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July 31, 2012

RSU names Koehler as Innovation director

CLAREMORE — Rogers State University has named Jeri Koehler as director for its Innovation Center, which fosters economic development and addresses the educational needs of business and industry. 

Koehler, who has been with the Innovation Center since 2005, took over as director for the facility following the June 30 retirement of Dr. Ray Brown. 
The RSU Innovation Center provides companies with support and resources to assist the growth from business concept to profitability. It also houses an incubator program that provides advantages to start-ups, including close links to the university’s academic resources and professional, on-site business assistance.
During her time with the Innovation Center, Koehler created an online Entrepreneur Development Program, which was one of Oklahoma’s first online non-credit courses for entrepreneurs. She increased business client counseling at the center by 158 percent during the past five years and developed the Student Enterprise Program, which engages RSU students in entrepreneurial activities for college credit. 
She also has taught an upper-level business course in Entrepreneurship at RSU. 
“Since its inception a decade ago, the Innovation Center has been focused on assisting businesses that are either in start-up or expansion mode,” Koehler said. “The Innovation Center is uniquely positioned to provide business owners and operators with resources that help them plan and execute successful business strategies.”
Before joining RSU in July 2005, Koehler was co-owner of two retail businesses in Claremore and Pryor. She has extensive experience in business development, marketing, management and finance. 
“As a Rogers State alumnus, Jeri has a deep passion for the university and its programs, including the Innovation Center that has been well-served by her strong entrepreneurial background,” said RSU President Dr. Larry Rice. “She has demonstrated success both in developing her own businesses and in helping others achieve their dreams of owning or operating their own firm. We’re proud to have one of our own leading the Innovation Center during its next chapter.”

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