The board of directors for Innovate ABQ, Inc., a New Mexico nonprofit research park corporation, is expanding and getting right down to business. On Friday, Nov. 14, the current board members selected their leadership team, as the University of New Mexico Board of Regents voted to expand the membership from seven to 11 members.

Terry Laudick, president and chief executive officer, New Mexico Educators Federal Credit Union, will serve as the chair, with Patricia Vincent-Collawn, PNM Resources, president and chief executive officer as vice chair and Charles I. Wellborn, former president of STC.UNM (retired), as secretary/treasurer.

“We believe the Innovate ABQ officers are an impressive reflection of the type of leadership needed to make this venture a success,” Regent President Jack Fortner said. “The private sector knowledge and business acumen of these board members will guide the critical thinking and creative edge which are so important in developing this entrepreneurial enterprise.”

The board currently consists of six members, including the leadership team, R.J. Berry, mayor, City of Albuquerque; David Harris, UNM executive vice president for administration; Richard Larson, executive vice chancellor and vice chancellor for research, UNM Health Sciences Center and Charles I. Wellborn. Sherman McCorkle, past president of Technology Ventures Corporation, has decided not to serve on the board.

UNM Regents, who select the Innovate ABQ board, are considering a number of nominations to fill the five remaining positions. The regents agreed to designate one position as a representative for Bernalillo County. Regents expect to fill all the board seats by the end of the year.

The current members reflect the private/public entities that have been key in launching the innovation center concept. Contributions from New Mexico Educators Federal Credit Union, the city of Albuquerque, the UNM Regents and a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce to STC.UNM allowed for the purchase of a seven-acre property at the northwest corner of Central and Broadway, which will serve as the core site within Innovate ABQ’s larger research and innovation district.

Bernalillo County has committed funding to be used for future development of the property.

“The regents have tasked us with fostering the vision and activities of Innovate ABQ,” Laudick said. “We look forward to working with Perkins and Will architectural and design firm in collaboration with the Mayor’s Innovation Central to bring together intellectual resource and economic opportunities to accelerate job creation through innovation and entrepreneurship.” 

The board will guide development and renovation of the Innovate ABQ property. Master planning by Perkins + Will is currently underway with scenarios for ways to maximize the property expected in early 2015. Plans are for the board to work with business leaders to encourage an economic infrastructure of restaurants, support services and recreational activities around the site.