CONNECT Announcement PDF 

As you are aware, since Duane's tragic accident, we have been diligently seeking a new leader for CONNECT. In some respects we have had the luxury of time thanks to Tyler Orion's agreement to step in as Interim President the day after Duane was hospitalized. Tyler has done a fabulous job keeping CONNECT on course and has also been an important member of the Search Committee that was established to seek a new CEO for CONNECT. Still, we've been anxious to fill this position to make sure CONNECT continues to thrive as a pillar of our innovation economy.

The Search Committee was constituted to represent a cross section of CONNECT stakeholders. In addition to Tyler, the committee included:

    • Malin Burnham
    • Kitty Mackey
    • Mary Walshok
    • Ted Roth
    • Marco Thompson
    • Rory Moore
    • David Hale
    • Trindl Reeves
    • Don Rosenberg
    • Paul Laikind - Chair

We have also had the benefit of the expert services of Carrie Stone, the driving force behind cStone and Associates, a respected, internationally focused executive search and leadership consulting firm that specializes in performing corporate officer and board assignments (  Carrie donated her services and spent countless hours on this search, keeping us focused with a process that all of us on the Search Committee greatly appreciated.  We are very grateful for her help and expert advice. If any of you require the services of an executive recruiter, I highly recommend Carrie!

When we embarked on this search, Carrie conducted interviews with representatives of CONNECT’s major stakeholders, to define and align the criteria that we would seek in a new leader.  This resulted in a detailed position specification that included requisite candidate experience. A summary of what we were seeking is listed below:

  • Successful tech/life sciences entrepreneur
    • 10 – 15 year+ track record of entrepreneurial leadership
    • CEO/COO/GM preferred
  • Significant fund raising success
  • CONNECTor – networking “MVP”
  • Influential and proactive leader
  • Visionary & strategic thinker
  • Enthusiasm for CONNECT mission
  • Financial & business acumen
    • P & L responsibility/accountability

We initially identified a candidate pool of over 60 individuals. After evaluating these candidates in accordance with the position specification, we narrowed it down to 14 candidates that were presented to the Search Committee. Based on a review by the Committee, we further narrowed the search down to seven candidates who were interviewed by a subset of the Search Committee members. From there, we narrowed it down to four candidates, who were interviewed by all members of the Committee.

I believe any one of the final four candidates would've been a reasonable choice, but there can be only one leader.  I'm pleased to say that the Search Committee was unanimous in its selection of a final candidate – we selected Mr. Gregory M. McGee to be the new CEO of CONNECT!

A press release regarding Greg's appointment is below, so I won't go into details here about his background. I am also attaching his CV, which will provide more detailed information than we arereleasing generally. Suffice it to say, all members of the Search Committee were extremely impressed by Greg's enthusiasm, vision and capabilities.  We are very excited for him to join the organization. In speaking with people that Greg worked with in the past, we heard nothing but praise, which only confirmed our impressions. Greg's appointment was approved by the Executive Committee of the board and he will be joining CONNECT starting today.

I hope you will all join me in welcoming Greg into the CONNECT family. We will, of course, provide him with the opportunity to introduce himself at the next board meeting. While I am sure he will have his hands full initially, I expect that he will soon reach out to each of you to gather your views and advice as he charts the course for what I think of as CONNECT 3.0.

Finally, I'm pleased to note that Tyler has agreed to continue working with Greg closely during the transition. I hope other members of the board will also step up as needed and help smooth his transition into the position.

Best regards,



Paul Laikind, Ph.D.

President and Chief Executive Officer

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