Staffing Changes at the National Entrepreneur Center (April 2023)

April 5, 2023

Under the new President, Belinda O. Kirkegard, the NEC is promoting as well as reclassifying some staff positions, to bolster talented members of the team:

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Julie Mathews— Vice President

Julie Matthews[/caption]

Kirkegard is proud to announce the promotion of Julie Matthews, from Vice President to Chief Operating Officer. Matthews has been a vital part of the NEC since 2005. Over the years she has spearheaded numerous special initiatives, including the buildout of the NEC's current location, at a 3-month fast-tracked pace. During the pandemic, Matthew’s assisted Orange County Government by leading a team that delivered over $15.8 million dollars in Cares Act grant funding into the hands of struggling small business owners. Most recently she voluntarily stepped up during the leadership transitional period to ensure continuity and stability at the center. “Julie has done an exceptional job managing the functional elements of the NEC. However, I chose this C-suite promotion to better encapsulate her responsibilities and truly recognize her remarkable skills,” said Kirkegard.

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Lisa Busto— Director of Community Engagement

Lisa Busto[/caption]

Additionally, the NEC made a strategic realignment of Lisa Busto position to Director of Events and Marketing, to better encapsulate the unique and valuable skillset she brings to the center. Busto has been with the NEC since 2011. “Lisa’s creativity and project management skills shine through in every event produced by the NEC” states Kirkegard. Busto is responsible for all NEC marketing collateral produced by the center and plays a critical role in the annual production of the Central Florida International Trade Office Export Report.

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Lucia Alvarado[/caption]

Furthermore, the NEC welcomes its newest team member, Lucia Alvarado, taking the position of Office Manager. “Lucia’s incredible skillset and strong customer service background is a perfect fit for a position often described at the center as air traffic control” states Kirkegard.

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Belinda O. Kirkegard[/caption]

“The NEC is blessed with an amazing staff who are truly passionate about building a strong and vibrant small business community. I am excited to lead such a dynamic group and take this center to the next level” states Kirkegard.