Mr. Harry Bushong – Inspired by his relationship with Dr. Malcolm Gillis, former President of Rice University, Harry is the founder and Managing Director of Convergence Ventures. Previously he co-founded nanoTox, Inc. in 2005 with a focus on providing toxicology services for companies using nano-scale technology across a wide range of industries. nanoTox has morphed into a new company, called Material Intellect, which uses Machine Learning and other advanced tools to enhance the research capabilities of corporations and academic and gov- ernment laboratories.
In 2003 he joined the Olmsted Group, a New York life sciences merchant bank. The companies in the Olmsted portfolio were based on intellectual property licensed from MIT, Columbia University, University of Wisconsin, Vanderbilt University and Baylor College of Medicine in the fields of pluripotent stem cells, genomics, biotech and hepatocytes.
Some of the companies included Omnimmune Corp, Plurion, Zirius (formerly Avatar) and Amphioxus. Prior to his work in health sciences, Harry was a driving force in multiple startups since 1995 when he began work with Aurora Financial Services, a private NASD broker/dealer in Houston focused on the energy sector. In addition, Harry has been an active investor in Advanced Throughput, Inc., a genomics company focused on personalized medicine, which was recently acquired by privately held Bastra, Ltd.; and Optokey, Inc., a Bay Area company fo- cused on bio-spectroscopic and environmental analysis. Earned his Series 7 Securities License with Pruco Secu- rities Corp., a subsidiary of Prudential. He attended Southwest Texas University from 1993-1997.
Mr. Ryan Colburn retired in April 2018 as Houston President for Regions Financial Corporation completing a 35-year banking career. His responsibilities included overseeing the 25 locations in and around the greater Houston area as well as coordinating the various lines of business Regions engages in. Regions Financial Corporation is a top U.S. bank-holding company headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, with $126 billion in assets, operating approximately 1,400 banking offices in 15 states.
Ryan was with Regions for 15 years having previously served in leadership roles in the Commercial Real Estate Banking Groups of two national banking organizations in Houston. Past community involvements include serving on the boards of Houston Area Urban League, American Diabetes Association-Houston, Community Partnership for Youth, Inc.
Ryan earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from The University of Texas at Austin.
Mr. Allen Gelwick started his career in underwriting at Chubb, working in various underwriting capacities in both the field and at home office levels. He has worked as a senior executive of public insurance brokerage firms until March of 2001 when he co-founded the Houston office of Lockton Companies, now operating as the Texas Series of Lockton with 700 associates. During his career he has serviced broad spectrum of industries including aviation, automotive, construction, education, energy, environmental, manufacturing, real estate, retail, transportation, technology and healthcare.
He has also worked extensively with financial institutions, M&A customers and high growth companies. In addition, Allen is actively involved in the design and development of alternative insurance bespoke products including products that represent the convergence of capital markets and insurance capital markets. In the capacity of an Organizer and Director he personally participated in successfully creating a publicly traded company in the health services industry. Allen earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Earlham College, Richmond, Indiana.
He has presented at various conferences over the years including: National RIMS Conference, Strategic Institute Seminars, Texas General Counsel Forum, National Ethics Conference, EPNanonet and Solar Praxis 4th Annual PV Power Plants Conference. He is a board member and Committee Chairman of the Texas TriCities NACD chapter. In addition to various local charity involvements, Allen is a national associate member of RIMS. He is a Director of Material Intellect, a material science informatics company.
Mr. Gary Reese began his career in the financial services industry in 1983 after completing the credit training program with Republic Bank and being placed into the Energy Group. In 1988, Gary joined the newly formed private equity firm of Encap Investments. Gary then began his 25-year career in the wealth management business initially joining River Oak Trust and ultimately Northern Trust where he currently serves as a Senior Wealth Strategist.
Gary has served on the Boards of Houston Grand Opera, the Financial Planning association, Associates in Corporate Growth and the Lone Star Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. And he currently serves on the Board of Convergence Ventures as well as the Advisory Board for the Jesse Jones School of Business of Texas Southern University.
Gary received his Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from the University of Houston in 1980 and his Master’s in Business Administration in 1982.
Mr. Manolo Sánchez is a director at Fannie Mae (FNM) and OnDeck Capital (ONDK), after having served as chairman and CEO of BBVA Compass for 10 years. At Rice University’s Jones School of Business, he teaches disruption in financial services with a focus on crypto currencies and blockchain.
Manolo is a Founding Advisor to SpringLabs, a fintech company developing a blockchain-based, peer-to-peer network to allow financial institutions to share credit and identity data. He is also an advisor to CDFI lender Aura and healthcare payments solution startup Affordify. During his 27 year banking career, Manolo worked in the US, Mexico, France and Spain, having served in executive roles in risk management, real estate, correspondent, community, corporate and investment banking.
During his tenure at BBVA Compass, Manolo served as a director of the American Bankers Association, the Institute of International Bankers, the Greater Houston Partnership, the Financial Services Roundtable and BITS (the technology policy division of FSR). He currently serves on the board of the Center for Houston’s Future.
A graduate of Yale University, Manolo earned master’s degrees in international relations from the London School of Economics in advanced European economics from the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium.
A native of Murcia, Spain, Manolo first came to the U.S. as high school exchange student. In addition to English and Spanish, he speaks French, German and Arabic. A naturalized US citizen, he lives in Houston with his wife and three children.
Dr. Wade Adams is a Senior Faculty Fellow in the Materials Science and Nanoengineering Department, and Associate Dean of the George R. Brown School of Engineering at Rice University. He is the Director of the Smalley-Curl nanoCarbon Center and former Director of the Richard E. Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology at Rice University. Wade retired from the US Air Force senior executive ranks in January 2002, as the Chief Scientist of the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory after 37.5 years of total service to the USAF. He was educated at the U.S. Air Force Academy, Vanderbilt, and the University of Massachusetts.
For the past 44 years Wade has conducted research in polymer physics and is internationally known for his research in high-performance rigid-rod polymer and carbon nanotube fibers, X-ray scattering studies of fibers and liquid crystalline films, polymer dispersed liquid crystals, and theoretical studies of ultimate polymer properties. He has authored more than 200 publications, including several review articles and three books, has five patents (one licensed), and has given nearly 800 technical presentations. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the Air Force Research Laboratory. Wade retired from the Air Force Reserve in the rank of Colonel in 1998.
Dr. Richard Mathies is the retired Dean of Chemistry of the University of California at Berkeley and has been a key member of 10 successful product and company launches. His patents have brought over $30 million in royalties to UC Berkeley. His research focuses both on ultrafast resonance Raman spectroscopy of photoactive proteins, and on lab-on-a-chip devices for high performance biomolecule and cell analysis. He is the co-founder and an inventor at IntegenX, innovating rapid DNA identification, and Optokey, innovator of photometric test solutions. He has also been active in consulting and working with biotechnology companies including Affymax, Affymetrix, Molecular Dynamics, Aclara Biosciences, Nanostring, Allopartis and BioRad among others. Mathies founded The Center for Analytical Biotechnology and is author of more than 470 publications and 40 patents on biophysical chemistry, photochemistry, photobiology, bioanalytical chemistry and genome analysis technology.
Richard received a B.S. in Chemistry from The University of Washington in 1968 and an MS and Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Cornell University. Richard completed Postdoctoral Study as a Helen Hay Whitney Postdoctoral Fellow at Yale. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors NAI).
Dr. Steve Winston is retired Senior Vice President of Lockheed Martin and former chief scientist of the Idaho National Laboratory. He is currently a leading proponent of exploring the intersection of nanotechnology and nuclear sciences. This includes the instigation of research in nanoscale methods for accelerator production of medical isotopes, nanostructured prodrugs for targeted alpha therapy and brachytherapy, the use of novel nanostructures and a broad array of nanomaterials applications as potential responses to long-standing challenges in the safe and efficient production of nuclear energy. Steve is an advocate of converting these technologies to profitable civilian use. Steve is an experienced advisor to C-suite executives and is networked heavily into the aerospace and military technology community. He is adept at bringing institutions, researchers and enterprises together to make useful things happen. Steve is especially well-positioned to predict what sorts of approaches and engagements will and will not attract large companies to get involved in an enterprise.
Mr. Blair Duncan has over 25 years’ experience in venture-backed growth companies as well as Fortune 500 firms. His life science and material science operating experience include serving as CFO/COO of Celling Biosciences, Bennu Institute, CFO of all Emergent Technologies portfolio companies and senior executive at Caisson Biotech and AeonClad Coatings. He has raised over $200 million in private equity and $200 million in credit facilities and acquired and/or sold five companies. Blair held positions at Pricewaterhouse Coopers as Manager of Entrepreneurial Advisory Services, where he launched a new division providing fundraising and business planning consulting services to high-tech companies in Texas, as well as Manager in the Business Assurance practice, where he participated in numerous public offerings and private company audits. Blair is a CPA and holds an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin and a BA in Economics and Psychology from Duke University.
Mr. John Marsh is a seasoned business and university professional, experienced in collaboration, marketing and operations with universities, corporations and agencies. Examples include strategic business alliances in the IT industry, multi-professor research projects at Rice University, in conjunction with the Air Force Research Laboratory and Lockheed Martin Corporation. John served as the Director of Operations, for the Richard E. Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology at Rice University before becoming the Industry Relations Manager for the Department of Materials Science and NanoEngineering in January 2016.
John’s earlier experience includes working as the Director of Alliance Marketing for Trend Micro and serving Compaq Computer Corporation as the Global Alliance and Product Manager. He has also worked for Secuware, Media Sourcery, Bellandi Group and Immunix, Inc. among others. John earned his MBA from the University of Texas at Austin and a BA from Southern Methodist University.