We are a collective group of entrepreneurial warriors, mentors, community influencers, policymakers, and ecosystem builders. We live and breathe entrepreneurship and are dedicated to helping entrepreneurs all over the globe transform their dreams into reality.
Charles Ross, CEO
Over the past 15 years, Charles has worked with communities of various shapes and sizes to build and sustain vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystems. His experience spans across several innovation-related disciplines to include entrepreneurship, business incubation, economic development, and investment management. He has provided strategic leadership for organizations within the public, private, and nonprofit domains and has directly mentored and coached founders/CEOs at over 30 high-growth companies.
Before joining the InBIA management team, Charles was responsible for driving economic impact for local communities through senior leadership positions at Kennesaw State University and the Georgia Institute of Technology. In these roles, Charles connected universities’ talent, know-how, and assets to businesses and communities to increase economic prosperity and to improve quality of life.
Prior to his assignments in higher education, Charles directly worked with entrepreneurs to launch and grow technology businesses. As Vice President of the Telecommunications Development Fund, Charles sourced, structured, and managed investments in several early-stage communications companies, and as a Director of Ameritech’s venture capital division he identified and executed strategic technology investments.
Charles joined InBIA as a member in 2006, was elected to its Board of Directors in 2011 and served as Chair in 2017. Charles holds an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from Marquette University and an MBA from Indiana University.
Email: [email protected]
Lindsay Schuenke, Director of Content
Lindsay Schuenke has been with InBIA since December of 2004, when she joined the training and events team. In her time with the association, Lindsay’s responsibilities have primarily focused on coordinating content and details for events, including the annual conference, the fall training, and the advanced summits. She was involved in the inception and launch of the Business Incubation Management Certificate Program and has helped plan more than a dozen conferences and several smaller tours and events. Over the years, Lindsay has managed hundreds of speakers, written thousands of session and course descriptions, managed dozens of tours, and been involved with countless other aspects of planning and executing the conferences and other events. She has a degree in English from Ohio Wesleyan University. Lindsay works remotely from her home office in Maine, where she lives with her husband and four children.
Email: [email protected]
Monica d’Errico, Project Administration Manager
Monica d’Errico has worked with InBIA since April of 2016. She started her journey as an intern with the IMPACT Index team. After 2 years, Monica was promoted to lead of the Data Analysts division. Her outreach and leadership have helped to strengthen ties with our members and enhance the database base for the IMPACT project featured on the InBIA website. Growing further with our industry, Monica has filled the role of Project Administration Manager. In this position, she will be serving our community with membership needs, content/ book orders in addition to education and the daily operations of InBIA. Monica has received a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of Central Florida and is currently pursuing her Masters in the same field.
Email: [email protected]
Julie Zambos, Project Analyst
In 2020, Julie Zambos connected with the InBIA team assisting with grants, marketing, membership, and events. With a background in marketing, technology and project management, Zambos brings an interesting perspective to the team. The majority of her prior experience with Destination Marketing Organizations (DMO) provides her a specific lens to assist any membership-based organization. Over the years, Zambos managed numerous projects including installing Customer Relationship Management software and email campaign management software. Her strengths include communication, project management, and team spirit. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications specializing in Public Relations from the University of South Florida in 2000 and is in the process of obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a minor in Political Science and Strategic Communication at the University of Central Florida. Zambos lives with her husband and twin boys in Orlando, Fla.
Email: [email protected]
Bonnie Dawdy, Grants Program Manager
Bonnie Dawdy is a newer member of the InBIA team, July 2021. She is the Grants Program Manager, and her primary responsibilities include the successful execution of InBIA’s grant-funded programs resulting in the successful implementation, compliance, and reporting for current and future grant-funded programs.
She has 28 years experience working at Grand Valley State University in various roles; Operations Manager at the applied Medical Device Institute; Operations Director for both the West Michigan Science and Technology Initiative, a life science incubator, and GR Current, which was a spinoff of WMSTI with expanded emerging technology services. She has also worked as a Program Manager of the Michigan SBIR/STTR Assistance Program at BBC Entrepreneurial Training and Consulting and as Operations Manager for the Michigan Business Innovation Association.
Her educational background includes business management, financial management, marketing, and civil and community engagement from GVSU and Davenport University. She has 15 years experience operating a life science and technology incubator and accelerator. Her expertise is in community engagement through outreach, educational and entrepreneurial collaboration among entrepreneurial resource networks.
Her passion is engaging with ESOs and “startups” with an emphasis on inclusivity and providing them the tools and environment they need to succeed within the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Email: [email protected]
Molly Mordocco, Business Coordinator
Molly Mordocco started her career in the hospitality industry as a sales and catering manager at the University Plaza Hotel in Columbus, Ohio, and later at the DoubleTree Worthington. She also acted as assistant manager at an apartment complex for college students for more than two years. First joining InBIA (then NBIA) in 2013, Molly stepped away in 2016 to take some time with family. She rejoined InBIA as the Business Coordinator in 2019 and in this role she is responsible for executing the training program, coordinating the online member community, managing the virtual support networks, and more. A graduate of Ohio University, Molly lives in Columbus with her husband and twin boys.
Email: [email protected]
InBIA Board Members
Esther leads the UCF business incubator in Kissimmee, Florida. Previously, from 2014-2018, she directed the Emerging Ventures Ecosystem at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y. She was also incubator site manager and assistant director of the Office of Research and Commercialization at the University of Central Florida for eight years. UCF’s Business Incubation Program was named InBIA Incubator Network of the Year in 2013, and client and graduate companies won InBIA awards in 2014 and 2012. An incubation professional with diverse experience in corporate, entrepreneurial, and university environments, Esther joined InBIA in 2007.
Second Vice Chair
Paul Riser Jr., Director, Detroit Urban Solutions
Paul is the Managing Director of Detroit Urban Solutions. In this capacity, Paul leads an urban innovation district, founded by several Detroit-based institutions, focused on mobility, digital health, civic and smart city technologies. Previously, Paul served as Managing Director of Technology-Based Entrepreneurship at TechTown Detroit. Paul is also an entrepreneur, chief technologist, information officer, and systems engineer with more than 20 years of professional experience working with startups to global enterprises. He is a founding member of the Legacy Associates Foundation, board member and equity partner of B.L.A.C. Magazine, board member of the New Detroit Coalition, Motown Museum, Cranbrook Institute of Science and the National Advisory Board for the University of Michigan’s Fast Forward Medical Innovations (FFMI).
Adrian Wallace, Executive Director, SEED Center Business Incubator
Adrian spearheaded the development of the SEED Center Business Incubator, which opened in 2013 and has helped create 210 new jobs and nearly $4 million in gross revenue. An InBIA member since 2007, Adrian previously worked in business development, city government, online training, laboratory research, and small business ownership. He is certified in incubator management through InBIA and Wendy Kennedy’s training program and has moderated sessions at a number of InBIA conferences. Adrian currently chairs the Louisiana Business Incubation Association, among his many other volunteer activities.
Leslie Lynn Smith is the national director of Gender Equality in Tech (GET Cities), a multi-city initiative to increase the influence and impact of women in the technology industry. Previously, Leslie was president and CEO of Epicenter, the Memphis region’s entrepreneurial hub and TechTown, Detroit’s premiere entrepreneurship hub. Also, Leslie served as the director of business acceleration for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. Smith’s current board service includes InBIA, Center for American Entrepreneurship, and Memphis Fourth Estate, Inc.
Ron Duggins, Professor of Entrepreneurship, University of Central Arkansas
Ron is also the founding advisor for a public/private entrepreneurship support organization at the university. Before moving to Arkansas in 2015, Ron directed the Center for Business Development at Meridian Technology Center and oversaw the Oklahoma Technology and Research Park in Stillwater, Oklahoma. He also worked for Autry Technology Center’s James W. Strate Center for Business Development in Enid, Okla. when he joined InBIA in 2007. Ron has extensive international training experience and has presented at InBIA events. He also holds InBIA’s Business Incubation Management Certificate.
Linda Fowler, President, Regionerate LLC
Linda Fowler, President of Regionerate LLC, a small, woman-owned consulting firm, specializes in high-impact consulting with diverse stakeholders to activate and support transformative regional partnerships for inclusive growth. Linda has guided regional prosperity and revitalization efforts in several emblematic U.S. cities. Linda supports communities to build cohesive and integrated strategies across a diversified portfolio of investments, including entrepreneurship. Currently, she is working with incubation and acceleration programs in Georgia, Michigan, New Jersey and Virginia. Prior to launching her firm, Linda worked in private industry and served in federal government (U.S. Departments of Labor and Commerce).
Wilson Chan, Associate Director of Strategic Partnership, Hong Kong Science & Technology Parks Corporation
Wilson Chan is the Associate Director of Strategic Partnership, Hong Kong Science & Technology Parks Corporation. He has been involved in the electronics and IT industry for over 20 years with working experience in HK, China, US and the UK. Since joining HKSTP, Mr. Chan has been assisting technology entrepreneurs in business and corporate development in Hong Kong, and the shaping of HKSTP’s incubation & acceleration programmes.
Brad Rickelman, Assistant Director, Meridian Technology Center Business Incubator
Brad Rickelman is Assistant Director of the Meridian Technology Center business incubator. Meridian Technology Center is a regional vocational education institution. Brad is past Chairman of the statewide Oklahoma Venture Forum and past President of the Oklahoma Business Incubator Association. Brad currently serves on the City of Stillwater Planning Commission. He was an YSEALI Professional Fellow to Thailand in spring 2019 teaching advanced entrepreneurship training. Brad has taught courses in the lnBlA Entrepreneurship Center Management (ECM) certificate online program. He holds a Bachelors in Business Management, and Masters in Philosophy, both from Texas A&M University. He was Grand Master of Freemasons of Oklahoma in 2013.
First Vice Chair
Krista serves as President of First Flight Venture Center, North Carolina’s original science-based technology incubator. Previously, Krista held leadership positions with VelocityTX, an innovation hub in San Antonio, Texas and the SMARTstart Business Incubator in Pasco County, Florida. She has an extensive background in banking and finance and experience in economic development, economic gardening for growth companies, business incubation, management, business development, marketing and public relations. An InBIA member since 2013, Krista has completed the association’s Business Incubation Management Certificate Program, is part of the Startup Champions Network, and has served on numerous community and industry boards.
Steve DeBretto, Executive Director, Industrial Council of Nearwest Chicago
Steve is the executive director of the Industrial Council of Nearwest Chicago, an economic development organization that sponsors Make City (formerly the Fulton-Carroll Center Business Incubator), a light industrial mixed-use incubator, and The Hatchery, a food and beverage manufacturing center; ICNC also houses two SBDCs in its facilities. Steve was a founding board member of The Chicagoland Food and Beverage Network and served on the steering committee of the Chicago mayor’s Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs. Steve has been an InBIA member since 2012, participating in InBIA events and serving on the 2015 Awards committee.
Angela joined the Nashville Business Incubation Center at Tennessee State University in 2003 and has served as executive director since 2012. She implemented a service delivery and revenue diversification initiative, successfully expanding NBIC’s client base while reducing its budgetary reliance on service fees from 80% to 54% in one fiscal year. The Center for Nonprofit Management recognized these efforts with the Frist Revenue Development Award in 2015. An InBIA member since 2005, Angela’s business advising skills and leadership helped her clients receive multiple awards, including InBIA Client and Graduate of the Year awards in 2015, 2014, and 2010.
Herman Nyamunga, Director, PowerUp Your Business, Community College of Philadelphia
Herman is director of the PowerUP Your Business accelerator, a neighborhood-based approach to economic development that offers training to small businesses in the city of Philadelphia. Previously, Herman was the director of entrepreneurship and innovation at the Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians in Philadelphia, Pa. Herman is a five-year InBIA member who has attended and presented at several conferences and holds certifications in both InBIA’s Incubator Manager program and as a Business Model and Value Proposition Design Trainer. He also served on the Philadelphia Food Policy Advisory Council as a mayor’s appointee.
Lynne Henkiel, Director of Innovation Ecosystems, Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2)
Lynne Henkiel is the Director of Innovation Ecosystems in Georgia Tech’s Economic Development Lab in the Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2). Her 31 years of experience include working for Georgia Tech as well as IBM and NASA. Lynne manages a suite of innovative business incubation tools and evaluation services, in addition to EI2’s International Soft Landings program. Lynne holds a Master of Science in Technology Management from the University of Miami, FL. She is also a very active member of the International Business Innovation Association (InBIA) and is currently on the Technology Association of Georgia’s International Business Advisory Board.
Lisa Smith, Executive Director, Bowie Business Innovation Center
Lisa Smith has been a thought leader, consultant incubator manager and ecosystem developer for the business incubation industry in the U.S. and internationally during her 22 years as an InBIA member. Lisa is the founding Executive Director of the Bowie Business Innovation Center (Bowie BIC), a public/private partnership, hosted by Bowie State University, supporting underserved technology companies and government contractors. During her consulting career, Lisa advised 30 US. Communities on the creation of entrepreneurial development initiatives. Her international work included establishing the first networking of technology business incubators in the U.S. for Scotland’s economic development agency.
Amanda Chocko, Director of SURGE, Lakeshore Advantage
Amanda Chocko is the Director of SURGE at the economic development organization, Lakeshore Advantage. She has been a leader in the West Michigan startup ecosystem for over a decade with extensive experience in business incubation, accelerator management, program development, lean startup methodologies and enterprise/startup partnerships. Prior to working at Lakeshore Advantage, Amanda spent 8 years at Start Garden where she helped to launch the monthly pitch competition 5X5 Night and the Seamless IOT commercialization accelerator. Over the years she has built relationships with startup communities and university programs throughout Michigan and has helped to organize 11 Grand Rapids Startup Weekends.
Matt Gardner, Chief Executive, California Technology Council
Matt Gardner is the chief executive of the California Technology Council, chair of the National Council of Registered ISAOs (NCRI) and the Treasurer of the Technology Councils of North America (TECNA). He has served as a member of the adjunct faculty at the University of San Francisco in the Department of Entrepreneurship and Innovation and as research faculty at William Jessup University. Matt is the author or co-author of publications on innovation including a landmark study of incubators and accelerators in California, studies on the delicate ecosystem for seeding new companies, and the award-winning “Impact” annual reports on life sciences.