Karen Merrick has joined the Iowa Innovation Corporation as Chief Operating Officer. Merrick had previously been with the Iowa Economic Development Authority.
The Iowa Innovation Corporation is a business-led independent non-profit that works with the state’s universities and colleges, businesses and government to facilitate Iowa’s innovation economy. It was created by the state legislature in 2011 to employ innovative economic development strategies.
“We are pleased Karen has formally joined our team,” said Jack Harris, president and CEO of the Innovation Corporation. “She has been an integral player in developing the programming and actual development of the Corporation. Karen’s knowledge of Iowa and experience with facilitating the innovation economy is unparalleled. She will be an asset to moving our efforts forward.”
Since 2001, Merrick has worked at the Authority in a number of capacities, but her focus has been firmly on helping build the infrastructure of Iowa’s innovation economy. This has included applying for and executing grants to build programming, facilitating conversations among the innovation economy’s players, and assisting with development of the Innovation Corporation.
“Iowa is a global leader in innovation in many industry sectors. But our goal is to expand the reach of Iowa products, growing new ideas into products for worldwide markets,” Merrick said. “There are many opportunities to connect the state’s multiple resources for the benefit of all Iowans and connecting, facilitating and supporting is how the Corporation will provide the most benefit. I am pleased to have the opportunity to continue to play a role in this effort.”
Prior to working for the state of Iowa, Merrick was executive director for G & G Living Centers, as well as mayor of Guttenberg, Iowa, from 1982 - !990.
“The one thing I have learned over the years is that Iowa is a great place to be, no matter where in the state you live,” said Merrick, a Sioux City native. “What the Innovation Corporation and all of its partners are working towards is ensuring that Iowa is a great place to live and work for generations to come, supporting our entrepreneurs and existing businesses with high growth potential sets the stage for success.”
Merrick officially joined the Innovation Corporation on July 2, which also marked the Innovation Corporation’s first day in its new office at 100 E. Grand. Harris and Merrick can be reached at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. They can also be reached at 515-421-4039.
IOWA INNOVATION CORPORATION
The Iowa Innovation Corporation employs the economic development model for the future. We tackle the hard problems. Our solutions are business-led. We channel resources. The people of Iowa should expect and demand wealth and job creation from our efforts. They deserve no less.