Kirk Bjorland, Vice President for Enrollment Management at Graceland University, has been appointed as the new President and CEO of the Iowa Innovation Corporation (IICorp). The IICorp Board of Directors will make the announcement today (April 8) and Bjorland will take the helm at the IICorp on April 20, with a transition period through April 30.
Bjorland has served as Graceland’s Director of Marketing and Vice President of Enrollment. “Kirk Bjorland is a driven marketer who has worked tirelessly toward Graceland’s success. I trust the future of Iowa’s innovation economy in his hands,” said Graceland University President John Sellars. Bjorland has also served as the city administrator and mayor of Lamoni.
IICorp Board Chair, Bob Riley, said, “Kirk’s enthusiasm, innovative outlook and breadth of experience, plus his knowledge of local and regional economic development, impressed the selection committee immensely.”
“I have more than 20 years of experience connecting people and companies with public and private funding and resources,” Bjorland said. “I believe in the state of Iowa, and I have been on three sides of Iowa’s economic landscape: local government, banking and higher education. But I can also relate to the small innovator, as I have participated in my own entrepreneurial ventures.”
The IICorp is a private nonprofit organization that has been charged by the Iowa legislature to serve as the state’s innovation intermediary. The IICorp works to create a statewide sustainable innovation network, to assist companies working to commercialize new products and technologies. Key initiatives include outreach for federal research funding programs, a Proof of Commercial Relevance program and a soon-to-be-launched mentoring program.
“I am excited! This is a perfect opportunity for us to network and ‘Grow Iowa’s Own’,” Bjorland said. “My career has centered on building strong professional relationships and networking. I look forward to working closely with the IEDA (Iowa Economic Development Authority) to build a partnership with all parties and to helping expand innovation in Iowa.”
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