DURHAM — A Business Advisory Council has been established at the University of New Hampshire to advance economic development while increasing the number of skilled workers in the state.
UNH has college level advisory boards, as well as fundraising and alumni focused boards, but this is the first time the college has assembled a presidential level business advisory council, according to a press release issued Thursday.
“I’m honored that these business leaders in our state have agreed to take the time to share their unique needs as well as be sounding boards for me as we work to make UNH a national and international example of higher education innovation and success,” UNH President James Dean said in a statement.
According to UNH spokesman Erika Mantz, businesses across all sectors were chosen to provide a broad representation of company size and location.
Members include Adria Bagshaw, co-owner and vice president, W.H. Bagshaw Co.; Nicole Carrier, co-founder and president, Throwback Brewery; Toral Cowieson, senior director of Internet leadership, The Internet Society; Jeff Huntington, vice president, COO and partner, Pleasant View Gardens; Dean Kamen, founder, DEKA Research; John Morison, chairman and CEO, Hitchiner Manufacturing; Joe Murray, vice president of public affairs, Fidelity Investments; Bill Quinlan, president, Eversource Energy; Nick Soggu, founder and CEO, Silver Tech; John Truslow, director of business conduct and ethics, BAE Systems; and Greg Walker, CEO, Wentworth-Douglass Hospital.
The council recently met for the first time. Business leaders talked about what they see as the greatest challenges facing the state’s economy and workforce needs, Mantz said.
Mantz said Dean provided an overview of the university to council members, including the four strategic priorities he laid out during a speech he delivered on Jan. 24.
Those priorities include enhancing student success and well-being, expanding academic excellence, embracing New Hampshire and building financial strength.
UNH also has a direct impact on the state’s business community. According to a 2016 analysis by Emsi in Moscow, Idaho, during the 2014-15 fiscal year, UNH and its students, visitors, volunteers, business development and attraction activities added $1.5 billion in income to the New Hampshire economy.