People

Tom Schryver

Executive Director

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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).

Pamela Hampton

Project Associate for Entrepreneurship Programs

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As the Project Associate for Entrepreneurship Programs for Cornell’s Center for Regional Economic Advancement, Hampton coordinates the complex matrix of CREA program activities through project management and systems integration efforts. Hampton has 11 years of experience at Cornell and 8 years working for not-for-profit organizations focusing on youth and community development. She holds a B.S. in Academic Policy and Human Development and is working to complete a Master of Social Science degree from Syracuse University. Outside of CREA, Hampton owns and teaches lessons at her private piano studio. She is an avid runner, volleyball player, and gardener with two amazing daughters.

Andrea Ippolito

Speaker/Mentor

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Andrea Ippolito is the executive director of the Engineering Management Program at Cornell University. She is an instructor for eLab, Cornell’s student accelerator, Engineering’s Commercialization Fellowship, and the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps. She recently completed a role as the innovators network director at the Department of Veterans Affairs and she previously served as a Presidential Innovation Fellow at the VA Center for Innovation based out of the White House Office of Science Technology Policy and General Services Administration. She previously was a Ph.D. student in the Engineering Systems Division at MIT, cofounder of Smart Scheduling, Innovation Specialist at the Brigham &Women’s Hospital Innovation Hub, and co-leader of MIT’s Hacking Medicine. She also served as a product innovation manager at Athena Health and completed her M.S. in engineering and management at MIT. Prior to MIT, Ippolito worked as a research scientist within the Corporate Technology Development group at Boston Scientific. She obtained both a B.S. in biological engineering in 2006 and Master of Engineering in biomedical engineering in 2007 from Cornell University.

Molly Israel

Director of Marketing and Communications

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Molly Israel is the Marketing Strategist at CREA. She plans and implements marketing communications plans to promote CREA, its programs, and its various members. Prior to joining Cornell University, Molly worked at Ithaca College for seven years, most recently as the Executive Director of Marketing. Before joining the ranks within higher education, she got a taste for start-ups as the Director of Marketing and Sales Operations for a fast-growing digital marketing agency in Washington, D.C. Molly holds a degree in communications from Ithaca College and is constantly seeking better ways to balance mom-life with her two small children. She also serves on the board of the Learning Web, a local nonprofit supporting youth from various backgrounds.

Christy Johnson

Events Coordinator

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Christy Johnson is the Events Coordinator for Cornell’s Center of Regional Economic Advancement. She is responsible for pulling off an ambitious calendar of entrepreneurship and economic development events for all CREA program areas, including the 76West Clean Energy Business Competition. Christy is an experienced entrepreneur, having run a successful event design & management company in Southern California before moving to Ithaca.

Scott Marsh

Financial Associate

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Scott Marsh is the Financial Associate for CREA. He handles Financial transactions and analysis for the Center. Scott has 25 + years of experience at Cornell most recently as the Assistant Director for the Office of Publications and Marketing. Scott received his Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of California, Irvine and her Bachelor’s in Economics from UCLA. In addition, Scott served as an Assistant Baseball Coach and Recruiting Coordinator at Cornell from 1994-2016. Prior to moving to New York, he spent three years playing in the San Diego Padres organization.

Leigh Martino

Marketing and Communications Specialist

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Leigh Martino is the Marketing & Communications Coordinator for Cornell’s Center of Regional Economic Advancement. She works with the marketing strategist to implement marketing and communications plans to promote CREA, its programs, and its various members. Before joining Cornell University, Leigh spent two years working at Binghamton University as a communications assistant in the athletic department. Prior to her time at Binghamton, she served as the Public Information Coordinator at Windsor Central School District. Leigh graduated from Ithaca College in 2015 with a degree in Integrated Marketing and Communications. In addition to working at CREA, she is a part-time assistant coach for the Ithaca College track & field team.

Christine Mehta

Regional Economic Development Specialist

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Christine Mehta is a Regional Economic Development Specialist at CREA. She produces data-driven research on economic development in Upstate New York, and advances CREA’s entrepreneurial programs by connecting entrepreneurs with grant capital and development opportunities.

Prior to joining CREA, Mehta worked as an investigator and writer for Amnesty International, Physicians for Human Rights, and as an expert consultant for Equidem Research and Consulting. A journalist by training, her work has also been published by media outlets like the New York Times, Foreign Affairs, Al Jazeera and USA Today. Her most recent published work can be viewed at www.christinemehta.com.

Mehta holds a dual-degree in journalism and international relations from Syracuse University, and teaches classes occasionally on investigative journalism at Syracuse University. She is an MPA degree candidate at Cornell University where she was introduced to the exciting world of startups. In her spare time, she can be found struggling up mountains in the Adirondacks, or dancing salsa in Ithaca.

Liane O’Brien

Program Manager

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Liane is the Program Manager for CREA. She handles the Finances and is the Research Administrator for the Center. Liane has 15+ year of experience at Cornell in a number of financial and administrative roles, most recently as the Administrative Manager for the KAUST-CU Research Center. She received her Master’s Degree in Public Administration from American University in Washington, DC as well as her Bachelors in Government and Economics. Outside of Cornell, she is the Chair for both the Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Appeals for the Town of Veteran, NY.

Caitlin Schickel

Program Coordinator

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Caitlin Schickel is a Regional Economic Development Specialist for Cornell’s Center for Regional Economic Advancement. Responsible for collecting data on start-up activity in the Southern Tier and coordinating Cornell’s response to START-UP NY, Caitlin also helps out at REV when she can. Caitlin, an Ithaca native, left to study urban development at Bryn Mawr College, but found herself back home after four years in Philadelphia. While new to the world of start-ups, she is excited to be a part of one of the organizations working to help revitalize Upstate New York.

Rena Scroggins

76West Competition Manager

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Rena Scroggins is the Competition Manager for the 76West Clean Energy Competition. Rena is part of the Southern Tier Startup Alliance (STSA), a member organization of business incubators who provide support to people starting and growing companies in the region. STSA is operating the competition under contract with the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA). Previous to this role, Rena was the owner and CEO of the Montrose Theatre, an independent movie and special events space, for eight years. She lives in Ithaca and enjoys the chaos of working out of Rev: Ithaca Startup Works.

Shannon Sullivan

Regional Director of UNY I-Corps

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Shannon Sullivan is the Regional Director of the Upstate New York (UNY) I-Corps Node. She focuses on identifying and supporting innovative researchers who wish to explore the commercialization potential of technologies they’ve developed, and on growing the NSF I-Corps network in the Northeast through strong partnerships with universities, incubators and nonprofit venture development organizations. Shannon has 10+ years of entrepreneurial experience and was a founding executive at Globaloria, an education technology start up that was sold to Carnegie Learning in 2017. Her career in digital media and technology spans 20 years and includes leadership roles at MTV and Knowledge Adventure. She holds a BA in Public Relations from the University of Southern California and a MEd in Instructional Technology from the University of Virginia.

Steve Supron

Assistant Director of Hardware Programs

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Steve Supron has more than 30 years of experience in the mechanical design, development, and global manufacturing of complex, electro-mechanical products. He has experience leading engineering teams and working with cross-functional teams including management, manufacturers, and customers. He maintains a deep knowledge of intellectual property and is named as investor or co-investor on 36 U.S. Patents. Most recently, Steve was the Manufacturing Lead for Maidbot.

Interested in working with regional startups and economic development?

We hire paid student assistants every semester – and over the summer! Contact Caitlin Schickel at cts76@cornell.edu to submit your resume and cover letter.

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