Our team is the connection between your ideas and UB

Here is where differences become our strengths, where scientific and technological adventures transform into profitable ventures, and where bettering the world becomes our life’s work. A successful team is about more than finding a group of people with the right mix of professional skills; it's about finding a team who is passionate about helping you succeed and then working together to do it.


Rick Gardner

With more than two decades of experience in the public, private, nonprofit and startup sectors, Rick Gardner has been an innovator throughout his career. He holds 32 U.S. patents and has taken dozens of products to market.

Under Rick's leadership, the BEP team helps grow the infrastructure and support services needed to commercialize innovative research, increase industry-academic collaborations, identify expert talent, align industry expertise and advance the next generation of startups and technologies.


Shareefa Albanna

Startup Success Manager

Asal Barem

Finance & Operations Assistant

Kimberly Chase .

Kimberly Chase

Administrative Assistant

Timothy Dee

Associate Director, Technology Transfer

Jeffrey Dunbar

Director, Technology Transfer

David Duplessis .

David DuPlessis

Business Development Associate

Esther Eagan

Senior Associate Director, Contracts

Kirsten Fischer

Digital Graphic Design Specialist

Michael Fowler

Commercialization Manager

Rick Gardner

Associate Vice President for Economic Development

Sara Goodman

Startup Program Manager

Soma Hawramee

Program Coordinator

Kathryn Helfer

Senior Manager, Stakeholder Engagement

Amy Herstek

Senior Manager, Contracts

Smitha James

Senior Associate Director, Finance & Program Administration

Christopher Janson

Business Development Executive

Antoinette Johnson

Finance & Operations Manager

Richard Kim.

Richard Kim

Associate Director of Investor and Entrepreneur Engagement

Kimberly Kohl

Associate Director, Finance & Operations

Tracy Krawczyk-Schiedel

Director of Marketing Communications

Rebecca Larson

Commercialization Coordinator

Adrian Levesque

Industry Engagement and Visualization, Center for Computational Research

Jennifer Mandina

Manager, Contracts

Tom Matheny

CRM Marketing Analyst

Ryan McAnany

Contracts Manager

Thomas Murdock

Manager, Incubator Network

Norma Nowak

Executive Director, Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences

Matthew Pelkey

Program Director, Entrepreneurship Law Center

Diane Plinke

Receptionist & Operational Support Assistant

Eric Poniatowski.

Eric Poniatowski

Grant Administrator

Alan Rae

Director, Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics

Sandra Small

Science Education Manager

Jessica Szklany.

Jessica Szklany

Manager, Marketing Content and Writing

Sandra Talley

Startup Program Assistant

Deanna Thames

Senior Administrative Assistant

David Thiemecke

Startup Client Manager

Penny Turrell

Patent Paralegal & Compliance Specialist

Karen Utz

Director, Program Administration

Evan Witmer

Technology Assessment Specialist