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.