Meet the COFES Institute

COFES Institute: Board of Directors

We are pleased to introduce to you the Board of Directors for the COFES Institute, formed April 2017.


More about each of our Board members will be posted shortly. Check back soon for more details!

Vincent Caprio
President, COFES Institute
Vincent Caprio was appointed President of the COFES Institute in February 2017. Vincent has a 30-year track-record of applying technology to solving problems in fields of science and engineering and is one of America’s leading advocates for research & development spending.

A pioneer at the intersection of business and technology, Vincent Caprio possesses a unique ability to spot emerging and societally significant technologies in their early stages. He successfully creates brands and business organizations focused on specific technology markets, and launches events that not only educate, but also connect and empower stakeholders that include investors, technologists, CEOs and politicians.

It is Mr. Caprio’s avid interest in history and background in finance that enabled him to be among the first to recognize the impact that specific technologies will have on business and society. By building community networks centered around his conferences, he has facilitated the growth of important new technologies, including nanotechnology, clean water technology and most recently, engineering software.

Mr. Caprio is also one of the foremost advocates for government funding of emerging technology at both the State and Federal levels. He has testified before Congress, EPA, Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), as well as the state legislatures of New York and Connecticut, and has been an invited speaker at over 100 events. Mr. Caprio has also organized public policy tours in Washington, DC, educating politicians about emerging tech through meetings with high-level technology executives.

As an early advocate for nanotechnology, Mr. Caprio is the Founder and Chairman Emeritus of the NanoBusiness Commercialization Association (NanoBCA). In 2002, he launched the highly successful NanoBusiness conference series, now in its 17th year. In October 2008, Mr. Caprio founded the Water Innovations Alliance Foundation (WIAF). In this role he created the Water 2.0 Conference series of which he is currently the Chairman Emeritus.

In the events sector, Mr. Caprio served as the Event Director who launched of The Emerging Technologies Conference in association with MIT’s Technology Review Magazine. He also acted as consultant to the leading emerging technology research and advisory firm Lux Research, for its Lux Executive Summit in 2005 & 2006. In 2002, Mr. Caprio served as the Event Director and Program Director of the Forbes/IBM Executive Summit.

Prior to founding the NanoBCA, Mr. Caprio was Event Director for Red Herring Conferences, producing the company’s Venture Market conferences and Annual Summit reporting to Red Herring Magazine Founder and Publisher Tony Perkins, and Editor, Jason Pontin. His industry peers have formally recognized Mr. Caprio on several occasions for his talents in both tradeshow and conference management.

Mr. Caprio was named Sales Executive of the Year in 1994 while employed with Reed Exhibitions, and was further honored with three Pathfinder Awards in 1995 for launching The New York Restaurant Show, Buildings Chicago and Buildings LA.

Prior to joining Reed Elsevier’s office of the Controller in 1989, Mr. Caprio was employed at Henry Charles Wainwright investment group as a Senior Tax Accountant. In the 1980’s, he specialized in the preparation of 1120, 1065 and 1040 tax forms, and was also employed with the Internal Revenue Service from 1979-1981.

During the past 10 years, Mr. Caprio has been involved in numerous nonprofit philanthropic activities including: Fabricators & Manufacturers Association (FMA), Easton Learning Foundation, Easton Community Center, Easton Racquet Club, First Presbyterian Church of Fairfield, Omni Nano, FBI Citizen’s Academy, Villanova Alumni Recruitment Network.

Mr. Caprio graduated from Villanova University with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting/MIS from the Villanova School of Business. He received an MBA/MPA from Fairleigh Dickinson University.

In the spring of 2015, Mr. Caprio was appointed to Wichita State University's Applied Technology Acceleration Institute (ATAI) as a water and energy expert. In 2017 he was named Program Director of the Center for Digital Transformation at Pfeiffer University. Mr. Caprio was elected in November 2016 and serves as the Easton, Connecticut Registrar of Voters.

Nathanael Miller
Vice-Chairman, COFES Institute | Aerospace Engineer, NASA Langley Research Center
Nathanael Miller has worked as an Aerospace Engineer in the Engineering Directorate at NASA Langley Research Center for the past 10 years. Over his time with NASA, he has designed and integrated test platforms for scientific instruments and technology development missions. With a background in mechatronics; Miller has developed ground-based robotic platforms, unmanned aerial vehicles, and suborbital space-systems, which have supported a range of applications including inflatable planetary entry systems, mars surface sensors, and aviation safety research.

Since 2012 Miller has worked to extended Langley Research Center’s capability to utilize small satellites, CubeSats, hosted-payloads, and other low-cost space-based platforms for science and research purposes. To this end, he currently leads Lab77, a Langley team that develops small satellite missions that apply new technologies to existing Agency needs; including atmospheric sciences, in-space assembly, aviation safety, advanced materials, and new remote sensing technologies.

In 2015, Nathanael joined the advisory boards of the Graphene Stakeholder Association and Coventry Computer Inc, and began as a member of the AIAA Space Systems Technical Committee. Since 2010 he has led the Maieutic Parataxis session at the Congress On the Future of Engineering Software (COFES), which brings a fresh look at new technologies to the influence the engineering tools industry. He has also served as an advisory board member of the Frank Batten College of Engineering, Old Dominion University and as a mentor of a number of middle and high school Robotic Teams. Nathanael holds Bachelors of Science and Masters of Science degrees from Old Dominion University.

In the off hours he is an artist currently interested exploring sculpture of glass and wire.

Becca Yeh
Board Secretary & Event Director, COFES Institute
Becca Yeh serves as the Board Secretary for the COFES Institute, as of February 2017, when the 501c3 was founded. She also serves as the Event Director for the Institute, planning COFES each year from the ground up.

Becca became the Event Director after 5 years of working for Brad Holtz, co-founder of COFES, as his executive assistant for Cyon Research. Over the years under Brad's tenure, Becca's skills grew exponentially, and she was continually given more responsibilities each year until she had the skill set to take over running the show from Brad.

Though Becca has become more familiar with technology from her 6 years of working with the COFES team, she jokes that she truly is Penny from the Big Bang Theory.

Becca is a social worker by education, graduating magna cum laude from Champlain College in Burlington, VT in May 2011. Becca began her career as a social worker as a Substance Abuse Clinician with the Howard Center in January 2010 as an intern. After completing her semester internship, she was offered a permanent part-time position, which she maintained while attending classes full-time, and working another internship in her final year of school.

After graduation, she continued her position with the Howard Center, gaining full-time employment and continuing to increase her experience as a detoxification clinician and public inebriation screener.

In December 2011, Becca moved to the Washington, DC area to pursue a postion as a Community Support Specialist for the McClendon Center. However, the position proved to be quite the culture shock and change for her. Though the move was an attempt to stymie the burnout she was experiening, after three months serving the greater Southeast quadrant in the city, Becca felt it was time to shift her career focus to something different. She began looking elsewhere, and serendipitously found a job posting working for Brad.

In December 2016, Becca and her husband, Kyle, relocated to Essex Junction, VT so he could continue his career as a police officer with the Burlington Police Department, and also so they could be closer to both of their families.

On October 27, 2017, Becca and Kyle welcomed their first child into their family: Charlotte Isabelle Yeh. Charlie is proving to be quite the spitfire in just the few short months of her life, and she is looking forward to being the COFES Mascot Extraordinaire at COFES 2018.

Jason Preston
Co-Founder, DENT
Jason is a co-founder of Dent, a company that creates and supports a community of entrepreneurs, executives, and creatives who are driven to “put a dent in the universe.” Dent began as an annual conference but quickly developed into a strong community of people who call themselves “Denters.” The name Dent comes from the Steve Jobs quote: “we’re here to put a dent in the universe, why else even be here?”. The conference focuses on drawing actionable insights from success and building an environment where peers from diverse backgrounds and fields of expertise are encouraged to build meaningful relationships through conversation and shared experience.

In addition to an annual conference, now hosted in Yountville, CA, Dent works to engage with Denters throughout the year and provide opportunities for them to connect with each other and forge the kinds of connections that lead to powerful collaborations. Many Denters will host their own meetups for locals to join, and Dent formally hosts a series of other intimate experiences throughout the country called Dent Dinners.

Through his research and work at Dent, Jason has spent time discussing personal mastery, leadership, and innovation with dozens of entrepreneurs and leaders like Pixar co-founder Alvy Ray Smith, founder Lynda Weinman, The North Face founder Hap Klopp, and Indiegogo co-founder Danae Ringelmann. Every year since its founding, at least half of the presenters at Dent are women, earning the conference a spot in the Gender Avenger Hall of Fame.

Jason is a board member for the Hydrocephalus Association, which is dedicated to eliminating the challenges of hydrocephalus. Jason is also a writer; his work has been published in Geekwire, Seattle Business Magazine, Crosscut, and elsewhere.

Jason is married to an amazing, award-winning journalist and Harvard Nieman Fellow Mónica Guzmán. Together they have two beautiful children and live in Seattle, WA. During the Nieman Fellowship school year of 2015-2016, Jason became a Nieman Affiliate, and spent the academic year taking classes across Harvard Univeristy, including classes at Harvard Business School on digital innovation and transformation. He also helped the HBS Digital Inititive launch a new annual invitational industry summit called Future Assembly.

The Hydrocephalus Association is a particularly meaningful organization for Jason. His son has hydrocephalus, a condition where too much cerebrospinal fluid is produced inside a person’s skull. Because of this, pressure builds up internally which leads to coma and ultimately death, if untreated. The only reliable treatment for hydrocephalus is a medica device called a shunt, but the average life of a shunt is only two years. Each time it fails, the patient must undergo brain surgery to replace the device. Many people with hydrocephalus have more than 50 brain surgeries before their 20th birthday.

For just over two years, Jason built and maintained a community of followers for a YouTube channel dedicated to introducing people to esports through a game called Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. His videos earned over 850,000 views and helped thousands of people discover the fun of competitive video game play. During this time, Jason also started and ran a weekly group called Reddit Community Night, where people who knew each other from the shared Counter-Strike forum on Reddit could gather and play with each other instead of random opponents. This weekly gathering is still playing today.

Before co-founding Dent, Jason was Vice President of Strategy and Development at Parnassus Group, where he helped build award winning events that took bloggers on private jet flights and featured celebrities like William Shatner, Jamie Lynn-Sigler, and Joseph Gordon Levitt.

He spent four years earning a Diplomacy and World Affairs degree from Occidental College, a small liberal arts school in Los Angeles, CA that counts former president Barack Obama among its alumni. During his time at Oxy, Jason worked on the yearbook, played ultimate frisbee, and spent a semester abroad at the University of Sussex in England.

Jason was born in Texas but grew up in Bellevue, Washington, where he played tennis and performed in theater groups with inside and outside of school. He was captain of his high school tennis team, and played lead roles in a variety of interesting shows ranging from Shakespeare to Agatha Christie. Jason also helped found the ultimate frisbee team at Bellevue High School, which still competes today.

Jim Brown
President, Tech-Clarity
Jim Brown is the founder and President of independent research firm Tech-Clarity. Jim is a recognized expert in enterprise software for manufacturers, with over 25 years of experience in application software, management consulting, and research. He has extensive knowledge about how manufacturers use Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) and other enterprise applications to improve business performance.

Jim is actively researching the value available from new initiatives and technologies including cloud computing, digitalization, product innovation platforms, smart manufacturing, AR, VR, and the IoT in addition to his core research areas which include PLM, quality, service, manufacturing, and more.

Jim began his career in manufacturing engineering and software systems at General Electric before executive for software companies specializing in ERP, PLM, Supply Chain, and related manufacturing solutions.

Jim founded Tech-Clarity, Inc. in 2002 and actively serves in a research role. In 2005, Aberdeen Group acquired Tech-Clarity and Jim established and grew their Product Innovation & Engineering Practice, subsequently serving as VP and Group Director for Aberdeen’s PLM and Manufacturing Industry Research Practices. In 2008, Jim returned to Tech-Clarity to continue his mission to make the business value of technology clear.

Mr. Brown is an experienced author and speaker and enjoys the opportunity to participate in conferences and anywhere he can engage with people with a passion to improve business performance through digital enterprise strategies and supporting software technology.

Jim Doxey
Enterprise Product Manager, PLM & Supply Chain Applications, Facebook
Jim has been involved in the areas of mechanical CAD and PDM/PLM for over 30 years. He has implemented various engineering and manufacturing systems and has worked with a wide variety of companies from Boeing, LeapFrog Toys, Palm Computing, SilverSpring Networks, Novellus, Google and Accenture. He’s currently the Enterprise Product Manager for PLM at Facebook where he oversees PLM tools used in the data center and commercial hardware products. Jim received his B.S. in Design Engineering and M.S. in Computer Integrated Manufacturing from BYU.

Pete Wells
President, Smart2Market
Pete Wells is the founder, president and CEO of Smart2Market, a global B2B marketing services and consulting firm, based in Ft. Collins, Colorado. Since founding the company in 2001, Pete has maintained an average of 30% growth per year and currently employs over 15 marketing professionals.

Specializing in the high-tech, engineering, and science industries, Pete's insights and experience allow him to put together a knowledgeable team of experts that deliver value through targeted, innovative campaigns. Under Pete's leadership, clients worldwide realize measurable and successful results that provide a significant return on their marketing investment.

Over his 35-year career, Pete has held a broad range of marketing and business development positions. His experience spans management in sales, service, software, channels and partners, marketing communications, public relations, and business development. Prior to founding Smart2Market, Pete was director of Americas marketing for CoCreate- a successful Hewlett-Packard spin-off that was ultimately acquired by PTC. His responsibilities at CoCreate included the development and communication of the company for its official launch. He also led a team that built awareness and demand for a suite of software solutions worldwide.

Pete graduated with a BSEE degree from Georgia Institute of Technology. In his spare time he enjoys the great Colorado outdoors, serves on the Fort Collins Opera Galleria Condominium Association board and is a volunteer fireman with the Poudre Fire Authority.