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President & CEO
Steve joined the Science Center as President & CEO on October 1, 2018.
Steve is an experienced executive with a career spanning more than 35 years. Steve has held a variety of executive leadership and board roles in both public and private companies, including enterprises funded with private equity.
Steve most recently served from 2012 to 2018 as the President, Chief Executive Officer and Director of Safeguard Scientifics, Inc. (NYSE: SFE), a growth equity capital provider to technology and healthcare focused companies. During his tenure Safeguard deployed more than $600 million in new opportunities and realized nearly $1 billion of proceeds from the strategic sale of business interests.
Steve currently serves as a Director, Chair of the Audit Committee and Member of the Risk and Finance
Committee of Virtus Investment Partners, Inc., (NASDAQ: VRTS), an investment management company with approximately $100 billion of assets under management.
Steve has extensive governance experience including having served on six public company boards involving companies engaged in the technology, healthcare, financial services and consumer products industries. He has significant experience with respect to Audit, Compensation and Governance Committee responsibilities. Given his investing and operating experience, Steve has also served on a variety of private equity backed company boards.
Steve is a frequent speaker on topics related to corporate governance, management, entrepreneurship, and business ethics. He serves as an Advisory Board member for the Corporate Governance Center of Drexel University’s LeBow School of Business, and member of the Advisory Board for Executive Education at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Steve graduated from La Salle University in Philadelphia in 1983 and is a former Certified Public Accountant
(CPA). He currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Trustees for La Salle University. He completed the Advanced Management Program at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 2010.
Vice President and General Counsel
Saul Behar joined the University City Science Center as Vice President and General Counsel in 2009. He is in charge of all legal and corporate governance matters, as well as government relations at the federal, state and city levels. This work includes advocacy and representation, policy development, and the solicitation and administration of public sector grants. In addition, Saul oversees the team that conceived and operates FirstHand, the Science Center’s STEAM education initiative; and he is currently assisting with the Science Center’s efforts in workforce development.
Saul brings to his position a wealth of experience as an attorney, senior executive and strategic advisor, managing sophisticated corporate, real estate and securities transactions for both early-stage and established companies in diverse fields. Prior to joining the Science Center, Saul was a Partner at Wolf Block LLP in Philadelphia. Before that, he held senior officer positions at two highly successful real estate investment trusts in the Philadelphia area that were acquired by the leading companies in their industry sectors.
Earlier, Saul served as senior counsel at Pep Boys in Philadelphia. He began his career at Dechert Price & Rhoads (now Dechert LLP) in Philadelphia.
Saul received his bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and his law degree from The University of Chicago Law School. He serves on the boards of several nonprofit organizations, including Reinvestment Fund, PolicyMap, , The Village of Arts and Humanities, and the Lower Merion Township Scholarship Fund.
Vice President, Ecosystem Development
Tracy S. Brala joined the Science Center as VP Ecosystem Development in June 2018. In this role, Tracy will lead the expansion of Quorum as a significant and sustainable revenue stream for the Science Center. She will also be responsible for ensuring that Quorum and uCity Square are key participants in the region’s innovation ecosystem. Tracy has overall responsibility for the Science Center’s community engagement strategy and is charged with growing and extending the successful existing Quorum programming and operations, creating and expanding new Quorum programming and operations, and ensuring the successful launch of implementation of Venture Café powered by Quorum programming.
Tracy came to the Science Center from Comcast where she served as the Executive Director for Growth & Strategy for Xfinity services. She and her team were responsible for the creation and launch of several new Xfinity products including Xfinity WiFi Hotspots, the nation’s largest, fastest WiFi network. Tracy’s experience also includes a successful career at Campbell’s Soup Company and the founding of her own consulting company to help businesses grow through product and business development, branding, and marketing.
She earned a BS, Accounting from Villanova University and an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Tracy has served as the President of the Villanova University Alumni Association Board of Directors, on the Villanova University President’s Advisory Council and founded the Villanova University Alumni Diversity and Inclusion Task Force. She currently sits on the Anne Welsh McNulty Women’s Leadership Institute Advisory Board and the Boy Scouts of America Cradle of Liberty Council Board Marketing Committee.
Senior Vice President, Real Estate
Curt Hess became Interim President & CEO of the University City Science Center on February 1, 2018.
In addition to his CEO responsibilities, Curt maintains his role as Senior VP Real Estate and is responsible for the management, and leasing of more than 1.5 million square feet of office and lab space as well as the planned development of 4 million square feet of office, lab, retail and residential space. He has more than 25 years of diversified real estate experience.
Before joining the Science Center, Curt served as the Director of Operations for Brandywine Realty Trust, where he was responsible for the management and leasing of 40 properties totaling more than 3.0 million square feet in the Southern Suburban Region. Prior to that, he was Vice President of Asset Management at Lubert-Adler Management, overseeing a portfolio of 24 investments including office, residential, hotel, and retail properties. Before joining Lubert-Adler, Curt spent 14 years at Equitable Real Estate in several different capacities including Vice President of Portfolio Management, responsible for a $1.2 billion equity portfolio of major joint ventures with Japanese partners.
Curt received his B.A. from West Chester University in Business Administration, is a Certified Public Accountant, and has his Real Property Administrator designation with BOMA.
Vice President & Chief Financial Officer
Lorraine G. LoPresti, MBA, CPA joined the University City Science Center as Vice President, Finance & Administration in 2016. She was promoted to Vice President & CFO in 2018.
Lorraine is responsible for the overall fiscal and risk management of the organization, providing financial oversight of the corporate, real estate, treasury, programs and budget activities. She also has oversight of the Science Center’s HR and IT functions.
Most recently, Lorraine was Chief Administrative Officer and Chief Financial Officer for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. Prior to that, she was a CFO consultant to early-stage life science and technology companies with her own firm, LoPresti Financial Advisory Services. Lorraine was the Science Center’s Director of Financial Services from 2005-2007, before serving as Vice President - Finance & Administration & CFO for BioNano Genomics, Inc. (which originated in the Science Center’s Port business incubator).
Lorraine has earned a BS, Accounting from Villanova University, and an MBA from Rutgers University, and holds a CPA in New Jersey.