2020 State of the Region


Developing Tomorrow’s Workforce by Embracing and Investing in Robotics and Artificial Intelligence

Date: Monday, March 2, 2020
Time: 8 a.m. to noon
Location: Hilton Garden Inn, Levis Commons, Perrysburg, Ohio


  • Great Lakes Window by Ply Gem
  • Eastman & Smith
  • Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce
  • BGSU Executive Doctorate in Organization Development & Change
  • Penta Career Center
  • OhioX
  • Northwest Ohio Regional Economic Development
Penta Career Center Logo
Penta Career Center Logo
Penta Career Center Logo


8-9 a.m.: Networking and Continental Breakfast

9-9:15 a.m.: Welcome and Opening Remarks

Rodney K. Rogers, Ph.D., BGSU President

Representative Haraz Ghanbari

9:15-10:15 a.m.: State of the Region Address

Guhan Venkatu, Group Vice President, Regional Analysis and Outreach, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

Russell W. Mills, Ph.D., Senior Director, Center for Regional Development, BGSU

10:15-10:30 a.m.: Break

10:30-11:15 a.m.: Keynote Address

Molly G. Martin, Director of New America Indianapolis

11:15 a.m.-noon: Positioning Ohio to be a Leader in Robotics and AI


Jennie Gallimore, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Technology, Architecture, and Applied Engineering, BGSU


Ari Lewis, Co-Founder, OhioX

Nathan Spoden, Founder & COO, MedPilot

Scott Lang, President, Motion Controls Robotics

Speaker Bios

GuhanGuhan Venkatu is a group vice president in the Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. He leads the department’s regional analysis and outreach group.

Venkatu joined the Cleveland Reserve Bank in 1998 as a research analyst. In his tenure with the bank, he has held positions of increasing responsibility including economist and vice president and senior regional officer of the Bank’s Pittsburgh Branch. His prior research has focused on inflation and inflation expectations, housing and household finance and factors related to regional economic growth. His research and analysis have been a resource for the public, and he has advised and informed the Bank’s president and boards of directors.

Venkatu is a graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh, and he previously served as a member of the Ohio Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors. He received undergraduate and graduate degrees in economics from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

martinMolly G. Martin is the director of New America Indianapolis, a National Network hub launched in 2017 to focus on the innovative grassroots solutions Hoosiers are developing to make the Circle City more livable, resilient and equitable. By mid-2018, the work had expanded across Indiana and into Arkansas, West Virginia and a handful of other communities across the Heartland, Rust Belt, and Ohio River Valley.

Prior to joining New America, Martin spent 10 years at Lumina Foundation, the nation's largest private foundation focused exclusively on postsecondary education. While at Lumina, she led several functions, including the Office of the President, organizational learning, grants management, annual planning, culture and development, effective philanthropic practice and internal communications. Her programmatic work included developing low-cost, public solutions for returning adult students and building philanthropic capacity to partner with vulnerable communities. She was also a core member of the Foundation's impact investing and Silicon Valley engagement teams.

Jennie3Dr. Jennie Gallimore is the Dean of the College of Technology, Architecture, and Applied Engineering at Bowling Green State University.  She received her Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.  She has 30 years of experience teaching and conducting research and scholarship in higher education where she specialized in research focusing on human performance in complex systems including human-machine teaming in automated systems. She has published over 100 articles, papers, reports and chapters related to human performance and systems design. Dr. Gallimore has been recognized with several awards including but not limited to the Arnold D. Tuttle Award for best original research for an article published in Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine (2014), the Outstanding Engineers and Scientist Award in Human Factors Engineering (2010), and was named a Ten Top Women of the Miami Valley, 2011. 

Ari LewisAri Lewis is a technology trends expert who is frequently invited to speak at conferences and events. He has been quoted in countless publications including the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, and Forbes. He's the co-founder of OhioX, a nonprofit organization representing and connecting those committed to growing Ohio’s economy through technology and innovation, and GreenBlock, a strategic communication firm.

Ari was the founder of Sherman 216, a consulting firm focused on technology where his clients include a Fortune 50 company and state government. He also co-founded Grasshopper Capital, a venture capital firm investing in blockchain focused companies. Ari sold a majority stake in Grasshopper Capital to Token Capital Management in December 2018 and is currently a partner in Grasshopper’s Fund II. He holds a bachelor's degree in business management from Case Western Reserve University.

Nate Spoden HeadshotNathan Spoden is the Co-Founder and COO of MedPilot. He has overseen building out MedPilot’s operations, product, and business strategy. Prior to MedPilot, Nathan established his career working for a boutique consulting firm focused on restructuring distressed healthcare entities. He then spent time as the lead of product for a practice management system, built for the Ambulatory Surgery Center space. His last role before starting MedPilot involved working for Accenture in their Revenue Cycle Management division, leading strategy and management consulting projects for some of the nation’s top health systems. Through his experiences, Nathan developed an expertise in revenue cycle management, operations, technology implementation, and product management.

Scott LangScott Lang is an enthusiastic, results-oriented leader with over 30 years of automation experience.  In 1995, he co-founded Motion Controls Robotics.  As co-owner since that time, he has successfully grown the robotics integration company to become the industry leader it is today.  The company provides sales, engineering, manufacturing, and service operations to small to large industrial clients. He has applied his operations leadership and management skills to develop employee, team, and organizational effectiveness within the company.  Results have included high performing teams that have earned industry recognition for their successful and innovative work in the robotic automation industry.

Scott has strong technical skills in mechanical and electrical design, software programming and manufacturing processes.  He holds degrees in Industrial Electronics and Robotics, as well as a B.S. is Computer Science from American Sentinel University.  In 2020 he was awarded Fanuc America's Presidential Circle of Achievement which recognizes individuals whose long-term commitment, technical, sales and marketing contributions, and industry leadership have resulted in record-breaking sales and robotic industry growth.

Scott has served as the President of the Rotary Club of Fremont and currently serves as a Board Member on the ProMedica Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees.

Updated: 11/10/2022 12:23PM