The University of Georgia’s Innovation District initiative is now benefiting from greater industry and community engagement with the first meeting of the Innovation District External Advisory (IDEA) Board on March 28. The purpose of the IDEA Board is to ensure that the growth and development of the district is informed by the private sector and the local business community.

The IDEA board will meet several times during the next 18 months and focus particular attention on industry and alumni engagement, district master planning, and innovation programming and support.

“This board, full of highly talented and successful leaders, will play an important role in the success of this transformational University initiative,” said President Jere W. Morehead.  “I am grateful to the members of the Board for their support and service, and I look forward to hearing their ideas and insights in the months ahead.”

As UGA’s campus of the future, the Innovation District will include an integrated set of facilities offering spaces and amenities to inspire collaboration, discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship, ultimately making the university a more powerful driver of economic development in Georgia.

The district will be a hub for university startups, research commercialization and experiential learning, a place where bright ideas become new products and business ventures that benefit communities across the state. The district will also make it easier for industry partners to collaborate with UGA’s talented faculty and students to solve business problems and foster innovation.

The IDEA Board includes distinguished university alumni and supporters, industry partners and business leaders, and other individuals with expertise and experience in areas of importance to the success of the Innovation District initiative.

The IDEA Board members are:

  • David Bradley, president and CEO, Athens Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Terry S. Brown, managing partner, Asana Partners
  • Michael Cocroft, managing partner, Red Clay Consulting
  • Anthony M. Ferguson, northeast region director, Georgia Power
  • Keith Kelly, president and CEO, Kelly Products, Inc.
  • Davis P. Knox, CEO and co-founder, Fire and Flavor
  • Francis W. Milward, head of global assay and services, vaccine research and development, Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health
  • Chaly Jo Moyen, senior vice president of strategy, planning, and dcecision science, Coca-Cola North America
  • Teresa L. Ostapower, senior vice president for technology transformation, AT&T
  • Michael Patrick, Innovation and New Ventures, Chick-fil-A
  • Wesley Rogers, president and CEO, Landmark Properties
  • John W. Rooker, CEO, Rooker Co.
  • Matt Rushing, vice president of product line for global crop care, AGCO Corporation
  • Dana Williams Spinola, CEO, fab’rik
  • Richard Stamper, entrepreneur
  • Matthew P. Warenzak, partner, Smith, Gambrell and Russell, LLP
  • Halsey Wise, chairman and CEO, Lime Barrel Advisors