Colette’s professional work has been dedicated to strengthening and revitalizing business ecosystems, industry sectors and communities through economic development, workforce and innovation-based initiatives. She has significant experience in working with membership-based industry associations and government-sponsored programs that are focused on technology advancements. A proven leader in non-profit management, program development and operations, Colette is adept at cultivating & maintaining productive working relationships in entrepreneurial and cross-functional environments.
Colette currently serves as the Director of Innovation and Program Design at OATS, where she focuses on designing and delivering excellent customer experiences for Senior Planet participants. Prior to joining OATS, Colette conceived of and launched the Women’s Innovation Learning Lab (WILL) for the Women’s Business Development Center – a Chicago-based 501c(3), providing free and low-cost business advising and support to women and minorities entrepreneurs and established businesses. Her previous professional roles include overseeing the creation and delivery of the IPC Education Foundation, a 501c(3) arm of an industry trade association serving the electronics industry and serving in leadership positions at the Digital Manufacturing Design & Innovation Institute (DMDII), a Chicago-based innovation consortium. Prior to joining DMDII, Colette was the Head of Trade & Investment, Midwest Region for UK Trade & Investment, the British government’s international trade development agency where she was responsible for leading a team of international business development specialists that provided advisory services to US and UK companies in the areas of global expansion, strategic partnerships, market development strategies, and foreign direct investment.
Colette’s diverse background includes managing a start-up business and designing and developing a consumer goods product that was awarded a patent in 2005 (US 6913176 B1). She has also worked within the media and communications department in for profit and non-profit organizations. Colette received a Bachelor of Arts in English with a Minor in Journalism from Montclair State University.