EXECUTIVE TEAM

Matthew Laudon

Matthew Laudon

Vice President TechConnect, ATI Division

Dr. Laudon is Vice President of the TechConnect Division of ATI, where he oversees management of ATI's open innovation and technology scouting services. Matt has spent his career supporting entrepreneurs, corporates, and federal agencies accelerate innovation into industry and society. Previously Matt co-founded and led TechConnect and TechConnect Ventures, a 25 year technology prospecting company acquired by ATI in 2021. Matt has founded multiple technology accelerator companies and non-profits ranging across nanotech, cleantech, and defense innovation, managing roles ranging from startup advisor to funding vehicle management vetting thousands of innovations annually. Prior to TechConnect, Matt worked as a research scientist and technology commercialization lead at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL), Motorola, Los Alamos National Laboratory and various startups over the past 30 years. Matt has a Ph.D and M.S. from the University of Wisconsin - Madison, a B.S. from the Missouri University of Science and Technology, with a strong interest in using open innovation models to address complex challenges ranging across civilian, urban, deep tech, big science and national security domains.


Bart Romanowicz

Bart Romanowicz

Vice President, TechConnect

Bart is an expert in matching technology capabilities with industrial needs and has developed all process algorithms behind the TechConnect commercialization partnering programs, matching thousands of emerging technologies with corporate and investment commercialization interests from around the globe. He has served as a visiting scientist at the MIT, and as a technology development lead with numerous start-ups and technology commercialization firms. Bart has a M.S. and Sc.D. from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of Lausanne, with over 40 publications and patents.


Sarah Wenning

Sarah Wenning

Vice President, Operations

Sarah has 30+ years of science administration, meeting management and event planning experience - including directing operations for events ranging from 50 to 10,000 attendees. Sarah has managed technology development personnel from government agencies, national laboratories, universities and biotech start-ups. She has planned meetings and events for non-profits, government agencies, government contractors, associations and corporations. She holds a dual B.A. in Economics and English from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.


Jennifer Rocha

Jennifer Rocha

Vice President, Strategic Partnerships

Jennifer develops strategic partnerships with F1000 companies, Department of Defense components, Federal agencies, and universities for technology prospecting and program development. Her 15+ years of public and private sector experience in the innovation economy provides her unique situational awareness in the areas of research, policy, and technology assessment. She holds a dual B.A. in Political Science and International Relations from Mount Holyoke College.


Katie Bornfleth

Katie Bornfleth

Marketing Specialist

Katherine Bornfleth brings 17 years of experience to the role of marketing specialist at TechConnect. She is an expert information driver with past experience in sales coordination and marketing analysis. Prior to TechConnect Katherine worked at Coastal Beverage Company where she oversaw the sales incentive program. She earned her bachelor's degree from the University of North Carolina Wilmington and continues to call Wilmington home today.


Chelsea Collier

Chelsea Collier

Editor-at-Large & Managing Partner - Smart Cities Connect

Chelsea facilitates partnerships and encourages collaboration within the Smart Cities Connect community. She is an avid evangelist for uniting technologists, entrepreneurs, government leaders and elected officials for the civic and social good. She is Co-Founder of Impact Hub Austin, Founder of Digi.City, a Principal at Intercambio Group and an Eisenhower Fellow focused on Smart Cities in the US and China. Chelsea expands her experience as Executive Director for Texans for Economic Progress, a statewide technology coalition, to the broader global community.


Richard Erb

Richard Erb

Executive Director, City Events/Programs

Richard is the Executive Director of the Smart Cities Innovation Summit global event series. Rich's career has focused on building partnerships and business development opportunities in the information communications technology (ICT) and robotics industries. In his role as Executive Director, Rich is building content programs, managing partner relationships and establishing a global series of Smart City programs as premier global events for internet of things (IoT) technologies for public applications. Rich has an M.S. in business management from Lesley University, and a B.A. from Colby College.


Jonathan Jakischa

Jonathan Jakischa

Senior Manager: Open Innovation Programs – TechConnect Ventures

Jonathan Jakischa is responsible for advising, designing and executing innovation projects on behalf of clients of all sizes. He leverages fifteen years of R&D knowledge and experience along with nearly 10 years of experience in innovation services to deliver impactful and insightful results. He has worked with a diverse range of clients, including companies in automotive, coatings, consumer goods, food & beverage, logistics, and specialty chemicals as well as multiple government agencies. He holds a B.A. in Astronomy from Boston University and resides in northeast Ohio.


Ali Kabrich

Ali Kabrich

Graphic Designer

Alison Kabrich, who also goes by Ali, is a graphic designer in the TechConnect division of ATI. She graduated in 2019 from Western Carolina University with a Bachelors of Fine Arts and a concentration in graphic design. She lives in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, with her energetic corgi puppy, Juno. Ali enjoys photography, reading, binging reality TV shows, checking out local breweries, and going to the beach!


Nick Kacsandi

Nick Kacsandi

Executive Director – TechConnect Ventures

Nick leads TechConnect Ventures, which specializes in year-round technology scouting, new venture discovery and Innovation Challenge programs for Clients outside of TechConnect's signature Events. He brings a decade of experience in open innovation strategy, problem/solution matchmaking and cross-disciplinary crowd engagement. Nick has designed and executed hundreds of collaborative innovation programs with clients from small enterprise through the Fortune 20, as well as the government and non-profit sectors. Nick holds a M.S. from Kent State University and a B.S from John Carroll University. He is based in Orlando, Florida.


Denise Lee

Sponsorship Manager

Denise manages exhibits and sponsorships for the annual Nanotech event series. Based in Connecticut, Denise obtained a B.A with the University of Massachusetts, and has over 15 years experience in the conference and trade show industry ranging across Materials, MEMS, Sensors, Electronics, Energy, Communications and Life Sciences.


Tara Luddy-Cotoia

Tara Luddy-Cotoia

Creative Designer

Tara supports the team's marketing efforts with web and print design, production and print management. Tara obtained her B.A. from Salem State University in Graphic Design, minoring in Computer Science, and has 25+ years of print and web design experience.


Emma Mooney

Emma Mooney

Outreach and Project Manager

Emma supports outreach initiatives, developing partnerships and helping innovators make the connections that matter. She is passionate about program development, with over five years of experience in start-up operations and advisement. She holds a B.S. of Business Administration and Law from Western Carolina University.


Laura Benold

Laura Murphree

Communications Director and Senior Project Manager
TechConnect Division, Advanced Technology International

Laura is both the Communications Director and Senior Project Manager for TechConnect. In her role, she oversees external marketing communications, partnerships, and the execution of innovation programs for the division. Since 2016, Laura launched three brands including Smart Cities Connect Media & Research, Defense TechConnect Media, and Digital Engagement Council. She frequently serves as a subject matter expert and thought leader on webinars and on-stage in her role as Managing Editor of Smart Cities Connect.

Immediately prior to joining TechConnect, Laura oversaw marketing for the four-state Southwest region of Whole Foods Market out of their corporate headquarters in Austin, Texas. During her time there, she was named a global all-star, a rare distinction, and enjoyed contributing to programs for the corporation's Whole Kids Foundation non-profit to encourage healthy eating in public schools. Before Whole Foods Market, Laura oversaw marketing communications for the Austin Technology Incubator at the University of Texas at Austin, taking a special interest in the energy sector. She currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her wife and two cats.


Regina Ramazzini

Regina Ramazzini

Community & Partnership Director

Regina specializes in smart cities, venture capital, and innovation community and networking programs. Regina's 15+ years in conference management provides her with expertise in content development, speaker recruitment, sales, and onsite conference and trade show management. Her experience ranges from private equity and VC investing programs, to nanotech, cleantech, city/islands communities. Regina has a B.A in Political Science and a minor in Spanish from the New York State University at Albany.


Susan Stewart

Susan Stewart Morgan

Database Management & Analyst

Susan is responsible for market research and database development and management. She has a Master's in Biology from Colorado State University and an M.B.A. in International Economics and Marketing from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Susan has worked in market research, sales management, and as a college instructor. Susan is based in Mexico, where she additionally manages an education support program in Telchac Puerto Yucatan.


Dalia Yablon

Dalia Yablon

Technical Program Chair, TechConnect World Innovation and Nanotech conferences

Dalia Yablon holds an A.B. in Chemistry from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Columbia University. She spent 11 years at ExxonMobil Research and Engineering's Corporate Strategic Research, its flagship research center in Annandale NJ. At ExxonMobil, she served as Program Leader in various sectors of the energy business and developed a state of the art scanning probe microscopy laboratory for nanoscale characterization of surfaces and interfaces. She has worked in a number of cross-sector areas including polymers, tribology, lubrication, corrosion and unconventional gas resources with a specific focus on developing new nanomechanical characterization methods. In 2013, Dalia founded a scientific consulting company in the greater Boston area, SurfaceChar, a surfaces and interfaces characterization and measurement consulting service with a focus on scanning probe microscopy/atomic force microscopy.


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