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.


Shana Neal


Ms. Neal is Worldwide Director of Human Resources at Becton Dickinson’s Diagnostic Systems in Sparks, MD. Neal, who is based in Baltimore and Franklin Lakes, NJ (BD’s corporate headquarters), is directly responsible for human resources for this rapidly growing $1.3B business with over 3500 associates around the world, acting as a strategic business partner for its President. She is a member of the Worldwide Leadership Team  for Diagnostic Systems and the BDX North American Service Delivery Council. She has been with BD for over 7 years in various leadership roles, also leading the Worldwide HR efforts for the Preanalytical Systems business. BD is a leading global medical technology company that develops, manufactures and sells medical devices, instrument systems and reagents.


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.  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.