Department Faculty

ELS Leadership

Mark Ranalli, Associate Dean, Executive Director, Professor of the Practice Tufts Gordon Institute
To contact Mark, please email

Inge Milde, Director & Senior Lecturer, Entrepreneurial Leadership Studies
To contact Inge, please email

ELS Faculty

Mark Ranalli


Associate Dean, Executive Director
Professor of the Practice Tufts Gordon Institute

Mark Ranalli joins Tufts Gordon Institute with more than 25 years of industry experience as an executive business leader and entrepreneur. He brings an extensive track record of driving innovation in a variety of markets, including publishing, entertainment, and professional services. Prior to Tufts, he was Managing Director of RR Donnelly’s Digital Solutions Group, where he was responsible for the company’s digital business strategy. In 2006, he founded Helium, Inc., a media source that applies a crowdsourcing filtering system to community-generated content that was acquired by RR Donnelly in 2011. Soon after launching Helium, he co-founded and launched OurStage Inc., an independent music discovery platform. He grew his first venture, an internet professional services agency called Basessix, Inc., from inception to three offices and over 70 people. Ranalli previously held executive roles at UNIFI Communications, Inc. and Fax international, Inc. He currently serves as Vice Chairman for the Center for Responsive Politics. He also served as an Entrepreneur in Residence at the Tuck School at Dartmouth for four years where he taught classes on mergers and acquisitions and entrepreneurship. Ranalli received an M.B.A. from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and a BSEE from Stanford University. 
To contact Mark, please email

Inge Milde


Director & Senior Lecturer, Entrepreneurial Leadership Studies

Inge Milde is a creative industry leader with a track record of success in designing and executing high-visibility corporate and academic programs. As the owner and founder of Inge Milde & Associates, she combines her business acumen and creative talent by providing strategic, operational and artistic services to entrepreneurial enterprises. Her first entrepreneurial experience was opening of a marketing and public relations agency that represented advertising photographers. Since then, Ms. Milde has led innovation initiatives for companies such as Bacardi, US Gypsum, and Intuit. Her client portfolio includes several entrepreneurial firms and a host of creative businesses. Ms. Milde’s affiliation with the Gordon Institute began in 2008 as a part-time lecturer. Since 2012 she has also served as manager of the Tufts $100k New Ventures Competition, which has seen substantial increases in submissions, attendance, alumni engagement, and funding under her guidance. Ms. Milde earned her B.S. at Tufts University, her B.F.A. at School of the Museum of Fine Arts, and her M.B.A. at Babson College.
To contact Inge, please email

Alicia Amaral

Lecturer – Financial and Managerial Accounting, Entrepreneurial Finance
Managing Director of Scalar Analytics

Alicia Amaral is a seasoned financial professional with a diverse background. Her experience includes executive finance positions and “big 6” public accounting experience. Alicia is familiar with the unique financial issues of engineering firms as she spent eight years of her career with the Boston-based engineering firm of Haley & Aldrich. Alicia is the past Chief Financial Officer for Sentinel Financial Group, an employee benefits and investment firm. She is currently the Managing Director of Scalar Analytics, a premier business valuation firm.
Alicia holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Furman University and a Master of Science in Accountancy degree from Bentley University. She is a licensed CPA and a Certified Valuation Analyst.
To contact Alicia, please email

Frank Apeseche


Professor of the Practice

Frank brings over three decades of experience creating, building, managing, and advising successful business enterprises. As an owner he has led four companies to their Initial Public Offerings. As an investor he has sponsored 14 institutional private equity funds with over $7 billion of capitalization. The companies he has supervised span a geography covering the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia. Frank is a Partner and Co-Founder of J. Locke & Company. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Building Engines Inc. Additionally Frank is an active member/investor of Launchpad Venture Group. Previously Frank was Chief Executive Officer of The Berkshire Group. During his 26 years at Berkshire, Frank helped launch and grow over a dozen enterprises with cumulative assets in excess of $10 billion. Frank also has served as Chairman of Amstar Advisers, Berkshire Realty Ventures, KBRO Linen Systems, and Aspen Furniture, and was on the Board of Directors of Lodging Capital Partners, Berkshire Property Advisors, Surebridge inc., Berkshire Mortgage Finance, SMS Modern Cleaning Services, and Berkshire Realty Holdings. Frank received his BA from Cornell University and his MBA from the University of Michigan.
To contact Frank, please email

Lana Caron

Lecturer, Entrepreneurship and Business Planning

Lana Caron is a globally minded high-tech executive, innovative business leader, entrepreneur, and management consultant with an established track record of success launching new ventures, raising capital, and expanding business into new markets. She has been helping startups and large multinationals develop plans and accelerate business growth for over 15 years. Her work has been featured in numerous publications and impacted organizations around the world. Lana consults, teaches and writes in the areas of innovative leadership, change management, M&A, strategy, and entrepreneurship. She is currently the CEO & Founder of the Colliston Group, an innovation and strategy consulting firm serving clients in technology, media and education. Earlier in her career, Lana held senior leadership roles as Director of Corporate Development at Sensata Technologies (formerly Texas Instruments) and Manager of Strategy & Business Development at Philips Healthcare, where she led strategic and operational initiatives for multi-billion dollar portfolios. Lana started her career in management consulting with Accenture after earning her MBA, Masters’ Degree in Education and CPA. She is an avid supporter of the Boston innovation community, and currently teaches at the Gordon Institute at Tufts University as well as mentors entrepreneurs through the WinLab Venture Accelerator at Babson College. To contact Lana, please email


Ron Lasser

Professor of the Practice

Ron Lasser is a Professor of the Practice at Tufts University where he uses his industrial experience and practical engineering knowledge to teach electrical engineering design, engineering entrepreneurship, and linear systems. He teaches students to inspire and apply critical thinking to real-life problems, then look toward innovation and technology to provide a solution. Previously, he was an international consultant where he worked with global clients on product realization, innovation and technology, product definition, product portfolio management, and organizational design. He worked as a project manager at DuPont in their Electronic Prepress business and  as the  sr. exec and director of engineering at General Scanning. He is on the board of advisors at Hematotypes. Ron received a Ph.D., a M.S., and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University
To contact Ron, please email

Jack Derby

President, Derby Management

Jack Derby is the president and founder of Derby Management. Prior to forming Derby Management, Jack served as CEO of Mayer Electronics Corporation, President of CB Sports, President of Litton Industries Medical Systems, CEO of Datamedix Corporation and President of Becton Dickinson Medical Systems. For his work in the entrepreneurial community, Jack was named to Mass High Tech’s All Star Team. He also received the Pro Bono Publico award from the Smaller Business Association of New England, the Meritorious Service Award for the Association for Corporate Growth, and the Vincent Fulmer Distinguished Service Award from the MIT Enterprise Forum. He is also a lecturer at MIT, where for the past seventeen years, he has taught classes in business planning and marketing. Jack is currently an active board member in a number of companies, including the Associated Industries of MassachusettsAccounting Management SolutionsAviant HospiceBrainshark CorporationRome Snowboards, and Reiser Inc. He is also the past Chairman of, and an active investor in, Common Angels Ventures.
To contact Jack, please email

Jessica Deckinger


Lecturer, Nutrition and Entrepreneurship

Jessica Deckinger is currently the Chief Marketing Officer for Antera Therapeutics, a biotechnology company in Boston focused on developing foods for special dietary use to support early introduction of allergens to infants.

Early in her career, Jessica made the challenging leap from global finance at JPMorgan to operations at the National Football League before finding her true passion in marketing. Jessica’s past marketing roles have included global positions with Keds, Welch’s Fruit Snacks and Avon Products.  Jessica holds a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Harvard Business School. She currently serves on the boards of several leading not-for-profit organizations including Jeff’s Place, the Trustee’s Council of Penn Women and UPenn Off the Beat. Jessica currently lives in Weston, Massachusetts, with her husband Ken and three amazing little girls.  To contact Jessica, please email

Gavin Finn

President & CEO of Kaon Interactive, Inc.

Gavin Finn is President & CEO of Kaon Interactive. He is responsible for the company’s strategic, financial, product, and customer relationship strategies. Prior to joining Kaon, Gavin served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Bluestreak, Inc. and led the company through three acquisitions and organic growth resulting in a profitable, high-growth business. Prior to Bluestreak, Gavin was President and Chief Executive Officer of Prescient Technologies, Inc.Gavin holds a Ph.D. in Computer-Aided-Engineering and a Master of Science degree in Structural Engineering from MIT, and a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Oklahoma State University.
To contact Gavin, please email

Beth McCarthy

Lecturer, Entrepreneurial Leadership

Beth has spent the last 20+ years helping brands in both the private and public sector bridge the gap between their offering and their consumers’ needs – creating products and services that reflect these needs and then marketing them in a way that resonates and inspires action. Beth has spent most of her career working in entrepreneurial environments including the years she ran her own consulting business and her 11+ years at C Space. Prior to C Space, Beth worked at top marketing/consulting firms in Boston including Digitas and Epsilon. Beth has been an advocate for education – as a volunteer, as a consultant and as a lecturer. She has collaborated with students at several Boston area colleges and universities and enjoys immensely the opportunity to inspire people – challenging them to think in new ways and knowing that the work she’s doing is making a difference.
To contact Beth, please email

Tina Weber

Lecturer, Entrepreneurship and Business Planning

Tina helps companies with market strategy and development. She is the founder/CEO of A Starting Line and she also runs Lean Startup Challenge, a startup accelerator program that provides guidance and mentoring based on the Lean Startup principles. She has served as mentor and judge for the Tufts 100K Business Competition and has also mentored/coached startups at Harvard iLabs, Harvard University’s startup incubator. Previously, she was the Chief Engagement Officer of, responsible for launch strategy, customer acquisition and engagement. She had previously founded a marketing/technology consulting firm and also worked at companies such as eBay Enterprise/ e-Dialog, and Digitas. Tina’s earlier career was spent leading teams and working on market analysis, business intelligence/reporting, SAP implementation, and business process re-engineering projects.
To contact Tina, please email

Josh Wiesman

President & CEO, Precision Ventures

Josh Wiesman is the President and CEO of Precision Ventures, a Boston based operational fund that develops and licenses “small ball” medical and consumer products. His current focus is on airway management in anesthesia and infant/child products for feeding and drinking. Josh founded his first company, TWI LLC, as a sophomore in college. Josh successfully led the company to four international license deals for portions of the patent portfolio. After launching TWI, Josh consulted for a number of the medical giants and privately funded start-ups in the medical device community. In 2008 Josh was recruited to be the Director of Engineering at Portaero, Inc., a bay area startup, where he led his team in developing a device treatment therapy for emphysema. Josh has authored a number of medical publications, holds numerous US and international patents, and holds a MS and BS in Biomedical Engineering from Tulane University.
To contact Josh, please email

Roger Patkin

Lecturer, Entrepreneurial Leadership

Roger Patkin is Founder & Principal of Next Generation Group, LLC and Senior Advisor, Board Member & Former CEO of Autopart International, Inc. He has worked over 25 years building Autopart International, Inc. – a third generation family business, turned wholly owned subsidiary of a Fortune 500 company. Named President and CEO in 1998, he led the business through a strategic name change and expansion of our global manufacturing base, several acquisitions, and the deal to sell the company in 2005. Continuing on as President and CEO for six more years after the sale, my team and I grew the business from 32 stores and $46M sales in 1998 to 203 stores and $301M sales in 2011. Today, I am privileged to be able to share my expertise more widely. I counsel private clients through Next Generation Group – a consultancy dedicated to empowering enterprising families and their next-generation leaders. I mentor social entrepreneurs through two Boston area incubators, and teach and speak at universities and business schools. I serve as a Trustee of the Carroll School, where I’ve helped forge a collaborative agreement with MIT’s neuroscience lab, tapping their cutting-edge research expertise to advance the cognitive software Carroll is pioneering to identify and treat the underlying causes of learning difficulties. Roger earned his J.D. at Boston University School of Law and B.A. in Philosophy & Psychology from Tufts University (Magna Cum Laude). To contact Roger, please email

Pamela Stepp

Lecturer, Entrepreneurial Leadership

Pamela Stepp, Ph.D. is a leadership educator and an independent executive coach within the U.S. and internationally. Presently, she teaches Entrepreneurial Leadership at the Gordon Institute at Tufts University, and Leadership Assessment for Managers in the Industrial and Labor Relations School at Cornell University. Additionally, she serves as an Executive Coach for international senior level managers and high potentials for multiple schools and companies. During the past ten years she had leadership and business experience as the Executive Director of the Cornell Center for Advanced Human Resources (CAHRS) serving 60 Fortune 500 corporations worldwide. Much of her work was international working with business leaders in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. She received six teaching and coaching awards from Cornell and was awarded the Cornell Perkins Prize for Interracial Understanding and Harmony. Degrees include a Doctorate in Leadership/Org Communication and Masters of Professional Studies in Small Group/Team Communication from Cornell University, and Bachelor of Science in Speech Communication from Central Michigan University. To contact Pamela, please email

Julianne Zimmerman


Lecturer, Social Entrepreneurship

For over 25 years, Julianne Zimmerman has focused on putting technology to work for the greater good.  In her current role as Managing Director with Reinventure Capital, she is in process of raising a fund to invest in a chronically overlooked pool of entrepreneurs:  people of color and women.  Previously as Co-Founder of seed-stage investment firm Vodia Ventures, Julianne invested in startups in energy, water, food, and health. As an external consultant, VP of Communications, VP of Business Development, and VP of Engineering, Julianne has built departments, managed alpha projects, guided branding and identity efforts, and led a wide variety of initiatives from blank page to successful, in many cases award-winning, completion. Along the way she and her co-conspirators have catalyzed industry shifts, changed conversations, won awards, and set new standards for performance. Julianne holds two undergraduate degrees from MIT in Humanities/Literature and Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering, an MS in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Maryland, and an executive certificate in sustainability management from the Presidio Graduate School; she previously served as a certified EMT in Maryland and Massachusetts. She was twice a finalist in the NASA astronaut selection process. She is a frequent speaker, reviewer and judge for innovation and entrepreneurship programs in the US and abroad; she currently serves on the MIT Venture Mentoring Service and as a founding Principal of Great Dome Associates.  To contact Julianne, please email

Dr. Nancy Lippe

Lecturer, Tufts Experimental College

Dr. Nancy Lippe has developed and led nonprofit programs in schools and communities for the last 17 years, focusing on conflict resolution, philanthropy, college access/perseverance, and art/nature discovery.  She co-founded a charter school focusing on differentiated instruction, performance and experiential learning.  Her work has involved being both a grant seeker and a grant maker, resulting in a great appreciation for the opportunities and challenges of both sides.  Currently, Nancy works in Concord, MA, as the Director of Arts & Environment at The Umbrella Community Arts Center.  She serves on several local nonprofit boards, and is a facilitator in a local restorative justice program.  She received her BA in Human Biology from Stanford University and her doctorate in education from the Fielding Graduate University. Passionate about the outdoors, creativity, and engaging people in their communities, she is a quilter, mother of four, avid reader, and occasional unicyclist.