Missouri Technology Corporation (MTC) is excited to announce that Governor Parson appointed Dan Cobb as our chairman. Dan has served on our board of directors since his appointment in early 2018 And has been instrumental in leveraging his experience as a serial tech entrepreneur as our Investment Committee Chair since 2020.
With the departure of Dr. Carter and the appointment of Dan Cobb, I wanted to take this opportunity to discuss MTC’s Board Governance. Our board members play a vital role in the success of our organization and its statewide impact. However, many of our stakeholders are not familiar with MTC’s governance structure.
Since joining MTC in early 2020, I have had the privilege of serving under three chairs: Jason Hall, Dr. Dedric Carter, and now Dan Cobb. I am grateful that our chairs have not only dedicated their time to the organization but also to my growth as a public sector leader. Jason Hall provided me with a solid understanding of the foundational elements of economic development and how MTC can effectively contribute to the broader economic initiatives of the state. Dr. Carter, on the other hand, emphasized the importance of staying focused on our larger goals and not getting caught up in the day-to-day operational details of managing MTC. I am excited to see what I will learn from Dan Cobb, drawing from his extensive experience as a successful entrepreneur.
As many of you know, MTC is a public-private partnership created by the Missouri General Assembly to promote entrepreneurship and foster the growth of new and emerging high-tech companies. What many of you may not know is that MTC is governed by a board of directors appointed by Missouri’s Governor, Speaker of the House, and President Pro Tem of the Senate.
Our 15-person board of directors has four automatic appointments – a delegate for the President of the University of Missouri System (currently Dr. Tom Spencer), the Director of the Department of Economic Development (currently Michelle Hataway), and representatives from the General Assembly (currently Senator Denny Hoskins and Representative Alex Riley). Of the remaining 11 directors, 2 are required to represent the public sector (currently Dr. Jim Baker and Dr. Tim Faley).
In my nearly four years as the Executive Director, I have served under approximately 25 different directors, many of whom had served, or are currently serving, as board members for the organization for approaching or surpassing a decade.
The MTC Executive Director, along with the stakeholders we represent, have been incredibly fortunate to have fostered a culture where all our board members are highly engaged in governing the organization. This active involvement extends to the committee level, as well as within the innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystems they represent.
Furthermore, we have been fortunate to establish a robust partnership with Governor Parson’s office in recent years. This collaboration has allowed us to propose candidates for consideration and collaborate on selecting board members who accurately represent the ecosystems, sectors, and stakeholders we serve. As a result, our board comprises a diverse range of perspectives that are essential for driving innovation and entrepreneurship across the state.
With that in mind, I would like to express my gratitude to all current and former board members for their unwavering commitment and invaluable contributions to MTC. Their dedication has played a pivotal role in supporting the state’s innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystems.
I would like to take a moment to express my gratitude to Dr. Carter and extend my heartfelt wishes for continued success in North Carolina. It is undeniable that Missouri’s loss is North Carolina’s gain.
Many of our stakeholders may not realize that Dr. Carter led the national search committee for the Executive Director, ultimately resulted in my hiring. I am forever grateful to him and the board members for taking a chance on me, someone who had recently returned to Missouri after spending nearly a decade in San Diego’s early-stage tech ecosystem without any public sector experience. Additionally, Dr. Carter was instrumental in our strategic initiative work with TEConomy Partners that culminated in the release of the Catalyzing Innovation report in early 2022. Without his leadership and experience in executing strategic initiatives, MTC would most certainly not have as robust and executable of a strategic vision that we currently have.
However, I would like to acknowledge the time and effort that Dr. Carter dedicated to working with me since his appointment as our chair in early 2021. He played a critical role in shaping my development within the public sector, emphasizing the importance of narratives and developing frameworks and guidance that are both firm in upholding an organization’s core principles and goals, yet flexible enough to adapt to unknown situations that will inevitably arise when working to catalyze innovation entrepreneurship in the public sector. These are the invaluable lessons that I apply every day as I continue to lead MTC in our efforts to generate significant economic development impact for the State of Missouri through innovation and entrepreneurship.
Executive Director of MTC