Margaret B. Penno, Ph.D.


Margaret B. Penno, PhD is the founder of the BioTechnical Institute of Maryland, Inc.  Dr. Penno is Associate Professor of Medicine and Oncology at the Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine. She earned her undergraduate degree in Biology from The Pennsylvania State University and a doctorate in Genetics from the Hershey Medical Center of the Pennsylvania State University, Department of Pharmacology. Dr. Penno held a post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Pharmacology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a second fellowship in Pediatric  Genetics, joining the Department of Medicine faculty in 1985. She has authored numerous published papers and has been awarded grants from the National Institutes of Health, the American Cancer Society, the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing and several institutional programs. She was named Director of the Cell Center of the Genetic Resources Core Facility at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1987.


Richard A. Grossi, M.B.A.

Director & Treasurer

Mr. Grossi joined the Board of the BioTechnical Institute of Maryland, Inc. in September 2001. Since 1996, he has served as the Chief Financial Officer of Johns Hopkins Medicine and was previously Senior Associate Dean for Finance and Administration at the School. Prior to joining Johns Hopkins in 1978, Mr. Grossi was Special Assistant to the Dean and Executive Director of the University Medical Services Association with Wright State University School of Medicine.  Before joining Wright State, Mr.  Grossi was the Financial Director of the University Medical Services Association with Wright State University School of Medicine. Before joining Wright State, Mr. Grossi was the Financial Director of the University of Connecticut Health Center. Mr. Grossi received his undergraduate degree in accounting from Pace University in New York and his M.B.A.  in Financial Management also from Pace University.


Thomas E. Little, PhD.

Director & Secretary

Before being named Pastoral Associate with the Archdiocese of Baltimore in 2011, Dr. Little was Executive Director of the Bon Secours Spiritual Center.  He has been a Director of BTI since its inception.  Dr. Little is an expert in learning theory and has provided learning services to businesses and organizations in Baltimore and throughout the country.  He has also served as Director of Training at Baltimore City Community College, Director of the Institute of Continuing Education at St. Mary’s Seminary and University, and Director of Towson University’s Office of Executive and Extended Education.  Dr. Little holds the Masters Degree in Theology from St. Mary’s Seminary and University and the Masters Degree in Education from Johns Hopkins University.  He completed his doctorate in Adult and Community College Education at North Carolina State University and most recently a second doctorate.  He writes and speaks often about learning and its connection to leadership, creativity, business development, customer care and organization effectiveness.


Alan F. Scott, Ph.D.


As Associate Professor/Director of Genetic Resources Core Facility at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Dr. Scott possesses a global reputation as a genetics researcher.  The depth of his bioscience background and understanding provides a critical science-based perspective to BTI’s laboratory training programs.  Dr. Scott, having employed many of BTI’s Laboratory graduates in his labs at Johns Hopkins, offers continued employment opportunities as well as an influential endorsement of the program to his fellow principal investigators.  Dr. Scott’s marketing efforts on behalf on BTI within the Hopkins community results in increased revenues from BTI workshops and additional employment opportunities for BTI program graduates.


Paul Silber, Ph.D.

Director and Vice-President

Paul Silber is the recently retired President/CEO and founder of In Vitro Technologies, Inc. (IVT).  IVT was launched in 1991 as a means of supplying research customers (pharmaceutical, biotechnology and chemical companies) with innovative and high quality in vitro (test-tube) testing services and products for studying chemical-biological interactions- in other words, “test-tube methods to see how safe and effective that drug is.”  The company grew from a start-up with 2 employees to 70 employees upon its recent purchase by Celsis International. He is the holder of two patent and the recipient of several business awards, including the Maryland Entrepreneur of the Year Award for High Technology, Baltimore Business Journal’s “40 Under 40 Business People”, Baltimore Business Journal’s “Who’s Who in Technology”, and Washington Techway’s “Top 10 Bosses”.

Dr. Silber’s previous and current Board membership include: The Greater Baltimore Technology Council, the Mid-Atlantic Association of Bioscience Financial Officers, the Baltimore Washington Venture Group, UMBC President’s Advisory Committee, the Entrepreneurship Board of the University of Baltimore Merrick School of Business, the Alex Brown Center for Science and Entrepreneurship and the Maryland Emerging Technology Center.  He continues to be an active mentor to many local entrepreneurs and students aspiring to entrepreneurship, just as he was mentored by many others in the early years of his entrepreneurship.


John C. Weiss, III, M.B.A.

Director and President

Mr. Weiss is an Associate Professor at the University of Baltimore’s Merrick School of Business with deep roots in the bioscience and business communities of greater Baltimore.   Mr. Weiss has significant entrepreneurial experience, serving as the founding Executive Director (interim) of the City’s newly formed Parking Authority, President in the turnaround of Chesapeake Biological Laboratories, Inc,, and founding Director of the Maryland Venture Capital Trust.  While President of Chesapeake Biological Laboratories in 1997, Mr. Weiss and his CBL staff partnered with Dr. Penno and others in the first BTI model program, which successfully trained and placed laboratory technicians at CBL.  He has organized, raised, and managed five venture capital funds over the past twenty years focusing on emerging technologies and early stage companies with a special emphasis on the Mid-Atlantic region.  Mr. Weiss earned his B.S. degree from Towson University and an MBA from Loyola College.  He serves on several civic and corporate boards including the University System of Maryland Foundation, GBC Leadership, Baltimore Workforce Investment Board, and is Chairman Emeritus of the Greater Baltimore Technology Council.


Vicki Wolff-Long, Ph.D.


Dr. Wolff-Long has been a strong advocate of BTI since the initial project with Chesapeake Biological Laboratories in 1997, where she was a staff scientist.  Now the General Manager of Cangene bioPharma, the company’s name since its purchase by Cangene, Vicki joined the BTI Board in July 2011. That company now is Emergent BioSolutions where Vicki served as Vice President and continued the company's strong relationship with BTI. She is now a Vice President with Patheon, a global pharma contract development and manufacturing organization.  She offers BTI a wealth of experience as both a scientist and as a bioscience employer.  Her contributions are significant and focus on the industry employers’ skills requirements of employees, suggestions for curriculum modifications, internships and hiring of BTI graduates, and advocacy of BTI in the bio sector.


Abba Poliakoff, JD

Abba Poliakoff is an attorney with Gordon Feinblatt, LLC and specializes in business law, securities and technology. Governor Hogan appointed Abba Co-Chair of Maryland's Regulatory Reform Commission to review the state's business regulations with a view to reducing the regulatory burden on businesses without jeopardizing the safety and welfare of Maryland residents. Abba is a well-known Board Member and volunteer with many local and international non-profit organizations.

Roger J. Ward, EdD, JD, MPA

Chief Accountability Officer, Vice President for Operations and Planning, Vice Dean, Graduate School; University of Maryland

Roger Ward is the chief accountability officer (CAO), vice president of operations and planning, and Vice Dean of the Graduate School at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB).
Ward joined UMB in March 2009 as the associate vice president for academic and student affairs. He served as chief academic officer and interim dean of the Graduate School during the 2011-2012 academic year. In June 2012, Ward was named UMB’s first chief accountability officer and was promoted to vice president for academic affairs in October 2013 and to vice president of operations and planning in June 2015. Prior to joining UMB, Ward served as assistant vice president for student affairs at the New School in New York City and also held senior administrative positions in the City University of New York system.Ward holds an Associates degree in data processing/computer programming from Kingsborough Community College, a Bachelor’s degree in government and a Master’s in public administration, both from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He also holds a Doctor of Law degree from New York Law School, and a Doctor of Education degree in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Ward joined BTI’s Board in 2015.