Holifield joins Nortech as VP of Inclusive Competitiveness

NorTech Adds Economic Inclusion Expert to Leadership Team

CLEVELAND, OH – June 25, 2012 – NorTech, a nonprofit technology-based economic development organization serving 21 counties in Northeast Ohio, today announced that Johnathan M. Holifield, Esq. has been named Vice President of Inclusive Competitiveness.

In this role, Mr. Holifield is responsible for leveraging existing efforts within Northeast Ohio’s innovation ecosystem and leading new strategic initiatives to increase the competitiveness of African and Latino Americans. He will focus on connecting and enhancing inclusion efforts with NorTech’s partner organizations including JumpStart, BioEnterprise, MAGNET and Team NEO. Mr. Holifield will also engage in public/private partnerships to further infuse inclusion into the region’s technology-based economic development initiatives that will increase overall economic competitiveness.

Moving forward, NorTech will work with its regional partners to develop a shared framework for action to create stronger connections between African and Latino Americans and the region’s emerging, high-growth technology industries.

“Johnathan brings a strong background to NorTech and the region as a technology-based economic development practitioner and expert in the area of economic inclusion. His experience in developing innovative strategies to address inclusion, private capital formation, STEM education, and entrepreneurship, uniquely qualifies him to lead this effort,” said Rebecca O. Bagley, president and CEO of NorTech.

“This recent addition to our team enables us to expand our commitment to economic inclusion as part of our mission to accelerate the growth of regional innovation clusters in Northeast Ohio.”

Jumpstart applauds appointment of Johnathan Holifield

“I applaud NorTech for taking a significant and proactive step to elevate the importance of inclusion as a critical component of Northeast Ohio’s overall economic future” said Darrin Redus, Chief Economic Inclusion Officer at JumpStart.

“The addition of Johnathan Holifield and the full resource network of NorTech will further leverage the existing efforts in the innovation ecosystem, which holds great promise not only for our ethnic minority communities, but for all of Northeast Ohio as we all benefit the more our entire community is engaged and contributing to economic output.”

About Johnathan Holifield

Mr. Holifield has over 20 years of experience cultivating collaborative partnerships with universities, nonprofits, governments, civic organizations, and businesses to garner broad-based support and investment for new economic and community initiatives.

Mr. Holifield is co-founder of The America21 Project, a nationally networked and regionally focused initiative that utilizes innovation-based economic development tools, practices and strategies to connect African and Latino Americans to regional innovation clusters and ecosystems. He is also founding executive director of CincyTech USA and has held executive leadership positions with Cincinnati USA Chamber of Commerce, Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy and Cleveland Urban League.

Mr. Holifield has served on several governing boards,including Bio/Start Bio/Medical Start-Up Center, Greater Cincinnati Venture Association, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation and The University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute.

Mr. Holifield holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from West Virginia University, a master’s degree in Educational Foundations and law degree from University of Cincinnati, and is a graduate of The University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute.

About Nortech

NorTech is a regional nonprofit technology-based economic development organization serving 21 counties in Northeast Ohio.  As a catalyst for growing Northeast Ohio’s emerging technology industries, NorTech is leading efforts to develop regional innovation clusters that create jobs, attract capital and have a long-term, positive economic impact.  www.nortech.org

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America21 Brings Inclusive Competitiveness to Detroit

America21 Makes Big Impact at White House

America21 Helps Homewood in Pittsburgh

I’m greatly encouraged at the appointment of America21, co-founder, chief strategist and evangelist, Johnathan Holifield, as Nortech’s Vice President of Inclusive Competitiveness. (See official announcement). This feels like the dawning of a new era in economic inclusion and competitiveness for many disconnected minority populations across America. Nortech has a solid track record and economic vision for Northeast Ohio that may soon become the prototype platform for the nation to emulate. Congratulations to Johnathan and Nortech!

Mike Green


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  1. […] Chief Strategist and Evangelist, Johnathan Holifield coined the term “Inclusive Competitiveness.” One of the three primary goals of […]

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