Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno was elected as New Jersey’s first Lieutenant Governor in November 2009 and was sworn into office on January 19, 2010. In addition, Kim Guadagno serves as the 33rd Secretary of State and leads the Christie Administration's efforts to improve New Jersey's economic vitality, encourage job growth and streamline government in New Jersey.
The Lt. Governor oversees the New Jersey Partnership for Action (PFA), the State’s four-pronged comprehensive economic development strategy. Designed to serve businesses of all sizes and development stages, the PFA is a public-private approach to economic development and the starting point for all initiatives, policies, and efforts to grow New Jersey’s economy and create quality, sustainable jobs in our communities.
Furthermore, Lt. Governor Guadagno chairs the New Jersey Military Installation Growth and Development Task Force. The Task Force, created through Executive Orders Nos. 134 and 154, is charged with forging an effective blueprint for securing the long-term growth and viability of New Jersey's military bases and U.S. Coast Guard installations.
Lt. Governor Guadagno was born in Waterloo, Iowa and is a graduate of Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pennsylvania. She received her juris doctorate degree from the American University Washington College of Law in Washington, DC. Lt. Governor Guadagno and her husband currently reside in Monmouth Beach with their three sons.
Dr. Tony Boccanfuso is a leading expert on University-Industry relations, in print and on the speaker circuit, domestically and internationally. He is President of the University-Industry Demonstration Partnership (UIDP), a membership organization and “do-tank” comprised of leading innovation companies and research universities with a singular focus on improving collaborations between the sectors.
In recognition of his experience and insights in this arena, Tony is regularly sought after as a speaker both domestically and internationally and has published several reference sources. He also serves as a consultant for government agencies, non-profit organizations and private firms and is Vice-Chair of the MedStar Health Research Institute.
Tony holds a Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from the University of South Carolina and earned his B.S. in Chemistry and Political Science from Furman University. Tony’s wife, Dr. Laura Boccanfuso, is a social robotics researcher at Yale, and they have three children, Carolina a University of Alabama, Michael a high school sophomore and Ana a middle schooler.
Michele Siekerka became the 11th President of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association in October 2014. Michele came to NJBIA from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection where she served in the critical position of Deputy Commissioner. Prior to serving as Deputy she served as Assistant Commissioner for Water Resource Management. In those positions, Michele was a principal player in Governor Christie’s charge in “Rebuilding New Jersey” in the wake of “Superstorm Sandy.” She was responsible for coordinating funding, outreach and resources for the rebuilding of impacted environmental infrastructure.
Prior to DEP Michele served as president and CEO of the Mercer Regional Chamber of Commerce where she launched the Mercer Regional Economic Development Foundation and the Arts and Business Council of Greater Trenton. Michele served as senior legal counsel and vice president of human resources with the Automobile Association of America Mid-Atlantic addressing legal matters in the areas of employee relations benefits, contracts and regulatory compliance. Before AAA Michele was a partner in a Mercer County law firm where she was a litigation attorney with specialization in the areas of employment and business law. She also served on Governor Chris Christie’s Red Tape Review Group
A Robbinsville resident, Siekerka earned a BA in Political Science and German from Rutgers University and a JD from Temple University School of Law.
Christine Barbieri is a product management specialist and mobile technology enthusiast. She conceptualized MediCoupe while helping ill members of her family travel to doctors’ appointments in NY and NJ.
Previously, Christine created digital advertising products for VivaKi, a division of Publicis Groupe. She also worked with some of the best up-and-coming computer science minds while at Invite Media, which was acquired by Google in 2010.
Christine has studied Information Technology at Carnegie Mellon University and earned her Bachelor’s from Villanova University.
San joined Bristol-Myers Squibb in 1980 as a Research Investigator, he participated in introducing processes to production scale in manufacturing plants around the world. His main projects include Taxol, Irbesartan, Epothilone, Clopidogrel, Aztreonam, Fosinopril, Ceranopril, Captopril, Omapatrilat, and Abilify. He also participated in the development of many IND projects.
Dr. Kiang’s major engineering interests include crystallization, mixing, filtration, reaction engineering, membrane processes and environmental modeling. Newer specialty areas his group is working on are in areas of particle engineering, nano particles, surfactant-drug substance interactions, molecular crystallization modeling, microreactor systems and in-situ process monitoring.
Mr. Tomas Gregorio is the Senior Executive Director of Healthcare Systems Innovation at the NJ Innovation Institute. In that capacity he has overall managerial responsibility for program development and execution of NJII’s activities organized under the Healthcare Systems i-Lab. Mr. Gregorio brings a rich and diverse background to the job having served various roles as a senior executive in regional hospital systems as well as with allied consulting and software industries for over 25 years. He was most recently the Sr. Vice President & COO for HealthEC LLC, a leading provider of best-in-class data connectivity and consulting solutions focused on the population management segment of the healthcare industry. Prior to that he served as President and CEO of Meadowlands Hospital and before that, at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center was the Vice President Administration and Vice President & CIO. Mr. Gregorio has also been a principal advisor in NJIT’s efforts to establish and build both NJ-HITEC and the Highlander Health Data Network (HDN).
Tom spent seven years of his career as a management consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers where he worked in over 23 hospitals around the country, with hundreds of affiliated and independent practices, and several insurance companies and TPAs. The types of projects he worked on included vendor selection for financial, billing, and clinical systems, system implementation, support operations development, and healthcare business operations management. He also contributed to early HMO models in the Northeast and overall quality and process improvement initiatives. Having developed a deep understanding of hospitals and physician practices’ technology capabilities, he comfortably applies technical solutions to clinical and business problems to accomplish meaningful results for his clients.
Mr. Gregorio is also an adjunct professor of Health Information Technology and Management Information Systems at NJIT in Newark NJ. Tom has a BS in Organizational Management Nyack College and an MBA in Management of Technology from NJIT.
Dr. Fernando Muzzio is a Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at Rutgers University. For the last 22 years, pharmaceutical product and process design has been Professor Muzzio’s main research and educational focus. His research interests comprise continuous manufacturing, powder mixing, powder flow, segregation, compression, mixing and flow of liquids and suspensions, capsule filling, tablet dissolution, and tablet coating. He is a frequent advisor and lecturer at FDA events, and in 2010 he was appointed a voting member of the FDA committee on Pharmaceutical Sciences and Clinical Pharmacology.
Professor Fernando Muzzio is also the director of the National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center on Structured Organic Particulate Systems. The center, which has a total budget in excess of $8 million per year, focuses on pharmaceutical product and process design, with special emphasis on continuous manufacturing, particle engineering, and personalized medicine. FDA and 50 companies are currently members of the center.
Dr. Muzzio holds PhD from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a BS in Chemical Engineering from Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata.
Dr. Kenneth Blank is a leading molecular pathologist and cancer researcher and joined Rowan University as its first Senior Vice President for Health Sciences. Dr. Blank has more than 30 years of experience in research program development, technology commercialization and regional economic development. He holds a critical position as Rowan expands its research in science, technology and engineering and moves to integrate and build nationally recognized academic and research programs related to the health sciences. Dr. Blank also is instrumental in forging new partnerships with business and industry.
Among other places, Dr. Blank has worked at Temple University, Philadelphia; Northeastern University, Boston; and Drexel University, Philadelphia, where he established a track record of increasing research awards from the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Department of Defense, Department of Energy and other mission-oriented federal agencies, as well as a strong record of creating alliances with businesses. Dr. Blank holds several patents, has received numerous grants and contracts from such organizations as the National Institutes of Health and Department of Defense, and has published and presented extensively on a variety of topics.
He received his B.A. from New York University and Ph.D. from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, both in New York.
Mr. Carmen Valentino is Vice President of the Naval Radar and Future Systems (NR&FS) organization that is part of the MST business area of Lockheed Martin. In this role, Mr. Valentino is responsible for naval radar systems and products, Aegis production and hardware lifecycle including the entire Aegis Weapon System (AWS) that is delivered worldwide. He is also responsible for the development of advanced solutions, capabilities and future business models for growth. In this portfolio, Mr. Valentino oversees multiple Navy programs including Next Generation radar capabilities, Radar and Combat System capabilities for the DDG1000, radar systems for large carrier programs i.e. CVN78, Aegis Weapon Systems (AWS) Production and Aegis In-Service Programs. Mr. Valentino served as the capture executive for a series of Aegis Next Generation efforts including: Aegis Combat System Engineering Agent (CSEA) competition, which Lockheed Martin competitively won. Mr. Valentino recently championed an AWS Multi-Year production award including an Aegis Ashore for ‘Host Nation Two’.
Mr. Valentino has held numerous positions during his more than 30 year career at Lockheed Martin, most notably as leader in working and strategizing with various US Navy and Missile Defense Agency Customers with proven experience in leading multiple operations and programs for development, production and in-service capabilities. Mr. Valentino has established Next Generation radar product strategies to pace with customer threat set requirements and cost objectives.
Mr. Valentino holds an MBA from the University of Chicago and a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Drexel University.
As Regional VP of External Affairs, Charlene Brown is responsible for providing overall strategic direction for AT&T’s external relationships in New Jersey. In her capacity as the state advocate for AT&T, Charlene serves as liaison with the Governor’s office, the state legislature and other elected and appointed officials. She is also responsible for a range of communications policy issues and manages regulatory matters before the NJ Board of Public Utilities. Additionally, she determines whether local philanthropic opportunities are aligned with the objectives of the AT&T Foundation and recommends support for non-profit organizations in New Jersey.
She is the former board chair of NJ Policy Research Organization (NJPRO) where she serves as a member and former board chair of the Civic League of Greater New Brunswick. Additionally, Charlene serves as the co-chair of the Collaboration Committee for Innovation NJ and was recently appointed to the NJ Council on Innovation. She is a member of the board of trustees of the New Jersey Technology Council, and Treasurer of the NJ Society for Environmental, Economic Development (NJ SEED).
Charlene earned her BA in Journalism and English from Douglass College and received a Master’s in Public Administration from Rutgers University. Charlene is a native of New Jersey and resides there with her husband and their daughter.
Mr. Berman has spent 28 years in New Jersey state government, politics and public affairs. Presently, he serves as Senior Vice President – State Affairs for the HealthCare Institute of New Jersey (HINJ), a trade association representing New Jersey’s research-based biopharmaceutical and medical technology industry.
Mr. Berman began his career as Chief of Staff to Assemblyman Bob Franks and served in a variety of senior staff positions in the New Jersey General Assembly Republican Office, including Director of Policy & Planning, Director of Intergovernmental Relations and Deputy Executive Director. He also managed the Assembly Policy & Rules Committee and Assembly Education Committee.
Mr. Berman is a co-founder of Innovation NJ, and serves on the New Jersey Council on Innovation. He also serves as a trustee of the NJ Society for Environmental, Economic Development (NJSEED) and the NJ Policy Research Organization (NJPRO)
Mr. Berman graduated summa cum laude from Monmouth University with a B.A. in Communications and Political Science and served for 12 years as a member of the university’s Board of Trustees Government Affairs Committee. Mr. Berman resides in Ocean Township.
Dean J. Paranicas became the third president and chief executive officer of the HealthCare Institute of New Jersey (HINJ) in March 2011. Prior to joining HINJ, Mr. Paranicas was Vice President, Corporate Secretary and Public Policy for BD. Starting at BD in 1981, he previously served in various legal roles, and also as Director, Corporate Development and Strategic Investments, as Director, Investor Relations, and as Vice President, Investor Relations and Public Affairs. Mr. Paranicas is a Co-Chair of We Work for Health–New Jersey, is a member of the Board of Directors of the New Jersey Innovation Institute, and serves on the Advisory Board of the Biotechnology High School in Freehold, New Jersey.
Mr. Paranicas is a former member of the Board of Directors of NEHI–The Network for Excellence in Health Innovation and a former Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation for New Jersey Public Broadcasting. He also is a former member of the Rutgers University Board of Governors and the Rutgers University Foundation Board of Overseers, and is a former Chair of the Rutgers University Board of Trustees, where he is now a Trustee Emeritus.
Mr. Paranicas began his career as an associate attorney with McCarter & English, LLP in Newark, New Jersey. He earned a B.A. Degree With Honors from Rutgers College, Rutgers University, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He earned a J.D. degree from Rutgers-Newark School of Law, where he was an Editor of the Rutgers Law Review.
James leads one of the largest technology trade associations in the country. The mission of the Tech Council is to help individuals and their organizations grow and succeed while supporting the tech, innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystems across the state and region.
He sits on several boards including the NJ State Chamber of Commerce, R&D Council of New Jersey, Jumpstart Angel Network, NJ Innovation Council, Innovation New Jersey, and National Association of Corporate Directors-NJ. Prior to heading the Council, James led the top ranked entrepreneurship center at Fairleigh Dickinson University for over 10 years. Since 1997, he has been active in the regional entrepreneurial and business communities. Recognized as a Small Business Advocate and among 'Forty Under 40 Business Achievers' by NJBIZ, he frequently speaks at business events and has appeared on MSNBC, ABC, My9, NJTV and News12.
James is the editor of the book, Entrepreneurship and Innovation: Global Insights from 24 Leaders and co-author Lessons from the Great Recession. James holds an MBA from Texas A&M and a BA in Economics from Rutgers.
Melanie Willoughby is Chief Government Affairs Officer of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA), the nation’s largest state-level business association representing over 20,000 member companies that collectively employ more than 1 million people. Joining the Association in 2003 as NJBIA’s senior vice president for Government Affairs, Melanie led a highly respected lobbying team, fighting for pro-business policies in the legislature and through four gubernatorial administrations.
Melanie has served on numerous boards and commissions. Governor Chris Christie appointed her to a three-year term on the Unemployment Insurance Reform Task Force, where she served as the co-chair. She is currently on the NJ Council on Innovation led by Secretary of Higher Education Rochelle Hendricks and is a member of the New Jersey Department of Health & Senior Services Workplace Blood Donor Coalition. In 2012, Governor Chris Christie appointed her to the New Jersey State Employment and Training Commission. She is also the founder and co-chair of the Innovation NJ.
She has a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University.
Dr. Don Sebastian is the President & CEO of the New Jersey Innovation Institute, an NJIT Corporation. Dr. Sebastian assumed this role after fifteen years leading research at NJIT during which time the R&D enterprise grew to over a $110M, placing NJIT fifth among all polytechnic universities in the country, and fourth among all universities in patent productivity. He led the effort to form a statewide NJ Health Information Technology Extension Center that leads the nation in physicians certified as meaningful users of electronic healthcare record systems, and is a member of the Board of the Greater Newark Healthcare Coalition the R&D Council of NJ, the Polymer Processing Institute, Inc., and the NJ Manufacturing Extension Program.
Prior to joining NJIT, Dr. Sebastian was a member of the Chemical Engineering faculty at Stevens Institute of Technology where he was cofounder of the Design and Manufacturing Institute. He served as principal investigator on over $25M in external funding to support the establishment of a science-based foundation for integrated product and process design.
Dr. Sebastian received his Bachelor of Engineering at Stevens, graduating as valedictorian of the class of 1974, followed by Masters of Engineering in 1975, and the Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering in 1977. He resides in Randolph, NJ with his wife Catherine, daughters Caitlyn and Diana, and son Christopher.
Dr. Chris Molloy, led the Rutgers-UMDNJ integration, became the university’s senior vice president for research and economic development Nov. 1, 2013. His responsibilities include oversight and strategic planning for the university’s $700 million in annual research expenditures and management of the many institutional offices and resources that support Rutgers’ research and economic development activities. Under Molloy’s leadership, the Office of Research and Economic Development is expanding its commercialization of research through patents, startups and the transfer of technology to industry, maximizing the university’s ability to conduct translational research in the life sciences and other critical research and development activities.
Molloy joined Rutgers in 2007 as dean of the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy. In 2011, he was appointed interim provost for biomedical and health sciences and successfully managed the complex integration of Rutgers and most of the former UMDNJ. Molloy served as interim chancellor of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences from July 2013 until joining ORED four months later. Prior to joining Rutgers, Molloy held senior research and management positions at Johnson and Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development L.L.C., 3-Dimensional Pharmaceuticals Inc., and the Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute.
He received his bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from Rutgers and his doctoral degree from the joint Rutgers Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School/Graduate School–New Brunswick. He was a post-doctoral fellow at the National Cancer Institute.
Dr. Mo Dehghani is an accomplished expert in innovation management and technology development – as Vice Provost of Research and Industry Professor of Systems Engineering at the School of Systems and Enterprises (SSE), since August 1, 2013. Dehghani leads the continuing development of the university's research programs and plays a significant role in implementing the research and scholarship component of the university's Strategic Plan. Over his 30-year career, Dehghani has led and managed dozens of administrative, technical and business services, technical and scientific staff members and engineers.
Most recently, Dehghani served as the Founding Director of JHU Systems Institute (SI), Head of Engineering, and a member of the Executive Council (EC) at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab in Laurel, Md. Dehghani also served as a tenured member of faculty at Ohio University, and has, on a continuous basis, taught engineering, design, and design optimization courses at University of California and Johns Hopkins University.
Dehghani holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Louisiana State University and Postdoctoral NSF Faculty Internship from MIT. He serves on multiple review boards of universities and national engineering organizations and is a member of several professional societies including INCOSE, CSUN, ASME, ASEE, and PMI.
Ms. Coleen Burrus joined Princeton University’s Dean for Research office in 2015 as the Director of the Corporate and Foundation Relations team. She has more than 25 years of experience spanning the higher education, non-profit, and government sectors. Coleen is an active member of the University-Industry Demonstration Partnership; and the Network of Academic Corporate Relations Officers. Prior to Princeton, Burrus was the Senior Director of Corporate Engagement at Northwestern University, and the Director of Foundation and Government Relations at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy Studies.
In addition to her career in higher education, Coleen was elected to two terms as the City of Evanston, IL 9th Ward Alderman and was appointed by the Mayor to serve on the Plan Commission. She also served as chairman of several committees including Economic Development, Human Services, and Administration and Public Works. Coleen was a strong advocate for increased support of workforce development and progressive economic development policies. She served as a mentor for young adult women through the Evanston Youth Job Center and was a member of the Women Invested in Learning and Livelihoods advisory board.
She earned a Master of Arts in Urban Affairs from Saint Louis University and certificates from the Kennedy School Executive Education program, the International City/County Managers’ Association, and the American Institute of Certified Planners.