Executives-in-Residence Chosen to Mentor Emerging Companies at EDA’S Life Sciences Incubator

Tapping into the state’s broad pool of talented life sciences professionals, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) announces the appointment of the inaugural group of six highly-qualified professionals to its Executive-in-Residence program.  Developed in collaboration with BioNJ, these professionals will mentor and advise the emerging growth companies located at the EDA’s Commercialization Center for Innovative Technologies (CCIT) in North Brunswick.

The selected Executives, who have high level business experience and skills in life sciences, will mentor and coach CCIT’s promising companies through weekly office hours. CCIT tenants will also be able to seek advice on non-scientific business topics from the Executives as they grow their companies.  Additionally, the Executives will offer lectures on topics of interest and relevance.

“With more than 175 years of combined experience between them, these highly qualified Executives-in-Residence will provide invaluable guidance to the emerging companies at CCIT,” EDA Chief Executive Officer Melissa Orsen said.  “The areas of expertise represented in this particular group of Executives run the gamut from commercialization to financial planning, all critical skills as companies look to grow and thrive in New Jersey.”

CCIT’s first group of Executives-in-Residence includes Jean E. Merrill, PhD, of Morristown; Joseph DePinto of Skillman; Catherine Abbadie, PhD, of Princeton; Dana Darst, MSJ, of Pennington; Paul Jeffrey of Ortley Beach; and Neil R. Milano of Montclair.  A summary of the Executives-in-Residence biographies is included below and photos of each are available upon request.

Designed for life sciences executives in transition, the Executive-in-Residence program offers many benefits to those individuals participating, including: an office suite at CCIT; the title of Executive-in-Residence; exposure on the EDA’s website; and, access to multiple technology networks in the state, including BioNJ.

The application process is highly competitive, and rolling, with appointments of new Executives made on a quarterly basis.  To be eligible, Executives must be full-time residents of New Jersey with legal working status in the United States.  Qualified individuals must also be willing to work at CCIT at least one day a week to advise and mentor tenants. More information about the program, including eligibility, can be found at

The Executive-in-Residence Program is the latest in a series of programs based at CCIT designed to connect emerging life sciences companies with local resources.  Last month, CCIT hosted the EDA’s third “Founders and Funders” event, which provides entrepreneurs and start-up companies with access to angel and venture capital investors.

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