our staff

Headshot of Phil Weilerstein | President of VentureWellPhil Weilerstein | President

Phil began his career as an entrepreneur as a student at the University of Massachusetts. He and a team including his advisor launched a start-up biotech company which ultimately went public. This experience, coupled with a lifelong passion for entrepreneurship, led to his work with VentureWell. Phil’s tenure has been marked by his skill for network-building and expert leverage of resources. He has a talent for seeking out gifted educators and other contributors and putting them to work for the betterment of invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship education in the U.S. and worldwide. pweilerstein@venturewell.org

Headshot of Rachel Agoglia | VentureWell Grants ManagerRachel Agoglia | Grants Manager

Rachel manages the grant-making process at VentureWell, ensuring the efficient intake, review, and finalization of all submitted student and faculty grant proposals and competition entries. She ensures procedural compliance on funded awards, manages pre- and post-award processes, and works in close liaison with institution sponsored research staff. Rachel brings to VentureWell over a decade of prior nonprofit management and direct service experience, primarily in the areas of hunger, education reform, and nonprofit consultation. ragoglia@venturewell.org

Headshot of Alisa Ainbinder | VentureWell Senior Research and Evaluation AnalystAlisa Ainbinder | Senior Research and Evaluation Analyst

Alisa is the lead evaluator for the I-Corps™ Longitudinal Outcomes survey and the formative evaluation for VentureWell’s Xcelerator program. Prior to joining VentureWell, she worked at Mathematica Policy Research in their Washington, D.C. location where she was a survey researcher on numerous federal program data collection and evaluation efforts. Alisa holds a PhD in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago, an MA in Social Work and an MA in Social Science also from the University of Chicago and a BA from Smith College. aainbinder@venturewell.org

Headshot of Tim Binkert | VentureWell Communications OfficerTim Binkert | Communications Officer

Tim earned a bachelor’s degree in English and Philosophy from Syracuse University in 2000 and a certificate in professional writing and technical communication from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2004. Tim joined VentureWell in 2004 as an intern and was later hired to the permanent staff. Tim’s responsibilities at VentureWell include reviewing and summarizing grant proposals, writing and editing publications, generating web content, conducting grant performance reviews, and performing administrative and operational tasks. tbinkert@venturewell.org

Headshot of Patti Boynton | VentureWell Grants AssociatePatricia Boynton | Grants Associate

Patricia is Grants Associate for VentureWell’s grants programs. She brings to the position many years of experience working for entrepreneurial companies. Since she started with VentureWell in 2008 Patricia has participated in dozens of venture development workshops and met and worked with over 300 student teams. She believes these student-started technology ventures are our country’s best hope for the future. Patti has a BA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. pboynton@venturewell.org

Headshot of Dorn Carranza | VentureWell Senior Program Officer, Entrepreneurship and Venture DevelopmentDorn Carranza | Senior Program Officer, Entrepreneurship and Venture Development

Dorn’s life purpose is to create and implement novel approaches that facilitate scientists and engineers to become successful entrepreneurs driven to address the world’s most challenging problems. These approaches include entrepreneurship training that addresses gaps in traditional education, catalytic funding, and efficient networking & collaboration mechanisms. Dorn’s professional background combines almost a decade of entrepreneurship consulting, higher education teaching, and industrial pharmaceutical experience at Merck KGaA. dcarranza@vernturewell.org

Headshot of Will Coffey | VentureWel Programs Administrator

Will Coffey | Programs Administrator

Will provides administrative support to VentureWell’s Programs staff. After earning his BA in Environmental Studies from Skidmore College in 2010, Will lived in southern Mexico, volunteering at alternative-learning organizations, building composting toilets and working on permaculture farms. Since then, Will has served several small businesses in New England and has established his own fitness practice as a certified personal trainer. Will offers strong communication skills and technological competency to advance VentureWell’s mission. wcoffey@venturewell.org

Headshot of Hollie Crisler | VentureWell Events ManagerHollie Crisler | Events Manager

Hollie assists with logistics and operations for VentureWell’s programs. Originally from McDonough, Georgia, Hollie attended Valdosta State University where she earned a dual BBA in Marketing and Management, as well as her Masters of Business Administration. Prior to VentureWell, she held positions at Northwestern Mutual in Milwaukee, WI, Coca-Cola Refreshments in West Palm Beach, FL and Valdosta State University in Valdosta, GA. Hollie is a former collegiate athlete and an Alpha Delta Pi alumna. In her spare time she enjoys 5k fun runs, kickball, snowboarding and Zumba®. hcrisler@venturewell.org

Headshot of Nick D'Amico | VentureWell IT ManagerNick D’Amico | IT Manager

Nick worked in the Professional Services Department at Tekserve in NYC for years, setting up rich media workflows for broadcast and post-production video facilities. He is a web developer with love for all things Javascript, a Certified Apple Systems Engineer, jazz musician and compulsive autodidact. ndamico@venturewell.org

Headshot of Chris Desrosiers | VentureWell Director of FinanceChris Desrosiers | Director of Finance

Chris joined VentureWell in 2007 and successfully executes the financial and accounting functions of the organization. He handles grants accounting, tax matters, financial reporting, budget management and compliance. Chris gained his business and accounting experience as an entrepreneur primarily in the mortgage and real estate industries. He recently earned his MBA from American International College and is also a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, with a BA in sociology. cdesrosiers@venturewell.org

Headshot of Katie Dzugan | University Innovation Fellows Associate

Katie Dzugan | University Innovation Fellows Associate

Katie supports the University Innovation Fellows program. Working closely with Senior Program Officer Humera Fasihuddin, as well as Stanford’s Epicenter, she aids students across the country to be entrepreneurial catalysts on their campuses. Katie was a UI Fellow herself. Originally from Mount Prospect, IL, Katie attended Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, from which she earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Management, Marketing, and Entrepreneurship, as well as a dual MBA/MA focused on the nonprofit sector and strategic communication. kdzugan@venturewell.org

Headshot of Janine Elliott | VentureWell Program Officer, Entrepreneurship Training & Curriculum DevelopmentJanine Elliott | Program Officer, Entrepreneurship Training & Curriculum Development

Janine is the primary instructor for Stage 1, 2, and 3, E-Team workshops. She helps student entrepreneurs vet their markets, build business models and prepare them to raise first equity investments. To inform on-going curriculum development, she can often be spotted networking in the Boston cleantech & healthcare communities. Previously she was a co-founder of a cleantech materials startup based in the San Francisco Bay Area. jelliott@venturewell.org

Headshot of Humera Fasihuddin | VentureWell Senior Program Officer, University Innovation FellowsHumera Fasihuddin | Senior Program Officer, University Innovation Fellows

Humera oversees all things University Innovation Fellows (UIF), working with Stanford in the Epicenter. She launched the program in 2010 with a dozen students; it has grown to more than quadruple that number within four years. Prior to this, Humera led VentureWell’s mentoring initiatives, launching VentureWell’s first foray into advanced accelerator-like workshops for student and faculty teams and helped start and grow BMEidea and BMEStart, VentureWell’s biomedical engineering competitions. humera@venturewell.org

Headshot of Kirstin Gadiel | VentureWell Events ManagerKirstin Gadiel | Events Manager

Kirstin joined VentureWell in 2012 as the Events Coordinator, specifically focusing on the I-Corps™ program. Kirstin currently manages the logistics for upwards of 25 VentureWell events per year. Previously, Kirstin worked for the Grinspoon Institute for Jewish Philanthropy (now J-Camp 180) where she developed and coordinated the annual two-day professional conference. Kirstin holds a BA in Art History from Mount Holyoke College and an MA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Kirstin currently lives in Washington, D.C. and is known to frequently jump out of perfectly good airplanes. kgadiel@venturewell.org

Headshot of Tessa Goodhind | VentureWell Events ManagerTessa Goodhind | Events Manager

Tessa joined VentureWell in the summer of 2015. She is excited to be focusing on operations and logistics for the I-Corps program. After graduating from the Isenberg School of Management at UMass with a degree in hospitality she began working on the vendor side of the industry. She has held positions at UMass Amherst, Homewood Suites Holyoke and Chandler’s Restaurant at Yankee Candle. Tessa enjoys teaching 2-5 year olds dance at her local studio, skiing, and going to the beach. tgoodhind@venturewell.org

Headshot of Allyson Greene | VentureWell Senior AccountantAllyson Greene | Senior Accountant

Allyson joined VentureWell in May of 2009. She assists the Director of Finance in executing the financial and accounting functions of the organization including grants accounting, tax matters, financial reporting, budget management and compliance. She also oversees the payroll and accounts payable functions of the organization.  She graduated in 2008 from the University of Massachusetts Amherst where she received a BA in economics and is currently pursuing a MS in Accounting degree at Western New England University. She is a lifelong resident of the Pioneer Valley, having grown up in Montague, MA. agreene@venturewell.org

Headshot of Jennifer Holme | VentureWell Vice President of Finance and AdministrationJennifer Holme | Vice President of Finance and Administration

Jennifer oversees the financial integrity, growth and stability of VentureWell. She also manages human resources, contracts, grants administration, logistics, legal, and related administrative and operational activities. Before joining VentureWell in June 2012, Jennifer served as Chief Financial Officer at the Lathrop Community. Jennifer holds a BA from the University of Massachusetts Boston and a MBA with a concentration in public and non-profit management from Boston University. jholme@venturewell.org

Headshot of Aria Ingraham | VentureWell AccountantAria Ingraham | Accountant

Aria works to support the organization and its staff in all things accounting. Primarily she’s in the business of getting people paid (both vendors and staff) which earns her a special place in the hearts of everyone in the organization. She received a BS in Business and Accounting at Worcester State College in 2004 and MBA in Entrepreneurial Thinking and Innovative Solutions from Bay Path College in 2008. After eight years crunching numbers in the manufacturing industry she escaped to the non-profit sector where she worked as the Accounting Manager for the Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts. aingraham@venturewell.org

Headshot of Jennifer Keller Jackson | VentureWell Senior Program Officer, Special ProgramsJennifer Keller Jackson | Senior Program Officer, Special Programs

Jennifer oversees VentureWell’s faculty grants program. She also leads the annual conference, Open, which brings together faculty and students from across disciplines. Her experience includes program development and management, technical proposal writing and business development. She grew up in Asia, Africa, and South America and is deeply interested in entrepreneurial alternatives to the traditional aid model of development. jkjackson@venturewell.org

Headshot of Leann Leake | VentureWell Research and Evaluation AssociateLeann Leake | Research and Evaluation Associate

Leann manages evaluation databases, administers surveys, analyzes survey data, and contributes to evaluation reports. She has worn many hats at VentureWell, starting as grants assistant, then working as finance assistant before joining Research & Evaluation. Leann holds a BA in English and a BFA in visual art with a focus on painting from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Some of her past experiences include working as an assistant underwriter for an insurance company, copyediting for a textbook publisher and, more recently, serving as production manager for an independent feature film. lleake@venturewell.org

Headshot of Tara Loomis | VentureWell Senior Program Officer, I-Corps™Tara Loomis | senior Program Officer, I-Corps™

Tara is the Program Officer for National Science Foundation’s I-Corps™, managing the national course at seven different Nodes throughout the US. Prior to joining VentureWell she worked in higher education for twenty years, implementing several residential and academic learning communities focusing on business, innovation, engineering, science and entrepreneurship. She holds a BA in Sociology from Loyola University in New Orleans, her hometown. Tara also has a MA in Higher Education Administration from the Ohio State University and MBA from Rochester Institute of Technology. tloomis@venturewell.org

Headshot of Victoria Matthew | VentureWell Senior Program Officer, Faculty DevelopmentVictoria Matthew | Senior Program Officer, Faculty Development

Victoria manages the Epicenter Pathways to Innovation Program, focusing on the design of in-person and online convenings that foster the integration of entrepreneurship into undergraduate engineering. Prior to joining VentureWell, Victoria worked in higher education both managing and teaching online programs, and designing and developing new online programs. Victoria loves nothing more than swinging from a trapeze and playing ukelele with her daughter, though not usually simultaneously. vmatthew@venturewell.org

Headshot of Kat McNall | VentureWell Office AdministratorKathryn McNall | Office Administrator

Kathryn oversees front desk and office-wide scheduling, organization, and administrative support at Venturewell, as well as working with the executive staff and operations teams. Kathryn joined the Venturewell team after graduating from UMass Amherst with bachelor’s degrees in Theater and Creative Communication. A theatrical director and stage manager by trade, her passions include music, good writing, and watching concerts in standing room only. kmcnall@venturewell.org

Headshot of Stacey Mushenski | VentureWell Program Administrator, University Innovation Fellows

Stacey Mushenski | Program Administrator, University Innovation Fellows

Stacey provides administrative support to Epicenter’s University Innovation Fellows program, a partnership between Stanford University and Venturewell. Stacey has a passion for community development and has acquired a strong sense of devotion to the nonprofit sector. By joining the Fellows team at VentureWell, Stacey brings her deep appreciation of how the nonprofit sector improves quality of life for the region to a national network. smushenski@venturewell.org

Headshot of Liz Nilsen | VentureWell Senior Program Officer, Epicenter

Liz Nilsen | Senior Program Officer, Epicenter

Liz Nilsen provides leadership to the Epicenter Pathways to Innovation, an effort to engage with a cohort of colleges and universities to fully embed innovation and entrepreneurship in undergraduate engineering education. She also leads project management efforts for the Epicenter team. Prior to joining VentureWell, she led STEM initiatives in Pennsylvania and Virginia. She earned her BA from Stanford in history and an MBA from Northeastern University. Liz is a native of Anchorage, Alaska so it is perhaps fitting that her best Halloween costume ever was an ice cube. lnilsen@venturewell.org

Headshot of Kim Noble | VentureWell Operations ManagerKim Noble | Operations Manager

Kim manages logistics and operations for VentureWell’s programs. She brings extensive experience in the management of national programs relating to leadership and business management through her work for the National Federation of Independent Business, Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership and Golden Key International Honour Society. Her past work focused on coordinating geographically dispersed training programs, applying evaluation data to curriculum development, and developing and maintaining training materials. She received her BS and MS from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. knoble@venturewell.org

Headshot of Laura Sampath | VentureWell Senior Program Officer, Global

Laura Sampath | Senior Program Officer, Global

Laura oversees the planning, development, and execution of global curriculum and training programs. Prior to joining VentureWell, Laura ran the MIT International Development Initiative where she worked with students, faculty and alumni to develop effective models of engagement in emerging markets. Laura has also worked with USAID’s East Africa Regional mission in Nairobi, Kenya, and has been a Fulbright Scholar and Peace Corps Volunteer. Laura’s international experiences have spanned several countries in East Africa, as well as Morocco, India, and Peru. lsampath@venturewell.org

Headshot of Angela Shartrand | VentureWell Director of Research and EvaluationAngela Shartrand | Director of Research and Evaluation

Angela oversees VentureWell’s internal and external research and evaluation initiatives. She currently manages three NSF-funded research projects that examine innovation and entrepreneurship education in the STEM fields. Prior to VentureWell, she worked as a researcher and evaluator in several organizations, including the Young Sisters for Justice at the Boston Women’s Fund and the Harvard Family Research Project. She holds a PhD in Applied Developmental and Educational Psychology from Boston College, an EdM from Harvard University and a BA from Williams College. ashartrand@venturewell.org

Headshot of Marie Silver | VentureWell Program Officer, I-CorpsMarie Silver | Program Officer, I-Corps

Marie is a Program Officer for the I-Corps program. She comes to Venturewell by way of the STEM Ed Institute at UMass where she was the Program Manager for 15 years. At STEM Ed she managed several large and small NSF and NASA grants that guided STEM outreach at the university. Marie loves to travel and when she is not on the road she can be found in her garden or out on cross country skis. msilver@venturewell.org

Headshot of Christina Tamer | VentureWell Program Officer, Venture Development and InvestmentsChristina Tamer | Program Officer, Venture Development and Investments

Christina has worked with small and growing businesses of all kinds, from venture-backed clean tech startups in San Francisco to women-owned hair salons in Uganda. She worked with Invested Development, a seed fund manager focused on technology solutions to poverty around the world. There, she analyzed ~500 startups and helped build a portfolio of 18 investments. She started her career in social enterprise with Project Have Hope, a non-profit focused on creating educational and entrepreneurial opportunities for displaced women in Uganda. ctamer@venturewell.org

Headshot of Jennifer Taub | VentureWell Assistant Director of DevelopmentJennifer Taub | Assistant Director of Development

Jennifer supports development for VentureWell through preparation of funding proposals, concept notes and communications with funders and potential supporters. She conducts new prospect research, prepares stewardship reports to governmental and private funding sources, assists in coordinating the activities of the VentureWell Alumni network, and participates in the formulation of fundraising strategy with the Development Team. Jennifer has a BA in American History from Brown University and studied public policy at Claremont Graduate School. jtaub@venturewell.org

Headshot of Kate Tobin | VentureWell Officer ManagerKate Tobin | Officer Manager

Kate started at VentureWell in April 2013 as Administrative and Accounting Associate. She comes from a background in sustainable agriculture, specifically in food justice working to provide fresh, organic food to seniors in low-income areas of Boston while she worked as Office and CSA Manager at Enterprise Farm in Whately. She produced the 2011 Boston Local Food Festival. Kate grew up in the Pioneer Valley and is a Northampton native. She holds a BA in Modern American History from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Kate loves to cook and has two dogs, Chloe and Niko. ktobin@venturewell.org

Headshot of Dat Tran | VentureWell Senior Venture Development Officer, GlobalDat Tran | Senior Venture Development Officer, Global

Dat’s passion is to improve life of young people through innovation and entrepreneurship. He has extensive global development experience supporting entrepreneurship in Asia, the Middle East/North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. Dat is a graduate of Macalester College and the University of California, Santa Barbara where he earned his PhD in chemistry. He also holds a Customer-focused Product and Service Design Certificate from Cornell University. dtran@venturewell.org