SSTI Staff

Dan Berglund
President and CEO

Mark Skinner
Vice President and Director, Regional Innovation Acceleration Network (RIAN)

 
 
 

Phillip Battle
Policy Analyst

 

Robert Ksiazkiewicz
Policy Analyst

 

Heidi Findley
Policy Analyst

 

Reese Neader
Research Associate

 

Ruth Gebele
Office
Administrator

 

Noelle Sheets
Director of Membership Services

 

Ginny Goggin
Administrative Assistant

 

Rhiannon Skipper
Associate Editor

 

 


Dan Berglund is the President and CEO of SSTI, a nonprofit organization that leads, supports, and strengthens efforts to improve state and regional economies through science, technology, and innovation. SSTI is the most comprehensive resource available for those involved in technology-based economic development. Leading SSTI since its inception in 1996, Mr. Berglund has helped SSTI develop a nationwide network of practitioners and policymakers dedicated to improving the economy through science, technology and innovation. SSTI works with this network to assist states and communities as they build tech-based economies, conduct research on best practices and trends in tech-based economic development, and encourage cooperation among and between state and federal programs. Prior to joining SSTI, Mr. Berglund worked as a consultant and for the Ohio Department of Development in a variety of positions, including Acting Deputy Director of the Division of Technological Innovation.


Mark Skinner is Vice President of the State Science & Technology Institute. Working with SSTI since 1998, he is a lead developer for SSTI’s annual conference content and served as the editor of the SSTI Weekly Digest. He was the principal author or a co-author on a number of publications, including A Resource Guide for Technology-based Economic Development and State and Federal Perspectives on the SBIR Program. Mr. Skinner also is founding Director of the Regional Innovation Acceleration Network (RIAN), a federally-funded project striving to make public-private investments in innovation-based growth more efficient while achieving greater impact. Applying systems thinking to regional development strategies, RIAN is working to establish a national network of existing and emerging nonprofit Venture Development Organizations for peer-to-peer sharing of information, best/common practices and collaborative investment and entrepreneurship opportunities. Mr. Skinner received his B.A. in Urban and Regional Planning from Miami University (Oxford, OH).


Phillip Battle is a Policy Analyst for SSTI. Mr. Battle writes for the SSTI Digest, manages SSTI’s online resources and curates the @ssti_org Twitter feed. Prior to joining SSTI, he served as a student consultant for the Texas Emerging Technology Fund. As part of his Master's report, Mr. Battle prepared an overview of that program with recommendations based on the practices of other state high-tech venture funds. He also has worked as a graduate research assistant at the IC2 Institute in Austin and as a member of the 2006 World Congress on Information Technology policy research team. Mr. Battle holds a M.P.Aff. from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.


As a policy analyst for the State Science and Technology Institute (SSTI), Heidi Findley primarily focuses on maintaining an internal website for NIST’s  Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program that provides political, economic development and budget information on all 50 states and Puerto Rico. Her work entails researching and editing news articles and other information covering the states’ economic development initiatives proposed by the governors and/or the legislatures and the implementation of those programs, especially those that impact the manufacturing industry, as well as providing information on governors’ proposed budgets and legislatures’ approved budgets. Ms. Findley has extensive experience in this field, having worked for Ohio’s Department of Development and served as Press Secretary to former Ohio Gov. Dick Celeste. Ms. Findley holds a B.F.A. from Centenary College in Hackettstown, New Jersey, and took additional courses in Economics and Political Science at The Ohio State University. She attended The American School in Lugano, Switzerland, where she studied European Art History and International Political Science.


In the position of office administrator, Ruth Gebele is responsible for day-to-day operations, including financial management, payroll and HR administration. She also is responsible for providing administrative assistance for management as well as all SSTI team members. Upon joining SSTI in 2010, Ms. Gebele brought 10 years of financial and administrative experience within equipment leasing.  Ms. Gebele received her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Ohio University with a minor in Business Administration.


Rob Ksiazkiewicz is a Policy Analyst for SSTI where his duties include writing for the SSTI Weekly Digest, producing the Funding Supplement to the SSTI Digest and contributing to several projects related to state tax credit programs, advanced manufacturing and crowdfunding for tech-based economic development. Currently, he is working on a compendium of the innovation and manufacturing programs across the country. Mr. Ksiazkiewicz received his dual Bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Sociology from the Pennsylvania State University and his Master's degree in Public and International Affairs from the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh.


Since joining SSTI in 2012, Reese Neader has served as a Research Associate focusing on inclusive competitiveness, renewable energy, and university-industry partnerships. He is a 2010 graduate of Denison University, where he studied political science and participated in the Lugar Program for foreign service, interning in the office of Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. While attending university, Mr. Neader was also Senior Fellow for Defense & Diplomacy with the Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network. After graduating, he served as Policy Director for the Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network and in 2011 received a grant from the U.S. State Department to train political organizers in Egypt. In 2012, Mr. Neader served as youth vote director for the Obama presidential campaign in Pennsylvania.


Noelle Sheets serves as the Director of Membership Services, taking the lead on a wide range of projects centered on building mutually beneficial relationships that enhance the technology-based economic development community. This includes member recruitment and retention, and SSTI’s annual conference logistics and sponsorship activities. Ms. Sheets brings years of nonprofit association experience to SSTI, having joined the team in 2005 after serving at the American Cancer Society and The Seal of Ohio Girl Scout Council. In her current role, Ms. Sheets works closely with all SSTI staff providing the project management skills to ensure that SSTI is on track to meet its goals. She is responsible for monitoring the Member Listserv, SSTI Technical Assistance Projects and coordinates SSTI Webinars that keep members informed on new developments important to them. Ms. Sheets graduated cum laude from Capital University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations.


As Associate Editor for SSTI, Rhiannon Skipper serves as a lead writer for SSTI publications, seeking to capture and convey investment priorities across states and regions through the SSTI Digest and the annual Trends in TBED report. She has helped bring national recognition to innovation-based activities as program manager of SSTI’s Excellence in TBED Awards, applying communication strategies to encourage participation and increase awareness. Ms. Skipper also provides research and writing assistance to SSTI’s President and CEO and Vice President. Prior to joining SSTI, Ms. Skipper worked in the advertising department for The Columbus Dispatch and has contributed writing and editing talent to several association and nonprofit publications. Ms. Skipper holds a B.A. in Public Affairs Journalism from The Ohio State University.