Mentor Network

Kathy Chiu

Kathy Chiu, MS, MBA

Kathy Chiu is a managing partner at DeepWork Capital, which manages two Florida-centric venture capital funds focused on early stage technology and life science companies.   Kathy develops investment theses, sources and screens investment pipeline, performs due diligence on prospective investments, and helps portfolio companies with strategy, transactions, and other board level activities.  Independently, Kathy is also on the board of Florida-based retailor Beall’s Inc. (  

Prior to DeepWork, Kathy was the president and founder of Venture Catapult, a strategy and business development consulting practice that specializes in new market entry and has clients ranging from US based Fortune 500 to Asian technology companies.   She was also a wireless venture capitalist with Denver-based iSherpa Capital responsible for deal sourcing, due diligence, deal structuring, portfolio management, and portfolio exit.  

With Lefthand Networks(an enterprise IT network storage company that was later acquired by Hewlett Packard) and Level (3) Communications (NYSE: LVLT), Kathy served in product management and other sales and marketing roles.  In Boston, she worked as a quantitative analyst at Cornerstone Research, where she worked on a wide range of client cases including derivative pricing, hedges and swaps, company valuation, dynamic trading model, tax shelter analyses, as well as operational responsibilities such as analyst recruiting and case team management.  She also worked in the corporate strategy department of Compaq Computers.

Prior to embarking on the business career track, Kathy was an electrical engineer and worked in technical positions at Superconducting Supercollider Laboratory, Tektronix, and MIT’s Media Lab.

Kathy has an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business,and an BS and an MS in Electrical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  She speaks Chinese and Taiwanese with native fluency.

Shawna Butler

Shawna Butler, RN MBA

Nurse Economist. Tech Enthusiast.

As the EntrepreNURSE-in-Residence at REshape Innovation Center at Radboud University Medical Center and part of the Exponential Medicine team at Singularity University, Shawna brings the clinical, practical, and human sensibilities of a nurse to work with early-stage ventures, large-scale enterprises, and emerging and converging technologies.

Shawna created the EntrepreNURSE movement to better position nurses in health innovation agendas as discovery engines, inventors, designers, collaborators, and scale agents. She listens, learns, finds, and activates the mavericks and projects with a serious chance of delivering better health, experience, outcomes, and making society stronger.

At Exponential Medicine, her focus is on opportunities presented by technologies with exponential curves (AI, VR, machine learning, supercomputing, genetic sequencing, blockchain, drones, crowd + cloud solutions), convening the community experimenting with them, and accelerating the distribution of adoption and impact.

Projects Shawna has shaped and launched include the EntrepreNURSE-in-Residence role in the Netherlands and Canada, an enterprise-wide digital radiology solution, an international emergency medicine training rotation between a US medical school and a New Zealand hospital system, and the Cancer XPRIZE focused on early detection. Her clinical nursing experience includes emergency, cardiac, critical care, international medical flight transport, and workplace wellness.

She serves as an advisor to a variety of national, and global initiatives including Food+City, End Well, Dutch Health Innovation School, SXSW Accelerator, MassChallenge Texas, Impact Pediatric Health, Nursing Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Northeastern University, and Austin Chamber Music Center.

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Jessica DaMassa

Executive Producer & Host, ‘WTF Health – What’s the Future, Health?’

Jessica DaMassa has emerged as the ‘it girl’ of health tech interviewing. She brings an enthusiastic, fun, yet inquisitive style to her hosting of conferences, interviews, and videos. But don't be fooled, there's a ton of knowledge, and plenty of tough questions under that charming style and infectious energy. She’s the ‘girl to know’ to meet ‘who’s who’ and find out ‘what’s what’ in health tech – having racked up more than 600 interviews in just the past three years.

Jessica’s current project, ‘WTF Health – What’s the Future, Health?’ is an interview series taking her around the world to more than 15 different health tech conferences in 10 different countries to continue her quest of asking everyone everywhere about the future of health – and WTF is wrong with it right now. Jessica also hosts health tech’s best two-minute Q&A news series, ‘Health in 2 Point 00,’ which airs on The Health Care Blog and features Health 2.0 co-founder, Matthew Holt, with editorial commentary and analysis on the latest stories shaping the health tech market. To start binge-watching her interviews, begin at or follow her on Twitter @jessdamassa.

Richard Munassi

Dr. Richard Munassi, MD MBA 

Dr. Richard Munassi, MD MBA has a strong innovation background and a passion for helping startups to start up. 

Dr. Munassi is the TechDiversity & Build Cohort Director at the Tampa Bay Wave Technology Accelerator, and a founder of Blackfin Technology Partners. He is also a Chair of the Synapse Innovation Summit conference, focusing on Digital Health. He sits on the Advisory Board for multiple startups, is on the Advisory Board for SXSW Pitch, is a mentor for the National Science Foundation's iCorps program, a national judge for SpaceCom, a national judge for the Startup of the Year competition with Innovate Celebrate, and a national judge for NASA's iTech innovation program. 

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Lilian Myers

Lilian Myers has 30 years global leadership as an entrepreneur and senior executive in product, investment, innovation, and marketing/sales in employee health, online shopping, electronic health records, and health data exchange startups acquired by Siemens, Aetna, and Google. She’s had senior strategy roles with large companies including Microsoft, IBM, and Aetna on product innovation, channel development, business model development, health system transformation, consumer health product definition and design, retail consumer health and wellness, insurance product/program development that included client and joint venture relationships in countries including Singapore, Japan, China, Australia, New Zealand, Finland, Italy, UK, US, Ecuador, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar. Myers is a regular speaker and contributor on the topic of long life with articles published in Active Aging Journal, AARP Journal, Journal of the American Society of Gerontology, among others.

Rob P.

Rob Panepinto

Rob Panepinto is an innovator who has always challenged the status quo of “good enough”. Rob has helped Orange County become a hub for technology, entrepreneurship, and creativity. He is passionate about the positive impact businesses and business leaders drive for their communities and is an active “civic entrepreneur” serving on multiple civic and nonprofit boards.

Rob Panepinto is President of Florentine Strategies, which provides board support, strategic consulting, and investment capital for healthcare, social enterprise and technology companies. Rob is also the CEO of Entrepreneurs in Action, who manage a social venture fund that invests in local social enterprises, helping them create successful businesses and jobs while addressing community and global social needs. Rob recently joined the University of Central Florida’s Partnership and Innovation team, serving as a Senior Strategic Advisor and Director of the Downtown Innovation District. He also is a member of the Advisory Council for Triple Tree Capital, an Minneapolis based healthcare technology and services investment Fund.

Previously, Rob was part of the founding executive team for Connextions, helping them grow from a small manufacturing company to become an innovative healthcare technology and services company based here in Orlando. Connextions was sold to Optum in 2011.

Rob is a Founder and Board Chair of Orlando’s Social Enterprise Accelerator, Rally, a partnership between the Central Florida Foundation, Rollins College, the City of Orlando, and other community partners. Rob is the current Chair of the Central Florida Foundation board, immediate past chair of Orlando, Inc. and is a Board Member member for the Orlando Economic Partnership. He also serves on the Board of Stater Studio, Rollins’ Crummer Graduate School of Business Board of Overseers and its Rollins Center for Advanced Entrepreneurship. He has served on the Operations Committee of the Central Florida Expressway Authority. He is also a member of the Young Presidents Organization.

Rob was a 2018 candidate for Orange County Mayor.

Rob has been married to his wife Stacy for over 27 years and they have 2 daughters, Ali (17) and Samantha (15). They live in Winter Park.

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Vicki Caiati

Vicki Caiati is a marketing professional with medical device Marketing Management, Clinical Education and Technical Sales experience.  She has extensive experience with developing and executing strategy for products in mature markets as well as for new clinical therapies with organizations ranging from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies. 

She has held leadership positions in sales, marketing, and training with ClearFlow, Alsius (Zoll), B. Braun, Smiths Medical, Shiley Cardiovascular, and AACN (American Association of Critical Care Nurses). Vicki has over twenty years of business consulting experience including project marketing work, sales training, and management development.

Vicki is currently serving as an Expert-in-Residence (EiR) for the UCI Innovation Program at University of California, Irvine.

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Pamela Nelson

Pamela Nelson, RN, PhD has over 30 years’ experience in the healthcare industry. Starting her career in Longview, TX as staff nurse at a local hospital, Ms. Nelson transitioned to clinical research in 1997 when she moved to Dallas, TX while working for a large Oncology practice. In 2002, Ms. Nelson founded the Bracane Company in Plano, TX. The Bracane Company is a consultancy research firm that conducts regulatory audits, monitoring and evaluations in clinical research, health programs, wellness behaviors and outcomes research. Through association with the Bracane Company, Ms. Nelson co-founded the Association of Minorities in Clinical Research (AMICR) in 2010. AMICR trains and prepares professionals for the research industry including investigators, clinical monitors and study coordinators.

Ms. Nelson has a passion to improve healthcare access to underserved communities in the US and abroad.  She presents across the country and internationally at conferences to healthcare providers, health agencies and communities regarding participation of minorities in clinical trials and utilizing evidence-based research to improve health outcomes for underserved populations. She speaks to audiences around the world on the health disparities of minorities and the benefits of clinical trial participation. She is a mentor to many women starting businesses, seeking new career opportunities or needing guidance and direction.  Pam travels the globe as an Ambassador for Christ providing healthcare and training to impoverished communities.

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Laura McCoolidge

Laura McCoolidge

Based in Kansas City Missouri, Laura founded her company in 2012 and over the past seven years, has had the opportunity to work with many early stage companies and investors through her tenure as director of two Midwest angel networks, the Mid-America Angels and the Nebraska Angels.  Reviewing over 1,000 investment opportunities, Laura has coached a vast number of early stage companies on term sheet, financing and pitching strategies.  Her work has culminated in $18M in capital deployed across 40 portfolio companies. 

In addition to her work in angel investing, Laura served as CFO for medical device startup Radux Devices for four years.  As Radux Devices’ CFO, Laura executed the company’s $1M seed stage financing, oversaw relationships with the product development team, regulatory and legal advisors.  She developed and maintained the financial models for the company’s two products, demonstrating the market opportunity, margins, distributor relationships, level of market penetration necessary to achieve exit and subsequent investor/founder returns.  The financial models were used for internal tracking and for communicating with current/potential investors.

Through her involvement in the Lincoln, Nebraska startup community, Laura developed and presented the workshop ‘How to Build Your Company’s Financial Model’ for two annual NMotion Accelerator cohorts. She currently participates as a mentor in Pipeline Entrepreneurs and serves as a board director for NE Enterprises LLC, an organization created to evaluate early stage and international investment opportunities for the University of Nebraska Medical Center. 

Laura graduated from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance.

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Jill DeGraff

Jill DeGraff is the founder and managing member of Aperture Law Group, a law firm based in Washington D.C that helps companies develop their products and services, business practices and partnerships on a consistent foundation of compliance with healthcare, privacy and security requirements.  Jill advises vendors of healthcare technology and services on privacy, data security programs, commercial contract design and health law, and provides transactions representation.   Her subject matter expertise includes HIPAA, the ACA, health information law (including HITECH and Cures Act), the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, state consumer privacy laws (e.g. California Consumer Privacy Act) and industry-recognized security and privacy frameworks (e.g. NIST 800-53 and the AICPA Trust Principles) for cloud applications.  She is a graduate of University of Virginia School of Law and Wellesley College.  

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Emily Short

Emily Short recently joined Brush Creek as Vice President of Technology Risk.  In this role, Emily consults on cyber and technology risk management and insurance solutions across a variety of industries, with a particular focus on emerging technology, venture capital, and private equity risks. Emily previously worked as a cyber and technology insurance specialist at one of the largest international brokers.  Prior to that, Emily was practicing law, focusing on professional liability insurance defense.  In additional to her juris doctor, Emily completed the Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US) designation and the Registered Professional Lability Underwriter (RPLU) designation.  She is licensed to practice law in Kansas and Missouri, and has her Kansas insurance license.

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Rebecca MacKinnon, MBA

Rebecca MacKinnon holds an Executive MBA from University of Missouri and a B.S. from Kansas State University. As Founder/CEO of a high-growth, venture- backed, healthcare technology business in the early 1990’s, MacKinnon achieved greater than 50% annualized YOY revenue growth for nearly a decade with BeyondNow Technologies, Inc. MacKinnon led the strategic acquisition of BeyondNow by Cerner Corporation in 2003.

Recently, MacKinnon was named Director and Executive-in-Residence for the Women’s Health and Tech Hub with Springboard Enterprises. Her efforts bring focus and visibility to women-led companies, targeting innovations in the healthcare and life-cycle needs for women and their families. At the same time, MacKinnon continues her work as a business consultant with emerging technology and life sciences ventures, where she has co-Founded four businesses and participates as an Angel Investor in a number of regional startups.

Additionally, MacKinnon works with her family’s agriculture business, navigating a multi-generation succession plan. Throughout her work, MacKinnon demonstrates the ability to strategically assess the environment and internal organization capabilities, develop competitive strategies to strengthen market position and implement go-to-market tactics, including negotiating key strategic partnerships.

MacKinnon won numerous awards and was recognized for her business achievements as a Smithsonian Laureate, Deloitte Touche Fast 50, Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist, and Healthcare’s Best in KLAS.

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Michael Schmidt, MBA

Michael Schmidt, MBA

Michael Schmidt is the Managing Director of Strategic Innovations at Orlando Health, leading efforts to accelerate innovation and commercialization across Orlando Health, a $3.2 billion healthcare system in Orlando, FL. The Strategic Innovations program brings to life ideas, concepts and inventions from team members and physicians that innovate the delivery healthcare and the tools used to deliver that care, as well as strategically investing in external, early stage companies and technologies that are transforming the healthcare industry. Michael has an MBA from the University of Florida.

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Donna Lencki

Donna K. Lencki

Chief Innovation and Digital Strategist

A Springboard alumna, visionary leader within the healthcare industry and experienced entrepreneur, Donna is responsible for fostering innovation and digital strategies throughout the Capital BlueCross family of companies, including strategies that drive revenue and differentiation. Prior to Capital BlueCross, Donna founded the Geneia Company which was acquired by Capital. She was also Cofounder and CEO of Choicelinx Corporation, acquired by CIGNA and CEO of Healthsource Inc.’s New England based companies.

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Kristen Valdes

Kristen Valdes is a transformative force in today’s healthcare marketplace, spearheading the conversation on how empowering consumers can transform healthcare delivery. She is a seasoned healthcare executive with over 20 years in the industry and has dedicated her life to pioneering inventive solutions that challenge the status quo. This quest has been largely driven by her powerful personal story as the mother of a child suffering from a significant autoimmune disorder. That compelling journey, along with her deep knowledge of the industry itself, inspired her to create b.well Connected Health in 2015.

Prior to founding b.well, Kristen was a Vice President at United Healthcare, the largest health insurance company in the country. Kristen helped to build XLHealth, one of the pioneering Medicare Advantage Plans for the chronically ill.  She was responsible for maintaining and growing the profitability of the plan and was instrumental in the acquisition by United Health Group in late 2012 for $2.4B.

Ms. Valdes has been recognized as a 40 Under 40 Healthcare Innovator and b.well Connected Health has won various competitions and awards including most recently being named Top Innovator by Accenture in their Global Health Tech Innovation Challenge. Her dedication to consumer directed health exchange is reflected in her active involvement in numerous private and public policy workgroups working to liberate data on behalf of consumers.

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Valerie Perlowitz

Valeria Perlowitz brings more than thirty years of expertise in the founding, growing, and sales of companies.   Currently as the CEO/Founding Partner of International Holding Company, LLC (IHC), Ms. Perlowitz and her team assist companies across industries and sectors to achieve breakthrough growth by utilizing their proprietary “4 Quadrant Methodology”.  The Methodology bridges the gap from strategy to tactical and creates metrics which communicate to all shareholders about how the company grows.  Ms. Perlowitz has expertise in: cybersecurity; strategy; private and public companies; organizational development; corporate development; fundraising; governance; metrics; compensation; succession planning; turnarounds; and risk management  with substantial proficiency in the: healthcare;  government;  technology; consumer; and retail industries. Degreed Electrical and Computer Engineer with strong business background obtained through growing companies from nascence to sale and Harvard Business School executive MBA.  Ms. Perlowitz is currently enrolled in a Master's of Engineering program in Cybersecurity, Policy and Compliance.

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Tim Cronin

Tim Cronin is GuideWell Health’s Vice President, Business Operations. In this role, Cronin is responsible for enabling operational and financial integration of our direct delivery of care entities and affiliates which include Florida Health Care Plan, GuideWell Emergency Doctors, Diagnostic Clinic Medical Group, Capital Health Plan and Sanitas

Cronin joined GuideWell in 2014 as Vice President, Chief Procurement Officer with more than 15 years of experience in engineering, procurement and sourcing. Prior to joining GuideWell, he served as Vice President, Corporate Sourcing at AmeriHealth Caritas Family of Companies in Philadelphia. Prior to AmeriHealth Caritas, Cronin held various management positions with other companies including Booz Allen Hamilton, Bank of America and Lowe’s Home Improvement.

 Cronin holds a Master of Business Administration in logistics and transportation from the University of Tennessee and a Bachelor of Industrial Engineering degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

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Kim Yates

Kim Yates is an executive marketing leader with over 20 years of success in transforming the world’s most iconic brands through her experiences at Procter & Gamble and the VF Corporation. Her ability to create a bold, long-term vision, rooted in strategic clarity, has allowed her to build brand equity and drive share growth. She excels at product innovation that generates brand dollar growth and profitability. Kim is recognized for her marketing mastery across strategic brand building and media strategy. Her sales experience has yielded expanded channel and customer presence across multiple brands. Kim is an engaged and supportive leader who inspires a culture of empowerment and achievement. She is a persuasive speaker and writer. Kim is tenacious, agile, and inventive. She is interpersonally effective and well respected at all levels.

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Jay Srini 

Jay Srini is Chief Strategist at SCS Ventures where she is working with international startup companies focused on HIT and other established organizations to help them with their business development, health care strategy and expansion. She has provided strategic visionary advice to CEOs of startups as well as for senior executives in companies such as Orion, Lockheed Martin, Emendo (sold to McKesson) and Mmodal (sold to Medquist). Jay’s prior experience includes her role as Chief Innovation Officer for UPMC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center) Insurance Services Division as well as her role as Vice President of Emerging Technologies for UPMC Corporate. Her responsibilities as VP of Emerging Technologies included providing strategic direction and input regarding emerging technologies and solutions to University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and their Insurances subsidiary. Jay was Managing Director for e-Health Initiatives at Internet Venture Works where she led technology and industry assessments of opportunities presented by strategic partners, investors and external sources and served in interim executive management roles for its' portfolio companies.

Jay has a Master's Degree in Computer Science from New York University and a Master's Degree in Business Administration from Bucknell University and her executive education from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She serves on the board of Medrespond, Lifewire and PRHI. She also serves on the advisory board of several entrepreneurial companies and nonprofit healthcare organizations and the growth equity firm Health Enterprise Partners (HEPfund) . Her faculty appointment as Adjunct Associate Professor at University of Pittsburgh includes her advisory position at RERC (Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center).

She is an internationally known speaker in HIT and has chaired several national and regional HIT conferences in the US.

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Valerie Palmieri

Valerie Palmieri

President and CEO

Ms. Palmieri was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer in January 2015. She joined Vermillion as Chief Operating Officer in October 2014. Ms. Palmieri brings to Vermillion more than 30 years of experience in the diagnostic laboratory industry, serving in numerous sales, operations, and executive leadership positions for both laboratory service and consulting organizations. Prior to Vermillion, Valerie was CEO/President of MOMENTUM Consulting. Prior to MOMENTUM, Ms. Palmieri served as CEO/President of two healthcare start-ups that resulted in a successful exit for one and won her recognition as one of the “Top 10 Entrepreneurs of Springboard Enterprises” for the other. She also spent six years as National Vice President of Anatomic Pathology Operations with LabCorp, the successor company to DIANON Systems where she served as Senior Vice President of Operations. She was a key leader in the sale of DIANON to LabCorp in 2003. Ms. Palmieri holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Technology from Western Connecticut State University.

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Janine Pratt

Janine Pratt has more than twenty years of experience developing IT strategies, system integration, and management consulting solutions for Fortune 500 healthcare enterprises. She has a successful track record specializing in project management, systems deployment, and leveraging technology to improve clinical and business processes, while enhancing operational success and financial performance to achieve measurable outcomes. Her key strengths include healthcare strategy planning, technology integration and the connected enterprise, leadership of an enterprise-wide IT department, change management, and vendor management. She created the first Program Management Office at the University of Miami and has been responsible for the deployment of Clinical and Financial systems for more than 100+ successful client implementations.

As a Senior Director within the Advisory Practice, her role is to increase brand awareness, and market share of KPMG Advisory Services into the Southeastern United States. Services include large scale transformational projects focusing on the convergence of business models in a collaborative and integrated healthcare delivery environment. She manages a portfolio of key accounts orchestrating the deployment of firm-wide resources to provide comprehensive services and solutions.

Janine demonstrates a deep commitment to the South Florida healthcare community, and volunteers her time on the South Florida HIMSS board. She has been in a leadership role for the past 7 years. She started her HIMSS journey as a Program Committee member and served in that role for 2 years. She has been Program Chair for the past 5 years. Through her leadership, she has expanded the focus and footprint of programs and brought a spirit of innovation and community collaboration. Accomplishments: Launched the South Florida Innovation Competition, led a community inclusive process redesign for how our chapter recruits abstracts and interest for our chapter.

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Saya Nagori, MBA

Dr. Nagori is a physician entrepreneur who currently serves as the Chief Medical Officer for, a company she helped to found in 2015. In just 4 years, over 1 million patients have used the SimpleHealth telemedicine platform. Dr. Nagori is a pioneer in telemedicine, an invited speaker for several national conferences, and a key opinion leader for several health technology companies. In 2019, she hosted the Medicine Innovation & Entrepreneurship Conference, which sold out in its inaugural year and focuses on accelerating Physician innovators and entrepreneurs in their journey through high yield content and networking. MIE is quickly becoming the go to conference for physician innovators to share ideas in this community of health tech experts and digital health leaders.

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Bethany Edwards

Bethany Edwards, CEO and co-founder of LIA Diagnostics, is revolutionizing over-the-counter women’s health products for good. She has combined engineering, design, science, and business acumen to create Lia: the first FDA-cleared flushable, biodegradable pregnancy test.

Since LIA’s founding in 2015, Bethany has transformed Lia from a thumbnail sketch to a tangible, efficacious product with significant brand traction. In addition to raising capital and leading the company’s vision and mission, Bethany, along with her co-founder has been responsible for Lia’s product development and holds multiple patents surrounding the sustainable diagnostics technology behind Lia.

LIA Diagnostics has been featured in TIME Magazine’s “50 Best Inventions of 2018”, Oprah Magazine, and was named number 21 on Forbes’ “50 Women-Led Startups That Are Crushing Tech”. Bethany, with her co-founder, won TechCrunch’s Startup Battlefield Disrupt Berlin and was also awarded FastCompany’s Best in Design award, Women’s Health’s FemTech award, and an international Art Directors Club Gold Cube for packaging design excellence.

Bethany serves on Springboard’s Women’s Health Executive Committee, has represented the U.S. at multiple Global Entrepreneurship Summits, is a DreamIt Ventures and Springboard Enterprise alumna, and is a member of the Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technologies, Life Sciences Pennsylvania, and the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry.

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Lindsey Mosby

Lindsey Conner Mosby 

Health and Wellness

Lindsey has been working in Healthcare Innovation and Strategy for more than fifteen years. Over the course of her career, she has helped both legacy and start-up healthcare players – including payers, providers, pharma and consumer health – envision and execute programs spanning innovation and business strategy, qualitative research, product and service design, and organizational design and change management.  

Most recently, Lindsey spent over seven years building and leading the healthcare practice at frog Design. She thrives in strategic-thinking, complex environments and loves working with her clients on their most mission-critical initiatives. Key clients have included Pfizer Consumer Health, Roche, Merck, UCSF, TEVA, J&J, Otsuka, Boston Scientific, Kaiser Permanente, Cigna, the ADA, Medtronic, and The Mayo Clinic.  

In addition to her work as a client advisor and team lead, Lindsey is a global speaker at a wide-range of industry events. Her focus on the Design for the Aging Market has led to speaking engagements with AARP, Shanghai, Singapore and Melbourne Aging by Design events, Singularity University’s Exponential Medicine and the National Investment Center’s Future of Aging, to name a few.

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Rebecca Shanahan

Rebecca M. Shanahan

Rebecca Shanahan is the Founder and CEO of Shanahan Capital Ventures, LLC.(“SCV”)  SCV is an operating-oriented family fund providing growth capital and strategy consulting expertise to start-up and growth-stage health services companies.   SCV’s portfolio of companies includes Oncology Plus, Inc., Aesyntix Health, Frameworks MI.  SCV has provided consulting services to a number of public and privately held companies, including Cardinal Health, Shoppers Drug Mart, Bristol Myers Squibb, Bayer Healthcare, Inspiration Pharmaceuticals, Rite Aid, Reliant Rehab, MedSolutions, US BioServices and Cancer Centers of Excellence.

Ms. Shanahan served as the Chief Executive Officer of Avella Specialty Pharmacy from 2014 through 2018 and on the Avella Board of Directors from 2010 through 2018, when it was sold to United Health Group’s Optum Division. During her tenure as CEO of Avella, the company’s revenues tripled to $1.5 Billion, completed two strategic acquisitions, a corporate restructuring and significant business expansion. Ms. Shanahan was recognized in 2017 as the Ernst & Young’s Healthcare Entrepreneur of the Year, Mountain Desert Region. In 2016 Avella was recognized as the Specialty Pharmacy of the Year.  Ms. Shanahan served as the President of National Association of Specialty Pharmacies in 2017. In 2015, Rebecca was recognized as the Top Female CEO led Inc 5000 Fastest Growing Companies.  Avella was recognized as Arizona’s Outstanding HealthCare Company in 2014 and received the Arizona Innovators’ Award 2015.

Ms. Shanahan began her career as the General Counsel of Community Hospitals of Indiana, Inc. and held a succession of C Suite positions in business development, mergers and acquisitions, strategic partnerships and chief executive roles in wholly-owned and joint venture companies with IU/Methodist Healthcare, the University of Chicago Hospitals and Healthcare Systems, Priority Healthcare, Aetna and Oncology Therapeutics Network.  She has experience in starting and growing companies from the ground up (Physician Networks, free-standing Ambulatory Outpatient Campuses, Specialty Pharmacies, Pharmacy Benefits Providers), acquired and integrated more than 70 healthcare businesses, and led re-structuring and re-organization efforts for a number of corporate clients.

Ms. Shanahan has served on a number Boards of Directors of privately held, tax-exempt and publicly traded companies.  She resides in Winter Park, Florida and in her free time enjoys travel with friends and family and time with children, grandchildren and her dog, Irish.

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Kevin Kennedy, MBA

Kevin Kennedy is a Principal on GuideWell’s Corporate Development and Strategic Investment team where he provides direction and leadership to maximize the overall value of the enterprise’s strategic investments. He participates in all aspects of the end to end strategic investment process in support of new business initiatives, mergers & acquisitions, private equity fund investments, and joint ventures with strategic partners. In his free time he serves on the board of directors at Hope Haven and the St. John’s Riverkeeper.

Kevin earned a B.B.A. from the University of Mississippi and a M.B.A. from the Mason School of Business at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA.

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Ashley Blankette

Ashley Blankette

As a Director of Innovation at Highmark Health, Ashley leads the Design Practice, a team dedicated to applying Human Centered Design to solve problems for customers through understanding their needs and conceptualizing transformative solutions.

Ashley’s career evolution brings together design, customer advocacy and technology. Over the past twelve years, she has worked across consulting, technology R&D, and corporate settings with specialized focus-areas in design strategy and leadership, design as an innovation and culture-change driver, and human-centered design processes and methods. Prior to joining Highmark Health, Ashley led User Experience Design and was the Head of an Innovation Center for BNY Mellon, a global financial services company.

Ashley completed an Executive Certificate in Strategy and Innovation from the MIT Sloan School of Management in 2018. She graduated from Penn State University with a BA in Communications and a Bachelor of Design degree (BDes) in Design. 

Ashley is an avid antique store, estate sale and flea market shopper—collecting a broad range of items from the 50s and 60s. She and her husband are currently renovating their Mid-Century Modern dream home on the east side of Pittsburgh. 

Interested in becoming a mentor?