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Huntsville Advanced Defense Cluster Initiative to be Managed by the Women’s Business Center of North Alabama

Birmingham, AL – The U.S. Small Business Administration Alabama District Office announced that on Wednesday, June 11, the Huntsville Advanced Defense Cluster Initiative will be managed by the Women’s Business Center of North Alabama (WBCNA).

Mr. John Spears, SBA’s Director of Clusters and Skills Initiatives, said that “We have successfully novated the contract from the Von Braun Center for Science & Innovation (VCSI) to the WBCNA and expect the great work being done in the Tennessee Valley to continue seamlessly for those small businesses being served.  It only makes sense that one of the top-performing Women’s Business Centers in the country is now managing one of the top-performing Cluster Initiatives.”

Joanne Randolph, WBCNA President & CEO, who has been involved with the Cluster Initiative since its inception 4 years ago, will serve as the Program Manager of this effort.  Terry Griffin will continue in his role as Project Manager and Christi Jackson as Deputy Project Manager.  According to Ms. Randolph, “The Cluster Initiative is very good for our community and our region’s small businesses and we are honored to be asked to continue the great work initiated by VCSI.”

Mayor Tommy Battle said he is “proud of the Cluster work led by VCSI and is confident that the region will continue to benefit from this initiative under WBCNA’s management.”  The Mayor will “unveil” the new name and logo of this effort which is TechRich – Technology Regional Innovation Cluster – Huntsville (logo below).

 About the SBA Cluster Initiative
The U.S. Small Business Administration is investing in regional clusters throughout the US that span a variety of industries, ranging from energy and manufacturing to agriculture and advanced defense technologies. Clusters are geographic concentrations of interconnected companies, specialized suppliers, academic institutions, service providers and associated organizations with a specific industry focus. They provide high-value, targeted connecting of small and large businesses, including networking with potential industry partners abroad. Clusters form strong partnerships between universities and private industry, facilitating technology transfer and commercialization of new technology. Clusters can play a critical role in meeting innovation needs in sectors such as energy or defense faster and cheaper than traditional procurement processes.

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Release Date:  June 5, 2014 Contact:  David V. Ramp 205-290-7101 x247
Release Number: 14-04 Internet Address:


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