Conference Staff

Philip Weilerstein

Philip J. Weilerstein is Executive Director of the NCIIA. He attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst where, as a graduate student, he co-founded EcoScience Corporation, a publicly held bio-technology company. In addition to his role with the NCIIA, Weilerstein consults for a variety of start-up firms in the areas of strategic planning and quality management.


Humera Fasihudding - Invention to Venture Program Manager

Humera Fasihuddin is the Program Director for Invention to Venture, a workshop series in technology entrepreneurship intended for faculty and students throughout the country. Responsible for holding nearly 25 such events in 2006, Fasihuddin is credited with streamlining program processes in order to enable the program to scale. She also manages BMEidea, a national student competition in biomedical engineering. Fasihuddin is the co-founder of Edical May, a manufacturing and business development company enabling scale-up of new medical devices. She began this venture after four years spearheading a technology association in Western Massachusetts called the Regional Technology Corporation. There she developed a broad network and insight into regional commercialization strategies.


Regina Smith - Invention to Venture Program Associate

Regina Smith is originally from Reading, MA.  She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management-Human Resources from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth in 2003.  She joined NCIIA in November 2005 from the performing arts world where she worked at Boston Ballet for two years.  At Boston Ballet, she worked in Development/Special Events focusing on Corporate Fundraising. After relocating to Western Massachusetts, Regina joined NCIIA as Program Associate of the Invention to Venture Workshop series.


Jennifer Keller Jackson - Grants Manager

Jennifer Keller Jackson is Grants Manager at NCIIA, where she oversees about a dozen grant and competition categories.  Jennifer's background is in nonprofit management, in the areas of education and technology.  Her experience includes program development, marketing, fund raising, technical proposal writing, communications and PR. She has also helped to start a nonprofit and worked to transform another nonprofit into a for profit company.  Jennifer is kind of amazed to find herself now on the "other side," helping to give away grants.
Jennifer and her family moved to Amherst, MA from the Washington, DC area in 2004. When she's not working, Jennifer enjoys volunteering, training for very short races and hanging out with her two children.


Cordelia Roth - Book Keeper & Office Administrator

Cordelia Roth, Bookkeeper, has been working for various offices in the Amherst area for the past six years, most recently in the finance department of Channing Bete Company. She is pleased to have had the opportunity to work for companies that place a high value on positive social values. In addition to handling all the financial aspects of the company, Cordelia also manages the memberships and supports the grants process. Cordelia and her husband live in Greenfield with a plethora of furry animals.


Loran Diehl Saito - Communications Manager

Loran Diehl Saito, Communications Manager, has been with the NCIIA since 2000. She holds a B.A. in French from the Catholic University of America, a Master’s Degree in International and Intercultural Management from the School for International Training, and an M.A. in English with a concentration in technical writing from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is a returned Peace Corps volunteer (Namibia) with a background in teaching, non-profit work, and graphic design. She is passionate about (and dedicates volunteer time to) community-building and alternatives to automobile transportation. She home-educates her daughter and three sons, and is an avid bicyclist.


Tim Binkert - Program Associate for Communications

Tim Binkert earned a bachelor's degree in English and Philosophy from Syracuse University in 2000 and a certificate in professional writing and technical communication from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2004. Tim joined NCIIA in 2004 as an intern and was later hired full-time as a Program Associate for Communications. Tim's responsibilities at NCIIA include reviewing and summarizing grant proposals, writing and editing publications, generating web content, conducting grant performance reviews, and performing administrative and operational tasks.


Amanda  Mitchell - Electronic Communications Associate

Amanda Mitchell joined the NCIIA as Electronic Resources Associate. She maintains NCIIA-affiliated websites and online resources, liaises with third-party technology providers and offers technical support within the office. Although she has a background in modern languages (BA in French & German; PhD in German), she has strong experience in commercial website design/development and has enjoyed the move back to the non-profit sector.


Angela Shartrand - Evaluation Coordinator

Angela Shartrand, Evaluation Coordinator, is an educational psychologist who has experience evaluating programs in philanthropic, community-based, and higher education settings. Prior to joining NCIIA, she evaluated programs in the areas of teacher education, youth philanthropy and leadership, and community-based family support services, identifying and disseminating best practices and policies. She has also taught courses and workshops in applied research to faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates at Boston College and Wheelock College.


Tom Porter - Program Manager, KEEN

Tom Porter is Manager of the KEEN Program for NCIIA, and has a deep background in entrepreneurial venture start-up planning, launch and operational management. Tom’s primary focus has been in the uses of technology to advance and transform media industry and higher education offerings, and he has particular expertise in development of processes for new venture concept evaluation, research, testing, launch and roll-out. He has handled key strategic roles with Verisign Ventures, Discovery Channel Enterprises, Tech TV, and College Parents of America, and has also assisted a number of universities with technology transfer strategy. Pisces.


Romi Kher - Events Coordinator

Romi Kher, Events Coordinator, has been associated with the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance for the past three years, overseeing the logistics of
the annual conference, arranging E-Team presentations, assisting with Invention to Venture Workshops, and working on a variety of special projects. He is a graduate of the UMass Amherst, School of Management MBA program and will continue to provide assistance to The Alliance for upcoming special events. Additionally, Romi is a faculty member at The International College of Hospitality Management, Suffield, CT.

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