our staff


weilersteinphil weilerstein


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

Allison-Bieler-e1449609768699allison bleyler

director of marketing & communications

Allison oversees the marketing and communications activity at VentureWell. She is leading the strategy to build VentureWell brand recognition and to promote and support VentureWell programs. Prior to VentureWell, she worked in marketing at a variety of corporations, including Yankee Candle and SC Johnson, where she developed a track record of employing user-centric approaches to uncover strategic insights and leading teams to drive business growth through innovation. Allison holds a BA from Dartmouth College and an MBA from Cornell University. ableyler@venturewell.org

carranzadorn 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@venturewell.org

DSC00942jennifer 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

HNaquin1heath naquin

director, i-corps programs

Heath leads the creation and management of the National Innovation Network and the overall deployment of strategic I-Corps related initiatives. Prior to joining VentureWell, Heath spent nearly 20 years working in the global startup, innovation and entrepreneurship field. Most recently, he was Executive Director for the Southwest I-Corps Node at the University of Texas at Austin. Heath holds a BBA from St. Edwards University, a MS in Technology Commercialization from the University of Texas at Austin as well as a PMP designation.hnaquin@venturewell.org


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


Cara Barnescara barnes

program officer, global

Cara works with the Global Program to support innovators developing healthcare technology for emerging markets. Prior to joining VentureWell, Cara was a scientist at Diagnostics For All, where she developed point-of-care medical diagnostics for low-resource settings and led field trials to assess prototype devices in rural Zambia. Combining education and experience in chemistry and public health, she seeks to help innovators overcome the challenges of developing and implementing technology solutions in complex global health systems. cbarnes@venturewell.org

Willwill 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

katiekatie 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

janinejanine 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

humerahumera 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

jkjjennifer 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

taratara 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

Victoria Matthewvictoria 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

Stacey Mushenskistacey 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

Marie_Silver1marie 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

MandySuttonmandy sutton

program officer, gist net

Mandy serves as the Program Officer for GIST (Global Innovations through Science and Technology) Net and also VentureWell’s Knowledge Manager. She brings to these roles nearly a decade of higher education student services experience, having worked in the fields of study abroad and international entrepreneurship, and also a strong background and graduate education in archival and library science. Mandy holds a BA in English from UCLA and a MS in Information Studies from UT – Austin.msutton@venturewell.org

tamerchristina 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

datdat 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


agogliarachel 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

alisaalisa 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

binkerttim 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

pattipatricia boynton

grants management officer

Patricia joined VentureWell in 2008 working with student teams, first with the Invention 2 Venture program, then with the E-Team program. In that time she participated in dozens of venture development workshops and met and worked with 400+ student teams.  She recently joined the Grants Administration team, overseeing the efficient intake, review, processing and finalization of all submitted student and faculty grant proposals and competition entries. When not at her desk, she can often be found pulling weeds in her garden or planning her next travel adventure.  Patti has a BA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.  pboynton@venturewell.org

holliehollie 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

IMG_4146 (1)nick 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

Chris Desrosierschris desrosiers

director of finance

Chris joined VentureWell in 2007 and 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 B.A. in sociology. cdesrosiers@venturewell.org

Kirstin Gadielkirstin 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

Tessa_Goodhindtessa 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

allysonallyson 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

Leannleann 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

Kim (1)kim 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

Michael Nortonmichael norton

grants administrator

Michael joined VentureWell in November 2015 and provides administrative support to the grants team. In addition to managing the network of institutions and grants, he works directly with both student and faculty teams throughout the grant process and enjoys interacting with some of the top innovators in the world. Michael received a BA in International Studies from American University and enjoys running and biking in the great outdoors. mnorton@venturewell.org

Gabe Riefgabriel reif

research and evaluation analyst

Gabe is responsible for the evaluation of an array of VentureWell initiatives. Before joining VentureWell, Gabe managed numerous studies in the contexts of both secondary and higher education while working for the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the University of Massachusetts. He also spent almost ten years as a college administrator focused on the development and assessment of educational programs. Gabe is pursuing his doctorate in Education Policy, Research, and Administration at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst, and holds an M.Ed. from the University of Vermont, and a B.S. from Brandeis University. greif@venturewell.org

Jennifer Taubjennifer 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

Cindy Texieracindy teixeira

data sciences officer

Cindy has over ten years of data management experience focusing on the areas of data quality, metadata development, and enhanced usability. Prior to joining VentureWell, she worked as the Manager of Archival Development at the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research. She managed the day-to-day operations within the data archive, and led efforts in the development and adoption of standards for digital curation.cteixeira@venturewell.org

Kate Tobinkate 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

Sign up to receive updates from VentureWell