Date: January 4, 2017
Contact: Kristin Palm
Phone: (313) 483-1326
TechTown Detroit names two new board members
TechTown, Detroit’s most established business incubator and accelerator, has named two new members to its Board of Directors. Hector Hernandez and Dr. Sorin Draghici were approved at the Board’s December 19 meeting. Hernandez and Draghici bring significant experience in entrepreneurship, community development and tech-based research.
“Hector and Sorin are both recognized widely for their professional expertise and their community leadership. As TechTown deepens and expands both its tech- and neighborhood-based programming, these two outstanding professionals will prove excellent additions to our board,” said M. Roy Wilson, Wayne State University president and chair of the TechTown Board.
The new appointments come as TechTown plans to expand its efforts around medhealth and health IT, including hosting a cross-border MedHealth Summit on February 14. The organization is also deepening its work with neighborhood-based small businesses, including expanding its SWOT City program, which offers customized consulting to brick-and-mortar businesses in key commercial corridors and currently serves Detroit’s Brightmoor, East Jefferson, Grandmont-Rosedale, Osborn, Southwest and University District neighborhoods.
“I look forward to working with Hector, Sorin and all of our talented board members as we continue to do what TechTown does best and do more of it—and that’s helping both tech and neighborhood businesses develop, launch and grow,” said Ned Staebler, TechTown’s president and CEO.
Hector Hernandez is Executive Director of Southwest Economic Solutions. Under Hector’s direction Southwest Economic Solutions became a 501c3 subsidiary of Southwest Solutions in 2013. He over-saw the recruitment of board members and convened a strategic planning process. Hector oversees all day to day operations of multiple satellite offices who hold programs that include Homeownership, Workforce Development, Adult Learning, Entrepreneurship, and Financial Literacy Services. Hector has over 20 years of experience in the local and state housing industry having previously worked at both MSHDA and the Detroit Housing Commission. He has received multiple awards and honors, including the MSHDA Lighthouse Award and Leadership Detroit Class 32. Hector was born and raised in Southwest Detroit. (Photo below, left.)
Dr. Sorin Draghici is the Associate Dean for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and Director, James and Patricia Anderson Engineering Ventures Institute in the College of Engineering at Wayne State University. He currently holds the Robert J. Sokol, MD Endowed Chair in Systems Biology, as well as appointments as full professor in the Department of Computer Science and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Wayne State University. Professor Draghici is also the head of the Intelligent Systems and Bioinformatics Laboratory (ISBL) in the Department of Computer Science. His work is focused on research in artificial intelligence, machine learning and data mining techniques applied to bioinformatics and computational biology. He has published two best-selling books on data analysis of high throughput genomics data, 8 book chapters and over 160 peer-reviewed journal and conference papers. His research laboratory has a strong track record in developing tools for data analysis of high throughput data. During his 17-year appointments as faculty, he was able to attract $8,262,283 as PI and $27,418,291 as co-PI in NIH and NSF grants. (Photo below, right.)
Hernandez and Draghici were both appointed to three-year terms.