Janice Kleinwort, UEDA 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.
Dan Ripke, UEDA President-Elect
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, Vice President
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.
Genna M. Hurd, UEDA Secretary / Treasurer
Genna Hurd is an Associate Researcher for the Institute for Policy & Social Research (IPSR) at the University of Kansas and Co-Investigator for the KU University Center, KU Entrepreneurship Works for Kansas. The EDA-funded University Center is a partnership effort between IPSR and the KU Center for Entrepreneurship in the School of Business. The KU UC focuses on unique and pragmatic programs in entrepreneurship, the biosciences, and technology. Hurd is part of the IPSR team that assesses and evaluates the Kansas NSF EPSCoR Program, which promotes scientific progress at KU, Kansas State University, and Wichita State University. She is Editor of the Kansas Statistical Abstract, an online data compendium for the State of Kansas. The IPSR Abstract team received KU’s first Team Award in 2008. Hurd is associated with the Center for Science, Technology and Economic Policy at IPSR and helps to plan and organize its annual Kansas Economic Policy Conference. Genna served as President of the University Economic Development Association from 2007-2008 and was on the UEDA Board from 2004- 2009 and 2012-2013. She was elected Treasurer/Secretary of UEDA in 2013. Genna graduated with Distinction from KU in 1979 with a Bachelors of Science in Business and Biology and a Masters of Urban Planning in 1983.
Rick Wolk, UEDA Past-President
Rick is an executive coach, educator and an entrepreneur with experience in all aspects of running organizations that strive for management and marketing excellence. In addition to his 10+ years of teaching university students, Rick has also successfully managed business development, sales, marketing, human resources and administrative functions for intrapreneurial and entrepreneurial ventures; his experience includes P&L responsibility, general management, international business, new product development, and start-ups. Rick earned his Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and his PhD from Leeds Beckett University in the U.K. Rick also earned his B.S. from Northwestern University and is a graduate of Phillips Academy Andover. Rick’s Green Gazelle research allows him to work with Alaska’s entrepreneurs and their entrepreneurial ecosystems to influence high growth sustainability entrepreneurship, helping entrepreneurs to be more financially successful, to create more jobs, and to be more ecologically positive. When he is not working, you will most likely find Rick in a kayak, on cross-country skis, or just hanging out with his executive coach, wife, and business partner Bobbie Sue.
Assistant Vice Chancellor
Community and Regional Development
East Carolina University
Kenny Flowers is the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Community and Regional Development at East Carolina University’s Office of Innovation and Economic Development. In that role he provides leadership and direction for the University’s community and regional outreach and engagement programs. Since his arrival at ECU, Mr. Flowers has developed and implemented the Municipal Management and Innovation initiative that delivers administrative, management and project assistance to small limited capacity municipalities, and the ECU Community Enhancement and Capacity Building program, a collaborative with the NC Department of Commerce that provides financial resources and economic development products and services to distressed and rural communities across North Carolina. Under his leadership ECU Community and Regional Development programs have secured funding in excess of $14 Million for rural development in eastern North Carolina, established 45 formal partnerships with local governments, industry partners and nonprofit organizations and completed 42 community development projects with its regional partners. In 2011 the ECU Community and Regional Development programs won the UEDA Award of Excellence in the Leadership and Collaboration category. Mr. Flowers serves on the ECU Economic Prosperity steering committee, the ECU SACS task force, the Pitt-Greenville Economic Development task force, the Pitt County Blue Ribbon committee on Homelessness, the Town of Grifton Economic Development Council and the Uptown Greenville Board of Directors. Prior to his employment at ECU, Mr. Flowers was Executive Director of the NC Rural Development Council at the North Carolina Department of Commerce. He previously served as Fiscal Analyst and primary staff 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.
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.
Dr. Roger R. Martinez ’85 is serving as the Senior Associate Director for Public Partnership and Outreach in the Office of the Provost at Texas A&M University. Prior to accepting this position, Dr. Martinez served as the Senior Associate Director in the Office of Admissions, the Associate Director in the Department of Scholarships & Financial Aid and as the Associate Director in Corps Recruiting for the Corps of Cadets at Texas A&M. Additionally, Dr. Martinez has over 12 years of leadership experience working in the private sector in distribution with H-E-B Grocery Company and Walmart, as well as having served as a United States Marine Corps Officer. Dr. Martinez received his B.S. in Computer Science with a minor in Management from Texas A&M University, a MBA from Our Lady of the Lake University, and his Ph.D from Texas A&M University.
Outside of work, he serves on various committees at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in College Station, is the President of the University Place Condo Home Owners Association, on the Board of Fiestas Patrias Mexicanas, and a Real Estate Investor in the Brazos Valley area. He is also a member of the local Marine Corps League where he serves as the Judge Advocate and a member of the American Legion.
He has been married for 28 years and has three daughters.
Director, Purdue Agile Strategy Lab
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.
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.
Director, Office of Economic Development
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.
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.
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
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.