Team

The IllinoisVENTURES team is comprised of experienced investors and technology commercialization professionals that can help translate breakthrough research into investable businesses.  We are committed to helping entrepreneurs and technical founders build world-changing businesses with the potential to create new market opportunities or significantly expand existing ones. Our expertise and networks help entrepreneurs build and grow successful business.

Investment Team

Nancy Sullivan

CEO & Managing Director

About Nancy

Nancy Sullivan serves as the CEO and Managing Director of IllinoisVENTURES, LLC. With over 15 years of experience in the commercialization and entrepreneurial sector, Nancy leads the IllinoisVENTURES, LLC investment portfolio. Ms. Sullivan oversees $70 million + in assets under management. She is responsible for overall fund operations including serving as the main point of contact for limited partner base and the investment management of leading portfolio companies.

Nancy promotes the development of new companies commercializing complex technologies by assisting the companies in obtaining venture capital funding, recruiting management talent and obtaining necessary business services. She serves on the boards of two Chicago based startups, Personify and Diagnostic Photonics.

Nancy earned her MBA from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management and a Master's in Biotechnology, from Northwestern. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Loyola University.

Tom Parkinson

Principal

About Tom

Thomas E. Parkinson is Senior Director of IllinoisVENTURES, based in Champaign-Urbana. He has been investing in, mentoring and advising technology-based startup companies in the Chicago area, the broader Midwest and in Central Appalachia for more than 30 years. He was a partner with Woodland Venture Management, based in Chicago, where he helped raise and manage two venture capital funds that invested in high-growth companies in under-served and fly-over regions of the country. Prior to that, he was the Executive Director of a successful seed capital fund affiliated with Northwestern University and the CFO of an award-winning technology business incubator.

Mr. Parkinson has taught courses in entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial finance at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Ohio University, and most recently at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. He taught the capstone class in Kellogg’s Discover-Test-Launch sequence for student entrepreneurs for four years. His students have gone on to raise several million dollars in startup capital and launch more than a dozen new businesses in the US and around the world.

He has a BA from Northwestern and an MBA from Kellogg, with a specialization in Urban Economic Development. He is a member of the National Advisory Committee for Pipeline, a prestigious entrepreneurial fellowship program based in Kansas City.

Daniel Gambrell

Associate

About Daniel

Daniel Gambrell joined IllinoisVENTURES as an Associate in January of 2018. Previously, he worked in a marketing and strategy role for a B2B SaaS provider. Daniel also served as a Commercialization Analyst at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Office of Technology Management, and provided market analysis for startups at the EnterpriseWorks incubator in the UIUC Research Park.

Daniel graduated with Honors from Kennesaw State University with a Bachelor’s in Environmental Studies. He earned his MBA from the University of Illinois Gies College of Business with a concentration in Finance.

Pat Flavin

Associate

About Pat

Pat Flavin is an Associate at llinoisVENTURES, having joined in August 2016 as a Fellow and full-time in October 2017. Prior to IllinoisVENTURES, Pat worked in the Financial Risk, Transactions & Restructuring group at Deloitte & Touche as well as with the Technology Commercialization and Licensing Office at the University of Chicago's Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, assisting University faculty in the Ben May Department for Cancer Research and The Microbiome Center in commercializing translational research related to oncology and the microbiome. Pat has worked with Courtside Ventures, a New York-based Seed and Early Stage venture capital firm focusing on digital media and technology investments at the intersection of sports, as well as with Shamrock Structures, a drug discovery services company.

Pat graduated with Honors and Distinction from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a degree in Political Science, where he played offensive line on the varsity football team. He earned his MBA from the University of Illinois Gies College of Business with concentrations in Finance and Entrepreneurship.

Sarah Schram

Analyst

About Sarah

Sarah Schram started as an analyst with IllinoisVentures while finishing her doctoral thesis work for the Graduate Program in Neuroscience at UIC, where she examined the role of nerve injury in the development of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.  She had previously received her B.S. from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee with majors in Biology, Biochemistry, and Psychology.

While enrolled at UIC, Sarah participated in the Student Consulting Program offered by EnterpriseWorks Chicago in partnership with IllinoisVentures. She also interned at the Chicago-based investment fund Aspire Capital Partners, where she was responsible for performing diligence research on clinical trial stage biotech companies. Sarah then came back to IllinoisVentures to coordinate the Proof of Concept Program, which she continues to do. She really enjoys this opportunity to work with faculty researchers to develop the exciting technology pipeline at UIC.

When not at work, Sarah enjoys traveling the world playing competitive Ultimate Frisbee.

Operations Team

Christopher Valera

Operations Coordinator

About Christopher

Christopher Valera is the Operations Coordinator at IllinoisVENTURES, LLC. Christopher is responsible for creating and implementing strategies to successfully manage and grow the operations of IllnoisVENTURES. He is responsible for day-to-day operational management of IllinoisVENTURES including document management, personnel and office administration initiatives. Christopher represents IllinoisVENTURES to a wide range of internal and external constituents that are involved with IllinoisVENTURES including board members and portfolio company leadership. where he provides administrative assistance to the IllinoisVENTURES team. Concurrent with his position at IllinoisVENTURES, Christopher also is the Business Administrative Associate for EnterpriseWorks Chicago, the incubation arm of the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Christopher earned his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Board Members

Edward L. McMillan

Chairman

About Mr. McMillan

Edward L. McMillan was appointed to the University of Illinois Board of Trustees by Gov. Pat Quinn in March 2009. McMillan, a 1969 graduate of the Urbana-Champaign campus with a BS in Agricultural Science, has served on the UI Alumni Association board, the UI Foundation board, and is chairman of the board of managers of the UI Research Park. From 1999 to the present, McMillan has been the owner and CEO of McMillan, LLC, a transaction consulting firm which provides strategic consulting services and facilitates mergers and/or acquisitions predominantly to food and agribusiness industry sectors based in Greenville, IL.

From June 1969 to December 1987 he was with Ralston Purina, Inc. and Purina Mills, Inc. where he held various senior level management positions including marketing, strategic planning, business development, product research, and business segment management. From January 1988 to March 1996, Mr. McMillan was President and CEO of Purina Mills, Inc. From August 1996 to July 1997, Mr. McMillan presented a graduate seminar at Purdue University. From August 1997 to April 1999 Mr. McMillan was with Agri Business Group, Inc. Mr. McMillan currently serves on the boards of directors of Balchem, Inc. (NASDAQ:BCPC), Durvet, Inc., Newco Enterprises, Inc., CHB LLC., and Hintzsche, Inc. Mr. McMillan also serves as Chair of the University of Illinois Research Park, LLC and Greenville College Foundation Board.

Michael T. Tokarz

Chairman, Illinois Emerging Technology Fund

About Mr. Tokarz

Mr. Tokarz is a senior investment professional with over 30 years of lending and investment experience.  He is currently the founder and Chairman of The Tokarz Group, a private, New York-based merchant bank, and as Chairman and Portfolio Manager of its MVC Capital Fund (NYSE:MVC).

Michael was formerly a General Partner with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. ("KKR"), one of the world's most experienced private equity firms.  During his 17-year tenure at KKR, he participated in diverse leveraged buyouts, financings, restructurings and dispositions.  Mr. Tokarz currently serves on numerous corporate boards including Walter Industries, Inc., Stonewater Control Systems, Lomonsov, Athleta, Inc. and Apertio Ltd.

Michael also serves on the Board of the University of Illinois Foundation and its Investment and Executive Committees.  Prior to his tenure at KKR, Mr. Tokarz was a commercial banker at Continental Illinois where he was renowned for innovation and buyout financings.  Mr. Tokarz rose to run the East Coast operation of Continental Illinois from New York.  He is also active on the Endowment Committee and Board of Directors of the National Wildlife Federation.  He received his undergraduate degree with High Distinction in Economics and MBA in Finance from the University of Illinois and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Michael Liang

Boardmember

About Dr. Liang

Michael Liang joined Baird Capital in 2006 and concentrates on Healthcare investments. Prior to joining Baird Capital, Mike was a venture investor with Advent Venture Partners and before that served in an operating role as a Director of R&D at Cortek, a spinal orthopedics company. Mike is currently a member of the board of directors of Amphora Medical, GenomeDx Biosciences, Insightra Medical, Veniti, Zurex Pharma, Integrated Diagnostics and Apervita, serving as chairman of the board for Insightra Medical and Veniti. He was previously a board member of Interlace Medical before its acquisition in 2011 and a board observer of TomoTherapy before its public offering.  Mike is a member of the advisory board for the University of Illinois Chicago’s Proof of Concept Fund, Northwestern University’s Innovation and New Ventures Office, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) Accelerator program and Chicago MATTER. Mike also is a member of Rush University Medical Center’s Associates Board.  Mike received a BS from the University of California Berkeley and a PhD in biophysical chemistry from Stanford University and conducted a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University.

Anthony DiTommaso

Boardmember

About Mr. Hesch

Anthony G. DiTommaso received his Bachelor’s Degree and M.S. from the College of Business at the University of Illinois at Urbana, Champaign. DiTommaso started his career at Coopers and Lybrand. In 1986 he founded Innerpac, Inc., a manufacturer of interior packaging products. When DiTommaso sold Innerpac in 2006, Innerpac was operating 5 manufacturing plants throughout the United States with over 500 employees. In 2003, he founded a financial services company, Ecvall, LLC. Ecvall is a consulting and investing company with principal asset Lockport Steel Fabricators, a rapidly growing metal fabricator in the southwest suburbs.

DiTommaso is a member and past Chapter Chair of the Chicago Chapter of the YPO Gold. DiTommaso has served on the Dean’s Business Council and was the keynote speaker for the Cozad Lecture in Entrepreneurship in 2001 and has made numerous presentations to the College of Business classes. DiTommaso serves on the Board of Directors for the University of Illinois Foundation as well as other nonprofit organizations.

Dennis Hesch

Executive VP, The Carle System

About Mr. Hesch

Mr. Hesch is the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for The Carle Health System (“Carle”).  Carle is a $2.6 billion NFP integrated delivery system located in Central, Illinois comprised of two hospitals with a total of 414 licensed beds, an employed provider group with approximately 450 employed physicians and 300 Advanced Practice Providers, and a health plan with approximately 300,000 members and 30 years of medical management expertise.   At a time when the Healthcare industry is facing unprecedented changes, Carle has continued to be successful by deploying annual cost savings initiatives and investing in leadership development while still looking for opportunities to grow.

Mr. Hesch is a Certified Public Accountant with nearly 25 years of diverse Healthcare experience that combines strategic and tactical financial expertise with strong qualifications in risk management, strategic planning, debt financing, systems deployment, mergers and acquisitions.  Mr. Hesch joined the Carle in September of 2006.  Prior to joining Carle, Mr. Hesch worked in Deloitte’s Healthcare sector for approximately seven years in addition to serving as the Chief Financial Officer for a Large Multi-Specialty Medical Group for approximately eight years.  Mr. Hesch is active in his community and serves on various local and national Boards and is currently Treasurer for the local Boys and Girls Club.

Susan Martinis

Interim Vice Chancellor for Research (Urbana-Champaign)

About Dr. Martinis

 

Susan Martinis is Interim Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she provides leadership for the campus-wide interdisciplinary research institutes, promotes new research initiatives, and oversees the administrative and business processes that ensure the safe, ethical, and productive conduct of research at Illinois. Dr. Martinis, the Stephen G. Sligar Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology, studies the mechanisms, evolution, and biomedical applications of protein synthesis and RNA-protein interactions. She is a successful researcher, engaged in entrepreneurial and corporate partnerships, a committed educator, and an experienced administrator.

Dr. Martinis moved to the University of Illinois in 2005, and in 2009 was promoted to the rank of Professor, as well as appointed Head of the Department of Biochemistry and also Head of the Department of Medical Biochemistry in the Regional College of Medicine of the University of Illinois. She was named a University Scholar, and in 2015 was honored by appointment as the inaugural Stephen G. Sligar Endowed Professor in the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology. She is a member of the Center for Biophysics and Quantitative Biology and an Affiliate in the Department of Chemistry. In addition, she received a prestigious Fellowship from the University of Illinois to participate in the Committee on Institutional Cooperation’s (Big 10 Academic Alliance) Academic Leadership Program in 2011-2012. From 2014-2015, she served as Interim Associate Dean over the Biological, Chemical, Mathematical, and Physical Sciences in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and subsequently returned to her position as Head of the Department of Biochemistry.

Dr. Martinis contributed significantly to the founding of the Carle-Illinois College of Medicine, which offers a paradigm-shifting approach to teaching medicine that is engineering-based. She served on the initial curriculum committee and as Interim Director of Biomedical Sciences and Engineering, where she served on the Dean’s inaugural leadership team.

She is currently President of the Association of Medical and Graduate Departments of Biochemistry (AMGDB) across North and Central America. She has served as an inaugural member of the National Institutes of Health Molecular Genetics A study section and participated in Review Panels for the National Science Foundation. Dr. Martinis was an Editorial Board Member of the Journal of Biological Chemistry for five years.

Prior to her time at the University, she was hired in 1993 at a start-up biotechnology company Cubist Pharmaceuticals as its 3rd employee. Dr. Martinis was awarded the company’s first U.S. patent and National Institutes of Health SBIR grant, before moving to academia at the University of Houston in 1997. Cubist Pharmaceuticals grew to over 600 people, developed the life-saving drug Cubicin, and was acquired in 2014 by Merck Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Martinis also contributed to delineating the mechanism of action for a novel lead antimicrobial drug (AN2690; Rock et al, Science) that was developed by Anacor Pharmaceuticals and made commercially available as the anti-fungal Kerydin in 2014.

Mitra Dutta

Vice Chancellor for Research (University of Illinois at Chicago)

About Dr. Dutta

Mitra Dutta is the Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  She previously served as Distinguished Professor and the Head, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of Engineering, and Professor of Physics, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Her research has focused on electronic and optoelectronic devices as well as the physics of these materials and device structures.  Dr. Dutta had held adjunct professor positions at Rutgers University, University of Maryland, North Carolina State University, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She has authored or co-authored over 400 publications and presentations, holds 31 US and Canadian patents, has co-edited five books and is a co-author on a sixth.  She served on the Army Science and Technology Committee for Homeland Security, and co-authored the NRC Reports 1 and 2 for the Board for Army Science and Technology.

Nathan Hoffmann

Director - Office of Technology Management (Urbana-Champaign)

About Mr. Hoffmann

Nathan Hoffmann joined the office as a technology manager in 2008, taking on the responsibilities of assistant director in 2013, and more recently, associate director. He manages a portfolio of engineering technologies, with a focus on material science. Included in his portfolio are the innovations emerging from the Rogers research group, which have spun out four new ventures.

Prior to joining the Office of Technology Management, Hoffmann was a training specialist in the Cybersecurity Directorate at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). He is a United States Navy Veteran and served as a Nuclear Submarine Warfare Officer for seven years.

Hoffmann is a member of the Association of University Technology Managers and the Licensing Executives Society. He has spoken at professional meetings and has served on special committees focused on improving the efficiency of transactions across academic institutions.

He holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering, an MS in Systems and Entrepreneurial Engineering, and an MBA, all from the University of Illinois.

Suseelan Pookote

Director - Office of Technology Management (Chicago)

About Dr. Pookote

Suseelan R. Pookote, Ph.D., joined the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2014 and presently is the Director of the Office of Technology Management and the Director of Business Development. Prior to joining the university, Dr. Pookote served as the Director for Business Development for Durata Therapeutics. Pookote joined Advanced Life Sciences in March 2001 as Executive Vice President of Corporate Development and continued in that position through 2011. Prior to joining Advanced Life Sciences, Pookote worked at Monsanto Company from 1980 to 2000, where he had responsibility for technology and business development in a variety of industry segments such as food, nutrition, biotechnology and specialty chemicals. At Monsanto, Pookote concentrated on technology evaluation, licensing and corporate transactions, including the negotiation of technology licensing deals with academic institutions. Dr. Pookote received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern University.

Avijit Ghosh

Interim Vice President/Chief Financial Officer and Comptroller

About Dr. Ghosh

Dr. Avijit Ghosh is the Interim Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Comptroller.

The Office of the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer has management oversight and responsibility for all financial functions and oversees all revenues, costs, capital expenditures, investments and debt. The Vice President/CFO also serves as comptroller of the university system.

The Office of the CFO is responsible for sytem-wide budget execution and implementation, financing, and execution of all capital projects. In conjunction with the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the CFO develops the budget for the university.

Edward Seidel

VP for Economic Development & Innovation at the University of Illinois

Edward Seidel is the Vice President for Economic Development & Innovation at the University of Illinois. Seidel serves as the senior research officer of the nearly $1 billion annual sponsored research portfolio and oversees technology commercialization and economic development activities across the University’s three campuses (Urbana-Champaign, Chicago, Springfield). The Office of the Vice President for Economic Development & Innovation is responsible for advancing the economic development mission of the University of Illinois by elevating ideas and innovations into sustainable technologies and businesses.

Dr. Seidel is a distinguished researcher in high-performance computing and relativity and astrophysics with an outstanding track record as an administrator. He is the director of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), a hub of transdisciplinary research and digital scholarship on the Urbana-Champaign campus. He is also a Founder Professor in the University of Illinois’ Department of Physics and a professor in the Department of Astronomy.

Prior to returning to the University of Illinois, Seidel served as the senior vice president for research and innovation at the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology in Moscow. Previously, he directed the Office of Cyberinfrastructure and served as assistant director for Mathematical and Physical Sciences at the U.S. National Science Foundation, and led the Center for Computation and Technology at Louisiana State University. He also led the numerical relativity group at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute) in Germany, and before that he was a senior research scientist leading the numerical relativity group at NCSA where he was among the original co-principal investigators for Blue Waters, a federally funded project that brought one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers to Urbana-Champaign.

Seidel is a fellow of the American Physical Society and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, as well as a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. His research has been recognized by a number of awards, including the 2006 IEEE Sidney Fernbach Award, the 2001 Gordon Bell prize, and the 1998 Heinz-Billing Award. He received his PhD in relativistic astrophysics from Yale University, earned a master’s degree in physics at the University of Pennsylvania, and received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and physics from the College of William and Mary.

Mike Bass

Sr. Associate Vice President and Deputy Comptroller

About Mr. Bass

Mr. Bass is the executive leader of the Office of Business and Financial Services (OBFS).  He provides advice and counsel to university executive officers and, via the University Vice President/Chief Financial Officer/Comptroller, advises the Board of Trustees on business and financial matters.  As the SAVP he is responsible for establishing university business and financial policy, issuing financial reports, and ensuring the proper stewardship of university funds.

+ Our Team

Investment Team

Nancy Sullivan

CEO & Managing Director

About Nancy

Nancy Sullivan serves as the CEO and Managing Director of IllinoisVENTURES, LLC. With over 15 years of experience in the commercialization and entrepreneurial sector, Nancy leads the IllinoisVENTURES, LLC investment portfolio. Ms. Sullivan oversees $70 million + in assets under management. She is responsible for overall fund operations including serving as the main point of contact for limited partner base and the investment management of leading portfolio companies.

Nancy promotes the development of new companies commercializing complex technologies by assisting the companies in obtaining venture capital funding, recruiting management talent and obtaining necessary business services. She serves on the boards of two Chicago based startups, Personify and Diagnostic Photonics.

Nancy earned her MBA from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management and a Master's in Biotechnology, from Northwestern. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Loyola University.

Tom Parkinson

Principal

About Tom

Thomas E. Parkinson is Senior Director of IllinoisVENTURES, based in Champaign-Urbana. He has been investing in, mentoring and advising technology-based startup companies in the Chicago area, the broader Midwest and in Central Appalachia for more than 30 years. He was a partner with Woodland Venture Management, based in Chicago, where he helped raise and manage two venture capital funds that invested in high-growth companies in under-served and fly-over regions of the country. Prior to that, he was the Executive Director of a successful seed capital fund affiliated with Northwestern University and the CFO of an award-winning technology business incubator.

Mr. Parkinson has taught courses in entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial finance at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Ohio University, and most recently at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. He taught the capstone class in Kellogg’s Discover-Test-Launch sequence for student entrepreneurs for four years. His students have gone on to raise several million dollars in startup capital and launch more than a dozen new businesses in the US and around the world.

He has a BA from Northwestern and an MBA from Kellogg, with a specialization in Urban Economic Development. He is a member of the National Advisory Committee for Pipeline, a prestigious entrepreneurial fellowship program based in Kansas City.

Daniel Gambrell

Associate

About Daniel

Daniel Gambrell joined IllinoisVENTURES as an Associate in January of 2018. Previously, he worked in a marketing and strategy role for a B2B SaaS provider. Daniel also served as a Commercialization Analyst at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Office of Technology Management, and provided market analysis for startups at the EnterpriseWorks incubator in the UIUC Research Park.

Daniel graduated with Honors from Kennesaw State University with a Bachelor’s in Environmental Studies. He earned his MBA from the University of Illinois Gies College of Business with a concentration in Finance.

Pat Flavin

Associate

About Pat

Pat Flavin is an Associate at llinoisVENTURES, having joined in August 2016 as a Fellow and full-time in October 2017. Prior to IllinoisVENTURES, Pat worked in the Financial Risk, Transactions & Restructuring group at Deloitte & Touche as well as with the Technology Commercialization and Licensing Office at the University of Chicago's Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, assisting University faculty in the Ben May Department for Cancer Research and The Microbiome Center in commercializing translational research related to oncology and the microbiome. Pat has worked with Courtside Ventures, a New York-based Seed and Early Stage venture capital firm focusing on digital media and technology investments at the intersection of sports, as well as with Shamrock Structures, a drug discovery services company.

Pat graduated with Honors and Distinction from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a degree in Political Science, where he played offensive line on the varsity football team. He earned his MBA from the University of Illinois Gies College of Business with concentrations in Finance and Entrepreneurship.

Sarah Schram

Analyst

About Sarah

Sarah Schram started as an analyst with IllinoisVentures while finishing her doctoral thesis work for the Graduate Program in Neuroscience at UIC, where she examined the role of nerve injury in the development of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.  She had previously received her B.S. from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee with majors in Biology, Biochemistry, and Psychology.

While enrolled at UIC, Sarah participated in the Student Consulting Program offered by EnterpriseWorks Chicago in partnership with IllinoisVentures. She also interned at the Chicago-based investment fund Aspire Capital Partners, where she was responsible for performing diligence research on clinical trial stage biotech companies. Sarah then came back to IllinoisVentures to coordinate the Proof of Concept Program, which she continues to do. She really enjoys this opportunity to work with faculty researchers to develop the exciting technology pipeline at UIC.

When not at work, Sarah enjoys traveling the world playing competitive Ultimate Frisbee.

Operations Team

Christopher Valera

Operations Coordinator

About Christopher

Christopher Valera is the Operations Coordinator at IllinoisVENTURES, LLC. Christopher is responsible for creating and implementing strategies to successfully manage and grow the operations of IllnoisVENTURES. He is responsible for day-to-day operational management of IllinoisVENTURES including document management, personnel and office administration initiatives. Christopher represents IllinoisVENTURES to a wide range of internal and external constituents that are involved with IllinoisVENTURES including board members and portfolio company leadership. where he provides administrative assistance to the IllinoisVENTURES team. Concurrent with his position at IllinoisVENTURES, Christopher also is the Business Administrative Associate for EnterpriseWorks Chicago, the incubation arm of the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Christopher earned his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

+ Board Members

Board Members

Edward L. McMillan

Chairman

About Mr. McMillan

Edward L. McMillan was appointed to the University of Illinois Board of Trustees by Gov. Pat Quinn in March 2009. McMillan, a 1969 graduate of the Urbana-Champaign campus with a BS in Agricultural Science, has served on the UI Alumni Association board, the UI Foundation board, and is chairman of the board of managers of the UI Research Park. From 1999 to the present, McMillan has been the owner and CEO of McMillan, LLC, a transaction consulting firm which provides strategic consulting services and facilitates mergers and/or acquisitions predominantly to food and agribusiness industry sectors based in Greenville, IL.

From June 1969 to December 1987 he was with Ralston Purina, Inc. and Purina Mills, Inc. where he held various senior level management positions including marketing, strategic planning, business development, product research, and business segment management. From January 1988 to March 1996, Mr. McMillan was President and CEO of Purina Mills, Inc. From August 1996 to July 1997, Mr. McMillan presented a graduate seminar at Purdue University. From August 1997 to April 1999 Mr. McMillan was with Agri Business Group, Inc. Mr. McMillan currently serves on the boards of directors of Balchem, Inc. (NASDAQ:BCPC), Durvet, Inc., Newco Enterprises, Inc., CHB LLC., and Hintzsche, Inc. Mr. McMillan also serves as Chair of the University of Illinois Research Park, LLC and Greenville College Foundation Board.

Michael T. Tokarz

Chairman, Illinois Emerging Technology Fund

About Mr. Tokarz

Mr. Tokarz is a senior investment professional with over 30 years of lending and investment experience.  He is currently the founder and Chairman of The Tokarz Group, a private, New York-based merchant bank, and as Chairman and Portfolio Manager of its MVC Capital Fund (NYSE:MVC).

Michael was formerly a General Partner with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. ("KKR"), one of the world's most experienced private equity firms.  During his 17-year tenure at KKR, he participated in diverse leveraged buyouts, financings, restructurings and dispositions.  Mr. Tokarz currently serves on numerous corporate boards including Walter Industries, Inc., Stonewater Control Systems, Lomonsov, Athleta, Inc. and Apertio Ltd.

Michael also serves on the Board of the University of Illinois Foundation and its Investment and Executive Committees.  Prior to his tenure at KKR, Mr. Tokarz was a commercial banker at Continental Illinois where he was renowned for innovation and buyout financings.  Mr. Tokarz rose to run the East Coast operation of Continental Illinois from New York.  He is also active on the Endowment Committee and Board of Directors of the National Wildlife Federation.  He received his undergraduate degree with High Distinction in Economics and MBA in Finance from the University of Illinois and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Michael Liang

Boardmember

About Dr. Liang

Michael Liang joined Baird Capital in 2006 and concentrates on Healthcare investments. Prior to joining Baird Capital, Mike was a venture investor with Advent Venture Partners and before that served in an operating role as a Director of R&D at Cortek, a spinal orthopedics company. Mike is currently a member of the board of directors of Amphora Medical, GenomeDx Biosciences, Insightra Medical, Veniti, Zurex Pharma, Integrated Diagnostics and Apervita, serving as chairman of the board for Insightra Medical and Veniti. He was previously a board member of Interlace Medical before its acquisition in 2011 and a board observer of TomoTherapy before its public offering.  Mike is a member of the advisory board for the University of Illinois Chicago’s Proof of Concept Fund, Northwestern University’s Innovation and New Ventures Office, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) Accelerator program and Chicago MATTER. Mike also is a member of Rush University Medical Center’s Associates Board.  Mike received a BS from the University of California Berkeley and a PhD in biophysical chemistry from Stanford University and conducted a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University.

Anthony DiTommaso

Boardmember

About Mr. Hesch

Anthony G. DiTommaso received his Bachelor’s Degree and M.S. from the College of Business at the University of Illinois at Urbana, Champaign. DiTommaso started his career at Coopers and Lybrand. In 1986 he founded Innerpac, Inc., a manufacturer of interior packaging products. When DiTommaso sold Innerpac in 2006, Innerpac was operating 5 manufacturing plants throughout the United States with over 500 employees. In 2003, he founded a financial services company, Ecvall, LLC. Ecvall is a consulting and investing company with principal asset Lockport Steel Fabricators, a rapidly growing metal fabricator in the southwest suburbs.

DiTommaso is a member and past Chapter Chair of the Chicago Chapter of the YPO Gold. DiTommaso has served on the Dean’s Business Council and was the keynote speaker for the Cozad Lecture in Entrepreneurship in 2001 and has made numerous presentations to the College of Business classes. DiTommaso serves on the Board of Directors for the University of Illinois Foundation as well as other nonprofit organizations.

Dennis Hesch

Executive VP, The Carle System

About Mr. Hesch

Mr. Hesch is the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for The Carle Health System (“Carle”).  Carle is a $2.6 billion NFP integrated delivery system located in Central, Illinois comprised of two hospitals with a total of 414 licensed beds, an employed provider group with approximately 450 employed physicians and 300 Advanced Practice Providers, and a health plan with approximately 300,000 members and 30 years of medical management expertise.   At a time when the Healthcare industry is facing unprecedented changes, Carle has continued to be successful by deploying annual cost savings initiatives and investing in leadership development while still looking for opportunities to grow.

Mr. Hesch is a Certified Public Accountant with nearly 25 years of diverse Healthcare experience that combines strategic and tactical financial expertise with strong qualifications in risk management, strategic planning, debt financing, systems deployment, mergers and acquisitions.  Mr. Hesch joined the Carle in September of 2006.  Prior to joining Carle, Mr. Hesch worked in Deloitte’s Healthcare sector for approximately seven years in addition to serving as the Chief Financial Officer for a Large Multi-Specialty Medical Group for approximately eight years.  Mr. Hesch is active in his community and serves on various local and national Boards and is currently Treasurer for the local Boys and Girls Club.

Susan Martinis

Interim Vice Chancellor for Research (Urbana-Champaign)

About Dr. Martinis

 

Susan Martinis is Interim Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she provides leadership for the campus-wide interdisciplinary research institutes, promotes new research initiatives, and oversees the administrative and business processes that ensure the safe, ethical, and productive conduct of research at Illinois. Dr. Martinis, the Stephen G. Sligar Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology, studies the mechanisms, evolution, and biomedical applications of protein synthesis and RNA-protein interactions. She is a successful researcher, engaged in entrepreneurial and corporate partnerships, a committed educator, and an experienced administrator.

Dr. Martinis moved to the University of Illinois in 2005, and in 2009 was promoted to the rank of Professor, as well as appointed Head of the Department of Biochemistry and also Head of the Department of Medical Biochemistry in the Regional College of Medicine of the University of Illinois. She was named a University Scholar, and in 2015 was honored by appointment as the inaugural Stephen G. Sligar Endowed Professor in the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology. She is a member of the Center for Biophysics and Quantitative Biology and an Affiliate in the Department of Chemistry. In addition, she received a prestigious Fellowship from the University of Illinois to participate in the Committee on Institutional Cooperation’s (Big 10 Academic Alliance) Academic Leadership Program in 2011-2012. From 2014-2015, she served as Interim Associate Dean over the Biological, Chemical, Mathematical, and Physical Sciences in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and subsequently returned to her position as Head of the Department of Biochemistry.

Dr. Martinis contributed significantly to the founding of the Carle-Illinois College of Medicine, which offers a paradigm-shifting approach to teaching medicine that is engineering-based. She served on the initial curriculum committee and as Interim Director of Biomedical Sciences and Engineering, where she served on the Dean’s inaugural leadership team.

She is currently President of the Association of Medical and Graduate Departments of Biochemistry (AMGDB) across North and Central America. She has served as an inaugural member of the National Institutes of Health Molecular Genetics A study section and participated in Review Panels for the National Science Foundation. Dr. Martinis was an Editorial Board Member of the Journal of Biological Chemistry for five years.

Prior to her time at the University, she was hired in 1993 at a start-up biotechnology company Cubist Pharmaceuticals as its 3rd employee. Dr. Martinis was awarded the company’s first U.S. patent and National Institutes of Health SBIR grant, before moving to academia at the University of Houston in 1997. Cubist Pharmaceuticals grew to over 600 people, developed the life-saving drug Cubicin, and was acquired in 2014 by Merck Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Martinis also contributed to delineating the mechanism of action for a novel lead antimicrobial drug (AN2690; Rock et al, Science) that was developed by Anacor Pharmaceuticals and made commercially available as the anti-fungal Kerydin in 2014.

Mitra Dutta

Vice Chancellor for Research (University of Illinois at Chicago)

About Dr. Dutta

Mitra Dutta is the Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  She previously served as Distinguished Professor and the Head, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of Engineering, and Professor of Physics, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Her research has focused on electronic and optoelectronic devices as well as the physics of these materials and device structures.  Dr. Dutta had held adjunct professor positions at Rutgers University, University of Maryland, North Carolina State University, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She has authored or co-authored over 400 publications and presentations, holds 31 US and Canadian patents, has co-edited five books and is a co-author on a sixth.  She served on the Army Science and Technology Committee for Homeland Security, and co-authored the NRC Reports 1 and 2 for the Board for Army Science and Technology.

Nathan Hoffmann

Director - Office of Technology Management (Urbana-Champaign)

About Mr. Hoffmann

Nathan Hoffmann joined the office as a technology manager in 2008, taking on the responsibilities of assistant director in 2013, and more recently, associate director. He manages a portfolio of engineering technologies, with a focus on material science. Included in his portfolio are the innovations emerging from the Rogers research group, which have spun out four new ventures.

Prior to joining the Office of Technology Management, Hoffmann was a training specialist in the Cybersecurity Directorate at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). He is a United States Navy Veteran and served as a Nuclear Submarine Warfare Officer for seven years.

Hoffmann is a member of the Association of University Technology Managers and the Licensing Executives Society. He has spoken at professional meetings and has served on special committees focused on improving the efficiency of transactions across academic institutions.

He holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering, an MS in Systems and Entrepreneurial Engineering, and an MBA, all from the University of Illinois.

Suseelan Pookote

Director - Office of Technology Management (Chicago)

About Dr. Pookote

Suseelan R. Pookote, Ph.D., joined the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2014 and presently is the Director of the Office of Technology Management and the Director of Business Development. Prior to joining the university, Dr. Pookote served as the Director for Business Development for Durata Therapeutics. Pookote joined Advanced Life Sciences in March 2001 as Executive Vice President of Corporate Development and continued in that position through 2011. Prior to joining Advanced Life Sciences, Pookote worked at Monsanto Company from 1980 to 2000, where he had responsibility for technology and business development in a variety of industry segments such as food, nutrition, biotechnology and specialty chemicals. At Monsanto, Pookote concentrated on technology evaluation, licensing and corporate transactions, including the negotiation of technology licensing deals with academic institutions. Dr. Pookote received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern University.

Avijit Ghosh

Interim Vice President/Chief Financial Officer and Comptroller

About Dr. Ghosh

Dr. Avijit Ghosh is the Interim Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Comptroller.

The Office of the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer has management oversight and responsibility for all financial functions and oversees all revenues, costs, capital expenditures, investments and debt. The Vice President/CFO also serves as comptroller of the university system.

The Office of the CFO is responsible for sytem-wide budget execution and implementation, financing, and execution of all capital projects. In conjunction with the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the CFO develops the budget for the university.

Edward Seidel

VP for Economic Development & Innovation at the University of Illinois

Edward Seidel is the Vice President for Economic Development & Innovation at the University of Illinois. Seidel serves as the senior research officer of the nearly $1 billion annual sponsored research portfolio and oversees technology commercialization and economic development activities across the University’s three campuses (Urbana-Champaign, Chicago, Springfield). The Office of the Vice President for Economic Development & Innovation is responsible for advancing the economic development mission of the University of Illinois by elevating ideas and innovations into sustainable technologies and businesses.

Dr. Seidel is a distinguished researcher in high-performance computing and relativity and astrophysics with an outstanding track record as an administrator. He is the director of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), a hub of transdisciplinary research and digital scholarship on the Urbana-Champaign campus. He is also a Founder Professor in the University of Illinois’ Department of Physics and a professor in the Department of Astronomy.

Prior to returning to the University of Illinois, Seidel served as the senior vice president for research and innovation at the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology in Moscow. Previously, he directed the Office of Cyberinfrastructure and served as assistant director for Mathematical and Physical Sciences at the U.S. National Science Foundation, and led the Center for Computation and Technology at Louisiana State University. He also led the numerical relativity group at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute) in Germany, and before that he was a senior research scientist leading the numerical relativity group at NCSA where he was among the original co-principal investigators for Blue Waters, a federally funded project that brought one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers to Urbana-Champaign.

Seidel is a fellow of the American Physical Society and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, as well as a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. His research has been recognized by a number of awards, including the 2006 IEEE Sidney Fernbach Award, the 2001 Gordon Bell prize, and the 1998 Heinz-Billing Award. He received his PhD in relativistic astrophysics from Yale University, earned a master’s degree in physics at the University of Pennsylvania, and received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and physics from the College of William and Mary.

Mike Bass

Sr. Associate Vice President and Deputy Comptroller

About Mr. Bass

Mr. Bass is the executive leader of the Office of Business and Financial Services (OBFS).  He provides advice and counsel to university executive officers and, via the University Vice President/Chief Financial Officer/Comptroller, advises the Board of Trustees on business and financial matters.  As the SAVP he is responsible for establishing university business and financial policy, issuing financial reports, and ensuring the proper stewardship of university funds.