Ted Smith

Ted Smith

On March 4, Venture Connectors will host a panel featuring Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer’s economic advancement team. Ted Smith, chief of civic innovation, Mary Ellen Wiederwohl, deputy chief of staff and chief of strategic initiatives, and Colleen Abate, economic development manager, will discuss the Mayor’s vision for Louisville and how the venture capital and entrepreneurial community can participate in that vision. The interactive discussion will include questions from the audience. Register for the event here.

Smith’s efforts include the 2012 IBM Smarter City Challenge-winning adoption of Asthmapolis sensor inhalers across Louisville to develop a new understanding of asthma. He is an open government/open data champion and is responsible for efforts to expand the entrepreneurial and innovation economy of Louisville. Prior to city government, he was appointed senior innovation advisor in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the National Coordinator of Health IT. He founded the chronic disease news service, MedTrackAlert, which was acquired by Health Central in 2008. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Allegheny College, master’s and doctorate degrees in cognitive science from Miami University (Ohio) and completed post-doctorate work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Smith serves as executive director of the Institute for Healthy Air, Water and Soil, a civic innovation laboratory. He was a co-investigator for the Neurolab shuttle mission and was named to the 2013 Government Technology list of “Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers.”

Mary Ellen Wiederwohl

Mary Ellen Wiederwohl

Wiederwohl joined Mayor Fischer’s administration in July 2012. In 2014, Fischer tapped her to lead Louisville Forward, a new, integrated approach to economic and community development. Louisville Forward combines business attraction, expansion and retention activities with all of the city’s real estate development, land-use, planning and design functions to present a unified solution for job growth and quality of place. Wiederwohl previously worked in public affairs in both the public and private sectors. She served as assistant director of government solutions for MML&K Government Solutions and held senior positions in both the legislative and executive branches of Kentucky state government. She serves on the boards for the Louisville Orchestra, Leadership Louisville Center and is a past president of the Junior League of Louisville. In 2013, Wiederwohl completed the Urban Land Institute Rose Fellowship, and in 2011, she was member of the Leadership Louisville Center Bingham Fellows class, studying the city’s infrastructure needs. Wiederwohl graduated summa cum laude from the University of Louisville, where she studied music and political science.

Colleen Abate

Colleen Abate

In her role with Louisville Metro Government, Colleen Abate is focused on talent attraction and business services industry development. She previously served as a foreign service officer in the U.S. Department of State. She worked at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City as a consular officer and assistant to the Ambassador and at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing as a political officer. In Washington, D.C., she served as the six-party talks implementation officer in the State Department’s Office of Korean Affairs and director for China affairs on a detail assignment at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. She has also worked for Booz Allen Hamilton, advising clients on strategic planning and communications, and for Accenture, implementing technology projects for federal government clients. Abate studied for a year at the Universidad Aut??noma de Madrid and obtained a bachelor’s degree in international affairs from Georgetown University. She speaks Spanish and has studied French and Chinese.