IBJNews

Business Ownership Initiative hires executive director

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The Indianapolis-based Business Ownership Initiative has a new leader who is looking to help the not-for-profit grow along with the entrepreneurs it serves.

Julie Grice, a 10-year veteran of the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce and former business owner, began her tenure as executive director of the Business Ownership Initiative of Indiana on Sunday.

“We think [she] has the right mix of talent and experience to lead the organization forward,” board President Marilyn McCombs, a vice president of Star Bank, said in a prepared statement. “Having owned her own … business is just the icing on the cake.”

Grice, 46, replaces longtime leader Sharon O’Donoghue, who accepted a position with a federal agency in Washington, D.C., in late 2010.

“I look forward to being able to speak with her,” Grice said. “She’s a jewel, and she’s quite beloved here.”

Founded in 1997 as the Neighborhood Self-Employment Initiative and supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration, the organization is focused on developing businesses in central Indiana. It assists entrepreneurs with resources necessary for growth, including business education and help in finding financial support.

BOI assisted 130 startup businesses last year, Grice said, and though the owners had vastly different backgrounds, they all had one essential quality in common.

“They still have an energy and a passion and a dream,” Grice said. “Being able to help those folks is going to be a significant part of what I do in the first year.”

Grice said she plans to use the momentum O’Donoghue built during her six-year tenure to continue expanding business initiatives in central Indiana. Since 2003, the organization’s budget has grown from $35,000 to $350,000.

Along with having “walked the walk” for 18 months running communications consulting firm Grice Smart Sponsorships, Grice said her decade of work with the chamber created strong connections.

“I was able to interact with thousands of new and existing businesses of all sizes,” she said.

Moving forward, Grice said she hopes to reach out to established businesses to collaborate with BOI and support its mission. She knows it will be a challenge to improve upon the framework that O’Donoghue laid.

“Being able to build on that is something in and of itself,” she said.

Balancing the budget also will be on Grice’s agenda. The organization reported 2009 revenue of nearly $350,000 and expenses of $477,000, according to its most recent federal tax filing. Preliminary figures show the gap narrowed in 2010, with $418,900 in revenue and $435,200 in expenses.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. The east side does have potential...and I have always thought Washington Scare should become an outlet mall. Anyone remember how popular Eastgate was? Well, Indy has no outlet malls, we have to go to Edinburgh for the deep discounts and I don't understand why. Jim is right. We need a few good eastsiders interested in actually making some noise and trying to change the commerce, culture and stereotypes of the East side. Irvington is very progressive and making great strides, why can't the far east side ride on their coat tails to make some changes?

  2. Boston.com has an article from 2010 where they talk about how Interactions moved to Massachusetts in the year prior. http://www.boston.com/business/technology/innoeco/2010/07/interactions_banks_63_million.html The article includes a link back to that Inside Indiana Business press release I linked to earlier, snarkily noting, "Guess this 2006 plan to create 200-plus new jobs in Indiana didn't exactly work out."

  3. I live on the east side and I have read all your comments. a local paper just did an article on Washington square mall with just as many comments and concerns. I am not sure if they are still around, but there was an east side coalition with good intentions to do good things on the east side. And there is a facebook post that called my eastside indy with many old members of the eastside who voice concerns about the east side of the city. We need to come together and not just complain and moan, but come up with actual concrete solutions, because what Dal said is very very true- the eastside could be a goldmine in the right hands. But if anyone is going damn, and change things, it is us eastside residents

  4. Please go back re-read your economics text book and the fine print on the February 2014 CBO report. A minimum wage increase has never resulted in a net job loss...

  5. The GOP at the Statehouse is more interested in PR to keep their majority, than using it to get anything good actually done. The State continues its downward spiral.

ADVERTISEMENT