December 1, 2020

Baker Named VBIA President

Baker_Brian_2011Brian Baker, executive director of the University of Mary Washington Center for Economic Development, was elected president of the Virginia Business Incubation Association (VBIA) at the July 10 Board of Director’s meeting.  In that role he will work with the board to improve member engagement and value.

VBIA enters its 14th year as an education and networking association for professionals who support entrepreneurship, small business development, and the advancement of incubation throughout the Commonwealth.  The UMW Center for Economic Development enters its second year of serving as the headquarters for the association.

VBIA hosts an annual conference, regional roundtable workshops, a monthly newsletter, and a wealth of web-based publications in the members-only library. Membership is made up of individuals, educators and students, city and county executives, local and regional economic developers, chamber of commerce officials, public and private business assistance providers.

 

Brian Baker Presents at VBIA Conference

Brian Baker, Executive Director for Entrepreneurship and Vice President of the Virginia Business Incubation Association, presented at the VBIA Annual Conference on October 23 in Charlottesville.  He was invited to speak on the programs and economic benefits of the University of Mary Washington Office of Entrepreneurship.  Those programs include the UMW Small Business Development Center, the EagleWorks Accelerator and Innovation Center where the La Ceiba and Esfuerzo de Amor programs are housed, the emerging “Incubation Corridor” in collaboration with George Mason University, Rural Business Development in Virginia’s Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula, and collaboration with faculty and students. In 2012, 38 students have been involved in applied skills projects at the Office of Entrepreneurship. Notable faculty collaborations include a business analytics project featuring Dr. Christopher Garcia and Dr. Gail Brooks of the College of Business, a master’s level analysis engagement featuring Dr. Louis Martinette of the College of Business, and the La Ceiba and Esfuerzo de Amor programs featuring Dr. Shawn Humphrey of the College of Arts and Sciences. In 2011 the SBDC was involved in over 425 business projects that yielded 174 new jobs, 394 retained jobs, 51 new business openings, over $5.9 million in increased sales, and over $13 million in new capital investment.

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