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Staff & Leadership

  • Jennifer Simon

  • Director

  • Ms. Simon became the Director of the Ohio University Innovation Center (IC) in March 2009. During that time, the incubator client base has increased from 3 to 25.  She raised over $2 million in grants expanding services and facility improvements. Ms. Simon led efforts to provide nearly $1 million in shared Biotechnology Research & Development equipment.  She facilitates client access to capital through angels, venture capital, and traditional lending institutions.



     

    Prior to the IC, Ms. Simon was the President of the Athens County Economic Development Council and held the position of Athens Area Chamber of Commerce CEO. Prior to these positions, as the Assistant Director of the Governor's Office of Appalachia, she managed over $60 million in grants. 
 
She holds a BA in Political Science, an MA in Public Administration and an MBA from Ohio University.

     

    Ms. Simon resides in Athens, Ohio with her husband, David.

       

  • Stacy Strauss

  • Associate Director

  • Stacy Strauss joined the Innovation Center as the Associate Director in August 2014. At the Innovation Center, Strauss assists with facilities management, fundraising efforts, budget analysis, grant writing and other Innovation Center operations.

     

    She joined the Innovation Center from Hocking College, where she has served in a dual role as a Student Affairs Coordinator and Career Services Director since April 2013.  Prior to that position, she was Ohio University’s Head Soccer Coach for 13 years. During her tenure, the Bobcats won two Mid-American Championships, maintained a 3.4 cumulative GPA, and boasted a 97 percent graduation rate.  In addition, Ms. Strauss was the founder and director of a small business - the Bobcat Soccer Club - in Athens from 2010 to 2013. Before her coaching years at Ohio University, Strauss worked as an assistant soccer coach at Dartmouth College and at the University of Rhode Island.

     

    Ms. Strauss holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Kenyon College and a master’s degree in education from Ohio State University. Ms. Strauss resides in Athens, Ohio with her husband, John.

       

  • Joe Jollick

  • Lab Director

  • Joe Jollick joined the Innovation Center in August of 2011 as the Director of the Biotechnology Research and Development Facility. Joe is very passionate about helping small bio-tech businesses succeed in Southeast Ohio. He has lived in Athens since 1975, received his BA in Biology and MBA from Ohio University, and worked at the Edison Biotech Institute for three years. Prior to the OUIC, he worked for Diagnostic Hybrids for fifteen years, where he was involved in the development and commercialization of multiple IVD products. Joe has extensive experience in the transfer of cell-based biological protocols and products from the research and development stage, through Manufacturing and Quality Control, to product launch.

       

  • Erin Rennich

  • Client Liaison

  • Erin Rennich joined the Innovation Center in February 2016 as the Client Liaison.  As the Client Liaison, Rennich acts as a concierge to coordinate all activities for clients with the goals of increasing client revenues, follow-on investment, employment and, ultimately, graduation from the incubation program through the Innovation Center.  Acting with other staff, Rennich monitors progress, follows up on solutions identified, understands the clients' wants/needs and provides research for critical business pathways.

     

    Before joining the Innovation Center, Rennich served as the Technology Coordinator at the Ohio University Technology Transfer Office for nearly four years.  Rennich has extensive experience providing business support to technology-based companies in various stages of maturity. In 2004, Rennich earned her Bachelor of Arts at Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania.  In 2013, she completed her Professional MBA at Ohio University. 

       

  • Shelly Lowery-Rowan

  • Accountant/Grant Accountant

  • Shelly Lowery-Rowan joined the Innovation Center in May 2016 as the Accountant/Grant Accountant.  Shelly administers all accounting responsibilities and researches grant opportunities for the Innovation Center and the Technology Transfer Office. 

     

    Prior to joining the Innovation Center, Shelly was the Director of Mail Services at Ohio University.  She also spent four years in the U.S. Navy, worked for three corp0rate entities, and was a supervisor in the U.S. Postal Service.  In 2006, Shelly earned her Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Ohio University.  She also holds an Associate of Accounting and an Associate of Business Technology from Savannah Technical College.

     

       

  • Susan Bauman

  • Administrative Associate

  • Susan Bauman joined the Innovation Center and the Technology Transfer Office in September of 2008.Her duties are split between the two areas. While wearing her Innovation Center hat, Susan maintains close contact with the member companies, often working with potential new tenants.

     

    In conjunction with the Technology Transfer Office, her duties focus on database management and helping coordinate the patent and invention disclosure processes. Susan has been with Ohio University for 15 years, having worked for the Telecommunications Center (now the WOUB Center for Public Media) and the College of Business. She has a BSED from Ohio University, and holds the CAP designation through the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP).

       

  • Morgan Brenner

  • Communications Specialist

  • Morgan Brenner graduated from Magnificat High School in 2013. She is currently a Senior in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, majoring in Public Relations and Advertising. Morgan has been working at the Innovation Center since June 2016 and contributes to PR duties, events and workshops, various building signage, graphic design and client marketing.

       

  • Laura Gilmore

  • Office Assistant

  • Laura Gilmore graduated from Athens High School in 1994. She holds an Associate of Applied Business in Accounting and Financial Services from Hocking College and is currently a sophomore in the OHIO College of Business, majoring in Accounting. Laura started working at the Innovation Center in November 2015 and, among other tasks, manages office inventory, accounts payable, and student employee scheduling.

       

  • Alexis Milesky

  • Office Assistant

  • Alexis Milesky graduated from Jonathan Alder High School in 2013 where she served as treasurer of the National Honor Society.  She is currently a junior studying Adolescent Young Adult Education at Ohio University and is a member of Ohio University's NCAA Division I Soccer Team.  Alexis began working at the Innovation Center in May 2015.  She promotes the Innovation Center by creating the monthly newsletter, managing social media, applying for awards and updating the website. 

       

  • Paige Mitrik

  • Office Assistant

  • Paige Mitrik graduated from Steel Valley High School in 2013. She is currently a junior in the Gladys W. and David H. Patton College of Education, majoring in Restaurant, Hotel & Tourism. Paige started working for the Innovation Center in November 2015 and, among other tasks, contributes by fulfilling event planning duties for events and workshops, maintaining up-to-date supplies, external communications, and the appearance of common areas.

       

  • Kristen Riley

  • Office Assistant

  • Kristen Riley graduated from Alexander High School in 2011 and graduated from Ohio University in 2015 with a bachelor's degree in political science. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in public administration, also from Ohio University. Kristen started working at the Innovation Center in May 2016 and, among other tasks, manages financial projections, market research, and customer validation projects for OUIC clients.