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Our Leadership

Industry & Innovation

The CURF team has a broad background and depth of experience guiding new technologies from concept to commercialization. We are strong advocates for innovation at Clemson University, leveraging our expertise to advance scientific discovery and support university researchers.

Our Leadership


Executive Team

Vincie Albritton, MBA

Deputy Director

Chase Kasper

Director of Business Development

Andy Bluvas, JD

Technology Commercialization Officer

Clarissa Austin, MS

Marketing Manager

Brittany Souto

Executive Assistant

Cindy Sauer

Contracts Administrator

Melissa Ioannidis

Technology Commercialization Associate

Pamela West

Accounts Payable & Receivable

Board of Directors

The next Board of Directors Meeting will be held on Thursday, February 17th, at 8:30am. For more information, contact Brittany Souto at bsouto@clemson.edu.
Andrew B. Cajka, Class III director, has served as a director of the Company since 1999. Mr. Cajka is the founder and president of Southern Hospitality Group, LLC, a hotel management and development company in Greenville, South Carolina. Prior to starting his own business, Mr. Cajka was a managing member of Hyatt Hotels Corporation from 1986 until 1998. He is a 1982 graduate of Bowling Green State University. He serves as a board member for the Metropolitan Arts Council, and as treasurer of the Visit Greenville SC Convention and Visitors Bureau. He is a past chairman of the Greenville County Research and Technology Development board, past chairman of the Greenville Convention and Visitors Bureau, past chairman of the Greenville Tech Hospitality Board, and as past vice chairman of the board for St. Joseph’s High School. He is a previous member of the BMW Nationwide Tournament advisory board. Mr. Cajka has served as a board member of the Urban League, Upstate Red Cross, and Thornblade Board of Governors. Mr. Cajka served on the board of directors for the Greenville Chamber of Commerce and is past president of the downtown area council, as well as past chairman of Greenville Hospital Foundation Board and past chairman of the Children’s Hospital. He has substantial development and management experience in the hospitality industry and is extensively involved in the local community, both of which enhance his ability to serve as a director.

Tanju Karanfil was appointed vice president for research at Clemson University in February 2016 to steer the university’s research strategy, working closely with faculty and staff at Clemson and with collaborators in industry and the community. Clemson joined the list of the nation’s top research universities as a Carnegie R1 university in 2016, a reflection of its growth in research expenditures across disciplines and increases to the number of doctorate degrees awarded and postdoctoral and non-faculty researchers on staff. Clemson’s performance across all of Carnegie’s metrics have improved under Dr. Karanfil’s leadership since receiving the R1 designation. Total research and development expenditures, for example, are at their highest levels of at least the past seven years at $219 million in 2019. In addition to serving as Vice President for Research, Dr. Karanfil serves and represents Clemson University on several boards and committees, including SC Smart-State, SC EPSCoR, SCRA, Southeastern Universities Research Association (SURA), and Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU). A licensed Professional Engineer and Fellow of the International Water Association, Dr. Karanfil currently maintains an active research portfolio, focusing on water quality and improvements to water, wastewater and hazardous waste treatment systems, and serves as a consultant to water and wastewater utilities. He is also the Associate Editor of Water Research, one of the leading international journals on water science and technology. Before becoming Vice President for Research, Dr. Karanfil served as chair of the environmental engineering and Earth sciences department and later as associate dean for research and graduate studies. 

Joseph T. Bailey (Joe) retired from 3M Company in 2000. His last position was Research and Development Vice President, Industrial and Consumer Sector. Dr. Bailey is a Fellow of the American Ceramic Society and served as Chairman of the Electronics Division. He has served as a member of the Board of Directors of Durel Corporation and Delta G Corporation, and on the advisory boards of two venture capital partnerships. He is a member of the Thomas Green Clemson Academy of Distinguished Engineers and Scientists. Currently, he sits on the Clemson University Research Foundation Board of Directors where he served as Chairman of the Board from 2001-5, and he is an emeritus member of the Advisory Board for the College of Engineering and Sciences at Clemson University.
James P. Clements became Clemson University’s 15th president on Dec. 31, 2013. Since his arrival, the value of the Tiger Paw has never been higher, thanks to an increasing academic reputation and the national exposure from our recent success in athletics. Under Clements’ leadership, Clemson has raised the bar in admissions, enrollment, research, athletics, graduation and retention rates, and fundraising, including the successful completion of the $1 billion Will to Lead capital campaign. In addition, the campus is currently undergoing the largest construction boom in the history of the university.
Christie Corbett is a Senior Managing Director in FTI Consulting’s Transaction Services practice. She has experience advising corporate and financial buyers on buy and sell-side transactions. In this role, she has provided a broad range of services to her clients, including financial due diligence, forecast and valuation analysis, merger integration and carve-out support, business process improvement and interim management. She has also served as the financial advisor to lender groups on liquidity management and strategic option analysis.
Chris joined CURF in 2014 as Director of Licensing for technology transfer, becoming Interim Executive Director of CURF in 2017, and assuming the role of Executive Director in 2018. Chris has more than 25 years of experience bringing various technologies from concept to market and working as a new product development and technology transfer specialist for early-stage startups as well as large multinational companies. His leadership is shown in his unwavering commitment to maximizing the societal impact of Clemson University’s research and innovation.
Dennis Kekas is Associate Vice Chancellor for NC State’s Partnership Office who earlier, at IBM, developed the first NYSE floor trading system, point-of-sale, UPC scanners, keyboards and networking products. At State he led deals with NSA, IBM, Red Hat, etc. More recent he launched the Power America Institute, a Smart Cities Initiative and the IBM/NC State Q Hub. His BSEE is from Clemson with studies at Syracuse, NC State and UCLA. A registered PE with 8 Patents he is past president of the Clemson Alumni Association receiving the DS Award in 1999, Association of University Research Parks Leadership Award in 2016 and awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine by NC Governor Cooper in 2019. He is Chair of ImagineOptix Corp., and a board member for CURF and MCNC.

Previously, as COO of Rose-Hulman Ventures from 1999 till retirement in 2005, Brij Khorana assisted in recruiting 40+ entrepreneurs to incubate start-up companies for which he provided oversight to the technical assistance, business assistance and the financial investment. One of the incubated companies was subsequently acquired by another company for $240 million, providing a ~ 10X return on Rose-Hulman’s investment. He provided the vision for and helped raise $55M to establish Rose-Hulman Ventures -- a technology based incubator with a New Product Development Center embedded within it, as part of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Indiana. Brij retired in 2005 from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology as the Chief Operating Officer of Rose-Hulman Ventures, and Professor of Physics & Optical Engineering; and moved to Greenville - SC where he is involved in entrepreneurial activities; serves as a Founding Mentor in the Venture Mentoring Service  provided to start-ups of the NEXT Innovation Center; has served for 10 years on the Advisory Board of Michelin Development Company, and serves as Chief Scientific Advisor to CECAS and to CU-ICAR.

Martine LaBerge serves as Professor and Chair of Bioengineering at Clemson University and Director of the Biomedical Engineering innovation Campus (CUBEInC) in Greenville, SC. She received MS and PhD in Biomedical Engineering degrees from University of Montreal, and completed post-doctorate work in Mechanical Engineering at University of Waterloo, before joining the bioengineering faculty at Clemson University. She has numerous publications on the tribological performance of orthopaedic and vascular implants and is an inventor on several licensed patents. Since the beginning of her career, she served as the major advisor of 85 PhD and MS bioengineering students managing a research program exceeding $12M.
Frank has worked as an intellectual property attorney for over 30 years. After starting in private practice out of law school, he has worked at two Fortune 500 companies (Coca-Cola and General Electric) as a senior intellectual property strategist and manager. Frank has managed large patent and trademark portfolios throughout his career and is also adeft in the areas of software and cyber law. Frank graduated from Clemson University in 1985 with a BS degree in Electrical Engineering and from the University of Florida in 1988 with a JD degree. In addition to serving on the CURF Board, Frank has also served on the Board of Pro Bono Partnership Atlanta since its inception in 2005.

Angie Leidinger is a senior executive at Clemson University, serving in two key roles.  As Vice President for External Affairs, she is responsible for Clemson’s state and federal governmental relations programs and coordinates Clemson’s work with industry to strengthen the university’s economic and industry engagement. As Senior Advisor to the Board of Trustees, she supports the work of the board and facilitates relationships and information sharing with administrators, faculty, staff and students. Leidinger earned a bachelor’s degree in graphics communication from Clemson in 1990 and joined the University in 2002 as Executive Director of Governmental Affairs. She previously worked in government relations at the S.C. Department of Commerce and in the private sector.

Anthony “Tony” Wagner is Clemson University’s executive vice president for finance and operations, overseeing a large administrative organization that includes Clemson’s finance, human resources, and facilities-related operations. Tony earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Penn State University and his master’s degree in educational leadership and policy from Temple. He also served as a deep-sea diver in the US Navy for four years. Prior to joining the Clemson family, Tony served as executive vice president for finance at Augusta University and the affiliated Augusta University Health System.
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