Greg McKee, Chief Executive Officer
Greg McKee brings nearly 30 years of experience in the healthcare, investment management and investment banking industries to CONNECT. He was co–Founder of Global Bio Link, a global Specialty Pharma company focused on the commercialization of novel and niche compounds in markets outside the United States. Prior to Global Bio Link, he was Chairman and CEO of Akela Pharma Inc. and its predecessor company, Nventa Biopharmaceuticals. Previously, Greg held roles as Head Corporate Development, Valentis, Inc., and Senior Management roles with Genzyme Corporation in the US and Asia. Greg lived and worked in Japan and in Singapore for nine years and speaks fluent Japanese.
An active member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO)/World Presidents Organization (WPO), Greg earned a B.A., Economics from the University of Washington, a M.B.A from the Wharton School, and a M.A., International Studies from The Joseph H. Lauder Institute of the University of Pennsylvania.
Ginny Merrifield, Vice President of Business Development & Strategic Partnerships
As Vice President of Business Development & Strategic Partnerships Ginny Merrifield builds relationships with businesses in San Diego that support the innovation economy by investing in CONNECT.
Prior to joining CONNECT, Ginny was the Executive Director & Officer at The Gary and Mary West Foundation, a private family foundation whose mission is to lower the cost of health care and develop greater opportunity, lasting independence, and a path to a better way of life for younger and older Americans alike.
For 24 years Ginny served as Director & Principal at Clark Security Products, the largest national wholesale distributor of mechanical and electronic security hardware; first as Head of Marketing and then leading operations for the Southern California Region during her tenure. Ginny and her husband successfully sold their business in 2010.
Ginny’s distinguished work in education has been recognized on the state and local level. Ginny is a Founding Trustee of e3 Civic High and Co-Founder and Trustee of Pacific Ridge School and was recognized as Woman of the Year in 2007 by the California State Senate for her efforts in school reform.
Ginny holds a B.A from Princeton University.
Ruprecht von Buttlar, Vice President, Business Creation & Development
Ruprecht von Buttlar is the Vice President, Business Creation & Development. He directs the execution and development of: the Springboard program and the Nearsourcing Roundtable program. Ruprecht serves on the executive boards of CCAT (Center for Commercialization of Advanced Technologies), San Diego Advanced Defense Technology cluster and the Biomimicry BRIDGE. Springboard, CONNECT’s flagship program, assists innovators and entrepreneurs with the definition of a compelling commercialization strategy through mentoring by seasoned, C-level executives – CONNECT’s Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EIRs). Under Ruprecht’s leadership, Springboard has become an internationally renowned business creation program. Since 2005, more than 200 companies have completed the Springboard process and over 50% of these companies are still in operation. These companies have raised over $ 310Million in seed-, venture- and debt financing and have created 1000 jobs in San Diego.
Prior to CONNECT, Ruprecht held global chief executive, general management and business development positions in the Internet and communications industries with companies including Motorola, DSC Communications (Alcatel), Nortel Networks, Scientific Atlanta and Aegis Broadband.
Ruprecht has a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Hamburg and a MBA from Loyola College in Maryland.
Steve Hoey, Senior Director, Business Creation and Development
Biography coming soon
Claire E. Bula, Esq., Director of Marketing & Communications
As Director of Marketing & Communications for CONNECT, Claire Bula is responsible for setting CONNECT’s marketing strategy, overseeing their communications and digital presence, promoting CONNECT in the market, and building relationships to further CONNECT’s mission of creating and scaling great companies.
Prior to joining CONNECT Claire consulted on marketing and communications for apps, start-ups, and large technology companies with AuthenticMatters as a Digital Strategist. She also ran the Visionary Awards for LEAD San Diego. Before moving to San Diego, Claire built and ran the marketing department at Electronic Ink, a design-based technology & business consulting firm in Philadelphia. Prior to that Claire held development roles at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and at Villanova University. Claire also practiced law in the Criminal Division of the Attorney General’s office for the State of Delaware.
Claire received her J.D. from Villanova University, School of Law and a B.A. in American Studies from the University of Notre Dame. Claire is a licensed attorney in the states of Delaware and New Jersey.
Petra Stegman, Ph.D., Director of Signature Events
Biography coming soon