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.
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.
Director, Director of External Relations & Special University Projects
California State University, Northridge
Julia Potter is the Director of External Relations & 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.
UEDA Vice President
Director, Office of Economic Development
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.
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
Director, 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.
Dr. J. Douglas Barrett
Director, Institute for Innovation and Economic Development
University of North Alabama
Dr. Barrett is the Director of the Institute for Innovation and Economic Development at the University of North Alabama. He has served as a UNA faculty member since 1997, taught as Professor of Quantitative Methods since 2004, and has served as Chair of the Department of Economics and Finance since 2008.
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, 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.
Director, Center for Regional Development
Bowling Green State University
Russell W. Mills, Ph.D. is the Director of the Center for Regional Development and associate professor in the department of political science at Bowling Green State University (BGSU). Prior to his appointment at BGSU, Dr. Mills worked as a policy analyst at the Federal Aviation Administration in Washington D.C. where he developed and evaluated agency-wide reauthorization proposals for political and policy implications and coordinated with internal and external stakeholders to ensure communication of proposals to Department of Transportation, Office of Management and Budget, and Congress.
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.
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.
Deborah L. Ford
University of Wisconsin-Parkside
Dr. Ford has lead the campus community in the integration of planning with the development of a Strategic Plan, Strategic Enrollment Management Plan, Academic Plan, Master Plan, and Technology Roadmap. A strong believer in community engagement and building partnerships throughout the region, Dr. Ford is actively involved with the Kenosha Area Business Alliance (KABA), Racine County Economic Development Corporation (RCEDC), Racine Area Manufacturers and Commerce (RAMAC), the Kenosha Area Chamber of Commerce, Milwaukee 7, the Racine County United Way Schools of Hope Leadership Council, and the Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast (GSWISE).
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.
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.