Advisory Board Members

Jim Harris

Jim Harris

A Life Science Industry Executive, Jim has over three decades of experience in the Biomedical Research Testing markets including both Research and Diagnostic products.

As Vice President of Business Development at the Translational Genomics Research Institute, Jim was tasked with restructuring and changing the culture of a heavily academic-focused tech transfer function into a “business-driven science” business development group. Over the past seven years, the new Business Development group has been actively engaged in establishing strategic partnerships with several major Life Science, Pharmaceutical and Diagnostic companies. These partnerships included development of chemistry and software tools, clinical trials, product development and validation.

As Beckman Coulter’s Vice President/General Manager of the Industrial Particle Characterization Business Center, Jim engineered the turnaround of a neglected and declining business through reengineering the global sales and distribution network and institution of a customer-focused quality initiative.
Jim also played a key role as Vice-President/Director in the formation of Beckman Coulter’s Platform and Automation Business Center. With combined worldwide sales of over $400M, the division focused on not only serving the needs of its customer base, but also developing hardware, software and chemistry products that would be used in other parts of the corporation to stimulate sales and broaden markets. Product line expansion was achieved through internal development, OEM relationships and Channel Partnerships.

In his role as Corporate Director of Business Development, he led a number of key acquisition and divestitures of hardware and software businesses. In addition, Jim established Beckman’s Channel Partnership Program which led to several strategic alliances for Beckman’s Life Science and Diagnostic Divisions. Jim’s commercial experience includes heading commercial operations for Beckman’s Western US and heading the Large Account Management Program.

Jim was also co-founder and Chair for the Biotechnology Industry Organization Purchaser and Supplier Committee and Chair of Beckman Coulter’s E-Business Initiative. Jim has a Masters of Business Administration degree from the University of Phoenix and a Bachelor of Science Degree from Arizona State University.

Michael Hool


Michael Hool works with select companies as an advisor, legal counsel and periodically serves in executive and board capacities. Michael’s practice is focused primarily on corporate and commercial representation, securities, finance and venture capital, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance matters, and all aspects of counseling emerging companies. He represents both issuing companies and investors in a large variety of financing transactions.

Michael also has broad merger and acquisition experience, ranging from very large transactions such as the acquisition and financing of an NHL hockey franchise, several roll-up acquisitions combined with a public offering of the acquirer, the sale of health care systems, consolidation of large franchise operations, to acquisition and sale of a variety of closely-held and emerging enterprises. Michael has assisted clients in structuring many different types of venture relationships, including: (i) a joint venture of seven health care systems; (ii) creating an intellectual property consortium whose members included the U.S. Army, universities and fortune 500 companies; and (iii) creating manufacturing and research joint ventures between U.S. companies and those in Mexico and India. Michael has lectured and authored papers on a broad variety of topics and is active as an investor in several emerging companies.

Jim Jacobs

James A. Jacobs is Managing Partner of West Desert Partners, a strategic and financial advisory services firm assisting companies in defining and executing on their growth and profitability objectives.  He previously served as Sr. Vice President of Corporate Development for Studio One Media, Inc., an entertainment technology company, and was a Managing Director at JDB Capital Partners, an Arizona merchant bank.  He has also held other senior financial positions including Sr. Vice President of Finance for the Arizona Cardinals Football Club, Portfolio CFO at Texas Pacific Group and Sr. Manager in the Mergers & Acquisitions Practice at KPMG.   He received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Southern California and is a Certified Public Accountant.  Mr. Jacobs recently served as an entrepreneur in resident for the Arizona Commerce Authority’s Venture Ready Program.

Alan Lobock


Alan Lobock is a serial entrepreneur who has founded the following companies:

—Co-founder of Worthworm, a SaaS that yields a credible and defensible pre-money valuation for early stage ventures

—Co-founder of SkyMall, Inc., the company whose merchandise catalog is available on most US commercial aircraft

—Co-founder of D-Strut LLC, an exclusive licensee for Honeywell Space Division’s unique vibration isolation and damping solution of the same name. Now making this technology available for non-space applications

—Co-founder of Convrrt, Inc., a SaaS focused on quick and economical landing page creation and optimization to improve conversion of leads into sales

Alan also is serving several startups as an Advisory Board member and is mentoring startups through Seed Spot and Arizona State University’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group.

Mario Martinez II


Mario Martinez II is General Manager, CES at IMS Health (formerly founder and CEO of 360 Vantage) responsible for the overall vision, strategy, and execution of the organization’s global CRM line of business.

With more than 17 years of enterprise class experience with multi-billion dollar U.S. and International Life Sciences firms both public and private, Mario brings with him sales and marketing technology management expertise including end-user and infrastructure technology operations and support, customer relationship management, and business intelligence solutions. He has served on both the vendor and client sides of the business and has been responsible for global scale operating environments and worldwide rollout and management projects.

His specialties in technology systems development and management within the Life Sciences industry include SFA, CRM, BI systems, mobile solutions including hardware and software, data center operations, project management, operations management, training, negotiations, and executive management.

Today with his diverse background, business acumen, leadership skills and proven track record of success, Mario is focused on leading the IMS Health team to achieve its mission of building world class technology solutions that empower client organizations to be more nimble, flexible, responsive and productive than ever before.

Scarlett Spring


Scarlett Spring’s focus of work is in early cancer detection. Scarlett is President of VisionGate, a biomedical company pioneering early detection diagnostics specifically focused on lung cancer. Her experience ranges from executive leadership in a top ten pharmaceutical company to Chief Operational Officer at a nationally ranked public private partnership to an innovative start-up. She has led Fortune 100 companies with teams as large as 500 individuals and multi-million dollar budgets to lean organizations with less than 20.

Scarlett’s experiential knowledge helps her to connect the biomedical/healthcare arena and economic development. She is keenly aware of strategies and initiatives that foster sustainable economies. She has recently been named co-chair of the Metropolitan Business Plan for Greater Phoenix, which is supported by the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG), the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) and the Brookings Institute of Washington DC.

While at VisionGate, Scarlett has delivered over 40% of total funding during her first three years at the helm and over $8M in angel funding.  She’s responsible for developing a commercialization plan for a diagnostic test which includes a lab partnership with a key hospital network. She worked with the executive team to put forward a FDA strategy leading to first commercial claim. She’s also led the legal team to ensure patent submission and renewals are timely for VisionGate’s 100+ domestic and international patents.

Prior to VisionGate, Scarlett served two and half years as the Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of Business Development for the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC). She worked alongside GPEC’s 19 member municipalities to build collaborative relationships and developed strategies for the healthcare/biomedical industry to draw companies to Arizona for future relocation and expansion possibilities.

She developed extensive experience in the oncology field when she spent 19 years at AstraZeneca, a leading global pharmaceutical company. Scarlett was the company’s National Sales Director for the oncology/urology division where she was responsible for the management of $1.8B in product sales and led a 375 person sales team. Her efforts resulted in the strongest years of Oncology performance at AstraZeneca.

Scarlett was recognized among Arizona Business Magazine’s “Top Leaders in Arizona” and “50 Most Influential Women”. Scarlett is a member of the board of directors at RepublicBank AZ. She is also a member of the Arizona TechCouncil, AZ Bio and 85Broads, which is an organization whose goal is to increase women on boards 20% by the year 2020.  She has a BBA in marketing from the University of Texas at Austin and an Executive MBA from Pepperdine University.  She volunteers her time to several organizations including the Valley of the Sun United Way, Resource Development Committee, Why Marriage Matters and a nine-year volunteer for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, which is the largest provider of scholarships for Texas youth.

Russ Yelton

Russ Yelton

Russ Yelton is President/CEO of Yelton and Associates. Yelton and Associates is a consulting firm that provides community development services to municipalities and scaling businesses. Utilizing extensive business incubation experience and professional contacts, the firm assists business incubation projects, as well as private companies, to scale to obtain angel investment, private equity, as well as venture capital.

Previously, Yelton served as Chief Executive Officer of Pinnacle Transplant Technologies (PTT). PTT is a regenerative medical company, which operates a human tissue bank. PTT develops allograft tissue for transplant, along with an amnion fluid product line. Yelton was responsible for strategic direction, corporate culture and overall growth management. Under Yelton’s leadership, PTT scaled from 20 to over 100 associates, grew to distribute products in every state in the United States, as well as 19 countries, increased processing and administrative space from 25,000 to 40,000 sq. ft. and grew revenues from $3.6m to over $18.5m. Russ currently sits on the Advisory Board for PTT and retains an ownership interest.

Prior to PTT, Russ was President/CEO of the Northern Arizona Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology (NACET). At NACET, Russ oversaw the development of multiple business incubation sites across the State of Arizona, including the Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation at Gateway Community College (CEI), the Maricopa Center for Entrepreneurship (MCE) in the City of Maricopa, as well as the Native American Incubation Network (NAIN). Upon his departure, 62 companies were in the current portfolio, and clients raised over $82 million in capital in 4 years. He also served as the founding President of the Arizona Business Incubation Association (AzBIA).

Previously, he worked with a community college in North Carolina to convert an abandoned 141,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility into a mixed-use incubator consisting of an FDA approved commercial food kitchen, biotechnology research labs, light manufacturing, and executive offices. The program also established agreements with seven incubators in six foreign countries, which led to its recognition by the International Business Incubation Association (INBIA) as the second most innovative program in the world in 2008. Yelton has served as President and Vice-President of the North Carolina Business Incubation Association (NCBIA), Chair of the Mountain South Incubator Alliance, past Founding President of the AzBIA, and currently serves as Chairman of the Board of AzBIO, Chair of the Flinn Bioscience Entrepreneurship Committee, a Member of the Arizona District Export Council (DEC), as well as several others. Russ received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) from Appalachian State University and his Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Western Carolina University, where he also completed continuing doctoral coursework. He also completed Economic Sustainability training from the Vienna School of Economics, and he is a Flinn-Brown Fellow.