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March 05, 2013 | Tom Ballard

Holly Hanson new head of Cumberland Business Incubator

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The following release was issued by Roane State Community College.)

Roane State Community College has named Holly Hanson as the new director of the Cumberland Business Incubator.

Hanson’s experience includes various small business development projects. She was executive director of the EDGE Business Center, housed within the EIGERlab in Rockford, Ill. The EIGERlab is a mixed-use incubator with a mission similar to the Cumberland Business Incubator – helping entrepreneurs and small businesses grow and prosper.

Hanson recruited clients for the EDGE Business Center, coordinated technical assistance for start-ups, helped entrepreneurs develop business plans, coordinated activities with incubator partners and managed the center’s volunteers. She served as an advisor for the EIGERlab and played a major role in establishing it.

“My vision is for the Cumberland Business Incubator to become a regional center of excellence for learning, mentoring and support services for small businesses,” Hanson said. “I look forward to working with our community partners and area entrepreneurs to grow small businesses and create jobs in the region.”

Hanson was director of economic and business outreach for Rock Valley College in Illinois and served as interim director of the college’s Small Business Development Center. She is a member of the National Business Incubator Association and has managed several federal and state grants.

Hanson also has extensive experience in business. She is a licensed business coach through the Professional Business Coaches Alliance and worked as an executive in the manufacturing, aerospace and machine tool industries. She has managed budgets as large as $75 million and was responsible for as many as 75 direct reports. Hanson is a serial entrepreneur herself, having started seven successful small businesses.

Hanson has served on nearly a dozen nonprofit boards and received recognition for her community service. She has also taught undergraduate and graduate business courses.

Hanson received her bachelor’s degree in accounting and mathematics from Rockford College in 1981 and earned a master’s degree in management from Cardinal Stritch University in 1994.

The Cumberland Business Incubator, 2569 Cook Road in Crossville, is located on Roane State’s Cumberland County campus. To contact Hanson or for more information about the Cumberland Business Incubator, visit or call (931) 456-4910.

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