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Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation Names New Board Members

The Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation (KSTC) named four new members to its Board of Directors on July 1, 2023. KSTC’s Board of Directors are volunteers comprised of leaders from Kentucky’s business, education, innovation and economic development communities. Members represent all regions of Kentucky and support KSTC in advancing innovative economic development across the Commonwealth.

New members include:

Learn more about the new Board Members below.

  • Jeni Al Bahrani, Thomas More University

  • Tom Otieno, Eastern Kentucky University

  • Brett Traver, Southeast Kentucky Economic Development Corporation

  • Angelica Sanchez Vega, Community Foundation of Louisville

This year, KSTC is also recognizing the service of longtime Board Members Sam Burchett, a Lexington attorney and the outgoing Chairman of the Board, and Shiela Medina of University of Kentucky. Burchett and Medina concluded their service on June 30, 2023.

Shiela Medina, Terry Samuel and Sam Burchett pose at a KSTC board meeting.
Shiela Medina, Terry Samuel and Sam Burchett pose at a KSTC board meeting.

“We’re incredibly grateful for the service and dedication our Board Members bring to KSTC,” said KSTC President Terry Samuel. “It’s an honor to work alongside these professionals, and I profoundly value the time they commit and the governance they provide. It is inspiring to see the collaboration between experts representing all areas of the Commonwealth for the purpose of seeing Kentucky’s innovation-based economy thrive.”

A new slate of members also step into their roles on the Executive Committee effective July 1:

  • Mark Kristy, PricewaterhouseCoopers (retired) – Board Chair

  • Susan Weiss, Net Tango, Inc. – Board Vice-Chair

  • K. Daniel Seevers, Lexmark International, Inc. – Secretary

  • Mike Norman, Kentucky Science Center – Treasurer

Meet the new KSTC Board Members:

Jeni Al Bahrani – Thomas More University

Jeni Al Bahrani

Jeni Al Bahrani is the Director for the Zembrodt Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and Professor of Practice at Thomas More University. The center serves the entire campus as a hub for entrepreneurial thinking, innovation, and venture creation. She earned her undergraduate degree at Thomas More University and her master’s in Entrepreneurship and Innovation from Trinity College Dublin in Ireland where she focused on a global perspective of entrepreneurship eco-systems, the entrepreneurship process, and building entrepreneurial programs. She has worked with entrepreneurs to start and scale their businesses locally, nationally, and globally. She is an advocate for empowering people to create their own lane of opportunity through increasing access to entrepreneurship.

She is a student in Northern Kentucky University’s Doctorate of Educational Leadership program and founder of the Luas Group, a boutique consulting and investment company focused on consulting and coaching services for entrepreneurs, existing businesses, and entrepreneurship outreach programs.

Tom Otieno - Eastern Kentucky University

Tom Otieno

Dr. Otieno is the Inaugural Dean of the College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics and Professor of Chemistry at Eastern Kentucky University (EKU). He is a seasoned administrator and educator with a strong track record of achievement as a leader and manager in positions of increasing responsibility in higher education administration. In a career spanning 28 years at EKU, his past administrative roles include Founding Dean of the College of Science, Interim Dean of the College of Science, Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Interim Chair of the Department of Physics & Astronomy, Assistant Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Principal Investigator/Project Director of a $1.5 million National Science Foundation grant-funded project that involved working with public middle schools to enhance the teaching of science and mathematics, and Coordinator of the Graduate Program in the Department of Chemistry.

Otieno received a B.Sc. degree (First Class Honors) from the University of Nairobi, Kenya, and M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in inorganic chemistry from the University of British Columbia, Canada. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Southwest Texas State University prior to joining EKU in 1995

Brett Traver – Southeast Kentucky Economic Development Corporation

Brett Traver

Brett Traver is Executive Director of Southeast Kentucky Economic Development Corporation (SKED). He has 22 years of economic development experience and oversees the day-to-day operations of the 36-year-old nonprofit organization, its real estate holdings, small business assistance programs and the management of its revolving loan portfolio. In addition to serving on the Morehead State University Foundation Board, Brett is currently Chairman of the Kentucky Association for Economic Development and serves on the Lake Cumberland Workforce Investment Board.

Brett is an Eastern Kentucky native whose deep Kentucky roots keep him focused on helping businesses grow and bring employment opportunities to Eastern Kentucky. Brett has an undergraduate degree in journalism and radio/television production and an MBA from Morehead State University.

Angelica Sanchez Vega – Community Foundation of Louisville

Angelica Sanchez Vega

Angelica Sanchez Vega is a Senior Program Officer for Economic Equity at the Community Foundation of Louisville. Prior to her role at the Community Foundation of Louisville, she served as Executive Advisor before serving as General Counsel at the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development where she worked closely with all departments including the Office of Entrepreneurship (KY Innovation). Prior to her time in state government, she practiced commercial real estate law at Stites & Harbison, PLLC. Ms. Sanchez Vega holds a B.A. in Economics and an MBA from Bellarmine University, along with a J.D. from Notre Dame Law School.


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