NBIA Names New President & CEO

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The National Business Incubation Association has named Jasper Welch – an experienced entrepreneur, business incubator manager, strategic thinker, team leader and public speaker – as its new president & CEO, effective Feb. 19.

Jasper Welch – an experienced entrepreneur, business incubator manager, strategic thinker, team leader and public speaker – has been named president & CEO of the National Business Incubation Association, effective Feb. 19.

Following a year-long search process, NBIA’s CEO search committee and executive committee selected Welch as NBIA’s new chief executive based on his experience as an incubator manager, entrepreneur, leader and visionary. “As a long-term member of NBIA and former incubator manager, Jasper understands the incubation industry,” said David Terry, chair of NBIA’s Board of Directors. “He is a compassionate leader and a visionary who will bring diversity and growth to the association. Jasper is a team player and is excited about how NBIA can participate in and lead the entrepreneur support ecosystem.”

Welch, who has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado, directed the San Juan College Enterprise Center, a mixed-use incubation program in Farmington, N.M., for 12 years. A longtime NBIA member, the Enterprise Center was featured in NBIA’s 2010 publication, "Best Practices in Action, Revised 2nd Edition." Welch also serves on the board of the Rocky Mountain Incubation Collaborative and has been a frequent presenter at NBIA events.

In addition to his background in business incubation, Welch has a diverse range of experience in the printing, office products, advertising, retail, coworking and management consulting fields. He has served as a twice-elected council member on the Durango, Colo., City Council, including two one-year terms as mayor. In the nonprofit sector, Welch has served as a local chamber executive and as a volunteer on local boards. Most recently, Welch started a coworking space in Durango, Colo. (For more information about Welch's background and experience, see http://www.nbia.org/jasper_welch/ or http://www.linkedin.com/in/jasperwelch.)

“My goal is to combine my experiences in ways that will promote, support and guide NBIA members, staff and board to achieve our strategic goals while developing and increasing financial stability for the association,” Welch says. “I’m prepared to make the commitment to the members, board and staff to contribute the executive leadership and management needed to achieve these goals.”

Tracy Kitts served as NBIA’s acting CEO during the search process. He will remain with the association as vice president and chief operating officer.

Headquartered 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 the information, education, advocacy and networking resources to bring excellence to the process of assisting early-stage companies.

Business incubation programs catalyze the process of starting and growing companies by providing entrepreneurs with the expertise, networks and tools they need to make their ventures successful. NBIA estimates that in 2011 alone, North American incubators assisted about 49,000 start-up companies that provided full-time employment for nearly 200,000 workers and generated annual revenue of almost $15 billion.

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