Board of Directors
UEDA’s Board of Director’s is a group of committed individuals who work at all levels of higher education, including chancellors, presidents, directors, managers and professors. Each member brings their unique perspective and experience to round out our leadership and inform the direction of the organization. Those institutions and organizations who currently allow their employees to serve on the Board comprise the UEDA Leadership Council.
Director of Educational Partnerships Development & Special University Projects
California State University, Northridge
Julia Potter is the Director of Educational Partnerships Development & Special University Projects at California State University, Northridge (CSUN). Her responsibilities include a wide-range of external relations 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 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. She is a key stakeholder in the CSUN Innovates! initiative, leading the CSUN Innovates! Interest Group (115+ members) and serving on the CSUN Innovates! Executive Steering Committee.
Director, Office of Economic Development
UEDA Vice President
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.
Genna M. Hurd
Associate Researcher, Institute for Policy & Social Research
The University of Kansas
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.
Michael H. Ebinger
Director, Washington State University Center for Innovation
Washington State University-Spokane
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.
UEDA Past 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.
Rena Cotsones, Ph.D.
Associate VP, Outreach, Engagement and Regional Development
Northern Illinois University
Bringing people together for a common good has been a lifelong passion for Dr. Rena Cotsones.
As Associate Vice President of Outreach, Engagement and Regional Development for Northern Illinois University, Rena works with regional partners to create and implement collaborative approaches to advancing education, economic development, workforce development, and innovation initiatives in northern Illinois and Chicagoland.
Manager of Strategic Engagement
University of Alaska Center for Economic Development
Margo leads facilitation, strategic planning, and client services for CED. Previously, she served as CED’s Lead Analyst and worked in the education sector for numerous school districts and universities in California and Alaska, as well as served as a VISTA volunteer with UCLA BruinCorps.
Mridul Gautam, Ph.D.
Vice President for Research and Innovation, and Professor of Mechanical Engineering
University of Nevada, Reno
As vice president for research and innovation and professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno, Dr. Mridul Gautam articulates and implements a shared vision for research and guides the administrative division focused on developing world-class research and discovery, the careers and competitiveness of faculty, and the institution’s capacity as a high-impact research university and economic cornerstone of Nevada.
Director, Georgia Tech University Center; ; Senior Research Faculty
Georgia Institute of Technology
Ms. Golemi is the Director of the EDA University Center at Georgia Tech. The University Center (UC) program is specifically designed to marshal the resources located within colleges and universities to support regional economic development strategies in regions of chronic and acute economic distress. She is also Senior Research Faculty at Georgia Tech.
In her current role, Ms. Golemi leads programs that provide support to communities and other universities with their innovation-led economic development initiatives. These initiatives foster collaborations among informal network players to drive public policy, strategic planning, startup ecosystem formation, and fiscal and economic impact metrics. Her background includes sixteen years of experience in the field of economic development in the private sector and higher education. Ms. Golemi has expertise in turning complex data into information that leads to strategic decisions and the realization of aggressive goals.
Director, Business Innovation Group
Georgia Southern University
Dominique Halaby, D.P.A. is the Director of the Business Innovation Group (BIG) at Georgia Southern University. BIG includes the Center for Business Analytics and Economic Research, Center for Entrepreneurial Learning and Leadership, Small Business Development Center, Innovation Incubator and Fab Lab. In 2015, BIG was recognized as a Gold Award Winner in Entrepreneurship by the IEDC.
G. Jason Jolley, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Rural Economic Development
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).
Director, Office of Economic Development
University of Georgia
Sean B. McMillan is director of economic development for the Atlanta office of the University of Georgia. McMillan earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration and finance from Auburn University in 1988 and his master’s degree in business administration from Georgia State University in 2000.
Economic Development Programs Manager
University of Tennessee Center for Industrial Services
As the leader of CIS’s economic development programs, Beth Phillips works to connect businesses, communities, and organizations to the resources of the university and its partners. With over thirty years’ experience in economic and community development in Tennessee, Beth has engaged in projects across the state to attract new jobs and investment, support existing businesses, and enhance community economic competitiveness.
Mary Frances Postupack
Vice President for Economic Development and Research Support
East Stroudburg University
Mary Frances Postupack is the Vice President for Economic Development and Research Support at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania. She manages the ESU division of Research and Economic Development (RED) which includes an award-winning Business Accelerator Program, the Office of Workforce Development, Entrepreneurial Leadership Center, and the Office of Sponsored Projects and Research which secured in excess of $38 million from FY02-11. Mary Frances has over 20 years of experience in the areas of education, business, community and economic development. She received a BS from the Pennsylvania State University, M.Ed. from East Stroudsburg University, and Corporate Entrepreneurship Certification from Lehigh University. She is a certified Stephen Covey Trainer and was recognized as one of the top 25 women in business in NE PA by the Northeast Pennsylvania Business Journal.
Jim Woodell & Company and the Collaborative for Insight & Impact
Dr. James K. (Jim) Woodell helps higher education institutions to demonstrate their value to economic and societal growth within their communities and regions. His professional services focus on planning and building partnerships between the institutions and their current and prospective partners in the private, civic, and government sectors.
Jim’s 30+ year career has spanned multiple areas of expertise and impacts. To date, he has worked in:
- Community development where he and his partners demonstrably improved quality of life in regions through higher education engagement, outreach, and public service
- Education, training, and workforce development, including strategies for design and delivery of programs
- Research and Development and innovation, including technological advancement, entrepreneurship, and regional technology-based economic development
From 2011 to 2018, Jim worked at the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) in a number of roles, most recently as vice president for economic development and community engagement. He worked closely with member institutions to develop tools and resources to enhance their regional engagement and economic development efforts. He served as the staff director for APLU’s Commission on Innovation, Competitiveness and Economic Prosperity
Brian Richard, Ph.D
Assistant Director, Center for Governmental Studies
Northern Illinois University
Brian Richard is Assistant Director for Center for Governmental Studies’ Workforce Development team. At CGS, his most recent work concentrates on the evaluation of state and local workforce development and training programs. He also has extensive experience estimating the impacts of economic development projects, local retail and industrial analysis, and research into the health of regional economies.