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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. He has held a number of executive leadership and board roles in public and private companies, as well as non-profit organizations. Steve also has substantial experience with enterprises funded with private equity in the areas of technology and life sciences.
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 contributes substantial time to the Philadelphia business and entrepreneurial community. He is a board member of Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern PA and the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia. He also is a member of the CEO Council for Growth.
Steve also has extensive governance experience, including having served on boards involving companies engaged in the technology, life sciences, financial services and consumer products industries. 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 is a frequent speaker on topics related to entrepreneurship, corporate governance, management, 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 1983. He currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Trustees for La Salle University. He also completed the Advanced Management Program at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 2010.
Senior Vice President, Advancement & Strategic Initiatives
Saul Behar joined the University City Science Center as Vice President and General Counsel in 2009, and was promoted to his current role in 2019. He leads all activities in the areas of public and private fundraising; government and community relations; workforce development; legal; and corporate governance. In addition, Saul oversees the team that conceived and operates FirstHand, the Science Center’s STEM education initiative.
Saul brings to his position a wealth of experience as an attorney, senior executive and strategic advisor. Prior to joining the Science Center, Saul was a partner at Wolf Block LLP in Philadelphia. Prior to that, he served as Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary at Provident Senior Living Trust, a privately owned real estate investment trust based in Princeton, New Jersey that owned 68 senior housing facilities in 19 states. Before joining Provident, Saul served as Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary at Keystone Property Trust, an NYSE-listed real estate investment trust headquartered in West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania that focused on industrial real estate. Both Provident and Keystone were highly successful firms 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 Reinvestment Fund, RF Impact Advisors, 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 leads the expansion of Quorum as a significant and sustainable revenue stream for the Science Center. She is also 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 joined the University City Science Center in 2002. Curt is responsible for the management, leasing and development of more than 1.5 million square feet of office and lab space on our Philadelphia campus. He has more than 25 years of diversified real estate experience. In 2018, Curt did an eight-month stint as Interim President and CEO.
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. He serves on the boards of University City District and International House Philadelphia.
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.
Vice President, Science & Technology
John Younger, MD joined the University City Science Center as Vice President, Science and Technology in 2019. With extensive clinical, research and entrepreneurial experience, Dr. Younger will build on the momentum of the Science Center’s commercialization, startup investment and business acceleration programs.
John was most recently Chief Technology Officer at Akadeum Life Sciences, Inc., a venture-backed life science company he founded out of his laboratory at the University of Michigan. Akadeum makes a family of microbubble-based tools for isolating living cells for research, diagnostic, and therapeutic applications. Younger continues to serve on Akadeum's Board of Directors.
John currently serves on the National Advisory Council of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, the third largest of the National Institute of Health Institutes and one focused on basic research across the life sciences as well on clinical conditions related to trauma, surgery, and sepsis. In that capacity John helps Institute leadership evaluate their research portfolio and provides strategic guidance for future efforts.