New England Innovation Society

gwen burlingame, CO-FOUNDER, BECKON ICE CREAM 

Gwen Burlingame is Co-Founder of Beckon, the first and only premium, lactose-free dairy ice cream on the market.  Originally from Springfield, VA, Gwen is a graduate of Villanova University, where she studied Marketing and International Business. 

Prior to co-founding Beckon, Gwen held roles at L’Oreal USA in e-commerce and digital strategy for Luxe Division, International Business development for Kiehl’s Since 1851 and Global Brand Marketing, also at Kiehl’s, managing the Lip and Sun product portfolios. 

Beckon Ice Cream (Minus-the-Moo at the time) was a 2018 New England Innovation Award Winner.



Debora Babin Katz is VP of TrucBrush Corporation headquartered in Easton, MA.  Katz oversees manufacturing, marketing and distribution of its mobile attachment to clear snow off truck, trailer, bus, intermodal container rooftops, flatbeds and step decks.

Debora also services as board chair of Women In Trucking Foundation, a 501 (c3) non-profit providing educational scholarships to women in four transportation categories: driving, safety, technical and leadership.  Since serving as chair, the Foundation has more than tripled its scholarship funding.  Debora is executive secretary and board member of Trucking Assoc. of MA (TAM), and a board member of national Snow & Ice Management Assoc. (SIMA).  In 2015, she was recognized with SIMA Volunteer of the Year award for ten years of commitment, including chairing the editorial advisory committee of Snow Business Magazine.

A graduate of Babson College, Debora is an entrepreneur, published writer and expert in business development and marketing.  In 2006, she established her own marketing firm, d.communications, llc, which she operated successfully until 2013.  That year, a colleague in the industry introduced her to Jim Burns of Fairway Lawn Care Corporation.  Jim had an idea for a new snow product that could effectively and safely clear fleet rooftops.  “I knew this would be a ‘game changer’ in the industry and I wanted to be a part of its story,” said Debora.  In 2016, TrucBrush Corp. received NEBA’s ‘Rising Star’ Innovation Award and SIMA’s Snow Industry Commitment award for outstanding innovation and customer service.  By 2017 the Company received a global endorsement from Caterpillar.   Debora's story is one of passion, purpose and true leadership grit.



Evan Butler is an engineer and entrepreneur who co-founded Etiometry in 2010. Previously, he worked at Boston Children’s Hospital in the Pediatric Cardiac Bioengineering Laboratory designing, building, and testing novel surgical robots and tools. Evan was also a NASA GSRP Fellow with Dryden Flight Research Center, and created intelligent flight control systems.

He received his Bachelor’s degree in Physics and Aerospace Engineering, and his Masters degree in Dynamics and Control Engineering from Boston University. Evan has published conference papers, journal articles and a book chapter in the fields of medical predictive analytics, concentric tube robots and tools for minimally-invasive beating heart surgery, and intelligent flight control systems. Evan has received multiple awards, including the 2010 IEEE Transactions on Robotics Best Paper Award.

Etiometry was a 2018 New England Innovation Award Winner. 



Keith Cooper is a successful entrepreneur with more than 30 years running VC-backed technology companies.  He is currently CEO of Revolutionary Clinics (RC), a leading medicinal cannabis company in MA.  RC has an active cultivation and processing facility in Fitchburg, retail locations in Cambridge and Somerville and a home delivery business.

Prior to RC, Keith was CEO of Constant Therapy (CT), a company revolutionizing the treatment of neurological disorders using science-based digital therapy on mobile devices.  CT was acquired by a Private Equity firm in 2017. Prior to CT, Keith was CEO of Connotate (web Big Data aggregation), President of Carbonite (#9 on the Inc. 500 list, Best Places to Work in Boston, Most Innovative Companies in New England,NASDAQ:CARB), CEO of webHancer (acquired by Microsoft), CEO of FaxNet (acquired by Critical Path) and GM of Trans National Communications (#12 on the Inc. 500 list).

A graduate of Harvard Business School (1988) and Harvard College (1983, President of the Harvard Rugby Club), Keith lives in Wayland, MA, is married and has two young adult sons.   

Carbonite was a 2010 New England Innovation Award Winner.



Robert Clarkson is specializing in Emerging Markets, helping start-up companies grow. His focus is to help clients develop programs that deliver employee benefits in a very competitive market and position them as a destination employer. May of Mr. Clarkson's clients are focused on growing their business and have very limited human resource staff; they rely on his expertise and see him as an extension of their business. 

Mr. Clarkson is a seasoned Innovation Specialist, who has served as a Judge for the New England Innovation Awards for many years.



Mr. Curtis is the Executive Vice President, Pricing and Proposals of Clean Harbors a leading provider of premier environmental, energy and industrial services.  He joined Clean Harbors in 1980, and he has served in a variety of management positions including Vice President of Marketing and Vice President of Business Development. Mr. Curtis holds an MBA degree from Northeastern University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from Columbia University.



Carolyn Edelstein is the Executive Director of OpenBiome, a universal stool bank and microbiome research institute, and a 2017 New England Innovation Award winner. Carolyn was a member of the founding team and previously served as Director of Outreach and Public Affairs, where she oversaw OpenBiome's efforts to expand the availability of FMT across 1,000 hospitals and clinics, present its work to the public, and contribute to the discourse on the regulation of fecal microbiota.

Previously, Carolyn worked at the US Agency for International Development, where she helped launch the Global Innovation Fund, a $200 million institution backed by foreign aid agencies from the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Sweden, and South Africa to test and support low-cost, high-impact interventions to improve global health and prosperity.

Carolyn holds an MPA and a BA from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, where she was awarded the SINSI Fellowship.

OpenBiome was a 2017 New England Innovation Award Winner.


Sam Greenberg is Co-Founder of Y2Y Harvard Square (Y2Y Network), the nation's first student run homeless shelter for young adults. Sam studied History and Literature at Harvard College ‘14, where he wrote his honors thesis on homelessness in Harvard Square. 

Y2Y has been featured by NPR, is a MassChallenge Gold Winner, and was named to the Social Innovation Forum’s 2019 non-profit accelerator. Sam has been named Forbes 30 Under 30, one of The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s 15 leaders changing the nonprofit world, and honorable mention for the Boston Globe Magazine’s Bostonian of the Year.

Y2Y Network was a 2018 New England Innovation Awards Winner.


Paul Holzer is CEO and co-founder of XenoTherapeutics, bringing 15 years in various leadership roles to the field of xenotransplantation. Paul served in four decorated combat deployments as an Officer in the United States Navy SEAL Teams, leaving in 2013 as a Lieutenant Commander. 

While pursuing his master’s degree in mechanical engineering, Paul trained under Dr. David Sachs and Dr. Curtis Cetrulo at Massachusetts General Hospital in the Transplantation Biology Research Center.

Paul is a distinguished paramedic, having received The President’s Volunteer Service Award for leading a team of first responders to the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan in 2013. Paul is a founding board member and Treasurer of the New England Navy SEAL Foundation, and in 2015 was appointed by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker to serve as a Trustee of Bunker Hill Community College. He is a graduate of the University of Florida, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Southern New Hampshire University.

XenoTherapeutics is a 2018 New England Innovation Awards Winner.


Katy Flannery is Co-Founder of Beckon Ice Cream, the first and only premium, lactose-free dairy ice cream on the market.  Originally from North Attleboro, MA, Katy is a graduate of Villanova University, where she studied Nursing.

 Katy was previously an RN in the Pediatric ICU at Boston Children’s Hospital.  It was her food journey and lactose intolerance that inspired Beckon and she is also a graduate of the famous Penn State Ice Cream Course.

Beckon Ice Cream (Minus the Moo, at the time), was a 2018 New England Innovation Award Winner.


Alex is an Identity Solutions expert and for over 15 years has enabled Governments around the world implement new technologies around secure Government Credentials (National IDs, Driver’s Licenses and Passports).

He is President & Managing Director of GET Group North America based in Waltham MA, which was recently awarded a contract by the US Department of State for the implementation of the Next Generation US Passport. Alex believes that mobile identity is the foundation of any effective digital security strategy and has recently directed the company’s efforts towards the development of its new globally interoperable mobile drivers’ licenses technology.

Alex serves on the Board of the Document Security Alliance, an association of government, industry and academia dedicated to securing the production, issuance, and authentication of identity, credentials, and currency. 



Pamela Layton was most recently the President and a member of the Board of Bioarray Genetics (, a breast cancer molecular diagnostics company, where her role spanned the acquisition of capital, operations, reimbursement, regulatory path and partnerships. Prior to Bioarray, Mrs. Layton was the founder and CEO of Parcell Laboratories and was responsible for taking the first pure stem cell product from bench to bedside for spinal fusion surgery. She holds multiple U.S. and European patents for the ELA cell and its applications. Prior to Parcell, she was the founder and President of TriGuard Group LLC, a security information company that brought the first interactive alarm notification platform to market, for which Mrs. Layton holds the patent.

Mrs. Layton is a Certified Tissue Bank Specialist as designated by the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB).  In addition to mentoring young companies throughout the U.S., she is a member of the Board of Pioneer Institute, the Board of Xenotherapeutics, the Treasurer of the Board of Mother Brook Arts Center, and a long-standing judge for the New England Business Association Innovation Awards.  Mrs. Layton is a member of Launchpad and Sky Ventures, as well as an individual angel investor.

Parcell Laboratories was a 2012 New England Innovation Award Winner, and XenoThearapeutics a 2018 New England Innovation Award Winner.


Jon Lieber currently serves as a Managing Director at Danforth Advisors.   He has 25 years of experience in financial and executive management at emerging and growth-stage life science companies and in investment banking. During his tenure as a CFO, he has raised more than $300 million of equity and debt in public and private securities offerings and led strategic and business development transactions. He most recently served as CFO of Histogenics Corporation (New England Innovation Award Winner 2017). 

Prior to Histogenics he held additional CFO roles including:  Metamark Genetics, Inc. Repligen Corporation, Xcellerex, Inc.(acquired by GE Healthcare) and Altus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Previously, Jon was an investment banker for 10 years, during which time he originated and executed on numerous corporate financings and merger and acquisition transactions at SG Cowen and Salomon Brothers Inc. He received a BS in Business Administration and Finance from Boston University and an MBA in Finance from New York University Stern School of Business.

Histogenics was a 2017 New England Innovation Award Winner.


Juan is responsible for business development, marketing and community relations for all products offered by Tufts Health Plan’s public plans division across Massachusetts and Rhode Island. He is also Corporate Business Diversity Officer, responsible for company-wide diversity efforts. Previously, Juan was the company’s director of health care services where he led medical cost management and provider contracting strategy and analytics. He also held management roles at Blue Cross Blue Shield and Deloitte Consulting.

He serves on several boards including Vice-Chair of the Dimock Center Board, The State of Massachusetts Latino Advisory Commission, The Boston Foundation Latino Legacy Fund, Quality Interactions Corporate Advisory Board and ConsejoSano's Advisory Board. Juan earned a B.S. from the School of Management at Boston College. He is originally from Medellin, Colombia and resides in Waltham, MA.


Frank is Chief Commercial Officer at Neurometrix where he is leading the commercialization of a class of wearables with the launch of Quell™ Wearable Pain Relief Technology, an FDA cleared, 100% drug free alternative for managing chronic pain. After a successful crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo in 2015, Quell is now available online and selected major US retailers including Amazon and CVS, Best. Quell has been covered extensively in national media including Good Morning America, CBS News, Forbes, Fortune, Wired and Men’s Health. Quell was the winner of the SXSW Innovation Award for Wearable Technology. 

Frank has over 20 years of experience building successful, high-growth consumer health and technology brands at Philips and Johnson & Johnson, launching over 50 new products and leading global expansion of Sonicare.  He has a passion for innovation in digital health.

NeuroMetrix was a 2017 New England Innovation Award Winner.


Cathy McGrath Is the inventor of the Jacki recovery jacket; The Jacki program is part of the non-profit organization A Little Easier Recovery; it was designed to best manage post-surgical drains after a mastectomy. The Jacki restores dignity and control, and was named along the lines of “ What would Jackie O wear?” if she had to endure breast cancer treatment. The Jacki has directly helped over 25,000 amazing women across the country. A Little Easier Recovery recently obtained a health-code to receive insurance reimbursement, thus, allowing thousands more patients to obtain the jacket without financial burden. Cathy is a graduate of Salem State College and has 15 years in national sales in direct mail marketing and specialty print prior to founding A Little Easier Recovery. She serves as a Member of the Board of the NE Business Association.

A Little Easier Recovery was a 2014 New England Innovation Award Winner.



With over 20 years of experience, Kelly is a dynamic and highly regarded HR and Administrative professional who is currently serving as Sr. Associate-Client & Talent Manager with TEEMA Solutions. She also happens to have the longest association with the New England Innovation Awards, as the concept was the brainchild of her late father, Robert J. Crowley, Sr. and Julie Scofield . Having been surrounded by innovative companies her entire life and  listening to them pitch their ideas at Babson College and the MIT Forum throughout her childhood, Kelly has seen over 200 companies win this prestigious award since its inception back in 1986. 


Kelly is continuing in her father’s footsteps using her impressive recruiting skills to find and nominate many companies for the Innovation awards including the one closest to her heart, VOCALiD. While listening to Dr. Rupal Patel, founder/CEO of VOCALiD on a TED talk she instinctively knew this organization was a winner and reached out to her to say she was nominating the company on her own volition. Judges agreed as VOCALiD was bestowed the Rising Star Award in 2017, which is especially meaningful as It was the first year the award was renamed as the Robert J. Crowley Rising Star Award. 


Since her father’s passing in September 2018,  Kelly is honored and committed to continuing his passion of showcasing innovate companies in New England, and to ensuring this recognition carries on for generations to keep her father’s legacy alive.



Mr. Munroe brings more than 20 years of healthcare sales and manufacturing experience to the industry.  Mr. Munroe is a senior executive with expertise in national start-up organizations, strategic/relationship sales, and distribution development.  He is responsible for establishing consistent sales and marketing processes, tools and techniques.  Mr. Munroe’s background includes experience in outsourcing strategy development, organizational leadership, market analysis and sales force training and development.

Mr. Munroe currently serves as the Vice President of Strategic Projects and Mobile Solutions at STERIS Corporation.  He has also served as General Manager of STERIS HSS business.  In his Strategic Projects role, he sets strategic direction for STERIS’s Off Site Reprocessing solutions in North America and in his Mobile Solutions role, he oversees the growth and development of STERIS’s mobile business.  Historically, in his GM role he managed an outsourced relationship with Sterilmed, a division of Johnson & Johnson.

Mr. Munroe has previously served as the Senior Vice President of Mobile Medical International Corporation, Vice President for The Fulton Group, Vice President at Somnia, Inc., and Vice President of Client Development for iLIANT Corporation.

Mr. Munroe’s healthcare career began with the Medical Manager Corporation prior to its 1997 initial public offering.  Mr. Munroe holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Northeastern University.


With decades of clinical and research experience in personalized assistive communication technology, Dr. Patel champions the effort to bring VocaliD’s technology to the people who need it most. She is a tenured Professor at Northeastern University’s Bouvé College of Health Sciences.

A native of Canada, Dr. Patel received her B.Sc. in Psychology from University of Calgary and her Masters and PhD in Speech Language Pathology from the University of Toronto. She then completed her post-doctoral studies in speech acoustics at MIT. An internationally renowned expert in speech motor control and assistive communication technology, she has raised over $6M in research funding and her work has been featured on TED, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Wired, etc.

VocalID was a 2017 New England Innovation Award Winner.



As an intellectual property attorney, Carol has extensive experience in all phases of trademark, copyright, and patent matters, domestically and internationally.  She has served in roles at law firms and most recently as in-house counsel for a global consumer products company, providing her with experience on both sides of legal matters – as a client and an attorney.  Her work includes domestic and international trademark portfolio development and management; trademark clearance, registration and enforcement; brand development; advertising; copyright counseling and registration; and intellectual property (IP) licensing, due diligence, and transactional work.


Carol works in a wide range of industries and technologies, representing startups and small companies as well as large and global corporations. She is committed to building collaborative relationships with her clients through an understanding of their businesses, technologies, goals, and challenges.  As a partner and advisor, Carol strives to deliver practical and focused advice so that her clients can get ahead of any issues and obstacles.




AJ (Alfonso) Perez is an engineer, inventor, innovator, entrepreneur, investor, and lecturer. Most recently AJ was the General Manager of Cincinnati Incorporated’s NVBOTS business unit. AJ was previously the Chairman, CEO, and Founder of New Valence Robotics Corporation (NVBOTS), an MIT 3D printing spin-off that invented automated 3D printing, cloud 3D printing, and ultra-high speed multi-metal 3D printing (spun off to form Digital Alloys). AJ holds a BS '13 in Mechanical Engineering and Masters of Engineering in Advanced Manufacturing '14 from MIT. His academic interests, lectures, and research focus on mechanical design, manufacturing processes automation, robotics, and entrepreneurship. AJ has developed and taught several classes during his career. 

AJ is a MIT Presidential fellow, the final Lemelson-MIT Inventor Fellow, was selected as one of Boston Globe's 25 under 25, and won the prestigious Lemelson-MIT "use it" student prize. AJ is the primary inventor of 30+ inventions in the fields of additive manufacturing, mobile manufacturing, industrial IoT, and medical devices. AJ chases opportunitis that leverage his MIT engineering background, expertise in intellectual property, management experience, and international network of investors.


Sarah Rosenkrantz is the Co-Founder of Y2Y Harvard Square, the nation’s first student-run homeless shelter for young adults, which opened in December 2015. 

Sarah is a graduate of Harvard College ’14, where she studied psychology and global health. Y2Y’s work has been featured by NPR, the Boston Globe, the National Network for Youth, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and is a MassChallenge Gold Winner.  Sarah is a Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation Entrepreneur, Forbes 30 Under 30, one of The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s 15 leaders changing the nonprofit world, and honorable mention for the Boston Globe Magazine’s Bostonian of the Year.

Y2Y Network (Y2Y Harvard Square) was a 2018 New England Innovation Award Winner. 


Christina is the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of College Diabetes Network (CDN). Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 14, Christina became an active patient advocate while in college where she started CDN as a campus group in 2009. Due to the overwhelming response to the initial group, Christina expanded CDN into a national non-profit organization serving young adults with diabetes. After graduation, Christina worked at the Joslin Diabetes Center and consulted for the T1D Exchange. 

As CEO of CDN, Christina frequently speaks on topics such as CDN’s programs, research on the young adult population and how to meet their unique needs, non-profit management, women in business, innovation, and start-up organizations. She also serves on the board of directors at the Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition (DPAC). 

College Diabetes Network was a 2017 New England Innovation Award Winner.


Dr. Rothschild is an entrepreneur and an inventor. He is author or coauthor of more than 50 issued and pending patents in the US, and the inventor of several novel x-ray techniques, including Scatter Attenuation Tomography. In the last five years he has started two successful companies: Viken Detection, which designs and manufactures state-of-the art handheld x-ray devices used in the environmental inspection and homeland security spaces and Vaucluse Partners, an algorithmic hedge fund that trades volatility derivatives. 

Peter received his undergraduate degree in physics and mathematics from the Australian National University and his Ph.D. in physics from MIT. Peter lives with his wife Kelly and two children in Newton, Massachusetts.

Viken Detection (Heuresis Corporation at the time) was a 2018 New England Innovation Award Winner.


Mike started his career in marketing but after a few years found his real passion in helping struggling companies find new products or new markets.  Most recently Mike as the Founder and former President of SoClean, where he took the company from conception up through an acquisition well over $100 M. As President of a start up, he was involved with everything from product development and production, fulfillment and logistics, customer support and R&D. As the company expanded he hired additional personnel for key roles but continued to oversee R&D, product development, contract management and logistics. 

SoClean was a winner of the New England Innovation Award in 2017.  Following SoClean, Mike established CEO Flex, LLC to assist start-ups and entrepreneurs in taking their products to market.  The small team of dedicated people that enjoyed the success of SoClean is now working on other opportunities. 


Since 1984, Ken has served as the Chief Executive Officer of BDC Capital. From 1984-2018, Ken also served as the President of BDC Capital. During his tenure the company has grown from a small, single state lending operation to a six state, diversified loan and investment company with offices throughout New England. BDC Capital now manages several mezzanine investment funds, to compliment a broad array of small business loan programs that they have used to serve local area businesses for more than 50 years. BDC Capital now has more than $700 million in loans and investments to hundreds of companies throughout New England.

Ken is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts and Northeastern University and he has won numerous accolades over the years, including being named one of Boston’s Ten Outstanding Young Leaders. BDC Capital has been named the top performing Business Development Corporation in the country and is noted for its innovative programs for small business lending and investing.



Jeff joined TD Bank in December 2011 as a Relationship Manager/Senior Loan Officer after stints with Bank of Boston, Bank of New England and successor banks.  With over 30 years of commercial lending experience in Greater Boston, Jeff focuses on assisting privately held enterprises and commercial real estate investors with their commercial banking needs.

A graduate of Furman University and Bank of Boston's Loan Officer Development Program , he is a member of the Diversity Council at TD Bank and a Director of the New England Business Association. The father of three adult children, Jeff lives in Sharon, MA with his wife, Elisabeth.


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