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Women's Entrepreneurship Symposium | Speakers

Women's Entrepreneurship Symposium. May 30-31, University of Denver.

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Cary Kennedy

Cary Kennedy

Cary Kennedy
Deputy Mayor
Denver

Mayor Michael B. Hancock recently appointed Cary Kennedy as Deputy Mayor for the City and County of Denver. Currently serving as the City's Chief Financial Officer, Kennedy will stand second in the mayoral line of succession, acting as chief executive when the Mayor is unavailable.

"Cary is a natural fit to serve as our Deputy Mayor due to the nature of her position as CFO and her in-depth knowledge of the city," Mayor Hancock said. "Having grown up in Denver, she has a rich understanding of the inner workings and a deep love of the city that will serve this administration and the people of Denver well."

Kennedy previously served as the Colorado State Treasurer from 2007 to 2011. A sound fiscal manager, she effectively protected and grew the states investments through the worst recession in over 70 years.

Before serving as Treasurer, Kennedy worked as a budget analyst for Gov. Roy Romer, followed serving as a fiscal analyst for the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing. She left the Department to lead a broad bi-partisan coalition to increase funding for Colorado’s public schools through passing Amendment 23 in November of 2000. From 2004 to 2005, Kennedy served as policy director for House Speaker Andrew Romanoff and assisted in developing Colorado’s Referendum C, which voters passed in 2005. She has received high accolades from city and state leaders because of her dedication to public service and her ability to work in a fair manner.

"It's an honor to be chosen to serve as Mayor Hancock's Deputy Mayor," Kennedy said. "This position comes with great responsibility, but should the need arise, I know I am up to the challenge."

A 1991 charter amendment changed the line of succession, allowing the mayor to designate a Deputy Mayor from among his or her department managers. As CFO, Kennedy is responsible for managing the city and county's finances and presenting the Mayor with the annual budget estimate. Kennedy was sworn-in as Deputy Mayor this morning at 8 a.m., Tuesday, Aug. 23.

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Katina Banks

Katina Banks

Katina Banks
Visiting Assistant Professor
University of Denver

Katina Banks joins the University of Denver Sturm College of Law faculty as a Visiting Assistant Professor to teach intellectual property, contracts and other IP-related courses. Her research and scholarship will center upon intellectual property law with a substantive focus on trademarks and copyright, licensing, the expansion of use and scope of intellectual property rights, and the interaction between the different types of intellectual property protections.


Prior to joining the Sturm College of Law, Professor Banks practiced law in the trademark, copyright and brand management group at Dorsey & Whitney LLP. As a partner at Dorsey, she assisted clients with a wide array of domestic and international trademark, copyright, domain name, advertising, customs and licensing matters. Banks earned her law degree from Capital University Law School with honors. Prior to law school, she worked as an athletic administrator for University of Dayton. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

 

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Pamela Riddle Bird, Ph.D.

Pamela Riddle Bird, Ph.D.

Pamela Riddle Bird, Ph.D.
Founder and CEO
Innovative Product Technologies, Inc.

Dr. Pamela Bird is an internationally recognized commercialization expert.  She is the Founder and CEO of Innovative Product Technologies, Inc. (IPT, Inc.). IPT, Inc. is a product and technology based market commercialization corporation located in Gainesville, Florida with a branch office in Sandpoint, Idaho. She has been on the forefront of commercializing innovation and technology for the last three decades.  Dr. Bird opened the third publicly funded innovation center in the United States.  Only four universities at that time had licensing divisions to further develop their own technology. 

Dr. Bird is a “key player” in the technology-transfer process. She is a liaison between inventor organizations, venture capital organizations, entrepreneurial networks and research park facilities. In fact, Dr. Bird was interviewed and has served as a consultant to ABC television network 20/20 as a national new product development and commercialization expert. She works diligently with her clients (independent inventors) to bring new products to the end consumer with “hands on” experience by working with national buyers in retailing, pricing, promoting, packaging, and distributing products. She also works with manufacturers regarding production of new products and investors to capitalize new business ventures. Dr. Bird helps build businesses from the idea stage as the products and technologies develop and are introduced to the worldwide market to a corporate level.   She was a Product Evaluator for the ABC television network series, American Inventor. 

Dr. Bird is the author of over 70 publications and has been quoted and featured in numerous newspapers throughout the country including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Barron’s - The Dow Jones Business and Financial Weekly, Forbes Magazine and the Miami Herald. She has appeared as a guest on numerous television shows including the GOLDEN LIFESTYLES TV Show.   Dr. Bird was a "Product Evaluator" for ABC television's new series titled, "American Inventor."

Dr. Bird is the author of Inventing for Dummies® published by Wiley Publishing Company, owner of the Dummies® series.   At the request of the U.S. Consulate, Dr. Bird served as the “keynote” via satellite conference with China officials regarding new product commercialization and evaluation in the United States.

Dr. Bird is the Founder of the Inventors Educational Foundation. This is a non-profit public charity to assist in the educational, as well as commercialization needs of innovators and entrepreneurs with new ideas, products and technologies from all ages and walks of life. She co-branded the first credit card in the nation with MBNA (one of the largest credit card companies in the world) to start the first credit card for innovators, patent attorneys and patent agents. All proceeds Dr. Bird receives from this card are donated to the Inventors Educational Foundation. 

Dr. Pamela Bird and her husband, Dr. Forrest Bird, are the Founders of the Bird Aviation Museum and Invention Center.  This is the world’s only aeromedical and innovation museum featuring more than unique 21 aircraft, rare vintage cars and a unique display of inventions from some of the greatest inventors in history that have impacted the world forever.  The museum also includes over 100 medical inventions invented by Dr. Forrest Bird including the medical respirator, inventions from the pioneering of medi-evac, anti-g suit pressure regulator and the Baby Bird® (First mass produced worldwide respirator for babies lowering the mortality rate for premature babies from 70% to 10%). The museum’s motto is, “One person can change the world and it can be you!”  The Bird’s hope is to get more young people interested in math, science, innovation and aviation.

Dr. Pamela Bird is a licensed building contractor in both commercial and residential construction.  She is also a licensed pilot who again, will be flying in the Air Classic Races.  Other interests include, horseback riding, snow and water skiing, traveling, gardening and boating. 

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Neal S. Cohen

Neal S. Cohen

Neal S. Cohen
Small Business Ombudsman
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)

Neal S. Cohen serves as the Small Business Ombudsman at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).  Neal provides guidance on product safety regulations specifically tailored to small businesses.  He keeps up to date on the impact of CPSC regulations on businesses through maintaining relationships with manufacturers, retailers, and distributors in a variety of industries.  Neal uses this information to make recommendations to senior leaders at CPSC on ways to solve systemic problems and minimize the effects of new and existing CPSC regulations without compromising product safety.  

In addition to responding directly to individual business inquiries, Neal works with relevant trade associations to address broader small business concerns from various industries.  He has been very involved in the implementation of new Commission regulations and initiatives to make certain that the concerns of the small business community are considered by the agency.  Neal is also working to enhance CPSC’s educational offerings for the small business community by producing more plain language guides for new and existing regulations and increasing CPSC’s public outreach to the small business community.

Neal has worked at CPSC in various capacities and offices since 2009.  Prior to joining CPSC, Neal was a criminal prosecutor in New York City.  He received his B.A. from Swarthmore College and his J.D. from the Emory University School of Law.  Neal is a member of the New York State Bar.

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Elizabeth Lea Dougherty, J.D.

Elizabeth Lea Dougherty, J.D.

Elizabeth Lea Dougherty, J.D.
Director of Inventor Education, Outreach, and Recognition 
Office of Innovation Development
United States Patent and Trademark Office

Elizabeth Dougherty is the Director of Inventor Education, Outreach, and Recognition in the Office of Innovation Development at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). In this capacity, she develops, implements, and supervises programs that support the independent inventor community, small businesses, entrepreneurs, and the intellectual property interests of colleges and universities. She also coordinates the agency’s ombudsman program for small businesses and entrepreneurs, as mandated by the America Invents Act of 2011. Elizabeth has spearheaded a number of special projects with federal, state and local governments, and private organizations to promote and support invention and innovation in the United States. She oversees a portfolio of ongoing and future initiatives designed to assist independent inventors, entrepreneurs, and underserved communities.

Prior to her current assignment at the USPTO, Elizabeth served in various executive service roles, most recently as Acting Deputy Director in the Office of Patent Legal Administration. In this capacity, she was responsible for the oversight and direction of a team of senior legal advisors and staff assisting the Patent Examining Corps in matters of legal policy. Having begun her career at the USPTO as a patent examiner, Elizabeth examined patent applications filed in the area of Class 73, Electric Devices used for Measuring or Testing.

Elizabeth is frequently called upon to lecture, often to student groups of all ages, about the USPTO, the patent process, innovation and creativity, and legal aspects of obtaining and maintaining a U.S. patent.

Elizabeth received a bachelor’s degree in physics from the Catholic University of America in 1991 and a Juris Doctor from the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America in 1996. She is a member of the Virginia Bar, the Giles S. Rich American Inn of Court, the American Bar Association, the Federal Circuit Bar Association, the American Intellectual Property Law Association, the Patent and Trademark Office Society, the Supervisory Patent Examiners and Classifiers Organization, Women in Science and Engineering, and the Prince George’s County Historical Society.

Elizabeth enjoys history, living in an 1854 home on the Maryland Historic Register and is the owner of nearly fifty patent models. In addition, she collects other books, documents, and artifacts of USPTO history.

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Benjamin S. Fernandez

Benjamin S. Fernandez

Benjamin S. Fernandez
Partner
Faegre Baker Daniels

With over nine years of patent experience, Ben's practice centers on helping companies navigate patent law complexities to achieve their business objectives. He thrives on understanding the boundary between the client's invention and the prior art, allowing him to craft formidable patents. He draws on his extensive experience in managing U.S. and international patent portfolios to advise clients on achieving the most strategic and valuable patent coverage for a given patent budget.

Ben helps clients launching new products understand how to avoid, design around, and license to minimize risk from competitors' patents. He conducts intellectual property diligence for buyers, licensees, and debtors, as well as sellers, licensors, and creditors. He works closely with colleagues in FaegreBD's corporate and finance/restructuring practices to ensure a smooth and seamless IP diligence experience for the client.

Ben's practice spans a number of industries. He advises on medical device patents, including orthopedic implants, cardiac implants, limb orthotics, and communications systems/information technology between medical devices. He handles matters in the energy and clean technology sectors, including algae growth, algae harvesting, and in-situ shale oil extraction.

Ben also has a strong design patent practice focused on retail products, including molded or injection molded products and fashion retail goods released on seasonal cycles. He has additional significant patent experience in software, financial services, and telecommunications technologies.

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Jesse Golland

Jesse Golland

Jesse Golland
Market Manager
Accion New Mexico

Based out of Denver, Jesse helps entrepreneurs access needed credit and services for their business and develops community relationships for Accion throughout the state of Colorado. With a master's degree in global finance, trade and economic integration from the University of Denver's Josef Korbel School of International Studies, Jesse brings expertise in many aspects of finance to his role at Accion. In 2014 Jesse was selected by the Aspen Institute’s FIELD program as an Emerging Leader in Microbusiness. In 2011, Jesse was awarded the Small Business Administration’s Financial Services Champion Award for the state of Colorado. Jesse also brings experience working with the Rocky Mountain MicroFinance Institute and is fluent in both English and Spanish.

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Montia Givens-Pressey

Montia Givens-Pressey

Montia Givens-Pressey
Staff Attorney, Policy Office of the
Office of the Commissioner for Trademarks

Montia Givens-Pressey is a staff attorney in the Policy Office of the Office of the Commissioner for Trademarks. Montia's duties include providing expert information and guidance on law and policy matters pertaining to the federal trademark registration process, maintenance requirements for registrations, and the petition process to both internal and external customers. Montia also drafts petition decisions on a wide range of issues in petitions to the Commissioner for Trademarks, including the review of decisions by examining attorneys and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. In addition, Montia provides expert legal support to the Post Registration Unit of the Trademark Office, including developing relevant training materials, reviewing relevant proposed legislation, and responding to day-to-day inquiries about legal issues.

Previously, Montia worked as a trademark examining attorney with the USPTO from 1995-1999, where in addition to examining applications, she also trained newly hired attorneys and assisted in various other management activities. Montia also worked for five years as a trademark associate with a large intellectual property law firm in Washington, D.C., where her practice focused on trademark prosecution, client counseling, and advice in proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.

Montia received her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center and her undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia.

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Roger A. Jackson

Roger A. Jackson

Roger A. Jackson
Principal
The Intellectual Property Law Firm of Jackson Esquire

Roger A. Jackson is the principal of The Intellectual Property Law Firm of Jackson Esquire.  He practices in the intellectual property area comprising, patents, trademarks, copyrights, licensing, litigation, trade secrets, trade dress, portfolio development, ongoing proprietary information protection programs, and related legal matters since August 1999.  Mr. Jackson also has 23 years’ of prior mechanical and electrical engineering experience in refinery and chemical process equipment design, test, and installation both domestically and overseas.  

As principal of his own firm Mr. Jackson has assisted individual inventors, small firms, the federal government, and corporations in assessing patentability, drafting patent applications, securing trademark protection, maintaining confidentiality, trade secret protection, creating and maintaining intellectual property portfolios, and assisting in design improvements on client inventions.  Mr. Jackson has written and prosecuted over 200 patents in the mechanical, electrical, medical, software, construction, and consumer arts.

While employed as a licensed professional engineer at Sundstrand Corporation Mr. Jackson worked in the corporate intellectual property department drafting a division wide trade secrets management policy, assisted in trademark coverage determination, administered proprietary information agreements, conducted engineer training programs to educate technical people on intellectual property, and drafted patent disclosures.

Mr. Jackson has also completed many design engineering projects on Sundyne ® brand pumps and compressors, for quality and performance improvement, along with American Petroleum Institute (API) and American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) standards compliance.  Also, design optimization of shafting, gears, bearings, housings, structures, aerodynamics, hydraulics, electrical control and electrical monitoring systems.          

 

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Brooke Jennings

Brooke Jennings

Brooke Jennings
Reference Librarian, Denver Public Library
Patent and Trademark Resource Center (PTRC)

Brooke Jennings is a reference librarian with the Denver Public Library. Her focus is on patents and trademarks. Brooke received her Bachelor of Arts in History at Metro State University. She then became a Law Librarian Fellow at the University of Denver, where she received her Master's of Library and Information Science with a focus on legal research. Although most of her career has been spent with the Denver Public Library, she has also interned at the Colorado Supreme Court Law Library and the Westminster Law Library where she contributed to the Colorado Law Project. She is a member of the American Library Association and the American Association of Law Libraries. Brooke can be reached at bjennings@denverlibrary.org

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Marcia A. Johnston-Walden

Marcia A. Johnston-Walden

Marcia A. Johnston-Walden
Senior Credit Analyst
Colorado Enterprise Fund

As a senior credit analyst, Ms. Johnston-Walden is responsible for analyzing credit and financial reports to determine risk involved in lending money or extending credit. She is Colorado Enterprise Fund’s SBA 7(a) Community Advantage loan specialist. Prior to joining CEF in 2009, she worked in various capacities for a community bank as loan officer, interim loan operations supervisor, and loan reviewer; as a credit analyst for U.S. Bank middle market commercial loans; and as a financial analyst, internal auditor and accountant for a finance company.  She is a graduate of Colorado State University with a Bachelor of Science degree with an emphasis in accounting.

 

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Bonnie Griffin Kaake

Bonnie Griffin Kaake

Bonnie Griffin Kaake
President & CEO 
Innovative Consulting Group, Inc.

Bonnie Griffin Kaake has 30 years of experience working with innovative product based businesses and inventors. She enjoyed a 13-year career with General Electric Company where she was the recipient of many awards for her marketing expertise before taking the leap into the world of entrepreneurship. In 1996 she founded Innovative Consulting Group, Inc. (ICG). The company has successfully provided consulting and out-sourced marketing services that have accelerated product commercialization for companies and inventors. Her turnkey marketing and consulting services were responsible for the successful launch of a 10-year old Colorado boy’s product into national distribution within three months of the first day of manufacture. A larger family owned company with annual revenues of $500 million, hired ICG for marketing services on its development of a new product line. Within six-months of project completion, the company sold in a strategic sale for $12.1 billion, based on that newly developed product line.

She currently serves as president of the Rocky Mountain Inventors Association. In addition, she is the past president of the board of directors and past executive director of the national United Inventors Association (UIA). Bonnie holds a B.S. in Business Administration, a graduate of GE’s Technical Marketing and Management Program, is a published author, national speaker, guest lecturer at the university level, a frequent contributor to forums and blogs, an inventor, a serial entrepreneur, and an advocate for inventors.

 

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Stacey Saggese

Stacey Saggese

Stacey Saggese
Development Director and Co-founder
Rocky Mountain MicroFinance Institute

Stacey has been around small business her entire life, and she has the pictures to prove it.  As a small child, she ran around her grandfather’s 4th generation family owned produce company in the North End of Boston. Later she helped her dad make salads at his restaurant on the Atlantic Ocean and greeted customers at his small-town baseball card store.  Stacey was born with a passion and appreciation for the unique flavor of family business.

Stacey has worked in the nonprofit sector for more than seven years all in the microfinance field. In her current role as Development Director, Stacey is responsible for fund and resource development and has helped grow Rocky Mountain MicroFinance Institute (RMMFI) from having no budget in 2008 to close to a $500,000 budget in 2014 that supports six staff people. To help with her current role at RMMFI, Stacey has received coaching from a national nonprofit consulting firm on the development of the RMMFI fundraising program and processes. Stacey was a member of the Access to & Coordination of Public Benefits & Non-Profit /Faith Based Assistance Subcommittee of the Colorado State Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Task Force, graduated from the 2011 Colorado Nonprofit Leadership & Management Program through the Community Resource Center, the 2013 University of Denver’s Institute for Leaders in Development. Stacey is currently a Steering Committee member for Denver Shared Spaces.

Stacey attended Penn State University where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and captained the women’s lacrosse team. She has since utilized her skills and talents in the corporate world as a marketing analyst for a global printing company, consulted on the launch of a small service-based business, participated in the startup of a lacrosse team/coaching business, and taught English in Thailand.  Stacey feels privileged to support the micro-businesses that are the backbone of a strong economy and that create a happy, purposeful, self-reliant life for owners, their families, and their communities.

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Matt Varilek

Matt Varilek

Matt Varilek
Regional Administrator, Region VIII
U.S. Small Business Administration

Matt Varilek is the Regional Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for Region VIII.  In this role he oversees delivery of the agency's small business programs and services in South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, and Montana.

Before joining the SBA, Varilek served as Economic Development Director for U.S. Senator Tim Johnson.  For over seven years he assisted the Senator's efforts on legislative issues related to small business and entrepreneurship, disaster response, technological research and commercialization, infrastructure investment, budget and appropriations, and other economic issues.  He worked with staff at the SBA, Economic Development Administration (EDA), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and others.  Varilek previously served on the staff of U.S. Senator Tom Daschle in a similar capacity.

In the private sector, Varilek analyzed energy and environmental commodity market dynamics as Director of Policy and Research for Natsource LLC, a brokerage.  He is also a past candidate for U.S. House.

Varilek has a Master’s Degree in Environment and Development from the University of Cambridge, England, where he was funded by the Gates Cambridge Scholarship established by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He also has a Master’s Degree in Economic Development from the University of Glasgow in Scotland, where he was funded by the Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship established by Rotary International.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy from Carleton College in Northfield, MN. A native of Yankton, SD, he is married, with two daughters.  His wife, Maggie, is co-founder of a small consulting business headquartered in Sioux Falls, SD.

As Region VIII Administrator, Varilek oversees SBA operations throughout its district offices in Denver, CO.; Helena, MT.; Fargo, ND; Sioux Falls, SD; Salt Lake City, UT; and Casper, WY. Region VIII is SBA`s most rural region in the country. It includes 27 tribal nations and covers more than 500,000 square miles of territory.

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Last Modified: 5/27/2014 4:35:17 PM