(Posted March 17, 2008)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Nicholas Felice, director of business retention and expansion for the Economic Progress Alliance of Crawford County, has accepted a position as executive director of Juniata College's Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership and the Bob and Eileen Sill Incubator, effective April 8.
Felice's duties will include overseeing the budget and operations of the center, organizing student-related programs, collaborating with Juniata faculty on academic courses and issues, as well as administrating the dispersal of seed capital grants and developing revenue-generating programs for the center. Felice also will continue developing links with regional, state and national economic development organizations as well as with venture capital firms and entrepreneurs.

"I'm pleased that Juniata was able to attract a candidate with strong experience in economic development in counties similar to Huntingdon County." says John Hille, executive vice president for advancement and marketing at Juniata. "As Nick Felice blends that experience with the entrepreneurial programs of JCEL, I am confident that he will help sustain Huntingdon County's momentum through growth of area businesses and the creation of exciting new businesses."

"(Nick Felice) brings with him an established network of contacts at the regional, state, and federal levels that can be leveraged for Huntingdon County. He is a great fit for the combined challenges that the position of JCEL executive director represents

As executive director of JCEL, Felice also will oversee the operations and staff for Huntingdon County Business and Industry, where his duties will include initiating and managing projects in Juniata's Keystone Innovation Zone, a designated zone that leverages community and college partnerships to create and grow businesses in zone-specific target industries. He also will oversee HCBI's efforts in the Huntingdon County Enterprise Zone.

"Nick's extensive experience in promoting both economic and workforce development in Somerset and Crawford Counties will be a real asset to HCBI and Huntingdon County," says Donna Patterson, vice president of personal lines at Mutual Benefit Insurance Group and president of Huntingdon County Business and Industry. "He brings with him an established network of contacts at the regional, state, and federal levels that can be leveraged for Huntingdon County. He is a great fit for the combined challenges that the position of JCEL executive director represents."

Felice oversaw business development in Crawford County starting in September 2006. During his time in Meadville, Pa. he surveyed more than 250 businesses in the county and presented more than 15 seminars on small business development in the area.

Prior to working for Crawford County's Economic Progress Alliance, Felice spent almost 10 years as executive director of the Somerset County Economic Development Council from 1996 to 2006. During his time there he brought in more than $2 million in public grant funds to help develop three industrial parks and completed more than 15 business development projects that brought in more than $100 million in public and private investment.

He also managed five businesses in the Somerset agency's incubator facility, managed three nonprofit organizations and acted as liaison with elected officials on the local, county, state and federal levels.

"The contractual relationship that HCBI has with JCEL through Juniata College has provided a level of management expertise that would be difficult for HCBI to secure on its own, and the ability to hire someone with the credentials that Nick Felice possesses is a prime example," Patterson explains. "The HCBI staff and JCEL staff really work together as one unified team, and this is a model that has greatly benefited economic development in Huntingdon County."

"One of the most important roles for the center's director is the ability to work with multiple partners," Hille adds. "Nick has demonstrated that ability throughout his career and will be valuable in coordinating the college's work with the County Commissioners, other agency's and boards and the Juniata community."

Felice earned a bachelor's degree in history in 1985 from Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pa. and went on to complete his economic development finance certification from the National Development Council and a Dale Carnegie Course from Dale Carnegie Systems.

He also completed a real estate license course and a real estate appraisal course, and worked as a real estate appraiser in Somerset County in 2006.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.