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Co-Chairs

Cynthia Church

Marketing & Communications Lead

UPMC Enterprises

Cynthia Church is senior director, marketing and communications at UPMC, where she leads a team that supports the goals and strategies of UPMC Enterprises, as well as multiple promising health care startups in which UPMC has a strategic partnership, joint development agreement or investment. Cynthia and the Enterprises team champion the development, implementation and commercialization of innovations that solve complex health care challenges. Cynthia is also responsible for oversight and direction for the Center for Connected Medicine, a collaborative executive briefing center with industry partners focused on showcasing health care solutions to potential clients and the industry.

Cynthia joined UPMC in 2013 and has more than 20 years of experience in public relations and communication, marketing, branding and commercial development. Most recently, Cynthia served four years as regional head of communications for ING Investment Management Asia Pacific based in Hong Kong. She started at ING Group based in New Zealand where she was head of corporate affairs and marketing for the insurance, asset management and real estate businesses. Previously, she was with The Warehouse Group, New Zealand's largest retailer, where she originally joined the company's human resources team working in organizational development and change management, and progressed to corporate affairs manager within the finance division. Before that, Cynthia worked in public relations for Lion Nathan, one of Australasia's largest food and beverage companies. She began her career in London where she worked in business-to-business marketing for three years, predominantly for professional services firms.

Cynthia holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Journalism from Ohio University, and studied European Business Management at the University of Wales, Swansea.

Kelly Szejko

President

Pittsburgh Venture Capital Association

A presence in the venture capital community for over three decades, Kelly Szejko began serving as the Executive Director of the PVCA in 1998, and then was unanimously elected as the organization's first President in 2010.

Kelly oversees the organization's numerous promotional activities and events, including their flagship event, the 3 Rivers Venture Fair, regular networking events and the annual Entrepreneur of the Year program that recognizes successful regional entrepreneurs.

Through her visionary leadership, Kelly catapulted the 200-member organization to national prominence through the high-profile 3 Rivers Venture Fair, now considered one of the foremost technology investment showcases in the country that has helped to generate over $750 million in investment capital.

Kelly spent several years working as an accountant and corporate controller before launching Tikes, Inc., a firm that provides executive leadership and specialized services like membership development, fundraising, marketing, and strategic planning to a wide range of associations.

Kelly has successfully leveraged her gift for growing organizations and building expansive networks of volunteers to more than a half-dozen organizations, including the Association for Corporate Growth - Pittsburgh Chapter, the National Association of Corporate Directors - Three Rivers Chapter, the Turnaround Management Association - Pittsburgh Chapter, the Down Syndrome Association of Pittsburgh & Invent Penn State.

She attended the University of Pittsburgh and resides in South Fayette.

Robert Wooldridge

Associate Vice Provost for Technology Transfer and Enterprise Creation

Carnegie Mellon University

Bob oversees the Center for Technology Transfer and Enterprise Creation at Carnegie Mellon University. Under his leadership, the center went from a $2M loss to break-even in three years. The Milken Institute, in its April 2017 publication, “Concept to Commercialization, The Best Universities for Technology Transfer”, has Carnegie Mellon ranked #10 in the United States.

In 2002, Bob developed then implemented CMU’s (then) new spin-off guidelines, designed to both encourage entrepreneurship and facilitate investment; on average, the program resulted in a 250% increase in the number of new companies per year and a reduction in the time to spin out by 60%.

Bob has been personally involved in the formation of several dozen CMU start-ups and previously served as a member of the board of directors for both a number of them and the Pittsburgh Venture Capital Association. He has participated in nine rounds of venture capital, seven acquisitions and one bankruptcy (and found each one to be a unique learning experience). He is currently a director at iCarnegie, Carnegie Innovations and Airviz.