On April 12th, I attended a farewell party for Ann Lansinger, the former Executive Director of the Emerging Technology Center (ETC), which Teltek has called home for almost one year. It was a very special send-off for the ETC’s leader of 13 years. Several current ETC tenants were in attendance in addition to Ann’s co-workers, a few close friends and colleagues, her brother and even a few former tenants. The party was a celebration of her accomplishments and a way for all of us to wish her well as she closes a chapter and commences a new one.
Although I have known Ann only a short while, I have great respect and admiration for her communication, strategic planning and leadership skills. She was the interview subject for my column a few months ago and you can read that here. The time I spent with her during our lunch interview was very pleasant and I greatly enjoyed our chat. I was touched by her wish to see more women enrolled in STEM (Science, Technology, Education, Math) programs. Ann is a fantastic role model for young women to aspire to.
As a woman employed in the technology realm, I am in awe of professionals like Ann who have a passion for innovation and the drive to help others achieve the success they now know. A successful director of a facility like the ETC needs to have a burning desire to mentor start up companies who have amazing ideas and need someone to believe in them and provide some guidance. Ann was that type of leader.
Ann led the team that created the ETC in 1999 and at that point she already had over 10 years experience in the incubation industry. She helped launch UMBC’s first business incubator in the late 80s and ran it for several years. She was the Founding President of the Maryland Business Incubation Association from 2000-2003 and worked with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and several universities in and around Baltimore, designing and incorporating industry best practices. Her reach extended well past the Baltimore area as she also served on the Board of the National Business Incubation Association.
The ETC and the businesses it fostered benefitted greatly while Ann was at the helm. In 1999, the center housed 4 companies. Today it has 85 in two incubator facilities. More than 1800 jobs can be attributed to the ETC and its companies and the ETC was named “Innovator of the Year” in 2011. The Executive Director torch has been passed to Deborah Tillett, who shows much promise already and exhibits many of the attibutes of her predecessor.
Good luck Ann! I will miss you.