December 17, 2015
2 minute read

EDA Appoints Second Round of Executives-in-Residence to Mentor Emerging Companies at Life Sciences Incubator

TRENTON (December 17, 2015) –The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) today announced that five highly-qualified individuals have been selected to serve as its second group of Executives-in-Residence (EIRs), mentoring and advising emerging technology companies at the Commercialization Center for Innovative Technologies (CCIT) in North Brunswick. Developed in collaboration with BioNJ, the EIR program is designed for high-level biotechnology executives currently in transition. 
“New Jersey’s technology ecosystem invites and encourages mentorship and collaboration between established life sciences executives and up-and-coming biotechnology companies,” EDA Chief Executive Officer Melissa Orsen said. “The EIR Program harnesses that collaborative energy to benefit the next generation of entrepreneurs.”
“We are thrilled with the success of the Executive-in-Residence program and are excited for the second round of EIRs,” said Debbie Hart, President and CEO, BioNJ. “The growth of New Jersey’s life sciences ecosystem relies on collaboration and mentorship and this program fosters innovation, entrepreneurship and advancement.”

The newest round of EIRs includes:
Gary Esterow of Manalapan (EIR – Strategic Communications), who brings over 30 years of global communications expertise in the consumer, pharmaceutical, medical device, non-profit, agency, and corporate arenas.

Sathapana (Sam) Kongsamut, PhD of Madison (EIR –Investment and Partnering Strategies), is an entrepreneurial neuroscientist with vast pharmaceutical research and development experience, as well as business development experience.

Loralyn Mears, PhD, of Parsippany, (EIR – Market Development), who brings extensive experience selling and marketing products and services in the life sciences for several Fortune 500 companies.

Roland Staal, PhD, of Metuchen (EIR – Strategic and Product Planning), is a scientist with a passion for drug discovery and comprehensive knowledge of the pharmaceutical industry.

Richard (Rick) Winneker, PhD, of Margate, (EIR – Research Communications, Strategic Planning and Partnering), who brings 30 years of experience, specializing in drug discovery and development, and life science research and organizational strategic planning.

Full EIR biographies and photos available at
The selected Executives will mentor and coach CCIT’s promising companies through weekly office hours, during which CCIT tenants can seek advice on a variety of topics as they grow their companies. Each Executive will also offer a lecture on a topic relevant to entrepreneurship.
Benefits of the program for selected Executives include networking opportunities with tenants, BioNJ and the greater New Jersey Life Sciences communities; office space at CCIT; the title of Executive –In-Residence; and exposure on the EDA’s website and social media channels.  The EIR Program has led to exciting opportunities for the first round of life sciences professionals, including full time employment and consulting positions. 
The EIR Program application process is highly competitive.  Applications are received on a  rolling basis, with appointments of new executives made on a semi-annual 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
To learn about programs and initiatives that support the technology industry, visit and follow @NJEDATech on Twitter and LinkedIn.