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Please note that our Annual Conference has been rescheduled (again) due significant snow and is now being held on December 17th, 2019. We have added an additional panel and lunch to the conference. We have also combined the conference with our Holiday Mixer for a unique networking reception. Please see updated agenda below.

If December 17th works for you, the ticket you have already purchased will automatically apply for that day. If you are unable to attend on that date, please email info@mainebioscience.org and we will issue you a refund.

Join us for BioME 2019 Annual Conference on December 17th at University of Southern Maine in Portland. Learn about the life sciences industry in Maine, network with biotech and medical device community and receive a copy of BioME 2019 Industry Report!

The theme of this year’s Conference is “State of the Industry” and we will start off by sharing key findings from the 2019 BioME Industry Report focused on employment, earnings, establishments, economic impact, investments and other important aspects of this sector. This BioME report will be distributed on the day of the event!

Agenda (revised):

11:00-11:30     Registration, Networking, Expo Tables
11:30-11:45     Welcome Remarks
                              Key findings from the 2019 State of the Industry Report by BioME
11:45-12:45      Panel Discussion: Talent Acquisition and Retention
                              Panelists: Jeff D’Italia (Stratacuity), Ann Yolish (Elanco),  Kelli Kim (IDEXX),
………………………….Robert Austring (Lighthouse Imaging), Nate Wildes (Live & Work in Maine, moderator)
12:45-1:30        Lunch, Networking, Expo Tables
1:30-2:30          Panel Discussion: The Impact of Life Sciences on Maine Economy
                              Panelists: Martha Bentley (Maine Department of Economic Community Development),
………………………….Dr. Kristy Townsend (University of Maine), David Eagleson (The Baker Company)
………………………….Peter DelGreco (Maine & Co., moderator)

2:30-2:45          Coffee Networking Break & Expo
2:45-3:30          Keynote Address: Maine & the Life Sciences Industry: The Road to Opportunity:
………………………….How a Med-Device Startup won $1M with Maine Talent and Resources
                             John Konsin, Prapela
3:30-3:45          BioME Updates
3:45-4:30          Closing Remarks: From Lab to Market: Lessons on Commercialization
                              Dr. Jill Becker, Kebotix
5:00-7:00          Holiday Mixer, Networking Reception
                             Location: Cellardoor Winery at the Point
                             4 Thompsons Point, #110, Portland, ME 04102




Keynote Speaker:

John Konsin, Co-founder & CEO at Prapela, Inc.
A 2x CEO, is the principal founder and CEO of Prapela, Inc., a company focused on supporting infant health with a novel, drug free solution. Konsin is among four contest winners to receive $1 million each for products created to help fight opiod abuse through the Ohio Opiod Technology Challenge. John previously held leadership and executive positions at 4 different Fortune 200 companies and one FTSE 100 company. He has led or assisted in the generation of more than $5.4 billion in revenue and launched over 100 products. For over 35 years he has worked closely with Physicians and leaders in the Pediatrics, Sports Medicine, Pain Management, Ob/GYN and Cardiology. His product and product development experience includes biologics, implants, capital equipment, disposables, durable medical equipment, lab testing, field service and contract manufacturing. Starting out in marketing, John’s career led to additional roles in business development, operations, product development, sales and general management. John holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Duquesne University and an MBA from the University of Colorado. Read more about Konsin’s success here.


Martha Bentley, Manager, Small Business and Entrepreneurial Development, Department of Economic and Community Development.
Martha Bentley joined the State of Maine’s Department of Economic & Community Development as the Small Business & Entrepreneurial Development Manager in July 2019.  In this role, she works directly with small businesses, startups and entrepreneurs to help them navigate State of Maine resources and requirements. She also builds connections for stronger and more effective systems of support for growth.  Previously, Martha worked for MTI managing innovation infrastructure strategy, including the cluster initiative program and R&D bonding programs.

Jeff D’Italia, Vice President, Stratacuity
Over the past 20 years Jeff has been a key influencer and active contributor to the Boston area Biotech and Pharmaceutical community from a staffing and recruiting lens and has played an integral part in hiring over 2,000 life science professionals in that time. Having started his career in Life Science Staffing in 1999 with an established nationwide staffing firm and transitioning to become a partner with a small startup at Stratacuity in Portsmouth, NH in 2006, he has played multiple hands on roles to help his clients hire and succeed in the war for talent. Jeff has worked extensively with companies and candidates on hiring, retention and recruitment which has helped in navigating the various challenges that exist in the competitive New England Life Science arena. He’s always relied on a strong hands on foundation in the Life Science sector.

Nate Wildes, Executive Director, Live & Work in Maine, moderator
As Executive Director for Live and Work in Maine, Nate is focused on raising awareness about the career opportunities and world-class quality of life experienced by those of us who live and work in Maine. A University of Maine graduate who followed employment to the mid-west only to come running back to the Way Life Should Be, Nate knows first-hand how under-appreciated life in Maine is – and how much opportunity there is for our future. Nate is also co-founder of Flight Deck Brewing on Brunswick Landing (the re-developed Brunswick Naval Air Station). The production brewery is open 6 days a week, offering beer, food, and family-friendly events. Also look for cans of Flight Deck beer at your local Maine craft beer store!

Kristy Townsend, PhD., Associate Professor of Neurobiology, University of Maine
Kristy Townsend, Ph.D. trained as a neuroscientist and has been investigating how the brain and nervous system affect physiological energy balance for more than 15 years.  Currently an Associate Professor of Neurobiology at University of Maine, Townsend oversees a laboratory of 15-20 students at various levels of study, and also teaches Introduction to Neuroscience and an upper level Cell Biology course.  Research in the Townsend Laboratory is focused on mechanisms of adult neural plasticity and neurogenesis, as well as how the brain talks to adipose (or, fat) tissues via peripheral nerves.  These investigations inform the prevention and treatment of metabolic diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. The lab recently became more interested in the impacts of dietary fats and aging on energy balance and peripheral nerve function.  Prior to joining the faculty at UMaine, Townsend was a postdoctoral fellow and then junior faculty member at the Joslin Diabetes Center at Harvard Medical School in Boston.  While there, she was the recipient of the American Diabetes Association’s Junior Faculty Award.

Peter DelGreco, President and CEO, Maine & Co., moderator
Peter serves as President and CEO of Maine & Co., a privately funded business attraction and economic development organization. Charged with helping companies establish successful and profitable operations in Maine, Maine & Co.’s Board of Directors consists of top executives from Maine’s business community. During Peter’s tenure, Maine & Co. has attracted numerous companies to Maine that now employ thousands of people across the state. Through Peter’s leadership, Maine & Co. has attracted companies from various sectors, growth stages, and sizes to locations throughout the state of Maine. Portfolio companies include: athenahealth, Sun Life Financial, Carbonite, Grand Rounds, and Wayfair. Prior to joining Maine & Co. in 2004 as the Director of Client Services, Peter worked in Boston and Washington, DC in the food industry. Peter was responsible for building new operations in those geographies. Responsibilities included: general management, sales, relationship building, inventory management, and forecasting. Peter is a graduate of Colby College and he earned his MBA from the University of Southern Maine. Peter and his wife and son reside in North Yarmouth, Maine.

Kelli Kim, Sr. Talent Acquisition Specialist, IDEXX
Kelli joined the IDEXX HR organization in 2012 working in HR operations before moving into Talent Acquisition. She has partnered with all different areas of the organization delivering key talent to help accomplish business strategy and objectives. Kelli was responsible for building an effective direct-sourcing model for the Finance organization, as well as building out the IDEXX internship program. She currently serves as the Senior Talent Advisor for the Scientific and R&D Engineering communities.  She plays an integral part in the continued evolution of the talent attraction and retention strategy across the R&D organizations, streamlining recruitment processes and moving towards proactive pipelining approaches. Though not a native-Mainer, she has called Southern Maine home for over a decade. She is a University of Maine graduate with a BS in Business Administration with a concentration in International Business and minor in Political Science. She also has her HR Certificate from the University of Southern Maine.  When not at work you can find her enjoying the outdoors, working on home improvement projects and spending time with friends and family.

David Eagleson, President, The Baker Company
Mr. Eagleson, a Maine native, is President of The Baker Company based in Sanford, Maine, a manufacturer of equipment used in life sciences laboratories and clinical environments. Baker is the world’s leader in the design of microbiological safety cabinets, laminar flow benches, isolators, and fume hoods. The company has recently broadened their product range to include the design and production of precision microbiological incubators and oxygen controlled workstations. Mr. Eagleson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering (BSE) from Princeton University, and a Masters degree in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of California at Berkeley. David currently serves on the board of directors for the Bioscience Association of Maine.

Robert Austring, Chief Executive Officer & Business Development Officer, Lighthouse Imaging
Robert has over 40 years in the Medical Device Industry. During this time, he participated both as an individual contributor and in leadership roles in positions ranging across Product Development, Operations and Business Development. His experience includes working for Fortune 100 companies, start-ups and privately-owned business. His experience across the various business disciplines and companies has provided a broad perspective from which he operates. He has spent the last decade leading an OEM medical device firm and taking client’s products from concept through commercialization. This includes both durable and consumable product lines, specializing in electronic based instrumentation.

Ann Yolish, Operations Manager, Elanco
Throughout her sixteen years working in the pharmaceutical industry, Ann has held roles in Manufacturing, Quality, and Operational Excellence with Eli Lilly, Novartis Vaccines & Diagnostics, and Elanco Animal Health. Ann is currently the Operations Manager for Elanco at the Winslow, Maine, facility. Prior to that, she held the role of Lean Global Change Agent, working across global quality and manufacturing sites. She is a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and earned APICS Certification in Production and Inventory Management. Ann earned her Bachelor’s degree from Purdue University and MBA from Indiana University.


Jill Becker, PhD., CEO, Kebotix
Currently, Jill is CEO of Kebotix, a technology platform company that combines cutting-edge AI and robotics to rapidly innovate new materials. Jill’s prior experience serving as CEO and founder includes 02139 Inc., a tech consulting company she launched in 2013. Prior to that, Jill was CEO and founder of Cambridge NanoTech Inc., directly following and based on her doctorate degree. Jill’s accomplishments include an Ernst Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in Energy and Materials. Among the numberous patents she holds, one includes a technology essential to key components of computers and has been cited as “revolutionizing the manufacture of semiconductor components, making better computers available around the word, and contributing to the growth of the information economy.” Jill earned both doctorate and masters degrees in chemistry from Harvard. She also holds an honors bachelor of science degree in chemistry from the University of Toronto.