Leadership

David Bridges

Vice President, Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI²)

David Bridges is the Vice President of the Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2) at the Georgia Institute of Technology. EI2 is the largest, oldest, and most successful economic development organization at any university in the country. It is home to more than a dozen economic development programs which (1) build and scale startups, (2) grow existing small and medium-sized enterprises, including manufacturing firms, and (3) energize ecosystem builders (communities, governments, universities, and non-profits). These programs serve the State of Georgia, with programmatic reach across the Southeast region, the United States, and five continents around the world.

Prior to his appointment as vice president, Bridges was director of the Economic Development Lab (EDL) within EI2. EDL works with communities in Georgia on projects such as workforce development, fiscal and economic impact analyses, strategic planning, and downtown redevelopment. This lab also works globally and has conducted innovation policy research and implemented innovation ecosystem building projects in 23 countries around the world.

Since joining the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1994, Bridges has worked in various practice areas serving manufacturing firms, national labs, international governments, and innovation ecosystems. He has been a Principal or Co-Principal Investigator on over $20 million in grants and has authored, co-authored, or significantly contributed to over $40 million in winning proposals. Bridges has won over 100 proposals from U.S. federal agencies, plus universities, governments, and non-profits from around the world. He is a Principal Research Faculty member and a frequent lecturer and keynote speaker in China, South Africa, and across Latin America on nascent, innovation ecosystem building.

Prior to joining EI², he was a general management consultant and a brand manager at three consumer package goods companies. Bridges has a Bachelor of Business Administration from Emory University and a Master of Science in Marketing from Georgia State University.

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.

Donna Ennis

Director, Diversity Engagement and Program

Donna M. Ennis, C.P.F, provides leadership across all Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2) units to develop collaborative funding opportunities and provide support and services to assure the integration of diversity and inclusion into EI2’s programs and operations. A certified professional facilitator, Donna serves as director and operator representative for the Atlanta Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business & Advanced Manufacturing Centers and the Southeastern MBDA Inner City Innovation Hub. In this role, she provides strategic direction, marketing, outreach, and operations for the Centers and the Innovation HUB and business assistance to Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs). Known for her thought leadership and passion for developing MBEs and small businesses, Donna has been at the forefront of helping MBEs learn and understand the role that technology plays in scaling businesses and established the annual National MBE Manufacturers Summit to connect MBE manufacturers for partnerships with corporations and other suppliers. She also launched the NEXTTECH initiative for MBEs to bring technology solutions to federal agencies and corporations. Under Donna’s leadership, the Centers have assisted companies in generating more than $3.5 billion in contracts, financing, and sales and creating or retaining more than 6,000 jobs.

Donna received her master’s degree in public administration from Georgia State University and a bachelor’s degree in communications from Boston University. She is a graduate of the Leading Women@Tech program and has been name a tenured Black Woman of Influence by the Atlanta Business League. She enjoys serving on several boards, mentoring entrepreneurs, and coaching small business owners.

Lynne Heinkel

Director of the Economic Development Lab

Lynne is the Director of the Economic Development Lab in the Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2) at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

She has been involved in creating and implementing EI²’s innovative ecosystems development practices, aiding communities in developing their entrepreneur base through research and education.

Lynne, who has been with Georgia Tech for more than 20 years, is the Primary Awardee for the US federal Economic Development Agency’s (EDA) University Center award to Georgia Tech for the last two award periods, The EDA’s Cares Act award and was awarded the EDA Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) I6 award in 2014 among other funding grants.  In addition, she is the developer for the incubation health assessments tool, community innovation assessment tool, and instrumental in developing the Georgia Tech Soft Landings program for international companies looking to expand into the US market.

Her career at Georgia Tech has focused early on with commercializing innovations from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Stennis Space Center, and Marshall Space Flight Center.  As part of her early responsibilities in working with startup companies that licensed NASA technology, she collaborated with entrepreneurs to help them overcome many of the pitfalls that they were likely to face, as well as develop educational programming to aid in their successes. She also managed the dual-use industry partnerships for the Marshall Space Flight Center, which involved working with large and startup businesses.

Henkiel also created the U.S. Expansion Practicum course at Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business, which partners MBA students with successful business owners — including Georgia Tech alumni — focused on U.S. business expansion. She has written several articles and is a sought-after ecosystem building expert who has delivered many presentations across the United States and internationally.

Lynne is an active member of the Technology Association of Georgia’s (TAG) International Society Board, a board member of the International Business Innovation Association (InBIA), and a member of the State Science & Technology Institute (SSTI). She leads the Innovation and Technology Commercialization Professional course in China and is evaluating strategies to expand the course to include Spanish, French, and Arabic-speaking countries.

Lynne holds an MS in the Management of Technology from the University of Miami, FL, and had an extensive career in finance with IBM prior to joining Georgia Tech.

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

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.

Debra Lam

Founding Director, Partnership for Inclusive Innovation

Debra Lam is the Founding Director of the Partnership for Inclusive Innovation, a statewide public-private partnership committed to investing in innovative pilot projects. She also continues to lead smart communities and urban innovation work at Georgia Tech. She founded the Georgia Smart Community Challenge, the first statewide effort in the nation that empowers communities of all sizes to become smarter. Prior to this, she served as Pittsburgh’s inaugural Chief of Innovation & Performance where she oversaw all technology, sustainability, performance, and innovation functions of city government. She crafted the city’s first strategic plan for innovation, the Inclusive Innovation Roadmap. Prior to that, she was a management consultant at a global engineering and design firm, Arup. She has recieved various awards, including being named one of the top 100 most influential people in digital government by Apolitcal. She has worked and lived in the United Kingdom, China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. She is a graduate of Georgetown University and University of California, Berkeley, and serves on the boards of the MetroLab Network and Neighborhood Nexus.

Roger E. Mason

Director of Finance and Budgets

Roger E. Mason serves as Director of Finance and Budgets for Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2).  In this role he supports all financial activities for EI2. Roger has more than 20 years of university and leadership experience in finance, state funded programs, and sponsored awards.  He received his Bachelor’s degree in finance from Kennesaw State University.

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.

Péralte 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.