SSTI Staff

Dan Berglund
President and CEO

Mark Skinner
Executive Vice President


Michele Hujber
Senior Writer/Editor


Susan Niple
Membership Director


Jason Rittenberg
Vice President    


Laura Lacy Graham
Project Administrator/Policy Analyst


Casey Nemecek
Program Director

  Jerry Coughter
Program Director

Sobia Saied
Policy Analyst


Conor Gowder
Policy Analyst


Connie Crow


Mualla Adyemir
Research Associate


Dan Berglund is the President and CEO of SSTI, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving initiatives that support prosperity through science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship. 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 Executive Vice President of SSTI. Working with SSTI since 1998, Mark Skinner is second-in-command at SSTI focused on both the overall strategic direction of SSTI and its core operations. He has served as the editor of the SSTI Weekly Digest and 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 founded 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 and to establish a national network of existing and emerging nonprofit Venture Development Organizations. Mr. Skinner received his B.A. in urban and regional planning from Miami University (Oxford, OH).

Laura Lacy Graham is Project Administrator/Policy Analyst for SSTI.  Ms. Lacy has extensive experience with program coordination, research, editorial production, and office management.  She was the research support coordinator for UNL's multi-national ANDRILL (ANtarctic geologic DRILLing) Program; a community involvement specialist with Ecology & Environment's EPA Region 7 START and Brownfields Programs; and, before joining RIAN, the office manager for Northwest Geophysics. Ms. Lacy holds a B.A. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in History with minors in Political Science and Art History.

Michele Hujber is Senior Writer/Editor for SSTI, researching and writing for the SSTI Digest and other publications. She began her writing career at Rutgers University, writing about environmental and biological sciences and university outreach to industry and the community. She established her public relations business in 2008, handling communications for organizations including the New Jersey Business Incubation Network, UIDP, and upSkill, a federally funded initiative administered by the New Jersey Institute of Technology to help unemployed mid-career technology workers. She also wrote regularly for the publications Industry-Sponsored Research Management and Technology Transfer Tactics. Ms. Hujber received her bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Dayton and Master in Communication and Information Studies from Rutgers University.

Jason Rittenberg is Vice President for SSTI. His work includes managing SSTI’s EDA-funded Tech-based Economic Development (TBED) Community of Practice, coordinating policy education and outreach activities, cultivating partnership and project opportunities, speaking at regional and national innovation policy events, and contributing to the SSTI Weekly Digest and research projects. Mr. Rittenberg previously led and supported research projects for the Council of Development Finance Agencies, the State of Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, and the Cline Center for Democracy. He is a co-author of News on the Internet: Information and Citizenship in the 21st Century and holds a B.S. from Ohio University and an M.A. from the University of Illinois.

Susan Niple is the Membership Director at SSTI. She provides support to members as well as coordinates and maintains records. Susan has spent the bulk of her career in the Lawn Care, Landscaping, and Tree Industry working in many capacities including sales, production, and office administration, and as an entrepreneur. Most recently, she worked as a botanist at Scioto Gardens, a native plant nursery in Delaware, Ohio. Susan received dual Bachelor’s degrees in Botany and Women’s Studies from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

Casey Nemecek is a Program Director for SSTI’s Technology-based Economic Development (TBED) Community of Practice, which is supported by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA). Ms. Nemecek’s previous work focused on program design and building partnerships to bring education and industry into alignment. Most recently, she supported workforce development efforts in Indiana through the promotion and implementation of registered youth apprenticeship programs. Casey holds a B.A. from Vassar College and a M.P.A. from Indiana University O’Neill School of Public & Environmental Affairs.

Jerry Coughter is a Program Director for SSTI’s project with the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) to build a Community of Practice focused on EDA’s important technology-based economic development (TBED) investment priority area. Mr. Coughter began his TBED career at Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology where he served as Industry Director for Biotechnology and Executive Director of Governor Mark Warner’s Biotechnology Initiative. He later served as Assistant Vice President for Regional Economic Development at George Mason University and as the founding Executive Director of the Dubois Center at UNC Charlotte. He holds both a B.S. (Clemson University) an MS (Virginia Commonwealth University) in microbiology & immunology and an MBA from Shenandoah University. As an avid Rotarian, Mr. Coughter volunteers with numerous nonprofits with a particular focus on access to health care and clean water.

Sobia Saied is responsible for SSTI’s Funding Supplement, an exclusive weekly newsletter that provides SSTI member organizations with information about hundreds of federal and foundation tech-based economic development and R&D funding opportunities each year. Ms. Saied has a B.S. in political science from the University of Illinois, Chicago, and a master’s in public administration from Pennsylvania State University.

Conor Gowder is a Policy Analyst for SSTI. Mr. Gowder is responsible for developing SSTI’s Useful Stats article series, performing various research-based projects, and supporting SSTI’s Tech-Based Economic Development Community of Practice. He holds a B.A. and MPP from the University of California, Irvine School of Social Ecology.