Leadership

Karen_WebKaren Fite
Interim Vice President, Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI²)

As interim vice president, Fite leads a 12-program organization 160-member staff operate a statewide network of assistance to Georgia via the nation’s largest and most comprehensive university-based program of business and industry assistance, technology commercialization, and economic development.

Fite, who Fite, who was previously EI²’s associate vice president, also is director of its Business & Industry Services group of programs. She has more than 26 years of economic development experience at Tech.

The Business & Industry Services group includes the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP), EI2’s largest economic development offering. It also includes:

 

Previously, Fite director of EI²’s largest program, the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP). state regional network manager and led a team of 10 regional managers in their outreach efforts.

 

Her earlier experience includes the application of industrial and management engineering, employee involvement, and business principles.

 

She has a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Miami and a bachelor’s in health systems from Georgia Tech.In 2018, she achieved the faculty rank of principal extension professional, the Georgia Tech’s highest professional extension faculty rank.

 

John Avery
Director, ATDC

John is a serial entrepreneur who was part of four startups. A tech startup veteran with broad experience in data and wireless voice technologies, John was co-founder and chief technology officer of Convergence Corp., a maker of software that connects wireless devices to the Internet. Amazon acquired the company in 1999. Following that acquisition, he joined Amazon as engineering manager.

 

In 2001, John became an early employee of Mobliss, a mobile applications and messaging solutions company in the entertainment space. He later became the company’s chief technology officer. Japan’s Index Corp., a developer of mobile phone content and information and other media services such as video on demand, acquired Mobliss.

 

He holds six patents and owns Onboard Now, a developer of software for embedded devices such as smart phones, Web-enabled cameras, and industrial controls.

 

Most recently, he was engineering group manager of Panasonic Automotive Systems’ Panasonic Innovation Center at the Georgia Tech campus. At Panasonic, John oversaw the innovation center’s development projects in next-generation automotive systems including, infotainment, bio-sensing, machine vision, deep learning, and heads-up displays.

 

He is a Georgia Tech graduate with a bachelor’s degree in engineering.


David_WebDavid Bridges

Director, Economic Development Lab

David Bridges is a Director of the Enterprise Innovation Institute’s (EI2) Startup Ecosystems group and AVP for EI2 International Initiatives.  His group advises governments, communities, universities and entrepreneurial support organizations, both in the United States and around the globe, on innovation-led economic development initiatives (ILED). The ILED activities foster collaborations among informal network players to drive public policy, strategic planning, startup ecosystem formation, and fiscal and economic impact metrics for which his group is a foremost authority.

 

Bridges has been with EI2 for more than 21 years. In that time, he has managed programs around technology transfer, co-development research, SBIR grants, seed fund management, international commercialization, incubation, acceleration, proof-of-concept centers, cluster development, university innovation centers, and startup ecosystems. Bridges is the author or co-author of more than $32 million in innovation-related grants for Georgia Tech, including the NASA Regional Technology Transfer Center, three EDA Innovation 6 projects, the EDA Jobs Accelerator, and the NIST Manufacturing Technology Acceleration Center.  Bridges is also the co-developer of the Georgia Tech Startup Ecosystem model currently in practice on several continents.

 

Bridges holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the Goizueta Business School at Emory University and a master’s degree from Georgia State University.

 


Myrtle_webMyrtle I. Turner Harris, Ph.D., MPH, CET

Director, Occupational Safety and Health Services, Enterprise Innovation Institute

Turner Harris leads the Georgia Tech Environment, Safety, and Occupational Health Programs Office (ESOHPO) and Georgia Tech Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Training Institute Education Center (OTIEC). Established in 1992 to provide occupational safety and health and related training — Turner Harris expanded these programs’ course offerings and increased the number of courses offered annually across Region IV (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee). Turner Harris played a major role in the development of the Georgia Tech Professional Master’s in Occupational Safety and Health (PMOSH) Program and serves as the Associate PMOSH Program Director.

 

She is a certified environmental safety and health trainer and has more than 29 years of experience in industrial hygiene and occupational safety and health. She is the president of the National Environmental Safety and Health Training Association (NESHTA) Board of Directors.

 

While working as a compliance safety and health officer for OSHA, she conducted numerous health and safety inspections in a variety of private and Federal workplaces. Turner Harris Holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Georgia State University and a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree in general and environmental studies from Emory University.  She has a Ph.D. in higher education with an emphasis in occupational studies from Georgia State University.

 

Tim Israel 
Director, Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP)

Israel leads EI²’s largest and longest running program, the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP) and is responsible for the manufacturing resources and regional staff located across Georgia.

 

Previously, he had been GaMEP’s associate director and group manager of process improvement.

 

The GaMEP works with manufacturers across the state to offer innovation- and solutions-based approaches via consulting, couching, and education.

 

A member organization of the National MEP network and supported by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the GaMEP’s main goal is to help manufacturers increase top line growth and reduce bottom costs.

 

Israel, a 30-year veteran at Georgia Tech, began his career as a project engineer in Tech’s Gainesville Regional Office. He also served as a project manager in Georgia Tech’s Georgia Productivity and Quality Center (GPQC) and the Center for International Standards and Quality (CISQ).

 

An expert in lean manufacturing, quality management systems, and supplier development, Israel earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in industrial engineering from Georgia Tech.

 

Johanna Kaiser
Georgia Advanced Technology Ventures (GATV)

Johanna Kaiser has more than 13 years of leadership experience in real estate management, entrepreneurship/start-up support, and program management. She has served in a number of roles within the Enterprise Innovation Institute, Georgia Tech’s primary service and outreach organization. With a master’s degree in business administration from Georgia Tech, Johanna primarily supports GATV’s efforts in technology commercialization, incubator services, and real estate development.

 

 

 

Keith McGreggor
Director, VentureLab

Keith McGreggor is the director of VentureLab, Georgia Tech’s comprehensive center for technology commercialization that is open to all faculty, research staff, and students who want to form startup companies based upon their research. VentureLab transforms those innovations into companies by developing engaging business models, connecting the researcher with experienced entrepreneurs, locating sources of early-stage financing, and preparing these new companies for global markets.

 

McGreggor has been an entrepreneur for the last three decades. His first company, Artificial Intelligence Atlanta, was the first AI company in the Southeast, which led to a job in robotics for Lockheed. He has been a founder or co-founder of six software companies. McGreggor wrote and shipped the first 3D program (1984/5) and first color paint program (1987) for the Macintosh. He developed the color architecture for the Macintosh operating system and managed the graphics group at Apple Computer. A stint as co-founder of an internet company in the mid-1990s led to McGreggor becoming a director of engineering at Yahoo in 1999.

 

McGreggor holds bachelor and master’s degrees in computer science from Georgia Tech. He’s currently writing his dissertation on fractal visual analogies, in support of his Ph.D. in computer science from Georgia Tech.

 

 

Gregory T. Owen
Director of Human Resources

Gregory T. Owen serves as human resources director of Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute. He has also served as adjunct faculty for Georgia Tech teaching GT1000 for multiple semesters. He also holds an additional USG adjunct faculty appointment and teaches social science courses in the College of Liberal Arts at Georgia Gwinnett College.

 

He completed his graduate studies at Georgia State University with a Ph.D. in Higher Education Policy and a Master’s of Science in Educational Psychology. He has more than 15 years’ experience working in higher education and in the field of human resources. His research interests include policy and organizational development, performance management, human resources process improvement, and qualitative research design.

 


Peralte_WebPéralte C. Paul
Marketing & Communications Manager, Enterprise Innovation Institute

Paul has been with the Georgia Institute of Technology since 2014. He has more than 20 years media and communications experience as a reporter and writer for various news outlets — including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Florida Times-Union, and The Jersey Journal — and as an editor in online news media at Aol. He has covered a number of different business-related topics, including Banking, Economic Development, Georgia Agriculture/Agribusiness, and Law. He also has a public relations background having worked for a boutique, New York-based public relations agency where he worked on a number of business-to-business and business-to-consumer accounts. Paul is a graduate of Rutgers University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in English, with a concentration in journalism.