Team

 The Brink Staff

Mysty Rusk
Mysty Rusk 

Director  
mrusk@sandiego.edu  
(619) 260-4657 
MRH 149 

The Director of The Brink, Mysty is a nationally recognized expert in innovation commercialization and angel investing. Throughout her work with over 2,000 innovation ventures spanning 15 years, she has helped guide numerous startups from idea to IPO in addition to helping raise over $40M in investment capital for her clients. 

Above all, Mysty is a passionate believer in the revolutionary power of innovation to impact, shape, and transform the world in which we live.
Rachel Christensen

Rachel Christensen

Assistant Director of Programs
rchristensen@sandiego.edu
(619) 260-4386
MRH 149

Rachel has over 7 years working with micro, small and social businesses, helping them learn and grow through access to capital, entrepreneurial training and connecting with other founders. Recently, she was part of the leadership team that took University of San Diego's Social Innovation Challenge global, becoming the Fowler Global Social Innovation Challenge that now trains and funds young entrepreneurs from 14 countries worldwide. Rachel has a Master's degree in Public Administration and is Chairwoman of the Board of Directors for the bi-national non-profit Create Purpose.  

Rachel helps brokers and bridge-builders create and connect so individuals and communities can flourish, which is why she joined The Brink SBDC!

Noemí R. Peña
Noemií R. Peña 

Assistant Director of Operations
noemipena@sandiego.edu  
(619) 260-4710
MRH 149

Noemi has a diverse and expansive background in program management spanning municipal administration and multiple non-profit environments combined with expertise in management and marketing. She holds a Masters from the University of Oregon and a BA from the University of California, Irvine.
Chris Peters

Chris Peters

Events & Budget Coordinator
christopherpeters@sandiego.edu

(619) 260-4547
MRH 149

Chris has a background in digital health innovation, consulting, and ecosystem building. Prior to joining The Brink SBDC, Chris was part of the leadership team that launched the Digital Health Institute for Transformation (DHIT) in the Research Triangle. DHIT unites industry, academia, and government to drive healthcare innovation.
 
As an avid connector of people and organizations, Chris strongly believes in the impact of connecting young talent with promising, innovative, and exciting companies. Chris built these relationships at the University of North Carolina, where he earned his Master's, and is driving these connections at the University of San Diego through the Project: SD initiative.
Aubree Corporandy

Aubree Corporandy

Marketing Intern
acorporandy@sandiego.edu

(619) 260-4600 x4336
MRH 149

Aubree is a second year full-time MBA student concentrating in data analytics and non-profit management. She has experience in marketing and strategy consulting and is passionate about using analytics as a tool to inform strategies for organizational growth. She holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and believes in pulling from her experience in the psychological research field to add a human-centered focus to marketing and business development. Seeing businesses as a powerful tool for social change, she is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the Brink SBDC!

Alee Pingol

Alessandra Pingol

Marketing Intern
apingol@sandiego.edu
(619) 260-4600 x4336
MRH 149

Alessandra (Alee) is a senior majoring in Visual Arts with a minor in Marketing at the University of San Diego. She’s passionate in learning as much as she could about digital and social media marketing under the guidance of the Brink SBDC team. Through her experience from her design background and various marketing internships, she hopes to make a valuable contribution to the organization and its partners. 

Consultants

Richard Clarke

Richard Clarke

Junior Consultant
richardclarke@sandiego.edu

Richard brings over 12 years experience in the biotech, finance, automotive, and general consulting industries with a focus on operations, supply chain management, life cycle consulting, sales technology and process development optimization, and strategic planning. He has consulted with more than 70 small businesses focusing on B2B, B2C, and SaaS. In fall of 2019, Richard began his grad school program where he holds several elected and appointed leadership positions. He always looks forward to bringing his energetic, passionate approach to his clients and coworkers at The Brink. He will graduate in Spring 2021 completing a dual MBA and MS in Finance.

Dishita Shah

Dishita Shah

Junior Consultant
dshah@sandiego.edu

I'm a recent MBA MS Finance dual degree graduate from the University of San Diego. I'm excited to apply the skills I picked up during my time at USD to The Brink this summer. I want to learn how businesses function and get a deeper understanding of finance and operations outside of a classroom. I am looking forward to help small businesses grow.

Dr. Martin Kleckner, III

Dr. Martin Kleckner, III 

International Commercialization Expert 
mkleckner@cox.net   
(619) 892-2565 

In addition to advising Fortune 100/500 corporations throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia such as General Electric, Roche and Toshiba, Martin is an NSF I-Corps faculty member whose guidance has merited $30M in federal funding. He holds a PhD and Masters from the University of California, Riverside, and an MBA from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Jonathan Irwin
Jonathan Irwin 

Strategic Business Builder 
jirwin@sandiego.edu 
(443) 676 1061 

Jonathan has 18 years of hands-on startup experience that includes starting 7 companies with multiple successful exits, raising $7M, and taking a company public as CEO. He has consulted over 200 startups across numerous industries, and holds an MBA from Loyola University Maryland and a BA in Economics from St. Mary’s College of Maryland.
Paul Symczak
Paul Symczak 

Later-Stage Architect 
psymczak@sandiego.edu   
(760) 533 8801 

Paul has been advising tech startups in Southern California for nearly 10 years along with 15 years in senior management with Qualcomm, Verizon and GTE, and equal time as general counsel for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. He has a JD from George Washington University and a BA in Economics from the University of Pittsburgh
Jonathan Ossie
Jonathan Ossie 

Technology Startup Specialist 
jossie@sandiego.edu   
(619) 855 0847 

Jon has accumulated an incredibly wide spectrum of experiences ranging from founding boot-strapped technology startups to holding a variety of corporate roles with Oracle, IBM and CA Technologies. He has an MBA from the University of San Diego, where he is also a PhD candidate in the School of Leadership and Education Sciences.
Curt Becker
Curt Becker   

Life Science Pioneer 
curtbecker@sandiego.edu   
(619) 316-4662 

A member of the founding team of Applied Biosystems and Molecular Assemblies, Curt has propelled life science innovation both on and off the bench not only as a highly accomplished scientist but also as an entrepreneurial global business leader. He holds a BS in Organic Chemistry from Colorado State University.
Inna Zozulyak
Inna Zozulyak 

Senior HR Leader 
Inna@leveluptalent.com   
(315) 758-0375

Inna has 10 years of experience in leading the human resources and recruiting functions for high-growth technology and life sciences companies. She holds a Masters of Science in Global Leadership from the University of San Diego and a Masters in Law from Ivan Franko National University of L’viv, Ukraine.
John Sechrest
John Sechrest 

Startup Mentor Extraordinaire 
sechrest@gmail.com   
(541) 250 0844   

From roles including Founder, CEO, and CTO that are spread across corporate, university and non-profit environments, John has amassed a dizzying depth and breadth of experiences that have benefited over 1,000 startup companies. He holds a BS in Math and Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Katherine Cleland
Katherine Cleland 

Global Marketing Strategist 
katherine@clelandmarketing.com   
(541) 231-4445   

Katherine has been creating powerful, business-building marketing strategies for companies worldwide ranging from startups to Fortune 500s like HP, Bank of America, and Proctor and Gamble. She holds an MBA from Northwestern University and a BA in Chemistry from Princeton University.

Natalia Pence


npence@sandiego.edu
757-348-5637

Patent and Trademark Office. Presently, she serves as the Director of Operations for a national trademark firm.  She formerly worked for a national IP law firm and clerked for the Honorable Rebecca Beach Smith, the former Chief Federal Judge for the Eastern District of Virginia. She also brings 22 years of acute medical experience as a Registered Nurse. Natalia holds a JD and an LLM in Intellectual Property from the University of New Hampshire Law School.

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Lauren Feehrer
 
Customer Experience Strategist

 

Lauren is passionate about helping companies create products and services that matter. In her nearly 20 years of consulting experience, she has led product design and development, business strategy, and customer experience (CX) initiatives for Fortune 500 companies. She is an award-winning customer experience expert who has held leadership positions with Accenture and Alliance Global Services. Her client experience includes Dell-EMC, Best Buy, ECOLAB, IDEXX Laboratories, Nokia, and Thomson Reuters. She holds a BA from the Harrington School of Communication and Media at The University of Rhode Island. 

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Business Scale Up Strategist

Benton brings to the team the unique perspectives of entrepreneur, attorney, and investor and his passion for scaling startups in diverse industries.  Benton embraces the chaos of startups and the rebels and renegades who innovate to forge positive change.  Benton earned his JD and MBA (New Venture Management) from University of San Diego as well as specialties in International Law from Trinity College, Dublin and Strategic Management from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Scott Arnold

Finance Specialist 
scottarnold480@gmail.com  
(619) 204-0363

Scott's career includes 23 years in enterprise operational and commercial leadership roles in aerospace, consumer technology, and life sciences, and 8 years as Chief Financial/Operating Officer in small Venture and Private Equity-backed companies in San Diego, including Sway Ventures, Nex3 and Verogen.  Scott is currently the Chief Financial Officer for Certis Oncology Solutions.  Scott has an undergraduate degree in Accounting and an MBA in Finance, from Western Michigan University, and Wayne State University,  respectively.
 
Scott enjoys helping entrepreneurs develop plans and stories to attract and optimize the use of human and financial capital.