ATHENS, Ohio (May 7, 2007) -- Linda Clark, director of the Ohio University Innovation Center, has been elected to the board of directors of the National Business Incubation Association. Her three-year term begins Oct. 1.
Based in Athens, Ohio, the National Business Incubation Association is the world's leading organization advancing business incubation and entrepreneurship. Since 1985, NBIA has provided industry professionals with information, education, advocacy and networking resources to bring excellence to the process of assisting early-stage companies.
NBIA's board of directors, representing top business incubation programs and other key industry organizations, governs the association. The group meets three times a year to discuss association business, including educational programming, finances, member recruitment/services and publications.
Clark decided to run for the board "to provide a rural and Appalachian perspective to board decision-making," she said. "I want to be sure that other board members understand the challenges of this sector and the impacts of our decisions."
Globalization is NBIA's greatest challenge, Clark added. "We must value each member's culture and points of view," she said. "We must listen to our members and provide the services they require."
Clark has worked with the Innovation Center since 1997 and became director in 2000. The highlight of her leadership, she said, was raising $6 million for a new incubator facility that opened in 2003. In 2004, the facility reached full occupancy with 12 clients. Innovation Center companies created 344 jobs and $12.6 million in labor income for Athens County during fiscal year 2006, according to an economic impact study. In 2003, Clark testified before Congress on the significance of Economic Development Administration funding for business incubators.
Business incubation programs such as the Ohio University Innovation Center catalyze the process of starting and growing companies by providing entrepreneurs with the expertise, networks and tools they need to make their ventures successful. In 2001 alone, North American incubators assisted more than 35,000 start-up companies that provided full-time employment for nearly 82,000 workers and generated annual revenue of more than $7 billion.
The Innovation Center is part of the Vice President for Research planning unit at Ohio University.