Board of Directors
Meet Your Board
Tom is the Executive Director of Cornell’s Center for Regional Economic Advancement
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Tom is the Executive Director of Cornell’s Center for Regional Economic Advancement (CREA) and is a Visiting Lecturer at the Johnson Graduate School of Management. CREA’s programs include Rev: Ithaca Startup Works, the Southern Tier Startup Alliance, and support of Cornell’s regional economic advancement efforts. Tom leads the Upstate NY I-Corps Node, and is the lead instructor for Cornell Engineering’s Commercialization Fellows program. He serves on the teaching team for eLab, Cornell’s student business accelerator, and teaches entrepreneurship and business strategy at Cornell.
He is an experienced entrepreneur having served as a startup founder and senior finance executive of high-growth companies. Previously, he was Director of Finance for the Triad Foundation, where his responsibilities included investing the Foundation’s $250m portfolio to top-quartile returns. His board affiliations include the Cornell Agriculture and Food Technology Park and Tompkins County Area Development, and as board vice-chair of the Business Incubator Association of New York State. Tom co-chairs the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council’s Innovation Culture workgroup.
Tom has an AB and MBA from Cornell, where he was a recipient of the MBA program’s Albert J. Fried Fellowship for Leadership and Academic Excellence. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).
Mr. Riedlinger holds a BFA from the Rochester Institute of Technology and MBA, Finance and Accounting, from the University of Rochester.
Steven is Managing Director of the Future Labs at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering that has graduated 74 early stage NYC startups.
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Steven Kuyan is Managing Director of the Future Labs at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering. The program has a mission to provide early stage NYC startups with the highest likelihood of success and to date the unique process has graduated 74 companies, 15 as acquisitions totaling more $400M, and a combined valuation of graduates exceeding $1B. Steven co-founded the Future Labs – formerly the NYU Polytechnic Incubators, NYC first incubator program – and is responsible for managing the Data Future Lab, Digital Future Lab, Veterans Future Lab, and the AI NexusLab, NYC’s first program designed specifically for early stage Artificial Intelligence startups.
The Future Labs are a network of programs supporting entrepreneurs in technology specific verticals such as; Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Data at the Data Future Lab; and Augmented/Virtual Reality, Video, Virtual Machines at the Digital Future Lab. The graduate portfolio includes industry leading startups like CB Insights, Clarifai, Geometric Intelligence, Tap Commerce among many others.
Steven is an adjunct professor of Entrepreneurship at NYU and supports entrepreneurship curriculum across the Engineering School, the InnoVention hardware prototyping competition, fellowship programs, entrepreneurship club, and entrepreneurship education programs such as the Veteran Entrepreneurship Training (VET) Program. Prior to the Future Labs, Steven founded and co-founded three ventures in mobile, B2B logistics and retail. Steven holds a bachelor’s and a master’s from the NYU Tandon School of Engineering.
Thomas (Tom) Murdock is GM of the Western New York Incubator Network (WIN)
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Thomas (Tom) Murdock is GM of the Western New York Incubator Network (WIN), a state-authorized consortium of ten business incubators that connects more than 200 early stage ventures to the students, resources, and facilities of the University at Buffalo. Since program inception in 2014, WIN has provided direct assistance to companies raising $50M in outside capital and creating 170 new jobs.
Previously, he served as Senior Director of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership with responsibility for the organization’s communications, membership, and insurance departments.
Before transitioning into economic development, he held roles in management consulting at Deloitte Consulting LLP and in marketing management at United Technologies Corporation.
He holds a BS in Business Management from Miami University and an MBA from the University of Notre Dame.
Kathi Durdon, MA, CCRP, is Director of Operations and Innovation Partnerships at the CNY Biotech Accelerator (CNYBAC)
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Kathi Durdon, MA, CCRP, is Director of Operations and Innovation Partnerships at the CNY Biotech Accelerator (CNYBAC), a division of Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY.
As Director of CNYBAC, Kathi promotes effective and transparent operational procedures for the 60,000 square foot specialized multi-use biotech facility, CNYBAC. The infrastructure supports innovation commercialization. Kathi develops biotech innovation-oriented programs, coordinates resources and promotes educational and investment opportunities for clients and the startup community. Kathi mentors medical device innovators relative to Good Clinical Practice regulations, FDA submission requirements and device classification as well as human factors usability testing. Kathi created the Medical Device Innovation Challenge supported by a five-year $625,000 Empire State Development NYS Certified Business Incubator grant. The grant also funds in part the Concept to Commercialization Boot Camp developed in partnership with High Tech Rochester and NYS Science+Technology Law Center.
Kathi volunteers as a GCP Instructor for the not-for-profit 15,000-member educational organization Society of Clinical Research Associates (SOCRA) and is founder and chair of the SOCRA NYS Chapter and SOCRA Annual Medical Device Conference, now in its 12th year. Kathi is also a member of the Business Incubator Association of NY (BIANYS) Board of Directors, a member of the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) Human Factors Engineering Committee and has been nominated to the Volunteer Faculty at Upstate Medical University (appointment in process) and the MedTech Advisory Board.
Kathi holds Bachelor’s degrees in English and Anthropology and a Master’s degree in Business. Previously, Kathi was employed at Welch Allyn, a medical device manufacturer, as Manager of Clinical Affairs and as Director, Clinical Trials at SUNY Upstate Medical University. Kathi is married to Pete Durdon, has 3 wonderful daughters who live in the area and has 5 energetic grandchildren.
El-Java Abdul-Qadir -- Director - South Side Innovation Center at Syracuse University
More about El-Java
El-Java is a small business development and management consultant, working with aspiring entrepreneurship and startups in a variety of industries including retail, food production, service provision, and social enterprise. He presents talks on entrepreneurship and small business ownership as the key to economic development for local groups, including business consultants, social service providers, nonprofit organizations, as well as educational institutions and conferences throughout the country. El-Java has a vast knowledge-base and experience with challenges and opportunities related to self-employment in marginalized populations such as minorities and women, individuals with disabilities, veterans, and survivors of domestic violence. He is fascinated with the immigrant and refugee communities’ propensity towards entrepreneurship and their ability to navigate traditional and nontraditional funding sources and access to startup capital.
As an adjunct Professor of Practice in the Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises department, El-Java is also the director of the South Side Innovation Center (SSIC), a business incubator and small business service center in the City of Syracuse, which houses 30 resident clients in its’ 60,000 square foot facility and provides consulting services to another 350 unique small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs per year. In 2012, El-Java was a recipient of the Minority Small Business Champion of the Year Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration, given for his commitment to, and impact on entrepreneurship and his work at the SSIC.
In addition to teaching EEE 446, Minorities and Women in a Business, El-Java has been a key member of the EEE 467 Entrepreneurial Consulting course, as a guest lecturer and in supplying small businesses for the students to consult. He has co-published articles about inclusive Entrepreneurship consulting, Storytelling in Entrepreneurial Education, and New Venture Financing.
El-Java is also the owner and chief operator of Excel Martial Arts Training Center, LLC, a martial arts and fitness center established in Syracuse, NY since 2009.
Board of Directors
Mike is Program Manager for Technology Commercialization at High Tech Rochester
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Jeff Arywitz is a Venture Coach at the Rochester Institute of Technology’s Venture Creations Incubator. In addition to his work at Venture Creations, Jeff teaches Entrepreneurship at RIT and coaches student and faculty entrepreneur teams at RIT’s Simone Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
As a Venture Coach at Rochester Institute of Technology’s Venture Creations Incubator, Jeff is dedicated to helping new technology companies and clean energy startups build strong businesses. With years of extensive experience working at the intersection of marketing, product development, and customer engagement, Jeff is passionate about delivering success for new technology products and services.
Jeff has been coaching entrepreneurs since 2010 when he began coaching for The Entrepreneurs Network, a program of Monroe County Economic Development. Through this experience, Jeff found a new passion in helping companies develop successful, investable business plans and creating effective, executable growth strategies.
Prior to 2010, Jeff held executive roles in technology marketing, sales, product development, and e-commerce management with several multinational companies, most notably the Eastman Kodak Company.
Jeff is a graduate of RIT, with an MBA from the Saunders College of Business.
Board of Directors
Jamey is the Director, Shipley Center for Innovation at Clarkson University
More about Jamey
Jamey Hoose has served Clarkson University, first as the Director of the Helen S. Cheel Arena, the 3,000-seat multi-purpose arena. For the past years as Director, Shipley Center for Innovation, where he is driving the Center as the location for several local manufacturing businesses and start-up companies in Potsdam and the north country.
He was the Assistant Athletic Director and and Athletic Facility Manager at SUNY Potsdam. Previously he was a “boots on the ground” business founder and manager.
He earned his MBA at Clarkson, where he also had interests in the Delta Sigma Pi Professional Business Fraternity.
Ann-Marie is the Director of Economic Development and Research Professor of Technology and Society, Stony Brook University.
More about Ann-Marie
Director of Economic Development and Research Professor of Technology and Society,
Stony Brook University.
Chair: Business Incubator Association of New York State, Long Island Innovation Hot Spot Steering Committee, Stony Brook Incubator Selection and Review Committee. Moving spirit behind creation of the Long Island Angel Network. Founder of Stony Brook Entrepreneurs Challenge, which has awarded more than $450,000 to 29 student start-up businesses half still in existence — as of 2017. Brookhaven Industrial Development Agency trustee, serving New York’s third largest town. Manager and Instructor, Stony Brook’s NSF I-Corps Site, since 2015.
Board of Directors: Long Island Angel Network, region’s only public organization of early-stage investors; Hauppauge Industrial Association (HIA-LI), representing the largest industrial park in the Northeast; Long Island Forum for Technology, trade association for high technology manufacturers and businesses; Long Island High Technology Incubator Inc., the region’s first new business incubator facility; and Community Development Corporation of Long Island (Vice Chair), the region’s largest affordable housing and community development not-for-profit. Past president of Women Economic Developers of Long Island.
Author/co-author of proposals that have brought more than $25M in federal and state economic development funding to Long Island. Invited speaker on technology-based economic development, International Association of Science Parks, International Economic Development Council, state and regional economic development and business organizations.
AB magna cum laude, English and American literature, Brown University.
Elected to Phi Beta Kappa
MAT in the Teaching of English, Yale University
Ph.D., History of American Foreign Relations, Stony Brook University
Certified Lean LaunchPad Educator, National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance-Venturewell/Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley
Board of Directors
Esther is Director of the Emerging Ventures Ecosystem (EVE) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)
More about Esther
Esther Vargas is Director of the Emerging Ventures Ecosystem (EVE) at Rensselaer
Polytechnic Institute (RPI), where she directs the creation, growth, and commercialization of
high-growth technologies and new ventures.
Esther’s diverse background includes 12 years in the pharmaceutical and hospitality industries,
and 12 years in the entrepreneurial domain as a founder and/or co-founder of four startup
ventures, among them Ideal Language LLC, an executive language instruction and cultural
training enterprise. Prior to joining RPI, she was Assistant Director of Research and
Commercialization at the University of Central Florida, where she managed an award-winning
business incubator for eight years. She previously worked at Indiana University’s School of
Education as Program Director of Aprenda Más (LearnMore), a statewide translation service for
schools, aimed at increasing parental involvement and college participation for Hispanic
In her role as Director of Resource Development for the HOPE (Harnessing Optimism
and Potential through Education) Foundation in Bloomington, Indiana, Esther led the sales team
and co-led a national professional learning community of school leaders in organizational and
leadership development. Esther’s areas of expertise include strategy, commercialization,
business and resource development, systems and processes, and project management.
Ms. Vargas serves as Secretary of the Board for the International Business Innovation
Association (InBIA), and is also a board member of the Business Incubator Association of New
York State (BIANYS). She is certified as a Business Incubation Professional and as a Business
Accelerator Manager, and holds an MBA with a dual major in New Venture Development and
Marketing from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University-Bloomington, and a BBA in
Managerial Economics from the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico. Esther is passionate
about helping entrepreneurs realize their dreams, and facilitating emerging high-impact
technology and service businesses to become profitable and scalable enterprises.
- Chair: Tom Schryver
- Vice Chair: Steven Kuyan
- Secretary: Thomas Murdoch
- Treasurer: Kathi Durdon
Terms expiring 2020:
- Ann-Marie Scheidt (Director of Economic Development and Research Professor of Technology and Society, Stony Brook University)
- El-Java Abdul-Qadir (South Side Innovation Center at Syracuse University)
- Kathi Durdon (Director of Operations and Innovation Partnerships at the CNY Biotech Accelerator)
Terms expiring 2021:
- Jamey Hoose (Clarkson University Shipley Center Incubation Programs)
- Thomas Murdock (University at Buffalo Incubator Programs and Wester New York Innovation Network)
- Steven Kuyan (NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering Incubator Programs)
Terms expiring 2022:
- Tom Schryver (Rev: Ithaca Startup Works, Southern Tier Startup Alliance)
- Esther Vargas (Member at large, International Business Incubator Association)
- Jeffrey Arywitz (RIT Venture Creations)