Pfaff named director of new ISU business center

May 30 2007

Indiana State University has tapped Chris Pfaff of Terre Haute to serve as director of the Center for Business Support and Economic Innovation, the university’s component of the recently announced Terre Haute Innovation Alliance.

Currently director of business development with the Indiana Economic Development Corp., Pfaff previously served as west-central regional director for the Indiana Department of Commerce.

As Indiana State’s official liaison for business support services and economic development, Pfaff will work with faculty and staff from all areas of the university to assist new business ventures with the preparation of business plans and business start-up activities.

“The diversity of businesses the university will work with will require the center to be innovative in identifying appropriate processes and support systems to successfully launch new business ventures. Chris has the experience, ability and ‘can-do’ attitude to be successful in this initiative,” C. Jack Maynard, the university’s provost and vice president for academic affairs said in announcing Pfaff’s appointment.

During 2005 to 2006, under Pfaff’s leadership, the state’s business development division completed 328 competitive projects and secured commitments for more than 39,000 new jobs for Indiana and private capital investments exceeding $12.2 billion.

Launched in April with the help of $500,000 in Federal funds garnered with assistance of Sens. Evan Bayh and Richard Lugar, the Terre Haute Innovation Alliance provides assistance to companies that are in the process of developing or expanding their products while engaging students in hands-on projects and creating jobs for the local economy.

A partnership involving the city of Terre Haute, Terre Haute Economic Development Corp., Indiana State and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, the Innovation Alliance is currently home to three businesses: DesAcc, InfraWare and Novus Technologies.

As the inaugural director of the Center for Business Support and Economic Innovation, Pfaff will be charged with developing and executing a strategic business plan, advancing external fundraising efforts, and overseeing marketing strategies. He will also be charged with building and advancing strategic alliances with potential partners; maintaining relationships with local, state and national leaders in the public sector and in industry; and with oversight of the Small Business Development Center.

“Creating an environment to develop intellectual property and support new business ventures will help Terre Haute diversify its economy and Indiana State will play a critical role in this process,” Pfaff said. A veteran of state economic development agencies since 2000, Pfaff previously worked as a broker with Century 21 Advantage realty in Terre Haute. An Army veteran, he has served as a public affairs officer with the Indiana Army National Guard and is currently the battalion commander of the 138th Personnel Services Battalion in Indianapolis.

Pfaff holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, with a focus in political science, from Indiana University. He is also a recent graduate of the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute.

He volunteers with Boy Scouts of America and Trees Inc., and is an alumnus of Leadership Terre Haute, Class 21. He resides in Terre Haute’s Collett Park neighborhood with his wife, Tonya, and four children: Griffin, Anne, Greta and Kate.

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Chris Pfaff

Contact: C. Jack Maynard, provost and vice president for academic affairs, Indiana State University, (812) 237-2309 or cmaynard@indstate.edu; or Mark Green, special assistant to the provost, Indiana State University, (812) 237-3572 or mgreen6@indstate.edu

Writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Indiana State University, (812) 237-3743 or dave.taylor@indstate.edu

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Indiana State University has tapped Chris Pfaff of Terre Haute to serve as director of the Center for Business Support and Economic Innovation, the university’s component of the recently announced Terre Haute Innovation Alliance.

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