Jack Ball OTT Picture.jpg

Jack Ball

Jack Ball is CEO and a board member at Solulink Inc. He is President of Tyball Associates, LLC. In addition, he serves on the board of directors of Aquaro Histology, Carterra, Inc., Celsee Diagnostics, Cytek Biosciences, NanoCellect Inc. and Swift Bioscience. Most recently he was CCO at Accuri Cytometers, which was sold to Becton Dickinson in March 2011. Prior to Accuri Cytometers, he was CEO of Amnis Corporation, and has also served as CCO for Molecular Probes, Inc. Prior to that he was with Orchid Biosciences as Sr. VP and General Manager and with Amersham Pharmacia Biotech Inc., where he rose to President for North America.


Faz Bashi

Dr. Faz Bashi, MD, has a background in Immunology and Virology from UCSF. Faz is the Chair of the Medical Device Screening Committee of Life Science Angels and is an active member of the LSA screening committee for Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals. He is also the Chair of the Angel Capital Association’s Life Sciences Syndication Group, is a member of the Berkeley Angel Network, and was one of the founding members of Healthtech Capital, where he served two years on the Board of Directors.

He is an adjunct Professor in the Integrative Health Studies program at the California Institute of Integral Studies. Faz is an active advisor to the UCSF Clinical and Translational Science Institute. He had worked previously at San Mateo Medical Center developing and implementing special clinical projects targeted towards helping those who are under-served, which included projects focused on TeleDermatology, Diabetic Retinopathy, Screening, and advancements in electronic medical records. Faz is an active consultant to Coleman Associates as a Deep Dive expert, and he coaches public health clinics and safety net organizations on improving their workflow processes. He currently serves as an External Advisory Board Member at The Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Bioengineering Innovation and Design.

Carolyn Cassin headshot.jpg

Carolyn Cassin

Carolyn Cassin is a highly-regarded turnaround and operations expert, an accomplished healthcare entrepreneur, and is considered a national icon in end of life care. 

Over her thirty year career, Carolyn has started and grown two companies, and has been brought in to transform and turn around three more. Her professional successes include turning around a failing hospice organization in southeast Michigan and building it into the nation’s largest and best run hospices. She led the first venture capital backed hospice company in the US, Vistacare, which became a publicly traded company in 2005 and sold in 2008. 

In 2009, she accepted the leadership of Michigan Women’s Foundation now Michigan Women’s Forward (MWF), Michigan’s only public statewide organization dedicated to helping women and girls achieve economic self-sufficiency and advancing equality. Carolyn created an innovative, strategic direction for the Foundation through the development of a Microloan Fund for women owned and managed businesses in Michigan. Her leadership of the Foundation has resulted in exponential growth, financial stability, innovative programming and measurable results focused on support of high impact endeavors for Michigan’s women and girls. Under Carolyn’s leadership, MWF has increased its size tenfold since 2008 and has funded 93 microloans to women entrepreneurs. Also, the organization’s Enough SAID (Sexual Assault in Detroit) campaign has helped test and eliminate over 10,000 rape evidence kits in the Detroit Police Department's backlog. 

In 2010 Carolyn and a group of 28 other Michigan women founded BELLE Capital/Michigan, of which she is the General Partner. Under her leadership, Michigan’s first female venture fund was created to invest in women owned companies in the state and other underserved communities in the US. The Fund has made 14 investments with two successful exits to date and is transforming the entrepreneurial ecosystem for women in Michigan. 

In January 2018 Carolyn founded BELLE Michigan Impact Fund, a $20 million impact investment fund to make early stage investments in high-growth, women- owned businesses. To date the fund has made three investments and has 47 Limited Partners. 


  • 1993 first awardee of “Heart of Hospice Award”, National Hospice Organization 

  • 1994 “Best Managed Non-Profit” award, Crain’s Detroit Business 

  • 1997 “Detroit’s 100 Most Influential Women,”, Crain’s Detroit Business 

  • 2006 “Circle of Life” award for innovation, American Hospital Association’s Business 

  • 2006 “Founder’s Award”, National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization 

  • 2009, Crain’s Business Detroit named her a “Woman to Watch,” 

  • 2013 “Network’s Wonder Woman” Awardee, Women Official’s 

  • 2016 “Michigan’s 100 Most Influential Women, Crain’s Detroit Business 

Carolyn earned her Master of Public Administration degree from Western Michigan University, her BA from Miami University, and the esteemed three-year National Leadership Fellowship, from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. 


Ted Dacko

Ted Dacko, the founder of Arbor Dakota Strategies, has over 44 years of experience in executive-level management and leadership, including Sales, Marketing, M&A and the Chief Executive Office, principally in the area of software applications and solutions. As CEO, he has been credited with taking great ideas and turning them into great companies.

Ted was the CEO of HealthMedia® Inc., which he took from a small, near-death company to a $30M annual SaaS business. The company was sold to Johnson & Johnson in 2008 and resulted in an 18 to 1 return on invested capital for Chrysalis Ventures in a six-year time frame and a 10 to 1 return on invested capital for Arboretum Ventures which invested a short time later. This was accomplished during the worst economic time in recent history.

Ted built HealthMedia Inc. employing a market disruption approach that utilized concepts from Blue Ocean Strategy, Competitive Strategy, Solution Selling, Ten Faces of Innovation, Positioning – The Battle for your Mind, Bang and Crossing the Chasm. The company was the Company of the Year in Michigan in 2008 and Ted was Entrepreneur of the year in 2008.

Ted is currently an independent consultant, mentor and board member to technology companies and has served on the boards of meQuilibrium, Court Innovations, XLerant, GoNoodle, DNA Software, Connect Space, Spellbound and Possibilities For Change. He is an instructor at the University of Michigan in the Center for Entrepreneurship program.  He has authored a series of eBooks titled From Passion to Profit and is a frequent instructor at Ann Arbor SPARK and the University of Michigan Office of Technology Transfer.  He also serves as the Executive Director if the Blue Ocean Student Entrepreneur pitch competition and was written up in the book Blue Ocean Shift for his use of Blue Ocean principals.  He has been the keynote speaker at numerous events. Ted holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics from Waynesburg College in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, and a Master’s Degree in Mathematics from The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.


Patricia Glaza

Patricia Glaza is a Senior Vice President of Invest Detroit, and the Managing Director of Invest Detroit Ventures. Ms. Glaza joined Invest Detroit in 2014 with more than 20 years of experience in the development, implementation and commercialization of advanced technologies. She manages Invest Detroit's early-stage venture funds investing in technology start-ups. These funds are part of the organization's investment platform accelerating business expansion in the Midwest.

Ms. Glaza’s responsibilities include: sourcing and facilitating the development of early-stage and high-growth companies by providing guidance and investment capital. She promotes and engages in outreach activities supported by a diverse network of experienced entrepreneurs to support inclusion efforts to help ensure women and minority entrepreneurs are proactively mentored to build their high potential tech startups. 

Prior to joining Invest Detroit, Ms. Glaza was a Principal at Arsenal Venture Partners, Inc. where she was responsible for Arsenal’s Michigan and Hawaii venture activities, including deal sourcing and portfolio management. Ms. Glaza previously served as the Chief Executive Officer/ the Executive Director of the Clean Technology and Sustainable Industries Organization (CTSI). Ms. Glaza helped build and execute the organization’s policy strategy, start-up programs, and corporate development activities. Working with the Department of Defense, Department of Energy, utilities, defense contractors and energy companies, CTSI developed energy challenges to identify pilot-ready technologies for commercial demonstration.  Ms. Glaza served as the CEO of a nanotechnology information services company, Small Times Media, as well as the head of business development and marketing for HealthMedia, a healthcare IT company later sold to Johnson & Johnson.  Ms. Glaza started her career at Accenture, last serving as a manager in the supply chain logistics group.

Ms. Glaza leverages her broad industry/government relationships and operational experience to serve as a resource to start-ups and the community. Her non-profit board roles include: Michigan Venture Capital Association, UM Advanced Transportation M-TRAC Oversight Committee, Next Energy, the Great Lakes Protection Fund, and GreenLight Detroit. In addition, she is a certified instructor for the National Science Foundation I-Corps for NSF, SBIR, & NIH programs, and facilitates women-based entrepreneurship training for Inforum.  She has a BA in International Relations & Economics from Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI and a Masters of Business Administration from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI.



Thomas C. Kinnear is D. Maynard Phelps Professor of Business and Marketing at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. He was formally Eugene Applebaum Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies and founding Executive Director of the Samuel Zell and Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies, former Senior Associate Dean at the Ross School of Business, and former Vice President for Development and Executive Officer for the University. He headed the $1.4 billion Campaign for Michigan in the 1990s. At Michigan, he has received awards in the MBA and PhD programs and for service to the University, including the “Herbert D. Doan Award” for outstanding Leadership in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Michigan and in the State of Michigan. He also received the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the Michigan Venture Capital Association, the “Thomas Porter Lifetime Achievement Award” from the New Enterprise Forum, and the “William Wilkie Lifetime Achievement Award for Marketing for a Better World” from the American Marketing Association Foundation. He holds an undergraduate and LLD (honorary) degrees from Queen's University at Kingston, Ontario, an MBA from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in Business Administration from the University of Michigan.

He has previously held a faculty appointment at the University of Western Ontario Ivey School, and visiting appointments at Harvard University, Stanford University, and the European Management Institute (INSEAD) at Fontainebleau, France.

He is CEO and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Venture Michigan Corporation, a $450 million venture capital fund of funds and a member of the National Advertising Review Board of the Better Business Bureau. He is past-Chair of the Board of the American Marketing Association and former Chair of the Board of the American Marketing Association Foundation. He also has served or is serving as a member of the Board of Directors or Corporate Advisory Boards for numerous companies and community organizations.

He is active in the entrepreneurial community as a co-founder, advisor, angel investor, and Board member of startup companies, including: Accio Energy, Network Express, BlueGill Technologies, Accuri Cytometers, Avail Networks, Episilon Imaging, Janeeva, Mobius Microsystems, Nanocerox, NanoBio, Pixel Velocity, and Tellurex Corporation. He is also a numerous partner in several ventures funds and served as a Strategic Limited Partner for Arboretum Ventures.


Kenneth W. Kousky

Kenneth W. Kousky is Executive Director and a founding member of the BlueWater Angels Investment Network, a Michigan-based funding network that reviews more than 100 potential businesses annually. In addition, Ken is CEO of ClearWater Ventures, a company devoted to helping startups organize, capitalize and launch.

As Executive Director of the BlueWater Angels, Ken plays a key role in assisting entrepreneurs in the creation and expansion of their businesses throughout the State of Michigan and has been involved with multiple mergers and acquisitions.

He is an active investor in start-ups and leads the way in the formation and launch

of new Angel groups throughout Michigan. Ken also serves on the Grassroots Public Policy Committee of the Angel Capital Association.

An experienced chief executive and financial economist, Ken has been involved in four successful IPOs: Novell; Wave Technologies, Chairman of the Board and CEO; Gemphire Therapeutics, outside Director, chairs audit/finance committee; ProNAi Therapeutics; and the acquisition of RetroSense Therapeutics by Allergan Pharmaceuticals. He is directly invested in over 20 startups.

Ken has led the BlueWater Angels to become one of the fastest growing and most successful networks in the Great Lakes States. Raising over $18.4M through a broad syndication and frequent work with VCs, BWA’s follow-on funding brought over $10M of out-of-state capital to Michigan.

In addition, Ken is a member of several corporate boards including Michigan Sugar Corporation, RetroSense Therapeutics, and Gemphire Therapeutics. He was also the Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board of Salare Security and Founder and Board Member of Bravo:Smart Web Design. Active in the community and professional organizations, Ken serves on several advisory boards including: Saginaw Valley State University Board of Fellows and SVSU’s College of Business and Management Advisory Board; Duperon Corporation; Life Magnetics; and Washington University’s Arts & Sciences National Council. Also, Ken previously served on Lawrence Technological University’s Doctor of Management in Information Technology (DMIT) Advisory Board in the College of Management and on LTU’s Advisory Board in the College of Engineering. In 2012, the University selected Ken as one of Michigan’s Leaders and Innovators.

Ken received his Master's degree in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania, and holds a Bachelor's degree in Economics and Urban Studies from Washington University.

hannan lis.jpeg

Hannan Lis

Originally from Haifa, Israel, Hannan is principal, COO and board member of The WW Group, Inc. (Weight Watchers’ largest franchise group); and founder and CEO of Lis Ventures LLC, a venture fund investing in emerging technologies and companies. Through Lis Ventures, he is Chairman of Firebolt Group, a Michigan based lighting display technology company; Chairman of HBR Labs, an Israel/US web collaboration and communication company; and the Chairman of Yoga Shelter LLC, a chain of yoga studios operating in Michigan and California. He is also a board member of Forgotten Harvest and JDC (Joint Distribution Committee) and Chair-Elect of Detroit Public Television (DPTV).

Hannan is a past president of the Jewish Community Centers of Metropolitan Detroit, a past national board member of the American Jewish Committee, past Midwest president and national vice president of JNF, founder of the Land of Promise Foundation, and a member of the Detroit Federation Board of Governors. He is a co-president of MOPAC, a Democratic political action committee and a member of AIPAC National Council. He served as past president of American Technion Society Detroit Chapter and is also a member of ATS National Board of Governors. He is a founder and past president of MIBB (Michigan Israel Business Bridge), an advocacy organization promoting trade between Israel and Michigan. He is the past president of the MIBB Foundation.

Hannan is married to Lisa (a Michigan Jewish communal leader). They are the proud parents of Ariella, Liat, Mataan and Aviv.


Stewart Nelson

Stewart Nelson is a serial entrepreneur and angel investor with over 30 years experience helping startups. Nelson is a graduate of the University of Michigan (BA Econ & Sociology) and MBA from Eastern Michigan.  His experience includes the following:

  • Founder, Business Consultant, MODG, LLC., 2015 to Present

  • Founder, CEO, Mayasil.com LLC., 2015 to Present

  • Founder, Adreleventis, LLC., May 2014 to Present

  • Founder, GAPro Systems, Inc, December 2013 to Present

  • Account Executive, Kapnick Insurance Group, October, 2001 – December, 2016

  • Business Coach, New Enterprise Forum, 2011 to Present

  • Founder, SolidSpeed Network LLC., June 1998 to June 2001

  • Founder, GeoStrip System LLC., August 1992 to September 1995

  • Commercial pilot, Northwest Airlines Inc., October 1976 to August 1998

  • Operations Officer, Command Pilot, Lt. Col. USAFR, October 1969 to August 1992

  • Instructor pilot, 1969 to October 1975, United States Air Force


Tim Parker

Tim Parker is an energetic entrepreneur and global business leader with a passion for developing people, products and processes.

Tim became the second president of Grand Angels in November of 2016.  Grand Angels is one of the oldest angel investment firms in Michigan and also operates two venture capital funds.  Tim oversees Grand Angels’ organization, deal sourcing, investing, and portfolio management along with representing the group at networking and educational events across the region.  In August of 2017, he launched Ka-Zoo Angels, the first affiliate of Grand Angels.

Prior to Grand Angels, Tim was the founder of a global export, trading, and consulting startup with the goal of increasing trade between Michigan and Asian markets.  During his 7 years as an entrepreneur, he obtained exclusive rights to Asia for 15 U.S. brands, representing more than 120 SKU’s and establishing relationships with major retailers in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, The Philippines, Japan, South Korea, and others.  He also spent 17 years at Bissell, Inc., including eight years as its global vice president of research and development.  During college and for a couple years after, he worked as a launch engineer for tier one automotive supplier, Prince Corporation.

Tim holds a B.S. degree in Manufacturing Administration (’90) and also a M.B.A. (’00) from Western Michigan University.


Erik J. Schumacher, CPA

Erik helps clients effectively manage their tax obligations while staying current with compliance and reporting requirements. His client-focused service approach centers on consistent communication, effectively managing deadlines and providing proactive solutions.

Service Areas

  • Tax compliance

  • Tax consulting

  • Due diligence

  • Mergers and acquisitions

  • Private Equity

  • Succession planning


Erik has experience serving a broad range of clients across multiple industries, including the manufacturing and energy sectors.  He also has substantial experience serving clients with complex equity structures often associated with private equity or foreign ownership.

Prior to joining Rehmann in 2018, Erik had 10 years of experience with a large national firm, providing tax consulting and compliance services to large companies with international and private equity ownership as a member of the firm’s Manufacturing Industry, Private Equity, Merger and Acquisition and International teams.  He also served as the Director of Tax for the firm’s local office.

A Closer Look

  • Erik has helped multiple clients navigate through complex mergers and acquisitions, sales transactions and international divestitures.

  • As a thought leader, Erik is a frequent speaker on tax matters to many associations and groups including the Michigan Oil & Gas Association’s Annual Conference.

  • Erik is active in his community, recently serving as Board Treasurer for Northwest Michigan Toys for Tots Foundation, and as Board Treasurer for New Meadows Co-Owners Association.

Waddington Head Shot-Hi Res.jpeg

Ryan Waddington

Ryan has over 20 years of experience in investing, operating and consulting roles in the energy, mobility, manufacturing and agriculture sectors. Ryan has founded, financed and led more than 40 companies at seed, venture and growth equity stages, totaling over $200 million of invested and committed capital.

As founder and General Partner of Huron River Ventures, Ryan leads the only early stage venture firm focused on supporting the entrepreneurs that are using cutting-edge technology to reinvent the industries that define the Midwest.  Prior to establishing HRV in 2010, Ryan helped build an energy-focused private equity group within New York-based Ziff Brothers Investments, one of the largest and most successful family office investment firms in the country. There he became part of the core team of investment managers and worked on multiple transactions in sectors including renewables, biofuels, power transmission and advanced materials.

Ryan began his career in venture capital working inside DTE Energy’s corporate venture group, where he led investments in advanced energy technologies. He also established and executed a seed stage funding program at NextEnergy, where he funded several Michigan-based alternative energy companies, and co-founded a “dot com” web portal for outdoor enthusiasts while in business school.  Ryan also works as a mentor-in-residence at the University of Michigan Office of Technology Transfer, as a venture partner with Arsenal, a Florida-based growth equity firm, for whom he sits on the board of VNN Sports, and as a partner and COO with Halo Growth Ventures.  Previously, Ryan worked as a venture advisor to Aclaria Partners, a mid-market private equity firm.

Ryan holds a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan, an M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Wisconsin, and an MBA with Distinction from the Ross School of Business at University of Michigan, where participated in the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise.  Ryan currently sits on the advisory board or investment committee of the Wolverine Venture Fund, the Zell Lurie Commercialization Fund, the Erb Institute and Invest Detroit Ventures, and previously served on the board of directors of the Michigan Venture Capital Association.