Some chairs have been shuffled at the top of the Maryland Technology Development Corporation.
TEDCO announced four new board officers and a new acting executive director this week. The moves come after high-level departures at the state-funding tech investor, which was targeted for reform by lawmakers in Annapolis this year.
The new executive officers are Chairwoman Myra Norton, president of Arena; Vice Chairwoman Tina Williams-Koroma, president of TCecure; Treasurer Robert Lord, president of Protenus; and Secretary Jennifer Elisseeff, professor at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
Three of the four new officers are women, named at a time when TEDCO is undertaking new investment policies required by the Legislature and examining workplace culture.
The board also appointed Stephen Auvil as TEDCO’s acting executive director effective Aug. 1.
Auvil, who served as TEDCO’s executive vice president, replaces former CEO George Davis, who announced in June he would leave his post.
Auvil has been with TEDCO has worked at since 2010. Before joining TEDCO, Auvil worked as the assistant vice president for research at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. He also worked as an assistant director in the Office of Technology Licensing at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine where he evaluated inventions and negotiated license agreements for a variety of technologies.
“Stephen has been with TEDCO for almost nine years, and we are fortunate to have his leadership,” Norton, the board’s new chairwoman, said in a statement. “I am also grateful to have Tina, Robert, Jennifer and all of the other talented board members, dedicated to strengthening Maryland’s entrepreneurial community. As a board, we are focused on supporting and augmenting the strong team at TEDCO so that the organization can continue to ignite economic development and remain the go-to hub of Maryland’s innovation ecosystem.”
A fiscal compliance audit released in February concluded that that there were significant problems within TEDCO. Among the issues cited were reliance by the TEDCO board on advice from an ad hoc three-member investment advisory committee; two of the three members were associated with venture firms that had previously received $21 million in commitments through the fund.
The audit also found that TEDCO investments were made to companies not based in the state of Maryland at the time of the investment or following the investment, and that investments in third-party venture firms weren’t being passed on to Maryland start-up or tech companies.
A new state law to guide future financing practices and bring more openness to the agency’s operations took effect June 1.
The measure was passed unanimously by lawmakers and signed into law by Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R).
“Providing the right tools and resources to Maryland’s entrepreneurs is vital to strengthening our workforce and ensuring that our state is open for business,” Hogan said in a statement. “I would like to congratulate the new executive officers of TEDCO as they work to guide Maryland’s growing number of innovators, entrepreneurs, and start-up companies to achieve even greater successes.”
The 15-member TEDCO board includes 14 members appointed by the governor and the Secretary of Commerce. There are 14 members currently. In addition to the officers, they are: Paul Ausley, Ausley Associates; Luke Cooper, Fixt; Ray Hoy, Wor-Wic Community College; Chuck Knudsen, T. Rowe Price; Matthew Lee, FASTech; Omar Muhammad, Morgan State University; Kelly Schulz, Maryland Department of Commerce secretary; John Shetrone, Vision Technologies; Amita Shukla, Vitamita; and Francis Smyth, Century Engineering.