President & CEO
Innovation Depot, Birmingham, Ala.
When the NBIA staff brainstormed ways to observe the association’s 25th anniversary, one idea stood out. Although NBIA has recognized outstanding incubation programs, clients and graduates with its Incubation Awards for 20 years, it has never offered an award for individual achievement. With the industry reaching maturity, it seemed a good time to remedy that situation.
We also decided to forego a formal, external nomination process and draw instead on the staff’s experiences with members over the years. A search of membership records and the NBIA archives quickly turned up nearly a dozen longtime members who have served both the industry and NBIA well.
Choosing just one of those individuals was difficult. However, NBIA President & CEO David Monkman ultimately selected Susan Matlock to receive the inaugural NBIA President’s Award. The decision was announced during the Incubation Awards luncheon at NBIA’s 24th International Conference on Business Incubation in Orlando, Fla.
“I so appreciate being the first recipient of the NBIA President’s Award,” Matlock says. “I have the greatest respect for NBIA and my peers and I am honored. I love working with entrepreneurs every day and get a great sense of satisfaction in helping them to succeed.”
An NBIA member since 1986, Matlock was the founding president of the Entrepreneurial Center in Birmingham, Ala., and executive director of the Office for the Advancement of Developing Industries Technology Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. In 2007, the programs merged to become the Innovation Depot, where Matlock remains president and CEO. Matlock chaired NBIA’s Board of Directors in 1994-95.
Both Matlock and her incubators have won numerous awards, including NBIA’s 2000 Incubator of the Year award and numerous client and graduate awards. Matlock was named one of the “Top 25 Most Influential People in the Southeast Technology Community” by TechJournal South in 2007. In 2004, Matlock was named by Ernst & Young and the Kauffman Foundation as one of three finalists for the national “Supporter of Entrepreneurship Award.” She also has been recognized by the Birmingham Area Chamber of Commerce as Small Business Advocate of the Year and by the U.S. Small Business Administration as the Financial Services Advocate of the Year for the state of Alabama.
She is a member of the board of directors of the United Way of Central Alabama and serves on the advisory board of the UAB School of Business. She has a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and has taught the entrepreneurial course offered to graduate students in public and private management at Birmingham-Southern College. She has completed an executive-in-residence program at Harvard Business School and is a member of the Kiwanis Club of Birmingham and a graduate of Leadership Birmingham and Leadership Alabama.
Matlock serves as vice chairwomen of the Board of Directors of St. Vincent’s Health System, is a past chairwoman of the Board of Directors of the Birmingham Venture Club, and serves on the Board of Managers of Ascension Health Ventures, a $325 million investment fund in St Louis. She also is a founding member of the Board of Directors of the Alabama Information Technology Association, is a board member of the Biotechnology Association of Alabama and was 2004 chairman of Tech Birmingham.
Matlock has spoken at many conferences in the United States and around the world on entrepreneurial development and business incubation, including presentations in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Belgium, Canada, Northern Ireland, South Africa and Spain, and she has taught at the Finnish training program for business incubation program managers.
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Athens, OH 45701-1565