ATHENS, Ohio (March 5, 2004) -- Adena Ventures founder David Wilhelm and its president, Lynn Gellermann, received Appalachian New Economy Partnership (ANEP) Entrepreneurship Awards from Ohio University's Voinovich Center for Leadership and Public Affairs at a presentation held Feb. 13 at the home of Ohio University President Robert Glidden.
U.S. Rep. Ted Strickland (D-OH), Ohio Sen. Joy Padgett (R-20th District) and Ohio Rep. Jimmy Stewart (R-92nd District) participated in the reception ceremony for Adena Ventures, an Athens-based venture capital firm.
"Adena, under the outstanding leadership of these two individuals, and in partnership with Ohio University, is providing equity and operational assistance to business in central Appalachia," said Sen. George Voinovich in a letter to Glidden about the award presentation. "David and Lynn's work with the Voinovich Center's Appalachian New Economy Partnership and their combined efforts with those of Ohio University on the development of the fund bring promise of equity investment to companies in Appalachia Ohio."
In November, Adena announced its first investment in an Ohio company. Ed Map Inc. of Nelsonville, which provides Internet solutions for distance learning programs, received an Adena-led round of equity investment. Additionally, Adena has provided business plan development, research and analysis, marketing assistance and other services to 26 central Appalachian companies that are preparing themselves to receive venture funding.
"Adena and central Appalachia have benefited greatly from the leadership and support of Ohio University. This effort would not have been possible without Ohio University's early support and the innovative working partnership we have with the Voinovich Center. David and I are moved by this recognition in that it represents the first steps of progress on this ambitious journey we have all undertaken for this region," said Gellermann.
Established in 2002, Adena is the nation's first and largest company established through the Small Business Administration New Markets Venture Capital program. It was chartered to provide equity capital and operational assistance to small businesses with high growth potential in a four-state central Appalachian region.
Wilhelm is the president of Woodland Venture Management, a company that develops investment vehicles focused on parts of the country and sectors of the economy that are underserved by the nation's financial industry. A native of southeastern Ohio, Wilhelm is also a 1977 graduate of Ohio University and is head of Wilhelm & Conlon, Inc., a public affairs consulting firm.
Gellermann is also a partner in Woodland Venture Management. Prior to the formation of Adena, Gellermann provided consulting services and spent fifteen years in the banking industry where he developed innovative approaches to the marketplace, including the establishment of one of the first venture funds in the nation to focus on women-owned firms. He was also instrumental in bringing mortgage lending opportunities to Indian Nations and the disabled community, and provided national leadership in microenterprise and state lending programs.
ANEP is a program funded through the Ohio Board of Regents budget that develops Appalachia Ohio's long-term economic prosperity by building knowledge and technology use in the region.
Our partnership with Adena Ventures is a perfect example of the kind of public/private partnerships we hoped to build through the ANEP, said Glidden. ANEP is only a few years old, and because of Adena's efforts, we re already seeing positive results. We have the leadership of our state legislators to thank for ANEP.
Ohio University's Voinovich Center for Leadership and Public Affairs extends knowledge and resources beyond Ohio University's campus to people in government, education, business and public organizations by providing applied research, training, technical assistance and innovative solutions that make a difference, particularly in Appalachian Ohio.
[ 30 ]
Media Contacts: Voinovich Center for Leadership & Public Affairs Director Mark Weinberg, (740) 593-4390, or Adena Ventures President Lynn Gellermann, (740) 597-1722