Glendowlyn L.H. Thames
Executive Director

Glen manages CTNext’s full array of strategic economic development programs focused on fostering entrepreneurship, startup and growth-stage businesses while cultivating a robust innovation ecosystem on behalf of the State of Connecticut.

Her multi-faceted experience with executive management of organizations includes nearly 10 years in high-level public administration roles managing high-priority projects and major initiatives as organizations and departments have gone through periods of transition and substantial growth.

Prior to her current role, Glen held leadership positions with Connecticut Innovations, where she led a wide range of projects spanning board relations, new program development and operations. She also oversaw vital innovation programs that support the state’s small technology businesses and encouraged innovation, collaboration and commercialization.

During her tenure, she led the deployment of over $6MM in funding to more than 200 companies, developed 20 public-private partnerships, and increased the CTNext company membership network by 50 percent, supporting more than 1,800 jobs and leveraging over $40MM.

Prior to coming to CI, she served as special assistant to the superintendent of Hartford Public Schools, and prior to that, she was director of constituent services for the City of Hartford, where she managed citizen relations and worked on community and economic development projects.

Glen is a frequent reviewer of SBIR/STTR reports for the National Research Council of the National Academies.


  • B.A. in Business Administration, Hofstra University
  • M.A. in Public Policy Studies and Law, Trinity College


  • CT Small Business Development Center Advisory Council member
  • CT Main Street Center
  • Hartford City Council member
  • Board member of the iQuilt Partnership
  • CT Achievement Gap Task Force member

Best Advice Given                                                 

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together” – African Proverb


Jessica Dodge
Director of Operations and Programs

Jessica is responsible for managing grant and non-financial initiatives targeted at supporting entrepreneurial growth in the State of Connecticut. She oversees all CTNext programs, shaping the direction and impact of current and new initiatives, as well as developing and managing organizational strategy, budgeting, compliance, and administration to name a few. On a daily basis, Jessica works with business executives, mentors and professionals across the state to grow the CTNext network and secure support for all CTNext programs.

Jessica is also a key member of the management team for VentureClash, a new international venture capital competition managed by Connecticut Innovations, the leading source of financing for in-state growth companies. VentureClash seeks to attract companies to Connecticut. Jessica creates program content, processes and materials and leads global recruiting efforts to enlist candidates for the annual competition.

Prior to assuming her current role at CTNext, Jessica held positions at a number of small Connecticut businesses where her responsibilities included managing programs, offering logistical support, generating sales and performing data analysis for major corporate accounts. She has experience working in the nonprofit sector, with organizations that include the American Cancer Society and University of Connecticut Foundation, where she planned and executed high profile fundraising events, analyzed budgets, managed committees and provided community outreach.

Jessica received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Marketing from the University of Connecticut in 2007. A lifelong resident of the state, she lives in West Hartford with her husband and two children.


Tom Bradley
Director of Marketing and Communications

Tom Bradley is responsible for planning, management and implementation of integrated marketing for CTNext. This includes articulating and managing its brand identity, overseeing its web and social media presence, engaging Connecticut’s entrepreneurs and innovators with all available support and resources, and developing a public information strategy to educate all the organization’s constituencies, in and outside the state, about the growing impact of innovation on our economy.

Prior to joining CTNext, Tom headed his own consulting firm, 21PR. He previously headed public relations operations at two of Connecticut’s largest integrated marketing agencies, Mintz & Hoke and Cronin and Company. Tom also served as Director of Marketing at CERC during the time that organization coordinated the state’s economic development marketing efforts.


Johnna Scott
Program Associate

Johnna Scott is a program associate at CTNext, responsible for the management and execution of several technical and grant programs, including the Federal and State Technology (FAST) program, which provides federal grant dollars to support Connecticut-based women-owned and socially and economically disadvantaged technology startups pursuing federally funded innovation and research and development programs.

Johnna also manages the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Acceleration and Commercialization program, which helps to increase the participation of Connecticut-based businesses in federal SBIR and STTR grant programs.

She also manages the Technology Talent Bridge program at CTNext, which provides grants for Connecticut small businesses to support the hire of student interns.

Johnna received a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science Information Systems from Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina in 2009.


Rachel Ferreira
Program Associate

As a program associate at CTNext,  Rachel is responsible for the management and administration of several funding, networking, and partnership programs for Connecticut entrepreneurs and innovators. Her responsibilities include management, application review and coordination of the Entrepreneur Innovation Awards (EIA), CTNext’s pitch event that rewards promising young companies grants up to $10,000; and management of CTNext Partners, a direct funding program for organizations contributing to the state’s innovation ecosystem.

Rachel also provides administrative support to Innovation Places, a program that provides financial support and guidance to develop and strengthen the innovation ecosystems in four of Connecticut’s metropolitan areas: Hartford, New Haven, New London/Groton and Stamford. She also serves as administrator of the CTNext Mentor Network, a statewide initiative to expand opportunities for early-stage companies to gain access to expertise and coaching that will help them achieve scalability.

Prior to joining CTNext, Rachel served as Program Manager of Prevention Services and Partnerships at the Governor’s Prevention Partnership in Hartford, CT. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Research, Psychology, from the University of Connecticut.


Let us help you drive your business to the next level. Gain access to tools, resources, mentors and more.


The following, compiled by the SBA/CT and the University of Connecticut, lists c[...]


The next Entrepreneur Innovation Awards (EIA) will be on Thursday, February 20 at Yale's Greenberg Conference Center


Twitter Feed


Member Login

Lost your password?