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University of Michigan Innovation Partnerships
University of Michigan Innovation Partnerships

2022 Outstanding Service Award


Q&A With Greg Choiniere – 2022 Jessica Soulliere Outstanding Service Award Recipient

For his spirit of community and camaraderie, his commitment and drive, and his relentless passion for helping others, Greg Choiniere was awarded Innovation Partnerships’ Jessica Soulliere Outstanding Service Award. The award is named for our late colleague, Jessica Soulliere, who was a trusted and valued member of Innovation Partnerships with an exceptional work ethic and commitment to service.

We sat down with Greg to discuss his role at Innovation Partnerships and how he felt when he received this award.

Let’s start with the basics, how long have you been at Innovation Partnerships?

I first started as a temp employee in 2003 helping with the implementation of the financial piece of the Tech Tracs database, which has since been replaced with Sophia. I was hired on full time in July 2004 and have been here officially 18 years and 4 months. It’s amazing how the office has changed over the years and has grown into the office it is today.

What is your current role at the office?

I am currently the Agreements Data / IP Finance Specialist. My main focus is cleaning up license agreement terms to ensure they are all correct in Sophia. I also assist in supplying financial data requests. In general, anything to do with agreements from entry, to billing, agreement review and pulling data.   

Tell us a little bit about your background prior to Innovation Partnerships.

I was in the hospitality industry for almost 20 years as a restaurant general manager. I worked at Pizzeria Uno and Chili’s. As my children were getting older and becoming more active, the number of hours and working nights and weekends were not conducive to spending time with the family so it was time to make a change. 

What do you most enjoy about working at Innovation Partnerships?

The teamwork in this office is beyond compare as is the autonomy. The many challenges that are presented daily make this job exciting and makes us strive to become better.

What is your favorite memory of Jess?

Almost daily, Jessica would stop by my office in the morning and buy a pack of gum from the office’s Snack Shack. Not sure she chewed that much gum, but I believe she came by as a friend to see how my day was going. She truly cared about how people were doing. We would talk about our families, retirement, and vacations. It was always a joy to see her come into the office. 

What were the emotions you felt when you found out that you were selected for the JSOSA this year?

I was extremely surprised to have been selected, let alone being nominated. I was torn in accepting this award as I feel that as I do work hard, I don’t feel I possess all of Jessica’s wonderful traits. This is such an honor and an award I will always cherish.

Anything else you want to share with our readers?

I hope that everyone remembers that even though it’s a great honor to win this award, it is not about me but it’s about the memories and legacy of Jessica.