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July 13, 2010

Media Contact: Beverley Golden
News and Information
The University of Texas at Tyler
903.566.7303 or 903.330.0495 (cell)

UT Tyler Hosts Economic Developers' Roundtable

The University of Texas at Tyler will host the North East Texas Economic Developers’ Roundtable on Wednesday, July 14, Dr. Arlene Horne, UT Tyler vice president for research and federal relations, announced.

The NETEDR will be 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the UT Tyler Ornelas Activity Center and is sponsored by the UT Tyler Office of Sponsored Research and Traylor Associates, Incorporated.

Speakers for the day will be John J. Vasselli, executive director of the UT Tyler Texas Allergy, Indoor Environment and Energy Institute, also known as TxAIRE; and Mark M. Ellison, associate vice chancellor for the Texas A&M System.

Recruited via a Texas Research Superiority Acquisition of Talent Grant, Vasselli comes to UT Tyler from the Carrier Corporation where he was the chief of technology for indoor air quality and one of only seven Carrier “Fellows” worldwide.  

He is the past president and CEO of the Houston Advanced Research Center in The Woodlands. While at HARC, he created a high tech company “incubator” that housed 26 start-up companies in a 50,000 square-foot shared facility. Vasselli also served on the board of the Greater Houston Partnership, as well as on the executive committee of the Houston Technology Center.

Prior to moving to Texas, Vasselli played a major role in the establishment of academic-industry partnerships across New York State. These included the creation of the New York State Technology Enterprise Corporation, established to transfer technology out of Department of Defense federal laboratories.  

NYSTC began as a 501c3 entity but was so successful that it became a for-profit corporation within five years of its creation.  Vasselli also provided the early vision for the creation of the Syracuse Center of Excellence for Environmental and Energy Systems, one of five Centers of Excellence across New York State. During its first 10 years of operation, the Syracuse Center of Excellence created over $100 million dollars of collaborative academic-industry activities.

Ellison is the A&M System’s initial point of contact for economic development issues and activities, from local to international. He guides ongoing efforts to leverage the economic development resources of the A&M System to benefit businesses, communities, academic and governmental entities.

Working with A&M System universities and agencies, he directs efforts on economic development-related issues.  His extensive experience in the private and public sector complement his leadership of initiatives that establish strong ties with industry and ensure strong business involvement.

Prior to heading the Texas Emerging Technology Fund, Ellison served as director of the Office of Employer Initiatives for the Texas Workforce Commission. He has been a partner in a specialty investment banking firm in Dallas and was assistant commissioner of marketing and agribusiness development for the Texas Department of Agriculture.

One of the 15 campuses of the UT System, UT Tyler offers excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service. More than 90 undergraduate and graduate degrees are available at UT Tyler, which has an enrollment of more than 6,000 high-ability students at its campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine.


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