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Farley Faculty

Meet the Farley Center Staff

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Heather Aranyi


Heather Aranyi M.Ed., M.M. teaches at The Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Northwestern. She is also the Coordinator for The Wildfire Pre-Accelerator Program at The Garage at Northwestern. Outside of Northwestern, she is on faculty at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, an ordained Cantor who serves at Congregation Beth Am, and the founder of Aranyi Enterprises, a consulting firm which specializes in personal branding and strategy. She is a noted keynote speaker and thought leader and has received numerous honors in recognition of her work, including a McCormick Fellowship.

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Billy Banks

Adjunct Lecturer

Billy Banks is currently the Co-founder and CGO at ProHabits, President at Windsor Steel, and an Adjunct Lecturer at Northwestern. In the past, he has founded multiple companies, has extensive M&A experience, and advises numerous startups.  

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Hayes Ferguson

Clinical Associate Professor and Executive Director

Hayes Ferguson is the Director of Northwestern's Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and a clinical associate professor in the university's McCormick School of Engineering. Before joining Farley in 2020, Hayes spent 5 years at The Garage, Northwestern's student startup incubator, as an Entrepreneur in Residence and Associate Director. 

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Mark Fisher

Clinical Associate Professor

Mark Fisher is a principal at Mission Product Development LLC. Fisher is also a Clinical Associate Professor within Northwestern's Biomedical Engineering program. He has more than 30+ years of product and service development experience and has over 25 patents issued and/or pending.

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Roozbeh Ghaffari

Research Associate Professor
Dr. Ghaffari joined the Center for Biointegrated Electronics at Northwestern University as a Senior Research Associate in May 2017. He is currently Director of Translational Research and Research Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Northwestern's McCormick School of Engineering. 
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Rich Gordon


Rich Gordon is a professor and director of digital innovation. At Medill, he launched the school’s graduate program in new media journalism. He has spent most of his career exploring the areas where journalism and technology intersect. Prof. Gordon was an early adopter of desktop analytical tools (spreadsheets and databases) to analyze data for journalistic purposes. At The Miami Herald, he was among the first generation of journalists to lead online publishing efforts at newspapers. At Medill, he has developed innovative courses through which students have explored digital content and communities and developed new forms of storytelling that take advantage of the unique capabilities of interactive media.

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Jonathan Gunn, JD, PhD

Adjunct Lecturer
Jonathan Gunn participated in the Entrepreneurship Law course and in NUvention: Medical. The work he did as a student in the later led to the creation of an innovative medical device company called Briteseed, of which Gunn is now the Chief Executive Officer.
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Tran Ha

Adjunct Lecturer
Tran Ha leads the user research coursework for NUvention Web + Media. Her consulting firm, Tiny Collaborative, uses human-centered design to fuel innovation, digital transformation, audience development and business and product strategies for organizations. Ha also serves as an advisor to a number of digital media start-ups. 
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Joshua Lance, CPA, CGMA

Adjunct Lecturer
Joshua Lance is the founder and Managing Director of Lance CPA Group, a virtual CPA firm that focuses on providing accounting and consulting services to craft breweries and digital agencies. Josh was honored by being selected to the 2017 class of the AICPA Leadership Academy and was named as one of the 40 under 40 in 2017, 2018, and 2019 by CPA Practice Advisor. Josh was recently appointed to the Illinois CPA Society Board of Directors and the AICPA PCPS Executive Committee.
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Elizabeth Lukehart

Lecturer and Associate Director of Curriculum

Elizabeth Lukehart is the Associate Director of the Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Northwestern University and a lecturer in the McCormick School of Engineering. She has a law degree from the Pritzker School of Law, as well as a master’s in journalism from Medill. She has practiced law in a boutique firm providing legal services for tech startup companies and has held a variety of positions in marketing and communications. Lukehart has worked extensively with clean tech and sustainability-focused startups and also has experience in the nonprofit and social enterprise sector.

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Marcelo Malakooti

Assistant Professor

Marcelo Malakooti, MD, is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics (Critical Care), and the ddirector of Innovation-IGNITE. He is also an attending Physician Pediatric Critical Care Medicine, at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago. Malakootie's research focuses on using innovation to improve patient outcomes and quality of care, while fostering dynamic strategies to minimize waste and optimize resources.

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Curt Mastio

Adjunct Lecturer

Curt Mastio, CPA, is the founder of Founder's CPA, formerly known as Startup Accounting Advisors, an accounting firm that offers specialized accounting services to startups and small businesses. Previously, Mastio was a forensics accountant at Deloitte and served as Chief Financial Officer for Storage Squad. Mastio received his Bachelor's degree (2011) and Master's degree (2015) in Accountancy from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Peter McNerney

Adjunct Professor

Pete McNerney specializes in early stage health care operating and investing. He co-founded two venture capital firms, Coral Ventures and Thomas, McNerney & Partners. He was also the founder and CEO of Memtec North America and worked for Baxter Health Care in a number of management positions. He received his BA from Yale University and his MBA from Stanford University and is a CPA.

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Mike Moyer

Adjunct Lecturer

Mike Moyer is the founder of product development and merchandising company Bananagraphics, as well as outdoor clothing manufacturing company Moondog and In addition to his entrepreneurial ventures, Moyer also has extensive experience in senior-level marketing He is the author of eight books: Slicing Pie, Pitch Ninja, How to Make Colleges Want You, College Peas, and Trade Show Samurai

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Chris Riesbeck

Associate Professor

Chris Riesbeck is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Northwestern University. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford University in 1974. He is a co-director of The Center for Computer Science and Learning Sciences, the director of the MS program in Computer Science, and a Fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence.

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John Rogers

Louis Simpson and Kimberly Querrey Professor

Professor John Rogers is the Louis Simpson and Kimberly Querrey Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Chemistry and Neurological Surgery, where he is also the founding Director of the newly endowed Center on Bio-Integrated Electronics. 

Professor John Rogers' research includes fundamental and applied aspects of nano and molecular scale fabrication as well as materials and patterning techniques for unusual electronic and photonic devices, with an emphasis on bio-integrated and bio-inspired systems. Professor Rogers has invented over 80 patents and patent applications, more than 50 of which are licensed or in active use by large companies and startups that he has co-founded, including Active Impulse Systems, Semprius, MC10, CoolEdge, XCeleprint and Transient Electronics.

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Neal Sales-Griffin

Adjunct Lecturer

Neal Sales-Griffin is currently the Managing Director for Techstars Chicago, Techstars is a Worldwide Network that helps entrepreneurs succeed. Techstars was founded in Boulder, Colorado in 2006 by David Cohen, Brad Feld, David Brown, and Jared Polis. Through the Techstars Worldwide Entrepreneur Network, founders and their teams are able to connect to other entrepreneurs, experts, mentors, alumni, investors, community leaders, and corporate partners that will help their companies grow. 

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Cory Sandrock

Adjunct Lecturer
Cory Sandrock is an Adjunct Lecturer and teaches “Intro to Creative Enterprise Finance” and “Business Models in Creative Industries” for Northwestern’s School of Communication and "Startup Accounting and Finance for the Gig Economy" for Northwestern's Farley Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation.
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Birju Shah

Adjunct Lecturer

Birju Shah is currently a Group Product Manager at Uber Technologies LLP. He leads the product group for the sensor inference & vision platform teams at Uber. Prior to Uber, Birju was a product lead at Climate Corporation where he led the Yield Analytics team. Birju is also a board & product advisor to several start-ups, fortune 500, and venture capital firms. Birju draws upon 15 years of building enterprise and consumer products that are used by over 1+ billion users daily in 190 countries.

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Trish Thomas


Trish Thomas is a 4x Founder. She is the Co-Founder and CEO of Evanston-based Whole & Free Foods which was founded to solve the primary pain point for the 60% of US impacted by dietary restrictions – eating with other people. Trish has coached dozens of entrepreneurs and consulted for companies including Dreamworks SKG, Redbox, IBM, and Nissan. Her areas of expertise include consumer packaged goods, media, entertainment and user-generated content. Her obsession, and research, is pioneering ways to improve the psychological resilience of founding teams as a means to improve the success rates of early-stage ventures.

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Mark Werwath

Clinical Full Professor

Mark Werwath, a certified project management professional (PMP), has been an engineering project manager for 15 years, managing complex system (software) and product development, IT, and manufacturing and radio network system implementation projects in four continents. He currently operates, Werwath Portfolio Group, a consulting business in the portfolio management space. Werwath now teaches full time at Northwestern University as a clinical full professor and is also the director of the Masters in Engineering Management program at Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering.

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David Zaretsky

Adjunct Professor

David is an accomplished entrepreneur, researcher, technology advisor,  lecturer, and published author with expertise in the fields of VLSI, high-performance computing, and data science. He has co-founded and developed technology for companies in areas of electronic design automation, aerospace & defense, high-frequency trading, ad tech, and social media.  David is currently the CEO and Chief Scientist at Snips Media, the first performance-driven influencer marketing platform and network.

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