Leadership Team

John Carlisle

John Carlisle, Director Chain Reaction Innovations

John is a physicist and entrepreneur with a strong passion for translating fundamental discoveries into disruptive products.

As director of Chain Reaction Innovations, John’s focus is on supporting the next generation of innovators to move hardware-based energy technologies into applications with high societal and economic impact. CRI enables the innovator and their innovation to leverage the extensive resources within Argonne National Laboratory for two years. The long term vision is to more effectively translate high-risk technologies into the market while also enabling a new generation of entrepreneurs to create new businesses that will keep the US at the forefront of energy innovation.

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Deena Wright

Deena Wright, Strategic Operations Lead & Interim Entrepreneurial Program Lead

Deena joined the Chain Reaction Innovations (CRI) team in October 2018 after eight years at Argonne’s Advanced Photon Source (APS) as the Argonne User Agreement Specialist.  As Strategic Operations Lead for CRI, Deena draws on her knowledge of Argonne processes and procedures, and provides guidance in all operational aspects for CRI; including CRI policies and procedures, event coordination, CRI Innovators’ point-of-contact for Argonne related issues, and processing requests through Argonne.

Deena is passionate about the research that Argonne conducts and supports.  She sincerely believes in the CRI mission to enable innovators to launch new technologies into the market by accessing the unique and powerful resources of a National Laboratory.

While at the APS, Deena was responsible for maintaining over 1,300 of Argonne’s legal user agreements, having replaced over 500 legacy agreements with updated version in the course of one year.  Deena played key roles in mulitple special projects including coordinating efforts to create an APS User emergency notification process, analyzing systems and cross-referencing process with various DOE National Laboratories., updating and implementing procedures as needed, and developing an internal audit process to ensure legal agreements were managed correctly.  Deena also served as the liaison for the APS User Organization and Partner User Council prior to leaving the APS.

Deena earned her Master of Business Administration from Lewis University.

Janelle Richmond, Communications Lead

Janelle Richmond joined Chain Reaction Innovations in March 2020. She brings a wealth of communications, marketing and PR experience to her role as Communications Lead. Janelle is a dynamic professional with demonstrated achievements in the public relations and communications industries. A gifted storyteller and content strategist, she has experience in nonprofit organizations, crisis communications, media relations, healthcare, and higher education. She’s excited to use her strong administrative and project management skills on behalf of CRI!

A part of the CRI team, Janelle provides communications and marketing support for the department’s broad-based internal and external initiatives. That includes conveying the value of science and technology entrepreneurship to a variety of key audiences.

Her other responsibilities include communication support for departmental and Argonne initiatives to showcase the impact of energy and science-based tech. She also manages the department’s website and social media platforms to increase awareness and engagement and plans departmental special events like Demo Day each year. One of the best parts of her job is offering communications and marketing support to innovators and watching their start-ups take off.

Before joining CRI, Janelle worked as a consultant, advising clients how to position themselves within competitive industries. She’s developed and executed communication, marketing, and fundraising plans. One of her great joys is effectively managing relationships.

Janelle holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Wenora Johnson

Wenora Johnson, Administrative Support

Wenora Johnson joined the Chain Reaction Innovations Team as Administrative Support in 2018. In this position, she provides administrative support for the CRI Director and Leadership Team.

Wenora has a diverse back ground with over 20 plus years of administrative experience that includes working for the federal and local municipal government. Her diligence and professionalism has earned her recognition by Joliet Job Corps for establishing a Mentoring curriculum for youths enrolled in their student program. In her spare time, she also serves as a Healthcare Advocate and Peer Reviewer for DOD Healthcare Projects.

Wenora earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from the University of Phoenix, while serving in the United States Navy as a Reservist for 8 years.

Roland Garton

Roland Garton, Proposal Consultant

Roland Garton focuses on helping high-tech startups obtain and manage Government contracts. He assists with proposal preparation and also provides business management support –planning, strategy, payroll, bookkeeping, finances. He is a specialist in the Small Business InnovativeResearch (SBIR) program.

Anna Lisa Somera

Anna Lisa Somera, Proposal Consultant

Anna Lisa Somera is an experienced life science start up consultant, venture capitalist, intellectual property analyst, technology transfer specialist, biomedical researcher, and entrepreneur specialized in early-stage, cutting edge technology businesses. She has been a part of the entrepreneurial community for 16 years.

 

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    Lemont, IL (April 30, 2021) — Five new innovators will be joining Chain Reaction Innovations (CRI), the entrepreneurship program at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Argonne National Laboratory, as part of the elite program’s fifth cohort. The five will join the two-year program starting this June, and each … Read More

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