Meet the VentureWell staff— a team of experts, leaders, and high-performing individuals committed to expanding the impact of innovation and entrepreneurship.
Meet the VentureWell staff— a team of experts, leaders, and high-performing individuals committed to expanding the impact of innovation and entrepreneurship.
Phil has led VentureWell since its founding in 1996 and today serves as President and CEO. By developing and expanding VentureWell’s programs on a national and global scale, Phil has helped advance VentureWell’s mission to solve global challenges through science- and technology-driven innovation and entrepreneurship. He’s accomplished this goal by designing and overseeing a suite of programs that encourage and support the deeper engagement of higher education and research institutions in curricular innovation, and developing and strengthening innovation communities. Phil is committed to sharing VentureWell’s learnings and resources to support the creation of inclusive and more equitable pathways for student innovators to succeed in venture creation. Under Phil’s leadership, VentureWell has collaborated with key science funding agencies, major philanthropies, and hundreds of universities to train and support thousands of emerging students, researchers and faculty innovators. After celebrating VentureWell’s milestone 25-year anniversary in 2021, Phil remains driven to fortify the broader innovation ecosystem and continue guiding the launch of groundbreaking innovations.
Phil attended the University of Massachusetts where he was a co-founder of a biotechnology company developing naturally occurring pest control products. He is a Founder and Past Chair of the ASEE Entrepreneurship Division, and a recipient of the 2008 Price Foundation Innovative Entrepreneurship Educators Award, the 2014 Engineering Entrepreneurship Pioneers Award from ASEE, and the 2016 Deshpande Symposium Award for Outstanding Contributions to Advancing Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education. firstname.lastname@example.org
Jameelah provides support for federally-funded programs at VentureWell including NSF I-Corps™, I-Corps™ at NIH, and Industry-University Cooperative Research Center Assessment Management Program. She brings experience from the Chicago nonprofit and philanthropy space in the financial development and programmatic support of emerging organizations and social entrepreneurs. Jameelah holds a BA in Psychology and Communication and an MA in Nonprofit Management, both from DePaul University. email@example.com
Rachel manages VentureWell’s Salesforce deployment and other projects related to the expansion and improvement of the organization’s information systems. She has served many roles at VentureWell over the years in the areas of program delivery and grants management and therefore brings a deep understanding of the organization’s IT system needs and processes to her current position. Prior to VentureWell, Rachel worked at a variety of other nonprofits committed to addressing issues of hunger and homelessness, education reform, and strengthening nonprofit organizational capacity. firstname.lastname@example.org
Gila manages the coordination and implementation of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Frontier Set network. Prior to this role, Gila served as a VentureWell program officer for NSF’s I-Corps program. Gila has over 10 years of experience working in higher education and the non-profit sector. She holds a BA from the University of Arizona and an MSc in Practicing Sustainable Development from Royal Holloway University of London. email@example.com
Camillo coordinates activities that are key for the implementation of the VentureWell Industry-University Cooperative Research Center (IUCRC) Assessment Management Program. He supports the development of a range of industry partners to support the VentureWell early stage innovators and a vibrant i&e ecosystem. Previously he worked as a commercial lines underwriter, consultant, and startup co-founder. His education background includes a BBA in Finance and Operations and an MBA with a focus on data analytics from the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst. firstname.lastname@example.org
Cara implements and supports VentureWell’s early stage innovator programs both domestically and globally with a focus on medtech venture development. With a background technology development and public health. She helps innovators address the challenges of developing and implementing technology solutions in complex global health systems. Prior to joining VentureWell, Cara was a scientist at Diagnostics For All, where she developed point-of-care diagnostics for low-resources settings and led field trials in Zambia. Cara has an MS in chemistry from the University of Utah and an MPH from the Johns Hopkins University. email@example.com
Em ensures the quality and reproducibility of VentureWell’s data through utilizing best collection and management practices. She joins VentureWell from the financial sector where she applied machine learning methods to large scale marketing and investments data. Prior to that, she cleaned and analyzed longitudinal social networks surveys in her role as research assistant for a study on cyberbullying. Em holds a BA in Sociology from Smith College. firstname.lastname@example.org
Adam analyzes the impacts of VentureWell’s programs and assesses their outcomes using a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods. His prior experience includes applied economics research on behalf of public, private, and not-for-profit organizations, with specific emphasis on the energy industry and economic impact analyses. Adam holds an MA in International Commerce with a concentration in Development Economics from the Patterson School at the University of Kentucky. email@example.com
Patricia oversees the efficient intake, review, processing, and finalization of all submitted student and faculty grant proposals and competition entries. She manages pre- and post-award processes and works with student and faculty grantees and institution sponsored research staff to ensure procedural compliance on funded awards. During her time at VentureWell Patricia has worked on many student and faculty programs. Patricia has a BA in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. firstname.lastname@example.org
Dani manages the development team’s data systems and provides support for a wide breadth of grant proposals, concept notes, and funder reports. Prior to VentureWell, Dani worked in the arts nonprofit sector, where she developed, coordinated, and managed a portfolio of programs and funding opportunities centered in social justice and accessibility. Dani received a BA in Latinx Studies, Art Activism and Photography from Hampshire College, and an MPA in Nonprofit Management and Social Welfare Policies from the City University of New York – Baruch College. email@example.com
Allyson leads the financial reporting and accounting functions at VentureWell including grants accounting, funder/federal compliance, tax matters, and budget management. She also oversees the payroll, accounts payable/purchasing, and accounts receivable functions of the organization with a focus on internal controls and process efficiency. She holds a BA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst as well as a MS in Accounting degree from Western New England University. firstname.lastname@example.org
Tricia implements and supports VentureWell’s early-stage entrepreneur programs, providing training for innovators on topics ranging from customer discovery to investment-readiness. Previously, Tricia founded and led DayOne Response, a science and technology startup providing clean drinking water solutions to vulnerable communities. During her tenure, she built a company with international reach, developed key partnerships, invented and scaled water technologies, and secured financing, which resulted in reaching 35+ countries and saving lives. Tricia received her BS in Civil Engineering and MS in Civil/Environmental Engineering from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. email@example.com
Chris manages the financial and accounting functions of the organization. Some of the activity he oversees includes accounting, grants and contracts, financial reporting and budget management. Chris gained his business and accounting experience as an entrepreneur primarily in the mortgage and real estate industries. He earned his MBA from American International College and is also a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, with a BA in sociology. firstname.lastname@example.org
Seth supports the intake, review, processing, and administration of VentureWell grants and competition applications from students, faculty, and innovators. His background includes freelance grant writing for training and education, as well as over a decade in operational roles at cultural non-profits. Seth holds a BA from Lehigh University and a Grant Writing Certificate from Emory University. email@example.com
Sarah assists with financial reporting and accounting functions at VentureWell, including federal award compliance, budget management, and account reconciliations. She is also responsible for overseeing accounts receivable, and accounts payable. Sarah is a CPA with a background in Audit and received her BBA with a concentration in Accounting from the Isenberg School of Management at University of Massachusetts Amherst. firstname.lastname@example.org
Max is the designer for marketing and communications for VentureWell and partner programs. He oversees the visual brand voice throughout the organization and strives to create engaging, impactful design in print and web. Max has 25 years of leading creative teams, including as senior designer for Ecommerce at Yankee Candle and Art Director for Darby O’Brien Advertising. Max holds a BS in Graphic Design from Keene State College. email@example.com
Cindy leads the higher education catalyst team which works collaboratively to plan, develop, and implement VentureWell’s faculty and sustainability initiatives including Faculty Grants, Engineering for One Planet, Frontier Set, and OPEN, VentureWell’s annual conference. Prior to joining VentureWell, Cindy founded and led higher education programs at the Biomimicry Institute and Minneapolis College of Art and Design where she launched the world’s first fully online, multidisciplinary MA in Sustainable Design. She holds a BS, MEd and MS. firstname.lastname@example.org
Kelly supports the intake and processing of accounts payable, and assists with consultant contracting. Drawing on her strong background in administration and customer service, she cheerfully balances the routine of regular implementation against the ever changing tide of as-needed items. Her prior work experience is predominantly administrative, but also includes several years of organic farming. She is deeply invested in sustainability, as well as supporting innovators and entrepreneurs working to change the world. email@example.com
Ed develops marketing strategy for VentureWell faculty programs, Federal programs, and membership initiatives. He has provided digital marketing, communications and strategy for nonprofit organizations and small businesses for over ten years, with a focus on aligning goals and audience with digital content. He has expertise in web design, user experience, email marketing, search engine optimization, and digital advertising. Ed received an MA from the University of St. Andrews and a Ph.D. from Clark University. firstname.lastname@example.org
Khandle is passionate about equity and inclusion and promotes both through the implementation of US and global venture development programs. Khandle has been managing projects between higher education, government, NGOs, and industry for over ten years. Her expertise ranges from programs with a grass roots local focus to those with a global impact.
A former Peace Corps Volunteer to the Dominican Republic, Khandle holds a BA in Spanish and a BS in International Business from Pepperdine University and a MA in Communication from Arizona State University.
Jennifer champions a spirit of collaboration and open communications across all VentureWell departments and operations to provide leadership and ensure efficiency for organizational initiatives and priorities. She manages implementation of the strategic plan to ensure systemic alignment of the development, program, and functional units within the organization. She oversees the financial integrity, growth and stability of VentureWell and ensures that talent and technology act in support of administrative goals. Jennifer holds an MBA with a concentration in public and non-profit management from Boston University. email@example.com
Ashley supports the marketing and promotion of VentureWell early-stage innovator programs, faculty initiatives, and the annual OPEN conference, and provides ongoing marketing and communications support. Prior to joining VentureWell, Ashley led digital marketing, event management, recruitment, and fundraising activities at the College of Arts and Sciences at New Mexico State University (NMSU). She is a proud first-generation college graduate, and received her BA from Eastern New Mexico University in Communication and Public Relations, and her MA in Education Administration from NMSU. firstname.lastname@example.org
Margo assists with information management and communication for NSF I-Corps™, I-Corps™ at NIH, and the Industry-University Cooperative Research Center Assessment Management Program. Prior to joining the Programs team, she supported the Finance department by processing accounts payable, tracking consultant information, and facilitating panel discussions, with a primary focus on the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics initiative. She joined VentureWell as a Webinar Facilitator for NSF I-Corps™ and I-Corps™ at NIH. She is a 2020 Hampshire College graduate with a BA in Mixed Media and Creative Writing. email@example.com
Tara manages the I-Corps™ national courses, including faculty development and curriculum improvements. In addition, she leads the development of new I-Corps™ initiatives such as I-Corps™ at NIH. Tara also manages the Lean LaunchPad for Educators workshop, which takes place twice a year. She holds a BA in Sociology from Loyola University New Orleans, an MA in Higher Education Administration from the Ohio State University, and an MBA from Rochester Institute of Technology. firstname.lastname@example.org
Mandy provides end-user support, documentation, and training of information systems and technology use at VentureWell. She serves as a liaison across departments and roles within the organization, building awareness of existing tools and identifying ways these tools can be improved to better meet the needs of staff. She previously worked in libraries focusing on metadata creation and management in addition to reference services. Mandy holds a MLS from Simmons University and BA in Marketing from Baylor University. email@example.com
Shaheen oversees the coordination of activities and resources across multiple stages of VentureWell’s program development and delivery, and supports the development of new strategic partnerships. She enthusiastically embraces the role of intrapreneur, and previously applied her passion for creating positive social change through cross-disciplinary collaboration as Health Policy Advisor to the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services at the NYC Mayor’s Office. Shaheen is the original project director for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Leadership Network and earned a BA from The College of New Jersey and an MPA from CUNY – Baruch College. firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark leads the implementation of Venturewell’s growth strategy, including new business cultivation and portfolio expansion of individual, foundation, corporate, and government revenue. He also serves as Principal Investigator and Project Director for a number of VentureWell initiatives. Mark has over 18 years’ experience in US and global health organizations leading operations, business development, board governance, program development, and administration. He has a background in molecular biology and infectious disease diagnostics and received a BA in Zoology and Neuroscience from Miami University (OH) and a MPH from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. email@example.com
Colleen is responsible for full cycle contract administration with the many vendors and consultants VentureWell engages with. As a member of the Finance team, vendor relations and commitment management are among her top priorities. With a background in hospitality and corporate finance, Colleen brings a solutions based approach to the management and adherence of funder rules and regulations. Colleen holds a BS in Business Administration from Robert Morris University. firstname.lastname@example.org
Victoria leads VentureWell’s collaboration with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Frontier Set, a network of 31 post-secondary institutions, all working to close the student opportunity gap. Previous to this role, Victoria led the NSF funded Pathways to Innovation program where she designed online and in-person programming that fostered the integration and institutionalization of innovation and entrepreneurship, and leveraged the power of faculty networks. Prior to VentureWell, Victoria worked for over a decade in higher education. She has designed, developed, and managed degree programs, and has experience teaching online, and recruiting and training online faculty. Victoria holds a BS from the University of Hull and an MS from Marlboro College. email@example.com
KD Maynard works with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Frontier Set, seeking best practices to promote the retention and success of college students. Leveling the playing field has been a theme in her career, which spans a number of roles in a variety of different institutions. Previously, KD also consulted on Venturewell’s Pathways to Innovation NSF grant, working to reframe the delivery of engineering education to undergraduates. KD earned an AB in Linguistics from Brown University and a MALS focusing on Women’s Studies from Dartmouth. firstname.lastname@example.org
Liz supports the Finance Department and the RADx Initiative in processing accounts payable and tracking consultant documentation. She has a background in Social Work and has worked in area nonprofits for five years in homelessness and mental health, with a focus on helping youth and young adults. Liz holds a BS in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Olivia supports VentureWell’s evaluation work across programs, including leading the Evaluation Team’s questionnaire development and methodology efforts. She brings a keen organizational eye from her previous positions with local and international nonprofits, which she uses to ensure consistency and efficiency in program evaluation at VentureWell. Olivia holds a BA in anthropology from Hampshire College, where her research focused on globalization and traditional foodways. email@example.com
Michael provides administration, training, and support for both hardware and software solutions. He enjoys exploring new systems to improve workflow as well as helping bridge the gap between technology and users. Michael has a BA in International Studies from American University. firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeff works on the higher education catalyst team to advance environmental sustainability initiatives across VentureWell programs, including developing and presenting knowledge, designing and leading workshops, and developing and refining curriculum. Prior to VentureWell, Jeff served as an assistant professor at The Citadel, teaching engineering and project management courses. He has over a decade of experience leading academic programs and courses, including managing sustainable infrastructure and economic development projects in developing communities. Jeff holds an MBA and BS, MS, and PhD in civil engineering from Clemson University. email@example.com
Lisa Ponce supports the implementation, training, and use of tools with a specific focus on event management and registration, marketing, and project management. She also ensures consistent support and delivery of quality virtual events. She brings to this role a background in event and hospitality management, as well as a BFA from Catawba College and an MA from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. firstname.lastname@example.org
Stacey is responsible for many aspects of our business, supporting staff in Finance, Program, and Human Resources teams, managing vendors, and providing top-notch customer service. Her incredible organization skills and friendly voice & face keep our team running smoothly and effectively. She takes great pleasure in making sure our staff and visitors are taken care of. Stacey has a passion for community development and a strong devotion to the nonprofit sector and appreciates how VentureWell helps improve the quality of life for many people around the world. email@example.com
Angela supports the marketing and promotion of VentureWell early-stage venture programs, faculty grants, and events, as well as collateral development and design. Prior to joining VentureWell, she worked in publishing, higher education, and technology development, where she helped both corporations and non-profit organizations find their vision and stay true-to-brand. She has expertise in marketing strategy, collateral design and project management. Angela received a BA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. firstname.lastname@example.org
Laura leads the programs staff in the planning, development, and execution of VentureWell’s diverse programs and initiatives. As a member of the executive team, Laura operationalizes new initiatives and leads the strategic growth of the organization. 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 worked with USAID in Kenya and was a Fulbright Scholar and Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco. She received a BA from the University of Connecticut and a MA in International Development from Clark University.email@example.com
Ursa leads strategic human resources for VentureWell with a focus on creating and sustaining a culture of belonging for all staff and enabling a values-driven, productive, and joyful work environment. She brings with her over 15 years of people-centric experience in non-profits, including leadership in diversity, equity, and inclusion work at these organizations. Ursa has a B.S. in Management of Non-Profits from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. firstname.lastname@example.org
Harrison maintains data integrity across various VentureWell systems and provides insights with his data analytic capabilities. He previously worked at an environmental engineering consulting firm where he produced statistical analyses and data visualizations for high-profile client projects. Harrison holds a MS in Statistics from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. email@example.com
Mike is the content marketing strategist for VentureWell. He manages the development of engaging content and helpful resources to impact the ecosystem that supports early-stage innovators on their entrepreneurship journey. During Mike’s 25 years of publishing and marketing experience, he cultivated and managed the online presence for many organizations and personalities including bestselling author Daniel Goleman. Mike holds a BA in Communications from Central Connecticut State University and a Certificate in Technical Writing/Web Content from California State University of Sacramento. firstname.lastname@example.org
Mandy organizes and implements GIST (Global Innovation through Science and Technology) programming for young innovators around the world. She brings to this role nearly a decade of higher education student services experience, having worked in the fields of study abroad and international entrepreneurship at UCLA and University of Texas-Austin. Mandy holds a BA in English from UCLA and an MS in Information Studies from University of Texas-Austin. email@example.com
Christina oversees VentureWell’s early stage innovator and venture development programs. She has a decade of experience working with startups as an investor, instructor, coach, and program manager. Prior to VentureWell, she worked at a seed-stage impact venture fund where she built a portfolio of 18 companies around the world. Christina holds an MBA and a BS in Management from the University of Massachusetts Boston. firstname.lastname@example.org
Cindy oversees data management efforts at VentureWell. She brings over ten years of experience in the data archives field, where she focused on the areas of data quality, metadata development, and enhanced usability. Prior to joining VentureWell, Cindy managed the day-to-day operations within a public opinion data archive, and led efforts in the development and adoption of standards for digital curation. email@example.com
Grace ensures and enriches the quality and integrity of VentureWell’s data by implementing data maintenance processes and integrating third-party data. She holds a MS in Statistics and Data Science from the University of Texas at San Antonio. firstname.lastname@example.org