October 28, 2020

Baker Presents at Conference

Brian Baker, executive director for the UMW Center for Economic Development, presented at the Virginia Business Incubation Association Conference this month.  His presentation on “The Other Accelerator” discussed how existing businesses can be incubated through a virtual process to get export trade ready. A notable feature of the event was the CEO+ Program, a partnership between the Rappahannock Economic Development Corporation and the UMW-CED, which will be used as the first stage to accelerating the capability of regional small companies to do business in global markets.

The conference was held in Charlottesville and convened economic development and business development stakeholders.  The Virginia Business Incubation Association is a statewide organization to advance business incubation across the Commonwealth.

 

REDCO Partnering with UMW for Business Program

The UMW Center for Economic Development is partnering with the Rappahannock Economic Development Corporation (REDCO) to provide the CEO+ Program for REDCO 504 loan recipients. The CEO+ Program is a collection of training, business intelligence and financial counseling designed to strengthen the capabilities of small business owners. 504 loan recipients will have access to specialized management training, industry reports, benchmark studies, and financial management assistance. A pilot of the program will begin in October with 10 clients.

Brian Baker, executive director for Economic Development at UMW, stated: “This is a scaled solution with high value data and service that can be deployed quickly to business owners who need to make critical management decisions.” A full launch of the program is planned for January 2016.

REDCO is a licensed non-profit, Certified Development Company that offers long-term fixed-rate financing for small business in Virginia through the SBA 504 Loan Program. The University of Mary Washington Center for Economic Development collaborates with business, government, education and private parties to promote personal, professional and economic growth by advancing knowledge through entrepreneurship, small business development, innovation and competitiveness, research and analysis, and outreach and engagement. UMW programs that will support the partnership include the Small Business Development Center, the EagleWorks Business Incubation Center, and the Office of Regional Initiatives. You can find more information about the UMW Center for Economic Development at www.economicdevelopment.umw.edu/ and REDCO-504 at www.redco504.org .

Baker Conducts Association Strategic Planning

UMW Executive Director of Economic Development Brian Baker conducted strategic planning with Board Members of the Virginia Business Incubation Association.  Baker is a practitioner of the actionable balanced scorecard approach to strategic planning.  The session was hosted at the Waynesboro Office of Economic Development.  The Virginia Business Incubation Association is an education and networking association for professionals who support entrepreneurship, small business development, and the advancement of incubation throughout the Commonwealth.

EagleWorks Gives Small Business Opportunity to Shine

The University of Mary Washington’s Center for Economic Development is taking steps to help small businesses in Fredericksburg succeed. Its small-business incubation program, EagleWorks, took its first client in 2014. Koji Flowers, owner of online marketing company Big Cloud Media, came to EagleWorks after moving from Texas. In the nine months Flowers has worked at EagleWorks, Big Cloud Media has tripled sales and doubled the average scope of project services. In addition, the company has clients in Mexico, Canada, India and Israel. EagleWorks is a collaborative entrepreneur-centered program through the Center for Economic Development that focuses on small businesses to promote their growth and sustainability. Currently, EagleWorks has 13 partners that support clients in the program, including the U.S. Small Business Administration and Cardinal Bank. EagleWorks provides services for small business owners, including office space, a conference room for client use, and business training programs. Flowers credits EagleWorks as a large proponent to Big Cloud Media’s success. Flowers, who had operated Big Cloud Media from his home for several years before coming to EagleWorks, was looking for a place where he could separate work from home. EagleWorks, in addition to providing an area solely for business, also gives Flowers a venue where he can meet with potential clients. The Executive Director of Economic Development Brian Baker and others in the department have been especially valuable to Flowers. They helped Flowers create Limited Liability Company status for his business. In addition, they helped improve his business in ways Flowers had never considered. “It’s been a wonderful program for me,” Flowers said.

Baker Selected to be Business Mentor

Brian Baker, executive director for Economic Development at the University of Mary Washington, was invited by the William James Foundation to be a business mentor for companies in the Sustainable Business Plan Competition. This is Baker’s third year as a judge. As a mentor, he will work closely with company management to advance their value proposition.

The William James Foundation, founded by Chuck Dell in 2002, is dedicated to the principle that “people can be of service to their communities through their work.” Dell attributed his inspiration to the teachings of William James, a noted American philosopher. Since 2002, the foundation has provided more than $3 million in direct funding and countless value in in-kind benefits to for-profit social enterprises.

Baker Attends White House Business Council Event

Brian Baker, UMW executive director for economic development, attended the White House Business Council “Economic Development Forum” on Sept. 27.  The forum was a collaboration between the White House Business Council and the International Economic Development Council. Economic development executives from across the nation were invited to participate in briefs from economists and senior leadership in the Department of Commerce, U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service, Export-Import Bank, Treasury, Small Business Administration, International Economic Affairs, and others. The 2013 topics of discussion included the macroeconomic outlook, facilitating foreign investment in the U.S., capital access and entrepreneurship, innovations in workforce development, and critical infrastructure needs for the 21st century.

UMW Names Executive Director for Center for Economic Development

The University of Mary Washington today announced that Brian Baker has been named executive director of the Center for Economic Development. Baker has spent the last decade as an administrator at UMW, most recently as executive director for entrepreneurship. In his role as executive director, Baker will oversee the UMW Small Business Development Center, the EagleWorks Accelerator and Business Innovation Center, the Engagement Program, the operations for the Virginia Business Incubation Association, as well as several contract affiliations. During his more than 10 years at UMW, Baker has served in various roles, including head of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC).  In his time as executive director of the SBDC, the center served more than 3,000 small company clients and yielded economic impacts of more than $70 million in new investments, more than $81 million in new sales growth and the creation and retention of 4,670 jobs. Baker also was instrumental in bringing the Virginia Business Incubation Association to the university where it will have an opportunity to engage students and faculty in both regional and statewide small company development initiatives. Baker also has collaborated with numerous UMW students on business-related projects pertaining to market research, small company analysis and revenue analytics. Baker serves on the Board of Directors for the La Ceiba Microfinance program, the Leadership Fredericksburg program and the University Based Economic Development Council, and is president of the Virginia Business Incubation Association. He also is a general member of the Rappahannock Economic Development Corporation and a member of the Stafford County Economic Analysis Forum and the Germanna Community College Workforce and Community Education Advisory Board. He has been a speaker at both the International Economic Development Council and Virginia Business Incubation Association conferences on small business. In 2010, he was recognized as the Virginia SBDC State Star for contributions in business development. Baker earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s in business administration in management from Mary Washington. He holds a business analyst certification from the Virginia SBDC program hosted by George Mason University. The Center for Economic Development, established in 2011, assists the regional jurisdictions in their efforts to promote economic development of the region. The center functions as a central point of contact to connect faculty and students with regional initiatives and businesses seeking their assistance. The center’s programs and initiatives include the Small Business Development Center, the Fredericksburg Regional Alliance, the Virginia Business Incubation Association, and student and faculty engagement projects.

UMW Honors Local Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs

The University of Mary Washington’s Center for Economic Development recognized area small business owners and entrepreneurs through the 2013 Virginia Veteran Owned Small Business of the Year Awards and the Meta R. Braymer Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Brian Baker, executive director for entrepreneurship, presented the awards during an open house celebration on May 29. Award recipients were selected from applicants of business owners served by the University of Mary Washington Small Business Development Center on the basis of commitment to their enterprise, industry leadership, proven business success and dedication to the community. Joy Crump and Beth Black, co-owners of the Fredericksburg restaurant FOODE, received the inaugural Meta R. Braymer Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award for their involvement in the small business community. The award is named after Meta R. Braymer, vice president for economic development and regional engagement, who will retire next month after 23 years at UMW. Thomas Keogh, owner of Corp Solutions LLC, and Christopher Sharon, owner of Adaptive Training and Consulting Services LLC, received the Virginia Veteran Owned Small Business of the Year Awards. The awards are a tribute to their commitment to business development and to the community where they reside and serve. Keogh also won the state-level award of the same name given by the Virginia Small Business Development Center. During the awards ceremony, the Center for Economic Development also recognized 11 professional service providers with Volunteer Champion Awards for their service to the UMW Small Business Development Center. The award recipients included Richard Roanelli and Tom Miglas of the Mason Enterprise Center for a procurement technical assistance program; Will Vehrs of the Virginia Department of Business Assistance for state procurement; Heather Rosen of FranNet for franchise compatibility and selection; Lisa Pecunia of Avarra Solutions for digital media marketing; Don Bowler of Zebrareach for traditional media marketing; Teri Tosti of Sonbank for the Small Business Administration Guarantee Programs; Jamie Scully of Cushman and Wakefield-Thalhimer for  commercial  real estate; Debby Girvan of Flair Communications for digital media marketing; Geary Rodgers of Compton and Duling for business legal matters; and Micah Dalton from North Highland Consulting for providing experiential learning opportunities to UMW Master of Business Administration students. Each of the award recipients demonstrated passion and commitment, leadership, proven business success through sustainability and growth and dedication to the community.

Brian Baker Speaks at IEDC Annual Conference

Brian Baker, Executive Director for Entrepreneurship at the University of Mary Washington presented at the International Economic Development Council Annual Conference in Houston, Texas on October 1.  His topic covered approaches for business assistance employed at the UMW Office of Entrepreneurship.  Following the presentation, Baker led a discussion titled “Empowering Entrepreneurs.”  The group discussion enabled colleagues in economic development to explore best practices on approaches to encouraging innovation, small company incubation, support services for business owners, and financing.

The UMW Office of Entrepreneurship is a division of the Center for Economic Development and hosts the UMW Small Business Development Center, the EagleWorks Accelerator and Innovation Program, the Engagement Council, and the Virginia Business Incubation Association.

UMW Faculty Members Awarded External Grants Totaling More Than $600,000

Ten University of Mary Washington faculty members have recently won external grants, fellowships or contracts totaling more than $600,000, according to the August newsletter from the Office of the Provost.

The National Science Foundation awarded a three-year grant in the amount of $262,615 for a project titled “STEM Talent Expansion through Research, Engagement, Preparation, and Scholarships” to Kelli Slunt, Dianne Baker, Jodie Hayob, Ben Kisila, Venitta McCall and Deb Hydorn.

Dan Preston has won a $250,000 three-year grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to support the continuation of his project to compile and publish the papers of President James Monroe.

Charles Sharpless will receive a sub-award of $26,892 as part of a collaborative project awarded by the National Science Foundation for a multi-university team that includes Mary Washington.

Brian Baker and the UMW Small Business Development Center received a $60,000 Hewlett Packard Learning Initiative for Entrepreneurs grant.

The Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) awarded two contracts, each for $5,500, to Brian Rizzo for the production of high-resolution digital terrain models and a series of maps for multiple locations in Virginia.

Read the full newsletter article.