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In a working career that spans over fifty years, Roger Williams started as a co-op student at General Motors Institute, where he earned a B.S. in Industrial Engineering. Roger has served as Division Manager of a Tier One U.S. automotive supplier and President of North American operations for a Tier One German automotive supplier. In addition to work experience in both marketing and manufacturing operations for large companies, he also owned a small business where he learned a lot about “applied entrepreneurship” and the need for due diligence.
For the past ten years, Roger has worked for New York State supported organizations in economic development and technology commercialization. He worked for the Alliance for Manufacturing Technology (AM&T), a Regional Technology Development Center in Binghamton, and for the Center for Life Science Enterprise at Cornell. Since leaving the University, Roger is helping to develop a state-wide, sustainable program for Pre-Seed Workshops. After organizing several Pre-Seed Workshops for Cornell, he recognized the value of the Workshops in the formation and development of research-based high-tech companies. He is also developing a state-wide alliance of angel funding groups, the New York Angel Network (NYAN).Roger serves as Chairman of the Steering Committee for the Finger Lakes Entrepreneurs’ Forum. He helped organize the Cornell Industrial Outreach Group and has served on the Advisory Committees for the SmartStart Venture Forum, the Golden Horseshoe Business Plan Competition, the Syracuse $100K Business Plan Competition, the BRIncubator, the Cornell IDEA Center, the Cornell Center for Materials Research Jump-Start Program, the MDA Regional Alliance, UNYTECH and the Emerging Technology Alliance. He has held leadership positions in several local not-for-profit groups. In 2007, he was selected for the Cutting Award in recognition of his efforts to provide assistance to entrepreneurs in the region.