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Community Forum and BioBreak
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When: Friday, November 22, 2019
1:00 to 5:00 pm
Where: The Abbott
1901 Cherry St
Kansas City, Missouri  64108
United States
Contact: Matt Falk

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Shape the future of BioKansas!


On November 22 we’ll be hosting our first ever Community Forum at the Abbott, a premier event space in the Crossroads district. This event is the first in a series where we aim to engage in important discussions to inform how BioKansas can support the efforts of the broad bioscience community. 


This inaugural event will feature short presentations that highlight the region’s role in agriculture innovation, sustainability and economic impact, followed by a rich panel discussion.

Members - $10, Non-members - $20

Presentations & Panel Discussion: 1-3pm
Networking Reception: 3-5pm


 Speakers and panelists:

Deanna Scheff, PhD - Research Entomologist, United States Department of Agriculture

Dr. Deanna Scheff is a Entomologist with the USDA-ARS Center for Grain and Animal Health Research in Manhattan, KS.  She received her B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, her M.S. in Food and Nutritional Sciences from the University of Wisconsin-Stout, and her Ph.D. in Grain Science at Kansas State University. Dr. Scheff’s current research projects include evaluating packaging incorporating insecticides against insect penetrations and subsequent infestation; ecological and genomic variation of lesser grain borer populations around grain bins and natural prairie lands; evaluating spatial distribution of aerosol insecticides as alternatives to fumigants; insect trap placement in facilities to improve insect captures; climbing ability of stored product insects on surfaces; evaluating contact insecticides and grain protectants; insect behavior and management pertaining to the food safety of human and animal food products; and multi-hurdle approaches to integrated pest management.  


Doug Dresslaer - Director of Innovation, Dairy Farmers of America

Doug Dresslaer is the Director of Cultural Innovation for Dairy Farmers of America. Doug works with DFA farmer members and employees to foster a culture of innovation within the Cooperative to help keep DFA at the forefront of emerging technologies and trends in the industry. Prior to joining DFA in 2019, Doug worked with the cooperative as managing director of the DFA Accelerator program working with startups to help build partnerships between small businesses and DFA. 

Katrin Bridges - Senior Vice President of Innovation, Greater Topeka Partnership

Katrin Bridges serves as SVP of Innovation for the Greater Topeka Partnership and is charged with strengthening Topeka’s footprint in the Animal Health Corridor and with building a high-performance entrepreneurial ecosystem. In her role, she is building key partnerships in the animal health and ag tech sectors in order to create more economic opportunity in Topeka and across the region. Ms. Bridges has held executive roles in biotech/pharma startups both in the public and private sector and has developed substantial hands-on experience in establishing new businesses, attracting and retaining talent, and building partnerships. Katrin received her MBA and MS in Management Information Systems from Temple University, Philadelphia, PA and a Master of Arts from Leipzig University, Germany. 


Moderator: Eric Nielsen - Chief Operating Officer, Viridian Total Solutions

A Kansas City native, Eric attended Benedictine College in Atchison, KS where he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry with a minor in Mathematics. He attended the University of Kansas for graduate school where he graduated with a Master of Science in Environmental Science and Engineering with a thesis option. Eric has worked as a chemist for a number of companies including ExxonMobil and Pace Analytical among others before he founded Viridian Total Solutions in 2015 to pursue his Sustainability career. He has served as a board member on the Kansas City Chapter of the Association of Certified Hazardous Material Managers (ACHMM) and he is a LEED Green Associate.