BRENT CASE:
 
BRENT CASE




 
 
 
 
 
Executive Director of the MidMichigan Innovation Center in Midland. Case joined the organization in January 2007 to increase visibility and help create new programs to support tenants and other entrepreneurs in the area. Case collaborates with community, state, and federal leaders to enhance the overall entrepreneurial environment in mid-Michigan. Previously, he was the director of business development for Central Michigan University Research Corp., and worked to attract and support young technology companies and construct a state-of-the-art laboratory facility. During his four years there, he assisted nearly 100 entrepreneurs, researchers, and young companies and helped secure millions of dollars from the state and federal government to support several research and development projects and construct a new 18,000 sq. ft. laboratory. Case also worked at the Michigan Economic Development Corp. developing statewide initiatives supporting advanced manufacturing, alternative energy, nanotechnology, and entrepreneurship. Earlier, he worked at Johnson Controls Automotive Interiors and the Delfield Co. Case has a bachelorís degree in industrial management and masterís degree in industrial technology from CMU. He served as a paratrooper in the National Guard while attending classes. Before college, Case served with the U.S. Armyís 18th Airborne Corps at Ft. Bragg, N.C. He was deployed to the Persian Gulf region weeks after Iraq invaded Kuwait and served in operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield.


WHERE BORN: "Big Rapids."

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS: "My commanding officer in the Army, John Forsythe, had a big impact on me. He was a gung ho airborne ranger who led by example and taught me a lot, which helped build my character. More recently, Dr. Robert Berry at CMU, who is now CEO at Dendritic Nanotechnologies in Mt. Pleasant, gave me a lot of room to learn and make my own mistakes. He taught me diplomacy as a way to get things done and is still a great friend and mentor."

LAST BOOK READ: "A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink. It talks about how we need to use the creative side of our minds -- not just scientific or logical -- to improve product and processes. Thatís Americaís competitive advantage."

WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME: "Ambitious, tactful, and optimistic."

WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED: "Business incubators and accelerators are playing a more significant role in the stateís economy. Around the country and especially in Michigan, they are not only helping entrepreneurs and small- and mid-sized businesses create wealth and new jobs but also are greatly involved in changing the whole entrepreneurial environment in Michigan. Weíre putting tools in place to help change the landscape and improve Michiganís economy."

FAVORITE TECHNOLOGICAL GADGET: "Right now, itís my BlackBerry but I have my eyes on an iPhone."

FAVORITE PLACE: "Traverse City, my dad lives there. Itís a great place to visit and take family."

FAVORITE HOBBY: "Hanging out on the lake at Lake Isabella with my family and playing sports with my boys, Austin and Aiden."

FAVORITE FOOD: "Tacos."

MY HIDDEN TALENT: "Iím often told that Iím a good writer and that comes in handy when I have to write grants and press releases."

HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED: "Hopefully, as the guy who was there for my family and as someone who tried to improve any situation I was in to make things better."

At the annual awards reception in May 2015, one Leader & Innovator from the previous 12 months will be selected as the Leader & Innovator of the Year.