Management Team

Biocom Institute Team

The San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering is produced by the Biocom Institute team. The Festival planning and execution is a true team effort, only made successful through the contributions of all the Biocom Institute team members. The key decision makers are Sara Pagano, Manager Director and Heather Zimkin, EXPO Day Manager.

Liisa Bozinovic

Executive Director

Liisa is responsible for ensuring members have a strong regional pipeline of talent by working on development and training initiatives to support current and transitioning employees, as well as college and K-12 students and educators. Liisa received an accounting degree from Michigan State University and, after earning her CPA, held controller and human resource positions at automotive, medical device, and biotech companies before joining Biocom. Her current focus is on life science workforce development and STEM initiatives. Her personal interests include: family time, neighborhood futsal and book club.

Sara DW Pagano

Managing Director

Sara is responsible for the San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering and K-12 STEM outreach initiatives with the goal of empowering the next generation of innovators and future talent of San Diego. Sara has over a decade of non-profit and event experience, including executive leadership positions with USO San Diego and Discover Pacific Beach – Business Improvement District. She graduated from Westfield State College with a Bachelor of Science in Education and also holds a certificate from University of San Diego’s Event Management Program. Her personal interests include: chasing her toddler around, her best furry friend Miles and getting outdoors.

Heather Zimkin

Events Director

Heather has been the Festival’s Events Director since 2012, bringing in more than 15 years of professional experience in the areas of corporate sponsorship, event planning, broadcasting and community relations. During her 10-year tenure with the San Diego Padres, as Director of Corporate Partnerships and Broadcasting, she was instrumental in developing the club’s major sponsorships, including programs with PETCO, Cox Communications, Qualcomm, Sycuan Resort & Casino, and Wells Fargo. Her personal interests include: being a personal Uber driver for her kids, relaxing at the beach and traveling.

Karen Overklift

Education and Industry Outreach Manager

Karen joins the Biocom Institute team with a wealth of skills and experience within the San Diego non-profit arena. Most recently with the San Diego Workforce Partnership; her career has included positions in community outreach, HR management and operations management for various local non-profit organizations. She has a love for educational programs and in particular is very passionate about employer outreach and connecting students to internships. Her personal interests include: watching her daughter play water polo, volunteering and riding her quad in the desert.

Brandon Leck

Grant Writer and Development Specialist

Brandon is responsible for grant writing, research and development for the Biocom Institute’s programs and outreach initiatives. His background is in corporate and foundation grant writing, fundraising and development. He obtained a degree in English Literature from The Ohio State University. His personal interests include: the work of David Simon, David Halberstam and Larry David.

Scatena Daniels CommunicationsScatena Daniels Communications

The San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering is proud to have Scatena Daniels Communications as our PR firm of choice.

Scatena Daniels Communications is a woman-owned communications firm, established in 2009. The team excels in media relations, executive visibility, and strategic planning for corporate and philanthropy brands. Clients see the Scatena Daniels team as a trusted partner.

Learn more about the award-winning firm at

2019 Gold Sponsors

Join us - EXPO Day at Petco Park

March 7, 2019 - 10a-5p

Over 125 hands-on exhibits, live performances, free and open to the public -- all in the fun and exciting venue of PETCO Park in Downtown San Diego!

We Love Our Sponsors!

It takes true community spirit and engagement to build a successful Festival Week that not only provides meaningful experiences, but sets a path for the future of San Diego.

2019 Sponsors  2020 Sponsor Application

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