HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — The Marshall University Brad D. Smith Business Incubator in downtown Huntington is open and ready for business under the direction of two new co-directors who will help entrepreneurs and new businesses develop ideas and business models.
The new co-directors for the facility located in the Visual Arts Center on 3rd Avenue in Huntington, are James D. Rorrer and Casey J. Robinson, both Marshall graduates.
Rorrer is a graduate of the College of Business in 1971. Following graduation, he worked for First Huntington National Bank until 1976. From 1976 to 1994 he worked in the field of institutional investments in West Virginia and Virginia. And, then from 1994 until retiring in 2014, he served as the managing director of CapGroup Investment Advisors LLC in Richmond, Virginia. Since moving back to Huntington, Rorrer has served on the Lewis College of Business Executive Advisory Board, the Marshall University Foundation Board and the Big Green Scholarship Foundation Board.
Rorrer says to be able to play a part in the infancy of the Brad D. Smith Incubator is important to him.
“I hope that my experience, commitment and energy can, in some small way, make a positive difference,” Rorrer said. “I feel that my involvement in the region will help with the Brad D. Smith Business Incubator’s mission of being a resource for the development of new business in the region.”
Casey Robinson comes to the incubator after 30 years of work experience as a Certified Financial Planner and financial advisor. When Robinson retired in 2014 he was a senior vice president with Morgan Stanley. Robinson graduated from Marshall in 1981 with a Bachelor of Science and in 1984 with a Master of Business Administration. Robinson currently serves on the board of directors for the Marshall University Foundation and the Big Green Scholarship Foundation.
Robinson says when he was approached by Marshall University President Dr. Jerry Gilbert about serving in this role, he saw it as a service to his alma mater.
“The opportunity in my mind is pretty basic as an attempt to give back to the university in any way that I can to enhance its progress and student experience,” Robinson said.
Robinson said the role Marshall plays in the development of Huntington cannot be understated.
“It is my personal perspective that the city of Huntington’s future is very dependent on the success of Marshall,” Robinson said. “Utilizing Marshall’s resources to enhance economic opportunities and growth in Huntington is crucial to the city.
The incubator will focus on helping new businesses gain access to infrastructure and support that can be supplied by the Marshall University Lewis College of Business and the accompanying Brad D. Smith Schools of Undergraduate and Graduate Studies. They’ll also have access to the iCenter, housed in the College of Business and to the Robert C. Byrd Institute. The Brad D. Smith Business Incubator is uniquely situated to make a transformational effort in our entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Tenants are currently being accepted. For more information contact Rorrer at 304-696-5120.
Submitted by Marshall University.