Driving the operations of Life Beyond Barriers, Blake Mathie provides the organization’s strategic focus and aligns all efforts to fulfill its mission – creating products, companies, and empowering entrepreneurs to make the world a better place for those in need. He is responsible for vetting and exploring new project opportunities, setting its operational and strategic goals, and making recommendations to the Life Beyond Barriers board. This role has led him to spearheading the launch of Talem Technologies LLC, as he directs its operations, strategic goals and manages the introduction of the X Ar exoskeletal arm to the public. Currently, Blake is also a Ph.D. candidate in the Biomedical Engineering program at Wayne State University. He has contributed to a number of research programs related to blast-induced traumatic brain injuries and neural regeneration. Continuing his drive to apply cutting-edge science and engineering to overcome physical disabilities, Blake’s Ph.D. research involves the development of a nanocarbon based neural-prosthetic interface for the peripheral nervous system. Blake joined the United States Marine Corps in 1990 and carried his experience over into a career in telecommunications. He received his Biomedical Physics BS in 2010 and Masters of Biomedical Engineering in 2011 from Wayne State University.
The words “it can’t be done” are not in Jim Anderson’s vocabulary. While working in the engineering department at Wayne State University in 1977, Cadillac came to him with a marketing problem they were told “couldn’t be solved” with existing technology. Jim invented solution the problem and Urban Science was born. By applying his entrepreneurial spirit and analytical mindset to every obstacle he faces, Jim has made a career of solving the seemingly unsolvable. Moreover, he actually seeks out these challenges. Jim’s vision for Urban Science is a world where science and technology combine with entrepreneurial spirit to create opportunities and make the world a better place to live. This vision continues to drive him to give back to community and educational organizations that share his can-do attitude, including endowments to the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan to build a Spinal Cord Injury Program and to Wayne State University to develop an Engineering Ventures Program. In 2010, Jim was a winner of Crain’s Salute to Entrepreneurs, which honors winning companies that have demonstrated growth and innovation. Jim holds bachelor and master of science degrees in Engineering from Wayne State University.
Richard Widgren joined Urban Science in 2001, bringing to the company extensive experience in financial management and strategic planning. Dick began his career in 1962 as an Internal Auditor for General Motors. Throughout his career, Dick has been an active member and chairman of local and industry organizations including Vice President, Finance, and Controller, Kelly Services, Inc.; Corporate Controller, McLouth Steel; Audit Manager and Consultant, Ernst & Young; and Assistant Controller, Giffels Associates, Inc. In 2010, he was recognized as a top CFO in southeast Michigan by Crain’s Detroit Business, and the following year, he was awarded the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan’s (RIM) Humanitarian Award for his dedication as a board member at RIM and his outstanding service to the community. He is also the vice chairman of the Legacy Detroit Medical Center, trustee of the Health and Wellness Foundation of Detroit, and chairman of the Del Harder Rehabilitation Foundation, as well as a member of the Michigan Association of CPAs, where he previously served as director. Additionally, Dick served as chairman of the St. Clair Shores Tax Increment Finance Authority, the St. Clair Shores Corridor Improvement Authority, and the St. Clair Shores Brownfield Authority. Recently, he was a trustee of the Detroit Medical Center and chairman of its audit committee as well as director of Tech Team Global (NASDAQ) and chairman of its audit committee. Richard is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Detroit Mercy.
Eric Golden has served in senior executive roles in a range of ventures from startups to multi-billion-dollar holding companies. From 2006 to 2013, Eric was the founder and CEO of Equipois Inc., a startup that pioneered a unique exoskeletal arm technology for manufacturing, military, medical and other industries. Equipois received a 2011 Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Award and was named the Most Innovative Company, North America by the 2010 International “Stevie” Awards, among other honors. In his capacity as CEO, Eric has appeared on CNN, CNBC and Reuters TV and was featured in Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s Innovator column in April 2011. Equipois was sold to Allard Nazarian Group in September 2013. Previously, Eric founded Imagility Inc., a venture company dedicated to acquiring and growing innovative entertainment technology companies. He has served as CEO of Imagility and two of its operating companies, Luminys Systems Corp. and Actua Systems Inc. Before these ventures, Eric was the Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Panavision Inc.; Senior Vice President and General Counsel of the Washington Redskins; and Vice President and Special Counsel to the Chairman for MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings, Inc. He received a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a B.A. from Brown University. Eric serves on the board of managers of Talem Technologies and is a mentor for The Design Accelerator.
Garrett Brown is best known as the Oscar-winning inventor of the Steadicam™. He has shot with it during the filming of nearly 100 movies including Rocky, The Shining and Return of the Jedi. Garrett holds 50 patents worldwide for devices which include the Steadicam Merlin, for camcorders; Skycam, the robot camera that flies on wires over sporting events; and Mobycam, Divecam, Flycam et al that pursue athletes worldwide. His new zeroG technology “floats” tools and reduces workplace injuries. In the past, Garrett has recorded for MGM as a folksinger, sold Volkswagens, directed TV commercials and made films for Sesame Street. His voice was the other half of that well-known ad-lib duo on radio for Molson and American Express. He is a member of the American Society of Cinematographers, the Directors Guild, the Screen Actors Guild and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Garrett joined the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2009, and is a 2013 inductee into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.