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Lissa Jollick wins Janet and George Voinovich Faculty and Staff Leadership Award

Rebecca Harhai
March 17, 2021

Lissa Jollick, Regional Director of Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs Small Business Development Center, was named the 2021 recipient of the Janet and George Voinovich Faculty and Staff Leadership Award.

The biennial award honors Voinovich School faculty and staff who exhibit outstanding leadership and honors the legacy of Sen. George V. Voinovich. It includes $5,000 for professional development training, activity or equipment directly related to the Voinovich School’s strategic outcomes. The inaugural award was bestowed in 2019.

Jollick’s selection recognizes her work with the SBDC, which provides valuable no-cost technical assistance to businesses in areas such as capital access, business planning, market and industry analysis, financial analysis and budgeting. Her leadership was especially noteworthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. The SBDC, under Jollick’s leadership, quickly helped small businesses to navigate the economic depressions and lockdowns caused by the pandemic.

“COVID-19 added extra challenges to small businesses in southeastern Ohio, especially in areas that are currently or are at risk of being considered federally economically depressed,” Jollick said. “My entire staff and I have been on the front line of assisting these businesses and have worked incredibly hard to support businesses during this challenging time.”

Jollick was nominated by Lynn Gellermann, associate dean of innovative partnerships and executive director for TechGROWTH Ohio, who described her commitment and passion for helping small businesses, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We believe that Lissa’s work with the Ohio University SBDC exemplifies the Voinovich School’s strategic area of focus and growth through her contributions to the economy of the region,” Gellermann said in his nomination letter. “Her leadership during the pandemic and work assisting small businesses has been unparalleled, and she is always quick to note that there would be no success without the talented team of professionals that surround her.”

Faith Voinovich, the late senator’s granddaughter and member of the selection committee, said that, in reviewing the staff and faculty nominations for the award, Jollick stuck out due to her commitment to the Voinovich School, her team and assisting businesses during the pandemic.

“Lissa’s work during the pandemic and ability to grow, scale, and provide resources to small businesses in the Appalachian region has been second to none,” Voinovich said. “Many of these companies wouldn’t have had access or connection to resources. Because of her work, they were able to have a village around them to help them get through difficult times.”