Nancy Grden, associate vice president of Old Dominion University's Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, has been named the initial executive director of the newly formed Hampton Roads Maritime Collaborative for Growth & Innovation (HRMC), which aims to expand the role of maritime innovation in the region's economic development. Grden also will serve as special assistant to the president of Old Dominion for maritime initiatives.
"Hampton Roads has a unique maritime ecosystem, with a range of assets and opportunities for our region, and ODU has a major role to play in realizing its potential," said John R. Broderick, president of Old Dominion and HRMC co-chair. "Nancy's leadership will be crucial in advancing economic growth in maritime innovation for the region."
Grden previously served as co-chair of ODU's Economic Development Catalyst Task Force and has a track record of leadership for major strategic and innovation initiatives across multiple sectors. She is an experienced entrepreneur with companies such as Genomind and former executive with Amerigroup and Bank of America. She also serves as chair of 757 Angels, as well as Executive Committee member of organizations such as 757 Accelerate, Norfolk Innovation Corridor, 757 Resilience and Recovery Action Framework.
She will also co-lead with ODU faculty one of HRMC's initiatives - to position ODU as a globally recognized academic institution focused on the maritime ecosystem for degree programs, research and innovation.
HRMC was established to provide thought leadership and alignment to pursue opportunities resulting in long-term economic development and innovation for the Hampton Roads maritime ecosystem. Other initiatives include offshore wind, resilience, talent pipelines and supply base. Its Board of Directors includes more than 40 leaders representing business, maritime associations, the Navy, the public sector and state and regional economic development.
"We are fortunate to have Nancy take on this leadership role," said John O. "Dubby" Wynne, HRMC co-chair and chair of Reinvent Hampton Roads and GO Virginia Foundation. "I have worked with her over the years, and she has the skills and experience to achieve our goals."