HTC Staff


Houston Technology Center


Walter Ulrich,
President and CEO

Appointed by Governor Rick Perry, Walter Ulrich served a two year term as one of 17 founding members of the Texas Emerging Technology Fund Committee that was responsible for awarding $200 million to foster the commercialization of innovative emerging technology within the State of Texas. In addition to his leadership of the HTC, he now serves as Chairman of the Gulf Coast Center for Innovation and Commercialization. Prior to joining the Houston Technology Center, he was CEO of several technology companies and an executive with two major global management consulting firms. He serves on several Boards and is active in major community organizations.  Early in his career, he was responsible for the development of the first successful email service and he founded a major regional IT leader.  He has a master and bachelors degree from Stevens Institute of Technology and served proudly in the US Marine Corps.


Paul M. Frison,
Executive Vice Chairman

Founder of the Houston Technology Center, Paul Frison served as its President from 1999-2007. He has been President and/or CEO of three public, technology based companies: LifeMark (1975-1984), NYSE; ComputerCraft (1984-1999), NASDAQ; and LifeCell (1986-1999). He has been involved in numerous other start-ups by serving on the Board of Directors. His broad experience includes many mergers and acquisitions. He has raised multiple rounds of venture capital, two IPOs, and more than a dozen follow-on rounds of public financing. In 2004 he was honored by the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year program and by the Kauffman Foundation as a national finalist for his achievements as Supporter of Entrepreneurship. In March 2011 Paul was awarded BusinessMaker of the Year by The BusinessMakers Radio Show.


Maryanne Maldonado,
Vice President and
Managing Director, Energy Acceleration

Ms. Maldonado is corporate Vice President of the Houston Technology Center and serves as the Director of Acceleration for the energy sector. She provides strategic and tactical management, as well as investment-related advice to Houston-area early stage companies developing innovative technologies applied in the energy industry. Ms. Maldonado assists in recruiting and screening new energy clients, further growing the renewable energy/clean tech area and direct special energy-related projects at HTC. Prior to joining HTC, Ms. Maldonado presided as Head of Trade and Investment and Head of the International Energy Team for UK Trade and Investment, based in Houston. Prior to working with the United Kingdom, Ms. Maldonado served as Trade Commissioner for the Canadian Consulate-Houston, following several operational and regulatory positions with oil and gas companies. A native of North Carolina, Ms. Maldonado holds a Masters of Business Administration and a Bachelors of Business Management from LeTourneau University in Longview City, Texas.

Jack Sim, VP of Finance John W. “Jack” Sim,
Vice President, Finance and Administration

Jack serves as the Vice President, Finance and Administration for Houston Technology Center and has been active with entrepreneurial start-up companies for over twenty-five years. Jack is the HTC's CFO and handles the company’s HR functions and contract management, while serving as the HTC’s Corporate Secretary. Among Jack’s accomplishments was being named the Houston Business Journal’s 2010 Celebrate!Enterprise "Best CFO of The Year" in the Small Nonprofit category. Prior to joining HTC, he helped found and served as Vice President of several environmental and chemical technology companies. Jack was a principal in NECO Technologies, Inc., which patented a novel CO2 removal technology that resulted in the world’s finest CO2 facility, which removes 350 tons of CO2 per day, from the exhaust gases of a fully qualified 300 MW cogeneration power facility. Earlier in his career, he served 12 years as Vice President of Operations for a worldwide chemical distributor. In addition, he helped found his wife’s successful retail florist operation. Jack is originally from Chicago, where he received his undergraduate degree in Mathematics from St. Xavier University. He is active in his community and has served on the boards of several community and business associations.



Tim Budzik,
Managing Director, JSC Campus
Houston Technology Center - JSC Campus

Mr. Budzik serves as the Managing Director for the Houston Technology Center – JSC Campus. He is responsible for leadership of HTC’s presence at JSC including client incubation and acceleration; client recruitment and screening processes. Mr. Budzik provides mentoring to local incubation and client companies, helping to accelerate their progress towards key commercialization goals and financial success. Prior to joining HTC, he was an executive consultant providing business leadership in energy, defense, IT, cyber and aerospace industries. Prior to executive consulting, Mr. Budzik was the Director of Business Development for EADS-NA, Sr. BD Manager at USA, Director of Capture and Proposal Consulting with Shipley Associates, Director of Strategic Investments with Dynegy and over 10 years of Sr. Engineering positions at JSC as a contractor. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from The Ohio State University in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering and an Executive Education certificate from Rice University.


Bob Prochnow,
CIO, Houston Technology Center
Director, Gulf Coast RCIC and Bay Area RCIC, Texas Emerging Technology Fund

Bob Prochnow has served as an executive in energy and IT technology companies ranging in size from startups to Fortune 500.  In 2001, he was honored by COMPUTERWORLD as one of their Premier 100 IT Leaders.  Bob is an honors graduate with BSEE and MEE degrees from Rice University, specializing in computer hardware and software.  Bob has been active helping early stage companies, working with the Austin Technology Incubator, Houston Technology Center, and the Rice Alliance, and as the Director of the Gulf Coast RCIC has helped early stage companies receive funding through the Texas Emerging Technology Fund. Bob also serves as the Director of the Bay Area RCIC providing assistance to the NASA/JSC and surrounding community.

Houston Technology Center
Executive Staff

AA.jpg Antoine Arbuckle,
Director, Marketing and Communications

Antoine oversees all of HTC’s marketing and communications efforts including public relations, communication to prospective sponsors and clients, development and execution of effective strategic and tactical plans for external and internal communication and developing collateral material such as brochures, fact sheets and articles. Antoine has deep marketing experience in pharmaceuticals, medical capital equipment, IT software development and energy, which are areas most closely aligned to Houston’s and HTC’s most important industries. His main focus is to advance HTC’s brand as the Entrepreneurial Capital and Houston’s increasing reputation as a global technology hub. He is a graduate of Rice University.
Susanne.jpg Susanne Burkeholder,
Director, Office of Development

Susanne serves as the Director, Office of Development, and supports HTC’s fund-raising activities to generate key sponsor support to meet HTC’s mission and vision. Susanne Burkeholder has 20 plus years of strategic and organizational planning, project management, economic and business plan development experience in for-profit and non-profit arenas. Susanne was brought in as the Consulting Executive Director responsible for the overall operations, fundraising and strategic planning reporting to Board of Directors. Susanne successfully restored broken funding relationship and directed a debt reduction program to reduce debt from $1 million to $450,000. Susanne has spent most of her life volunteering in many different capacities including: Steering Committee Chair for a $17 Million capital campaign; Silent Auction director; Information Technology, and many more. She grew up in the oil and cotton fields of West Texas with a commitment to Texas and deep understanding of the synergy among industries that operate in Texas. Susanne has a BBA from the University of Iowa and an MBA specializing in marketing from Texas Tech University with Phi Kappa Phi honors.
jane.jpg Jane Lea Hicks,
Director, Client Incubation

Jane Lea works with the HTC-JSC program where she directs client incubation and acceleration; client recruitment and screening processes. She provides guidance to local incubation and client companies, helping them with strategic planning to accelerate corporate growth and development. Her expertise is in the transitioning of developing groundbreaking technologies into a viable commercial products and successfully introducing new products to the marketplace. As a business development consultant since 1999, Jane Lea has provided strategic guidance to multiple local start-up companies including Chrysalis BioTechnology, and NovoSci. She served as president of Medgraft Microtech, a dermal filler company from 2002 to 2004 and more recently served as President of Digital Media Marketing Group, an internet marketing company and Vice President Business Development for MTM Innovative Solutions a Kentucky-based medical device company. From 1986 to 1999, Jane Lea was Vice President Business Development and Strategic Planning with LifeCell Corporation, one of the early technology spin-outs from the University Of Texas Health Sciences Center. Jane Lea received her BA from University of North Carolina, Greensboro and completed advanced post-graduate studies at UNC-Chapel Hill.


Deborah Mansfield,
Director, Life Sciences Acceleration and
Associate Director, Gulf Coast RCIC

Ms. Mansfield serves as the Director of Acceleration for the life sciences sector, providing strategic and tactical management, as well as investment-related advice to Houston-area early stage companies developing innovative technologies applied in the life sciences industry. Ms. Mansfield has an extensive background in business development, management, non-equity funding, entrepreneurship, compliance, and research in the life sciences sector. She has provided operations support to the Governor’s Council on Science and Biotechnology Development and currently acts as associate director for the Gulf Coast Regional Center of Innovation and Commercialization, Texas Emerging Technology Fund. Prior to joining HTC, Deborah served in a number of management and research roles at UT MD Anderson Cancer Center and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. She is an active advisory board member for ACCION Texas, Lone Star College-Montgomery Biotechnology Institute, University of Houston Biotechnology Industrial Advisory Committee, Nurtured by Design, Laser Tissue Welding, Inc., Fairway Medical Technologies, Inc. and Rice Alliance for Technology & Entrepreneurship, as well as, is in leadership roles for the Bio/Medical Technology Club of Houston and Gulf Coast Medical Device Manufactures.  Ms. Mansfield holds a Masters of Business Administration from Our Lady of the Lake University, MS from Pennsylvania State University, and BS from California State University of Pennsylvania.

RT.jpg Robert Thomas,
Director, Information Technology Acceleration

Robert Thomas is an innovative business strategist who has improved organizational performance, increased profits, and held down cost for over 20 years in the financial services, technology and human resource outsourcing business sectors. He has served in senior executive roles as President and CEO, Senior Division Executive, and Vice President and General Manager for leading domestic and global organizations. Throughout his career, Robert has led corporate transformations developing world-class sales, customer service, and business strategy / development and operations divisions. He has also served in key roles for global turnarounds, mergers and acquisitions

Houston Technology Center
International Program Chairs
Entrepreneurs and Executives in Residence


Phil Fraher,
HTC Asia Chairman

Phil has over 20 years of leadership experience within business intelligence, data delivery, and business-to-business (B2B) software companies. As Chief Financial Officer, Phil manages the day-to-day financial and accounting operations for FuelQuest as well as leverages his extensive background to guide the company through key growth opportunities. Previously, he served as President and CEO of Visual Numerics, Inc.; performed as COO and CFO of Brightmail, Inc.; and held other financial management positions at Cahners Business Information Electronic Media Division, Pilot Software, and Dun & Bradstreet. Phil has extensive venture capital, M&A, and international business expansion experience. He began his career as a software engineer with Exxon Production Research. Phil holds an MBA from the Simon Graduate School of Business at the University of Rochester and a BS in Computing Engineering at Auburn University.


Carlos Lara,
HTC Americas Chairman

Mr. Lara is the President of Lara & Associates LLC, a financial and business development advisory firm that provides corporate strategies, advocacy and project facilitation, and outsourcing solutions related to Human Resources and Technology/ Software development matters. In addition he is a principal in several independent business ventures, ranging from the electricity to healthcare issues. Mr. Lara has successfully created and managed public and private projects at national and bilateral levels for grass roots and investment promotion related campaigns, internet initiatives and web portals, sports franchises, mass Hispanic retail and electricity markets, corporate and public finance activities and international funds transfer business; along with nonprofit initiatives such as the Mexican Council for Hispanic Business, the NAFTA Internship Program of the Washington Center and the HTC Americas.  Mr. Lara was born in Mexico City, where he obtained a Bachelor's and Master’s degree in Business Administration and International Management (MBA-MIM) from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM), while having the opportunity to teach international marketing and finance.


James B. Seaton III
Executive in Residence

As a chief executive, leader of executive staffs and senior advisor to leaders of global organizations, Jim Seaton acquired extensive experience in corporate governance and reorganization, influencing the future direction of organizations (to include turning them around), building teams/capabilities, and focusing organizations on achieving their strategic objectives. Over the course of a Marine Corps career, Colonel Jim Seaton was Camp Pendleton Base Commander, strategic policy advisor at the White House and senior advisor to General David Petraeus. When Jim commanded the Marine Corps’ major west coast installation, Camp Pendleton was recognized for innovative management as 1 of only 5 Defense Department model installations (of more than 750 worldwide). Since transitioning from the Marine Corps in 2012, Jim studied energy management at ESCP Europe Business School. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and an associate at the Research Centre for Energy Management at ESCP Europe Business School in London.



Bryan McQuary,
Entrepreneur in Residence

Mr. Bryan McQuary has a unique mix of entrepreneurial and corporate experience in the energy industry.  As the founder and President of a clean-tech startup that won a highly coveted applied research grant, he has the business acumen required to identify, evaluate, create, and manage new business opportunities.  He is also passionate about helping others succeed in their own ventures, given the challenges required to be successful.  Prior to his startup, he worked as a senior financial analyst in Treasury and Corporate Finance at a "Fortune 500" company, with an emphasis on treasury workstation utilization, corporate FX and interest rate hedging, and off-balance sheet asset securitization.  Mr. McQuary’s educational background includes a M.S., in Technology Commercialization and a BBA in Finance, both from the University of Texas at Austin.  



Janella Youmans
Executive on Loan

Ms. Youmans will provide strategic and tactical guidance for developing companies in aerospace, transportation, and distribution industries.  She assists in connecting clients with experienced professionals from the field and assisting in the acceleration of early stage companies.  Ms. Youmans joins the Houston Technology Center as a loaned executive from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration at Johnson Space Center.   She has vast experience in the human space program, working in both the private and government sectors.  Most recently, she served in a management role in the International Space Station Program Office.  Ms. Youmans earned her bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering at Iowa State University and a Master of Arts in Behavioral Sciences as well as a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Houston – Clear Lake.


Houston Technology Center


Diane Askins, Accounting Coordinator

Evelyn.JPG Evelyn Boatman, Administrative Services Manager - JSC Campus
Roslynn Fitch, Marketing Coordinator

Roslynn Fitch, Marketing Coordinator

Roslynn previously worked as the Communications Coordinator for Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship at Texas A&M, responsible for promoting the programs, events and reputation of CNVE as well as events like the 600 attendee Aggie 100, Ideas Challenge, New Venture Challenge, and the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities.


Christian Parker, Client Acceleration Coordinator


Ruby Ramirez, Receptionist/Administrative Assistant


Cheri Rocha, Administrative Services Manager


Executive Assistant to Walter Ulrich, President & CEO

steve_S.jpg Steve Smith, Facilities Manager

Kendra Trueba, Property Manager and

Leasing Agent

Char.JPG Charlene Wied, Administrative Assistant

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