John F. O. Bilson
John F. O. Bilson is Dean of the IIT Stuart School of Business; John and Mae Calamos Stuart School of Business Dean Endowed Chair and Professor of Finance. Before joining Stuart, Dr. Bilson was a senior vice president at The Chicago Corporation, where he was responsible for establishing the financial futures trading group, TCC Futures Management. He has also served as president of BetaSoft Management and as a vice-president of Trading Development Corporation.
Dr. Bilson began his academic career at Northwestern University, and has held research, teaching, visiting and administrative appointments at the Melbourne Business School, International Monetary Fund, University of Chicago, the National Bureau of Economic Research, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University, and the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace.
Dr. Bilson is the editor (with Richard C. Marston) of Exchange Rate Theory and Practice (1984, University of Chicago Press) and has published over thirty articles in the areas of international finance, international economics, and risk management.
Bilson received a Ph.D. in Economics (1976) from the University of Chicago, and an M.Ec. (1973) and a B.E. with Honors (1971) from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.
Armand Paradis is Director of Business Development at the Institute for Food Safety and Health. After joining NCFST in July 2007, he was responsible for raising the industry membership base from nearly 30 companies to its current level of over 70 members. His main role is connecting industry members’ strategic R&D needs to the Institute’s broad collaborative science programs, task forces, and consortiums as well as providing them the means for proprietary research contracts within IFSH and IIT. With over 30 years of food industry experience he has worked in the field of product development and food processing for multinational corporations such as Unilever, PepsiCo, and Praxair. Prior to joining IIT, he served over 15 years as an industry member delegate on several IFSH/NCFST working groups.
He received his Bachelor degree in Biology from Northeastern University, Boston, MA, an M.S. in Food Science and Nutrition from the University of Massachusetts, and his M.S in Food Engineering also from the University of Massachusetts.
He has been active in professional organizations such as the American Oil Chemist’s Society, Institute of Food Technology, the International Association for Food Protection, and The Society of Research Administrators International.
Catherine E. Vorwald
Ms. Vorwald serves as Associate Vice Provost, Technology Development, at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), which encompasses responsibility for tech transfer, corporate relations, and the University Technology Park at IIT. She formerly served at IIT as Associate Vice President, Rental Properties and Executive Director of the tech park. She came to IIT from the Vaccine & Gene Therapy Institute of Florida where she was Executive Director of Technology Transfer and Business Development with the mandate to grow the intellectual property portfolio and execute complicated sponsored research agreements. She was the founder and President of Silicon Valley Science + Technology, LLC, a private real estate investment and development company, organized to provide real estate solutions for the specialized needs of emerging and established companies within the science and technology-based innovation economy. Ms. Vorwald spent almost 6 years as Director of Business Development working on marketing and leasing initiatives for science and technology-related development projects for Wexford Science & Technology; LLC a real estate developer of university research parks. Her specialty is working with and leasing to emerging science-based companies. Ms. Vorwald has marketing and business development experience at companies ranging from Fortune 200 to start-up, has academic research experience at the NIH and the University of California, San Francisco; and has intellectual property technology transfer experience at both Stanford and Johns Hopkins Universities. She is formerly a board member of the Emerging Technology Center of Baltimore business incubator and formerly a board member of the Economic Development Corporation of South Florida. She founded the Licensing Executives Society Maryland Local Chapter and is also a former board member of The Licensing Executives Society (LES) USA-Canada, Inc., and the LES Foundation. Ms. Vorwald holds a Master of Business Administration in Finance from The Johns Hopkins University as well as a Master of Science Degree and a Bachelor Degree in Biological Sciences from Georgetown University and the University of California, Santa Cruz, respectively.
Christopher G. White, is Vice Provost for Research and Academic Affairs. Dr. White joined the university as a researcher in 1995 and became a physics faculty member two years later, joining the tenure-track faculty in 2000. He has taught 12 different courses at Illinois Tech and in 2003 received the University Excellence in Teaching Award. From 2009–2011 White served as chair of the University Faculty Council and from 2011–13 was chair of the physics department.
A celebrated researcher, White has been active for many years in the Daya Bay Reactor Neutrino Experiment, collaborating with other scientists from around the world. He is also a member of the PROSPECT neutrino collaboration at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. In 2013 White received the Sigma Xi/IIT Award for Excellence in University Research, and in 2016 was one member of a team that received the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics for contributions to neutrino research. White is the author or coauthor of more than 200 peer-reviewed scientific articles and also coauthored (with Illinois Tech Professor Daniel M. Kaplan) the book Hands-On Electronics, published by Cambridge University Press in 2003.
White received a Ph.D. in Physics (1990) from the University of Minnesota at Minneapolis and a B.S. in Physics (1986) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He completed his postdoctoral training in 1995 at The Ohio State University.
Knapp Center Staff
Donna Rockin is executive director and advisory board secretary of the Jules F. Knapp Entrepreneurship Center. Prior to joining the Knapp Center, Rockin ran a very successful Illinois Small Business Development Center at JVS Chicago. There she was responsible for planning and executing all of the center’s educational/training programs, technical assistance efforts, and mentor pairing process for Chicago-area entrepreneurs. Rockin also managed a private small-business loan fund worth nearly $1 million. She has more than 30 years of product development, marketing, and communications experience in the for-profit sector. Rockin has a B.A. from Knox College and an M.B.A. from Loyola University Chicago.
Teesta has been assisting small businesses since 2013. She began her career as a scientist working on cancer, medical devices and later transitioned to sales and business development. She has experience as an entrepreneur at Boston Future alliance and has worked with women and minorities at the SBDC at Binghamton University in Binghamton, New York, and has worked as a licensing manager at Partners Innovation.
She has experience working on business plans, educational/program development, sales, licensing and helping small businesses find the perfect talent to meet their needs. She holds a PhD in Biochemistry and postdoctoral training from Harvard Medical School.