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).
Per is the Assistant Vice President for Innovation and Economic Development at Binghamton University.
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Dr. Per Stromhaug oversees the Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Partnerships including tech transfer activities, the start-up suite, entrepreneurial support, and economic growth initiatives. He is also overseeing the new High Technology Incubator in downtown Binghamton and is the lead contact for the Start-Up NY initiative at Binghamton University. He holds a PhD degree in cell biology from the University of Oslo, Norway, and an Executive MBA degree in Entrepreneurship from the University of Missouri – Kansas City.
Dr. Stromhaug has a lot of experience in technology transfer, entrepreneurship, business incubation, and economic development on the business and administrative side; at the hands-on and at the executive level. Prior to Binghamton University, Dr. Stromhaug has worked as an assistant professor and licensing associate at the University of Missouri – Columbia, and as a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor and the University of Florida – Gainesville, conducting research in the area of molecular and cell biology. He has been also a post-doctoral research fellow at the Norwegian Radium Hospital, with a fellowship from the Norwegian Cancer Society.
Seth is Senior Director for Innovation and Partnerships at Griffiss Institute
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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.
Thomas (Tom) Murdock is GM of the Western New York Incubator Network (WIN)
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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.
Board of Directors
Ebony is Director, Center for Urban Entrepreneurship (CUE) at Rochester Institute of Technology
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He is an award-winning developer whose previous incubator in 2012 won one of the most prestigious incubator awards in the world, the Dinah Adkins Incubator of the Year, General and Special Focus, from the National Business Incubator Association (NBIA). Mr. Herz has had a long career in public service, where he developed laws on incubation, the film tax credit, and many other tax benefits and credits, and many programs, including the NYS Elder Law, and the Arts & Cultural Affairs Law. He has been a business consultant, helping develop biotechnology in China and other places, and new economic development programs in New York City. He is a graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop, a published poet, and publisher and editor, with his colleagues Steve Kuusisto and Andrea Scarpino, of the Nine Mile Magazine and Book Series.
Thomas J. Grech
Board of Directors
Thomas is the President & Chief Executive Officer at Queens Chamber of Commerce
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Tom is the President & Chief Executive Officer at Queens Chamber of Commerce where he advocates for local proprietors large and small, as well as the borough’s seven colleges, including York College in Jamaica, where Grech is a member of its foundation’s board of trustees. He connects the chamber’s total number of members, which now includes more than a thousand.
When he was the Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce, he grew the total number of chamber members by 30 percent and strengthened businesses in the different communities of Queens who are in fields like advertising and media, arts, culture and entertainment, home and garden, health care, business and professional services, among others.
At CCI Energy Solutions LLC, he was the Director of Sales / New Business Development where he helped owners, developers, co-op boards, etc. take advantage of sustainable energy solutions.
He was a Professor of Business at Farmingdale State College, specializing in Entrepreneurial Studies and Small Business Management.
He also was the Managing Director of JJT Energy, an Energy Service Company.
Tom is a graduate of the Univesity of Scranton where he was Class President and later received an MBA in International Busines from Manhattan College.
Board of Directors
Jamey is the Director, Shipley Center for Innovation at Clarkson University
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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.
Deborah Schondorf Novick
Board of Directors
Deborah is the Director of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Westchester County
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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
Ariella is Executive Manager of the New York I-Corps Hub
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Ariella is the Executive Manager of New York’s National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps Hub which is the operational backbone of the National Innovation Network (NIN), which consists of universities, NSF-funded and other researchers, established entrepreneurs, local and regional entrepreneurial communities, and federal agencies.
She is also the Executive Manager of the New York City Regional Innovation Network (NYCRIN), a public-private partnership led by the City University of New York (CUNY) with New York University (NYU) and Columbia University.
As a part of her NSF I-Corps duties, she is a Cohort Instructor, leading the Teams Programs.
She volunteers as a mentor to the $40 million Biodefense Commercialization Fund that accelerates the development and commercialization of innovations targeting infectious disease threats, and is an Instructor at the Griffis HUSTLE Defense Accelerator.
She is a graduate of Baruch College in Public and International Affairs and participated in the Macaulay Honors College at the City University of New York.
Terms expiring 2024:
- Jamey Hoose (Clarkson University Shipley Center Incubation Programs)
- Thomas Murdock (University at Buffalo Incubator Programs and Western New York Incubator Network)
- Per Stromhaug ( Innovation and Economic Development at Binghamton University)
Terms expiring 2025:
- Tom Schryver (Rev: Ithaca Startup Works, Southern Tier Startup Alliance)
- Ariella Trotsenko- Executive Manager of New York Icorps Hub
Thomas Grech- CEO- Queens Chamber of Commerce
Terms expiring 2026:
- Ebony Miller-Wesley, Director, Center for Urban Entrepreneurship (CUE) at Rochester Institute of Technology
- Seth Mulligan, Senior Director for Innovation and Partnerships at Griffiss Institute
- Deborah Schondorf Novick, the Director of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Westchester County