl is the Secretary/Treasurer for the newly formed Kansas Chapter of the Farmer Veterans Coalition and is a strong advocate for the grape and wine industry in Kansas and throughout the Midwest, as he pools resources to meet stakeholders’ needs in the industry.
Client Support, Business Development Representative
John Marone is a client support and business development representative for EMSI. In his role at EMSI he enables organizations to use data to draw clear connections between people, economies and work. Prior to joining EMSI John held roles in fields of engineering services and production management where he was primarily focused on measuring, understanding and communicating the implications of process changes on natural resource and human capitol requirements. John received his bachelors of science in forest industries management from Mississippi State University.
Director, UMKC Innovation Center
University of Missouri – Kansas City
Maria Meyers is director of the UMKC Innovation Center. From whiteboard to boardroom, the center supports thousands of entrepreneurs every year in starting and growing businesses through counseling, training and access to the resources they need to succeed. She is the founder of KCSourceLink, a network that connects entrepreneurs with 240+ business building organizations throughout the Kansas City region. The model is used across the country through the larger U.S.SourceLink network. Other key center programs include the UMKC SBTDC; Artist INC; Digital Sandbox KC, a proof of concept center: Whiteboard 2 Boardroom, a technology transfer program and ScaleUP! KC, for growth companies.
Edward F. Morrison
Regional Economic Development Advisor,
Purdue Center for Regional Development
Ed Morrison is Regional Economic Development Advisor for the Purdue Center for Regional Development. He is also a member of the faculty of the Purdue College of Technology, where he is engaged in innovation policy. For the past ten years, he has been developing new approaches to strategy in open, loosely joined networks. As a part of this work, he has developed a new strategy discipline, called Strategic Doing. This discipline enables civic leaders to form complex collaborations quickly, guide them toward measurable outcomes and adjust along the way. Purdue offers a certification in Strategic Doing and is anchoring a national network of colleges and universities to support the discipline.
Jane M. Muir
Immediate Past President
Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM)
Jane Muir’s career spans three decades with a broad range of professional experiences in marketing, management, and technology transfer. She spent the first decade of her career in the private sector and for the past 20 plus years she has held leadership roles in technology transfer at the University of Florida. She currently serves as Director of the Florida Innovation Hub at UF – a unique 50,000-sq.-ft. incubator, Director of UF Tech Connect, and Associate Director in the Office of Technology Licensing. She is co-founder of Empowering Women in Technology Startups (ewits) and Startup Quest; both programs targeted at providing experiential learning in a virtual technology startups. Jane currently serves as Immediate Past President for the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) working to drive the strategic direction of a 3200 member association. She previously served as the Vice President for Professional Development implementing training programs internationally on a variety of marketing and technology transfer topics. Jane has received numerous awards and recognition for her accomplishments most recently the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award, and recognition by Girl Scouts Women Who Make a Difference. She has been awarded numerous grants for technology-commercialization programs; most recently an $8.2 million grant from the Economic Development Administration to build the Florida Innovation Hub at UF. Jane graduated cum laude from Southwest Minnesota State University with a B.S. in Marketing and a B.S. in Business Administration & Management.
University Innovation Fellow,Southern Illinois University, Carbondale (SIU)
Brandon Nolte is a University Innovation Fellow at Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIU), pursuing a degree in Business Management with a concentration in Entrepreneurship. Brandon is the President of Saluki Entrepreneur Corps, a student organization focused on fostering the entrepreneurial spirit within students and providing members access to speakers and real world experiences of entrepreneurship. Brandon took first place at the 2014 Saluki Entrepreneur Corps Elevator Pitch Competition with his business, Next Level Gaming Center, moving him forward to compete in the National Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization Elevator Pitch Competition in Orlando, FL. Brandon works closely with the SIU Office of Economic and Regional Development Center to develop student innovation and entrepreneurship culture in collaboration with Saluki Ventures, the university’s student business incubator. As a Fellow, Brandon has developed the Saluki Innovation Series, which engages students in experiential learning and competitions that encourage creative, innovative, and entrepreneurial thinking. He believes the initiatives provided though the Fellows program will give students the opportunity to network and build on their ideas and help develop Southern Illinois University into a stronger environment for student innovators and entrepreneurs.
Alaska State Director
USDA Rural Development
Jim Nordlund was appointed by President Obama to the position of Alaska State Director for USDA Rural Development in August of 2009. Since that time USDA-RD has invested nearly $2 billion in Alaska’s rural communities in electric, telecom, and sanitation projects; community facilities; housing, energy and business development. Jim has lived in Alaska for 33 years and was previously the owner of Nordlund Carpentry LLC, a residential building contractor in Anchorage. Jim’s work in Alaska includes seven years as the state’s Director of Public Assistance where he managed 500 employees and a $250 million budget, he served in the Alaska State House of Representatives, and he’s been a commercial fisherman. Jim has a bachelor’s degree from St. John’s University in Minnesota and a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Colorado. He is married with one child and lives in Anchorage.
Principle Investigator and Director, Viticulture & Enology Science & Technology Alliance (VESTA)
Michelle Norgren has served as the Director and Principal Investigator of the VESTA National Center for the past 11 years and under her leadership has seen the program grow from a three state partnership with an enrollment of 25 students to an ever growing 19 state partnership and participation of over 1700 students from around the world. Ms. Norgren graduated from Missouri State University with a BS in Education and a Master of Science degree in Educational Administration.
President & CEO
Anchorage Economic Development Corporation
Bill Popp has spent more than 40 years in both the Alaska private and public sectors. As President and CEO of the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation, he sets the strategic direction in marketing Anchorage and Alaska to companies and global industries considering Anchorage as a place in which to do business and assists local businesses looking to expand both within Anchorage and Alaska as well as Lower 48 and international markets. Popp is a past elected and appointed municipal government official for the Kenai Peninsula Borough and is currently a board member of the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, Visit Anchorage, Anchorage Downtown Partnership, the Alaska Partnership for Economic Development and Anchorage Concert Association. Popp is also a member of the Alaska Command (ALCOM) Civilian Advisory Board and Chairman of the Governor’s Broadband Task Force. He is the Co-Chair of the 49th State Angel Fund Advisory Committee and a member of the leadership team for the United Way 90% by 2020 initiative.
Director of External Relations
The Tseng College of Graduate, International, Midcareer Education
California State University, Northridge
Julia Potter serves as the Director of External Relations for the Tseng College of Extended Learning at California State University, Northridge (CSUN). Her responsibilities include the University’s ELEVATE campaign which was created to establish university-wide partnerships with businesses and industries for contracted applied research, customized workforce development programs, and regional economic development initiatives. She also serves as the campus Guide for the CSU 5 (an alliance of the five California State Universities in Los Angeles County). Julia has worked for CSUN in various capacities for over ten years. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Southern Methodist University.
Director, Corporate Engagement, Kansas State University
Richard Potter brings 30+ years of marketing, communications and resource development experience to his position as director of corporate engagement for Kansas State University. He oversees the campuswide strategy for all university interactions with industry, matching K-State assets with the needs of corporate partners. Prior to joining K-State, he served as vice president for development and communications with the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance, a national alliance of universities and nonprofits working to prepare the next generation of nonprofit leaders. He holds a BBA in marketing from the University of Iowa and a MBA from the University of Dubuque in Iowa.
Dr. Rashmi Prasad
Dean, College of Business and Public Policy
University of Alaska Anchorage
Dr. Rashmi Prasad is Dean of the College of Business and Public Policy at the University of Alaska Anchorage. In leading the largest college of professional studies in the state of Alaska, Dr. Prasad has helped to build a dynamic group of faculty and staff to deliver the highest quality teaching, research and service to further the well-being and prosperity of Alaska. Prior to becoming Dean, Dr. Prasad was a faculty member at the University of Alaska Anchorage for the eleven years and currently holds the rank of Professor of Business Administration.
Director of Economic Development, Virginia Tech
A “pracademic” with more than 15 years of economic development experience in higher education and government, he builds partnerships linking resources from the university, community, and industry. Provo serves as chair of the American Planning Association Economic Development Division, as well Virginia’s University-Based Economic Development Officers. He received his Ph.D. from the School of Urban Studies and Planning at Portland State University, a master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a bachelor’s degree in government from the College of William and Mary.
University Innovation Fellow, Clemson University
Breanne Przestrzelski will speak about two initiatives supported by the Clemson University Office of Economic Development. The first is the DEN (Design & Entrepreneurship Network), a multidisciplinary network of I&E thought leaders dedicated to building a community of design, entrepreneurship, and innovation resources and partners. The second is the LemonADE Stand (Accelerating Design & Entrepreneurship), which is a Clemson University accredited two-week program that allows high school students to solve challenges in the areas of culinary, health, IT, sports, tele-presence, education, and more.
Founder, Innovation Accelerator
John Pyrovolakis is the founder and CEO of Innovation Accelerator, created in 2008 as the private side of a public private partnership with the National Science Foundation. Innovation Accelerator has developed a new innovation model that has been credited in the 2012 PCAST report for attracting $200M into IA’s portfolio of companie. In 2012 John founded the Innovation Accelerator Foundation (IAF), a non-profit organization committed to nourishing innovation beyond the lab. The IAF is home to iBridge, the world’s largest university intellectual property marketplace, with over 170 participating universities and 18,000 innovations. John is a graduate of New York University with a triple major in mathematics, philosophy, and computer science. He proceeded to the doctoral program on teaching fellowship and scholarship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a focus on mathematical logic. At MIT, John did research on automated theorem proving at the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. John was also a Teaching Fellow at Harvard, where he taught “Space, Time and Motion” at the Harvard-Smithsonian Astrophysics Laboratory, and won the Derek Bok Prize for teaching excellence.
Director of Economic Development
Kansas State University Institute for Commercialization
Rebecca is the Director of Economic Development at the Kansas State University Institute for Commercialization, where she leads the organization’s partnership with Knowledge-Based Economic Development, LLC in Manhattan, KS. Ms. Robinson focuses on recruiting or expanding businesses to the region that have a research-based relationship with Kansas State University. She has participated in numerous university and community committees and boards and prior to joining the Institute for Commercialization, she worked in marketing, sales, and corporate retail planning. Ms. Robinson earned her master’s degree in Business Administration and bachelor’s degree in Marketing, Spanish, and Leadership Studies, both from Kansas State University.
Provost, University of Southern Indiana
Ronald Rochon serves as provost at the University of Southern Indiana. His post entails serving as chief academic and student affairs officer, providing administrative leadership and oversight for all academic and operational components of the University. Dr. Rochon is committed to community renewal and collaboration. He works extensively with stakeholders throughout the University and the extended community to develop avenues of access for deserving young people seeking a college education. Throughout his tenure, Dr. Rochon has secured private, state, and federal grant funding exceeding $7 million, establishing educational programming, workshops, and long-term scholarships to assist underserved students and community members.
The Wylie Post
As a USA NTDP Alumni Wylie Rogers played D-1 college hockey for the University of Alaska Fairbanks before continuing on to a professional career in both North America and Europe. It wasn’t until suffering an injury during his professional time in Europe, that he decided to move forward in his life and further his education. After retiring his playing career in 2012, Wylie returned to his hometown of Fairbanks, Alaska to begin the MBA program. Wylie graduated from UAF in the spring of 2014. During the completion of his program he was introduced to entrepreneurship and Dr. Ping Lan’s Arctic Innovation Competition winning there and also participating and winning in the Alaska Business Plan competition. Working with Dr. Lan, these events helped him take his novel hockey net anchor, The Wylie Post, and introduce it to the market this past winter and he is launching his production product this fall to rave reviews across the country.
Dr. Kevin Rome
19th President of Lincoln University (MO)
Dr. Kevin D. Rome, Sr. earned the Bachelor’s degree from Morehouse College, the Master’s of Education from the University of Georgia, and the Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in Austin. Dr. Rome’s career has been concentrated in higher education, beginning at Georgia Southwestern University then the University of Georgia, while pursuing his graduate degree. In 1991, Dr. Rome joined the Housing staff of California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California where he served for 5 years. He was named Assistant Dean of Students in the area of new student services in 1996 at the University of Texas at Austin and then promoted to Assistant Dean of Students in the area of Campus and Community Involvement in 1999. He was named Assistant Vice Chancellor at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis in Indianapolis, Indiana. He was also responsible for the university’s diversity and retention initiatives. From 2004 to 2005, he was Vice President of Campus Life at Clayton College and State University. In 2005, he was asked to return to his alma mater Morehouse College as Vice President for Student Services. In May 2008, Dr. Rome was named Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at North Carolina Central University, Durham, North Carolina. On June 1, 2013, Dr. Rome began serving as the 19th President of Lincoln University in Missouri. President Rome serves on the Board of Directors for the Jefferson City Chamber of Commerce, the United Way of Central Missouri, Capital Region Medical Center, Central Bank, and the Jefferson City Area YMCA and is a Board Member for Missouri Campus Compact. He is a member of the Jefferson City Rotary Club. President Rome serves on the Board of Directors for the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU), as Assistant Chair of the Council of 1890 Universities Executive Committee – APLU, and is Chair of the APLU Commission on Access, Diversity and Excellence (CADE) and serves on the Advisory Council on HBCU Governance and Leadership for the Association of Governing Boards’ (AGB). He is a life member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated. He is a husband, father and community advocate.
Manager of Technology Commercialization
University of Southern Indiana
Dr. Jason Salstrom is the Manager of Technology Commercialization at the University of Southern Indiana. Dr. Salstrom is responsible for running and improving USI’s Technology Commercialization Academy. This includes program design and direction, student and staff recruitment, resource acquisition, and budget. Similarly, in 2015 Dr. Salstrom founded and directs the Eagle Innovation Accelerator and launched the first cohort, supporting six startups, providing seed funding to five. Dr. Salstrom also serves on the I-69 Innovation Corridor’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Task Force and Brainpower Task Force, committed to transformative commercial and workforce development in the region.
Senior Advisor to Lexington, Kentucky Mayor Jim Gray
For Mayor Jim Gray, Scott Shapiro manages strategic projects that include making Lexington a gigabit city. Scott led a major reform of Lexington’s long-troubled police and fire pension system. The effort saved the city $116 million and was called “the most effective reform the country” by a leading actuarial firm. Scott joined the Mayor’s office having earned a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, where he went, at age 40, to pursue a new career in public service. Prior to that switch Scott was in the private sector in New York City, where he built and sold a consulting company. Scott is married to a high-risk obstetrician who practices at the University of Kentucky.
Co-Principal Investigator and VESTA Campus Director
Michigan State University
Associate Director of the Institute of Agricultural Technology; Mr. Smith’s responsibilities and expertise focus on skills and workforce development in food and agriculture in Michigan, nationally as part of VESTA, and internationally in East Africa. Mr. Smith works to train US Veterans to work in food, agriculture and natural resources, and is on the steering committee of One Agriculture One Science. In these roles, he is actively engaged with the wine and grape industry in Michigan and with other stakeholders in VESTA partner states.
Dr. Marie Talnack
Director of Technology Transfer and Industry Clinic Office
Cal Poly Pomona
Dr. Marie Talnack is the Director of Technology Transfer Office and Industry Clinic, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Marie Talnack has worked in both public programs and private industry. Her major interest is in the transfer of technologies from publicly funded research to small businesses in order to commercialize technology, thus creating new business opportunities. Dr. Talnack’s career in Technology Transfer and Business Development has spanned over 25 years as a Technology Transfer and Commercialization Specialist. She holds a Doctorate in Science and Technology Policy from the University of Southern California, MBA in Finance and Marketing, and Masters in International Management. Her professional career in technology transfer includes four research universities and two national research laboratories as well as her own consulting firm established in 1991. Dr. Talnack is committed to university/industry collaborations and was a co-author of the National Academies’ recent publication, The Researcher’s Handbook.
Innovation Corridor Manager, Interstate 69
Michael Thissen brings 22 years of corporate and government experience to the academic setting in leading the I-69 Innovation Corridor at USI by building collaborative strategic partnerships in Southwest Indiana and Northwest Kentucky. Previously, Michael was the Director of Community Affairs and Senior Advisor for the State of Indiana’s Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) by assisting communities in capacity building and their quality of place initiatives. Michael’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Science with honors in anthropology and history from Washington University in St. Louis and is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma-Economic Development Institute.
Dr. Ashish Vaidya
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
St. Cloud State University
Former Special Advisor for Regional Economic Development, Cal State LA Ashish K. Vaidya will be joining St. Cloud State University as the provost effective July 1st, 2015. He has served as professor of economics, director of MBA programs, provost, and special advisor to the president for regional economic development at Cal State LA. Previously he was professor of economics, founding director of the center for international affairs, and the dean of the faculty at Cal State Channel Islands.
Project Coordinator, Arizona State University Economic Development
Marc works collaboratively with the ASU Economic Development team to engage and partner with local and statewide organizations to build the state’s economy. Prior to ASU, Marc held positions in economic development and government relations in East County San Diego, California. He is a graduate of Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in Public Policy and Public Service, and is currently in the final month of his master’s degree in Public Administration also from ASU.
Director, Opportunity Development
University of Southern Indiana
Daniela Vidal is currently the director of Opportunity Development at the University of Southern Indiana. This group focuses on identifying opportunities for individuals, organizations and communities to engage and leverage university faculty, students, and staff doing high impact research and consulting, as well as a key partner in economic development and technology commercialization initiatives for the region. Previously as coordinator for the Advanced Manufacturing and Industrial Supervision degree programs she oversaw the construction of the Applied Engineering Center. Before joining USI, Vidal held roles in R&D, Manufacturing, and Corporate Training & Development at Procter & Gamble, Mead Johnson, General Electric, and Berry Plastics. In addition, Daniela founded AGITO Consulting, where she provided consulting services and training in the areas of Operational Excellence, New Product Introduction, and Leadership. She holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Universidad Metropolitana and an MBA from USI.
Managing Director, Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship
Cliff Wojtalewicz is the Managing Director of the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship within Purdue University’s Discovery Park. Before coming to Purdue University in 2000, he served 20 years in the U.S. Army with assignments at all levels of command from Platoon to echelons above corps. His last military duty assignment was as the Purdue Professor of Military Science before retiring at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Cliff currently leads several initiatives impacting economic development efforts in Indiana and is currently pursuing his PhD at Purdue University in the area of deliberate innovation and entrepreneurship with an expected completion of date of spring 2016.