Nominations Committee Report: The 2019/20 Board

The nominations committee is happy to report on the new MIT Enterprise Forum Washington DC & Baltimore board. The board has been voted in and is already hard at work on the upcoming year. The committee is confident that this board will be successful in growing MITEF’s capacity to serve the start-up community here in DC.

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The nominations committee was tasked with recruiting a new Chair as Matthew Falls was term limited. Matt had served as Chair for two successful consecutive terms of growth for the forum and we thank him for his enthusiasm and unstinting work on behalf of our chapter. Our ideal candidate would be someone who is part of the DC startup community, who is an experienced entrepreneur who wanted to give back to the community, and who had participated or supported MITEF Washington DC & Baltimore. Our search was successful.

Our new chair is a long-time friend of the forum Cynthia Traeger. Ms. Traeger has moderated panels and taught entrepreneur skills at MITEF events. Cynthia Traeger serves as CEO of Pacific, a diversified technology & media holding company, and concurrently serves as President of VSI Pacific.  She leads Pacific’s efforts across aerospace, defense, sports, entertainment, and other industries. Additionally, Cynthia serves as a Trustee to the Board of Trustees, Harrisburg University of Science and Technology where she chairs the International Affairs Committee of the Executive Board; and is a Mentor/Advisor to the NIH Commercialization Accelerator Program and Feedback Sessions. She was a participant and author with the American Bar Association’s Digital Evidence Work Group, and a contributor to the Journal of the ACM Special Interest Group on Graphics. Cynthia is a partner to the State Department’s Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST) program and is an active mentor for GIST companies. In partnership with GIST, she is an executive mentor to the Research Competitiveness Program for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She holds multiple patents in the areas of real-time data analysis for proximity and movement of objects.

Matthew Falls remains on the board as the Immediate Past Chapter Chair and is the Volunteer Chair. Mark Johnston has moved from Programming Chair to Vice Chair but will still be involved in programming. Andrew Polcha has moved from Vice Chair to Nominations but is still advising the programming committee. Our new Programming Chair is Michael Novak. Michael worked on the programming committee last year. A list of all the board members is below. We are currently working to update our website and when it is ready, we will add the new biographies for your review.

Our other goal was to recruit volunteers who demonstrated an enthusiasm for supporting startups in DC. To accomplish this, we recruited six new board members, 30% of the board. Complementing this change four board members changed roles, 20% of the board. Half the board is returning in their role from last year. We believe that by bringing new board members on board will not only diversify the capabilities of the board but will make the chapter stronger as we move into the 2020s.

Volunteer Title
Cynthia Traeger Chapter Chair
Matthew Falls Immediate Past Chapter Chair /
Volunteer Chair
Mark Johnston Chapter Vice Chair
Helen Shimbo Chapter Treasurer
Steve Britt Chapter Secretary
Shyam Chidamber Sponsorship Committee Chair
Andy Tucker Sponsorship Committee Vice Chair
Jason Ware Operations Chair
Michael Novak Program Committee Chair
Vered Sharon Program Committee vice Chair
David Beck Membership/Volunteer Chair
Mahesh Joshi Educational Partnerships
Scott McKeever Marketing co-Chair
Kirsten Johnson Marketing co-Chair
Ed Harrell Program Committee
Nir Adhikari Program Committee
Amu Fowler Entrepreneur Ambassador
Beverly Bugos Outreach Chair
Larry Trotter II Volunteer Coordinator
Andrew Polcha Nominating Committee Chair