NEW LONDON, Conn. — The Women’s Business Development Council (WBDC) is proud to announce Dr. Laura Blake as its new Program Manager, East Region. Dr. Blake will be based in WBDC’s downtown New London office to support a number of current and future projects in Eastern Connecticut.
Dr. Blake has more than 20 years of experience in higher education in management, business strategy, and marketing, supporting her passion for teaching, curriculum development, and entrepreneurial endeavors. In her role as Program Manager, she will be responsible for managing and delivering WBDC’s programs and services throughout the east region of Connecticut to women entrepreneurs and other clients at all stages of business development.
One of the first areas of focus for Dr. Blake will be to help promote the New London/WBDC Small Business Grant Program. This program, offered in partnership with the City of New London, makes available grants of up to $10,000 to eligible New London-based businesses.
“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Laura Blake as our new Program Manager,” says Fran Pastore, WBDC CEO. “Laura’s experience as a leader and an educator will be invaluable as she works with our other regional Program Managers to develop and implement a cohesive continuum of services for entrepreneurs at every level of business. In the region, Laura will draw on her strong ties as a long-time resident and professional to further build WBDC’s strong reputation as the premier provider of education and resources for women entrepreneurs in Eastern Connecticut.”
Before joining WBDC, Dr. Blake was the Management Chair and Associate Professor at Nichols College School of Business and was active with the Nichols College Susan Engelkemeyer Institute for Women’s Leadership (IWL), supporting female business students. She has also held faculty positions at Assumption University and Mitchell College.
Much more than an educator, Dr. Blake has an extensive background in the business world, having worked with notable companies such as Canon USA, Dentsu America, Inc., and Quesited Market Research. She has also performed pro bono consulting work with local businesses and nonprofits, strategically advising start-up ventures and incorporating experiential learning opportunities for students. She continues to teach in the Nichols Graduate School MBA and Executive Academy programs part-time.
Dr. Blake holds a Doctorate in Business Administration from Pace University. She also earned a Master of Science in Management and Technology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Bachelor’s in Business Administration with a focus on Marketing from Pace University.
About the Women’s Business Development Council
The Women’s Business Development Council’s (WBDC) mission is to support economic prosperity for women and strengthen communities through entrepreneurial and financial education services that create and grow sustainable jobs and businesses across Connecticut. WBDC educates, motivates, and empowers women to achieve economic independence and self-sufficiency. Since 1997, WBDC has educated and trained more than 18,800 clients in all of Connecticut’s 169 towns—helping women to launch, sustain, and scale over 14,000 businesses, create and maintain more than 31,400 jobs in Connecticut, and access more than $57 million in capital. Visit ctwbdc.org for more information.