New maritime collaborative taps executive director
Hampton Roads Maritime Collaborative for Growth & Innovation will focus on maritime economic development efforts
Nancy Grden has been named the first executive director of Hampton Roads Maritime Collaborative for Growth & Innovation, which aims to expand the role maritime plays in the region’s economic development. Grden was most recently the associate vice president of Old Dominion University’s Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship.
Along with leading the newly formed collaborative, Grden will serve as special assistant to the ODU president for maritime initiatives and will focus on ODU’s goal to become an internationally recognized maritime research institution.
“Hampton Roads has a unique maritime ecosystem, with a range of assets and opportunities for our region, and ODU has a major role to play in realizing its potential,” ODU President John R. Broderick, who is also the collaborative’s co-chair, said in a statement. “Nancy’s leadership will be crucial in advancing economic growth in maritime for the region.”
A former bank executive and entrepreneur, Grden previously served as co-chair of ODU’s Economic Development Catalyst Task Force and is board chair of 757 Angels, a network of local business leaders who invest in startups with funding and mentorship. She also has held leadership roles on the executive committees of 757 Accelerate, Norfolk Innovation Corridor, 757 Resilience and Recovery Action Framework.
The collaborative is focused on long-term economic development and innovation around the Hampton Roads maritime sector and will also work on initiatives involving offshore wind, coastal resilience, talent pipelines and supply base.