SCRA IS DEDICATED TO FOSTERING THE INNOVATION ECONOMY OF SOUTH CAROLINA.
As Executive Director of SCRA, Bob leads an organization that fosters South Carolina’s Innovation Economy by supporting entrepreneurs, enabling academic research and commercialization, and connecting industry with innovators.
Prior to joining SCRA, he worked in various executive roles for 26 years with Battelle Memorial Institute and affiliated companies. Bob most recently was the Managing Director of Battelle’s subsidiary, 360ip, an international investment, fund management and commercialization company headquartered in Singapore. Previous assignments included Vice President of Technology Commercialization and Vice President of Environmental Science and Technology at Battelle as well as Director of Technology Commercialization at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Prior to Battelle, he was a manager with the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Bob holds a Bachelor’s degree (Phi Beta Kappa) from Rutgers University and a Master’s degree (Exxon Graduate Fellow) from George Washington University. He also completed the Executive Management Program at Stanford School of Business/National University of Singapore.
DIRECTOR, SC EPSCOR/IDEA
Dr. Aziz directs the SC EPSCoR/IDeA State Office, which leverages federal and state support to increase South Carolina’s research capabilities, infuse research into education, provide opportunities for diverse groups of institutions, students, faculty, and disciplines in STEM; and increase
collaboration among the state's science and technology stakeholders.
Prior to joining the program, Nadim served as a Professor and Department Chair of Civil Engineering, Associate Provost for Faculty Development, and Interim Provost and Interim Dean of the Graduate school at Clemson University. As a Professor, he taught courses in fluid mechanics and conducted research for state, federal and private sponsors. He received his
BSCE, MS and PhD in Engineering Science from the University of Mississippi. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers.
DIRECTOR, MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS
Jessica is the Director of Marketing and Communications at SCRA. She leads the organization in developing communications and social media strategies, oversees industry sponsorships and events, serves as spokeswoman and handles state and federal legislative proposals and requests. Prior to SCRA she was the Marketing Manager for an educational math software startup in Charleston, SC.
Jessica holds a B.S. in Graphic Communications and an MBA in Entrepreneurship & Innovation from Clemson University.
Randy is the Director of Facilities for SCRA. He provides overall management of assets and facilities under the SCRA umbrella, including all SCRA research parks, tenant leases and design and construction management of the organization's research facilities.
DIRECTOR, INDUSTRY PROGRAMS
Cole Dudley is the Director of Industry Programs for SCRA where he oversees industry collaboration efforts within the state. Cole has extensive experience working across the entire innovation pipeline with public, private and academic organizations. Most recently, he was engaged to develop a plan for an innovation district fostering company relocations and technology commercialization.
He has commercialized university technologies by founding a successful startup company and a corporate joint venture. As an early stage venture capitalist he worked extensively with research institutions and early stage companies. In addition, he bought and turned around a manufacturing company.
Cole holds a Master's of Interdisciplinary Engineering from Texas A&M and a Bachelor's in Finance from Iowa State University. He completed Harvard's Marketing Innovative Technologies Program and is a certified merger and acquisition advisor.
DIRECTOR OF HUMAN RESOURCES
As the Director of Human Resources, Mrs. Lewis is directly responsible for the overall administration, coordination and evaluation of the human resource function for the organization.
Yolanda brings over 20 years of human resources experience including employee relations, performance management, talent acquisition and management, benefits, compensation, HR processes and policies, compliance, and training.
Yolanda holds a M.A. in Human Resources Management from Siena Heights University.
DIRECTOR, FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION
John Sircy, CPA, CMA, CFM, CSCA
As the Director of Finance and Administration for SCRA, John is responsible for financial planning, analysis and accounting functions including cash management, as well as annual financial operating plan preparation and strategic planning. He also manages the financial support function for SC Launch. Information technology and risk management are administrative functions managed by John.
Prior to SCRA, John was the Vice President for Finance and Administration at Columbia College, as well as serving as an adjunct professor at the College. Prior to that, he served as President of Henry A. Petter Supply Company, LLC headquartered in Kentucky.
John is a licensed CPA in South Carolina and is a Certified Management Accountant, Certified Financial Manager and holds the credential of Certified in Strategy and Competitive Analysis. He earned a BA from Knox College and an MBA from Western Governors University.
DIRECTOR, ENTREPRENEURIAL PROGRAMS, SC LAUNCH
Jill Sorensen, J.D.
Jill serves as Director of SCRA's Entrepreneurial SC Launch program and represents SCRA as the Executive Director of the SCRA affiliate company, SC Launch, Inc.
Prior to joining SCRA, Jill directed an innovation management consultancy that advised startups across the health, energy, transportation and manufacturing sectors. Jill co-founded and directed the Baltimore-Washington Electric Vehicle Initiative, a division of the non-profit Electric Vehicle Association of the Greater Washington DC area.
Additionally, she served as Executive Director of the Johns Hopkins University Technology Transfer Office and taught innovation management at the university. Before joining Johns Hopkins, Jill worked for the University of Illinois directing its Office of Technology Management and serving as in-house intellectual property counsel.
Jill is a registered patent attorney, earned her J.D. from DePaul University and her B.A. from Northwestern University.
DIRECTOR, ACADEMIC PROGRAMS
Christine Dixon Thiesing
As the Director of Academic Programs, Ms. Dixon Thiesing’s focus will be to coordinate translational research across South Carolina’s academic institutions to enhance funding opportunities. The role also entails developing centers of excellence founded upon expertise and resources located throughout the state.
Prior to SCRA, she was the Associate Director of Technology Development for MUSC Foundation for Research Development. As the Associate Director, she identified resources for the maturation of medical technologies and supported more than twenty startup companies. In addition, she recently co-founded PriMed, an accelerator dedicated to providing a business foundation for medical device startups.
SC Launch Staff
UPSTATE REGIONAL MANAGER, SC LAUNCH
UPSTATE REGIONAL MANAGER, SC LAUNCH
Operations Manager, SC LAUNCH
IT INDUSTRY MANAGER & SC LAUNCH MIDLANDS REGIONAL MANAGER
COASTAL REGIONAL MANAGER, SC LAUNCH
SC Launch Events and Programs Coordinator
SC EPSCOR/IDEA COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER
SC EPSCOR/IDEA PROGRAM MANAGER
SC EPSCOR/IDEA FINANCIAL MANAGER
Facilities & Innovation Centers
SR. FACILITIES ADMINISTRATOR
SR. FACILITIES ADMINISTRATOR
IT Industry Manager
ENGINEERED MATERIALS INDUSTRY MANAGER
Manufacturing Industry Manager
Finance | Administration | Corporate
Marketing Communications Coordinator
Senior Financial Analyst
PROGRAM MANAGER, ACADEMIC PROGRAMS
FINANCIAL ANALYST II
SR. CONTRACTS AND FINANCE ADMINISTRATOR