Our People

A Team That Delivers Results

Nearly 200 years of expertise

Rushlight Ventures staff possess a wealth of experience in new technology development and commercialization,
aerospace and defense RDT&E, new company formation, financing, licensing, and mergers and acquisitions.

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Patrick Hood, Founder and CEO, Rushlight enterprise

Patrick Hood is CEO and Founder of Rushlight Ventures. He has over 30 years of experience in defense and aerospace R&D, operations, entrepreneurship, strategy, and management. Pat has founded or co-founded multiple operating start-ups and has been recognized nine times as an awardee of INC 5000 fastest growing private companies. He is a local fixture in the Dayton Business Journal’s annual Who’s Who in Aerospace and Defense list. Pat holds multiple degrees from the University of California–Davis, including a bachelor’s and master’s in materials science and engineering, as well as a Ph.D. in materials science.

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Andrew Cothrel, President

Andy Cothrel is President at Rushlight Ventures. He has over 20 years of corporate experience, including executive roles at Abbott Labs and Roche, and 18 years in startups, consulting, and venture. Andy focuses on commercializing technology-based products across various industries. His expertise spans commercial, regulatory, technical, and organizational aspects. Andy holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from The Ohio State University, an M.S. in Engineering from the University of Michigan, and has completed post-graduate work at the Cranfield School of Management and London Business School.

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Chrysa Theodore, Vice President, Venture Operations

Chrysa Theodore is Vice President of Venture Operations at Rushlight Ventures. She has over 25 years of experience in defense and aerospace R&D, technical and operations strategy, implementation, and executive management. Chrysa joined CRG, Rushlight Venture’s sister company, in 1998 as a researcher and was its first full-time employee. She has successfully led and mentored the growing technical staff while supporting administration and operations through talent strategy, recruiting, proposals, contracting, and executive leadership. She also volunteers to raise awareness of STEM career opportunities, serves on committees at the University of Dayton and Wright State University, and is a board member for O’Neil & Associates. Chrysa holds a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering from the University of Dayton and has prior experience as a manufacturing engineer at General Motors and Vernay Laboratories.

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Joseph Althaus, Prototype Lead 

Joseph Althaus is Prototype Lead at Rushlight Ventures. He brings nearly 20 years of technology development and transition experience to the team. Joe’s career encompasses pivotal roles such as lead engineer, program manager, and team lead in defense and commercial sectors, managing complex projects and portfolios exceeding $10 million. An adept entrepreneur, he founded Smart Barn in 2012 and openhaus in 2016, and contributed to global brand launches. With 11 patents to his name, spanning various industries, Joe holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering with a minor in mathematics and an M.S. in Electrical Engineering, specializing in controls engineering and embedded systems, both from Ohio University. His visionary approach is instrumental in driving the success of new technology and innovations.

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Camryn Ellis, Venture Analyst

Camryn Ellis is a Venture Analyst at Rushlight Ventures. She holds a bachelor’s degree in international business and entrepreneurship from the University of Cincinnati. Camryn was a partner for Bearcat Ventures, leading a team in due diligence, financial valuations, and investment decisions. She also contributed to UC’s Venture Capital Investment Competition team. Her passion for entrepreneurship and her blend of academic knowledge and practical experience equip her to identify and nurture innovative ventures effectively.

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Katie Halberg, Director of Corporate Communications and Administration 

Katie Halberg is Director of Corporate Communications and Administration at Rushlight Ventures. She is a marketing and communications professional with more than 20 years of experience. Katie launched and expanded Wright State University’s social media program as its inaugural director, and she also served as a marketing strategist, copywriter, and editor at the university. Prior to this, she was the director of marketing, student services, and admissions at The Modern College of Design. Katie holds a Bachelor of Science from Towson University and an M.B.A. from Wright State, and she is also a published novelist.

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Brian Henslee, Venture Executive

Brian Henslee is a Venture Executive at Rushlight Ventures. In addition to serving as vice president of power systems at sister company CRG, Brian brings 20 years of expertise in cell chemistry, batteries, and power systems. He holds a B.S. in Agricultural and Biological Engineering and a Ph.D. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from Ohio State University.

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Don McLaughlin, Venture Executive

Don McLaughlin is a Venture Executive at Rushlight Ventures. He brings nearly two decades of experience in technology development, IP strategy and licensing, and product commercialization. Don most recently served as the president of a small defense company, leading the transition of SBIR technology for enhanced soldier lethality and situational awareness. He is passionate about end-user-focused technology development and optimization. Don is a named inventor on five US patents ranging from novel electromechanical connections to machining operation optimization. He previously served over 18 years in U.S. military and civilian government service, first as an active-duty Air Force officer and later as a special agent for two federal law enforcement agencies. Don holds a B.S. from the U.S. Air Force Academy and a J.D. from the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America.

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Justin Stanforth, Project Engineer and Customer Outreach Lead

Justin Stanforth is Project Engineer and Customer Outreach Lead at Rushlight Ventures. He is an accomplished sales engineer with over a decade of experience in multiple industries, with much of that experience in electronics, automation, and pneumatics. Justin has been involved in a diverse range of projects, from developing load-balancing control systems for large diesel trucks in motion to simpler air-prep applications. He holds an associate degree in engineering from Sinclair Community College, where he also served as a mathematics master tutor. In his free time, Justin enjoys recreational mathematics and pursuing hands-on hobbies such as cooking, woodworking, and creating end-grain cutting boards.

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Alex Todd, Venture Analyst 

Alex Todd is a Venture Analyst at Rushlight Ventures. He has a record of accomplishment across multiple areas of business. In May 2022, Alex graduated from The Ohio State University, where he developed transferable skills through internships in investment banking, university technology transfer, and marketing. He is passionate about bringing innovative technology to market, which led him to join Ohio State’s Technology Commercialization Office as a new venture analyst. With a strong understanding of the industry and exceptional analytical skills, Alex is well-equipped to identify promising investment opportunities and drive the success of new ventures.

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Scott Williams, Director of Commercialization Strategy

Scott Williams is Director of Commercialization Strategy at Rushlight Ventures. He brings over 20 years of expertise in commercialization and competitive strategies. Formerly a professor of management at Wright State University, Scott also served as executive director of the Center for Innovation Management, providing strategy consulting for commercializing advanced technologies. His research is published in reputable journals, and he has been recognized with several awards, including the Dayton Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 award. Scott holds a Ph.D. in Management from Texas A&M University and an M.S. in Computer Science from Wright State.

Shria Kapisthalam

Shria Kapisthalam, Technology Commercialization Strategy Intern

Shria Kapisthalam is Technology Commercialization Strategy Intern at Rushlight Ventures. She is a freshman at Purdue University, pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Business Analytics and Information Management at the Mitchell Daniels, Jr. School of Business. Shria is part of the John Martinson Honors College and Larsen Leaders Learning Academy and will join the marketing committee for the Business Analytics Association next year. She is passionate about data analytics and brings her skills to the workforce. Last November, her team placed 1st in the Eli Lily Case Competition, gaining significant experience in market research and business decisions.