Lilly Named as CEP Director of Business Creation

Posted on: August 21, 2013

The Chamber & Economic Partnership (CEP) has selected Ryan Lilly as the Director of Business Creation, to assist new businesses and help attract entrepreneurs to Marion County. The CEP conducted an exhaustive nationwide search to find candidates with proven success in business incubation and providing assistance to business startups.  Lilly is the second staff person hired in recent months to serve entrepreneurs and the Ocala Power Plant business incubator.  

In this new position, Lilly will provide hands on assistance to entrepreneurs within the Ocala Power Plant and throughout the community. He will plan and develop training programs, provide networking opportunities for entrepreneurs and potential funders, and coordinate the Marion County Microloan Fund. "I look forward to becoming an active part of the Ocala and Marion County region and applying my passion for creating and growing entrepreneurial communities", Lilly said.

Lilly most recently served as manager of the Entrepreneurship Center of West Central Illinois, part of the economic development department of the City of Galesburg. During his 32 months in Galesburg, Lilly worked to educate, engage and empower entrepreneurs by providing one-on-one counseling and business development programs. These efforts directly resulted in 7 grant awardees and the creation of 17 new businesses.  Lilly and the members of his economic development team also created and/or retained over 1,100 jobs through their efforts to attract and grow startups and existing business at a business incubator in the City of Galesburg and throughout a four-county region.

Lilly's passion for business creation began while serving as a college intern at a business accelerator and performing research on trends in venture capital investment. Lilly graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management, concentration in entrepreneurship, and a minor in business leadership. He also earned a certificate in serial innovation from the University of Illinois and is an active member of the National Business Incubation Association.

In his free time, Lilly enjoys traveling with his wife, reading, writing and staying current on trends and topics pertaining to new business creation.

The Ocala/Marion County Chamber & Economic Partnership (CEP) was created as a one-stop hub for the community's business attraction, creation and retention efforts. The CEP's mission is to be THE catalyst for a prosperous community. The CEP will drive community transformation and strengthen business through an aggressive and forward looking approach. The CEP will bring together all economic development forces to ensure that Marion County will be a vibrant community with a stable and diversified economy.

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