The Hill Country Science Mill’s founders, directors, managers and advisers bring a high level of expertise and enterprise to this endeavor along with a strong belief that a scientific and technology-literate population is essential to our country’s economy and critical to resolving serious issues we face in the coming years.



Bonnie Baskin, Ph.D
Founder and Chair of the Board, is a career scientist and business entrepreneur who founded and served as CEO for two successful bio technology companies – ViroMed Laboratories, Inc. and AppTec Laboratory Services, Inc. – which she led to acquisitions by larger public corporations. Among her current and past board memberships are the Minneapolis YMCA, the Minnesota Biotechnology Association, the University of Minnesota Office of Technology Commercialization Advisory Board, and Affinity Ventures IV and most recently the Texas Regional Collaborative for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching. Her many honors and recognitions include the “Entrepreneur of the Year / Minnesota and Dakotas” award and being a 2012 inductee of the University of Minnesota YMCA Hall of Fame. She has a home in Johnson City.

    Robert P. Elde, Ph.D.
Science Director and Vice Chair of the Board, and former Dean of the University of Minnesota’s College of Biological Sciences.  Retired in July 2014 he was also the J. B. Johnston Land Grant Professor of Neuroscience.  During his tenure as dean, the UM undergraduate programs in biology rose to become among the best in the nation.  His numerous leadership roles in the scientific community include serving as founding chair of UMN’s Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment; founding University Enterprise Laboratories, a non-profit bioscience incubator; and serving as the Treasurer and Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Science Museum of Minnesota. Over his career, he was author or co-author of more than 240 scientific publications in cellular and molecular neuroscience research.



Bonita L. Baskin, Ph.D.
Chairman of the Board 
Hill Country Science Mill     

Lynnell Burkett
Retired editorial page editor/columnist
San Antonio Express-News

Eric Corndorf, Ph.D.
Product Development Director
Cardiac Rhythm Heart Failure
Medtronic, Inc.

Beverly Dale, Ph.D.
Austin, Texas

Sandy Dochen
Manager, Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs
Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas

Robert P. Elde, Ph.D.
Secretary of the Board, Science Director 
Hill Country Science Mill

Nels. Elde, Ph.D.
Mario R. Capecchi Endowed Chair in Genetics
University of Utah Medical School

Carol L. Fletcher, Ph.D.
Associate Director, TRC
Center for STEM Education
The University of Texas at Austin


Susan Oliver Heard
Owner, Cinnabar Art

Tom Henricks

Rick Loofs
VP, Material Electronic Operations (retired)
Entegris Inc.

Christy Muse
Executive Director
Hill Country Alliance

Nancy F. May
San Antonio Humane Society

Tom Pannell
Director of Marketing
Silicon Labs

Dan Patterson, Ph.D.

Barbara Anne Stephens
San Antonio, Texas

Peter Vancorenland, Ph.D.
Chief Technology Officer
RF Code, Inc.

Hedy Walls
Senior VP of Social Responsibility
YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities




Holly Barton
Director of Operations, is an educator and museum professional with experience in science, history, and natural history museums and non-profits. Holly earned a BS in Geology from the University of Texas at Austin and a MS in Leadership in Museum Education from Bank Street College of Education in New York.


Amber Middlebrook

Outreach and Community Relations Manager, is a former event planner, film coordinator, and most recently, a middle school science teacher in Austin. At the Science Mill, she’s found a way to use all of her talents while continuing to pursue her desire to educate and inspire children of all ages.  Amber earned a Bachelor’s degree from Knox College and has a teaching certificate with specialization in middle school science.


Zachary A. Zamora

Creative Director, is a free thinker, naturalist, master craftsman, and founder of Variance Intelligent Habitat Systems. Zac earned a BS in Zoology from the University of Texas at Austin and resides in Buda, TX. For the past 12 years, he has spearheaded the design and fabrication of permanent exhibits for zoos, museums, and science centers across the country. Zac has the unique ability to bring ideas to life and make wonderful things, which can be seen throughout the Hill Country Science Mill.



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