Staff & Leadership

Staff

Laura Frerichs
Director

Laura Frerichs is the University of Illinois Research Park Director and Director of Economic Development for the University of Illinois’ Urbana-Champaign campus. She is responsible for managing startup company services at the EnterpriseWorks technology incubator, marketing the Research Park, and supporting the University’s economic development efforts. Frerichs has developed innovative entrepreneur support programs as well as has attracted many new companies who are interested in engaging with the University of Illinois.

Under Frerichs’ leadership, the Research Park was named AURP Outstanding Research Park of the Year in 2011, by Inc. Magazine as one of the top 3 College Town Incubators in 2013, and by Forbes in 2013 as one of 12 Business Incubators Changing the World. She has served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation, the University of Illinois Alumni Association Campus Alumni Advisory Board, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Illinois Technology Association and Illinois Science and Tech Coalition. Laura was named “Woman of the Year” by Central Illinois Business Magazine for the Forty Under Forty business awards, 2009; awarded the Entrepreneur Advocacy Award at the Champaign County Innovation Celebration, 2011; and presented the 2013 Athena Young Professional Award. Laura is a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Media and served as Student Body President at the Urbana-Champaign campus.

(217) 333-8323
Laura Bleill Marketing Coordinator
Laura Bleill
Assistant Director for External Relations

Laura Weisskopf Bleill is the Assistant Director of External Relations for the University of Illinois Research Park. She is responsible for overseeing the marketing, external relations, client management and programming for the Research Park and EnterpriseWorks incubator. Her current role includes overseeing publications, events, serving as an ambassador for the Research Park with outside visitors, as well as account management and customer relations. Bleill has been with Research Park in a variety of capacities since 2010. Bleill has a master's and bachelor's degree in journalism from Northwestern University; her work has appeared in publications across the country, including daily newspapers, magazines and online.

An accidental entrepreneur, Bleill is the Mom-in-Chief of chambanamoms.com, a local online magazine geared towards Champaign-Urbana families. Bleill is on the board of the Champaign Urbana Jewish Federation and volunteers with many local organizations. She lives in Champaign with her husband and three daughters. 

(217) 244-7744
Cynthia Faullin
Cynthia Faullin
Assistant Director for Operations

Cynthia Faullin rejoined the University in early 2014 as the Assistant Director for Operations in the Research Park.  Her previous career at Illinois was in Undergraduate Academic Affairs and Career Services.  Sandwiched in between, Ms. Faullin was the Vice President of Development for One Main Development in Downtown Champaign.  She is credited with being part of the development team for M2 on Neil and for the design and finishes of many of the building’s interior spaces, including the condominiums.  Ms. Faullin was also responsible for the residential sales and commercial leasing in both One Main Plaza and M2 on Neil.  She brings with her more than twenty years of public and private sector experience to her role in the Research Park.    Ms. Faullin is proudly Canadian and graduated from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.  However, she loves the Midwest and feels particularly at home in Champaign-Urbana.  Since she has lived here she has devoted time to numerous Arts-related organizations including 40 North (producing the first ACE Awards), C-U Ballet and Artists Against Aids.    

217-300-3905
Roger West
Finance Manager

Roger West is the Research Park Finance Manager. He oversees many operational aspects of our organization, including accounting, finances, grant management, and lease administration for EnterpriseWorks. Roger is a CPA with a background that includes a mix of entrepreneurship, technology, construction, and University financial audits.  Before joining the Research Park staff in 2011, he worked as the Director of Accounts at Common Ground Publishing, a graduate of the EnterpriseWorks incubator which has its offices in the Research Park. He also worked as a Controller at Broeren Russo Construction and Vogel Bros. Construction learning about the construction business, which should come in handy with our new building projects in the Research Park. He worked as an accountant at two small accounting firms when he began his career.  Roger and his family live in Savoy. 

217-244-7745
Dana Cohen Events Coordinator
Dana Cohen
Events and Workforce Development Coordinator

Dana Cohen is the Events and Workforce Development Coordinator for the University of Illinois Research Park, joining the team in November 2013.  She is responsible for programming, promotion and logistics for events. She also supports talent management for corporations and startups, consulting on Human Resource best practices for companies and acts a liaison to campus Career Services. Her role includes overseeing the events calendar and the Research Park job board, assisting with management of interns, and supporting the growth of the workforce in the Park by assisting companies with human resources and recruiting needs.

Before joining the Research Park team, Dana graduated from the University of Illinois with a Master of Social Work and BS degree in Psychology. Dana and her husband, Erez, live in Champaign.

217.244.7198
Paul Wagner
Network Coordinator for Research Park

Paul Wagner is the Network Coordinator for Research Park. He is responsible for managing the Enterprise Works and Research Park networks. He has a Bachelor’s in Political Science from Northern Illinois University but his background is primarily in network engineering and support. He is a Captain in the Illinois Army National Guard and has deployed twice as a communications officer, most recently to Afghanistan. He is currently pursuing his Master’s of Science in Information Security at Illinois State University.

217-244-2355
Dominique Jones
Office Support Associate

Dominique Jones joined the EnterpriseWorks team as an Office Support Associate in April 2013. Dominique’s responsibilities include, overseeing schedules and meeting requests for the Research Park Director and Assistant Director, providing administrative support for the Research Park and EnterpriseWorks office staff and tenant companies; assisting with financial processing and purchasing, and coordinating of events. Dominique has most recently worked with the College of Engineering Women in Engineering Department were she provided administrative and logistical support. She also worked as an Office Support Associate in the University of Illinois’ Staff Human Resources department assisting with a range of employee and departmental services such as Employment, Civil Service Testing, and Extra Help Services. She received her BS degree in Psychology from the University of Illinois and plans to receive a Master’s degree in Human Resource Development with a focus on individual and organizational performance and leadership.

 

217-300-2147

Leadership


The Research Park Board of Managers has the following composition:

One Board of Trustees representative (Edward L. McMillan); three business and industry leaders (Patrick Daly, Roderick Johnson, and Rick Stephens); and the Vice Chancellors for Research at the Urbana and Chicago campuses. The Vice President/Chief Financial Officer and Comptroller and Vice President for Research serve as non-voting members. The board includes academic representatives as voting members from each campus: Sharon M. Donovan (Melissa M. Noel Endowed Chair in Nutrition and Health, UIUC) and Mark Donovan (Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services and Executive Director for Facilities Management and Capital Programs, UIC).

The Research Park Board of Managers external members (non UI employees) include: 

  • Chairman: Edward L. McMillan, also serves on the UI Board of Trustees 
  • Vice-Chairman: Pat Daly, The Daly Group LLC
  • Rick Stephens, Horizon Hobby
  • Roderick Johnson, private consultant

University of Illinois Research Park, LLC Board of Managers Meeting Documents

  • April 13, 2012, Board of Managers, Meeting via Conference Call at 1:30 pm, Agenda
  • October 8, 2012, Board of Managers Meeting in Urbana, Agenda
  • February 4, 2013, Board of Managers Meeting via Conference Call at 11 a.m. Agenda
  • June 3, 2013, Board of Managers Meeting in Chicago, Agenda
  • June 2, 2014, Board of Managers Meeting in Champaign, Agenda