Board of Directors

Executive Committee

Dan Ripke, UEDA President

The Center for Economic Development
California State University, Chico

Dan Ripke is director of the Center for Economic Development at CSU, Chico and has been with the center since 1989. He has expanded the center’s service region from twelve counties to twenty-seven counties, a region which encompasses over 30 percent of the state. The Center for Economic Development provides technical assistance to communities throughout California, hosts regional events, and publishes the Annual County Profile Series, a set of 23 county reports (each 150+ pages) summarizing economic and demographic trends.

His office also hosted the first Economic Gardening Conference in 1999 in Chico, California. In 2003, the CED became the lead Small Business Development Center, overseeing six of the centers at local community colleges, through a grant from the Small Business Administration (SBA). At this time the organization became known as the Northeastern California Small Business Development Center (NECSBDC), serving 23 California counties.

Dan is a regular speaker on topics related to entrepreneurship, economic gardening, regional economic development, as well as the affects of economic and demographic trends on communities, their economies, and their businesses. Dan is regularly quoted in publications including the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Sacramento Bee, to name a few.


Meridith Jaeger, UEDA President-Elect

Executive Director, Wisconsin Family Business Forum
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh

Meridith Jaeger is the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Family Business Forum (Forum) at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. In her role, she is responsible for the overall leadership and direction of the Forum. The Wisconsin Family Business Forum is committed to fostering healthy family businesses through learning, sharing and problem solving. It is a partnership of business owners, family members, non-family employees, business professionals and academics. Meridith is an advisory board member and co-founder of AeroInnovate. In addition, she serves as the chairwoman of the Greater Oshkosh Economic Development Aviation Development Committee, is the Lt. Governor’s designee to the Aerospace States Association, and is actively working to develop the Wisconsin Aerospace Partners. She is a member of both the UEDA Awards of Excellence and UEDA Annual Summit planning committees. In 2014, Meridith was the presenter when AeroInnovate was awarded the University Economic Development Association (UEDA) Awards of Excellence at the UEDA Annual Summit in the category of Leadership and Collaboration. Meridith earned her Bachelor of Arts degree (cum laude) in Corporate/Organizational Communication from Northern Illinois University and a Master of Science degree in Educational Leadership at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. Her graduate work had a strong emphasis on the role of higher education in economic development and her research included “The Impact of Faculty Perceptions on Participation in University-Industry Outreach.” Meridith has over 20 years of experience in the areas of education, business, community and economic development. She is committed to building collaborative partnerships across education, business and community.

Kenny Flowers, UEDA Vice President

Assistant Secretary for Rural Economic Development
NC Department of Commerce

Kenny Flowers is the Assistant Secretary for Rural Economic Development at the North Carolina Department of Commerce. In that role he provides guidance for the Department in its efforts to support rural communities and help foster rural prosperity. Mr. Flowers leads a team of community and economic development professionals that help communities make the preparations and infrastructure investments needed to attract business and industry, and spur economic growth.

Prior to his employment with NC Commerce, Flowers was the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Community and Regional Development at East Carolina University’s Office of Innovation and Economic Development. In that role he provided leadership and direction for the University’s community and regional outreach and engagement programs. Mr. Flowers developed and implemented the ECU Municipal Management and Innovation initiative that delivered administrative, management and project assistance to small, limited capacity municipalities; the ECU Community Enhancement and Capacity Building program that provided financial resources and economic development products and services to distressed and rural communities; and the ECU Rural Community Consortium, that engaged faculty, staff and students in partnership with statewide organizations and rural community leaders.  Under his leadership ECU Community and Regional Development programs secured funding in excess of $30 Million for rural development in eastern North Carolina, established more than 70 formal partnerships with local governments and nonprofit organizations, and completed over 50 community development projects with regional partners.

Mr. Flowers currently serves as Vice President of the University Economic Development Association’s (UEDA) national Board of Directors, and Chairman of the UEDA Membership and Marketing Committee. He is a member of the NC Sea Grant Advisory Board, the UNC General Administration’s Economic Transformation Council, and the ECU Rural Community Consortium’s Leadership Council.

Mr. Flowers previously served as Director of Rural Development at the North Carolina Department of Commerce, and as Fiscal Analyst to the Appropriations Subcommittee for Education at the North Carolina General Assembly.

Mr. Flowers received his Master of Public Policy from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and his bachelor’s degree in Public Policy and Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Rebecca Robinson, UEDA Treasurer

Director of Economic Development
Kansas State University

Rebecca is the Director of Economic Development at the Kansas State University Institute for Commercialization, where she leads the organization’s partnership with Knowledge-Based Economic Development, LLC in Manhattan, KS. Ms. Robinson focuses on recruiting or expanding businesses to the region that have a research-based relationship with Kansas State University. In partnership with the community and university, she has facilitated the recruitment of 16 technology-based companies to the Manhattan, Kansas region, creating over 388 new high-wage jobs and a projected economic impact of over $82.2 million. In addition, Ms. Robinson has stimulated University multidisciplinary research and industry collaboration through coordination of over 25 strategic faculty events, attended by over 900 faculty, staff, university administrators, and industry representatives. These events have led to over $1 million in new research awards and collaborations. She consults with emerging companies to provide strategy and business plan development and has facilitated over $350,000 in corporate sponsored research and $12.6 million in investment capital raised. Ms. Robinson has garnered international recognition for her economic development efforts at Kansas State University, including invited presentations at national conferences of the University-Industry Interaction Network (UIIN), the APLU Council on Innovation, Competitiveness & Economic Prosperity (CICEP), Southern Economic Development Council (SEDC) and as a multi-year UEDA Award of Excellence finalist. She has participated in numerous University and Community committees and boards, including the KSU Office of Corporate Engagement Working Group, Flint Hills Economic Development District Governing Board, KSU Career Center Employer Advisory Board, the North Campus Corridor Master Planning Task Force and the K-State 2025 Research Themes Committee. Prior to joining the Institute for Commercialization, she worked in marketing, sales, and corporate retail planning. Ms. Robinson earned her master’s degree in Business Administration and her bachelor’s degree in Marketing, Spanish, and Leadership Studies, both from Kansas State University.

Michael H. Ebinger, UEDA Secretary

Director, WSU University Center for Innovation

Michael Ebinger is currently the Director of the WSU University Center for Innovation, which is funded for a second time by a 5-year grant from the US Economic Development Administration. His efforts and interests include commercializing technical research and evaluating the economic feasibility of new ideas and products through marketing research, business strategies, and operations. In addition, Ebinger currently teaches courses in the WSU Online MBA program.
Ebinger graduated from the University of Arizona in 1980 (BA with Honors, Anthropology) and 1984 (MS, Soils, Water, and Engineering); from Purdue University in 1988 (Ph. D. in Soil Chemistry and Mineralogy); and from Washington State University in 2010 (MBA). He joined the research staff at Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1988 and served as staff scientist until 2003. He became Ecosystems Team Lead in 2003 then interim Group Leader and Deputy Division Leader at different times for the Earth and Environmental Sciences Division through 2005. In 2005 he was named Group Leader of the Atmosphere, Climate, and Ecosystems Dynamics Group, a position he held until 2008 when he moved into program development efforts. He left the Laboratory officially in 2013.

As an R&D scientist at Los Alamos National Lab, Ebinger helped to develop a novel spectroscopic analysis of soil elements (carbon, metals, and radionuclides) that employed laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy and assisted in climate change measurements. The soil methodology was granted a US patent in 2010 (US 7,692,789); a derivative of this technology is at work on Mars aboard NASA’s Curiosity Rover. He leveraged his climate change research into pivotal policy development that was part of the foundation for greenhouse gas verification efforts during the Bush and Obama administrations. This information also formed the initial stages of key national security interests in climate change verification in denied-access territories.

Ebinger remains an active classical musician as a student of viola and as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Spokane Symphony Orchestra. As an academic, he is developing course material for Professional Science Masters programs on the Spokane and Pullman campuses.

Janice Kleinwort, UEDA Past-President

Executive Director of Economic Affairs
Arizona State University

As Executive Director of Economic Affairs at Arizona State University, Janice is responsible for connecting companies and economic development organizations into the ASU innovation ecosystem. She leads the economic development team which provides organizations a pathway to access the university and its students, faculty and research opportunities. Janice also actively recruits local, national and global companies to join SkySong the ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center furthering ASU’s economic development mission. In addition she manages the ASU Education Innovation Network economic development efforts. In this role, she facilitates connections between companies and other education stakeholders with the goal of creating a robust education innovation cluster for Greater Phoenix.

Previously Janice was Director of Employer Relations at Thunderbird School of Global Management. In that role she managed 50+ company relationships, both within the US and Europe, primarily in the healthcare, banking, manufacturing and transportation sectors. Her duties involved connecting the companies with Thunderbird student talent, overseeing multiple company events and organizing study trips to various cities. Before moving back to the US in March 2002, Janice spent eight years living and working in Hamburg, Germany. At the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences she advised international management students and taught classes on communication and intercultural interaction. Previously she was Division Manager for Gima mbH, an international trade show organizer, working in sales and organization of shows in Russia and the CIS. Before moving to Germany she was Executive Director for a non-profit organization in St. Louis, Missouri.

Janice holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies from Bradley University and a Masters in Nonprofit Studies from Arizona State University. She also speaks fluent German.



G. Jason Jolley, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Rural Economic Development
Ohio University

G. Jason Jolley, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Rural Economic Development and MPA Director at the George V. Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs at Ohio University. At Ohio University, he also serves as a Research Fellow in the Center for Entrepreneurship and directs Ohio University’s portion of the US Economic Development Administration University Center (joint with Bowling Green State University). His applied research portfolio includes serving as principal investigator on a subcontract with the Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth to support a Regional Innovation Cluster (RIC) project with the U.S. Small Business Administration. He also leads the Voinovich Schools™ portion of the Ohio Economic Development Institute, an Ohio Economic Development Association initiative, in partnership with JobsOhio and Ohio University’s™ Voinovich School, to provide state-level certification to Ohio economic development practitioners.

Dr. Jolley previously worked at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as Senior Research Director for the Center for Competitive Economies, an applied economic development research center in the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise, and as an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Kenan-Flagler Business School. At UNC, he led the Center’s research activities in economic development incentive policy evaluation and development, strategic planning, impact analysis, and industry cluster characterization to address issues of economic competitiveness.

Dr. Jolley’s research focuses on economic development, entrepreneurship, and tax policy. He has authored/coauthored over 25 scholarly articles and 50 monographs/professional reports. His research has been published or is forthcoming in Journal of Economic Development in Higher Education; Economic Development Quarterly; Business Strategy and the Environment; Review of Policy Research; Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy; State and Local Government Review; Journal of Public Affairs Education; Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting, & Financial Management; Municipal Finance Journal; and Economic Development Journal, among other scholarly outlets. Dr. Jolley writes a semi-regular column, “Practical Views from the Ivory Tower” for State Tax Notes, a professional tax publication. He received a Ph.D. in public administration from North Carolina State University, where he specialized in economic development and research methods, an M.A. in political science from the University of Tennessee and an A.B. in economics from UNC-Chapel Hill. Dr. Jolley current serves as President of the Mid-Continent Regional Science Association and on the editorial boards of Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy and Coastal Business Journal.


Nolan Klouda

Executive Director
University of Alaska Center for Economic Development

Nolan Klouda is the Executive Director of the UACED. In this capacity, he assists clients with business planning, feasibility analysis, marketing development, and a variety of other business and economic development initiatives. He has successfully engaged and worked with tribal governments, municipal governments, non-profits, Alaska Native Corporations, and private business groups to assist them in realizing their strategic goals. His core areas of expertise include entrepreneurship, rural economic development, and engagement between the university and private industry. Mr. Klouda holds a Master of Public Administration from the University of Kansas and a Bachelor’s degree from Gustavus Adolphus College. In addition to education, he brings six years of organizational leadership and development (including business and management consulting) experience to the UACED. Prior to joining UACED in 2010, Mr. Klouda was employed by non-profit organizations, universities, and a municipal government, developing skill sets in program coordination, performance measures, business planning, technical writing, and industry research. Born and raised in Alaska, Mr. Klouda has lived in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Kodiak, and Old Harbor.

Ed Morrison

Director, Purdue Agile Strategy Lab
Purdue University

Ed is the Director of the Purdue Agile Strategy Lab. Recently launched at Purdue, the is pioneering the development and deployment of new approaches to strategy that are specifically designed for open networks and collaboration. The Lab works to deploy these new disciplines across Purdue’s three missions of learning, discovery and engagement. The Lab is currently working with multiple universities to transfer these frameworks and disciplines to these campuses.

Since 2005, Ed has been incubating these new, network-based models at Purdue. These approaches emphasize the strategic value of focused collaboration and innovation in today’s global economy. He developed Strategic Doing that is now widely used across the U.S. and is now gaining attention internationally. Initially housed in the Purdue Center for Regional Development, Ed and his colleagues Scott Hutcheson and Peggy Hosea spun out the new Agile Strategy Lab to support the growth of this unique strategy discipline.

Prior to coming to Purdue, Ed directed the Center for Regional Economic Issues at Case Western Reserve University for two years. Prior to that, he was an independent consultant focused in regional economic development. Working with the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, he developed the private sector’s strategy for the transformation of Oklahoma City, and he helped guide the launch of the Charleston Digital Corridor. He was also principal author of the 1998 Commission on the Future of the South report.

Prior to starting this work in regional economic development, Ed worked for Telesis, a corporate strategy consulting firm. In this position, He has served on consulting teams for clients such as Ford Motor Company, Volvo and General Electric. He conducted manufacturing cost studies in the U.S., Japan, Mexico, Canada, Italy, Sweden and France. He started my professional career in Washington, D.C., serving as a legislative assistant to an Ohio Congressman, staff attorney in the Federal Trade Commission and staff counsel in the U.S. Senate. Ed received a B.A. degree cum laude with honors in African Studies from Yale University and M.B.A. and J.D. degrees from the University of Virginia.

Julia Potter

Director, Strategic Partnerships & Special Initiatives, Office of the President
California State University, Northridge

Julia Potter is the Director for Strategic Partnerships and Special Initiatives in the Office of the President at California State University, Northridge (CSUN). Her responsibilities include a wide-range of external affairs activities including establishing university-wide partnerships with businesses and industries for contracted applied research and customized workforce development programs, developing relationships for grants and sponsored programs, and fostering regional economic and community development initiatives. She also serves as the point-of-contact for CSUN’s Elevate Campaign, a business development strategy conceived by campus leadership when state funding was significantly reduced. A priority in her work is serving as the community liaison for LACI@CSUN, the on-campus business incubator, formed by the University’s partnership with the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI). She also serves as the campus Guide for the CSU5, an alliance of the five California State Universities in Los Angeles County. Together, the CSU5 campuses are working to develop new areas of collective expertise that relate to the priorities shaping the future of Greater Los Angeles.

Julia has worked for CSUN for over ten years in various roles. Prior to her current role, she served the University as Director of External Relations for the Tseng College of Extended Learning, the entrepreneurial self-support college at CSUN. She was also the Tseng College’s accreditation lead and served on the University’s re-accreditation committee, a three-year appointment.

Before launching her career at CSUN, Julia worked in the private sector doing business development and stockholder relations for a privately held company as well as in the non-profit sector as a fundraiser.


John Provo

Director, Office of Economic Development
Virginia Tech

John Provo is Director of Virginia Tech’s Office of Economic Development (OED). In that role he provides leadership for the university in the design and implementation of its economic development mission. A “pracademic” with more than 15 years of economic development experience in higher education and government, he leads a team that builds partnerships linking resources from the university, community, and industry. They also deliver applied research projects to address economic development needs across the Commonwealth of Virginia. Recent work by OED has included economic analysis for Virginia Tech’s winning bid for one of six-FAA test centers for unmanned aerial systems, developing economic development strategies for coal-dependent communities in Southwest Virginia based on transferable skills of laid-off coal miners, and training faculty and student entrepreneurs in commercialization as a part of the Virginia Tech team leading an NSF I-Corp regional node. Also as part of OED, Provo directs Virginia Tech’s long-standing US EDA-funded university center, which leads economic development projects for rural regions in Southwest and Southern Virginia. He further led university-wide teams securing Virginia Tech’s designation by the Association of Public and Land University as an “Innovation and Economic Prosperity University,” and winning a bid to host the University Economic Development Association (UEDA) 2016 Annual Summit. Provo currently serves as chair of the American Planning Association Economic Development Division, as well as chair of Virginia’s University-Based Economic Development Officers. In addition to UEDA he remains active in other professional associations including the International Economic Development Council and the Virginia Economic Development Association. He presents regularly before scholarly and academic groups, speaking and publishing on a variety of topics, most recently including a chapter on “Reshoring and the Manufacturing Moment” in the Handbook of Manufacturing Industries in the World Economy, published last year by Edwin Elgar. He also teaches an economic development studio course in Virginia Tech’s Urban Affairs and Planning program, which has just launched a study on the potential emergence of innovation districts in several regions of Virginia. Provo received his Ph.D. from the School of Urban Studies and Planning at Portland State University. He received a master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1999 and a bachelor’s degree in government from the College of William and Mary in 1989. While in Richmond, Virginia he worked for Virginia’s Secretary of Commerce and Trade on implementation of revisions to the state’s workforce development system.


Susan Sciame-Gieseke

Indiana University Kokomo

Sciame-Giesecke is the seventh Chancellor of Indiana University Kokomo, after contributing to many areas across the campus for 37 years. As chancellor, she is taking bold steps, working with sister regional campuses to advocate for the importance of higher education as a benefit to everyone, improving retention and graduation rates in those regions, and leading regional partnerships in education, business and economic growth, and research. Chancellor Sciame-Giesecke has led successful initiatives to enhance degree programs, student success and graduation initiatives, athletics and other student life programs, and she has worked to deepen and broaden community and K-12 connections throughout the 14-county service region. Under her leadership, with strong support from IU Kokomo’s faculty and staff, numerous new degree programs have been launched including a Bachelor of Applied Science program in conjunction with other IU regional campuses, and a degree in hospitality and tourism. Capital projects Chancellor Sciame-Giesecke has overseen include the current $14 million renovation of the Main Building, transforming it into a 21st century learning space. She’s also led construction of a new advising center, a new outdoor courtyard, the Cole Family Fitness and Wellness Center, and the Cougar Gym. Chancellor Sciame-Giesecke also facilitated discussions for the development of a regional economic development organization, which include six counties in the campus service region. She led efforts to create a funding formula, organizational structure, and bylaws for the new organization. Prior to her permanent appointment as chancellor, she served she served as the interim chancellor from 2012 to 2014 and the executive vice chancellor of academic affairs from 2010 to 2012. Chancellor Sciame-Giesecke holds a bachelor’s degree from Ball State University, a master’s degree from Illinois State University and a doctoral degree from Indiana University. In addition to her campus administrative roles, she also directed the Indiana University Enhancing Minority Attainment Conference and the Indiana University Faculty Leadership Institute, each for several years.

Dr. Ashish Vaidya

Interim President
St. Cloud State University, MN

Ashish Vaidya was named to a two-year appointment as interim president of St. Cloud State by the Minnesota State Board of Trustees in June 2016 following the unexpected death President Earl H. Potter III, who had served as president of St. Cloud State University since 2007.

He is focused on leading the university as the campus community moves forward from the tragedy together.

Vaidya came to the University as provost and vice president for academic affairs in 2015.

Previously, he served California State University, Los Angeles, from 2010-2015 as provost and vice president for academic affairs, and as special advisor to the president for regional economic development.

He also served California State University Channel Islands as dean of the faculty from 2005-2010, as the MBA director from 2003-2005, and as founding director of the Center for International Affairs from 2004-2006.

He holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from St. Xavier’s College (Mumbai, India), and a master’s and a doctorate from University of California, Davis.

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University Economic Development Association
PO Box 97930
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216.200.UEDA (8332)