SSTI Staff

Dan Berglund
President and CEO

Mark Skinner
Executive Vice President


Ellen Marrison
Content Strategist 


Susan Niple
Membership Director


Jonathan Dillon
Policy Analyst


Laura Lacy Graham
Policy Analyst


Jason Rittenberg
Vice President    


Cathy Coldiron
Policy Analyst


Casey Nemecek
Program Director


Jerry Coughter
Program Director


Lisa Clayton
Events Coordinator


Sobia Saied


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 the Assistant Director of RIAN and a 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.

Jonathan Dillon works to support several initiatives at SSTI as a policy analyst, including monitoring technology and innovation policy across the country, especially for our manufacturing partners, and contributing to the SSTI Weekly Digest. Mr. Dillon is a recent graduate from the University of Maryland and has a bachelor’s in public policy.

Ellen Marrison is the Content Strategist at SSTI, researching and writing for the SSTI Digest and other publications, as well as managing communication and promotional materials for the organization.  She began her career in newspapers, writing for several daily newspapers in Ohio before working for a public relations and marketing firm in Toledo. There she coordinated different communications strategies for both corporate and non-profit clients. She established her own business, consulting for a policy organization and authoring a book before coming to SSTI.  Ms. Marrison received her Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Bowling Green State University and a Master of City and Regional Planning degree from The Ohio State 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.

Cathy Coldiron is a Policy Analyst for SSTI. Ms. Coldiron is primarily responsible for researching spending on TBED programs across all 50 states. In addition to budget and legislative research, she provides support for various special projects as needed. She holds a B.A. in Political Science and an M.A. in Public Administration from Ohio University. While at Ohio University, Ms. Coldiron conducted research on small business incubation and staffed the National Business Incubation Association. Ms. Coldiron's previous work experience includes serving small technology oriented companies via Ohio's SBIR Program, managing funding for local government public works improvement projects, and coordinating grant applications for a central Ohio civil engineering firm. 

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.

As SSTI’s events coordinator, Lisa Clayton supports all aspects of in-person and virtual meetings, including SSTI’s Annual Conference, Senior Leadership Forum and webinars. Ms. Clayton has an extensive background in the events industry and graduated with a B.A. in English from La Salle University.

Sobia Saied is joining our team as a contributor to SSTI’s Funding Supplement 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.