UEDA Appoints AAMU's Orok
The University Economic Development Association (UEDA) announced the appointment of Dr. Teresa Merriweather Orok from Alabama A&M University to its board of directors. UEDA serves as the preeminent association for higher education practitioners focused on attracting talent, driving innovation, and building a sense of place within their regions.
Dr. Teresa Merriweather Orok is an expert on economic and business innovation. While her career spans more than 30 years of experience across grants, government contract management, economic development, government, and higher education, she currently serves as the inaugural Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Economic Development (CEIED) at Alabama A&M University.
“We are excited to welcome Teresa to the UEDA team! Her knowledge and experience in economic development, education, and innovation will be valuable as we continue to build engaging programming and initiatives for our members,” said UEDA President Rebecca Robinson.
“Dr. Orok has been a consistent source for expertise on economic and business development at AAMU for nearly two decades,” stated Dr. Daniel K. Wims, president of Alabama A&M University. “Her impactful workshops, webinars and seminars on pertinent economic issues have attracted both sought-after presenters and thoroughly engaged attendees.”
AAMU’s CEIED partners with the State of Alabama economic development engines, small businesses, corporations, innovation partners, SBA, SBDC, financial institutions, investors, developers, and other organizations with similar missions. They foster opportunities for economic growth and assist in building a stronger financial base especially directed toward the North Huntsville community and other underrepresented communities.
“CEIED has been a significant resource for economic development and entrepreneurship throughout the Tennessee Valley,” said Alabama State Representative Laura Hall, who represents District 19. “I am certain Dr. Orok will be a reliable asset to UEDA, as well.”
Dr. Orok will also work closely with the American Resilience & Equity Networks Initiative (ARENI), a project funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration. ARENI will establish practitioner networks in the areas of economic equity and economic resilience, while also providing structure to the EDA University Center program. With these networks, participants will share best practices, and resources, and connections that will influence our next economic wave. As Co-Chair for the ARENI Council, Dr. Orok will guide a structure for region-to-region collaboration on resilience and equity issues.