Our Leaders

BALSA leaders are passionate about supporting the business needs of our diverse clients while creating learning opportunities for our members. We rely on the experience and expertise of our executive leadership team to guide strategic growth and business development.


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Erica Thomas

PRESIDENT

Erica is a PhD candidate in the Plant and Microbial Biology program at Washington University. Erica joined the BALSA Group in 2016 and has worked on more than 10 projects as a consultant, project manager, or advisor. Erica’s recent work has focused on market analysis, competitor analysis, pricing structure strategy, and technology assessment.

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Andrew Fishell

VICE PRESIDENT

Andrew is a PhD candidate in the Neuroscience program at Washington University. Since joining the BALSA Group in April 2016, he has completed more than 10 projects as a consultant, project manager, or advisor. Andrew is experienced in assessing viability of novel technologies, generating investor and consumer facing materials, and developing strategy for corporate social responsibility campaigns.

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Tabbetha Bohac

VICE PRESIDENT

Tabbetha is a PhD candidate in the Department of Chemistry at Washington University. She joined the BALSA group in 2015 and has worked on more than 13 projects as a consultant, project manager, or advisor. Tabbetha’s recent work has focused on market analysis, technology transfer, primary research and business strategy.

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Rio Febrian

VICE PRESIDENT

Rio is a PhD candidate in the Chemistry program at Saint Louis University. Since joining the BALSA Group in 2015, Rio has served as a consultant, project manager, or advisor on more than 12 projects which focused on primary/secondary market analysis, capacity expansion, technology assessment, and business strategy.

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Kyaw Thu Minn

DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS

Minn is a PhD candidate in the Biomedical Engineering program at Washington University. Minn Joined the BALSA Group in 2017 and has served as a consultant or project manager on more than 5 projects. Minn is experienced in technology evaluation, business plan development, competitor analysis, and market analysis.

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Christian Weber

DIRECTOR OF FINANCE

Christian is a PhD candidate in the Biomedical Engineering program at Washington University. Christian joined the BALSA group in Fall 2015, and has served as a consultant, project manager or advisor on more than 8 projects. These projects focused on market analysis, technology transfer, business development and primary research.

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Ankita Isor

DIRECTOR OF MARKETING

Ankita is a graduate student in the Chemistry program at Saint Louis University. Since joining the BALSA group in 2017, she has served as a consultant or project manager on more than 3 projects. These projects focused on secondary market analysis, competitor analysis, technology assessment, and pricing structure analyses.

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Gina Castelvecchi

DIRECTOR OF PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Gina is a PhD candidate in the Developmental, Regenerative, and Stem Cell Biology Program at Washington University. Gina joined the BALSA group in 2017 and has worked on more than 3 projects. Her work has mainly focused on primary research, market analysis, and competitor analysis.

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Chelsea Sondergard

DIRECTOR OF HUMAN RESOURCES

Chelsea is a PhD candidate in the Chemistry program at Saint Louis University. Chelsea joined the BALSA Group in 2017 and has worked on more than 5 projects as a consultant or project manager. Chelsea’s recent work has focused on market analysis, technology transfer, business strategy development, and primary research.